News of the Week: Monsters, Mac & Cheese, and Direct Messages

Google at the bottom of Loch Ness, Kraft’s un-dye-ing affection for noodles, and social media advances in this week’s pop culture roundup.

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Did Google Find the Loch Ness Monster?


Well, probably not. But it’s fun to imagine!

With the help of Loch Ness Monster experts and divers, Google is using its Street View project to help search for the legendary creature. And oh my God (aka OMG), they snapped a photo of something in the water that could totally be the monster! Or it could be a log or some other kind of sea animal.

It’s funny how 99 percent of the hype about the monster was caused by a famous photograph taken in 1934 that turned out to be a fake. But there’s a whole industry based on that photo.

What I don’t get about the obsession with the Loch Ness Monster is this: If he exists, how old is he (if it indeed is a “he,” I don’t want to be sexist)? For decades and decades, people have said that they “saw the Loch Ness Monster.” But how could they be seeing the same monster? How long do these things live? Or maybe it’s a monster family or these are babies of the original?

RIP, Rockwell’s Rosie the Riveter

Rosie the Riveter Norman Rockwell May 29, 1943
Rosie the RiveterNorman RockwellMay 29, 1943

You might not know the name Mary Doyle Keefe, but you know the face. She’s the 19-year-old telephone operator from Arlington, Vermont, asked by Norman Rockwell to pose for one of the most famous Post covers in 1943 — Rosie the Riveter. Keefe passed away on Tuesday in Simsbury, Connecticut, at the age of 92.

The painting isn’t just famous as a Post cover. During World War II, the U.S. government used the portrait to sell war bonds and to show support for the women who were working in the nation’s factories, and it’s been a symbol for independent women ever since. She’s even a popular Halloween costume now.

Now You Can Send Anyone a Direct Message on Twitter

tanuha2001 /
tanuha2001 /

Oh, yes, celebrities and other famous people are just going to love this feature.

Before, the only way you could send a direct message (DM) to someone on Twitter was if they followed you. That’s why you often see people tweeting “hey, can you follow me so I can send you a DM?” But now the social media site has changed things so you can now send a direct message to anyone.

Thankfully, unlike some social media sites (*cough* Facebook *cough*) they have made this feature opt-in instead of opt-out. You have to turn it on yourself — and if you don’t want to, you don’t have to. Note: You probably don’t want to.

Goodbye, Orange Kraft Mac & Cheese

LunaseeStudios /
LunaseeStudios /

A part of your childhood is about to change color.

Kraft has announced that they are going to stop using artificial dyes in their original Mac & Cheese in January 2016. They already got rid of the dyes in many of their Mac & Cheese products that come in different shapes, such as the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles boxes. The U.K. version of the Mac & Cheese — called “Cheesey Pasta” — is already sold dye-less.

We’ll have to see if getting rid of the iconic color will hurt sales. The Kraft name is still pretty powerful, and we’re all used to buying the same products that we’ve always bought. I assume they’ll keep the box design pretty much the same so people know they’re buying the same thing. If you still want that bright color I suppose you could add some dye yourself, or maybe add some finely shredded orange crayons.

National Pretzel Day


In February of last year, a pretzel tried to kill me. I was eating a couple of those small pretzel sticks when one of my front teeth suddenly came loose. Several months and a lot of money later, I have a bridge in my mouth and no longer look like a prize fighter who loses a lot. So I don’t eat pretzels anymore, probably as an act of caution and also maybe a little bit of principle.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy them! Sunday is National Pretzel Day. Food Network has a recipe to make your own pretzels at home.

And if you’re wondering, yes, the recipe is for soft pretzels. But still be careful, OK?

Upcoming Anniversaries and Events

Chernobyl nuclear accident (April 26, 1986)

Here’s the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s background on the power plant accident that caused a fire and the release of radiation into the air, leading to several deaths.

President Ulysses Grant born (April 27, 1822) has a history of the 18th President, with several videos.

William Randolph Hearst born (April 29, 1863)

Read The Saturday Evening Post feature on the history of media bias and freedom of speech.

Empire State Building dedicated (May 1, 1931)

Here’s a really detailed history of the New York City landmark.

The Kentucky Derby (May 2)

The 141st running will take place next Saturday at approximately 6:24 p.m. But leave your selfie sticks at home!

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