InterPrep PRO – May 7, 2021

AudioBits & BreaksDatebookDatebook TomorrowEntertainmentFun & GamesNews & NuggetsNews Attack!Number for the DayTelevisionWacky-But-True


DATEBOOK: MAY 7, 2021

• Singer Thelma Houston is 78

• Morocco Omari (Empire) is 51

• Comedian Aidy Bryant (Saturday Night Live) is 34

• Alexander Ludwig (Vikings, The Hunger Games) is 29

• YouTube star MrBeast is 23

IT HAPPENED TODAY

• 1985: The first pig racing season began in Tulsa, to culminate 10 weeks later with the Arnold Ziffel Sweepstakes. First-year favorites included Marvin Hogler and Bruce Pigsteen.

• 1991: A bandit tried to hold up a Jacksonville, Florida, supermarket wearing a paper bag over his head with eye holes cut so he could see. But when he moved, the bag shifted and he couldn’t see. While he adjusted the bag it tore, exposing his face. A checker recognized him as one of the store’s regular customers.

• 1992: Space Shuttle Endeavour was launched on its maiden voyage.

• 1998: A Pasadena, California, couple returned from vacation to find over a thousand birds inside their home. The flock of small migratory swifts had flown down the chimney. Firemen helped the couple clear the birds out in about two hours, but cleaning up the mess took a lot longer.

• 1999: A jury found The Jenny Jones Show and Warner Bros. liable in the shooting death of Scott Amedure, after the show purposely deceived Jonathan Schmitz to appear on a secret same-sex crush episode. Schmitz later killed Amedure and the jury awarded Amedure’s family $25 million.

• 2002: Triple Crown winner Seattle Slew died at age 28. It was 25 years to the day after his victory in the Kentucky Derby.

• 2003: A man wanted for trafficking and possession of cocaine was arrested when his parole officer spotted him kissing his girlfriend in a live crowd shot displayed on the scoreboard at a Cincinnati Reds game. The suspect and his parole officer attended the same game when the smooching couple were caught by the “Kiss Cam”. The parole officer and a police officer arrested the 24-year-old man in his front row seat.

• 2013: Delaware became the 11th US State to legalize same-sex marriage.

• 2020: U.S. unemployment claims hit 33.3 million or 20 percent of the workforce.

SPECIAL EVENTS

• Child Care Provider Day

No Pants Day

• Cosmopolitan Day (the drink)

• International Space Day

• Military Spouse Appreciation Day

• Tuba Day

• Roast Leg of Lamb Day


DATEBOOK WEEKEND

SATURDAY, MAY 8

• David Attenborough is 95. Toni Tennille is 81. David Keith is 67. Commentator and former NFL coach Bill Cowher is 64. Melissa Gilbert is 57. Matt Davis (The Vampire Diaries) is 43. Domhnall Gleason (Peter Rabbit, Unbroken) is 38. Julia Whelan (Once and Again) is 37. Olivia Culpo is 29.

• Bereaved Mother’s Day. Mother Ocean Day. Animal Disaster Preparedness Day. Archery Day. Dog Mom’s Day.Miniature Golf Day. Windmill Day. World Belly Dance Day. Ovarian Cancer Day. Coconut Cream Pie Day. Babysitters Day (some sources say it’s May 9).

SUNDAY, MAY 9

• Glenda Jackson is 85. Candice Bergen is 75. Billy Joel is 72. John Corbett is 60. Rosario Dawson is 42. Audrina Patridge is 36. Grace Gummer is 35.

• Mother’s Day. Shrimp Day. Foodies Day. Lost Sock Memorial Day. Babysitters Day (some sources say it’s May 8)


NUMBER FOR THE DAY

7: Speed, in miles per hour, of a typical raindrop.


NEWS ATTACK!

Today (Friday) is No Pants Day. [Not a day to drive-thru a McDonald’s for one of their scalding hot coffees.]

Today (Friday) is No Pants Day. [Which has been every day since early last year.]

A new survey finds 20 percent of Americans say they will never get the vaccine. [Unless it comes with a Big Mac Meal Deal.]

According to a study, thinking happy thoughts when you’re young can help you live a long life. The conclusions came from a 15-year study of nuns. [That proves it’s false. If young nuns are thinking happy thoughts, they won’t stay in the convent long enough to become old nuns.]

A study proves what many of us already know: The majority of us are brand loyal to products like coffee, mayonnaise, toothpaste, headache remedies, and cigarettes. [Yeah, I know my neighbor’s 8-year-old won’t switch from Marlboro for anything.]

A study found drivers are significantly more likely to die in a small car than a large one. [Also, you’re more likely to choke on a whole watermelon than a grape.]

According to a study, drinking tea is good for the brain. [I seriously question that. Have you ever seen a session of British Parliament?]

Medical research finds that the majority of American kids are dehydrated. [Some so badly that they hardly have the strength to ignore you.]


NEWS & NUGGETS

LOTTERY JACKPOTS GROW _ The two national lotteries have some pretty substantial jackpots. Tonight’s (Friday) Mega Millions jackpot sits at $370 million, while tomorrow night’s Powerball jackpot is $157 million.

GOATS RETURN TO REAGAN LIBRARY _ More than 350 goats are using their mouths to help protect The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library & Museum from wildfire danger. The herd returned this week to eat brush around the institution’s campus in the Southern California community of Simi Valley. The goats create a firebreak between the natural vegetation and the facility. Goats were credited with helping keep the library safe from a wildfire in 2019.

MANY OF US THINK WE’RE A BETTER PERSON THAN EVERYONE WE KNOW _ A new study finds nearly one in two people believe they’re the best person they know. In a recent survey of 2,000 U.S. residents, 81 percent say they believe that humankind is inherently good. Three in four believe they themselves are fundamentally a good person.

… When researchers asked respondents how they would compare themselves to others in their lives, 46 percent went a step further, admitting (in their eyes) they’re “better” than everyone else they know.

… 72 percent admit to judging other people’s behavior. Another 61 percent also worry other people are actively judging them. In general, Americans say that a good person should be kind (49%), giving (45%), and friendly (41%). When researchers asked respondents to list which qualities they wished to have however, 38 percent wanted to be more successful over anything else, even happiness (21%).

WOMAN MAKES ‘WORLD’S UNHEALTHIEST DINNER’ _ Many people love a chicken nugget or some fish sticks now and again. One woman in England went overboard and created a whole platter of unhealthy food for her and her partner for their dinner. The food lover, named Paige, took to Twitter to show it off as she shared a snap of her creation with her 506 followers. It quickly caught the attention of many more people when she asked whether the meal meant she was “childish” or “wife material”. The meal included breaded turkey dinosaurs, turkey twizzlers, fish fingers, chicken nuggets, waffles, pizzas, alphabettis, spaghetti and spring rolls. This was accompanies by a nice glass of orange juice for her and her partner. • IMAGE

… The post quickly went viral. Many seemed to be loving it, as one person exclaimed: “incredible”. One guy admitted he’d “be gone” if it was cooked for him. Another person branded the meal “uncultured”.

GROCERY EMPLOYEE HONORED FOR SAVING A TODDLER’S LIFE _ A quick-thinking grocery store (Schnucks) employee who saved a toddler’s life earlier this spring received an award Wednesday for his heroism, as well as a proclamation by the mayor of Alton, Illinois. Back in March, 24-year-old Ben Mazur (may-zr) was collecting carts in the parking lot when he noticed a cart rolling down the hill with a child inside — all while cars were pulling in and out of the lot. The cart got away from a mother who was trying to get her other children in the car. She hardly noticed until it was almost too late, but thankfully, Mazur was watching. His awareness kept the child safe and it definitely did not go unnoticed. On Wednesday, Alton’s mayor surprised the 24-year-old by declaring May 5 as Ben Mazur Day. It was a special day because May 5 is also his birthday.

TWITTER MAKES IN-APP TIPPING OFFICIAL WITH ‘TIP JAR’ _ Twitter just introduced its long-rumored in-app tipping feature. The company is enabling some users to add a “tip jar” to their profile so other users can pay them without leaving the app. Twitter says for now it’s making the feature available to “a limited group of people around the world.” Users who have access to Tip Jar are able to connect their account to Bandcamp, Cash App, Patreon, PayPal and Venmo.

NOW’S YOUR CHANCE TO NAME HOUSTON’S NEWEST LIBRARY _ Houston just opened a can of worms by asking the public to help name the city’s new library. The new library has a naming committee which will narrow down submissions from the public. In other words, if you’re thinking of submitting the name The Center for People that Read Good, or Booky McBookplace, forget it.

MOST POPULAR ATHLETE BORN IN EACH STATE _ Have you ever wondered who the most popular athlete is in the world right now? It would probably be either LeBron James or Cristiano Ronaldo. What about the most popular athlete in the state of Idaho? Yeah, that’s a tougher one to guess. Thanks to the website U.S. Casinos, sports fans have a little better understanding of which athletes are considered the “Hometown Heroes” in each state. • LINK

… The website collected data for each of the fifty states’ most successful and prodigious athletes from Bleacher Report, then analyzed each athlete’s respective Wikipedia page to determine which one had the most page views from March 2020 to March 2021.

REBAR IMPALES TRUCK IN FLORIDA, DRIVER UNINJURED _ Most of us, if we’re lucky, will never hit anything — or be hit by anything — as we zip down a highway at 70 miles an hour. Besides the typical harmless objects, like small rocks or random bits of rubber or trash. A truck driver in Florida walked away uninjured when several pieces of construction rebar pierced the front of the vehicle. Two work trucks were involved in a crash (in West Melbourne, Florida) causing rebar being carried by one of the trucks to pierce the front of the other vehicle. Photos from the scene show that the rebar stabbed through the center console of the truck and entered the interior near where the driver’s right leg would be. Firefighters said no one was injured in the crash. • IMAGE

🗣 TOPIC: What did your vehicle hit — or get hit with — on the highway?

WOMAN DRIVES SUV THROUGH EX-BOYFRIEND’S BURIAL SERVICE _ A woman who was told not to come to her ex-boyfriend’s funeral in North Dakota (Fargo) was charged this week after witnesses said she drove through the cemetery and tried to run over mourners during the ceremony. 28-year-old Blair Whitten, who’s from Minnesota, was charged with reckless endangerment following the incident in Fargo, North Dakota, on Saturday. A witness said that Whitten was not wanted at the burial ceremony because she had made negative posts on social media about the ex-boyfriend’s death.

TRIX YOGURT IS COMING BACK _ Remember when Yoplait yogurt came in Trix flavor? Me neither. But the company says it’s bringing the ’90s flavor back to store shelves. Available beginning in early May (which is now!), Trix Yoplait is offered up in two sweet flavors: strawberry and berry.

… Before you run out to your favorite store to stock up on the snack packs though, it’s important to know that you can only get them at Walmart and SuperValu stores.

EASILY DISTRACTED? YOU MAY HAVE TOO MUCH BRAIN _ Researchers (University College London) said those who are easily distracted from the task in hand may have “too much brain.” The researchers found larger than average volumes of gray matter in certain brain regions in those whose attention is easily diverted.

A YEAR AGO THIS WEEK: WASH AWAY YOUR WORRIES WITH SOAP AND WATER _ Your soap-and-water sessions might do more than just scrub away dirt and bacteria. Research (University of Michigan) suggests that hand washing can actually wash away worries about day-to-day decisions.


WACKY-BUT-TRUE

WACKY-BUT-TRUE: NAKED MAN SETS FIRE TO HIS HOME _ Things started off oddly enough when a man in Romania had his wife shave all his body hair. Then he dressed in her clothes and went for a walk. That’s when his wife took the kids and fled the home. Police say the man, likely under the influence of drugs, then came home, stripped off all is clothes, and set his home on fire.

WACKY-BUT-TRUE: FLORIDA GRANDMA GOES BONKERS IN BURGER KING _ A Florida woman went absolutely bonkers in her local Burger King after the tomato was sliced too thick on her Whopper. Judith Ann Black — age 77 — was arrested after she admitted to police (in Wildwood) that she threw the Whopper at the worker. According to police, Black stated “that she was angry that the victim was not fixing the issue and ‘had the burger in my hand and tossed it at her.'” She also admitted to using a number of racial slurs at the staff. She was charged with battery, but since she hurled racial slurs at the staff, it’s elevated to a third-degree felony.

WACKY-BUT-TRUE: FLOCK OF GIANT CONDORS TRASH WOMAN’S HOME _ Giant California condors are rare — but not at Cinda Mickols’ home. About 15 to 20 of the giant endangered birds have recently taken a liking to the house in the city of Tehachapi, California, and have made quite a mess. The birds showed up last weekend and have trashed the deck — ruining a spa cover, decorative flags and lawn ornaments. Plants have been knocked over, railings scratched and there’s poop everywhere.

… The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says that the house is in historic condor habitat, and suggested that Mickols try harmless hazing like shouting and clapping or spraying water. California condors almost vanished in the 1980s before the few remaining birds were captured and placed in zoos for captive breeding. A few hundred birds are now in the wild.

WACKY-BUT-TRUE: BURGLAR HANDS OVER HIS I.D. _ It was 3AM when a woman woke up in her hotel room in Manhasset, New York, disturbed by a stranger moving around in her room. She turned on the lights and sure enough, a man was going through her things. She jumped up and demanded his identification. He dutifully handed over his driver’s license. It apparently dawned on him that this was a bad idea, so he ran. While waiting for police the woman noticed her cash was gone. Thanks to his license, police found the man was also staying at the hotel. Michael C. Lee was arrested and charged.

WACKY-BUT-TRUE: LOST MY COCAINE _ The staff of an unnamed medical facility in East Garden City, New York, got a phone call from someone who recently visited: did they find an item he had lost? The employee said they would go look and call him back. They called police instead when they found the item was a packet of cocaine.


ON TELEVISION

FRIDAY

THE BLACKLIST (8p ET, NBC) — New. Red takes steps to infiltrate Townsend’s criminal organization.

SHARK TANK (8p ET, ABC) — New. Products include a portable basketball shooting machine, an instant sneaker cleaner, and an all-in-one beer making device.

WWE FRIDAY NIGHT SMACKDOWN (8p ET, FOX) — New.

SEASON FINALE: MAGNUM P.I. (9p ET, CBS) — New. Magnum and Higgins work a stalking case involving a man with a past in espionage. The show has been renewed for another season.

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

SEASON PREMIERE: DYNASTY (9p ET, CW) — Season 4 begins.

BLUE BLOODS (10p ET, CBS) — New.  Danny and Baez discover a connection to a feud between local residents and city sponsored hotels for the homeless while investigating a murder.

SKYVILLE LIVE (10p ET, CMT) — Cyndi Lauper performs with special guests Kelsea Ballerini and Ingrid Michaelson.

THE BOY FROM MEDELLIN (Amazon Prime) — This new documentary examines Latin music superstar J Balvin and his mental health struggles.

SEASON PREMIERE: MYTHIC QUEST: RAVEN’S BANQUET (Apple TV+) — Season 2 picks up sometime after the show’s emotionally harrowing quarantine episode with Poppy and Ian back to butting heads over the direction of their game.

JUPITER’S LEGACY (Netflix) — This new action-drama, starring Josh Duhamel, is based on the comic and examines the lives of the children of superheroes in a world where a small group of super powered individuals have existed since the 1930s.

QUEEN OF METH (Discovery+) — Lori Arnold, sister of comic Tom Arnold, details her past life as a big-time drug dealer in this new documentary.

SEASON PREMIERE: SHRILL (Hulu) — The third and final season of this Aidy Bryant comedy begins.

LITTLE FISH (Hulu) — This sci-fi romance stars Olivia Cooke and Jack O’Connell as a couple dealing with a pandemic that leaves those afflicted with increasing memory loss.

SATURDAY

VAX LIVE: THE CONCERT TO REUNITE THE WORLD (8p ET, ABC, CBS) — Selena Gomez hosts this star-studded event that aims to increase public confidence in COVID-19 vaccines. Performers include H.E.R., Jennifer Lopez, Eddie Vedder, Foo Fighters and J Balvin. Also scheduled to appear are President Joe Biden, first lady Dr. Jill Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, French President Emmanuel Macron, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Chrissy Teigen, David Letterman, Gayle King and Jimmy Kimmel, Ben Affleck, Olivia Munn, Sean Penn and more.

SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE (11:30p ET, NBC) — New. Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk hosts, with musical guest Miley Cyrus.

SUNDAY

AMERICAN IDOL (8p ET, ABC) — New. The remaining finalists perform one song dedicated to the special loved ones in their lives in honor of Mother’s Day and a second song from the Coldplay songbook, mentored by lead singer Chris Martin.

THE EQUALIZER (8p ET, CBS) — New. An overseas call for help from the daughter of McCall’s deceased CIA mentor forces McCall, Mel and Harry to work remotely to aid the conflict journalist as she’s pursued by a hit squad in France.

AMERICAN NINJA WARRIOR (8p ET, NBC) — New. Twelve female competitors battle across two daunting courses, with the winner taking home $50,000 and becoming the first-ever American Ninja Warrior Women’s Champion.

NCIS: LOS ANGELES (9p ET, CBS) — New. When military grade technology is stolen, a deaf engineer and the only member of her team to survive the theft, helps Kensi track down the tech before it’s taken out of the country.

ZOEY’S EXTRAORDINARY PLAYLIST (9p ET, NBC) — New. In therapy, Zoey reflects back on her unexpectedly profound first day working at SPRQPoint.

FEAR THE WALKING DEAD (9p ET, AMC) — New. Grace wakes up with a case of amnesia and sees what has become of her friends after she has been gone for years.

THE STORY OF LATE NIGHT (9p ET, CNN) — New. This episode focuses on Johnny Carson.

NCIS: NEW ORLEANS (10p ET, CBS) — New. As Pride directs the team to link Sasha to the recent attacks in New Orleans, he must help Connor come to terms with who his mother really is.

THE ROOKIE (10p ET, ABC) — New. Nolan and Bradford hope they can de-escalate a drug war before any innocent lives are lost.

GOOD GIRLS (10p ET, NBC) — New. Flashbacks reveal the road that led Rio to his present life.


ENTERTAINMENT

IN THEATERS AND STREAMING _ New movies in (select) theaters, streaming, and video on demand.

Wrath of Man with Jason Statham and Josh Hartnett (Theaters)

Here Today with Billy Crystal, Sharon Stone and Penn Badgley (Theaters)

The Human Factor (Theaters)

Mainstream with Andrew Garfield (Theaters)

Monster (Netflix)

The Paper Tigers (Theaters + VOD)

Silo (Theaters)

The Water Man with Rosario Dawson, Maria Bello and Alfred Molina (Theaters)

🔈 ULTIMATE SLIP ‘N SLIDE GAME SHOW _ Bobby Moynihan and Ron Funches will co-host NBC’s upcoming competition game show Ultimate Slip ‘N Slide. As you can probably guess, the show is is inspired by Wham-O’s outdoor toy of the same name that was first introduced in the 1960s. The show will feature a water park consisting of giant slippery rides as teams compete in multiple games in order to earn a cash prize. Contestants will play games such as Human Pong, Body Bowling, Cornhole, Bocce Fall and more.

… The series will premiere on August 8 following the closing ceremony of the Summer Olympics.

NEW TRAILER FOR A QUIET PLACE PART II _ It’s been almost seventeen months since the first trailer for A Quiet Place Part II was released, and we’ve still got another three weeks to go until the hotly-anticipated sequel finally arrives. The movie even held its world premiere in March, 2020 in New York City before the pandemic came along.

… On Thursday a new trailer for A Quiet Place Part II was released. • VIDEO

… A Quiet Place had a box office haul of over $340 million on a $20 million budget.

GIRL ON DATING APP SHARES AWKWARD MATTHEW PERRY VIDEO _ Newly-single celebrities like Ben Affleck and Matthew Perry are hopping on the ultra-exclusive dating app Raya — but sometimes they wish they hadn’t. We just recently saw Ben Affleck in the spotlight after a woman unmatched him thinking she was getting catfished. Ben sent her a message to prove it was him — and she shared the video on TikTok. Now it’s Friends star Matthew Perry’s turn.

… According to Page Six, Perry matched with 19-year-old Kate Haralson (she’s 20 now) who said that he was only a year older than her dad. And while she admitted that he was too old for her, she thought it would be “funny” to chat with him. This conversation apparently happened last May, but when they matched, Perry wanted to hop on a Facetime and play “20 questions” to get to know each other better. She obliged. But in light of what happened to Ben Affleck, she decided to share the video now. Haralson thought sharing the video would be “funny” but says she’s getting a lot of hate for putting their private conversation on the internet.

ROBERT DOWNEY JR.’s ASSISTANT DEAD AT 52 _ Robert Downey Jr. is mourning the loss of his assistant, Jimmy Rich. Downey Jr. says Jimmy was in a fatal car accident Wednesday night, calling it a “terrible and shocking tragedy.” He says Jimmy was like a brother to him, an uncle to his kids, and “beloved by all who experienced his singular character and wit.” RDJ’s also thanking Jimmy for supporting him throughout his recovery from drug addiction, saying Jimmy stuck with him every step of the way.

JOSH DUGGAR RELEASED FROM JAIL _ Josh Duggar has been released from jail on bond after he was arrested last week on child pornography charges — but the shamed reality star won’t be returning home. Duggar cannot be around other children and will be monitored by a GPS. Duggar will be allowed to visit his children, as long as his wife, Anna — who is pregnant with the couple’s seventh child — is present. She announced her pregnancy days before her husband was arrested on April 29.

… Duggar’s arrest is connected to the November 2019 raid by Homeland Security on his car dealership. At the time, one desktop computer, one laptop computer and a cellphone, all belonging to Duggar, were seized.

JUSTIN BIEBER BUMPS TOUR TO 2022 _ A week after it was reported that Justin Bieber’s 2021 tour would be bumped into next year, Bieber has made it official, announcing that his run of arena shows will now begin in San Diego on February 18, 2022.

NBC, LILLY SINGH TO END LATE-NIGHT SHOW _ After two years NBC and Lilly Singh will end her late-night program, A Little Late With Lilly Singh.


🔈 PRO AUDIO PAGE

I’LL ALWAYS LOVE MY MAMA

Mother’s Day is Sunday. Here’s a funky old song from The Intruders.

NO PANTS DAY

May 7 Datebook: It’s No Pants Day. Here’s a tune called the No Pants Anthem. CAUTION: Uses the word ‘hell’.

ULTIMATE SLIP N’ SLIDE

May 7 Entertainment: The new game show will debut on NBC in August immediately following the closing ceremonies for the Summer Olympics. Here’s the Olympics theme.

BABY SAYS MAMA

A dad shared on Twitter a video of his younger staying mama. As one person commented: “Your kid sounds like he’s been smoking for decades.” Here’s the video.

PHONER

Mother’s Day is Sunday: Should men buy something for wives for Mother’s Day? A few calls to help your local phones light up.

DAD PRESS CONFERENCE

This is what it’d be like if dads were interviewed about their day like coaches after a game loss. Video link.


BITS & BREAKS

DECIPHERING MOTHER’S DAY PHRASES

• When your mom says: “Being your mother is gift enough,” she means, “Being your mother is gift enough, although I wouldn’t mind some cash or scratch-off lottery tickets.”

• When your mom says: “I completely forgot it was Mother’s Day,” she means, “but you can thank your lucky stars you didn’t, or I would have used it against your for the next ten years.”

• When your mom says: “No really, I want you to save your money,” she means, “I want you to save your money till you have enough to by me a new iPad.”

• When your mom says: “Don’t get me anything,” she means, “Don’t get me anything less than you’d buy that trashy girlfriend of yours.”

THINGS YOU WON’T GIVE UP TO SAVE MONEY

A 27-year-old woman posted a list of the things she won’t give up to save money. And since nothing on her list is needed for survival, she caught some grief. But the truth is we all have things we won’t give up just to save money. Maybe it’s the daily Dunkin’ Donuts coffee at the drive-thru, or a hobby like golf, or something a bit more expensive like the dough you keep pumping into that ‘classic’ car in the garage.

Here’s what she won’t give up:

• Quality shoes.

• A quality purse.

• My toothpaste. I’m a Tom’s of Maine addict.

• A haircut.

• Lots of fresh, clean water. That’s bottled water.

🗣 TOPIC: What won’t you give up to save money?

WHAT ARE SOME THINGS YOU LIKE ABOUT AMERICANS?

Reddit asked this question of its non-American readers: “What are some things you like about Americans?”

• The thing that stands out to me from times that I’ve visited to US is the phrase ‘Have a nice day’ and the sincerity with which Americans will say it and appear to mean it.

• Your drive. As an Australian whose duties extend to leaving the hammock once a fortnight to grab more beer, I’m always amazed at how driven Americans are to do things. I sometimes wish I had that sort of passion for achievement.

• Costco. Costco is amazing.

• They are charitable and often open to lending a helping hand.

• Your breakfast items. The works with pancakes AND toast AND cornbread AND you name it. Amazing.

• Americans work hard. I know there’s the stereotype of laziness, but I think that this is inaccurate. Most Americans work their a#%@s off, and many never complain.

• Americans love innovation. It’s a great place to take a novel idea an run with it.

• Americans are proud to be whoever they are, proud to be American, proud of American things. This sometimes goes too far but I wish the average Brit wasn’t so full of self loathing of themselves and their country.

• I really like the fact that America is made up of so many cultures. If you migrate to America, you keep (and share) your old culture AND add some American.

• When I was over there I noticed how easy-going, social, friendly and open people seemed to be. I like it a lot. here in Norway people seem to be much more introvert.

• Most Americans are ridiculously good looking. I like that.

• Your military is what really keeps us safe, because ours is completely irrelevant.

• I love that you can hold such a huge amount of cultural diversity within a single national identity.

• Your contributions towards the ongoing development of the Internet. Without it I would have to talk to real people.

ALL OF THE SHORTAGES IN US ECONOMY

COMPUTER CHIPS — An ongoing computer-chip shortage has affected cars, iPads, and basically anything with a computerized component. The semiconductor shortage has hit automakers the hardest. In January it was estimated the automotive industry would lose $61 billion in revenue from the shortage this year.

GAS — Gas prices have skyrocketed in recent months, jumping 22.5% in March from the previous year, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Price Index. Much of the surge in gas prices started with the extreme Texas freeze, which halted a fifth of the country’s oil-refining capacity in its tracks for weeks at a time.

PLASTICS AND PALM OIL — The devastating winter storms in Texas also left their mark on the plastics industry. The state is a key plastics exporter — and the storms made many plants, which are difficult to reactivate, press pause. Palm oil, which is in a majority of those packaged products, also saw its prices climb. That’s due to yet another labor shortage; the industry had already been contending with finding more sustainable production methods.

TRUCKING — Increased shipping demand has combined with a lack of drivers and trucks to result in climbing shipping costs.

HOMES AND VACATION HOUSES — The US was facing a shortage of 3.8 million homes as of April. Home builders have been struggling to keep up with demand as remote work fuels interest in spacious housing, with house prices rising at their fastest pace in 15 years. Lumber prices are also driving the cost of new homes even higher. In the past year alone, the median cost of a home in the U.S. shot up 15% from $300,000 in 2019 to $340,000 by the end of 2020.

LUMBER — If you’re wondering why the houses around you are getting more expensive, look to their component parts. Lumber prices have soared builders are increasing house prices in an attempt to offset demand. Due to the pandemic, lumber mills were forced to temporarily close for safety concerns. When they reopened, they couldn’t keep up with a scorching-hot housing market, goosed by a work-from-home economy, record low mortgage rates, and the need for personal space during the pandemic.

FURNITURE — The work-from-home lifestyle helped the furniture industry boom but to such an extent that customers are seeing delivery dates that are months out.

CHICKEN — Chicken-wing supply is dwindling while prices rise. It’s due in part to increased demand and shortages caused by devastating winter storms in Texas. But all chicken is harder to get ahold of. Fried chicken sandwiches have gained viral popularity in the past few years, straining supplies.

BACON AND HOT DOGS — Bacon and hot dogs will likely be in short supply this summer. The pig shortage dates back to the onset of COVID-19 and outbreaks in at least 167 meat-processing plants forcing almost 40 plants to close as of June 2020. As vaccination rates pick up and people prepare for summer vacations and cookouts, analysts say demand will outstrip supply.

IMPORTED FOODS LIKE CHEESE, COFFEE, AND OLIVE OIL — Dozens of mega-containers ships are waiting to dock off the coast of Los Angeles. The site accounts for about one-third of US imports, and the backlog is causing ships to wait weeks to dock and unload.

CHLORINE — This summer pool owners will see the worst chlorine shortage in US history. Supplies of the chemical have been strained since a fire at the chlorine manufacturer BioLab in Louisiana in September. The price for chlorine used in pools has nearly doubled this past year and is expected to rise even more to meet demand this summer.

CORN — Corn is a key crop for many products, including fuel and different foods. As supply concerns loom, corn prices are popping off. There’s a few reasons that demand is so high: After an outbreak of swine fever in China, pig herds were “decimated,” leading to huge corn demand in China. That spike in demand is coupled with corn crops in Brazil and Argentina experiencing both bad weather and pandemic-related labor shortages.


FUN & GAMES

TRIVIA: According to industry figures, 40 percent of the world’s almonds end up where? (In chocolate bars. Also, 20 percent of the world’s peanuts end up in chocolate bars.)

TRIVIA: Five percent of adults say they have a daily fear of what? (Being hit by lightning)

SPY THE LIE

55 percent of candy sales are impulse buys.

The world’s first computer weighed 30 tons.

Men account for 42 percent of all cosmetic surgery procedures. (LIE. 14 percent.)

ODD ONE OUT!

Which of these is the odd one out… and why?

• Fuji

• Rainier

• Everest

• McKinley

• Shasta

• Gobi *

• Kilimanjaro

* Gobi is a desert; the others are mountains.

HOLE IN THE HEADLINE

Guess the word that’s missing from this news headline: INTOXICATED ITALIAN CRASHES CAR WHILE ______ WHILE DRIVING!

A) Watching YouTube
B) Solving a Rubik’s Cube
C) Brushing her teeth*

After a session of drinking, an Italian woman put her car on cruise control and, at more than 60 miles per hour, got out her toothbrush and started brushing her teeth. At some point the car veered off the road and took out a fence. She was treated at a hospital and then charged.



DATEBOOK: MAY 10, 2021

• Sports anchor Chris Berman is 66

• Former astronaut Ellen Ochoa is 63. She is credited with being the first Hispanic woman in space.

• Bono of U2 is 61

• Linda Evangelista is 56

• Erik Palladino (NCIS: Los Angeles, ER) is 53

• Todd Lowe (True Blood, Gilmore Girls) is 49

• Kenan Thompson (Saturday Night Live) is 43

• Lindsey Shaw (Pretty Little Liars) is 32

• Lauren Potter (Glee) is 31

IT HAPPENED TODAY

• 1908: Mother’s Day was observed for the first time, in West Virginia.

• 1954: Bill Haley and the Comets released Rock Around the Clock, the first rock and roll record to reach number one on the charts.

• 1996: In Texas a Cochran County sheriff’s deputy accidentally shot himself and a dispatcher while giving a firearm safety demonstration. Both were hospitalized with non-life-threatening leg wounds.

• 1999: Police in Rapids Parish, Louisiana, recognized a man wanted in Houston for aggravated assault when they saw him on Jerry Springer in a televised battle between the man and his sister.

• 2002: FBI agent Robert Hanssen was given a life sentence without the possibility of parole for selling United States secrets to Moscow for $1.4 million in cash and diamonds.

• 2005: A hand grenade allegedly thrown by Vladimir Arutinian landed about 65 feet from U.S. President George W. Bush while he is giving a speech to a crowd in Tbilisi, Georgia, but malfunctioned and didn’t detonate.

• 2016: An Indian fertility clinic announced that a 70 year old woman had successfully given birth to a baby boy.

• 2014 The unidentified remains of victims of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack were put to rest in a private depository next to the museum at the World Trade Center Memorial site.

• 2018: R. Kelly’s songs were removed from Spotify playlists after sexual abuse allegations.

• 2020: Global confirmed cases of COVID-19 rise above 4 million.

SPECIAL EVENTS

• Food Allergy Awareness Week

• Hurricane Preparedness Week

• Nursing Home Week

• Reading is Fun Week

• Salute to Moms 35+ Week

• Salvation Army Week

• Work At Home Moms Week

• American Craft Beer Week

• National Etiquette Week

• Stuttering Awareness Week

• Clean Your Room Day

• Golf Day

• Hamster Day

• World Lupus Day

Liver and Onions Day

Eat What You Want Day