COUNTRY May 21, 2015

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DATEBOOK: MAY 21, 2015

This is day 141 of 2015. There are 224 days remaining.

BIRTHDAYS

• Singer Ron Isley of the Isley Brothers is 74

• Singer Leo Sayer is 67

• Comedian and actor turned politician Al Franken is 64

• Mr. T is 63

• Judge Reinhold (Beverly Hills Cop, Fast Times at Ridgemont High) is 58

• Lisa Edelstein (House) is 49

• Sarah Ramos (Parenthood, American Dreams) is 24

IT HAPPENED TODAY

• 1819: The first bicycles, imported from England, appeared on the streets of New York City. Within a month, the city banned the new-fangled machines as being hazardous to public safety.

• 1881: The American Red Cross was established by Clara Barton.

• 1927: Charles Lindbergh touched down at Le Bourget Field in Paris, completing the world’s first solo nonstop flight across the Atlantic Ocean.

• 1932: Amelia Earhart, because of bad weather, landed in a pasture in Derry, Northern Ireland, becoming the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean.

• 1934: Oskaloosa, Iowa, became the first municipality in the United States to fingerprint each of its citizens.

• 1945: Screen legend Humphrey Bogart married actress Lauren Bacall.

• 1956: The United States exploded the first airborne hydrogen bomb, over Bikini Atoll in the Pacific.

• 1995: A Lakeland, Florida, man lost a thumb when a barber who came to his home bit it off. The 30-year-old barber became irate when his customer decided he didn’t want a haircut after all. Doctors were not able to reattach the thumb.

• 1998: A Fullerton, California, man finally paid off his 1958 divorce with a check for $180 to his attorney. The 70-year-old client said he always intended to pay the bill, but with six kids and health problems, it took him 40 years to get caught up.

• 1999: Susan Lucci, star of the ABC soap opera All My Children, won her first Daytime Emmy Award for best actress in the 19th straight year she was nominated.

• 2008: The U.S. Court of Appeals on ruled that paper currency discriminates against the blind.

SPECIAL EVENTS

• Hummus Day. Never had it? Wikipedia says it’s “a thick paste or spread made from ground chickpeas and sesame seeds, olive oil, lemon, and garlic, made originally in the Middle East.”

• National Wait Staff Day

• One Day Without Shoes Day, created by Toms Shoes to encourage people to pay more attention to the numerous problems a lack of shoes can cause in the lives of impoverished children.

Strawberries and Cream Day

UPCOMING

• May 24: Indianapolis 500 (Sunday)

• 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

8.3 million: Pet birds in the U.S.

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NEWS ATTACK!

There’s now proof that North Korea faked that picture of their military launching a missile from a submarine. [Experts are now also casting serious doubts on the regime’s claim of a successful manned moon landing.]

New Mexico says it has a completely new type of rabies. [As if I needed an additional reason to go to New Mexico.]

Japan’s aquariums have agreed to stop accepting dolphins captured in notorious and deadly hunts. [The aquariums say that they will now only hire dolphins who have successfully graduated from their intern program.]

Police in Oklahoma easily caught a home burglar by following the trail of cooking grease from the deep fryer he stole. [He couldn’t explain why his clothes smelled like five pounds of French fries.]

Police in Oklahoma easily caught a home burglar by following the trail of cooking grease from the deep fryer he stole. [He said he got drunk and cracked under the pressure of his Paleo Diet.]

The government has released some of the documents it found in Osama Bin Laden’s house. One of the documents was a list of questions to ask new recruits. [“I see that you’ve applied for first shift, so, let me ask you — if needed, would you also be able to martyr yourself on evenings or weekends?”]

North Korea’s latest military claim is that it has created mini nukes. [Half the calories of regular nukes.]

A California teen tried to steal an unmarked van but discovered it was a news van with the reporter in the back. [“I’m reporting live from the back of a stolen van weaving recklessly in and out of rush hour traffic at high speed! What are my thoughts? What are my fears? All that and more, but first a check of today’s weather.”]

The NFL has moved the extra point conversion back to the 15-yard-line. It was simply too easy from the 2-yard-line with kickers being successful 99% of the time. [While texting.]

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NEWS & NUGGETS

MAN WHO FLEW GYROCOPTER TO CAPITOL FACES 9 YEARS IN PRISON _ A Florida man who piloted a gyrocopter through miles of America’s most restricted airspace before landing at the U.S. Capitol is now facing charges that carry up to 9½ years in prison. The U.S. attorney’s office for the District of Columbia said Wednesday that a grand jury has indicted Douglas Hughes on six charges. He is scheduled to appear today (Thursday) in federal court. Hughes, who took off from Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, was arrested April 15 after he landed on the Capitol’s West Lawn. Hughes has said his flight was intended to call attention to the influence of big money in politics.

HIGH-TECH COLLAR IS A SMARTPHONE FOR YOUR DOG _ DogTelligent has developed a dog collar unlike any other. The All-in-One Smart Dog Collar has GPS, WiFi capability, an accelerometer, a thermometer, a speaker, LED lights, and a microphone. It helps a dog owner keep track of the dog by warning when the collar has traveled beyond a predetermined location. The Virtual Leash warns the dog when it’s moving away from a human companion by whistling, vibrating, and simulating a tug on the collar.

A CAMERA THAT LETS DOGS TAKE PHOTOS OF THINGS THEY LIKE _ With the falling costs of digital cameras and the popularity of smartphones, these days it seems like photography has gone to the dogs. Now it actually has. Nikon 3D-printed a custom case for one of its cameras that can be strapped around a dog to take photos from a dog’s-eye view. According to Nikon’s site, the case is connected to a heart-rate monitor strap, like the ones runners use to track their heartbeat. When the dog’s heart rate spikes, the case snaps a photo. • VIDEO

BACON IS 25% CHEAPER NOW _ Bacon lovers can breathe a sigh of smoky relief because America’s favorite smoked meat is more affordable today. A one-pound package of bacon is 25% cheaper now than a year ago (according to U.S. Agriculture Department data). That’s over a dollar and a quarter in savings. Timing couldn’t be better because America’s bacon craze hasn’t stopped. In the past year, Americans ate 1.1 billion — billion with a B — servings of bacon at restaurants alone.

ROWERS AIMING FOR WORLD RECORD RESCUED _ James Ketchell and Ashley Wilson, two British rowers who hoped to set a world record for the 3,600-mile voyage across the Indian Ocean, were rescued at sea Wednesday, just a day after departing. They abandoned their record attempt after their electronic navigation system failed about 21 miles off the coast of Western Australia. A fishing boat towed them back to shore. The duo plans to try again next week.

BABY INVOLVED IN SCARY CAR ACCIDENT IN THE LAST PLACE YOU’D EXPECT _ There are plenty of things that could hurt babies when they’re asleep in their cribs, but if there’s one thing we thought they were safe from there, it was SUVs. But apparently not — the wall of a house and a crib didn’t stop one baby in Washington (Bellevue) from getting hit by a car. The baby is okay but the house and the car aren’t. Investigators say the 34-year-old driver of a SUV was pulling into a driveway when they accidentally hit the gas pedal instead of the brake and the car went through the side of a house.

MOST AMERICANS STILL DON’T USE SUNSCREEN _ Despite years of public health messages, barely one third of Americans use sunscreen regularly (according to the CDC). Researchers found that sunscreen is most often used by women on the skin of the face, and by people with higher household income.

CAFFEINE CONSUMPTION REDUCES CHANCE OF ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION _ Men who drink two to three cups of coffee per day, or consume an equivalent amount of caffeine, are about 40 percent less likely to experience erectile dysfunction. Researchers associated caffeine with ED based on a survey of 3,724 men older than 20. The survey included questions about daily caffeine consumption and whether or not they’d experienced erectile dysfunction. The question in the survey applied caffeine intake not only to coffee, but also to tea, soda and sports drinks.

IOWA CAPITOL EVACUATED FOR BURNT PIZZA CRUST _ On Tuesday morning a charred pizza crust forced the evacuation of the Iowa Capitol building. Nothing was damaged and no one was injured. A few weeks ago burned macaroni and cheese emptied out the Iowa Capitol.

ATTORNEY FORCED TO VACATE OFFICE OVER LOGO DISPUTE _ An Oklahoma City attorney must vacate her office space following a dispute over her logo. Joi McClendon practices criminal law and her logo is a unique take on the skull and crossbones image. It features the scales of justice for eyes and gavels for crossbones. Joi calls the logo fun. The landlord of her office space does not find the logo fun. Her landlord said she does not consider the logo a good representation of the property since the skull and crossbones traditionally symbolize death, piracy or even poison. Despite the dispute, Joi said she still considers the landlord to be a good person at heart.

TEACHER’S GESTURE TURNS STUDENT’S HORRIBLE DAY UPSIDE DOWN _ As adults, it’s easy to forget just how hard kids have it sometimes.  Luckily, one Washington state 4th grade teacher didn’t forget, and went out of her way to turn a student’s day from “worst day ever” to “best in the world.” On Monday, a 9-year-old student named Matthew came to school extremely upset. Matthew had gotten a haircut over the weekend, and an older student at the school had made fun of a bald spot on Matthew’s head just as he arrived. He didn’t want to take off his hat and he didn’t want to come to class. The timid 4th grader was torn apart by the older student’s remarks. Seeing tears in Matthew’s eyes, teacher Tori Nelson decided to make the boy a promise. If you come in my class, I’ll  cut my hair, too.

… Over lunch Nelson ran home and got her clippers. After lunch, all of Ms. Nelson’s 4th graders gathered around while Matthew made the teacher “his twin” by cutting her hair. She told him, “Now if anyone makes fun of you, they’re also making fun of me.”

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WACKY-BUT-TRUE

WACKY-BUT-TRUE: MAN WALKS WOMAN ON DOG LEASH _ In Staten Island, New York, a man walked a woman on a dog leash inside a mall. In the photos going around social media the pink-haired woman is wearing a spiked collar with some heels and little bit of leather. She and her male companion are going about their business like it’s not big deal. The scene shocked shoppers at Staten Island Mall when the leashed woman got on all fours and began acting like a dog. Store clerks say that the couple are regulars and that it was a publicity stunt of sorts. An employee with a clothing store said that the pair is actually “normal.”

WACKY-BUT-TRUE: BEAR CLIMBS ELECTRIC TOWER TO RAID BIRD’S NEST _ A bear in Alberta, Canada, climbed an electric tower in search of food. Video on Facebook shows the bear already atop the tower, ransacking a nest as two birds try to repel it in vain. • VIDEO

WACKY-BUT-TRUE: POLICE PULL OVER GOLF CART, SUSPEND MAN’S DRIVER’S LICENSE _ In his ten years as an officer, Cpl. John Spaans has never had to pull over a golf cart — until a man was busted driving his golf cart down the road after having a few brews Saturday night just outside the town of Boyle in Alberta, Canada. A patrol car saw a golf cart driving on the road, which is illegal. When the officer pulled the golf cart over he immediately detected the odor of alcohol on the driver’s breath.

WACKY-BUT-TRUE: TV NETWORK BROADCASTS A DAY OF SHEEP BIRTHING _ Norwegians have an appetite for interesting TV content. Station NRK, which previously broadcast a 12-hour knitting marathon, a 12-hour program of wood burning, and a 100-hour marathon of chess, seems to have influenced an Icelandic public TV network to follow suit. Recently NRK treated its viewers to a day of sheep birthing. And so the other day the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service ran a live feed from a farm in northern Iceland — of lambs being born. The broadcast lasted 24 hours.

WACKY-BUT-TRUE: COPS FOLLOW EASY TRAIL TO SUSPECT’S HOME _ Police investigating a home burglary in Oklahoma (Chickasha) were able to follow the grease trail left by a stolen deep fryer straight to a suspect’s home. Cops say two men stole about $4,000 worth of items, including the deep fryer.

WACKY-BUT-TRUE: 911 CALLED AFTER SOMEONE SAW A TIGER ON A CAR ROOF _ A man named Connor Zuvich found a discarded, stuffed tiger on the side of the road in Washington state, so he did what anyone would do and strapped it to the roof of his car. Connor says, “The thing looked really realistic. We were just cruising around with it.” He and his friends drove around for a while with their new trophy when a cop pulled them over. The officer said the police were contacted by a concerned citizen who reported a live Bengal tiger on the loose. But when the officer noticed it was just a stuffed animal he snapped some quick photos to send to all his buddies.

WACKY-BUT-TRUE: NAKED MAN, WAVING MACHETE, THREATENED PEOPLE _ A man was arrested on Long Island, New York Monday after police say he went around naked in the parking lot of a Costco, threatening people with a machete.

WACKY-BUT-TRUE: POLICE FIND 1,000 STOLEN EGGS IN MAN’S FRIDGE _ A security guard in China was spotted by police smuggling two suitcases of stolen eggs out of the factory where he worked. When they investigated the man police found more than 1,000 eggs in his fridge, as well as soap, meat, boxes of tissues and bottles of detergent. The egg fanatic had scribbled dates on them in pen to remind him when to eat his next egg-heavy meal.

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ON TELEVISION

RED NOSE DAY (8p ET, NBC) — Red Nose Day, the U.K.’s #1 television fundraising event, comes to the US. A huge list of stars will appear in this special that will feature comedy, videos produced by Funny or Die, and music performances. The benefit event will help 12 charity organizations lift children and young people out of poverty, in the U.S. and throughout the world.

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

500 QUESTIONS (8p ET, ABC) — A new, 2-hour edition

WAYWARD PINES (8p ET, FOX) — This is a repeat of last week’s premiere.

iZOMBIE (8p ET, CW) — Repeat

THE ODD COUPLE (8:30p ET, CBS) — Repeat

MOM (9p ET, CBS) — Repeat

WAYWARD PINES (9p ET, FOX) — New

THE VAMPIRE DIARIES (9p ET, CW) — Repeat

MIKE & MOLLY (9:30p ET, CBS) — Repeat

ELEMENTARY (10p ET, CBS) — Repeat

JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE (10p ET, ABC) — Repeat

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ENTERTAINMENT

MELISSA MCCARTHY DEBUTS WEIGHT LOSS _ Melissa McCarthy is showing off her big weight loss, turning heads at a Hollywood Walk of Fame event as she debuted her new figure after losing 50 pounds. Melissa McCarthy has been working hard at her weight loss goals. Earlier this year she showed off a 45-pound weight loss, which she credited to a high-protein and low-carb diet. The actress added that she has never felt pressure to change who she is, even in light of weight critics.

NEW CLIP FROM UNRATED ‘FIFTY SHADES’ BLU-RAY _ The Fifty Shades of Grey action keeps rolling out — behind-the-scenes action. Universal has a lip-biting new clip from the Fifty Shades of Grey Unrated Blu-ray. The video takes a documentary-style look at who Dakota Johnson, Jamie Dornan, and director Sam Taylor-Johnson believe, at her core, Anastasia Steele really is. We also get a glimpse of cameras shooting some seriously intimate scenes between Dakota and Jamie.

JANICE DICKINSON SUES BILL COSBY FOR DEFAMATION, DISTRESS _ Former model Janice Dickinson has reportedly filed a lawsuit against Bill Cosby. According to TMZ, the 60-year-old former America’s Next Top Model judge and author claims that Cosby’s team lied when they stated that Dickinson made up her allegations about the popular comedian drugging and raping her back in 1982. In December 2014, Dickinson opened up in an interview with CNN about why she waited so long to come forward with her story as well as what she remembered from the alleged incident.

… Since the alleged incident occurred over 30 years ago, the statute of limitations passed quite some time ago. Even though Dickinson cannot file any charges related to her allegations, she has apparently decided to file a lawsuit based on a brand new claim of defamation.

… Dickinson is just one of the many women that have come forward with allegations against Bill Cosby.

MIMI ROGERS JOINS BRUCE CAMPBELL FOR ASH VS. EVIL DEAD _ Mimi Rogers has signed on for the Starz series Ash vs. Evil Dead. The series is a follow-up to the Evil Dead films from director Sam Raimi. . Raimi is returning direct the pilot episode of the ten episode season that follows the continuing horrific adventures of Ash Williams, as he fights the deadites that have been connected to him since the events of the original film. Bruce Campbell and Lucy Lawless are set to star.

MARISKA HARGITAY’S DAUGHTER ‘IS THE BIGGEST’ TAYLOR SWIFT FAN _ Mariska Hargitay appears in pal Taylor Swift’s star-studded music video for Bad Blood, alongside the singer’s brigade of strong female friends like Lena Dunham, Cara Delevingne, Selena Gomez and Karlie Kloss. Hargitay says, “I feel like my cool factor went up with the kids, and I’m really grateful, Taylor!” And the actress said there’s one kid in particular who might take interest in her “epic” cameo: her 4-year-old daughter Amaya: “I don’t know if she comprehends how cool it is, but she is the biggest Swiftie I know…”

SELENA GOMEZ NOT DOING HER OWN REALITY SHOW _ Selena Gomez does not want to have her own reality show, despite a new report. According to OK! Selena has “hatched a plan to do her own reality show” because she is “tired of being seen as Justin Bieber’s lovesick ex.” What’s more, the tabloid claims Gomez has already struck a deal for Kris Jenner to produce the show. The magazine quotes an “insider” as saying that Jenner is so convinced the proposed reality series will be a “hit,” she told Gomez “her show will cause the Kardashians’ own ratings to dip!” But a source close to Gomez said OK!’s story is “absolutely ludicrous.”

LADY GAGA RECEIVES MORE THAN 30 WEDDING DRESS SKETCHES _ Bride-to-be Lady Gaga is over the moon as she has received more than 30 wedding dress sketches from top designers, including the likes of Karl Lagerfeld, Monique Lhuillier, Alberta Ferretti, Donna Karan Atelier, and Diane Von Furstenberg . The singer took to her Twitter account to express her gratitude and give praise to the big names in fashion for taking time out to give her possible designs for her upcoming big day.

TOM CRUISE SHOWS OFF A BUSTED SMILE ON SET OF HIS NEW MOVIE _ Tom Cruise is missing a tooth, but fans shouldn’t worry. The actor flashed his toothless grin to photographers on the set of his now movie Mena, in which he plays pilot-turned-gun-runner Barry Seals. Cruise’s missing tooth is really part of the portrayal — and make-up magic.

‘PITCH PERFECT 2’ SOUNDTRACK DEBUTS AT TOP OF ALBUM CHART _ The Pitch Perfect 2 movie has already outdone its predecessor, and the sequel only opened last Friday. The soundtrack from the original Pitch Perfect peaked at a respectable No. 3 on the Billboard 200 chart. Pitch Perfect 2‘s soundtrack has already overtaken that. Pitch Perfect 2 debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 album chart. This follows the success of the film, which made over $70 million in box office ticket sales in North American in its opening weekend.

STARS TWEET GOODBYE TO DAVID LETTERMAN _ Stars were tweeting their goodbyes to David Letterman, who stepped down from “The Late Show” on Wednesday night.

… Jessica Chastain posted a picture of herself and Letterman on the series in October 2014, when she appeared to promote Interstellar. The actress captioned the photo saying, “You sir, are a true gentleman.”

… For Tom Arnold, the end of “The Late Show” hit very close to him. The actor tweeted, “Did Letterman over 30 times. Let me fill in as host twice. Grateful and sad but his exist is perfect like everything else these last 33 years.”

… Josh Groban tweeted, “My brother and I would stay up late to watch Letterman every night. Singing songs (and the top 10!) on his show was an honor. Thanks Dave!!”

… Jon Lovitz tweeted, “Thanks David Letterman for all the years of great entertainment on your program! You set me up perfectly, every time!”

… Ricki Lake posted a video of herself on The Late Show in 1990, saying, “In honor of #davidletterman’s retirement.”

… Jon Cryer shared a video as well, of his appearance on The Late Show in 2011. The actor wrote, “Thanks #DavidLetterman… It was an honor to share the stage with you.”

… Sean Hayes tweeted, “Thank you to my hero, @Letterman. Late night will never be the same.”

… Steve Martin tweeted: “Congratulations to David Letterman, who I now believe is beginning his third career in show business.”

… Lena Dunham shared a picture of the host kissing her hand and wrote “really know how to make gal feel like trillion bucks. thank you for it all.”

… Kelly Ripa posted a broken heart emoji along with her own Letterman pic, writing, “Thanks Dave……..for everything.”

… Fellow TV host Ellen DeGeneres tweeted, “Tonight is David @Letterman’s final show. What a wonderful, inspiring, hilarious, groundbreaking, amazing ride. #ThanksDave.”

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BITS & BREAKS

CATCHING UP WITH THE “CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW” VERIZON GUY

You know the Verizon Guy — he’s the glasses-wearing guy you picture when someone uses the phrase “Can you hear me now? If you’re annoyed by the Verizon Guy, think about how bad it is for Paul Marcarelli, the actor who played him. The Atlantic tracked him down and chatted with him about his acting career and life in general, which has been dominated by the time he spent as a Verizon pitchman.

• Despite his Verizon deal ending four years ago, a few months ago he attended his grandmother’s funeral. As her body was being lowered into the ground, he heard the hushed voice of a family friend: “Can you hear me now?”

• He’s also been forced to ditch his preferred style of glasses — Buddy Holly plastic frames — in favor of more subtle wire-rims.

• Marcarelli has a home in Guilford, Connecticut, and for awhile kids in an SUV were driving past at night, yelling, “Can you hear me now?” Later, says Marcarelli, they started screaming harsher things at his house.

• Marcarelli says, “There’s a price to pay. Don’t feel bad for me, but I’m definitely glad that chapter is over.”

• The website CelebrityNetWorth.com estimates Marcarelli’s net worth to be around $10 million, though not all from Verizon. He has many other commercials under his belt as an actor, such as advertisements for companies like Old Navy and Heineken. He also has a calling as a voice over artist, performing voice over work for Comedy Central, United Airlines, and more. He also has experience working behind the camera, as a producer for independent filmmakers, and as a screenwriter.

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FUN & GAMES

TRIVIA: About 80 people are injured by this each year in the U.S. (Turbulence while flying. Three-quarters are usually flight attendants. So of the 800 million or so who fly in the U.S. each year about 20 passengers are injured during turbulence. Buckle up!)

TRIVIA: A study shows boys who do this before puberty are 4 inches shorter than those who don’t do this. (Smoke marijuana)

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JOKE OF THE DAY

A grade school teacher was asking students what their parents did for a living. “Tim, you be first,” she said. “What does your mother do all day?” Tim stood up and proudly said, “She’s a doctor.” “That’s wonderful. How about you, Amie?” Amie shyly stood up, scuffed her feet and said, “My father is a mailman.” “Thank you, Amie,” said the teacher. “What about your father, Billy?” Billy proudly stood up and announced, “My daddy plays piano in a live band in a strip club.” The teacher was blown away and promptly changed the subject. Later that day she called Billy’s house. Billy’s father answered. The teacher explained what his son had said and demanded an explanation. Billy’s father said, “I’m actually an attorney. How can I explain a thing like that to a seven-year-old?”

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VIDEO OF THE DAY

Coolest girl on the train

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IMAGE OF THE DAY

Perfect time for a selfie.

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LAST MINUTE ITEMS

• The E.T. sequel that fortunately never happened.

Eat This Much automatically creates meal plans that meet your diet goals.

• An architect wants to build an underwater tennis court in Dubai.

• Mac users: get the fantastic Forecast Bar.

Dad saves the day!

• 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.

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COUNTRY DATEBOOK: MAY 21, 2015

• 1949: EDDY ARNOLD logged his 54th week at number one on the country charts with Bouquet of Roses.

• 1994: TRISHA YEARWOOD and MAVERICKS bassist Robert Reynolds were married on the stage of the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville. They have since divorced and Trisha is now married to GARTH BROOKS.

• 1998: GARTH BROOKS’ album No Fences was certified multi-platinum for sales of 14 million copies. Hits included Friends In Low Places, Unanswered Prayers and The Thunder Rolls.

• 2001: GARTH BROOKS appeared on an episode of Lifetime’s Intimate Portrait, dedicated to Elizabeth Dole.

• 2006: Grand Ole Opry legend BILLY JOE WALKER, along with his wife Betty and two members of his band, were killed in an automobile accident in Alabama. He’d been a member of the Opry since 1960.

• 2007: CARRIE UNDERWOOD’s Some Hearts was certified multi-platinum for shipments of 6 million copies.

• 2007: GARTH BROOKS and TRISHA YEARWOOD took part in a home build in Violet, Louisiana, contributing to the 1,000th Habitat for Humanity construction project in the Gulf Coast since Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

• 2008: GEORGE STRAIT’s album Troubadour was certified gold.

• 2008: CARRIE UNDERWOOD performed Last Name during the season finale of American Idol, where David Cook was crowned champion.

• 2008: DARIUS RUCKER’s first country single, Don’t Think I Don’t Think About It, was released to radio.

• 2011: TAYLOR SWIFT raised $750,000 for tornado relief by selling tickets to the final rehearsal for her Speak Now Tour at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville.

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COUNTRY AUDIO

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

MADDIE & TAE have always written songs together. » download page

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COUNTRY MUSIC NEWS

TYLER FARR recently went to No. 1 with A Guy Walks Into a Bar. The song was a huge success for Tyler, but it almost got to another major country star first. Tyler says, “We were on [Jason Aldean’s] tour last year, and Blake’s wife Miranda Lambert joined us for a few shows. So one day, Blake was hanging around backstage, and I hear him say, ‘Where’s that song stealer?’ Turns out he also had the song on hold.”

… Blake was joking about the “song stealer” thing, and there’s no hard feelings between the two singers. Blake offered praise to Tyler after hearing his version of the tune, and the two have become buddies.

LUKE BRYAN, COLE SWINDELL, RANDY HOUSER, LEE BRICE and THOMAS RHETT helped raise more than $100,000 for the Georgia Music Foundation last week as part of the second Georgia On My Mind benefit concert to provide funds for music education in the state. CRAIG CAMPBELL, LAUREN ALAINA and MAGGIE ROSE also performed as did THE PEACH PICKERS, consisting of singer/songwriters DALLAS DAVIDSON, RHETT AKINS and BEN HAISLOP.

KEITH URBAN will perform Pink Houses with John Mellencamp while BLAKE SHELTON will be seen visiting a mobile health clinic in Los Angeles tonight (Thursday) on NBC’s Red Nose Special, to raise money and awareness for children living in poverty.

KEITH URBAN and Stevie Wonder are guests on a song by singer Jason Derulo called Broke, available now on iTunes.

ALABAMA, TRACE ADKINS, CHARLIE DANIELS, RANDY HOUSER and JAMEY JOHNSON are part of the new CD/DVD by Lynyrd Skynyrd called One More For The Fans, due out July 24. The footage comes from a concert that was filmed last November in Atlanta.

GLORIANA will release their new album, Three, June 2. The band is giving fans who pre-order the project at iTunes three free downloads this week and three more next week leading up to the June 2 release.

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DATEBOOK: MAY 22, 2015

This is day 142 of 2015. There are 223 days remaining.

BIRTHDAYS

• Richard Benjamin is 77

• Lyricist Bernie Taupin (Elton John’s writing partner) is 65

• Singer Morrissey is 56

• Ann Cusack (Jeff Foxworthy Show, A League of Their Own) is 54

• Michael Kelly (House of Cards) is 46

• Model Naomi Campbell is 45

• Sean Gunn (Gilmore Girls) is 41

• Ginnifer Goodwin is 37

• Maggie Q is 36

• Speed skater Apolo Anton Ohno (Dancing with the Stars) is 33

IT HAPPENED TODAY

• 1843: Thousands of people and their cattle headed west via wagon train from Independence, Missouri, to what would later become the Oregon Territory. It was part of the Great Migration. They followed what is now known as the Oregon Trail.

• 1931: The first canned rattlesnake meat was sold, in Arcadia, Florida.

• 1906: The Wright brothers were granted U.S. patent number 821,393 for their “Flying-Machine”.

• 1955: Police in Bridgeport, Connecticut, canceled a Fats Domino concert over fears of an anticipated “rock ‘n’ roll riot.”

• 1967: “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood” premiered on PBS, featuring Rev. Fred Rogers, a Presbyterian minister from Pittsburgh. It’s public television’s longest running children’s program.

• 1986: Sylvester Stallone signed a 10-picture, six-year deal with United Artists for a reported $15 million per film, making him at the time the richest actor in Hollywood.

• 1990: The Windows 3.0 operating system was released by Microsoft.

• 1992: After 30 years, 66-year-old Johnny Carson hosted The Tonight Show for the last time.

• 1998: A federal judge ruled that United States Secret Service agents could be compelled to testify before a grand jury concerning the Lewinsky scandal, involving President Bill Clinton.

• 2003: In Fort Worth, Texas, Annika Sörenstam became the first woman to play the PGA Tour in 58 years.

• 2004: Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11, a scathing documentary about White House actions after the September 11th terrorist attacks, won first prize at the Cannes Film Festival.

SPECIAL EVENTS

• Heat Awareness Day; Maritime Day; World Goth Day; Heat Awareness Safety Day; Buy a Musical Instrument Day; Vanilla Pudding Day

UPCOMING

• May 24: Indianapolis 500 (Sunday)

• 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 23

• Joan Collins is 82. Charles Kimbrough (Murphy Brown) is 79. Drew Carey is 57. Lea DeLaria (Orange is the New Black) is 57. Country singer Shelly West is 57. Country singer Brian McComas is 43. Jewel is 41. Tim Robinson (Saturday Night Live) is 34.

• International Jazz Day; National Polka Day; World Turtle Day; Taffy Day; Lucky Penny Day

SUNDAY, MAY 24

• Bob Dylan is 74. Gary Burghoff (M*A*S*H) is 72. Patti LaBelle is 71. Priscilla Presley is 70. Country singer-songwriter Mike Reid is 68. Alfred Molina is 62. Rosanne Cash is 60. Kristin Scott Thomas is 55. John C. Reilly is 50. Eric Close (Nashville) is 48. Mark Ballas (Dancing With the Stars) is 29. Country singer Billy Gilman is 27.

• Brother’s Day; Escargot Day