Overnight Briefing & General Reality Check - Mar 4, 2014
March 4, 2014
Today is Fat Tuesday --the culmination of 11 days of partying and parades called Mardi Gras in New Orleans. Traditionally, Mardi Gras (and the companion holiday, Carnival in Brazil and other places) are supposed to be the last days of partying before the 40 days of Lent, which begins with Ash Wednesday (tomorrow).
Quotable: "The week of drinking, partying and doing bizarre things comes to an end. Unless you're CHARLIE SHEEN."
Being Shrove Tuesday, today is also the 65th annual International Pancake Day. You know the drill; the contest between the folks in Liberal, KS, and Olney, England. This whole thing started when Christian Lenten rules prohibited the eating of all dairy products. So housewives would make pancakes to use up their supplies of eggs, milk, butter and other fats.
Recipes for English pancakes back in those days called for wheaten flour, eggs, butter or lard, a liquid (water, milk, ale or wine) and flavorings such as white or brown sugar, spices (nutmeg, cinnamon, or ginger), orange flower water, scented sugars or liqueurs! They were fried in butter and either served flat or rolled and sprinkled with powdered sugar.
Editor's note: both International Pancake Day and National Pancake Day are today. As far as National Pancake Day is concerned, visitors to the International House of Pancakes will be served up a "short stack" of free buttermilk pancakes, and in return, the company hopes they'll make a donation to the Children's Miracle Network. Donations are strictly voluntary. Last year IHOP served more than 2.5 million free pancakes, and since 2006 when they began, they've raised nearly $13 million for charity.
More Lenten customs:
While we're on the subject, a Polish pre-Lenten custom is the small, deep-fried jelly-doughnut pastries called "paczki's" --pronounced "punch-key." In Poland, the holiday is celebrated the Thursday before Lent begins; here in the U-S, it's the day before (today).
When PHARRELL WILLIAMS started wearing "that hat," a lot of people thought it was the Arby's logo. Well, truth is always stranger than fiction. People.com says Pharrell put the VIVIENNE WESTWOOD hat up for auction on eBay on February 20th, and yesterday was the final day to bid on it. Guess who came up with the top bid? Arby's! The hat sold for $44,100-dollars. Pharrell is donating the money to his One Hand to Another charity which helps out children in need. (Marino)
PHARRELL WILLIAMS has just signed a deal to be the face of the trendy "fast fashion" chain Uniqlo. No, he's not selling funky hats. Or tuxedo shorts. He'll be hawking tee shirts for Uniqlo's spring line. It was created in partnership with Pharrell's "I am OTHER" company. (Bartha)
One of the major glitches on Sunday's Oscar telecast: JOHN TRAVOLTA butchering IDINA MENZEL's name, calling her "Adele Dazeem."
Good news, though: Now, you TOO, can have your name Travoltified with the Adele Dazeem Name Generator! Try your name, or any name, and find out. Or try it with the name you use on the Internet if you're one of those people who likes to leave comments on websites (Maiman):
Or a name in the news:
--Vladimir Putin is "Victoria Pittnan"
--Barack Obama is "Brandan Ortega"
--Hillary Clinton becomes "Harrison Cozzins"
--Mitt Romney is "Matt Reynzo"
--Saddam Hussein is "Seonaidh Houston"
--Osama bin Laden is "Olivia Bryan"
The Ross Brittain Report has been perfected by Ross and his award winning writers to provide customizable show prep every weekday morning. To see why it's one of the most important show prep services in the US, or for a free two week trial, please contact us using the contact info below in the "About The Author" section.