News of the Week: New Threads, Double Features, and the Wonderful World of Spudnuts

In the news for the week ending July 14, 2023, are a social media blow-up, a bad memory, iced coffee and tea, Moon Day, and more.


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Just What We Need, Another Distraction

Have you tried Threads yet?

If you have no idea what I’m talking about, oh how I envy you.

Threads is the newest social media platform that will ruin everyone’s life … I mean, encourage everyone to communicate with each other and bring the world closer together. It’s from Meta, the people who brought us Facebook and Instagram and helped destroy our attention spans and privacy.

There are a lot of social media competitors vying for the eyeballs of people who are leaving Twitter, or say they are leaving Twitter but really won’t because they’re addicted to it and fear they’re missing out on something. It joins Mastodon, Bluesky, Discord, T2, Substack Notes, Hive Social, and probably 37 others I don’t know about.

More than 100 million people (!) signed up for Threads in its first week (you can’t use it on the web yet, just via the phone app). Are people really that lost and desperate that all of the other social media platforms they’re on aren’t enough? What do they think they’ll find there? What do they think will be different? Even the best social media eventually turns into a hellscape.

Here’s an idea on which social media to use: How about pen and paper and the USPS? Maybe the telephone?

Do You Remember?

This Atlantic piece is one of the most depressing and also infuriating articles I’ve read in a long time, because the author — who at 46 isn’t exactly young — can’t remember what he did to pass the time before smartphones came along. And neither can anyone he interviewed for the piece!

If you’re over 40 and don’t remember what you did with your time before you carried the world in your pocket, I feel sorry for you. Smartphones haven’t been around that long. It’s not like we’re talking about a different era, like it’s 1905. In fact, some of us remember what it was like to live without smartphones because it’s how we currently live (and somehow, somehow, we get by).

The readers at the Atlantic’s Facebook page are baffled as well and let the author know in the comments.


Last month I joked that people should go to the movies and see a double feature of two very different movies, Barbie and Oppenheimer. Well, now it’s a thing!

Video of the Week

Hey, Jim Gaffigan hates summer just as much as I do!

Uploaded to YouTube by CBS Sunday Morning

RIP Peter Nero, Milan Kundera, Andrea Evans, George Tickner, Jimmy Weldon, John Deyle, Don Kennedy, Léon Gautier, Margia Dean, Betta St. John, and Evva Hanes

Peter Nero was an acclaimed, Grammy-winning pianist and former conductor of the Philly Pops. He also appeared many times on The Tonight Show and The Ed Sullivan Show. He died last week at the age of 89.

Milan Kundera was the Czechoslovakian writer known for the critically acclaimed novel The Unbearable Lightness of Being. He died Tuesday at the age of 94.

Andrea Evans played Tina Lord on One Life to Live for many years. She also appeared on Passions, The Young and the Restless, and in several movies. She died Sunday at the age of 66.

George Tickner was the co-founder and guitarist for the rock band Journey. He died last week at the age of 76.

Jimmy Weldon was a kids show host, a ventriloquist, an actor, and the voice of many cartoon characters, including Yakky Doodle. He died last week at the age of 99.

John Deyle appeared in Camelot and Annie on Broadway, appeared in many movies, and did over 100 commercials (he was the barber in the Just For Men Hair Color ad with the line “I thought you were starting to go gray”). He died last month at the age of 68.

Don Kennedy hosted the long-running WSB-TV kids show Officer Don and the Popeye Club. He died last week at the age of 93.

Léon Gautier was the last surviving French commando from D-Day. He died last week at the age of 100.

Margia Dean appeared in such movies as The Quartermass Xperiment, Superman and the Mole Men, The Big Show, I Shot Jesse James, and Ambush at Cimarron Pass. She died last month at the age of 101.

Betta St. John appeared in the original Broadway production of South Pacific and movies such as Dream Wife, Tarzan and the Lost Safari, All the Brothers Were Valiant, and Corridors of Blood. She died last month at the age of 93.

Evva Hanes sold millions of her Moravian cookies. She died last month at the age of 90.

This Week in History

First Issue of The Wall Street Journal Published (July 8, 1889)

It started as a small daily business briefing handed out to stock traders called the Customers’ Afternoon Letter.

Gerald Ford Born (July 14, 1913)

The 38th president appeared on the cover of our January 1975 issue, and we gave him a horoscope reading.

This Week in Saturday Evening Post History: Spudnuts (July 14, 1951)

I read this ad twice and I still had to Google to figure out what Spudnuts are (they’re doughnuts made with potatoes). Many locations still sell Spudnuts (I’m not sure how recent that list is, and one of the states listed is wrong), though the shops are now individually owned.

Iced Coffee and Iced Tea

Someone threw a switch this week. The slightly-cooler-than-normal temps and rain gave way to sticky humidity. It’s all rather sudden and exhausting.

So it’s time for coffee and tea of the iced variety. The Pioneer Woman has a recipe for the Perfect Iced Coffee (I don’t drink coffee so I can’t testify to how accurate that title is). For something just a little more fancy, try the Caramel Iced Coffee from Foxes Love Lemons.

If you’re an iced tea person, try this Extra Easy Iced Tea from Natasha’s Kitchen or this Raspberry Iced Tea from Taste of Home.

Any of these would go great with a Spudnut.

Next Week’s Holidays and Events

Wimbledon Finals (July 15 and 16)

The women’s final airs Saturday at 9 a.m. ET on ESPN, and the men’s airs on Sunday at the same time and place. If you go, make sure you don’t pop any champagne bottles while the players are serving.

Moon Day (July 20)

Fifty-four years ago, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on the moon during the Apollo 11 mission.

In our current issue, you can read about the seeds carried on Apollo 14 that later became trees on Earth.

Become a Saturday Evening Post member and enjoy unlimited access. Subscribe now


  1. NO way on Threads. Just hearing it was from Meta was more than I needed to know. I did click the word here, only to click right out. The Saturday Evening Post, Twitter, YouTube and your other site Bob, are enough, thank you very much.

    You’re right about the author of that Atlantic feature. If he’s 46 (born in ’76 or ’77), he would have been been 30+ when social media really took hold. His ‘not remembering’ is a load of garbage, please. If he were 20 years younger, possibly. It really seems there was a lot more to do in the 1960’s-’80s. Who’d have thought it at the time? Probably no one, because there wasn’t any reason ask question or wonder about it! The fact there is now is both telling and depressing.

    Thanks for the link of Jim Gaffigan’s feature. I mostly agree. My attitude about the beach was more blase than any ‘dislike’ as such. Like I stated recently, we had access to a beautiful Olympic-size pool only 2 miles away. Mom took us there (sometimes with other friends) during the week from about 1-3:30 p.m., so we (and she!) would be home in time for ‘Dark Shadows’ at 4 o’clock sharp on ABC.

    Getting packed up for vacations was a drag, but not dealing with the airport and flights. Going to Expo ’67 was a blast. We literally had a big spread in LIFE magazine to thank for that one. Happy 110th birthday to President Ford. Loved that astrology cover. It was in the tradition of the Jackie Kennedy cover the Post did in the 60’s.

  2. Hotdogs and beans.

    If you want a good hotdog go to Casper’s Hotdog in Hayward, ca. Ingrediants, hotdog, bun, mustard , relish, sweet
    onion, tomatoes, and salt.

  3. The mention of Moon Day on July 20, 1969 took me back to the USS Northampton CC1. I was cooking steaks for the crew on the main deck in the Caribbean Sea when the announcement came over the loud speaker that man had landed on the moon. The ship was on a shakedown cruise after spending four months in the yards at Charlestown, Massachusetts.


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