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This is day 296 of 2014. There are 69 days remaining.
• Actor-musician Dwight Yoakam is 58
• News personality Nancy Grace is 56
• Weird Al Yankovic is 55
• So You Think You Can Dance host Cat Deeley is 38
• Ryan Reynolds is 38
• Jessica Stroup (90210) is 28.
IT HAPPENED TODAY
• 1915: Some 25,000 women marched in New York City demanding the right to vote.
• 1925: Comedian and talk show host Johnny Carson was born in Corning, Iowa.
• 1958: The Smurfs appeared for the first time.
• 1998: A Danish man said goodbye to his 86-year-old father by taking his corpse for a motorcycle ride, and stopping at a bar for a beer and a cigar. Flemming Pedersen asked to be left alone with his dad, dressed the corpse in leather, a helmet, boots, and dark glasses, strapped it to his Harley-Davidson, and rode around Copenhagen for three hours to his father’s favorite places. He said he felt good about the ride.
• 2001: Apple unveiled the iPod. It officially went on sale on November 10, 2001, for $399.
• 2002: Gunmen seized a crowded Moscow theater, taking hundreds hostage and threatening to kill them unless the Russian army pulled out of Chechnya.
• 2006: Former Enron CEO Jeffrey Skilling was sentenced by a federal judge in Houston to 24 years, four months for his role in the company’s collapse.
• 2005: Near Carlisle, Pennsylvania, Elizabeth Laatsch called police to report that a deer in her yard had a pumpkin stuck on its head. It turned out the deer had a large brown or gold plastic ball stuck on its head, a lawn ornament or possibly a Halloween decoration.
• It’s TV Talk Show Host Day.
• Today is Boston Cream Pie Day.
• NBA season begins: October 28
• Halloween: October 31
• Daylight Saving Time ends: November 2
• Veteran’s Day: November 11
• Final NASCAR race of Sprint Cup season (Ford EcoBoost 400): November 16
• Thanksgiving (U.S.): November 27
• Black Friday: November 28
• Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day: December 7
• Chanukah/Hanukkah (first day): December 17
600: Cows needed to make one full season’s worth of NFL footballs.
Dr. Oz once touted green coffee bean extract as a miracle weight loss supplement, but now the science behind that study has been completely discredited. [Which has led to doubt now also being cast on Dr. Oz’s easy-to-make flu-fighting french fries.]
ISIS claims that it got one of the arms packages the US was trying to send to the Kurds. [ISIS is ecstatic. The Kurds are disappointed. And the US is suing FedEx.]
The leader of a Mexican drug cartel made his first appearance in court this week after he was picked up by US authorities when he made a shopping trip to Texas despite outstanding arrest warrants. [Well, it’s not that easy to say no to a 2-for-1 sale at Men’s Wearhouse.]
The Mormons are using the Internet to officially explain to outsiders for the first time the secret of their holy undergarments. [One word: Downey.]
In response to an online petition, Toys ‘R’ Us has removed its Breaking Bad action figures. [Along with its US Congress inaction figures.]
In response to an online petition, Toys ‘R’ Us has removed its Breaking Bad action figures. [But they’re still selling Game of Thrones lawn dart sets.]
The government announced that next year there will be an increase in seniors’ monthly Social Security checks. [That sound you hear is shouting and cheering up and down the hallways of 60 Minutes.]
The FBI says that three Denver-area teenage girls tried to join ISIS. [But the “no makeup” rule was a real deal breaker.]
Have you seen that X-ray of the man in China with a bottle up his hoo-ha? [Everybody wants to know how he got a whole bottle up there. I’d like to know how he got that ship into the bottle.]
MORE THAN 3 MILLION VEHICLES TO AIR BAG RECALL _ The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has once again changed the number of cars included in a massive and urgent recall over an inflator defect in air bags made by the Japanese company Takata. Initially, 4.7 million vehicles were recalled, but in a list released on Wednesday, NHTSA added 3.1 million additional vehicles. » list of cars
CASH REGISTER RECEIPTS MAY BE A SOURCE OF BPA _ There’s no longer much doubt that the chemical bisphenol A (BPA) poses some health risks, both physically and behaviorally. It’s been linked to cancer, diabetes, reproductive problems, and behavioral problems in children. The chemical has been banned in sippy cups and bottles, and advocates have petitioned for its ban in adult products, too. The problem is that it seems to be everywhere: In plastic bottles, the lining of tin cans, in dental fillings, and in cash register receipt paper. And this last source was the main interest of a new study (in the journal PLOS ONE). The study’s authors tested people’s BPA levels before and after they’d handled receipt paper — and eaten with BPA-contaminated fingers — and were a little alarmed by what they found: that large amounts of BPA can be transferred to your hands and then to the food you hold and eat as well as be absorbed through your skin.
CALORIE LISTINGS DON’T MOTIVATE BETTER EATING _ When it comes to making healthy food and beverage choices, a new study shows that people are better off knowing both the number of calories they’re consuming and the amount of exercise it would take to burn them off. In the study when a sign next to a soda read “250 calories, or five miles of walking,” consumers were more likely to leave the soft drink on the shelf than if only the calories were posted.
COLLEGE SCHOLARSHIP FOR VIDEO GAMERS NOW AVAILABLE _ Do you have a child that is addicted to playing video games? If you’re worried about their future, there is a college scholarship program for video gamers. Huffington Post did a story on Youngbin Chung, a young man from the San Francisco area who spent an average of ten hours a day along in his room playing video games. Chung’s grades were scraping the bottom of the barrel, and his parents were beside themselves. However, skip ahead a few years, and now, at the age of 20, Chung is attending Robert Morris University, a small private college in Chicago, where he is studying computer networking. He is one of 35 other students at this university that are attending on a $15,000 per year athletic scholarship for playing “League of Legends” — the very video game that threatened Chung’s high school graduation. The $15,000 scholarship covers up to half off tuition and half off room and board. Robert Morris University is the first in the United States to offer a scholarship program for video gamers — and it’s under the athletic program as e-sports.
… In professional leagues, players compete for millions of dollars in prizes and pull in six-figure incomes for vanquishing their enemies in what have become huge spectator events packing tens of thousands into sports stadiums around the world.
PURPLE HEART FOUND ON PLAYGROUND TO BE RETURNED _ A Purple Heart medal posthumously awarded to a New York soldier killed in Vietnam is being returned to his family about two decades after it was found on a school playground. Purple Hearts Reunited says Pfc. Thomas McGraw’s medal will be presented to his widow and daughter November 4 during a ceremony in Manlius, New York. McGraw was killed in an ambush in February 1966 while serving with the Army’s 1st Cavalry Division. The Purple Heart disappeared and turned up in the early 1990s, when a student found it outside a suburban Syracuse elementary school. In January, the mother of the boy who found the medal contacted Purple Hearts Reunited, which tracked down McGraw’s wife and their daughter.
SINGING NUN COVERS MADONNA’S LIKE A VIRGIN _ A singing nun who won the Italian version of the The Voice has released a cover of Madonna’s Like a Virgin for her debut single. 26-year-old Sister Cristina Scuccia says she chose the song herself and has no desire to provoke or scandalize. Sister says the song is “about the ability of love to make people new. To redeem them from their past. And that’s how I wanted to interpret it.” Her video has picked up over a million views on YouTube. Video
COLORADO BOY NEEDS HELP FINDING THE BEST SHIRT EVER _ 12-year-old Joe Archibold is hunting for a specific polo shirt. The Longmont, Colorado, boy has a little less than a year to find it, and he needs our help. It has blue, white and gray stripes and a blue collar, and it’s pretty much the best shirt ever. Joe has the same shirt in size small and medium. He needs a large, to be able to keep intact his now five-year tradition. Joe has worn the same shirt for every school picture since second grade. Joe is in middle school and the medium is getting too tight. Though he only recently took sixth-grade school pictures, he’s already worried about next year. The small and medium shirts were both passed down from his cousin many years ago. So not only are the shirts a full cousin-rotation old and, therefore no longer on the racks, but Joe also isn’t exactly sure about their brand or where they came from. He thinks it was the Sonoma brand from Kohl’s. So Joe and his family have taken to social media in search for the mystery awesome shirt in size large.
… UPDATE: Angela Houchin of Fort Collins, Colorado, saw a story about Joe’s hunt and jumped out of her chair. She has two sons a few years older than Joe and when she checked her older son’s closet, sure enough she found the shirt. It’s an extra-large, so Joe’s safe for a few more years of growing. » see the shirt
… Joe is starting a tradition similar to retired teacher Dale Irby’s. In every school picture for the past 40 years, Dale wore the same 1970s-era polyester shirt and coffee-colored sweater. It began as an accident. He wore the shirt and sweater for school photos two years in a row. His wife dared him to do it a third year — and the tradition was started. Irby retired from teaching last y ear, 40 years after he started wearing the polyester shirt and coffee-colored sweater.
COUPLE MARRIED FOR 73 YEARS DIES JUST 28 HOURS APART _ Helen and Joe Auer’s love was so strong, not even the finality of death could keep them apart. On October 15, Helen passed away peacefully in her Cincinnati home at the age of 94. It was Joe, her husband of 73 years, who found Helen. He walked up to his departed wife, gave her a quick kiss and told her, “Helen, call me home.” Less than two days later, that call came. At the age of 100, Joe passed away a short 28 hours after Helen died, but the couple’s family says those were some of the longest hours of Joe’s life. In their 73 years together, the Auers’ relationship outlasted the Depression and World War II, in which Joe spent over three years fighting. During Joe’s deployment, Helen welcomed the pair’s second child, and she sent her husband a photo of herself with their two kids. Joe carried that photo through the war, and he continued to keep the worn picture in his wallet until the day he died. The couple welcomed 10 kids into the world over their long lives together, and they are survived by 9 of those children, along with 16 grandchildren, 29 great-grandchildren and one great-great grandchild.
THE SCIENTIST WHO THOUGHT THAT BIRDS MIGRATE TO THE MOON _ Where do birds go in the winter? South, of course. But centuries ago there were all kinds of theories. One of the more bizarre was that of English minister and scientist Charles Morton, who in the 17th century wrote a surprisingly well-reasoned paper claiming birds migrate to the moon and back every year. And Morton was even aware of how epic this journey would be. He estimated the one-way trip to be 179,712 miles (he wasn’t so far off — the moon varies between 226,000 miles and 252,000 miles away), and reckoned it would take the birds 60 days to reach our satellite flying at 125 mph.
HUMAN ASHES TO BE SHOT WITH FIREWORKS _ When families decide on cremation for themselves or a loved one after death, there is always another decision: What should you do with the cremains? On Saturday night, Greenlawn Funeral Homes in Springfield, Missouri, will present its new Firework Memorial program, a partnership with AM Pyrotechnics in which fireworks are manufactured with cremated remains. Basically, ashes are fired into the air with the explosives. Jason Diemer, vice president of Greenlawn Funeral Homes, came up with the idea about a year ago. Diemer and his team contacted Aaron Mayfield, owner of AM Pyrotechnics, a fireworks manufacturing business just north of Springfield. Mayfield, it turned out, had already been creating fireworks memorials for individual clients. Treating the remains with respect and reverence, they incorporate the ashes into a rather large fireworks aerial shell. It explodes with a lot of beauty and covers a lot of the sky, the size of a football field. It spreads the cremated remains into the sky and the particles are taken into the wind. The Fireworks Memorials range from a $300 “Sensational Celebration” to the “Ultimate Goodbye,” costing between $8,000 and $10,000.
STATUE OF LIBERTY TO BE TURNED INTO GIANT ADVERTISING MODEL _ Lady Liberty. The guardian of our shores. The protector of America. She looks down upon capitalism but does not let herself be defiled by it. Until now. According to the blog Gothamist, the genius thinkers behind Joe Boxer have gotten permission from the FAA and the National Parks Service to fly giant bow ties from helicopters in front of Lady Liberty on October 31 as part of an advertising stunt. She’ll be sporting an array of massive bow ties in order to “showcase the brand’s signature style with vivid colors and off-beat patterns.”
- Actual size of bow ties being flown is 30ft tall by 60ft wide
- Speed the bow ties will be flying is 35-40mph
- Distance from statue the bow ties will pass is 500ft.
- Total length of entire setup from helicopters nose to bow ties tail is 650ft.
- Altitude bow ties will be over the water is 300-500ft.
- Flight plan for bow ties will cover the Statue of Liberty passes and then up the Hudson River
- Material used for bow tie construction is a half-ounce coated nylon
- Total weight of each bow tie is 35 pounds
WACKY-BUT-TRUE: UNCLE ACCUSED OF STABBING NEPHEW OVER PORK CHOP _ Food fights can be messy fun. Or they can be violent and bloody. Like the one in Florida. Police arrested Billy Wall for stabbing his nephew. The two were apparently arguing over how many pork chops each person would get to eat.
WACKY-BUT-TRUE: 500-POUND MAN TOO LARGE TO FIT IN PATROL CAR _ A 500-pound man who was too large to fit in the back of a Florida (Volusia County) sheriff’s deputy’s patrol car resisted arrest by sitting down and challenging deputies to move him. Deputies dragged Howard Hendri to the patrol car but added that he was “too large to put in a patrol vehicle.” He was eventually transported to jail, but it’s not known how this was accomplished.
WACKY-BUT-TRUE: BEAR CUB TAKES A STROLL THROUGH OREGON DRUG STORE _ A one-month old bear cub surprised shoppers as he strolled through a Rite Aid pharmacy in Oregon. He started in a local motel before hopping through the window, crossing the street and entering the Rite Aid. Customers took video and pictures on their phones before police scooped the little bear into a shopping basket. The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife took the cub to a rehab center or zoo.
WACKY-BUT-TRUE: HIPPIE IN A BUS IN PARKING LOT ENDS STAND-OFF WITH POLICE _ Corbin Pratt bought a school bus in Northern California, where he grew medical marijuana. He left because the scene got “too cutthroat” and drove it the whole way to Maine, where he grew to love Portland. But when he learned that police planned to tow Corbin’s bus from a Target parking lot the 29-year-old ran back on board and hid beneath his mattress, leading to a three-hour stand-off. Officers didn’t think Pratt had any guns, but couldn’t be sure. He eventually surrendered and was charged with criminal trespassing.
WACKY-BUT-TRUE: THIEF, VICTIM CROSS PATHS AT BANK TELLER WINDOW _ In China a man stepped up to a bank teller window to report the theft of books of checks. After taking down his information the man stepped away from the teller window and another man took his place. He was there to cash some checks — the same checks that had just been reported stolen. Police were called to detain the suspect after the victim and bank employees subdued him and activated the security doors.
WACKY-BUT-TRUE: MAN FAKES BEING IN A COMA FOR TWO YEARS _ A British fraudster claimed he was a quadriplegic and faked being in a coma for two years to escape prosecution for a $73,000 theft. Alan Knight was finally caught when doctors spotted him eating, wiping his face and even writing. Further investigations uncovered surveillance video footage of Knight pushing a shopping cart around a supermarket and driving. It’s alleged he fabricated the injury to avoid punishment after conning an elderly neighbor out of their savings. The father-of-three’s wife kept up the act by tending to her “vegetative” husband.
WACKY-BUT-TRUE: MAN ACCIDENTALLY TEXTS PROBATION OFFICER IN POT DEAL _ A Georgia (Albany) man is going back to to prison, after he texted his probation officer while looking to buy marijuana.
WACKY-BUT-TRUE: WOMAN DUMPED BY BOYFRIEND SPENDS ENTIRE WEEK IN KFC _ After being dumped by her boyfriend, a 26-year-old woman in China was walking around a train station near her house when she decided to stop at KFC for a little bit of comfort food. But her stay at the fast food restaurant was a little longer than the average visit. Claiming she needed time to think, the broken-hearted woman stayed at the KFC in the train station for a week. She didn’t leave, not even to go to work. She called in sick for the week in order to stay at KFC. She told employees that she didn’t want to go back to her apartment because it was filled with memories of her ex-boyfriend. The employees let her stay because she was a paying customer. However, after a week of eating nothing but Kentucky Fried Chicken, the woman decided it would be best to spend the rest of her post breakup phase at her parents house.
THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL (8p ET, CBS) — The Denver Broncos host the San Diego Chargers.
GREY’S ANATOMY (8p ET, ABC) — Geena Davis and Kelly McCreary (Dr. Emily Owens, MD) guest star in this new episode.
BONES (8p ET, FOX) — Repeat
THE BIGGEST LOSER (8p ET, NBC) — New
THE VAMPIRE DIARIES (8p ET, CW) — New
SCANDAL (9p ET, ABC) — Sonya Walger (Lost) and Jasika Nicole (Fringe) guest star in this new episode.
BAD JUDGE (9p ET, NBC) — New
GRACEPOINT (9p ET, FOX) — New
REIGN (9p ET, CW) — New
SEASON FINALE: PROJECT RUNWAY (9p ET, Lifetime) — The finalists present their collections at New York Fashion Week as Amanda, Sean, Kini or Char will be named the winner.
A TO Z (9:30p ET, NBC) — New
HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER (10p ET, ABC) — New
PARENTHOOD (10p ET, NBC) — New
SHARK TANK SPIN-OFF SHOW _ A Shark Tank spin-off show has been ordered by ABC. Called Beyond the Tank, the new show will provide much more in-depth follow-ups.
JENNIFER ANISTON REPORTEDLY DUMPED _ Jennifer Aniston is reportedly a single woman again, with sources saying that Justin Theroux broke up with her just hours before their planned wedding in favor of a younger woman. Riiight. The source is In Touch Magazine, which claims that Jennifer and Justin has split up for good. The report went on to imply that Jen’s biological clock was ticking, adding to the tension between the couple.
BEWITCHED SPINOFF MIGHT BE COMING TO NBC _ NBC has given a pilot commitment for a potential new sitcom that would focus on a character named Daphne, the daughter of Tabitha and granddaughter of Samantha Stephens from classic sitcom Bewitched. The original Bewitched sitcom, headlined by Elizabeth Montgomery, aired on ABC from 1964-72. And spin-off series Tabitha, starring Lisa Hartman, ran for 11 episodes on ABC in the 1977-78 season. Bewitched theme
HITCH TV REMAKE IN THE WORKS _ Fox television is developing a half-hour comedy based on the Will Smith movie Hitch.
BRYAN SINGER HAVING A BABY WITH HIS BEST FRIEND _ Bryan Singer, director of the X-Men movies and Superman Returns, is having a baby with his longtime friend, Michelle Clunie. Early reports stated that Bryan Singer paid Michelle $1 million to have the baby as a surrogate. However, a recent report from TMZ confirms that Bryan Singer will raise his baby with Clunie. According to TMZ, Michelle will officially be listed as the child’s mother on the birth certificate and will raise the child as her own. Inside sources state that Bryan Singer and Michelle Clunie are not romantically involved, but have been close friends for 25 years. Contrary to earlier reports, Bryan Singer is not paying Michelle Clunie anything for carrying their child. However, the 49-year old film director “will cover living expenses” as informal child support. It is true that Bryan Singer purchased a home for Michelle and his unborn child several doors away from his own home in West Hollywood.
THE AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON TRAILER LEAKS ONLINE _ Marvel and Disney’s first trailer for The Avengers: Age of Ultron leaked online Tuesday. The clip, which features never-before-seen footage including scenes with the villainous Ultron, played by James Spader, was expected to debut during next week’s Agents of SHIELD on ABC. Directed by Joss Whedon, The Avengers sequel hits theaters May 1, 2015. Trailer
ELIZABETH VARGAS RETURNING TO WORK AFTER REHAB _ After seeking treatment for alcohol dependency in August, Elizabeth Vargas is returning to her job at ABC. The mom of two will return as 20/20 co-anchor. Her first report, showing her working with a genealogy expert to help find lost loved ones, is scheduled to air at the beginning of November.
LADY GAGA BUYS $23 MILLION MALIBU MANSION WITH A BATCAVE _ Lady Gaga has dropped a crazy $23 million on a Malibu mega-mansion. The home features a massive 800-bottle wine cellar, home theater, saltwater swimming pool, and a subterranean “batcave.” The batcave can be accessed through a not-so-secret passageway in the living room — and in reality, the “cave” is a tricked-out recreational space with a 1960s-style bowling alley and basketball free-throw machines.
STEVE COOGAN TO REPLACE PHILIP SEYMOUR HOFFMAN IN ‘HAPPYISH’ PILOT _ British actor and writer Steve Coogan will star in the half-hour Showtime comedy pilot Happyish. Coogan replaces Philip Seymour Hoffman, who was originally cast, but died last February of a heroin overdose at the age of 46. The pilot for Happyish will be filmed with Coogan in the lead role in New York this December. The cable network describes the program as “a comedic, soul-searching examination of our pursuit of happiness, a pursuit that might just be the very thing causing our unhappiness in the first place.” Coogan will play Thom Payne, a 44-year-old man “whose world is thrown into disarray when his 25-year-old ‘wunderkind’ boss arrives, saying things like ‘digital,’ ‘social’ and ‘viral.’ Is he in need of a ‘rebranding,’ as his mentor insists, or does he just have a ‘low joy ceiling,’ as his corporate headhunter suggests? Maybe pursuing happiness is a fool’s errand? Maybe, after 44 years on this ludicrous planet, settling for happyish is the best one can expect.”
WHY DID YOU NEED STITCHES? Who just got stitches: you? A co-worker? Ask your listeners how they got their stitches and use these real calls to help with the phones. » download
WHAT KIDS WILL BE FOR HALLOWEEN Here are a handful of kids talking about what they’re going to be for Halloween. Good quality and real cute. » download
HALLOWEEN DROPS A big package of Halloween-related TV and movie drops. » download
BLACK FRIDAY STARTING ON THANKSGIVING Macy’s and Toys R Us will open just as some will be sitting down for Thanksgiving dinner. Launch a phoner with these real calls. » download
BLACK FRIDAY FIGHTS (From the archive) Ever witness a good Black Friday fight? One real call to launch a phoner. » download
SPOOKY MUSIC Need some spooky music? We found a bunch on YouTube.
BRIAN WILLIAMS BLEEPED On October 13 Brian Williams read an apology statement from NBC’s medical correspondent, Dr. Nancy Schneiderman, who left voluntary Ebola quarantine. It sounds way better when bleeped. » download
WHAT DO YOU MISS BEFORE THE INTERNET? What do you miss before the Internet? Here’s one I hadn’t thought of: a friend of mine who’s a great cook says they miss cookbooks. She still has some it’s just easier to go online for recipes. What do you miss from before the Internet? Some real calls to help launch the phones » download
ANIMAL ENCOUNTERS. In my garage this morning, staring at me through the dark, was a possum. They are the creepiest animals, aren’t they? What’s your animal encounter story? Two real calls to jumpstart the phones. » download
JIMMINY CRICKETS! A female caller exclaims, “Jimminy crickets, that’s great!” » download
RULES FOR TEXTING. I’d like to have a law or rule that when you’re out with your kid your attention should be on him or her. For 30 minutes I saw a mom on her smartphone while her little guy, maybe 4, ran around a coffee shop trying to entertain himself. Every minute or so he’d come back to his mom and ask a question but her iPhone kept winning. What are your rules for texting? Two calls to jumpstart the phones. » download
WHAT DID YOUR PET EAT? We all have those stories of the dog slamming an entire pizza, or a drawer of socks. Share your personal story then open the phones. » download
FILL IN THE BLANK: YOU’RE NEVER TOO OLD TO… This one’s good to launch on Facebook. Simply post: “Fill in the blank: You’re never to old to ____.” Then use the best responses plus these quick calls to get more calls. Three calls to jumpstart the phones. » download
“We were talking about this stuff one year ago…”
• REFLECTIVE SAFETY VESTS FOR URBAN CHICKENS – Chicken-keeping has become more and more popular in urban and suburban areas. But what happens when your chickens wander outside of the confines of their coop and your lawn and encounter traffic? Don’t worry: neon safety vests for chickens are now available.
• MAN LOSES WEIGHT BY DRINKING BEER AND EATING SAUSAGES – Evo Terro managed to lose weight by doing what many men love to do — drink beer and eat sausages. Inspired by the yearly Oktoberfest celebrations, the Arizona man used the diet to lose weight for three years, drinking up to six beers a day, consuming 15,000 calories per week (about 2,100 calories a day). Last year, Terro even managed to lose up to 14 pounds.
• THE WORLD’S LARGEST JIGSAW PUZZLE _ The world’s largest commercially available jigsaw puzzle went on sale — and it has 24,000 pieces.
• ALMOST 11% OF TEXTS ARE DECEPTIVE _ We learned that about 11% of all text messages are deceptive. Researchers (Cornell University) examined over 5,000 texts and found that 10.7% of them are used to tell people we’re some place we’re not.
• SEND YOUR STUFFED ANIMAL ON VACATION _ A travel company began offering vacations for stuffed toys. Owners pay between $20 and $55. The owners of the stuffed animals say they live vicariously through them and when they see the cuddly toys jetting off to luxurious places they feel as if they’re also traveling.
• MAN KIDNAPS WOMAN, MAKES HER IRON _ A guy in Italy man was arrested on suspicion of kidnapping his ex-girlfriend. The man dragged the woman out of the pub, shoved her into a car and took her to his home — where he made her iron and wash dishes.
Retiring Oklahoma senator Tom Coburn has released his final annual Wastebook, highlighting 100 of the most outlandish government expenditures this year, adding up to $25 billion in federal spending. Here are a few:
Synchronized Swimming for Sea Monkeys ($307,524)
With the financial support of three government agencies, researchers put the old cartoon-style ads to the test and essentially choreographed a laser guided synchronized swim team of Sea Monkeys as part of a study to measure the swirl created by their collective movements. Researchers reported that the collective swimming motion of Sea-Monkeys and other zooplankton — swimming plankton — can generate enough swirling flow to potentially influence the circulation of water in oceans. Pretty interesting, but a similar study was conducted in 2009.
Swedish Massages for Rascally Rabbits ($387,000)
A group of rabbits received daily rub downs from a ‘mechanical device that simulates the long, flowing strokes used in Swedish massages.’ The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine of the National Institutes of Health provided $387,000 for the two year project. The massages were given after subjecting the rabbits to exercise to measure its impact on recovery. The lucky bunnies received massages four times a day that lasted 30 minutes immediately following exercise. These rabbits not only got the most massages, they also recovered quicker from the exercises.
Voicemails From the Future Warn of Post Apocalyptic World ($5.2 million)
This was funded by the National Science Foundation in a grant to Columbia University given. They developed an interactive game to spur climate change activism. FutureCoast is a ‘collaborative game’ set in an alternative world where fictional voicemails have been transported back in time – cased in pieces of circular plastic called ‘chronofacts’ — allowing people to listen in on what earthlings from the future say about the climate.”
DOD Pays 16 Times the Going Price for Helicopter Parts ($9 million)
The Department of Defense (DOD) spent more than $8,000 on helicopter gears that cost under $500. Bell Helicopter received more than $9 million in excess payments from the military for 33 of 35 replacement spare parts reviewed.
Subsidies for Sports Stadiums Leave Taxpayers Holding the Bill ($146 million)
Through the use of municipal bonds, state and local governments are able to finance the building of multi-million dollar sporting arenas to support their favorite local team and wealthy franchise owners. The interest earned by investors on these bonds is not subject to federal income tax, resulting in hundreds of millions of dollars in lost federal revenue. The only loser in this game is the taxpayer. This tax preference for the pros costs the government $146 million in lost revenue every year, in tax exemptions on interest from government bonds for sporting facilities.
Navy Sends Hundreds of Magazines to Congress to Promote Green Initiatives ($72,000)
Currents magazine is the Navy’s flagship, quarterly publication showcasing its commitment to environmental stewardship and progress toward meeting its energy goals. Yet for all its efforts to showcase itself as the ‘Great Green Fleet,’ the Navy still mails out 9,500 hard copies of the magazine every quarter, including 535 to each member of Congress, at a cost of an additional $72,000 a year over the $260,000 it takes the staff of four contractors and federal employees to develop the content.
Paid Vacations for Bureaucrats Gone Wild ($19 million)
Rather than disciplining employees who are underperforming or even engaging in criminal mischief, federal bureaucrats place troublesome employees on ‘administrative leave,’ where they continue to get paid but are essentially relieved of their duties including having to report to work or do work. In 2014, eleven federal agencies spent at least $50 million paying the salaries of government employees on administrative leave status, one-third of which was for disciplinary reasons.
TRIVIA: The average American consumes 3 pounds of this a week. (Sugar)
TRIVIA: By the time a person is 65 years old, he’s seen about 2 million of these. (TV commercials)
FACT OR FICTION
I’ve got some interesting facts here… or are they fiction? You tell me after each one:
• Sea otters hold hands when they sleep so they don’t drift apart. (FACT)
• Between 1900 and 1920, Tug of War was an Olympic event. (FACT)
• Google was originally named BackTrack. (FICTION. It was originally called BackRub.)
• After Thanksgiving, the second most popular day for serving turkey is Father’s Day. (FICTION)
• Before choosing the name Chiefs, ownership considered calling the NFL team the Kansas City Mules. (FACT)
• The most shoplifted food item in the U.S. is candy. (FACT)
A guy was in a bar late one night and after a couple of drinks realized he was the last person there, except for a man sleeping at one of the tables. The man said to the bartender, “Time to settle up my bill. I suppose you’ll want to be closing up soon.” The bartender said, “No, I’m going to stick around for awhile, and nodded toward the man sleeping on the table.” The guy says, “Why don’t you call the cops or his wife and send him home?” The bartender replies, “I would, but each time I wake him up he asks for the bill and pays it again.”
• 1980s Wendy’s training video.
• Ebola Deeply promises to provide non-alarmist news.
• Bad Lip Reading of The Walking Dead Season 4 (Part II)
• Dozens of movies cleverly tied together by a single basketball.
• A catchy pop song written with iOS 8’s predictive text.
• Somehow no one died in this rally crash.
• Here’s a toy you probably won’t see on one of those annual “hot toys for Christmas” lists.
• The world’s best app!
• It’s 1999. Steve Jobs demonstrates Wi-Fi and the crowd goes nuts.
• What goes through your mind when you show a funny video to a friend.
• The Urban Tricycle.
• Watch as a roomful of people condemn five innocent men.
• Innovative cup holder.
• 1974: CHARLIE RICH’s album There Won’t Be Anymore was certified gold.
• 1978: Mother Maybelle Carter died at the age of 68.
• 1985: MERLE WATSON died at age 36 in a tractor accident on his farm. The son of DOC WATSON, his name is behind the annual MerleFest event in North Carolina where acts such as MARTY STUART, PATTY LOVELESS and EMMYLOU HARRIS have performed over the years.
• 1992: Pure Country, the movie starring GEORGE STRAIT, premiered nationwide.
• 1992: JOHN ANDERSON’s album Seminole Wind was certified gold.
• 1996: TRACY LAWRENCE’s album Time Marches On was certified platinum.
• 1997: BARBARA MANDRELL gave her final performance at the Grand Ole Opry house before retiring from country music.
• 2007: LORRIE MORGAN filed for divorce from SAMMY KERSHAW.
• 2010: BLAKE SHELTON was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry.
• 2011: GARTH BROOKS sang The Dance at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis during a memorial for Indy driver Dan Wheldon. REBA McENTIRE sang Amazing Grace.
• 2011: BILLY RAY CYRUS tweeted a photo he said was a UFO.
DWIGHT YOAKAM is 58.
Big thanks to Mike Wheless for sharing the following cuts with us!
BRANTLEY GILBERT talks about getting back with his girlfriend and getting engaged. » download
BRANTLEY GILBERT talks about the wedding location. » download
FLORIDA GEORGIA LINE’s Anything Goes debuted at the top of the Billboard Top 200 and Country Albums charts (197,000 copies). JASON ALDEAN’s Old Boots, New Dirt is at No. 2 on both charts.
REBA MCENTIRE will headline a benefit concert for DAWN SEARS, a lung cancer patient who has been a member of THE TIME JUMPERS, of which VINCE GILL is a member. The concert will benefit lung cancer research at Vandlerbilt Medical Center in Nashville, where Dawn is a patient. The Time Jumpers and RIDERS IN THE SKY will also perform. The show will take place at The Depot Square in Gallatin, Tennessee, November 30.
TAYLOR SWIFT says 24-hour security is just a part of her life now. In fact, she hasn’t even taken a drive by herself in six years. Taylor explains the security is necessary “because just the sheer number of men we have in a file who have showed up at my house, showed up at my mom’s house, threatened to either kill me, kidnap me, or marry me. This is the strange and sad part of my life that I try not to think about. I try to be lighthearted about it, because I don’t ever want to be scared. I don’t want to be walking down the street scared. And when I have security, I don’t have to be scared.”
Even after getting hit with that beer can over the weekend, DUSTIN LYNCH kept the show going — for his grandmother. Dustin says she was sitting in a chair on stage and the band had just finished singing Happy Birthday to her when he was hit by the flying beer can. But it was a special night and he didn’t want to ruin it for grandma or the fans, so he kept performing even though he was bleeding.
GARTH BROOKS has broken his ticket sales threshold in North Carolina, surpassing the 56,528 tickets he sold in 1998. He’ll play Greensboro Colosseum November 19-23.
TRISHA YEARWOOD will appear on the November 19 issue of the series Nashville. She’ll present a Country Music Association Award.
TOBY KEITH is a huge supporter of the military and has spent countless hours entertaining the troops over the years on his various USO Tours. But would Toby still consider traveling to the Middle East with the current ISIS threat there? Toby’s answer: “They don’t scare me. The 11 years and 200 shows over there with those military cats, I tell you our guys do such a great job.”
JASON ALDEAN and Brittany Kerr are not eloping, despite a new tabloid report. Life & Style claims the newly engaged couple has plans to run off and get married without any fanfare because of their online haters. Jason’s rep says 100% not true.
LITTLE BIG TOWN performs this morning (Thursday) on ABC’s The View.
BLAKE SHELTON’s Neon Light has topped the Billboard 100 — a big jump from No. 19. The chart factors in radio airplay as well as album and digital song sales.
TAYLOR SWIFT covers the November issue of Esquire magazine. Inside she talks about how Nashville has served as a great training ground because she’s always been expected to work hard and do her best.
BUCKY COVINGTON’s favorite outdoor hobbies include dirt biking, hiking and boating.
This is day 297 of 2014. There are 68 days remaining.
• Former Rolling Stones bassist Bill Wyman is 78
• F. Murray Abraham is 75
• Kevin Kline is 67
• B.D. Wong (Oz, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit) is 54
• Rapper Drake is 28
IT HAPPENED TODAY
• 1861: The first transcontinental telegraph message was sent from California to President Abraham Lincoln.
• 1939: Nylon stockings were sold publicly for the first time, in Wilmington, Del.
• 1940: The 40-hour work week went into effect in the United States.
• 2001: The House passed a $100 billion economic stimulus package in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
• 2003: The era of supersonic jet travel came to an end as three British Airways Concordes landed at London’s Heathrow Airport.
• 2004: Ten people, including 4 family members of Rick Hendrick, were killed in a plane crash near Martinsville Speedway. The plane was owned by NASCAR team Hendrick Motorsports.
• 2005: Civil rights activist Rosa Parks died at age 92.
• 2006: A man tried to walk through the drive-through window at a Burger King in Salt Lake City, Utah, at around 9:30pm. When the restaurant staff told him they didn’t serve pedestrians at the window, the man beat on the glass and then stepped to a nearby pay phone in sight of the staff. The suspect then called police and made a bomb threat on the Burger King. He was found a few minutes later and was arrested.
• Today is Food Day.
• Today is Bologna Day.
• NBA season begins: October 28
• Halloween: October 31
• Daylight Saving Time ends: November 2
• Veteran’s Day: November 11
• Final NASCAR race of Sprint Cup season (Ford EcoBoost 400): November 16
• Thanksgiving (U.S.): November 27
• Black Friday: November 28
• Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day: December 7
• Chanukah/Hanukkah (first day): December 17
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 25
• Marion Ross (Happy Days) is 86. Nancy Cartwright (The Simpsons) is 57. Mark Miller of Sawyer Brown is 56. Craig Robinson (The Office) is 43. Katy Perry is 30.
• Today is Make A Difference Day.
• It’s National Forgiveness Day.
• It’s Pit Bull Awareness Day.
• Today is World Pasta Day.
• It’s Greasy Foods Day.
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 26
• Jaclyn Smith (Charlie’s Angels) is 69. Wheel of Fortune host Pat Sajak is 68. Dylan McDermott is 53. Keith Urban is 47. Writer-actor Seth McFarlane is 41.
• Today is Mother-in-Law Day.
• It’s Visit A Cemetery Day.
• It’s National Pumpkin Day.