*Mornings Archives

Coffee Talk from Honor Credit Union – Wednesday, July 7

  • Macaroni Day: A good day for some pasta.
  • Dive Bar Day: A good day to visit your local dive bar.
  • Strawberry Sundae Day: Ice cream!
  • World Chocolate Day: Chocolate!
  • Global Forgiveness Day: A day to forgive and be forgiven.
  • Tell the Truth Day: A good day to be honest.

The device that can do just about anything seems to have a dark side — it’s encouraging the world’s bullies. Parents say their daughters are constantly teased about their name, “Alexa,” with schoolyard bullies taunting them and demanding they play music. One mom, Lauren Johnson, even started an awareness campaign called “Alexa is a human.” Amazon issued a statement saying, “We’re saddened by the experiences you’ve shared, and want to be very clear: bullying of any kind is unacceptable, and we condemn it in the strongest possible terms.” But the company said they won’t be changing Alexa’s name — noting that any user can make their device answer to another name if they wish. (Gizmodo)

More proof that it’s better to give than to receive … A new study found that a really easy way to make yourself happier is to buy a toy for your pet. Researchers from Elmhurst University in Illinois found that buying your pet a gift triggers greater feelings of happiness than buying something for yourself. (Mental Floss)

Finally! It’s an age-old BBQ dilemma … hot dogs typically come in a pack of 10 – but hot dog buns come in a pack of 8, often causing an over-buying of buns. Well, Heinz has had enough. The condiment company has introduced their Heinz Hot Dog Pact – which is  a petition “calling on big bun and big wiener companies to finally sell buns and wieners in even packs.” “We’ve seen our fans through social media express their outrage about the bun-to-hot-dog ratio issue for years, and we know there must be a better way. We believe that the time for change is now and we are hopeful,” said Daniel Gotlib, associate director of brand building and innovation for the Kraft Heinz Company. Now the question becomes — Do hot dog makers drop their package to eight – or do bun makers increase their packages to 10? Time will tell. (Food & Wine)

Music News – Wednesday, July 7

Britney Spears must have mixed reactions to her court-appointed attorney stepping down. Samuel D. Ingham III filed paperwork on Tuesday to resign after 13-years with the conservatorship.
Two weeks ago, Britney told Judge Brenda Penny that she wanted a new lawyer. She complained that Ingham had not served her well. Britney claimed that she never knew she had the ability to petition an end to the conservatorship.
Ingham’s departure is not entirely welcomed. He left before filing termination paperwork. Britney begged for her freedom and Ingham dragged his feet. Now, she must wait for a new lawyer to join the case. Her freedom is further delayed.
There are suspicions that Samuel D. Ingham ensured that Jamie Spears got his way in court rather than independently represent Britney. She declared in court two weeks ago, (quote) “My dad and anyone involved in this conservatorship and my management, who played a huge role in punishing me, should be in jail.” (Variety)

Larry Rudolph, who’d served as Britney Spears‘s manager since she was a total unknown, has reportedly quit — because he thinks she’s set to retire permanently.
According to the BBC, Rudolph sent a letter to Britney’s conservators, saying, “It has been over two-and-a-half years since Britney and I last communicated, at which time she informed me she wanted to take an indefinite work hiatus. Earlier today, I became aware that Britney had been voicing her intention to officially retire.”
Britney briefly left Rudolph’s Reign Deer Entertainment in 2004 but returned a short time later after pressure from her dad, Jamie.

98 Degrees hope to make this a hot guy summer — by releasing their first new original music since 2013.
The guys teased the release of “Where Do You Wanna Go” on their official Instagram account on Monday and revealed it will drop this Friday.
Their last studio album was the holiday collection Let It Snow, which hit in 2017.

Kelly Clarkson really wants to be a single lady again — and she’s asked a judge to declare that she is one.
Kel filed papers on Friday asking a California court to declare her “legally single” before all the details of her divorce from Brandon Blackstock are hammered out by lawyers. She filed for divorce in June 2020.
Though the request is unusual, it’s not unprecedented — both Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt did the same during the dissolution of their marriage. (Entertainment Tonight)

The Happy Headline of the Day – Tuesday, July 6

Jeff Reaves has been the principal of Matanzas High School in Palm Coast, Florida, for four years. That means, this year’s 459 graduating seniors were freshman when he started.
Over the past four years, Jeff has made it a point to try get to know all of his students — especially this graduating class.
Because he took a special interest in these students, he was able to write a personal, handwritten letter to each and every one of them — and present them with this letter before they walked across the stage to receive their diplomas.
It took him a while to finish the project, as he wrote letters from March right on through graduation day.
But, he pulled it off and was pleased with the results, explaining that he, “wanted to shine some light on the students and encourage them as they begin their next journey in life.” (WESH-TV)

The Daily Dish – Tuesday, July 6

Richard Donner, best known for directing Superman: The Movie, The Goonies and the Lethal Weapon films, died on Monday. He was 91.
A cause was not immediately revealed.
Donner got his start directing for such TV series as Perry Mason, The Fugitive, The Man From U.N.C.L.E. and The Twilight Zone, including the iconic episode “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet,” starring William Shatner.
Donner also directed the movies LadyhawkeThe Toy and The Omen.
Director Steven Spielberg, who wrote the story for The Goonies, said, “He was all kid. All heart. All the time. I can’t believe he’s gone, but his husky, hearty laugh will stay with me always.”

Bill Cosby has defended Phylicia Rashad after his Cosby Show co-star was criticized for celebrating his release from prison.
After Cosby’s rape conviction was overturned, Rashad tweeted: “Finally. A terrible wrong is being righted – a miscarriage of justice is corrected.”
That caused a backlash and many people calling for her to be removed from her position at Howard University. Rashad then walked back her tweet, saying she “fully supported sexual abuse survivors coming forward.” She also reportedly sent a letter to students and parents, offering a “most sincere apology.”
Howard then issued a statement, saying ,”Survivors of sexual assault will always be our first priority. While Dean Rashad has acknowledged in her follow-up tweet that victims must be heard and believed, her initial tweet lacked sensitivity towards survivors of sexual assault. Personal positions of university leadership do not reflect Howard University’s policies.”
Now Cosby has defended his former TV wife in his own statement. He writes, “Howard University you must support one’s Freedom of Speech (Ms Rashad), which is taught or suppose to be taught everyday at that renowned law school, which resides on your campus.”
Cosby also denied that his conviction was overturned on a “technicality.”

Congratulations go out to Gwen Stefani and Blake Shelton. The couple exchanged vows on Saturday, July 3rd.
The Voice host Carson Daly officiated the ceremony.
Page Six shared images and video of people gathering at a chapel Blake built on his Oklahoma property, allegedly for the purpose of their nuptials. Stefani posted a photo and a short video on Instagram Monday afternoon.
Earlier in the week, several news sites reported that the couple had applied for their marriage license.

Coffee Talk from Honor Credit Union – Tuesday, July 6

  • Fried Chicken Day
  • International Kissing Day

Adventurous … but clueless? A new survey found that Millennials consider themselves to be the most adventurous cooks compared to other generations. That said, Millennials were also found to cook the fewest meals at home – and know the least about cooking and kitchen safety. And as a “geriatric Millennial” myself, I will confirm all of this.

Stressed out lately? You might want to watch the top of your head. It turns out that stress really does make you go gray … but there’s good news: Reducing stress can reverse the process. Researchers at Columbia University found that eliminating stress can return gray hair, long thought to be permanent, to its “younger, pigmented state.” So try not to get stressed about eliminating the stress in your life…best of luck!

The U.K. celebrates “Thank You Day” on July 4th . . . just as America is celebrating its Independence Day. Which seems a bit…passive aggressive. Anyway…so British researchers conducted a study on how and when we show our appreciation . . . and there are some interesting findings. For starters, the average adult will say “thank you” 207 times a month, which is roughly 6.8 times per day.  That’s a lot of gratitude . . . but some of it is FAKE. On average, 54 of those thank yous are insincere.  That’s 26%. About a quarter of people surveyed think that’s a problem . . . because genuine appreciation is “dying out.”  33% said they’d still prefer to hear the words, even if the person is just saying “thank you” for the sake of it. And 55% of people claim they have become “more grateful” during the pandemic.  (But 26% probably didn’t mean it.)

And now for some useless but interesting information today…If you’ve ever wondered why Ritz crackers have those ridges around them — wonder no more. A video posted on Ritz’s official TikTok revealed that the reason the crackers have those scalloped edges is to … slice through cheese.

Music News – Tuesday, July 6

Fourth of July weekend coincided with the second anniversary for Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello. Back in 2019, they spent a steamy weekend together in Los Angeles. They confirmed what followers saw in the “Señorita” music video – Shawn and Camila are deeply in love.
He shared a beach selfie, (quote) “Happy 2 years my baby.”
She posted a tropical vacation slideshow celebrating their two years of dating. Camila captioned the photos with Shawn’s nickname, (quote) “Happy anniversary Kuko. Here’s to more joy, more friendship, and more love.” (Billboard)

Taylor Swift’s collaboration with Big Red Machine, the project led by her Folklore and Evermore collaborators Aaron Dessner of The National and Justin Vernon of Bon Iver, is out.
“Renegade” comes with a video that mixes footage of Taylor alongside her handwritten lyrics. Watch it now on YouTube.
The song was recorded in Los Angeles in March of this year during the same week that Swift and Dessner took home the Grammy for Album of the Year for Folklore. It appears on Big Red Machine’s How Long Do You Think It’s Gonna Last, which comes out August 27th.

Gwen Stefani and Blake Shelton have officially tied the knot, People confirms.
The two reportedly got hitched at Blake’s ranch in Oklahoma on Saturday, after they were spotted applying for a marriage license earlier in the week.
Page Six posted photos of what appears to be the wedding festivities taking place at a chapel built on the sprawling estate.
And just yesterday, Gwen confirmed the marriage with several photos of the happy couple on her Instagram.

The Happy Headline of the Day – Thursday, July 1

20-year-old Donte Franklin of Oklahoma left for work three hours early every day to make the more than 8-mile walk to his job at Buffalo Wild Wings in Moore. At the end of the shift, Franklin walked the 8.6 miles back home. But Franklin, who says he got his work ethic from his mom, who passed way four years ago, just got a big boost – thanks to the kindness of strangers.
Michael Lynn was out running errands when he saw Franklin walking in the blazing heat. On his way back, he noticed Franklin was still walking and offered him a ride. When Lynn learned about Franklin’s extraordinary trek to and from work each day, he shared the story on Facebook. One of the people who saw the post was Kerri Collins, who runs a charity group called My Riding Buddies Oklahoma (MRBO). MRBO decided to gift Franklin with a brand-new bike to make getting to work easier. But it didn’t stop there. A GoFundMe page was set up to help Franklin buy a car. So far, more than $52,000 has been raised. (NY Post)

The Daily Dish – Thursday, July 1

Bill Cosby is a free man.
Just hours after news broke that the comedian’s rape conviction was overturned, Cosby returned to his Pennsylvania home.
His TV wife Phylicia Rashad celebrated the news, tweeting, “FINALLY!!!! A terrible wrong is being righted — a miscarriage of justice is corrected!” That was followed by a huge backlash with many people pointing out that Cosby wasn’t released because he was innocent. The Cosby Show mom later backpedaled, writing, that she fully supports “survivors of sexual assault coming forward.”
D.A. Kevin R. Steele agreed with those calling out Rashad. He said, “The majority decision by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court orders the release of William H. Cosby Junior from state prison. He was found guilty by a jury and now goes free on a procedural issue that is irrelevant to the facts of the crime.”
Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court had overturned his rape conviction, saying a previous agreement with a prosecutor meant he couldn’t be charged.
The 83-year-old was convicted in 2018 after being charged in 2015 for an incident that had occurred in 2004. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison and had served more than two years already.
Cosby later released a statement, saying, “I have never changed my stance nor my story. I have always maintained my innocence. Thank you to all my fans, supporters and friends who stood by me through this ordeal. Special thanks to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court for upholding the rule of law.”

James Franco has settled his sexual misconduct suit and will pay out $2.2 million to the accusers.
In 2019, Sarah Tither-Kaplan and Toni Gaal filed a class-action complaint alleging that the actor and his partners, who opened an acting school a few years earlier, “engaged in widespread inappropriate and sexually charged behavior towards female students by sexualizing their power as a teacher and an employer by dangling the opportunity for roles in their projects.”
All parties to the suit released a joint statement, which read, in part, “While Defendants continue to deny the allegations in the complaint, they acknowledge that Plaintiffs have raised important issues; and all parties strongly believe that now is a critical time to focus on address the mistreatment of women in Hollywood.”
A Los Angeles judge still needs to approve the settlement.

Harrison Ford’s on-set injury is taking longer to heal, further delaying production on the fifth Indiana Jones movie.
An industry insider tells the Sun, “It is Harrison’s last outing as Indiana and everyone thought it would be plain sailing. But now Harrison is injured and it is worse than first thought.”
Last week the 78-year-old star hurt his shoulder while shooting a fight scene. Now comes word that he’ll be sidelined for at least three months as he undergoes shoulder surgery.
The source says, “The film’s bosses have come together to work out the scheduling and it’s chaos. The earliest they think they can restart the production is September.”
It’s unclear if this will affect the release date, which is set for July 29th, 2022.

Coffee Talk from Honor Credit Union – Thursday, July 1

  • Second Half of the Year Day: July 1st is the 182nd day of the year – which means half of 2021 is over.
  • Postal Worker Day: A day to appreciate your mail carrier or post office worker.
  • International Joke Day: A good day to tell a joke.

Feel like you have nothing to wear? You’re not alone. A new survey by Nordstrom found that 36% of respondents said they have “nothing to wear” after almost a year and a half without dressing for social events. The survey also found that the average person has purged seven items from their wardrobe because they no longer fit.

Seems there’s a new box to check when you’re RSVPing for an upcoming wedding – whether or not you’re vaccinated. A new wedding trend gaining traction among brides and grooms is requiring that guests at their wedding be vaccinated – and in some cases, that has meant that even close family members wouldn’t be attending. (Insider)

There’s a reason we’re happier by the water … According to researchers, being near water can boost our well-being in numerous ways, from bringing back happy memories of childhood, to reducing stress, to giving us a sense of peace and calm. (Real Simple)

And, prepare your stomach. Cookouts are coming. Something called the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council says we’ll eat 150 MILLION hot dogs on July 4th, making it the top hot dog-eating day of the year. They did a new poll, and asked people to name the best DRINKS to pair with a hot dog.  And one in 11 Americans must be fancier than I am . . . because 9% said WINE pairs well with them. Soda is #1, with 76% of people agreeing it goes well with hot dogs.  That’s followed by beer, 57% . . . lemonade, 54% . . . iced tea, 48% . . . orange juice, 12% . . . milk, 9% . . . and wine, 9%.
They also looked at America’s most-loved regional hot dog STYLES . . . and New York style is #1.  That’s an all-beef dog, topped with steamed onions and deli-style mustard. Second on the list is Chicago style . . . with mustard, relish, onions, peppers, tomatoes, a pickle, and celery salt all jammed into a poppy seed bun. And third on the list is Detroit-style Coney dogs . . . topped with mustard, onions, and chili.  (The Hot Dog and Sausage Council’s website has a list with another 15 regional style dogs.)

Music News – Thursday, July 1

Hollywoodlife.com says a judge has denied Britney Spears’ request to have her father, Jamie, removed as one of her co-conservators.
Britney Spears‘s dad is trying to say her problems with her conservatorship have nothing to do with him — even though he was in charge for more than a decade.
Jamie Spears spoke out publicly about his daughter’s issues on Wednesday, filing papers blaming Britney’s attorneys and her current conservator, Jodi Montgomery, for any problems that she’s having. Through lawyers, Jamie said he’s “greatly saddened to hear of his daughter’s difficulties and suffering, and he believes that there must be an investigation into those claims.”
In her bombshell testimony last week, Brit disputed that, saying, “Not only did my family not do a [G.D.] thing, my dad was all for it. Anything that happened to me had to be approved by my dad.” (Variety)

What was Ed Sheeran doing chatting with Prince Harry in England today (Wednesday)?
The easy answer is that they were both attending the WellChild Awards, which honors children with serious health needs who have been able to thrive at home with their families, instead of in a hospital.
It took place at London’s Kew Gardens, and was also attended by Rolling Stone Ronnie Wood, among other British celebrities, according to The Daily Mail. The tabloid also reported “overhearing” Sheeran’s conversation with the Duke of Sussex. They say it went down like this:
Sheeran:  “Congratulations, a girl right? We just had a little girl 10 months ago now. You’re still in the trenches now! How do you manage with two?” Prince Harry: “Two is definitely a juggle.”
You may be wondering, as we are, “aren’t we in the middle of Ed Sheeran Week on The Late Late Show with James Corden, which is taped in L.A? What is he doing in London? It’s just a guess, but we’re figuring that Ed Sheeran Week may have been taped in advance.

Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett will team up one more time.
The New York Post says Gaga and Tony will perform at a still-secret location in New York Friday under the MTV Unplugged banner, with the network’s parent company ViacomCBS handling ticket distribution.
The 94-year-old Bennett disclosed last winter that he’s living with Alzheimer’s, but is still able to sing. However, his wife Susan told AARP Magazine that he’s “not the old Tony anymore.” Despite his condition, he and Gaga have recorded a sequel to their hot-selling 2014 album Cheek to Cheek.

The Happy Headline of the Day – Wednesday, June 30

Two weeks ago, a three-year-old golden retriever named Chunk went missing. Chunk’s owners, Jim and Mary Zangara, put “lost dog” posters up around their neighborhood in Brick, New Jersey, and hoped for the best.
Well, those posters worked. Two joggers in the area recognized Chunk from the posters and reported seeing him jump into Barnegat Bay. They reported seeing Chunk to the New Jersey State Police — and the rescue effort was on.
Two troopers — Ryan Koehler and Vincent Ferdinandi — got in a boat and used a line as a leash to guide Chunk safely to shore.
Jim and Mary report that Chunk lost a bit of weight, making him less chunky. He also had some matted fur and was covered in ticks, but otherwise was healthy after his two-week adventure in the wilderness — and the water. (CBS News)

The Daily Dish – Wednesday, June 30

Gal Gadot has given birth to her third child and third daughter with husband Jaron Varsano.
They named the little girl Daniella. The Wonder Woman star broke the news on Instagram with a family photo. She wrote, “My sweet family I couldn’t be more grateful and happy (and tired) we are all so excited to welcome Daniella into our family.”
Gal and Jaron also have daughters Alma Versano, 9, and Maya Versano, 4.

Former Disney star Kyle Massey has been charged with a felony for allegedly sending pornographic material to a 13-year-old girl.
According to TMZ, the star of That’s So Raven and Cory in the House has been accused of sending sexually explicit content to the girl between December 2018 and January 2019.
The 29-year-old actor was previously sued for $1.5 million by the girl and her mother, who accused him of sending the teen inappropriate texts, videos and photos over Snapchat. The lawsuit said Massey first met the girl when she was only 4 years old.
According to TMZ, the girl dropped a civil suit against Massey after her lawyers told her “they didn’t think Massey had enough money to make the case worth it.” That’s when, she says, she filed a police report.
Massey was scheduled to appear for his arraignment Monday in Washington, but he didn’t show up.

The torch has been passed in the land of the Sopranos. Fourteen years after the final episode of ‘The Sopranos’ wrapped, actor James Gandolfini’s son is stepping into the role of Tony Soprano. The new movie, ‘The Many Saints of Newark,’ is about the mob boss’ backstory. It’s out October 1st.

‘Clifford the Big Red Dog’ is getting the movie treatment. Yes, America’s favorite dog from those sweet children’s books is hitting the big screen. Actors Jack Whitehall and Darby Camp say playing opposite the 10-foot tall Big Red Dog required a lot of imagination. In the film, Clifford is on the run from a genetics company that’s looking to supersize animals. The family movie hits theaters in September.

The Coast Social Network with Berrien Community Foundation – Wednesday, June 29

Susan from Berrien Community Foundation gives us a peek at the huge amount of scholarship winners for 2021 in Berrien County, including Watervliet graduate Grace Weckwerth, winner of the Upton Opportunity Scholarship and the Heart of Cook Scholarship. To get more on scholarships and start one of your own, visit berriencommunity.org.... [Read Full Story]

Coffee Talk from Honor Credit Union – Wednesday, June 30

  • Social Media Day: Otherwise known as Wednesday
  • Meteor Watch Day: A good day to look up

A 70-year-old New York Yankees fan got to live out her life-long dream Monday night — by serving as the team’s bat girl. Gwen Goldman initially sent a letter to the team in 1961, asking if she could be a bat girl for one game. The general manager of the Yankees at the time sent her a response that said, “In a game dominated by men a young lady such as yourself would feel out of place in a dugout.”
Goldman held on to the letter for all these years and earlier this year her daughter, Abby, sent a copy to the Yankees current general manager, Brian Cashman. He invited Goldman to be a bat girl and throw out the first pitch and said it wasn’t “too late to reward and recognize the ambition you showed in writing that letter to us as a 10-year-old girl.”

Speaking of women being recognized in sports … Former soccer star Mia Hamm broke her share of records during her playing career, and although she retired in 2004, the Hall of Famer still managed to set a new record last weekend. Her 1992 rookie card, which was made available in an issue of Sports Illustrated For Kids after her first World Cup appearance, sold at auction for $34,440 — making it the most expensive female sports card ever. Goldin Auctions founder Ken Goldin says, “It validates that there’s a legitimate market for women’s sports.” (ESPN)

Back in the ‘70s and ‘80s some doctors would wire patients’ jaws shut to help them lose weight. Sounds barbaric, right? Well, there’s a new version of that weight-loss method. New Zealand and U.K. researchers have developed a device called DentalSlim Diet Control that uses magnets affixed to the back teeth to restrict the person’s jaw from opening more than 2 millimeters, allowing for only a liquid diet. Volunteers who’ve tried the new gadget say they’ve lost 14 pounds in two weeks.

Music News – Wednesday, June 30

Britney Spears is likely on the verge of submitting paperwork to terminate the conservatorship that has extended more than 13 years.
An editor at Us Weekly tweeted Tuesday afternoon a clarification to premature reports that Britney and her lawyer submitted paperwork, (quote) “At the end of business day, the petition had not been filed, but sources said the termination paperwork has been prepared.”
With her legal team moving slower than molasses, Britney Instagrammed a subtle message: A video of a snoring cat.

Kevin Federline and Britney Spears may have had a nasty divorce, but he’s got her back in her conservatorship fight.
K-Fed’s lawyer tells People magazine that Brit’s baby daddy “certainly respects Britney and only hopes the best for her because when the best for her is achieved, it’s the best for their kids. The best thing would be for their mom to be healthy and happy.”
The mouthpiece went on to say, “Britney has not been served well by the conservatorship and it’s not consistent with what she wants. She should be able to challenge that. And if it’s what’s best for her, Kevin supports it.”

Ain’t It Cool News says Ed Sheeran recently underwent laser eye surgery to correct his vision. He now has 20/20 vision. Ed says, “I’ve seen through [glasses] for the past 28 years and then opening my eyes after laser surgery everything was like full color, I could read everything, it was amazing. I’m so annoyed I didn’t get it done before, I’ve missed out on 10 years of awesomeness.”