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This is day 339 of 2014. There are 26 days remaining.
• Singer Little Richard is 82
• Brian Backer (Mark “Rat” Ratner in Fast Times at Ridgemont High) is 58
• Comedian Margaret Cho is 46
• Paula Patton (Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol) is 39
• Frankie Muniz (Malcolm in the Middle) is 29
• Ross Bagley (Nicky Banks on Fresh Prince of Bel-Air) is 26
IT HAPPENED TODAY
• 1766: In London, James Christie held his first sale.
• 1848: In a message before the U.S. Congress, US President James K. Polk confirmed that large amounts of gold had been discovered in California.
• 1968: Graham Nash quit the Hollies. Three day later, he announced the formation of Crosby, Stills and Nash.
• 1968: Aides to President Richard Nixon mailed out 66,000 letters signed by Nixon to potential administrative office holders. Among those receiving one was Elvis Presley.
• 1970: Judy Collins’ recording “Amazing Grace” entered the British music charts. It would exit and re-enter seven times in two years, totaling 67 weeks on the charts.
• 1992: The Denver Post quoted a Department of Energy memo showing that a vital safety system at the Rocky Flats nuclear weapons plant required 43 workers to change a light bulb.
• 2002: Actor Richard Gere won Plain English Campaign’s Foot in Mouth award in Britain for the year’s most baffling celebrity quote. Gere won the award after telling a Sunday newspaper: “I know who I am. No one else knows who I am. If I was a giraffe and somebody said I was a snake, I’d think ‘No, actually I am a giraffe.”
• 2005: A bi-partisan Sept. 11 commission said the U.S. remained vulnerable to terrorist strikes four years after the 2001 attacks with ”many obvious steps” not taken.
• 2008: OJ Simpson was sentenced to 33 years in prison for kidnapping and armed robbery.
• 2008: Human remains previously found in 1991 were finally identified by Russian and American scientists as those of Tsar Nicholas II.
• Today is Faux Fur Friday.
• It’s International Ninja Day.
• It’s National Salesperson Day.
• Today is Bartender Appreciation Day.
• It’s Bathtub Party Day.
• It’s Comfort Food Day.
• Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day: December 7
• Chanukah/Hanukkah (first day): December 17
• Christmas Day: December 25
• New Year’s Day: January 1
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 6
• Comedian Steven Wright is 59. Actress Janine Turner is 52. Director Judd Apatow is 47.
• Today is Microwave Oven Day; Miners’ Day; Pawnbrokers Day; St. Nicholas Day; Earmuff Day (or Chester Greenwood Day). Chester Greenwood (1858-1937) made his first pair of “ear protectors” when he was 15 years old. He was granted a patent in 1877.
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 7
• Ellen Burstyn is 82. Tom Waits is 65. Jeffrey Wright (Hunger Games: Mockingjay) is 49. Singer Sara Bareilles is 35. Singer Aaron Carter is 27.
• Today is Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day; Cotton Candy Day; Letter Writing Day.
4: Minutes the average married couple spends alone together each day.
They announced the start of filming on the next James Bond movie. [It’s going to be a bit different. In this one Bond kills a whole lot of guys, and sleeps with bunch of women.]
Health experts are advising us to take our flu shots, but admit that it may not be effective against the particular strain of flu that’s emerging as most prevalent this season. [Isn’t that like being at the North Pole before discovering that your bear gun only works against grizzlies?]
New research reveals that you can easily lose weight and improve overall health by restricting your eating to an 8-12 hour window. [Did they just give me the green light to eat nonstop for 12 hours?]
The California Medical Board has published its investigation of a doctor who removed the wrong kidney. [It’s a good thing for that doctor that my parents don’t sit on that board. Whenever I broke a kid’s toy I had to give him one of mine.]
Amazon and Procter and Gamble have teamed up to get people to spend money on their smartphones while in the public toilet. It’s called Sit, Shop, and Save. [If my wife can shop in the ladies room, will she ever come out?]
A group of employees at a Long Island mail processing center began rerouting any packages they suspected of having drugs, then selling them themselves. [Postal inspectors became suspicious when they noticed postal employees who actually seemed to be enjoying their jobs.]
Boeing completed a test flight of a passenger jet operating on a mixture of restaurant cooking grease. [Everything went well except for an abundance of 911 calls reporting unidentified flying french fries.]
A New York state appellate court has ruled that a chimpanzee does not have the same legal rights as a human. [No matter how well it plays Call of Duty.]
Google says that its working on a kid friendly version of its products. [Yeah, but when Chrome crashes you’re still gonna hear some rather adult words.]
TEEN LEARNS THAT CUTTING BOARDING LINE MEANS APOLOGIZING TO THE ENTIRE PLANE _ Learning how to conduct yourself as a responsible adult is something we all experience at certain times in life. One Texas high school lacrosse player was served a very valuable lesson recently about remaining considerate even during the often frustrating experience of boarding a plane. After the teen used Southwest Airlines’ first come, first served open seating boarding process to try and jump the line, his coaches made him pay for it in a very public manner. The high school junior was caught trying to skip the line to angle for a better seat while the team was flying to a lacrosse tournament. His coaches and the flight crew then decided the best punishment befitting his crime was to stand up in front of not only his teammates, but the entire plane full of people and apologize for being so inconsiderate. At first he tried to get away with a quick “I apologize,” but the flight attendants weren’t about to let him go so easy, and handed him a handwritten letter to read from: “My fellow travelers: Today, I come to you with great remorse. During the boarding process, I took advantage of this airline’s kindness. While some of my teammates were called to the front of the line, I was not. And yet, I cut in line and took a seat that rightfully belonged to one of you good people. This is not how my coaches, teammates or parents expect me to behave, and for all of this I apologize. I hope you will all find it in your hearts to forgive me, for I am just a young man that thinks I am smarter than I am. Enjoy your flight, and remember to fly Southwest, because they let my coach do this to me.”
AMAZON WANTS TO DIAPER YOUR BABY _ Amazon has launched a new brand of diapers and baby wipes, called Amazon Elements. Elements diapers are priced at roughly 19 cents cheaper than other diapers. Elements are only available to Amazon Prime members.
AMAZON MAILS CONVEYOR BELT ROLLER INSTEAD OF GIFT _ Lisa Seger, the co-owner of Blue Heron Farms in Field Store, Texas, hadn’t expected anything from Amazon when a heavy, poorly sealed box arrived. She opened it to find a mysterious, smooth, green cylinder. It weighed 9 pounds. She soon discovered it was supposed to be a gift, a book about chickens. She also discovered the green cylinder is a component of Amazon’s conveyor-belt system. Amazon said it would charge her gift-giving friend $19 if Lisa didn’t pack it up and send it back.
… Her friend arranged for the chicken book to be re-sent. And Amazon has been in touch through its Twitter-based customer support to sort the problem out.
DON’T SAVE YOUR PASSWORDS IN A FOLDER MARKED ‘PASSWORD’ _ Hackers leaked more Sony documents Wednesday afternoon, and thousands of “clearly labeled” computer, financial, and social media usernames and passwords were exposed. The exposed Sony passwords were included in a file directory called “Password.” The directory held 139 Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, zip files, and PDFs containing thousands of passwords to Sony Pictures’ internal computers, social media accounts, and web services accounts. Most of the files are plainly labeled with titles like “password list.xls” or “YouTube login passwords.xlsx.” Besides passwords for the social media accounts of Sony movies like “The Social Network,” the passwords of Sony’s corporate and research services, passwords to servers and data services, Sony’s story department’s passwords for Amazon and FedEx, and even personal passwords for places like Google and American Express that apparently were not related to Sony’s corporate side.
COPS TAUNT DRIVER AFTER TOWING HIS $275K LAMBORGHINI _ In Vancouver, Canada, police towed a $275,000 Lamborghini — then bragged about it on Twitter. The driver was going 60 in a 30 miles-per-hour zone. Vancouver Police tweeted: “Lamborghini – $275K. Excessive speeding ticket – $368. Watching your sports car get towed for 7 days – Priceless.”
COMPUTER MOUSE TRACKS YOUR VITAL SIGNS _ If you’re the kind of gamer who chugs five cans of Red Bull for an all-night CounterStrike marathon, you may be interested in this new gaming mouse. Mionix’s new NAOS Quantified Gaming mouse will monitor your heart rate, skin response and actions per minute in any game to provide real-time feedback about your stress level. The company claims that a health-tracking mouse could help players optimize their play styles and take a break when games become too stressful.
L.A. RESTAURANT ADDS GRATUITY LINE FOR KITCHEN STAFF _ Though many restaurants pool tips to ensure that line cooks and other kitchen staff get a piece of the pie, some workers feel they’re not getting their fair share of gratuities. This has prompted one L.A. restaurant to add a line to all checks to make up for any tipping gaps. The chef-owner of Alimento says the idea came to him after two of his best line cooks jumped ship for jobs that paid more. The extra, separate line for kitchen staff will be split up among line cooks, dishwashers and prep cooks.
SCIENTISTS FIND WHY MALE SMOKERS MAY RUN EVEN HIGHER HEALTH RISKS _ Male smokers are three times more likely than non-smoking men to lose their Y chromosomes, according to research which may explain why men develop and die from many cancers at disproportionate rates compared to women. Researchers (at Sweden’s Uppsala University) found that Y chromosomes, which are important for sex determination and sperm production, more often disappear from blood cells of smokers than those of men who have never smoked or of men who have kicked the habit. Since only men have Y chromosomes, the finding offers a possible answer to why smoking is a greater risk factor for cancer among men than women.
IDENTICAL TWINS MEET FOR FIRST TIME IN YEARS _ Australian twins Margaret and Joy were separated at birth but grew up one suburb apart. At the age of nine, they glimpsed one another for the first time, while at an inter-school sports carnival in Sydney. Friends spotted the look-a-likes, and dragged the young girls across the field. They locked eyes. Joy was so confused she ran home. That was 71 years ago. She told her mother what had happened and discovered for the first time that she was adopted. Her mother told her she was special and that they had chosen her. Her mother also told her that the other little girl was just like her and asked whether she would like to meet her. Shaken from seeing her double, Joy said “no”.
… Margaret, whose mother also revealed she was adopted, was simply told that everyone had someone who looked like them.
… Neither girl thought much more about it and didn’t see each other again until they were 16. Again, they spotted one another but did not speak.
… Finally, when Margaret was 27, she confronted her mom about her twin and learned everything. At about the same time Joy was at the hairdresser getting a perm. The hairdresser mentioned that there was a woman who who looked just like her and who also had a perm who had mentioned that she had a twin she had never met but wanted to meet. Joy discovered Margaret’s name and her mother’s phone number, called and arranged a meeting. One Sunday afternoon not long after, Joy and her two young sons took a taxi to Margaret’s home to meet her. They were instant friends. The pair began meeting, with their children, in a nearby park for regular playdates.
… Joy and Margaret are now 78 and still live one suburb apart on the Central Coast. They didn’t intend to live so close. It just happened and they are happy it has.
KID TELLS TEACHER IN LETTER HE WANTS TO SIT NEXT TO THE ‘ATTRACTIVE’ GIRL IN CLASS _ Elementary school was rough. Not only was it the start of years and years of not getting a much-needed designated naptime sometime during the school day, but your teacher determined where you sat rather than giving it up to your own free will. This makes sense when you remember that 9-year-old you would’ve sat with your friends and messed around the entire day, but it also meant there was always the possibility of getting sat next to someone you didn’t like.
… Such was the fate of one kid, who got stuck sitting next to Tori. The kid wrote: “Dear Ms. Stouffer. I do not like my current seat! This is because I sit near Tori. We do not get along because our pencil cases both have the same locks. One time I played a trick on her by locking her case with my key because she does not have her own. This is the reason why I do not like my seat. P.S. If you agree please move me in the empty seat next to (removed by teacher) because I find her kind of attractive. If I do get the seat please do not announce this in front of the class.” Check out the letter.
A MAN DONATED A XMAS GIFT 14 YEARS AGO NOT REALIZING HE SENT IT TO WOMAN HE WILL MARRY _ Back in 2000, a girl named Joana received a Christmas box at a bible school in suburban Manila, Philippines. Inside was a photo of the boy who packed it for her — 7-year-old Tyrel Wolfe — along with his name and address in Idaho. Joana sent him a letter thanking him for the box, but Tyrel never received it. Eleven years later, Joana decided to use Facebook to try to track Tyrel down. After finding a Tyrel Wolfe in Idaho, she sent a friend request and a message. Tyrel was intrigued by the message from a “random girl in the Philippines,” and the two started corresponding daily.
The more they corresponded, the more Tyrel and Joana found they had in common. They were both passionate about music and both sing and play at least one musical instrument. And Joana had always dreamed of a quiet life in the country. Tyrel saved his money for a plane ticket to meet Joana in person and ask her father’s permission to date her. After 10 days together, the pair knew they wanted to be together for good. Back home, Tyrel took on extra work so he could return to the Philippines and propose marriage. The couple started the process of obtaining a fiancee visa, and finally Joana arrived in Idaho in September. They were married October 5, and asked guests to bring Christmas shoeboxes as wedding gifts.
… Just days ago the Wolfes’ journey came full circle when they dropped off the Christmas shoeboxes at Samaritan’s Purse headquarters. Samaritan’s Purse runs the Operation Christmas Child program. Each November thousands of churches, groups and individual donors prepare and collect shoeboxes filled with toys, school supplies, personal items, and other small gifts. These boxes are then distributed in over 100 countries through national teams of volunteers who are connected locally to the children receiving the gifts.
TATTOOIST’S GOOD DEED _ When Suzie Barry walked into Hamilton, New Zealand’s Muscle and Ink tattoo studio and asked to have her stick-on tattoos put on her arm, tattooist Jason Ward happily obliged. Jason said he treated her the same as he would any client, except he didn’t charge her for his work. Suzie has Down Syndrome. Jason said he put on his tattooing gloves and then put the stick-on tattoos on Suzie — “She didn’t say thank you or anything, she just got up and left, and that was that. And then she came back the following Friday. And it’s just carried on from there.” Jason said Suzie has been in every Friday for almost four months now, and every week it’s the same drill, gloves on, tattoos on, then she’s gone. Suzie attends a vocational day facility and goes to it after Jason applies her tattoos..
KICK ON HEAD RESTORES RUGBY PLAYER’S SENSE OF SMELL _ A guy in England (Dorset) man who hasn’t been able to smell properly for 20 years sniffed out a major gas leak after a kick to the head during a rugby game restored his lost sense. Edward Baker’s ability to sniff out odors has gradually deteriorated throughout his adult life following a series of broken noses while playing the sport. He had even undergone surgery to fix it but with no success. During a recent game of rugby, he received a kick to the face which left him with another bruised and bloody nose. Incredibly, after the swelling went down he realized he was able to breathe properly and that his sense of smell had been restored. And the 41-year-old marketing director put his new-found ability to sniff to good use when he smelled gas close to his office in. He immediately called the authorities and engineers rushed out to seal off part of the residential road and fix the leak.
WOMAN BREAKS BEER MILE WORLD RECORD _ The inaugural Beer Mile World Championships took place Wednesday in Austin, Texas, and Corey Gallagher won the title with a 5:00.23 finish. Corey said he used a variety of different techniques to prepare to run the mile competitively. He would chug from a beer bottle that he kept at his apartment — which was full of water. And when it came down to championship time, he arrived a week early to test out the different beers to figure out which one was the perfect one.
… Elizabeth Herndon, who broke the women’s record with a 6:17.76 finish, said she pretty much trained the same way as Gallagher, focusing on running rather than drinking. She said, “I kind of figured (practicing with beer) would be more detrimental to my health than it would be beneficial.”
Gallagher wanted to use a local brewery which made a special beer for the beer mile. But the beer was only available in cans — which he said added up to four seconds to chugging time. He ended up settling on Budweiser Platinum — a beer that has a higher percentage but has a twist off cap and lower carbonation which helped cut seconds from that part of the race.
… Herndon said she and her husband picked a beer by chugging “a few different types of beer to see which ones we liked the best.”
WACKY-BUT-TRUE: WHEN ASKED IF DRIVING DRUNK, GIRL REPLIED TO A COP, ‘GOBBLE GOBBLE TURKEY’ _ When pulled over by a police officer who suspects you’ve been drinking, there are two ways to typically handle the situation: tell the truth or lie. Jessica Sorensen, a 24-year-old from Ohio, tried a third tactic when pulled over the Saturday after Thanksgiving. When asked how much she’d had to drink, Jessica replied, “Gobble gobble turkey.”
WACKY-BUT-TRUE: ‘LARGE BOTTOMED’ COMMUTERS SHOULD SLIM DOWN FOR TRAINS _ Former British public health minister Anne Milton has told “large bottomed” commuters to lose weight if they want to sit on narrow train seats. The member of parliament, who has campaigned against obesity, was on a commuter train one morning this week but soon tweeted about being squashed by a “very large bottomed man”.
WACKY-BUT-TRUE: MAN PUTS SNAKE AND TARANTULA IN MOUTH _ A Brazilian man who calls himself the Ninja of Serpents has been filmed putting a snake wrapped around a tarantula inside his mouth. He hold the creatures inside his mouth for a few seconds before allowing them to carefully crawl out. He wraps a banded cat-eyed snake around a pinktoe tarantula and carefully puts the combination between his lips. A bite from a Pinktoe tarantula can cause a skin rash, while the snake also has a mild venom.
WACKY-BUT-TRUE: THIEVES USE INTERNET TO LEARN HOW TO DRIVE BEFORE STEALING CAR _ Two men are serving jail time China after stealing a luxury car and taking for a joyride. The men found the key fob to an Audi left behind on an ATM. When they pressed the fob’s auto-unlock button the car beeped from roughly 200 feet away. Because neither man knew how to drive, they hunkered down at an Internet car to learn how to start and drive the vehicle. After a day of cramming, they drove off with the car. They were caught after running a red light.
WACKY-BUT-TRUE: MICHIGAN POLICE LOOK FOR 5,000-POUND BRIDGE _ Police in Michigan are dealing with a big mystery after a man reported a 5,000-pound bridge stolen from his property in a Detroit suburb. Robert Cortis filed a report with police saying he visited his property, where he no longer lives, and discovered the 5,000 pound wood-and-steel bridge his father constructed decades ago was missing. Cortis said he had visited the property Wednesday to begin arrangements to have the bridge transported to his catering company to serve as a setting for wedding photos.
WACKY-BUT-TRUE: LEASE-A-PUPPY _ Retired car salesman Anthony Claessens and his wife couldn’t afford $495 for a purebred bichon frisé puppy from a pet store in Oceanside, California, so they financed the animal — for 27 monthly payments of $95.99, or a total of $2,591.73. When the couple got home, Anthony read the paperwork and was shocked to find he had not purchased the dog, but leased it — and the contract noted that “If you do not exercise your right to buy the Pet [at the end of the lease], you will return it to us at a place we identify.” That’s right: even after all those payments, they would still not own the dog, but could pay $93.52 to end the lease, or $187.04 to buy the dog — “plus official fees and taxes.” Oceanside Puppy pet store owner David Salinas says 90 percent of his customers finance their pet purchases, and “It is only a surprise to the customer if they are not reading their contract.” The Claessens canceled the lease, returned the dog, and got a new bichon frisé puppy — for free, from their local animal shelter.
WACKY-BUT-TRUE: NAKED MAN ON TRAIN, NO ONE CARES _ Peter Davis boarded the E train subway in New York City and saw a man drinking whiskey — and wearing nothing but socks and sneakers. Just as odd was the lack of concern the other passengers seemed to have. So what did Davis do? He posted a picture of the man on Instagram, where it went viral until Instgram administrators took the picture down. Why didn’t Davis report the man? “If I had alerted police, then he may have gotten arrested, and I didn’t want to be a snitch and send him to jail.”
WACKY-BUT-TRUE: ACCIDENTAL BREAKING-AND-ENTERING _ Police in Portland, Maine, responding to a burglar alarm found that a man had accidentally set off the alarm when trying to visit a friend. The man decided to sneak into his friend’s third-storey apartment by climbing the fire escape. But he misjudged where the apartment was — he was two buildings away — and ended up in a storage area for a florist. As he tried to leave, he fell from the fire escape onto a brick sidewalk, which is where police found him with minor injuries.
WACKY-BUT-TRUE: COP STEALS DVD _ A Polk County, Florida, sheriff’s deputy has been arrested for his actions during a burglary investigation. Ernesto McCloud was part of a convenience store burglary investigation. In a security camera video, McCloud is seen picking up a DVD from the floor and putting it behind his notepad. From there, he tucked it into his uniform shirt. When investigators noticed the crime, McCloud was charged with petty theft and armed burglary — “armed” because of his duty firearm on his belt. McCloud later admitted he threw away a career for a $10 DVD. He says he took it because he hadn’t seen the movie.
THE AMAZING RACE (8p ET, CBS) — New
HOW MURRAY SAVED CHRISTMAS (8p ET, NBC) — This animated special is based on the best-selling children’s book of the same name. It features the voices of Jerry Stiller (The King of Queens), Sean Hayes (Will & Grace), Jason Alexander (Seinfeld), Dennis Haysbert (24), and John Ratzenberger (Cheers) with music by Emmy-winning and Oscar-nominated composer Walter Murphy (Family Guy, Ted).
LAST MAN STANDING (8p ET, ABC) — New
PAC-12 CHAMPIONSHIP (8p ET, FOX) — An hour long pregame show precedes the game between Oregon and Arizona.
SEASON FINALE: AMERICA’S NEXT TOP MODEL (8p ET, CW) — In the first hour, final four models take part in a commercial shoot. At 9p ET, the final three participate in a runway show in Seoul and the winner is announced.
CRISTELA (8:30p ET, ABC) — New
A VERY GRAMMY CHRISTMAS (9p ET, CBS) — This special includes performances of holiday songs as well as artists sharing favorite holiday memories. Ariana Grande, Maroon 5, Tim McGraw and Pharrell Williams are set to appear.
SHARK TANK (9p ET, ABC) — New
GRIMM (9p ET, NBC) — New
BLUE BLOODS (10p ET, CBS) — Repeat
CONSTANTINE (10p ET, NBC) — New
20/20 (10p ET, ABC) — New
SONY HACK REPORTEDLY INCLUDES CELEBRITY DATA _ As fallout from the cyber attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment continues to grow, it now appears that the leaked files include the Social Security numbers of more than 47,000 current and former employees, including celebrities like Sylvester Stallone. Other names whose personnel information has shown up in the files include director Judd Apatow and actress Rebel Wilson. Data-security firm Identity Finder LLC analyzed 33,000 of the documents and found personal information, salaries and home addresses for individuals who worked at Sony Pictures as far back as 2000. A group calling itself Guardians of Peace has taken credit for the cyber attack, which first hit the studio on November 24.
JAMES FRANCO AND SETH ROGEN’S ‘THE INTERVIEW’ SALARIES LEAKED _ The latest hack into Sony Pictures’ movies vault not only leaked some of the studio’s upcoming releases but also exposed internal documents including the salary James Franco and Seth Rogen took for “The Interview”. Franco pocketed $6.5 million while Rogen made a reported $8.4 million plus compensation.
… The leak was posted in a new report from Bloomberg, which also revealed that Kevin Federline got $5,000 for making a cameo. Also in the budget list is $241 for “a table of weed, coke, pills and panties”.
U2’S BONO ‘LIKES TO DRESS UP AS A HASIDIC JEW’ WHILE CYCLING _ U2’s lead singer, Bono, likes to dress up as a Hasidic Jew while cycling — or so says his bandmate, The Edge. U2 last month posted a message on its official site informing fans that Bono had an accident, writing, “…Bono has injured his arm in a cycling spill in Central Park and requires some surgery to repair it. We’re sure he’ll make a full recovery soon, so we’ll be back…” When asked how no one managed to take a picture of Bono after the mishap, The Edge replied, “You know, when Bono goes cycling he likes to dress up as a Hasidic Jew.”
… Of Bono’s injuries, The Edge explained: “Basically his left elbow was shattered so a lot of the work was reconstructing the joints and putting in wires and plates. He actually showed us an X-ray a couple of days later and it looked like a miniature of the Eiffel Tower was in his elbow and then the same had to happen with a fracture of his pinky, the joint there was totally messed up, so that needed a bone graft. And the most vulnerable was actually his upper back, the scapula, because they couldn’t put any plates in there or they decided not to do surgery. So he has got to be very still and not move around ’til that’s really healed.”
ALLISON WILLIAMS JOINED FACEBOOK _ Allison Williams expanded her social media presence before her starring role in NBC’s Peter Pan Live. The Girls star decided to create a public Facebook account to keep fans updated with “the stuff [she’s] up to.”
BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH IS DOCTOR STRANGE _ Benedict Cumberbatch is officially the Sorcerer Supreme. Following months of speculation, Marvel announced on Thursday that Cumberbatch will play the lead role in “Doctor Strange.” Cumberbatch was first rumored for the part back in June, but Marvel’s search would later focus in on Joaquin Phoenix. But after Phoenix dropped out of consideration, Cumberbatch’s name resurfaced in late October. Marvel wouldn’t confirm anything then, but the new round of rumors proved true.
TRACY MORGAN: ‘FIGHTING EVERYDAY’ _ Video of Tracy Morgan walking around — 6 months after the accident that nearly killed him — is pretty inspiring, considering what the comedian’s gone through. Tracy made a rare public appearance outside a New Jersey post office on Wednesday, moving slowly and gingerly with the help of a walker. His fiancée, Megan Wollover was nearby for support. As for how his recovery is going, a determined Tracy told the camera guy, “I’m fighting everyday.”
AMERICA’S GOT TALENT’ NAMES CRIS JUDD AS NEW DANCE SCOUT _ “America’s Got Talent” is getting a new dance scout. Choreographer Cris Judd, best known for his eight-month long marriage to Jennifer Lopez, will be joining the reality competition’s Season 10. Judd will be in charge of finding the best dancers for the talent reality show.
BILL COSBY’S HONORARY NAVAL TITLE REVOKED _ Bill Cosby finds himself short one prestigious military title and burdened with further legal action. On Thursday, Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus issued a public statement revoking an honorary title of Chief Petty Officer bestowed on Cosby in 2011, citing the wave of recent sexual abuse allegations as cause. Mabus said in a statement: “The Navy is taking this action because allegations against Mr. Cosby are very serious and are in conflict with the Navy’s core values of honor, courage and commitment.” Cosby served four years in the U.S. Navy, enlisted in 1956 and discharged in 1960.
BILL COSBY’S LAWYER FIRES BACK AT ACCUSER LAWSUIT _ Bill Cosby’s attorney has hit back at the lawsuit filed on Tuesday against the embattled comedian. In motions filed in Los Angeles Superior Court on Thursday, Cosby’s lawyer argues that the lawsuit should be dismissed and monetary sanctions imposed against plaintiff Judy Huth and her attorney. In addition to holding that the lawsuit is flawed, Cosby’s attorney claims that Huth’s attorney tried to extort Cosby with threats of filing the case.
TYLER PERRY WELCOMES BABY BOY _ Tyler Perry is now a dad. The star and his longtime girlfriend Gelila Bekele welcomed a baby boy on Sunday named Aman Tyler Perry. This is the first child for the couple.
TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES 2 _ Ready for more turtles? Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 is a definite go and a director is close to being signed.
CHRIS PRATT IN EARLY TALKS TO JOIN MAGNIFICENT SEVEN _ Chris Pratt is in early talks to join The Magnificent Seven. The film is a remake of the 1960 film of the same name, which was inspired by the 1956 Japanese film The Seven Samurai. The MGM remake currently stars Denzel Washington, with Tom Cruise at one time in talks to star. No word on what role Pratt is up for at this time.
‘SISTER WIVES’ WINTER SEASON PREMIERE ON TLC SET FOR JANUARY 4 _ TLC is bringing back the unique family series Sister Wives for eight all new episodes, kicking off with a super-sized two-hour winter season premiere on Sunday, January 4. The series follows the Brown family through the trials and tribulations that come with a plural marriage lifestyle. Male star Kody is married to Meri, Janelle, Christine and Robyn.
Got a charity event or fundraiser coming up? Here are some random clips. » download
KID GIFTS GONE WRONG
When kids make gifts, or are in charge of them, funny things can happen. What’s the kid gift gone wrong you remember? Here are four calls to help with the phones. » download
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE BEST WORST MOVIE?
What’s the best worst movie? A move you love even though it’s horrible? Here are three calls to help with the phones. » download
DROP: SOMETHING IS NOT RIGHT!
Men yells, “Something is not right!” » download
PHONER: FAVORITE CHILDHOOD TOYS
It’s toy-buying season. Share the story of your favorite toy and invite listeners to tell you their stories. We have three calls to help with the phones. » download
PHONER: WHAT DECADE WOULD YOU GO BACK TO?
If you could go back to a different decade which one would it be? Three calls to help launch the phones. » download
PHONER: WOMEN WEARING MEN’S UNDERWEAR
A recent story out of the UK said more and more women are wearing men’s underwear, especially boxers. Ask the women in your audience if they ever wear their guys’ undies — boxers or briefs. We have two calls to help with the phones. » download
PHONER: SMELLS OFFENSIVE ONLY TO YOU
It’s a tough time of year if you find the smell of pumpkin to be offensive. A friend hates the smell of pumpkin. Pies, lattes, you name it. What smell is everyone okay with that you hate? Here are six calls to help launch your local phoner. » download
PHONER: STUFF YOU PUT IN THE DISHWASHER
Lately I’ve been having fun with using the dishwasher to wash stuff other than dishes. Like my toothbrush. And the pop-out rubber insert for my car’s cup holder. Great way to clean the gunk out of that! What stuff do you wash in the dishwasher? Here are a few real calls to help with the phones. » download
- A team of U.S. archaeologists unearths an ancient pyramid buried deep beneath the Egyptian desert. As they search the pyramid’s depths, they become hopelessly lost in its dark and endless catacombs. Searching for a way out, they become desperate to seek daylight again. They come to realize they aren’t just trapped, they are being hunted.
- Garsha Arristos, Joseph Beddelem, Omar Benbrahim
NEW ON DVD THIS WEEKEND
- Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
- The Hundred-Foot Journey
- As Above, So Below
- Justified: Season 5
- One Direction: ‘Where We Are’ Live from San Siro Stadium
- The Simpsons: Season 17
- Sliders – The Complete Series
INCORRECTLY USED WORDS THAT CAN MAKE YOU LOOK DUMB
• Adverse and averse: Adverse means harmful or unfavorable: “Adverse market conditions caused the IPO to be poorly subscribed.” Averse refers to feelings of dislike or opposition: “I was averse to paying $18 a share for a company that generates no revenue.”
• Compliment and complement: Compliment means to say something nice. Complement means to add to, enhance, improve, complete, or bring close to perfection.
• Discreet and discrete: Discreet means careful, cautious, showing good judgment. Discrete means individual, separate, or distinct.
• Elicit and illicit: Elicit means to draw out or coax. Illicit means illegal or unlawful.
• Farther and further: Farther involves a physical distance: “Florida is farther from New York than Tennessee.” Further involves a figurative distance: “We can take our business plan no further.”
• Fewer and less: Use fewer when referring to items you can count, like “fewer hours” or “fewer dollars.” Use “less” when referring to items you can’t (or haven’t tried to) count, like “less time” or “less money.”
• Insure and ensure: This one’s easy. Insure refers to insurance. Ensure means to make sure.
• Irregardless and regardless: Irregardless appears in some dictionaries because it’s widely used to mean “without regard to” or “without respect to”… which is also what regardless means. So save yourself a syllable and just say regardless.
• Precede and proceed: Precede means to come before. Proceed means to begin or continue.
• It’s and its: It’s is the contraction of it is. That means it’s doesn’t own anything. If you have a dog you don’t say, “It’s collar is blue.” You say, “Its collar is blue.” Here’s an easy test to apply. Whenever you use an apostrophe, un-contract the word to see how it sounds. Turn it’s into it is: “It’s sunny,” becomes, “It is sunny.”
• They’re and their: Same with these: They’re is the contraction for they are. Again, the apostrophe doesn’t own anything. We’re going to their house, and I sure hope they’re home.
• Who’s and whose: “Whose password hasn’t been changed in six months?” is correct. Use the non-contracted version of who’s, like, “Who is (the non-contracted version of who’s) password hasn’t been changed in six months?” and you sound a little silly.
• You’re and your: You’re is the contraction of you are. Your means you own it; the apostrophe in you’re doesn’t own anything.
LOLCAT AND DUCK FACE ADDED TO DICTIONARY
Lolcat, duck face and mahoosive are among a whopping 1,000 new words that have been added to Oxford Dictionaries online. The website keeps a record of current and modern English words, and is often updated with new ones. Well jel, man crush and WTAF are also among the largest ever quarterly update to the free online dictionary.
… A ‘lolcat’ is a funny picture of a cat, ‘duckface’ is the lip-thrusting, pout used by people taking ‘selfies’, while ‘mahoosive’ means simply extra large.
… ‘Well jel’ means extremely jealous. ‘man crush’ is the non-sexual bonding between two men, and ‘WTAF’ stands for ‘What the actual f—‘.
… A few more added to the Oxford Dictionaries online:
• cool beans: used to express approval or delight.
• digital footprint: the information about a particular person that exists on the Internet as a result of their online activity.
• five-second rule: (humorous) a notional rule stating that food which has been dropped on the ground will still be uncontaminated with bacteria and therefore safe to eat if it is retrieved within five seconds.
• IDC (abbrev.): I don’t care.
• misery index: an informal measure of the state of an economy generated by adding together its rate of inflation and its rate of unemployment.
• permadeath: (in video games) a situation in which a character cannot reappear after having been killed.
• tech wreck: (informal) a collapse in the price of shares in high-tech industries.
TRIVIA: 64 countries have these on their national flags. (Religious symbols)
TRIVIA: The average one of these lasts 20 minutes. (Dream)
THE PSYCHIC GAME
You need two conferenced callers. Ask caller #1 these (or any) five questions:
• Is the next caller (#2) a man or a woman?
• What is their least favorite vegetable?
• What is their favorite sport?
• What TV show have they binge-watched?
• Do they like polka music?
Next chat with #2 and find out how many questions #1 got right.
There’s no losing in this game — it’s all about having fun. Both callers get something.
Two dogs were walking down the street. The one dog says to the other, “Wait here a minute, I’ll be right back.” He walks across the street and sniffs this fire hydrant for about a minute, then walks back across the street. The other dog says, “What was that about?” The dog first dog says, “Oh, I was just checking my pee-mail messages.”
Source: bits and pieces blog
• Trailer: Terminator: Genisys.
• Star Wars: Episode VII teaser trailer (Michael Bay Edition).
• Poo Doh.
• Download Our Boring Radio Station App.
• In one minute, this model goes through 100 years’ worth of hair and makeup trends.
• Random request generator.
• If toddlers texted.
• Remove your personal info from data brokers.
• What if George Lucas was making the new Star Wars movie instead of JJ Abrams?
• The safest gift to get anyone on your holiday list.
• The world sends us garbage, we send back music.
• So you want to own a food truck?
• Comedian does spot-on impressions of celebrities stuck in traffic.
• This canine race course in Finland is designed to test a dog’s obedience, concentration, and speed. But no one told the Golden Retriever.
• The United States of Thanksgiving. The NYT looked for Thanksgiving recipes that evoked each of the 50 states.
• Four different images is actually a single photo.
• 15 Android apps that will make your iPhone friends jealous.
• 1956: Several artists were dismissed from the Grand Ole Opry including RAY PRICE, FARON YOUNG, GEORGE MORGAN, JOHNNY WRIGHT, KITTY WELLS and JUSTIN TUBB.
• 1968: Killers Three, a movie featuring MERLE HAGGARD, was released in theaters.
• 1987: RICKY VAN SHELTON scored his first chart-topping hit with Somebody Lied.
• 1994: JOE DIFFIE’s album Honky Tonk Attitude was certified platinum. Hits included the title track, John Deere Green and Prop Me Up Beside The Jukebox (If I Die).
• 2000: FAITH HILL and the DIXIE CHICKS were the big winners at the Billboard Music Awards, taking home a combined five trophies.
• 2002: KENNY CHESNEY’s album No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems was certified double platinum.
• 2006: RASCAL FLATTS scored their sixth number one hit on the Billboard Country Chart with My Wish, ending CARRIE UNDERWOOD’s run after five weeks at the top with Before He Cheats.
• 2007: SUGARLAND’s album Enjoy The Ride achieved double platinum status.
• 2011: THE BAND PERRY earned a platinum album for their self-titled debut. Hits from the album included If I Die Young and You Lie.
• 2012: TAYLOR SWIFT co-hosted the Grammy nominations special from Nashville with rapper L.L. Cool J. During the show, LUKE BRYAN performed and DIERKS BENTLEY, THE BAND PERRY and HUNTER HAYES honored the music of JOHNNY CASH.
• 2012: FLORIDA GEORGIA LINE’s Cruise topped the chart, making it the first debut single by a duo to top the charts since 2006 when THE WRECKERS did it with Leave The Pieces. It was also the first debut No. 1 by a male duo since BROOKS & DUNN’s Brand New Man in 1991. Cruise would spend more consecutive weeks at the top of the country charts than any other song in history.
• 2013: CARRIE UNDERWOOD starred in The Sound of Music Live! on NBC.
TYLER ENGLAND is 51. The Oklahoma native played guitar with GARTH BROOKS several years back and is best-known for the tune Should’ve Asked Her Faster.
GARY ALLAN is 47. Born Gary Herzberg, his hits include Tough Little Boys, Her Man and Nothin’ On But The Radio. Gary was named one of People Magazine’s Sexiest Men Alive a few years back.
BRANTLEY GILBERT can think of songs he wishes he had written. » download
COUNTRY MUSIC NEWS
FLORIDA GEORGIA LINE will perform during New Year’s Rockin’ Eve from Times Square in New York. TAYLOR SWIFT will headline the event and LADY ANTEBELLUM will perform as part of the Nashville segment. Rockin’ Eve airs on ABC.
HUNTER HAYES and DARIUS RUCKER will perform as part of Christmas In Washington, airing December 19 on TNT. Other performers will include Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Christina Perri and Aloe Blacc.
DIERKS BENTLEY is only the third country artist to earn two platinum and number one singles in 2014. His hits I Hold On and Drunk On A Plane did it for him. Dierks joins LUKE BRYAN and FLORIDA GEORGIA LINE.
JASON ALDEAN says his marriage to Brittany Kerr is coming soon. Jason says, “It’s kind of hard when you’re touring as much as we do. But with the holidays coming up, we’ll have some time off. I can’t tell you when, but it will definitely be sooner than later.”
CARRIE UNDERWOOD will co-host CMT’s Hot 20 Countdown tomorrow (Saturday) in honor of the show’s 100th episode.
JAKE OWEN has a new look after chopping his long locks yesterday (Thursday). He tweeted a photo with the words “high and tight.”
BROOKS & DUNN say a big reason they chose to re-unite for a residency in Las Vegas is because that’s one thing they hadn’t accomplished in their two decade career. The shows with REBA MCENTIRE will begin next June.
GENE WATSON (Farewell Party) will be at the Country Music Hall of Fame tomorrow (Saturday) to perform as part of the Deck The Hall series taking place this holiday season.
DANNY GOKEY and wife Leyicet welcomed their second child, daughter Victoria Isabella, November 28. She joins big brother Daniel Emmanuel.
THE WEEK’S TOP SINGLES – RADIO AIRPLAY
- KEITH URBAN – Somewhere In My Car
- MADDIE & TAE – Girl In A Country Song
- TIM MCGRAW – Shotgun Rider
- BRAD PAISLEY – Perfect Storm
- LITTLE BIG TOWN – Day Drinking
- PARMALEE – Close Your Eyes
- KENNY CHESNEY – Till It’s Gone
- BIG & RICH – Look At You
- CARRIE UNDERWOOD – Something In The Water
- ERIC CHURCH – Talladega
THE WEEK’S TOP SINGLES – RADIO AIRPLAY, DOWNLOADS & STREAMING
- TIM MCGRAW – Shotgun Rider
- CARRIE UNDERWOOD – Something In The Water
- KEITH URBAN – Somewhere In My Car
- MADDIE & TAE – Girl In A Country Song
- SAM HUNT – Leave The Night On
- BRAD PAISLEY – Perfect Storm
- LITTLE BIG TOWN – Day Drinking
- FLORIDA GEORGIA LINE – Sun Daze
- ERIC CHURCH – Talladega
- JASON ALDEAN – Burnin’ It Down
This is day 342 of 2014. There are 23 days remaining.
• Gregg Allman of the Allman Brothers is 67
• Kim Basinger is 61
• Author/political commentator Ann Coulter is 53
• Teri Hatcher is 50
• David Harewood (Homeland) is 49
• Sinead O’Connor is 48
• Dominic Monaghan is 38
• Ian Somerhalder (The Vampire Diaries, Lost) is 36
• Singer Ingrid Michaelson is 35
IT HAPPENED TODAY
• 1976: The Eagles released the album Hotel California.
• 1980: John Lennon was murdered by Mark David Chapman in New York City.
• 1993: The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was signed into law by U.S. President Bill Clinton.
• 1995: The first 75-mile-an-hour speed limit signs were erected in Montana and Wyoming.
• 1995: Four months after the death of guitarist Jerry Garcia, The Grateful Dead announced they were breaking up. The group made music for 30 years.
• 1998: The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that police could not search people and their cars after merely ticketing them for routine traffic violations.
• 2002: A mother took her toddler son to court in Glasgow, Scotland, after officials refused to accept they had made a mistake by charging him for speeding. Lawyers, court officials and police fell over laughing when 16-month-old Jay Mack appeared in court and tried to climb into the witness chair. His $326 speeding fine was immediately canceled. Police said a man caught for speeding obviously gave them the false name, which happened to be the toddler’s.
• 2005: Police captured a man who tried to rob a New Zealand bank by phone. Wellington police said the man first robbed the bank in person but was so disappointed with his haul, he phoned and told the manager to stand outside the bank with more money. The bandit made a second call and told the manager, actually, a plain-clothes police officer, to walk down the street and wait. The bandit never showed, but police traced the phone calls and made the arrest.
• 2007: Someone broke into Ed’s Radiator in Gillette, Wyoming, and stole guns and a bunch of cash. Police knew rather quickly that it was was Peter Matthew Tillotson. Police knew it was Tillotson because he left behind a receipt from a different business. The receipt, from a tire store, had his name, address and other info on it.
• This is National Hand Washing Awareness Week.
• It’s Computer Science Education Week.
• Today is Pretend To Be A Time Traveler Day.
• Today is Green Monday. The term was coined by eBay to describe its best sales day in December, usually the second Monday of December. Green Monday is defined more specifically (by business research organization comScore) as the Monday with at least 10 days prior to Christmas.
• It’s Brownie Day.
• Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day: December 7
• Chanukah/Hanukkah (first day): December 17
• Christmas Day: December 25
• New Year’s Day: January 1