News of the Week: New Books, Betty White, and Oatmeal Weather Is Coming

In the news for the week ending January 7, 2022, are the end of the BlackBerry, the return of Pluto (maybe), the words you shouldn’t use anymore, the bear you can use now, and more.

Betty White's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

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Read This!

If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to read more (and I don’t mean read more texts or Facebook posts), in our new issue, Amazon senior editor Al Woodworth picks 10 new books that might help you achieve that goal. Here are 6 more:

Chasing History by Carl Bernstein. A memoir by one half of the duo that broke the Watergate story.

Lorraine Hansberry: The Life Behind A Raisin in the Sun by Charles J. Shields. The story of the woman behind the groundbreaking play.

I Came All This Way to Meet You by Jami Attenberg. This is a memoir on how embracing creativity saved the life of the New York Times bestselling novelist.

Garbo by Robert Gottlieb. Gottlieb, the author of acclaimed books on the family of Charles Dickens, Sarah Bernhardt, and an autobiography of his stint as editor at Simon and Schuster, Alfred A. Knopf, and The New Yorker, has written this deep dive into the life of mysterious Hollywood icon Greta Garbo.

Bread Book by Chad Robertson. Wanna make bread at home? It’s all here: rolls, baguettes, country bread, flatbreads, gluten-free pizza dough, you name it.

Seasonal Work by Laura Lippman. A female-centered collection of psychological suspense stories from the acclaimed author of the Tess Monaghan mystery series and other novels.

Goodbye BlackBerry

On Tuesday, classic BlackBerry devices officially stopped working. In related news, classic BlackBerry devices were still working until Tuesday.

All about Pluto (the Former Planet, Not the Lovable Dog)

I thought that Pluto had already been put back on the “planet” list — we’ll always think of it that way, right? — but apparently it’s a subject still being debated in astronomy circles. Now scientists are not only insisting that Pluto officially be a planet again, they want 150 other bodies declared planets too.

“Wait … What?”

That’s one of the words/phrases that have been banished for 2022 by Lake Superior State University. They release this tongue-in-cheek list every year at this time.

This year’s list also includes “new normal” (thanks, COVID-19), “no worries,” “that being said,” and “supply chain,” which seems like an odd phrase to want to banish. I mean, the supply chain is what it is.

Some words and phrases have been ruined by the web. They’d be fine if every single person on the web didn’t repeat all the same things all the time in the same way. In fact, I used one of the banned phrases above in the new books section.

Quote of the Week

“Red shirt on the bear, artists beware. If nude he be, your Pooh is free.”

—Tim X. Price, making sure everyone understands that it’s the book character Winnie the Pooh that’s now in the public domain and not the Disney version.

RIP Betty White, Peter Bogdanovich, Sam Jones, Jeanine Ann Roose, Dan Reeves, Jay Wolpert, Joan Copeland, Stephen Lawrence, Marian Neuman Collier, and Mary Richardson

Everyone knows that Betty White was one of the last links to the golden age of radio and television, a star of such iconic shows as The Mary Tyler Moore Show and The Golden Girls, guest on classic game shows like Password and Match Game, animal rights crusader, and the oldest person to ever host Saturday Night Live (to name just a few credits). But what a lot of people might not know is that she was actually one of the first people to ever appear on TV, as a high schooler, in a 1939 experimental TV show bankrolled by Packard Motor Cars. She died on New Year’s Eve, just two weeks shy of her 100th birthday.

Here she is on a 1955 episode of What’s My Line?

Uploaded to YouTube by What’s My Line?

Peter Bogdanovich directed such films as The Last Picture Show, Paper Moon, Daisy Miller, Mask, and What’s Up, Doc? He also directed episodes of The Sopranos and The Wonderful World of Disney and appeared as an actor on The Sopranos, Get Shorty, The Simpsons, and many movies. He also worked as a journalist and wrote books compiling interviews with other directors and writers. He died yesterday at the age of 82.

Hall of Famer Sam Jones won 10 NBA titles with the Boston Celtics. He was an All-Star five times. He died last week at the age of 88.

Jeanine Ann Roose played young Violet in It’s a Wonderful Life, her only film role. She later became a psychologist. She died on New Year’s Eve at the age of 84.

Dan Reeves was a former NFL player and coach who led the Denver Broncos and Atlanta Falcons to Super Bowl games. He died Saturday at the age of 77.

Jay Wolpert produced The Price Is Right when it returned in 1972 and helped develop Match Game, Family Feud, and Card Sharks (he was a game show winner himself, grabbing the Jeopardy! Tournament of Champions title in 1969). He then became a screenwriter, with credits like the Pirates of the Caribbean films. He died Monday at the age of 79.

Joan Copeland was one of the first members of The Actor’s Studio and appeared on the soap operas Search for Tomorrow, Love of Life, The Edge of Night, and How to Survive a Marriage. She appeared in many other TV shows and movies as well as on Broadway. She died Tuesday at the age of 99.

Stephen Lawrence wrote over 300 songs for Sesame Street and did music for several animated films and the TV movies Bang the Drum Slowly and It Happened One Christmas, a remake of It’s a Wonderful Life (yes, there was a remake). He was also the music director for the influential ’70s album Free to Be … You and Me. He died last month at the age of 79.

Marian Collier Neuman appeared in many TV shows, including Leave It to Beaver, The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show, Mr. Novak, Peter Gunn, Dragnet, and iCarly, as well as such movies as Some Like It Hot and every Lethal Weapon film. She died back in September at the age of 90.

Mary Richardson was a veteran Boston news anchor and host of WCVB’s Chronicle, the longest-running nightly magazine show. She died last week at the age of 76.

This Week in History

Ellis Island Opens (January 1, 1892)

The immigration station welcomed 12 million people into the country before closing in 1954.

FDR’s “Four Freedoms” Speech (January 6, 1941)

The speech before Congress inspired Norman Rockwell’s famous series of paintings.

This Week in Saturday Evening Post History: Bird Talk (January 6, 1962)

Wren and parakeet eye each other at snowy window

That’s a beautiful cover I’d like to use for my Christmas cards next year.

January Is National Oatmeal Month

So far, I wouldn’t call the weather we’ve had this winter “oatmeal weather.” Yes, it’s still early, and we’ve had a few cold days this week, but I think of oatmeal as a comfort food you eat on those really cold mornings and nights, and there have been too many warmer-than-it-should-be days lately.

But the winter will lock in soon if it hasn’t already where you are reading this (we may even get ”plowable snow” on Friday), so here’s a great basic recipe for Homemade Oatmeal from Feel Good Foodie. And if you want to use oatmeal other ways than in a bowl, here are recipes for Apple Oatmeal Squares, Irish Guinness Oatmeal Cake, and Norman Rockwell’s Oatmeal Cookies.

Whenever I mention oatmeal or cookies I have to link to Rockwell’s recipe. It’s Post law.

Next Week’s Holidays and Events

Tributes to Betty White (January 8-9)

On Saturday, Decades TV will have White’s episode of The Dean Martin Celebrity Roast at noon ET, followed by a marathon of several of her Mary Tyler Moore Show episodes.

On Sunday at 2 p.m., MeTV will run several episodes featuring White, from The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Mama’s Family, and Love Boat. Decades will repeat the Dean Martin Celebrity Roast at 6 p.m., and of course you can see episodes of The Golden Girls on various days and at various times on TV Land, Hallmark Channel, and CMT.

National Pizza Week (January 9)

I think of oatmeal as a cold-weather thing, along with sweaters, soup, and bourbon, but pizza’s good any time of year. Here’s a recipe from Curtis Stone for Homemade Pizza with Mozzarella, Cherry Tomatoes, and Pesto; two recipes from Stone for pizza with mushrooms; a recipe from Ree Drummond for Cast-Iron Pizza; and here’s Jeff Mauro’s recipe for True Chicago-Style Deep Dish Pizza.

And if you want to combine oatmeal and pizza? You can! Delish has Pizza Oatmeal!

Featured image: Shutterstock

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  1. Another Saturday arrival of the Post, just a half hour ago. I just read ‘American Pop’ on page 12 about the damn awards shows I just blasted in paragraph 5 of my comments last night! I had no idea, and love it. It’s time for some quality reading time this cold Saturday evening.

  2. Pluto never STOPPED being a real planet as far as I’m concerned, anymore than the lovable 2 stuffed Pluto ‘atmosphere’ dogs in my condo stopped being my favorite Disney animal. I have Tigger and Winnie the Pooh too. Got a good deal on them at the Disney store in early February 2020. Now that Northridge Mall store is LONG gone.

    Of COURSE the Disney version of Pooh isn’t in the public domain! If you’re caught using his image by that company without permission, you’ll be in a big honey pot of legal trouble; that’s for sure. My take on that is you’re okay if he’s nude, butt not if he’s wearing the red shirt without any pants on.

    There’s so much to say about Betty White, so I’ll just say her most important roles in this life were being a pioneering animal rights activist, and just being herself on so many shows. I love almost everything she did on TV. Her signature acting role (to me) will always be that of ‘Sue Ann Nivens’ on Mary’s show. Nothing can touch that character, or her portrayal of her. Quite possibly the ultimate stroke of casting genius.

    The masses just go on and on about her 80’s series. She did the best she could with that role. It was a steady paycheck for 7 years, and the residuals. Without ‘that’ series, we probably wouldn’t have had the classy, witty, intelligent series ‘The Designing Women’ with Dixie Carter, Delta Burke, Jean Smart, Annie Potts and Alice Ghostley.

    Peter Bogdanovich was in a class by himself too. I love all of his films, and feel the same way he does/did about the violence in films per the The Hollywood Reporter link (thank you!) here. I’m sure that applied to the endless video game/comic book “re-shuffling” of the same tired deck of cards. This is what films and theaters have been reduced to, and need to go; along with the long burned-out awards shows and red carpet crap also flickering out. Bye!

    LOVE the January 6, 1962 ‘Snowbirds’ Post cover with the short-lived BIG logo. That was the year the magazine toggled between the art and photo news covers, transitioning to the latter. The Vietnam feature in this issue is new online this week and definitely worth reading.

    Bob, did you receive your Jan./Feb. issue yet? I haven’t, but my cousin in Dana Point did Thursday. Maybe it’ll arrive tomorrow, on Saturday. You’d be surprised how often it does.


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