This Week in Social Distancing
Saw a kid at the store not wearing a mask. I say “kid” when he actually could have been in his 20s. Because males from the age of “toddler” to “50-something with three kids and a mortgage” wears a baseball cap these days, you really can’t tell anymore. I’d say he was between 15 and 24. Certainly old enough to know better.
I wanted to say something to him. I bet a lot of shoppers wanted to say something to him. You don’t, of course, because you don’t want to make it a “thing.” You just want to get what you need and get out of there. Maybe an employee of the store said something to him when he went to check out.
Some social distancing notes from the past week:
For the first time since World War II, the New Year’s Day Rose Parade has been canceled.
In one of the more unexpected COVID-19-related happenings, there’s a coin shortage. And some are using this news to once again revisit the idea of eliminating the penny forever.
Banksy’s latest artwork, pandemic-inspired, was removed from the London Underground this week.
A pub in St Just, Cornwall, has an innovative way to make sure patrons obey social distancing rules. They’ve installed an electric fence around the bar.
If you’re worried about running out of TV to watch while you’re stuck at home, fear not. The new streaming service Peacock just launched. There seems to be an emphasis on comedies like Seinfeld, 30 Rock, The Office, Arrested Development, Parks and Recreation, and Bojack Horseman, but there’s some older TV and classic movies on it too.
Are you dressing like a slob while quarantined? That’s okay!
I don’t usually get into politics or politics-adjacent topics in this column, but sometimes something happens that involves both the world of politics and the world of pop culture. This week the Washington Redskins announced that after 87 years they will no longer be using Redskins as part of their team name or logo.
At press time (a phrase that seems odd to use on the web — let’s call it “upload time”) the team hadn’t said what the new name will be. The Sporting News has a list of the possible replacements How do you like The Washington Red Wolves or The Washington Monuments? Though there might be a slight legal problem using those.
Weird Thing I Learned This Week
There was another sports controversy this week (if you can call a board game “sports”). The North American Scrabble Players Association has decided that they will no longer allow racial and ethnic slurs to be used as words at their tournaments.
In related news, apparently you could use racial and ethnic slurs in Scrabble tournaments all these years.
Headline of the Week
RIP Kelly Preston, Naya Rivera, Joe Porcaro, Grant Imahara, Brandis Kemp, and Gaynel Hodge
Kelly Preston starred in such films as Jerry Maguire, SpaceCamp, For Love of the Game, Jack Frost, and Twins. She also appeared in many TV shows and was married to actor John Travolta. She died Sunday at the age of 57.
Naya Rivera starred in the Fox musical TV series Glee, as well as other TV shows and movies. She died this week at the age of 33.
Joe Porcaro was a veteran drummer and percussionist who played on many songs over the years, including Toto’s “Africa” (his sons Steve, Jeff, and Mike started the band). He can be heard on songs by singers of all genres, from Madonna and Boz Scaggs to Barbra Streisand and Rosemary Clooney. He died last week at the age of 90.
Grant Imahara was one of the hosts of Mythbusters and worked on various projects at Lucasfilm. He was also an actor, playing Sulu in various online versions of Star Trek. He died last week at the age of 49.
Brandis Kemp was one of the cast members of ABC’s ’70s late-night sketch show Fridays (along with people like Larry David and Michael Richards). She was also a regular on the M*A*S*H spinoff AfterMASH and appeared in many other TV shows. She died earlier this month at the age of 76.
Gaynel Hodge co-wrote the classic pop song “Earth Angel.” He died last month at the age of 83.
This Week in History
To Kill a Mockingbird Published (July 11, 1960)
Troy Brownfield has six things you might not know about Harper Lee’s classic novel, including the fact that the first draft of the book later became the book’s sequel, Go Set a Watchman.
Gerald Ford Born (July 14, 1913)
Vice President Ford became the 38th president when Richard Nixon resigned on August 8, 1974. He served one short term, losing to Jimmy Carter in the November 1976 election.
Ford appeared on the cover of the January 1975 issue of the Post.
This Week in Saturday Evening Post History: Melting Ice Cream (July 13, 1940)
This cover by Norman Rockwell is sometimes called Melting Ice Cream and sometimes called Joys of Summer. Whatever you call it, that doesn’t look like social distancing to me. All those umbrellas.
We All Scream
The timing of some food holidays is rather odd (National Turkey Lover’s Month is June and not November?), but July being National Ice Cream Month just makes sense. In fact, this isn’t just National Ice Cream Month, this Sunday is National Ice Cream Day, and July 23 is National Vanilla Ice Cream Day.
That’s a lot of ice cream.
Here are recipes for some exotic flavors of ice cream you probably haven’t tried before, including Avocado, Granny Smith Apple Sorbet, and Roasted Garlic and Raspberry Preserve. If you’re not that adventurous, try this recipe for Chocolate from Alton Brown or this one for Strawberry from A Latte Food.
But if you really want to know how to make perfect ice cream, you could take the advice of an expert: Andy Rooney. This is from 1982.
Next Week’s Holidays and Events
Comic-Con @ Home (July 22-26)
Because of COVID-19, this year’s event is all online, and you’ll be able to watch over 350 panels, play interactive games, participate in challenges, and more, all from your couch.
Baseball Season Starts (July 23)
The condensed 60-game season starts with the New York Yankees taking on the Washington Nationals. It airs on ESPN starting at 7 p.m. EDT.
Featured image: Shutterstock
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