Trafalgar Square’s Christmas Tree Problem
Previously on “News of the Week,” I talked about the lighting of the majestic Rockefeller Center Christmas tree. This week another big tree arrived, this time in London, but it didn’t get quite the same reception.
There seem to be a lot of gaps in the tree, and it’s just not as “full” as Londoners expected. One citizen said it “looks like it was left there since last year,” while another asked, “Have we gone to war with Norway?” (The tree has been an annual gift from Norway since 1947, a thank you for Britain’s help during World War II.)
Here’s a comparison of the Rockefeller Center and Trafalgar Square trees. The London Norwegian Spruce looked better after the lights came on. Well, kinda.
Vinyl Records Aren’t Just Back, They’re Now the No. 1 Physical Music Format
I know that everyone listens to/downloads music from Spotify and Apple Music and all of the other streaming services now (or listens to the free stuff on YouTube … shhhhhh), but I would have still thought that CDs were the physical music media that people were buying if they still bought physical music media. But nope, it’s vinyl, as The Hustle reports.
The Museum of Failure
Someone has to keep track of all of the tech, food, and pop culture products that didn’t make it, and The Museum of Failure does a pretty good job. Do you remember the Nike Magneto, futuristic sunglasses where you had to glue a magnet to your head so they would stay on? Or the Sony Google TV Remote, which was supposed to make TV viewing easier but looks more complicated to use than the controls of a NASA spacecraft? How about Heinz’s colored ketchups (Passion Pink! Blastin’ Green!)? And then there’s the McDonald’s Arch Deluxe, “the burger with the grown-up taste.”
Whatever that means.
75 Years of It’s a Wonderful Life
Some people might think it’s a safe, boring choice, but It’s a Wonderful Life is my favorite movie of all time (my second favorite is Miracle on 34th Street, which tells you a lot about me). Even though I already own a DVD of the film, I’m going to buy the new 75th anniversary edition Blu-ray, which comes with recipe cards.
Though a lot of people still seem to think the movie is shown 1,000 times a year (that was only true pre-1990s, when the copyright wasn’t current), NBC now has the exclusive rights to air the film and only shows it twice a year. The first showing has already happened, but you can catch it on its annual airing on Christmas Eve at 8 p.m. ET. (You can also watch it online.)
RIP Bob Dole, Eddie Mekka, LaMarr Hoyt, Antony Sher, Stonewall Jackson, Marie-Claire Blais, Yvonne Wilder, Melvin Parker, and Edward Shames
Bob Dole represented the state of Kansas as a U.S. senator for 27 years. He was a World War II veteran who ran for president three times, getting the Republican nomination in 1996, and was also running mate to Gerald Ford in 1976. He died Sunday at the age of 98.
Eddie Mekka was a Tony-nominated singer and dancer best known for his role as Carmine Ragusa on Laverne & Shirley. He died Saturday at the age of 69.
LaMarr Hoyt was a pitcher for the Chicago White Sox who won the Cy Young Award in 1983. He died last week at the age of 66.
Antony Sher was a revered stage and screen actor. He died last week at the age of 72.
Stonewall Jackson was a legendary country singer who spent over six decades in the Grand Ole Opry. He had a No. 1 hit with the song “Waterloo.” He died Saturday at the age of 89.
Marie-Claire Blais was an acclaimed Canadian novelist. She died last month at the age of 82.
Yvonne Wilder played Consuelo in the original film version of West Side Story, was part of the Colvin and Wilder comedy team, and appeared in dozens of TV shows and movies. She died last month at the age of 84.
This Week in History
Pearl Harbor Attacked (December 7, 1941)
As you can imagine, the Post covered the attack on Oahu, Hawaii, extensively, from the days before Pearl Harbor and a first-person account of the fighting on that day, to the story of the Hawaii Territorial Guard and American life after that December morning.
Here’s one story I never knew about, from The Washington Post, about how the attack forced the world’s first around-the-world commercial flight.
A Charlie Brown Christmas Premieres (December 9, 1965)
The dance sequence makes me laugh every single time. I once tried to re-create some of the moves the kids do. I fell down.
This Week in Saturday Evening Post History: Giving Santa His Seat (December 10, 1955)
That’s not gonna do any good, kid.
It’s a Wonderful Life Recipes
If the recipe cards in the new Blu-ray aren’t enough, you can buy the cookbooks inspired by everyone’s favorite Christmas movie. The actress who played little Zuzu, Karolyn Grimes (who is now 81 and was recently interviewed by The New York Daily News), wrote one titled Zuzu Bailey’s It’s a Wonderful Life Cookbook. There’s also It’s a Wonderful Life: The Official Bailey Family Cookbook from Insight Editions (the recipes included with the Blu-ray come from it) and the It’s a Wonderful Life Cookbook from Sarah Key and Virginia Saxe Critton.
Grimes’s book can be previewed online, where you can see recipes such as Martini’s Fiesta Olive Spread, Ruth Dakin’s Bacon Wraps, Violet Bick’s Devilish Eggs, and the Bedford Falls Party Time Favorite Cheese Ball, among others.
(Sure, these recipes aren’t actually from the movie, but they’re inspired by it and look pretty great.)
Next Week’s Holidays and Events
Poinsettia Day (December 12)
It’s named after the person who first brought the plant to the United States, Doris Day. Just kidding! It was actually Joel Roberts Poinsett.
Bill of Rights Day (December 15)
The first ten amendments to the Constitution were ratified in 1791. In 1941, President Roosevelt declared December 15 Bill of Rights Day.
Featured image: Shutterstock
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