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The Quick 10: 10 Fake Brands Used by the Entertainment Industry

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Technically, it's more like, "10 Fake Brands and Numbers and License Plates Used by the Entertainment Industry" but that's pretty wordy for a title. Basically, it's brands that you've seen pop up in show after show, movie after movie. Maybe you haven't even noticed that they're used across the board - they can be pretty sneaky about placement. Sometimes it's because they truly need a generic brand, and in some cases it's just because it's become an inside joke to work in to movies, much like the Wilhelm Scream. Either way, I think it's fun.

red apple1. Red Apple Cigarettes from Quentin Tarantino. There are plenty of directors and writers who create brands and use them across all of their movies and shows, but this one and Big Kahuna Burger, another Tarantino, are some of the most famous (read on for another one that I think ranks up there). Some people mistakenly think "Fruit Brute" and "Kaboom!" cereal are from the depths of Tarantino's imagination, but those were actual cereals. Once upon a time, "Fruit Brute" was part of the Frankberry-Count Chocula-Booberry family.

"¢ First seen in Pulp Fiction, Red Apple can also be spotted in the Tokyo airport when Uma Thurman walks by an giant advertisement for the brand.
"¢ A pack is tossed in the Gecko Brothers' car in From Dusk Til Dawn.
"¢ Ted the Bellhop from Four Rooms smokes them.
"¢ In the Planet Terror part of Grindhouse, the BBQ owner tosses a pack to Wray.

2. Morley Cigarettes. Unlike Tarantino's Red Apple cigs which appear exclusively in his own movies, Morley Cigarettes are prop smokes used across the board. Here are a few places you'll find them:

Beverly Hills, 90210 (the original). Remember when Brenda comes home from Paris with a newfound smoking habit? The cigarettes her parents catch her with are Morleys.
"¢ Spike on Buffy the Vampire Slayer was loyal to the Morley brand.
"¢ On Heroes, Claire Bennet's real mom tries to light a Morley in Sandra Bennet's house, "˜til Sandra puts the kibosh on it.
"¢ The American soldiers in Platoon smoke Morleys.
"¢ Christina Ricci's character in Prozac Nation is a Morley smoker.
"¢ The infamous Smoking Man from The X-Files smokes -you guessed it "“ Morleys.

3. Heisler Beer is the barley-and-hops version of Morleys. Some notable appearances:

"¢ In lots of My Name is Earl episodes.
"¢ When Silas from Weeds celebrates his 18th birthday, the beverage of choice is Heisler.
Beerfest by the Broken Lizard guys features both cans and bottles of the fictitious beer.
"¢ One of my current favorites, United States of Tara, features Heisler in an episode where Marshall and Kate throw a party while their parents are out of town.

4. Oceanic Airlines. I'm a big Lost fan and had never heard of this made-up brand until then, but it's been around since long before Jack and co. crashed on the Island.

It's usually specifically used to depict ill-fated airlines, so the next time you spot the name at the beginning of a movie, you'll know something that the person sitting next to you doesn't. Use it to make yourself sound like a film genius: "It's so obvious that the plane is going to be hijacked. Could they make their foreshadowing any more obvious?"

"¢ Part of the 1996 movie Executive Decision takes place on Oceanic Airlines Flight 343.
"¢ In "The Bridget at Kang So Ri," an episode of JAG that aired in 2000, Korean terrorists hijack an Oceanic Air flight.
"¢ Oceanic is referenced in other ABC and/or J.J. Abrams projects "“ the name has made appearances in Chuck, Fringe and Pushing Daisies.
"¢ Supposedly the Oceanic name goes all the way back to the "˜60s with a mention in an episode of Flipper called "The Ditching," but I can't seem to verify this one.

gannon5. Gannon Car Rentals. Speaking of Lost, Gannon Car ads were featured in back-to-back episodes of Heroes and Lost, which led to a lot of speculation among fans that the two shows were somehow connected. This would be pretty much unprecedented, since the shows are on two different networks. Reps for both shows have denied that they the shows tie together but did say that they often chat with one another and are inspired by one another.

"¢ Gannon pamphlets can be found in at least four episodes of Heroes.
Lost fans will spot Gannon advertisements on the back of the Oceanic Airlines boarding pass folders "“ there are also pamphlets, too, and a Gannon advertisement at a soccer game in an episode with Desmond.

SPYDER6. Finder-Spyder is the official choice when writers need a generic search engine. Sometimes the logo looks suspiciously like Google's, and sometimes it looks nothing like it. Here's where you'll spot it:

"¢ In at least six episodes of Prison Break, including the pilot.
"¢ On Dexter.
"¢ Two Without a Trace episodes "“ "Baggage," where they look up a website that was left in a journal, and "Cloudy with a Chance of Gettysburg," where they look up info about Civil War re-enactments.
"¢ On Criminal Minds, when Megan Kane Finder-Spyders (doesn't have the same ring as "Googles," does it?) Special Agent Aaron Hotchner in the episode "Pleasure is my Business."

7. Mooby's, a franchise that features a tongue-in-cheek golden cow mascot, is all over Kevin Smith's View Askewniverse. Fans already know this, no doubt, but for the casual viewer, here's a reference guide:

"¢ In Dogma, you'll see the chain all over the place: Bartleby and Loki visit the Mooby headquarters, they eat at Mooby restaurant, Silent Bob wears a Mooby hat throughout the movie, and Rufus can be seen wearing Mooby pajamas.
"¢ In Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, SB is still wearing his Mooby hat. A Mooby character gets shot during the backlot chase scene.
Clerks II features the clerks relocating to a Mooby location after their Quick Stop burns down.

ghostbusters8. 555-2368. Phone companies have reserved the "555" prefix from 0100-0199 for fictional purposes such as movies and T.V. shows. This happened because it started to become problematic when writers would make up "fake" numbers for their fictional purposes, only to have fans dial the number and disrupt a real person who hadn't intended for their number to be put out there for national use. This still presents a bit of a problem"¦ one of the most widely-used fake 555 numbers is 555-2368, which clearly falls out of the 0100-0199 territory. Here are a few references to the 555-2368 number:

"¢ The Ghostbusters number in the "Who You Gonna Call" commercial.
"¢ The number of the Guiler residence in Close Encounters of the Third Kind.
"¢ Jim Rockford's number in The Rockford Files.
"¢ The motel room phone in Momento.
"¢ Baretta's phone number in Baretta.
"¢ Jaime Sommers' phone number in The Bionic Woman.

9. Acme is obviously associated with Looney Toons, but other shows and movies have picked up on the gag as well. The name originated because when the Yellow Pages were first introduced, tons of businesses started naming themselves "Acme" or "Ace" to get at the top of the listings. The Looney Toons' Acme and other Acme references poke fun at this (and some are referencing the Looney Toons Acme directly).

Calvin and Hobbes often referenced Acme on the box when Calvin was making transmogrifiers and other imaginative machines.
The Far Side used the company name in various comics, too.
"¢ Bullwinkle once pretended to sell Acme vacuums on The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show.
The Simpsons makes reference on a somewhat regular basis, including during Itchy and Scratchy episodes.
"¢ The candy factory Lucy and Ethel work at in that famous episode is the Acme Candy Factory.
"¢ The detective agency in the Carmen Sandiego series is the ACME Detective Agency.
The Last Action Hero references Acme products.
"¢ Wally's Filling Station in The Andy Griffith Show sells Acme fuel.

10. 2GAT123. Next time you're watching something, keep a close eye on the license plates to see if you spot these numbers. It almost always appears on a California license plate and is used because California doesn't actually use the letter combination "GAT" on real plates. Another one you might spot is "2FAN321." 2GAT123 has been spotted in these movies and shows:

"¢ Beverly Hills Cop II
"¢ L.A. Story
"¢ Go
"¢ Pay It Forward
"¢ Traffic
"¢ Mulholland Drive
"¢ Beverly Hills, 90210
"¢ Charmed
"¢ Chuck
"¢ Curb Your Enthusiasm
"¢ Lost
"¢ Two and Half Men
"¢ The X-Files

This all leads me to today's questions. Where have you spotted these movie generics? And, if you were creating your own universe like the Tarantino-verse or the View Askewniverse, what would your brand be? Mine would definitely have to be Patton-brand something: my dog is named Patton and he's a total psycho with one brown eye and one blue eye. Perhaps brown and blue would be the color scheme of my ads. Anyway, leave a comment and let us know what yours would be! Also, here is a gratuitous picture of Patton:

patton

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entertainment
5 Things We Know About Stranger Things Season 2
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Netflix

Stranger Things seemed to come out of nowhere to become one of television's standout new series in 2016. Netflix's sometimes scary, sometimes funny, and always exciting homage to '80s pop culture was a binge-worthy phenomenon when it debuted in July 2016. Of course, the streaming giant wasn't going to wait long to bring more Stranger Things to audiences, and a second season was announced a little over a month after its debut—and Netflix just announced that we'll be getting it a few days earlier than expected. Here are five key things we know about the show's sophomore season, which kicks off on October 27.

1. WE'LL BE GETTING EVEN MORE EPISODES.

The first season of Stranger Things consisted of eight hour-long episodes, which proved to be a solid length for the story Matt and Ross Duffer wanted to tell. While season two won't increase in length dramatically, we will be getting at least one extra hour when the show returns in 2017 with nine episodes. Not much is known about any of these episodes, but we do know the titles:

"Madmax"
"The Boy Who Came Back To Life"
"The Pumpkin Patch"
"The Palace"
"The Storm"
"The Pollywog"
"The Secret Cabin"
"The Brain"
"The Lost Brother"

There's a lot of speculation about what each title means and, as usual with Stranger Things, there's probably a reason for each one.

2. THE KIDS ARE RETURNING (INCLUDING ELEVEN).

Stranger Things fans should gear up for plenty of new developments in season two, but that doesn't mean your favorite characters aren't returning. A November 4 photo sent out by the show's Twitter account revealed most of the kids from the first season will be back in 2017, including the enigmatic Eleven, played by Millie Bobby Brown (the #elevenisback hashtag used by series regular Finn Wolfhard should really drive the point home):

3. THE SHOW'S 1984 SETTING WILL LEAD TO A DARKER TONE.

A year will have passed between the first and second seasons of the show, allowing the Duffer brothers to catch up with a familiar cast of characters that has matured since we last saw them. With the story taking place in 1984, the brothers are looking at the pop culture zeitgeist at the time for inspiration—most notably the darker tone of blockbusters like Gremlins and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.

"I actually really love Temple of Doom, I love that it gets a little darker and weirder from Raiders, I like that it feels very different than Raiders did," Matt Duffer told IGN. "Even though it was probably slammed at the time—obviously now people look back on it fondly, but it messed up a lot of kids, and I love that about that film—that it really traumatized some children. Not saying that we want to traumatize children, just that we want to get a little darker and weirder."

4. IT'S NOT SO MUCH A CONTINUATION AS IT IS A SEQUEL.

When you watch something like The Americans season two, it's almost impossible to catch on unless you've seen the previous episodes. Stranger Things season two will differ from the modern TV approach by being more of a sequel than a continuation of the first year. That means a more self-contained plot that doesn't leave viewers hanging at the end of nine episodes.

"There are lingering questions, but the idea with Season 2 is there's a new tension and the goal is can the characters resolve that tension by the end," Ross Duffer told IGN. "So it's going to be its own sort of complete little movie, very much in the way that Season 1 is."

Don't worry about the two seasons of Stranger Things being too similar or too different from the original, though, because when speaking with Entertainment Weekly about the influences on the show, Matt Duffer said, "I guess a lot of this is James Cameron. But he’s brilliant. And I think one of the reasons his sequels are as successful as they are is he makes them feel very different without losing what we loved about the original. So I think we kinda looked to him and what he does and tried to capture a little bit of the magic of his work.”

5. THE PREMIERE WILL TRAVEL OUTSIDE OF HAWKINS.

Everything about the new Stranger Things episodes will be kept secret until they finally debut later this year, but we do know one thing about the premiere: It won't take place entirely in the familiar town of Hawkins, Indiana. “We will venture a little bit outside of Hawkins,” Matt Duffer told Entertainment Weekly. “I will say the opening scene [of the premiere] does not take place in Hawkins.”

So, should we take "a little bit outside" as literally as it sounds? You certainly can, but in that same interview, the brothers also said they're both eager to explore the Upside Down, the alternate dimension from the first season. Whether the season kicks off just a few miles away, or a few worlds away, you'll get your answer when Stranger Things's second season debuts next month.

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Food
The Gooey History of the Fluffernutter Sandwich

Open any pantry in New England and chances are you’ll find at least one jar of Marshmallow Fluff. Not just any old marshmallow crème, but Fluff; the one manufactured by Durkee-Mower of Lynn, Massachusetts since 1920, and the preferred brand of the northeast. With its familiar red lid and classic blue label, it's long been a favorite guilty pleasure and a kitchen staple beloved throughout the region.

This gooey, spreadable, marshmallow-infused confection is used in countless recipes and found in a variety of baked goods—from whoopie pies and Rice Krispies Treats to chocolate fudge and beyond. And in the beyond lies perhaps the most treasured concoction of all: the Fluffernutter sandwich—a classic New England treat made with white bread, peanut butter, and, you guessed it, Fluff. No jelly required. Or wanted.

There are several claims to the origin of the sandwich. The first begins with Revolutionary War hero Paul Revere—or, not Paul exactly, but his great-great-great-grandchildren Emma and Amory Curtis of Melrose, Massachusetts. Both siblings were highly intelligent and forward-thinkers, and Amory was even accepted into MIT. But when the family couldn’t afford to send him, he founded a Boston-based company in the 1890s that specialized in soda fountain equipment.

He sold the business in 1901 and used the proceeds to buy the entire east side of Crystal Street in Melrose. Soon after he built a house and, in his basement, he created a marshmallow spread known as Snowflake Marshmallow Crème (later called SMAC), which actually predated Fluff. By the early 1910s, the Curtis Marshmallow Factory was established and Snowflake became the first commercially successful shelf-stable marshmallow crème.

Although other companies were manufacturing similar products, it was Emma who set the Curtis brand apart from the rest. She had a knack for marketing and thought up many different ways to popularize their marshmallow crème, including the creation of one-of-a-kind recipes, like sandwiches that featured nuts and marshmallow crème. She shared her culinary gems in a weekly newspaper column and radio show. By 1915, Snowflake was selling nationwide.

During World War I, when Americans were urged to sacrifice meat one day a week, Emma published a recipe for a peanut butter and marshmallow crème sandwich. She named her creation the "Liberty Sandwich," as a person could still obtain his or her daily nutrients while simultaneously supporting the wartime cause. Some have pointed to Emma’s 1918 published recipe as the earliest known example of a Fluffernutter, but the earliest recipe mental_floss can find comes from three years prior. In 1915, the confectioners trade journal Candy and Ice Cream published a list of lunch offerings that candy shops could advertise beyond hot soup. One of them was the "Mallonut Sandwich," which involved peanut butter and "marshmallow whip or mallo topping," spread on lightly toasted whole wheat bread.

Another origin story comes from Somerville, Massachusetts, home to entrepreneur Archibald Query. Query began making his own version of marshmallow crème and selling it door-to-door in 1917. Due to sugar shortages during World War I, his business began to fail. Query quickly sold the rights to his recipe to candy makers H. Allen Durkee and Fred Mower in 1920. The cost? A modest $500 for what would go on to become the Marshmallow Fluff empire.

Although the business partners promoted the sandwich treat early in the company’s history, the delicious snack wasn’t officially called the Fluffernutter until the 1960s, when Durkee-Mower hired a PR firm to help them market the sandwich, which resulted in a particularly catchy jingle explaining the recipe.

So who owns the bragging rights? While some anonymous candy shop owner was likely the first to actually put the two together, Emma Curtis created the early precursors and brought the concept to a national audience, and Durkee-Mower added the now-ubiquitous crème and catchy name. And the Fluffernutter has never lost its popularity.

In 2006, the Massachusetts state legislature spent a full week deliberating over whether or not the Fluffernutter should be named the official state sandwich. On one side, some argued that marshmallow crème and peanut butter added to the epidemic of childhood obesity. The history-bound fanatics that stood against them contended that the Fluffernutter was a proud culinary legacy. One state representative even proclaimed, "I’m going to fight to the death for Fluff." True dedication, but the bill has been stalled for more than a decade despite several revivals and subsequent petitions from loyal fans.

But Fluff lovers needn’t despair. There’s a National Fluffernutter Day (October 8) for hardcore fans, and the town of Somerville, Massachusetts still celebrates its Fluff pride with an annual What the Fluff? festival.

"Everyone feels like Fluff is part of their childhood," said self-proclaimed Fluff expert and the festival's executive director, Mimi Graney, in an interview with Boston Magazine. "Whether born in the 1940s or '50s, or '60s, or later—everyone feels nostalgic for Fluff. I think New Englanders in general have a particular fondness for it."

Today, the Fluffernutter sandwich is as much of a part of New England cuisine as baked beans or blueberry pie. While some people live and die by the traditional combination, the sandwich now comes in all shapes and sizes, with the addition of salty and savory toppings as a favorite twist. Wheat bread is as popular as white, and many like to grill their sandwiches for a touch of bistro flair. But don't ask a New Englander to swap out their favorite brand of marshmallow crème. That’s just asking too Fluffing much.

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