Overnight Briefing & General Reality Check - Jan 31, 2014
January 31, 2014
Happy Chinese New Year
and welcome to 4711 in the Chinese calendar --the Year of the Horse-- which begins today. In Chinese: Gung Hay Fat Choy!
Quotable: "Wow! I'm still writing Snake on my checks!" (anon)
With the Chinese New Year (4712 --the Year of the Horse) upon us, it seems appropriate to ask if you knew that my daughter's favorite Chinese dish --General Tso's Chicken-- is actually an American invention?
Most people believe that the dish is named after Zuo Zongtang, a Qing Dynasty general from Hunan. Of course, since it's breaded and stir-fried, I think we can all agree that it originated later than the mid-1800s. And when they asked some of the descendants of General Tso who were still living in Xiangyin, they said they'd never heard of the dish. So where did it come from?
Turns out a Chinese chef named PENG CHANG-KUEI went from Taiwan to New York City in the early 1970s, and opened a restaurant called Peng's (what are the chances?) on 44th Street. It was there --close to the UN-- that HENRY KISSINGER first visited and became a regular. The dish was first mentioned in the New York Times in 1977.
Peng was inventive, and among the dishes he created was (drum roll, please)... General Tso's chicken. After making his fortune and leaving the restaurant, he did cooking demonstrations around China, but his signature dish was never very popular with the Chinese because... it was too sweet! (RB)
Totally useless Groundhog Day trivia:
1. Horniness and hunger are the elements that determine a Groundhogs behavior. Weather has nothing to do with it.
2. The folklore that is the origin of this day started with 16th century German farmers. Which means they were pretty lousy farmers if they had time to stand around and think THIS stuff up.
3. The original animal in German folklore is a Badger. But if we called it "Badger Day" my mother-in-law would think it's her cue to come visit for a week.
4. The story goes that if the day was sunny and the animal saw it's shadow it would be frightened back into it's hole and six more weeks of winter would follow. If the animal stayed out, Spring would come early.
5. Scientific studies over a 60 year period show that the Groundhogs accuracy in forecasting the onset of Spring is only 28%. Oddly enough, the National Weather Service only has a 31 percent accuracy, so there.
"Duck Dynasty" ratings came back a bit this past week, going from 6.65 million total viewers to 7.49 million. That's 13 percent better, although still below the season premiere of 8.88 million.
The other good thing for "Duck" fans is that it was Wednesday's number two show, ranking behind only Fox's "American Idol."
Super Bowl Poll:
It's a no-brainer why cities across America compete to host the Super Bowl --football fans converge and spend a ton of money during their visit. But a survey from the Levenson Institute of Gaming, Hospitality and Tourism (LIGHT) at The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey finds football fans have MORE money to spend than many other sports.
According to LIGHT's recent poll of 800 adults:
--NFL football fans are more likely to earn $100,000 or more than non-football fans by 27 percent to 18 percent.
--45 percent of non-fans earn less than $75,000 a year, compared to 39 percent of football fans who earn the same amount.
--71 percent of football fans have attended some college or earned a four-year degree or better, compared to 62 percent of non-fans.
That all adds up to more disposable income to dispose of on football-related events. Other insights:
--Football fans are more likely to gamble, at 53 percent compared to 38 percent of non-football fans.
--Three-quarters of those polled have a favorite NFL team, including 83 percent of men and 68 percent of women. (Kaye)
Other TV events:
Puppy Bowl Ten will have teams made up of breeds including Brody the American Eskimo, Lily the Basset Hound, terriers, Dalmations, Spaniels and even a Bernadoodle --which is a designer mix between a Bernese mountain dog and a poodle.
Plus, in addition to the game, producers will also have Meep the Bird (@MeepTheBird) "tweeting" his commentary, the Bissel Kitten halftime show and a piggie pep squad.
Puppy Bowl kicks off at 3 pm (Eastern) on Animal Planet; the Hallmark Channel's Kitten Bowl begins at 6 am (Eastern), and this year there's also a (wait for it...) Fish Bowl scheduled from 6 to 10 pm (Eastern) on Nat Geo Wild.
Top 5 pizza sales days are:
5. New Year's Day
4. The night before Thanksgiving
2. New Year's Eve
1. Super Bowl Sunday
--On Super Bowl Sunday, pizza delivery drivers can expect $2 tips to sometimes soar as high as $20
--Domino's delivery drivers will log about four million miles on Super Bowl Sunday
--Delivery sales of pizza spike the most during close Super Bowl games (Source: Pizza.com)
--It's already been 10 years since JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE pulled off JANET JACKSON's top during the halftime show at Super Bowl 38, creating a half-second "wardrobe malfunction" and showing her right breast --partially covered by a nipple shield (but not all the way)-- resulting in "nipplegate" (2004).
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