It’s Friday, January 20, and the food holiday is both National Buttercrunch Day and National Cheese Lover’s Day. More important, it’s also Penguin Awareness Day; reader Dom informed me that the picture below, which shows all 18 species of penguins, was tweeted by the Royal Society. In my view, you should be able to name at least eight species: Start with the Emperor, King, and Galápagos (the northernmost species, which, endemic to those islands, lives on the Equator). In my view, the small Adélie penguin (Pygoscelis adeliae, named after the wife of a French explorer) is the cutest:
Adélies on the march:
And of course in the U.S. it’s Inauguration Day, described by Wikipedia like this:
Since 1937, Inauguration Day takes place on January 20 following a presidential election. The term of a president commences at noon (ET) on that day, when the Chief Justice administers the oath to the president. However, when January 20 falls on a Sunday, the Chief Justice administers the oath to the president on that day privately and then again in a public ceremony the next day, on Monday, January 21.
At noon today, then, we’ll be faced with having to say “President Trump”. But of course saying the name and title is the least part of our worries, which are predominantly, “What is this guy going to do to America?” As the time for Obama’s departure drew near, I went into denial, unable to even think about the consequences of a Trump presidency—combined with a majority Republican leadership in both houses of Congress and the certainty of a hyperconservative Supreme Court Justice to replace Antonin Scalia.
That day is now here. I cannot force myself to say that “Trump is not MY president,” for of course he is. We—and by that I mean America—elected him. But neither do I have any hope that he will mellow in office, for narcissism is one of the hardest personality disorders to cure. We are in for a rough four years—and let’s hope it’s only four years.
I bet several hundred dollars that Trump would lose to Clinton, for the prospect of Trump’s election was inconceivable, and I thought I’d take advantage of those scared liberals who, relieved at Clinton’s election, would be glad to pay up if she won.
I was wrong. The unthinkable has come to pass, and it starts today. As for those Americans who voted for Trump, I hope they are at least savvy enough to recognize the damage he will do to America. Truth be told, I am ashamed to be an American today, even though I’ve never been one to say I’m “proud to be an American”, which, after all, was just an accident. But neither am I one of those petulant luminaries who threatened to move to Canada if Trump were elected (did anybody actually do that?), for my home is here. But, for at least for the next four years, it will be a dysfunctional home.
If you wish to watch the inauguration live (I can’t bear to), this page gives you a number of links. The formal “festivities” begin at 9:30 a.m. EST, but coverage can begin as early as 6 a.m.
As I’m dispirited, I’ll just give one event that happened on this day. That was in 1937, after the 20th Amendment to the Constitution moved the beginning of the Presidential term from March 4 to January 20. So, on January 20, 1937, Franklin Delano Roosevelt and John Nance Garner were sworn in for their second terms as U.S. President and U.S. Vice President—the first inauguration to take place on January 20. Roosevelt, elected four times, served as President for 12 years before dying in office.
A notable person born on this day was Buzz Aldrin (1930), one of the first two humans to walk on the Moon. And Audrey Hepburn died on this day in 1993.
Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, the Hili dialogue demanded an explanation, which Malgorzata provided:
Lazy Hili is lying on the sofa without a worry in the world. Now, the work is waiting, Andrzej is impatient to get next article for Listy ready and the Editor [Hili] does nothing. And wants to continue doing nothing.A: We have to get our act together.Hili: Maybe a bit later.
Ja: Musimy się zmobilizować!
Hili: Może troszkę później.
From the Arctic wastes of Winnipeg, reader Taskin sends a Gus video:
Gus has a certain suspicion of the basement of our house. Instead of following me down, he walks down the narrow ledge that runs along the stairwell and peers into the basement while waiting for me. All the other cats I’ve had have been able to turn around on the ledge, Gus however does not. He demonstrates how awkward cats are when they go in reverse.
May Ceiling Cat help us all.