Good morning! It’s Friday, February 3 (2017 if you haven’t yet caught on), and we’ve made it through another week, though we’re all a week closer to death. The good news is that it’s National Carrot Cake day, and a nicer cake is hard to imagine, especially when this one contains plump raisins and is slathered thickly with cream cheese frosting. In Japan today, it’s Setsubun, a festival celebrating the onset of Spring. Roasted soybeans are eaten and thrown to ward off ogres.
On this day in 1690, the colony of Massachusetts issued the first paper money in America. And, in 1959, this was The Day the Music Died, as rock musicians Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and J. P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson were killed in a plane crash near Clear Lake, Iowa. I remember the announcement, though I was only 9 years old. On February 3, 1971, Frank Serpico was shot during a drug bust in New York City, an incident portrayed (along with his subsequent testimony against corruption) in the eponymous movie. Here he is, looking only a wee bit like Al Pacino, who played his character.
Notables born on this day include Felix Mendelssohn (1809), Gertrude Stein (1874), Norman Rockwell (1894), Blythe Danner (1943, mother of the odious Gwyneth) and Morgan Fairchild (1950). Those who died on this day include Woodrow Wilson (1924), the Big Bopper, Buddy Holly, and Ritchie Valens (see above) and evolutionary biologist Ernst Mayr (2005, one of my mentors, who lived to be 100; I wrote an obituary for him here), Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is commenting on a piece she read–one by Steve Novella at NeuroLogica about skepticism:
Hili: Skepticism induces one to ask questions.A: What questions?Hili: How much truth is in what we hear.
Hili: Sceptycyzm skłania do stawiania pytań.
Ja: Jakich pytań?
Hili: Ile jest prawdy w tym co słyszymy.
And in the snowy mountains of southern Poland, Leon, on a hiking vacation, is carefully watching his staff:
Leon: Beware, under video surveillance!
Reader Jerry (not I!) sent a picture of his cat, a female named Bombadil. The caption: “She loves to play tag and attack my ankles. She just doesn’t understand why she can’t have sukiyaki….”
Finally, a logo for your use, courtesy of reader Heather: