Thursday, May 14, 2015

GUMMI WORMS.  I HATE GUMMI WORMS:  Disney World is getting a new restaurant themed after Star Wars with a chicken and waffles dish called "The Dark Fried" and hot wings called "Thermal Detonators."  There's also an Indiana Jones-themed bar in the works.
DECIDEDLY NOT EXCELLENT:  Harry Shearer may be leaving The Simpsons after 26 seasons, and he could be taking a whole lot of Springfield with him.

added: Sepinwall reporting, per Al Jean, that he's gone.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

HI, I'M CONNOR:  Based on the popularity of your name when you were born, what name might you have been given if born in 2015?  

[My 1990s name is Brett; 1980s: Curtis.  In the 19-Aughts, I'd have been a Luther!]

added: We didn't really talk about last week's baby names data dump, so let me add two bullet points:

  • "Arya" is now more popular than "Jennifer."
  • "Khaleesi" was more popular last year than Wendy, Denise, Dana, Sandra, or Kristen.
LANGUAGE OF ORIGIN, PLEASE?  I've been thigh-deep in election season for so long that it's just now occurring to me that the National Spelling Bee is in two weeks. Among other things, it will be the final year of the Decade of Shivashankar, and Vanya's the only new member of the Five Timers Club.  (There are three four-timers as well.)  She's not the only sibling of a former winner -- younger brothers of 2013-14 winners Arvind Mahankali and Sriram Hathwar are also in the field.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

HOME OF JOE BIDEN'S BURNING CULM DUMP ODYSSEY: Gallup polled the residents of 100 US metro areas and asked them how proud they were of their hometowns.  Scranton/Wilkes-Barre came in last.

(Top 5: Des Moines, Greenville, Asheville, Provo, and Raleigh; Youngstown, Stockton, Fresno, and Toledo complete the bottom 5.)

Monday, May 11, 2015

TWO SONGS, ONE SLOT:  Summer power ballad edition--Rachel Platten's "Fight Song" v. Jessie J's "Flashlight."  Who ya got?
BECAUSE PÂTE À CHOUX DOESN'T BAKE ITSELF:  Why restaurants probably don't actually want you to order dessert:
Food in general is tough to make money on. Restaurants have long relied on the mark-up they tack onto drinks, not grub, to boost profits. As food costs soar, that reality has only become more true, because there's a limit to how much people are willing to pay for different parts of their meal. For many mid-scale restaurants, that limit is $30 for entrees, no matter the ingredients, Todd Kliman noted recently in the Washingtonian. For desserts the ceiling is much lower, and much less flexible, says Cowen. 
"Dessert needs good ingredients to taste good, but you can't psychologically convince people to pay even $20 for dessert," Cowen said. "You can't really go cheap on it, but you really can't charge extra either."... 
Parties that might have finished their dinner in a little over an hour instead linger for closer to two when they opt for dessert. And they stay the extra 30 minutes while consuming only a fraction of what they did during the first part of the meal. It would be different if people ordered drinks more often alongside cake, but they often don't. It would change things if dessert wines were more popular, finer and more expensive, but they aren't, Cowen said.
CUE CHEDDAR BAY BREAKFAST BISCUIT SANDWICHES IN 3 ... 2 ... 1 ... As part of its early changes after activist investors took it over, Olive Garden will start offering sandwiches on shorter, wider models of its addictive breadsticks
"Offered only at lunch, both also will come with unlimited, regular breadsticks on the side."
Of course.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

DELTA NO NO NO: Did you know there's now an hour-long Legally Blonde Jr. version of the musical available for licensing to schools that aren't as gay-friendly?
The following characters have been cut:
The following songs have been cut:
"Harvard Variations", "Blood in the Water", "Positive", "Take it Like a Man", "There Right There", "Gay or European?" 
WHERE'S MY SUPERSUIT?!?!  After ventures into live action with Mission: Impossible: Ghost Protocol and Tomorrowland, yes, Brad Bird's next project is The Incredibles 2.  So, yes, Craig T. Nelson will still have work even if Coach: The Next Generation flops.