INTERPREP PRO ★ JUNE 18, 2020
Audio • Bits & Breaks • Datebook • Datebook Tomorrow • Entertainment • Fun & Games • News & Nuggets • News Attack • Number • TV • Wacky-But-True
DATEBOOK: JUNE 18, 2020
• Paul McCartney is 78
• Carol Kane is 68
• Country singer and The Voice judge Blake Shelton is 44
• Jacob Anderson (Game of Thrones) is 30
IT HAPPENED TODAY
• 1873: Susan B. Anthony was fined $100 for attempting to vote in the 1872 presidential election.
• 1928: Aviator Amelia Earhart became the first woman to fly in an aircraft across the Atlantic Ocean. She was a passenger; Wilmer Stutz was pilot and Lou Gordon was mechanic.
• 1948: Columbia Records publicly unveiled its new long-playing phonograph record in New York. It played at 33 and 1/3 revolutions per minute.
• 1983: Astronaut Sally Ride became the first American woman in space.
• 1992: Italian police arrested a man for stealing 17-thousand little bars of hotel soap.
• 2018: Donald Trump announced he would set up a sixth branch of the military: a “space force.”
• Autistic Pride Day
• Bartender Day
• Sushi Day
• Recess At Work Day
• Picnic Day
• Cheesemakers Day
NUMBER FOR THE DAY
215: Most pairs of underwear worn at the same time. The record was set by a then-10-year-old in Alabama.
According to a survey the most dreaded day for adults is the day we go to the dentist. [I especially dread it because my dentist dresses like a clown and works out of a van.]
Head injuries from riding motorized scooters are on the rise. [Of course, you could also argue that people who choose to ride motorized scooters must already suffer from some sort of head injury.]
A study says domesticated dogs developed the ability to make that sad-eye look as a way to evoke human sympathy. Their ancestors, wolves, don’t make that face at humans. [They have more of a “You look like you’d be quite delicious for dinner” kind of look.]
Target is raising its minimum wage to $15 starting July 5. Walmart’s minimum wage is still $11. [Sure, but you get to wear a blue vest.]
Target is raising its minimum wage to $15 starting July 5. The United States’ minimum wage is just $7.25 an hour. [So if you work at Target you could hire a subcontractor to help you with your job and both of you would make $7.50 an hour.]
Researchers are studying the lint in our belly buttons. [Leave mine alone. I’m collecting enough to knit a sweater.]
The United Nations estimates that by 2050 the world will have almost 10 billion people. [Each with his own podcast.]
Twitter is introducing audio tweets that can run up to 140 seconds. [And guess who’s starting a 140-second daily podcast from the oval office?]
NEWS & NUGGETS
WHAT LIVES IN YOUR BELLY BUTTON _ Researchers (North Carolina State University) dug into the microbial contents of 60 volunteers’ belly buttons. The whole thing started about two years ago. An undergrad’s idea — sampling colleague’s navel bacteria for a holiday card — struck a chord with the university team. For a holiday card?
… The researchers handed out swabs to 60 intrigued volunteers. Back to the lab, the scientists examined the genetic makeup of their bacterial loot. The Belly Button Biodiversity project had officially begun. From 60 belly buttons, the team found 2,368 bacterial species, 1,458 of which may be new to science.
… Some belly buttons harbored as few as 29 species and some as many as 107, although most had around 67. Ninety-two percent of the bacteria types showed up on fewer than 10 percent of subjects — in fact, most of the time, they appeared in only a single subject. One person, for instance, apparently harbored a bacterium that had previously been found only in soil from Japan — where he has never been. Another, more fragrant individual, who hadn’t washed in several years, hosted two species of so-called extremophile bacteria that typically thrive in ice caps and thermal vents.
… To make the knowledge useful, scientists need to know why these bacteria show up. Hoping to answer some questions, the team is already working on several hundred more navels — soon to be 600. They’ll use those new samples to start testing the correlation of the navel dwellers with everything from subjects’ places of birth to the makeups of their immune systems.
CITING RACIAL STEREOTYPE, PEPSICO DROPS AUNT JEMIMA, UNCLE BEN’S _ PepsiCo Inc said on Wednesday it will change the name and brand image of its Aunt Jemima pancake mix and syrup, dropping a mascot that has been criticized for a racist history. The logo of the more than 130-year-old brand features an African-American woman named after a character from 19th-century minstrel shows. The offensive caricature is rooted in a stereotype of a friendly black woman working as a servant or nanny for a white family.
… Following PepsiCo’s move, ConAgra Brands Inc announced a full review of its Mrs. Butterworth’s syrup, whose package is meant to evoke a “loving grandmother.” Rice brand Uncle Ben’s said it was also considering updating its brand, which features a white-haired African-American man named after a Texas rice farmer.
TARGET IS RAISING ITS MINIMUM WAGE TO $15 AN HOUR IN JULY _ Target will raise its minimum wage for employees to $15 up from $13 starting July 5, a few months ahead of a deadline it set three years ago. The retailer had made a pledge in 2017 to increase wages to $15 an hour by December 2020. The company said Wednesday that the new minimum wage applies to 275,000 part-time and full-time employees at its discount stores, distribution centers and its headquarters.
… A tight labor market before the pandemic had prompted major retailers including Walmart and Amazon to announce wage hikes. The federal minimum wage is $7.25, and it hasn’t increased in over a decade.
… The new $15 minimum wage now puts Target on par with Amazon, which raised its minimum wage to $15 in November 2018. It also puts Target ahead of Walmart, which employs 1.5 million workers in the United States and currently offers a minimum wage of $11 an hour.
ANOTHER REASON TO QUIT FACEBOOK _ There is some good that comes from Facebook, but one of the biggest reasons to quit: it’s a giant time-suck. It’s estimated that the average casual user (58 minutes per day on Facebook) who has been active on the site for 10 years has wasted upwards of 140 entire days of their life scrolling and liking and commenting on pictures and posts.
NEW FORD BRONCO WILL DEBUT ON JULY 9 — O.J. SIMPSON’S BIRTHDAY _ Ford Motor Co. plans to reveal the all-new Ford Bronco on July 9, which falls on the birthday of O.J. Simpson. Simpson, a former football star, is known internationally for being in a white Ford Bronco that aired on live TV leading a massive police chase on June 17, 1994, after being charged with murder in the slayings of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman. The chase, a 60-mile slow-speed pursuit, was carried live on national TV. It was watched by 95 million people. Simpson was a passenger in the 1993 Bronco while his friend and former teammate Al Cowlings drove the I-405 in Southern California.
… Back when the car chase happened, Ford wasn’t thrilled that so much was made of the fact Simpson fled in a Bronco and that the vehicle was so deeply entrenched in the story.
MASKS BECOME LESS EFFECTIVE WHEN A PERSON COUGHS MORE THAN ONCE _ Along with social distancing, wearing face masks helps to slow or prevent the spread of COVID-19. The reason being, when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or spits while talking, the mask may block the respiratory droplets from traveling onto someone else. However, a recent study suggests that while masks may work against one cough, they’re less effective when someone coughs repeatedly.
… Researchers (University of Nicosia) used computer simulations to replicate the flow patterns of respiratory droplets from repetitive coughing behind a face mask. With each cough the mask became less effective at preventing the spread of airborne droplets. However, wearing a mask to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is still better than not wearing a mask. In the study, after ten cough cycles, the mask efficiency can drop by about 8 percent.
TOO MANY OF US FEEL GUILTY ABOUT TAKING A LUNCH BREAK _ If you skip your lunch break out of guilt, you are not alone — 82 percent of workers are also opting out of the downtime. A survey (Staffordshire University) reveals that people are choosing to complete their work over the time they give themselves for breaks.
COUPLE MARRIED 3 DECADES STILL SPLITS EVERYTHING _ An elderly Chinese couple sparked a heated online debate last week after it was revealed that despite being married for 30 years, they still split all their finances, household chores, and even the food in their refrigerator. In many parts of the world, going Dutch is considered perfectly normal on dates, but for a couple going on three decades of marriage and having been living together for all that time, it seems a bit strange. Still, for Mr. and Mrs. Chen, an elderly couple (in Tianjin) splinting everything, from finances to the eggs in their fridge, has been the norm for as long as they can remember.
… According to Chinese media, this special couple don’t even share a bed, with the husband instead sleeping in a narrow hallway. Everything in their house, down to the plastic wash basins, are split between them. For example, if a light bulb goes out, Mrs. Chen has to ask someone to change it, because her husband will not do it unless it’s on one of his designated ceiling lamps. The refrigerator is split down to the number of eggs, which the two spouses each having their own shelves.
… Mrs. Chen said that their unique arrangement was a consequence of her husband’s selfish behavior. Ever since they were young, he would always keep all the things he bought for himself, never sharing them with her, so at one point she just decided to give him a taste of his own medicine. They’ve been going Dutch ever since.
… Interestingly, the two credit this system for making their life together more peaceful, as they don’t fight over the things they own or chores they have to do.
WIFE’S BATHROOM BREAK EARNS HUSBAND $500,000 LOTTERY PRIZE _ A South Carolina man said his wife’s urgent need for a bathroom break led to his winning big money from a scratch-off lottery ticket. The man and his wife made a stop at the Aynor Food Mart in Aynor, South Carolina, because she urgently needed to use the restroom. The man decided to fill up the gas tank while he was waiting, and he spotted another person at the pumps scratching off a lottery ticket. The man told his wife he was going inside to buy the same type ticket. She says she told him no at first, but her husband insisted and he won the ticket’s stop prize of $500,000.
TWITTER INTRODUCES AUDIO TWEETS _ Twitter is getting vocal with a brand new feature that will enable users to share their thoughts with audio recordings. The process to sending a voice tweet is similar to sharing a standard one: open the composer and tap a new ‘wavelength’ icon. Users will then see their profile photos with a record button at the bottom of the screen to initiate a voice memo. Each audio tweet can be a maximum of 140 seconds. Once the time limit is reached, a new voice tweet will start automatically in order to generate a thread. Threads can contain a maximum of 25 voice tweets. Once finished recording, users can re-listen to their voice tweets before publishing.
… Twitter says voice tweets will appear on timelines alongside existing tweet formats. Audio playback will start in a new window docked at the bottom of the timeline so that users can continue to scroll through Twitter — or even depart the app entirely — and continue to listen. As of now, voice Tweets are only available on iOS — and to a limited group of testers. Twitter says a wider rollout is slated for coming weeks.
NEWSWEEK IN 1995: WHY THE INTERNET WILL FAIL _ Twenty-five ago, in 1995, this was printed about the Internet in Newsweek magazine: “We’re promised instant catalog shopping — just point and click for great deals. We’ll order airline tickets over the network, make restaurant reservations and negotiate sales contracts. Stores will become obsolete. So how come my local mall does more business in an afternoon than the entire Internet handles in a month? Even if there were a trustworthy way to send money over the Internet — which there isn’t — the network is missing a most essential ingredient of capitalism: salespeople.”
… Granted, in 1995 the Internet was a mess. It’s somewhat understandable how many may have believed there wasn’t something to this Internet thing.
REMEMBER THIS? A YEAR AGO THIS WEEK: DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN CATS _ Scientists says cats are not as clever as we think. The thought processes of 15 cats were tested by attaching food to the end of lengths of string and observing whether they could figure out that pulling the line brought the treats closer. The cats had no problem with tackling single pieces of string. But when faced with two options, experts discovered that unlike their canine counterparts, cats were unable to consistently pick a baited string over a dummy.
WACKY-BUT-TRUE: COWS TAKE OVER BEER GARDEN AT CLOSED RESTAURANT _ A British hotel and restaurant temporarily closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic shared video of the beer garden being overrun by some unusual premature customers — a herd of cows. The Motat House (near Stafford, England) said workers preparing for the business’ planned reopening looked outside Tuesday and spotted a dozen cows wandering through the outside seating area.
… A manager at the Motat House told the press: “We had spaced out the tables and chairs [for] social distancing, but they showed no respect for that. We wondered if they thought they had herd immunity.”
WACKY-BUT-TRUE: MAN BREAKS INTO APARTMENT, STAY OVERNIGHT, CLEANS _ In the UK a guy broke into an empty apartment. The owners were away for a few days. The guy stayed one night, replaced the beer he drank with a better brand of beer, and cleaned the place — even the rooms he never entered. Police have no leads and the apartment owners, while grateful for the cleaning, have changed their locks and installed security cameras.
WACKY-BUT-TRUE: GIRLFRIEND MIGHT HAVE STOLEN TV REMOTE _ A man in the Ukraine told police he thinks his ex-girlfriend used a key he had given her to enter his apartment, steal his TV remote, and slash his clothes with a knife.
WACKY-BUT-TRUE: THIS DOES NOT AFFECT ME BEING CHIEF OF POLICE _ In one case, officials say Grayson, Louisiana, Police Chief Mitch Bratton seized $2,500; in another, they say, he seized $1,150. Now he’s been seized: Louisiana State Police concluded that the chief had hidden the money instead of recording it as evidence. Bratton was booked into jail to face charges, but he posted the following to Facebook that same day: “I won’s debate the validity of the charge, [but] this does not affect me being the chief of police.”
WACKY-BUT-TRUE: WITH DMV CLOSED, MAN MAKES HIS OWN PLATES _ Like many government services, the Oregon Department of Motor Vehicles has reduced services during the pandemic. But one driver worked out his own solution. The Washington County Sheriff’s Office released a photo of the driver’s new license plate after the car was pulled over. It was hand-written, made of cardboard, and showed “DMVCLOSED” for the license number, plus “12” and “21” in the corners where the month and year would go on actual plates. The sheriff’s office gave the man points for creativity, but asked people not to do this, adding it’s OK to leave expired plates on your car until the DMV reopens.
HOLEY MOLEY (8p ET, ABC) — New. Celebrity friends cheer on a competitor on Slip N’ Putt.
COUNCIL OF DADS (8p ET, NBC) — New. Robin and the Council agree to tell Luly a shocking truth.
CELEBRITY WATCH PARTY (8p ET, FOX) — New.
BURDEN OF TRUTH (8p ET, CW) — New. Joanna and Billy investigate Millwood Family Services and discover a potential error in the custody hearing evidence.
DON’T (9p ET, ABC) — New.
BLINDSPOT (9p ET, NBC) — New. When Ice Cream, the Icelandic fixer, returns to collect his debt, the team is forced into a life and death race around the world to solve a series of puzzles.
LABOR OF LOVE (9p ET, FOX) — New. Kristy and Kristin test the men on their physical strength and endurance to see if they can survive a labor simulation.
IN THE DARK (9p ET, CW) — New.
BROKE (9:30p ET, CBS) — New. Luis’ dad (guest star Cheech Marin) arrives in town to test how Javier has handled being cut off financially.
TO TELL THE TRUTH (10p ET, ABC) — New. Celebrity panelists are Jeannie Mai, Craig Robinson, Bobby Moynihan and Meagan Good.
SEASON FINALE: TOP CHEF (10p ET, Bravo) — New. Melissa, Brian and Stephanie face off in an epic Italian showdown to cook the meal of their lives to win the title of Top Chef.
SERIES PREMIERE: SYFY WIRE’S THE GREAT DEBATE (11p ET, Syfy) — Baron Vaughn (Mystery Science Theatre 3000) moderates this new show where celeb panelists will debate burning questions in science fiction, fantasy, horror, comics and general geekdom. For example, “Who’d be a worse boss, Darth Vader or the Joker?”
CLEANIN’ UP THE TOWN: REMEMBERING GHOSTBUSTERS (Crackle) — This documentary celebrates the blockbuster 1984 comedy in interviews with cast members Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, Ernie Hudson and Sigourney Weaver and director Ivan Reitman.
SEASON PREMIERE: THE ORDER (Netflix) — The war between magicians and werewolves continues in season 2.
SERIES PREMIERE: TASTE THE NATION WITH PADMA LAKSHMI (Hulu) — This new cooking show sends Top Chef host Padma Lakshmi on a cross-country odyssey to try America’s favorite foods.
THE INVISIBLE MAN IS AT THE TOP OF THE BOX OFFICE AGAIN _ The Invisible Man — a movie that opened in February, and is already on digital and Blu-ray — has ended up at the top of the box office once again. The Invisible Man box office numbers have put it at No. 1 for the second time in its sixteenth weekend. Of the top 105 grossing theaters in the country, 102 of them were drive-ins. So while traditional movie theaters are still shuttered, newish films are available to be seen on the big, big screen, and of those films The Invisible Man is at the top.
… Second at drive-ins is Trolls World Tour, followed by Back to the Future (correct).
MICHAEL KEATON TO STAR IN HULU OPIOID CRISIS DRAMA _ Michael Keaton is teaming with Empire co-creator Danny Strong and director Barry Levinson on a limited series based on a book exploring the opioid crisis. Dopesick will take viewers from a distressed Virginia mining community, to the hallways of the DEA, and to the opulence of “one percenter” Big Pharma Manhattan. Keaton will play Samuel Finnix, “an old-school doctor who approaches his practice with kindness and compassion but finds himself embroiled in Big Pharma’s deadly secret.”
… This will be Keaton’s first regular TV series role since TNT miniseries The Company in 2007.
BLOW-UP DOLLS WILL HELP THE BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL FILM SEX SCENES _ The Bold and the Beautiful producers say say a combination of stand-in actors and blow-up dolls will be used to film complicated sex scenes. A producer of the CBS soap says: “We have some life-like blow up dolls that have been sitting around here for the past 15 years, that we’ve used for various other stories — (like) when people were presumed dead. We’re dusting off the dolls and putting new wigs and make-up on them and they’ll be featured in love scenes.” The soap returned to filming on Wednesday and is trying to keep its A-list actors safe from coronavirus.
HOW ABC WILL FILM THE BACHELORETTE AND DANCING WITH THE STARS _ ABC says Clare Crawley’s Bachelorette season will be filmed under quarantine, with no cast or crew member allowed to leave the production during filming. ABC says Dancing with the Stars “will rely on lessons from other territories where the reality competition is produced.”
THAT ’70S SHOW’S DANNY MASTERSON FACING 45 YEARS IN PRISON _ Actor Danny Masterson, who was made famous for his role in That ’70s Show, has been charged with forcibly raping three women in separate incidents in his Hollywood Hills home and is facing 45 years in prison if convicted. He was arrested by the LAPD on Wednesday morning, and was released in the afternoon on $3.3 million bail.
… Masterson’s lawyer immediately released a statement and has denied all charges against his client. Masterson has been under investigation by the LAPD for nearly three years and was recently dropped by the Netflix series The Ranch in December 2017.
KEANU REEVES AUCTIONING OFF A 15-MINUTE ZOOM CHAT FOR CHARITY _ Have you ever wanted to talk to Keanu Reeves? Well, you now have the opportunity to have a 15-minute Zoom chat with him. Reeves is auctioning off the online chat for an Idaho-based children’s cancer-fighting non-profit. The bidding began at $10,000 but has since risen to $16,500 (check).
CINEMARK ADDS FRESH AIR, CASHLESS TICKETING _ Cinemark, one of the nation’s largest cinema operators, will start reopening its doors Friday, adding new measures that it hopes will counter any risk of a COVID-19 outbreak and reassure customers.
The theater company said it will stagger the reopening of its theaters across the country in four phases, starting with three locations in Dallas, and the remaining phases to take place between July 3 and July 17.
… Cinemark employees will undergo training to deal with the new health risks and will wear masks and gloves while working, in addition to completing a wellness check before each shift. To ensure social distancing, theater capacity will be capped so the seats next to each booking group are kept free. Customers will have to wear masks where states or counties mandate it, otherwise where there are no such rules the chain said guests are “strongly encouraged to wear face masks.”
… Auditoriums will be disinfected daily and highly trafficked areas such as drink stands will be sanitized every 30 minutes, and there will be safety monitors to enforce the new rules. Other measures include increasing the fresh air intake to improve air quality, limiting the use of cash, and relying on digital ticketing.
BITS & BREAKS
THIS IS GOING AROUND FACEBOOK
I met a man on the London Bridge. He tipped his hat an drew his name. In this riddle I told you his name. What is it?
THE MOST DREADED DAY FOR ADULTS
According to a recent poll, Americans dread going to the dentist more than they dread Mondays and the April 15th tax deadline.
33% — Dentist visit
18% — Mondays
15% — Tax Day
WELCOME THE SUMMER SOLSTICE
Usually when someone complains that it has been a long day, it was a day that felt long. But on June 20 (5:44 PM EDT), it’s more than a figure of speech. It really is the longest day of the year in terms of daylight. It is the day of the summer solstice.
• In Chicago, for example, there are more than 15 hours of daylight.
• In Alaska, the sun drops down to the horizon for about two hours before it chases away the twilight to start the day again.
• Legend says it’s the day when the sun stands still. That’s actually what the word solstice means. It comes from the Latin words sol meaning sun and sistere, meaning to cause to stand still.
• As the solstice approaches, you can see the noonday sun rise higher and higher in the sky each day. On the day of the solstice, however, it rises an imperceptible amount compared to the day before and it seems to stop.
• Mystics throughout the centuries believed the solstice was a time of light and fire. Many cultures saw it as a time to reflect upon the growth of the season. It has often been seen as a time for renewal and for love. No wonder people want to get married in June.
• The first full moon after the solstice also has been considered special. That moon, this year on June 22, is called the Honey Moon. It got its name from the fermented honey drink offered at marriage ceremonies.
REAL EMAILS SENT TO LANDLORDS
• The toilet is blocked, this is caused by the boys next door throwing their balls on the roof.
• This is to let you know that there is a smell coming from the man next door.
• I request your permission to remove my drawers in the kitchen.
Our toilet seat is broken in half and is now in three pieces.
• I want some repairs done to my stove as it has backfired and burnt my knob off.
• The toilet is blocked and we cannot bath the children until it is cleared.
• Will you please send someone to mend our cracked sidewalk. Yesterday my wife tripped on it and is now pregnant.
• Our kitchen floor is very damp, we have two children and would like a third, so will you please send someone to do something about it.
FUN & GAMES
TRIVIA: The longest one of these ever found was 19 feet, 2 inches. (Alligator)
TRIVIA: These take up 2 percent of the Earth’s surface. (Cities)
TRIVIA: The average person will do what 17,000 times a day. (Blink)
TRIVIA: In American military slang, what is a click? (A kilometer)
SPY THE LIE
• The first known use of separate men’s and women’s bathrooms was at the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair. (LIE. It was at a Parisian ball in 1739.)
• Mullet Tossing is a fish tossing game that takes place at the Florida/Alabama border.
• The very first Super Bowl touchdown was made by Max McGee. (He played for Green Bay.)
HOLE IN THE HEADLINE
Guess the word that’s missing from this real news headline: “Man Fined for Farting at ______ ‘With Full Intent'”
A man in Vienna, Austria, has been fined $565 for breaking wind loudly in front of police. Police said the man had behaved “provocatively and uncooperatively” during an encounter with officers that preceded the farting incident. Cops say he got up from a park bench, looked at officers and “let go a massive intestinal wind apparently with full intent. And our colleagues don’t like to be farted at so much.”
DATEBOOK: JUNE 19, 2020
• Phylicia Rashad is 72
• Kathleen Turner is 66
• Paula Abdul is 58
• Poppy Montgomery (Unforgettable, Without a Trace) is 45
• Ryan Hurst (The Walking Dead, Sons of Anarchy) is 44
• Zoe Saldana is 42
• Lauren Lee Smith (CSI) is 40
• Paul Dano is 36
• Giacomo Gianniotti (Grey’s Anatomy) is 31
• Atticus Shaffer (The Middle) is 22
IT HAPPENED TODAY
• 1846: The first baseball game under recognizable modern rules was played in Hoboken, New Jersey.
• 1910: The first Father’s Day was celebrated in Spokane, Washington.
• 1941: General Mills in Minneapolis created a new dry breakfast cereal called Cheerie Oats. The name was later shortened to Cheerios.
• 1978: The Garfield comic strip debuted.
• 1993: Toronto police reported that a business burglar had left a thumb print in the owner’s Silly Putty.
• 2015: Hawaii raised the legal smoking age from 18 to 21, the highest smoking age among all the states.
• 2016: Actor Anton Yelchin was killed when he was pinned by his Jeep Grand Cherokee against an entrance post at his home.
• Flip Flop Day
• Ugliest Dog Day
• Martini Day