News of the Week: Lost Ships, New Jersey Drivers, and People Once Had Landline Phones

In the news for the week ending March 11, 2022, are old wrecks, big bucks, landline phones, and more.

An old black vintage rotary style telephone off the hook isolated over a white background.

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The wreck of explorer Ernest Shackleton’s ship Endurance has been found, 107 years after it sank 10,000 feet into the Antarctic’s Weddell Sea. The New York Times not only has the story but also amazing video as well.

It’s in great condition considering it has been more than a century. The cold water helped preserve it. Maybe that’s why I like cold weather so much.

Money, It’s a Gas

Writer Brandon Sanderson had a goal of raising $1 million on Kickstarter to write four novels for fans.

At the moment I’m writing this he has raised almost $27 million.

To repeat in all caps and bold text: TWENTY-SEVEN MILLION DOLLARS. It’s the biggest project ever financed on Kickstarter.

Now, it should be said that Sanderson is not an unknown, struggling writer who went to Kickstarter on a whim and magically got millions of dollars. He’s a well-known writer who has been traditionally published before. He took over writing the Wheel of Time series from author Robert Jordan and is a consultant on the TV show of the same name. He has also written many other novels, has funded projects before, and has a staff that helps him run his self-publishing empire.

But it does say a lot about the avenues writers have these days. Not everyone is going to get millions (or even thousands) from their Kickstarters or GoFundMes, but there are now more options available to creative people with a built-in big audience, and publishing companies have noticed.

NASA Will Send Your Name Into Space

If you’re like me, the idea of going into space fills you with excitement, but you’d also be terrified of actually going. I’m sure the view is amazing. On the other hand, I saw that movie with Sandra Bullock.

But we’re in luck! NASA has set up a site where you can give them your name and they’ll put it on a flash drive that will be included on the Artemis 1 rocket that will launch in April. You get a digital boarding pass so you can track its progress, and you’ll be automatically eligible to be included on future space flights.

Artemis 1 is the first test of many that will eventually lead to a long-term presence on the moon.

Headline of the Week

“New Jersey Drivers May Have To Learn How To Pump Their Own Gas”

RIP Mitchell Ryan, Tim Considine, Conrad Janis, Bobby Clark, Walter Mears, Johnny Brown, Gil Bridges, and Laurel Goodwin

Mitchell Ryan appeared in dozens of movies including Lethal Weapon, Grosse Pointe Blank, Magnum Force, Monte Walsh, The Friends of Eddie Coyle, Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers, and Midway. On TV he was a regular on Dharma & Greg, Chase, The Chisholms, and Santa Barbara and appeared on many other shows. He died last week at the age of 88.

Tim Considine played oldest son Mike on My Three Sons. Before that he was a big Disney star, starring in the TV shows The Adventures of Spin and Marty and The Hardy Boys. He also appeared in movies like The Shaggy DogThe Clown, Executive Suite, and Patton. He later became a writer, focusing on auto racing, and even filled in at the New York Times when columnist William Safire was on vacation. He died last week at the age of 81.

Conrad Janis starred as Pam Dawber’s father in Mork & Mindy and appeared in dozens of TV shows since the ’40s, as well as movies like The Cable Guy, The Brasher Doubloon, Airport ’75, and The Buddy Holly Story. He was also an accomplished jazz trombonist. He died last week at the age of 94.

Bobby Clark was a child actor. He starred in the 1950s TV show Casey Jones and appeared on Perry Mason, The Loretta Young Show, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, and The Danny Thomas Show, as well as movies like Ransom, The Ten Commandments, and Invasion of the Body Snatchers. He died in November at the age of 77.

Walter Mears won a Pulitzer Prize for his political reporting for the Associated Press and was a part of the classic book about presidential campaign reporters The Boys on the Bus. He died last week at the age of 87.

Johnny Brown was probably best known for his role as building superintendent Bookman on Good Times and for his Laugh-In appearances, but he was also an accomplished singer, comic, and Broadway performer. He died last week at the age of 84.

Gil Bridges was the only member of the rock band Rare Earth to be in the band from its beginning to its end. They had such songs as “Get Ready,” “I Just Want to Celebrate,” “(I Know) I’m Losing You,” and “Hey Big Brother.” He died in December at the age of 80.

Laurel Goodwin appeared in the original, unsold pilot for Star Trek and the Elvis Presley movie Girls! Girls! Girls! She died last month at the age of 79.

This Week in History

Walter Cronkite’s Final Newscast (March 6, 1981)

And that’s the way it was that Friday night the CBS news anchor signed off for the last time.

Uploaded to YouTube by CBS Evening News

Alexander Graham Bell’s First Telephone Transmission (March 10, 1876)

Everyone knows (don’t they?) that Bell’s first phone call was to his assistant Watson, with the words “Mr. Watson, come here, I need you.” But who was this Watson?

I still have a landline phone (and – gasp! – an answering machine!). I can’t imagine getting rid of it. I’ve had the same number for 30 years.

This Week in Saturday Evening Post History: Bell Telephone Ad (March 11, 1961)

Wait a second, what happened to the baby sister who swallowed the button?!

(Click to Enlarge)

National Potato Chip Day

While one could argue that every day is potato chip day, the official day is this Monday, the 14th.

Tasty has a recipe for Potato Chip Chicken Tenders, Barefeet in the Kitchen has Ultimate Potato Chip Nachos, and Zoom Yummy has Oven-Fried Onion Rings (they’re coated with potato chips).  For dessert, Tastes of Lizzy T has these Potato Chip Cookies. And if you’d like to try making your own chips, try these Air Fryer Potato Chips from Momsdish.

If you do make your own (or just pick up a few bags of Ruffles from the supermarket), you’ll need something to dip them into. You can try the Best Potato Chip Dip from Deliciously Sprinkled, this Parmesan Yogurt Dip from Taste of Home, or this Ketchup Dip from AllRecipes.

I mentioned Ruffles because if you’re dipping you’ll need a chip with ridges, and apparently Ruffles are ridges above the rest.

Next Week’s Holidays and Events

Daylight Saving Time Begins (March 13) 

It officially begins at 2 a.m. on Sunday but you should set your clocks ahead an hour on Saturday night before you go to bed. Unless you want to wait up until 2 a.m. for some reason.

March Madness Begins (March 15)

Ah, that time of the year when everyone becomes obsessed with college basketball (even people who don’t usually care about college basketball). Here’s the full schedule for the tournament.

St. Patrick’s Day (March 17)  

Here’s an interesting piece on how America invented the holiday.

Featured image: Shutterstock

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  1. That black cord thing is an air hose. Pressure makes the bell ding. We have a Donatos pizza here that has a hose by the drive thru window. Dings to pick up your pizza.

  2. Although I have a cell phone, I still have a land line because I want to. If anyone tries to give me grief about it I tell them it is part of my cable package although I would probably have it no matter what.

  3. Interesting thought about Landline Phone Service….I still have one and use it regularly making outbound and taking inbound calls. It is my primary source of communications other than email even though I have a cell phone. Cell phones don’t always have signal, especially in remote rural areas like where I live. And can, I share a little known secret with you coming from someone who is retired after 35 years in Rural Telecommunications? You can’t have any sort of communications via any sort of phone without a Switch (nowadays digitallly, software driven) and a central office (CO) to store that switch which also is used to enable landline phone operations. I don’t see that magically changing anytime soon.

  4. The story of the explorer ship Endurance IS fascinating. I just heard and saw the video of its amazing condition over 100 years later. Good for that writer and all the money he’s raised. Money, it’s a gas indeed. He can send some of it my way. Gas is in the high $5’s-mid $6’s now and may be $8-$9 by month’s end.

    I’m really shocked that in New Jersey they haven’t been pumping their own gas since the mid-70’s like California. I can barely remember a time it wasn’t self-service! Does anyone remember that black cord thing you’d drive over when pulling up to the pump and it would make that “ding” sound? Probably went away around the same time as the cash register sound.

    The potato chip dips sound good overall. Even the yogurt one, but without the Parmesan. The odor of it makes me want to throw up Bob, sorry.

    The landline Post feature from several years ago is still getting comments. The old fashioned Bell ad here from 1961 is quaint and charming, but shame on Mom and Dad for not teaching this boy how to tell time on the clock!


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