Wednesday, June 23, 2021

The first National Detroit-Style Pizza Day

Happy inaugural National Detroit-Style Pizza Day!
On June 23rd, join the celebration born in the birthplace of the American Automobile and Motown. National Detroit-Style Pizza Day recognizes the square-cut pizza style first served at Buddy’s Pizza in 1946 in the city that also gave us Madonna, the Mustang, and the first paved road. And Detroit-Style Pizza is arguably Detroit’s greatest contribution!

What makes it Detroit-Style? It starts with the crust – deep and thick in composition and yet light and airy in taste. The steel square pans (borrowed from the auto industry) give it a unique shape and one-of-a-kind flavor. Authentic Detroit-Style Pizzas layer the toppings backward, meaning they lay the gourmet pepperoni directly on the hand-stretched dough. Next comes a generous layer of Wisconsin Brick Cheese, spread all the way to the edges of the pan. The resulting caramelized cheese creates an incredibly crisp crust. Finally, racing stripes of tomato sauce finish the top.

Detroit-Style Pizza has grown beyond Buddy’s into a nationwide phenomenon that you can find from Brooklyn to Denver to Los Angeles.
Buddy’s Pizza in Detroit, Michigan, founded National Detroit-Style Pizza Day to celebrate the pizza category’s 75th anniversary in 2021. In 1946, at a restaurant called Buddy’s Rendezvous, a delicious deep-dish Sicilian-style pizza baked in blue steel automotive drip pans was born. Today, Buddy’s Pizza keeps the flavor and tradition alive by making the same one-of-a-kind square pizza. For generations, they’ve been building their square pizzas from the bottom up. Discover what makes them so special in the Motor City.

In 2021, the Registrar at National Day Calendar proclaimed National Detroit-Style Pizza Day to be observed annually on June 23rd.
I couldn't resist celebrating a fake food holiday about Detroit. Neither could WDIV, which uploaded Buddy's Pizza celebrating 75 years with first-ever National Detroit-Style Pizza Day this morning.

Follow over the jump for the complete segment from Live in the D and more about Buddy's Pizza and the Detroit Zoo.

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Celebrating and conserving California's coast redwoods on World Rainforest Day

Happy World Rainforest Day! WKBT TV in La Crosse, Wisconsin made today the station's Daily Holiday - World rainforest day.

While tropical rainforests, particularly the Amazon rainforest attract most of the attention, there are also temperate rainforests, such as the coast redwood-Douglas fir-Sitka spruce forests of the Pacific coast of North America. Since I am originally from California, I'm going to feature ABC10's Redwood National Park: Explore one of California's only rainforests | Bartell's Backroads.

In Humboldt County, you can visit this California rainforest located at the Redwood National and State park. In the corner of the park, make sure to visit Fern Canyon, a natural wonder that you won't find anywhere else, and the perfect place for a dreamy hike.
In addition to seeing the natural beauty and hearing the natural history, I enjoyed learning about the movie trivia. I had no idea that scene from the "Jurassic Park" movies was filmed in Redwood National Park.

Of course, this biome and community are still threatened, so what is being done to save it? Watch One Man’s Mission to Revive the Last Redwood Forests | Short Film Showcase from National Geographic and The Story Group to see.

David Milarch's near-death experience inspired a personal quest: to archive the genetics of the world's largest trees before they're gone. This short film from The Story Group documents his effort to save the redwood champions of Northern California from the effects of climate change.
Not only do I approve of David Milarch and his family's efforts to save the coast redwoods and establish them where their habitat will be because of climate change, I'm thrilled that they also live in Michigan. Hi, neighbors and fellow Crazy Eddies!

Monday, June 21, 2021

World Giraffe Day at the Detroit Zoo and on 'The Ellen Show'

Happy World Giraffe Day! I begin today's celebration with Detroit Zoo | Educational Lesson: World Giraffe Day!

Celebrate World Giraffe Day live from the giraffe habitat in the Detroit Zoo as animal care staff share a healthy snack with the giraffes and Education Specialist, Akilah and special guest Elizabeth, Curator of Mammals broadcasting live from the Zoo.
Since this is a Metro-Detroit-based blog, it's about time I featured a video from the Detroit Zoo in a post about World Giraffe Day.

The Ellen Show included a plug for World Giraffe Day in Dr. Julian Fennessy on How You Can Help Save the Endangered Giraffes.

Ellen chatted with Dr. Julian Fennessy, Co-Founder and Co-Director of the Giraffe Conservation Foundation (GCF). He’s also featured in the new discovery+ documentary “Endangered,” which Ellen narrated and executive produced! He talked about what led to his work with giraffes in Namibia, what we can do to help these endangered animals, and what gives him hope that the incredible giraffes will be saved from extinction.
I'm glad to hear some good news about vulnerable animals like giraffes, which reminds me of what I wrote on Juneteenth: "doom can wait, even when I'm writing about threatened species and biomes." Let's see if I can maintain that positive tone tomorrow for World Rainforest Day. Stay tuned

Sunday, June 20, 2021

Father's Day, American Eagle Day, and National Seashell Day on the Summer Solstice — history and science of four holidays

Happy Father's Day, Summer Solstice, American Eagle Day, and National Seashell Day! Since today is a crowded day for holidays, I am diving right in with The history of Father’s Day from Good Morning America.

As we celebrate a day for dads, we take a look back at the history of the holiday.
I couldn't resist drawing from the same well I did for Drink a martini to Juneteenth becoming a national holiday to pull up a history lesson.

Speaking of lessons, AccuWeather gives a science lesson when it asks It's summer, but we're farther away from the sun? The science behind the summer solstice.

It may not make sense, but the Earth is actually at its farther point away from the sun, when the Northern Hemisphere experiences summer. So why isn't the summer the colder time of the year? Let's find out from AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Krissy Pydynowski.
This is a counterintuitive fact, like today isn't the longest day of the year — that happens either June 30 or December 31, when leap seconds are added, although that won't happen this year — or that the latest sunrises and earliest sunsets don't happen on the Winter Solstice. It does stress the importance of axial tilt for determining the seasons, something I teach my students. For what it's worth, my readers in the Southern Hemisphere don't have that problem; the Earth is closest to the Sun when it's their summer.

Now for the two wildlife days I celebrate today, beginning with American Eagle Day - from WBIR Knoxville - June 20, 2018.

American Eagle Foundation (AEF) Director of Operations Laura Sterbens, along with Spencer Williams, Curator of Birds, talk about American Eagle Day and the work done by the AEF in an interview on WBIR Channel 10, Knoxville. Appearing with Laura and Spencer is Bald Eagle Challenger.
What a magnificent bird! I'm glad the Bald Eagle came back from being endangered.

I close with another science lesson for National Seashell Day, How Seashells Are Made from PBS Digital's Reactions.

If you know that seashells are made of basically the same stuff as chalk, you might have wondered why chalk is crumbly but seashells are super tough. This week on Reactions, we explain: The secret’s in the biochemistry.
I might show this video to my students this summer and fall. Welcome to blogging as professional development!

I have more holidays to celebrate, World Giraffe Day tomorrow, World Rainforest Day on Tuesday, and maybe National Detroit-Style Pizza Day on Wednesday followed by World UFO Day on Thursday. Doom can wait.

Saturday, June 19, 2021

Drink a martini to Juneteenth becoming a national holiday

Happy Juneteenth! To celebrate, I'm sharing Good Morning America's video clips about the holiday, beginning with Biden signs bill making Juneteenth a federal holiday.

The new national holiday marks the day the last enslaved African-Americans were freed in Galveston, Texas, on June 19, 1865.
On the one hand, yay, a new national holiday. On the other, I can see why this might end up being a victory for symbolism over substance. Just the same, symbols matter and can inspire people to work on the substantive issues. Watch and listen to NAACP president discusses historic Juneteenth holiday to hear about those issues.

Derrick Johnson explains the importance of the day for communities of color across the U.S becoming a federal holiday.
The segment ends with a promotion of a special. Former President Barack Obama talks race, resilience and hope for Juneteenth is a clip from that special.

In a new “Soul of a Nation” special on ABC News, Obama sat down with “GMA’s” Michael Strahan ahead of Juneteenth to talk about its significance while looking toward the future.
I agree with both Obama and Derrick Johnson that lots of work needs to be done about racism, voting rights, and policing. May the activism for those be as successful as the activism to make Juneteenth a federal holiday. Meet the ‘grandmother of Juneteenth’ to see the face of that activism.

Civil rights activist Opal Lee started a petition to make Juneteenth a national holiday and “walked thousands of miles” around Texas to promote her cause.
Congratulations to Opal Lee on her success and being an inspiration!

Enough seriousness. How to celebrate Juneteenth shows what to serve for today's celebrations.

Event planner and founder of “While Entertaining,” a magazine that highlights Black culinary creatives, Amber Mayfield gives us her insight on a Juneteenth-inspired meal.
Amber Mayfield ending her presentation with red velvet cake leads directly to the drink to celebrate today's other day, World Martini Day, Tipsy Bartender's Red Velvet Cake Martini.

For red velvet cake lovers everywhere!

That looks fun and delicious, even if I can't indulge because of my diabetes.

I'm just beginning to celebrate an extra-long holiday weekend. Stay tuned for Father's Day, the Summer Solstice, American Eagle Day, and National Seashell Day tomorrow, World Giraffe Day on Monday, World Rainforest Day on Tuesday, and the inaugural National Detroit-Style Pizza Day on Wednesday. With all the talk about UFOs, I might even observe World UFO Day on Thursday. As I wrote yesterday, doom can wait, even when I'm writing about threatened species and biomes.

Friday, June 18, 2021

Kylo passes Anakin while Arya and Khaleesi fall in popularity, baby names from entertainment for the Father's Day weekend

I'm still in an "I can't be all DOOM all the time" mood, so instead of covering falling birth rates, I'm delivering the second half of the "double edition of baby names from entertainment" I said I was writing at the beginning of Top baby names of 2019 and 2020 for Father's Day weekend. That's because I started looking at "Star Wars" and "Game of Thrones" names beginning with Kylo at the Social Security Administration website after I posted yesterday's entry and couldn't resist indulging my curiosity.
Not only was last year the best year for Kylo as a baby name, Kylo had the fourth largest increase in popularity by rank, jumping 483 places from 932 in 2019 to 449 in 2020. That made Kylo more popular than the character's given name Ben, which fell 50 places from 770 to 720 between 2019 and 2020. Adam, the name of Kylo's actor, also lost popularity, declining from 96 to 90.

Anakin also increased in popularity last year, jumping 255 places from 959 to 704 for the seventeenth largest rise in rank. 2020 was also the best year for the name in its history. Despite that good news, the trend I noticed two years ago culminated in Kylo handily passing Anakin in popularity. Kylo can tell his grandfather that now, he is the master, just as Darth Vader told Obi-Wan in "A New Hope."

Not all "Star Wars" names from the new trilogy fared as well. Rey as a boys name continued sinking, falling 86 places to 888 in 2020 from 802 in 2019. Rey still hasn't cracked the top 1000 girls names, although the actress's name Daisy ticked up 21 places from 164 to 143, the highest position it has held since 2003. Finn had already been popular before "The Force Awakens," but the movie made it more popular, reaching a peak in 2018 at 166. Since then, its popularity slowly sunk to 173 in 2019 and 178 in 2020.

Names from the original trilogy have been doing well, especially Leia, which the following chart shows having its second best year ever in 2020.

While Leia jumped 38 places from 333 to 295 between 2019 and 2020, last year wasn't the peak of its popularity so far. That title belongs to 2017, when the name held rank 282. Luke, a name popular long before Star Wars existed, has held fairly steady after a long slow rise, ranking 32 in 2019 and 31 in 2020. The Force is with both siblings, or at least their names.

Follow over the jump to see how names from "Game of Thrones" and other entertainment franchises have fared the past two years.

Thursday, June 17, 2021

Top baby names of 2019 and 2020 for Father's Day weekend

Father's Day is this coming Sunday, along with the Summer Solstice, American Eagle Day, and National Seashell Day, so I won't write a conventional Sunday entertainment feature then — too crowded a day. Instead, I'm posting a double edition of baby names from entertainment to make up for the Social Security Administration delaying its release of 2019's baby names until after last year's Father's Day. This year, it released 2020's baby names before this year's Mother's Day, but I went in another direction.

I begin with a graphic of the top ten baby names of 2020 for boys and girls in the U.S. from the Social Security Administration.

For a more complete list, here are the top 20 names for girls and boys in the U.S. last year.

Now, the top twenty baby names of 2019, which the Social Security Administration released last September when I wasn't paying attention.

Emma as in Stone and Watson, the top girls name from 2017 and 2018, switched places with Olivia as in Pope from "Scandal," while Liam, as in Hemsworth and Neeson, held on to the top spot for boys. Ava, as in DuVernay, remained in third. Logan, Wolverine's legal name, fell out of the top ten entirely to sixteenth. Mateo, the name of Jane's son in "Jane the Virgin," rose to twentieth in 2020 from 26th in 2019 and 37th in 2018. By the way, both Jane and Xiomara, the character's grandmother's name, continued gaining in popularity. Both had their best years this century, with Jane climbing to 277 in 2019 and 265 in 2020, while Xiomara rose to 652 in 2019 and 606 in 2020. Considering the show ended its run on the CW in 2019, these names serve as testament to its continued popularity.

I could go on with Game of Thrones and Star Wars names, but this blog is a hobby and I have work to do. Some other time. In the meantime, I might do something more serious tomorrow, like falling birth rates. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Stephen Colbert and Dr. Sanjay Gupta discuss reopening the country, a pandemic update

While I posted More good news than bad as NBC reports 600,000 dead in U.S. from COVID-19, a pandemic update last week in response to a count of reports by NBC News, it took until yesterday for Johns Hopkins University's site to record that grim milestone. That's nothing to celebrate. However, good news about continues to outweigh bad news about the pandemic as I return to Stephen Colbert before a live, fully vaccinated audience, who uploaded last night's monologue as States Lift Restrictions And Drop Hygiene Theater As Vaccination Milestones Are Reached.

New York and California announced the end of virtually all pandemic restrictions after both states achieved 70% vaccination, while businesses nationwide continue to drop performative sanitation measures like excessive disinfecting of surfaces.
New York and California achieving 70% vaccination rates and ending or easing most restrictions is good news and Vermont reaching an 80% vaccination rate is great news. Not only will high vaccination rates keep hospitalization and death rates low, they are on the threshold of reaching herd immunity, which will greatly impede transmission. Speaking of easing and ending pandemic restrictions, California Governor Gavin Newsom announcing the "reopening of California" at Universal Studios Hollywood is on par with Disneyland reopening as more than 100 million Americans are fully vaccinated as an acknowledgement that "America is quite clear about its screwed up priorities­. My experience has convinced me that the surest way to get Americans to act is to mess with their entertainm­ent" and "Americans want their entertainment, and will do just about anything to keep it going." He couldn't fight those sentiments, so he joined them.

I'll show a more complete video of Newsom at Universal Studios farther down the post, but first I'm embedding "The Patient Is Still Recovering" - Sanjay Gupta On America Getting Healthy After The Pandemic, who mentioned that 600,000 Americans have died from COVID-19 right up front.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta was one of the last guests we had in the Ed Sullivan theater before the pandemic and tonight he makes a triumphant return to sit down in front of a fully-vaccinated audience! Watch as Dr. Gupta reflects on the last 15 months of the pandemic and what we have to look forward to in the future.
Dr. Gupta shifted from bad news to good news as the interview progressed, as he moved from the number of deaths to the delta variant that originated in India then spread to the United Kingdom then to the United States and then to the vaccines still being effective against it and how the vaccines are a major advancement in medical science.

He and Colbert then discussed "the Wuhan lab-leak hypothesis," which I characterized as one of "two narratives that I want to give as little attention to as possible," which is why I didn't embed Jon Stewart ranting about it in yesterday's post. I still do, but I found Dr. Gupta's listing of the possibilities credible. In particular, his pointing out that the virus came out at 90 miles per hour and his explanation of how that could have happened makes sense. It's not well-supported or widely accepted, but if it turns out to be true, then we have all been living in a real-life ripoff of "The Stand" with the novel coronavirus as Private Trips instead of Captain Trips. That's not how I want life to imitate art.

Speaking of life imitating art, or at least entertainment, Attractions Magazine uploaded a more complete video of California Re-Opening Ceremony with Governor Gavin [Newsom] at Universal Studios Hollywood.

This video didn't even need Stephen mocking it to be simultaneously epic and ridiculous. Silly as it is, it's still good news.

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Stephen Colbert returns to the Ed Sullivan Theater before a live, fully vaccinated audience, a pandemic update

I made the following observation in Colbert and Meyers lampoon 'Italygate' and debunk Trump's backwards pants.
While going back to the studio is more good news about the pandemic, I can tell Stephen is getting punchy from cabin fever after fifteen months of recording his show from home, but I think that made his monologues even more hilarious. Still, I will miss hearing his wife and crew laughing in the background when he returns to the studio next week. Stephen might also miss being able to do his show from home while wearing shirtsleeves and slippers.
Not only was Stephen getting punchy from cabin fever, so were his fans. Watch 460 Days Later, Stephen Colbert Returns To THE Late Show Stage With A Full Audience.

Bask in the moment as Stephen Colbert, after 15 long months spent broadcasting from places like his bathtub, his spare bedroom, and a storage closet, kicks off a new era of The Late Show by bringing it back where it belongs: on stage at the Ed Sullivan Theater in front of a loud, rowdy and fully-vaccinated studio audience.
I stopped worrying that so many people without masks that close together would run the risk of turning this into a super-spreader event once Stephen announced that they were all fully vaccinated. Good. The audience certainly seemed unworried enough that they gave a great big cheer and chanted "Stephen, Stephen" when he walked onstage. As much as "I will miss hearing his wife and crew laughing in the background," I was happy to see Stephen acknowledge his crew and to watch Evie Colbert come onstage with her husband to tell the audience that Stephen was now all theirs.

As for Stephen missing "being able to do his show from home while wearing shirtsleeves and slippers," he addressed that in last night's cold open, Stephen Colbert Puts His Pants Back On For THE Late Show.

After seeing this, you might want to break those pants out of your closet again.
Song and dance with a pair of pants — welcome to the magic of television! Even that magic couldn't make those pants fit after such a long break. I have a feeling a lot of us will experience our work clothes not fitting as we go back into the office.

Monday, June 14, 2021

A 51-star flag for D.C. statehood on Flag Day 2021

Flag Day Susan Rice calls for D.C. statehood on MSNBC and N.Y. Times, a late Flag Day post! As I have the past two years, I'm observing the holiday by blogging about D.C. statehood.

Corky Siemaszko of NBC News reminded me about this cause, which has become a recurring theme for my celebrations of the day, by publishing Flag makers in the spotlight as Congress gets ready to discuss Washington, D.C., statehood.
Statehood, which has long been the dream of many residents in Washington, is once again being debated for the nation’s capital, and another Flag Day is upon us.

If it turns out statehood is in the cards, the new U.S. flag could look like the banner Mayor Muriel Bowser unveiled two years ago, when she planted 140 of them on Pennsylvania Avenue between the White House and the U.S. Capitol ahead of a congressional hearing on statehood.

It has three horizontal rows with nine stars, three horizontal rows with eight stars and the blessing of Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., who has — as she has done every year since she took office in 1991 — introduced a D.C. statehood measure.

“I defy you to find a flag that looks all that different from the flag we had when there were 48 states,” Norton said. “Simply adding a star will not have a cosmic change on the flag.”

What did she think of Bowser’s flag?

“I loved it,” Norton said, laughing. “But it was not because the flag stood out in any way.”
NBC News showed Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton posing with a 51-star flag yesterday, but it wasn't new. It's the preview image from ‘I look forward to having that extra star’ — D.C. delegate shows off American flag with 51 stars, which Roll Call uploaded in advance of last year's vote for D.C. statehood.

“People are going to have to buy new flags,” said D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, describing an alternate version of the American flag that has 51 stars.

The extra star, symbolizing her decades-long quest to make the District of Columbia a U.S. state, is hard to notice.

“If you look at it you won’t see much difference,” the Democrat told CQ Roll Call during an interview back in February. “I think I like that, even as I extol, and look forward to, having that extra star.”
In other words, we'd hardly even notice the new flags.

Follow over the jump for two videos describing the cases for and against D.C. statehood.