INTERPREP PRO ★ APRIL 17, 2020

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DATEBOOK: APRIL 17, 2020

BIRTHDAYS

• Sean Bean (Lord of the Rings) is 61

• Jennifer Garner is 48

• Victoria Beckham of the Spice Girls (Posh Spice) is 46

• Rooney Mara (Mary Magdalene, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) is 35

IT HAPPENED TODAY

• 1865: Mary Surratt was arrested as a conspirator in the assassination of Abraham Lincoln.

• 1907: Ellis Island immigration center processed 11,747 people, more than any other day.

• 1964: The Ford Motor Company unveiled the Ford Mustang at the New York World’s Fair. Base price was $2,368. Check out the April 12 issue for more facts and trivia about the first Ford Mustangs.

• 1964: The FBI lab reported that it could not determine the lyrics on the Kingmen’s recording “Louie Louie.”

• 1970: The ill-fated Apollo 13 spacecraft returned safely to Earth.

• 1973: Federal Express delivered its first package.

• 1980: Police in Lansing, Michigan, arrested three adult sisters for running around their neighborhood nude after smearing their bodies with mustard. The ladies said they were looking for the Garden of Eden.

• 2003: A 34-year-old research scientist who’d had too much to drink stumbled home and fell asleep in a house where he had lived seven years earlier. Police were called when a teenager came home to find the intruder asleep in the teenager’s bed in Axbridge, England. Police took the scientist to his own home and did not file charges.

• 2013: 15 people were killed and 100 were injured after a fertilizer plant exploded in West, Texas.

• 2014: NASA’s Kepler space observatory confirmed the discovery of the first Earth-size planet in the habitable zone of another star.

SPECIAL EVENTS

• Bat Appreciation Day

• Ford Mustang Day

• Clean Out Your Medicine Cabinet Day

• Cheeseball Day

• Kickball Day


DATEBOOK WEEKEND

SATURDAY, APRIL 18

• Hayley Mills is 74. James Woods is 73. Rick Moranis is 67. Eric Roberts is 64. Jane Leeves is 59. Jeff Dunham is 58. Conan O’Brien is 57. Eric McCormack (Will and Grace) is 57. Maria Bello is 53. Melissa Joan Hart is 44. Kourtney Kardashian is 41. America Ferrera is 36. Vanessa Kirby is 32. Alia Shawkat is 31. Chloe Bennet is 28.

• Adult Autism Day. Husband Appreciation Day. Record Store Day (postponed to June 20). Auctioneers Day. Animal Crackers Day.

SUNDAY, APRIL 19

• Tim Curry is 74. Ashley Judd is 52. Jennifer Esposito is 48. James Franco is 42. Kate Hudson is 41. Hayden Christensen is 39. Ali Wong is 38.

• Bicycle Day. Garlic Day. Poker Day.


NUMBER FOR THE DAY

105: Amount, in dollars, the average person would pay to know what dogs are saying when they bark.


NEWS ATTACK!

The White House has unveiled a three-phase plan for reopening the country. [Hopefully none of them involve getting on a cruise ship.]

When it comes to reopening the country the president told governors Thursday they would call their own shots. [‘Shots’ is the right word considering our economy feels like it’s hung over.]

There’s a lot of speculation over who Joe Biden will choose as his running mate. [Fauci. Paging Dr. Fauci.]

A group of seven governors will work in close coordination to reopen the Midwest regional economy. [They’ll begin with a celebratory meal at Steak n Shake.]

A 99-year-old World War II veteran did 100 laps in his garden to raise millions for charity. [Then I can definitely get off the couch so the pizza guy doesn’t have to deliver to my coffee table.]

Research shows a link between snoring and a decline in mental ability. [It may have something to do with how many times your spouse hits you in the head to stop your snoring.]


NEWS & NUGGETS

🦠 CORONAVIRUS TRACKERS _ New York Times | nCove2019 | Bing | Johns Hopkins | Johns Hopkins county | WorldOMeters

THE PLAN TO REOPEN THE US ECONOMY _ The Trump White House on Thursday announced a three-phase plan to reopen the U.S. economy.

… In Phase One of the Opening Up America Again plan, all vulnerable individuals should continue to shelter in place, social and physical distancing should still be practiced in public, non-essential travel should be minimized, and teleworking should continue to occur where possible.

Phase Two, which can only begin after a community shows no evidence of rebound or surge in new cases, would allow “large venues,” including “sit-down dining, movie theaters, sporting venues, places of worship” to operate under “moderate physical distancing protocols.” Schools and organized youth activities can reopen, bars can operate with “diminished standing-room occupancy,” gyms can reopen with “strict physical distancing and sanitation protocols,” and elective surgeries can resume.

… Phase Three allows for visits to senior care facilities and hospitals, gyms to reopen with “standard sanitation protocols” and bars to operate with “increased standing room occupancy, where applicable.” The aforementioned large venues — sit-down dining, movie theaters, sporting venues and places of worship — will be able to operate with “limited physical distancing protocols.”

… The decision on whether to open up businesses again ultimately falls to each state’s governor.

THE ‘SAFEST PLACE’ FROM CORONAVIRUS IN AMERICA? _ The safest place from the coronavirus in the US might be a tiny town on an off-the-beaten-path peninsula connected to Canada south of Vancouver. The 1,300 or so residents of Point Roberts — which is part of Washington state but not directly connected to the US mainland — have not been affected by the pandemic so far. Because the US-Canadian border is shut, Point Roberts is like an island right now.

… The isolated town — about 135 miles northwest of Seattle — may be reached by boat, flying into its single-runway airport or driving past two international border crossings through the southwest corner of Canada.

… Local Fire Chief Christopher Carleton said that on a typical weekend last year, the town would see about 2,000 vehicles travel over its border — but that number has now dropped below 100. Residents can still cross the border for essential travel, including for medical appointments and to pick up prescriptions, but any outsider trying to get into the town would have a tough time getting past border agents.

SOME STIMULUS CHECKS WERE DEPOSITED INTO WRONG BANK ACCOUNTS _ Some Americans say they haven’t gotten their coronavirus stimulus checks because the feds sent the money to the wrong bank accounts. Several taxpayers tried to check the status of their payments on the Internal Revenue Service’s website only to discover the agency put the money in accounts they didn’t recognize or no longer use.

… An IRS spokeswoman (Jodie Reynolds) said money should be rejected by banks and returned to the IRS if it was deposited in the wrong account. If that happens the IRS will cut a paper check.

CAPTAIN TOM RAISED $20 MILLION* FOR NHS _ Tom Moore, the 99-year-old war veteran raising funds for the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) by walking 100 lengths of his garden, completed the challenge Thursday and raised more $20 million* in donations. Moore walked the last 10 lengths of his garden on Thursday morning, aided by a walker. Moore began the fundraiser on April 8, initially hoping to raise around $1,200. More than 648,000 individual donations were made to his JustGiving. * CHECK AMOUNT

A 106-YEAR-OLD WOMAN RECOVERED FROM CORONAVIRUS _ A 106-year-old great grandmother in the UK has beat coronavirus. Three weeks after testing positive for COVID-19, Connie Titchen was discharged from Birmingham City Hospital. Titchen, who was born in September 1913 and has lived through two World Wars, was admitted in mid-March with suspected pneumonia. She was diagnosed with coronavirus soon afterwards.

FACEBOOK TO WARN USERS WHO ‘LIKED’ CORONAVIRUS HOAXES _ Facebook will soon let you know if you saw or interacted with dangerous coronavirus misinformation on the site. The new notice will be sent to users who have liked, reacted to, or commented on posts featuring harmful or false claims about COVID-19 after they have been removed by moderators. The alert, which will start appearing on Facebook in the coming weeks, will direct users to a site where the World Health Organization lists and debunks virus myths and rumors

WALMART AND SAM’S CLUB ARE TEAMING UP WITH FEEDING AMERICA _ There are many ways to donate to charities and non-profit organizations for their COVID-19 relief efforts and now big name companies are joining the efforts. Walmart and Sam’s Club are teaming up with Feeding America through May 11 to donate. Walmart kickstarted the partnership with a $3 million donation to Feeding America and its member food banks. Walmart shoppers can donate directly on Walmart’s website, or purchase grocery items from participating suppliers.

… For each item purchased from a Walmart or Sam’s Club, the monetary equivalent of one meal will be donated to Feeding America.

PAPER TOWELS MORE EFFECTIVE AT REMOVING VIRUSES THAN HAND DRYERS _ We knew it! We’ve mentioned past studies that say hand dryers in restrooms stink. They don’t dry your hands and, more importantly, they blow droplets off your hands and onto your clothes, the floor, your purse, etc. New research (University of Leeds) once again shows that using paper towels is substantially more effective than jet dryers for removing microbes when still contaminated hands are dried.

BUSCH OFFERING FREE BEER TO COUPLES WHOSE WEDDINGS WERE POSTPONED _ Has your wedding been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic? If so, Busch Beer wants to give you free beer for an entire year. Here’s how it works: post a photo of you and your significant, explain how you’re planning to commemorate the big day when it (eventually) arrives and use the hashtags #BuschWeddingGift and #Sweepstakes. The contest ends at 11:59 PM on May 1. 250 winners will be selected in a random drawing on May 2.

… The beer company says those who aren’t looking to get married can tag a friend and use #MyFriendsWedding and #Sweepstakes for a chance to win Busch merchandise. Those 50 winners will also be selected on May 2.

IDAHO FARM GAVE AWAY POTATOES FOR FREE _ Tough decisions, that’s what a lot of businesses are dealing with as the COVID-19 pandemic wreaks havoc on the economy. One decision for Idaho farmers, what to do with all the crops that they can’t use. Some have been forced to simply throw it away. Cranney Farms in Idaho has thousands of potatoes they were expecting to sell. But with no market for the potatoes, Cranney Farms decided they would share their crop, and advertised on Facebook with two words: “Free potatoes.”

… Cranney says that a majority of potatoes go into food service. A lot of the product, for example, ends up being French fries. With schools and restaurants closed, there’s less of a market for potatoes.

OKLAHOMA CITY BOMBING _ Sunday is the 25th anniversary of the Oklahoma City Bombing. Perpetrated by Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols, the bombing happened at 9:02 am and killed at least 168 people, injured more than 680 others, and destroyed one-third of the building. The blast destroyed or damaged 324 other buildings within a 16-block radius, shattered glass in 258 nearby buildings, and destroyed or burned 86 cars, causing an estimated $652 million worth of damage.

… 🎧  This is part of a tape recording from a machine in an office. The voice you hear is Lou Klaver, an official at the Oklahoma Water Resources Board opening a routine hearing on an application to pump and bottle water.

THE PATH TO FRAILTY BEGINS AS EARLY AS 40 _ The term “frail” is usually reserved for elderly individuals over the age of 65. Characterized by general weakness, delicacy, and increased susceptibility to illness, frailty isn’t something most people even consider as a possibility for themselves during middle age. However, a new study (Flinders University) finds that the path to frailty actually begins in many people as young as 40 years old. Researchers say that “pre-frailty” occurs in an astounding 45 percent of 40- to 49-year-olds.

… What should one look out for as indicators of pre-frailty? Poor balance, weak legs, weak trunk stability (the ability to control spinal and pelvic posture), diminished foot sensations, being underweight, poor nutrition. If any of these descriptions apply to you, researchers recommend you do your best to address the issue, no matter your age. Ignoring these conditions could lead to serious frailty later in life.

REMEMBER THIS? A YEAR AGO THIS WEEK: OVER 60 PERCENT OF AMERICANS CONSIDER THEIR CAR A FRIEND _ Americans spend an average of 18 full days in their car every year, so it’s not a big surprise that 64 percent of us consider our car a friend.

… Over a third of Americans would rather themselves get a scratch than their car, while another 15 percent would rather break a bone in their own body than have their car break down.

… One in five (21 percent) would rather spend an entire day in jail than have their car get totaled, and a wild 13 percent of Americans would actually break up with their partner before parting with their car.

… 44 percent have named their car.


WACKY-BUT-TRUE

WACKY-BUT-TRUE: CITY COUNCIL MEMBER ATTENDS MEETING FROM HOT TUB _ Many of us are getting a bit more casual at work meetings because we’re attending them via video conference from home. Then there’s North Oaks, Minnesota, city council member Martin Long, who recently attended a council meeting from his hot tub. About an hour into the April 9 teleconferenced council meeting, the camera on Long starts to move, and it’s apparent that he’s gone outside. He sits down somewhere outside of his house and after a few minutes, he disappears briefly and then reappears and his polo shirt is gone. For a few minutes, the small window showing Long reveals his bare shoulders. A little later, he puts his shirt back on. Then after he’s recognized to speak by the town’s mayor, Long has trouble unmuting his microphone. He finally says, “I’m trying. My fingers are wet. I’m in the hot tub.” He then holds up a pair of goggles and a toy boat.

WACKY-BUT-TRUE: ASSAULT WITH FROZEN SAUSAGE _ A driver in the UK suffered a broken nose after a frozen sausage was thrown through an open window of his car. After the sausage assault, the man managed to stop his car without hitting anyone else.

WACKY-BUT-TRUE: U-HAUL TRUCK FIRE _ A mysterious fire at a U-Haul truck rental lot in Eugene, Oregon, was solved after police viewed security camera video of what happened. In the video, a man in a vehicle and a woman standing at his window can be seen having an argument. At one point, the man lit a small firework and tossed it toward the woman. The video shows she ducked, and it hit the ground and exploded in sparks. The man then drives away. The couple apparently didn’t know there was another man under one of the trucks stealing gasoline from it. He spilled some on the pavement, and the firework lit it on fire, which eventually spread to four trucks; two of them were destroyed.

WACKY-BUT-TRUE: FORGET THE PANDEMIC… CLEAN YOUR DRIVEWAY _ 78-year-old Carol Yerdon got a letter from her homeowners association, which included a picture of her dirty driveway. Despite the stay-at-home order in her Florida county (Osceola County), the HOA demanded she clean her driveway. Because of the pandemic, Yerdon’s daughter tried to reason with the HOA, but the organization’s demand still applied, and the family would face additional actions if they didn’t send pictures of a clean driveway by the end of the week. The next day, a neighbor found a pressure-cleaning company for the Yerdons.

WACKY-BUT-TRUE: DRIVER RUNS, LEAVES BEHIND PHONE AND DRUGS _ Police in England received reports of a reckless driver. Officers pursued the vehicle, but it stopped and the occupants ran. But they left behind their mobile phones, a quantity of cash, and a plastic tub containing drugs.


ON TELEVISION

FRIDAY

MACGYVER (8p ET, CBS) — New. Mac is put into a dream state to help him recall key evidence found in Nikola Tesla’s secret lab.

SHARK TANK (8p ET, ABC) — New.

THE BLACKLIST (8p ET, NBC) — New. A blacklist case forces Liz to choose sides between Red and the Task Force.

WWE SMACKDOWN (8p ET, FOX) — New.

CHARMED (8p ET, CW) — New.

MAGNUM P.I. (9p ET, CBS) — New. Magnum and Higgins are undercover as a couple on a romantic bus tour working a case.

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

DYNASTY (9p ET, CW) — New.

DATELINE (10p ET, NBC) — New.

PREMIERE: FRIDAY NIGHT IN WITH THE MORGANS(10p ET, AMC) — This new weekly series, hosted by husband-wife duo Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Hilarie Burton from their farm in upstate New York, will feature guests via video chat discussing how they’re handling life in quarantine and what they’re doing to help their communities. Guests will include Morgan’s fellow The Walking Dead cast members Christian Serratos and Sarah Wayne Callies, as well as Mark Duplass, Katie Aselton, and Jensen Ackles and his wife Danneel.

SERIES FINALE: STRIKE BACK (10p ET, Cinemax) — After eight seasons, this action drama ends its run.

#BLACKAF (Netflix) — From the creator of black-ish, Kenya Barris, this new comedy stars Barris and Rashida Jones (Parks and Rec). The show is based on Barris’s life and his unorthodox parenting style, with Jones as his wife and the mother of their six children. Guest stars for the season include Issa Rae, Lena Waithe, Ava DuVernay, and Tyler Perry.

BOSCH (Amazon Prime) — Titus Welliver returns in new episodes of this crime drama based on Michael Connelly’s series of novels.

SERGIO (Netflix) — This new biographical drama is about United Nations diplomat Sérgio Vieira de Mello,and focuses on his assignment in Baghdad after the US invasion of Iraq. Garret Dillahunt, Brían F. O’Byrne, Will Dalton, and Bradley Whitford star.

HOME (Apple TV+) — This new documentary series tours the world’s most innovative homes.

SATURDAY

ONE WORLD: TOGETHER AT HOME (ABC, NBC, CBS, CW and more, streaming on  Amazon, Facebook, and YouTube) — Presented by Global Citizen and the World Health Organization and curated by Lady Gaga, this 2-hour special will be hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, Jimmy Fallon and Stephen Colbert. Stars set to appear (remotely) include: Elton John, Billie Eilish, Alanis Morissette, Andrea Bocelli, Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong, Burna Boy, Chris Martin, David Beckham, Eddie Vedder, FINNEAS, Idris and Sabrina Elba, J Balvin, John Legend, Kacey Musgraves, Keith Urban, Kerry Washington, Lang Lang, Lizzo, Maluma, Paul McCartney, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Shah Rukh Khan and Stevie Wonder.

… Additional stars set to participate include: Alicia Keys, Amy Poehler, Awkwafina, Camila Cabello, Celine Dion, Ellen DeGeneres, Jennifer Lopez, LL Cool J, Lupita Nyong’o, Matthew McConaughey, Oprah Winfrey, Pharrell Williams, Sam Smith, Shawn Mendes, Taylor Swift, Usher and Victoria Beckham.

SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE (11:30p ET, NBC) — Repeat.

SUNDAY

AMERICAN IDOL (8p ET, ABC) — New. A deeper look into the lives of the top 21 contestants, including never-before-seen performances.

GOD FRIENDED ME (8p ET, CBS) — New. Miles weighs the consequences of carrying out the God Account’s wishes when his new friend suggestion alleges Miles ruined his life.

NCIS: LOS ANGELES (9p ET, CBS) — New. NCIS helps a former NCIS tech operator search for her missing ex-partner, when they fear he might be working with the gun runners.

THE WALL (8p ET, NBC) — New.

ZOEY’S EXTRAORDINARY PLAYLIST (9p ET, NBC) — New. Zoey surprisingly finds herself getting into major conflict with Simon, Max, Mo and even Howie.

PREMIERE: THE LAST DANCE (9p ET, ESPN) — Originally set to premiere in June, this 10-part docuseries about Michael Jordan and his final season with the Chicago Bulls will air in two-hour installments over the next five Sundays. The Last Dance features never-before-seen footage from the ’97-98 Bulls season and interviews with Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman, Phil Jackson, and many more. ESPN will air the uncensored version, while ESPN2 will air a family friendly bleeped version of the curse words.

NCIS: NEW ORLEANS (10p ET, CBS) — New. The team investigates the death of a Naval microbiologist whose hobby as a “myth buster” resulted in his death.

GOOD GIRLS (10p ET, NBC) — New. Beth decides to find a solution to her Rio problem once and for all after he backs her into a corner.


ENTERTAINMENT

BRIAN DENNEHY DIES AT 81 _ Actor Brian Dennehy died Wednesday of natural causes. The veteran actor guest starred on a number of 1970s TV shows before landing a recurring role on Dynasty in 1981. Dennehy was a five-time Emmy nominee who won a Golden Globe playing Willy Loman in the 2000 TV movie Death of a Salesman. In recent years, Dennehy had parts on Public Morals, Hap and Leonard and most recently on The Blacklist as Elizabeth Keen’s grandfather.

… His big breakout movie role was as Sheriff Teasle in Sylvester Stallone’s Rambo action flick, First Blood. He’d go on to star in several films in the ’80s and ’90s, including Silverado, Cocoon, Best Seller, and Presumed Innocent. Brian’s most notable comedy role came in 1995, when he played Big Tom Callahan in the classic Chris Farley movie Tommy Boy.

MOVIE THEATERS INCLUDED IN PLAN TO REOPEN US ECONOMY _ The Trump White House on Thursday announced a three-phase plan to reopen the U.S. economy that includes the relaunch of movie theaters in the second phase.

… In Phase One of the Opening Up America Again plan, all vulnerable individuals should continue to shelter in place, social and physical distancing should still be practiced in public, non-essential travel should be minimized, and teleworking should continue to occur where possible.

Phase Two, which can only begin after a community shows no evidence of rebound or surge in new cases, would allow “large venues,” including “sit-down dining, movie theaters, sporting venues, places of worship” to operate under “moderate physical distancing protocols.” Schools and organized youth activities can reopen, bars can operate with “diminished standing-room occupancy,” gyms can reopen with “strict physical distancing and sanitation protocols,” and elective surgeries can resume.

… Phase Three allows for visits to senior care facilities and hospitals, gyms to reopen with “standard sanitation protocols” and bars to operate with “increased standing room occupancy, where applicable.” The aforementioned large venues — sit-down dining, movie theaters, sporting venues and places of worship — will be able to operate with “limited physical distancing protocols.”

… The decision on whether to open up businesses again ultimately falls to each state’s governor.

BAD BOYS FOR LIFE MAY END UP AS 2020’s TOP GROSSING FILM _ Bad Boys For Life may end up grossing more money at the box office than any other film of 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic has had a catastrophic effect on both the lives of people around the world and the global economy. In March, most movie theaters began locking doors to the public in an effort to help mitigate the spread of the virus. This box office shutdown has gone hand-in-hand with the delay of dozens of major films, many being pushed back as far as 2022. As one of the only major films to be released in theaters this year so far, Bad Boys For Life is on the track to be the biggest movie at the box office with its haul of $419 million. With its second-place ranking, Sonic the Hedgehog brought in $306 million.

… Everything could change if the world gets good news in the coming months. A rapid and substantial decline in COVID-19 cases could see a reduction in social distancing requirements, meaning businesses may begin to reopen and allow life to resume some sense of normalcy. In that case, it’s possible theater chains could open their doors for some of the big films set to be released later in the year, possibly leading to the action blockbuster losing its current crown.

FYRE FESTIVAL FOUNDER WANTS OUT OF PRISON _ The organizer behind Fyre Festival, the failed music festival that dissolved into chaos and left hundreds stranded on an island in the Bahamas, has requested to be released early from prison due to the spread of coronavirus. Billy McFarland has been behind bars since 2018, after pleading guilty to federal fraud charges related to the infamous event he set up a year earlier. In a letter filed Tuesday, McFarland is asking the federal judge who presided over his case to grant him compassionate release from prison and let him serve the rest of his six-year sentence — of which four years still remain — under home confinement.

… McFarland’s lawyers argue that the Fyre Festival organizer is at a higher risk to developing severe symptoms or dying from the coronavirus due to preexisting health conditions. According to court documents, McFarland has “extreme” allergies and asthma, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said puts individuals at greater risk.

HAIRDRESSER PAYS $50,000 TO CLONE HIS BULLDOG _ A hairdresser to the stars including Britney Spears has welcomed a cloned French bulldog. Celebrity hairdresser Roberto Novo shelled out $50,000 to clone his beloved French bulldog, who died on February 7 last year. The 61-year-old had Machito for 14 years. Machito’s genetic duplicate — who has been named Machitwo — arrived on February 7 this year, exactly one year after Machito died.

HGTV ORDERS REMOTELY FILMED HOME RENOVATION SHOW _ HGTV is launching a coronavirus quarantine-inspired show called Design at Your Door, where “desperate homeowners” will film themselves doing home renovation as experts give them advice remotely.

THE JOY OF PAINTING’S BOB ROSS GETS A ‘BOB ROSS CHANNEL’ _ The late painting instructor Bob Ross now has his own “channel”. The TV series is available on the ad-supported Bob Ross Channel on Samsung TVs and will become more widely available next month. Ross’ Joy of Painting is already free to watch on YouTube. • VIDEO

DISNEY RELEASED A VIDEO RIDE-THROUGH OF BIG THUNDER MOUNTAIN RAILROAD _ In case you missed it, there are about a million videos floating around out there that capture the experience of going on some of the most iconic rides at the Disney Parks around the world. That’s all well and good, but this week, Disney released an official video of its own so you can take a virtual ride on the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. • VIDEO

… If you’re not familiar, the ride takes passengers on a train ride through hills and mountains. Also, fun fact: The town you’re riding through is called “Tumbleweed.” Because it’s Disney, the video is also full of magical anecdotes. As you take your virtual ride on the clickety, clackety train, you’ll be treated to all sort of fun facts that appear on the screen.

STEPHEN KING SHARES NETFLIX RECOMMENDATIONS _ No matter how long the coronavirus-induced quarantines last, we’ll never run out of things to watch. Should you have already completed your personal watch list though, fear not, as internationally acclaimed horror and thriller writer Stephen King has you covered.

… By looking at his Twitter, someone has compiled King’s Netflix recommendations over the past couple of years. These include the zombie series Black Summer; the serial killer series Mindhunter; and the supernatural Hotel Beau Sejour.

… He also recommends Calibre, Cam, Dracula, Fauda, Le Mante, Money Heist, The Stranger and Pine Gap.

ANDY RICHTER TO HOST A LIVE WEEKLY ANIMATION DOMINATION RECAP SHOW _ Conan sidekick Andy Richter will host a new show called Anidom Beyond Show on social broadcasting platform Caffeine starting Sunday night. The hourlong program will feature interviews with the cast and crew of Fox animated series The Simpsons, Family Guy, Bob’s Burgers, Bless the Harts, Duncanville and more. Viewers will be able to interact live with Richter.


BITS & BREAKS

WHY YOU SHOULD SLEEP IN THE NUDE

Before you slip under the covers, strip off your clothes. Because science says so!

• You’ll Have Better Skin. It’s good for your skin, which likes to breathe. Especially if you tend to sweat at night, sleeping without clothes can be a great idea.

• You’ll Regulate Your Hormones. Sleeping naked can help regulate your cortisol levels because your body remains cooler than when it’s clothed. Cortisol can creep up when the body gets too warm, leading to anxiety, food cravings, and weight gain.

• You’ll Get a Better Night’s Sleep. Not getting tangled up in clothing makes for a more comfortable night’s rest. A better night’s sleep makes for a better day ahead.

• You’ll Feel Happier. For those who don’t sleep solo, enjoying skin-on-skin contact with your partner on a consistent basis increases the release of oxytocin. Oxytocin is the feel good hormone which boosts our mood and make us happier overall.

WHAT DO YOU WISH YOUR SPOUSE WOULD GET RID OF?

FB icon What’s the thing your spouse owns you wish he or she would get rid of? An old shirt? A favorite chair? Some old slippers?

• My husband has an ugly green shirt that is faded and falling apart. I am thinking of just throwing it out and telling him it fell apart in the laundry!

• His boat. It’s a money pit.

• His tons of pictures of an old girlfriend!

• His recliner — it’s got a spring poking out of the back, and it doesn’t match the rest of the furniture!

• All her Cardinals gear. I would not be sad at all if something mysteriously happened to it all.

• Nothing now. When we moved his Harley Davidson lamps (which didn’t work) mysteriously disappeared.

• The “used car lot” that’s out in my driveway! One more “fixer-upper”and the city is gonna go nuts.

TOP BOARD GAMES PEOPLE ARE BUYING ON AMAZON

A lot of people are buying board games online as they try to find ways to pass the time while staying safe at home amid the coronavirus pandemic. Here are the top board games being purchased on Amazon.

10. Scrabble. The word-creation classic.

9. Guess Who. This is a two player game where opponents attempt to guess which character out of 24 possibilities their opponent has picked.

8. Catan the Board Game. A civilization building game is for three to four players.

7. Battleship With Planes. This classic head-to-head strategy game has a little twist as it features airplanes in addition to ships.

6. Zingo. This twist on Bingo is geared for the little ones in your family who can’t read yet or are just starting to read.

5. Sequence. This game of strategy is all about getting five in a row.

4. Codenames. Teams compete to see who can make contact with all of their agents first.

3. Monopoly. No explanation necessary.

2. Sorry. Each player gets four pawns to move around the board.

1. Connect 4. Choose which colored discs you want, gold or red. Then, drop them one at at time into the grid, alternating with your opponent. The first player to get four discs in a row wins.

… You could also go for some smarter games by buying the Mensa organization’s top 2019 picks. They have five games in their ‘select’ category and five in their ‘recommended’ category.


FUN & GAMES

TRIVIA: It costs $70,000 to train one of these. (A Navy Seal dog)

TRIVIA: Uganda’s is the shortest, Greece has the longest. (National anthem)

TRIVIA: A study says doing this relaxes women and boosts their happiness more than shopping. (Watching a favorite TV program)

TRIVIA: The average person will do this 17 times in their life. (Run over animals with their car)

BREAKFAST BINGO

Five questions. Each answer begins with the corresponding letter in the word BINGO.

• A round sandwich meat that’s a staple of kids’ lunches. (Baloney)

• When we want to come up with new ideas we use our what? (Imagination)

• So we think they are healthier, many products claim they are all what? (Natural)

• Where you grow vegetables. (Garden)

• In a game, the other team is called your… (Opponent)



DATEBOOK: APRIL 20, 2020

BIRTHDAYS

• George Takei (Star Trek) is 83

• Jessica Lange is 71

• Clint Howard is 61

• Crispin Glover is 56

• Andy Serkis (Lord of the Rings) is 56

• Shemar Moore (Criminal Minds) is 50

• Carmen Electra is 48

• Joey Lawrence (Blossom, Brotherly Love) is 44

IT HAPPENED TODAY

• 1896: The first movie was shown at Koster and Bials Music Hall in New York City. Up until this time, people saw films individually by looking into a kinetoscope. This was the first time in the U.S. that an audience sat in a theater and watched a movie together.

• 1889: Nazi leader Adolf Hitler was born in Braunau, Austria.

• 1916: Chicago Cubs played their first game at Weeghman Park — now Wrigley Field. They defeated the Cincinnati Reds 7-6.

• 1980: The first Cubans sailing to the United States as part of the massive Mariel boatlift reached Florida.

• 1999: Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold kill 13 people and injure 24 others before committing suicide at Columbine High School located in Jefferson County, Colorado.

• 2006: Residents in the English town of Luckington started making extra money by charging to pull drivers out of a river that they were accidentally driving into because of a mistake in a satellite navigation system.

• 2008: Danica Patrick won the Indy Japan 300 becoming the first female driver in history to win an Indy car race.

• 2010: An oil rig run by British Petroleum exploded in the Gulf of Mexico about 50 miles off the Louisiana coast, resulting in the largest off-shore oil spill in U.S. history. The fire and explosions on the platform killed 11 workers and injured 17.

SPECIAL EVENTS

• 4/20 Day

• Pot Smokers Day or National Weed Day

• Dictionary Day

• Cheddar Fries Day

• Pineapple Upside-down Cake Day