It’s December 21, 2016, with four shopping days left until Xmas and the First Day of Koynezaa. It’s also another double food holiday: National French Fried Shrimp Day and National Hamburger Day. So have a burger for me! It’s also São Tomé Day, celebrating the African island where I did fly field work on flies. And it’s Winter Solstice—the shortest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere, ergo the beginning of winter. Google has a Doodle:
On this day in 1620, the Pilgrims landed on the site in Massachusetts now known as Plymouth Rock. If you’re a crossword puzzle addict (I’m not, for I’m lousy at them), you’ll want to know that on this day in 1913, Arthur Wynne published the very first such puzzle in the New York World. On December 21, 1937, the Disney movie “Snow White and the Seven Dwarves” premiered in Hollywood. It was the world’s first full-length animated movie, and it was a good one. Imagine what the audience thought! And, in 1988, Pan Am Flight 103 exploded over Lockerbie, Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland. 270 people were killed, and the bomber was eventually released.
Notables born on this day include Maud Gonne (1866), the population geneticist Sewall Wright (1889, died 1998), Heinrich Böll (1917), Jane Fonda (1937), Frank Zappa (1940), Samuel L. Jackson (1948), Chris Evert (1954), and Julie Delpy (1969 ♥). Those who died on this day include F. Scott Fitzgerald (1940, one of my favorite writers, who died at 44; do you remember Dr. Eckleburg’s billboard?), George S. Patton (1945), and Nobel Laureate Edwin G. Krebs (2009). (Once you win a Nobel, it always precedes your name!) Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is demanding to be carried inside:
Hili: Do you see that a freezing cat is sitting here?A: Just a moment, I have to finish the sentence.Hili: Fine, I will wait here being very unhappy.
Hili: Czy widzisz, że tu siedzi zmarznięty kot?
Ja: Zaraz, tylko dokończę zdanie.
Hili: Dobrze, będę tu czekała taka nieszczęśliwa.
Out in the Arctic wilds of Winnipeg, Gus is having fun indoors, and we have a video. Notes from his staff Taskin:
Here’s a Gus video. His new love is to play with the catnip toys when I whizz them under tissue paper. It’s like hunting! I am now condemned to have shredded shards of tissue paper strewn all over my living room forever.
Voilà: “Playing with Gus”; note how he brings his toy back to the tissue paper:
An animal encounter from reader Randy Schenck in Iowa:
Just outside the window is the Opossum (Dedelphis virginiana) with the interested observer inside watching. This appears to be a younger one just having lunch on the available bird seed. Notice the size of the tooth–you would not want to get very close to that.
Finally, a groaner from reader Mark Sturtevant: