It’s Saturday, July 9, and I find myself wondering whether something good will happen in the world this week. In fact, I can’t think of anything good that happened last week, except that Trump continues to drop in the polls. It’s a sad state of affairs when one can’t even envision some good things that could happen. But, as Kurt Vonnegut said, so it goes.
On this day in 1816, Argentina (the only country in the world named after a chemical element—a good party question), gained independence from Spain. Exactly 52 years later, American states ratified the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution, guaranteeing citizenship to all African-Americans, as well as due process and equal protection to all citizens. And, in 1962, Andy Warhol exhibited his first dumb pictures of soup cans in Los Angeles.
Notables born on this day include Franz Boas (1858), Oliver Sacks (1933; he died last year), O. J. Simpson (1947), Tom Hanks (1956), and Courney Love (1964). Those who died on this day include Paul Broca (1880) and my former colleague, paleobiologist David Raup (2015). Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, farmer Hili pretends to be inspecting the grapes, but I suspect she’s really looking for grape-eating birds.
A: What do you see there?Hili: Oh, nothing. I’m just looking to see how the grapes are growing.
Ja: Co tam widzisz?
Hili: Och, nic. Patrzę jak winogrona rosną.