COUNTRY February 26, 2016

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This is day 57 of 2016. There are 309 days remaining.


• Fats Domino is 88

• Bill Duke (Commando, Predator) is 73

• Michael Bolton is 63

• Greg Germann (Ally McBeal) is 58


• 1919: An act of the U.S. Congress established most of the Grand Canyon as a United States National Park.

• 1991: Tim Berners-Lee introduced WorldWideWeb, the first web browser.

• 1996: A 38-year-old Muncie, Indiana, woman tried to remove a callus from her foot by shooting it off with .410-gauge shotgun. She told police later at the hospital she had been drinking heavily and it seemed like a good idea.

• 2009: The world learned that the Obama family had decided on a dog and locked down a ‘delivery’ date. First Lady Michelle Obama said a Portuguese Water Dog would be arriving at the White House on April 1.


• Bacon Day

• Pistachio Day


• February 28: Academy Awards

• February 29: Leap Day

• March 13: Daylight Saving Time begins (move clocks forward)

• March 15: NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament begins

More holidays



•  Joanne Woodward is 86. Howard Hesseman is 76. Neal Schon of Journey is 62. Chilli of TLC is 45. Josh Groban is 35. Kate Mara is 33

• Kahlua Day. Polar Bear Day. International Sword Swallowers Day. Open That Bottle Night.


• Gavin MacLeod (The Love Boat) is 85. Actor-director-dancer Tommy Tune is 77. Frank Bonner (WKRP in Cincinnati) is 74. Mercedes Ruehl is 68. Bernadette Peters is 68. Gilbert Gottfried is 61. John Turturro is 59. Ali Larter is 40. Jason Aldean is 39.

• Academy Awards. Tooth Fairy Day.


12.25: Cost, in dollars, of the first car insurance policy. Traveler’s Insurance Company issued the first policy in 1898 to Dr. Truman Martin of Buffalo. His policy gave him $5,000 in coverage.


Some truly outrageously sexist things said by Donald Trump over the years on The Howard Stern Show are now resurfacing. [This could have a real impact on the campaign. It will probably give him even bigger poll numbers.]

The latest Quality of Life survey for large cities has been released, and the most desirable places to live are Vienna, Zurich, and Auckland. American cities didn’t fare very well. [If no one wants to live in New York, you’d think that it would be much easier than it is to find a parking space.]

The Iowa house has passed a bill that would make it legal for children of all ages to handle guns. [But it still won’t be legal for them to handle school textbooks with bad words.]

Good news, vegetarians. On leap day, February 29, Arby’s will feature a vegetarian menu. [Then for the next four years, you’re on your own.]

A scientist at NASA says that if the traditional rocket propulsion system were replaced with laser technology in the form of photons, astronauts could reach Mars in only a month. [And you could get through a grocery store checkout line in almost half that time.]

A new grocery store in Copenhagen, Denmark is getting attention by being the first grocery store to only sell food that’s past its sell-by date. [I wonder if they accept coupons that have expired.]

Mastercard is introducing selfie pay in 14 countries. If authorization is needed when making a purchase, instead of entering a password, you simply look into your smartphone. [The app’s facial recognition software will immediately authenticate you and also give you a quick but thorough analysis of the outfit you’re wearing.]

Mastercard is introducing selfie pay in 14 countries. If authorization is needed when making a purchase, instead of entering a password, you simply look into your smartphone. [“Sorry, dear, I tried, but I couldn’t get the groceries. Bad hair day.”]

ISIS is now targeting Mark Zuckerberg. [Wow. Everybody has such strong opinions about Facebook’s new reaction buttons.]


LOST TV REMOTE? THERE’S A GOOD CHANCE IT’S IN YOUR SOFA _ The average American has four remotes in their living room. With all those clickers floating around, there’s a good chance that you’ve lost track of one of them this week. Well, good news. According to a study (by Logitech) there’s a nearly 50% chance that it’s stuck between your sofa cushions.

  • 49% found the remote in the couch
  • 8% found it in the bathroom
  • 8% in a dresser drawer
  • 4% in the fridge/freezer
  • 2% have found the remote outside or all the way out in the car

FB icon Where’s the weird place your TV remote ended up?

SOMETHING BEAUTIFUL IS HAPPENING AT THIS ANIMAL SHELTER _ The Humane Society of Missouri has found a way to bring shy shelter dogs out of their shells. It’s called the Shelter Buddies Reading Program. The idea is simple: train kids to read to dogs as a way of readying the dogs for forever homes, all while instilling a greater sense of empathy in the youngsters, too. Kids age 6 to 15 can sign up for the program online, after which they are trained how to read a dog’s body language to tell if they are stressed out or anxious. Those pets are the ones most in need of special attention. The young volunteers are then encouraged to sit in front of a shy dog’s kennel with a book and read to them.

NEARLY HALF OF REDDIT USERS GO THERE FOR 2016 ELECTION INFO _ Reddit users are feeling the Bern: That’s one finding from a new (Pew) report released Thursday, that looks at the role of Reddit as both a news source in general and a destination for information about the 2016 presidential election in particular. The report found that seven percent of U.S. adults use Reddit.

… Of those: The user base is more likely to be young, male and liberal than the general public. 78% of Reddit users say they get news there. What’s more, 45 percent of Reddit users learn about the 2016 presidential campaign in a given week from the site.

… One way that Reddit differs from other social sites like Facebook and Twitter is that it’s broken down into subreddits, or individual discussion groups, rather than presenting itself as a stream.

… Bernie Sanders was mentioned in more comments than Clinton and Trump combined during the period studied.

ILLINOIS HIGH SCHOOLERS LAUNCH WEATHER BALLOON _ Some really smart Illinois high school students built and launched this weather balloon, which they named “Major Tom,” for a science project. • VIDEO

MAN WITH WORLD’S LARGEST FEET RECEIVES FREE SHOES _ Finding comfortable shoes can be a challenge even for those with average-shaped feet. But it’s virtually impossible for the Venezuelan man who holds the record for the world’s largest. Jeison Rodriguez wears size 26 shoes. This week he received a donation of four pairs of custom made shoes from Georg Wessels — a German shoemaker who specializes in making irregular-sized shoes, boots, sneakers, clogs and sandals. Wessels has been making shoes for the world’s tallest people for almost 40 years — and he does it for free.

FROZEN FISH RETURNS TO LIFE AFTER BEING DEFROSTED _ Careful — those Mrs. Paul’s fish sticks might come back to life. A video posted to Facebook shows a frozen fish could still swim after thawing. In the video, after taking it out from the freezer, the fish was put in a water basin. It thawed out and could swim after a short time. Many says the video was a fake.

… According to a Facebook user who commented on the video, the fish was likely to be dipped in liquid nitrogen until the skin was frozen, but in fact it was still alive. When the skin was thawed out the fish could swim. However, it probably died a short time later. • VIDEO

HONORS STUDENT ISN’T WHO HE SAYS HE IS _ Police say a central Pennsylvania high school honors student was actually a 23-year-old Ukrainian national using a false identity after his visa expired. Artur Samarin was arrested and charged this week by Harrisburg police. Police say he pretended to be Harrisburg High School student Asher Potts, who had a 4.16 grade-point average and was in the National Honor Society. He had a Pennsylvania driver’s license in Potts’ name when he was arrested.

… Police believe the identity was made up and that no person’s identity was compromised.

STUDY SHOWS FAT PENGUINS FALL OVER MORE OFTEN _ Science! Researchers (University of London) say fat penguins are unsteady on their feet while waddling compared to slimmer penguins. #stillnocureforcancer

APPLAUSE AS 7-YEAR-OLD IS REMOVED FROM PLANE _ A kid who was on his way home to Phoenix after an especially meaningful trip to Bellingham, Washington, was removed from a plane because of pet allergies. The 7-year-old’s mom understood why they needed to leave the plane — onboard was a service animal, and the youngster was breaking out in hives and stuff. What mom says is crazy is that, after she complained — and was told that there are dogs on all flights — many of the other passengers cheered as the 7-year-old and his mom got off before the flight departed. Little Giovanni and his parents went to Washington state for a vacation as part of his father’s “bucket list” of things that he hoped to do before he dies. Dad’s got cancer — bad.

… We’re guessing the applause came after the delay. As is the procedure with most airlines, the flight staff consulted with a physician on call for medical emergencies. The physician urged the boy to leave the flight for his own well-being, and the family — who had not previously been aware of the boy’s allergy — agreed with the physician’s recommendation.

… Allegiant Air has apologized for the incident and worked to accommodate the family.

WISCONSIN CAT DISAPPEARS, THEN REAPPEARS IN FLORIDA _ It takes about 22 hours to reach Florida by car for a person traveling from Wisconsin. But if you’re a cat, the 1,484-mile journey likely takes closer to two months. At least that’s how long it took Nadia to trek from her home on a snowy December day to sunny Naples this week where animal officials helped find her owners. Workers at an animal shelter found the cat’s microchip and tracked down the owner.

You sit down at your computer to get some work done. But there’s an email that just came in. Should you check it? Really quick? Then the phone rings. After a few minutes, you try to refocus. But the person in the cubicle nearby is talking — loudly — about the weekend. Then somebody stops by your desk “to ask a quick question.” Sound familiar? It’s amazing workers today get anything done.

… A study found office distractions ate up 2.1 hours a day for the average worker. That adds up to 28 billion hours a year (using federal labor statistics and wages), or the loss of $588 billion a year in the U.S. alone. Another study found that employees devoted an average of 11 minutes to a project before being distracted.

… Another finding: People switch activities, such as making a phone call, speaking with someone in their cubicle or working on an email, every three minutes on average.


WACKY-BUT-TRUE: MASSIVE BRAWL BREAKS OUT AT CHUCK E. CHEESE _ In Manchester, Connecticut, a 15-person brawl broke out at a Chuck E. Cheese — in the middle of a kid’s birthday party. One story is that a family was there celebrating the child’s birthday. All was going well until some strangers came in and started playing games which led to people screaming at each other which of course led to throwing punches in front of kids. Others claim that two women “bumped in to each other” which also led to screaming and punches. • VIDEO – Best part is the large woman in the blue shirt who gets over a divider wall like a champ.

WACKY-BUT-TRUE: POLICE FIND PUZZLE BOX FILLED WITH ECSTASY PILLS _ Police in California intercepted a puzzle box containing more than a thousand pills of ecstasy. The puzzle box was sent from Sweden, destined for delivery to local college students in Riverside.

WACKY-BUT-TRUE: MAN DRESSES AS WALMART EMPLOYEE TO STEAL TVs _ A Virginia man disguised himself as a Walmart employee to steal TVs from a Walmart. In security video the man can be seen in a blue Walmart vest and a grey hooded sweatshirt entering the stock room and loading the merchandise onto a lift. He loaded four flat-screen TVs onto a cart and pushed them out of the store through an emergency exit. They were loaded into a waiting, full-size SUV. Police are looking for the Walmart employee impostor.

WACKY-BUT-TRUE: ANGRY PLAINTIFF SWIPES COURTHOUSE SIGN _ A man in China took justice into his own hands when he stole a sign off a local courthouse after a judge refused to hear his case. The man later told authorities, “They pushed me too hard. I wanted to see how they’d react!” He returned the sign when officials visited his home.

WACKY-BUT-TRUE: ROBBERS PUT MASKS ON AT WRONG TIME _ A man and woman are facing charges after what police are calling a foiled robbery attempt at a Tennessee (Dresden) convenience store. According to police, a man and woman went into the convenience store and were behaving suspiciously. The cashier hit the panic alarm, and when police arrived the pair fled the scene, leading officers in a car chase. Police say the man put on a ski mask as he fled. The chase ended on a dead-end road.

WACKY-BUT-TRUE: PAIR SENTENCED IN FAKE TOMB SCAM _ After hearing that a high speed rail line would be built through their property, a couple of people hatched this plan: set up 75 fake graves in order to collect compensation. The plan failed and the pair was sentenced to prison this week.

WACKY-BUT-TRUE: SODA MACHINE SNAFU LEADS TO STABBING _ A 32-year-old Missouri man is accused of stabbing another man (in Jefferson County) who cut in front of him at a gas station soda machine. The victim is recovering and the soda stabber was arrested.

WACKY-BUT-TRUE: TALIBAN MILITANTS DIED DURING BOMB CLASS _ In Afghanistan a senior Taliban commander was demonstrating how to handle explosives. The safety demonstration was to show recruits how to build suicide vests. But the commander accidentally detonated the device prematurely and seven Taliban died.


THE AMAZING RACE (8p ET, CBS) — In this new episode, teams face their fear of tight spaces while navigating some narrow tunnels and passages.

LAST MAN STANDING (8p ET, ABC) — In this new episode, Mike goes overboard trying to get the miniature tank collection that belonged to his neighbor’s (guest star Patricia Richardson, Home Improvement) late husband.

CAUGHT ON CAMERA WITH NICK CANNON (8p ET, NBC) — High-adventure video moments are featured in this new edition. Internet personalities Brandon Bowen, Lance Stewart and Eh Bee Family make appearances.

SLEEPY HOLLOW (8p ET, FOX) — Jenny makes the decision to confront her father, and Atticus Nevins (guest star Bill Irwin, Law & Order: SVU) returns in this new episode.

THE VAMPIRE DIARIES (8p ET, CW) — In this crossover with The Originals, Stefan tries to lure a vampire hunter away from his friends by heading to New Orleans where he reunites with Klaus (Joseph Morgan).

DR. KEN (8:30p ET, ABC) — In this new episode, Allison realizes that Molly’s boyfriend is the son of a patient.

HAWAII FIVE-O (9p ET, CBS) — In this new episode, McGarrett asks Odell Martin (guest stars Michael Imperioli) for help when a confidential informant is accused of murder.

GRIMM (9p ET, NBC) — Hank and Monroe travel to the Black Forrest in Germany in this new edition.

SHARK TANK (9p ET, ABC) — This new edition features a product to ease back pain and a high-tech bike lock.

SECOND CHANCE (9p ET, FOX) — Pritchard has to stop a prison break that is being organized by the guy his daughter is dating (guest star Breckin Meyer).

THE ORIGINALS (9p ET, CW) — The crossover with The Vampire Diaries continues in this new episode.

BLUE BLOODS (10p ET, CBS) — Frank deals with an outspoken city council speaker (guest star Whoopi Goldberg) in this new episode.

20/20 (10p ET, ABC) — This new edition is titled Journey to the Oscars and looks at defining moments in the careers of some of the 2016 nominees.

DATELINE (10p ET, NBC) — New

FULLER HOUSE (Netflix) — The hit sitcom Full House is back with an update. The entire cast returns, except for the Olsen twins. All 13 episodes are available for streaming.


Kumail Nanjiani (Silicon Valley) and Kate McKinnon (Saturday Night Live) host the 2016 Film Independent Spirit Awards, which is the Oscars for Independent films. Carol leads with six nominations, followed by Beasts of No Nation with five. (5p ET, IFC)

Mythbusters is down to its last two episodes, with The Reddit Special at 8p ET on Discovery Channel. The series finale is next Saturday.

OWN hosts the Essence Black Women in Hollywood Awards at 10 pm.

No new Saturday Night Live…the show is back with new episodes March 5th.


The 88th annual Academy Awards are on ABC, with red-carpet coverage starting at 7p ET and the show set to start at 8:30p ET. Comedian Chris Rock is the host.

Nominees here.

The only thing new tonight (since no one wants to compete with the Oscars) is The Walking Dead on AMC at 9p ET. A new Talking Dead follows.

No Downton Abbey on PBS tonight, but PBS is running a marathon of Season 6 all day. The series finale is next Sunday.


ARIANA GRANDE TO HOST SNL IN MARCH _ Ariana Grande will both host and perform as the musical guest on Saturday Night Live in March. The singer-actress announced the news on her website Thursday, saying “I’m having a minor heart attack, and by minor I mean a major one.”

NETFLIX HAS THE ANSWER FOR SECOND SCREENERS _ Netflix has announced a new feature, set to debut later this year, aimed specifically at addressing the ever-growing consumer trend of “second screening” in which a viewer uses their phone or tablet at the same time as the television while watching a program. A Netflix watcher who uses his or her phone to send the content to the TV will get supplemental content on their handheld device, such as behind-the-scenes information about the actors or other trivia.

… A recent study (Nielsen) showed that around 60% of people browse online while also watching video programming.

THE OSCAR AWARD THAT VANISHED _ In 1938 Alice Brady won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. At the Academy Awards presentation, Brady’s award was stolen by a man who came onstage to accept the award on the absent actress’s behalf. It was never recovered, and the impostor was never tracked down. The Academy issued a replacement award to Brady.

BOB SAGET WANTS FULL HOUSE SPIN-OFF CENTERING ON THE OFFSPRING _ After Fuller House, will we get Fullest House? Bob Saget thinks it’s possible, if the Netflix revival gets warm response from the audience. Saget says, “What we’re expecting it to do is be so beloved by the fans that later there will be a Fullest House, which will be the children of the new kids on the show.”

FULLER HOUSE CAST RESPONDS TO NEGATIVE REVIEWS _ The leading ladies of Fuller House — Candace Cameron Bure, Jodie Sweetin, and Andrea Barber — are opening up to defend their new Netflix series from the negative reviews it has received. Entertainment Weekly gave the pilot episode an F and the overall series a C-. EW’s review reads: “Olsens, you made a quality call. Readers, follow their lead. Fuller House doesn’t deserve your devotion. It deserves a foreclosure notice.”

… Candace says, “The critics never had a good thing to say about Full House and yet it ran for eight years in primetime and then it’s never been off the air in 30 years. So it’s a testament to what the fans want and not what the critics think.”

MICHAEL JACKSON’S GONE WITH THE WIND OSCAR IS MISSING _ When Michael Jackson died in 2009, his assets were immediately taken into account by executors of his estate. Nearly seven years later it has been discovered that one of Jackson’s most prized possessions has gone missing. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Oscar for Best Picture awarded to Gone With the Wind producer David O. Selznick — which Jackson had purchased in a Sotheby’s auction — is no where to be found.

KEVIN JAMES LISTS FLORIDA ESTATE _ Kevin James is selling his Delray Beach, Florida, compound for $28.85 million. The mansion and the 2.77 acres it sits on carries annual taxes of nearly $450,000 and officially measures in at 12,828 square feet.

MISSING SEINFELD EPISODE MADE FROM CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM CLIPS _ In 2009, Curb Your Enthusiasm centered on Larry David doing another season of Seinfeld. The four main Seinfeld stars — plus Newman — were all on the show, in character. From the various clips and bits shown, actor Topher Grace (That ’70s Show) edited together a nine-minute “missing” Seinfeld episode. • VIDEO

IN THEATERS THIS WEEKEND _ The buzz on Gods of Egypt and Triple 9 is… almost zero. If anything’s gong to bump Deadpool from No. 1 this week it might be Eddie the Eagle.

Eddie the Eagle (PG-13) – Taron Egerton, Hugh Jackman, Christopher Walken

Gods of Egypt (PG-13) – Gerard Butler, Geoffrey Rush, Chadwick Boseman,

Triple 9 (R) – Casey Affleck, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Anthony Mackie

NEW ON DVD TODAY _ Released Tuesday, February 23.

  • Spotlight
  • The Good Dinosaur
  • The Secret in their Eyes
  • My All American
  • Fargo – The Complete 2nd Season


Newest on the PRO AUDIO page.

• OSCARS: Jack Black and Will Ferrell sing the “Get Off the Stage Song” – 76th Oscars/2004

• MYSTERY VOICE: Katie Holmes

• PHONER: What did you leave on your car. – 5 real callers



FB icon Not including an alarm clock, what wakes you up most morning?

• Your dog licking your face?

• An upstairs neighbor heavy-footing it across the floor?

• The smell of coffee from an automatic coffee maker that starts at the same time each morning?


Monday is February 29, also known as the leap day of the Gregorian calendar — a date that occurs in most years that are divisible by 4, such as 2016, 2020, and 2024. Years that are divisible by 100, but not by 400, do not contain a leap day. Thus, 1700, 1800, and 1900 did not contain a leap day, 2100, 2200, and 2300 will not contain a leap day, while 1600 and 2000 did, and 2400 will. Years containing a leap day are called leap years. February 29 is the 60th day of the Gregorian calendar in such a year, with 306 days remaining until the end of the year.


FB icon What’s the oddest/weirdest thing you own? The kind of thing that’s creepy… but somewhat interesting.

The National Museum of Health and Medicine, which is dedicated to tracing the history and practice of medicine over the centuries, houses roughly 25 million artifacts:

• A giant hair ball that filled the stomach of a 12-year-old girl who compulsively chewed her hair.

• Floating in a glass container is a young man’s leg that ballooned in size because of elephantiasis.

• Union Gen. Daniel E. Sickles right leg, which was mangled by a Confederate cannonball in Gettysburg in 1863, and had to be sawed off just above the knee. The general decided to send the amputated leg to the museum in a miniature coffin. It came with a card that read: “With the compliments of Major General D.E.S.”

• The bullet that killed President Lincoln at Ford’s Theatre, as are bone fragments and hair from the president’s skull and the bloodstained shirt of a doctor who assisted in the autopsy.

• The spinal cord of Lincoln’s assassin, John Wilkes Booth.

• There’s a skeleton, sitting in a rocking chair, of a man who had such severe arthritis that all his bones fused together.

• The skeleton of Able, the first monkey to fly in space.

• A jar that contains President Dwight Eisenhower’s gallstones.

• A piece of President Garfield’s vertebrae, which was pierced by an assassin’s bullet in 1881. Historians say doctors ultimately caused Garfield’s death three months later when they used unsterilized tools to probe his wound.


TRIVIA: You’ll spend about 3 years of your life where? (In the bathroom)

TRIVIA: Today you will swallow about a quart of what? (Snot)


One of the following doesn’t fit in my list. Tell me why:

• Mediterranean

• Huron*

• Baltic

• Caspian

• Dead

Answer: It’s not a sea.


Dog can’t handle the excitement of visiting dog park.

Thanks to Danny in the Facebook group for the video and this idea: “Phones went bonkers: ‘What does your dog get excited about?’ A few callers said dog park. And one said Wheel Of Fortune!”


Source: unknown


This is day 60 of 2016. There are 306 days remaining.


• Motivational speaker Tony Robbins is 56

• Antonio Sabato Jr. is 44

• Ja Rule is 40

• NFL quarterback Jay Cutler is 33


• 1906: Ladies Home Journal reported that “women of good birth and breeding long ago discarded the use of perfumes.”

• 1940: Gone with the Wind won eight Academy Awards, including best picture of 1939.

• 1940: For her role as Mammy in Gone with the Wind, Hattie McDaniel became the first African American to win an Academy Award.

• 1972: Hank Aaron became the first player in the history of Major League Baseball to sign a $200,000 contract.


• Leap Day

• Bachelors Day, a day of supposed immunity for unmarried men during Leap Year, a year during which bachelors are traditionally regarded as “fair game” for dates and proposals of marriage by women.

• Underlings Day, a day to recognize everyone who is neither a boss nor a professional assistant — both of whom have annual days already.

• Frog Legs Day


• February 29: Leap Day

• March 13: Daylight Saving Time begins (move clocks forward)

• March 15: NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament begins

More holidays