If it's Friday, it's time to crack open the ol' allDAY Mailbag to answer questions from you, our attentive viewers/readers. If you have a question you'd like to see answered in the Mailbag in a future edition, send it HERE.
On to the emails...these are actual questions from actual viewers:
Would you mind sharing the designer? I have had trouble finding some I like.
Monday was my birthday so this info can be your present!!!
Mary Ellis Gabriel
Lexington, South Carolina
A: In case you missed it on Monday, Meredith forgot her contact lenses at home on Monday, prompting her to unveil a new bespectacled look on the show. I talked to her afterwards, and she told me that her glasses are by Paul Smith. She was surprised to learn that Mr. Smith is a famed British fashion designer -- she had no idea how fashionable she was!
Q: I read the article about Linny, but whatever happened to the other guy who resembled Einstein? I am an avid watcher, but maybe I missed an episode or two and missed it.
A: The man we called "Einstein," also known as Manny, unfortunately passed away in September. Like Linny, he had been a fixture out on the plaza for years, and he has been missed.
Q: What was that book a couple of months back that Matt interviewed the author on? It was something like 'how long would it take for nature to reclaim...' and there were all kinds of things like the pyramids, the Chunnel, NYC etc..? I want to give it as a Xmas gift and can't remember the title or author.
A: The book is The World Without Us by Alan Weisman. If you want to read my Q&A with him or see video of Matt's interview with him, click HERE.
On a semi-related note, I recently finished reading Cormac McCarthy's latest novel, The Road, which reminded me a bit of Weisman's work. The Road is a post-apocalyptic vision of the country after an unnamed calamity has destroyed almost all life on the planet, leaving a few humans to struggle to survive.
McCarthy's story focuses on a father and son who walk south, hoping to find the sea -- and salvation -- at the end of their journey. It's almost unbearably heartbreaking and grim, but it's also compelling and surprisingly uplifting.
If you have the stomach for bleakness, I recommend it. But don't take it from me -- it won the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for fiction, for crying out loud.
Q: I saw the segment about the 5 phone numbers that could change your life. I can't seem to find it today on the website. Would it be possible to post those numbers again? Thanks.
A: Sure, Ray. On Tuesday, we had a segment called "5 Phone Numbers You've Never Heard of That Will Change Your Life." Rolls off the tongue, right? We're big on pithy segment titles around here.
In any case, here's a rundown of the the five phone numbers:
1. Congestion Relief -- 866-MY-TRAFC -- You identify the city and road you're on, and the service tells you if there's traffic nearby.
2. Answering Questions -- 334-844-4244 -- If you've got a question about anything, call the "Foy Information Line," and a student at Auburn University will give you an answer, 24 hours a day.
3. Hot Hot Line -- 415-989-SFSI -- If you have questions about sex, you can call the San Francisco Sex Information help line for advice. Keep in mind, this is not a phone sex line.
4. Quittin' Time -- 800-QUIT-NOW -- If you're trying to quit smoking, you can call a counselor at this number for help.
5. Golden Oldie -- 866-411-SONG -- If you're dying to know the title and artist of a song, call this number, put the phone up to the speaker for 15 seconds, and the service will identify the song for you via text message. The call and the first text are free, subsequent texts cost 99 cents.