It’s Sunday, January 8, 2017, and as you know it’s English Toffee Day and, in Malaysia, International Typing Day.
On this day in 1697, Thomas Aikenhead, a 20 year old student at Edinburgh, became the last person executed in Britain for blasphemy. Here’s what he was charged with—something that happens almost daily on this website, and most of which is true (my emphasis):
That … the prisoner had repeatedly maintained, in conversation, that theology was a rhapsody of ill-invented nonsense, patched up partly of the moral doctrines of philosophers, and partly of poetical fictions and extravagant chimeras: That he ridiculed the holy scriptures, calling the Old Testament Ezra’s fables, in profane allusion to Esop’s Fables; That he railed on Christ, saying, he had learned magick in Egypt, which enabled him to perform those pranks which were called miracles: That he called the New Testament the history of the imposter Christ; That he said Moses was the better artist and the better politician; and he preferred Muhammad to Christ: That the Holy Scriptures were stuffed with such madness, nonsense, and contradictions, that he admired the stupidity of the world in being so long deluded by them: That he rejected the mystery of the Trinity as unworthy of refutation; and scoffed at the incarnation of Christ.
It’s a sign of moral progress that, at least in the West, this is no longer a criminal offense. (One exception: stuff like the Charlie Hebdo massacre, which happened two years ago yesterday.) In other places, of course, it can still get you murdered or executed.
On January 8, 1912, that African National Congress was founded, and in 1973 the trial of the Watergate Seven began. Exactly five years ago today, an assassin tried to kill U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords in Arizona, shooting her in the head. She lived, but five others died.
Notables born on this day include Alfred Russel Wallace (1823), Albert Bierstadt (1830), Gypsy Rose Lee (1911), Soupy Sales (1926, one of my favorite childhood t.v. stars), Elvis Presley (1935) and David Bowie (1947). Those who died on this day include Galileo (1642), Eli Whitney (1825), Paul Verlaine (1896), and François Mitterrand (1996). Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is being histrionic:
Hili: I’m a tragic cat.A: What happened?Hili: I tragically do not feel like doing anything.
Hili: Jestem tragicznym kotem.
Ja: Co się stało?
Hili: Tragicznie mi się nic nie chce.
Today’s funnies, from Reality Check by Dave Whamond (h/t: reader jsp) show a Jehovah’s Wolfness:
And a related cartoon sent by reader gravelinspector: