MARLBORO – You’d think a guy like Bruce Springsteen, worth a half billon dollars or so, would have a spectacular home gym, a team of personal trainers and his own fountain of youth, which he would drink from deeply and often. But the New York Postclaims Springsteen is often found on a treadmill at a local gym. Total cost of membership at this joint? $9.99 a month. He’s also found, allegedly, swimming around the ocean in Sea Bright, or being spotted in other super-cheap gyms with the post-Christmas specials. So much for the ultra-boutique fitness classes and the overpriced, undereducated trainers whose favorite term is “Suck it up, wimps.” Or maybe they are just referring to us.
ONLINE – Does anyone really know you better than Facebook? After all, the social media giant has been studying your likes and dislikes, your vacation pictures, your work status and your hobbies every single day. Facebook knows when you are happy and when you are not. So, what other mega-online engine is better at finding you a soul mate? Likely none, which is why the company is launching “Facebook Dating.” Facebook will use its super-secret algorithms to score you some dates with other Facebook users who are freaklishly similar to you. Facebook also taps its sister site, Instagram, to discover even more stuff about you and create even more possible matches. Of course, you can help things along by divulging some “secret crushes” you have amongst your Facebook friends. It all begs the question: Are we creating a generation of perfectly-matched people, or discovering that very, very similar people can’t stand themselves?
NEWARK – It seems no matter what Facebook does, no one will ever be in love with Newark Liberty Airport. Yet again, in the latest customer satisfaction ratings, our local international airport scores at the bottom of the dung heap. In fact, J.D. Powerranked Newark Liberty dead last among the mega-airports, with JFK and LaGuardia faring just slightly better among the crappy airports that one would expect to find in rural Bangladesh. Meanwhile, the Port Authority is poised to spend billions on all three airports, with Newark getting a new Terminal A and perhaps a new monorail that doesn’t look as if it will soon collapse into a parking lot. Yet with all this historically awful service, somehow these three airports serviced a record of more than 68 million passengers in the first half of this year, underscoring what desperate people are willing to withstand when there’s absolutely no other option.
BRADLEY BEACH — While the world is strangling itself with single-use plastic bags, there’s at least one small town trying to do its part to save the Earth. Bradley Beach – one of the first shore towns to ban smoking on its beaches – is now one of the first towns in the nation with a recycling program specifically for single-use plastic bags, as well as plastic wrap and film, NJ 101.5 reports. Most New Jerseyans have zero clue that this type of plastic can’t be thrown in the recycling bin, and, if discarded in the household trash, it all ends up in a landfill for a few gazillion years or so. So, beginning Nov. 13, residents will get an extra recycling bin for this particular plastic, all of which would then be recycled. It’s all part of a one-year pilot program, with hopes this type of plastic recycling sticks.
STATEWIDE – Some 3,600 New Jerseyans have died from drug-related causes in the past 18 months. It’s a chilling number, one that will continue to climb despite the huge amount of money being thrown at recovery and treatment programs. The mounting death toll tells us that these strategies are not enough. Recovery is a long, difficult road, one that’s dauntingly difficult to follow on your own. Now, in New Jersey and elsewhere, programs are being set up — typically under the leadership of former drug users who’ve stayed clean for years — that provide more guides and more good company every step of the way. NJ Spotlight reports.
WOODBRIDGE – The topic of health insurance is one that most New Jerseyans are eager to avoid. After all, discussions about co-pays, out-of-network procedures and the Affordable Care Act don’t exactly make for titillating cocktail party chatter. But, when a loved one gets sick and needs a king’s ransom worth of medical care, suddenly health insurance is the front burner talking point. Luckily, there are people out there focusing on it, trying to identify ways in which New Jerseyans can get the best medical care at a somewhat reasonable cost. These pros are with the New Jersey Association of Health Underwriters, holding their 11th-annual “State of the State in Healthcare” conference this morning in Woodbridge.
IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS
COMPIEGNE, FRANCE – For years, an elderly Frenchwoman prepared her baguette sandwiches in the same old, kitchen, adorned by the same old, worn painting on the wall. There was a good reason the painting was so beat up. It is actually the work of a 13th-century Italian artist, and pre-Renaissance collectors have been looking for this painting for years, figuring it a goner. Recently, the old woman thought it was about time that she got the 10-inch painting appraised, prompting numerous tests and a final conclusion that it was the lost work of Cimabue, aka Cenni di Pepo. The woman learned her kitchen wall art had a name, “Mocking of Christ,” and it is now set to go on the auction block on Oct. 27, with an expected price of $6.5 million. The big question remains: How will she now decorate her kitchen? Rembrandt? Van Gogh?
THIS DAY IN HISTORY
It was this day in 1990 when the Motion Picture Association of America solved a critical issue: Figuring out what to do with really raunchy stuff that is not so raunchy to be deemed all-out porn. So, welcome to the “NC-17” rating! The Hollywood Reporterexplains the critical distinctions here.
WORD OF THE DAY
Broadside – [BRAWD-syde] - noun
Definition: A sheet of paper printed and folded (such as for mailing).
Example: Expect plenty of broadsides in your mailbox in the upcoming weeks, as New Jersey politicians churn up the mail for their fall political campaigns.
WIT OF THE DAY
“I can picture in my mind a world without war, a world without hate. And I can picture us attacking that world because they’d never expect it.”
― Jack Handey
WEATHER IN A WORD
THE NEW 60
A Jaffe Briefing Exclusive
by Andy Landorf & John Colquhoun