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Post Week in Review: September 7–September 13

Published: September 12, 2014

Shiny New Apples

I’m always amazed that new Apple product announcements get so much press attention.

They don’t do it with any other technological company, which shows not only how Apple has a grip on popular culture but also how we’re all distracted by new shiny tech objects. This week’s Apple event was live-tweeted by dozens of tech sites, talked about endlessly on social media, and was actually one of the top stories on ABC’s World News Tonight with David Muir. It’s even one of the top stories on local news! This is way, way too much coverage. (And I say this as someone who has been an Apple geek since 1987, when I used my first Mac, the SE model.) I mean, they’re phones and watches!

Apple Watch

Apple Watch

Having said that, they look like nice phones and watches. I guess. Even if left-handed people might feel, well, left out.

Two thoughts about the watch. One, do people in their teens and 20s (maybe even 30s) want to wear a watch? Many people use their phones to keep track of the time, and it will be interesting to see if they’ll strap this to their wrist even if it does more than tell the time (especially if you also need an iPhone to use it). And two, one of the options for the watch is to show an analog watch face with hands. I know several young people who only know time from digital readouts and don’t feel comfortable using analog time, watching hands go around a clock.

I also wonder if younger people even know what the word “clockwise” even means. Wouldn’t you have to have grown up with analog clocks and watches to know what that is?

Is Derek Jeter the Best New York Yankee of All Time?

Everyone loves to make lists, and with New York Yankee Derek Jeter in his final days as a ballplayer, people are wondering where he would be on the list of Greatest New York Yankees of All-Time. ESPN2 host Keith Olbermann got into a discussion about it on Twitter the other day. He thinks that there are many Yankees that should go before Jeter on such a list, and I would agree. Jeter is a great player but I don’t think the name should come before Ruth or Mantle.

Do Families Still Eat Together?

There’s more controversy over at Slate, which seems to get (and maybe cultivate) controversy at least once a week. This week the article is from Amanda Marcotte, and it’s about a study from North Carolina State University that focuses on working mothers and whether or not they’re able to make dinner for their family at night and do everything else they have to do. Have we romanticized something from, as Marcotte’s article says, a “50’s-era sitcom”?

The answer is no.

I think readers hate the title of the piece,“Let’s Stop Idealizing the Home-Cooked Family Dinner,” and maybe even the URL address, http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2014/09/03/home_cooked_family_dinners_a_major_burden_for_working_mothers.html. When did making dinner suddenly become a burden? If you read the comments you’ll see that readers aren’t happy with the article. (Of course, you probably don’t want to read the comments, because they’re up to 4,000 in number. I’ve never understood why someone would leave the 4000th comment on an article.)

Post cover, February 7, 1953

Dinner for 2?
Jack Welch
February 7, 1953

Marcotte is getting so many nasty comments on Twitter she has decided to not even look at her mentions there.

What I think Marcotte missed in all this is getting together as a family at the dinner table every night isn’t just about spending five hours making a large meal or eating all organic fruits and vegetables. This is about the actual act of sitting down as a family together at the dinner table. Even if you get pizza or Chinese food, it doesn’t matter. It’s the getting together part that’s important — though cooking once in a while would be nice, wouldn’t it?

I always smile when the family on The Middle (the comedy that should win all the awards, not Modern Family), who are harried and have a lot to do, always takes the time to sit down at the dinner table together. It’s usually just burgers and fries they’re eating because the mom is way too busy to cook and can’t cook anyway, but they take the time.

New TV Shows

The fall TV season is upon us. While there are now many good shows that air during the summer (unlike years ago, when there was very little new in June, July, and August), it’s still a lot of reality shows and repeats, so it’s always good to see September come around with the new shows.

That’s until we see them, of course. It’s amazing how terrible a lot of shows are and how quickly they’re canceled. But according to online buzz and publications like TV Guide and USA Today, here are some of the shows getting the most attention this year:

Gotham (Fox): How Batman, Commissioner Gordon, and all of the city’s villains got their start.

The Flash (The CW): Remake of the ’90s CBS action show.

How To Get Away With Murder (ABC): A college professor solves crimes — from Scandal and Grey’s Anatomy executive producer Shonda Rhimes.

Constantine (NBC): TV version of the comic book and Keanu Reeves movie.

NCIS: New Orleans (CBS): Yet another spinoff of the popular original series. This one stars Scott Bakula.

Jane the Virgin (The CW): Young virgin somehow becomes pregnant!

Black-ish (ABC): Family comedy starring Anthony Anderson.

Madam Secretary (CBS): Tea Leoni as a new Secretary of State.

Red Band Society (Fox): Drama (with some humor) about a group of teenagers in the pediatric ward of an L.A. hospital.

Forever (ABC): A 200-year-old medical examiner solves crimes! Sounds like Quincy, M.E. meets Highlander.

Time says that the best new show of the season isn’t even on a TV network. It’s on Amazon. It’s called Transparent and stars Jeffrey Tambor as a father of three who is about to come out as transgender.

Pop-Tarts Still Going Strong

Supposedly we’re all eating better and junk food is out of schools, but for some reason Pop-Tarts have been increasing in sales every year for the past 32 years. Maybe it’s because they’re delicious, maybe it’s because they’re so small and convenient, or maybe it’s because we love saying the word Pop-Tart.

All I know is that the current series of commercials for the toasty treats really creep me out.

Monday’s Dinner: Cheeseburgers, Linguine, and Creme de Menthe

Next Monday, September 15, we’ll see three food holidays all on the same day: National Double-Cheeseburger Day, National Linguine Day, and National Creme de Menthe Day.

Interestingly, National Cheeseburger Day (single, not double) is a few days later, on September 18. Not sure why the double burger day comes before the single burger day. I’d love to be a fly on the wall when these food holiday decisions are made.

Here’s a Shrimp Scampi with Linguine recipe from Tyler Florence. And here’s the history of Creme de Menthe from Wikipedia; I have no idea how it’s going to taste with burgers or linguine though.

Upcoming Anniversaries

September 14

Presidential Succession (1901): Following an assassination attempt on his life on September 6, President William McKinley dies. Teddy Roosevelt succeeds him, becoming the 26th president of the United States.

September 15

Natural Selection (1835): The HMS Beagle, carrying Charles Darwin aboard, arrives in the Galápagos Islands. There Darwin would do some of his most pivotal research on natural selection. Ninety years later, Americans would still be debating his controversial theory at the Scopes Monkey Trial in Tennessee.

September 16

Auto Industry (1908): General Motors Co. forms as a holding company under the direction of William C. Durant. GM will grow to become an automobile titan, leading the industry in sales from 1931 to 2007.

September 17

American Civil War (1862): Union and Confederate forces clash at the Battle of Antietam. Union forces manage to push the Confederates out of Maryland, but it was still a grim day: 22,000 Americans on both sides were killed, wounded or missing, making September 17 the bloodiest day in American history.

September 18

Flying High (1947): The United States Air Force becomes an independent branch of the armed forces. Of course, American air power had been around for a long time. The Post reported on the first use of U.S. military aircraft back in 1861.

September 19

Money Matters (1778): The Second Continental Congress, then in Philadelphia, passed the first federal budget of the United States.

September 20

Pioneers (1893): Hard to believe it’s been so long, but way back in 1893, the Duryea brothers of Massachusetts road-tested the first American gas-powered automobile. Learn more about the Duryea brothers and the history of the automobile.

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