Thursday, September 8, 2011

Exploring a smile’s subtleties, ‘Schweddy Balls’, and a dumpster diving dad who does what it takes to get by

Good Morning Humboldt County!

Don’t you love the mornings? It’s so quiet and peaceful. Glad you could stop by. Pull up a seat and grab a cup of coffee or tea, and check out the headlines with me:

Read my lips: New book explores a smile's subtleties

A smile is much more than a cheerful expression, writes author Marianne LaFrance in her new book "Lip Service." The smile, she suggests, "is a social magnet, a trustworthiness meter, a device for diffusing anger, a patch for frayed interpersonal bonds, and a lubricant for keeping social ties in good working order."

Perhaps that's why turning the corners of the mouth upward is "the most instantly recognized facial expression." Whether discussing lop-sided grins, wolfish smirks, sinister sneers, or radiantly beaming, LaFrance, a Yale University psychology professor, delves into the science behind the smile and explains its affect on politics, work, relationships, and culture.

This routine was a riot. Sure miss the classic SNL skits…

Ben & Jerry's tosses out some Schweddy Balls

On Wednesday, Ben & Jerry's ice cream company announced its newest flavor, Schweddy Balls, a limited-edition flavor that harks back to an "Saturday Night Live" routine and will contain vanilla ice cream with fudge-covered rum and malt balls, according to Time magazine.


When money ran short, this dad started Dumpster diving

They say one man's trash is another man's treasure.  For Todd, trash is simply a way to keep bread on the table for his three kids.

A programmer by day, Todd takes to the streets of North Carolina by night, digging through Dumpsters at drug stores and grocery stores all around his rural neighborhood.

"You would be simply amazed at what businesses throw out," he said. "I've only had to buy two loaves of bread all year. ... Last week I had a trunk full of cereal, cookies, chips and ramen noodles." Todd slinks in and out of smelly places with low-light flashlights to evade rent-a-cops who will shoo him away.  Most nights, his 14-year-old son comes along. "I don't like getting all the way into Dumpsters unless there's something really valuable in there, but my son doesn't mind as much. He'll jump right in," Todd said.  The two yearn for colder weather, when items spoil more slowly and the stench is far easier to bear.

Time to walk on down the road…

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