INTERPREP FEBRUARY 28, 2020

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DATEBOOK: FEBRUARY 28, 2020

BIRTHDAYS

• Frank Bonner (WKRP in Cincinnati) is 78

• Mercedes Ruehl is 72

• Bernadette Peters is 72

• Gilbert Gottfried is 65

• John Turturro is 63

• Lemony Snicket (aka Daniel Handler) is 50

• Tasha Smith (Empire) is 49

• Melanie Chandra (Code Black) is 36

IT HAPPENED TODAY

• 1854: The Republican Party of the United States was organized in Ripon, Wisconsin.

• 1935: Nylon was discovered by Wallace Carothers.

• 1940: Basketball is televised for the first time. Fordham University played the University of Pittsburgh in Madison Square Garden.

• 1953: James D. Watson and Francis Crick announced to friends that they had determined the chemical structure of DNA. Formal announcement would come on April 25.

• 1983: The final episode of M*A*S*H was broadcast in the U.S., becoming the most watched television episode in history, with 106–125 million viewers in the U.S.

• 1996: Britain’s Princess Diana agreed to a divorce from Prince Charles, ending a marriage that began in 1981. She said it was “the saddest day of her life.”

• 2007: Fifteen-year-old Jennifer Mee of St. Petersburg, Florida, stopped hiccuping for the first time in more than a month. Jennifer’s hiccups began January 23 during her first period science class, and did not stop until late on February 28. No one could explain or cure the problem. At times, she hiccuped as many as 50 times a minute.

• 2013: In North Carolina, a neuroscientist at Duke University announced he has successfully connected the brains of two rats in such a way that they share information.

SPECIAL EVENTS

• March is Music In Our Schools Month, National Caffeine Awareness Month, Sing With Your Child Month, National Craft Month, Employee Spirit Month, National Noodle Month, National Peanut Month, National Sauce Month, National Caffeine Awareness Month, National Eye Donor Month, National Celery Month, National Flour Month, National Frozen Food Month, National Nutrition Month, National On-Hold Month, National Umbrella Month, Red Cross Month, Optimism Month, Irish-American Heritage Month, Woman’s History Month, Youth Art Month.

• Floral Design Day

• Tartar Sauce Day

• Chocolate Souffle Day


DATEBOOK WEEKEND

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 29

• Motivational speaker Tony Robbins is 15/60. Antonio Sabato Jr. is 12/48. Rapper Ja Rule is 11/44. Mark Foster (Foster the People) is 9/36.

• Leap Day. Sword Swallowers Day. Tongue Twister Day. Bachelor’s Day. Frog Legs Day.

SUNDAY, MARCH 1

• Dirk Benedict is 75. Ron Howard is 66. Janis Gill (Sweethearts of the Rodeo) is 66. Catherine Bach is 65. Tim Daly is 64. George Eads is 53. Javier Bardem is 51. Mark-Paul Gosselaar is 46. Lupita Nyong’o is 37. Kesha is 33. Justin Bieber is 26.

• Horse Protection Day. Peanut Lover’s Day. Peanut Butter Lover’s Day. Read Across America Day. Peace Corps Day. Pig Day. Plan a Solo Vacation Day. World Compliment Day.


NUMBER FOR THE DAY

4,000: Age of a termite colony in the Amazon.


NEWS ATTACK!

A study concludes that long-term marijuana use can lead to hallucinations and delusions. [Delusions like thinking that none of your friends minds you crashing on their couch for six months.]

A study shows that long-term use of marijuana can lead to increased risk of developing hallucinations, delusions [and an addiction to Taco Bell].

The stock market took another big dive Thursday. [I got a letter from the corporate office. Our 401k has been renamed 401 Not OK.]

2020 gets an extra day tomorrow. [So February is falling back.]

In Germany police are looking for a pickpocket that reaches underneath bathroom stalls and steals money while people are sitting on the toilet. [Authorities are especially upset because not only is the thief bold and brazen but, according to reports, he leaves the scene of the crime without even washing his hands.]

16 percent of beer-drinking Americans say they are confused about whether Corona beer is related to the coronavirus. [They only similarity: having a lot of both in your body will keep you home from work.]

A study found more accidents in the home happen on Sundays than any other day of the week. [Another reason to spend all day Sunday at the (local all-you-can eat place).]

Dunkin’ Donuts is selling bags of bacon. [Which means Dunkin’ Donuts must have hired a county fair food vendor to be its CEO.]


NEWS & NUGGETS

DO FARTS SPREAD NOVEL CORONAVIRUS? _ People have questions about COVID-19, aka coronavirus. Some seem more serious than others, like what symptoms will I experience if I catch COVID-19? Others seem silly, but once asked are at least worth getting an answer. Like: Do farts spread the COVID-10 virus? This was ask on a social media sight in China, so the Beijing Center for Disease Control and Prevention decided to answer. Good news: Pants work just fine to cut off novel coronavirus transmission in farts.

… The Beijing CDC said it had clearly done its homework before answering, and they cited a fart experiment carried out (by Karl Kruszelnicki and Luke Tennent) a couple of years ago. The conclusion then was that pants can effectively screen out germs. That is to say, as long as everyone is wearing their pants, there is no need to be worried that passing gas would cause a micro biological contamination risk.

SOME WALMARTS ARE LOCKING DOWN SOCKS AND UNDERWEAR _ A photo taken in a Walmart in St. Cloud, Minnesota, has gone viral. The pic shows that the store has locked down the socks and underwear. The social media post said: “You know St. Cloud has gotten bad when St. Cloud Walmart is locking up socks and underwear behind glass.”

… A company spokeswoman says: “Some products are subject to additional security. Those determinations are made on a store-by-store basis. Walmart will continue to explore additional ways to protect its merchandise, keep prices low and keep product in stock for the millions of customers it serves each week.”

NASA CURIOSITY ROVER TAKES MARS DETOUR _ NASA’s Mars Curiosity team had a plan to one day drive the rover to the top of a sloping area called the Greenheugh pediment, but it was months or years away from happening. NASA may have just found a shortcut. While hanging out at a recent drill site, scientists spotted a possible route to get the rover to the top of the pediment way ahead of schedule. It will take several careful drives to ascend the pediment and the rover will face slopes of at least 30 degrees — which has never been done before.

… Curiosity recently set a tilt record for itself as it checked out some fascinating lumpy formations. The planned route may push the rover past that 26.9-degree mark. Despite the challenges, the team doesn’t expect the rover to be in any danger as it climbs.

NINE-YEAR-OLD ENTREPRENEUR CREATES MOUSE-SHARING BUSINESS _ When his mom refused to buy him a mouse, Harry Ewing didn’t hear a no. Instead, the nine-year-old saw a business opportunity. The New Zealand kid is the founder of ‘Adventure Mice’, an enterprise designed to take the hassle out of owning your own pocket-sized pet. Harry says the idea is a simple one. For $9.50 per week customers receive two mice sourced from a qualified mouse breeder, a cage, accessories and food. Once potential pet owners are ready to make the commitment the mice can be purchased for $20 each.

… Harry’s mom said her son “had been asking for mice for at least six months, maybe even longer.” He kept asking and eventually wore her down. When they talked about how the mouse thing was going to work Harry asked, “What if we could keep the mice for a short period of time?” When they realized nobody provides that service, they decided to give it a shot.

YOUR BRAIN RECOGNIZES FAMILIAR MUSIC IN LESS THAN HALF A SECOND _ How long does it take you to recognize your favorite song when it comes on the radio? A study (University College London) finds that the brain is capable of recognizing familiar music in an incredibly short amount of time — within one tenth of a second of being played.

3 IN 4 PARENTS BELIEVE THEY’RE BETTER MOMS AND DADS THAN THEIR OWN FOLKS _ Parents always want their kids to have it better than they did growing up. Anyone with a family can relate; we all work hard so that our families and children enjoy a good life. Apparently, for many modern moms and dads, that sentiment also includes avoiding the mistakes that their own parents made while raising them. A recent survey of U.S. parents of school-aged children noted that 76% believe themselves to be much better parents than their own moms and dads.

… 75% said that it is harder to be a parent today than it was when they were growing up.

… Here are a few additional, interesting statistics regarding modern parenting: 41% don’t believe in strict bedtimes, and 39% don’t make their kids stay at the dinner table until their plate is clean. Also, more than a third claim to never tell their children to “go to your room!” and 69% have set stringent screen time rules for their kids

ALMOST HALF OF ALL AMERICANS ARE OBESE _ New data from The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that the number of obese Americans has risen to 42 percent. And one in ten Americans is now severely obese.

… If your BMI is 30.0 or higher, it falls within the obese range. 40 or higher is considered extreme or severe.

EMPTY BOXES TOP HIGH-TECH TOYS ON DOCTOR-RECOMMENDED LIST _ Skip the costly electronic games and flashy digital gizmos. Pediatricians say the best toys for tots are old-fashioned hands-on playthings that young children can enjoy with parents — things like blocks, puzzles and cardboard boxes — that spark imagination and creativity.

MYSTERY SMELL OVERWHELMS PENNSYLVANIA COUNTY AGAIN _ A mysterious stench once again struck parts of Delaware County, Pennsylvania, this week, overwhelming residents with its pungent odor and baffling investigators. The smell has recently been reported in towns across the county. While no one knows what the elusive smell is or where it is coming from, residents have described it as fuel-like.

… Delaware County residents have reported the smell wafting in and out of neighborhoods over the last several months. Last October, the smell shut down several businesses and a school. The most recent stench is consistent with past reports, but investigators still can’t find the source.

GIRL SCOUTS HELP NAB MAN USING COUNTERFEIT BILLS TO BUY COOKIES _ Some Girl Scouts notified Salem, Oregon, police of a man using fake $20 bills to buy one box of cookies and get real currency for change. Two separate scout troops reported the man and the counterfeit money to police this month.

… In one of the incidents Ava, a 13-year-old scout, spotted the counterfeit money and thought, “This does not feel right.” Ava waited until the man left to alert her mom, who called police. With assistance from Walmart security, police were able to scan surveillance video and identify the suspect.

HOSPITAL WORKER ACCUSED OF SUCKING PATIENT’S TOES _ A hospital worker at a hospital in Fort Myers, Florida, was arrested after being accused of sucking a patient’s toes. The patient said they felt their right foot being touched around 11PM on Monday. They assumed a nurse was checking for swelling, until they were touched again. Then, the patient felt it happening a third time — this time they felt something wet between their toes. When they looked up, they said they saw Frantz Beldorin, 23, on his knees with his head bent over their foot. After yanking their foot away from Beldorin, he returned to his seat in the corner of the room. As a “sitter,” he had been assigned to keep an eye on the patient’s roommate who was a flight risk. The patient called for assistance and told a nurse what had happened. The nurse called security and security called the police.

81-YEAR-OLD MAN POSTS SIMPLE COOKING VIDEOS ON TIKTOK _ The internet needs more good old wholesome content, and one 81-year-old man on TikTok is here to give us just that. With simple cooking videos he’s titled “Cooking with Steve,” the TikTok star shows viewers everything from how to make pancakes to pour cereal. Stephen Austin of Fort Worth, Texas, is the man behind the videos posted under the username Old Man Steve. • LINK

… The retired office worker posts videos of himself prepping quick and easy meals like sandwiches and eggs in his kitchen with some sweet added commentary. His most popular video has 8.5 million views and is of him baking frozen biscuits. Steve says, “As I have no children or grandkids, this has been such a joy to me and it makes me feel not so alone and loved.”

SUNDAYS ARE DANGEROUS _ More accidents in the home happen on Sundays than any other day of the week. Stats reveal 16 percent of accidents happen on the day we’re supposed to be resting. A third of all household accidents happen at weekends. Friday was found to be the least accident-prone day with 13 percent.

REMEMBER THIS? A YEAR AGO THIS WEEK: THE BEST AND WORST DAYS OF THE YEAR TO HAVE A BIRTHDAY _ A poll of adults revealed the days we would most — and least — like to be born on. The best day to have a birthday is June 15. A January birthday is considered one of the worst times in the calendar to come into the world. Christmas Day was voted the top worst day of the year for a birthday, followed by a leap year day on February 29.


WACKY-BUT-TRUE

AUDIOWACKY-BUT-TRUE: MAN CALLS 911 OVER SLOW PLOWS _ Police in Canada (York, Ontario) released audio of a 911 call from a man complaining about the snow plows moving too slowly. A video containing the call was posted to the York Twitter account Thursday with the words, “Pack your patience. #snowday.”

WACKY-BUT-TRUE: MAN USED RUBBER CHICKEN DURING ROBBERY _ Police in Alberta, Canada are hoping to identify a man who allegedly used a rubber chicken to help him steal from a coffee shop (a Tim Hortons). Police allege the man placed a rubber chicken over a donation box sitting on the front counter and used the prop to conceal the box as he left the business. On Thursday, police released a picture of the suspect, who they described as wearing a blue sweater or jacket, a ski mask, and “holding a rubber chicken.”

WACKY-BUT-TRUE: WOMAN CAUGHT EATING BREAKFAST WHILE DRIVING _ Highway patrol officers in Australia caught a woman eating her breakfast while driving. Officers observed the woman steering with her knees while holding a plate in one hand and a fork in the other.

WACKY-BUT-TRUE: WOMAN FLOSSES AND DRIVES _ Police in Wales busted a woman for driving 70 miles per hour while flossing her teeth.

WACKY-BUT-TRUE: KANSAS AUTHORITIES WILL TEST METH FOR CORONAVIRUS _ Authorities in northwest Kansas say meth purchased locally may be contaminated with coronavirus — which is not true — and they are advising users to get their supplies tested for free. It’s the Decatur County Sheriff’s Office’s attempt to get meth off the streets with a humorous twist. In a Facebook post on Thursday, the sheriff’s office asked users to bring their meth in to have it tested.

WACKY-BUT-TRUE: STOLEN HEARSE ENDS IN WRECK ON LA FREEWAY _ A police pursuit with a hearse ended in a wreck during rush hour Thursday morning in Los Angeles. A casket containing a body was found in the crashed vehicle.

WACKY-BUT-TRUE: WOMAN USED DOG POO, LOUD PARROT IN ‘CAMPAIGN OF HARASSMENT’ _ A campaign of harassment against a couple in the UK has come to an end — hopefully. Over the last three years, 81-year-old Catherine Searle has thrown dog poop into her neighbors’ garden, scratched their car, and encouraged her rambunctious parrot to disturb them in the garden. And the widow was caught on camera 38 times as she smeared grease on her neighbors Paul and Lydia Appleton’s van and car. Lydia says the harassment began when she asked Searle to keep the noise down back in 2004. Searle has been handed a restraining order and could go to jail.


ON TELEVISION

FRIDAY

MACGYVER (8p ET, CBS) — New. MacGyver works to rescue survivors from a collapsed building in Germany, and discovers a 1,000-pound undetonated bomb from World War II beneath the rubble.

SHARK TANK (8p ET, ABC) — New. Maria Sharapova guest judges.

LINCOLN RHYME: HUNT FOR THE BONE COLLECTOR (8p ET, NBC) — New.  The team must track down an anonymous bomber, targeting a string of buildings all across Manhattan.

WWE SMACKDOWN (8p ET, FOX) — New.

CHARMED (8p ET, CW) — New.

SEASON PREMIERE: RUPAUL’S DRAG RACE (8p ET, VH1) — This hit drag-queen competition series starts its 12th season.  Nicki Minaj is the guest judge in the premiere.

HAWAII FIVE O (9p ET, CBS) — New.

DATELINE (9p ET, NBC) — A new, 2-hour edition

20/20 (9p ET, ABC) — A 2-hour edition.

DYNASTY (9p ET, CW) — New.

THE KINGMAKER (9p ET, Showtime) — Imelda Marcos, former first lady of the Philippines and noted designer-shoe enthusiast, is profiled in this 2019 documentary.

SERIES PREMIERE: ALL THE BRIGHT PLACES (Netflix) — This new romantic drama, based on the novel, follows two troubled teens (Elle Fanning, Justice Smith) in a small Indiana town that form an unlikely bond.

DISHING WITH JULIA CHILD (PBS Living, PBS Passport) — This new 6-part series will feature some of Julia Child’s most iconic episodes of The French Chef (which aired on PBS from 1963-73). The episodes will also feature notable chefs like José Andrés, Vivian Howard, Carla Hall, Jacques Pépin, Éric Ripert, and others sharing their thoughts, anecdotes, and memories as each episode (and recipe) unfolds.

SERIES PREMIERE: SHOP CLASS (Disney+) — Hosted by Justin Long, this new competition series features teams of young builders, who are tasked with designing, building, and testing unique creations. In each episode, a panel of experts will evaluate and test their work based on creativity and build functionality.

SATURDAY

SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE (11:30p ET, NBC) — New. John Mulaney hosts, with musical guest David Byrne (Broadway’s David Byrne’s American Utopia).

SUNDAY

AMERICAN IDOL (8p ET, ABC) — New. The auditions continue.

GOD FRIENDED ME (8p ET, CBS) — New. Miles is determined to convince a young woman diagnosed with cancer that there is more to live for than just completing her bucket list.

LITTLE BIG SHOTS (8p ET, NBC) — New.

ZOEY’S EXTRAORDINARY PLAYLIST (9p ET, NBC) — New.

NCIS: LOS ANGELES (9p ET, CBS) — New. When Fatima is captured while on a mission, Callen and Sam enlist a deep undercover CIA agent (guest star rapper Kiari “Offset” Cephus) to help get her back.

THE WALKING DEAD (9p ET, AMC) — New.

SEASON FINALE: DOCTOR WHO (8p ET, BBC America) — As the last remaining humans are hunted down, Graham, Ryan and Yaz face a terrifying fight for survival.

EXTREME MAKEOVER: HOME EDITION (9p ET, HGTV) — New.

BETTER CALL SAUL (10p ET, AMC) — New.

NCIS: NEW ORLEANS (10p ET, CBS) — New. The team investigates the murder of a JAG captain who was discovered at home by his daughter, the only heir to his large estate.

THE ROOKIE (10p ET, ABC) — New. Nolan takes his son’s fiancé on a ride along after she shows interest in becoming a police officer.

GOOD GIRLS (10p ET, NBC) — New.

SERIES PREMIERE: DISPATCHES FROM ELSEWHERE (10p ET, AMC) — Created by Jason Segel (How I Met Your Mother), this new drama anthology focuses on a group of ordinary people who stumble onto something hiding just behind “the veil of everyday life”. Ultimately, the mystery extends farther and wider than they ever imagined. Jason Segel, Richard E. Grant, Sally Field, Eve Lindley, Andre Benjamin, and Tara Lynne Barr star.


ENTERTAINMENT

IN THEATERS TODAY _ The Invisible Man will debut at number one and should bring in around $28 million.

… In theaters: The Invisible Man (R)

… Opening next weekend: Onward (PG); The Way Back (R); Emma (PG, goes wide)

NBC RENEWS CHICAGO FRANCHISE, LAW & ORDER: SVU _ NBC has picked up all four Dick Wolf dramas — the three Chicago series and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit — for three more seasons apiece.

… The renewals will keep Chicago Fire on the air through Season 11, Chicago P.D. through Season 10, and Chicago Med through Season 8. Law & Order: SVU is already the longest-running live-action primetime series in TV history, and the renewal will extend that run through Season 24.

DISNEY WORLD JUNGLE CRUISE BOAT SINKS WITH PASSENGERS ON BOARD _ One Walt Disney World attraction just became a little too immersive for riders. Around midday on Thursday, one of the boats used in the classic Jungle Cruise ride at the Orlando theme park started sinking while filled with passengers. Witnesses documented the mishap on social media, showing guests still standing inside the boat as the murky water slowly rose around their legs. All those on board were safely rescued, but later images captured the vessel nearly completely submerged, its canopy roof still visible and what appears to be a lone park employee on board. A witness said the boat was covered in about a foot and a half of water.

… The official Disney World website describes the Jungle Cruise ride as a “journey that you won’t soon forget.” The movie Jungle Cruise, starring Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt, is in theaters in July.

SOFIA VERGARA AND HEIDI KLUM SIGN ON AS AMERICA’S GOT TALENT JUDGES _ Sofia Vergara is joining her next Modern Family. The actress and Heidi Klum have signed on to judge the next season of America’s Got Talent. Klum is returning to the competition series after her six-season tenure concluded in 2018. They join Simon Cowell, Howie Mandel and Terry Crews.

BEN AFFLECK REVEALS ACCOUNTANT SEQUEL COULD BE A TV SERIES _ Ben Affleck offered an update on the long-in-development sequel to The Accountant, revealing that The Accountant 2 could end up becoming a television series instead of another feature.

KEVIN HART GIVES AN UPDATE ON HIS RECOVERY _ Kevin Hart went on Instagram on Thursday to update fans on his recovery following his car crash in September. The comedian shared a clip of himself sparring with his boxing coach in a gym, and it looks like he’s bouncing back from the emergency back surgery he underwent after the wreck.

… Kevin wrote: “It’s all coming back….slowly but surely. Patience is whats most important at this point. Is it easy? Absolutely not….but I’m loving every minute of it. The journey to becoming a greater me continues….”

… On September 1 Kevin and pals Jared Black and Rebecca Broxterman veered off the side of the Mulholland Highway in Los Angeles and crashed into a ditch in Kevin’s 1970 Plymouth Barracuda. Kevin suffered three spinal fractures and underwent emergency back surgery before being released from the hospital on September 11.

SHARK TANK HOST LOSES $400,000 IN A SCAM _ Shark Tank judge Barbara Corcoran lost nearly $400,000 in an elaborate email scam that tricked her staff. Corcoran said someone acting as her assistant sent an invoice to her bookkeeper earlier this week for a renovation payment. She told People that she had “no reason to be suspicious” about the email because she invests in real estate, so the bookkeeper wired $388,700 to the email address. The problem was that the email address didn’t belong to her assistant. The scammer imitated her assistant’s email address and misspelled it with one letter. The mistake wasn’t caught until the bookkeeper emailed the assistant’s correct address for a follow-up. Corcoran said the scammer has “disappeared,” and she acknowledged that she wouldn’t be getting her money back.

… Corcoran fell for a phishing scam. It’s common, too: Nearly 30,000 people reported being a victim of that type of scam last year. Together they reported nearly $50 million in losses, according to the FBI’s 2018 Internet Crime Report.

JORDAN PEELE’S FIRST CANDYMAN TRAILER _ The first trailer for Jordan Peele’s sequel to 1993’s horror classic Candyman was released Thursday. The trailer brings back Candyman’s hook, bees, and teases the audience with the frighteningly seductive voice of original actor Tony Todd. Candyman comes to theaters in June. • VIDEO

FUN LIST: THINGS TV NEEDS TO STOP DOING _ TV Line has come up with 20 things TV needs to stop doing, such as:

• Obviously empty coffee cups.

• Ripping out IVs.

• Cops going in without waiting for backup.

FULL LIST


AUDIO

Find these audio files on the PRO AUDIO PAGE.

 Canadian guy calls 911 about snow plows.

  Here’s a Leap Year song from a YouTube music channel called GoNoodle.

  Drop: It’s very moving. It’ll make you laugh, it’ll make you cry.


BITS & BREAKS

FOR SOCIAL MEDIA

Editor: Change the letters/movies before posting.

Name a movie using the letters of your name. I’ll start:

Shawshank Redemption
Terminator
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
Vertigo
Elf

PEANUT BUTTER

Sunday is Peanut Butter Lovers Day.

• American eat about 700 million pounds of peanut butter each year.

• Women and children prefer creamy, while most men opt for chunky.

• Developed in 1890 by a St. Louis doctor for his patients with bad teeth. It was promoted as a health food at the St. Louis Exposition 14 years later, but the oil separated from the grainy solids. In 1933, a California packer was able to homogenize the peanuts into a stable butter — “Skippy Churned Peanut Butter”.

• Peanut butter accounts for over half of U.S. peanut production, and Americans eat almost 7 pounds of peanuts and peanut butter per capita.

• One acre of peanuts will make 30,000 peanut butter sandwiches.

• People who become hysterical when peanut butter sticks to the roof of their mouth have ‘arachibutyrophobia’.

• It takes about 550 peanuts to make a 12 ounce jar of creamy peanut butter.

• Creamy peanut butter is preferred on the East Coast, Chunky on the West Coast.

• The Jif plant in Lexington, Kentucky, is reportedly the largest peanut butter factory in the world.

50 PERCENT OF EMAILS AND TEXTS ARE MISUNDERSTOOD

We aren’t communicating as well as we think, and it could be affecting the way our employees perceive us. According to Nick Morgan, author of Can You Hear Me? How to Connect with People in a Virtual World, people think others understand their messages 90 percent of the time, but the actual statistic is only 50 percent.

… So how are people perceiving things the wrong way? One example: Recipients of a two-word email or text such as “nice job” or “great work” interpret the message as sarcastic 60 percent of the time.

… Why do people misinterpret so frequently? Humans have a tendency to assume the worst when the intent of communication isn’t clear. The negative bias that once alerted the brain of cavemen and cavewomen of potential dangers, like bears or alligators, is still very active in the minds of today’s modern workers.

… So How do we overcome negative biases hijacking the intended meanings of our communications and ensure our messages aren’t misunderstood half the time? Entrepreneur magazine says we should use emojis.

• Emoji acceptance is growing. An early indicator of how culturally-ingrained emojis had become was in 2015 when the Oxford Dictionaries’ “Word of the Year” wasn’t a word but actually the “face with tears of joy” emoji.

• Emojis help clarify emotional intent. Research indicates that the same part of the brain that processes human faces also processes emojis. And emojis help recipients interpret the tone of digital messages. For example, an “OK” text from someone can be interpreted many different ways: acceptance, apathy, submission or passive aggressiveness. But an “OK” with a smiling face is easily interpreted as positive acceptance.

• Emojis enhance relationships. The proper use of emojis helps people form relationships and understand one another. More specifically, when emojis are used at work, the majority of emoji users feel they positively impact likability (78 percent) and credibility (63 percent), and make positive news more sincere (74 percent). Oh, and 81 percent of emoji users believe that people who use emojis are friendlier and more approachable.

• Emojis can close the generational gap. Although using emojis at work is becoming more commonplace, many of the mixed views of emojis can be explained largely by age. In general, the emerging generations (Millennials and Gen Z) place more value on using emojis, while established generations (Gen X and Baby Boomers) tend to view emojis as unprofessional and counterproductive.


FUN & GAMES

TRIVIA: What has 838 miles of shelves. (The Library of Congress, which is the largest library in the world with more than 168 million items)

TRIVIA: The average one of these weighs 20 million tons. (Iceberg)


DATEBOOK: MARCH 2, 2020

BIRTHDAYS

• Laraine Newman (Saturday Night Live) is 68

• Jon Bon Jovi is 58

• Daniel Craig is 52

• Chris Martin of Coldplay is 43

• Rebel Wilson is 40

• Bryce Dallas Howard (Jurassic Park films) is 39

• Nathalie Emmanuel (Game of Thrones) is 31

IT HAPPENED TODAY

• 1923: Time magazine debuted.

• 1933: The movie King Kong had its world premiere in New York.

• 1962: Wilt Chamberlain of the Philadelphia Warriors scored an NBA record 100 points in a game against the New York Knicks.

• 2007: In Austria, a man stormed into a bank and started waving a gun. Too bad he didn’t do his homework first or he would have realized the bank was right next to a police station. He did make the best of a bad situation, however. While the bank robber held police at bay for five hours he took calls from customers and offered them loans. He eventually gave up and turned himself in.

• 2014: The 86th Academy Awards was hosted by Ellen DeGeneres. The broadcast received the highest views of any Oscars ceremony since 2000.

SPECIAL EVENTS

• Dr. Seuss Day

• Fun Facts About Names Day

• Read Across America Day

• World Teen Mental Illness Day

• Banana Cream Pie Day