News of the Week: Frost Quakes, Movie Prices, and There Are Three Bowl Games This Sunday

In the News for the week ending February 10, 2023, are the Grammy awards, mail-order heroin, Super Bowl recipes, Burt Bacharach, and more.


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Snap, Crackle, Pop

The Grammy Awards were held last week, and The Frost Quakes won the Best New Artist award for their debut album.

Well, no. Frost Quakes isn’t the name of a band (though I had you fooled there for a second, because it could be!), it’s a phenomenon we experienced in the Northeast last weekend during two days that saw the lowest temperatures since 1957. Frost quakes occur when the ground is so saturated with water that it expands when the water freezes and pushes into the soil and rocks around it. You could even hear it if you listened. Snap, crackle, pop.

It was indeed really cold last weekend. I made sure all of the faucets and the shower were dripping a little bit, so the pipes wouldn’t burst. This hasn’t happened in the 30 years I’ve lived in this apartment, but I always do what the people on television tell me to do.

We did have some beautiful, mysterious sea smoke. That’s what happens when really cold air moves over warmer water. So it was a weekend of sea smoke and frost quakes.

Frost Quakes would also be a terrific name for a cereal. Rock-shaped corn flakes covered in sugar, with added snowball-shaped marshmallows.

Please Be Seated

This story shows you how often I go to the movies (the last one I saw in a theater was Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, just before COVID hit, and even before that I didn’t go to the movies that often).

It’s assigned seating now, like at a concert?

AMC, the theater chain that probably has a location at your local mall, is going to start charging us more money if we want a good seat. They define “good” as seats in the middle and the back. The top tier will be called “Preferred Sightline,” the middle will be “Standard Sightline,” and the cheapest tier will be called “Value Sightline.” Note: All tiers will still come with sticky floors and people next to you on their phones. And you’ll still have to take out a personal loan to buy snacks.

Isn’t one of the great things about going to the movies the fact that you pay one price for the ticket and you can sit where you want? I remember going to the movies many times at the very last minute, not even knowing we would be going until we just decided to. And there were times when we were awarded with good seats if we got there early.

This is why people like watching movies in their living room. Not only can you wear sweatpants and eat your own snacks, you pay the same price (zero) whether you watch your TV from your couch or your reclining chair.

Seems like an odd thing to do when the industry still hasn’t bounced back completely from COVID.

I guess what this means is that if you’re one of those people who actually likes to sit in the front row, you’re in luck.

Something I Learned This Week

I loved looking through the Sears catalogue when I was a kid, especially the annual Christmas “Wish Book” version (which was separate from the regular catalogue). I would go through it and make a list of the toys I wanted and give the info to my mom, complete with the price and the page it was on (hey, I was just trying to be helpful!).

I had no idea that they once sold heroin in the regular catalogue.

RIP Burt Bacharach, Paco Rabanne, Melinda Dillon, Charles Kimbrough, Charlie Thomas, Floyd Sneed, Phil Spalding, Bob Born, George R. Robertson, George Wilbur, and Carin Goldberg

Burt Bacharach was a legendary composer and arranger known for such songs (many written with lyricist Hal David) as “Walk on By,” “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head,” “Alfie,” “I Say a Little Prayer,” “I’ll Never Fall in Love Again,” “What the World Needs Now Is Love,” “Do You Know the Way to San Jose?,” and “The Look of Love,” as well as many movie soundtracks. He won multiple Grammy Awards and Oscars. He died Wednesday at the age of 94.

Paco Rabanne was a fashion and fragrance icon. He died last week at the age of 88.

Melinda Dillon played the mom in A Christmas Story and received Oscar nominations for her performances in Close Encounters of the Third Kind and Absence of Malice. She also appeared in Slap Shot, Bound for Glory, Magnolia, Harry and the Hendersons, and many stage plays. She died last month at the age of 83.

Charles Kimbrough played anchorman Jim Dial on Murphy Brown and was the voice of Victor in The Hunchback of Notre Dame. He died last month at the age of 86.

Charlie Thomas was a singer in the ’50s group The Five Crowns when he was asked to join The Drifters, who went on to record such classic songs as “There Goes My Baby,” “This Magic Moment,” and “Save the Last Dance For Me.” He died last month at the age of 85.

Floyd Sneed was the drummer for Three Dog Night, known for such songs as “Joy to the World.” He died last month at the age of 80.

Phil Spalding was the bassist in the ’80s supergroup GTR (the name came from an abbreviation of guitar), known for the hit song “When the Heart Rules the Mind.” He also played with Right Said Fred (“I’m Too Sexy”), Mike Oldfield, Elton John, Ray Charles, and many others. He died Monday at the age of 65.

Do you like marshmallow chick Peeps? You have Bob Born to thank for those. He designed the machine to make them more efficiently. His company, Just Born Quality Confections, also makes Hot Tamales and Mike and Ike candies. He died last month at the age of 98.

George R. Robertson played the chief in the Police Academy movies. He also appeared in Rosemary’s Baby, Norma Rae, Paperback Hero, and JFK, and in the TV movies The Reagans and The Pentagon Papers. He died last month at the age of 89.

George Wilbur played Michael Myers in Halloween 4 and Halloween 6 and was a veteran stuntman, working on such movies as Die Hard, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Planet of the Apes, The Towering Inferno, and The Poseidon Adventure. He died last week at the age of 81.

Carin Goldberg not only designed many classic book covers, she did the album cover for Madonna’s first album. She died last month at the age of 69.

This Week in History

Modern Times, Last Major Silent Film, Released (February 5, 1936)

Charlie Chaplin intended for this to be his first “talkie,” but after filming some scenes that way, he made it a (mostly) silent film. It was one of the first 25 films selected for the National Film Registry.

Blizzard of ’78 (February 5-7, 1978)

Forty-five years ago this week I was practically trapped in my house the snow was so high.

Uploaded to YouTube by CBS Boston.

This Week in Saturday Evening Post History: “Winter Vacation” (February 10, 1940)

This cover is by the appropriately named Ski Weld.

Super Bowl Recipes

Is it a cliché to say that foods such as nachos, chili, and chicken wings are “football game” food? Answer: no! Oh, I’m sure some people get together and make filet mignon or foie gras and drink champagne, but I think it’s safe to say most people go with the classics (washed down with beer).

Food Network has 50 (yes, 50!) Super Bowl Nachos recipes, including versions with beef, chicken, jerk pork, and shrimp. You can make Curtis Stone’s Comforting Chili or this Cowboy Beef and Black Bean Chili from The Healthy Beef Cookbook. Chicken wings? Parade has a recipe for Oven-Fried Flamin’ Hot Cheetos Chicken Wings, while Serious Eats has these Extra-Crispy Thai Sweet and Spicy Wings. And for dessert, how about these Root Beer Cookies or this Chocolate Bacon Bark from Taste of Home?

The game airs on Fox Sunday at 6:30 p.m. ET, though the pre-game starts at 1 p.m. The Puppy Bowl (2 p.m. ET on Discovery and Animal Planet) and the Great American Rescue Bowl (10:30 a.m. on Great American Family) are on too, but you’ll have to find your own recipes for your dog.

Next Week’s Holidays and Events

Abraham Lincoln’s Birthday (February 12)

We sometimes forget the 16th president’s sense of humor, as described in this February 13, 1954, Post piece by Robert M. Yoder.

Valentine’s Day (February 14)

I’m single, so for me it’s just Tuesday.

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  1. You missed another obituary that should have been mentioned especially for those who follow professional wrestling. “Leaping” Lanny Poffo, younger brother of the late Randy “Macho Man” Savage (Poffo), and son of the late great Angelo Poffo passed away. I saw him wrestle for the NWA’s World Heavyweight Championship back in the 1970s. He was very underrated and an awesome athlete. It’s too bad he never got the push his older brother received. WWE wasted his talents in the “genious” gimmick.

  2. Frost quakes? Wow. Never heard of that before. Thanks for the links. I’ve seen fancy fountains where the water’s frozen in place which is really weird. I can fathom it intellectually, but that degree of cold, not realistically. The sea smoke is pretty to look at. Thanks for the pictures.

    What AMC is doing may sound bad, but it’s a good thing, trust me. This move will only accelerate the end of movie theaters which have basically only been showing only CGI/pyrotechnic/carnage/high decibel-laden crap for years that all looks alike, with interchangeable actors and actresses, at interchangeable red carpet awards shows that are on their way out.

    That’s crazy about the heroin in the Sear’s catalogue of all places! I hadn’t realized the catalogue itself went away 30 years ago. Burt Bacharach and Hal David were a musical dream team, with Dionne Warwick and B.J. Thomas on two of my own personal favorites, “Do You Know the way to San Jose?” and “Raindrops’. The arrangements, use of brass; everything. Perfect.

    I want to see ‘Modern Times’. That would be wonderful to see on the big screen, and so many other deserving classic films. GREAT art deco cover this week by Ski Weld. I actually have this issue. Bought it at a paper collectibles ‘show’ around ’92 or so. Very striking and shockingly modern.


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