News of the Week: Gmail, General Mills, and Great Prog Rock

How to “undo send” an email; which artificial flavors General Mills can’t make naturally; and top progressive rock albums in this week’s pop culture roundup.


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Undo Send

Bloomua /
Bloomua /

Have you ever sent an email, and a few seconds after hitting the Send button you sigh because you forgot to include something in the email? Or maybe you wanted to send someone a rant about your horrible boss and you accidentally sent the email to the very boss you were talking about because the auto fill put in his name? Now you can grab that email before the other person gets it.

Gmail’s “Undo Send” feature has been available in Google Labs for several years but now Google has made it a regular feature of their Gmail service. You can set it to delay sending your email by 5, 10, 20, even 30 seconds. So really, it’s not a “hey Google, stop that email!” but rather more of a “let me think about this for a few moments before the email is actually sent” (though hopefully you can take those few moments to think about it before you hit send).

Five seconds? If you’re going to use it, I’d suggest setting it to 30. You’ll need all the time you can get when you panic and rush to correct your horrible mistake. If you’ve been drinking late at night, you’ll probably wish it was 30 hours.

Goodbye, Artificial Colors and Flavors

Everybody is getting rid of the artificial in their food these days. Hershey, Nestle, Panera Bread, Pizza Hut, and Subway have all announced that they are changing the recipes of some or all of the food they sell. Now General Mills has announced that by 2016 artificial colors and flavors will be gone from 90 percent of their cereals, a list that includes Cocoa Puffs, Reese’s Puffs, and Cinnamon Toast Crunch (Cheerios and some others are already artificial-free). It’s part of a bigger plan by General Mills to make their products healthier. They’ve also taken the sugar out of their Yoplait yogurt and are reducing the amount of trans fats in some products.

Fans of Trix might not be happy though. While General Mills says that fruit juices and natural coloring can duplicate most of the colors and tastes in the cereal, they don’t have any natural way to get the exact color of the blue and green pieces. Maybe they should sell two different types of Trix. You can call the new, healthier one Trix and the other one Classic Trix. Put it in a retro box and people will buy it like crazy.

RIP, James Horner and Dick Van Patten

If you are a casual watcher of movies, there are probably two composers you know. The first is, obviously, John Williams, who has done the music for movies like the Star Wars series, Superman, Jaws, Jurassic Park, and the Indiana Jones films (among many others), and the second is James Horner, who had an impressive resume as well. He did the music for Titanic, Apollo 13, Braveheart, Glory, Avatar, Aliens, The Perfect Storm, some of the Star Trek films, and a whole lot more over the past 40 years (just take a look at his impressive resume). Some of his best work was for the underrated Robert Redford movie Sneakers .

Horner, a veteran pilot, died Monday in a plane crash in the Los Padres National Forest area of Southern California . He was 61.

Dick Van Patten was probably best known as the dad on ABC’s Eight is Enough, but he had a huge resume too, appearing in such TV shows as I Remember Mama and Rawhide in the 1950s to more recent shows like Arrested Development and Hot in Cleveland. He passed away from complications of diabetes at the age of 86.

What are the 50 Greatest Progressive Rock Albums of All Time?

I don’t follow music as much as I used to. You’ll find me listening to Sinatra or Marshall Crenshaw before I’ll listen to whatever is on the Billboard charts these days. I just took a look at the top 10 on the Hot 100 and it’s like a foreign language to me. What’s a Fetty Wap?

I wonder if younger people will know what progressive rock is. (Actually, do younger people even call new releases “albums” anymore?) Rolling Stone has their list of the 50 best prog rock albums. Some of the groups you’d expect to be on such a list are there, including Jethro Tull, Yes, Pink Floyd, King Crimson, and Genesis, along with some interesting choices, like Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention’s One Size Fits All.

Of course, lists like this always miss something and open things up to debate (read the comments section on the article, for example). I’m just happy that U.K. is included, though I would have picked Danger Money over their first album.

It’s Take Your Dog to Work Day


When you work from home and own a dog, every day is Take Your Dog to Work Day. But today is the official day for people who work in offices to bring their canines to work. And I say offices because I don’t think this will work if you wait tables or you’re the lifeguard at a pool.

But what about people who don’t have dogs? Can’t they bring their cat or gerbil or snake to work today? It might be funny to bring a cage with your gerbil and put it on your desk, though I’m going to assume we’re never going to see a Take Your Snake to Work Day.

Upcoming Events and Anniversaries

Wimbledon starts (June 29)

The oldest tennis tournament in the world starts Monday and can be seen on ESPN and ESPN 2 (with highlights every night on The Tennis Channel).

Gone with the Wind published (June 30, 1936)

In 1940, The Saturday Evening Post got an envelope from author Margaret Mitchell containing the sequel to her classic novel … or was it?

The Battle of San Juan Hill (July 1, 1898)

Eyewitness to History has a report from a journalist who observed the battle in Cuba.

President Lyndon Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act (July 2, 1964)

SEP Archives Director Jeff Nilsson on how the country was divided in 1964.

President Garfield shot (July 2, 1881)

CBS Sunday Morning’s Mo Rocca has an interesting story on how the doctors treating Garfield actually helped kill him.

Independence Day (July 4)

Here’s a collection of July 4th-themed covers that The Saturday Evening Post has done over the years. I particularly like how John Falter depicted the sun in his painting.

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  1. Love the feature on the ‘Greatest Progressive Albums of All Time’ with the link for U.K.’s “Danger Money” from ’79. I agree this 2nd album was even better than the first. The songs flow well one into the next, not unlike The Car’s ‘Candy-O’ from the same year (my personal favorite by them). It was like a ‘Best Of’ album even though it wasn’t.

    I’ve just listened to “Danger Money” twice today, and hear elements of Emerson, Lake and Palmer, Pink Floyd, Deep Purple and Yes in it, but it’s also completely unique at the same time.

    Music/concerts are one of the very few things in entertainment I’m willing to spend time or money on. This October presents some dilemmas. The Saban Theater has Gordon Lightfoot 10/2, Vicki Lawrence/Mama 10/3, Get The Led Out 10/8, Fab 4 10/17. Then there’s Which One’s Pink (with laser light show), but not until January 9th.

    The last concert was Styx on Jan 23rd—one week after seeing Don Rickles. Help me decide Bob—on October. Which two to choose at this paradise theater?

    Tying in “Undo Send” (sort of) with Sarah Rose’s final Dating Project column this week, I get that she’s looking for her happily ever after. Her columns were often a hoot, largely because when they first started, I looked her up on the Wikipedia–just for fun. She was on a reality show several years ago called ‘Girls Who Like Boys Who Like Boys’.

    That was always in the back of my mind when reading her column, how could it not be? It’s hard to separate fact from fiction with Sarah. She’s cute, but figuring she doesn’t like men who like women, I never wrote any comments on her columns. Let’s hope she finds her non-straight prince and wish her well…right? ANYHOW there HAVE been times elsewhere where that 30 second undo would have saved me from some Larry David moments.


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