It’s Hump Day, Wednesday, October 19: exactly one week before I flee the U.S. to escape the election (I already voted) and to talk and eat good food in Singapore, Hong Kong, and China. In Albania, it’s Mother Teresa Day (marking the day she was beatified in 2003), and the less said about that the better.
On this day in 1512, Martin Luther became a doctor of theology, and the rest is history. Also on this day, but in 1812, Napoleon began his punishing retreat from Moscow. In 1900, it was on October 19 that Max Planck discovered his “law” of black-body radiation—the formal inception of quantum physics. In 1960, the U.S. imposed its formal trade embargo against Cuba, which continues in a modified form in this day (no Cuban cigars for you!). And 11 years ago today, Saddam Hussein went on trial for crimes against humanity, ultimately leading to his conviction and hanging.
Notables born on October 19 include Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar (1910, for a short while one of my colleagues in Chicago), Lewis Wolpert (1929), Peter Tosh (1944), and Deborah Blum (1954). Those who died on this day include Jonathan Swift (1745), Edna St. Vincent Millay (1950), and cellist Jacqueline du Pré (died at age 42 in 1987 after a long battle with multiple sclerosis). Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is thinking Deep Thoughts while Mr. Cyrus contemplates a nap.
Cyrus: I’m going in.Hili: I will indulge in contemplation a moment longer.
Cyrus: Wracam do domu.
Hili: Ja jeszcze chwilę będę kontemplować.
And in Wloclawek, Leon has taken it upon himself to oversee the neighbor’s harvest:
Leon: I’m supervising the beetroot harvest.
Finally, out in icebound Winnipeg, Gus continues to nom his box. This time he’s discovered the joys of gnawing on the sturdy corner: