News of the Week: Halloween Candy, Weird Globsters, and Should People Over 40 Use Emojis?

In the news for the week ending October 21, 2022, are the treasures (?) of the sea, our favorites candies, a memory of Fortran, lotsa pasta, and more.


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Hot Tamales Are More Popular Than I Thought

Every year there’s a map of which Halloween candy the citizens of each state like the most. I have no idea how accurate these things are, but here’s this year’s map from, based on 15 years of sales from the site.

The top five candies are Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (a fine choice), Skittles, M&Ms, Starburst, and Hot Tamales. I had no idea Hot Tamales were so popular and now I want a box. Not in the top ten? Mr. Goodbar, Kit Kat, Almond Joy, and Twizzlers. Candy Corn comes in at number ten but I’m just going to assume that’s because it’s Halloween and people are using it for decorative purposes, because that many people can’t actually be eating it.

West Virginia really likes Charms Blow Pops, Utah can’t get enough Tootsie Pops, and Georgia is obsessed with Swedish Fish.

I live in Massachusetts and we really love Sour Patch Kids, apparently.

What Is a Globster?

You don’t want to know. But if you do, here you go.

I’d also like to say to the woman interviewed in the piece, WHY WOULD YOU TOUCH IT?

The Emojis You Should Use If You’re Over 40

How about … none?

That would be my answer, even if I did use one in an email the other day. It was the smiley face, though not the fancy emoji kind, just the old-fashioned 🙂

According to a recent poll of 16- to 29-year-olds (which is not a sentence that instills confidence), there are ten emojis that only old people use and shouldn’t be used by anyone anymore. Those emojis include all the basic ones, like the smiley face, a heart, and hands clapping. It also includes the thumbs up emoji, which one 16- to 29-year-old called “hurtful.”

Apparently giving someone a thumbs up is now a hate crime.

This reminds me of something I found out a couple of years ago, that younger people think ending a text with a period means the person is irritated or being sarcastic or passive-aggressive. Which makes me happy that I don’t text (or talk too much to younger people). It’s just punctuation, people, and you shouldn’t attach too much social/cultural significance to it.

Maybe it’s because I’m older now but I have a theory that if there’s anything that makes Gen Z roll their eyes, you should probably keep doing it.

For the Person Who’s So Hard to Buy For This Christmas

$1,800 Lay’s Potato Chip handbags.

RIP Robbie Coltrane, Bruce Sutter, Robert Gordon, Dan Wieden, Jim McDivitt, Ted White, Joyce Sims, and Orlando Busino

Robbie Coltrane played Hagrid in the Harry Potter films. He also appeared in two James Bond movies (Goldeneye and The World Is Not Enough), Mona Lisa, From Hell, Ocean’s 12, and starred in the British crime series Cracker. He died last week at the age of 72.

Bruce Sutter was a Hall of Fame, Cy Young Award-winning relief pitcher for the Chicago Cubs. He died last week at the age of 69.

Robert Gordon was a New Wave Elvis, a mix of rockabilly and punk who had such songs as “Red Hot,” “Rockabilly Boogie,” and “It’s Only Make Believe.” He also recorded the first versions of both Bruce Springsteen’s “Fire” (which Springsteen played keyboards on) and Marshall Crenshaw’s “Someday, Someway.” He died Wednesday at the age of 75.

Uploaded to YouTube by Arbor Video.

Dan Wieden was the advertising company head who came up with Nike’s “Just Do It” slogan. He died last month at the age of 77.

Jim McDivitt was a NASA astronaut who had roles in two important space missions, Gemini 4 and Apollo 9. He died last week at the age of 93.

Ted White was a veteran actor and stuntman who appeared in too many films and TV shows to list here, from the late ’40s until the 2000s. He died last week at the age of 96.

Joyce Sims was an R&B singer with songs such as “Come Into My Life” and “Looking for a Love.” She died recently at the age of 63.

Orlando Busino did many cartoons for The Saturday Evening Post as well as Boy’s Life, Reader’s Digest, Good Housekeeping, and McCall’s. He died back in January at the age of 95.

This Week in History

Fortran Computer Code Debuts (October 15, 1956)

The first time I heard the word Fortran was in high school. We had a computer class and the languages we were learning were Fortran and BASIC. I can’t remember what they are or which one we studied more (BASIC was more, well, basic and popular, I think), I just remember those names and dreading them at the time. Back then we couldn’t envision why we would need to learn computer code. We weren’t going to use computers! Those were for nerds! And if I was going to be a writer, well, I already use a typewriter! (And absolutely no one was even thinking about emojis.)

Of course, I use a computer every single day now, though I still don’t need to know BASIC or Fortran. Someone who drives a car doesn’t need to know how to take an engine apart either.

“Black Monday” on Wall Street (October 19, 1987)

The historic stock market crash is sometimes called Black Tuesday in other countries because of time zone differences.

This Week in Saturday Evening Post History: Chef Boy-Ar-Dee Spaghetti (October 18, 1958)

That’s not nearly enough sauce or cheese.

October Is National Pasta Month

We never called it “pasta” growing up. If we were having spaghetti we called it spaghetti, if we were having macaroni we called it macaroni, and if we were having rigatoni we called it rigatoni. I don’t remember a single time we called any of it pasta. I suppose we would have if we were having pasta primavera, but we never had pasta primavera.

Hey, here’s a recipe for Pasta Primavera from Giada De Laurentiis. Here’s one for Spanish Pasta (with saffron, olives, and capers) from The American Institute for Cancer Research, and here’s one from our own Curtis Stone for Spaghetti with Garlic, Lemon, Kale, and Parmesan.

Pillsbury has a recipe for Baked Rigatoni with Beef, The Chunky Chef has one for Creamy Baked Mac and Cheese, and Delish has a recipe for Classic Lasagna.

Speaking of pasta, did you know that according to some people, Fortran is an example of “spaghetti code”? Of course you didn’t. Why would anyone know that?

Next Week’s Holidays and Events

Mother-in-Law Day (October 23)

This is one day you’d better not forget, and it’s certainly not the day to get mad and call her a “globster.”

World Series Starts (October 28)

Game 1 airs on Fox at 8 p.m. ET.

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  1. ☺❤☺⌚⛪⛲⚓⏳⌛⏰♈♉♊♋♌♍♎♏♐♑♒♓⛎➿♿♻⚠⛔❌❎ℹ✅✔

  2. Most of these candies mentioned (I presume) use sugar and high fructose corn syrup. I like tropical skittles here and there. Dr. Zipes did a feature the other day on artificial sweeteners. I’m doing a good job overall, but do love Vanilla and Mexican Coke in moderation. It’s LIQUID candy, I know.

    Consider the source on the emoji neurosis. 16-29 is a wide age range, and with nearly everyone disagreeing on everything anyway, I’d take it with a grain of salt or salt substitute, Bob. I clicked on the link, and do feel on the job an emoji may be unclear if something needs to be clarified. Ask—by talking (rolling eye emoj) and you should get an answer.

    The thumb up is handy as a positive reply. Maybe that’s the problem. It IS positive so therefore it has to be labeled as negative in this appallingly ass backwards time. I love to use the palm tree quite often or whichever one(s) seem right for what I’m saying in regular texts or on Twitter. That’s why they’re there, hello, for anyone to use!

    Thanks for the Robert Gordon video. Very enjoyable. He also had a Doo Wop sound to the rockabilly I love. Orlando Busino’s mid-century Post cartoons are wonderful. I’d never heard of Fortran before; not sure why. Extremely significant. We never called spaghetti pasta either. It’s like calling the car ‘the transportation machine’. That is what it is yes, but no. Curtis Stone’s recipe here sounds really good, just minus the Parmesan.

    So Sunday’s Mother-In-Law Day? Legally Helen is NOT my mother-in-law, and I’m not going to say anything. She’s embarrassed me and her daughter enough at more than one pre-Covid era Thanksgiving and Christmas table gatherings I wrote of here at the times. There is talk of another, new one, next month. It must be more Norman Rockwell-like. Not getting my face slapped for trying to smooth things over, keeping the Holidays dignified!


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