Are you ready to take a deep breath and chill for a minute? This year has been crazy, so maybe a bit of a respite is in order. You know (and this may be difficult to fathom), there are some fun things in the news these days. With just a little effort, I came up with ten.


For example, the Hormel company is giving you a chance to win a genius invention – a bacon-scented face mask. “Hormel said the Black Label Breathable Bacon mask uses the the latest in bacon-smell technology to give the wearer the experience of smelling bacon anytime they don the COVID-19 protection accessory.” Bacon fans can register to win a bacon-scented mask until October 28 at https://breathablebacon.com/.


I hope you win one of these masks and it's your size. A recent visitor to an Idaho school wasn't so lucky. “The campus played host to an unexpected guest -- a moose.” Coeur d'Alene Public Schools said the moose decided to stick around for a while. "This guy has been great about staying socially distanced. We couldn't find a mask that fits." (https://www.upi.com/Odd_News/2020/09/30/Moose-visits-Idaho-middle-school-while-classes-are-in-session/1371601494675/)


With Halloween upcoming, you might wonder what candies are leading the favorites race. Website FiveThirtyEight has the results of a totally unscientific poll they call “The Ultimate Halloween Candy Power Ranking.” The top ten are: Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, Reese’s Miniatures, Twix, Kit Kat, Snickers, Reese’s Pieces, Milky Way, Reese’s Stuffed With Pieces, Peanut Butter M&M’s, and Butterfinger. See the rankings for 85 candies at https://fivethirtyeight.com/videos/the-ultimate-halloween-candy-power-ranking/.


Have you ever wandered around a store searching for an item that has been mysteriously moved to a new location for no apparent reason? Your frustration may be coming to an end. For many stores, searching through store aisles are over. As they rearrange their items they’re making signs to point you around the space. “These signs match up with the exact categories and icons you’ll also find inside the (store's) app. The intended effect is a seamless shopping experience between the digital store and the physical one.” (https://www.fastcompany.com/90557727/walmarts-new-store-design-proves-browsing-is-dead)


Using that app in the store might be a problem if your cell phone signal is weak. However, if the store is located on the moon you may have better luck. “NASA is putting a 4G network on the moon. NASA awarded $370 million to over a dozen companies to deploy technology on the lunar surface. Those innovations include 4G. Like on Earth, the 4G network will eventually be upgraded to 5G.” (https://www.cnn.com/2020/10/18/tech/4g-network-moon-trnd/index.html)


Another moon-related innovation is happening right now. “NASA’s first new space potty in decades — a $23 million titanium toilet better suited for women — is getting a not-so-dry run at the International Space Station before eventually flying to the moon. The new toilet is roughly half as big as the two Russian-built ones at the space station. It’s more camper-size to fit into the NASA Orion capsules that will carry astronauts to the moon in a few years. Station residents will test it out for a few months. If the shakedown goes well, the toilet will be open for regular business.” (https://apnews.com/article/business-spacex-archive-moon-f06581fe70515ae7608304af8e6a44fb)


This moon stuff is a bit futuristic, but back here on earth a town in Canada is hoping a name change will pay off in the years to come. The town is Asbestos, Quebec. In the past, the town boasted the largest asbestos mine in the world. Asbestos was seen as a miracle mineral, but now we know it's a carcinogen. The mine is long gone, so “voters have now dubbed it Val-des-Sources.” The new name refers to the valleys and bodies of water of the surrounding landscape. (https://www.newser.com/story/297663/a-town-called-asbestos-gets-a-new-name.html)


Do you like to go fast. If so, you may want to buy a new SSC Tuatara Hypercar. It is now the world's fastest production car “when its latest model reached an average speed of 316.11 mph.” It was tested on a Nevada highway. “The car reached a top speed of 331.15 during one of the runs, capturing a record for the highest speed ever achieved on a public road.” One hundred of the Tuatara cars will be sold commercially. See it at https://www.sscnorthamerica.com/news/ssc-tuatara-hypercar-earns-worlds-fastest-production-vehicle-title.


Closer to home, KISS Cadillac fans could be interested in this. Hot Topic is selling a KISS tee shirt that it calls the “KISS Bus Tour T-Shirt.” On the front of this shirt is the KISS logo and a graphic that Cadillac fans will surely recognize, the photo of KISS at the downtown firehouse. It's the same photo that is on the KISS Monument. Newsflash! That is NOT a bus on which the band is standing. It's a fire truck!


Seriously, our good friend Rich Kosak (leader of the KISS tribute band Mr. Speed) tipped us off about this and sent me one. The shirt is legally licensed and is pretty nice. See it at https://www.hottopic.com/product/kiss-bus-tour-t-shirt/13853223.html.


Finally, in these turbulent times it's wonderful to experience something that is completely and totally predictable. I am, of course, talking about the plethora of cheesy Christmas movies which begins this weekend on several television channels.


These are so comforting because you can fall asleep at any point during one and still know what happened. Every movie opens with a flyover shot of a city. The main character has a significant other. She's not right for him. He's not right for her. Their perfect match is obvious to everyone but them. Someone returns to a small town. There is an obligatory festival and snowball fight. The Christmas tree farm/cookie shop/resort/local ornament factory is saved from the evil corporate investor from the big city. Kiss at the end and cue the snow drifting down. Peace and good will to one and all. It does not get much better.


Jim Neff is a local columnist. Read Neff Zone columns online at CadillacNews.com and NeffZone.com/cadillacnews.