News of the Week: Earlier Sunsets, Quiet Quitters, and the Many Ways of Splitting a Banana

In the news for the week ending August 19, 2022, are less daylight, more Oz, red buttons, green buttons, banana splits, and more.


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Random Thoughts

We’re losing over two minutes of daylight a day now, and I couldn’t be happier (though I’m sure Philip Gulley would disagree).

Why doesn’t Popeye eat his spinach earlier instead of waiting until he absolutely needs it? Or better yet, why doesn’t he just eat it all the time? It seems that in every cartoon he doesn’t even remember that he has it until he’s about to get beaten up by Bluto, and then he reaches into his shirt or his pocket and takes out a big can so he can become superhuman and defeat his enemy. And does he ever use this super strength to help others? Did he help during World War II?

When I was younger, I knew everyone’s phone number. My family, my friends, the place where I worked. We had to do that. Now everyone has a cellphone, and I can’t remember the numbers at all (not even my own).

Numbers I do remember: I went to the doctor this week and my blood pressure and cholesterol numbers are terrific! I think it’s from all of the ice cream I’ve been eating this summer. Coming soon, my new book: The All-American Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Diet.

(Of course, my doctor says it’s from the blood pressure and cholesterol medications I take, but that ruins the premise of the book.)

What Is Quiet Quitting?

Apparently it’s the new viral craze where people (mostly Gen Z) talk about how they don’t quit their jobs but they also don’t exactly put in any extra effort for their employers because of low pay, because they don’t like the job, because they don’t feel they get any extra benefit out of it, or maybe because they don’t want to. (One job expert hates the name and would rather it be called “carefully coasting.”)

But hasn’t this always been a thing? The only difference is past generations didn’t post their views about their job to TikTok.

We’re Off to See the Wizard (Again)

In the new Wizard of Oz, Dorothy will livestream her adventures and go viral for killing the Wicked Witch.

Red or Green?

I’ve scrolled through the comments and he doesn’t seem to give an answer. I’m sure there’s a “mathematical” answer (the twitterer is the author of several books on math and science), but I’m going with red. Maybe if I were already rich (or had more than one chance of pressing a button) I’d go with green, but a sure-thing $1 million sounds good to me.

Headline of the Week

“Study Says 5′ 6″ Men Need to Earn $175,000 More a Year to Be as Desirable as 6′ Men.”

(But what about men who are 5’5 1/2″? Asking for a friend.)

RIP Anne Heche, Wolfgang Petersen, Nicholas Evans, Bill Pitman, Denise Dowse, Read Morgan, Gene LeBell, Dave Lea, and Mike Lang

Anne Heche got her start on the soap Another World (she won an Emmy in 1991) and went on to appear in such movies as Donnie Brasco, Wag the Dog, Six Days Seven Nights, Volcano, and the remake of Psycho, as well as TV shows like Men in Trees, All Rise, Chicago P.D., Hung, Ally McBeal, and Save Me. She died Sunday at the age of 53.

Wolfgang Petersen was the director of such films as Das Boot, The Perfect Storm, Air Force One, The Never-Ending Story, Outbreak, and Enemy Mine. He died last week at the age of 81.

Nicholas Evans was the author of the bestselling novel (later a Robert Redford movie) The Horse Whisperer. He died last week at the age of 72.

Bill Pitman was a studio guitarist who played on an astounding number of popular songs, including “Strangers in the Night” (Frank Sinatra), “The Way We Were” (Barbra Streisand), “Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head” (B.J. Thomas), and “Good Vibrations” (The Beach Boys), as well as playing music on the soundtracks for films like M*A*S*H, Goodfellas, and Dirty Dancing, and TV shows like I Love Lucy, Green Acres, The Deputy, The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour, Bonanza, and The Wild Wild West. He died last week at the age of 102.

Denise Downes appeared in such movies as Ray, Requiem for a Dream, and Starship Troopers, and her long list of TV credits includes Beverly Hills 90210, The Guardian, Seinfeld, The West Wing, Imposters, Insecure, and Roc. She also directed Remember Me: The Mahalia Jackson Story. She died last week at the age of 64.

Read Morgan appeared in many western shows, including a regular role on The Deputy, and also appeared on The Twilight Zone, The Outer Limits, Alfred Hitchock Presents, and Murder, She Wrote, as well as films like I Wanna Hold Your Hand, Time After Time, and Back to the Future. He died in May at the age of 91.

Gene LeBell was a former wrestler who appeared as a stuntman and actor in a massive number of films and TV shows. He died last week at the age of 89.

Dave Lea was Michael Keaton’s stunt double in the Batman movies and did stunts in The Rock, Con Air, Daredevil, Heat, and many other movies. He was also an actor. He died last week at the age of 67.

Mike Lang was a pianist who played the keyboard on the soundtracks to many movies, including Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Catch Me If You Can, The Towering Inferno, Gremlins, Toy Story, and The Right Stuff, as well as TV shows like The Simpsons, The Waltons, Frasier, and Kung Fu. He died last week at the age of 80.

This Week in History

Construction Begins on Berlin Wall (August 13, 1961)

And it officially started to come down on November 9, 1989.

Elvis Presley Dies (August 16, 1977)

Here are the front page headlines from The New York Times, The New York Daily News, and many other newspapers, including The Memphis Press-Scimitar, The Commercial Appeal, and The Detroit Free Press.

This Week in Saturday Evening Post History: Boy on High Dive (August 16, 1947)

This classic Norman Rockwell cover is celebrating 75 years this week. The original painting is a part of Steven Spielberg’s art collection.

Banana Split Recipes

We’re on the back nine of summer, so this is the last time I’ll be posting about ice cream until next year. August 25 is National Banana Split Day (but not Banana Splits Day) so let’s see if I can find a few recipes.

The Kitchen Magpie has a recipe for an Old-Fashioned Banana Split. Delish has these Banana Split Pops and a Banana Split Lasagna, while MyRecipes has a Banana Split Cheesecake. And if you’re looking for one that’s a bit healthier (though I’m not sure why you would), Simple Healthy Kitchen has this Healthy Breakfast Banana Split. It’s made with cottage cheese.

If banana splits aren’t your thing, maybe you’d like to try Miller High Life’s foray into ice cream, inspired by dive bars. Apparently it tastes like the peanuts you find on dive bar floors, with a hint of cigarette.

Next Week’s Holidays and Events

National Senior Citizens Day (August 21)

The older I get the more I pay attention to days like this.

National Dog Day (August 26)

If you cat people think that dogs get all the attention, you have a national day too. It’s October 29.

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  1. Popeye did serve in the Navy during the war, but several of these cartoons have been pulled from general circulation because of the depiction of some pretty grotesque racial stereotypes.

  2. You know, I never thought to ask or wonder if Popeye ever used his fuel-injected (spinach) superhuman strength to help others during World War II or otherwise. I’m sure it would have been welcome, and come in handy quite often. Since we don’t know, we’ll err on the side of caution and say yes he did, at least for the U.S. Navy!

    Quiet quitting of one’s job. Hmm, I don’t believe it’s a new phenomenon. I’ve seen it happen on jobs going back to the 80’s. In fact I’ve done it myself a couple of times. It’s also known as “Bob or Sally went to lunch, and never came back again!”

    Anyone tempted to touch the ‘Wizard of Oz’ again in any way, please don’t. Just… don’t. Okay? THANK YOU!!

    I’m with you, on the red button. Worthless as our money may be, I could still make $1 million go a long way being wise and frugal with it. Don’t pay any attention to that study of 5′ 6″ vs. 6′ height. Clickbait.

    I always got a kick out of Anne Heche up until 2 weeks ago. Her cause of death according to People magazine was ‘smoke inhalation and thermal ingestion’. That may be true, but they left out the fact she had vodka and cocaine in her system that caused the crash in the first place. Who’s going to pay for the woman’s house that got destroyed? This sad story has L.A. written all over it. If you didn’t know it for sure, where ELSE would you guess?!

    On a happier note, CNN has cancelled ‘Reliable Sources’ with that fake, insincere, grinning weasel Brian Stetler.


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