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December 11-17, 2023

Note to subscribers: This newsletter is taking a break over the holidays. The last issue of 2023 will be published on December 18 and will return on January 15, 2024.

In this issue...

• Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree finally hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart... and breaks a few records, too!

Legendary TV writer and producer Norman Lear has died at the age of 101. He created some of the most iconic sitcoms of all time.

• By the numbers X 10 + 1

When a TV host jokes around with co-workers while not realizing they're actually on air...

McCormick announces its prediction for 2024's Flavour of the Year - and you may have never heard of it!

Christmas is nearly here!

• Next Greater Moncton Sunrise Rotary Trivia Night: Monday, January 22

• A great Christmas gift! Acadian mugs with family names - dozens of options!

• Before you go: 7 things you may have missed last week!

... and trivia, quotes, community events and more!

Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree finally hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart... and breaks a few records, too!

I'm so happy to hear that Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree has finally hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart... and it only took 65 years! At least it keeps that awful Mariah Carey noise out of #1 for a week, hopefully forever. (Sorry to the Mariah Carey fans out there!)

Article excerpt: "Move over Mariah Carey, there's a new Christmas queen in town.

Brenda Lee has topped the Billboard Hot 100 songs chart with her holiday classic Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree, 65 years after the song's release, rewriting multiple records in the process.

The song has reached nearly 35 million streams and 21 million radio plays this year, according to Luminate data.

Lee recorded the 1958 classic when she was just 13 years old. It was written by Johnny Marks, a Jewish American singer responsible for other classics you've probably heard like Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and A Holly Jolly Christmas. It was prominently played in the 1990 classic Christmas movie Home Alone.

Lee took to Instagram to celebrate the feat.

'I love the Brendanators,' the emotional singer can be heard saying."

Lee recorded the song when she was only 13 years old in 1958! Yes, the voice you've been hearing for years is that of a 13-year-old teenager. By hitting #1 now, she breaks a couple of records:

• The oldest performer ever to hit #1

• The longest time between initial release and hitting #1

The previous records were held by Louis Armstrong, who hit #1 in 1964 with Hello Dolly! when he was 62, and Mariah Carey herself, whose juggernaut All I Want for Christmas Is You hit #1 for the first time in 2019, 25 years after its initial release in 1994.

The two songs join The Chipmunks with David Seville's The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don't Be Late) as the only three Christmas songs ever to hit #1 on the Hot 100.

Read: Brenda Lee's Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree hits No. 1 for the 1st time. Related: Brenda Lee’s Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree finally hit No. 1 on the Hot 100 - so now what?

Legendary TV writer and producer Norman Lear has died at the age of 101. He created some of the most iconic sitcoms of all time.

It seems like everything I learned about society outside of my home was because of Norman Lear's 1970s sitcoms. These shows influenced me greatly and instilled many of the values I hold today.

Norman Lear died on December 5 at the age of 101. He will be remembered for changing society by introducing a number of taboo (at the time) subjects and forcing them to be discussed them out in the open. Heck, would any of them be talked about in the open even in 2023 if Norman Lear hadn't broken those barriers 50 years ago?

Article excerpt: "Writer-producer-developer Norman Lear, who revolutionized American comedy with such daring, immensely popular early-‘70s sitcoms as All in the Family and Sanford and Son, died on Tuesday. He was 101.

Lear’s publicist confirmed to Variety that he died at his home in Los Angeles of natural causes. A private service for immediate family will be held in the coming days.

'Thank you for the moving outpouring of love and support in honor of our wonderful husband, father, and grandfather,' Lear’s family said in a statement. 'Norman lived a life of creativity, tenacity, and empathy. He deeply loved our country and spent a lifetime helping to preserve its founding ideals of justice and equality for all. Knowing and loving him has been the greatest of gifts. We ask for your understanding as we mourn privately in celebration of this remarkable human being.'

 Lear had already established himself as a top comedy writer and captured a 1968 Oscar nomination for his screenplay for Divorce American Style when he concocted the idea for a new sitcom, based on a popular British show, about a conservative, outspokenly bigoted working-class man and his fractious Queens family. All in the Family became an immediate hit, seemingly with viewers of all political persuasions.

Lear’s shows were the first to address the serious political, cultural and social flashpoints of the day - racism, abortion, homosexuality, the Vietnam war - by working pointed new wrinkles into the standard domestic comedy formula. No subject was taboo: Two 1977 episodes of All in the Family revolved around the attempted rape of lead character Archie Bunker’s wife Edith."

Thank you, Norman Lear. You made a positive and meaningful impact. That's all any of us can hope for in our own lives.

Read: Norman Lear, TV legend, dies at 101.

By the numbers X 10 + 1

• 1. I have the Ray-Ban Meta Smart Glasses: 7 answers to questions from confused Redditors

• 2. 10 mind-blowing Webb Telescope discoveries

• 3. The 10 best books of the year, according to BookTok

• 4. 15 foods that weren't designed for what we use them for

• 5. Wikipedia releases its top 25 most-viewed pages of 2023

• 6. 29 Hanukkah desserts to make all 8 nights extra sweet

• 7. Penny Lane sign returned 47 years after it was stolen by young, drunk Beatles fans

• 8. McDonald’s aims to open nearly 9,000 restaurants, add 100 million loyalty members by 2027

• 9. Years ago, I gave my son $16,000 with no strings attached. My husband wants him to pay it back - what should I do?

• 10. Financial intel agency hands down $7.4M penalty to Royal Bank of Canada

• Bonus: Ugandan woman, 70, gives birth to twins after conceiving via IVF: "Strength and resilience"

When a TV host jokes around with co-workers while not realizing they're actually on air...

Why oh why do on-air personalities do this? They make off-colour jokes without realizing they're on the air. If you're at your desk and in front of camera, act like you're broadcasting live and behave! (This is why I wouldn't last 10 minutes as a news anchor because I'd very likely do the same thing.)

This time, it's a presenter on the venerable British broadcaster BBC who's in hot water for giving the finger to the camera as a joke. Unfortunately, she was uknowingly on the air at the time.

Article excerpt: "BBC News presenter Maryam Moshiri was caught giving the middle finger to camera in an on-air gaffe that she says was a 'private joke” gone wrong.

Moshiri was momentarily seen with a raised finger as BBC News switched to the studio for the headlines. Realizing her error had been caught on camera, she quickly returned to a traditional news anchor stance and told viewers: 'Live from London, this is BBC News.'

The error has been clipped up by various Twitter (now X) accounts and has been going viral on the social media site, prompting Moshiri to issue an explanation and apology."

She claims to have been counting down from 10 with the control room in a joking manner. Oyyy... The joke's on her! A hard lesson to learn - and one every broadcaster should heed!

And someone should also tell the co-hosts on The View to turn their &%$#@ phones off when they're on the air. One of them seems to ring a few times a month - especially Joy Behar's. Silent mode, people! Silent mode! They should have staff checking their phones before they enter the set.

Read: BBC presenter caught giving middle finger to camera as “private joke” goes wrong.

McCormick announces its prediction for 2024's Flavour of the Year - and you may have never heard of it!

If you've never tasted tamarind, it may be time to start... because it's McCormick's 2024 Flavour of the Year!

Article excerpt: "McCormick announces the Flavour Forecast 24th Edition, the annual report illuminating the latest culinary trends shaping the way people prepare and enjoy food worldwide. With this year's report, McCormick announces its 2024 Flavour of the Year: Tamarind. Consumers can experience it in action with the new Tamarind & Pasilla Chile Seasoning, available online now. The Flavour of the Year will also be featured in several limited-edition, Tamarind-infused menu items at Black Tap Craft Burgers & Beer - the globally acclaimed burger joint - locations nationwide in February 2024.

Tamarind, a spice native to Africa, India, and the Middle East, has lent its acidic, tangy-sweet flavour to Latin, Caribbean, and Mexican cuisines for centuries. Today, this plump, pod-like fruit is jet-setting across the world, feeding a global curiosity for what's next in food, drink, and flavour."

I'm not sure if I've ever tasted tamarind, but I look forward to trying it!

Read: McCormick unveils Flavour Forecast 24th edition and 2024 Flavour of the Year.

Christmas is nearly here!

Three weeks to go! Pull the fire alarm! Here are some related Christmas items to inform and inspire:

• 1. 5 top tips for Christmas tree care that'll have you saying, "How lovely are thy branches!"

• 2. 5 things to keep in mind when choosing your Christmas tree

• 3. 10 outdated holiday decorating trends to skip this year, according to experts

• 4. 20 secret last-minute holiday recipes from Grandma's recipe box

• 5. 27 Christmas slow-cooker recipes that'll give your oven a break

• 6. 35 Christmas cheesecake recipes to put you on the nice list

• 7. 62 Christmas cakes that will make you forget all about cookies

• 8. Want to buy all The 12 Days of Christmas gifts in real life? It’ll cost you over $46K.

• 9. Oprah’s Favourite Things 2023 list is here!

• 10. The best artificial Christmas trees, according to testing

Next Greater Moncton Sunrise Rotary Trivia Night: Monday, January 22

The next Greater Moncton Sunrise Rotary Club Trivia Night will be held at St. Louis Bar & Grill, 1405 Mountain Road, in Moncton on Monday, January 22, beginning at 6:30 p.m. $10 per person (cash only). Click here for the Facebook event listing.

Participants may play as teams or individuals. The winning team gets 50% of the door receipts as their prize.

It is strongly suggested that participants arrive by 5:15-5:30 p.m. for a seat. Trivia begins at 6:30 p.m. sharp and is usually over by 8 p.m. Everyone welcome!

Please note that restaurant reservations are NOT available for this event. First come, first served. Limited seating of approximately 50 guests.

Participants may bring an optional non-perishable food item (box of granola bars, Kraft Dinner, cereal, etc.) for distribution at Krista Richard's Community Sports Program events, of which the Greater Moncton Sunrise Rotary Club is a sponsor. Any donations will be gratefully received and provided to Krista for distribution to her program participants (school-aged children from Moncton-area schools).

Since Rotary Trivia Nights began in 2016, the Greater Moncton Sunrise Rotary Club has donated nearly $20,000 to Hospice SENB, Atlantic Wellness, Karing Kitchen, Ray of Hope Kitchen, Salvus Clinic, The Humanity Project, BGC Moncton (Moncton Boys & Girls Club), Junior Achievement New Brunswick, Project Linus - Moncton Chapter, and Krista Richard's Community Sports Program, among others. During the last Rotary Trivia Nights season (September 2022 to May 2023), more than $6,000 was raised.

The Greater Moncton Sunrise Rotary Club gratefully acknowledges the kind and generous sponsorship of its restaurant partner, St. Louis Bar & Grill.

See you on January 22! Click here for a larger version of the event poster shown above.

A great Christmas gift! Acadian mugs with family names - dozens of options!

New from Acadistuff: Acadian flag mugs with family names. Dozens of options available! Shipping is included in all prices. Tax extra.

• 11-oz. mug: Click here

• 15-oz. mug: Click here

Don't see your family name there? Contact me via email to have it added.

These mugs have been shipped all over North America!

Before you go: 7 things you may have missed last week

• 1. Taylor Swift named Time's 2023 Person of the Year (see photo)

• 2. Dismay as Mehdi Hasan’s MSNBC and Peacock news show cancelled

• 3. Sandra Day O'Connor, first woman on the U.S. Supreme Court, dies

• 4. The best printers for 2023

• 5. Moncton reverses menorah and nativity scene decision, says it acted "too quickly"

• 6. Dancing with the Stars crowns season 32 winner

• 7. Letterkenny creator Jared Keeso strikes first-of-its-kind content pact with Crave and New Metric

Photo credit: Free Stock photos by Vecteezy

Trivia: Did you know?

The original sponsor of 1965's A Charlie Brown Christmas was Coca-Cola. References to the company in broadcasts following that year were removed, however. Regardless, if it weren't for Coca-Cola, there probably would have never been A Charlie Brown Christmas - and what a shame that would have been! Thank you, Coca-Cola!

Quotes of note

• 1. "That's the heart of it: My shows were not that controversial with the American people. They were controversial with the people who think for the American people."

- Norman Lear, television writer and producer, d. Dec. 5 at the age of 101 (see photo)

• 2. "No matter what happens in life, be good to people. Being good to people is a wonderful legacy to leave behind."

- Taylor Swift

• 3. "I gave up my childhood for a career."

- Brenda Lee

• 4. "We've gone overboard on every Queen album. But that's Queen.”

- Freddie Mercury

• 5. "If you gave me $100 billion and said take away the soft drink leadership of Coca-Cola in the world, I'd give it back to you and say it can't be done."

- Warren Buffett

• 6. "The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls."

- Pablo Picasso

• 7. “There was never a night or a problem that could defeat sunrise or hope.”

- Bernard Williams

• 8. "Got all my Christmas shopping done. Now to shop for other people."

- Conan O'Brien

• 9. "This past Christmas, I told my girlfriend for months in advance that all I wanted was an Xbox. That's it. Beginning and end of list, Xbox. You know what she got me? A homemade frame with a picture of us from our first date together. Which was fine. Because I got her an Xbox."

- Anthony Jeselnik

• 10. "I bought my brother some gift wrap for Christmas. I took it to the Gift Wrap Department and told them to wrap it, but in a different print so he would know when to stop unwrapping."

- Steven Wright

Photo credit: Free Stock photos by Vecteezy

Greater Moncton Walking Group

In December, the group is walking on the Humphrey's Brook Trail. Parking is along the bottom of Martin Street near Mill Road in the Lewisville area of Moncton.

If walking is on your New Year's resolutions list, the group is moving to Mapleton Park beginning in January. Meet-up is at Rotary Lodge.

The group meets for walks every Tuesday and Thursday at 8:30 a.m. New participants are always welcome! For more information, please contact Wayne Harrigan at 506-386-2187 or via email.

About this newsletter

Brian Cormier's Weekly Update is distributed weekly from September to June via email to more than 500 subscribers in addition to many others who access it online. If you're reading this newsletter online and want to subscribe, please email me, fill out the subscription form on my website, or subscribe via the "Join Our Email List" button at the top of the newsletter (if you're viewing this in a browser.) This newsletter is not published in July and August and on holidays.

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