News of the Week: Virtual Proms, a Space Debate, and the 10 Most Popular Things to Cook Right Now

In the news for week ending on the first day of May 2020 are social distancing tips from outer space, a hands-free Oreo dispenser, too many potatoes, our favorite things to (try to) cook, and more.

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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.

Uploaded to YouTube by CBS Sunday Morning

Headline of the Week

Belgians Asked to Eat Fries Twice a Week to Combat Potato Surplus

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.

Jack Wallace was a veteran Chicago stage actor who also appeared in many movies and TV shows. He died earlier this month at the age of 86.

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)

He’s known as the father of our country, appeared on the cover of the Post 10 times, and he really loved his morning corn cakes.

This Week in Saturday Evening Post History: “Saturday Rain” (April 25, 1959)

SEP Cover
Saturday Rain by Earl Mayan

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).

  1. banana bread
  2. pancakes
  3. chicken
  4. pizza dough
  5. brownies
  6. French crêpes
  7. meatloaf
  8. French toast
  9. lasagna
  10. cheesecake

I was expecting to see chocolate chip cookies on the list. Maybe they’re number 11. So here’s a recipe for Original Toll House Cookies. And yes, I know I linked to that very same recipe just last week, but hey, Toll House Cookies!

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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  1. Everyone should read that story in the Atlantic included at the top. Very, very sad. At least the way-too-happy John Krasinski is making use of himself for unfortunate high schoolers with virtual proms and graduations for their virtual lives.

    At least L.A’s mayor and our governor are being extremely vigilant in reopening much at all in CA. It’ll stay shutdown longer depending on what happens in GA., TN. & FL. Those two are watching those three like a hawk. I’ve been trained to wear the mask when out, the gloves when shopping and social distancing and don’t have plans to stop it. Why should/would I this soon??! A lot of people are asking for trouble and will receive it.

    The Hart Island report is very sobering and shocking, and worth watching. The hands-free Oreo dispenser may be a hit. Emiel here is certainly taking it seriously per this video. He’ll have one made for you. Take a look.

    America IS baking like crazy, likely increasing the already out-of-control obesity epidemic, but what are you gonna do, right? Great (Earl Mayan) cover choice by the way. Knowing 20th century cars the way I do, it’s always fun to see them depicted on POST covers such as these. Sometimes the artist combines elements of say a GM and Chrysler and that’s it. Here, the blue car on the right is based on a mid-50s GM, but the red one is definitely a ’59 Ford T-Bird, just minus the tasteful fins.


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