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Saturday, July 20, 2013

Are the Young Man on Warehouse 13 and the Boy on the Honey Nuts Cheerios Commercial Brothers?

“I’ve been watching Warehouse 13 on television. On the last few shows there has been a young man who resembles the boy on the new Honey Nut Cheerios commercial.  Are they brothers?”  This is not the first time a patron has asked the staff of the Newton Falls Public Library about someone who has appeared on television.

We first needed to find the names of the actors.  Internet Movie Database,, is a very useful source for questions pertaining to the movie and television industry.  The entry for Warehouse 13 had an entry for each of the episodes.  Season 4, Episode 19, July 1, 2013 All the Time in the World had photographs for all the actors.  Our patron identified Josh Blaylock, who played Nick Powell, as the actor for which she was looking.  The trivia given for him said that he was born and raised in Texas and has an older brother.  This made it unlikely that the actor in the Cheerios commercial was related, as he was much younger.

The commercial was not listed in this database, so we used a search engine to look for “Honey Nut Cheerios 2013 commercial.”  This led us to the additional words “reverse psychology” that we added to the original list.  We found it at  The young actor is Griffin Gluck.  We returned to IMDB to find more about Griffin.  He is 10 years younger than Josh and is from Los Angeles, so they are not brothers.

Friday, July 12, 2013

What Does "White On Rice" Mean?

"I've heard the expression 'like white on rice,' but I'm not really sure if I'm correct in understanding what it means.  Can you find me the information?"  English has some very unusual phrases that the patrons and staff of the Newton Falls Public Library have found to be interesting.

Our search began in the library's reference collection.  On the cover of Cassell's Dictionary of Slang by Jonathon Green, which is, according to Evening Star Standard  reviewer Jonathan Meades says ". . . a terrific piece of work - learned, entertaining, funny , stimulating." It has 1312 pages of definitions, from  "a n. 1[20C](W.I./Guyn.) a general term for dislike. 2 [1940+] (US) used as euphemism for ARSE" to zweideener n. [late 19C] (Aus./N.Z.) a two-shilling (10p) piece." Our library staff was intrigued it. Some of the words have a great variety of meanings. For example, dog has 34 entries, and 56 definitions.  It was interesting to browse through the book and see that it includes slang from as far back as the 16th century up to modern day.  "Like white on rice," the expression, for which we were searching, came into common usage in 1980 and continues to be used today.  The origins of  the phrase is attributed to US Black.  It is defined as "very closely [rice is white itself]".

Friday, July 5, 2013

What Was the Last Name of Joseph Cotten's Character in the Radio Show "Suspense"?

The caller said, "Joseph Cotten was in the old radio show, Suspense.  His character's name was Wells Something. Can you find his last name?  The Newton Falls Public Library staff personally knows very little about old radio drama, and finds these pop culture questions interesting.

Using a search engine and the terms "Joseph Cotten old radio show Suspense", we found the website Radio of Yesteryear: Original Old Radio -Oldest Website of Old Time Radio Programs The Joseph Cotten Collection vol. 2. The site has a list of some of the programs in which he acted.  Our staff then searched for "Suspense" and the title of each radio show in which he performed. When we searched "Suspense The Day I Died" we discovered the website Escape and Suspense! Vintage Radio Broadcasts of Dangerous Adventure, Urban Legends, and Tales of Fear and Trembling. The site's article  stated that Cotten starred as Welles Gallaway, " a murderer who makes the mistake of asking his wife [Leslie] to hide him . . . The problem is Leslie, having once treated her so badly, can Welles trust her to help him?"

For patrons interested in radio shows, the shared Clevnet system has a selection of over 200 titles available to be borrowed, ranging from The 60 Greatest Old-time Radio Shows of the 20th Century to Youth: Stories from the Collection Lake Wobegon U.S.A.