COUNTRY January 4, 2016

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This is day 4 of 2016. There are 362 days remaining.


• Dyan Cannon is 77

• Michael Stipe of R.E.M. is 56

• Dave Foley (NewsRadio, Kids in the Hall) is 53

• Dot Jones (Glee) is 52

• Julia Ormond is 51


• 1493: Christopher Columbus left the New World, ending his first journey.

• 1847: Samuel Colt sold his first revolver pistol to the United States government.

• 1863: James Plimpton of New York City patented 4-wheeled roller skates with one wheel at each corner of the skate. Previous skates had wheels in a line.

• 1936: Billboard magazine published its first pop music charts.

• 1962: New York City introduced a train that operates without a crew on-board.

• 1965: CBS bought the Fender Guitar Company from Leo Fender for $13 million.

• 1975: Elizabeth Ann Seton became the first American-born saint.

• 1999: Former professional wrestler Jesse Ventura was sworn in as governor of Minnesota.

• 2004: Spirit, a NASA Mars Rover, landed successfully on Mars.

• 2009: A billionaire in China paid $44,000 for a newspaper personal ad. The 41-year-old included a rambling love poem in his ad along with a few requirements for potential matches: pretty, between the ages of 23 and 30, fluent in English and good-natured.


• January is Book Blitz Month, Cervical Cancer Screening Month, Coffee Gourmet International Month, Family Fit Lifestyle Month, Financial Wellness Month, International Business Resolutions Month, International Creativity Month, International Life Balance Month, International Wealth Mentality Month, National Be On-Purpose Month, National Clean Up Your Computer Month, National Get Organized Month, National Glaucoma Awareness Month, National Hot Tea Month, National Mail Order Gardening Month, Nation Mentoring Month, National Personal Self-Defense Awareness Month, National Radon Action Month, National Returns Month, National Yours, Mine And Ours Month, Oatmeal Month, Senior Women’s Travel Month, Slow Cooking Month, Walk Your Pet Month, Eye Care Month, National Blood Donor Month, National Hobby Month, National Soup Month, National Thank You Month

• Diet Resolution Week

• Home Office Safety and Security Week

• National Lose Weight/Feel Great Week

• Elvis’ Birthday Celebration Week

• Trivia Day

• Spaghetti Day

• World Hypnotism Day

• Divorce Monday. Supposedly the most divorces are filed today.

• World Hypnotism Day


• January 6-9: Consumer Electronics Show, Las Vegas

• January 10: Golden Globe Awards

• January 11: College Football National Championship (University of Phoenix Stadium, ESPN)

• January 12: State of the Union Address

• January 18: Martin Luther King Day

• January 18: Blue Monday. Always the third Monday of January, Blue Monday is said to be the saddest day of the year — we’re back into the work grind, the Christmas bills have come, college students have to return to reality.

• February 7: Super Bowl 50

• February 14: Valentine’s Day

More holidays



28: Fireplaces in the White House.



A university in Singapore unveiled a humanoid robotic receptionist that has her own personality, mood, and emotions. [And to prove it, on her first day on the job she got into an argument with the UPS man, came back from lunch 15 minutes late, and spent most of the time at her desk updating her Facebook page.]

A court order is now in effect in India ordering Hindu temples to not allow entrance to anyone dressed disrespectfully in jeans or shorts. [Or carrying a lightsaber.]

Scientists say that this year humpback whales haven’t returned to Hawaii in their usual numbers. [Well, gas is so cheap that I imagine a lot of them decided to try someplace new.]

Hawaii has raised its legal smoking age to 21. [This will save the state a fortune. Elementary school student desks will no longer be required to have built-in ashtrays.]

At Motley Crue’s final concert a stunt left Tommy Lee hanging upside down. [Which is probably about the only way to get blood to his brain.]

In the latest batch of released emails from Hillary Clinton’s account she gives tips on how to get out of jury duty. [No wonder her poll numbers just went up.]

A politician in the Florida town where Jim Morrison was born wants to move his remains back there to build a tourist attraction. [Even the people at Graceland think it’s a tacky idea.]

The Powerball jackpot is now at $400 million. [Or what Star Wars makes in a day.]

A survey finds that the average wine often contains more alcohol than it claims to contain. [So does my brother-in-law.]

A Philippines Catholic diocese has suspended a priest for riding a hoverboard during mass. [For his big finale he lit the church candles using a drone.]

Jock Line: I think I’ll open a gym for everyone who makes a New Year’s resolution. The hook is after two weeks it turns into a bar. Hat tip to subscriber Chris Wolf!



THAT BIG 2016 VACATION WON’T MAKE YOU HAPPIER _ If your 2016 calendar has a big vacation on it you may already be feeling happy with anticipation. Sadly, a study in the Netherlands found the happiness will peak during the trip and be gone when you arrive home. Yeah, that stinks. The study showed that people who took vacations were most happy before a trip, but no happier than non-vacationers after a trip. Anticipation, the researchers suggested, was what had the biggest effect on happiness.

BEING “HANGRY” IS REAL, SO DON’T NEGLECT THE SNACKS _ You haven’t eaten for a while and you’re starting to get snappy with everyone. You’re hangry. It’s not just a joke, it’s a real phenomenon. Recent research has pointed to the idea that being hangry is legit. The lower your blood sugar gets, the less fuel your brain has to function. While you can handle all the critical brain tasks like breathing and seeing, more complex things like turning a bickering argument about the dishes into a constructive conversation aren’t as simple. The result? You deal with the little things more impulsively, which leads to getting angrier easier.

SUNDAY WAS BUSIEST DAY FOR ONLINE DATING _ The dating experts say yesterday (Sunday) was busiest day for online dating. One dating website, Plenty of Fish, says users who sign up during the first week of January will find a partner an average of two weeks faster than those who sign up later, taking an average of just 10 weeks compared to an average of 12 weeks throughout the year.

PASTOR CONFRONTS GUNMAN DURING SERMON _ On New Year’s Eve, Pastor Larry Wright  was talking to his small flock at Heal the Land Outreach Ministries about shooting deaths in his community when a man walked into the church carrying a rifle and a magazine of ammunition. Wright said he walked up to the man and asked, “Can I help you?” The gunman asked the pastor to pray for him. Wright took the rifle and gave it to a deacon, then hugged the man and prayed with him. The pastor said the man then committed his life to Jesus, then apologized to the congregation. He said he wanted to hurt someone, but he felt compelled to seek help within the church. Police arrived during the dramatic incident and took the man into custody.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, TUPPERWARE! _ It was 70 years ago this year that Tupperware (the plastic container with airtight lid) was invented by Earl Silas Tupper. Tupper was a New Hampshire tree surgeon and plastics innovator who began experimenting with polyethylene, a new material used primarily for insulation, radar, and radio equipment. He went on to patent the Tupperware seal in 1947. Tupper used “Tupperware Parties” to market the product, a unique way of marketing directly to homemakers.

… Tupperware was not welcome at first. Consumers were confused as to how to operate the lids. Store sales lagged. In the late forties, home demonstrations of the products proved enormously successful. By 1951, he had pulled all merchandise off store shelves and channeled it solely through direct home sales.

DOUGHNUT-STEALING RACCOON IS TORONTO’S #PIZZARAT _ After a pizza-carrying rat in New York City’s subway system found fame last year, a Toronto critter is having its own moment in the spotlight after stealthily descending from a coffee-shop ceiling in a doughnut heist. Video of a raccoon that reached down between the shop’s ceiling tiles to break into a doughnut case was captured by Peter Jensen, who posted it on YouTube. The raccoon is seen carefully balancing itself between the ceiling and the donut case and spending several seconds looking around for a choice snack. Onlookers in the video watched with disbelief, cheering the critter on. After a few moments surveying the goods, the raccoon made its selection — orange — and made off back into the ceiling, snack in hand. | VIDEO

DONOR PAYS $25K TO COVER RENT FOR APARTMENT COMPLEX _ An anonymous donor paid the rent for every tenant of an affordable housing complex near Park City, Utah. The residents were notified shortly before Christmas that rent for January would be covered. Monthly rent for the entire affordable housing community is about $25,000 or $527 to $709 per unit.

UNIVERSITY SAYS BAN THESE WORDS _ Michigan’s Lake Superior State University has released its 41st annual list of words that should be banned. The tongue-in-cheek wish-list of sorts includes starting an answer with the word “So,” “presser” instead of press conference, “problematic,” “walk it back” and “break the Internet.” Others are “join the conversation,” “physicality,” “secret sauce,” “price point” and “giving me life”.

HILLARY CLINTON WILL REVEAL TRUTH ABOUT AREA 51 _ Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has promised that if she is elected as the next president of the United States she will “get to the bottom” of questions and controversy over what the U.S. government knows about UFOs and aliens. Clinton reportedly made the promise during an interview with New Hampshire newspaper The Conway Daily Sun. When asked about her position on UFOs and ETs and whether she would support efforts by UFO disclosure groups, she answered, “Yes, I am going to get to the bottom of it.”

… She also said that if was elected she would set up a task force to investigate Area 51, the top secret Air Force base in Nevada where UFO enthusiasts believe alien UFO and corpses recovered from the 1947 Roswell, New Mexico, crash site were kept for reverse-engineering research purposes.

20TH ANNIVERSARY OF “NUN BUN” _ 2016 marks the 20th anniversary of the Nun Bun. At a Nashville coffeehouse in 1996 a customer nearly took a bite of their cinnamon bun before recognizing Mother Teresa in the folds of flaky pastry. The bun was featured on world news programs, The Late Show with David Letterman and was even mentioned on episodes of popular sitcoms. The shop, Bongo Java, sold T-shirts, prayer cards and mugs with the bun’s image before Mother Teresa wrote a personal letter to the coffeehouse asking the sales be stopped.

… In 2005 the Nun Bun was stolen.

MORE PEOPLE ON A DIET IN MARCH? _ January may be the month to make a resolution to lose weight, but March is when most people actually try to follow through on it, a new survey finds. March is the peak dieting month, with 26 percent of adults saying they’re on one vs. 23 percent in January. The reason is March’s proximity to swimsuit season.

… While January isn’t tops for dieting, it is the month when the most new health club memberships come in, accounting for 12 percent of total new membership sales.

WOULD YOU PUT A LITTLE SPEAKER IN YOUR VAGINA?  _ (CAUTION) Here’s a question for moms and moms-to-be: Would you put a little speaker in your vagina? A little speaker shaped like a tampon is called “Babypod” and a gynecology clinic in Barcelona, Spain, has shared a video online. The Babypod came about after a Spanish study proved fetuses are able to detect sound once they reach between 18 and 26 weeks. The fetuses apparently even sometimes move their mouths and tongues in response to the sound. | VIDEO



WACKY-BUT-TRUE: SELFIE WITH ARMED ROBBERY VICTIM HELPS ID SUSPECT _ In Pacific Grove, California, Victor Almanza-Martinez and two other men allegedly approached four victims and robbed them of their belongings, including keys to a car. The suspects fled in the vehicle, which is still missing, but not before Almanza-Martinez and one of the female victims exchanged Snapchat information and posed for a selfie together. The selfie was the break in the case police needed. The selfie suspect was arrested and charged.

WACKY-BUT-TRUE: MAN REFUSES TO LET TECH LEAVE UNTIL COMPUTER IS FIXED _ A man in Virginia has been accused of going to the extreme to get his computer problems taken care of. The man refused to let a computer technician leave his home until his computer was fixed. Police said the man “allegedly had a gun”.

WACKY-BUT-TRUE: IDAHO MAN FINDS ART IN BACK HAIR _ Mike Wolfe is no longer ashamed of his back hair. The Idaho man says that after years of feeling ashamed of his body hair, he asked a friend to trim an American flag on his back rather than undergoing hair removal processes like shaving or waxing. Since then, the two meet up several times throughout the year to design a new creation onto Wolfe’s back. Tyler Harding, a former graphic artist who has been friends with Wolfe for more than a decade, says it takes about an hour to complete each artistic trim. The creations can now be seen on a calendar — called a Calend-hair — available for $20. | LINK

WACKY-BUT-TRUE: NAKED PEEPING TOM CAUGHT ON CAMERA _ An Alabama (Vestavia Hills) couple got a surprise on New Year’s Eve when a nude man wearing a presidential mask creeped into their breezeway. The man, who was naked except for what appeared to be a Ronald Reagan rubber mask covering his head and a sock covering his private parts, ran off when the homeowners spotted him. The ordeal was caught on their home security video and later posted to Facebook as a warning to neighbors and others.

WACKY-BUT-TRUE: TO RAISE MONEY, CHURCH TURNS TO T.P. _ To raise money to send church members on a mission trip an Oregon church decided to skip the usual fundraiser and sell… toilet paper. And of course the church sold Angel Soft. A truckload was purchased and sold by the roll or case.

WACKY-BUT-TRUE: ROBBERS STEAL FIRST AID KIT _ Armed robbers in Germany held up a man carrying what they thought was a money transfer satchel. They were probably kicking themselves when they got back to their hideout and found out they stole a first aid kit instead.




SEASON PREMIERE: THE BACHELOR (8p ET, ABC) — The Bachelor this season is Ben Higgins, second runner-up on the recent Kaitlyn Bristowe Bachelorette. In the premiere, former stars Sean Lowe, Chris Soules and Jason Mesnick offer Ben advice as he begins his search. Ben meets the women, including identical twins, a war veteran, a chicken enthusiast, a news anchor and a cowgirl.

SUPERSTORE (8p ET, NBC) — This new comedy makes its “official” premiere on its regular night and time.

SUPERHUMAN (8p ET, FOX) — Hosted by Kal Penn, this 2-hour special will test the abilities of 12 ordinary people to use their enhanced skills (memory, hearing, taste, smell, vision) to win a $100,000.

WHOSE LINE IS IT ANYWAY? (8p ET, CW) — Two repeats air back to back.

TELENOVELA (8:30p ET, NBC) — Zachary Levi (Heroes: Reborn, Chuck) guest stars as the show moves to its regular night and time.


SEASON PREMIERE: THE BIGGEST LOSER (9p ET, NBC) — Seven new teams compete, including one team of famous strangers: reality-TV stars Richard Hatch (Survivor) and Erin Willett (The Voice). Bob Harper takes over as host. This season will also feature a new “temptation” theme, an updated state-of-the-art gym, a change in the weigh in, and a return to the team vs. team competition.


NCIS: LOS ANGELES (10p ET, CBS) — Michael B. Silver (Royal Pains) guest stars in this new episode.

PREMIERE: BACHELOR LIVE (10p ET, ABC) — This new after show analyzes the episode.



STAR WARS BOX OFFICE SURPASSES TITANIC, JURASSIC WORLD _ Star Wars: The Force Awakens made an additional $88.3 million over the New Year’s weekend and topped the box office for a third week. In addition to setting a new high mark in New Year’s box office history, the record-busting film blew past the domestic grosses of both Jurassic World ($652.3 million) and Titanic ($658.7 million) to become the second-highest earner of all time with $740.3 million in just 19 days of release. The top domestic film is Avatar with a $760.5 million lifetime domestic gross, but Star Wars will surpass it soon.

… Internationally, Star Wars earned $96.3 million over the weekend. Globally it has made just over $1.5 billion. The film opens in China on January 9.

… Quentin Tarantino’s bloody Western The Hateful Eight took third with $16.2 million in its first weekend in wide release.

BOBA FETT VOICE ACTOR JASON WINGREEN DIES _ Character actor Jason Wingreen, best known for playing a bartender on All in the Family and voicing Boba Fett in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, has died at age 95. He passed away in his Los Angeles home on Christmas Day. Wingreen had nearly 200 screen credits throughout his career, notably voicing Boba Fett in The Empire Strikes Back in 1980. He received four lines of dialogue as the mysterious bounty hunter hired by Darth Vader.

NATIONAL SOCIETY OF FILM CRITICS: SPOTLIGHT IS BEST PICTURE _ The National Society of Film Critics has voted Spotlight the best picture of 2015. The movie chronicles The Boston Globe’s Pulitzer Prize-winning investigation into child abuse in the Catholic Church. Last month the Los Angeles Film Critics Association named it the best film of the year, and it is a Golden Globe best picture nominee.

PETITION FOR MAKING A MURDERER SUBJECT GETS 100,000+ SIGNATURES _ Netflix’s wildly popular documentary Making a Murderer has turned the Internet into obsessive detectives trying to unravel theories and overlooked details. It’s also made viewers push for real-life justice. Two petitions to free Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey, the two men convicted in the 2005 murder of Teresa Halbach, have been circulating since late December, one from and one from To get an official response from the White House, the petition to pardon Avery and Dassey would need to reach 100,000 signatures by January 19. As of Sunday afternoon, it has more than 18,000.

… Making a Murderer explores the two convictions of Avery, a Wisconsin man who was jailed for the 1985 rape of Penny Beerntsen, then released in 2003, when DNA evidence proved he was a wrongfully convicted. Avery was then arrested once again for the murder of Halbach in 2005, and the doc claims he and his then 16-year-old nephew Brendan were made into the main suspects by a broken, corrupt justice system.

RICKY GERVAIS HAS ALREADY APOLOGIZED FOR THE GOLDEN GLOBES _ English comedian Ricky Gervais has issued an apology in advance for what he might say at the Golden Globes. In a tweet, Ricky said “Because I can see the future, I’d like to apologize now for the things I said at next week’s Golden Globes. I was drunk & didn’t give a [blank].”

ZILLOW POLL: TRUMP LEAST DESIRABLE NEIGHBOR _ Taylor Swift is America’s most desirable neighbor, while Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is America’s least desirable neighbor. Zilllow’s annual poll asked U.S. adults which celebrities they would most like to be their neighbor, as well as with whom they wouldn’t want to share a fence. Taylor earned 12 percent of the vote for ‘most desirable’ followed by actress Jennifer Lawrence with 11 percent and comedian Amy Schumer with 9 percent. Thirty-four percent of those surveyed said they would not want to live next to any of the famous folks listed in the poll.

… Asked who they think would make the worst neighbors, 24 percent of respondents said Trump. Married superstars Kim Kardashian and Kanye West came in second with 22 percent of the votes, narrowly defeating previous ‘least desirable neighbor’ titleholder Justin Bieber, who ranks third this time around with 18 percent. Hillary Clinton was fourth, with 11 percent of respondents calling her the least desirable neighbor.

TERESA GIUDICE’S FIRST TWEET SINCE HER RELEASE FROM PRISON _ A little over a week after her release from prison, Teresa Giudice has finally spoken out on Twitter. But her message — her first tweet since September, to be exact — was unrelated to her experience behind bars or life post-prison. Rather, the Real Housewives of New Jersey star took to her social media account to wish her followers “a healthy and happy New Year!”  The tweet was accompanied by a family photo that featured the celebrinot posing alongside her husband Joe and daughters Gia, Milania, Gabriella and Audriana.

DUCK DYNASTY STAR REBECCA ROBERTSON IS ENGAGED _ Duck Dynasty star Rebecca Robertson is engaged to marry boyfriend John Reed Loflin. She wrote on Instagram Saturday: “After long time of patiently searching, I found the ultimate gem.”

CNN TO HOST OBAMA TOWN HALL ON GUN VIOLENCE _ President Obama will participate in a town hall on gun control hosted by Anderson Cooper on CNN. The discussion Guns in America will air January 7 on CNN. The discussion will take place at George Mason University in Virginia in front of a live audience who will represent different sides of the debate. The town hall is taking place after multiple recent shooting attacks including the Paris attacks and the San Bernardino shootings.

BOSTON MARATHON TO GET DOCUMENTARY TREATMENT _ The first feature-length documentary film about the Boston Marathon is in the works. Its creators say the movie will go well beyond the 2013 bombings to retrace the iconic footrace’s first steps in 1897. Two feature films (one starring Mark Wahlberg), a stage play and an HBO special also are in production, though they’re all about the 2013 finish line attacks that killed three spectators and wounded more than 260 others.

… No Boston documentary would be complete without the dark events of 2013. “Boston,” however, will focus less on the chaos than the comeback. The producers had 56 cameras along the course in 2014 for the marathon’s first running since the bombings.

TORY BURCH ANNOUNCES HER ENGAGEMENT _ 2016 is already off to a great start for Tory Burch. The designer celebrated the new year by accepting a proposal from her boyfriend, Pierre Yves-Roussel. She announced the news on Instagram. Pierre oversees brands like Louis Vuitton, Marc Jacobs and Givenchy. The pair have been dating since the summer of 2014.




• TOPICAL: President Obama on Comedian in Cars Getting Coffee (3 cuts)

• PHONER: Things guys should never do together. Launch: You saw The Force Awakens with your wife/kids the first time. You called a friend to see it again and he said two grown men going to a movie together is weird.

• DROP: We are in a situation where we need a miracle. Would be good for a game/contest where a contestant isn’t doing so well.

• DROP: I just love you guys. Love you. Love you. Love you.

• DROP: I do not know that he has any boundaries.

• PARODY: Hello Parody (Hella Cravings). Suggested use: Just a few seconds as a bumper into anything about holiday food, New Year’s resolutions, etc. (Source video)

• STAR WARS: Star Wars The Force Awakens fan reactions 1

• STAR WARS: Star Wars The Force Awakens fan reactions 2




It seems like it’s been awhile since a major lottery has grown to a big enough jackpot that people will take notice. Wednesday’s Powerball will be $400 million or more. A fun, simple, cheap way to tie in is with Listener Lotto.

Take five calls. Each gives you a number from 1-69. A sixth caller picks the Powerball number (1-26). If you win anything you split the jackpot between the six callers and your show’s cast members.


  1. Star Wars: The Force Awakens, $88.3 million
  2. Daddy’s Home, $29 million
  3. The Hateful Eight, $16.2 million
  4. Sisters, $12.5 million
  5. Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip, $11.8 million
  6. Joy, $10.4 million
  7. The Big Short, $9 million
  8. Concussion, $8 million
  9. Point Break, $6.8 million
  10. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2, $4.6 million

… One year ago this week the number one movie was The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies.


THE REVENANT (R) A frontiersman named Hugh Glass on an fur trade expedition in the 1820s is on a quest for survival after being brutally mauled by a bear.

THE FOREST (PG-13) A young woman searches for her twin sister in a Japanese forest only to find herself surrounded by paranormal forces.

THE MASKED SAINT (PG-13) Based on a true story about one pastor’s mission to help his community by returning to his former life as a wrestler.

OPENING NEXT WEEK _ 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi; Norm of the North; Ride Along 2


Courtesy of morning show talent coach Steve Reynolds. The Hot List is made up of the topics everyone knows about.

  1. New Year’s Resolutions
  2. Midwest flooding
  3. Golden Globes
  4. Star Wars
  5. Bill Cosby
  6. College Bowl Games
  7. NFL Playoffs
  8. Chris Brown
  9. College Football Championship
  10. Natalie Cole
  11. Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee
  12. State of the Union Speech
  13. Consumer Electronics Show
  14. Donald Trump
  15. Aretha Franklin
  16. Trapper John Dies
  17. Downton Abbey


These wide-release movies to crack 30 percent on the Tomatometer, Rotten Tomatoes’ review aggregator.

• The Forger – John Travolta’s crime-drama about art thieves.

• Taken 3 – Liam Neeson’s “particular set of skills” didn’t help this time.

• Fantastic Four – Superhero movies are never horrible. This one was.

• The Loft – A murder mystery that mysteriously got made.

• Seventh Son – Jeff Bridges and Julianne Moore didn’t help.

• Mortdecai – One of Johnny Depp’s misses.

• Hot Tub Time Machine 2 – Drowned in poor reviews.

• The Last Witch Hunter – Vin Diesel performs best when behind the wheel of an expensive car.

• Pixels – Fun visuals, funny cast, poor reviews.

• Jem and the Holograms – Fans of the original ’80s series were pumped for the remake, but were quickly disappointed.

• Aloha – Bradley Cooper, Rachel McAdams, and Emma Stone couldn’t help this tropical romance.

• Self/Less – Ryan Reynolds’ mind-swapping sci-fi thriller didn’t totally crash and burn at the box office, but critics didn’t like it.

• Terminator Genisys – Please, don’t come back.

• Jupiter Ascending – Awe-inspiring visuals, Channing Tatum, Mila Kunis. Too bad the sci-fi flick was a stinker.

• Vacation – Vacation’s abundance of potty humor didn’t do them any favors with movie critics.

• Victor Frankenstein – Daniel Radcliffe and James McAvoy combined forces for this horror/sci-fi movie, but it ended up being one creation that they should’ve left in the lab.

• Get Hard – There isn’t anything funny about how poorly Will Ferrell and Kevin Hart’s comedy was received.


So what’s going to make you happy? Let’s get more specific: what’s going to make your brain happy? And let’s focus on things that are simple and easy to do instead of stuff like winning the lottery. Alex Korb is a postdoctoral researcher in neuroscience at UCLA and author of The Upward Spiral. He has some great suggestions for simple things you can do to feel happier every day…

1) Listen To Music From The Happiest Time In Your Life. Were you happiest in college? Play the music you loved then and it can transport you to that happier place and boost your mood.

2) Smile — And Wear Sunglasses. You feel happy and that makes you smile. But it works both ways: when you smile, your brain can detect this and say, “I’m smiling. That must mean I’m happy.” Feeling down? Smile anyway. “Fake it until you make it” can work.

… And sunglasses? Bright light makes you squint. Squinting looks a lot like being worried. So guess what biofeedback that produces? Yup. Your brain can misinterpret that as being unhappy. Sunglasses kill the squint and can help tell your brain, “Hey, everything is okay.”

3) Thinking About Goals Changes How You See The World. When you’re feeling stressed or challenged, think about your long-term goals. It gives your brain a sense of control and can release dopamine which will make you feel better and more motivated.

4) Get Good Sleep. They took all these people with insomnia and followed them for a few years and it turned out that the people with chronic insomnia were much more likely to develop depression. Depression causes sleep problems but sleep problems are also more likely to lead to depression.

5) How Neuroscience Beats Procrastination. Procrastination is often a vicious circle because you delay, then you have less time to complete the project, so you get more stressed, procrastinate more, have even less time, which makes you even more stressed and… So what’s the answer? Find one small thing you can do to get started. Instead of getting overwhelmed, ask yourself, “What’s one little thing that I could do now that would move me toward this goal I’m trying to accomplish?” Taking one small step toward it can make it start to feel more manageable.



TRIVIA:George Washington, James Madison and Thomas Jefferson did it, then it went away for roughly 100 years until Woodrow Wilson brought it back. (The State of the Union Address. After Jefferson did his first he switched to a written state of the union to Congress.)


The headline I’ll read is missing a word. The first person to give me the correct missing word wins.

“Man Throws Tantrum Over (Cheese) on His Burger”

There are some things worth getting cranky about but having your food order messed up happens to everyone. A 42-year-old man in Australia was so riled up over the misplaced cheese he threw a chair and knocked over a trash can. Things got more serious when an employee followed him out of the restaurant to get his license plate number. Cops say at that point he wrapped his arms around her to stop her and grabbed her phone from her hand because she was trying to call police. He threw the phone across the lot and drove off.



A salesman, tired of his job, gave it up to become a police officer. Several months later, a friend asked him how he liked his new role. “Well,” he replied, “the pay isn’t great, and the hours can be awful. But I like the fact that the customer is almost always wrong.”



Guy is tired of logs on his bike path.



An apple apple.




• Your local Facebook Groups could be a good prep resource. This link shows you what groups are in your area.

• Top free time-waster websites.

• A quick way to create and share a note.

• Enjoy a snowy escape.

• How one guy keeps track of his luggage.

• Dress your bearded dragon as Princess Lea.

• The best Star Wars tattoos.

• I’m a financial planner, and here are the 11 best pieces of advice I can give you about money.

The Best and Worst Journalism of 2015. Includes a nod to John Oliver.

• We bought these $15 Amazon headphones — and they don’t suck.



• 1953: HANK WILLIAMS was laid to rest in Montgomery, Alabama, with more than 20,000 mourners on hand to pay their respects.

• 1960: MARTY ROBBINS’ number one country hit El Paso peaked at No. 1 on the pop charts.

• 1969: GEORGE JONES and DOLLY PARTON joined the Grand Ole Opry.

• 1969: JOHNNY CASH’s Daddy Sang Base, with special guests JUNE CARTER CASH and THE STATLER BROTHERS, began a six week run at the top of the country charts.

• 1991: To help pay off more than $16.7 million owed in back taxes, the IRS held the first of several auctions of WILLIE NELSON’s properties that had been seized.

• 2003: HANK WILLIAMS JR. and Hank Williams III shared the stage for the first time when they performed at the Grand Ole Opry as part of a night honoring the 50th anniversary of the death of Hank Williams.

• 2013: It was reported that CARRIE UNDERWOOD had sold her Franklin, Tennessee home for just under $380,000. She’d purchased the home in 2005 after winning American Idol.

Kathy Forester of the FORESTER SISTERS is 61






• DRAKE WHITE on New Year’s resolutions.

• THOMAS RHETT and New Year’s resolutions.

• BRANTLEY GILBERT talks about being on the road.

• THOMAS RHETT on writing vs. performing.



DIERKS BENTLEY began his 2016 with a group of friends by engaging in an annual lake jump in Nashville. Dierks and company have been doing the annual lake jump for 14 years.

With an Instagram photo, MIRANDA LAMBERT has confirmed her rumored relationship with fellow artist Anderson East. On Friday night Miranda posted a shot of herself and Anderson cuddling on a couch, captioned “The snuggle is real…” Anderson shared the picture on his own Instagram account as well. Anderson’s stepfather told In Touch Weekly last week that his stepson and Lambert have been seeing each other “for a couple of weeks.” | IMAGE

Divorce, heartache, drama and love are major themes in country music, and BLAKE SHELTON’s new album will include them all. The singer says that his divorce from MIRANDA LAMBERT has, not surprisingly, influenced his new music, and his upcoming album will shed some light on the split. Blake says, “I’ve written more than I’ve written in 15 years, for obvious reasons…” He hopes to have a new album out in May.

BLAKE SHELTON is the voice of a pig named Earl in the movie adaptation of Angry Birds, hitting theaters in May. Earl will wear a cowboy hat and tote a guitar as well as play a few songs during the movie.

TRACE ADKINS is at work on new music to be released this year, but he also has a couple of non-musical projects coming up. In May he’ll receive the Dwight D. Eisenhower award for his work with the military; in September he’ll be seen in the Mark Wahlberg movie based on the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster.

If CARRIE UNDERWOOD could change anything about herself it would be to make herself a little taller. At 5′ 3″ Carrie says it’s the reason she has so many pairs of sky high heels.

The guys in RASCAL FLATTS say in addition to a second residency in Las Vegas, a new studio album is coming this year.

Country Thunder will hold three festivals in 2016. The first, April 7-10 in Florence, Arizona, will be headlined by ERIC CHURCH, FLORIDA GEORGIA LINE, JAKE OWEN and KIP MOORE. The second installment is set for July 21-24 in Twin Lakes, Wisconsin with CHRIS YOUNG stepping in to headline for Kip, joining FGL, Eric and Jake. The newest installment, debuting this year, is in Alberta (Canada) August 19-21 with headliners TIM MCGRAW, BIG & RICH and LUKE BRYAN.

ERIC CHURCH, BRAD PAISLEY and SAM HUNT will headline the 2nd Big Barrel Country Music Festival June 24-26 at the Woodlands of Dover International Speedway in Dover, Delaware. Other performers will include HANK WILLIAMS JR, MARTINA MCBRIDE, LEE BRICE and THE BAND PERRY.

CRAIG CAMPBELL and JACK INGRAM will join KELLIE PICKLER, JERROD NIEMANN, LOCASH, LOVE AND THEFT and others to perform as part of the Island Time Music & Fishing Festival, February 15-20 in Isla Mujeres, Mexico. Proceeds from the concerts, fishing tournament and auction will benefit the Little Yellow School House, which provides services to special needs kids in the community.

LAURA BELL BUNDY is engaged to longtime boyfriend Thom Hinkle. He popped the question on the last day of 2015. The couple have been together for four years.

CRAIG WAYNE BOYD and fiancee Taylor Moreland are parents of a baby girl. Dakota Lynne was born December 31 in Nashville.



This is day 5 of 2016. There are 361 days remaining.


• Former Vice President Walter Mondale is 88

• Robert Duvall is 85

• TV host Charlie Rose is 74

• Diane Keaton is 70

• Ted Lange (The Love Boat) is 68

• Vinnie Jones (X-Men: The Last Stand) is 51

• Carrie Ann Inaba (Dancing With the Stars) is 48

• Marilyn Manson is 47

• Bradley Cooper is 41

• January Jones (Mad Men, The Last Man on Earth) is 38

• Kristin Cavallari is 29


• 1914: Ford Motor Company announced an eight-hour workday and a minimum wage of $5 for a day’s labor.

• 1940: FM radio was demonstrated to the FCC for the first time.

• 1970: All My Children premiered on ABC.

• 1972: President of the United States Richard Nixon ordered the development of a space shuttle program.

• 1993: The last legal hanging in the U.S. Washington state executed Westley Allan Dodd.

• 1998: Actor-turned-politician Sonny Bono was killed when he hit a tree while skiing in South Lake Tahoe, California. He was 62.

• 2004: After 14 years of denials, Pete Rose admitted publicly he had bet on baseball games involving his own team.


• Bird Day

• Whipped Cream Day


• January 6-9: Consumer Electronics Show, Las Vegas

• January 10: Golden Globe Awards

• January 11: College Football National Championship (University of Phoenix Stadium, ESPN)

• January 12: State of the Union Address

• January 18: Martin Luther King Day

• January 18: Blue Monday. Always the third Monday of January, Blue Monday is said to be the saddest day of the year — we’re back into the work grind, the Christmas bills have come, college students have to return to reality.

• February 7: Super Bowl 50

• February 14: Valentine’s Day

More holidays