Bowen Yang had to cover his face.
Most episodes of “Saturday Night Live” are scheduled so the funnier bits go first and the riskier, oddball sketches appear towards the end, in case they have to be cut for time. But on the February 4 episode featuring host Pedro Pascal (“The Mandalorian,” “The Last of Us”), the final sketch, “Lisa from Temecula,” was probably the most memorable of the night.
In “Lisa from Temecula,” Paul, played by Pascal, takes a few friends out for dinner, played by Punkie Johnson, newcomer Molly Kearney and breakout star Bowen Yang. The trouble comes when Johnson’s sister Lisa, played by Ego Nwodim, orders her steak “extra, extra well done.”
The sketch is a play on the notion that it’s a faux pas to order well-done steak, especially in a fancy restaurant. However, Lisa doesn’t care and won’t tolerate “one speck of red” on her steak.
The sketch is one of the rare moments on “SNL” where things are so funny that the cast breaks character. Pascal has difficulty getting through his lines and Yang has to cover his face because he can’t stop laughing. But Nwodim only has one small break in the scene and keeps it together as the sketch’s comedy core.
“Lisa from Temecula” got a lot of attention on social media and Nwodim later thanked the sketch’s writers Alex English, Gary Richardson and Michael Che.
Would you pay more for prime seats?
AMC Theaters, America’s largest movie theater chain, announced on Feb 6 that it will be adopting different ticket prices based on seat location.
Moviegoers will have three tiers to choose from based on sightline of the movie screen—Preferred Sightline, set in the middle at the highest price point, Value Sightline, set in the front of the auditorium at the lowest price, and Standard Sightline, which is basically everything else (including the back seats, which are perhaps the most commonly picked) set at the traditional cost of a ticket.
In other words…heartbreak will feel more expensive in a place like this…or less, depending on where you sit…
The company’s announcement was met with both criticism and approval. While some feel the move follows a well-established business model, others have found it to be taking away a valued aspect of the moviegoing experience.
“Lord of the Rings” actor Elijah Wood took to social media to condemn the decision, saying that it would negatively affect those with lower incomes.
“The movie theater is and always has been a sacred democratic space for all,” Wood wrote. “This new initiative by AMC Theatres would essentially penalize people for lower income and reward for higher income.”
The movie theater is and always has been a sacred democratic space for all and this new initiative by @AMCTheatres would essentially penalize people for lower income and reward for higher income.— Elijah Wood (@elijahwood) February 6, 2023
TV and film critic John Rocha was a bit more pointed in his statement, calling the new ticket pricing “classist.”“Poor people, you sit in the poor section and you rich folks please move the velvet ropes around the middle section to find your seats,” he added.
Still, according to Eliot Hamlisch, EVP and CMO of AMC Theaters, the new approach “closely aligns to that of many other entertainment venues, offering experienced-based pricing and another way for moviegoers to find value at the movies.” It's much like the model of paying more or less at a concert, sports game, or theaters showing plays, depending on where you sit.“We know there are some moviegoers who prioritize their specific seat and others who prioritize value moviegoing. Sightline at AMC accommodates both sentiments to help ensure that our guests have more control over their experience so that every trip to an AMC is a great one,” he wrote in a statement.
And yet, in the aftermath of COVID-19, it’s a risky move for an already shaky industry, some experts say. According to The Hollywood Reporter, box office numbers have made progress, but still pale in comparison to 2019, hitting $7.5 billion in 2021.
The outlet also shared that even certain Hollywood studio executives considered the pricing as potentially “too complicated” for customers. This is a precarious experiment as streaming services continue to be movie theaters' biggest competitor.
On the bright side: despite the divisive backlash that AMC’s price change caused, the great unifier in all this was the plethora of funny memes:
guessing Nicole Kidman’s revised AMC Theaters monologue verbiage pic.twitter.com/U7WdNSapds— Katie Baker (@katiebcomedy) February 6, 2023
When someone is in your reserved seat with AMC’s new ticket seat pricespic.twitter.com/J1d2iBHRjP— BLURAYANGEL 🦇 (@blurayangel) February 6, 2023
Excluding members of AMC’s A-List membership, who will still be able to choose any seat at no additional charge, customers might have already seen this change. The new pricing structure has already begun rolling out across the country and will be implemented at all locations by the end of 2023.
All it took was a simple tweak to his browser.
It feels safe to assume that if money were no object, people would always choose to travel business class over economy. After all, who doesn’t want a fast check-in, fancy food and drink choices and more of that sweet, spacious legroom?
Luckily, thanks to one man’s clever travel hack, that fantasy might be more achievable than we realize.Cameron Stewart, a British photojournalist and camera operator, recently shared how he was able to score business class tickets at a fraction of the price, simply by switching the website language from English to Spanish.
Stewart had booked his flight on LATAM, Latin America’s largest airline company. According to The Mirror, he heard that LATAM’s website sometimes showed different ticket prices depending on which language the browser was set to.
While booking his flight from Santiago to Easter Island, Stewart decided to experiment and switched his computer’s VPN or "virtual private network" to make it seem like he was located in Chile, along with changing the browser's language.
"I cleared all cookies from my browser, and used private browser mode so there was no way the website would determine I was outside the country," Stewart told 9News, according to The Mirror.
Using Google translate to navigate the site, Stewart was easily able to book. And it actually turned out “cheaper than economy.”Stewart shared his story in an Instagram post, along with a photo in his cushy seat, all smiles as he sat next to a generous amount of some kind of orange beverage. Probably made from organic oranges they grow in the plane's private garden.
Is the trick foolproof? No. But with such a dramatic price difference, it might be worth trying out.With ever rising inflation costs and constant headlines about an inevitable economic crash, people consider saving money to be more important than ever. Even those who are incredibly wealthy are looking for ways to save. Rather than cutting ourselves off from the things that bring us joy, there are plenty of creative solutions when it comes to living frugally.
That goes for traveling too. Airline tickets might be bonkers, but the need to travel still exists. Perhaps even more so post-pandemic. The good news is that with a little bit of work, you can discover incredible deals to make the trip more feasible—things like finding the optimal times to book, checking sites multiple times a day, and learning how to optimize credit card points, to name a few. Sure, it doesn’t guarantee a hoity-toity business class seat, but it does make adventure that much more attainable.
Excuse me while I change my browser settings to French. Allons y!
Has technology gone too far?
Scientists at Penn State University have devised a “smart diaper” that alerts parents when their baby is wet. The diaper is made of paper, treated with sodium chloride (salt) and has a circuit board drawn with a pencil.
When the humidity level rises in the diaper, the graphite and the urine are absorbed by the paper and it turns on a sensor powered by a small lithium battery. The sensor then sets the alarm on an app that parents download onto their phones.
“The hydration sensor is highly sensitive to changes in humidity and provides accurate readings over a wide range of relative humidity levels, from 5.6% to 90%,” the researchers at Penn State said in a statement.
The new invention is perfect for parents who want to know the exact moment that their child has gone to the bathroom. But it raises some questions. Don't babies already alert us when they're wet? Does everything we do in 2023 have to be connected to an app?
The new development caused a stir on Twitter, where most people think the natural way the babies let us know if they are wet works well enough.
The baby already sends alerts— Jennifer Asper (@j3669) February 3, 2023
I think the tried and try method of touch and smell is probably your best bet..It has worked for thousands of years..😵💫— Ed Reid (@bigblk1387) February 3, 2023
Some even suggested that if you need a phone alert to find out if your baby is wet, you may not be fit to be a parent.
Created by people who don’t have children— The Goat (@The_goat_) February 3, 2023
There were also some who raised concerns over the diaper’s safety.
That can't be safe.— Tired of being politically correct (@USBornNRaised) February 3, 2023
Because the sooner we get blue tooth radio signal exposure the better? And directly next to the genitals.— TruthBeTold (@MaccabeeMe) February 3, 2023
A lot of people wondered if this would lead to irresponsible parenting.
Heaven forbid the caretaker actually pay attention to the baby.....— La Lans (@la_lany891) February 3, 2023
So parents can ignore their children even more 😂— Oafredo (@Oaffluenza) February 3, 2023
If you need a text to know when to change your baby maybe you shouldn’t have kids— emiliorojas (@emiliorojas) February 4, 2023
Life with a baby is stressful enough.
I have a 8 month old boy i don't think i need this, am stressed enough to have my phone telling me he need change— JLS (@espartacos2) February 3, 2023
Not everyone thinks that the smart diaper is a bad idea.
looks like a reasonable invention if there's no side effects— :) &🏽 (@_dingba) February 3, 2023
When you get that notification the baby needs diaper change 😂 pic.twitter.com/l0sbdAp9uJ— 𝐆𝐚𝐛𝐢 ⛰ (@skzgabii) February 4, 2023
Although many people are unsure whether we need a massive technological advancement in baby wetness detection, that’s not the only goal of Penn State’s project. The graphite technology has a lot of other uses outside of the crib.
“Our team has been focused on developing devices that can capture vital information for human health,” Huanyu “Larry” Cheng, Associate Professor of Engineering Science and Mechanics at Penn State, said in a statement. “The goal is early prediction for disease conditions and health situations, to spot problems before it is too late.”
Cheng and his fellow engineers hope that their ingenious detection technology will be used to monitor multiple health issues. Their new technology can be placed in a face mask to create a respiration monitor that can distinguish mouth breathing from nose breathing while classifying three breathing states: deep, regular and rapid.
The innner workinds of the "smart diaper"
The data collected from the respiratory monitor can detect various health conditions such as cardiac events, pneumonia and clinical deterioration.
The moisture sensing technology can also help alert healthcare workers to changes in a patient’s condition, whether they are being treated in a hospital setting or being monitored via telemedicine.
“Different types of disease conditions result in different rates of water loss on our skin,” Cheng said. “The skin will function differently based on those underlying conditions, which we will be able to flag and possibly characterize using the sensor.”
The smart diaper may get headlines and cause a snicker or two. But no one should laugh at its unique underlying technology that can detect tiny changes in one's health that are a lot more important than whether someone just used the restroom.
"We're not listening to each other right now. And it's so loud, and so gross, and so angry…"
Pink and Kelly Clarkson are both known for having powerhouse voices that can belt at incredible ranges but also soften for a sweet ballad. Put the two of them together, and…well, dang.
On Feb 6, Clarkson featured Pink on her daytime talk show, in which she often sings with musical guests. The two superstars sang several acoustic duets with pitch-perfect harmonies, prompting fans of both artists to clamor for a collaborative album.
One song they sang together was Pink's "What About Us?" Pink previously described the song to The Sun in 2017: "The world in general is a really scary place full of beautiful people. Humans are resilient and there's a lot of wonderful—like I said in the song—'billions of beautiful hearts' and there are bad eggs in every group. And they make it really hard for the rest of us."
In the intro to their duet, Clarkson asked Pink about the impetus behind her writing the song.
"We're not listening to each other right now. And it's so loud, and so gross, and so angry and people are being forgotten," Pink shared. "People are being counted out and their rights are being trampled on just because a group of people doesn't believe in them."
"Like, I don't understand how so many people in this world are discounted because one group of people decided they don't like that," she continued. "And I won't—I won't have it. One of the most beautiful things that my dad taught me was that my voice matters and I can make a difference, and I will."
The lyrics of the song seem to address the political leaders and decision-makers who hold people's lives in their hands as they pull the levers of power. It's a beautiful song with an important message wrapped up in gorgeous two-part harmony.
“So today we had a surprise visitor for lunch. What a lovely man he was, too."
Keanu Reeves has a reputation as one of Hollywood’s nicest celebrities. Recently, he cheered up an 80-year-old fan who had a crush on him by calling her on the phone. He’s also bought an ice cream cone for a fan to give an autograph on the receipt and crashed a wedding to take photos with the bride and groom.
He’s also an incredible humanitarian who gave up a big chunk of his money from "The Matrix" to a cancer charity.
The “John Wick” star was his usual gracious self over the weekend when on Saturday, February 4, he and a friend walked into The Robin Hood pub in Tring, Hertfordshire, about 30 miles outside of London.
The employees at the pub in the picturesque, small market town with a population of 12,000, were shocked to see such a high-profile celebrity walk through its doors—especially one who is known for being such a humble, likable guy.
Pub staff posted a photo of chef Scott Valentine, 18, and “The Matrix” star on The Robin Hood’s Facebook page.
“So today we had a surprise visitor for lunch,” they shared. “What a lovely man he was too. Laura asked if he would be ok with taking photos with the kitchen lads. He marched into the kitchen shook their hands, and praised them for the food they had prepared. Suffice to say he made their days!!!”
According to the staff at the restaurant, Reeves ordered traditional English fare. "He came to the bar and ordered a beer (Seafarers Ale) and just walked over to the corner. He ordered fish and chips and Nat's shepherd's pie,” Laura Rolfe told The Mirror.
Valentine told the BBC he was scared to cook for such a big star. But Reeves was appreciative of the staff and liked the food.
"It was a bit worrying because I had to cook for him, but we took it out to him and he said thank you and was really nice," said Valentine. “He came into the kitchen, shook our hands and said the food was lovely."
The folks at The Robin Hood aren’t sure why Reeves was hanging out in Tring, but The Mirror speculated he was working on a Disney Plus docuseries about Formula 1.
Last year, it was announced that Reeves was producing a documentary about Jenson Button’s unlikely victory for Brawn GP in 2009. “Our story is about Honda withdrawing from F1 and Ross Brawn who had joined Honda a year and a half earlier,” Reeves said according to TalkSport.
“How did they race a world championship? It’s certainly a people story. It’s about passion,” Reeves added.
Whatever the reason that Reeves was in a small town pub, it’s great that everyone who met him came away with warm feelings about the man. Reeves clearly knows that by being a humble, nice guy to people, he can make someone else’s day and give them a great story to tell forever. Kudos to Reeves for using his fame to touch other people’s lives. With all the stories we’ve reported about him being cool to fans, it seems like he never lets anybody down.