News of the Week: Hurricane Names, the Best Albums of All Time, and 60 Years of The Flintstones

In the news for the week ending September 24, 2020, are too many hurricanes, too many albums, never enough coffee, and much more.

Radar map of a hurricane
Andrey VP / Shutterstock

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What Happens after Wilfred?

As we learned in last week’s exciting episode, fall arrived at 9:31 a.m. EDT on Tuesday. The air almost immediately turned more crisp, so I put away my big fan, I got out my comforter to sleep under, and I’ve started to stock up on loose tea and tea bags again. Sure, it’s supposed to be in the mid-70s and humid this weekend, but let’s forget about that, shall we? It’s fall — fall I tell you! — and I’m not going back.

I really do complain too much about the weather here, but everyone needs a hobby.

Hurricanes still think it’s summer. Actually, hurricane season officially runs until November 30, so we have a while to go. We’ve had so many named storms this year that we’ve used up all of the names on the list (the last was Wilfred — there’s no Xylophone, Yoda, or Ziggy). What do they do if that happens? They go to the Greek alphabet. This week we saw Hurricanes Alpha and Beta and I’m sure Gamma and Delta aren’t too far behind.

I guess those names are better than Hurricane 46502237811A.

Maybe we’re not quite done with the previous names though. There’s now such a thing as zombie hurricanes, because, hey, 2020.

Will We Have Trick-or-Treating This Year?

In some ways, sure, but depending on your town, you may be in for some big changes.

The CDC is discouraging kids and parents from going door-to-door, wearing masks (the costume kind, anyway), and having indoor parties. With the pandemic still upon us and many states seeing an increase in cases, they don’t want families to take any chances. That doesn’t mean you can’t have a small party with your family and a movie night or picking up candy that households have already put outside, but you might want to put off your usual Halloween traditions for this year.

I’m going to go out on a limb and predict that many families will still go door-to-door.

I’m going to buy a few bags of candy anyway. Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and Hershey’s Almond. Just in case I do have a few visitors. Of course, I haven’t had any trick-or-treaters in over 20 years, and I’ll have to eat all of the candy myself like I always do, but I’ll manage somehow.

The Time 100

I only casually went through this list of the 100 most influential people in the world, but I still found a dozen people I’ve never even heard of before. Maybe I’m not as up-to-date with things as I thought I was, but I bet a lot of the picks will confuse you too.

The 500 Best (Ahem) Albums of All-Time

Lists like this always set my teeth on edge. Sure, everyone loves lists, but there are 200 lists for every single topic now, and no one is an expert on anything anymore because we’re all experts.

This Rolling Stone list is maddening because it lists 500 albums. 500! Not only is that too many (is number 397 really that much different in quality than number 409?), they somehow still manage to leave out some great albums, and I’m sure several picks will confuse you. Kanye West at number 17? The only Sinatra album is at number 282? Gah. Also, they have the wrong Beatles album in the top 10.

Norman Rockwell makes an appearance at number 321. Well, sort of.

Headline of the Week

“Would You Buy $1400 Overalls — with Fake Grass Stains? Gucci is Selling Some”

RIP Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Gale Sayers, Winston Groom, Terry Goodkind, Robert Gore, Al Kasha, Roy Charles Hammond, Michael Lonsdale, and Ernie Orsatti

Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a Supreme Court Justice who was appointed in 1993, becoming the second woman after Sandra Day O’Connor to have a seat on the Court’s bench. She later became a pop culture icon and the subject of a documentary, The Notorious RBG. She died last week at the age of 87.

Here’s a nice CNN feature on Ginsburg’s close friendship with conservative Justice Antonin Scalia.

Gale Sayers was a Hall of Fame running back for the Chicago Bears who was just as famous off the field as he was on. He became great friends with teammate Brian Piccolo, who battled cancer, and the friendship was made into a popular TV movie, Brian’s Song. He died this week at the age of 77.

Winston Groom wrote the novel that became the basis for the movie Forrest Gump. He later wrote a sequel, Gump & Co. He died last week at the age of 77.

Terry Goodkind was a writer of several fantasy and science fiction novels, including the long-running Sword of Truth series. He died last week at the age of 72.

Robert W. Gore was the inventor of Gore-Tex. He died last week at the age of 83.

Al Kasha co-wrote two classic songs that appeared in disaster movies. He won an Oscar for “The Morning After,” which was sung in The Poseidon Adventure, and wrote “We May Never Love Like This Again” for The Towering Inferno. He also received Tony nominations and wrote several books. He died last week at the age of 83.

Roy Charles Hammond was a singer in the doo-wop group The Genies, famous for the 1959 song “Who’s That Knocking?” He also had his own hit in 1965 with “Shotgun Wedding.” He died last week at the age of 81.

Michael Lonsdale played villain Hugo Drax in the James Bond movie Moonraker. He also appeared in Munich, Ronin, The Name of the Rose, Jefferson in Paris, and The Day of the Jackal. He died Monday at the age of 89.

Ernie Orsatti was a veteran stuntman and actor who performed one of the most famous stunts in movie history, falling from a table into a large window on the upside-down ship in the aforementioned The Poseidon Adventure. He died last week at the age of 80.

This Week in History

The Flintstones Premieres (September 20, 1960)

The working title for the classic cartoon was The Flagstones, and Fred and Wilma were originally going to have a son, Fred Jr., but that was dropped.

One of my favorite things about the show is that they actually did commercials and promos for Winston cigarettes.

Posted to YouTube by VintageTVCommercials

Nixon’s “Checkers” Speech (September 23, 1952)

Richard Nixon was a California senator at the time and the vice presidential nominee on the Republican ticket with Eisenhower. He was accused of inappropriate use of funds and gifts he had received, including a black-and-white dog. Nixon went on TV to defend himself, and it’s a fascinating broadcast.

This Week in Saturday Evening Post History: Maxwell House Coffee (September 19, 1953)

Amazing Coffee ad from a magazine

Yes, there was a time when instant coffee was “amazing.”

International Coffee Day

The official day is next Tuesday the 29th, but if you’re a coffee drinker you celebrate it every day anyway.

We’re in the fall now, so I’m going to forget all about the iced coffee drinks of summer and give you some hot coffee recipes, like this Nutella Hot Coffee from Seasoned Sprinkles and this Snickerdoodle Latte from House of Yumm. The Spruce Eats has a recipe for Cuban Coffee, and Martha Stewart shows you how to make Maple Irish Coffee.

By the way, it’s easy to make a great cup of coffee by following these simple tips. Step one: don’t use tea bags. I accidentally did that once.

Next Week’s Holidays and Events

French Open Starts (September 27)

Unlike the U.S. Open, the later-than-usual red clay tournament will have fans in the stands. Tennis Channel has coverage starting at 5 a.m. EDT.

First Presidential Debate (September 29)

It begins at 9 p.m. and will air on all of the major networks, the cable news channels, C-SPAN, and probably Animal Planet and Food Network.

Featured image: Andrey VP / Shutterstock

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  1. I took my time going through the Rolling Stone list, and it’s pretty bad for all the reasons you gave. It seems more albums that shouldn’t have been on there were, and plenty were not that should have been. Oh well, we have to consider it’s 2020, the source, and not take it seriously.

    More importantly, I apologize for the way in which I conveyed my disgust for Washington in paragraphs 2 and 3. I never write sentences in all caps like that. It’s rude, and I don’t like it when I see it in YouTube comments. After 2 long months of an awful roller coaster ride of getting my hopes up (as a furloughed employee) about the money, I kind of snapped while writing that.

    It’s like that question, ‘tell me how you REALLY feel’. I actually wouldn’t want to torture the government with the 120 heat, or put them all in Carrie’s prom scene. I thought it, obviously, and have to own writing what should have stayed a secret. They were the wild leopards with fangs in the dark shadows of my mind, unleashed and escaping by not filtering them out. That usually isn’t good, and I know that. Lessons occasionally have to be re-learned, unfortunately.

    I still stand by what I said in the first two paragraphs though. The good news is, I can “feel” good news IS coming for the American people on the money front soon. It’s from a hopeful, happy feeling I’ve had all day I can’t explain. The roller coaster will be slowing down to a crawl for us to exit, finally, with some peace of mind we haven’t had in months. Let’s collectively think POSITIVE for our U.S., and get that energy vibe out there the stars finally align this week. That also goes for the California wild fires finally being contained and extinguished.

  2. You’re NOT complaining too much about the weather! The heat was terrible for you, and all you had to go through. Of course if I had the power to put Congress, House of Representatives and ALL the people of “Wall Street” in a room of 121 degrees (my outside temp on Sept. 6th) to get the money needed to the American people going through absolute financial hell right now, I would. Taking vacations, laughing at all of us, having people all over the world pitying “the richest country in the world” for treating it’s own people like garbage??!

    It’s OUR money! Get us the maximum we need during this crisis. Mark Cuban’s on board for that, hello! The money is going to be spent HERE in the rebuild lives and the economy. Just how stupid ARE the people running this country, and destroying it? REALLY stupid and greedy. I MYSELF COULD DO A BETTER JOB THAN THEY ARE, LITERALLY. IT AIN’T ROCKET SCIENCE AT ALL! The house is burning down all around them, and they’re having a leisurely Sunday afternoon ladies’ tea party.

    They need to experience the heat and hell of that scene in ‘Carrie’ (’76) all trying to escape the gymnasium with the doors locked, violent fire hoses, electrocutions to get an idea of what they’ve done. Probably though, just being in 120 degree heat for a minute should get EVERYONE on board, or possibly die. The latter is totally fine with me by the way, just as long as the legislation is SIGNED into law before they keel over. If we’re the greatest country in the world, now would be a good time to prove it; we’re going over a cliff you Washington dumb @$$es!

    Names for zombie hurricanes. Hmmm, how about Mitch and Nancy? Speaking of Halloween, it’s probably best not to go trick or treating, folks. Bob, do you have people coming to your apartment for candy? Leave a bowl outside in a ‘help yourself’ maneuver and steer clear.

    Sorry to hear about the passing of Al Kasha who co-wrote ‘The Morning After’ SO beautifully sung by Maureen McGovern and veteran stuntman Ernie Orsatti. Thanks for the link where he explains it. I had no idea all he went through, and what was involved. I could never do that. Afraid of heights, too terrifying. Threatening to drop members of Congress through that glass to finally get them to do the right thing sounds great though!

    Absolutely shocking about the Flintstones smoking in their built-in sponsor promo ads for Winston in 1960. I don’t remember those at ALL of course as a pre Gen-Xer, only 3 back then. I do know almost all of the cigarette jingles of the ’60s and they were excellent catchy tunes. Never smoked, and today can’t stand the toxic smell at all. A whiff of pot though is okay here and there.

    Nixon’s speech from 1952 IS fascinating. He knew what to do, and did it well. I wish he’d had the same wisdom 20 years later and never put Watergate into motion. It was totally unnecessary. But since the deed WAS done, I’d have known what to do. Gotten him on TV owning up to it in the name of national security, that unfortunately required a covert investigation.

    Thank God it was a false alarm and turned out to be nothing. As President, he didn’t want to worry the American public. Since it’s BEING blown out of proportion, it’s time to lay it to rest, here and now. There was a misunderstanding to which I apologize and take full responsibility. But now its behind us. Thank you for your patience and understanding, so we can get on with (smiling) making your life better in 1973 and beyond. God bless you all, and God bless America.


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