Good morning: it’s Thursday, February 23, 2017, and National Banana Bread Day. Is anybody having some? It’s also Meteņi, a “national spring waiting holiday” in Latvia, described by Wikipedia thusly: “Meteņi is about people eating and drinking as much as they wanted.” I can truly get behind that, even if you have to dress like this:
I see as well that Trump is rolling back the transgender “bathroom dictum” put in place by Obama. I can’t imagine any reason to rescind this save sheer meanness, or to appeal to a constituency that, because of its “alternative facts,” somehow thinks this is a real problem.
On February 23, 1836, the siege of the Alamo began in Texas. In 1898, Émile Zola was convicted in France after writing “J’accuse“; he later fled to England (Wikipedia wrongly says he was imprisoned on this day). In 1903, Cuba made the mistake of leasing Guantanamo Bay to the U.S.—”in perpetuity”. On this day in 1945, the U.S. flag was raised on Iwo Jima by American soldiers—a very famous photo with a confused history:
Exactly 9 years later, the first group of children was inoculated against polio with the Salk vaccine. On February 23, 1991, ground troops crossed from Saudi Arabia into Iraq, beginning the counterattack during the First Gulf War.
Notables born on this day include Samuel Pepys (1633), George Frideric Handel (1685), W. E. B. Du Bois (1868), Peter Fonda (1940), and Rebecca Goldstein (1950). Those who died on this day include John Keats (1821, tuberculosis), John Quincy Adams (1848), Carl Friedrich Gauss (1855), Horst Wessel (1930), Nellie Melba (1931), Stan Laurel (1936), and James Herriot (1995). Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Sarah has arrived for a visit, so we will get some especially nice pictures of Hili in the next few days (rumor has it Hili is going to get wormed). But today the Princess is simply watching the world go by:
A: What are you doing up there?Hili: I’m observing the scene with a stoical calm.
Ja: Co tam robisz?
Hili: Patrzę ze stoickim spokojem.
Out in Winnipeg, Gus is sleeping away the cold days, and here emits an awesome yawn.
Finally, my last post yesterday called attention to some temporary stick-on tattoos showing Darwin’s famous “I think” phylogeny. But reader Watson wrote in saying that she had that tattoo for real! It appears to be one of the stranger things that my first trade book inspired:
I thought I would share the tattoo I got in 2015. After reading Why Evolution Is True, which really did change my life, I had a tattoo of his sketch and signature done on my leg. It is an ever-present reminder of what is true, and truth is what is meaningful. I cropped the image so that it’s decent.