BASIC20201202

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ONE YEAR OLDER _ Dan Butler (Bulldog on Frasier) is 66. Brendan Coyle (Downton Abbey) is 57. Lucy Liu is 52. Rena Sofer (24, Just Shoot Me) is 52. Joe Lo Truglio (Brooklyn Nine-Nine) is 50. Britney Spears is 39.

SPECIAL EVENTS _ International Day for the Abolition of Slavery Day. Special Education Day. Fritters Day.

LOTS OF ADULTS STILL DON’T WASH THEIR HANDS _ Despite the ongoing pandemic, a new study finds a quarter of adults don’t wash their hands after coughing and 16 percent will even sneeze while covering their mouths without sanitizing afterwards. Incredibly, a third of adults admitted the increase in COVID-19 cases had no bearing on how important they thought it was to wash more regularly. In fact, while the average person spent 19 seconds soaping their hands in July following the first wave, this has now dropped to just 16 seconds.

.. The study found that the more diligent adults are washing and sanitizing their hands eight times a day — the same as at the beginning of the pandemic.

NEWS ATTACK! _ The Association for Pet Obesity says there’s an epidemic of overweight pets in America. [Not enough time running around in the backyard and too much time spent on the couch watching Animal Planet.]

COMMON THINGS YOU NEVER KNEW HAD EXTREMELY RANDOM NAMES _ You only need a nurdle on your toothbrush. A nurdle is a tiny dab of toothpaste. Some other common things with random names:

• Zarf: the cardboard sleeve on a coffee cup.
• Tittle: the dot over an “i” or a “j.”
• Paresthesia: that “pins and needles” feeling.

ALEXA DEVELOPER’S APP TO TRANSLATE CAT’S MEOW _ An app that aims to translate your cat’s meow has been developed by a former Amazon Alexa engineer. MeowTalk records the sound and then attempts to identify the meaning. The cat’s owner also helps to label the translation, creating a database for the AI software to learn from. Currently, there are only 13 phrases in the app’s vocabulary including “feed me!”, “I’m angry”, and “leave me alone”. Research suggests that, unlike their human servants, cats do not share a language. Each cat’s meow is unique and tailored to its owner, with some more vocal than others. So, instead of a generic database for cat sounds, the app’s translation differs with each individual profile.

… The app is available free on both Google Play Store and Apple’s App Store.

NEW CHRISTMAS SPECIAL _ If you’re struggling to get into the Christmas spirit, Carrie Underwood’s new HBO Max Christmas will be available to stream beginning Thursday. On Monday HBO Max released a new trailer, giving fans a sneak peek at the My Gift: A Christmas Special. • VIDEO

WOMAN DISCOVERS LOTTERY ‘SCAM’ IS A REAL $150,000 JACKPOT _ An Australian woman who won a lottery jackpot of nearly $150,000 said she was unaware of her win for 10 days because she thought the emails from lottery officials were “scams.” It wasn’t until she received a letter in the mail that she decided to check her online lottery account. The woman discovered she had won a jackpot of $146,879. She says most will go toward her and her husband’s retirement.

BAD POETRY _ I wrote this last night…

If your stomach is starting to churn
And your vision is getting murky
Maybe it’s time to open the fridge
And toss out that leftover turkey.

WACKY-BUT-TRUE: TEEN ORCHESTRATES FAKE KIDNAPPING FOR iPHONE _ In China the parents of a 16-year-old reported what they thought was her kidnapping after she had gone missing. The shaken parents said the alleged kidnapper had sent a text to the girl’s cousin demanding $7,820 and an iPhone as ransom. But police became suspicious when the cousin received another text message pushing for the iPhone but reducing the cash demand to $75. Officers arranged a meeting place with the alleged kidnappers but were instead met by the 16-year-old, who admitted she that she orchestrated the hoax because her parents would not buy her an iPhone.