News of the Week: Wonder Woman, Watergate, and Way Too Many People Confused about Chocolate Milk

In Her Satin Tights, Fighting for Her Rights (To Equal Pay)

Wonder Woman display
thebigland /

I’m sick of hearing about all of this “fake news” nonsense, but one story appeared this week that might actually deserve that title.

It all started with a Forbes story from 2016 about the making of Batman vs. Superman,which was reinvigorated by a new story at The Daily Dot. Supposedly, Wonder Woman star Gal Gadot only made $300,000 for her role, while Henry Cavill got $14 million for his role as Superman. That’s unfair! That’s sexist! Where’s the equality? Why do female stars have to put up with making only a fraction of what their male counterparts make? They both wore colorful costumes!

You can probably tell where this story is going. It turns out to be not true. That $14 million number for Cavill was based on a number from another website (are you following this?) that said Cavill’s entire net worth was $14 million. The exact amount that Cavill made is unknown, but you can pretty much rest assured that it’s closer to what Gadot made.

It’s amazing how fast an obviously bogus meme can spread on social media.

But whatever actors get paid, Daniel Day-Lewis won’t be getting it. He has quit acting altogether.

RIP John Avildsen, Stephen Furst, and Bill Dana

John Avildsen directed several films, including the first and fifth Rocky movies, three Karate Kid movies, Save the Tiger, and Lean on Me, as well as many others. He died last Friday at the age of 81.

Stephen Furst
Stephen Furst
Gage Skidmore /

Stephen Furst was probably best known for playing Flounder in Animal House and for his role as Dr. Axelrod on St. Elsewhere. He also had regular roles on Babylon 5 and Buzz Lightyear of Star Command and appeared in many other movies and shows. He passed away last weekend at the age of 63.

Bill Dana was a comic actor who had his own show in the 1960s called The Bill Dana Show. He created the “Jose Jimenez” character seen on such shows as The Steve Allen Plymouth Show and The Ed Sullivan Show. He performed with people like Frank Sinatra and Don Adams, wrote the “Would You Believe?” jokes for Adams on Get Smart, and wrote for other TV shows, including the famous All in the Family episode where Sammy Davis Jr. kisses Archie. He died last week at the age of 92.

Does Chocolate Milk Come from Brown Cows?

Chocolate milk
Africa Studio /

Well … no. No it doesn’t. But according to a new study by the Innovation Center of U.S. Dairy, 7 percent of American adults think that it does. And if you think that 7 percent isn’t a lot, it comes out to over 16 million people.

I really don’t know what to say, except to point out that monkey bread isn’t really made by (or of) monkeys, and tomatoes aren’t all grown by a guy named Tom.

Now I have to wonder where people think a Black Cow comes from.

New York City: 1911

New York City street in 1911
Museum of Modern Art

The Museum of Modern Art (or MOMA) has posted at their website restored footage of New York City taken in 1911. You can see the Statue of Liberty, Broadway, the Flatiron Building, the Bowery, Battery Park, Madison Avenue, and other famous locations.

I’m always fascinated by the people in these videos, just ordinary citizens going about their day. Who were they? What did they do? What happened to them? Could I be related to anyone in the video or know someone who knew them? At one point, a one-legged guy on crutches walks toward the camera. What’s his story?

The video was taken by a Swedish company that also filmed at Niagara Falls and cities like Paris and Venice.

Real Athletes, Fake Steroids

Trophy Son cover
St. Martin’s Press

Megyn Kelly has been in the news the past few weeks. Her new Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly show on NBC debuted with big interviews (even if the ratings weren’t as big). Her husband is novelist Douglas Brunt, and he might be making his own news because of what he says in his latest book.

The novel is called Trophy Son, and it’s about the pressures that a teenage tennis prodigy is getting from his father and others to become number one. Since it’s a novel about pro sports, performance-enhancing drugs are part of the plot. But Brunt made an interesting decision. He names real tennis stars, including Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, and David Ferrer and has a fictional trainer strongly imply that they have either used performance-enhancing drugs or have been investigated for using them. Needless to say, this could be a little … controversial?

Brunt says he doesn’t mean to imply that he thinks these players actually use the drugs; he just wanted to use real names to make the novel more realistic.

50th Anniversary of the Summer of Love and Monterey Pop

Besides the extensive coverage that you’ll find in our current issue of the music and culture of 1967 and the festival that many call the birthplace of rock festivals, CBS Sunday Morning did a report on the Monterey Pop Festival this week:

This Week in History

Watergate Break-In (June 17, 1972)

Watergate hotel
Nick-D / Wikimedia Commons

Watergate has been in the news a lot lately, partly because many news organizations are finding parallels to current investigations, but mostly because it’s the 45th anniversary of the break-in. When I was a kid, I had no idea what the word Watergate referred to. I didn’t even know it was a hotel until many years later.

Julius and Ethel Rosenberg Executed (June 19, 1953)

The two sons of the married couple executed for spying have been trying to clear their names.

This Week in Saturday Evening Post History: “Bicycle Tricks” (June 18, 1955)

Bicycle Tricks by Thornton Utz
Bicycle Tricks
Thornton Utz
June 18, 1955

I always say I love old Saturday Evening Post covers, but I really do. I enjoy looking closely at the various people and activities in the paintings to see what everyone is doing. Like in this painting from Thornton Utz.

And because I once missed winning the lottery because I ignored a four-digit number I came across on a box a few years ago, I’m going to play the address etched in the building.

Tomorrow Is National Pralines Day

Jiri Hera /

I’m not sure if I’ve ever had pralines. Here’s a recipe by an expert from New Orleans, Anne Leonhard, who looked really familiar to me when I saw her picture. Turns out she won Food Network’s Clash of the Grandmas a couple of years ago. And if you want something to help keep you cool during these hot summer days, here’s a recipe for Praline Ice Cream from Country Living.

The big question, of course, is how does one pronounce the word? Do you say “PRAY-leans” or “PRAH-leans?” I have to go with the former.

Next Week’s Holidays and Events

Great American Campout Day (June 24)

I have camped out exactly one time in my life. It was around 30 years ago, during a canoe trip. I enjoyed it but found out that I’m just not a tent/canoe/bugs/outdoors type of guy. But the National Wildlife Foundation’s website has information about Great American Campout Day if you’re interested.

Paul Bunyan Day (June 28)

Who’s Paul Bunyan? He’s the giant, bearded lumberjack who has a big blue ox. He’s been a part of American folklore for over 100 years.

World Social Media Day (June 30)

Here’s one way you can celebrate World Social Media Day: QUIT SOCIAL MEDIA! Delete your Facebook account, end your Twittering, and stop snapping your chats. It will be the last time you ever have to celebrate World Social Media Day, but believe me, it will be worth it.