News of the Week: Mr. Spock’s Salute, Tom Hanks’s New Film, and How Cracker Jack Got Its Name

In the news for the week ending June 19, 2020, are the return of tennis, soap operas, and the Oscars, plus Father’s Day recipes, Tom Hanks, and more.

A Mr. Spock Star Trek toy holding a guitar while giving the Vulcan Salute.
(Willrow Hood /

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This Week in Social Distancing

This was the week that people split into two camps, the “I’m still staying in” camp and the “things are starting to open so I’m going out more” camp. States are starting to open up various businesses, and we’re all taking sides on whether or not people should be going to restaurants, hanging out in bars, wearing masks, attending protests, or lounging at the beach and other places where crowds gather. I’m still in the “staying in” group. I’m not quite “there” yet, ready to get back to some sort of normal, even if Mother Nature is calling people outside with her siren song of warmer temps.

I’m leaving the house only once a week, trying to do all of my errands on one day. So far it’s working out.

This was also the week when we found out what big, national events are being canceled or going ahead. The U.S. Open announced that the tennis event will go on as scheduled starting August 31. The catch? No fans will be allowed in, and players will have to follow strict safety measures, including temperature checks, a limit to the number of people on their team, and maybe even a quarantine before the event. Some players, like Simona Halep, have already said they don’t plan on playing. Others, like Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, have strongly hinted they may not attend either. Sounds like a great opportunity for lower-ranked players to win their first Grand Slam.

It might be odd playing with no fans in the stands, though it won’t affect home viewers too much. I watched a tennis tournament this week where they piped in fake audience sounds to mimic cheers and boos and ooohs and aaaahs. It was … weird.

The Academy Awards have been postponed too, but only for two months. Originally scheduled for February 28, 2021, it will now take place on April 25, with ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel hosting. This will give an extra couple of months for films to qualify for awards and an extra two months for celebrities to die and be left out of the “in memoriam” montage.

Comic-Con was canceled, but the organization is having a virtual convention July 22-26, with panels, interviews, gaming, and more.

Miss soap operas? The Bold & the Beautiful resumed filming this week. The sets will have safety precautions everywhere, and actors will have to stay eight feet apart during filming. You’re wondering how they’ll do love scenes, a major component of the daytime drama? Not only are they going to do some clever filming and editing, but they’re also going to have the real-life significant others of the actors come in as “stunt doubles” for those scenes.

Where are you on the whole handshaking thing? As I mentioned here before, a lot of people aren’t going to be doing that anymore as we go forward — germs and all that — and instead we’ll just nod or wave to each other. It might be odd at first, but we’d get used to it. Or we could do what this British scientist wants to do: adopt Star Trek’s Vulcan salute.

Just be aware that if someone really wants to shake your hand and you do this instead, he may give you another salute, one that involves one finger.

Kid Writes Letter to Babe Ruth to Bring Baseball Back

Hey, maybe it worked!

(Uploaded to YouTube by CBS Evening News)

Buried Treasure Finally Found!

In 2010, art dealer Forrest Fenn hid more than $1 million somewhere in the Rocky Mountains. Since then, over 350,000 treasure-seekers — some who even quit their jobs — have searched for it to no avail. But now the loot has finally been found.

Fenn won’t say where exactly it was located or who found it but says the find was confirmed with a photograph.


Yup, Tom Hanks has made another World War II film. It’s called Greyhound and it’s based on a true story. You’ll need AppleTV+ to see it, but it looks good! Here’s the trailer.

(Uploaded to YouTube by Sony Pictures Entertainment)

Quote of the Week

“First off, the box is white. Hospital white. And there’s a beige bowl. A color of beige I like to call ‘bargaining beige.’ Like, how many bowls of this do I have to eat so I can have one Cool Ranch Dorito at three o’clock today?”

—Patton Oswalt, on how his cereal suddenly became deadly serious when he hit 50, in his new Netflix comedy special I Love Everything

RIP Jean Kennedy Smith, Rupert Hine, William Sessions, Vera Lynn, Bobby Lewis, Denny O’Neil, Ricky Valance, and Pat Brymer

Jean Kennedy Smith was the last remaining sibling of John F. Kennedy and a former ambassador to Ireland. She died Wednesday at the age of 92.

Rupert Hine not only released several albums of his own, some as a solo artist and some as a member of various bands, but he produced albums and songs (and often played on them) by some of the biggest artists of the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s, including Tina Turner, the Fixx, Howard Jones, Rush, Suzanne Vega, and Duncan Sheik. He died earlier this month at the age of 72.

William Sessions was director of the FBI from 1987 to 1993. He died last week at the age of 90.

Vera Lynn was the British singer known for such classic wartime songs as “We’ll Meet Again,” “(There’ll Be Bluebirds Over) The White Cliffs of Dover,” and “A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square.” She died Thursday at the age of 103.

Denny O’Neil was an acclaimed writer and editor who worked for both DC and Marvel Comics. He brought realistic and important storylines to characters such as Batman, Iron Man, Green Lantern, Spider-Man, and Daredevil. He died last week at the age of 81.

Bobby Lewis sang the 1961 pop hit “Tossin’ & Turnin’.” He died in April at the age of 95.

Ricky Valance sang the 1960 hit “Tell Laura I Love Her,” a song that was once banned in Britain. He died last week at the age of 84.

Pat Brymer was the puppeteer who controlled the annoying gopher in Caddyshack and was head puppeteer for Team America: World Police. He also created a new Lamb Chop for Shari Lewis when she hosted a kid’s show in the ’90s. He died in April at the age of 70.

This Week in History

Harriet Beecher Stowe Born (June 14, 1811)

Stowe was an author, abolitionist, and women’s rights advocate. She also managed to irritate one Post writer in 1865 by the way she boiled potatoes.

Cracker Jack Introduced (June 16, 1893)

Ever wonder how the delicious popcorn/peanut/molasses snack got its name? Here’s how.

This Week in Saturday Evening Post History: Swing-Set (June 16, 1956)

Father struggling to erect swing set

Isn’t the dad supposed to be relaxing on Father’s Day? (Also, if I saw him putting this together, I don’t know if I’d trust it when it was done.)

Father’s Day Recipes

What exactly is a “Father’s Day recipe”? Something that involves meat and/or beer, eaten while watching a Three Stooges marathon? I suppose it could include those things if we’re talking in clichés about what “men” like to eat.

For the meat, how about this British Steak and Chips Pie? For the beer, maybe try this Beer Can Chicken. Yup, you actually cook the chicken with the beer can.

But let’s go beyond the clichés. Here’s a recipe for an Italian Bread Salad, one for a Yogurt Parfait, and Dad can wash it all down with a Cosmopolitan.

By the way, Shemp was just as funny as Curly. Don’t let anyone tell you different.

Next Week’s Holidays and Events

Summer Begins (June 20)

And my annual countdown to the start of fall also begins.

Take Your Dog to Work Day (June 26)

Or as your dog is calling it this year, Stay at Home with Your Owner Day.

Featured image: Shutterstock

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  1. America divided over wearing the face masks. Is there anything this country isn’t divided over? The virus is accelerating because of stupidity like this, with 145,000 deaths from it predicted by July 11th. Look how many places are re-closing?! I agree with you in getting chores done once a week, and staying inside.

    Comic-Con has the right idea by having it virtually. The Academy Awards with their ever sinking ratings should do that permanently, “narrowcasting” it to the few who still care. They’re wise to keep that beady-eyed weasel/skunk as the host Bob, but should have back-up though. I’m sure Scott Peterson is available to do so right there from San Quentin! OR, how about our loud, played-out dirty grandpa, Robert De Niro, and his female counterparts from ‘The View’? Yes Robert, I’m talkin’ to you.

    The little leaguer who wrote to Babe Ruth is wonderful, and I believe his efforts will make a difference. Let’s hear it for the boy!

    This ’56 Father’s Day cover is beautifully done, and unfortunately probably accurate in its degradation. The four kids standing there, staring, isn’t helping! Yes, Dad should be relaxing! The yogurt parfait sounds good to me with a Cosmopolitan (with one teaspoon of Vodka) watching The Three Stooges, of course. There’s always the 2012 film of the same name too, which is excellent. Larry David as Reverend Mother is priceless!

    Speaking of Larry, if any fun can come of the situation, Larry will make it happen in future episodes of ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’! The accusations of his not social distancing properly when out, his insisting he is, having a tape measure to prove it, the arguing, the security guards escorting him out of the store? How about his being accused of sneezing (with his mask on) when it was the kind that went away, but people around him insist it WAS a sneeze. His possibilities here are endless, I’m telling ya.


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