Thoughts and Links
Random notes for the first week of March …
All of the local meteorologists keep talking about how March 1 is the start of “meteorological spring.” Okay, fine, but the rest of us won’t be putting our snow shovels away for a few weeks.
Just in time for the annual Read Across America celebration, Dr. Seuss Enterprises has decided to stop publishing six of the author’s books that they consider “racist and insensitive,” including And to Think I Saw it on Mulberry Street, The Cat’s Quizzer, and If I Ran the Zoo. I have nothing to add to this story, but it gives me the chance to link to the interview the Post did with Theodor Geisel in 1957.
The world can be divided into two groups of people: those who use their phone to see what time it is and those who still wear a watch.
I’m going to start a site called For Some Reason. It will feature news about new TV shows and movies and albums and other things happening that no one really asked for and most people probably won’t care about. ABC has announced that they’re bringing back the classic cringey couples game show The Dating Game, only this time a celebrity will be the lucky (?) date companion. I’m going to go out on a limb and say the celebrities won’t be Tom Hanks or Julia Roberts. It will be hosted by actress Zooey Deschanel and singer Michael Bolton. FOR SOME REASON.
I’ve been watching MeTV’s Toon In with Me cartoon show every morning and it’s the best decision I’ve made since deciding not to watch the new version of The Dating Game. Not only are the Looney Tunes/Merrie Melodies and other cartoons brilliant (of course), but I’ve found that even though I haven’t seen most of them in years, I still remember all of the scenes, the dialogue, even the song lyrics. If you’re looking for pure entertainment and a great way to start the day, I highly recommend it.
A while back on these very web pages I told you how millennials weren’t eating cereal because they didn’t want to clean the bowl after eating. That might be one of the reasons why cereal sales have been going down the past several years. That and the changing eating habits of consumers. But 2020 — a year when we all needed a little comfort for many reasons — saw not just a little uptick in the amount of cereal being purchased, it saw an increase of 26.9 percent.
Everybody Loves Bob Ross
I watched Bob Ross paint his fantastic landscapes on PBS years ago, always astonished he could create something so beautiful in such a short amount of time, and it’s great to see he’s still wildly popular, as this CBS Sunday Morning feature shows.
National Day of Unplugging
Hopefully you’re reading this before sundown on Friday, March 5, because from then until sundown on March 6, we’re supposed to turn off everything and get away from our screens. So hit the Off button and go read a book or get outside or write a letter to someone. The internet and your phone will still be here on March 7.
Technology Is Really Weird Sometimes
If you do write that letter, maybe the person who receives it will one day be able to read it without even opening the envelope.
NPR has the story about a letter from 1697 (!) that was recently opened and read without “opening” it. Using medical scanners, computer algorithms, and other technology — probably Gore-Tex or Flubber — scientists now have a way to read ancient texts without actually unfolding the paper.
Joke of the Week
Son: What day and month is it?
Me: March 1st.
Son, stomping across the kitchen floor: Okay, now will you tell me?#SonJokes
— Christopher J. Scalia (@cjscalia) March 1, 2021
RIP Vernon Jordan, Irv Cross, Bunny Wailer, Rajie Cook, James Burke, Geoffrey Scott, Margaret Maron, and Gene Summers
Vernon Jordan was a civil rights leader and an influential counselor to both political leaders and business leaders. He died Monday at the age of 85.
Irv Cross was a cornerback for the Philadelphia Eagles and the Los Angeles Rams who later became an analyst on CBS’s The NFL Today pregame show with Brent Musberger and Phyllis George. He died Sunday at the age of 81.
You know all of those little symbols and icons you see everywhere, from airports and restrooms to restaurants and bus stops? Rajie Cook co-created those. He died earlier this month at the age of 90.
Bunny Wailer was one of the founding members of the reggae band The Wailers, along with Bob Marley and Peter Tosh. He died Tuesday at the age of 73.
Geoffrey Scott appeared on such shows as Dynasty, Dark Shadows, 1st and Ten, and The Secret Empire, as well as movies like Hulk and The Morning After. He also did over 100 commercials, appearing as a Marlboro Man and the sailor in Old Spice ads. He died last week at the age of 79.
Margaret Maron was an award-winning writer of two mystery novel series as well as many short stories. She died last month at the age of 82.
Gene Summers was the first person to record “School of Rock ’n Roll,” which has since been covered by many artists. He also had such songs as “Straight Skirt,” “Big Blue Diamond,” and “Nervous.” He died last month at the age of 82.
This Week in History
The Peace Corps Founded (March 1, 1961)
The executive order that established the volunteer organization was issued on this day by President Kennedy and authorized by Congress the following September.
Watch Mr. Wizard Debuts (March 3, 1951)
The show was created and hosted by Don Herbert and ran until 1965. It came back as Mr. Wizard in Canada for one season in 1971, and then a new version, Mr. Wizard’s World, ran on Nickelodeon from 1983 to 1990. Herbert died in 2007.
This Week in Saturday Evening Post History: Shredded Wheat (February 28, 1948)
I’ve never understood what the term “shredded wheat” means. Does it mean that these giant cereal blocks are considered “shredded” already, or is “shredded” what happens to them when you pull them apart with a fork or spoon? They don’t seem very “shredded” to me in this form. (On a related note, see this discussion of what “fork-split” means.)
National Cereal Day
It’s this Sunday, March 7, and to celebrate you could just open up your cupboard and grab a box of whatever you have available, or you could actually take that cereal and make something new, like these recipes (yes, there are cereal recipes).
Let’s start with breakfast, when you can make this Cinnamon Toast Crunch Encrusted French Toast from Lauren’s Latest. For lunch, how about these Cornflake Chicken Tenders from Dinner at the Zoo or Cheerios-Coated Grilled Cheese Sandwiches from Serious Eats? For dinner, try this twist on the Green Bean Casserole, which includes cornflakes on the topping, or these Crispy Meatballs, which includes crisp rice cereal. Both are from Taste of Home.
Next Week’s Holidays and Events
Read an Ebook Week (March 7-13)
I’ve always hated words like ebook and email when they’re used without a hyphen. The e stands for “electronic,” so “e-book” and “e-mail” look more right to me. And now we have a holiday that capitalizes the e?
Girl Scout’s Day (March 12)
This marks the day in 1912 when the first 18 Girl Scouts were registered in Savannah, Georgia.
Featured image: Din Mohd Yaman / Shutterstock
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