This Week in Social Distancing
Rabbit, rabbit. You’re supposed to say that the first day of every month for good luck. I always forget why.
These days I like to start this column by giving a little rundown on how things are progressing in the world of Quarantine 2020. What are we watching? What are we reading? What are we eating? Are we cutting our own hair or are we letting it go? Are friendships ending because we all have a different definition of “social distancing”? (According to The Atlantic, the answer to that last question is yes).
We’re all just trying to get through the best we can. We’re following the rules to self-isolate, we’re staying connected, we’re wearing masks when we go to the store, and we’re all washing our hands more than the surgeons on M*A*S*H. We have in our minds this reasoning: The more we do this now, the less we’ll have to do it later. That may or may not be true, but what else can we do?
If you need help dealing with staying home all the time, you can take lessons from former astronaut Jose Hernandez, who spent many days in isolation on the International Space Station. He never had to put on a mask and leave the station for groceries though.
Are you a high school senior? Students and schools are putting together special Instagram posts to virtually celebrate graduations and proms.
John Krasinski is becoming the go-to guy for all things fun lately. He’s hosting a video podcast that focuses on good news, he’s been holding virtual proms for kids who can’t go to theirs, and he’s now asking class valedictorians to send him the speeches they would have given for virtual graduations he’ll be hosting.
Tom Hanks better watch out or he’ll lose that “Nicest Guy in Hollywood” title.
Two Spaces Between Sentences? OK, Boomer.
I can always tell when someone sends me an email where they’ve used two spaces between sentences. It just … looks wrong. While it was always standard on a typewriter and is still pretty standard depending on where you’re using it — the Associated Press and Chicago Manual of Style still suggest one space — the rule online for the most part is to have one space between sentences. And now Microsoft is going to make you do it that way.
If you use Microsoft Word and insist on using two spaces, the program will now put those little blue squiggly lines underneath it, and that means “you did something wrong and you need to correct it.”
It would be funny if that little Microsoft paperclip guy would come on the screen when someone types two spaces, yelling “Hey, stop that!”
The Hands-Free Oreo Dispenser
If eating delicious cream-filled chocolate cookies by hand has always been a chore for you, you’re in luck.
The History of Hart Island
Until recently, many people had never heard of New York City’s Hart Island, a “Potter’s Field” where people whose identities are unknown or who are too poor for a proper burial are buried. Now, several victims of COVID-19 are being laid to rest there. A very interesting report from CBS Sunday Morning.
Headline of the Week
RIP Shirley Knight, Betsy Wyeth, Jerry Bishop, Jack Wallace, India Adams, Richard Hake, Eddie Cooley, Gene Dynarski
Shirley Knight was an acclaimed actress who appeared in several movies, including The Rain People and The Group, as well as dozens of TV shows. She won a Tony, three Emmys, and received two Oscar nominations for The Dark at the Top of the Stairs and Sweet Bird of Youth. She died last week at the age of 83.
Betsy Wyeth was the wife of artist Andrew Wyeth and was also a driving force behind many of his works, working as his inspiration and business manager. She died last week at the age of 98.
Her father-in-law (N.C. Wyeth), husband, and son Jamie have all had works featured on Post covers.
Jerry Bishop was the announcer on Judge Judy since its debut in 1996; before that, he was a disc jockey at several Los Angeles radio stations from the ’60s to the ’80s. He also did voice work on several commercials and various TV promos. He died last week at the age of 84.
India Adams was a stage actress who was also the singer who provided the voice when Joan Crawford sang in Torch Song and Cyd Charisse sang in The Band Wagon. She died Saturday at the age of 93.
Richard Hake was a host, producer, and reporter at WNYC for 28 years. He died last week at the age of 51.
Gene Dynarski appeared in movies like All the President’s Men and Close Encounters of the Third Kind as well as TV shows like Star Trek and The Big Valley. He is probably best known for two memorable Seinfeld episodes where he played Lloyd Bridges’ son, the one who picks up the TV and hurts his back. He died in February at the age of 86.
Eddie Cooley was the singer in the late ’50s group Eddie Cooley and the Dimples and wrote the classic song “Fever,” recorded by dozens of artists, including Elvis Presley, Madonna, and Peggy Lee. He died earlier this month at the age of 87.
This Week in History
First 3D TV Broadcast (April 29, 1953)
It was an experiment performed by ABC on their Los Angeles affiliate KECA-TV for an episode of Space Patrol.
George Washington Becomes First President (April 30, 1789)
This Week in Saturday Evening Post History: “Saturday Rain” (April 25, 1959)
I didn’t pick this Earl Mayan cover because it’s spring and that’s the time for rain. I picked it because the way we’re living our lives right now, is the weather even a concern for most people?
The Most Searched-For Recipes on Google
The big news in food? Everybody’s baking. Because most of us are stuck at home right now and we’re all seeking comfort wherever we can get it, everyone is filling their homes with the aromas of bread, cookies, and brownies. There’s so much baking going on that stores are running out flour and actually need to ration it.
Google is keeping track of the recipes that everyone is searching for, and here are the top 10, along with recipes I’ve found by, well, googling (and searching the Post archives).
- banana bread
- pizza dough
- French crêpes
- French toast
Next Week’s Holidays and Events
Star Wars Day (May 4)
Everyone’s watching a lot of TV these days, so for this year’s “May the fourth be with you” celebration, Disney+ will stream The Rise of Skywalker two months earlier than planned.
National Nurses Week (May 6-12)
This year the entire month of May is being extended into National Nurses Month, because if there’s any year to celebrate what nurses do, this is certainly that year.
Featured image: Shutterstock.
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