COUNTRY May 14, 2015

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DATEBOOK: MAY 14, 2015

This is day 134 of 2015. There are 231 days remaining.

BIRTHDAYS

• Film producer George Lucas (Star Wars films) is 71

• Director Robert Zemeckis (Back to the Future series, Cast Away) is 64

• David Byrne (Talking Heads) is 63

• Tim Roth (Pulp Fiction, The Incredible Hulk) is 54

• C.C. DeVille of Poison is 53

• Fabrice Morvan of Milli Vanilli is 49

• Cate Blanchett is 46

• Danny Wood of New Kids on the Block is 46

• Director Sofia Coppola is 44

• Amber Tamblyn (Joan of Arcadia) is 32

• Miranda Cosgrove (iCarly) is 22

IT HAPPENED TODAY

• 1607: Jamestown, Virginia, was settled as an English colony.

• 1643: Four-year-old Louis XIV became King of France upon the death of his father, Louis XIII.

• 1804: The Lewis and Clark Expedition departed from Camp Dubois and began its historic journey by traveling up the Missouri River.

• 1969: The last Chevrolet Corvair rolled off the Willow Run assembly line in Ypsilanti, Michigan.

• 1973: Skylab, the United States’ first space station, was launched.

• 1998: Singer Frank Sinatra died at age 82.

• 1998: The finale of Seinfeld aired on NBC, with 76 million viewers tuning in.

• 2003: Golfer Vinenzo Frascella in Peterborough, England, finished his round despite being hit by lightening twice within 30 minutes. Lightening struck the 50-year-old golfer’s umbrella tip as he waited during a storm on the 14th and 17th holes at Orton Meadows Golf Course. He said he felt tingles down his shoulder and arm both times, but wanted to finish the round. He would not divulge his score, but said it was a “stinker” of a day.

• 2005: A woman in Russia had her fingers bitten when decided to clean her son’s fish tank and found out the goldfish she thought he was raising were actually piranhas. Luckily, she managed to get the fish off by banging them against the side of the aquarium.

• 2009: A church in East Sussex, England, unveiled a bronze statue dubbed “Jesus in jeans” depicting Christ as a man of the 21st century. The $50,000, seven-foot high bronze statue was funded by money left by a late parishioner. Christ is wearing jeans and a shirt billowing in the wind while his hair and beard are neatly and fashionably trimmed.

SPECIAL EVENTS

Chicken Dance DayMUSIC

• Golf Day

• Buttermilk Biscuit Day

UPCOMING

• May 15: Jim Gaffigan on Reddit’s Ask Me Anything (Friday)

• May 16: The Preakness (Saturday)

• May 17: Mad Men Finale (Sunday)

• May 17: Billboard Music Awards (Sunday)

• May 20: David Letterman’s final show (Wednesday)

• May 25: Memorial Day (Monday)

• June 6: Belmont Stakes (Saturday)

• June 21: Father’s Day (Sunday)

More holidays

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NUMBER FOR THE DAY

1 million: Chinese citizens who die annually from smoking-related illnesses.

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NEWS ATTACK!

The latest report says that more honeybees simply disappeared last year at an astounding rate. [Scientists blame pesticides, disease, and a faulty GPS.]

North Korea executed its defense minister using an anti-aircraft gun. [The North Koreans take a very dim view of stealing office supplies.]

CBS announced that after 15 years CSI will go off the air in September. [Because America has completely run out of crime.]

A new study confirms that three to five cups of coffee per day works like medicine. [Which explains Starbucks’ $50 co-pay.]

Southwest Airlines pilots say that they are preparing to strike. [But that’s probably just the booze talking.]

In an attempt to speed things up McDonald’s will no longer feature its complete menu on its outside menu boards at the drive-through. [That’s not gonna speed anything up because every other person will slow down the line to ask, “Uh, you still got the McRib?”]

The final figures are in, and that Mayweather-Pacquiao fight brought in over $500 million. [And just as many complaints.]

The U.S. 4×100 men’s relay team for the 2012 Olympics has officially been disqualified for use of drugs. [And for letting the air out of the baton.]

A 51-year-old man sneezed hard and out popped the suction cup of a toy dart that he stuck up his nose when he was 7. [He also discovered three Legos and a collectors item Luke Skywalker action figure.]

Massachusetts police arrested a man who got drunk and decided to chase bears. [Whatever he was drinking I wish I had a cup of it on Monday mornings.]

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NEWS & NUGGETS

MOST PARENTS CAN’T TELL IF THEIR KIDS ARE OVERWEIGHT _ When researchers recently looked at data on how parents perceive their overweight young children, they learned that about 95% believe the kids’ size to be “just right”. How come. Researchers (NYU Langone Medical Centre) say we have changed our perceptions of what our weight ideals are. If every other child is obese or overweight, you think your child is normal as well.

GET BACK AT YOUR ENEMIES BY SENDING THEM A FART IN A JAR _ First there were glitterbombs to send to your enemies. Then came poo to mail to the haters. Now you can gift all the jerks in your life a fart in a jar. ‘Send a Jart‘ is a stinky service that’ll send anyone a sealed flatulence in a jar — along with a nice little note — for the small price of $10. Choose your stench: 8-Hour Trucker Fart, Hungover Frat Boy, or Competitive Eater. • LINK

ELDERLY MAN CALLS 911 FOR FOOD — AND GETS IT _ After spending months in the hospital for cancer treatments, an 81-year-old North Carolina (Fayetteville) man returned home to an empty refrigerator and no one to help him. But with some quick thinking, he decided to call 911 for help. Clarence Blackmon told the operator: “I can’t do anything. I can’t go anywhere. I can’t get out of my damn chair.” Luckily, operator Marilyn Hinson was there, and willing to lend a helping hand. She didn’t dismiss the call. Instead, she spoke to her supervisor and received permission to leave work and bring Blackmon something to eat. He simply requested cabbage, cans of beans and beets, popcorn, tomato juice, and soda. Hinson headed to the grocery store, and with the help of the local police department, brought Blackmon his food.

TWO HEARSE DRIVERS DISRESPECT DECEASED VETERAN’S BODY _ Two hearse drivers in Florida have lost their jobs after making an ill-advised stop at a Dunkin’ Donuts while toting around the flag-covered casket of deceased Army veteran Lieutenant Colonel Jesse Coleman. Coleman who died at the age of 84 after a military career that included one tour in Korea, two tours in Vietnam, and numerous medals. The travesty went viral after a man outside the Dunkin’ Donuts noticed the coffin in the back and snapped a photo that soon went viral. Jim Rudolph, owner of Clearwater, Florida’s Veteran’s Funeral Care, was appalled by the lack of judgment in spite of the fact that the two hearse drivers — who were brothers in their 70s and themselves the sons of veterans — were long-time employees and “good workers.”

BEST BUG SPRAYS DON’T HAVE DEET _ Consumer Reports is sharing some happy news just in time for black fly season: For the first time since testing began, safer insect repellants are also the most effective. In a series of tests, the magazine found new products containing chemically synthesized compounds similar to or derived from natural ingredients performed better than repellants containing DEET that, in the past, have always topped all other competitors.

… Researchers tested 15 pump sprays and aerosol repellants, then watched as they either stuck their arms in a box with 200 hungry, disease-free mosquitoes or had deer ticks unleashed on them. The highest-scoring products were made of 20% picaridin — which resembles a compound in black pepper plants — or 30% oil of lemon eucalyptus, and repelled bugs for a minimum of six hours.

… Sawyer Fisherman’s Formula made with picaridin scored highest, protecting against mosquitoes and ticks for eight hours, while Repel Lemon Eucalyptus stopped ticks for eight hours and mosquitoes for seven hours.

AMTRAK CRASH SURVIVOR TWEETS ABOUT LOST VIOLIN _ A concert violinist who lost her violin in the deadly Philadelphia Amtrak derailment has ignited controversy on social media after posting an angry tweet bemoaning her lost violin. Jennifer Kim is a violinist with the Washington National Opera Orchestra, who was also one of the passengers on Amtrak 118, which derailed in Philadelphia Tuesday, killing seven people and injuring over 200. Among the chaos of the Amtrak derailment, Kim managed to lose her violin. Sending a tweet directly to Amtrak’s twitter account, the violinist asked Amtrak for help in getting her lost violin back.

… Since the tweet about the lost violin was posted, both Jennifer Kim’s original tweet and her entire Twitter account have been taken down. Twitter users were angry at the violinist for being concerned about a lost violin while people were injured and dying after a horrific train crash, and expressed their outrage.

… A few Twitter users defended her, including one who pointed out that perhaps Kim earns her living with her violin.

FORMER MAILMAN FACES JAIL FOR TOSSING CATALOGS _ An ex-postal carrier in upstate New York who could be facing jail time for throwing out a bundle of Bed Bath & Beyond ads he was meant to deliver. Jeffrey Wojcik of a Buffalo suburb may go to prison for six months after pleading guilty to “obstruction of the mails,” a federal crime. On top of that sentence for dumping some junk mail that would likely have been tossed by recipients anyway, Wojcik may also be fined $5,000 in August when he’s sentenced.

GREENPEACE NAMES APPLE THE GREENEST TECH COMPANY IN THE WORLD _ Apple has been lauded by Greenpeace as the world’s most environmentally friendly big technology company. Under CEO Tim Cook, the Cupertino company has made a major push to become environmentally friendly, committing to drawing 100 percent of its energy from renewable sources over the long-term. This year the company has began work on two solar-powered data centers in Ireland and Denmark, and it is also constructing two major solar power projects in China. Apple is frequently celebrated for its environmental efforts — so much so that Fortune claims that “consumers believe that Apple is greener than it actually is.”

… Greenpeace’s new “Clicking Clean” report on Internet companies gives Apple top “AAAA” marks. After Apple comes Facebook, which has seen “radical improvements in transparency and efforts to deliver significant wind energy investment.”

WHY YOU SAY “OW” WHEN YOU HURT YOURSELF _ If you bite your tongue or stub your toe, your first instinct is probably to yell “Ow!” But have you ever wondered why that is? According to a study, being vocal could actually help you tolerate the pain. Researchers tested how long subjects could keep their hands immersed in very cold water before they couldn’t take it anymore. They found that saying “ow” during the experiment increased the subjects’ tolerance for pain.

COLLEGE STUDENT SUES SCHOOL AFTER FAILING FINAL EXAM _ A nursing student in Pennsylvania (Misericordia University) wasn’t happy that she failed a big exam twice. So she’s taking legal action against the college and asking for $75,000 in damages. But there’s a bit more to this story than just a failing student crying a river.

… Jennifer Burbella is a disabled student who is entitled to accommodations her university. After she failed a health final exam the first time, her professor allowed her to retake the test in a distraction-free environment. But she claims the professor promised to be available by phone if she had any questions, and that didn’t prove true — resulting in her breaking down in tears and feeling too stressed out to do well. As a result, she will not pass a class that is required in the school’s nursing program. Burbella also says another student who receives accommodations was treated better and that the way she was treated violates a federal disability discrimination law.

WOMAN FIRED AFTER DISABLING APP THAT TRACKED HER MOVEMENTS 24/7 _ A woman in California claims to have been fired from her job after uninstalling an app on her smartphone that her employer used to track her movements 24 hours a day. Myrna Arias, a former employee of money transfer firm Intermex, says she was told to keep her phone on at all times and was dismissed weeks after being “scolded” for uninstalling the app. She’s now suing Intermex for violating her privacy and wrongful termination, among other allegations.

… Arias’ complaint says her boss “admitted that employees would be monitored while off duty, and bragged that he knew how fast she was driving at specific moments ever since she had installed the app on her phone.” Arias says she had no problem with the app’s GPS function during work hours, but she objected to the monitoring of her location during non-work hours. When Arias complained to her boss, he told her that she was required to keep her phone powered on throughout the day. The app — Xora StreetSmart — is intended to let companies manage employees working away from the office. Its creators, ClickSoftware, says it lets firms “see the location of every mobile worker on a Google Map.” However, ClickSoftware doesn’t seem to envision the app as a 24-hour tracker, telling potential clients that “field employees” should launch the app “when [they] start their day.”

FB icon Start it on Facebook, take it to the phones: Who’s got a job where they’re tracked and how are you tracked? What’s that like knowing bosses can always see where you are and how fast or slow you’re moving?

SON FULFILLS VOW TO RETURN DONATED MONEY FOR DEAD FATHER’S OPERATION _ A young man in China who raised more than $80,000 on social media three years ago to fund leukemia treatment for his father has touched the nation once again. Though his father ultimately lost the battle against the disease, Xu Tao has begun fulfilling his promise to pay the money back. He was a senior at the Beijing University of Chemical Technology when he sent out a message on social media in 2012, asking people to lend him money to treat his 47-year-old father diagnosed with leukemia. He promised in the post to return the money within five years with interest. His story was soon picked up by Chinese media, resulting in an outpouring of support from donors. Though he now earns a humble salary working in Beijing, Xu says  he plans to keep his promise and repay each donor.

YOU’LL SOON BE ABLE TO ORDER DOMINO’S PIZZA ON TWITTER _ Gone are the days when you needed to use words to order pizza. Domino’s will soon allow customers to order food with nothing but a simple emoji — the pizza one, of course. Domino’s will be launching a new “tweet-to-order” system on May 20 which will allow U.S. customers to tweet at the company for pizza. Here’s how the new ordering system will work: Once a customer has registered their Twitter handle on their Domino’s Pizza Profile, they will then be able to simply tweet #EasyOrder or just the pizza emoji to the Domino’s Twitter handle. Domino’s will then send the customer a direct message to confirm the order and the Easy Order saved in a customer’s profile will be automatically sent to their home.

COCAINE-EATING BUTTERFLIES PROPOSED TO REPLACE HERBICIDES _ Colombia’s President announced the other day that he is halting use of a herbicide that has been a key part of U.S.-financed efforts to wipe out cocaine crops, saying the country will seek other ways to destroy coca plants. The move comes following a Health Ministry recommendation based on a World Health Organization decision to classify the herbicide being used as a carcinogen. So now what?

… Alberto Gomez, President of the Quindio Botanical Garden, has proposed the use of a specific butterfly to destroy cocaine crops in Colombia. As it happens, the only two types of the 157 varieties of coca leaf that are used to produce cocaine are also the favorite food of this butterfly.

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WACKY-BUT-TRUE

WACKY-BUT-TRUE: MAN TURNED TO LIFE OF CRIME TO ESCAPE MARRIAGE _ Police in China recently detained a 30-year-old man for breaking and entering. He is accused of stealing a motorcycle and robbing two stores. Though the crimes were ordinary, his motive wasn’t. The man told police, “I want my father-in-law to know that I am not a good person so they will suggest my wife and I divorce and set me free.” Yep, the guy turned to a life of crime in order to get out of an arranged marriage.

WACKY-BUT-TRUE: MAN WASN’T AWARE HE CUT HIS OWN HAND OFF_ Edryd Jones from South Wales was working on a do-it-yourself project when he accidentally cut his left hand off with a circular saw. Jones says, “It didn’t hurt at all. It was only when I went to retrieve the piece of wood that I’d cut that I realized that I’d no hand to lift it up.” Doctors were able to reattach the hand.

WACKY-BUT-TRUE: MAN TURNS HIMSELF IN FOR MURDERING IMAGINARY FRIEND _ Geoff Gaylord entered the Jacksonville, Florida, sheriff’s office early Wednesday and turned himself in for the crime of murder. Gaylord told officers he had stabbed his friend repeatedly with a kitchen knife, cut up the body with a hatchet and buried the victim in his backyard. A remorseful Gaylord told officers he wanted the death penalty for his crime — preferably, “right now.” The friend Gaylord supposedly killed was named Mr. Happy. He was Gaylord’s imaginary friend. Gaylord said he killed Mr. Happy — friend of seven years — for multiple reasons, including for being messy.

… But the breaking point came when Mr. Happy allegedly crashed Gaylord’s Nissan Altima after some friends had been out celebrating Mr. Happy’s birthday at Hooters, which resulted in Mr. Gaylord being arrested instead of Mr. Happy. Gaylor said, “That drunk driving incident I got unfairly blamed for … put me over the edge and I murdered him.”

WACKY-BUT-TRUE: WIFE LOSES IT OVER ILL HUSBAND NEGLECTING CHORES _ Starlene Roth and her husband Greg have been married for more than 30 years, but whatever went on in the Washington state couple’s marriage in the past, it’s pretty clear that they’ve been having some serious issues lately. According to the Greg’s account, he had returned from a hospital stay — where he’d been for treatment of chronic hepatitis — only to find his wife boiling mad because “he hadn’t been able to do anything around the house.” She was more than just a little upset, apparently. Greg told police that Starlene just started breaking things — starting with a glass flower vase. She threw the vase into the backyard where it smashed into pieces. Greg dutifully went outside and cleaned up the broken glass, he said, and then tried to relax by cooking up some barbecue. Unfortunately, that plan was aborted when Starlene stormed outside and tipped over the whole barbecue grill. Greg picked the grill back up and set it right — and she upended it again.

… But Starlene was far from over her destructive tantrum. She went back inside, planted herself on the couch and picked up the TV remote. But instead of using it to watch TV and take her mind off things, she smashed the remote on the floor. Greg Roth then went inside and sat down on a loveseat, only to have his wife emerge from their bedroom with a 9mm Glock pistol and order him to “get the (blank) out of the house.” Then she pulled the trigger. Fortunately, she missed. Police later found the bullet lodged in a door jamb. But Greg did, in fact, get out of the house at that point.

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ON TELEVISION

THE BIG BANG THEORY (8p ET, CBS) — Repeat

SEASON FINALE: GREY’S ANATOMY (8p ET, ABC) — Season 11 ends with this new episode. Grey’s has been renewed for another season.

BONES (8p ET, FOX) — New

LAW & ORDER: SVU (8p ET, NBC) — Repeat

SEASON FINALE: THE VAMPIRE DIARIES (8p ET, CW) — Season 6 wraps up with this new episode. The show will returns for a 7th season.

SEASON FINALE: THE ODD COUPLE (8:30p ET, CBS) — Lauren Graham (Parenthood) guest stars in the first season finale. The show has been renewed for a 2nd season.

SEASON FINALE: SCANDAL (9p ET, ABC) — Season 4 wraps up with this new episode. Scandal will return for a 5th season.

SEASON FINALE: THE BLACKLIST (9p ET, NBC) — Season 2 ends tonight. The show will return for a 3rd season.

THE BIG BANG THEORY (9p ET, CBS) — Repeat

SERIES PREMIERE: WAYWARD PINES (9p ET, FOX) — This new, 10-episode limited series is from M. Night Shyamalan (The Sixth Sense, Signs) and based on Blake Crouch’s international best-selling series of books. Matt Dillon (Crash) stars as a Secret Service agent trying to find two missing federal agents, and his investigation only turns up more questions. The cast also features Melissa Leo (The Fighter), Toby Jones (the Harry Potter films), Juliette Lewis (Cape Fear), Carla Gugino (Spy Kids) and Terrence Howard (Empire). The show will debut simultaneously in more than 125 countries across Asia, Africa, Australia, Europe and Latin America, making it the world’s largest day-and-date launch for a scripted series ever.

REIGN (9p ET, CW) — Season 2 ends tonight. The show will return for a 3rd season.

THE BIG BANG THEORY (9:30p ET, CBS) — Repeat

SEASON FINALE: ELEMENTARY (10p ET, CBS) — Season 3 ends with this new episode. The show has been renewed for another season.

SEASON FINALE: AMERICAN CRIME (10p ET, ABC) — Season one wraps up tonight. The show has been renewed for a 2nd season.

DATELINE (10p ET, NBC) — New

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ENTERTAINMENT

BRADLEY COOPER HEADING TO CBS IN ‘LIMITLESS’ TV ROLE _ Bradley Cooper is making his return to television. Before he was a mega star, Cooper had a recurring role on the ABC spy drama Alias. Now he’ll have a recurring role in the CBS series Limitless. If the name sounds familiar, it’s because the series is based off of the 2011 film of the same name starring Bradley Cooper and Robert DeNiro. In the film Cooper played a writer who was struggling with writer’s block when he encounters a drug called NZT. Cooper’s character takes the drug and the strange side effects unfold.

… In CBS’ Limitless a man named Brian Finch (not played by Cooper) discovers the brain-boosting power of NZT and is coerced by the FBI into using his extraordinary cognitive abilities to solve complex cases for them. Cooper will return as Edward Mora, who is no longer a writer, but a senator, who’s hoping to run for president. The catch is that Mora is still on the mysterious drug, and now has a protege of his own in Brian Finch. According to CBS, Cooper was only supposed to be a guest star in the pilot, but the network decided to expand his role. • TRAILER

CBS FALL SHOWS UNVEILED _ Besides Limitless, CBS unveiled a few other shows we’ll be seeing this fall.

• Supergirl stars Glee alum Melissa Benoist as Kara Zor-El, who escaped Krypton amid its destruction years ago. Since arriving on Earth, she’s been hiding the powers she shares with her famous cousin. But now at age 24, she decides to embrace her superhuman abilities and be the hero she was always meant to be. • TRAILER

• Code Black is a medical drama set in the busiest and most notorious ER in the nation where the extraordinary staff struggle in the face of a broken system to protect their ideals and the patients who need them the most. • TRAILER

• Glee alum Jane Lynch returns to primetime in the comedy Angel From Hell as Amy, a woman who forms an unlikely friendship with Allison (Maggie Lawson) after claiming to be her guardian angel. Allison can’t be sure if Amy is an angel or just nuts. • TRAILER

• Life in Pieces is a star-studded comedy about one family told through separate stories of its different family members, Dianne Wiest and James Brolin among them. • TRAILER

THE INTERN TRAILER LANDS _ The trailer for their upcoming comedy The Intern, starring Academy Award winners Anne Hathaway and Robert De Niro, was released Wednesday. Written and directed by the Oscar nominated Nancy Meyers (Something’s Gotta Give, It’s Complicated), The Intern stars De Niro as Ben Whittaker, a 70-year-old widower who has discovered that retirement isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Seizing an opportunity to get back in the game, he becomes a senior intern at an online fashion site, founded and run by Jules Ostin (Hathaway). It hits theaters in September. • TRAILER

ROBERT DOWNEY JR. DOES NOT SNUB HIS AVENGERS CO-STARS _ Despite a Star tabloid report, Robert Downey Jr. does not “snub” some of his Avengers co-stars. The tabloid claims that he’s rubbing some of the actors “the wrong way.” According to Star, Downey “has no interest in spending any time with anyone besides Jeremy Renner and Mark Ruffalo.” The tabloid goes on to say that much like his character in Avengers: Age of Ultron, Downey does not get along with co-stars Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson and Chris Hemsworth. The magazine then quotes one of its unreliable sources as saying, “Robert’s got a reputation for being arrogant and is always rubbing people the wrong way.”

LINDSAY LOHAN STARTS COMMUNITY SERVICE AT BROOKLYN DAYCARE _ Lindsay Lohan is finally clicking off her community service hours in a desperate race to stay out of jail. She reported for work in Brooklyn Wednesday and immediately reconnected with an old, young friend. Lindsay managed to sneak in a back entrance to the children’s daycare facility, dodging all the media gathered out front for her arrival. She showed up about two hours after she was expected. Lindsay ran into 5-year-old Donovan who she previously connected with during her docuseries with Oprah Winfrey. Lindsay was supposed to have worked an 8-hour day Wednesday and administrators are expecting her to arrive earlier starting today (Thursday).

NETFLIX UNVEILS TRAILER FOR NEW SERIES _ Netflix is on a roll, seemingly debuting new shows every couple of weeks. The latest is Between. A small town comes under siege from a mysterious disease that has wiped out everybody except those 21 years old and under. The series explores the power vacuum that results when a government has quarantined a 10-mile diameter area and left the inhabitants to fend for themselves. • TRAILER

WHOOPI GOLDBERG’S FAMILY TRAGEDY _ Whoopi Goldberg was a no-show on The View Tuesday as she rushed to California to be by her brother’s side. Clyde K. Johnson, Goldberg’s only sibling, died soon after of a brain aneurysm. The two were incredibly close and Johnson worked for years as Goldberg’s driver on movie sets. This comes just five years after the two lost their mother, Emma Johnson, who died following a stroke in 2010. Clyde was 65.

IS NETFLIX SERIOUSLY GOING TO REVIVE ‘TOP GEAR’? _ Ever since Jeremy Clarkson punched a producer in a fight over steak, the future of Top Gear has been completely up in the air. The BBC appears to have distanced itself completely, leaving Clarkson and his co-presenters James May and Richard Hammond to speak to other broadcasters about creating a brand new motoring show. Over the past few weeks, it’s been suggested that streaming giant Netflix is the favorite to pick up the trio, and this week Britain’s The Mirror has added more fuel to the fire after it reported that the new show already has a name: House of Cars.

… Yes, that would be a car-related spin on the award-winning political drama House of Cards, starring Kevin Spacey. Netflix wouldn’t be able to to use the BBC’s Top Gear trademark, so it’d need something unique if it really is going to film a new series. It doesn’t help that there’s already a Spanish-language car show called House of Cars. However, the company’s involvement hasn’t yet been confirmed.

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BITS & BREAKS

AMAZING A CAPPELLA GROUPS

Many of your listeners may not see Pitch Perfect 2, but the Pitch Perfect franchise is well known. The films are musical comedies about a college women’s a cappella group, The Barden Bellas.

What’s amazing is just how awesome real a cappella groups sound. Here’s a single audio file with six clips. (Groups are in parentheses).

1. Tightrope (SoCal VoCals)

2. Colder Weather (Home Free)

3. Remix to Ignition (The Dartmouth Aires)

4. Bang Bang (Overboard)

5. Happy (BYU Vocal Point)

6. Daft Punk (Pentatonix)

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FUN & GAMES

TRIVIA: In the U.S. about 4 cans of this are consumed every second. (Spam)

TRIVIA: One in six of these are women. (Serial killers)

TRIVIA: Research tells us that Utahans consume this at a rate almost twice the national average. (Candy)

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JOKE OF THE DAY

A teacher was giving a lesson on the circulation of the blood. Trying to make the matter clearer, she said, “Now class, if I stood on my head, the blood, as you know, would run into it, and I would turn red in the face. Why is it that while I am standing upright in the ordinary position the blood doesn’t run into my feet?” A young student shouted, “Cause your feet ain’t empty.”

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VIDEO OF THE DAY

Dog learns how to whisper.

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IMAGE OF THE DAY

Bridge.

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LAST MINUTE ITEMS

• Watch two crazy people fly jetpacks over Dubai.

• Captain American backpack.

• Play with a virtual spider.

• The Beth Project shows off impressive weight loss in fun photo series.

• Cancer survivor designs cards she wishes she’d received from friends and family.

• Moving hacks.

• This infographic has a list of all the upcoming superhero films.

• If you were not born in the country you were, what would your life be like?

• The trailer we’re so damn happy they didn’t release: Star Wars: The Binks Awakens.

• For those who own vinyl but no longer own a turntable.

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COUNTRY DATEBOOK: MAY 14, 2015

• 1949: EDDY ARNOLD’s One Kiss Too Many charted. It would go on to number one.

• 1990: CONWAY TWITTY’s album The Best of Conway Twitty was certified platinum.

• 1991: ALAN JACKSON’s album Don’t Rock The Jukebox was released. It produced the hits Dallas, Midnight In Montgomery and the title track.

• 1996: GARTH BROOKS’ album Fresh Horses was certified quadruple platinum. Hits included She’s Every Woman, The Fever and That ‘Ol Wind.

• 2001: Jury selection began in Orchard Park, New York, for the trial of TIM MCGRAW, who had been accused of physically assaulting a police officer following a concert in the area. He was later found not guilty.

• 2002: TRISHA YEARWOOD made a guest appearance on the CBS series JAG.

• 2004: BRAD PAISLEY and John Mayer teamed for an episode of CMT Crossroads.

• 2009: Wind gusts slammed a mic stand into DARRYL WORLEY’s head during a show in Miles City, Montana, forcing him to rush mid-show to an emergency room, where he received seven stitches. Darryl returned to resume the show before weather forced an early conclusion

• 2010: The Country Music Hall of Fame completed the installation of a “New Traditionalists” section in its permanent exhibit. The display highlights REBA McENTIRE, RICKY SKAGGS, GEORGE STRAIT and THE JUDDS.

• 2011: MIRANDA LAMBERT and BLAKE SHELTON were married at the Don Strange Ranch near Boerne, Texas, in front of REBA McENTIRE, DIERKS BENTLEY, MARTINA McBRIDE and THE BELLAMY BROTHERS.

• 2011: NEAL McCOY sang No Doubt About It for the first dance at MIRANDA LAMBERT AND BLAKE SHELTON’s wedding reception in Boerne, Texas. MARTINA McBRIDE sang Stand By Your Man; Miranda, Kelly Clarkson, and REBA McENTIRE sang Little Rock.

• 2011: GEORGE JONES was a surprise guest at KENNY CHESNEY’s Rupp Arena concert in Lexington, Kentucky, offering renditions of I Don’t Need Your Rockin’ Chair and He Stopped Loving Her Today.

DUSTIN LYNCH is 30.

MIRANDA LAMBERT and BLAKE SHELTON celebrate their fourth wedding anniversary. They were married May 14, 2011 at Don Strange Ranch in Boerne, Texas. 550 people were in attendance, including REBA McENTIRE, MARTINA McBRIDE, Kelly Clarkson, DIERKS BENTLEY, and the BELLAMY BROTHERS.

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COUNTRY AUDIO

Visit the country audio archive for over 2,000 audio cuts.

ERIC PASLAY talks about working with Steven Tyler. » go to download page

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COUNTRY MUSIC NEWS

The 2015 CMT Awards nominees were announced Wednesday, with CARRIE UNDERWOOD leading the pack with five nominations.

Video of the Year

  • Carrie Underwood, Something in the Water
  • Darius Rucker, Homegrown Honey
  • Dierks Bentley, Drunk on a Plane
  • Florida Georgia Line, Dirt
  • Jason Aldean, Burnin’ It Down
  • Kenny Chesney, American Kids
  • Lady Antebellum, Bartender
  • Lee Brice, I Don’t Dance
  • Luke Bryan, Play It Again
  • Maddie & Tae, Girl in a Country Song
  • Miranda Lambert with Carrie Underwood, Somethin’ Bad
  • Sam Hunt, Leave the Night On

Male Video of the Year

  • Dierks Bentley, Drunk on a Plane
  • Eric Church, Talladega
  • Jason Aldean, Burnin’ It Down
  • Keith Urban, Somewhere in My Car
  • Kenny Chesney, American Kids
  • Luke Bryan, Play It Again

Female Video of the Year

  • Carrie Underwood, Little Toy Guns
  • Carrie Underwood, Something in the Water
  • Lee Ann Womack, The Way I’m Livin’
  • Miranda Lambert, Little Red Wagon
  • RaeLynn, God Made Girls
  • Reba, Going Out Like That

Group Video of the Year

  • A Thousand Horses, Smoke
  • Eli Young Band, Dust
  • Lady Antebellum, Bartender
  • Little Big Town, Day Drinking
  • The Band Perry, Chainsaw
  • Zac Brown Band, All Alright

Duo Video of the Year

  • Big & Rich, Look at You
  • Brothers Osborne, Rum
  • Florida Georgia Line, Dirt
  • Florida Georgia Line, Sun Daze
  • Maddie & Tae, Girl in a Country Song
  • The Swon Brothers, Later On

Collaborative Video of the Year

  • Blake Shelton featuring Ashley Monroe, Lonely Tonight
  • Brantley Gilbert featuring Justin Moore and Thomas Rhett, Small Town Throwdown
  • Jennifer Nettles featuring Brandy Clark, His Hands
  • Kenny Chesney with Grace Potter, Wild Child
  • Miranda Lambert with Carrie Underwood, Somethin’ Bad
  • Tim McGraw featuring Faith Hill, Meanwhile Back at Mama’s

CMT Performance of the Year

  • Bob Seger and Jason Aldean, Turn the Page from CMT Crossroads
  • Brett Eldredge, Beat of the Music from CMT’s Ultimate Kickoff Party
  • John Legend and Lee Ann Womack, You & I (Nobody in the World) from CMT Crossroads
  • Katy Perry and Kacey Musgraves, Roar from CMT Crossroads
  • Keith Urban, It’s a Man’s, Man’s, Man’s World from 2014 CMT Artists of the Year
  • Kenny Chesney, American Kids from Instant Jam
  • Lady Antebellum and Aloe Blacc, Wake Me Up from CMT’s Ultimate Kickoff Party
  • Lady Antebellum and Chris Stapleton, Drink a Beer from 2014 CMT Artists of the Year

Breakthrough Video of the Year

  • Chase Rice, Gonna Wanna Tonight
  • Frankie Ballard, Sunshine & Whiskey
  • Kelsea Ballerini, Love Me Like You Mean It
  • Maddie & Tae, Girl in a Country Song
  • RaeLynn, God Made Girls
  • Sam Hunt, Leave the Night On

The 2015 CMT Music Awards will be broadcasted live from Nashville on Wednesday, June 10. Fans can vote for all their favorite artists at CMT.com through Monday, June 8.

FLORIDA GEORGIA LINE and BRETT ELDREDGE will help represent country music as presenters at Sunday night’s (May 17) Billboard Music Awards, airing on ABC. LITTLE BIG TOWN will team with FAITH HILL to perform Girl Crush.

LUKE BRYAN will premiere his new single, Kick The Dust Up, with performances May 19 on NBC’s The Voice (Season Finale) and The Ellen Show. The tune is the lead single from Luke’s forthcoming album, due out this summer.

TOBY KIETH will join with the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) in several initiatives to include donating a portion of sales of his critically-acclaimed Wild Shot Mezcal to the organization. The drink will sold at 6,800 VFW posts throughout the U.S.

LADY ANTEBELLUM’s Charles Kelley and wife Cassie are part of the June issue of Southern Living magazine.

MICKEY GUYTON will release an EP of new material May 26. Mickey will be touring this summer with BRAD PAISLEY on his Crushin’ It Tour beginning Friday (May 15).

It’s a high honor to have an exhibition dedicated to your career at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville, and no one is more deserved than an icon like TRISHA YEARWOOD. Trisha Yearwood: The Song Remembers When will run July 3 through December of this year and will depict the life and professional accomplishments of the three-time Grammy-award-winning artist, beginning with her childhood in her small hometown of Monticello, Georgia.

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DATEBOOK: MAY 15, 2015

This is day 135 of 2015. There are 230 days remaining.

BIRTHDAYS

• Counterculture icon Wavy Gravy is 79

• Former secretary of state Madeleine Albright is 78

• Musician Brian Eno is 67

• Chazz Palminteri (The Usual Suspects) is 63

• Sports broadcaster Dan Patrick is 59

• Former Dallas Cowboys running back Emmitt Smith (Dancing with the Stars) is 46

• David Charvet (Melrose Place) is 43

• Russell Hornsby (Grimm) is 41

• David Krumholtz is 37

• Jamie-Lynn Sigler (The Sopranos) is 34

• Alexandra Breckenridge (The Walking Dead, American Horror Story) is 33

• Scottish tennis champ Andy Murray is 28

IT HAPPENED TODAY

• 1718: James Puckle, a London lawyer, patented the world’s first machine gun.

• 1905: Las Vegas, Nevada, was founded when 110 acres, in what later would become downtown, were auctioned off.

• 1928: The animated short “Plane Crazy” was released, featuring the first appearances of Mickey and Minnie Mouse.

• 1930: Ellen Church became the first airline stewardess (today’s flight attendant), flying on a United Airlines flight from San Francisco to Cheyenne, Wyoming.

• 1940: Nylon stockings went on sale for the first time in the United States.

• 1940: McDonald’s was founded.

• 1941: Baseball player Joe DiMaggio started his record-breaking 56-game hitting streak.

• 1970: The Beatles’ last LP, Let It Be, was released in the United States.

• 1972: The island of Okinawa, under U.S. military governance since its conquest in 1945, reverted to Japanese control.

• 1973: Nolan Ryan threw his first no-hitter (at Kansas City).

• 1990: A Pittsburgh man sued his insurance company for canceling his health insurance after confusing his medical history with that of his dog.

• 2006: A defiant Saddam Hussein refused to enter a plea at his trial, insisting he was still Iraq’s president as a judge formally charged him with crimes against humanity.

• 2006: A drunken student who spent the night in a tree had to be rescued by British firefighters. The student had climbed 100 feet up a pine tree, without his shoes on, and then fell asleep. Eight firefighters needed 90 minutes and ropes and pulleys to get him down from his precarious perch. As one fire official put it, “Alcohol and climbing trees don’t really mix.”

• 2007: The Rev. Jerry Falwell died at age 73.

SPECIAL EVENTS

• Chocolate Chip Cookie Day

• Peace Officer Memorial Day

• Bike to Work Day

UPCOMING

• May 15: Jim Gaffigan on Reddit’s Ask Me Anything (Friday)

• May 16: The Preakness (Saturday)

• May 17: Mad Men Finale (Sunday)

• May 17: Billboard Music Awards (Sunday)

• May 20: David Letterman’s final show (Wednesday)

• May 25: Memorial Day (Monday)

• June 6: Belmont Stakes (Saturday)

• June 21: Father’s Day (Sunday)

More holidays

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DATEBOOK WEEKEND

SATURDAY, MAY 16

• Pierce Brosnan is 62. Debra Winger is 60. Mare Winningham is 56. Krist Novoselic (Nirvana) is 50. Janet Jackson is 49. David Boreanaz is 46. Country singer Rick Trevino is 44. Tori Spelling is 42. Melanie Lynskey (Two and a Half Men) is 38. Megan Fox is 29.

• The Preakness runs today; Armed Forces Day; National Piercing Day; Learn To Swim Day; World Whisky Day; Wear Purple for Peace Day; National Barbecue Day.

SUNDAY, MAY 17

• Bill Paxton is 60. Bob Saget is 59. Enya is 54. Craig Ferguson is 53. Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails is 50. Jordan Knight (New Kids on the Block) is 45. Derek Hough (Dancing With the Stars) is 30. Nikki Reed is 27.

• Neighbor Day; World Baking Day; Pack Rat Day; Cherry Cobbler Day.