'Instant Family' Will Pull Your Heartstrings in a Good Way

What started as an older man’s joke about wanting to adopt a five-year-old instead of starting from scratch, Instant Family was inspired by writer and director Sean Anders’ real-life family. Pete (Mark Wahlberg) “accidentally” makes the joke to his wife Ellie (Rose Byrne) not wanting to be become that “old dad” everyone knows and before you know it, the two are traveling down to road toward foster care adoptions. After numerous classes taught by two caseworkers (Octavia Spencer and Tig Notaro), the two meet three kids at a “foster fair” gathering. Lizzy (Isabela Moner) is the 15-year-old older sister who has protectively looked after her younger siblings Juan (Gustavo Quiroz) and Lita (Julianna Gamiz) while their mother has been incarcerated. She’s a tough cookie with trust issues. Juan is both accident prone and highly sensitive and Lita is super sweet as long as she gets to eat potato chips at every meal. Almost overnight they become an “instant family” and everything g…

This Day in Pop Culture for November 4

Jeff Probst is Born
Long before hosting CBS’ Survivor,” Jeffrey Lee Probst was born on this day in 1961 in Wichita, Kansas but he grew up in Bellevue, Washington. One of his first jobs was working as a producer and narrator of marketing videos. For a few years he served as host of the Ernst Home and Garden Show, a local Seattle program but he made it to the big time in 2000 hosting the first season of Survivor and 18 years later, he is still hosting it. In fact, he was won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Host for a Reality or Reality-Competition Program four times from 2008-2011. In addition to Survivor, he hosted The Jeff Probst Show, a syndicated daily talk show from 2012 to 2013. A little known fact is that Probst became an ordained minister by the Universal Life Church Monastery a year before so that he could remarry his parents celebrating their 35th wedding anniversary. He also officiated the marriage of actress Jen Fischer to sceenwriter Lee Kirk in 2010. He himself has been married to Lisa Ann Russell since 2011.

(James Ritty)
The First Cash Register is Invented
James Jabob Ritty opened his first saloon in Dayton, Ohio in 1871 and billed himself as a “dealer in pure whiskies, fine wines and cigars.” While his business was successful, Ritty discovered that some of his employees were pocketing customer’s money instead of depositing the cash. For years he struggled to find a way to better record his cash transactions. While on a steamship trip to Europe in 1878, Ritty was fascinated with a mechanism that counted how many times the ship’s propeller made a full circle. When he got home, he and his brother began working on the first cash register and on this day in 1879 the device was patented as “Ritty’s Incorruptible Cashier.” Soon, the pair opened a small factory manufacturing cash registers but kept the saloon open as well. The second business wasn’t as successful and created too much stress for the Rittys. The brothers sold the second business to a group of investors who created the National Manufacturing Company which was renamed The National Cash Register Company in 1884 and today is better known as NCR.

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