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44 Fun Facts about Our US Presidents

This coming Monday is President’s Day…so what better way to celebrate than to take a look back at those men who have held this office before and learn something weird and wacky about them?

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Illustration credit:  Patrick Moberg

From George Washington to Donald Trump, here are 44 Fun Facts about POTUS’s past and present!

44 Fun Facts about Our US Presidents

George Washington was one of our sickest presidents. He suffered from diphtheria, tuberculosis, smallpox, dysentery, malaria, quinsy (tonsillitis), carbuncle, pneumonia, and epiglottitis, just to name a few.

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John Adams and his wife, Abigail, moved into the White House in 1800 and became the first presidential couple to occupy the home…but he only got to enjoy the comforts of The White House for four months before his term ended.

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Thomas Jefferson was a science enthusiast and loved technology and innovation. One of his favorite machines was a rotating book stand that held up to five books at a time.

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James Madison once graced the front of the $5,000 bill. However, the government stopped printing these in 1945.

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James Monroe was one of three of the Founding Fathers to die on July 4th. Thomas Jefferson and John Adams both died on July 4, 1826 and Monroe died on July 4, 1831.

John Quincy Adams loved skinny dipping. Every morning at 5:00 am, he would swim in the Potomac River – naked.

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Andrew Jackson was a convicted killer. A man with a horrible temper, he actually killed a man in a duel in 1806 for insulting his wife, Rachel, who died shortly before Jackson took control of the country.

Martin Van Buren was the first American-born president, becoming the first candidate born after the American Revolution.

William Henry Harrison had the longest inauguration speech to date (90 minutes) but the shortest term. His tenure as president lasted only 33 days before he died.

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John Tyler was not a well-liked president. In fact, many considered him a traitor to the US. His obituary stated, “He ended his life suddenly, last Friday, in Richmond – going down to death amid the ruins of his native State. He himself was one of the architects of its ruin; and beneath that melancholy wreck his name will be buried, instead of being inscribed on the Capitol’s monumental marble, as a year ago he so much desired.” Wow. He was even dubbed “His Accidency”. Yikes, John Tyler.

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James Knox Polk spent most of his young years sick in bed and didn’t start formal educational training until about 18 years old. His wife, Sarah Childress, was extremely well-educated and would often help Polk write speeches and letters.

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Zachary Taylor was nominated for president without being formally told of his nomination. The now deceased Whig Party chose him to be president, even though he wasn’t at their convention. They sent him a letter, but didn’t pay postage. When the letter arrived, Taylor refused to pay for the postage and didn’t technically find out about his nomination until several weeks later.

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Millard Fillmore was one of three presidents who did not have a vice president (Tyler, Johnson and Arthur were the other three).

Franklin Pierce was said to have the best hair of any US president. One witness described it approvingly as a “mass of curly black hair” combed on a deep slant over his wide forehead. So, essentially, Pierce perfected the comb over.

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James Buchanan was the only president who was a life-long bachelor.

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Abraham Lincoln was a licensed bartender.

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Andrew Johnson became mayor of Greeneville, Tennessee at 22 years old…despite never attending a day of school in his entire life.

Ulysses S. Grant lost everything to a scam artist after his run as president. In order to make money for his throat cancer treatments, he contacted Mark Twain to write his memoirs.

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Rutherford Birchard Hayes eliminated booze at the White House. He wanted to maintain the dignity of the office by removing all beer, wine and liquor from the kitchen. Wine would sometimes be served for State dinners or visitations, but the president and first lady would not partake.

James Abram Garfield’s mother was the first president’s mother to attend her son’s inauguration.

Chester Alan Arthur owned at least 80 pairs of pants. I don’t think I even own 80 pieces of clothing…

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Grover Cleveland was the only president to serve two non-consecutive terms (he was both the 22nd and 24th president).

Benjamin Harrison is the first and only president thus far to hail from Indiana.

William McKinley‘s inauguration was the first to be filmed.

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Theodore Roosevelt was the youngest president in our history, taking office at the age of 42 after McKinley’s death.

William Howard Taft clocked in at about 354 pounds, but lost about 70 pounds after his presidency. He did so by cutting out bread, potatoes, pork, and liquor…so, like, the best things.

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Woodrow Wilson is the only president thus far to earn a Ph.D. degree.

Warren Harding was known for having extramarital affairs. Interestingly, the Republican Party paid off one of Harding’s mistresses to keep her quiet while he was running for president.

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Calvin Coolidge was the only US president born on the 4th of July.

Herbert Clark Hoover was fluent in Chinese and would often speak Chinese with his wife in the White House when they wanted a private conversation.

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Franklin Delano Roosevelt was distantly related to his wife (Eleanor Roosevelt) and 11 other presidents.

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Harry S. Truman married his childhood sweetheart, Elizabeth “Bess” Virginia Wallace, however she did not enjoy her role as First Lady and spent as little time in Washington as she could get away with.

Dwight David Eisenhower spent 35 years in the military and served in both World War I and World War II; however, he never saw a day of active combat.

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John Fitzgerald Kennedy is the only US president to have a Purple Heart, which was awarded to him after he was wounded in action in August 1943.

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Lyndon Baines Johnson bought his wedding ring at Sears for $2.50.

Richard Nixon was a Quaker. As a boy, Nixon went to Quaker meetings four times on Sundays and played piano at church services. He enrolled at Whittier College, a Quaker institution, and attended mandatory chapel hours every day.

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Gerald Rudolph Ford was the only president to also be an Eagle Scout. Scouting was so important to Ford that, at his funeral, an honor guard of about 400 Eagle Scouts stood watch during the procession.

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James Earl Carter founded the Carter Center, which has played an active role in human rights and disease prevention issues globally. Carter actually won a Nobel Prize in 2002 for his decades of work fighting for democracy, human rights, and economic and social developments.

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Ronald Wilson Reagan was said to be a great kisser by one Shirley Temple. In 1947, they starred in the film That Hagen Girl, where the 36-year-old Reagan married the 19-year-old Temple. Though Temple said he was a great kisser, the film was a box office flop and was key in starting the decline of both of their film careers.

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George Herbert Walker Bush was captain of the Yale baseball team and he actually met Babe Ruth several months before Ruth’s death.

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William Jefferson Clinton, despite his personal scandal, left office with the highest end-of-office approval rating of any US president since World War II.

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George Walker Bush‘s 2002 State of the Union Address was the first to be broadcast live on the internet.

Barack Obama collects Spider Man and Conan the Barbarian comics.

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Donald Trump owns around 18 golf courses around the world.

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Sometimes you just need a little fun in your life! Check back every week for a new “Just Bee-cause” post, where I discuss everything from celebrity news to favorite videos and websites!

 

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Thoughts I’ve Had Reading Harry Potter Again as a 30-Something – Part 4

WOW…OK it’s been WAY TOO LONG since I’ve continued this project but hey, book four in the Harry Potter series is a freaking BEAST…so, just calm down.

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Let me just say something…Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire used to be my favorite Harry Potter book. It was the first book I bought at the midnight release and I walked all over The Taste of Chicago the next day reading it (and if you’ve seen this book IRL, you know how challenging that must have been).

Every time I re-read Harry Potter, I loved book four…except this time. Was it just overexposure? Am I reacting to the story differently now? Whatever the reason, I just didn’t find myself loving this book as much as I remember loving it in the past.

Of course, that’s not to say I didn’t like it. I still love this book (I mean, Mad Eye Moody is pretty much one of my favorite characters), but as seen in other areas of this project, I guess some stories that have become such a part of your life change along with you…often in unexpected ways…

Check out parts 1, 2 and 3 of this project here:

Thoughts I’ve Had Reading Harry Potter Again as a 30-Something

OK, let’s make like Victor Krum and dive into this…

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Thoughts I’ve Had Reading Harry Potter Again as a 30-Something

Part 4: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

 ‘The Riddle House’ chapter still terrifies me.

You will milk her before we retire, Wormtail,’ said the second voice. ‘I will need feeding in the night. The journey has tired me greatly.’
HOW do you milk a snake? You know what, I don’t even want to know…

Wouldn’t Frank the caretaker know just a TAAAAD about wizard life after living with the Riddle family for so long?

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As for informing the Headmaster, Harry had no idea where Dumbledore went during the summer holidays. He amused himself for a moment, picturing Dumbledore, with his long silver beard, full-length wizard’s robes and pointed hat, stretched out on a beach somewhere, rubbing suntan lotion into his long crooked nose.
I just can’t get this out of my head:

I’m still mystified by how owls know how to find people…especially people that have gone into hiding.

He was tall, with long hair that he had tied back in a ponytail. He was wearing an earring with what looked like a fang dangling from it. His clothes would not have looked out of place at a rock concert, expect that Harry recognized his boots to be made, not of leather, but of dragon hide.
Can we just all agree that Bill is the hottest Weasley? Yes?

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OK, moving on…

Why would anyone Apparate with the risk of being splinched?  Did we learn nothing from Willie Wonka?

So…technically…apperating and traveling via Portkey really aren’t that different, right?  You just have to determine whether you’re willing to risk having your body cut in half.

Do Veela work their enchant-magic on lesbian wizards, too?

I demand that we see a spectacle like the opening of the Quidditch world cup at all our culminating sporting events…just for the sake of interest.

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I wonder if J.K. Rowling has little cut-outs of these Quidditch players and actually plays the game in order to write it.

Does England or the US have a Quidditch team?

How did the conjuring of the Dark Mark not hurt Harry’s scar?

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The film writers were wise to leave Percy out of the movies.  He’s so insanely annoying.

We caught the Robertses before they hit the ground, though. They’re having their memories modified right now.
What is this, Black Mirror? This is like the 10th time this guy has had his memory modified.

‘Fine,’ snapped Mrs. Weasley. ‘Go naked. And Harry, make sure you get a picture of him. Goodness knows I could do with a laugh.’
That’s a weird thing for a mom to say about her son.

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WHY do they still let Peeves haunt this school? Isn’t here some magic priest or warlock who can come expel him? Do they not have sage in the magic kitchen?!

 ‘Twas Griffindor who found the way
He whipped me off his head
The founders put some brains in me
So I could choose instead!
WAAAAAIT, WHAT?! The Sorting Hat is filled with Abby Normal brains?!

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We have worked hard over the summer to ensure that, this time, no champion will find himself or herself in mortal danger.

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So Dumbledore can use a spell to make sure people are of the right age to enter the Triwizard Tournament but there’s no spell to make sure people are actually putting in their own names? Come on, Dumbly-dore!

‘it is Uranus, my dear,’ said Professor Trelawney, peering down the chart.
‘Can I have a look at Uranus, too, Lavender?’ said Ron.

Oh Ron…

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It wouldn’t be the 1990’s without some classic “yo mama” jokes:

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The Owlery must smell god-awful.

OK I NEVER got as much homework as these poor kids get at Hogwarts.

The decorations in the Great Hall had changed this morning. As it was Hallowe’en, a cloud of live bats was fluttering around the enchanted ceiling, while hundreds of carved pumpkins leered from every corner.
Um…hell to the nah.

OK, so let’s talk about the rules of this Triwizard Tournament. Since Harry’s name was pulled from the Goblet, even though he didn’t put his name in the Goblet and even though he’s too young to even participate, he still HAS TO because the Gods of Magic will rain unholy hell on the school if he doesn’t? So not only is Hogwarts the host school with home team advantage, but they also have 2 competitors?!

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‘Did you put your name into the Goblet of fire, Harry?’ Dumbledore asked calmly.

EVERYTHING IS A LIE!!

Owing to the demanding and time-consuming nature of the Tournament, the champions are exempted from end-of-year tests.
Hogwarts: where students get 8 hours of homework every night but are somehow inevitably exempt from taking end-of-year exams EVERY FUCKING YEAR.

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Mr. Ollivander spent much longer examining Harry’s wand than anyone else’s. Eventually, however, he made a fountain of wine shoot out of it, and handed it back to Harry, announcing that it was still in perfect condition.
Whoa, whoa, whoa…where the hell is THIS SPELL?!

They walked three times around the lake, trying all the way to think of a simple spell that would subdue a dragon.
Maybe they should give this gal a call…

‘Let’s try some simple spellbooks, then,’ said Harry, throwing aside Men Who Love Dragons Too Much.
What, exactly, might this book entail?

Also, speaking of dragons, don’t these flesh-eating monsters seem a bit harsh for the FIRST TASK in this tournament?

‘Oh, don’t mind me!’ the Fat Lady called irritably after them. ‘Don’t apologize for bothering me! I’ll just hang here, wide open, until you get back, shall I?’

Ron is kind of a little prat about finding a date to the Yule Ball. For someone who is so often judged about his looks, he’s pretty freaking judgmental of everyone else.

Rita Skeeter is the definition of FAKE NEWS.

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Do the Champions get to keep these screaming eggs?

So what are these Beauxbaton and Durmstrang kids doing all day when the Hogwarts kids are in lessons?

‘Winky must not talk like that to Harry Potter!’ said Dobby. ‘Harry Potter is brave and noble and Harry Potter is not nosy!’
UM…I call bullshit. The entire existence of the series depends on Harry sticking his nose in where it doesn’t belong.

NIFFLERS!!  I forgot they made an appearance in this book!

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RIP, Cedric! For some reason, his death in the books is so much harder than in the movie…

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I mean, Voldemort is the worst and all, but nothing makes me hate him more than the fact that he talks about himself in the third person. That’s SERIOUSLY one of my biggest pet peeves. He can join Elmo and Golem in the deep caves of hell for all I care.

‘You all righ’?’ he said gruffly.
‘Yeah,’ said Harry.
‘No, yeh’re not,’ said Hagrid. ‘Course yeh’re not. But ye will be…what’s comin’ will come, and’ we’ll meet it when it does.’
Hagrid is the therapist we all need.

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‘Harry Potter managed to escape Lord Voldemort,’ said Dumbledore. ‘He risked his own life to return Cedric’s body to Hogwarts. He showed, in every respect, the sort of bravery that few wizards have ever shown in facing Lord Voldemort, and for this, I honor him.’
Yuuuuuuup, same story, different day…

‘…we are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided.’
This quote is everything today. This should be our nation’s mantra.

Hermione’s revenge on Rita Skeeter is just so freaking satisfying.

‘I don’t want it and I don’t need it. But I could do with a few laughs. We could all do with a few laughs. I’ve got a feeling we’re going to need them more than usual before long.’
Oh Harry, how right you are…

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Looking for a new book to read? Check in every Friday for a “Bee Happy” post, where I share reviews of books I’ve read or other book-themed lists.

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18 Fun Facts about Black Mirror

In case you’ve been living under a rock for the past few months, there’s this cute little show on Netflix called Black Mirror.

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Black Mirror gives us a literal reflection of how reliant the human population is on technology. With several unique episodes set in different places and different times, each story begs to show what is happening, or what could happen, as technology advances…think the 2018 version of The Twilight Zone.

This show is heavy…and certain episodes are sure to hit you more than others…but one thing’s for sure…after a few episodes, you’re going to want to talk about it with anyone and everyone.

I know a lot of people couldn’t get into this show, but I loved it! If you loved it and are looking for some fun little facts about the creation and making of the show, have fun indulging in these 18 Fun Facts about Black Mirror!

18 Fun Facts about Black Mirror

*WARNING – SPOILERS BELOW!

The name Black Mirror is inspired by the look of a switched-off TV, phone or computer screen. Creator Charlie Brooker said, “…if you just star at it, it looks like a black mirror, and there’s something cold and horrifying about that.”

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Celebrities including Jodie Foster (“Arkangel”), Rashida Jones (“Nosedive”) and Michael Schur (“Nosedive”) have written and directed several episodes.

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It took creators a while to determine the – for lack of a better word – climax of the series premier. In “The National Anthem”, the Prime Minister must have sex with a pig to ensure the safe release of the princess, but it wasn’t always a pig. At one point, creators were just walking around the farmyard looking for ideas, which included a giant wheel of cheese.

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Jon Hamm was a huge fan of the series before he was cast to star in the Christmas special.

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Not surprisingly, Black Mirror is heavily influenced by The Twilight Zone. The set-up of the episodes may be the same, but the filling is always a surprise.

Robert Downey Jr.’s production company wanted to purchase the rights to “The Entire History of You” with the hopes of turning it into a movie. The status of the project is still unknown.

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Even Brooker recommends not binging Black Mirror. He says every episode is like getting hit by a car…and how many times can you get hit in one day?

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Brooker actually got his start in comedy and considers Black Mirror a dark comedy, saying it might not translate in the US. That sly British humor…

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The show won an International Emmy for its first season and the Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing for a Limited Series, Movie, or Dramatic Special based on the merit of the critically acclaimed episode, “San Junipero”.

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Speaking of “San Junipero”, in the season 6 episode of Friends, Ross tells Chandler that, “By the year 2030, there’ll be computers that can carry out the same amount of functions as an actual human brain…so theoretically, you could download your thoughts and memories into this computer and live forever as a machine.”…this is basically the exact plot of the “San Junipero” episode.

In “Be Right Back”, Martha uses her partner’s digital past to create a version of him after he dies in a car crash. The seeds of this technology have already been explored by developer Eugenia Kuyda, who coded and created a digital version of a friend of hers who had passed away.

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The woman in the “White Christmas” special who serves as Jon Hamm’s client is actually the granddaughter of Charlie Chaplin (Oona Chaplin).

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The Pixar Theory may have been proven true, but according to Brooker, there’s no rhyme or reason to the episodes and there is no hidden timeline.

HOWEVER, the final episode of season 4, “The Black Museum”, certainly proves that these stories exist in the same timeline.

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And anyone who has seen at least 4 Black Mirror episodes have noticed that the song, “Anyone Who Knows What Love Is” by Irma Thomas has appeared in almost every episode. There are other connections that link episodes, as well…including a Waldo sticker on the computer featured in “Shut Up and Dance”. You can see a whole slew of Easter Eggs online but I’m not going to list them all here because, trust me, there are tons.

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Supposedly a three-volume book series of Black Mirror stories is in the works. Sign. Me. Up!

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The episode “Waldo” was a very poignant and slightly obvious jab at the 2016 Presidential Election. The show tweeted: “This isn’t an episode. This isn’t marketing. This is reality.”

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Not surprisingly, the show has filmed all over the world, including South Africa, London and a remote area of Iceland (“Crocodile”).

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Sometimes you just need a little fun in your life! Check back every week for a new “Just Bee-cause” post, where I discuss everything from celebrity news to favorite videos and websites!

 

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13 Fun Facts about Ina Garten

Back when I used to have cable (and when The Food Network actually showed cooking shows), I used to tune in to The Barefoot Contessa and daydream about having the money to actually buy good-quality olive oil. Yup, that was the dream…

Now I’m no closer to being able to splurge on $20 apple cider vinegar…but I like to think I would if I could. However, Ina Garten, the chef behind The Barefoot Contessa, has spared no expense in her kitchen…investing in amazing ingredients that she often just pulls from her glorious home in the Hamptons.  How. Freaking. Typical.

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Tomorrow is Ina Garten’s birthday, and while I can’t make her a beautiful 2-tier almond and raspberry cake or a $200 dollar salad made with tomatoes from the vine and spices from my herb garden, I can collect a bunch of random facts about her that might entertain you as much as a meal in the Hamptons!

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13 Fun Facts about Ina Garten

Ina Garten was always very meticulous, even in school. She excelled in science-based classes and she has said that all of her recipes and ingredients are measured precisely – as if they were a scientific equation.

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She met her husband, Jeffrey, when she was just 15 years old. She met him while visiting her brother at Dartmouth College. She actually put her education on hold to be with him and they were married five years later.

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When Jeffrey was deployed in the Vietnam War, Garten took flying lessons and got her pilot’s license just to keep herself busy…you know, as you do.

Garten did actually work in The White House, but not as a chef. She worked in The Office of Management and Budget under Presidents Ford and Carter as the budget analyst, where she was responsible for writing the budget for a number of things, including the nuclear energy program.

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Garten made money flipping homes to purchase The Barefoot Contessa, a specialty store in The Hamptons. It was the inspiration in naming her TV show.

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Across from her Hampton home, Garten has a workshop/test kitchen called “The Barn”. It also stores her collection of cook books and cake stands.

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Her most popular recipe EVER on The Food Network is the Balsamic Roasted Beet Salad.

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Her go-to party menu includes a rack of lamb, orzo with roasted vegetables, and whiskey sours.

She has never watched herself on TV.

Her very exclusive circle of friends includes Tina Fey, Taylor Swift, Neil Patrick Harris, Wolfgang Puck, and David Burtka.

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Her guilty pleasure is Shake Shack.  I mean those shakes are da BOMB.

Garten has no formal cooking training. She is self-taught and learned the majority of her techniques from her collection of recipe books.

Her iconic breezy button down shirts are custom-made for her.

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Sometimes you just need a little fun in your life! Check back every week for a new “Just Bee-cause” post, where I discuss everything from celebrity news to favorite videos and websites!

 

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16 Fun Facts about Mary Tyler Moore

She could turn the world on with her smile…and with that simple beret toss and can-do attitude, Mary Tyler Moore paved the way for women in Hollywood like no other lady has done before.

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It was one year ago today that the world lost this powerhouse activist. Not only was she sweet as cherry pie, but she was a pioneer in Hollywood, creating a show that was revolutionary in its time, motivating women the world over to put on their slim, sexy pants and start ruling the world.

She made it possible for shows like Sex in the City, Girls, New Girl and 30 Rock to succeed with a female-dominated platform. The Mary Tyler Moore Show hired more women writers than any other show at that time, and won so many awards (29 Emmys alone!) that it’s often considered one of the best TV shows ever.

In an era when women are fighting to be heard and take a stand for what’s right, it’s more important than ever to look down and see the shoulders we’re all standing on for support. Without question, Mary is there. To celebrate this amazing woman and all she’s done for today’s working girls, here are 16 Fun Facts about Mary Tyler Moore!

BONUS FACT: You can binge watch The Mary Tyler Moore Show on Hulu right now!

16 Fun Facts About Mary Tyler Moore

Originally, the character of Mary Richards on The Mary Tyler Moore Show was supposed to be a divorcee; however, CBS network researchers shut down the idea as viewers didn’t want “divorced women” in their living rooms.

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Moore got her start acting in TV commercials. She was the mascot for Hotpoint Appliances when she was just 17 years old. She filmed 39 commercials for them in just 5 days.

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For one of her big TV roles, Moore played a receptionist in six episodes of Richard Diamond, Private Detective. The show only featured her voice and legs.

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Moore was also a model for various LP covers.

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When Moore was cast as Laura Petrie in The Dick Van Dyke Show, producers wanted her to be the next June Cleaver. However, Moore insisted on wearing comfortable capri pants because she felt that it was a more realistic representation of the modern housewife.

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The Mary Tyler Moore Show was one of the first shows ever to celebrate an independent career woman. It won 29 Emmy Awards throughout its run.

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After seven seasons, The Mary Tyler Moore Show decided to end while it was still performing strongly in the ratings. It was one of the rare series finales that allowed the characters to break character and bid farewell to one another in the context of the show. Moore also introduced each of her cast mates to the audience for a final curtain call before the end credits rolled.

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To play homage to her character, there is a statue of Mary Richards tossing her cap into the air on Nicollet Mall in Minneapolis, the site of her series’ iconic opening credits sequence.

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The Mary Tyler Moore Show had an unprecedented number of female writers. Of the 75 contributing writers that made up the staff, 25 were women.

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The costume designer for The Mary Tyler Moore Show also built Mary’s wardrobe with clothes that women could actually buy. She sourced clothes from one retailer, that way Mary could mix and match separates that any woman could actually go out and purchase.

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Tina Fey’s comedy 30 Rock is said to be somewhat of a reboot of The Mary Tyler Moore Show. The characters in 30 Rock are uncanny parallels of the cast of Moore’s show: Liz Lemon (Mary Richards), Jack Donaghy (Lou Grant), Tracy Jordan (Ted Baxter), Pete Hornberger (Murray Slaughter, and Jenna Maroney (Sue Ann Nivens).

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The series finale of Friends also borrowed the same format as the ending of The Mary Tyler Moore Show.

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Moore was a strong advocate against Diabetes. She was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at the age of 33 and testified before Congress to promote stem-cell research as a way of curing the illness.

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The beret that Moore tosses in the opening credits of The Mary Tyler Moore Show was actually a gift from Moore’s aunt. She wore it to the shoot (it was super cold that day) and one of the writers told her to “take the hat, the beret, and throw it in the air.”

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In 1980, Moore’s son Richie Meeker accidentally shot himself and died. That same year, Moore starred in the movie, Ordinary People, as a woman whose son almost kills himself and another who dies in an accident. She said she took the role as a way to deal with the real life tragedy of her own son, Richie.

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Because The Mary Tyler Moore Show was so successful in promoting women’s rights, First Lady Betty Food actually appeared on one episode of the show.

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Sometimes you just need a little fun in your life! Check back every week for a new “Just Bee-cause” post, where I discuss everything from celebrity news to favorite videos and websites!

 

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23 Fun Facts about Zooey Deschanel

Who’s that girl? It’s Zooey!

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This brown-haired, blue-eyed beauty just celebrated her 38th birthday and is loving life more than ever. About to wrap up the final season of her hit show, New Girl, Zooey Deschanel is no stranger to acting (it’s very firmly cemented in her bloodline, as a matter of fact). She is a gifted actress, singer, musician, and dancer…and is just as adorkable and nerdy as you think she is!

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Whether you know her as Jessica Day, Summer Finn, or that sarcastic girl from Elf, Zooey has done a lot in her career thus far. In celebration of her recent birthday, here are 23 Fun Facts about Zooey Deschanel!

23 Fun Facts about Zooey Deschanel

Zooey Claire Deschanel was named after Zooey Glass, the male protagonist of J.D. Salinger’s 1961 novella, Franny and Zooey.

Zooey’s father is an Academy Award-nominated cinematographer Caleb Deschanel and her mother is the actress Mary Jo Deschanel, who starred in Twin Peaks. Her older sister, Emily Deschanel, also starred in Bones.

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She attended Crossroads prep school, along with fellow actors Jake Gyllenhaal and Kate Hudson.

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Don’t let Jessica Day fool you…She’s also a very talented tap dancer. She took lessons for 6 years.

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Her first acting role was as a model on the TV show, Veronica’s Closet, which also starred Kirstie Alley.

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She also attended Northwestern University for nine months before dropping out to become an actress.

But it wasn’t until Almost Famous that Zooey became, well, famous. She was cast alongside her pal, Kate Hudson, as Anita Miller, the protagonist’s rebellious older sister.

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Then Elf happened. After her part as a deadpan department store worker, Zooey was in hot demand. Everyone wanted her to play the sarcastic “best friend”, a typecast she didn’t feel she owned since she’d stay home from school all the time and didn’t have many friends growing up.

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Speaking of Elf, Zooey does all her own singing in the film.

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She’s also a very talented musician and can play a multitude of instruments, including piano, guitar, and ukulele. She is also in a band called She & Him alongside Mathew Ward.

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One of her favorite singers of all time is Ella Fitzgerald, which shows with her trademark raspy voice.

For her role as Jessica Day on New Girl, Zooey has received one Emmy and three Golden Globe nominations.

She also jokes that she’s “…the worst person to ever eat with…” because she’s allergic to eggs, dairy, and wheat gluten.

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She loves coffee, baking, and crafting…so basically my soul mate.

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She’s also very into nail art and often shares her painted digits on her Instagram account.

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Even though her counterpart, Jessica Day, loves to guzzle pink wine, Zooey doesn’t drink, smoke, or do drugs.

In May 2011, Zooey launched “HelloGiggles” an entertainment website that targets female audiences. She runs the blog alongside Sophia Rossi and Molly McAleer.

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She’s real-life BFF’s with her 500 Days of Summer co-star, Joseph Gordon-Levitt. The two play instruments together and are basically the cutest thing in the history of the universe.

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Zooey and Jake Johnson, her love interest in New Girl, also had to have as little human contact as possible during the first season of the show because their chemistry was too strong.

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She has a daughter with producer Jacob Pechenik named Elsie Otter.  STOP IT WITH YOUR CUTENESS, ZOOEY.

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For one of her more recent birthdays, Zooey hosted a birthday party at the American Girl store.

She knows This is Spinal Tap by heart.

She’s also a very competitive board game player.

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Sometimes you just need a little fun in your life! Check back every week for a new “Just Bee-cause” post, where I discuss everything from celebrity news to favorite videos and websites!

 

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17 Fun Facts about Disney Pixar’s Coco

If you haven’t seen it by now, I highly suggest you find the time to check out Disney Pixar’s newest masterpiece, Coco. A story about life, love, death and everything in between, this heartwarming movie stars an all-Latino cast…and is absolutely STUNNING to see in theaters!

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Coco recently won the Golden Globe for Best Animated Movie (duh) and I wouldn’t be surprised if it takes home at least a couple Academy Awards as well. If you’ve already seen Coco or are interested in learning a little bit more about how this movie came to be, here are 17 fun facts that may surprise you!

17 Fun Facts about Disney Pixar’s Coco

Marigolds play a huge role in Dia de Los Muertos, helping to guide spirits home to their loved ones. Therefore, marigolds are the only living plants in The Land of the Dead.

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Dante’s breed is Xoloitzcuintli, which is the national dog of Mexico.

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When you see anyone playing the guitar in Coco, they are actually playing the correct notes. Animators studied videos of musicians to make the guitar playing as authentic as possible.

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There were 500 individual pieces of clothing created for background characters.

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The cleft that appears in Ernesto’s chin when he is alive also appears in his chin when he is dead. His bones are so pristine because he’s so well-remembered by family and friends.

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The director of Coco (Lee Unkrich) also directed Toy Story 2, Monsters, Inc., Finding Nemo, and Toy Story 3.

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In totality, the film took 7 years to make.

To stay true to the story, Coco features an all-Latino cast, including Benjamin Bratt, Gael Garcia, Bernal, Edward James Olmos, and Gabriel Iglesias.

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Coco marks Anthony Gonzalez’s (Miguel) first film. He was also 12 (just like Miguel) when recording his lines and has previously made TV appearances on Criminal Minds and Beyond Borders.

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Unkrich’s son was actually responsible for creating the design on Ernesto de la Cruz’s guitar.

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In true Pixar form, there are several Easter eggs in this movie, including an appearance by the Pizza Planet truck, Toy Story and Monsters, Inc. piñatas, and a poster for The Incredibles.

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Just like his character, Anthony Gonzalez loves to sing. Every time he sang for the film, it reminded him of his grandpa, who passed away when Gonzalez was 6 years old.

Edward James Olmos accepted his part in the movie without even reading the script. The director pitched him the idea – that if you don’t tell the stories of your loved ones, they cease to exist – and Olmos signed on immediately.

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Coco opened in Mexico almost four weeks before it opened in the US. It quickly surpassed The Avengers (2012) as the country’s highest-grossing film.

The Land of the Dead is inspired by the Mexican city of Guanajuato, which is known for its colorful houses that almost looked stacked.

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The orchestra conductor for Ernesto’s musical show, “Sunrise Spectacular”, is a caricature of the film’s composer, Michael Giacchino.

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Despite the film’s predominately Latino cast, John Ratzenberger continues his streak of appearing in every one of the studio’s feature films. In Coco, Ratzenberger plays a ghost named Juan Ortodoncia. He is allowed to cross over to the land of the living because his dentist remembers him.

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Sometimes you just need a little fun in your life! Check back every week for a new “Just Bee-cause” post, where I discuss everything from celebrity news to favorite videos and websites!

 

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