COUNTRY August 13, 2015

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DATEBOOK: AUGUST 13, 2015

This is day 225 of 2015. There are 140 days remaining.

BIRTHDAYS

• Pat Harrington (One Day at a Time) is 86

• Danny Bonaduce (The Partridge Family) is 56

• John Slattery (Mad Men, Desperate Housewives) is 53

• Debi Mazar is 51

• Lennon Stella (Nashville) is 16

IT HAPPENED TODAY

• 1899: Movie director Alfred Hitchcock was born in London.

• 1942: Walt Disney’s animated feature “Bambi” premiered at Radio City Music Hall in New York.

• 1960: The first two-way telephone conversation by satellite took place with the help of Echo 1, a balloon satellite.

• 1961: Berlin was divided as East Germany sealed off the border between the city’s eastern and western sectors in order to halt the flight of refugees.

• 1995: Baseball Hall of Famer Mickey Mantle died of liver cancer at age 63.

• 2003: In Northern Greece, a man was fined $88 and ordered to stand trial for spitting a plum pit out his window while driving. Yiannis Tassos says he apologized three times to the police but they wouldn’t listen.

• 2003: Libya agreed to set up a $2.7 billion fund for families of 270 people killed in the 1988 Pan Am bombing.

• 2004: The 28th summer Olympic games opened in Athens.

• 2005: A gang of 67 inmates attempting to tunnel out of prison in Brazil ended up still inside the prison walls when they mismeasured their distance by a foot.

• 2011: Seven people were killed when a stage collapsed at the Indiana State Fair during a powerful storm just before a Sugarland concert was to begin.

SPECIAL EVENTS

• International Lefthander’s Day

• Fillet Mignon Day

UPCOMING

• September 7: Labor Day

• September 10: NFL season begins (Steelers at Patriots)

More holidays

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NUMBER FOR THE DAY

$22.54: Amount of the first monthly check under the Social Security system. The check was issued in January, 1940.

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NEWS ATTACK!

The Olsen Twins are being sued by 40 former interns for being made to work long hours under demeaning and demanding work conditions. [They said that the worst part was that all day on the office TV monitors they played nothing but episodes of Full House.]

State agencies in Washington report great success with a program that allows employees to bring their babies to work. [I like this idea. I wouldn’t be the only one sleeping during staff meetings.]

Five federal government employees who are supposed to be on the lookout for fraud have been charged with filing phony paperwork so that their children could qualify for free lunch programs. [They also masterminded a brilliant scheme that prevented them from ever being selected as class field trip monitors.]

Scientists report that they’ve created a healthier peanut. [Does this mean that I can now eat peanut brittle without breaking a tooth?]

Experts say that the state of the Chinese economy is worse than they thought. [It’s so bad that the Great Wall of China is now being rented as a barricade at children’s paintball parties.]

The citizens of New Zealand are trying to decide on a new flag design from among 40 candidates. [Fox will host the first debate.]

In the latest New Hampshire poll Bernie Sanders has taken the lead from Hillary Clinton. [Which means that it’s time for Hillary to pick a fight with Fox’s Megyn Kelly.]

The President of the FX channel shocked everyone by saying that there’s simply too much television programming available. [And he said that he’s taking the first step to correct the situation by urging people to do the right thing, and immediately turn away from his competitors’ shows.]

A man in Wales wearing a colostomy bag was mistakenly stopped for shoplifting. [“And we’re also gonna need a closer look at that so-called glass eye.”]

There’s word that the Fantastic Four movie is so bad because of the director’s erratic behavior. [They should have filmed THAT. It would have made a much better movie.]

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NEWS & NUGGETS

KIDS HAVE THREE TIMES TOO MUCH HOMEWORK _ Nothing quite stresses out students and parents about the beginning of the school year as the return to homework. A new study may help explain some of that stress. The study (published in The American Journal of Family Therapy) found students in the early elementary school years are getting significantly more homework than is recommended by education leaders, in some cases nearly three times as much homework as is recommended.

… The standard, endorsed by the National Education Association and the National Parent-Teacher Association, is the so-called “10-minute rule” — 10 minutes per grade level per night. That translates into 10 minutes of homework in the first grade, 20 minutes in the second grade, all the way up to 120 minutes for senior year of high school.

… In the study, parents reported first-graders were spending 28 minutes on homework each night versus the recommended 10 minutes. For second-graders, the homework time was nearly 29 minutes.

… And kindergartners, their parents said, spent 25 minutes a night on after-school assignments — even though the National Education Association and the National PTA do not endorse homework for kindergarteners.

APPS THAT CAN HELP WITH HOMEWORK _ Need homework help? Back in the olden days kids had two resources: their textbook and mom or dad. Now kids can turn to smartphones for homework assistance — provided mom and dad aren’t afraid to break out a credit card.

• GotIt! Math Homework Help – Snap a pic of your math or science question. A GotIt Expert reviews your question and starts helping instantly.

• PhotoMath – Take pictures of typed equations and this app outputs a step-by-step solution.

• HwPic – A tutoring service that allows students to take send pictures of their homework to tutors, who will then respond within minutes with a step-by-step solution. There’s even an option to expedite the answers if a student is in a hurry.

• Slader – Slader is a crowdsourcing app for high school and college students to post and answer questions in math and science. While students can post original homework for help, many questions in popular textbooks have already been answered on the app.

STUDY LINKS FITNESS AND AND BETTER MATH SKILLS IN KIDS _ A new study (University of Illinois) reveals that 9- and 10-year-old children who are aerobically fit tend to have significantly thinner gray matter. Thinning of the outermost layer of brain cells in the cerebrum is associated with better math performance.

WOMAN SHARES FITBIT DATA FROM BEDROOM ROMP _ Sex has many benefits, among them physical wellness. Besides the post-orgasmic oxytocin bath, it can burn calories, too.  So it makes perfect sense that a woman left her Fitbit on in order to track just how beneficial sex really is when it comes to breaking a sweat. The anonymous woman shared the results of her mattress workout on Reddit. • IMAGE

THE BEST TIME TO BOOK FLIGHTS DOESN’T ACTUALLY EXIST _ Travelers dream of the perfect trick to find the cheapest airfare every time, every trip. There are theories, of course, but most travel experts say there is no golden rule anymore. Airlines Reporting Corp., which handles tickets sold through travel agents, pinpointed Day 57 as when you’ll find the cheapest average domestic fares. But in a nod to the inexactness of the science, it also said that the lowest domestic prices are relatively unchanged about 50 to 100 days before a flight.

… CheapAir.com, a fare-search website, says the magic moment is, on average, 47 days before a U.S. trip.

… Then there’s AirfareWatchdog.com, which says you should keep checking fares every day because unadvertised sales can pop up any time during the week.

NORTH KOREAN VEEP MURDERED OVER DISPUTE ABOUT TREES _ Kim Jong-un has reportedly killed the vice president of North Korea over a dispute involving trees. South Korea’s news agency reports that Choe Yong-gon was murdered back in May because he had “expressed discomfort against the young leader’s forestation policy.” Shortly after explaining his views on these policies, Kim Jong-un is believed to have ordered his death by firing squad. These are the only details to have emerged regarding his alleged demise. South Korean media alleges that the North Korean dictator has instigated the deaths of 70 officials since he inherited the position from his father in 2012.

PECAN PIE M&Ms SPOTTED AT WALMART _ M&Ms have experimented with holiday-themed flavors like gingerbread, pumpkin spice, vanilla shake, birthday cake, and candy apple. Now they’re expanding into another pretty standard flavor in the Flavors of Fall repertoire: pecan pie M&Ms have been spotted at Walmart. Not pecan M&Ms — these are chocolate candies with artificial pecan flavoring to them.

NEW CSI TECHNIQUE COULD PUT A TIME STAMP ON FINGERPRINTS _ Crime investigators can use fingerprints to tell whether or not a person was at the scene, but they can’t necessarily say when — at least not from a fingerprint alone. That could soon change. Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology say they’ve developed a new technique for measuring the age of fingerprints. This could help forensic scientists put a time stamp on fingerprints, improving investigators’ ability to identify the guilty parties and eliminate the innocent ones.

PAGEANT QUEEN ARRESTED AFTER ALLEGEDLY FAKING CANCER FOR MONEY _ A 23-year-old Pennsylvania beauty pageant queen was arrested this week over allegations she stole thousands of dollars from her community by faking cancer. Police allege Brandi Lee Weaver-Gates began her deception in 2013. In March of that year, she began telling friends and family she had been diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Over the next few years, she said she was treated at various medical facilities, including Johns Hopkins in Maryland. Her optimism and perseverance while allegedly undergoing a terrible ordeal won her many supporters and friends in her community. A newspaper article in May said she went to school at Penn State, volunteered, and worked two jobs — all while allegedly fighting her illness. A fundraiser in April, called Bingo for Brandi, raised $14,000. Recently, Weaver-Gates had added to her impressive resume by being crowned Miss Pennsylvania U.S International. She posted regularly about her events on the competition’s social media accounts. Then three weeks ago, Weaver-Gates posted that she was in remission from her disease on the pageant’s Instagram account.

… Police said Weaver-Gates went to great lengths to hide her deception. She would have relatives drive her to Johns Hopkins, and then wait in the car while she went inside and went to another area of the hospital. She also allegedly shaved her head to appear as if she had undergone chemotherapy. Her alleged web of lies unraveled after police received an anonymous tip that she was “faking” cancer.

80-YEAR-OLD REFUSES TO LEAVE PUBLIC RESTROOM _ An 80-year-old woman in China has been living in a public bathroom for five years and refuses to leave. The mother of eight receives $160 a month. She supplements her income by charging people to use the toilet. Sanitation workers have attempted to convince her to move but she refuses. She said, “I don’t have anywhere to live as my old house is so dilapidated, and my children refuse to support me.” Her children, however, claim to give her money each month.

AIRLINE PLANS TO WEIGH PASSENGERS ALONG WITH HAND LUGGAGE _ One airline is bringing new meaning to excess baggage. Uzbekistan Airways announced it would begin asking customers to stand on the scales after they have had their hand luggage weighed. Uzbekistan Airlines website said it was introducing the measures as part of the safety requirements of the International Air Transport Association It’s believed that it will not result in extra charges for overweight passengers, yet it is unclear if overweight passengers could be prevented from boarding flights.

FLORIDA WOMAN EXTENDS ALASKA VACATION TO SEARCH FOR LOST CAT _ A Florida woman’s love for her cat is leading her to extend her vacation in Alaska. The 10-pound black and white male cat, named Tucker, disappeared after Robin Wiesneth and her husband, Charles, were involved in a fatal traffic crash August 5. A pickup truck with two people crossed a highway centerline and crashed into the Weisneths’ motorhome. Both people in the truck died. The Weisneths suffered minor injuries. Tucker the cat was on Robin’s lap in a small cat bed when the crash occurred. Charles Weisneth is returning to Florida, but Robin says she will stay until the cat is found.

NEIGHBORS SUE TO STOP SEATTLE FAMILY’S BIRD FEEDING _ A couple in Seattle whose 8-year-old daughter feeds crows and pigeons is being sued by neighbors who say the birds have damaged their property. The lawsuit seeks more than $200,000 for damages as well as a court order preventing Lisa and Gary Mann and their daughter from setting out more than a quarter pound of animal food each day. The attorney representing two neighbors who are suing the Manns says the residential neighborhood is “not designed to host a large-scale wildlife feeding operation.” The lawsuit says waste from the birds has fouled homes, cars and sidewalks and the birds have also attracted rats.

AMERICANS FEEL GUILTY FOR RELAXING ON VACATION _ Not only are Americans not using all their vacation time, they aren’t doing much relaxing during the days they do take off. According to a survey of 1,000 adults (by Princess Cruises) a majority of Americans spend vacation days dealing with various errands, and many of them feel guilty about relaxing.

… About 54% of respondents used their vacation time to deal with personal obligations, including family emergencies, medical appointments or taking care of loved ones. 42% of respondents said they felt guilty for relaxing.

WINE, FEW WOMEN, IS HOW TWIN BROTHERS HAVE LIVED SO LONG _ What are the secrets to a long life? Let’s ask 102-year-old twins Pieter and Paulus Langerock, the world’s oldest living twin brothers. The Belgian men, born in 1913, have lived together for most of their lives and share a room at their nursing home. The secret to long life, say the twin brothers, is eating in moderation, drinking a glass of good wine every day, and avoiding chasing women.

… While they are the world’s oldest living twin brothers, they have another three years to go to break the record of U.S. brothers Glen and Dale Moyer, both of whom reached 105.

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WACKY-BUT-TRUE

WACKY-BUT-TRUE: PAIR ROBBED COUPLES KISSING IN CARS _ Two men facing armed robbery charges in China specifically targeted people having intimate encounters inside cars. One victim told authorities that he and his girlfriend were making out in a car parked along a river when two masked people brandishing a knife and hammer opened the doors. The men then forced the lovebirds to pose “intimately” as they took photos. They threatened to post the snapshots online if they didn’t receive almost $2,000 in a specified bank account the next day. The boyfriend reported the robbery to police and the blackmailing robbers were caught the next day.

WACKY-BUT-TRUE: ELDERLY MAN CALMLY SMOKES PIPE WHILE SINKING IN LAKE _ In England (Warwickshire) a man in his eighties had gone to fish at a nearby lake. He accidentally drove into the lake. But the car sank only up to his windows, so while he waited for a rescue crew he lit up his pipe and hung out in the front seat.

WACKY-BUT-TRUE: WHEN A ROBBER MISPLACES HIS CAR KEYS _ At a store in Fort Pierce, Florida, a man made off with more than $600 from the cash register but then had to call a cab to make a getaway. That’s after he realized he’d accidentally left his car keys on the store counter next to the cash register he’d just robbed.

WACKY-BUT-TRUE: DRUNK LAWYER HAS IRONIC BOAT NAME _ In Boston, a lawyer faced drunk-boating charges after an accident in Boston Harbor. The irony was the name of his boat: Naut Guilty. That’s what he pleaded, too.

WACKY-BUT-TRUE: BURGLAR DISMANTLES ONE-FOURTH OF CAMERAS _ At a store in Florida (Clermont) a man entered after hours and carefully dismantled its surveillance camera so that he could not be recorded burglarizing the business. However, he apparently did not notice the other three cameras that, as police later put, “beautifully videotaped the entire break-in.”

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ON TELEVISION

MOM (8p ET, CBS) — Repeat

FOOD FIGHTERS (8p ET, NBC) — Celebrity chef Fabio Viviani is featured in this new edition.

ASTRONAUT WIVES CLUB (8p ET, ABC) — New

BOOM! (8p ET, FOX) — New

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (8p ET, CW) — New

MOM (8:30p ET, CBS) — Repeat

BIG BROTHER (9p ET, CBS) — New

MISTRESSES (9p ET, ABC) — New

BONES (9p ET, FOX) — Repeat

DATELINE THURSDAY NIGHT MYSTERY (9p ET, NBC) — A new, 2-hour edition

ARROW (9p ET, CW) — Repeat

PROJECT RUNWAY (9p ET, Lifetime) — In the first unconventional challenge, the designers must incorporate cards from Hallmark into their design. Ashley Tisdale is the guest judge.

UNDER THE DOME (10p ET, CBS) — New

ROOKIE BLUE (10p ET, ABC) — New

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ENTERTAINMENT

MORE WOMEN COME FORWARD TO ACCUSE BILL COSBY OF SEXUAL ASSAULT _ Three more women have publicly come forward with accusations that Bill Cosby sexually assaulted them in the 1970s and ’80s. The three women, including an actress who appeared on The Cosby Show and the former wife of a vice president at the William Morris Agency, joined the more than 40 women who allege they were drugged, sexually assaulted or sexually harassed by the comedian. At a press conference Wednesday, civil rights attorney Gloria Allred, who is now representing more than 21 accusers, said the three women are speaking out now to show their support for other accusers who have been criticized by Cosby’s attorneys.

LEANN RIMES TAKES 40 PILLS A DAY _ There is price to be paid to stay beautiful. For LeAnn Rimes that means taking 40 pills a day. Sharing her beauty routines to Into the Gloss, Rimes opened up, “I’m a big vitamin person. I take like 20 pills in the morning and 20 at night — fish oil, prenatal vitamins, probiotics, biotin. … I have an herbalist I work with who has put me on a bunch of different things. I’m very strict about making sure I take them.”

ZACH GALIFIANAKIS WILL VOICE THE JOKER FOR LEGO BATMAN _ Zach Galifianakis will voice the clown prince of crime for the Lego Movie spinoff Lego Batman. Will Arnett will return as Batman, with Michael Cera suiting up to voice Robin.

WHICH ROCK STAR MIGHT HAVE A GHOSTBUSTERS CAMEO? _ So far we’ve heard about a couple of classic Ghostbusters stars who’ll be dropping by the new Ghostbusters movie. But the cameo list has now extended beyond former cast members to include a certain metal god. The Boston Herald broke the news of a Ghostbusters Ozzy Osbourne cameo. The Black Sabbath frontman is expected to appear as himself. The new Ghostbusters opens July 15, 2016.

DONALD TRUMP’S FIRST MANSION STILL FOR SALE _ The first mansion Donald Trump bought — in Greenwich, Connecticut — is on the market for $54 million. Back in 1982 Trump bought the property with his first wife, Ivana, for $10 million. At the time, Ivana was remodeling the Plaza Hotel, and used a lot of the same materials to decorate the home. The couple divorced in 1991 and Ivana won the mansion in the settlement. In 1998, she sold the nearly 20,000 square-foot home for $15 million. The new owners renovated in 2000, adding a tennis court, guest suites, a lap pool and a sauna. They also added 4,000 square feet to the estate. The house has been on the market since March. The home has eight bedrooms and 10 bathrooms. It sits on nearly six acres of waterfront property on a peninsula surrounded by the Long Island Sound.

BILLY JOEL WELCOMES SECOND DAUGHTER AT 66 _ Billy Joel is a new dad again. The 66-year-old singer welcomed his second daughter with his wife Alexis Joel. The couple’s rep said that the baby was born on Wednesday (August 12 )in New York at around 2:40 AM. Billy and Alexis have named their daughter Della Rose Joel. Billy and Alexis Roderick (who’s 33) started dating in 2009 after he split from wife Katie Lee.

TOM BRADY-GISELE BUNDCHEN DIVORCE RUMOR IS NUTS _ Tom Brady and Gisele Bundchen are facing divorce rumors, with new reports claiming that a blowout fight on his birthday may lead to what could be a very costly split for the famous couple. The cause of their marital troubles? OK! Magazine claims Tom has very different views on parenting than Gisele, and he has had it with the insane organic, GMO-free diet that she insists everyone in the house follows.

THOR STAR TOM HIDDLESTON APPEARS AS HANK WILLIAMS IN NEW PHOTO _ In a first-look photo of Tom Hiddleston as Hank Williams for the movie I Saw the Light, the actor looks eerily similar to the real country music legend, who died at the age of 30 in 1953. The film chronicles the story of the life and tragic death of Williams, who became a major influence on American music over his short life. Hiddleston is best known for his role of Loki in The Avengers and Thor. • PHOTO

FIRST HATEFUL EIGHT TRAILER HITS THE WEB _ The first official trailer for Quentin Tarantino’s second blood-soaked Western The Hateful Eight is online. We get to see Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell and other stars as bounty hunters and outlaws. The Hateful Eight, scheduled to be released nationwide on January 8, tells the story of eight strangers who get trapped in a single cabin during a snowstorm. Like most Quentin Tarantino films, the characters soon end up at each other’s throats when it’s revealed that someone is not who they say they are. • TRAILER

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BITS & BREAKS

WEIRD CO-WORKERS

If your co-workers won’t mind, tell us about the things that make them weird. Like the guy who works in our office and brings zip-loc baggies with red habanero peppers to snack on!

TATTOOS

Tattoos and body art are now mainstream. In a survey (of Americans):

• 58% agreed that tattoos are a form of art.

• One-third believed that people with tattoos were expressing their personality or themselves artistically.

• 9% believed people with tattoos were seeking attention.

• 21% responded that, if they had to get a tattoo, the upper arm would be the location their body to receive ink; 16% said back, 16% said ankle or foot, and 5% said buttocks.

• Only 2% of those with tattoos feel that they have experienced discrimination because of a tattoo.

I’M WONDERING HOW MANY LEFTIES OWN CATS

I wonder if lefties own cats more than righties. Today is International Lefthanders Day and I read that while 10% of humans are left-handed, 50% of cats are.

WHAT NOBODY IS GOING TO TELL YOU ABOUT FRESHMAN YEAR

Advice from real college students who made it through their freshman year…

• I wish someone told me that the people I met the first week of school weren’t going to be my best friends the whole year and not to take it to heart when they stop talking to you. You meet SO many people your first few weeks of school and you want to be friends with literally all of them. But in college, unlike high school, you probably won’t see those same people every day so maintaining relationships takes a lot more work than before.

• I wish someone told me that my study habits in high school absolutely will not hold up in college. When you were told to “read the text” in high school for homework, you wrote “no homework” in your planner for that day. Reading your text book in high school was actually laughed at in most situations and if you didn’t have an end of the year freak out about where your text books were, you were doing it wrong. Read your textbooks; every page, every chapter. Write everything down, from notes to homework, it’s all important.

• I wish someone told me the “freshman 15” was absolutely not a myth. Despite the fact that I spent countless nights in our campus gym, the freshman 15 was still gained and stayed. I couldn’t tell you why or how this happens, but expect to gain a few pounds your first year of college.

• I wish someone told me that it’s okay to say no to people. After you get to know your hall mates and become closer with the people you’ve met your first few weeks of college, you quickly learn that there is always something going on. Learn that you don’t have to agree to attend everything someone invites you to. If you need to stay home and study, speak up. Don’t just say yes to please someone or because you feel like you will lose that person as a friend if you say no.

• I wish someone told me to go to class no matter how tired I was. Fun fact about college: you don’t technically have to go to class if you don’t want to. But for the sake of your grades, please go to class. You only get the chance to learn the material once, and you will be tested on the lecture material whether you were there or not.

• I wish someone told me that only my true friends from high school will remain my friends in college. Losing contact with high school friends is a given in college. Even the people you swore were your closest friends may forget about you in the craziness of freshman year. The good news is you are at a school with thousands of people looking to make new friends and they will fill the empty spaces that old ones left.

• I wish someone told me to be careful at parties. Although it is very rare something bad happens, it is true that parties aren’t the safest place. Especially for freshman, it’s easy to just go to the party that everyone else is going to without knowing anything about the place or who is going to be there. Look out for your friends and stay together.

• I wish someone told me my grades aren’t going to be as great in college as they were in high school. Expect your GPA to drop at least half a point, usually. You’re going to have a lot of distractions in college and a lot less structure in your schedule. Keeping a balance truly is a difficult task and your grades aren’t going to always be what you want them to be.

• I wish someone told me that getting homesick is completely normal. You’re going to miss home no matter how much you wished your way out of it from day one. Home is what is familiar to you and what you know and it’s easy to crave that when you’re somewhere completely different.

• I wish someone told me that you only get one freshman year at the college of your dreams so live it up and learn your lessons. Have the time of your life, make all of the friends you can, join clubs and organizations you’re passionate about, get involved on your campus and in your community, and take nothing for granted. You only get to do college once (if all goes well) and you’re paying to be here and get an education. Make the most of every situation and learn about yourself and the people around you.

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FUN & GAMES

TRIVIA: According to Adventure Cyclist magazine, some 2,000 people do what in the U.S. each year? (Ride across the country.)

MOVIE MESS-UP

I’ll give you part of a movie title, you mess it up by filling in the blank with the wrong word.

• Close Encounters of the (Blank) Kind

• Pirates of the (Blank)

• 12 (Blank) Men

• Gone with the (Blank)

• (Blank) Magnolias

• Kung-fu (Blank)

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JOKE OF THE DAY

A German tourist hailed a taxi in downtown Chicago and asked to be taken out to O’Hare Airport. On the way, a car zoomed by and the tourist responded, “Oh! Mercedes-Benz! Made in Germany! Very fast!” Not too long after, another car flew by the taxi. “Oh! BMW! Made in Germany! Very fast!” The taxi driver, 100% American, was starting to get a little miffed when he pulled up to the airport. He pointed to the meter, and said, “That’ll be $150.” “$150?” the German responded. “It was such a short ride… why so much? “Because,” the taxi driver told him as he pointed to the meter, “Made in Germany — very fast.”

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VIDEO OF THE DAY

Long spiral train.

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IMAGE OF THE DAY

 

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LAST MINUTE ITEMS

• Prepared to be terrified after you use your smartphone as a blacklight.

Steal these bits from Morning Show Boot Camp.

• Make your images stand out on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter with animated text using the Legend app.

• Random useful websites.

• Electric car can go virtually anywhere.

• Infamous Kirk vs. Gorn scene made funnier with squeaky rubber suit sound effects.

• Millennium Falcon snack tray.

• Why CGI sucks. Except it doesn’t.

• Search Google like it’s the ’80s.

• How many superhero films will be made before you die?

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COUNTRY DATEBOOK: AUGUST 13, 2015

• 1951: WEBB PIERCE recorded four songs including his first number one, Wondering.

• 1958: JOHNNY CASH recorded Don’t Take Your Guns To Town.

• 1988: KEITH WHITLEY scored his first number one hit with Don’t Close Your Eyes.

• 1991: BROOKS & DUNN’s debut album, Brand New Man, was released.

• 2005: TOBY KEITH was spending his third of six weeks at the top of the country singles chart with As Good As I Once Was.

• 2009: Guitarist and recording pioneer Les Paul died of pneumonia in New York’s West Plains Hospital. With then-wife Mary Ford he had a 1951 country hit with Mockin’ Bird Hill. He also won a country Grammy for a recording with CHAT ATKINS.

• 2011: As SUGARLAND prepared to take the stage, a wind gust collapsed the stage at the Indiana State Fair in Indianapolis. Seven people would die and another 45 are treated for injuries.

ANDY GRIGGS is 42.

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COUNTRY AUDIO

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

JAKE OWEN on his favorite line from his song Real Life. » download page

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COUNTRY MUSIC NEWS

GARTH BROOKS is bringing his World Tour to Cleveland for the first time in 19 years, October 9 and 10.

GARTH BROOKS and TRISHA YEARWOOD will be given stars on the Nashville Walk of Fame on September 10. Their stars will be the 64th and 65th to be placed on the walk, which is across the street from the Country Music Hall of Fame.

LEANN RIMES will launch the Today Is Christmas Tour this December, playing shows on the west coast in support of her album of the same name due out this fall. The album will mix Christmas favorites with Rimes originals.

THE CHARLIE DANIELS BAND will release a live CD and DVD, Live At Billy Bob’s Texas, October 16. The 14 tracks were cut live on February 20 at the Texas honkytonk and include guest appearances by MERLE HAGGARD, WILLIE NELSON, DAVID ALLAN COE and others. The DVD includes behind-the-scenes interview footage with Charlie.

While in New York to perform on The Today Show last Friday (August 7), KEITH URBAN met with some local school kids who were recipients of his guitar donations as part of a music education initiative to provide guitars in public schools. Keith also made sure the kids had a front row seat for his five song set on the show that morning.

MICHAEL RAY (Kiss You In The Morning) celebrated the release of his self-titled debut album near his hometown of Eustis, Florida with a four hour meet-and-greet with fans at a Walmart. Unfortunately Michael didn’t get to see the album on shelves — because all the fans snatched up copies before he got the chance.

RANDY HOUSER will headline the We Went Tour this fall. Dates begin November 20 in Corbin, Kentucky with special guests FRANKIE BALLARD and CRAIG CAMPBELL. While nothing has been made official just yet, Randy’s fourth studio album is also expected to come out sometime later this year.

COLE SWINDELL says there’s a song he wrote wishes he’d recorded himself — a tune called Beer in the Headlights that was on LUKE BRYAN’s 2013 album Crash My Party. However, since Luke never released the song as a single, Cole says he still might get that chance to record it. In the meantime, he says things worked out for the best because after Luke cut Beer in the Headlights for his album, Cole wrote Chillin’ It, which became his breakthrough hit.

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DATEBOOK: AUGUST 14, 2015

This is day 226 of 2015. There are 139 days remaining.

BIRTHDAYS

• Steve Martin is 70

• Antonio Fargas (Starsky and Hutch) is 69

• Romance novelist Danielle Steel is 68

• Cartoonist Gary Larson (The Far Side) is 65

• Marcia Gay Harden (Into the Wild, Mystic River) is 56

• Susan Olsen (Cindy on The Brady Bunch) is 54

• Halle Berry is 49

• Catherine Bell (JAG) is 47

• Christopher Gorham is 41

• Mila Kunis is 32.

• Spencer Pratt (The Hills) is 32

• Quarterback Tim Tebow is 28

IT HAPPENED TODAY

• 1935: President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act into law, creating unemployment insurance and pension plans for the elderly.

• 1945: President Truman announced that Japan had surrendered unconditionally, ending World War II.

• 1980: President Jimmy Carter and Vice President Walter Mondale were nominated for a second term at the Democratic National Convention in New York.

• 1996: The Republican National Convention in San Diego nominated Bob Dole for president and Jack Kemp for vice president.

• 1997: An unrepentant Timothy McVeigh was sentenced to death for the Oklahoma City bombing.

• 2002: A U.S. military helicopter swooped low over a packed Italian beach so they could check out the hot chicks. The American embassy in Rome admitted several sunbathers were slightly injured by flying umbrellas and beach furniture in Bari.

• 2003: A blackout hit the northeastern United States and part of Canada; 50 million people lost power.

• 2004: A police chase in Long Island, New York, ended when the motorist drove into a backyard pond and tried to smoke a crack pipe just before his car sank. After saving the driver through a back window, the cops charged him with driving while impaired by drugs and several other traffic violations.

• 2006: Cuban state television aired the first video of Fidel Castro since he stepped down as president to recover from surgery, showing the bedridden Cuban leader talking with his brother Raul and Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

• 2013: A couple of thieves in England (Berwick-upon-Tweed) faced off against police for five hours. Patrol officers noticed a nighttime break-in at a cafe, and soon had it surrounded. The men refused to come out, and even armed themselves with knives. The siege finally came to an end, and the men were charged. They had reportedly broken into the cafe for a bite of quiche.

SPECIAL EVENTS

• Shop Online For Groceries Day

V-J Day

• Creamsicle Day

UPCOMING

• September 7: Labor Day

• September 10: NFL season begins (Steelers at Patriots)

More holidays

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DATEBOOK WEEKEND

SATURDAY, AUGUST 15

• Rose Marie (The Dick Van Dyke Show) is 92. Pat Priest (The Munsters) is 79. Phyllis Smith (Inside Out, The Office) is 66. Tess Harper is 65. Debra Messing is 47. Anthony Anderson is 45. Ben Affleck is 43. Natasha Henstridge is 41. Joe Jonas of The Jonas Brothers is 26. Jennifer Lawrence is 25.

• Best Friends Day, Check the Chip Day (those implanted in pets). International Geocaching Day. Homeless Animals Day. National Relaxation Day. World Honey Bee Day.

SUNDAY, AUGUST 16

• Julie Newmar is 82. Country singer Billy Joe Shaver is 76. Lesley Ann Warren is 69. Reginald VelJohnson (Family Matters) is 63. Kathie Lee Gifford is 62. Director James Cameron is 61. Angela Bassett is 57. Madonna is 57. Timothy Hutton is 55. Steve Carell is 53. Country singer Emily Robison of The Dixie Chicks is 43. Cam Gigandet is 33. Cristin Milioti (How I Met Your Mother) is 30.

• Rollercoaster Day. Wave at Surveilance Day (wave at cameras). National Tell a Joke Day. National Rum Day. National Bratwurst Day.

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