My Minute of News with Jeff Caplan

KSL Newsradio's Jeff Caplan offers his own unique spin on the fun, quirky things that happen alongside the news.

Episodes

  • May 24, 2022

    MonkeyPox

    MonkeyPox.  MonkeyPox. Undoubtedly… when you first heard about it.  You… or someone you love… immediately scratching going ooo ooo ooo.  There are two types of people in this world.  Those who did the ooo ooo … and those who roll their eyes at it… and that’s the problem with these scientists.I respect and appreciate the miracles they create in their laboratories. They've cured countless diseases …but they are absolutely horrible at naming sicknesses.MonkeyPox.  Very descriptive it originated in simians… and it causes pox… pus filled lesions on the skin.  But … MonkeyPox.They want to get us on board call it the pus virus… or jungle rot.  Back in the days before scientists were naming diseases we had some good ones.  The Black Plague.  Come onnn.  That’s how you do it.But MonkeyPox.  Covid… is just the first letters of the words "CoronaVirus Disease”  They shoulda called it the Bat Plague. Everybody woulda joined in to fight the bat plague … they’d put up search lights in the night to remind you to mask up.  We coulda skipped all the politics.  But instead….   Covid.  Meh.  But now… MonkeyPox.  I want to suggest… if it’s not too late… lean into the part about the pus filled lesions.  Call it… lesionaire disease.  Call it Gorilla Flu.  Anything but a name that conjures up images of a barrel of monkeys.  Which is supposed to be fun.  Right up into you get the disease.

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  • May 21, 2022

    Proof! Kids will take years off your life

    The headline was jarring. Research confirms what most parents realize far, far too late. A study from Columbia University confirms that raising three kids can make you lose your mind.Here’s the information from Columbia’s School of Public Health and the University of Paris published in the Journal of Demogrraphy when they compared elderly people who’d raised three or more children with those who raised two.You ready?Feeding all those mouths and juggling soccer games and gymnastics and screaming matches over who gets the biggest burger and curling all that hair for Sunday church takes a toll. 

    Specifically, the study shows having 3 kids ... it increases the risk of cognitive deterioration. You run a greater risk of dementia.

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  • May 21, 2022

    As Goes Walmart...

    Walmart’s Profits were down last quarter. If you think "ohhh too bad… Jimmy Walmart has to build a smaller summer mansion. What do I care?"Let’s reconsider this. Walmart cash registers ring up 20-thousand dollars in sales per second. In the time it took Jeff to type that they ran up 100-grand. And there’s another 100-grand. You get the idea?They have 5,000 stores chock full of - well - almost everything. And Eddie Elfbein from Crossing Wall Street says Walmart is a better barometer of the US Economy than all the government statistics. And here’s what Walmart’s earnings tell us.

    That middle and lower class Americans are already changing their shopping habit. 

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  • May 20, 2022

    The Most Utah Board Game

    Jeff doesn’t play board games. Just, not his thing. Sure, he'll play a chaotic round of Trouble with the grandkids, When he was a kid that popping thing in the middle was his version high tech. It was an incredible innovation in board games… and he's serious.In Kansas and Nebraska to this day - another classic - Sorry remains their favorite board game.See, a site called Solitaire Bliss just released a map of America’s favorite board games by state.And Utah - according to this website - the most popular board game here is Catan. 

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  • May 19, 2022

    Depp v Heard: I know you're watching

    Jeff feel like we’ve been remiss. For the past three weeks, the English-speaking world has been transfixed by one thing.It’s not Elon Musk, Trump or Biden. It’s not gas prices, nor the inflation rate. We’re not focused on - what is it - this 18th wave of Covid. The war in Ukraine? Nope.  Nope.As climate change steals our water. As fire crackles across the West. And India reaches temperatures that threaten human survival. We’re apparently worried and fascinated by Johnny Depp vs. Amber Heard.  

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  • May 19, 2022

    The Crypto Bros Go Silent

    We’re all out of whack over inflation. Ground Beef costs an extra dollar a pound, but if you’d invested all your money in Bitcoin, well Matt Damon suggested you should. But now it's silence from him. 

    The New York Times reports that with Bitcoin prices down by 39 percent since the Superbowl, we’re not hearing a single word from the celebrities who made some coin of their own by speaking up for crypto.

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  • May 12, 2022

    Gluing yourself in Protest (Superglue)

    The art of peaceful protesting has been the same for years now.  You make signs, you chant, maybe you stage a sit in, or you lock yourself to something with handcuffs. 

    Same old Same old. But have you noticed the newest innovation in peaceful protesting. People have been gluing themselves to stuff.

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  • May 9, 2022

    A Wordle Whoopsie

    We’ve already explained that Josh Wardle invented Wordle as an act of love for his girlfriend. When the daily puzzle game went viral, he sold it to The New York Times for a couple million dollars or so. A sweet nest egg for a puzzle where you use clues to guess the daily five letter word.For millions of people it’s a fun escape from a world gone crazy.But there was no escape Monday. The five-letter answer to the Monday puzzle was loaded into the system last year, before The New York Times bought the game. Before Josh Wardle sold the game.So when you figure out the puzzle and feel that burst of pride that moment of escape - you pause for a second and say “what?”Monday's answer is straight outa Roe v Wade. It just so happens by coincidence Monday's word is “fetus.”

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  • May 7, 2022

    KSL has to SHARE its birthday?!?

    Hans Riegel was fed up with job. The German confectioner did what so many people are doing today, he quit his job to launch a start-up. In his home kitchen Hans cooked up batches of hard candy and sold them at street fairs. But back in 1920 there was nothing special about another guy peddling hard candy so he started noodling around in his kitchen. These days we’d call it a pivot as he mixed together fruit flavoring sugar and gelatin.He molded the soft candy mix into the shape of a dancing animal. People loved his soft candy and at the very same time KSL Radio was signing on the air for the very first time in 1922, Hans Riegel invented … the Gummi Bear.

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  • May 4, 2022

    The Question we ask Google the Most

    Is Google robbing us of the ability to think for ourselves?  Google is great when you need a fact. Like - which country exports the most octopus? China. How many pounds in a kilogram? 2.2.  Whaddaya call a vet who specializes in salamanders?  A herpetologist. Wonderful. Thank you Google.THE one question google is asked the most worldwide is this. Are you ready? What is my IP Address.Now computer trouble-shooting makes sense. But for the life of Jeff, he can’t figure out why you would ask google a question that begins with the words “Should I.”  Because that means you’re entrusting your life to a machine. Yet millions and millions of times a day, people ask Google “Should I…”

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  • May 4, 2022

    Empty Plates in Garland (Salmon BBQ)

    Now the food shortages are hitting a little too close to home. Specifically Garland Utah, where the fire department is typically getting ready for next months’ big Salmon BBQ.To host such an event you need bbq sauce, you need grills, you need utensils, you need volunteers and it’s all good. I’m happy to say heading toward summer, America is awash in Barbeque sauce. Garland has all the equipment and volunteers, but what they don’t have is salmon. Like none.

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  • May 3, 2022

    The Vegetable Wars (Garlic Festival)

    It’s funny how people can go crazy … as soon as they join a committee.Perhaps you’ve heard of the annual Gilroy Garlic Festival e.  The central California community is the epicenter of garlic production here in the U-S.  And a generation ago they started this quirky festival that celebrated all things garlic.  People flocked by the 10s of thousands for freshly harvested garlic cloves ...Garlic ice cream.. bubble gum… you name it.And now the festival is no more. There was a mass shooting a few years ago. A pandemic and new homes are encroaching on the open fields that served as the parking lots. The festival - this quirky piece of Americana is cancelled.But there’s hope. 

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  • April 23, 2022

    Felony Inflation: Stealing ain't what it used to be

    Thank goodness Utah lawmakers had the wisdom to create a penal code that anticipated inflation. Because if they weren’t so wise, these rising prices be terrible for all the criminals.Let Jeff explain. In Utah, theft law says that if you steal something worth $1,500, when you’re caught, you get charged with a felony. That’s serious business. But if you steal something worth $1,499, it’s a misdemeanor, and you’re in a whole lot less trouble.In other states around the country, lawmakers aren’t as wise as ours.   Some states set the threshold at $200. Steal something worth a mere $201 dollars and you’re facing a deadly serious felony. Possible prison time.In New Jersey for instance, they’ve kept the felony threshold parked at $200 since 1978.  It was fine for 43 years, but with this inflation we’ve been seeing, it’s not just eggs and milk going up. Sneakers are going up - and those coveted Air Jordans now easily top 200-bucks. Swipe a pair, in a handful of states, you’re now looking at prison time.When Nike’s were only $175,  same shoes were a misdemeanorYes, inflation is taking a toll on thievery.

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  • April 23, 2022

    Earth Day

    It’s Earth Day.  Jeff's already celebrated. Thursday, during the dust storm, he did the show outside Vivint Arena and the Jazz game.  

    And for five solid hours he sat still in my little chair in our KSL booth and he talked on the radio. Which means his mouth was open. And he ate the earth. He could taste the grit on his teeth. Friday morning, he had to spend a half-hour washing the dust off the tech equipment.

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  • April 23, 2022

    Ukraine Stamp

    If you remember when the Russians invasion began - the first glimpse we got of Ukraine’s determination and grit - the first time we we realized they weren’t going to roll over was when a Russian ship transmitted a message to a tiny island off the coast of Ukraine ordering troops on the Island to surrender.

    One of the Ukranian soldiers radioed back “**** You Russian Ship.”  Except he didn’t say the explicative. It was the real deal. An emphatic, profane declaration of resistance that was like a wake up call for the entire world.  These guys are gonna fight back.

    And that they did.  In fact two months later, that very Russian ship sits on the bottom of the Black Sea, sunk by a Ukranian missile.

    And now, in a blasphemous moment of pride, the Ukranian Postal Service has released a stamp that commemorates the moment of resistance.

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  • April 21, 2022

    Lucky Charms WARNING

    Long before healthful eating was a thing, long before healthful was even a word, Jeff's mom refused to buy Lucky Charms. Even back then, when a typical breakfast would mean cocoa krispies, sugar pops, apple jacks, or Cap’n Crunch…. mom drew the line at Lucky Charms.

    Even in 1966, she had a hunch that processed artificially colored dried up marshmallow bits were not breakfast food, and on this point she refused to budge.

    Which is why to this day, Jeff goes down the cereal aisle. He see the Lucky Charms, he grabs a box and he eat 'em all. But never for breakfast cause he was raised right.   But now,  he has to admit mom had a point.  It took more than 50 years, but she was right.  

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  • April 19, 2022

    The Chocolate Diet

    Friends, Jeff has to tell you about an Amazing diet he's about to start. He has a lot to lose, so he's gonna start tomorrow - right after the egg salad is gone. 

    All those expensive eggs the kids colored, he's not gonna waste them. He will slide his wfie’s creamy and dreamy chopped egg leftovers between two slices of bread for lunch. He's gonna start the Amazing and Ridiculously Delicious Jeff Caplan Diet.Here’s how it works and it’s really simple. You just eat chocolate. Nothing else.  Ghiradelli for breakfast. Lindt Chocolate for lunch. Those little Ferrero chocolates in the foil wrapper for dinner.  Three meals a day, just chocolate.  Much as you want.

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  • April 13, 2022

    Ridiculous Congressional Word Games

    I’m going to assume you already know how a bill becomes a law, thanks to the little scrolled-up fella from Schoolhouse Rock. 

    That goes back to your childhood, but these days, there’s a new wrinkle. When they introduce a new bill members of Congress go acronym crazy.  

    They make up a clunky name for the bill like the Sensible Oversight for Technology which Advances Regulatory Efficiency Act. Pure word salad. But take the first letter of each word and suddenly it’s the SOFTWARE act.  And the genius politician who dreamed it up hopes you’ll sit around with the family playing a board game and say “so did you hear about the Software Act"

    You don’t.  

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  • April 5, 2022

    Albert Pujols "A strange moment for a divorce"

    Jeff's not here to judge.  He will just report that baseball superstar Albert Pujols showed up at spring training a bit creaky, after all the 10-time all-star has been at it for two decades.  Albert Pujols is a lock for the Hall of Fame, he’s fifth on the all-time home run list, and he’s wearing the Cardinal uniform the season, going back to where it all started.But it’s also a new chapter in his life. The whispers started last week, during the first day of spring training. For Pujols, it was another day at the office. He went 1-for-3 - showing he’s still got it.  But at the same time, he was stepping up to the plate in Jupiter ,Florida, his wife was having brain surgery. His wife Dierdre was having a tumor removed, and Albert was in the batters box. He did not fly home to be at her side Monday as she’s recuperating. Pujols announced that after 22 years of marriage, he’s decided to file for divorce.

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  • April 5, 2022

    A Whale Story from Utah

    Over the weekend, Jeff went to see the giant whale in Salt Lake City. In the middle of the round about at 9th South and 11th East, there’s a massive blue leviathan beast, breaching the the ground, shooting straight up in the air. 

    This fiberglass humpback whale soars 23 feet up, his fins are 46 feet across.In the middle of Salt Lake City.But Why?This is the proverbial fish out of water.  But before you shake your head and see the art piece as another example of ridiculous folly from the crazy people of Salt Lake, let’s consider Utah history for a moment.

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  • April 5, 2022

    Are you a Salt "Laker"?

    For a story Jeff was writing, he asked people: what do you call a person from Salt Lake?  And they get this glazed over look, shrug their shoulders and say "I dunno … Salt Laker? Maybe. Yeah."

    I mean do you really say that?  I haven’t heard it out of anyone’s mouth in 11 years.  A Parisian is from Paris

    A Roman is from Rome

    But what do you call a personwho calls Salt Lake his home?

    Ogdenians and Heberites have names that both make sense

    Or maybe their Hebernians-‘bout this I’m on the fence.

    But surely all the Loganeers and most of the Duchayniards also

    West Jordanians are known by rather sane words. 

    A spaniard is from Spain

    They have Eskimos in Nome

    But what do you call a person who calls Salt Lake his home?

    Some would say Salt Laker.

    But would that describve your Mom?

    A Laker shoots a basketball

    A Laker is LeBron

    It doesn’t seem appropriate it doesn’t feel quite right

    It makes about as much sense

    Salt Lakeian or ite.

    Some would say just call your friend a Utahn…but for fun… I’ll have to ask if Utahn's spelled with two “a"s.  Or just one.

    But insist you’re a Salt Laker I’ll know just what you meant. But pardon me if I call you "A Salt Lake Resident"

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  • March 26, 2022

    The Magic of Dune

    They had me at the Rice Krispies.  See, ever since Jeff learned that old time radio shows would use live sound effects in the shows, Jeff's been transfixed by this job that no longer exists. Sound effects guy. 

    Did you know that to create the sound of eggs frying in the pan? They’d crumble up cellophane.So the Oscars are Sunday Night, and the only award Jeff cares about is the Best Sound Editing because of the movie Dune. Turns out they created a sci fi desert planet that doesn’t exist with the help of old timey sound effects.

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  • March 25, 2022

    Was it Putin or a Punk? The Okta Hack

    An unknown hacker claims he’s broken into Okta - which you’ve never heard of. It’s a computer system that manages logins for thousands of companies and hundreds of millions of users.This is huge because Okta is supposedly as secure as secure gets, and the passwords they manage are the keys to the American castle. So the obvious question is, was it the Russians? Well, it’s complicated.

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  • March 25, 2022

    St Peters Glass Slipper is a Moustache

    March Madness continues with eight games Thursday, but all eyes are on Philadelphia, where this year's Cinderella team takes the court tomorrow night.The St. Peters’ Peacocks face Purdue at 5 o’clock and for some reason this Cinderella team has captured America’s imagination more so than most. Every year there’s a team that rises above humble roots, but St Peter’s is such a small forgotten school that this is the kind of run they make movies about.

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  • March 25, 2022

    Would you get aboard a Self Flying Plane?

    Would you get on a plane with no pilot?Jeff's guessing your reflexive answer is “no” — but there’s a 7-billion dollar bet that your answer will eventually change to “yes.”

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  • March 25, 2022

    How to Slide under an Iron Curtain

    A recent survey shows the majority of Russians support the country’s war in Ukraine. But the war they support isn’t the one that’s actually happening. Russian media tells fairy tales about evil Ukranian Nazis and Mother Russia’s brave rescue of its neighbor. Truth gets blocked at the border.

     So there’s no easy way to find out about the bombs raining down on hospitals and children’s shelters and senior centers. About the failure of the ground assault. They have no idea that 10-thousand Russian soldiers have died in battle. And that’s a conservative estimate. How are they going to find out? Facebook, Twitter and Western Websites are all banned.

    And that’s when it's time get creative.  

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  • March 21, 2022

    Now a Pasta Shortage

    We are grappling with a pasta shortage. It’s not as bad as the toilet paper shortage. You’re still gonna find a few stray boxes of noodles on the grocery shelf. But Jeff went shopping this weekend and there’s a gaping hole where the buccatini and fusilli and farfalle are supposed to be.Now he knows, it used to be we had like three kinds of pasta. There’s always spaghetti - to feed a family on the cheap. Lasagna is a family chef who has patience.  And Mac (paired with powdered cheese).Well in Utah, there’s a fourth pasta.

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  • March 19, 2022

    Thoughtful Farmers and The Headless Tractor

    A long awaited tractor has just rolled off the John Deere assembly line for the first time ever. They call it a headless tractor.

    While we still wait for truly autonomous self-driving cars, John Deere has developed a $500,000 tractor with no seat, no steering wheel, no pedals and no farmer.

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  • March 18, 2022

    The Bravest Russian

    We work in a newsroom here at KSL.  A giant floor where there’s a section for radio, another for KSL-TV.  We all see each other in the break room and work together.  And for the life of Jeff, he can’t imagine a staff member here running onto the TV news set standing behind Deannie Wimmer and holding up in a protest.But in another newsroom far far away that’s exactly what a staff member did. In a country that’s been washed clean of truth, Russian TV airs Vladimir Putin’s myths 24/7. The absence of honesty leaves a vacuum filled with stories about glorious Russian liberators ridding Ukraine of Nazi animals.But in a newsroom, you have access to the truth. You have tv feeds that come in unvarnished from around the world and at Russia’s Channel One, the entire staff is complicit in whitewashing this war.  Except for one woman.

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  • March 10, 2022

    Gas Lines? GAS LINES!?!?

    Gas is cheaper for Costco members, and yesterday Jeff heard there were long lines at the pumps at at least one local Costco. Look. He can handle a pandemic, political upheaval, BUT he gets a bad case of PTSD when you say the words “gas lines”And if you’re older than say, 55, you know what he's talking about.  1973, and again in 1979, Middle East Oil Producers cut our supply of oil they raised prices overnight, and America suffered a meltdown. 

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  • March 3, 2022

    Speeding Ticket Excuses: Here's one that won't work

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  • March 2, 2022

    A deadly career choice — journalism in Russia

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  • March 2, 2022

    What is an oligarch anyway?

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  • February 28, 2022

    I watched Russian TV

    Most Russians get their news from state run television.  70% of them say it’s their primary source of information. And Jeff wondered what they could possibly be seeing on TV, as most of the world turns its back on Russia.

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  • February 28, 2022

    "It's Pronounced KEEV... why?"

    Imagine for a second, if suddenly you learned South Jordan is actually pronounced "South Jhordann."  Or that West Valley is actually "West Vallay."That’s what it’s like for newspeople in almost every city that becomes a global hotspot.

    For instance, during the Gulf War the country Jeff's geography teacher called Qatar  became "Cutter."  During the olympics, he learned that the city his World Geography teacher called Peking… with a P… is not Beijing with a B… But actually Bei-Jing with a hard “J” - Beijing.  

    And now… we have the city that I’ve always known as Kiev.  

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  • February 25, 2022

    Zoom Lesson: How to War

    The world is on edge, Ukraine is ablaze, and their President says that with no help coming, Ukranians should make molotov cocktails. To those who don’t know a molotov cocktail is not a drink.

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  • February 24, 2022

    "A TV Comic being watched by the entire world"

    Three years in office and the President of Ukraine was at the epicenter of the Trump Impeachment   Remember the perfect phone call?  It was this president.  Now he’s in the crosshairs.. literally.  Intelligence reports say he’s on Kill List.Three years ago, I did minute of news about the President of Ukraine the day after he was elected.

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  • February 24, 2022

    What Putin wants YOU to do

    You never know what Vladimir  Putin is thinking, but his bizarre speech rewriting Ukrainian history was a big clue. He was filled with fire and fury as he spoke.

    Then… he warned the rest of the world.

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  • February 24, 2022

    Nobody Watches what I Watch

    Used to be everybody watched the same TV shows.  You had three networks, and a typical office conversation the next morning would be “did you see Cheers” last night?And everybody would say, yeah, that was pretty funny when Sam and Rebecca, y’know.But times change.

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  • February 24, 2022

    Phil Mickelson's in a Sand Trap

    What’s up with the Golf guys?  Tiger, well, we know his story.  But now his rival from the good ole days Phil Mickelson has suffered an abrupt fall from grace.  No women.  No drugs.  Just stupidity.Mickelson’s best days are behind him - like the 2004 Masters.Mickelson can still swing a driver at age 51. Fans always loved him as the 2nd best golfer. They enjoyed his dry sense of humor. Here.  After one victory, he explained how he did it.

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  • February 18, 2022

    Garage Doors

    When you get home tonight and hit the button to open the garage door, whisper a prayer - because you’re fortunate enough to have a garage door.  

    If you’re like thousands of Utahns moving into new construction, you’re probably waiting, and waiting for that one last piece of the construction puzzle that never arrives.

    The New York Times did a deep dive into the garage door shortage and discovered first of all - prices have doubled. That’s before we even get started. One builder told the Times it used to take 20 weeks to build a house. Now it takes 20 weeks to get a garage door.  

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  • February 18, 2022

    Ice Skaters Don't Get Dizzy

    For two weeks now we’ve watched the best ice skaters in the world jump, leap, dance and pirouette. 

    We’ve watched toe loops lutzes and triple axels, and even the salchows - Jeff had to look it up - a salchow is a jump where you’re going backwards, and leap off the inside edge of one skate and land on the outside edge of the other.  It’s named after Sweidsh Skater Urich Salchor who invented the move in 1909.

    But back to The Minute - watching Nathan Chen twist his way to a gold medal, and seeing the shenanigans with the Russian women, Jeff was left with one question? How do they do those spins where they turn into a blur, AND AVOID GETTING DIZZY?

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  • February 12, 2022

    Are Super Bowl Commercials Worth it?

    Every year they make a big deal about the Super Bowl Commercials.  Just like Crypto people drop insane amounts to buy invisible money . 

    This weekend, hopeful companies will drop $7 Million to buy 30 seconds of… air.

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  • February 12, 2022

    What is that Blob at the Olympics?

    Have you noticed that when somebody wins gold in Beijing? Instead of a medal, you see them holding a white Mardi Gras mask surrounded by something shiny. At first I was like - “is that a skull they’re holding? No can’t be. What is that."

    Turns out, it’s their Olympic mascot.

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  • February 10, 2022

    The Air Bag Olympics

    There are two kinds of snowboarders at the Olympics. The grizzled veterans who measure their success in torn cartilage and broken bones,  and the younger ones who came up in the era of airbags.   

    The New York Times points out, they’ve managed to create these mind blowing mid-air moves by testing their twists with the knowledge that trial and error jumps will end with a soft landing on a giant marshmallow.

    For the record, the highest dive onto an airbag ever was 342 feet straight down.

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  • February 9, 2022

    Putin's Super Bowl Ring

    On Sunday, while you’re scooping  up 7 layer dip, 100 men will go into battle using all the strenghting skill and cunning they can muster hoping to win what Vladimir Putin already has.The most coveted piece of Sports Jewelry in the World: a shimmering Super Bowl Ring. Last year’s ring featured 340 diamonds and a first! Aflipp off top that revealed a gold replica of the stadium on the inside.

    Now that is bling! But that’s not the one Putin pilfered.

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  • February 5, 2022

    Tipping 50 Cents

    You gracious, gracious people. Turns out as we weather the tail end of the pandemic, we’re finally learned how to tip better. On average, Americans are digging deeper into pocket and tipping one percent more.One percent!

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  • February 4, 2022

    Chernobyl is on the Ukraine border

    Troops from Ukraine aren't just guarding the border with Russia. They're also guarding Chernobyl, an infamous nuclear disaster site -- lest the Russians invade and take back the mess they created. 

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  • February 4, 2022

    The Pet Food Shortage

    If you have a dog or cat, you already know about the pet food shortage.

    Humans have been scrambling for crunchies or kibble - or whatever you call it.  And if Fluffy McFluffface a picky eater and will only accept one brand of pet food, it’s a nightmare. 

    Rushing to Walmart when a new shipment comes in, scouring the online sites, constantly gauging how many days of Fido’s choice you have left before the pantry runs dry.It’s stressful.

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  • January 29, 2022

    Extreme Ironing

    Jeff used to think the most ridiculous sport in the world was Speed Skydiving. Here’s how it works: You take an airplane ride to 13-thousand feet, put on your helmet, jump out of the plane and plunge headfirst. Hands at your sides you plummet faster and faster as you try to break the record of 318 miles an hour.

    You maintain perfect body control, turning yourself into an arrow shooting downward. When you max out your speed you gently curve your body to slow down. Gently because otherwise you’ll rip your limbs apart.  Then you open your chute,  and drift toward the puff of dust you’ll create on terra firma.

    Jeff used to think it was the most ridiculous sport in the world. But then he learned about Extreme Ironing.

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  • January 27, 2022

    Olympic Sized Fake-out

    It’s going to look like the Winter Olympics. Sorta the way they’re remembered here in Utah. Not quite the same though.Same song and everything, but watch closely. Because there’s a lot you’re not supposed to see in Beijing.

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  • January 25, 2022

    The Forgotten Moms of the Pandemic

    It was a throwback Thursday nobody wanted. Late last week thousands of Utah kids were back in remote learning.  Once again putting pressure on parents deal with a new pandemic development, and it’s been driving people nuts.Especially the moms, who have to worry about succumbing to the virus, nurturing the sick, working or working from home keeping after the kids, who never left the house last week. It never ends.

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  • January 25, 2022

    How does a country get cut off from mankind?

    Maybe for a week, maybe just a weekend, we all fantasize about getting off the grid. But in Tonga everybody’s off the grid, and it's a nightmare.

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  • January 21, 2022

    MMON Inauguration Anniv A

    This is what Jeff remembers most from a year ago today.  And he kids you not, it’s a message from a listener on the KSL Text line.

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  • January 20, 2022

    The Woman Who Almost Suited-up for the Jazz

    Lucy Harris was an amazing woman… and if things worked out a little differently she coulda been the first woman … to play for the Utah Jazz.

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  • January 20, 2022

    They don't speak English in England

    We’ve talked about the British Prime Minister… and the scandal that may cost him his job.  From this we learn once again the lying is the easiest way for a politician to get in trouble.  And we also learn that they speak a different language in England.

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  • January 19, 2022

    How to write a hit song

    When Jeff listens to popular song he's fascinated how the most gifted songwriters suddenly get a glimmer of inspiration that quickly turns into a sparkle of genius. Every so often lightning strikes, and we get a song that resonates for generations.

    The latest song? It's from a Disney Movie - Encanto. There’s a character named Bruno in the movie. Bruno can predict the future and tell you all the bad things that are gonna happen to you. So they explained this to Lin Manuel Miranda, and he immediately sat down at the piano and started plunking the keys

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  • January 19, 2022

    Tom Brady Helped Me Beat Brain Cancer

    For 10 year old Noah Reeb, 2022 is starting off way better than 2021. 

    The Highland child went through 6 months of radiation and treatment at Primary Children’s Hospital last year. This year he got tickets to the Super Bowl from Tom Brady.  

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  • January 15, 2022

    Shawn Bradley, after the crash

    He was the tallest player ever to wear a BYU basketball uniform.

    In his playing day, they called him the Stormin' Mormon. Bradley’s outstretched arms and shot blocks earned him 70-million dollars over his career in the NBA.  But then came the bike crash in St George.

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  • January 14, 2022

    Can we stop talking for a minute?

    We have the legislature considering whether to put the kibosh on "test to stay.” Remote learning is popping up in at least a few places. Teachers are out sick. The school lunch lady in the cafeteria just got a positive test. Parents are organizing in favor of masks. They’re against masks. We’re hearing about tyranny… community… personal responsibility. County councils have catfights. We’re swamping the hospitals.

    But its just an Omicold!

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  • January 12, 2022

    WE NEED Question Time!

    Usually when we follow dysfunction in England, we focus on the Queen and her sloppy family problems - mostly because it teaches us that even the wealthiest, most privileged people on this earth have their own messy problems, just like us. But today, let’s focus on the drama swirling around British Prime Minister Boris Johnson - a rumpled populist with tussled hair, who seems to have a problem - he’s a hypocrite.

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  • January 12, 2022

    The Omicron LeBrons

    The NBA sells NFT’s. Digital files of highlights on the courts. Most people don’t understand what an NFT really is … Jeff could tell you its unique blockchain digital asset, and regurgitate all the technical jargon, but Jeff has no clue what an NFT is.

    What he does know is that at the same the NBA is leaping into the digital future, they’re also rooted deep in the past, keeping precious videotape of great moments, locked in an actual nuclear bunker.

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  • January 12, 2022

    Paradise in the Desert?

    You’ve have never been to Telosa, Utah.  

    Because you’d have to hop on I-15 and take an off-ramp to the future. Telosa has yet to be built. It’s still a fantasy being dreamed-up by tech billionaire Marc Lore.  

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  • January 12, 2022

    Nyquil Chicken!

    They say chicken soup is food for the soul. But apparently chicken breasts cure the common cold. At least that’s what a lot of people think when they prepare the latest culinary delight in the kitchen.I kid you not. Chicken breast braised in NyQuil.

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  • January 8, 2022

    Texting with your tongue

    Maybe you do this. You’re reading something on the phone, and somebody -say your spouse- starts talking to you. And she says “the dishwasher is acting up again.  I’m gonna call the repair guy.”  You're completely absorbed by your phone. All you heard you heard was "bhalh zah dish womp womp”  As you continue reading you respond “uh uh .. okay,” and you never heard a word.It’s worse when you try to talk to your kids. They’re busy speed texting, and makin’ duck lips and completely ignoring you, and this is gonna get much, much worse.Because there’s a team hard at work perfecting a brand new way to use your phone.  I kid you not. It’s a retainer.  

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  • January 7, 2022

    Cars that Change Color

    When you buy a car… many a couple has reached the point of breakdown over a simple decision.  

    What color? The other day BMW put the discussion about color to rest. 

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  • January 6, 2022

    The Capitol feels different after January 6

    A year after the attack on the US Capitol, Jeff Caplan reflects on his own visit to the Capitol building back in July -- and the "new normal" that emerged from that day.

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  • January 5, 2022

    Things we stuck up our noses last year

    Have you ever shoved anything up your nose? I’m not talking about nose drops or tissues - I’m asking like - if you ever stuck something like chopsticks up your nose? Jim Carrey Style.

    I ask because each year the US Consumer Product Safety Comission compiles a list of the items pulled out of peoples’ noses, in emergency rooms. And in a year we were warned non-stop to mask-up, hide our faces, and avoid putting our own fingers in our nostrils, let’s just say some people got inventive because this government list of items extracted from people’s snouts come in three categories.

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  • January 4, 2022

    Our First Good News Story of 2022!

    Red Hamilton is low on the hockey totem poll. He’s the assistant equipment manager for the Vancouver Canucks. He sits on the bench at games, and makes sure everybody has a stick.  A few weeks ago, some crazy lady started banging on the glass behind the bench…  

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  • December 17, 2021

    The Candwich!

    This is the story of one man and a dream. For a dozen years, Utah inventor Mark Kirkland has been trying to sell a product called the Candwich.

    Back in 2010 Steven Colbert explained what a Candwich is.

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  • December 14, 2021

    Astronaut Wings

    Back in the day, any time any American went into space, they’d get their wings.  Astronaut wings - little godlen pin that signified they’d flown more than 50 miles up, and came 50 miles down.But no more. Last week… the FAA announced they’re retiring the practice. 

    And guess who’s among the last humans to be awarded their wings?Jeff Bezos.

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  • December 9, 2021

    Name the Snowplow

    While we wait for snow blanket the region…ushering in the Christmastime seasonThe men with their snowplows are gassed up to goBut what do we call the trucks pushing snow?

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  • November 18, 2021

    Is the Apple Sticker Edible?

    Yesterday Jeff grabbed an apple… and in one practiced motion… he put it in his palm while pulling the hand toward my already opening mouth…. and as he braced for that first delightful chomp…. he froze.  The fruit sticker was in Jeff's target zone.He stared at the sticker.  It stared back.   And the fruit devil on his left shoulder said “Eat It.  Eat the Sticker.”   The fruit angel on my right said “peel it off Jeff”And it got him wondering ... is it ok to eat the sticker?

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  • November 17, 2021

    The Metaverse is a giant helping of Word Salad

    Jeff's spent the past two weeks… no kidding… trying to find out what the metaverse is?He's been reading.  He's been watching youtube… and he doesn’t get it.

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  • November 5, 2021

    When the Polar Bears are Gone

    Churchill Canada bills itself as the Polar Bear Capitol of the World.  Perched at the Northern tip of Manitoba… and pressed up against the Arctic Circle…  the people of Churchill are pondering a problem.

    With not a single road leading back to the rest of the world… they depend on wealthy tourists to come see the bears… and leave their bucks behind.  Tundra Buggies take them out on tours …

    ---

    Churchill is the place that polar bears wait for  the ice to harden …. and as winter takes hold they lumber off onto the frozen sheet hunting for seals.

    In Churchill there’s no great love for polar bears.  When they’re hungry… they’re  so dangerous last week trick-or-treaters in Churchill were followed by parents in cars… just in case of polar bear attack.   The New York Times says… drivers take wide turns around corners… in Churchill … llest they plow into a polar bear. 

    That’s trouble enough but Churchill has a bigger problem and its climate change.  Which is happening more quickly the farther north you go.  Almost every Christmas we hear about a heatwave at the north pole and it’s suddenly warmer than Utah up there. 

    So the ice forms later and later each year.  The bears get less time to hunt seals… and when their hungry they produce fewer cubs… So their  population is dwindling.  And Churchill wonders… how to lure the tourists?  You can see the Northern Lights there… but that’s true of any town up north.

    Churchillians are moving out.   The town’s thriving population of 5,000 is down to 800…  and soon… thanks to climate change…

    the town that will soon by popalted not by its hardscrabble people… nor by majestic    polar bears ..    But only by ghosts.

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  • November 3, 2021

    Election Day: Never Again

    Election Day… and the only people who are gonna drop-off their ballots today are the same ones who do their Christmas shopping December 23rd. 

    Voting by mail makes it so easy.  But we need a changeYou sit home … you go to each candidates facebook page and discover they’re all in favor of family values and the American way of life…. they’re against higher taxes… so you just pick the one with a name you’ve heard before… seal it up… and send it off.

    At some point you’ll find out who won.  Or maybe you won’t.  Either way… you’ve fulfilled your civic responsibility.  And I mourn for the kids who’ll never get to have the kind of Election Day experience I enjoyed.

    Because back when I was a little one… dad would take me to vote.  I felt so important sharing this secret responsibility.  He’d hold me in his arms so I’d be tall enough to close the curtain.  And he let me pull the little levers on the voting machine.   Then I would pull the big handle to make it all final and it made a big cranking noise and I felt like the world’s more important 4 year old.  5 year old.  And when I stood on my own two feet.. as an eight year old… and as a 35 year old… took my own young song into the voting machine.. and he pulled the levers but that’s where the story ends.

    Because that wizard of oz moment feeling like a  powerful man behind the curtain will never be experienced by this new..  generation. 

    Instead… when it’s time to vote… they’ll get to lick an envelope.  So I’d like to suggest  this change for the future… that election officials use cherry flavored glue on the envelopes… so that at least there’s *something* special for kids learning how to be good citizens.

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  • November 3, 2021

    Oxford Word of the Year 2021

    There are two English Language dictionaries.  There’s Merriam Webster… And there’s the other one  that you sniff before you say the name.

    That would be the  (sniff) Oxford Dictionary.  It was created in England in the 1850’s… by Justin Quincy Bieber .. actually the great great grand fa… no I’m just messing with you.  It was created at Oxford University and ever since they’ve been naming a word of the year.

    You probably heard the word of the year for 2021… is vax.  It was barely used before this year.   But always busy .. we desperately needed to whittle down four syllables to one… and vaccination became vax.  Bonus points… it’s both a noun and verb.

    And. 

     It got me wondering … about years past.  Last year… the (sniff) Oxford Dictionaryt didn’t bother with a word of the year0.  There were too many choices from lockdown… support bubbles.. pandemic Brexit.. black lives matter.   Old Justin Bieber Oxford blew a gasket… and they just declared “all those pandemic wordy words” win.  congrastulations!

    But let’s look at the long term staying power of words gone by.  2005 the word of the year was truthiness.  Which means something that seems like it must be true… but its not. 16 years later we are awash in truthiness.  

    2016 the word of the year was dumpster fire. Even though its two words. .  2017 it was fake news.  Two words again.  

    So this year…  salute the (sniff) Oxford dictionary for  brushing up on basic math skills.  And selecting one word as its word of the year.  Out of all the words in the English language… it’s VAX.

    Get the point?

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  • October 26, 2021

    The Big Spanx Giveaway

    We’ve seen this countless times. The founder sells his company to an investment firm.  Next thing a bunch of beancounters in expensive suits show up… and they start laying people off.  To “tighten up the balance sheet.”

    But not at Sarah Blakely’s company.  20-years ago she invented panty hose without the feet.  Nobody thought of it. 

    So she started Spanx.  And her idea was noticed by Oprah.

    Oprah Raved…

    And the rest is history.  With an emphasis on female empowerment… Spanx grew and grew until last week… Sarah Blakely sold the company to an investment firm for 1-point-2 billion dollars.

    Normally… the 500 employees would fear for their jobs at this point.  But that’s not what happened.   Instead Sarah Blakely said thank you.  A 6 million dollar thank you.

    The Spanx women screamed.  There were tears.  They cried.   But Sarah Blakely had more.

    So now you can think about where in teh world you’d go… if you worked Sarah Blakely.  But you don’t.  And you’ll go home… wishing you did.

    In that moment of celebration… the employees didn’t realize the best news of all.  After the sale… Sarah Blakely is staying with the company.

     So now you can think about where in teh world you’d go… if you worked Sarah Blakely.  But you don’t.  And probably wish you did.

    We’ve seen this script before.  The founder of a company sells out to some blue-chip investment firm.;  Next thing that happens a bunch of beancounters show up in expensive suits… and then come the rumors… and the layoffs as the numbers crunchers “tighten up the balance sheet.

    But Sarah Blakely ran a different kind of company. 

    People crying

    So now you can think about where in teh world you’d go… if you worked Sarah Blakely.  But you don’t.  But righty now… you probably wish you did.

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  • October 26, 2021

    Thanksgiving Prices

    You’ve been hearing about supply chain problems for Christmas… but before we get there I’m a little worried that thanksgiving dinner might be a squeeze of ketchup … a glass of water… and a cup of baking soda from the back of the fridge.

    It is looking bleak at the grocery store.  The New York Times reports that people all over the country are scouring the supermarkets for favorite ingredients out of fear we’ll see last-minute shortages.  

    So far there’s no sign of shortages but the stuff you buy will cost more.

    In some cases a lot more…. right down to the aluminum roasting pan for the turkey.  Sweet Portato farmers are paying truckers twice as much to get their goods to market.  

    And the turkey?  Turkey  prices will gobble—up more of the family budget.  The times says you can blame the supply chain issues … gas prices… labor shortages. Bad weather.  Take your pick - they’re all factors.

    Listen to this.  Farmer can’t even find the wooden pallets they need to ship to ship their produce.

    And so… food prices are up 4-point-6 percent from a year ago.  Meat Poultry Fish and Egg prices are up more than 10-percent.  And the Thanksgiving Turkey is leading the pack.  The Department of Agriculture says Turkey prices will cost 25-cents a pound more than last year.  

    But while the price of everything is up…. including the trip to Grandmother’s house - I don’t have to tell you about gas prices.  We should be thankful that so far - most all the food is available. 

    So when you’re not busy with the neccesarily early Christmas shopping— you got to head to the grocery store and start shipping for the ingredients for thanksgiving

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  • October 22, 2021

    Vikings Arrival

    Anybody who’s been through 4th grade can figure this out.
    In the summer of 21 a neighborhood of new houses went up. Wood frames with contoured landscaping that allowed grass grow its way up a slope to the roof.  These homes were furnished with custom Swedish furniture.  They had working fireplaces.  But what they did not have… was  realtors prowling the neighborhood looking for folks who might want to flip they’re just built homes. 

    This neighborhood consisteing f 8 houses finished    in the summer of 21 were built without any lumber shortages or contractor delays.  Because the homes were built by their owners not in 2021.. but 1021. 

    Scientists say this enclave is the first proof that Vikings got to North America recisely a thousand years ago. They landed their boats stowed the oars and started chopping trees in easternmost Canada lo those many years ago.  Building8 A farmhouses with earthen walls that sloped up  to a peak and the homes almost looked like hills.  The trrees they cut formed the framing and doorways. 

    500 years before Columbus. Long before Plymouth Rock.  
    But what became of these homeowner  They disappeared while remnants of their humble homes remain.    Did their village die out?  Did they go back to Scandinavia to spend a thousand years plotting the arrival of ikea?   A mystery, but the precision dating of the year they arrived was unearthed through  carbon dating by learned scientists…combined with something you learned in  4th grade.  they counted the rings on the trees.  Their lumber.  And the researchers  came to an irrefutable… undenialbe… arrival date of  1021.

    Long gone … these Vikings were the first Europeans to establish a beachhead these shores… and the only way we commemorate their arrival…  Is with a pro football team in Minnesota.  

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  • October 19, 2021

    The Squid Game - Watch in Korean!

    My wife & I are now watching the squid game. It’s horrific and violent …and all you need to know is that each episode ends with a body count.  But it’s the most popular show in Netflix history… and my job requires me to stay on the cutting edge of popular culture.

    So I watched the first five episodes.  Fair warning the show is in Korean… and the English dubbing doesn’t quite match the mouths and it’s distracting.  Even worse- the American voice actors who performed the dubbing are about as good as high school actors… which makes the entire show comical. 

    But my associate producer… shout out Jessica Lowell said try watching it in Korean… with English subtitles.  And I was like “get outa here.”  Next thing you know I’ll be eating brie and … and … wearing sweaters.

    But we watched two episodes in Korean… and you know what?  WAY BETTER.  Becaiuse I wasn’t distracted by the clownish American voice dubbing.   This show that seemed comical in English… is a drama in Korean.   Listen…. to the difference?

    Wicked witch of the west.  Funny

    Dead serious.  Woman is losing it.  Life and Death.

    So if you’re watching Squid Game… after you hit play… choose the Korean version… for a completely different experience.

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  • October 19, 2021

    Customer Service: CHILL!

    A few of the sit down restaurants I’ve been to aren’t the same anymore.  The food isn’t quite as awesome.  Service is a little slower. 
    And during that endless wait for the appetizers… 5 minutes.  10 minutes.  And tthere’s a little devil on my shoulder demanding that I say something.

    Uh … Excuse me.  Excuse me.

    But the angel on the other shoulder says I have to calm down and be an adult. 

    The restaurant does not care that I’m wrestling with my demons.  They’re sick and tired of stressed out customers snapping because the jalapeno poppers and cheese sticks took 7 minutes.

    At $12 bucks an hour… the wait staffis doing the best they can and don’t care that you want to talk with the manager.  Because the manager is also secretly sick of the way people act lately.

    Hospitals are distributing panic buttons to nurses.  Flight attendants are getting self-defense courses.  In rare cases customers are getting prison sentences.    And before you bellow “whatever happened to the customer is always right?”  It’s changing right before your eyes to the customer is usually right…. we’re doing the best we can.

    We have to be more patient and less abrasive.  We have to do better given the labor shortages the supply chain issues.  You’re not gonna get what you want by throwing a seismic fit anymore.  The people behind the counter have heard too many diatribes. They know you’ve never been treated so badly in your life.  They know you want to talk to the manager.

    Believe it or not … your momentary frustration is not the most important thing in the world to the folks trying to serve your needs for 14 bucks an hour.

    If the line moves too slowly.  Or if they can squeeze you in til next Thursday.  Or if that other table got its food before you.. chill.  Next time you’re about to snap… listen to the angel on the other shoulder… gliss …. and kill ‘em with kindness.

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  • October 13, 2021

    The Mediocre Salt Lake

    Can we still call it the Great Salt Lake? If you've been out to water's edge you know the Salt Lake isn't close to what it used to be, and it's our fault. 

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  • October 5, 2021

    China's Flex

    Have you been following events in China?

    They just celebrated their 4th of July… and part of the celebration was flying jets into Taiwan’s airspace.  They violated the territory of their sworn enemy.  38 military jets on Saturday.  39 on Sunday.  More than 50 of them yesterday.  

    China chuckles that this was .. heh heh.  like a military parade.  People in Capitalist Taiwan.  Our friends.  Our trading partners…. grin and bear these ever escalating tweaks…  all the time.

    But consider this.  When 1 Russian jet flies into US airspace… it is news.

    But when more than 100 Chinese jets invade Taiwan’s airspace …like they did this week… the smallest mistake in the sky could spark war.  China’s President makes no bones about conquering Taiwan and the US better not get in the way. .

    I’m an expert in Mandarin I’ll translate his warning to the US

    We will never allow any foreign forces to bully coerce or enslave us.  Whoever attempts this surely break their heads on the steel Great Wall  built with the blood and flesh of the Chinese People.  This guy musta hired Kim Jong Un to be his speechwriter.

    But China can back up this  bluster and if they tweak Taiwan into war… what happens?

    Do we go to war with China?    Would today’s supply chain shortages  here in the US look like little hiccups?  

    Unclear… but it’d only take one mistake in the sky… and we might find out.

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  • September 24, 2021

    Men in College

    At the rate this is going… I wonder if Kyle Whittingham is gonna be able  to field a football team .

    I mean… a MEN’S football team.   

    Because fewer and fewer young men are choosing college.  If you go to the average campus this fall… you’ll find the student body is 40 percent male.  60 percent female  The numbers have been creeping this wayr years… and the Wall St Journal reports the gap is growing ever wider.

    One college enrollment counsultant tells the Journal this gender disparity is higher education’s dirty little secret that nobody wants to talk about… and nobody’s gonna do anything about.

    More boys are graduating high school and  lurching for the first paycheck they can find.  Colleges don’t have really have an answer.  Why don’t you go deep into deb with student loans to face a shaky job market in four years… or grab $16 bucks an hour at an Amazon warehouse?

    For a lot of 18 year old boys…  its a no-brainer.  Go to work.   But that doesn’t explain why increasingly .. young women are choosing college.   If the trend continues… women could eventually  rule the world.  And play quarterback for the Utes.

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  • September 20, 2021

    Life Imitates Art. Or is it the other way around?

    In Paris… the French are gawking at the Arc de Triumph.  A massive stone war memorial in the heart of paris…that’s been completely covered with silver cloth.

    It’s a massive art project that will draw millions of people to stare over the next two weeks.

    Meantime in California… they’re wrapping another monument.  A living monument.  This project is anything but art.

    National Parks workers wrapped the base of The General Sherman Tree.  the mightest of the Giant Sequoias… it’s 2500 years old.  It’s as tall as the tip of the dome on the Utah State Capitol Building.  Wildfire’s but a single mile away from the famous grove of giant sequoias… and to protect the legendary tree…. they’vey’ve wrapped the base of the trunk in tin foil.

    To imagine this… think of a wooden baseball bat.   Now imagine putting tin foil around that little lip at the very bottom of the bat.  That’s what it looks like and what it seems like … is an exersize in futility.   They’re protecting the mightiest tree in the world with an aluminum foil miniskirt.

    And it turns out that aluminum foil is a thing in California this summer.  Some nervous homeowners have wrapped-up their entire homes in silvery foil.  Every inch from the ground up inc including the entire roof … the doors and the windows.  That much fire resistant aluminum foil will run you $6000.

    In Paris… they’d call that art.   But in California… it’s called desperation.

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  • September 14, 2021

    Never Forget

    After tragic moments in American history… we’ve always been asked to remember what happened.  In the 1800’s the battle cry was  Remember the Alamo!  In the 1900’s… Remember Pearl Harbor.  But we don’t say Remember 9/11.

    We say Never Forget.  And there’s a difference.

    Remember the Alamo… almost sounds like a request.  Through the lens of time we hear “Remember Pearl Harbor” and as the greatest generation fades away it seems less like a battle cry, and more like a plea that a dark moment and souls lost hold their page in the history books and they have as they should.

    But the vast majority of Americans only remember Pearl Harbor — not as a visceral shock to the system … but as a story told by grandparents who struggle to share the raw emotion, and the fear, and the anger that spurred the country to great things.  The story can be retold but the raw emotions can’t be shared.

    We remember Pearl Harbor.  But 9-11… we say… we demand Never Forget.  In New York the charity is the Never Forget Fund.  Even Clydsdale Commercials over the weekend said Never Forget.  A statement of defiance about a brief moment of desperation and pain.  And we won’t forget.   

    But our grandchildren will never remember.  They can’t feel what we felt but I did find hope this weekend from - of all people - a teenage Canadian girl… who just came from nowhere and played in the finals of the US Open Tennis Championship and after the biggest moment in her young life… at Center Stage in New York City … Leyland Fernandez   had the presence of mind to literally grab the mic and say this… 

    She is only 19.  There is some hope.

    Play Episode
  • September 14, 2021

    Woolly Mammoths. What could go wrong?

    The Jurassic Park movies.  Do they end with dinosaurs giving little kids horsey rides.  

    No.  They do not.  Every one of those movies features, razor sharp claw marks etched in blood, giant jaws ripping apart human torsos, and airborne pterodactyl assaults.

    And now a brand new genetics company - planning to use its test tubes to stir-up a massive prehistoric creature extinct for 800,000 years.

    What could go wrong?

    The company is Colossal and their goal is to reanimate the Woolly Mamouth.  A six ton elephant with a giant skull, massive tusks, and a shaggy dog haircut.  They plan to tinker with elephant DNA to add the hair.. the layers of fat… and other manmouth features.  They’ll implant the embryos in a fake elephant uterus that will hold the unborn baby for 2 years… til its 200 pounds… and then it’ll be born into a world where it has no mother.  Kinda cruel… because elephants are very tight with their moms as they grow-up.

    So why is Colossal doing this?  Because they can.  And because they have 15-million dollars to burn.  They want to reintroduce the beasts to Siberia where they say .. it might help repair the climate-damaged tundra.  Theoretically these motherless behemths  would eat moss and create fertilizer. Thereby reducing carbon emissions.  But I once again ask…

    What could go wrong?

    Just one misplaced strand of DNA…   and we could have Jurassic Park Six:  furry mess in the frost.  But this one… will be a documentary.

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  • September 14, 2021

    The University of Utah got this cool prize

    Play Episode
  • September 10, 2021

    Fear of Flying

    You might remember that flying… used to be fun.  

    ——Sh—

    Classic moment from the movie Airplane… a comedy from 1980 that couldn’t be made today.  Because of September 11th.   If you flew on September 10th, 2001… your family walk with you to the gate to say goodbye.  Nobody checked nuthin.  The plane had a flimsy  cockpit door with a lock as secure as the one on your bedroom door.

    Do you remember this…  sometimes… they’d fly with the door open.  And you’d see scenes like this. 

    Ahhhh the slapstick days of air travel … long gone…. and that movie couldn’t be made today.  A comedy about air travel?  Unthinkable… after September 11th  In a heartbeat…. the experience flipped from  fun to a nerve-wracking battle with your patience, steeped in fear that a fellow passenger might be a terrorist.
      
    In those weeks after the attacks… the words “this is your captain speaking” were met with applause. Jetliners flying past ground zero would dip their wings as passengers whispered a prayer.

    But I am here to tell you flying used to be fun.  No masks… no TSA.  And they used to give you legroom.  It was an entirely different kind of flying.  Or …as they put it in Airplane…. 

    I loved that movie as much as I hate flying.  

    Play Episode
  • September 8, 2021

    Words you can't say Anymore: Yahoo

    The English language is constantly changing…and I try to roll with it.   The word yahoo once described a race of brutish creatures in Gulliver’s Travels.  Then it was used to describe crass and stupid people “what a bunch of yahoos”  Now… it’s a website. It’s email.  And for that matter… google only became a word within the last 20 years.

    So I try to keep up… but when it comes to words that used to be good… and now they’re bad.. it’s a little harder to break habits.

    This summer I understood when the entomological society of America changed the name of the gypsy moth.  Because its a slur against the Romani people.  Inferring that like the moths… Romanis strip everything they can and then move.  I get it.

    But when I hear you can’t talk about shark attacks anymore… I can’t quite get there.  In Australia… oceonographers have stopped using the term… shark attack.  Because it makes us hate sharks at a time when their population is dwindling…. and might disappear.  Better to call them shark incidents… or shark encounters.  if we soften the language …they think we’ll want to save the sharks that serve as a vital role of the ocean ecoysystem.

    In Massachussets Brandeis University has come up with a list of terms to avoid.  

    I get that you should avoid the term “rule of thumb.”  Rule of Thumb supposedly comes from an old british law allowing men to beat their wives with sticks no wider than your thumb.  But there’s no evidence that is true.

    Brandeis also says you should avoid the term picnic.  Because people would supposedly picnic while watching lynchings in the south.  

    If this ban against the word picnic triggers you…you can’t use the term trigger warning at brandeis… because a trigger references guns and violence.

    What a bunch of yahoos.

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  • August 19, 2021

    Facial Recognition

     warned ya two years ago…  they’re tracking your every move. 
       — CUT —— 
    See?  That was 2019.  And two years later… retailers have upped their game bigtime.. with facial recognition.  You stop by Macy’s and they record your face in a database.  Next time you visit they not only pinpoint where you are… but they can recognize you.  Not by name.  They say they don’t attach personal information to the faces on file.
    But if you have the store’s app… they already  know “oh… nancy’s here!”   Cuz the bluetooth beacon got the info from your phone.
    If you find the facial recognition to be invasive… you should know Walmart, Smiths, Home Depot, and Target have pledged that they won’t use it.
    But Macy’s and Apple stores do use facial recognition technology.  They say for security.  Somebody shoplifts and then visits a second time, the store knows instantly that trouble just walked through the door.
    Problem is facial recognition is not perfect.  18 year old Ousmane Bah can tell you all about that.  He’s suing apple after their recognition system botched the ID of a shoplifter and Apple had this innocent kid arrested.  By the way he looked nothing like the real shoplifter.
    But be aware… even if you shut off your phone when you walk into a store… they might be watching

    Play Episode
  • August 18, 2021

    Air Force Heroics in Kabul Crowded Flight

    Chances are you’ve been on a crowded flight.  No space in the overhead bin… crying babies.  Bathroom lines.
    Friends …these are first world problems.
    Because the world has just seen what a crowded flight really looks like.  There’s a picture making the rounds of the interior of a giant C-17 cargo jet taking off from Kabul on Sunday.
    You look at this picture and you can’t believe it.  The cargo hold is teeming with humanity.  Hundreds and hundreds of Afghan refugees crammed into this airborne warehouse… sitting on the floor.  No seats.. No seat belts.
    Now you get on a crowded flight… there might be 200 people on board.  Every seat’s full.  But t his flight?   We only have a recording from the other side of the military radio transmission.  Listen…
     No ticketholders.  these desperate Afghans saw an open cargo ramp and they all ran in.----Instead of removing them… the crew decided to get them out.——Afghans——Bless that crew for making the decision.  
    The flight took off without incident… and lande safely in Doha 3 hours later… 640 souls filed out with nothing but the shirts on their back … and a future as refugees.  But safe… from the Taliban thanks to the brave efforts of an Air Force flight crew.

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  • August 13, 2021

    Your Metabolism Ain't Slowing

    I’m gonna talk about medical science.  Now exhale… this has nothing to do with Covid.

    A new study just published shows that everything we thought about our metabolism… is wrong.   This comes from a paper published in journal Science yesterday…. and experts are calling it a pivotal study that turns our knowledge of metabolism upside-down.

    6500 people were studied.  They were everywhere from 8 days to 95 years old.  Men … women…  And it’s  expensive to measure people’s metabolism.  It involves tracking the carbon dioxide we exhale during activity.  In other words… masks.  A bunch of researchers pooled the results and discovered… your metabolism doesn’t slow down as you age.

    You know … you celebrate a few birthdays … you put on a few pounds… you chalk it up to a slowing metabolism.  Nope.  Nope nope nope.  The researchers found our metabolisms go through four phases

    At birth its the same as mom’s.  But a month later it kicks in hard… and that first year you are racing

    Then from age 1- through 20 it slows by 1 percent a year.

    When you hit 20 20 through 60… your metabolism stays rock steady most of your life.  And after 60… it slows but only a tiny bit.  By 7-tenths of 1 percent a year.

    By the time you’re 95 years old… the NY times says you’re metabolism is 20 percent slower than 60.   All this means that for almost everybody listening to me now…   chances are that slowly expanding waistline.  That little bit of belly jiggle… isn’t because your metabolism is slowing.  Landmark research.

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  • August 3, 2021

    Rent Anything

    I think this all started with AirBnB.  The idea you can rent-out something you own but aren’t using all the time.  Why not make a few bucks.  And the idea spread to cars… and now … swimming pools.   You have a backyard pool… it’s August you don’t use it as much as you did in june…. so rent it out… with an online service called Swimply.  That’s basically AirBnB for swimming pools.

    The price ranges from $30 to $45 dollars an hour.   The company plans to branch out into hot tubs… private basketball courts… and even home gyms. Which sounds a little skeevy.  Going into some guy’s home office to lift his weights and ride his sweaty elliptical.  But this is all gonna be part of a new service called Joyspace.  

    And I wonder.  What else could I rent out that I’m not using.  And I took a walk around my house.  We have electric bikes.  We could charge a few bucks an hour for anybody who wants to rent a ride.  Hey.  We only use the silverware at mealtimes.  So why not rent it out.   Let the users bring ‘em  back dirty.  Cleaning’s included in the rental price… We’ll call the app Forkly.

    You live in an apartment?  How’d you like to get cozy and warm sitting in front of my fireplace.  We’ll rent it out to you for 25 bucks an hour… call the app Crackle.  

    And look at thiiiis.  My toothbrush sits in the little stand all day long.  I only use it three minutes a day.  Why not rent out my toothbrush…. toothpaste included ... dollar a minute.  Brushie… with the letter u left out of course. 

    I’m gonna be rich with my rental empire.   And then you can rent all my money and be flush for a while.  We’ll call it flushie.  Which reminds me… the toilet.  just sits there all da…  never mind.

    But a penny for my thoughts.  We’ll call it thinkie.  Or we could call it…  

    Play Episode
  • June 15, 2021

    Girl Scott Cookie Surplus!

    First you pierce the think layer of chocolate with your teeth… and your upper palette tingles from the mint.  Then comes the satisfying crunch of the wafer inside.  There’s nothing like a Thin Mint from the Girl Scouts.


    It’s a huge business… but a little less huge during the pandemic… because the normal channels used to peddle the cookies were closed off.   You couldn’t set up a booth.  You couldn’t send mom and dad to work with a sign up sheet … because… everybody was home.


    So sales were down significantly and the Girl Scouts have 15-million extra boxes of cookies.  They’re sitting at the bakers’ warehouses.


    So what to do with 50-million dollars worth of cookies?  Sell ‘em next year?  Nope.  Shelf life is 12 months.  Sell ‘em to grocery stores?  Nope.  The annual sale becomes less special… when you can get the cookies at any old store.   They did put them in Harmons at the peak of the pandemic… but now… it’s unclear what happens to all those cookie boxes.


    What is clear… is that no matter how much it seems like a big business. And they sell 800-million dollars worth of cookies in a good year.   the pandemic taught us that there’s  one ingredient that makes Girl Scout cookies a hit.
    The girls themselves.


    They’re the 50-million dollars worth of magic that makes it all happen

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  • June 4, 2021

    Lake Chaugagogmanchahgagaggchaubunagungamaug

    Ever been to Lake Chaugagogmanchahgagaggchaubunagungagaug?

    The longest town name in America.  And making matters more complicated… it’s in the state with the longest name… so if you’re looking for the lovely lake on the google… type in  Chaugagogmanchahgagaggchaubunagungamaug, Massachessets.

    Out of necessity… the town’s Welcome sign is 16 feet long.  The name is a native american term for the boundary between the English and the local Indian Tribe. 

    49 letters … that town name.  The letter G is used 15 times… and when the state wanted to get rid of some of them to make life easier for map makers… the town rose up as one… behing a poet named Bertha who wrote.

    Tho Gogg and Magogg shout and thunder;
    Chaugagogmanchahgagaggcaubunagungamaug, renown
    Shall blaze, the beacon of the town,
    While nations gaze and wonder.”

    Once a poet gets involved it’s game over… and  the state gave up … So 49 letterse it stays… but the crystal blue lake dotted by cottages  has changed.  These days it's hot real estate.   Houses are going up… trees are coming down…  and the newest residents of Chaugagogmanchahgagaggcaubunagungamaug have as hard time with the name.   Spelling it is murder if you didn’t grow up there… so they just call it Lake Webster.

    And when they have to write their address by hand on that form at the doctors office… they just use the five digit equalizer that the same length for every town in America… Zip code 01570.

    Play Episode
  • May 25, 2021

    Bye bye Charlie (bit my finger)

    Probably the most famous Youtube video ever.  Ladies and Gentlemen… I give you ….Charlie Bit My Finger.

    This was  back when the internet was innocent… 2007… instead of trolls and karens… 2007 Kids and cats were the superstars.

    And none more so than Charlie. 

    Fast forward… the grinning little finger-biter is 14 years old.  Thanks to 900-million views on YouTube… you hear me .. almost a billion views… Charlie and his finger bitten brother now go to private school in England.

    And the family has decided to get  one last payday.  

    They’ve turned “charlie bit my finger” into an NFT.  I don’t want to get into the convoluted digital sorcery of NFT’s… so suffice it to say… that the video  is a one-of-a-kind collectible.  The family has promised to remove the video from youtube forever.   So - at least in theory the highest bidder …would have the only copy of the video … and yesterday… 11 bidders threw serious money at the auction…. and when the digital dust settled…. Charlie Bit my Finger sold to some anonymous internet dude… for $761,000.

    Three quarters orf as million dollars… to own a beloved piece of internet history. 

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  • May 18, 2021

    What's the Orange Dot on my iPhone?

    I just noticed this.  If you have an iphone… look at the bars… y’know…. the signal bars at the top right of the screen.  

    Other day just above the bars… I saw a tiny orange dot. Thought it was a little spec of dust and I tried to brush it away… but it was on the screen. 

    Maybe you knew this… but that tiny orange dot above the bars…. is the new way that Apple warns you one of your apps is using the microphone. Some app could be listening.

    For instance… if you’re on the phone… you get the orange dot.  Buit if you’re not on the phone and you see that orange dot…. that means there’s an app that listening to you.   Could be legit… but if you’re concerned… start closing the apps on your phone one by one til the dot goes away.

    Even creepier… is a greet dot.   If you see a green dot up there… it means one of your apps is watching.  It has access to your camera.  Could be facebook… cause you gave permission.  Could be something else.  But if you want privacy… shut apps til the green dot goes away.

    And if you have an Android phone…. sorry no dots.  You would have to go to the app store and find one  that warns you about mic and camera useage.  If you don’t download a warning app….   they could be listyening.  Or watching.

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  • May 13, 2021

    The Alexa Lady

    Listen to this woman on this commercial.  Listen close.

    —— 

    Any idea who this is?   I’ll play another clip of her.   See if you get it.

    ——

    This woman  has chosen to hide the biggest role of her life as a voice-over artist.   I’m gonna play one more clip of her.  See if you get it.

    That’s Nina Rolle from Minneapolis.  She does radio commercials… and voices audiobooks… and very quietly…. landed the gig of a lifetime.  But after snooping and sluething… tech website the verge.com has revealed Nina… is …  Alexa.

    —— la voice

    She still won’t talk about it.  A blonde 40-ish … not really reclusive… but for obvious reasons… Amazon doesn’t want this lady running around declaring “I’m Alexa.”   When the Siri Lady… Susan Bennett of Atlanta got famous… Apple replaced her.  So for now… it’s all hush hush. 

    I even asked my Alexa about her….


    Figures.  Wrong answer.  Dang Alexa

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