News of the Week: Flying Spiders, the Return of the Automat, and There’s a New Donald Duck Cartoon

In the news of the week ending June 14, 2024, are hot dog drama, comfort food from a vending machine, and pistachio-less pistachio ice cream.


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The Joro Spiders Are Coming (Again)

It seems like only a couple of years ago we were talking about the yellow, creepy Joro spider and how they were about to invade the East Coast.

Oh wait, it was just a couple of years ago.

Apparently, they’re coming back. Or maybe they never made it the first time and it’s just taking them a little longer to get here. But be on the lookout for them. They can soar through the air with the greatest of ease and they’re venomous (though not really dangerous to humans).

Breaking Food News!

Forget about the NBA finals or Carlos Alcaraz winning his first French Open. This is the most important sports story of the week.

Joey Chestnut is leaving the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest and has signed with a competitor!

The Fourth of July just won’t be the same.

The Return of the Automat

It’s a good bet that 99.9 percent of all 35-year-olds have never heard of an Automat (the last one closed in 1991). But there’s one 35-year-old who has not only heard of the eating establishments, he’s bringing them back.

David Arena plans to open the first one in Philadelphia by next year and then the next one in New York City, and he’s going to recreate the experience of the original Horn & Hardart Automat as much as possible, with the same decor and the same recipes (though you’ll be able to open the little doors with an app if you want).

As someone who loves that era of New York and the Automat but never got a chance to visit one, I’m truly looking forward to this. There’s a website where you can buy Horn & Hardart coffee and mugs and shirts and also the book The Automat, which I’m proud to say I bought several years ago.

Should Pistachio Ice Cream Actually Contain Pistachios?

That’s the question a judge will have to ponder as a New York woman has filed a class-action lawsuit against Cold Stone Creamery after finding out that their pistachio ice cream doesn’t contain any actual pistachios.

The 25 Photos That Defined the Modern Age

Shouldn’t an article with that title make sure that every photo is one everyone knows? If not, then how could they “define the modern age?”

There are some exceptional choices in the New York Times piece, in which experts discuss and ultimately choose the 25 most important modern photos. The “Earthrise” photo taken by astronaut William Anders is a great choice, as are the photos of Che Guevara and the one of the “falling man” from 9/11. But many of the photos I have never seen before, and they feature people I’ve never heard of before.

Sure, some of those photos capture important events, but as I said, if you’re picking photos that “define the modern age” they should be photos that everyone knows. If not, then what is actually being “defined?” Just because there’s a picture of something important doesn’t make the picture itself important or memorable.

It’s more like the experts are proud of themselves for picking artsy photos, ones that only they can declare are “important,” even if many readers are scratching their heads.

RIP Jerry West, William Anders, Tony Lo Bianco, Bob Kelley, Howard Fineman, Françoise Hardy, and Tom Bower

How important was Los Angeles Lakers Hall of Famer Jerry West to the NBA? His silhouette is the basis for the league’s logo. He died Wednesday at the age of 86.

Astronaut William Anders was part of the first manned orbit of the moon and took the “Earthrise” picture mentioned above. He died last week at the age of 90.

Tony Lo Bianco appeared in such movies as The French ConnectionThe Seven-UpsNixon, and The Honeymoon Killers, as well as TV shows like Get SmartLaw & OrderJessie, and Murder, She Wrote. He died Wednesday at the age of 87.

Bob Kelley made the Kelley Blue Book the authoritative guide to used cars and motorcycles. He died last month at the age of 96.

Howard Fineman had a long career as a political reporter for Newsweek and as a cable news pundit. He died Tuesday at the age of 75.

Françoise Hardy was an acclaimed French singer, actress, and writer. She died earlier this week at the age of 80.

Tom Bower played Dr. Willard on The Waltons and the janitor Marvin in Die Hard 2, among dozens of TV and movie roles. He died last month at the age of 86.

This Week in History

Donald Duck’s First Appearance (June 9, 1934)

Though some sources say Wise Little Hen was released a couple of days earlier, the Walt Disney Corporation officially recognizes June 9 as the day Donald made his first appearance. To celebrate, there’s a new Donald Duck cartoon titled D.I.Y. Duck.

Kleenex Debuts (June 12, 1924)

Yup, it has been 100 years since the tissue first advertised as “a marvelous new way to remove cold cream” debuted. And don’t forget: Kleenex is a brand name. Even though Kleenex is a tissue, not all tissues are Kleenex.

This Week in Saturday Evening Post History: Old Spice (June 13, 1959)

Quite possibly the classic Father’s Day gift (next to a tie).

How to Make Pistachio Ice Cream

Maybe you need to make your own pistachio ice cream at home, just to be safe. Here are recipes from Tastes Better From ScratchSerious Eats, and one from The Unlikely Baker that adds chocolate chips (which sounds fantastic).

All of these recipes contain pistachios.

Next Week’s Holidays and Events

Father’s Day (June 16)

My dad passed away when I was a baby, so here’s to all of the other dads that raised me: Ward Cleaver, Sheriff Andy Taylor, Rob Petrie, Mike Brady, Lucas McCain, Jim Anderson, and Tom Corbett.

Summer Begins (June 20)

The worst season of the year starts at 4:51 p.m. EDT, if you’re keeping track. It also starts at that time even if you’re not keeping track.

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  1. “D.I.Y. Duck” is the best thing to come out of Disney in years. Donald and Uncle Scrooge were my favorites growing up. And as a maiden lady with a toolbox (or two), I can relate to this latest misadventure!

  2. Fortunately, spiders aren’t that much of a problem out my way, but wasp stings are. They’re itchy and not fun. Hydrocortisone cream is good, so it calamine lotion, but after treating it with isopropyl alcohol first. As for the spiders and bees, they can concentrate on stinging Gavin Newsom all they want for his destruction of this state.

    We’ll have to see how the new Automat plays out next year. Looks like this one will be an experiment of sorts, either leading to more, or maybe not. Pistachio is one of my favorite ice cream flavors, and should contain real pistachios. It’s a hard enough flavor to find as it is, and at today’s prices, I want the real thing too.

    Love the new D.I.Y. Disney Donald Duck cartoon. It’s modern, but also seems like it could be from 1934 also. See? Disney still CAN do quality classic Disney entertainment if they wanted to. It’s too bad they just don’t, and won’t otherwise anymore.

    Great Old Spice ad! I didn’t know they had such a diverse product line decades ago. I’ll have to check online to see the current product line. Sunday IS Father’s Day, but no matter what, it still always seems like just a regular Sunday.


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