Eighty-two years ago, Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act, a part of the Second New Deal that provided the foundation of government assistance in the country.
Although the Post was often critical of federal and local relief programs following Roosevelt’s New Deal, Henry F. and Katharine Pringle’s “The Case for Federal Relief” in 1952 looked at the beneficiaries of welfare and argued the necessity of programs that give security to the unemployed, elderly, abandoned, and disabled. The authors asserted, “Public assistance does not make bums out of people, if it is accompanied by good social work. The right kind of aid, in money, for minimum security plus guidance to get the recipient back on his feet, if that is possible, is the answer.”
In 1952, the public wondered whether “hillbilly” children ought to receive funds for shoes — since they weren’t accustomed to wearing them — or whether releasing the names of people receiving public assistance might deter greedy deceivers out of embarrassment. Although most people tend to agree on a sort of social safety net, the implementation of such is rarely unanimous.
To the Moon, Alice! (And Other Loved Ones)
Would you like to have your ashes scattered on the moon? Well now they can be.
Moon Express, a private company based in (of course) Cape Canaveral, Florida, has gotten permission from the U.S. government to fly to the moon and play among the stars. The flights won’t be manned at first. They’ll launch a ship the size of a washing machine to land on the moon and get soil samples and send back high-def video. The first flight is planned for 2017.
You’ll even be able to pay them to take your ashes to the moon, if being buried on the moon is something you’ve always dreamed of. Please note that this dream will cost at least $5.4 million.
It’s not Apollo 11 or Buck Rogers, but it will do for now. The lack of emphasis on manned space flight and the space program in general the past several years has been kind of depressing. We don’t have manned space flights or space shuttles anymore, but luckily we can control our toasters from our smartphones.
This Is Going to Be One Interesting Cooking Show
If you could pick two celebrities you’d never think would team up for a cooking show, who would they be? Daniel Boulud and Carrot Top? Alice Waters and Howard Stern? Wolfgang Puck and whoever the latest Bachelorette is?
How about Martha Stewart and Snoop Dogg? They’re teaming up for Martha and Snoop Dogg’s Dinner Party, a new series coming to VH-1 this fall. According to the show’s website, it will have the cooking/lifestyle icon and the rap star creating a meal for their celebrity friends.
Come on, like you’re not going to watch that.
The pairing isn’t as odd as it sounds. The two have been friends since Snoop appeared on Martha’s TV show a few years back, and they appeared together on Comedy Central’s Justin Bieber roast and The $100,000 Pyramid this year.
If we want to figure out who is going to be the next president of the United States, we should look to soda (or pop or tonic or Coke, depending on where you live).
Connecticut-based Avery’s Beverages has created two new drinks. One is called Trump Tonic (a bold grape flavor with the slogan “Make America Grape Again”), and the other is called Hillary Hooch (raspberry and strawberry with a hint of lemon). Consumers can “vote” with their taste buds.
Not that this is going to be a scientific poll — the results won’t be accurate in any way, shape, or form. If you love raspberry and hate grape, you’re not going to waste a couple of bucks on the one you hate just because it has a picture of the person you want to be president on it. You’re going to buy the one you actually like.
Though maybe it’s more accurate than we think. The company did the same thing in 2008 and 2012, and both times the Barack Obama beverage came out on top.
Jerry Lewis hasn’t been a regular in the movies for a while and hasn’t been seen on television since being unceremoniously dumped as host of the annual Muscular Dystrophy Association Labor Day Telethon in 2011. (I have to admit I stopped watching the telethon after he left, and the MDA ended it for good in May of 2015.) But the actor and director has a new movie coming out (filmed in 2013), and it looks pretty great. It’s called Max Rose, and it’s a dramatic role for Lewis. Here’s the trailer:
Hey, That Lucy Statue Is Done!
We’ve been following the adventures of the Lucy statue, created to honor Lucille Ball, in this column since last year. The first statue was hated — possibly because it looked like Lucy was a zombie — and nicknamed “Scary Lucy.” So they decided to get another artist to make a new one. Well, the new one is done and it looks a lot more like Lucy than the first one did.
The statue was unveiled last Saturday during the celebration of Lucy’s 105th birthday in her hometown of Celoron, New York. She’ll stand in Lucille Ball Memorial Park. By the way, if you want to see Scary Lucy, you still can. They’re actually keeping that one, too, and it will stand in another area of the park.
I swear this is the last time I’m going to write about the Lucy statue. Unless the old one suddenly comes to life and seeks revenge on its enemies.
Insert Money, Get a Pizza
Imagine it’s really late at night and you’re hungry for pizza, but all of the pizza places are closed. What do you do? Sure, you could open up your freezer and cook some Elio or Freschetta, but now that’s not going to be your only option, at least if you live in Cincinnati.
That’s where the first pizza ATM has been installed, at Xavier University. The machine holds 70 pizzas. You put your money in, the pizza is heated and put in a box and then comes out the slot all ready to eat. The machines have actually been in Europe for over a decade.
I have a friend who works at Xavier. I should email him and ask him to try it.
Now all we need is a beer ATM and we’ll be all set, though I assume there would be some legal problems with that.
National Creamsicle Day
Popsicles are like Band-Aids. Let me explain.
Band-Aids is a trademarked name. All of the “band-aids” we buy aren’t Band-Aids at all, they’re adhesive bandages. But over time we’ve come to call them all band-aids. I think it’s the same for Popsicles. It’s a registered trademark of Unilever, as are Creamsicles and Fudgsicles, but I bet a lot of people aren’t aware of that and call all freezer pops on a stick popsicles and all orange vanilla desserts on a stick creamsicles.
Sunday is National Creamsicle Day, and it’s good to see a food holiday in a month where it makes sense. If you don’t have any in your freezer (the one that probably has that frozen pizza in it) you could make your own.
Upcoming Events and Anniversaries
President Roosevelt signs Social Security Act (August 14, 1935)
Here’s a timeline on how the Social Security Act came to be.
Lawrence of Arabia born (August 16, 1888)
The British author, military strategist, and archaeologist — whose real name was Thomas Edward Lawrence — died in a motorcycle accident in 1935.
Davy Crockett born (August 17, 1786)
Saturday Evening Post Archive Director Jeff Nilsson separates the myth from the man.
Orville Wright born (August 19, 1871)
The Saturday Evening Post interviewed Wright in 1928, on the 25th anniversary of the Wright brothers’ historic first flight.
Leon Trotsky assassinated (August 20, 1940)
The revolutionary was stabbed to death with an ice pick after being exiled to Mexico.
Viking 1 launched (August 20, 1975)
It was the first spacecraft to land on Mars, arriving on the surface on July 20, 1976.