Today we learn the daily crossword wasn’t always geared toward those who wear smarty-pants. Plus, we wish a D.C. legend a very happy — and half-smoked — birthday, find out why your houseplants keep dying, define the term “cellphone crash” and debate whether we’re all too sensitive to profanity. Ahh, @#$% it, let’s just get into this Blog Log, shall we?
“Indeed, of all the fads of the faddish 1920s — flagpole sitting, mah-jongg, dances like the Charleston — only crossword puzzles lasted.” — Greg Daugherty at blogs.smithsonianmag.com celebrates the 100-year anniversary of the crossword puzzle, which became popular in the United States in the 1920s. Crosswords, which were invented in the previous decade and called “word-crosses,” weren’t always so popular, though. At one point, writes Daugherty, The New York Times even called the puzzles “a primitive sort of mental exercise.”
“Happy Birthday and Happy Half Smokes!!” — Dennis Whitehurst at facebook.com wishes Virginia Ali, the matriarch of D.C.’s Ben’s Chili Bowl franchise, a happy birthday Tuesday night. Ali turned 80.
“Are you slowly killing your houseplants? Probably! But there might be a reason (other than neglect) why they’re all yellow and wilty: your Wi-Fi router.” — Sarah Weber at dailydot.com summarizes the conclusions of a high school science project conducted by students in Denmark that found that microwave radiation, such as that which is emitted from Wi-Fi routers, can impede the growth of plants. Sadly, the waves will not pop popcorn, however.
“Simple yet diabolical yet harmless yet effective. The best kind of trolling.” — Neetzan Zimmerman at gawker.com comments on a prank video that went viral this week that shows comedian Greg Benson “cellphone crashing” in an airport. Basically, Benson sits next to someone chatting on the phone and begins engaging in the person’s conversation while pretending to be on the phone himself. When the person inevitably pauses to ask Benson if he’s answering their questions, he says no — he’s on the phone.
“Because television viewers are delicate flowers whose ears must not be subjected to sharp, pointy words.” — commenter ScottAlbertJohnson at deadspin.com reasons with a heavy dose of sarcasm about why a Wichita, Kan., newscaster was fired this week. Justin Kraemer, who was anchoring KSNW-TV’s Saturday night broadcast, said to his fellow newscasters, “Let’s get the f— out of here,” when he thought the show was off the air. (It wasn’t.)