COUNTRY June 24, 2015

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DATEBOOK: JUNE 24, 2015

This is day 175 of 2015. There are 190 days remaining.

BIRTHDAYS

• Al Molinaro (Al Delvecchio, the owner of Arnold’s, on Happy Days) is 96

• Guitarist Jeff Beck is 71

• Mick Fleetwood of Fleetwood Mac is 68

• Peter Weller is 68

• Iain Glen (Game of Thrones) is 54

• Sherry Stringfield (ER) is 48

• Mindy Kaling is 36

• Solange Knowles is 29.

IT HAPPENED TODAY

• 1497: The first recorded sighting of North America by a European took place when explorer John Cabot, on a voyage for England, spotted land, probably in present-day Canada. He claimed the piece of land for England, which is now Newfoundland.

• 1892: Robert Ford was gunned down in a Creede, Colorado, saloon. Ten years earlier, as a new recruit in the Jesse James gang, he had killed Jesse for a $10,000 reward.

• 1947: The first reported sighting of Flying Saucers was reported near Mount Rainier, Washington, by airline pilot Kenneth Arnold of Boise, Idaho. He reported seeing nine UFOs traveling at 1,700 mph and described their flight pattern as similar to a saucer skipping across water.

• 1955: MAD became a magazine when it switched from a comic book to a more traditional black-and-white layout.

• 1963: The first home video recorder was demonstrated at the BBC Studios in London.

• 1991: A $100 check made out to Pablo Picasso sold for $6,500. In 1962 an art lover gave Picasso the check and asked for a picture. Picasso drew a smiling little devil on the back of the check and returned it to the buyer.

• 1992: The Supreme Court, in a five-to-four decision, strengthened its 30-year ban on officially sponsored worship in public schools by prohibiting prayer as a part of graduation ceremonies.

• 1997: The Air Force released a report on the so-called “Roswell Incident,” suggesting the alien bodies witnesses reported seeing in 1947 were actually life-sized dummies.

• 1996: A report by the World Bank revealed one-fifth of the world’s population had to live on less than a dollar a day.

• 1997: After three days eluding gamekeepers, an 8-foot, 175-pound alligator named Douglas was finally captured in an Atlanta residential area and adopted by the Wild Adventures amusement park in Valdosta, Georgia.

• 2002: A drunk driver in Karlskoga, Sweden, didn’t notice he had lost a wheel until he was pulled up by police. The man could not believe he was driving around on just three wheels. He was charged with drunk-driving.

• 2008: A decommissioned Royal Navy Sea Harrier FA2 fighter jet sold for $50,000 on eBay. It sold with engine and many of the internal systems removed or made inoperative. We’re pretty sure it was lacking weapons, too.

• 2010: John Isner of the United States defeated Nicolas Mahut of France at Wimbledon, in the longest match in professional tennis history: 11 hours, 5 minutes.

SPECIAL EVENTS

• Swim a Lap Day

UPCOMING

• July 1: Canada Day (Wednesday)

• July 4: Independence Day (Saturday)

• July 14: MLB All-Star Game (Tuesday)

• September 7: Labor Day (Monday)

More holidays

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NUMBER FOR THE DAY

21: Minimum smoking age in Hawaii, effective January 1, 2016. No other U.S. state has this age limit.

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NEWS ATTACK!

Residents of the Ohio city of St. Bernard are complaining about the stench now that the city is overrun with wild housecats. [Could be worse. It could be overrun with the stench of wild St. Bernards.]

Those three daredevils who parachuted off of One World Trade Center were convicted on a bunch of misdemeanors. [And one felony for landing on a cop.]

The man who landed a gyrocopter outside the U.S. Capitol has rejected the prosecutor’s plea deal. [I wonder why the prosecutor thought that he could reason with someone who thought it was a brilliant idea to land a gyrocopter outside the U.S. Capitol.]

Tom Brady has begun the process to appeal his four-game NFL suspension. [For millions of people the world is a place where they can’t escape war, murder, and famine, and yet Tom Brady is complaining because gets to spend four Sundays at home in his mansion with his supermodel wife.]

Ryan Gosling, like Taylor Swift, wrote a letter to a giant corporation to get it to change behavior. He asked Costco to only use egg growers who treat their chickens humanely. [And who are willing to pay artists’ royalties for the music they stream into their chicken coops.]

The pilots for Allegiant Air are complaining that the discount airline cuts costs so severely that it’s compromising safety. [For example, to communicate with the control tower pilots have to use their personal cell phones.]

Police officers from 16 police departments had to be called in to subdue a huge brawl at a Pennsylvania wedding reception. [It’s the only wedding reception I’ve ever heard of where the bride and groom’s first dance was to Jailhouse Rock.]

General Mills announced that by the end of the year most of its cereal will no longer contain artificial ingredients. [Or Confederate flags.]

A new survey finds that 30% of Americans have zero savings. [Which ain’t so bad if you have HBO.]

A Washington D.C. bar was fined $500 for violating a city ordinance by which late night music establishments have to keep their windows closed to keep the neighborhood quiet. The drummer in a band opened the window for some fresh air after he farted. [The judge wasn’t clear whether the fine was for the noise of the band or the noise of the fart.

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NEWS & NUGGETS

MORE COMPANIES TO STOP SELLING CONFEDERATE FLAG STUFF _ America’s leading merchants have spoken: The Confederate flag is coming off the shelves. Walmart, Amazon, Etsy, eBay and Sears all announced bans on the sale of Confederate flag merchandise, amid an intensifying national debate over the use of the controversial flag. The flag, a symbol of the slave-holding South, has become increasingly toxic in the aftermath of a shooting last week at a historic African-American church in Charleston, South Carolina.

ON AMAZON, CONFEDERATE FLAG SALES ARE WERE SKYROCKETING _ Before being dropped by the online giant, Amazon.com’s sales of Confederate flags skyrocketed by more than 3,000%. People were snatching up the flags online after several major retailers — including eBay, Walmart, and Sears — pulled them them.

CREATOR OF PINK PLASTIC LAWN FLAMINGO DIES _ The creator of the pink plastic lawn flamingo has died. Donald Featherstone died Monday at an elder care facility in Fitchburg, Massachusetts, after a long battle with dementia. He was 79.

… Featherstone created the flamingo in 1957 for plastics company Union Products, modeling it after a bird he saw in National Geographic. Millions of the birds have been sold. Featherstone worked for Union for 43 years, inventing hundreds of plastic products in that time and rising to the position of president before his retirement in 1999.

GOT AN UGLY DOG? _ If you’re not into women’s soccer, major golf tournaments, or major league baseball, maybe this competition will interest you. We’re two days away from the 27th annual World’s Ugliest Dog Contest (June 26). Set to take place on June 26 at the Sonoma-Marin Fair in Petaluma, California, the competition celebrates “the spirit and imperfections” that make all dogs loveable and adoptable. A dog named Peanut won last year.

IOWA GRANTS GUN PERMITS TO THE BLIND _ Iowa is granting permits to acquire or carry guns in public to people who are legally or completely blind. State law does not allow sheriffs to deny an Iowan the right to carry a weapon based on physical ability. However, advocates for the disabled and Iowa law enforcement officers disagree over whether it’s a good idea for visually disabled Iowans to have weapons.

… It’s not just law enforcement officials who think the legally blind should not be granted a gun permit. For example, Cedar County, Iowa, sheriff Warren Wethington, recently demonstrated how blind people can be taught to shoot guns. But then people such as Dubuque County, Iowa, sheriff Don Vrotsos, said he wouldn’t issue a permit to someone who is blind.

… Private gun ownership and hunting by visually impaired Iowans is nothing new. But the practice of visually impaired residents legally carrying firearms in public became widely possible thanks to gun permit changes that took effect in Iowa in 2011.

LOW-CAL DONUT SHOP GOES BANKRUPT A YEAR AFTER OPENING _ Holey Donuts in New York City’s West Village has gone bankrupt after barely a year. The store’s claim to fame: low-calorie donuts. A cupcake shop in the same space lasted only a few months.

SAINT BERNARD’S SENSE OF SMELL SAVES FAMILY _ When Doree, a Saint Bernard from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, sensed that something wasn’t quite right in her family’s home, she jumped into action. In the middle of the night, Jack Damrill was awoken by his 160-pound dog whining and barking at his bedside. Damrill tried to calm Doree down, but she refused to let her owners fall back asleep. The family’s cats started to join in on the commotion as well when Damrill finally understood what was happening — the animals were able to smell gas long before Damrill could. He discovered that one of his stove burners had been left on “low” throughout the evening, which had begun to fill their house with natural gas. Thankfully, the vigilant pooch was able to prevent a deadly accident.

MEN THINK THEY’RE BETTER AT MATH THAN THEY ARE _ In eduction and private industry, science and math fields are dominated by men. One of the factors in creating such a disparity, a new study suggests, may be male overconfidence. Researchers at Washington State University say men consistently overestimate their mathematic abilities, while women more humbly (and accurately) rate their aptitudes. Men aren’t better at math, scientists say — they just think they are. According to middle and high school testing results, young women are more able mathematicians and scientists.

WE SPEND $2,600 ANNUALLY COMMUTING TO & FROM WORK _ It would be nice if we could teleport to work, wouldn’t it? Avoiding traffic sounds like a dream. But not only do we have to deal with bad drivers and bad roads, we also have to shell out thousands for it every year. Putting a price tag on it, Americans spend $2,600 each year — and 200 hours annually — getting to and from work.

… Employees in Los Angeles spend the most; a daily trip costs about $16 both ways. New Yorkers fall right behind the LA crowd spending $14 for a round trip to the office.

… The national average price tag on daily commuting is $10 and the average commute to work is 45 minutes.

GMAIL’S RECALL FEATURE NOW AVAILABLE TO ALL _ Anyone who’s sent an email and immediately started shouting “No, no, no” at the computer might appreciate this Gmail feature: Users can now call back an email within 30 seconds before it travels on its way. The feature has actually been available in beta for years, but not for everyone. The “undo send” feature is now available to all, though users will have to enable it under the settings menu.

THE WORLD’S BIGGEST EMPLOYERS _ Which company or organization employees the most people? That would be the U.S. Department of Defense, with a workforce of 3.2 million people — making it the largest global employer. The Chinese military is in second position with a force of 2.3 million. Walmart and McDonald’s come third and fourth with 2.1 and 1.9 million employees respectively (the number for McDonald’s includes franchises). England’s National Health Service (NHS) makes an appearance in fifth place with a 1.7 million strong workforce.

THE INTERNET THINKS YOUR SKINNY JEANS ARE TRYING TO KILL YOU _ A 35-year-old woman was paralyzed because of her skinny jeans, according to the Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery & Psychiatry. She collapsed in a park the day after she had been squatting in her jeans for a “protracted time” which “had damaged muscles and nerve fibers in her legs.” She eventually dragged herself out of the park to the road, where she flagged down a car and was immediately rushed to the hospital. The report says her jeans had to be cut off her swollen calves.

… It sounds funny but apparently it’s not — and the Internets are going crazy this week with warnings about wearing skinny jeans and too much squatting, or something. A 2012 report said that the “femoral cutaneous nerve in your thigh can be damaged by prolonged wearing of tight pants.”

… Another 2012 report stated that some women experience a tingly sensation after wearing skinny jeans, and that this sensation is called meralgia paresthetica.

RESCUERS SAVE PUPPY THAT FELL INTO A POOL OF HOT TAR _ An animal rescue group in India was able to save a puppy that had fallen into a pool of hot tar. The puppy was rock solid and unable to move. The dog was spotted by a passerby after the tar had become solid, leaving the dog unable to move and in great pain. Animal Aid Unlimited was called to help. Volunteers from the organization raced to the scene. For two days, volunteers stayed with the 3-month-old puppy and carefully removed the black tar with vegetable oil. The dog laid on its side, its eyes wide with fear, as rescuers removed the thick tar. But now it’s recovering and getting around just fine.

WOMAN AT HOSPITAL TO HELP TWIN GIVE ENDS UP DELIVERING TOO _ Texas twin sisters Karen Escobar and Kathy Escobar didn’t plan on their children sharing a birthday. Kathy was due on June 20, while Karen wasn’t due until July 31. But on June 17, when Karen thought she might be having contractions, she asked her twin sister to come with her to the hospital for support. Sure enough, Karen was in labor, and while at the hospital Kathy also started having contractions. Kathy’s daughter was born at 5:33 in the morning, and Karen delivered a son only a couple hours later. Both moms and babies are healthy and doing well.

FACEBOOK DEVELOPING TECH THAT CAN RECOGNIZE YOU IN PHOTOS EVEN IF YOUR FACE ISN’T SHOWING _ Facebook is working on facial-recognition technology that can identify someone even if their face isn’t in the photo. The tech recognizes people in photos using distinguishing features other than their face. To test its algorithm, Facebook scanned more than 40,000 public photos from Flickr with faces in the frame or out of it, and eventually achieved 83% accuracy using the software. The algorithm looked at various attributes, including hair, clothing and body type to determine who was in the photo. Facebook’s algorithm is only in its test phase right now, but could one day make it to the company’s apps.

WALMART CEO REVEALS HOW THE COMPANY COULD ELIMINATE WORST PART OF SHOPPING _ Walmart is testing a revolutionary barcode technology that could eliminate long lines at checkout registers. The technology is called invisible watermarking, and it allows scanners to read barcodes from anywhere on a product’s packaging. That drastically speeds up the checkout process because employees don’t have to waste time searching for the barcodes on every item they scan. Eventually, the technology could enable shopping carts to read barcodes as items are placed inside them — eliminating the need for checkout registers altogether.

TOO MUCH EXERCISE COULD MAKE YOUR BLOOD TOXIC _ We all understand the importance of physically and mentally training properly so that we can push through that last mile without pulling anything. But, according to a study in the International Journal of Sports Medicine, it’s just as important to train your gut — or potentially suffer from sepsis. Researchers in Australia looked at the blood samples 17 athletes before and after they took part in extreme endurance events, like 24-hour ultra-marathons. They found that this type of exertion caused leaky gut in many of the athletes. Gut bacteria was able to sneak into their blood, where some released toxins, triggering an immune response and resulting in inflammation. Some runners, shockingly, had “blood profiles identical to those of patients admitted to the hospital with blood poisoning, or sepsis.”

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WACKY-BUT-TRUE

WACKY-BUT-TRUE: CRANE CLIMBER ENDS STANDOFF AFTER BEING OFFERED BURRITO _ After spending 14 hours on top of a 9-story-high crane at a construction site, a homeless man in San Jose was coaxed down from the cab he was perched in after he was promised a burrito.

WACKY-BUT-TRUE: 16 POLICE FORCES NEEDED TO STOP WEDDING BRAWL _ Four police officers were hospitalized and seven people were arrested, including the groom, after officers from 16 different police forces were called out to handle the brawl at a Pennsylvania wedding. The whole thing was started by Mandi Groh, who punched another woman in the face after she complained that Groh’s 14-year-old son was drinking. The teenager had a blood alcohol level of 0.16, twice that allowed for an adult. After beating up that woman, Groh turned her attention to her husband, who she also punched in the face. The drunken groom even challenged officers to a fight and refused to back down. That got him locked up on his wedding night. As for the bride, she was treated for alcohol poisoning and dehydration.

WACKY-BUT-TRUE: SUSPICIOUS FIRE _ An apartment fire in Great Falls, Montana, was just a tad suspicious. First, the residents of the apartment where the fire started took out a renter’s insurance policy just 10 days before the fire. Second, neighbors say they saw the two roommates moving out all of their valuables and put them into a storage shed before the fire. Third, the men left just before the fire was reported. And fourth, when investigators went to their storage shed, they not only found the two men there retrieving their valuables, but they also found a fuel can with a wick sticking out of it, and an arson investigator’s manual. The men were arrested.

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ON TELEVISION

SEASON PREMIERE: BIG BROTHER (8p ET, CBS) — Season 17 kicks off tonight and features a transgender contestant. Audrey Middleton will be the first transgender contestant on the U.S. version of Big Brother, but she’s not the first in the franchise. Nadia Almada became the first trans winner of Big Brother in the UK in 2004.

AMERICA’S GOT TALENT (8p ET, NBC) — This “new” edition is a look back at memorable moments from the auditions in New York, New Jersey and California

THE MIDDLE (8p ET, ABC) — Repeat

MASTERCHEF (8p ET, FOX) — New

ARROW (8p ET, CW) — Repeat

THE GOLDBERGS (8:30p ET, ABC) — Repeat

THE BRIEFCASE (9p ET, CBS) — New

AMERICAN NINJA WARRIOR (9p ET, NBC) — A 2-hour repeat

MODERN FAMILY (9p ET, ABC) — Repeat

BULLSEYE (9p ET, FOX) — New

SUPERNATURAL (9p ET, CW) — Repeat

SEASON PREMIERE: SUITS (9p ET, USA) — Season 5 kicks off tonight.

BLACKISH (9:30p ET, ABC) — Repeat

SEASON PREMIERE: DUCK DYNASTY (9:30p ET, A&E) — Season 8 begins tonight.

CELEBRITY WIFE SWAP (10p ET, ABC) — In this new edition, Vince Neil’s girlfriend and Gunnar Nelson’s wife trade lives.

CRIMINAL MINDS (10p ET, CBS) — Repeat

SERIES PREMIERE: MR ROBOT (10p ET, USA) — This new series stars Rami Malek (The Pacific) as a socially inept security tech that protects big companies from hackers. But on the side, Eliot is a vigilante hacker and he’s recruited by a group of anonymous hackers led by “Mr Robot” (Christian Slater). Gloria Reuben (ER) also stars.

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ENTERTAINMENT

SEINFELD IS ON HULU _ Festivus comes early this year. Beginning today (Wednesday) all 180 episodes of Seinfeld are on streaming on Hulu. The deal is said to be worth between $700,000 and $1 million per episode. Amazon and Yahoo were also in the running for the series. Netflix had early interest in streaming Seinfeld but pulled out to focus on its original programming. • SEINFELD THEME

DICK VAN PATTEN DIES _ Dick Van Patten, who played the dad on the 1980s TV dramedy Eight Is Enough, died on Tuesday morning. He was 86. He had most recently appeared onscreen in a guest role as Lester on TV Land’s Hot in Cleveland.

BUY STUFF YOU SEE IN MOVIES _ If you saw the leather vest Chris Pratt wears in Jurassic World and thought, “I’d like to own one of those!” there’s a website for that. TheTake.com identifies products and places in movies so you can purchase or visit. For instance, there are dozens of products listed from Jurassic World… you can even play the trailer and product matches will pop up. • LINK

KATHERINE HEIGL TO RETURN TO GREY’S ANATOMY IN SEASON 12? _ Grey’s Anatomy shocked fans with the exit of series star Patrick Dempsey in season eleven, however, can fans expect to see some familiar faces in season 12? Hollywood Life reports that Katherine Heigl, who portrayed Dr. Izzie Stevens on Grey’s Anatomy until her departure in 2010, has sparked rumors of a return to the medical drama for season twelve after her NBC series State of Affairs was cancelled earlier this year. However, when asked if there were any truth to rumors that she would be returning to Grey’s for season 12, Heigl sadly denied the claims: “There is not, I’m sorry.” Katherine goes on to give praise to the long running series, revealing that despite her highly publicized exit from the show, she is grateful for the opportunities Grey’s Anatomy gave her career.

STAR TREK FANS CROWDFUNDING MOVIE ABOUT TV’S FIRST ENTERPRISE CAPTAIN _ Before James T. Kirk was the captain of the USS Enterprise, there was Captain Christopher Pike. Pike first appeared in The Cage, the rejected pilot episode of the original Star Trek series, and he showed up again in the episode The Menagerie. Since then, the character has been seen in the new reboot movies, but his time as the captain of the Enterprise in the prime universe has otherwise not been explored in TV or film. An Indiegogo campaign however is trying to change that. The crowdfunding effort is trying to raise enough money to film the first 30 minutes of a 90-minute film titled Star Trek: Captain Pike. According to the Indiegogo page, the movie will explore Pike’s first mission in command of the starship.

HEROES REBORN GETS DARK NEW TRAILER _ Heroes Reborn released its first official full trailer, but the heroes are nowhere to be found. The 30-second ad plasters the words “Where are the heroes?” across a variety of desolate landscapes. The score features a haunting cover of Metallica’s Nothing Else Matters. The 13-episode miniseries — a continuation of the 2006 NBC hit Heroes — debuts September 24 on NBC. • TRAILER

SEAN ”DIDDY” COMBS’ SON POSTS PIC WITH DAD _ Sean “Diddy” Combs and his son, Justin, broke their social media silence following the media mogul’s arrest Monday. Both took to Instagram to post a sweet father-son snapshot with a caption that proves it’s all about the family. The picture — which may or may not be a new photo, it wasn’t clear — shows the famous father embracing his son as the two flash big smiles. Diddy’s caption was simple, just a hashtag that read, “#FamilyFirst.”

… Meanwhile, Justin’s caption shows that the UCLA football player is not at all embarrassed or angry by his dad’s actions Monday. In fact, he appreciates having someone who’s got his back. He wrote, “I thank God for having a father that’s always there for me.. Love you pops!”

ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER WILL GO DRAMATIC AGAIN IN REVENGE PIC _ Arnold Schwarzenegger‘s upcoming slate includes Terminator: Genisys and sequels to Conan the Barbarian and Twins. And he’ll soon head into a new direction with 478. The dark revenge drama follows a man whose wife and child are killed in a plane crash. The tragedy is the fault of an air traffic controller who is so vilified by the public that he is put into protective custody. However, Schwarzenegger’s character can’t get over it, and sets out in search of vengeance.

WILL ARNETT AND GIRLFRIEND BREAK UP _ Will Arnett is a single man once again. The 45-year-old Arrested Development star and his girlfriend Arielle Vandenberg have broken up. The split comes almost six months after the actor and the 28-year-old started dating.

ANTHONY GEARY SAYS GOODBYE TO GENERAL HOSPITAL _ It wasn’t his plan to cry, but General Hospital star Anthony Geary couldn’t hold back the tears when current and former cast members showed up to bid him farewell on his final day at the ABC soap. After shooting his last scene before noon on General Hospital’s Los Angeles set, Geary and about 200 members of the cast and crew of the soap packed a soundstage to pay tribute to the 68-year-old actor, best known to fans as the incomparable Luke Spencer. He first joined G.H. in 1978.

MR. AND MRS. SMITH REALITY SHOW IN THE WORKS _ We’ve heard about a lot of movies getting turned into shows recently, but this idea sounds a bit crazier than most: a reality show based on Mr. and Mrs. Smith, the 2005 action comedy that starred Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie as a husband and wife who try to kill each other. The original movie starred Brangelina as a bored suburban couple. In reality, they’re both assassins working for competing agencies. When they discover the truth, each is assigned to eliminate the other. However they wind up rekindling their romance and joining forces against their agencies.

… The Mr. and Mrs. Smith reality show will pit married couples against each other in a “high-octane, high-stakes game that offers a twist on the TV competition format.”

ALICIA VIKANDER SET TO STAR WITH MATT DAMON IN NEXT BOURNE MOVIE _ If you don’t know the name Alicia Vikander yet you likely will very soon. After wowing audiences with her gripping performance in Ex Machina, Vikander has signed on to star in the next entry of the Bourne franchise known as Bourne 5. She will be sharing the screen with returning cast members Julia Stiles and Jason Bourne himself — Matt Damon. The film’s villain will be played by Viggo Mortensen, who’s reportedly in talks.

RICHARD GERE GOES PUBLIC WITH NEW SPANISH GIRLFRIEND _ Richard Gere has landed another pretty woman. The actor and Spanish socialite Alejandra Silva, age 32, stepped out publicly together for the first time on the red carpet at a film festival in Sicily last week. After Gere, age 65, was presented with an award at the festival, he and Silva extended their Italian getaway and were spotted being affectionate with each other on a beach.

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BITS & BREAKS

TOP TV SHOWS

Week of June 15-21.

1. NBA Finals: Golden State vs. Cleveland, Game 6, ABC, 23.25 million

2. America’s Got Talent, NBC, 10.18 million

3. Celebrity Family Feud, ABC, 8.66 million

4. NHL Stanley Cup Finals: Tampa Bay vs. Chicago, Game 6, NBC, 8.01 million

5. NCIS, CBS, 7.45 million

6. 20/20, ABC, 7.26 million

7. The Big Bang Theory, CBS, 7.21 million

8. NBA Countdown, ABC, 6.57 million

9. Dateline NBC (Thursday), NBC, 6.31 million

10. The Bachelorette, ABC, 6.29 million

11. 60 Minutes, CBS, 6.09 million

12. NCIS: New Orleans, CBS, 6.04 million

13. Criminal Minds, CBS, 6 million

14. NCIS: Los Angeles, CBS, 5.9 million

15. Blue Bloods, CBS, 5.68 million

16. Mike & Molly (Thursday), CBS, 5.52 million

17. The Astronaut Wives Club, ABC, 5.51 million

18. Mom, CBS, 5.48 million

19. Battlebots, ABC, 5.44 million

20. NHL Stanley Cup Pregame, NBC, 5.4 million

CRAZY FOODS YOU’LL FIND AT THE MINNESOTA STATE FAIR

It’s that time of year again! The Minnesota State Fair just announced its new foods for 2015.

• Spam Burger

• Mac & Cheese Cupcake

• Grandma Deb’s Snicker Bar Salad. A version of the Minnesota classic, this snickers salad consists of Snickers, Granny Smith apples, vanilla pudding, whipped cream, and caramel sauce.

• Sriracha Balls. Chicken or cream-cheese based balls stuffed with tomatoes, egg, and corn and then breaded in panko, deep-fried, and rolled in Sriracha sauce.

• Chilled Bread Pudding. Bread pudding (in four flavors, including gluten-free) in the form of a sundae, served with a dunking sauce and choice of condiments.

• Italian Dessert Nachos. Cinnamon sugar cannoli chips covered in sweet ricotta, fruit, chocolate, nuts, and candy.

• Burger Dog. Described as a “ground blend of hamburger, hot dog, bacon, and a splash of jalapeño,” the burger dog is the perfect food item for people who love hot dogs, but want even more animal miscellany mixed into them.

• Totchos. Tater tot nachos.

• Fried ribs

• Maple Bacon Funnel Cake

• Sriracha Dog. Beef hot dog on Sriracha cream-cheese smeared bun, topped in bacon and more Sriracha.

• Stuffed Italian Meatloaf On-a-Stick

MORE.

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FUN & GAMES

TRIVIA: U.S. airlines make about $6 billion a year this way. (Bag fees. Pack light!)

TRIVIA: Two million dads in the U.S. have this in common. (They’re single)

TRIVIA: You might think this is acceptable to do at work, but 84% of your co-workers don’t like it. (Trimming your nails)

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JOKE OF THE DAY

A minister has just died and is standing in line waiting to be judged and admitted to Heaven. While waiting he asks the man in front of him about himself. The man says, “I was a taxi driver from New York City.” The angel standing at the gate calls out “next,” and the taxi driver steps up. The angel hands him a golden staff and a cornucopia of fruits, cheeses, and wine and lets him pass. The taxi driver looks pleased and proceeds through the gates into heaven. The minister begins to think about the richness he’ll get upon his entrance. But instead, the angel hands him a wooden staff and some bread and water. The minister is very concerned and asks the angel, “That guy is a taxi driver and gets a golden staff and a cornucopia! I spend my entire life as a minister and get next to nothing! How can that be?” The angel replies, “Up here we judge on results. All of your people slept through your sermons. In his taxi, they prayed.”

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VIDEO OF THE DAY

Guy in Austria shows his secret underground beer stash.

https://youtu.be/8bIFP3yMRto

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IMAGE OF THE DAY

A desk that’s a real “fixer-upper”.

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LAST MINUTE ITEMS

• Man does manly thing: builds primitive wattle and daub hut from scratch.

• Hidden wine cellars.

• If you favorite tweets for the show and find it a hassle to go back and unfavorite them, try Unfavinator.

• 21 social media marketing experts to follow on twitter.

• One of our favorite weather apps for iOS, Dark Sky, has just updated with a whole new set of notifications, crowd sourced weather, and more.

• A super-simple app for emailing yourself.

• All six Star Wars film at once.

• Real-time cyber-attack threat map.

• Play classic Atari games in your web browser.

• Where is the International Space Station right now?

• If the iPhone had been created in 1987.

Windows 93

• How well can you hear audio quality?

• Mac users: get the fantastic Forecast Bar.

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COUNTRY DATEBOOK: JUNE 24, 2015

• 1974: JOHN DENVER’s album, Back Home Again, was certified gold.

• 1989: GARTH BROOKS made his Grand Ole Opry debut.

• 1991: TANYA TUCKER’s album What Do I Do With Me was released.

• 1993: Jett Williams, illegitimate daughter of Hank Williams Sr., reached an out of court settlement with HANK WILLIAMS JR., her half-brother, over their father’s estate.

• 1994: COLLIN RAYE topped the charts with Little Rock.

• 1996: GEORGE STRAIT’s Greatest Hits album was certified triple platinum.

• 1996: JOHNNY CASH made his first public appearance since being diagnosed the previous October with Shy-Drager Syndrome. Johnny appeared in Nashville and joined KRIS KRISTOFFERSON for a song.

• 1999: MARTINA MCBRIDE’s CD Evolution was certified double platinum.

• 2000: DIXIE CHICKS lead singer Natalie Maines married actor Adrian Pasdar in a ceremony in Las Vegas.

• 2003: BLAKE SHELTON’s pet turkey, named Turkey, died of heat stroke on his farm in Centerville, Tennessee.

• 2010: The Eagles and THE DIXIE CHICKS closed a five-stadium concert tour at Busch Stadium in St. Louis.

• 2012: TRACE ADKINS played for Sugar Pine Camp inmates working as firefighters outside of Redding, California.

• 2013: Fans learned that LUKE BRYAN and his wife Caroline were building a plantation style home near Nashville.

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COUNTRY AUDIO

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BRETT ELDREDGE talks about wrapping up work on his new album, Illinois. » download page

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COUNTRY MUSIC NEWS

LADY ANTEBELLUM’s Wheels Up 2015 Tour, with openers SAM HUNT and HUNTER HAYES, played to more than 50,000 this past weekend (June 18-20) with stops in Detroit, Toronto and Cleveland.

When LADY ANTEBELLUM plays the I Heart Radio Theater in Los Angeles on June 29, their show will be streamed live. More info can be found at LadyAntebellum.com.

KACEY MUSGRAVES has announced plans for the Country & Western Rhinestone Revue Tour, beginning August 27 in Atlanta and running through November 22 in Amsterdam. The tour will hit several iconic venues including Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium and England’s Royal Albert Hall.

KACEY MUSGRAVES visits ABC’s The View this morning (Wednesday).

What do KENNY CHESNEY fans in Wisconsin have that the Green Bay Packers’ fans don’t? For starters, a notably higher number of evictions for disorderly behavior. Between 250 and 300 attendees at Kenny’s Lambeau concert were ejected, according to Green Bay police. They also made 25 arrests at the show, which drew an otherwise peaceful audience of 53,363. To put things in perspective, the total number of ejections (about 200, combined) at all eight of the Packers’ home games at Lambeau last season was less than the number at Kenny’s concert.

It turns out that ERIC CHURCH’s outlaw sensibilities are in part responsible for inspiring the character Chris Pratt plays in the new film Jurassic World. In a cover interview with GQ, it’s revealed that before Pratt would start shooting a scene for the movie, he had a mantra he would recite, and it involved the country singer. Pratt would say before the cameras rolled: “Flow core, no TC, volume up point five, Eric Church.”

… The TC refers to “triple chin,” which reminded Pratt to lead with his forehead so as to avoid the dreaded folds. “Volume up point five” reminded him to speak loudly, “flow core” referenced his posture when paddle-boarding, and then, there was Church. According to GQ, Pratt listened to Church’s Dark Side over and over again to help him get into the character of Owen, who works to train the dinosaurs, earns their respect and spends the movie as both their advocate and the people’s protector.

JOHN RICH is preparing to open a Redneck Riviera Restaurant in Nashville next spring. He also plans to open two other locations, one in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and one in Pensacola, Florida. John, who has already created a clothing line based on the lifestyle brand, is also planning a liquor at some point in the future.

New music could be coming from CARRIE UNDERWOOD sooner rather than later. She’s been in the studio and says things are more than off to a good start for her next album.

RASCAL FLATTS (July 28), DWIGHT YOAKAM (August 4) and EMMYLOU HARRIS (July 7) will be profiled on Dan Rather’s AXS TV series, The Big Interview. Previous country artists to appear include TRISHA YEARWOOD, FLORIDA GEORGIA LINE and WYNONNA.

RASCAL FLATTS’ bassist Jay DeMarcus and wife Allison open their home to ABC’s The Chew for the June 29 episode.

CHARLEY PRIDE, KRIS KRISTOFFERSON and singer/songwriter JIM LAUDERDALE will be honored when the National Music Council brings its 75th anniversary celebration to Nashville July 11 with the American Eagle Awards. The awards recognize the musicians for their contributions to America through their artistic endeavors.

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DATEBOOK: JUNE 25, 2015

This is day 176 of 2015. There are 189 days remaining.

BIRTHDAYS

• June Lockhart (Lost in Space) is 90

• Carly Simon is 70

• Jimmie Walker (Good Times) is 68

• TV host/chef Anthony Bourdain is 59

• Ricky Gervais (The Office) is 54

• George Michael is 52

• Angela Kinsey (The Office) is 44

• Busy Philipps (Cougar Town) is 36

IT HAPPENED TODAY

• 1785: George Washington retired from hunting and gave away all of his dogs.

• 1947: The Diary of Anne Frank was published.

• 1949: Long-Haired Hare was released in theaters, starring Bugs Bunny.

• 1950: War broke out on the Korean peninsula as forces from the communist North invaded the South.

• 1951: The first commercial color telecast took place as CBS transmitted a one-hour special from New York to four other cities.

• 1991: Francis Johnson’s world record 8.7-ton ball of twine, which he had been building since 1950, was moved to a prominent place in downtown Darwin, Minnesota, where more people could see it.

• 1996: A truck bomb killed 19 Americans and injured hundreds at a U.S. military housing complex in Saudi Arabia.

• 1997: Oceanographer Jacques-Yves Cousteau died at age 87.

• 1997: An unmanned cargo ship crashed into Russia’s Mir space station, knocking out half of the station’s power and rupturing a pressurized laboratory.

• 2002: A five-year-old Sicilian boy tore up $1,525 in cash, his father’s monthly salary, the day after his grandfather told him money was trash and couldn’t buy happiness.

• 2006: In England, a woman parked her car near her house. When she returned, she discovered workmen had painted a “disabled'” zone around it. To make matters worse, a parking officer gave her a ticket for supposedly parking in a disabled space.

• 2009: Michael Jackson died at age 50 from an overdose of the powerful anesthetic propofol. The singer’s doctor, Conrad Murray, was convicted of involuntary manslaughter.

SPECIAL EVENTS

• Global Beatles Day

• Bomb Pop Day

• Catfish Day

• National Hand Shake Day

• Color TV Day. In 1951, CBS transmitted the appropriately named program “Premiere” from New York City, and through stations in Washington, Baltimore and Philadelphia. The program was seen in color only at a few select facilities because color sets for the home weren’t available until 1954.

UPCOMING

• July 1: Canada Day (Wednesday)

• July 4: Independence Day (Saturday)

• July 14: MLB All-Star Game (Tuesday)

• September 7: Labor Day (Monday)

More holidays

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