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This is day 81 of 2016. There are 285 days remaining.
• Timothy Dalton (James Bond films The Living Daylights and License to Kill) is 70
• Eddie Money is 67
• Gary Oldman is 58
• Matthew Broderick is 54
• Rosie O’Donnell is 54
• Former dancer and celebrity spouse Kevin Federline is 38
• Scott Eastwood (The Longest Ride) is 30
IT HAPPENED TODAY
• 1928: Charles Lindbergh was presented the Medal of Honor for his first trans-Atlantic flight.
• 1948. Renamed the Telecaster in 1950, Fender’s guitar became the mainstay of both country and rock musicians.
• 1965: Some 3,000 civil rights demonstrators led by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. began their march in Alabama from Selma to Montgomery.
• 1977: Mrs. James Duck of Memphis became history’s fastest mother. Her triplets were born naturally in under two minutes.
• 1980: U.S. President Jimmy Carter announced a United States boycott of the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow to protest the Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan.
• 1980: On the season finale of the drama Dallas, the infamous character J.R. Ewing was shot by an unseen assailant, leading to the catchphrase “Who Shot J.R.?”
• 2006: Hillsborough County, Florida, sheriff’s deputies said they were investigating a series of burglaries involving beer-thirsty bandits. As many as 15 refrigerators, all on back porches overlooking a golf course, were broken into. Residents say sodas and other drinks were not taken, only the beer.
• 2013: The European Space Agency revealed new data that indicated that the universe is 13.82 billion years old.
• American Chocolate Week
• Animal Poison Prevention Week
• Tsunami Awareness Week
• National Common Courtesy Day
• National Single Parent Day
• Poetry Day
• World Down Syndrome Day
• Credit Card Reduction Day
• March 27: Easter
• April 1: April Fools’ Day
1.6 million: Estimated number of people who cheat on their taxes each yer.
The pope joined Instagram. His first message was “pray for me.” [It sounds like somebody’s not too confident about his NCAA picks.]
A jury awarded Hulk Hogan $115 million. The court ruled that the publication of his sex tape violated his right to privacy. [It also violated my digestion.]
According to a new study, memories lost during Alzheimer’s may actually be retrievable. [So, watch what you say around grandpa.]
A nine-year-old attended a Bruce Springsteen concert on a school night so Bruce wrote the kid a tardy note. [“Dear Teacher, I apologize for the six encores.”]
A new crew of astronauts has arrived at the International Space Station. [But they really wanted to go to Cuba.]
The U.S. Air Force is investigating around a dozen airmen working at a nuclear missile base for getting high. [I don’t know what’s scarier, North Korea trying to bomb the U.S. or on-duty American servicemen sniffing rocket fuel.]
A man in Toronto kidnapped a city bus in order to go to a coffee shop. Police arrested him inside sipping away. [Wait a second! You hijack a bus, the cops are after you, and you don’t get the coffee to go?]
Researchers report creating a computer program that can detect if you’re tweeting drunk. [You keep telling the same boring story over and over again.]
Believe it or not spring arrived Sunday. [Lots of people celebrated by shoveling snow off the birdhouse.]
Mexico is suffering its worst smog in 11 years. [It’s so hard to see that people are accidentally sneaking across the border into Guatemala.]
LEGAL MARIJUANA SALES TO HIT $23 BILLION IN 4 YEARS _ Marijuana is rapidly becoming a big, semi-legal business across the country, with $5.7 billion in sales last year and tens of thousands of people working and paying taxes as they cultivate, package and sell cannabis. Colorado, Alaska, Oregon, Washington state and Washington, D.C. have all legalized adult recreational use, and 23 states and the District of Columbia permit some form of medical use. New research (from ArcView Market Research and New Frontier says that by 2020, adult use and medical marijuana sales are expected to reach nearly $23 billion.
DOMINO’S IS LAUNCHING A SELF-DRIVING PIZZA DELIVERY ROBOT _ Domino’s Australia has unveiled the world’s first commercial autonomous delivery vehicle. This isn’t a fictional marketing campaign; it’s a bona fide robot that can do everything from navigate fences to talk to customers. Brisbane, Australia, will be the testing ground for this cutting-edge delivery system.
… Called DRU (Domino’s Robotic Unit), it is an autonomous delivery vehicle built in collaboration with Marathon Robotics, an Australian technology startup that specializes in robotic targets for live-fire army training. It’s essentially a $30,000 military-grade robot refitted for pizza delivery.
… The DRU is fully autonomous and can currently reach speeds of up to 12 miles per hour. It’s suitable for footpaths, trails and bike paths — but not roads or highways. It will therefore initially be limited to neighborhood deliveries. DRU uses a sensory system that allows the unit to detect obstacles in its path and change its route accordingly. It measures objects and distance by illuminating them with a laser light. Each unit also comes equipped with traditional sensors that detect obstructions at close range, just like a robot vacuum cleaner.
… When a customer orders a pizza, the DRU will travel unassisted to their address using the sensors and GPS tracking technology powered by Google Maps. While the unit is capable of navigating fence lines and driveways, customers will be required to complete their orders on the curb.
… Entering a unique mobile phone code will activate the robot’s locked storage compartments which contain the customer’s food.
YOU CAN NOW GET POTATO CHIP FLAVORED SODA IN JAPAN _ Japan-based beverage maker Kimura Drink has invented at potato chip flavored soda. The drink maker is famous for making an eel-flavored cola.
APPLE WATCH APP LETS YOU CONTROL YOUR ROBO-MOWER _ Husqvarna has launched Automower Connect, a free download at the Apple App Store that lets you control a robot mower with your smartphone. And with the touch of a finger, Automower Connect lets you mow your lawn from your wrist via your Apple Watch. Husqvarna says you can do this if you’re at work or on vacation on the other side of the world. The one-touch display lets you monitor the current status of the robotic mower, and send it “Start,” “Stop” and “Park” commands. You can read and modify the menu of the robotic mower settings. The app also lets you receive alarm notifications and track the position of the robotic mower in the event of theft.
… The app is free, but, of course, I’ll have to fork out for a Husqvarna robotic lawnmower. Pricing starts at $3,400.
405-POUND TIGHT END COULD BE HEAVIEST NFL PLAYER EVER DRAFTED _ Imagine a tight end the same height as Rob Gronkowski. Now add 140 pounds and you have former Baylor tight end LaQuan McGowan. According to ProFootball Talk, if McGowan were to be selected in next month’s NFL Draft, he would be the heaviest player ever to be drafted. The 6-foot-6 McGowan weighed in at 405 pounds at Baylor’s pro day last week.
… The heaviest player in NFL history was former Lions offensive tackle Aaron Gibson, whose listed weight got as high as 410 during his playing career. But Gibson weighed in at a svelte 386 at the 1999 scouting combine, so he was lighter when he entered the league than McGowan is now.
‘SAD GRANDPA’ IS HOSTING A GIANT COOKOUT _ Kenneth Harmon, an Oklahoma man whose grandchildren failed to show up for dinner last week, has decided to invite anybody and everybody to a giant cookout, to be held at a flea market the family owns. Last week, Harmon became a viral internet sensation when his granddaughter, Kelsey Harmon, tweeted a photo of the grandfather trying to eat a hamburger while fighting back tears. Harmon earned the nickname “Sad Grandpa,” and the photo started a national conversation about spending time with our elderly relatives. • PHOTO
… As it turns out, Sad Grandpa’s story is less about heartless grandkids bailing on a lonely old man and more about a much more mundane problem: a breakdown in communication. Mr. Sad Grandpa said that the five grandkids who didn’t make it to dinner were likely not aware that they had been invited.
YOU CAN SEND SOMEONE A REAL EGGPLANT EMOJI _ Glitter. Potatoes. Poop. There are a number of “mail your friends something weird” businesses out there. And now you can ship a friend — or an enemy — an eggplant. For $10 EggplantMail.com sends an anonymous package to the address of your choice.
… If you have $25 to spare, you can send a literal Envelope Of Mayonnaise.
… Mail a Spud is $10.
… A company called IPoopYou sends “high quality, farm raised, eco-friendly, hand-picked animal poop” for $9 to $19.
… For as little as $10 you can use the service ShipYourEnemiesGlitter.com.
… For the budget-minded, send your friends a box of nothing.
SMART PEOPLE ARE BETTER OFF WITH FEWER FRIENDS _ A new study finds that when smart people spend more time with their friends, it makes them less happy. A researcher (at Brookings Institution) who studies the economics of happiness explains that those with more intelligence and the capacity to use it are less likely to spend so much time socializing because they are focused on some other longer term objective.
CARL’S JR. CEO UPSETS SOME WITH AUTOMATED RESTAURANT IDEA _ The CEO of fast-food company Carl’s Jr. says he wants to create a fully automated restaurant. The Internet went bonkers over the CEO’s (Andy Puzder) idea because he’s not a fan of paying people. He said, “If you’re making labor more expensive, and automation less expensive — this is not rocket science. They’re always polite, they always upsell, they never take a vacation, they never show up late, there’s never a slip-and-fall, or an age, sex, or race discrimination case. Millennials like not seeing people. I’ve been inside restaurants where we’ve installed ordering kiosks… and I’ve actually seen young people waiting in line to use the kiosk where there’s a person standing behind the counter, waiting on nobody.”
MO. HIGHWAY PATROL VIDEO OFFERS INSTRUCTIONS FOR MAKING METH _ The Missouri State Highway Patrol is trying to figure out how an instructional video of theirs on how to make methamphetamine was leaked to the public. A division director of Missouri State Highway Patrol public information said the almost seven minute video was produced in 2002. In it, a sergeant goes through the exact ingredients needed to make meth as well as visually showing the process from start to finish. Obviously many people on YouTube and social media have questioned the need for the tutorial and why it was created by the agency. The Missouri State Highway Patrol says the video was designed as an educational took for law enforcement only and was never meant to be shows to the public.
BEER COMPANY WILL PAY YOU TO TRAVEL AND DRINK BEER _ If you plan to spend your summer drinking beer like it’s your job, well, you might as well get paid for it. Now you actually can, thanks to a new internship that will pay you thousands of dollars to travel the world, drink beer, and chronicle your experience this summer. World of Beer, a Florida-based chain of craft beer taverns, is looking for three interns who will spend almost four months this summer visiting breweries across the country and abroad, tasting all sorts of beers, attending beer festivals, and posting about the boozy adventure via a blog and social media. World of Beer will pay you $12,000 for your work and cover all your travel expenses, including food and lodging. And there will be lots of free beer.
… To apply to be a Drink It INtern, visit World of Beer’s website.
VENDING MACHINE STEAKS IN PARIS _ With their beloved baguette already available 24 hours a day, it seems only logical that Parisians can now get meats from the first meat vending machine installed in the French capital. A couple of guys who own a Paris butcher shop have invested $45,00 to set up the vending machine, which will sell vacuum-packed refrigerated meat. The meat will cost $19 per pound.
WORST FAST FOOD ITEM EVER COMES FROM DAIRY QUEEN _ For his job as a writer for Business Insider, Hollis Johnson taste-tests a lot of restaurant food — including fast-food items. Hollis says the worst fast-food item he ever tried was Dairy Queen’s chili cheese dog.
LET IT RIP: FARTING CAN BE GOOD FOR YOUR RELATIONSHIP _ With every relationship come the standard milestones — your first date, first kiss, first sleepover, and your first fart. Yes, that last one, according to a new survey by Mic.com, is just as monumental as the rest. Mic’s survey found that most people wait between two to six months into a relationship (29 percent of respondents), which also happens to be prime “I love you” time. The second highest response was six to twelve months in (25.2 percent) and the third highest response (22.4 percent) was from those who farted after just a few weeks of meeting their significant other. The rest said they will never intentionally let one slip.
STUDENT GRADUATES EARLY SO HER TERMINALLY-ILL FATHER CAN SEE _ Bob Chambers, of Rockford, Michigan, had a bone marrow transplant to treat leukemia in December. His body rejected the transplant and is now immune to any treatment. Chambers decided to come home from hospice care over the weekend. And so he could see his daughter, a high school senior, graduate, the Rockford Public Schools district put together a special graduation ceremony in only a matter of hours.
BAYLOR PROFESSOR WELCOMES MOTHER’S INFANT TO CLASS _ Katy Humphrey is a full-time mother, a full-time college student and a full-time wife. When her baby sitter cancelled on her at the last minute, she knew her only option was to take her four-month-old daughter to class at Baylor University. Katie was in the Marines and says she “had a Marine reaction … I have to pull through somehow.” Katy walked into class while holding Millie in her baby carrier and taking the first open seat. Her only hope being that Millie wouldn’t disturb the class. Within the first five minutes Millie got fussy. So the professor went over, picked her up, carried her back, and went right back to lecturing without missing a beat. Katy says, “He toted her around like a football and (she) was totally content the whole time.”
WACKY-BUT-TRUE: TROOPERS FIND HEROIN AFTER SUSPECT WHISPER _ Massachusetts state troopers missed hundreds of baggies filled with heroin during their first search of a car they stopped along an interstate. While transporting suspects, troopers allegedly heard one whisper to the other, “I don’t think they found all the stuff in the car.” So detectives returned to the car in question to conduct a second search and found a sealed Coca Cola can containing 230 baggies of heroin.
WACKY-BUT-TRUE: ATM SHORTS WOMAN WITH ‘TEST NOTES’ _ A woman in China who made an ATM withdrawal before a trip was left a few hundred short after maintenance workers accidentally left test notes in the machine. The woman said she received three of the paper notes while making a $1,500 withdrawal Friday.
WACKY-BUT-TRUE: “BOATY McBOATFACE” LEADS IN BOAT NAMING CONTEST _ The UK’s National Environment Research Council is asking the public to name a new $300 million polar research boat to be launched in 2019 — and the leading vote-getter so far is “Boaty McBoatface.” • LINK
WACKY-BUT-TRUE: THREE GRENADES FOUND IN GOODWILL DONATION BOX _ A Goodwill store in Wisconsin was evacuated on Saturday after employees found three grenades in a box of recently donated items. Local police kept the store cleared until the Milwaukee Police Department’s hazardous devices unit arrived on the scene and determined the grenades were inactive. Because the grenades were inoperable, police don’t believe the scare was intentional.
WACKY-BUT-TRUE: WOMAN REFUSED COMPENSATION AS POTHOLE ‘NOT DEEP ENOUGH’ _ After tripping in a pothole a woman in England was told she would not be compensated for her bloodied nose, cut lip and bump on head because the pothole was not deep enough.
WACKY-BUT-TRUE: ROLLERCOASTER RIDERS LEFT HANGING UPSIDE DOWN _ Thrill-seekers were left hanging upside down at a Beijing theme park. 26 riders were stuck for 18 minutes on Saturday before they were brought to safety. The theme park said in a statement a bird had landed on a safety sensor, which activated an emergency procedure.
THE VOICE (8p ET, NBC) — The battle rounds continue in this new edition.
SEASON PREMIERE: DANCING WITH THE STARS (8p ET, ABC) — The cast for the 22nd season includes Kim Fields (The Facts of Life), Donald Trump’s ex-wife Marla Maples, Super Bowl 50 MVP Von Miller, Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown, former NFL star Doug Flutie, UFC fighter Paige VanZant, America’s Next Top Model winner Nyle DiMarco, ABC News chief meteorologist Ginger Zee, Jodie Sweetin (Full House), Mischa Barton (The O.C.), and Geraldo Rivera. Len Goodman returns as head judge, with Bruno Tonioli and Carrie Ann Inaba. Julianne Hough is taking this season off.
SUPERGIRL (8p ET, CBS) — J’onn J’onzz reveals the details of meeting Kara and Alex’s father, Dr. Jeremiah Danvers (guest star Dean Cain), and assuming Hank Henshaw’s identity in this new episode.
GOTHAM (8p ET, FOX) — In this new episode, Gordon and Bullock investigate a trail of clues left in a museum robbery, and Penguin meets his father (guest star Paul Reubens).
CRAZY EX-GIRLFRIEND (8p ET, CW) — Rebecca gets stuck on a plane with her therapist in this new episode. Amber Riley (Glee) and Ricki Lake guest star.
SCORPION (9p ET, CBS) — While on a secret mission with his new protégé (guest star Scott Porter, Friday Night Lights), Cabe is captured and the team is sent to rescue him in this new episode.
LUCIFER (9p ET, FOX) — In this new episode, a priest asks Lucifer for help when he suspects a drug operation is operating at a youth center in the neighborhood.
JANE THE VIRGIN (9p ET, CW) — In this new episode, Jane is frustrated with not being able to contact her father, who was kidnapped by Lola.
NCIS: LOS ANGELES (10p ET, CBS) — In this new episode the team tries to rescue a child who is in danger after being brainwashed by a terrorist.
BLINDSPOT (10p ET, NBC) — Zapata goes undercover to investigate a death row case in this new episode.
CASTLE (10p ET, ABC) — The team investigates a murder at the NYPD Academy in this new episode.
ZOOTOPIA TRAMPLES LATEST DIVERGENT _ Zootopia continues to run wild over its rivals in its third weekend in theaters, stomping all over the launch of Allegiant, the third film in the Divergent series. The animated Disney film took in $38 million to take first place and pass the $200 million mark in North America. By the weekend it will hit $600 million globally.
… The Divergent Series: Allegiant opened in second place with an estimated $29.1.
Visit the PRO AUDIO page for a Zootopia movie clip.
REESE WITHERSPOON CELEBRATES HER 40th _ Fantasy became reality Saturday night at Reese Witherspoon’s star-studded 40th birthday party at a Hollywood nightclub. The actress, who captured millions of viewers’ hearts with her performance in the 2002 romantic comedy movie Sweet Home Alabama, sang the iconic Lynyrd Skynyrd song, accompanied by Keith Urban on guitar.
ROMANIAN VILLAGE THANKS SNOOP DOGG _ The small town of Bogata, Romania on Saturday rejoiced in an unlikely surge of tourism interest after rapper Snoop Dogg mistakenly tagged the village on Instagram. Snoop posted a selfie of himself on the photo-sharing site after a recent show in Bogota, Colombia but inadvertently checked himself in as being in Bogata, Romania — population 2,000.
… In a textbook case of social media savvy, Romanian entrepreneurs quickly established an English-language website, VisitBogata.com, that features pictures of rolling green hills and promised — in a touch of Snoop Dogg’s verse — “the chillest weekend you could imagine.” The town thanked Snoop Dogg on Facebook on Saturday and said that Bogata in Romanian means “the rich one.” • LINK
ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER LEAVES INTERVIEW OVER TRUMP QUESTION _ Arnold Schwarzenegger has been called a “friend” by businessman and presidential front runner Donald Trump. However, the former California governor is refusing to discuss Trump’s controversial political rhetoric. Instead, Schwarzenegger opted to abruptly end an interview with Australian show Weekend Sunrise when they brought up Trump despite Schwarzenegger’s team telling them family and politics were off limits. Arnold says he was there to talk “health and fitness” and that politics were completely off the table. When the reporter refused to follow the instructions and push the former governor about Trump, Schwarzenegger walked out of the interview, refusing to shake the reporter’s hand. • VIDEO
BEN AFFLECK SAYS MASSIVE BACK TATTOO OF A PHOENIX IS FAKE _ Ben Affleck does not have a giant back tat. During an press interview for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice the actor confirmed the massive back tattoo of a phoenix that he was recently spotted with was “fake for a movie.”
SCOTT BAIO WANTS TRUMP TO ‘RELENTLESSLY ATTACK’ HILLARY _ Scott Baio has announced his support for Donald Trump. The Happy Days actor appeared on Fox News over the weekend to say he’s standing behind The Donald for reasons he deemed as simple: He wants the former Apprentice star to go to Washington and “blow it up,” because he’s “fed up” with the Republicans and their lies. And: “We need somebody to relentlessly, relentlessly attack Hillary. And that’s the only way we’re going to win.”
AMY SCHUMER LEAVES A $1,000 TIP _ When Amy Schumer and boyfriend Ben Hanisch decided to see Hamilton on Broadway Saturday night, many fans would assume they simply wanted to savor an amazing show. But while enjoying a date night with a few mutual friends, Amy decided to surprise a few lucky bartenders with one generous donation. According to employee Madeleine DeJohn, the comedian ordered a few drinks for her group. But along the way, she also left quite the tip to a grateful staff: $1,000. DeJohn said, “We’ve served a lot of celebrities at Hamilton and we’ve received some nice tips but never before had I seen a tip that even came close to this one.”
ALEX PETTYFER ANNOUNCES SPLIT FROM MODEL GIRLFRIEND _ Alex Pettyfer and his model girlfriend Marloes Horst are no longer dating. The Magic Mike actor and the runway beauty called it quits after dating for nearly two years. Both of them cited hectic schedules as the reason of their separation.
GUY PEARCE EXPECTING FIRST CHILD WITH CARICE VAN HOUTEN _ Guy Pearce is going to be a dad. The villainous Aldrich Killian of Iron Man 3 is expecting a baby with his actress girlfriend, Carice van Houten. The baby will also be the first child for Houten who is best known for her role as Melisandre on Game of Thrones.
EDDIE IZZARD RUNS 27 MARATHONS IN 27 DAYS _ On Sunday, British comedian Eddie Izzard finished a double marathon in Johannesburg, South Africa — completing 27 marathons in 27 days. The 54-year-old Izzard completed his final 26.2-mile run at the feet of a large statue of former South African President Nelson Mandela. He ran one marathon each day for every year Mandela was imprisoned. Izzard’s efforts raised more than $1 million charity.
DREW BARRYMORE AND TIMOTHY OLYPHANT TO STAR IN NETFLIX SERIES _ Netflix is putting a comedy series called Santa Clarita Diet into production with stars Drew Barrymore and Timothy Olyphant. Santa Clarita Diet will follow Joel (Olyphant) and Sheila (Barrymore), husband-and-wife realtors in Santa Clarita, who live a boring existence until Sheila goes through a change that sends “both their lives down a road of death and destruction — but in a good way.” It’s scheduled to hit Netflix in 2017.
JEREMY RENNER IS DOWN TO MAKE A HAWKEYE NETFLIX SERIES _ While Jeremy Renner has said that he wasn’t really gunning for his own movie in the Marvel cinematic universe, if the opportunity for his own Netflix series came along, he’d absolutely be down for that. Speaking on a panel at the Silicon Valley Comic Con, Renner said this about a Hawkeye series: “I think that’s actually a really great model, if there’s ever a way to explore the character, maybe it’s in that world. These are things that are really not in my control, but I’d be open to it.”
JOHN WAYNE’S HAT, DISNEY’S MICKEY MOUSE EARS, UP FOR AUCTION _ A collection of memorabilia including Babe Ruth’s baseball glove and Walt Disney’s Mickey Mouse ears is coming up for auction in Maine. The items that once belonged to the late New York TV and radio personality Joe Franklin include several dozen hats from a bygone era such as Frank Sinatra’s fedora and John Wayne’s Stetson. The auction will take place April 2.
… The items include leather jackets belonging to Steve McQueen and Marlon Brando, Laurel and Hardy’s boxing gloves, a baseball glove used by Joe DiMaggio and a harmonica used by Janis Joplin.
Newest on the PRO AUDIO page.
• MOVIES: Ben Affleck gets advice from previous Batman actors.
• PHONER: What is your favorite breakfast cereal? – 4 real callers! See Bits & Breaks, March 17 issue.
• MYSTERY VOICE: John Goodman
TOP TEN MOVIES
- Zootopia, $38 million
- The Divergent Series: Allegiant, $29 million
- Miracles from Heaven, $15 million
- 10 Cloverfield Lane, $12.5 million
- Deadpool, $8 million
- London Has Fallen, $6.8 million
- Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, $2.8 million
- The Perfect Match, $1.9 million
- The Brothers Grimsby, $1.4 million
- The Revenant, $1.2 million
… One year ago this week the number one movie was The Divergent Series: Insurgent.
IN THEATERS FRIDAY
• Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (PG-13) – Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Jesse Eisenberg, Gal Gadot
• My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 (PG-13) – Nia Vardalos, John Corbett
WEEKLY HOT LIST
Courtesy of morning show talent coach Steve Reynolds. The Hot List is made up of the topics everyone knows about.
- March Madness
- Donald Trump
- Hulk Hogan
- Good Friday
- Batman vs. Superman
- Spring Break
- Tax Day
- Pope Joins Instagram
- Merrick Garland
- Contested GOP Convention
- Obama to Cuba
- Spring Training
- Jared Fogle
- Adam LaRoche
- Neverland For Sale
- Frank Sinatra, Jr.
WHEN THE PRESIDENT TRAVELS
President Obama is in Cuba…
When the President leaves the White House, he travels within an enormous, ever secure bubble, whether seated in the armor-plated limousine referred to internally as “the Beast,” flying on Air Force One, or sleeping in one of the 600 to 800 hotel rooms required for each stop on a foreign trip.
The President’s road show includes a caravan of White House staff, State Department officials, Secret Service agents, communications technicians, crews for Air Force One and Marine One (the presidential helicopter), Department of Defense staff, and press. A big foreign trip typically includes up to 800 people, among them 30 White House staff members, more than a hundred members of the Secret Service, and some 150 representatives of the media—television and radio correspondents, camera crews, sound technicians, print journalists, wire service reporters, and still photographers.
The group is actually transported in two planes: Air Force One for the President, his staff, his Secret Service agents, and a small pool of reporters in the back; and the White House press charter, usually a United 747, for the rest of the media. (Reporters are rotated in and out of the 14 press seats on Air Force One, but on either plane, media organizations pay dearly for the seats, typically the price of first-class airfare or more.) The entourage is accompanied by cargo planes that transport the President’s limousine and a spare, plus sometimes Marine One, to each stop.
The nucleus of the bubble, referred to within the White House as “the package,” consists of the President, his senior staff, the Secret Service detail assigned specifically to him, and a small pool of reporters. The package essentially isolates the President from the rest of the bubble and the outside world. Inside the package life is serene; humming outside is the 24/7 infrastructure required to keep the peace.
ULTRA-PROCESSED FOODS TO THROW OUT RIGHT NOW
Last week, a study (published in the journal BMJ Open) revealed that a whopping 60% of calories in the average American’s daily diet come from “ultra-processed” foods, which are pretty much foods that contain additives with long names you don’t recognize.
Here are the six worst ultra-processed foods in your kitchen right now. Get rid of them.
CHIPS – Your best bet is a basic kettle chip with just three simple ingredients: potatoes, olive or sunflower oil, and salt. Other good options include organic blue corn chips and popcorn, which is low in calories, high in fiber, and packed with antioxidants.
PACKAGED SNACK CAKES – Those plastic-wrapped cakes that seem to last for months years in your pantry are packed with sugar and preservatives (hence their longevity). Whipping up your own sweet treats is a better option.
CERTAIN BREADS – Picking the right loaf can be tricky because even healthy-seeming varieties can contain additives. Look for a whole grain or gluten-free, or even grain-free bread that doesn’t have any artificial additives or preservatives.
DIET SODA – Besides the fact that diet soda has zero nutritional value, it contains artificial sweeteners like aspartame, saccharin, and sucralose, and has been linked to headaches, depression, and an increased risk of type 2 diabetes.
FROZEN PIZZA – Sadly, there doesn’t seem to be a minimally-processed version of pre-made pizza.
CANDY – First, the bad news on candy: Most of the movie theater brands you know and love contain high fructose corn syrup and artificial flavors. But the good news, is there are better options out there. Seventy percent dark chocolate is a great alternative to candy. If you prefer gummy candies, a German brand called Seitenbacher Gummi Fruit uses sweetness from real fruit juices.
HORRIBLY DISASTROUS WEDDINGS
What’s your wedding disaster story?
Visit the PRO AUDIO page for a wedding music bed.
• I was a bridesmaid at this wedding. The groom’s ex girlfriend (who was not invited) snuck into the church, and as the bride and groom were exchanging vows, started smashing dishes and throwing pots and pans around the church kitchen in the basement. Groom’s sister dragged her outside and sat on her until the cops came. You can clearly hear the smashing on the wedding video.
• “After the vows and the kiss, as the couple was walking together down the aisle, the mother of the bride stopped the recessional and announced that she and her husband were renewing their vows right then and there. The husband was mortified, but went along with it. After all, they paid for the wedding, the band, the flowers, etc. and they didn’t want all of that to “go to waste”. Once they had renewed their vows, the bride’s mother invited everyone to the “joint reception”. Throughout the reception, the mother loudly and repeatedly commented on how many gifts the bride and groom had received and how no one had bothered to bring a gift for the mother and husband. Never mind the fact that none of the guests (nor anyone else) knew the bride’s parents would be exchanging vows. The bride and groom had another ceremony a few weeks later. No parents were invited.”
• My entire fourth grade class was in attendance at our teacher’s wedding where she was left at the altar. The whole situation was ugly. My teacher was the bride and was about three-quarters of the way down the aisle when the groom decided he couldn’t do it. He walked off to the side and at first my teacher and her father didn’t notice and kept walking, smiling radiantly. There was about a minute of really solid confusion before everyone realized what was going on. My teacher was whisked out of the church and an announcement was made that there was not going to be a wedding. This happened the second or third week of June; she didn’t come back for the last week of school.
• During an Arizona wedding, the ceremony — being held outdoors — was overshadowed by a dust storm.
• Although many brides can’t wait to get out of their uncomfortable dresses, the idea of an unscheduled undressing is definitely many women’s worst nightmare. A woman in Russia (?) lost the lower half of her dress just as she began to walk down the aisle.
TRIVIA: There are four U.S. states where the first letter of the capital city is the same letter as the first letter of the state: Dover, Delaware; Honolulu, Hawaii; Indianapolis, Indiana; and…? (Oklahoma City, Oklahoma)
TRIVIA: The average person in Great Britain uses 40 ounces of this each year, while the average person in France uses just 23 ounces. (Soap)
How much news did you consume last week? Take the quiz…
• In a survey of dog owners, 32% said they would be willing to do what if they could bring their dogs to work? (Take a pay cut)
• A Missouri woman lost a $400,000 wedding ring where? (Garbage dump)
• After her First Lady responsibilities are over Michelle Obama says she’s not interested in what job? (President)
• Experts say ages 5-8 are considered a good time for giving kids what? (An allowance)
• A survey of men found most are just as obsessed with this as women. (Their bodies)
• A guy is selling what type of specialized cat clothing on Etsy. (Body armor)
• After she got more than 100,000 retweets a high school senior’s father let her get what? (A puppy)
• 1988: HANK WILLIAMS JR. was named Entertainer of the Year at the Academy of Country Music Awards.
• 1993: BILLY RAY CYRUS was one of the winners at the Juno Awards, Canada’s version of the Grammys.
• 1999: GARTH BROOKS got his first hit of spring training during a San Diego Padres loss to the Chicago White Sox in Peoria, Arizona.
• 2004: RASCAL FLATTS singer Gary LeVox and his wife, Tara, had a second daughter, Brooklyn Leigh Vernon.
• 2010: One of CARRIE UNDERWOOD’s Play On Tour truck drivers was killed in a tractor-trailer accident. That night Carrie dedicated the song Temporary Home to the driver and his family.
• 2012: GEORGE STRAIT scored his 59th number one hit with Love’s Gonna Make It Alright.
• 2015: JASON ALDEAN married Brittany Kerr in Mexico. Duck Dynasty star Willie Robertson conducted the ceremony, and TYLER FARR was one of the groomsmen.
Newest on the COUNTRY AUDIO page.
• JUSTIN MOORE likes the TV show Moonshiners on Discovery.
• TIM McGRAW calls on acting skills in his music career.
• A THOUSAND HORSES on family musical influences.
COUNTRY MUSIC NEWS
High ticket demand for GARTH BROOKS’ shows in Fargo, North Dakota caused the system to crash on Friday (March 18), suspending ticket sales until this Thursday (March 24) when a new ticketing system can be set up.
KEITH URBAN was on guitar when Reese Witherspoon belted out Sweet Home Alabama at her 40th birthday party Saturday night in Hollywood. A number of other stars, including TAYLOR SWIFT, were at the party.
KELSEA BALLERINI has joined forces with Mary Kay cosmetics to promote the Don’t Look Away campaign, aimed at educating women about dating violence. The campaign helps raise awareness of the issue, which impacts one in three women.
TIM MCGRAW’s latest, Humble and Kind, will soon be adapted into a book. The song, which was inspired by Tim’s oldest daughter, Gracie, leaving for college, was written by Lori McKenna. The book will be in stores May 17.
Madame Tussauds wax museum is coming to Nashville next year. Among the wax likenesses of country artists will be CARRIE UNDERWOOD and JOHNNY CASH.
CAM visits CBS’ The Talk today (Monday) for an interview and performance of her song Burning House. She’ll perform her new single, Mayday, tonight on ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel.
MONTGOMERY GENTRY will perform as part of Hits for the Homeless, a benefit for the homeless in Middle Tennessee, May 9 at The Factory in Franklin, Tennessee. The evening will include a silent auction and dinner along with an acoustic performance by the duo. Proceeds will benefit Layman’s Lessons, which provides bottled water, blankets and other emergency supplies to the homeless in the area.
CHASE RICE recently performed for military troops stationed in Hawaii and Japan.
Avid dog lover JO DEE MESSINA headlined the Dog Fest in Tampa, Florida over the weekend and says she’s a big advocate for rescuing dogs. Jo Dee at one time had six four-legged friends, though she’s down to just two.
This is day 82 of 2016. There are 284 days remaining.
• Televangelist Pat Robertson is 86
• Composer Stephen Sondheim is 86
• William Shatner is 85
• Newsman Wolf Blitzer is 68
• Composer Andrew Lloyd Webber is 68
• Bob Costas is 64
• Matthew Modine (Full Metal Jacket) is 57
• Keegan-Michael Key of Key and Peele is 45
• Guillermo Diaz (Scandal) is 41
• Anne Dudek (Francine Hanson on Mad Men) is 41
• Reese Witherspoon is 40
• Constance Wu (Fresh Off the Boat) is 34
IT HAPPENED TODAY
• 1978: Karl Wallenda, founder of the world famous “Flying Wallendas” high-wire act, was killed when he fell off a wire strung between two hotels in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
• 1980: People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals was founded.
• 1990: President George Bush shocked the world when he announced, “I do not like broccoli and I haven’t liked it since I was a kid and my mother made me eat it, and I’m the President of the United States and I’m not going to eat any more broccoli.”
• 1991: Los Angeles Kings’ owner Bruce McNall and superstar Wayne Gretzky set a world record by buying a baseball card. They paid $451,000 for one of six known Honus Wagner cards.
• 1997: Tara Lipinski became the youngest women’s world figure skating champion at age 14 years 10 months,.
• 2001: A 45-year-old man was in a Memphis, Tennessee, court facing charges of attempted burglary and drug possession when he was accused of trying to hide cocaine under a courtroom chair. Witnesses said he reached into his shirt pocket and tried to hide a small plastic bag of white powder under a chair leg. A deputy retrieved the packet, the substance tested positive for cocaine, and the defendant had another charge added to his file.
• 2007: A guy in Bosnia wanted to see how many people would turn up at his funeral, so he faked his own death. Turns out not so many people showed up. The 45-year-old man was pretty upset when only his elderly mom turned up for the burial.
• As Young As You Feel Day
• National Goof-off Day
• World Day for Water
• International “Talk Like William Shatner” Day
• March 27: Easter
• April 1: April Fools’ Day