Daily Bread for 4.2.21

Good morning.

Good Friday in Whitewater will be sunny with a high of 50.  Sunrise is 6:32 AM and sunset 7:23 PM, for 12h 50m 13s of daytime.  The moon is a waning gibbous with 70.9% of its visible disk illuminated.

On this day in 1865, defeat at the Third Battle of Petersburg forces the Army of Northern Virginia and the Confederate government to abandon Richmond, Virginia.

Recommended for reading in full — 

 David Smith writes Biden’s cabinet meeting proves the reality TV presidency wasn’t renewed:

Poor old Joe Biden. He might have won the electoral college and the popular vote but he’ll never feel the love of his underlings like Donald Trump did.

The former president’s first full cabinet meeting in June 2017 remains an unparalleled opera of oleaginousness. Secretary after secretary all but flung themselves at his feet, sang songs of praise and paid homage to the divine emperor of the universe.

Has any parent ever known such undying adoration from their child? Only King Lear from Goneril and Regan, perhaps. And most telling was the fact that the world was allowed to see it. Trump made sure it was one more chapter in his reality TV presidency.

Not really Biden’s style. His first cabinet meeting on Thursday was relocated to the East Room because of coronavirus restrictions – the 16 permanent members wore face masks and sat in a giant square with empty chairs between them – but was otherwise a return to the staid old way of doing things.

The main item on the agenda was not the American president’s sculpted handsomeness, nor his towering intellect, nor his indubitable virility, nor his ability to hit holes in one, but merely his freshly announced $2tn infrastructure plan.

Flanked by the secretary of state, Antony Blinken, and the defense secretary, Lloyd Austin, with the vice-president, Kamala Harris, opposite, Biden said he was asking five cabinet members to “take special responsibility to explain the plan to the American public.”

  Brian Resnick writes Where billions of cicadas will emerge this spring (and over the next decade), in one map

For 17 years, cicadas do very little. They hang out in the ground, sucking sugar out of tree roots. Then, following this absurdly long hibernation, they emerge from the ground, sprout wings, make a ton of noise, have sex, and die within a few weeks. Their orphan progeny will then return to the ground and live the next 17 years in silence.

Over the next several weeks, billions of mid-Atlantic cicadas will hear the call of spring and emerge from their cozy bunkers. This year’s group, born in 2004, is known as Brood X. They’ll start their journey to the surface when soil temperatures reach around 64 degrees Fahrenheit.

While they’ll emerge in biblical numbers, they’ll be blanketing only a small slice of the country.

United States Forest Service

Curiosity [the older of NASA’s active rovers] snaps new selfie on Mars & Mont ‘Mercou’ panoramas:

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