News of the Week: Advice for Graduates, Steinbeck’s Werewolf Novel, and Martha Stewart Sure Owns a Lot of Knives

In the news for the week ending May 28, 2021, are bug cuisine, hamburgers, an expensive equation, hamburgers, an unexpected literary find, hamburgers, a home for a stooge, hamburgers, and more.

College graduates / Shutterstock

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Now What?

Sunday was The Day of the Horns.

You might have that where you live too, the day when graduating seniors drive around town in their cars, honking their horns loudly to declare, “WE’RE FINALLY OUT OF HIGH SCHOOL AND WE WANT ALL OF YOU TO KNOW IT!”

I can’t remember if I did that when I graduated way back in the early ’80s. I may have, I just have no recollection of it.

Yes, it’s that time of year, when young people are graduating from high school and college. It’s also the time of year when commencement speakers and writers give those young people advice, tips, and inspiration about this next phase in their lives. (I posted some myself.)

Now, some life advice is pretty obvious: Be nice to people and pets, work hard, keep learning, stay healthy, don’t wear a meat suit and go into the lion’s den at the zoo. Hopefully kids were taught all that along the way by their parents or teachers or a combination of those adults. But there are other things you should know too.

Steve Jobs’ 2005 Stanford commencement speech has been quoted a lot (“Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life”). Nora Ephron told Wellesley College graduates to “be the heroine of your life, not the victim.” At Dartmouth, Conan O’Brien said “I am here to tell you that whatever you think your dream is now it will probably change. And that’s okay.” J.K. Rowling told the Harvard class of 2008: “It’s impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all — in which case you fail by default.” Supreme Court Justice John Roberts gave a terrific speech at his son’s ninth-grade graduation class that included lots of great advice, including “You’ve been at a school with just boys. Most of you will be going to a school with girls. I have no advice for you.”

All that advice is great, but how about the nitty-gritty tools? Morningstar has financial advice, because that’s pretty much where your adult life succeeds or fails (do they even teach anything about money in school anymore?). Forbes has career tips, while Today has some advice for graduates trying to navigate these weird pandemic times.

And we can’t forget the parents! In a way, they’re graduating too, and Jodi Rall of The Williamson Herald has words of wisdom for them.

Hey People, Stop Trying to Get Me to Eat Bugs

There are several things I’m never going to do in my life: bungee-jump, get a tattoo, watch an episode of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. Another one is eating bugs, even if every couple of years or so scientists and other experts tell me that I should. They’re nutritious! You’ll help save the environment!

This week it’s cicadas. I’m not eating cicadas.

E = $1.2M

There are only four known examples of Albert Einstein actually writing down his famous physics equation “E = mc2.” One of them was written in a 1946 letter, and that letter just sold for $1.2 million at an auction put on by RR Auction.

They thought it was only going to fetch $400,000, but much like the theory of relativity, auctions are sometimes hard to understand.

Lost John Steinbeck Novel Found

I don’t know about you, but I would love to read a John Steinbeck mystery novel that features a werewolf terrorizing a California town. But if his estate has any say, that’s never going to happen.

Steinbeck wrote the novel Murder at Full Moon in 1930, before his success with The Grapes of Wrath and Of Mice and Men. It has been sitting in an archive at the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas. And, at least for the time being, that’s where it’s going to stay.

Martha Stewart’s Kitchen Tips

I learned two things from this CBS Sunday Morning segment. One, you too can have a big, beautiful kitchen if you have a lot of money. And two, Martha Stewart owns a lot of knives, some from her own line, and they range in size from “let’s chop some celery” to “I’ll hurt you if you ever disturb anything in my kitchen.”

Uploaded to YouTube by CBS Sunday Morning

This House Is a Very, Very, Very Fine House

As a fan of The Three Stooges, I love this New York Post article about the recent sale of the former home of Larry Fine. But what I don’t like is that they used pictures of the trio that include Joe DeRita, which every Stooge fan knows you shouldn’t do. I’m guessing someone at the site who is under a certain age simply googled “Three Stooges” and came across those images and used them instead of photos featuring Curly or Shemp (at least it’s not Joe Besser).

Also, the phrase “according to IMDb,” used throughout the piece, is meaningless, since anyone can upload trivia and facts to the site. There are literally hundreds if not thousands of pieces of wrong information on IMDb. It’s like saying, “according to something the aunt of a friend of mine posted on Facebook …”

RIP Eric Carle, John Warner, Roger Hawkins, Samuel E. Wright, Kevin Clark, Mary Ahern, Lois De Banzie, and Ruth Freitag

Eric Carle wrote the children’s classic The Very Hungry Caterpillar. He also worked in advertising, illustrated dozens of other books, and did art for The New York Times. He died Sunday at the age of 91.

John Warner was a Republican senator from Virginia for three decades, from 1978 to 2008. He was also a veteran of World War II, a former Navy secretary, and was once married to actress Elizabeth Taylor. He died Tuesday at the age of 94.

Roger Hawkins played drums on many classic songs, including Aretha Franklin’s “Respect” and “Chain of Fools,” Wilson Pickett’s “Mustang Sally,” and “When a Man Loves a Woman” by Percy Sledge. He died last week at the age of 75.

Samuel E. Wright was the voice of Sebastian the Crab in The Little Mermaid. He also appeared in such shows as Enos, Ball Four, The Cosby Show, and Simon & Simon, and appeared in the original Broadway productions of The Lion King (as Mufasa) and Jesus Christ Superstar. He died Monday at the age of 74.

Kevin Clark was the drummer in the band put together by Jack Black in the comedy School of Rock. He died this week at the age of 32.

Mary Ahern was the producer of the groundbreaking ’50s show Omnibus. She was the one who convinced Leonard Bernstein to appear on the show. She also produced Profiles in Courage and was later the first curator of the Museum of Broadcasting (now the Paley Center for Media). She died earlier this month at the age of 98.

Lois De Banzie received a Tony nomination for Morning’s at Seven. She also appeared in movies like Annie, Tootsie, and Sister Act, as well as TV shows like Perry Mason, The Fugitive, Cheers, and Home Improvement. She died in April at the age of 90.

Ruth Freitag spent almost 50 years as reference librarian at the Library of Congress and helped several famous people with their research, including Carl Sagan and Isaac Asimov. She died back in October at the age of 96.

This Week in History

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Born (May 22, 1859)

Yes, the creator of Sherlock Holmes did have some short stories published in the Post, including “The Death Voyage” and “The End of Devil Hawker” (PDF).

First Nighttime Major League Baseball Game (May 24, 1935)

The Cincinnati Reds took on the Philadelphia Phillies at Crosley Field in Cincinnati. (Spoiler alert! The Reds beat the Phillies 2-1.)

This Week in Saturday Evening Post History: Shiner (May 23, 1953)

Norman Rockwell’s “Shiner”

I was going to say that this Norman Rockwell cover is a classic, but all of his covers are classics. The girl’s name is Mary Whalen Leonard, and in 2013 she talked with The Norman Rockwell Museum about growing up in the same community as the artist.

National Hamburger Day

It’s Memorial Day weekend — the unofficial start of summer — and that’s a perfect time for burgers. It’s also a perfect time for burgers because not only is May 28 National Hamburger Day, May is National Hamburger Month, and the second week of May is National Hamburger Week. (Note: We may have too many food holidays.)

Here’s a recipe from Emeril Lagasse for Spiced Buffalo Burgers, and here’s one for Grilled Lamburgers with Lemon-Rosemary Aioli from The American Lamb Board. Once Upon a Chef has these Juicy Steakhouse Burgers, while Food & Wine has Cheddar-Stuffed Burgers with Pickled Slaw and Fried Shallots. Food Network’s Katie Lee has this recipe for Logan County Burgers, which uses toasted white bread for the bun.

Since they’re on toast you’ll want to cut those burgers in half. If you do, use one of Martha’s knives.

Next Week’s Holidays and Events

French Open Starts (May 30)

If it seems like it hasn’t even been a year since 2020’s French Open, you’re right. Because of the pandemic, last year’s tournament was held in late September/early October, months later than usual.

Memorial Day (May 31)

Have we ruined the day formerly known as Decoration Day? Post archive director Jeff Nilsson writes about the origins of the day and how the celebration has changed over the years. And Val Lauder has her picks for classic movies to watch this weekend.

National Doughnut Day (June 4)

Most of the doughnut (or donut, depending on where you live) places will have free stuff or discounts today, including Duck Donuts and Dunkin’. Of course, Krispy Kreme will have a deal too, though they haven’t announced it yet.

If you’re really adventurous, you can try the new pizza donuts from DiGiorno’s. They’re called DiGiornuts and you can get them through a Twitter sweepstakes.

Featured image: / Shutterstock

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  1. Question, Bob. For the Logan County Burgers, when cutting them in half, do cut rectangles or triangles? Let the debate begin.

  2. Bob: Heh, no, I can’t imagine CBS turning off the color and showing MTM episodes. We wouldn’t have The Dick Van Dyke Show on CBS right now if it wasn’t in color.

    I’d actually love to see CBS take some old shows like Dick Van Dyke and put them on in prime time again on a regular basis. Certainly better than 99% of the shows on TV right now.

  3. I’d eat a cicada before an enchilada Bob; but you’d have to pay me ($$$) first! The one dipped in chocolate sounds best per the link. So John Steinbeck’s ‘estate’ won’t release the novel about a werewolf terrorizing a California town. Never say never. They probably will once the money offered is of a much higher amount. We both know that’s the real reason.

    Meanwhile, you can turn on the national news and hear all about California’s on-going terror from the freeways to the Venice boardwalk my friends. If a werewolf causing terror in a different state (Maine) is okay, ‘Dark Shadows’ covered that in 1969 with their fusion of 1897 storyline.

    Thanks for the Martha Stewart ‘Sunday Morning’ link. Ideally I’d love to work for her, just to see if I could pull off meeting her exacting standards and not get fired. Plan B, keep my existing jobs in place, just in case.

    Larry Fine’s house is INCREDIBLE, to say the least!! The photos are amazing. I agree with you on the photo using Curly Joe of their movie incarnation time. If not Larry, Curly & Moe, then soitenly Larry, Curly & Shemp.

    Everyone, read both columns linked here on Memorial Day by Jeff Nilsson and Val Lauder for the straight scoop!

    Bob, here’s a question for you. For the past two Fridays, CBS has been showing newly colorized episodes of
    ‘The Dick Van Dyke Show’. I figure the chances of them ever doing black & white episodes of ‘The Mary Tyler Moore Show at about 0%, but thought I’d throw that out there. I could have mentioned ‘The New Dick Van Dyke Show’ but that’s like mentioning ‘New Coke’ to Coca-Cola fans (old enough to know the reference).


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