News of the Week: A New Beatles Song, the World Book Encyclopedia, and How to Make a Detroit-Style Pizza

In the news for the week ending June 23, 2023, are A.I., CVS, LSU, NCAA baseball, Chef Boy-Ar-Dee, and more.

Detroit-style pizza (Shutterstock)

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A Little Help from A.I.

There’s good artificial intelligence and bad artificial intelligence. This is probably the former, especially if you’re a Beatles fan.

Paul McCartney has announced that there’s a new Beatles song coming, thanks to the wonders of A.I. The title hasn’t been released (it might be “Now and Then”), but it’s a demo that John Lennon recorded in the 1970s. A.I. helped clean up and strengthen Lennon’s vocals. The song will be released later this year, and McCartney describes it as the “final” Beatles song.

(Until they find another one.)

The World Book Encyclopedia Is Still Being Printed

As the modern world keeps on progressing, and everyone’s on their phone and on social media all the time, it’s comforting to see that some of the old things still have value. People are buying typewriters again, people still use fountain pens, and the World Book Encyclopedia is still being printed! Here’s a great piece by Benj Edwards at Ars Technica, where he explains why he bought one (it’s “an antidote to the information apocalypse”). It wasn’t cheap — it goes for around $1,200, but you might be able to catch it on sale — but it’s worth it.

Apparently it’s the only general reference encyclopedia still being printed.

Why buy an expensive print encyclopedia set when we have various online sources that are constantly changing and updated and can be edited by anyone? I think I just answered that question with that sentence.

Do You Know What CVS Stands For?

I hate the headline on this New York Post story (I would have chosen it for “Headline of the Week” if it was funny and not just sad): “CVS Actually Stands for Something — and Most People Have No Clue after 60 Years.”

Really? Most people don’t know? The headline should read “And This Headline Writer and Some People Online Had No Clue After 60 Years.”

These people were stunned to find out that CVS stands for Consumer Value Stores. Stunned! One person who didn’t know it was an acronym actually worked at the company. Other people think it sounds like a “government” name, whatever the heck that means.

Now, it’s not irritating that everyone doesn’t know what CVS stands for. There was a time when I didn’t know what it stood for either. The irritating part is that there’s a certain type of person who doesn’t even consider that the letters stand for something. What, do they think that the company just chose three random letters for the name of their company?

Wait until they find out what KFC stands for, and what the letters YMCA mean, besides being the title of a catchy Village People song.

Headline of the Week

“LSU Fans Order 21,435 Jell-O Shots to Break College World Series Record”

RIP Glenda Jackson, Robert Gottlieb, Daniel Ellsberg, Carol Higgins Clark, John Romita Sr., Paxton Whitehead, Brett Hadley, Homer Jones, Max Morath, and Donald Triplett

Glenda Jackson was not only a critically acclaimed stage actress — she received a Tony in 2018 for Three Tall Women — she won Oscars for her roles in Women in Love and A Touch of Class, and three Emmys. As if that weren’t enough, she also served as a member of Parliament for 23 years. She died last week at the age of 87.

Robert Gottlieb was the influential editor for such writers as Robert Caro, Toni Morrison, Joseph Heller, Michael Crichton, John le Carré, V.S. Naipaul, Doris Lessing, and Nora Ephron. He died last week at the age of 92.

In 1971, Daniel Ellsberg leaked The Pentagon Papers to The New York Times. He died last week at the age of 92.

Carol Higgins Clark was a mystery novelist and actress and the daughter of writer Mary Higgins Clark. She died last week at the age of 66.

John Romita Sr. was one of the most influential comic book artists of all time and a major force at Marvel, working on such characters as Spider-Man, The Punisher, and Black Widow. He also helped create Wolverine and Mary Jane Watson. He died last week at the age of 93.

Paxton Whitehead appeared on stage many times, but TV audiences will remember him as Rachel’s boss (and Emily’s uncle) on Friends. He also appeared on The West Wing, Mad About You, Ellen, Frasier, and Magnum, P.I., as well as such films as Back to School and Baby Boom. He died last week at the age of 85.

Brett Hadley played detective Carl Williams on The Young and the Restless for many years. He also appeared on Beauty and the Beast, Ironside, Highway to Heaven, and Marcus Welby, M.D., as well as the movies Next of Kin and The Babe. He died last week at the age of 92.

Homer Jones was reportedly the first person to spike a football after scoring a touchdown. He died last week at the age of 82.

Max Morath was a legend of ragtime music and a major force in its 1960s revival. He appeared on public television’s The Ragtime Era, which he produced and wrote, as well as The Tonight Show, Kraft Music Hall, Today, and The Mike Douglas Show. He died Monday at the age of 96.

In 1943, Donald Triplett became the first person officially diagnosed with autistism. He died last week at the age of 89.

This Week in History

Julius and Ethel Rosenberg Executed (June 19, 1953)

The couple was put to death for conspiracy to commit espionage under the U.S. Espionage Act of 1917.

The Ed Sullivan Show Premieres (June 20, 1948)

It was originally called Toast of the Town, and the first guests on the show were Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin and Rodgers and Hammerstein. CBS Sunday Morning had a feature for the show’s 75th anniversary.

Uploaded to YouTube by CBS Sunday Morning

This Week in Saturday Evening Post History: Chef Boy-Ar-Dee Sauce (June 20, 1959)


All that food looks fantastic, but the pizza needs a lot more cheese.

Today Is Detroit-Style Pizza Day

What, exactly, is “Detroit-style” pizza? Is it pizza cooked on top of a car engine? Is it pizza topped with pepperoni in the shape of Fords and Chevys?

Actually, it’s a thick and airy pan pizza with a crunchy crust, with cheese all the way to the edge and sauce dolloped on top of the cheese.

If you’d like to make your own at home, here’s a recipe from Serious Eats. To make an authentic Detroit-style pizza, make sure you use Wisconsin brick cheese and a deep metal pan.

If you don’t want to make your own at home, you can always buy the frozen kind.

Next Week’s Holidays and Events

Men’s College World Series (June 24-26)

Here’s the schedule. ESPN and ESPNU will have coverage. Grab a Jell-O shot and watch!

Paul Bunyan Day (June 28)

Bunyan and his blue ox Babe supposedly created the Grand Canyon, the Mississippi River, and Minnesota’s 10,000 lakes, but I’m not sure how scientifically accurate any of that is.

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  1. Ruth, it sounds like you have a lot of good memories from when you were a child with the Chef Boyardee pizza and more recently with your own kids, and their ‘personalized’ toppings. My mom made homemade pizza (from the box) too, and spaghetti and meatballs a lot. Fish sticks w/ketchup on Friday nights–a real favorite! Back then, eating meat on Fridays was a (Catholic) no-no. Love this 50’s Italian-American artwork ad, so great!

    I’m looking forward to hearing John Lennon’s new song. He largely took the 70’s off, and I’m almost positive he would have really been big in the 80’s had things been different. Not only putting out his own music with all of the great new sounds of that decade he would have been right on top off, I’m certain he would have collaborated with a lot of others. The re-energized 80’s John Lennon would have given his 60’s self a run for his money.

    ‘Double Fantasy’ showed he was off to a great start, and we’re all lucky that he had the chance to complete it.

  2. Our family of six kids, and mom and dad, ate many boxes of Chef Boyardee pizza. It was a cheap feed with our fixings added and usually left enough for all of us, three hungry boys and us girls. Though I don’t think mom cared for it as I remember dad doing the work. My own kids ate home made pizza with their choice of toppings. We had enough pans to make one for each person. I made the dough and fixings and everybody put their own stuff on top.

  3. Maybe one day instead of wasting millions on films about grey men in citadels someone intelligent in the film industry could make a riveting film based on the life and times of Vadim Bakatin (last KGB Chairman). He has to be one of the greatest spy masters in espionage history. Mind you, no films have been made about many other fascinating spy masters or their top agents. For example, Bill Fairclough (ex-spook, MI6 codename JJ and one of Pemberton’s People in MI6) led an extraordinary life as depicted in Beyond Enkription, the first fact based spy thriller in The Burlington Files series which he nominally wrote. It’s just the stuff classic espionage films should be made of and just like Ian Fleming’s “Trout Memo” it is a must read for all espionage illuminati.

    If as espionage illuminati we are going to discuss the history of intelligence in the Cold War let’s not overlook that which even espionage connoisseurs have little idea about. Namely, the extent the Soviets cooperated with the West in the Cold War. Vadim Bakatin was one of the architects of this co-operation. The KGB and Western agencies frequently collaborated when combatting global crime syndicates involved in certain heinous crimes such as smuggling body parts under the cover of normal human trafficking. An interesting take on this oft forgotten aspect of the Cold War is still visible in the preserved website of a niche global intelligence agency, FaireSansDire, based in the UK from 1978 and now supposedly shut or dormant: see The History of Faire Sans Dire in “About Us” on The Burlington Files website.

    A series of novels based on the activities of FaireSansDire’s founders are also worth a peep if you were unaware that MI6 and the CIA combined with the KGB to combat criminals in these extreme law enforcement areas. For legal reasons only one novel (Beyond Enkription) has been published in that series called The Burlington Files. It makes for a compelling read and their website claims most read it two or more times which I believe and did!

    The larger than life characters who met in MI6 in the early seventies and later established FaireSansDire were Bill Fairclough (a not so boring accountant, MI6 codename JJ), Colonel Alan Brooke Pemberton CVO MBE and Barrie Parkes BEM all of whose fascinating backgrounds are easily accessed on the web. Pemberton’s People in MI6 even included Roy Astley Richards OBE (Winston Churchill’s bodyguard) and an eccentric British Brigadier (Peter ‘Scrubber’ Stewart-Richardson) who was once refused permission to join the Afghan Mujahideen. For more beguiling anecdotes best read a brief and intriguing News Article about Pemberton’s People in MI6 dated 31 October 2022 in TheBurlingtonFiles website and then read Beyond Enkription.

    You can find the articles at and


  4. And the founder of Raising Cane’s dropped $30K in one shot (so to speak) to by 6000 jello shots so LSU could break the record. has the details.


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