INTERPREP ★ DECEMBER 26, 2017

Light issues are being published this week. No issue on New Year’s Day. The full prep will return January 2, 2018.
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DATEBOOK: DECEMBER 26, 2017

This is day 360 of 2017. There are 5 days remaining.

BIRTHDAYS

• Caroll Spinney (Big Bird on Sesame Street) is 84

• Phil Spector is 78

• America’s Most Wanted host John Walsh is 72

• Baseball Hall of Famer Carlton Fisk is 70

• Baseball Hall of Famer Ozzie Smith is 63

• Lars Ulrich of Metallica is 54

• Actor-singer Jared Leto is 46

• Kit Harington (Game of Thrones) is 31

IT HAPPENED TODAY

• 1825: The Erie Canal opened

• 1862: Four nuns who were volunteer nurses on board USS Red Rover were the first female nurses on a U.S. Navy hospital ship.

• 1919: Babe Ruth was sold to the Yankees.

• 1933: The Nissan Motor Company was organized in Tokyo, Japan.

• 1933: FM radio was patented.

• 1947: Twenty-six inches of snow fell in 16 hours in New York City.

• 1963: Capitol Records, the EMI-affiliated company which had rejected U.S. rights to every Beatles record until then, finally released “I Want to Hold Your Hand” backed with “I Saw Her Standing There.” Within five weeks, it was #1.

• 1968: Led Zeppelin made its U.S. debut with a performance in Boston.

• 1982: Time Magazine’s Man of the Year was for the first time given to a non-human, the personal computer.

• 1991: The pistol Jack Ruby used to shoot Lee Harvey Oswald sold for $220,000.

• 1999: A 40-year-old Florida man was arrested after letting his 13-year-old son drive a stolen van into two parked cars and through the back deck of a house. The father said he just wanted to give his son a Christmas present.

• 2004: An earthquake measuring 9.3 on the Richter magnitude scale created a tsunami causing devastation in Sri Lanka, India, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, The Maldives and many other areas around the rim of the Indian Ocean, killing more than 300,000.

• 2012: A law banning Americans from adopting Russian children was approved by Russia’s parliament.

SPECIAL EVENTS

• Whiner’s Day

• Candy Cane Day

• Thank You Note Day

• Kwanzaa begins

Boxing Day in the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand

UPCOMING

• December 31: New Year’s Eve
• January 1: New Year’s Day
• January 1: Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl (college semis)
• January 1: Supermoon: the first of 2018
• January 6: NFL Playoffs begin
• January 8: College football championship
• January 13: NFL Divisional Playoffs begin
• January 23: Oscar nominations announced
• January 30: State of the Union
• January 31: Total lunar eclipse/blood moon
• February 2: Groundhog Day
• February 4: Super Bowl 52
• February 8: New York Fashion Week begins
• February 9: Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony
• February 13: Mardi Gras
• February 14: Valentine’s Day
• February 16: Chinese New Year – Year of the Dog
• February 19: President’s Day


NEWS ATTACK!

Several male executives behind the Miss America contest have been forced out of office after they sent a series of vulgar emails about the women. [What a surprise. Men who like to ogle women were found to be a bunch of dirty old men.]

Police nabbed a couple driving through Nebraska with their truck stocked with 60 pounds of high-grade marijuana. [The smell inside the vehicle was so pungent that the police sniffer dog is now in rehab.]

California residents saw a mysterious object in the sky and immediately called 911 to report a UFO. However, it turned out to be one of Elon Musk’s rockets. [Being pulled by eight tiny reindeer.]

Have you seen that police body cam video from Florida where a policeman’s uniform is caught in the door of a suspect, and the driver decides to try driving away? [Those body cams come in handy. They should make everyone working in Hollywood wear one.]

The CEO of Papa John’s got into trouble and had to step down. [He’s now making deliveries for Domino’s.]

Remember the other week when the price of Bitcoin was bursting through the roof? Well, things changed and now it’s been dropping. [In other words, my brother-in-law is never going to move out of our basement.]

Former baseball great Daryl Strawberry says that he used to have sex during the game. [So much for the argument that baseball’s boring.]

When Maryland police raided a frat party there was so much alcohol that the air tested positive on the Breathalyzer. [The frat will probably use that fact as a recruiting tool.]

Christmas Presents

[Did your family give you any clothes in your size or only in the size that they want you to be?] [I hate the pressure of picking out just the right Amazon gift certificate.]

Christmas Food

[I hate the people who think that just because they have candy canes dangling from their rearview mirrors they’re entitled to park in the handicapped spaces.] [Christmas is over and New Year’s is on the way. That means it’s time to stop pretending that you like eggnog, and it’s time to start pretending that you like champagne.]

Santa

[Santa had fewer deliveries this year. There were so many homes in D.C. and Hollywood that he completely skipped.] [It was a tough night for Santa. He was threatened with missiles over North Korea; he choked on pollution over China; and, as an immigrant, he had to go to federal court just to get permission to enter the U.S.] [Please remember that Christmas is over. Any old fat men with beards still lurking near children at the mall should be promptly reported.]

Christmas Music

[There are two kinds of people: the people who continue to sing Christmas songs after Christmas is over, and the people who are arrested for assaulting them.]

Family

[December 25 is a time to be with your family. December 26 is a time to remember why you moved away.]


NEWS & NUGGETS

QUEEN USES CHRISTMAS SPEECH TO WELCOME MEGHAN MARKLE _  The Queen used her Christmas message to officially welcome Meghan Markle into the family. Displaying a photograph of Prince Harry and Megan as they celebrated their engagement in the garden of Kensington Palace, the Queen said she is looking forward to welcoming new members of the family in 2018. This year the Queen also paid tribute to her husband, the 96-year-old Duke of Edinburgh, in the year of their 70th anniversary, highlighting his “unique sense of humor”.

NEW JERSEY TOWN WILL CLOSE STREETS TO FIGHT NAVIGATION APP TRAFFIC _ Some communities hate traffic-savvy navigation apps like Waze. A congested highway can send hundreds of commuters down streets that clearly weren’t meant for more than more than a handful of cars at any given time. And one town has apparently had enough. Leonia, New Jersey will close 60 streets to everyone but residents and workers at peak driving periods (6AM to 10AM and 4PM to 9PM) from January 22 onward. If you’re using a nav app, the town may effectively cease to exist at rush hour. It’s extreme, but Leonia is in an unusual position. When slow traffic steers people through the town, it can prove a nightmare for residents who might not even have a chance to leave home until the traffic clears. The town’s police chief said Leonia had tried limited closures and warning navigation app providers, but that just pushed problems on to other streets — and that’s assuming drivers heeded the redirections in the first place.

WORKERS ARE TRULY PRODUCTIVE FOR ABOUT 3 HOURS _ Your brain is a muscle. Exercise it, but also give it plenty of rest. A new report says long hours at work increase your risk of heart disease by 40%, making it almost as dangerous as smoking. Also, the extra hours aren’t likely to help you get more done: One British survey found workers were only productive for about 3 hours in an 8-hour work day. You’re better off taking time to do nothing, allowing your brain to enter a resting state called the default-mode network.

OBAMA’S CHRISTMAS TWEET BEATS TRUMP’S _ Former President Barack Obama won the battle of the Merry Christmas tweets. The Obama’s tweet has had over 780,000 likes and 160,000 retweets, compared with Donald Trump’s 195,000 likes and 48,000 retweets.

CREATIVE NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS _ Feel like you start the new year ready to reinvent your life, only to find that, a month later, you’ve given up on everything and are living a life that’s totally indistinguishable from last year? Maybe the problem isn’t you. Maybe you’re just bored of making and breaking the same resolutions over and over again. So why not break the rut this year? Try a new resolution — something creative and interesting.

… Choose one person you disagree with and take them out to lunch. Most of us are guilty of “other-ing” people who think or act differently than we do. As a result, we stop seeing their humanity and focus on their differences. Is there anyone you find yourself judging or negatively stereotyping because of their views? Invite them to lunch. However, before you meet, agree on some ground rules — that neither of you will persuade, defend or interrupt. Be curious, conversational and real. And be sure to listen.

… Schedule weekly time to be bored.
If your brain is always occupied, then you’re probably missing out on some of your best ideas. When you get bored, you ignite a network in your brain called the “default mode,” where we connect disparate ideas and solve some of our most nagging problems. Also during boredom we do something called “autobiographical planning.” This is when we look back at our lives, we take note of the big moments, we create a personal narrative, and then we set goals and we figure out what steps we need to take to reach them.

… Become pen pals with someone in prison. When Marlon Peterson was in prison, he began receiving letters filled with stories and cartoons from schoolchildren. They made him feel like he mattered, and he also shared them with two of his friends who were inmates. Now they’re all published writers, gun violence prevention advocates, and youth program innovators — and Marlon says he owes it to the pen-pal program. Once a month, gather some friends to write letters to people at a local prison. Your words might provide the motivation and hope that they need to rebuild their lives.

… Do one thing that scares you — knowing you’ll get rejected. Want to get over a fear of rejection? Jump head first into it. For 30 days, find a new way to get rejected every day. Like ask for a “burger refill” the next time you’re at a restaurant. Or, ask a stranger for $100. By the end, you’ll desensitize yourself from the pain of rejection — a pain that could be holding you back from goals you want to accomplish.

… Talk to a stranger every week. It’s easy to get swept up in your routine and forget about the people around you. This year, commit to talking to strangers — whether it’s the person waiting in line with you at the grocery store, someone you see everyday on your morning commute, or a parent at your child’s school. Even if it’s just “hello” or a “how are you doing today,” those little interactions can brighten your day and make another person feel seen.

FRIENDS FOR 60 YEARS FIND OUT THEY’RE BIOLOGICAL BROTHERS _ Alan Robinson and Walter Macfarlane have been the best of friends for 60 years. But the Oahu, Hawaii men, got a life-changing surprise just in time for the holidays when they discovered they’re actually biological brothers. Walter had been searching for his father and decided to get a DNA test. When the results came back, the anonymous username Robi747 came back as a match in many ears. Walter knew his friend Alan Robinson often went by the nickname Robi — and he used to fly 747 airplanes.  After a few phone calls back and forth, the men learned they shared the same birth mother. The two best friends who are now brothers say it was the best Christmas present they could have imagined.

CLEVELAND BROWNS SECURE NO. 1 PICK OF DRAFT WITH LOSS TO BEARS _ For the second year in a row, the Cleveland Browns will control the first round of the NFL draft. Cleveland secured the No. 1 overall pick with Sunday’s 20-3 loss to the Bears, a defeat that left the Browns with a staggering 0-15 mark on the year. The Browns become the first team to pick No. 1 overall in back-to-back drafts since Cleveland did the same in 1999 and 2000.

… With the Steelers up next and still fighting for playoff positioning in the AFC, the prospect of an 0-16 season is very real.

WE’RE GAINING WEIGHT AT WORK _ Every employee strives for a fatter paycheck — but a survey shows that most are getting a plumper waistline instead. Cold weather, holidays and office parties can make the problem even worse. Forty-nine percent of workers say they’ve gained weight at their current jobs. Twenty-eight percent of workers have gained more than 10 pounds at his or her present job, while an additional 13 percent of employees have gained more than 20 pounds.


WACKY-BUT-TRUE

WACKY-BUT-TRUE: FAMILY ELECTRICITY BILL: $284,460,000,000 _ Imagine opening your electric bill and seeing a figure of $284,460,000,000 under the amount owed. Pennsylvania’s Mary Horomanski had exactly that experience. She says, “My eyes just about popped out of my head! We had put up Christmas lights and I wondered if we had put them up wrong.” A utility spokesman said it was merely a decimal error. The actual bill: $284.46.

WACKY-BUT-TRUE: SUSPECT FLEES POLICE BY JUMPING IN RIVER _ Officers with the Springfield, Oregon, Police Department responded to a report of a man pushing a shopping cart that was fully engulfed in flames down a street. Officers arrived and found that the flames were roughly 12 feet in the air and catching tree limbs and surrounding grass on fire. When the suspect noticed police he fled toward a nearby river and then jumped in. He was arrested when he came out of the water. When questioned about the shopping cart fire the man said, “I guess I was just a little too high.”

WACKY-BUT-TRUE: WOMAN FIRED FOR ALWAYS TYPING AT WORK _ A woman in Germany was fired from her job at an industrial equipment manufacturer for working on side-project on company time. A few months ago the woman was given a desk job. After a few weeks, her supervisor noticed was typing almost constantly. The company had a computer technician examine the employee’s computer. The investigation showed she was working on what appeared to be a novel.

WACKY-BUT-TRUE: MEN TRY TO ROB TRUCK, CAN’T OPEN IT _ A truck driver in England was forced to stop by an obstruction in the road. After he stopped, two men forced the driver out of the truck and drove off. The truck driver walked to a nearby inn and called police. Four hours later they found the truck unopened. Apparently the two truck hijackers had no clue how to open the cargo container the truck was hauling. There were signs that the men had used sledgehammers and some sort of explosive, neither of which worked. Police are still looking for the men.


ENTERTAINMENT & TELEVISION

STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI DOMINATES CHRISTMAS BOX OFFICE _ Star Wars: The Last Jedi neared the $400 million mark Monday at the U.S.-Canada box office. Worldwide The Last Jedi should hit $800 million in ticket sales before the weekend.

… Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle made $52 million Friday-Monday.

TOP TEN MOVIES _ Box office numbers for Friday through Christmas Day.

  1. Star Wars: The Last Jedi, $100.6 million
  2. Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, $52.1 million
  3. Pitch Perfect 3, $25.6 million
  4. The Greatest Showman, $14 million
  5. Ferdinand, $9.6 million
  6. Coco, $7.3 million
  7. Downsizing, $7.2 million
  8. Darkest Hour, $5.4 million
  9. Father Figures, $4.9 million
  10. The Shape of Water, $4.3 million

IN THEATERS FRIDAY _ There are no new wide-release movies until January 5: Insidious: The Last Key.

NEW ON DVD _ Released December 26. • LINK

• The Mountain Between Us
• Flatliners
• Jeepers Creepers III
• Manhunt: Unabomber
• Killing Gunther

ON TELEVISION _ Here’s what’s on the tube tonight.

QUICK LANE BOWL (5:15p ET, ESPN) — The Quick Lane Bowl has the 6-6 Duke Blue Devils facing the 8-4 Northern Illinois Huskies in Detroit. This is the first appearance for both schools in this game.

NCIS (8p ET, CBS) — Repeat

HAPPY NEW YEAR, CHARLIE BROWN (8p ET, ABC) — Holiday special

ELLEN’S GAME OF GAMES (8p ET, NBC) — Repeat

LETHAL WEAPON (8p ET, FOX) — Repeat

THE FLASH (9p ET, CW) — Repeat

THE 40TH ANNUAL KENNEDY CENTER HONORS (9p ET, CBS) — Honorees this year were choreographer Carmen de Lavallade, singer-songwriter Gloria Estefan, hip-hop artist LL Cool J, television writer and producer Norman Lear, and musician Lionel Richie. Stephen Colbert hosts.

RUDOLPH’S SHINY NEW YEAR (9p ET, ABC) — Rudolph comes to the rescue when an evil bird kidnaps the New Year baby.

BETTER LATE THAN NEVER (9p ET, NBC) — Repeat

THE MICK (9p ET, FOX) — Two repeats

DC’S LEGENDS OF TOMORROW (9p ET, CW) — Repeat

CACTUS BOWL (9p ET, ESPN) — Kansas State vs. UCLA

MAJOR CRIMES (9p ET, TNT) — Two new episodes

CHICAGO MED (10p ET, NBC) — Repeat

KEVIN (PROBABLY) SAVES THE WORLD (10p ET, ABC) — Repeat

DROP THE MIC (10:30p ET, TBS) — Celebs battling in this new episode are a capella group Pentatonix battling Bell Biv Devoe. Then, Top Chef host Padma Lakshmi and American Idol’s Randy Jackson throw down.


BITS & BREAKS

BANKS ARE CHARGING TO MAKE CHANGE?

EDITOR: We spotted this complaints on the NextDoor app. Share it as if you saw it yourself on social media, or heard it at a holiday gathering.

“I stopped at the drive up window of a bank and asked if they could change a hundred dollar bill for five 20s. I was refused when they asked if I have an account with their bank and I told them “no.” The only way they would make change is to charge me a 5% transaction fee — meaning I would receive $95. My attempt at trying to explain this is not a check but a genuine $100 bill with a picture Ben Franklin did not go anywhere. I went across the parking lot to a major retail store, and a pleasant young lady at the service desk turned my $100 into 20s with a smile — and no fees.”

WHAT WE STUCK IN OUR BODIES THIS YEAR

It’s that time of year to learn what America shoved inside itself. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s database of emergency room visits, here’s what we stuck into our bodies this year:

EAR

  • Bobby pin
  • Bread
  • Battery
  • Stuffed paper towel in ears to act as ear plugs because roommate was snoring, unable to get it out of ear.
  • A bean
  • Pencil shavings

NOSE

  • Candy wrapper
  • Fuzzy arts and crafts ball
  • Gum
  • Wad of hair
  • Heart-shaped necklace pendant
  • Fishtank gravel
  • Baby bottle nipple
  • One magnet in each nostril

THROAT

  • Open safety pin
  • Cigarette
  • Diary key
  • Aquarium thermometer
  • Sewing needle
  • Confetti
  • Hot sauce packet

FUN & GAMES

TRIVIA: There are 330 of these in the U.S. Alaska, Delaware, Hawaii, Louisiana, North Dakota and Wyoming don’t have any. (Drive-in theaters)

WHO SAID IT?

Which celebrity said their favorite things are “the smell of my daughter’s breath, a fresh-cut lawn, pulling up to a film set for the first time…”

• Katie Holmes*

• Gwyneth Paltrow

• Angelina Jolie

• Julia Roberts


DATEBOOK: DECEMBER 27, 2017

This is day 361 of 2017. There are 4 days remaining.

BIRTHDAYS

• Cokie Roberts is 74

• Gerard Depardieu is 69

• Eva LaRue (CSI: Miami) is 51

• TV journalist Savannah Guthrie is 46

IT HAPPENED TODAY

• 1932: The Radio City Music Hall in New York City opened.

• 1941: Puppets Howdy and Double Doody were born in Doodyville, Texas. They made their TV debut in 1947 on their 6th birthday.

• 1968: Apollo 8 splashed down in the Pacific Ocean, ending humanity’s first manned mission to the Moon.

• 1971: Sonny & Cher were given a regular variety show on CBS-TV after their summer replacement show was a big success. “The Sonny & Cher Show” lasted four seasons.

• 1989: The album “Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer” by Elmo and Patsy was certified gold.

• 2000: A Milwaukee man who tuned into a police scanner was surprised to hear traffic officers chasing his wife. The woman was arrested. Her husband showed up at the police station to claim the car keys, but refused to bail out his wife.

• 2002: Clonaid, a company founded by a group that believed in space aliens, announced it had produced the world’s first cloned baby. Scientists dismissed the claim when the group supplied no corroborating evidence.

• 2013: An error on the Delta Air Lines website allowed thousands of customers to buy tickets for super-low fares, some 90% below regular ticket prices. Delta took responsibility for the error and honored ticket purchases.

• 2014: Sony’s gaming service went back online after a hacking attack disrupted its PlayStation Network.

SPECIAL EVENTS

• Free Balloon Day

• Visit The Zoo Day

• Fruitcake Day

UPCOMING

• December 31: New Year’s Eve
• January 1: New Year’s Day
• January 1: Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl (college semis)
• January 1: Supermoon: the first of 2018
• January 6: NFL Playoffs begin
• January 8: College football championship
• January 13: NFL Divisional Playoffs begin
• January 23: Oscar nominations announced
• January 30: State of the Union
• January 31: Total lunar eclipse/blood moon
• February 2: Groundhog Day
• February 4: Super Bowl 52
• February 8: New York Fashion Week begins
• February 9: Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony
• February 13: Mardi Gras
• February 14: Valentine’s Day
• February 16: Chinese New Year – Year of the Dog
• February 19: President’s Day