The Incredible Shrinking Five Things About Media and Technology Right Now

(I don’t know why I started giving these posts classic sci-fi/monster movie titles, but sometimes things just happen. Here’s Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5Part 6Part 7Part 8Part 9Part 10Part 11Part 12, Part 13., and Part 14. Whew.)

1. Well, it looks like we’re going to be living with this for a long, long time.

This disease, this virus, this cancer, this thing that has hurt so many people in so many ways. It looked like it had vanished for good, but now it has made an ugly comeback. We all thought it was safe to go out in public again, unprotected, but now we know that’s not quite true. If anything, we have to be more vigilant than ever. If we’re careful and we take the proper precautions to avoid it, it doesn’t have to affect our lives the way it did before.

I’m talking, of course, about the return of Gawker.

2. Mike Richards wouldn’t have been my first choice for Jeopardy! host (my favorites were David Faber, Anderson Cooper, Ken Jennings, Mayim Bialik, and Buzzy Cohen), but he was quite good. He’s a natural in front of the camera. But fans are up in arms because they think he stacked the deck in his favor by being the executive producer of the show. They started to film the new season today (the new season launches in September), but let’s see if any of Richards’s past comments and actions will derail any plans for him to be the permanent host). (Update: He’s out!)

3. Congratulations to Facebook for their new technology that will let companies create virtual conference room meetings. It’s like Zoom only 5000x more creepy (though it only shows your avatar from the waist up so Jeffrey Toobin might like it).

I’m upset about this because if I ever had to do it I’d have to give my avatar a bald head and that never looks quite right.

4. Doesn’t my local TV station understand that I don’t want to take out my smartphone (I don’t even own one – I have a flip phone), walk up to my television set, and scan some code they have on the screen? JUST TELL US WHAT THE WEB ADDRESS IS.

5. Sad news: WGBH’s Beat the Press has been canceled after 22 years. I was actually going to start appearing on the show starting in September. Here’s to host Emily Rooney and all of the panelists. It was a fun show, one I looked forward to every Friday at 7, and I’m sad to see it go.

Food for Thought

So the other day I was reading a health article in AARP Magazine (I now read health articles in AARP Magazine, apparently) and it said that there are five foods you should never eat after the age of 50. I was hoping the list included things like tongue or brussels sprouts or liver, or maybe that Vegemite stuff Men at Work sang about in “Down Under,” foods I would have no trouble at all avoiding because they’re not a part of my life anyway. But no, the list was frozen pizza/frozen foods, French fries, instant oatmeal, bottled iced tea, and potato chips.

Sorry, health article in AARP Magazine, that’s not a deal I can make.

But how about this: I stop eating ice cream at the end of summer anyway. If I do that, then can I have a bowl of instant oatmeal? What if I go three weeks without eating white bread? Can I have frozen pizza then? I never add salt to my food and I drink 2% milk. Can I down a half bag of potato chips? If I promise to recycle, can I grab some fries at McDonald’s?

(I know recycling has nothing to do with eating well, I’m just trying to cover all my bases.)

It just so happens I’m drinking a bottled iced tea right now (Snapple, lemon, new bottle design). It’s 9:30pm and the temperature is approximately “surface of the sun” (with a dew point of 72) so I’m going to drink what I want.

I hate summer. I don’t think I’ve said that on this site in a while. Feels good.

I’m thinking about going to the liquor store tomorrow. I don’t need any alcohol, I want to ask them if I can live in their walk-in cooler for the next few weeks.

200 Years!

The Saturday Evening Post turned 200 this week (Wednesday, to be exact) and I talk a little about that in my column this week. Also: my broken freezer, the ‘Ber Months, the mystery of Diced Cream, the new Jeopardy! host (maybe), Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga, MTV at 40, the first theme park in the U.S., and why you should try to sneak some zucchini on to your neighbor’s porch (which isn’t a euphemism for anything, I swear).