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Post Week in Review: August 24–30

Published: August 29, 2014

The Sofía Vergara Controversy

I know that sounds like the title of a Robert Ludlum novel, but it actually refers to what happened at the Emmys earlier this week. It was the most interesting part of the ceremony (aside from a great tribute to Robin Williams from Billy Crystal) because the awards themselves were rather predictable.

The Modern Family star in a revealing, tight dress was literally put on a pedestal, which twirled her around as the president of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, Bruce Rosenblum, explained how the academy has evolved in the 21st century. Vergara’s spinning was meant to be a joke, something to entertain the audience during a really dry, boring part of the show. But of course, on social media, people freaked out.

I know I shouldn’t wade into this story because it’s a touchy subject, but let me wade into this story. Why are people so up in arms about this? Do people actually think that Vergara was forced to do this? Of course she wasn’t. Contrary to what these people think, Vergara has a brain and a will of her own and chose to do it as a comedy bit. Sure, it might have been tone-deaf and maybe they could have thought of another bit, but honestly, it was harmless.

The funny thing is, these people didn’t complain at all just two minutes before the bit began. Vegara was wearing a tight, revealing dress at that point, but no one said anything about it. And she has always made her looks part of the act. Maybe it was the pedestal?

For the record, Vergara thinks the whole thing is ridiculous.

Burger King Buys Tim Hortons

Burger King

The Burger King has had many iterations since 1955, including a name change to Kurger Bing in the ’70s. (carrie-nelson © Shutterstock)

The home of the Whopper announced it’s buying the Canadian doughnut chain Tim Hortons for $11 billion. That’s not really news; big corporate deals are done every week. But Burger King also announced it’s moving corporate headquarters to Canada! The company says it’s for global expansion, but others think it’s for tax reasons and are not happy about it.

I’ll be happy if they take that creepy king with them and leave him there, way up north, encased in ice, so he never harms anyone again. (Until 100 years from now when atomic testing thaws the monster, and he terrorizes the world again, just like all those ’50s sci-fi flicks predicted.)

New Foods (at Least We Think They’re Foods)

While we await the sugar burgers and French fry-flavored coffee that will come from Burger King Tim Hortons, let’s talk about some other foods that have launched recently.

Have you heard of the Arby’s Meat Mountain? Roast beef, Angus steak, corned beef, brisket, turkey, ham, chicken tenders, bacon, and cheese packed between two buns. It’s not officially on their menu, but you can order it if you’re in the know (and it’s been so well-publicized we’re now all in the know). Just make sure your health insurance is up to date.

Or maybe you’re looking for a snack, and for years you’ve been asking, “When will they make a potato chip-beef jerky hybrid that I can enjoy?” Well, you’re in luck, because someone has, and Gizmodo has tasted it.

Laura Remake

James Ellroy

James Ellroy, author of The Black Dahlia, will re-adapt Vera Caspary’s Laura for the silver screen. (Helga Esteb © Shutterstock)

The Hollywood Reporter reports that James Ellroy is going to pen the script for a remake of Laura, the classic 1944 film noir.

I usually hate the idea of remakes — at least remakes of already great classics — but if someone has to rewrite this one, it makes sense that it’s Ellroy. His next novel, Perfidia, comes out September 9.

US Open

US Open

Wilson tennis ball on tennis court at Arthur Ashe Stadium on August 19, 2014, in New York. Wilson has been the Official Ball of the U.S. Open since 1979. (Leonard Zhukovsky © Shutterstock)

This is my favorite sporting event of the year, and I’m basically glued to my couch for two weeks, with occasional breaks to eat something and maybe take a shower. So far, this year’s tournament has been marked by two things: humidity and surprise exits.

Fifteen-year-old American CiCi Bellis shocked everyone by beating Dominika Cibulkova in three sets, and seeds Agnieszka Radwanska and Sloane Stephens also fell. Maybe it was the combo of good challengers and the sudden humidity. Players seem to be cramping up more than usual, and two players actually bailed in the middle of their matches.

The End of Summer

​Speaking of humidity, an announcement: I hate summer. There, I said it.​

​I used to like summer, back when I was 12 and I got summers off. But as an adult, things change. You don’t get summers off. You have to work, and it’s still 89 degrees — this is awful for someone who doesn’t have air conditioning. (You’ll notice almost everyone who says “I just love the heat and humidity of summer” has air conditioning and never experiences the heat and humidity.) Honestly, when meteorologists use terms like sticky and soupy and stuffy to describe the weather, you can’t call that good weather.

I like fall, that time of year when kids are back in school and the weather starts to turn cool and crisp and people are less lazy and they smell better. The weather is more comfortable (you can always put on more clothes when it’s cold, but there’s only so much you can take off), television and movies are better, even the holidays are better.​​ I’ll take hot tea, pumpkins, and falling leaves over sticky heat, flip-flops, and flying ants and bees any day.​

​It actually hasn’t been that humid this summer though. Until this week. As a cruel joke, the representatives of Mother Nature who handle the northeast portion of the country waited until the end of August, when people are going back to school and we all think we’ve escaped the truly horrid weather, to unleash the humidity. I’m currently wearing my second shirt of the day, because I soaked through the first just sitting here.

​But the end of summer is here. Yes, some will tell you it doesn’t end until the third week of September, but we all know it’s over around Labor Day, which is this Monday. ​When I was a kid I knew the summer was over when the Jerry Lewis MDA Labor Day Telethon came on the night before Labor Day. But since Lewis was kicked off the show in 2010, it just doesn’t seem the same, does it? I guess that’s another way the summer has changed since I was a kid.

Upcoming Anniversaries

September 1
American Civil War (1864): The Confederate Army General John Bell Hood orders the evacuation of Atlanta, Georgia, ending a four-month siege by General William Tecumseh Sherman. Union forces enter Atlanta the next day, ending the Atlanta campaign.

Going somewhere (1897): The Boston subway opens, becoming the first underground rapid transit system in North America.

World War II (1939): Nazi Germany and Slovakia invade Poland, beginning the European phase of World War II. On the same day, General George C. Marshall becomes Chief of Staff of the United States Army.

September 2
World War II (1945): Combat ends in the Pacific Theater. The Instrument of Surrender is signed by Japanese Foreign Minister Mamoru Shigemitsu and accepted aboard the battleship USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay.

American Revolutionary War (1783): The war ends with the signing of the Treaty of Paris by the United States and the Kingdom of Great Britain.

September 4
Let there be light (1882): Thomas Edison flips the switch to the first commercial electrical power plant in history, lighting one square mile of Lower Manhattan.

September 5
Meeting of the minds (1774): First Continental Congress assembles in Philadelphia.

It’s up … and it’s good (1906): The first legal forward pass in American football is thrown by Bradbury Robinson of St. Louis University to teammate Jack Schneider in a 22–0 victory over Carroll College in Wisconsin.

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