News of the Week: Warm Thoughts, Feathers in Your Lap, and the Oreo Turns 110

In the news for the week ending March 4, 2022, are warm weather, old Oreos, bad guesses, flamethrowers, and more.

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Goodbye Winter

Even for someone who loves winter, there comes a time when I want it to be over. I call that time March.

I’m not looking forward to the heat and humidity of summer, but I don’t mind spring. It’s a fine compromise. I love the cold and the snow, but when March comes around I’m ready for it to be over. I start to get sick of yet another day of below-freezing temps, and the snow banks on the sidewalk have that ugly late-winter gray instead of that early-winter bright white. I find myself tripping over the snow as I get out of the car instead of walking in a winter wonderland.

Winter’s over, there’s no more we can do with it, so let’s just get to spring already.

Here in New England, we can still have nasty winter storms in March. Heck, we’ve had them in April, so I’m well aware that more snow and cold may be on the way (though the forecast for the next couple of weeks doesn’t show anything major). But March also means that the sun is higher and stronger and the daylight hours are longer, so the snow we get usually doesn’t accumulate and vanishes a little quicker than it does in February. And this fan of winter is looking forward to not having to shovel, not having to wear a heavy coat, and finally putting away my gloves and the rock salt.

This mood won’t last, of course. Check in on this column around the end of July and I’ll tell you in vivid detail, with censored expletives, how much I want summer to be over and how I’m ready for the cool, crisp air of the fall.

Take Me Out to the Ball Game (Eventually)

If you have your own warm thoughts about spring and summer, you might be looking forward to baseball. The boys of summer. America’s pastime. And to that I’d just like to say … sorry!

Thanks a Lot, New York Times

When The New York Times bought the popular word game Wordle from Josh Wardle for a reported low seven figures, many fans thought it was a bad sign, because when a big corporation buys something beloved, they ultimately ruin it. I’m here to report that those fears aren’t entirely unfounded.

Okay, maybe ruin isn’t the right word (for one thing, it only has four letters), but since The New York Times took over, I’ve noticed two big changes. One is that the words seem to be getting a bit harder, despite reports that they haven’t changed the word list. I don’t mind hard word puzzle games, but you only have a certain number of chances to figure out the word, and I always forget that a letter can be used more than once in a word (something Wardle only did here and there when he owned it). Maybe it’s because Wordle used to be a fun thing we could do in a few minutes, and now it’s a “challenge” we really have to think about, like the NYT late-in-the-week crossword. (On Tuesday, I must have spent an hour on rupee and didn’t even solve it.)

The second thing I hate is that the game wiped out the streak I had! I had solved 15 Wordles (is that the plural?) in a row and then this week after solving a puzzle, they said my streak was “one.” All that work that’s fit to delete! Thanks a lot, New York Times.

Does this mean I’m going to stop playing Wordle, in protest? Of course not.

Another Feather in Your Lap

Speaking of word games, we haven’t checked in on Wheel of Fortune in a few weeks and … oh my God.

It’s like a Dr. Seuss rhyme:

I did not place it in a hat.

I did not place it in my lap.

I did not place it on a map.

I did not place it, Pat … oh, crap.

Quote of the Week

“There are many tales of drug dealers who have turned innocent people into drug addicts. I may be the first drug addict to turn an innocent man into a drug dealer.”

—John Mulaney, in a very funny opening monologue on Saturday Night Live

Headline of the Week

“This Classy Camper Comes with Horns, a Playboy Magazine and … Some Flamethrowers”

RIP Alan Ladd Jr., Joni James, David Boggs, Shirley Hughes, Ned Eisenberg, John Landy, Farrah Forke, and Veronica Carlson

Alan Ladd Jr. was the son of actor Alan Ladd and an influential studio executive who played a major part in the successes of such movies as Star Wars, Young Frankenstein, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Blade Runner, Thelma & Louise, Alien, The Omen, Braveheart, and many others. He died Wednesday at the age of 84.

Joni James had several hit songs in the 1950s, including “Why Don’t You Believe Me?,” “Your Cheatin’ Heart,” “Have You Heard?,” and “How Important Can It Be?” She died Sunday at the age of 91.

Uploaded to YouTube by Joni James – Topic.

David Boggs, along with Bob Metcalfe, was the co-inventor of Ethernet. He died last month at the age of 71.

Shirley Hughes wrote and illustrated over 70 children’s books. She died last week at the age of 94.

Ned Eisenberg played attorney Roger Kressler on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, and also appeared on The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Mare of Easttown, The Fanelli Boys, Miami Vice, 30 Rock, and dozens of other TV shows and movies. He died Sunday at the age of 65.

John Landy battled Roger Bannister in the “Mile of the Century” race at the 1954 British Empire Games. Both runners finished the mile in under four minutes, with Bannister beating Landy by a second. He died last week at the age of 91.

Farrah Forke played Alex on the NBC sitcom Wings and had roles on Lois & Clark, Dweebs, and Mr. Rhodes. (On a personal note, I played pool with her at the Hollywood Athletic Club many years ago.) She died last week at the age of 54.

Veronica Carlson starred in several Hammer horror films, including Dracula Has Risen from the Grave, Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed, and Horror of Frankenstein. She died last week at the age of 77.

This Week in History

Yellowstone Turns 150 (March 1, 1872)

Decades before it was a massively popular TV show, it was a national park. To celebrate its 150th birthday, the star of the former will narrate a series about the latter.

Will Chamberlain Scores 100 Points (March 2, 1962)

The Philadelphia Warriors center was the first and still the only NBA player to score 100 points in a single game.

This Week in Saturday Evening Post History: Nabisco (March 2, 1912)

Nabisco magazine ad from 1912
(Click to Enlarge)

This ad is interesting because it shows many of the Nabisco products just a few days before Oreos made their debut.

O-R-E-O

And that 110th birthday is this Sunday. Here are some recipes that feature Milk’s Favorite Cookie (still one of my favorite slogans).

Here’s a recipe for Oreo Cupcakes, from Lilach German’s Cupcakes, Cupcakes & More Cupcakes. I Am Baker has a recipe for Oreo Fluff, while AllRecipes has this Oreo Milkshake. And from the official Oreo site we have Black Forest Mousse Dessert, White Chocolate Oreo Chunk Cookies, and Oreo Snowman Cookie Balls (hey, it’s still winter, warm thoughts or not).

And if you want something savory, use one of the Oreo spinoff cookies, the Golden Oreo, and make Roy Choi’s Oreo-Crusted Chicken Tenders. I never thought of using Oreos as a chicken coating before, but why not?

Next Week’s Holidays and Events

National Proofreading Day (March 8)

This is just won of the many daze I’m thankful two halve an editor.

Barbie Day (March 9)

The doll with the measurements that couldn’t exist in real life was introduced on this day in 1959.

Featured image: Shutterstock

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Comments

  1. The NY Times did make changes to Wordle. See the Feb 15 article from James Vincent in The Verge. The Guardian also had an article on the same day. I do enjoy Wordle and have noticed the words are getting a little tougher but it does make one think.

  2. I want to hear about the weather from you when it gets hot in new England. The bugs, what a drag it is keeping your place cool, getting out the shorts you hate, and some of the bizarre stuff you encounter in the store. On a happier note to offset that, you’ve got to try ‘SO Delicious’ dairy free coconut milk cookie dough non=dairy. gluten-free frozen dessert. It is muy fabuloso!

    I have to hand it to you Bob on the John Mulaney monologue opening (2/26) episode of SNL. You know, I have a subscription to Hulu and am always having SNL featured as being picked out ESPECIALLY for ME! Isn’t that special, particularly since I’ve friggin’ hated it (with few exceptions) since the late 90’s. Once the Dana Carvey, Jan Hooks, Kevin Nealon, Jon Lovitz, Julia Sweeney, Nora Dunn group were gone, so were the best years of that show. Hulu’s algorithms were waaay off on that one, since they often do an eerily good job. Creepy, yet I allow it.

    I loved the Joni James song here “Why Don’t You Believe Me?” Great singer and a total doll, too. Oh, thanks for the link on the Barbie doll. I didn’t know about the feature, but hopefully made up for it today.

    Has anyone else tried the new Coca-Cola Starlight yet, with the taste of outer space? Yes? No? That’s okay. It’s really more like a down-to-earth s’mores campfire taste experience anytime, anyplace you want For a limited time, or until the supply chain fiasco douses it out.

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