Q&A: All the president's pens

Tony Shalhoub, who plays Adrian Monk on USA Network’s Monk, is ready to move on.

Associated Press (2006)

Tony Shalhoub, who plays Adrian Monk on USA Network’s Monk, is ready to move on.

All the president's pens

When President Obama signed the stimulus bill, he kept switching pens to sign. How many pens does it take to sign a bill, and why?

Presidential pens are manufactured and engraved so that they can be given away as gifts, usually to someone significant in creating or passing a bill. The president often uses several different pens to sign different copies of the same document so there will be enough pens to give away — a time-honored tradition.

Obama has signed a series of documents and executive orders using a Cross Townsend black lacquer rolling-ball pen with the presidential coat of arms and his signature on the barrel.

Anita Bryant living in Oklahoma

What happened to Anita Bryant, the anti-gay activist from the 1970s?

Anita Bryant, the former beauty queen and spokeswoman for orange juice "from the Florida sunshine tree," lives in Oklahoma with her second husband, Charlie Dry, a former astronaut test crewman. Bryant performs occasionally and does charity work for various youth organizations.

Bryant, the 1958 Miss Oklahoma and second-runner-up at the 1959 Miss America Pageant, unsuccessfully opened theaters in Branson, Mo., Eureka Springs, Ark., and Pigeon Forge, Tenn., and founded Anita Bryant Ministries International. She was the celebrity face of conservative Christian politics in the late 1970s. Her "Save Our Children" campaign influenced the passage of Florida's gay-adoption ban in 1977.

Eight is enough for 'Monk'

USA Network is saying that Monk is going to have its final season. What's going on? Did they just get tired of making it?

Star Tony Shalhoub did. After USA announced that this summer's eighth season will be the show's last, Shalhoub told the AP, "It's a great job, and I work with great people, and I really enjoy doing the character, but I think eight years is enough. I think we've kind of explored all the avenues we could possibly cover and as much as I like the show and working on it, I really do want to think about moving on to whatever the next chapter might be."

The original Alfredo sauce

My chef says that Alfredo sauce is just heavy cream reduced to a sauce consistency, with no Parmesan cheese, salt or pepper. He points back to the early Italians. Is this true?

Well, according to the Food Network Kitchens, that depends on your definition of "early." Fettucine Alfredo, the first documented dish using Alfredo sauce, goes back to 1920. Legend has it that Alfredo di Lellio was a Roman restaurateur who created the dish for his wife to help her recover from childbirth. The original recipe was homemade triple-cream butter, Parmesan cheese and pepper; cream was added to the recipe at a later date.

Q&A: All the president's pens 03/26/09 [Last modified: Thursday, March 26, 2009 8:05am]

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