INTERPREP ★ DECEMBER 28, 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 28, 2017

This is day 362 of 2017. There are 3 days remaining.

BIRTHDAYS

• Stan Lee is 95

• Maggie Smith (Downton Abbey, Harry Potter films) is 83

• TV personality (CBS This Morning) Gayle King is 63

• Denzel Washington is 63

• Country singer Joe Diffie is 59

• Country singer-guitarist Marty Roe of Diamond Rio is 57

• Seth Meyers (Late Night With Seth Meyers) is 44

• Joe Manganiello (Magic Mike, True Blood) is 41

• John Legend is 39

• Sienna Miller is 36

• Miles Brown (Black-ish) is 13

IT HAPPENED TODAY

• 1612: Galileo Galilei became the first astronomer to observe the planet Neptune, although he mistakenly cataloged it as a fixed star.

• 1846: Iowa was admitted as the 29th U.S. state.

• 1869: William E. Semple of Mount Vernon, Ohio, patented chewing gum.

• 1902: The first indoor professional American football game was played in New York City at Madison Square Garden.

• 1945: The U.S. Congress officially recognized the Pledge of Allegiance.

• 1975: Trailing 14-10 with only 32 seconds left and no time outs, from 50 yards out Roger Staubach hit Drew Pearson in a crowd at the goal-line to give Dallas the NFC title over Minnesota. In a post-game interview, Staubach said, “You throw it and pray he catches it. I guess it’s sort of a ‘Hail Mary’ pass.”

• 2000: Retail giant Montgomery Ward announced it is going out of business after 128 years.

• 2003: A 38-year-old jewel thief who swallowed a $20,000 diamond ring in Clearwater, Florida, was forced by nature to give up the evidence. The woman was arrested after a surveillance tape showed her putting the 1.5 carat ring in her mouth at a jewelry store. An X-ray showed the ring inside the suspect.

• 2010: Remains of a human that lived 400,000 years ago were discovered in Israel, challenging the theory that humans originated in Africa.

• 2012: Vladimir Putin signed into law a ban on U.S. adoption of Russian children.

SPECIAL EVENTS

• Endangered Species Act Day

• Chocolate Day

• Pledge of Allegiance Day

• Card Playing 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


NEWS ATTACK!

California authorities arrested a couple who used a church parking lot as the landing strip for delivering drugs by drone. [The police campaign was known as Operation Manna from Heaven.]

A flight from L.A. to Tokyo had to turn around after four hours because a passenger had gotten on the wrong plane. [The only thing worse than getting on the wrong plane is walking past all those angry passengers when you get off the plane.]

Jerusalem plans to name a train stop after Donald Trump. [You can’t miss it. It’ll be the one with the KFC showing Fox News.]

According to a new report, over the past year, the world’s 500 richest people became $1 trillion richer. [Well, that’s a relief.]

A new study says that more pregnant women are using pot. [For many of them that’s what led to being pregnant in the first place.]

A new study says that more pregnant women are using pot. [So are more men when they find out they’re going to be fathers.]

A 27-year-old has become the youngest person to ever complete a solo trek to the South Pole. He said that one of the difficulties he had to deal with was problems with his iPod. [He’ll be famous for making it to the Pole and for being the last guy on Earth still using an iPod.]

A Georgia inmate broke free by busting a hole through the wall in his shower. [I wonder at what point during the three-hour shower guards first become suspicious.]

Scientists are worried about North Korea’s intention to use biological weapons after a recently defected North Korean soldier was found to have received a vaccination against anthrax. [And that’s not a shot you can get at your local Walgreens.]

Parts of the nation have been hit by bitter cold. [It’s so cold politicians are actually keeping their hands in their own pockets.]


NEWS & NUGGETS

SOME SPEAKERS ARE BEING HIJACKED TO PLAY GHOSTLY SOUNDS _ Researchers (at Trend Micro) have found that certain models of Sonos and Bose speakers have vulnerabilities that leave them open to hijacking. The accessible speakers are being exploited by hackers that are using them to play spooky sounds, Alexa commands, and Rick Astley tracks. Only a small percentage of speakers by the two companies are actually affected, including some of the Sonos Play:1, the Sonos One, and the Bose SoundTouch. All it takes is for the speaker to be connected to a misconfigured network and a simple internet scan. Once the speaker is discovered via the scan, the API it uses to talk to apps can be utilized to tell the speakers to play any audio file hosted at a specific URL. Of all the models, between 2,500 to 5,000 Sonos devices and 400 to 500 Bose devices were found to be open to audio hacking.

GROCERY CHAIN LOOKS TO ELIMINATE CHECKOUT LANES _ As food delivery services and online shopping disrupt the grocery industry, Kroger is looking to eliminate checkout lanes for busy customers. The Cincinnati-headquartered grocery chain will roll out its “Scan, Bag, Go” service to 400 stores in 2018. Shoppers can avoid long checkout lines by scanning barcodes of items they want to buy using a handheld scanner or through Kroger’s “Scan, Bag, Go” app on any smartphone. When customers are finished shopping, they can stop at a self-checkout to pay for their order. Eventually shoppers will be able to pay through the app instead.

NORTH CAROLINA FAMILY COMES TO THE RESCUE ON CHRISTMAS EVE — TWICE _ Crystal Travis helped a family escape a house fire on Christmas Eve in Cleveland County, North Carolina. Crystal and her 14-year-old daughter Tori were driving home from visiting a relative. Crystal saw flames coming from a house but could not tell if something was burning in front of the house or if the house itself was on fire. She said she cut across yards to reach the house. As she drove onto the lawn, a woman ran out of the house clutching a baby and handed it to a neighbor. Realizing what was going on, Crystal said she and her daughter jumped out of the car and into action, calling out to ask if anyone needed help. Meanwhile, a man appeared at the door and began throwing clothing and gifts onto the lawn. Crystal and Tori gathered the items and carried them to safety to keep the path clear. Then, propane tanks exploded, shaking the ground and sending everyone running away from the house. Crystal called 911 and waited for firefighters and first responders to arrive. As the two left the scene, coughing and wheezing from smoke inhalation, Tori called her father to share what happened. They decided to meet Roger Travis at Applebee’s.

… On his way to Applebee’s, Roger Travis said he saw a car in the median in front of the mall. A former volunteer firefighter and first responder, his instincts kicked in and he pulled over. He saw a baby on the ground surrounded by people asking if anyone knew CPR. The little boy was not breathing and a woman who appeared to be the mother was panicked. Roger pushed past the crowd and helped a firefighter administer CPR. They kept working until the baby started breathing and making noises.

FIREFIGHTER ADOPTS BABY GIRL HE DELIVERED ON THE JOB AFTER SAVING HER LIFE _ Firefighter Marc Hadden had saved dozens of life with the department in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, but on November 14, 2011, he found himself delivering a baby for the very first time after a woman called 911 complaining of abdominal pain. At the time, Hadden never imagined that just 48 hours later he would bringing the baby girl — whom they named Rebecca Grace — home as her father. Marc and his wife, Beth, who already had two young boys (Will, now 15 and Parker, now 13) had always wanted a third child but because of complications with their first two pregnancies they were forced to take the long and expensive route of adoption. So just hours later at the hospital, when the birth mother made it clear she couldn’t care for her daughter, Marc was the first to raise his hand to take her in as his own. Beth says she remembers getting a phone call from Marc that day where he told her “I delivered a baby.”

… The next day Beth met the baby’s mother. As the two women talked, a doctor walked in to let the mother know that they were ready to move forward with the adoption. It was then that she said to Beth, “I can’t give my baby to someone I’ve never met. … I want you to adopt my baby.” By the end of that day, the couple had signed temporary-custody papers, and just 48 hours after her birth, they brought her home.

SC SENATOR WANTS BIGGER FINES FOR SLOW LEFT LANE DRIVERS _ A South Carolina lawmaker wants to increase the fine for drivers who go slowly in the left lane. State Sen. Ross Turner says his 200-mile round trip commute from Greenville to Columbia helped convince him of the need for a South Carolina law similar to one that took effect last month in Oklahoma. Turner’s bill would increase the fine for driving less than the speed of normal traffic in the passing lane of a multi-lane highway by $200. EDITOR: We have this law in Illinois and it’s pretty much useless.

NORTH KOREAN DEFECTORS MAY HAVE BEEN EXPOSED TO RADIATION _ At least four defectors from North Korea have shown signs of radiation exposure, although researchers in South Korea could not confirm if they were was related to Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons program. The four are among 30 former residents of Kilju county, an area in North Korea that includes a nuclear test site.

DONALD TRUMP NOT MOST ADMIRED MAN _ Donald Trump is the first president to lose Gallup’s annual poll of the Most Admired Man during his first full year in office. Gerald Ford didn’t win the honor in 1974, but he’d only been president for four months when the poll was conducted; he assumed the role of commander in chief after Richard Nixon resigned in August 1974. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger was named the Most Admired Man that year. To make matters worse for Trump, the man who Americans looked up to most in 2017 is his predecessor, Barack Obama.

MORE PREGNANT WOMEN ARE USING POT TO TREAT MORNING SICKNESS _ An increasing number of women are using marijuana while pregnant, possibly for morning sickness or anxiety. A research letter (published in JAMA) says that from 2009 to 2016, marijuana use among pregnant women increased from 4.2% to 7.1%. Those 18 and younger increased use from 12.5% to 21.8%. Pregnant women ages 18 to 24 increased use from 9.8% to 19%.

… While some studies exist, not a lot is known about marijuana’s effects on an unborn baby. Research cited by the Centers for Disease and Control shows pregnant women who use marijuana could put their child at risk of low birth weight and developmental problems. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists discourages marijuana use for women who are planning to become pregnant, pregnant and breastfeeding mothers.

DON’T BOTHER WITH A NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION _ A study by some psychologists in the UK shows that nine out of ten New Year’s resolutions are doomed to failure. The (University of Hertfordshire) study followed the attempts of 3,000 volunteers to stick to their resolutions. At the start of the year, 52 percent said they were confident of success. But by the end of the year, only 12 percent had achieved their goal.

… Men were more likely to succeed when they set themselves goals, such as losing a pound each week, or when they focused on the rewards, such as being more attractive to women.

… Women were more successful if they told their friends and family about their resolution and if they were encouraged not to give up just because they had slipped back into old habits.

REMEMBER THIS? A YEAR AGO THIS WEEK: CINNABON DELETES CARRIE FISHER TWEET AFTER USER OUTRAGE _ While the world mourned the passing of Carrie Fisher on Tuesday, Cinnabon saw an opportunity to promote its brand. The mall-based pastry chain tweeted a photo of a cinnamon portrait of Princess Leia, with her infamous coiled bun represented by a cinnamon roll. The caption: “RIP Carrie Fisher, you’ll always have the best buns in the galaxy.” Reaction from the Internet was swift and negative. For example: “Never, never use a death to promote your brand. Poor taste.” And: “Tacky. Get over yourself and stop capitalizing on the tragic loss of an icon.”

… The tweet was deleted in less than an hour.


WACKY-BUT-TRUE

WACKY-BUT-TRUE: BAGEL FORCES EVACUATION _The international airport in St. Louis had to be evacuated after the smoke alarms went off. A restaurant had over-toasted a bagel.

WACKY-BUT-TRUE: HAIRCUT FROM HELL LANDS STYLIST BEHIND BARS _ A bad haircut led to a Wisconsin hairstylist’s arrest. Khaled A. Shabani was arrested after he snipped a 22-year-old customer’s ear. Officers arrested Shabani on suspicion of mayhem and disorderly conduct while armed. The hairstylist then ran the clipper with the shortest attachment down the middle of the customer’s head. The hairstylist said it was an accident. • PHOTO

WACKY-BUT-TRUE: WOMAN HOSPITALIZED AFTER DEVOURING 20 TAMALES _ During the holiday season, there are plenty of ways to overindulge. But for one Mexican woman, it’s the tamales that did her in. The 25-year-old woman was hospitalized after eating 20 tacos in a matter of minutes.

WACKY-BUT-TRUE: DISGRUNTLED CUSTOMER SLAMS TRUCK INTO DEALERSHIP SHOWROOM _ A man described as a disgruntled customer rammed his Dodge pickup into the showroom of a Smithfield, North Carolina, auto dealership this week. The man crashed through a window because he was upset over routine manufacturer recalls on his pickup. A dealership spokesman said that there was no record of the man ever having his car serviced at that location.

WACKY-BUT-TRUE: WOMAN WIPES NOSE ON COP’S SLEEVE _ A woman in West Virginia was charged with battery on a police officer after the officer said she wiped her nose on the back of his shirt.

WACKY-BUT-TRUE: THIEF HAS BAD CASE OF HEART BURN _ Shortly after fleeing a California grocery store on foot, a thief was apprehended by deputies at a nearby bus stop. Tucked into his clothing, authorities uncovered over $200 worth of over-the-counter antacids.


ENTERTAINMENT & TV

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

THE BIG BANG THEORY (8p ET, CBS) — Repeat

TO TELL THE TRUTH (8p ET, ABC) — Repeat

SUPERSTORE (8p ET, NBC) — Repeat

CAN’T STOP, WON’T STOP: A BAD BOY STORY (8p ET, FOX) — This 2017 music documentary celebrates the groundbreaking hip-hop label founded by Sean Combs. Jay Z, Lil’ Kim, French Montana, Usher and Faith Evans all appear.

IHEARTRADIO MUSIC FESTIVAL (8p ET, CW) — Repeat

YOUNG SHELDON (8:30p ET, CBS) — Repeat

WILL & GRACE (8:30p ET, NBC) — Repeat

THE BIG BANG THEORY (9p ET, CBS) — Repeat

THE $100,000 PYRAMID (9p ET, ABC) — Repeat

WILL & GRACE (9p ET, NBC) — Repeat

GREAT NEWS (9:30p ET, NBC) — New. Carol is devastated that her parents are getting divorced after 70 years of marriage.

MOM (9:30p ET, CBS) — Repeat

CHICAGO FIRE (10p ET, NBC) — Repeat

MATCH GAME (10p ET, ABC) — Repeat

S.W.A.T. (10p ET, CBS) — Repeat

TOP CHEF (10p ET, Bravo) — New. The chefs make upscale versions of kid-menu classics, using child-sized cookware, utensils and mixers.

… And there are more college bowl games.

AIR CANADA’S HEARTFELT AD, VOICED BY RYAN REYNOLDS _ Ryan Reynolds’ casual but earnest delivery really hits home in Air Canada’s latest ad, as he waxes poetic about the Canadian spirit. The new commercial, titled “Our Home,” presents images of compassion, teamwork and diversity. Reynolds concludes, “It’s not where we are; it’s who we are. Because we don’t live at home. Home lives in us.” The tagline, “Fly the flag,” suggests both Canadian patriotism and the carrier’s maple leaf logo. • VIDEO

PADDINGTON 2 TRAILER: THE LOVABLE BEAR GOES TO JAIL _ The new Paddington 2 trailer is online. The much-anticipated sequel to the worldwide hit family film finds Paddington happily settled with the Brown family in Windsor Gardens, where he has become a popular member of the community, spreading joy and marmalade wherever he goes. While searching for the perfect present for his beloved Aunt Lucy’s hundredth birthday, Paddington spots a unique pop-up book in Mr. Gruber’s antique shop, and embarks upon a series of odd jobs to buy it. But when the book is stolen, it’s up to Paddington and the Browns to unmask the thief. It comes to theaters on January 12. • VIDEO

CONNIE BRITTON IS COMING BACK TO TV _ Fans of former Nashville star Connie Britton are excited to hear she will be back on TV in just a few days. Connie will star in the upcoming FOX procedural 9-1-1. She’ll play dispatcher Abby Clark opposite fellow American Horror Story alum Angela Bassett and Parenthood’s Peter Krause. The drama premieres on Wednesday, January 3.

… We’ll also catch Connie on Netflix next year in the dramedy film Land of Steady Habits. She’ll play a divorcee who bonds with the lead character, played by Ben Mendelsohn, as he navigates a midlife crisis.

GUNS N’ ROSES GUITARIST SLASH BUYS HOME FOR $6.25M _ It looks like “paradise city” is Encino, California, where the Guns N’ Roses guitarist Slash has purchased a new home for $6.25 million. The Rock & Roll Hall of Famer was on the hunt for a new place to settle down after leaving 90210 behind. The 52-year-old, whose actual name is Saul Hudson, and his former wife, Perla Hudson, initially listed their 11,000-square-foot Beverly Hills estate in 2015 for $11 million. In 2016, the price was slashed to $9.5 million. It was finally sold to rapper Big Sean for a reported $8.7 million.

TOP TV SHOWS _ Week of December 18-24.

  1. NFL Saturday Night Football: Minnesota at Green Bay, NBC, 15.29 million
  2. The OT, Fox, 12.76 million
  3. Young Sheldon, CBS, 11.32 million
  4. Saturday Night NFL Pre-Kick, NBC, 11.023 million
  5. The Voice (Monday), NBC, 11.022 million
  6. The Voice (Tuesday), NBC, 10.91 million
  7. NFL Regular Season: Atlanta at Tampa Bay, ESPN, 9.46 million
  8. The Big Bang Theory, CBS, 9.42 million
  9. Mom, CBS, 8.85 million
  10. Survivor, CBS, 8.73 million
  11. Football Night in America, Part 3, NBC, 8.04 million
  12. The Voice (Tuesday), NBC, 7.91 million
  13. Ellen’s Game of Games, NBC, 7.25 million
  14. Life in Pieces, CBS, 6.72 million
  15. I Love Lucy Christmas Special, CBS, 6.5 million
  16. Kevin Can Wait, CBS, 6.4 million
  17. 60 Minutes, CBS, 6.29 million
  18. S.W.A.T., CBS, 6.28 million
  19. Survivor Reunion, CBS, 5.97 million
  20. The Dick Van Dyke Show, CBS, 5.83 million

FUN & GAMES

TRIVIA: The average person sees 11 of these a year. (Rainbows)

WHAT’S IN COMMON?

Each set of three things has something in common. Tell me what it is and you win.

• Dove, Dial, Zest (soap)

• Turtle, taco, sea (Shells)

• End, No parking, Twilight (Zones)

• Donuts, Oreo cookies, basketballs (They’re dunked)

• The earth, a nuclear reactor, an apple (They have cores)


DATEBOOK: DECEMBER 29, 2017

This is day 363 of 2017. There are 2 days remaining.

BIRTHDAYS

• Jon Voight is 79

• Ted Danson is 70

• Comedian Paula Poundstone is 58

• Michael Cudlitz (The Walking Dead) is 53

• Jude Law is 45

• Mekhi Phifer is 43

• Jane Levy (Suburgatory) is 28

IT HAPPENED TODAY

• 1845: Texas was admitted to the union as the 28th state.

• 1851: The first American Young Men’s Christian Association was organized, in Boston.

• 1989: Wayne Gretzky and Martina Navratilova were named athletes of decade by the Associated Press.

• 1999: The NASDAQ composite index closed above 4,000 for the first time, ending the day at 4,041.46.

• 2007: Tom Brady sets a then-NFL record, throwing his 50th touchdown pass, and the New England Patriots became the first team in NFL history to finish the regular season 16-0.

• 2011: Financial disputes lead New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg to report that the National September 11 Museum would not open on time.

• 2016: President Barack Obama retaliates against Russia for hacking American computer systems and trying to influence the 2016 presidential election by ejecting 35 Russian spies and imposing sanctions.

SPECIAL EVENTS

• Tick Tock Day

• YMCA Day (Organization not the song)

• Get on the Scales 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


DATEBOOK WEEKEND

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 30

• Fred Ward is 75. Mike Nesmith (The Monkees) is 75. Patti Smith is 71. Meredith Vieira is 64. Country singer Suzy Bogguss is 61. Matt Lauer is 60. Tracey Ullman is 58. Tyrese is 39. Ellie Goulding is 31.

• Bacon Day. No Interruptions Day. Baking Soda Day.

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 31

• Anthony Hopkins is 80. Andy Summers (The Police) is 75. Ben Kingsley is 74. Tim Matheson is 70. Bebe Neuwirth is 59. Val Kilmer is 58. Joe McIntyre (New Kids on the Block) is 45.

• New Year’s Eve. Leap Second Time Adjustment Day. Look On The Bright Side Day. Make Up Your Mind Day. World Healing Day. World Peace Meditation Day. National Champagne Day. National Vinegar Day.

MONDAY, JANUARY 1

• Frank Langella is 80. Don Novello is 75. Grandmaster Flash is 60. Morris Chestnut is 49.

• New Year’s Day. Commitment Day. Global Family Day. World Day of Peace.