It’s August! Monday, August 1, 2016, and in some places there are holidays, including Canada and Ireland, but I don’t know the occasions. All over the world, though, it’s World Scout Scarf Day, in which you’re supposed to wear your Scout neckerchief, even if you’re a businessman in London City, to commemorate your membership. I’m betting that not many comply. How many people will see a Scout scarf today?
On this day in 1774, Joseph Priestly discovered oxygen, although it had already been discovered (but published only later) by Carl Wilhelm Scheele, a Swedish chemist whose dilatory publishing habits—he’d also discovered molybdenum, tungsten, barium, hydrogen, and chlorine, but didn’t get credit—led Isaac Asimov to call him “Hard Luck Scheele”. On this day in 1834, slavery was abolished in the British Empire, and, exactly 110 years later, the Warsaw Uprising broke out, the largest resistance movement against the Nazis in WWII. It failed because of the Russian Army’s failure to enter Warsaw, and so the entire city was destroyed by the German army. (Note: this is not the uprising in the Warsaw Ghetto, which occurred in April, 1943.) The father of my host Andrzej’ was in the Polish Resistance army then, and participated in this operation in a maneuver—also a failure—to draw the Germany Army out of Warsaw. On this day in 1966, Charles Whitman killed 16 people at the University of Texas at Austin, sniping from atop the tower until he was killed by police. He was later discovered to have a brain tumor that might have influenced his behavior.
Notables born on this day include mountaineer Eric Shipton (1907) and evolutionary biologist W. D. Hamilton (1936), bizarrely identified by Wikipedia as an “Egyptian-English biologist, psychologist, and academic”. Hamilton was born in Egypt, but his parents were from New Zealand and he was brought up in Britain. (Could somebody fix this?) Further he was not a psychologist, although perhaps they mean “evolutionary psychologist,” but he wasn’t really that, either. Those who died on this day include Calamity Jane (1903; read about her) and Paddy Chayefsky (1981). Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is being helpful as we search for pie cherries (we’re pals):
Hili: Wait for me, I’m going with you.M. But we are just going to pick some cherries.Hili: I will show Jerry where the nicest cherries are.
Hili: Zaczekajcie, idę z wami.
Małgorzata: Ale my idziemy tylko zrywać wiśnie.
Hili: To ja pokażę Jerremu gdzie są najładniejsze.
Gus also managed to slip out of his harness and venture next door, but he was recovered without incident.