Wednesday, September 07

 

Tuesday, September 06

The Debunker: Who Invented Peanut Butter?

by Ken Jennings

Do you celebrate National Peanut Day every September 13? Of course, we all do! It's a cruel coincidence that the peanut's big moment comes every fall, just as kids are returning to their increasingly peanut-free schools. If you're not allergic, you probably love peanuts in your trail mix, on sundaes, or in sandwiches (butter form only). But how much do you really know about the protein-rich foodstuff? Jeopardy!'s Ken Jennings is here to tell us that a lot of your favorite facts about this beloved snack are just plain nuts.

The Debunker: Who Invented Peanut Butter?

George Washington Carver was one of the most celebrated American intellectuals of his time. As a freed slave who rose from poverty to become a successful botanist at a time when nearly all educational and professional doors were closed to African-Americans, Carver was a powerful icon of black talent and achievement. He consulted with world leaders from Teddy Roosevelt to Mahatma Gandhi. But that doesn't mean that Carver's legacy is purely symbolic. He also pioneered methods of crop rotation that saved the farms of countless poor Southerners whose cotton and tobacco fields were failing due to poor soil and hungry bugs.

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Monday, September 05

Music Monday: A Girl Like You

by Scott Lydon


Happy Music Monday! There are a lot of different topics in the world, but music keeps coming back to a few over and over again. Today Scott's found five songs that all share the same title, but take a drastically different approach to execution. Check 'em out. You've probably heard a few.

The Smithereens - A Girl Like You

 

There isn't a lot to say today, because it's really the music that's doing the talking. So I encourage you to listen to all the songs and enjoy how they change. Obviously, we start here with a power-pop hit. So catchy!

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Saturday, September 03

 

Friday, September 02

 

Thursday, September 01

 

Wednesday, August 31

 

Tuesday, August 30

The Debunker: Was "The Jazz Singer" the First Sound Film?

by Ken Jennings

This is the season of Hollywood's unrestrained id: the brainless summer blockbuster, the air-conditioned multiplex, the bottomless popcorn refills, the avalanche of kids emerging blinking into bright sunlight, waiting for their parental pickup. But August is also the anniversary of the movies themselves! It was on August 31, 1897 that Thomas Edison patented his first movie camera, the Kinetograph. In honor of 119 years of cinematic glitz and glamour, we've asked movie buff and Jeopardy! tough Ken Jennings to give us the "reel" truth on all kinds of old-movie misinformation.

The Debunker: Was The Jazz Singer the First Sound Film?

Every time the deafening THX or Dolby Digital logo appears on the screen of my neighborhood theater, I kneel down in my row and say a quick thank-you prayer to the makers of Hollywood's first "talkie," without which none of this would be possible. Thank you, movie gods, for…1928's Lights of New York. Oh, you thought I was talking about The Jazz Singer? Wait a minute, wait a minute—you ain't heard nothing yet.

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Monday, August 29

Music Monday: Classic Trax

by Scott Lydon


Happy Music Monday! Today we celebrate all those songs that we're amazed ever existed! Who knew so many different bands recorded together in secret? Here's a great example of what we mean right now:

Alice Cooper and Body Count - Law & Order

Ice T's rock band still tours even today, mixing street smarts with metal strings. The horror-rock pioneer was a perfect fit for their unusual style. I personally missed a chance to see this when I was in college, and I kinda regret it now.

Four more to come! And then a few words at the end, of course. Maybe you've already guessed what they'll be.

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Saturday, August 27