Today is former president Bill Clinton's 74th birthday. Last night, he spoke at the Democratic National Convention, where the party formally nominated former vice president Joe Biden to be president.
In other news:
And finally, in about half an hour, Parker will get a much-needed bath. He has no idea this will happen. I'll let him sleep another 10 minutes before the horror begins...
The US Constitution has guaranteed the right of women to vote since 18 August 1920:
The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.
Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
Or, if you'd prefer:
It got a little warm in Death Valley, Calif., yesterday:
In the midst of a historic heat wave in the West, the mercury in Death Valley, Calif., surged to a searing 54.4°C on Sunday afternoon, possibly setting a world record for the highest temperature ever observed during the month of August.
If the temperature is valid, it would also rank among the top-three highest temperatures ever measured on the planet at any time and may, in fact, be the highest.
Death Valley famously holds the record for the hottest temperature ever recorded on Earth, which is 56.7°C. This record was set on July 10, 1913. However, that measurement is very much in question; an extensive analysis of that record conducted in 2016 by Christopher Burt, an expert on extreme weather data, concluded it was “essentially not possible from a meteorological perspective.”
The National Weather Service has since started a Twitter thread about the record.
Yesterday, a scheduled "Boat Parade" on Portland, Oregon's Willamette River supporting the president's re-election campaign caused a bystander's boat to sink:
Video posted to Twitter showed the boat taking on water as its occupants called for help while more than 20 boats and personal watercraft flying President Donald Trump flags headed south on the Willamette River near downtown Portland.
Sgt. Bryan White, a spokesman for the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office, said river patrol deputies responded to the incident but that the people on the boat had already been picked up by other boaters in the area by the time the deputies arrived. Video appeared to show at least one of the boats that stopped to help was a parade participant.
Here's the video:
I expect none of the Trumpers were wearing masks, either.
As for liability, people I spoke with who have knowledge of maritime law said this would most likely lead to a tort case in an Oregon state court.
After a cool front passed through yesterday, this morning we've got sun, cooler (25°C vs yesterday's 32°C) weather, and a gentle breeze.
My way of saying, see you tomorrow. Or maybe later this evening.
Block Club Chicago has a kind article about my friend:
In opening Heirloom Books, Chelsea Carr Rectanus created a community, a place where people could come and hold weighty discussions or hear from prospective politicians.
But that community was abruptly upended last week. Rectanus, 32, died “peacefully but unexpectedly” Aug. 7 of a long-standing illness she battled, Earl Rectanus, Chelsea’s father, said on Heirloom’s Facebook page.
Now Rectanus’ friends and family are working to ensure what she created in Edgewater continues on, and serves as a testament to her impact on the neighborhood.
“It’s more than a book shop,” said Emily Carter Alexander, Rectanus’ friend. “It’s a place anyone can go. I was [at Heirloom] Monday, and it was hard not to see Chelsea bopping around and being her quirky, happy self.”
Chelsea's sister has set up a virtual memorial service next Sunday at 1pm Central.
I'm taking a day off, so I'm choosing not to read all the articles that have piled up on my desktop:
- Tropical Storm Josephine has formed east of the windward islands, becoming the earliest 10th named storm on record. The National Hurricane Center promises an "extremely active" season.
- By tracking excess deaths in addition to reported Covid-19 deaths, the New York Times has concluded we've already surpassed 200,000 and could hit half a million by the end of the year.
- The General Accounting Office, a non-partisan Congressional watchdog, says Chad Wolf and Ken Cuccinelli are not legally qualified for their current positions, throwing into doubt all DHS actions under their leadership.
- CityLab sees parallels between Chicago's response to looting in the past few months and its response to the Lager Beer Riot of 1855.
- Has the European Central Bank "found a way around the lower bound on interest rates?"
- John Scalzi declaims, "Fuck you, I'm voting." ("You," in this case, means the Trump Administration, in case there was any doubt.)
- A former Google security engineer earned $50,000 for helping "a guy" get $300,000 in Bitcoin out of an old Zip file, thanks to advances in computing power and a flaw in the Zip implementation.
Finally, a "mania" set Stravinsky's Rite of Spring to Teletubbies footage, and it's horrifying.
I just spent 90 minutes driving to and from two different Drivers Services facilities because I wanted to renew my drivers license with a Real ID version. At both places the lines stretched into the next time zone. Since I can renew online, and I have another Real ID available, I'm just not going to bother.
I'm surprised—not very, but still—that Drivers Services still doesn't understand queuing theory. Or they just don't care. Illinois used to handle this much better, but after four years of Bruce Rauner cutting funding to the entire state, I guess it'll take some time to fix. (The pandemic didn't help, with more than half of the county's facilities temporarily closed.)
Update: Renewing online took less than a minute, and just in case I don't receive my renewed license before the current one expires, they let me print out a temporary. So if I have to take a domestic flight, I'll just bring my passport card.
The head of the Illinois Restaurant Association looks to ski towns for inspiration:
Sam Toia, president and CEO of the Illinois Restaurant Association, said the trade group has been having conversations with the city and state about extending street closures and using tents, heaters, blankets and plastic domes to give restaurants more seating capacity as COVID-19 restrictions continue.
“We have about six weeks,” Toia said Wednesday during a virtual speech to the City Club of Chicago. “We need to start thinking outside the box right now. … Because we could be in this for the next six months and we want to be ahead of the curve.”
Outdoor dining has been a saving grace for restaurants with the space for it, and the city has reduced sidewalk fees, streamlined the process for getting an outdoor seating permit and blocked off some streets to allow tables to be set up there.
When the weather no longer cooperates, “we could really be in trouble,” Toia said. He urged local officials to take a page from Toronto, Paris and Colorado ski towns to make outdoor dining feasible into winter.
He's right to worry. Our Covid-19 numbers get just a tiny bit worse every day, though we're still under the line to remain in Phase 4.
Welcome to stop #30 on the Brews and Choos project.
Brewery: Spiteful Brewing, 2024 W Balmoral Ave., Chicago
Train line: Union Pacific North, Ravenswood (Also CTA Brown Line, Damen)
Time from Chicago: 16 minutes (Zone B)
Distance from station: 1.6 km (1.5 km from CTA)
Spiteful and Half Acre Balmoral occupy the same block, so cheating on distance (over 1,500 m from Metra) for one means cheating for both. I've gone to both for years, though, and they deserve the extra two blocks of walking.
During Covid-19, entry is first-come, first-served, with an hour from seating to last call and a strict, 90-minute time limit overall. They also don't allow dogs right now, but once the pandemic recedes you can expect about a 1:2 ratio of people to dogs on any given day.
Last Saturday afternoon I walked up there with David Litt's Democracy in One Book or Less to have a couple of pints and catch up on reading. At 2:30 pm I snagged a table by the window and ordered a Spite Lite IPA (4%) to start. It had a really crisp, light body, full of hops and citra flavor, and a clean finish. I followed that up with their flagship Spiteful IPA (6.2%), one of my go-tos for years. It's hop-forward with a full body, crisp flavor, long finish, and great hop balance.
Beer garden? No
Dogs OK? Suspended during the pandemic
Serves food? Vitners chips and Chef Martin brats, plus BYOF
Would hang out with a book? Yes
Would hang out with friends? Yes
Would go back? Yes