25 February 12020 is National Day in Kuwait (celebrating Kuwait’s independence from Great Britain in 1961), and Soviet Occupation Day in Georgia (celebrating the crushing of Georgia’s independence by Soviet troops in 1921). Notable people born today include Zeppo Marx (1901), Jim Backus (1913), Anthony Burgess (1917), and George Harrison (1943). In the headlines I see that Hosni Mubarek has died, that Harvey Weinstein has been found guilty of rape, and that tensions are still high in Delhi despite a visit from the Dopey Don. Memo to people still using the obsolete African-American slang term woke: Knock it off—especially if you’re using it “ironically” or derogatorily. You’re embarrassing yourself. How pathetic and out-of-touch do you want to look? To put it in what I assume is your own linguistic vernacular: It aint hip to be square, man—you dig?
On this day in history Cassius Clay (who later changed his name to Muhammad Ali) defeated Sonny Liston in Miami Beach for the Heavyweight Championship. The year was 1964, and it was widely predicted that Liston would retain his championship, probably with a knockout punch in an early round. In fact he lasted through six rounds, and it was Liston who gave up at the beginning of the seventh. The result was unexpected enough that at least some people felt confident that the fight was fixed. (Not necessarily anybody that had a right to an opinion, but that such people existed I recall distinctly.)