Sugar-Coated Nostalgia

Even during the 1950s, at least one cereal manufacturer was adding sugar to raisins: Judging by the lack of graphic art on the box, a different commercial for the same brand (shown below) may have been produced earlier. It doesn’t mention sugar on the raisins. The U.S. English vernacular may have been different from the way it is now, too.  Seriously, someone who did creative work at an ad agency believed the American Public would buy cereal endorsed by Jake the Flake, and the agency’s client approved it.  If this commercial were produced now, we’d call the name of the … Continue reading Sugar-Coated Nostalgia

Red Nose Day

If you shop at Walgreen’s, you’ve heard of Red Nose Day.  In the U.S., that’s today (May 25).  Do you know what Red Nose Day is, though? I’ve donated online because that seems preferable to buying the plastic toys, pens, etc. at Walgreen’s.  The novelty items raise a lot of money, though, and given the importance of helping young people I guess I won’t knock it.  Here’s a link to a FAQ page on the organization’s official site, describing how fundraising works in the United States and which nonprofits benefit: A separate Red Nose Day fundraising drive (with different … Continue reading Red Nose Day

Empathy is Worth the Effort

(Note: I am not a mental health professional.  The statements in this blog post are based on personal observation and experience.) Most of us — if we are decent in the first place, and we haven’t become jaded — were horrified to hear about Monday night’s attack in Manchester.  The target was a concert venue which attracted young pop music fans. This morning I found a friend’s post on Facebook, expressing his personal reaction to the tragedy.  I typed a comment suggesting Dante should have created a Circle of Hell for terrorists who target young people. I hope my friend … Continue reading Empathy is Worth the Effort

If You’re Desperate and Lonely Enough…

If you’re ever trapped in a group of people you don’t respect while you’re having the equivalent of a bad hair day with your conversational skills, here’s a shortcut for making the day more interesting — or at least more aggravating: Sit quietly for awhile, and then start giggling.  It isn’t that difficult to do convincingly.  Just recall a memory which never fails to make you laugh.  For example, the time when you looked up from the Daffy Duck cartoon on your smartphone and saw your least favorite co-worker slip on the freshly waxed floor. If you giggle hysterically in … Continue reading If You’re Desperate and Lonely Enough…


Although I was running my tailfeathers off during a recent stay in New York City, I was able to find time to visit the Main Public Library. If you haven’t seen that building — located next to Bryant Park — yet, try to get around to it someday.  Maybe this DNA Info article by Shaye Weaver will encourage you if you don’t yet know how curious you are: Continue reading NYPL News