Today is Christmas, the third full day of Hanukkah, and the first day of Coynezaa: a perfect trifecta of holidays on this Wednesday, December 25, 2019. Professor Ceiling Cat (Emeritus) wishes you all a Happy Trifecta and hope that you are in the presence of presents, family and/or good friends, and, of course, good noms. (Please report on your Christmas victuals below.)
I’m still suffering a bit from my bug, and so will spending most of the day in bed—Jews shouldn’t celebrate Christmas, anyway—but I’m feeling much better. I have some Christmas posts lined up, but don’t expect much that is substantive today. Have a big dinner and a nap instead!
It’s very warm in Chicago, with a predicted high today of 53° F (12° C); I don’t think I’ve seen as warm a Christmas since I moved here in December, 1986. Tomorrow may well get to 60° F, which would beat the all-time record for December 26 by two degrees.
As for food, it’s National Pumpkin Pie Day (good, but only with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream; sweet potato pie is better). It’s also “No ‘L’ Day”, a pun on the holiday but also a day on which you’re supposed to remove that (l)etter from speech and writing. Good (l)uck with that.
Matthew sends this Merry Xmas tweet, with “X” being especially appropriate here:
Good morning. pic.twitter.com/3RGpgCWFBq
— Paul McAuley (@UnlikelyWorlds) December 25, 2019
To celebrate the Jewish holiday, we have a special song: Boyz II Menorah singing their smash Hanukkah hit “A Week and a Day”, which is very good for a spoof song (h/t: Merilee):
Stuff that happened on Christmas Day include:
- 0 AD-Jesus was born. [I added that one]
- 333 – Roman Emperor Constantine the Great elevates his youngest son Constans to the rank of Caesar.
Remember that Constantine was the first Roman Emperor to convert to Christianity.
- 336 – First documentary sign of Christmas celebration in Rome.
- 800 – The coronation of Charlemagne as Holy Roman Emperor, in Rome.
- 1066 – William the Conqueror, Duke of Normandy is crowned king of England, at Westminster Abbey, London.
- 1758 – Halley’s Comet is sighted by Johann Georg Palitzsch, confirming Edmund Halley’s prediction of its passage. This was the first passage of a comet predicted ahead of time.
- 1776 – George Washington and the Continental Army cross the Delaware River at night to attack Hessian forces serving Great Britain at Trenton, New Jersey, the next day.
- 1809 – Dr. Ephraim McDowell performs the first ovariotomy, removing a 22-pound tumor.
- 1831 – The Great Jamaican Slave Revolt begins; up to 20% of Jamaica’s slaves mobilize in an ultimately unsuccessful fight for freedom.
- 1914 – A series of unofficial truces occur across the Western Front to celebrate Christmas.
- 1950 – The Stone of Scone, traditional coronation stone of British monarchs, is taken from Westminster Abbey by Scottish nationalist students. It later turns up in Scotland on April 11, 1951.
- 1991 – Mikhail Gorbachev resigns as President of the Soviet Union (the union itself is dissolved the next day). Ukraine’s referendum is finalized and Ukraine officially leaves the Soviet Union.
Notables born on Christmas Day include:
- 0 – AD Jesus was born [I added that here, too]
- 1642 (OS) – Isaac Newton, English physicist and mathematician (d. 1726/1727)
- 1821 – Clara Barton, American nurse and humanitarian, founder of the American Red Cross (d. 1912)
- 1876 – Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Indian-Pakistani lawyer and politician, 1st Governor-General of Pakistan (d. 1948)
- 1884 – Evelyn Nesbit, American model and actress (d. 1967)
- 1887 – Conrad Hilton, American entrepreneur (d. 1979)
- 1899 – Humphrey Bogart, American actor (d. 1957)
- 1907 – Cab Calloway, American singer-songwriter and bandleader (d. 1994)
- 1924 – Rod Serling, American screenwriter and producer, created The Twilight Zone (d. 1975)
- 1946 -Jimmy Buffett [JAC: I added this because I heard it on NPR]
- 1949 – Sissy Spacek, American actress [JAC: only five days older than I!]
- 1950 – Karl Rove, American political strategist and activist
- 1954 – Annie Lennox, Scottish singer-songwriter and pianist
Those who began necrosis on this day include:
- 1946 – W. C. Fields, American actor, comedian, juggler, and screenwriter (b. 1880)
- 1977 – Charlie Chaplin, English actor and director (b. 1889)
- 1983 – Joan Miró, Spanish painter and sculptor (b. 1893)
- 1995 – Dean Martin, American singer and actor (b. 1917)
- 2005 – Birgit Nilsson, Swedish operatic soprano (b. 1918)
- 2008 – Eartha Kitt, American singer and actress (b. 1927)
- 2016 – George Michael, British singer and songwriter (b. 1963)
Miró painted many cats in his life; you can see some of them here. Here’s a good one, “Jumping Cat”:
Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili wants her Christmas although she’s a secular Jewish cat, and she always gets treats on the holidays:
Hili: Where are the presents?A: You ate them yesterday.Hili: That’s not the right answer.
Hili: Gdzie te prezenty?
Ja: Wczoraj zjadłaś.
Hili: To nie jest właściwa odpowiedź.
In nearby Wloclawek, Mietek and Leon also seem to be worried that they haven’t had their holiday noms yet.
Leon: Did we miss something?
Reader Pliny the in Between posted this Christmas cartoon at The Far Corner Cafe:
From Cole & Marmalade:
A tip from Jesus of the Day, which reminds me of Leon and Mietek:
A tweet sent by Gethyn, showing a Christmas miracle! It proves that God is a hedgehog!
I swear it feels like a moment where somewhere, somehow, Terry Pratchett just won twenty quid off Neil Gaiman . https://t.co/dTw3puZmg9
— stephendann (@stephendann) December 23, 2019
And seven tweets from Matthew. First, the Christmas Day egress from the Marsh Farm barn. The animals are especially excited as they get extra treats, and there’s also a Christmas scarecrow. Once again, Cuthbert the Goose, who has privilege, gets a special mention:
— caenhillcc (@caenhillcc) December 25, 2019
I love the wags who run the “signage” for the London Underground:
— Great Portland Street Station (@GreatPortlandSt) December 24, 2019
About this one Matthew says, “This is not a joke”:
me: i wonder what would happen if i trained the neural net gpt-2 on christmas carols?
— Janelle Shane (@JanelleCShane) December 24, 2019
I think this is a ferret, and look how clever (and agile) it is!
No one is gonna steal my toy 🤣🤣🤣🤣..awww pic.twitter.com/3sTc3ce65o
— Marianne (@MarianneSansum) December 23, 2019
New Darwiniana released!
Exciting new items added today, including 2 newly discovered Darwin letters, 2 important new recollections by #CharlesDarwin ‘s gardeners (whose names were not previously known) & new details about Darwin's first & long lost coffin. #histsci #DownHouse https://t.co/2dFL9nEuaR pic.twitter.com/GG8S6Vs7Il
— DarwinOnline (@uk_darwin) December 24, 2019
Matthew loves optical illusions, as do I. Can you see the snakes move in the picture below?
Snakes appear to move. pic.twitter.com/kraPj8YEec
— Akiyoshi Kitaoka (@AkiyoshiKitaoka) December 23, 2019
Finally, Philomena returns to tell us the true meaning of Christmas. (And note this; “Cunk On Christmas is on BBC2 on Thursday 29 December at 10pm.”)
Parsnips are a cross between carrots and medicine. Brussels sprouts are what happens when a pea and a cabbage get married and have a fat baby. https://t.co/eVrkyDmuW0
— Professor Amanda Vickery (@Amanda_Vickery) December 23, 2019