News of the Week: Star Trek 4, Retro Nintendo, and a Little Penuche (What the Heck Is Penuche?)

This edition “News of the Week” Bob Sassone looks forward to the fourth Star Trek movie, welcomes the return of the NES, roams the streets of 1940s LA, bids farewell to two greats of sitcom television, and asks an important question: What in the world is “penuche”?

By Evan-Amos (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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Beyond Star Trek Beyond

The third of J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek movies, Star Trek Beyond, hasn’t even hit theaters yet — it opens later today — but we’re already getting news about the fourth one. And this movie will be tied into events from the first.

In a press release this week, Abrams says that the fourth film will feature Chris Hemsworth as Kirk’s father. Hemsworth played the role in the first film in the series but only for what amounted to a cameo, as he quickly died. So it looks like this will be another time-travel adventure. I wonder if they’ll once again mess with the Trek timeline, maybe somehow putting it back to the way it was after changing it in the first film.

Abrams also says that the role of Chekov will not be recast in the fourth movie, following the death of Anton Yelchin.

Nintendo Goes Retro

I don’t play video games anymore, but if I did, I might buy something like this. It’s not the first game system of its type, but it comes with a lot of games and it’s pretty inexpensive. It’s the NES Classic Edition. It’s a mini-console that comes with 30 games already built in (no need for cartridges), including The Legend of Zelda, Donkey Kong, Galaga (which I was addicted to as a teen), Mario Bros.and Pac-Man. It will sell for $59.99 and will come out in November, just in time for Christmas.

Los Angeles: 1940s vs. 2016

The most recent video game I’ve played is L.A. Noire, a fun game that makes you a detective in 1940’s Los Angeles. It looks fantastic, with beautifully rendered cars and buildings. It’s the type of game where you don’t even have to play it. It’s a joy just to get into one of the cars and drive around.

I thought of the game after watching this video by Keven McAlester. It’s a 2016 retracing of a car trip someone made in the Bunker Hill section of Los Angeles in 1940. You get to watch the two videos side by side to see the changes (and there are many) to the area in the past 70 years. Bunker Hill was used in a lot of movies back then, especially film noir, but the city started a large redevelopment project in the area in 1959, which ended only a few years ago.

Confessions of a Republican, Part II

Remember back in March when I posted the video of the famous 1964 LBJ ad “Confessions of a Republican”? A lot of people thought that if you inserted the name “Trump” for “Goldwater,” it still works today. Well, it looks like Hillary Clinton’s campaign thought the same thing, as this week they released an update of the ad … with the same actor, William Bogert!

Oddly, I didn’t see this ad played at this week’s GOP convention in Cleveland.

RIP Garry Marshall and Norman Abbott

Garry Marshall passed away Tuesday at the age of 81. Before directing such movies as Pretty WomanThe Flamingo Kid, and The Princess Diaries, he was a writer/director/producer on a ton of classic shows, including The Dick Van Dyke ShowThe Odd CoupleHappy DaysLaverne & ShirleyMork & MindyThe Lucy Show, and Make Room For Daddy. He acted in over 80 TV shows and movies, too. His sister is director and actress Penny Marshall.

The Washington Post has a list of careers that Marshall helped launch.

Norman Abbott was the nephew of comic Bud Abbott. After starting out as an actor, appearing in such films as the Abbott and Costello comedy Who Done It? and Walking My Baby Back Home, he became a top sitcom director. He directed many episodes of Leave It to Beaver, including the classic episode where Beaver falls into a giant bowl of soup, as well as The Jack Benny ProgramGet SmartMcHale’s NavyThe Brady BunchWelcome Back, KotterAliceThe Munsters, and Sanford and Son. He was also a stage manager on I Love Lucy and the man behind the Broadway hit Sugar Babies. He served in World War II in the original Navy SEALs unit.

Abbott passed away at the age of 93 in Valencia, California.

How Did They Do That?

Last week I showed you a video of one of the finalists for the 2016 Illusion of the Year Award, and I promised that this week I’d tell you how it’s done.

The answer: It’s real magic!

Well, no. It’s actually simpler than that. There really is no “trick”; the shapes used look different depending on what angle you’re viewing them from. You can even see that if you pause the video when the shapes are turned around in front of the mirror.

Here’s a video that explains how it’s done:

Today Is National Penuche Day


Penuche is one of those foods that I’ve never heard of before but have eaten plenty of. Does that make sense? I mean I’ve eaten it but never knew what it was really called. I always just called it fudge, But penuche is lighter in color and made with brown sugar.

Here’s a recipe for penuche from Fearless Fresh. In fact, it’s two recipes. A new recipe was created for the site because the original didn’t set right. Both are included if you want to experiment and see which one works.

Or if you don’t want to bother making penuche, you could just buy some.

Upcoming Events and Anniversaries

Pioneer Day in Utah (July 24)

This official holiday celebrates the arrival of Brigham Young and his group of Mormon pioneers into Salt Lake Valley.

Manchu Picchu
By Pedro Szekely at ( [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Discovery of Machu Picchu (July 24, 1911)

Archaeologists believe the mountain sanctuary was built for Incan emperor Pachacuti.

Mick Jagger born (July 25, 1943)

He may have been born during World War II, but he’s about to become a father again.

Sinking of the Andrea Doria (July 25, 1956)

The Italian passenger liner collided with the Stockholm near Nantucket, Massachusetts; 46 passengers and crew died.

United States Post Office established (July 26, 1775)

What became the United States Postal Service in 1970 has gone through financial problems in recent years, and the idea of stopping Saturday delivery is brought up every now and then.

Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis born (July 28, 1929)

After the deaths of husbands John F. Kennedy and Aristotle Onassis, she became a respected editor at Viking Press and Doubleday.

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  1. Thanks Bob for the comparison shots video of L.A. in the ’40s and 2016. A mid-point look (early ’80s) would be interesting to see which era it resembles more.

    The new William Bogert “Hillary” ad, is pretty interesting, partly because it was made at all! I’d like to try some ‘penuche’ if I can find it at a dessert store in the local mall. I’m not driving to the Beverly Center for it though, unless I’m in the vicinity which isn’t that often.


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