INTERPREP ★ DECEMBER 29, 2017

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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 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.


NEWS ATTACK!

A line of makeup for kids has been found to contain asbestos. [That brings up an interesting question: Can you sue Santa Claus?]

A Florida woman found several Christmas gifts on the side of the highway. Apparently, someone hit a bump and away the gifts went. [I hope one of the packages contains a new tailgate for the pickup truck.]

A 1939 Mercedes used by Hitler is going to auction in January. It’s a rare model considered a high point of automotive engineering. [And it’s in great condition except for the brakes. It has trouble stopping at borders.]

In Japan, the same country that had the Fukushima disaster, the world’s largest nuclear power plant has been given permission to fire back up. [So much for a happy New Year.]

Authorities in Nepal have rescued that country’s last two remaining dancing bears. The bears were underfed and treated horribly by their owners. [The only thing sadder than a bear in captivity is a bear in captivity forced to do the Macarena.]

An Italian clothing company has won the legal right to name its company Steve Jobs. [The turtleneck is Steve, and the jeans are Jobs.]

A woman on her first date with a man in Houston became irate and damaged over $300,000 worth of his art collection. [Why do I get the feeling that all her dates are first dates?]

The staff for Dr. Phil is accused of supplying guests with alcohol and drugs. [If I were going to spend an hour with Dr. Phil, I wouldn’t want to be sober either.]

The latest research shows that Vitamin D and calcium don’t actually prevent broken bones. [But what does prevent broken bones is staying inside and paying someone else to shovel your walkway.]


NEWS & NUGGETS

US POPULATION ADDS ONE PERSON EVERY 18 SECONDS _ The combined total of births, deaths, and net immigration will add one more person to the total U.S. population every 18 seconds in 2018. The U.S. population on New Year’s Day 2018 is projected to be 326,971,407. At the projected growth rate, the U.S. population could be expected to grow by about 1.75 million in 2018. The data were published Thursday by the U.S. Census Bureau.

… The agency’s estimate the country’s population grows by one person every second is based on three elements: one birth every 8 seconds; one death every 10 seconds; and one international migrant (net) every 29 seconds.

… The global population on New Year’s Day is projected to reach 7,444,443,881, a 1.07% increase since last January 1, adding about 78.52 million people to the world’s population.

APPLE APOLOGIZES FOR iPHONE SLOWDOWN CONFUSION _ Apple has been in hot water for the last few weeks after the company admitted that it sometimes reduced processor speeds on iPhones with aging batteries as a way to balance performance and battery life. On Thursday, the company apologized for not being more transparent with its customers and released more details on how exactly iOS manages battery and performance.

… For starters, the company says that “we have never — and would never — do anything to intentionally shorten the life of any Apple product, or degrade the user experience to drive customer upgrades.”

… To help mitigate the confusion Apple caused, the company is now offering reduced out-of-warranty battery replacement. For $29, you can get a new battery for your phone regardless of whether it’s covered by AppleCare or not; that’s down from the old $79 fee. Unfortunately, that’s only a temporary discount that will last through the end of 2018. Additionally, Apple says it is going to release an iOS update early next year that’ll give users more info on the health of their iPhone’s battery so they can see if its condition is affect phone performance.

REFUGEE FAMILY STUCK IN BANGKOK AIRPORT FOR TWO MONTHS _ A Zimbabwean family has been marooned at Bangkok’s main airport for two months. The family of four adults and four children (ages 2- to 11-years-old) have tried to leave Thailand since late October but they lack visas for onward travel, refuse to return to Zimbabwe and are denied re-entry to the kingdom after overstaying, trapping them in limbo in the airport. Airlines have been providing them with food.

… Comparisons are being made with the 2004 film The Terminal, in which a man played by Tom Hanks finds himself stuck in a New York airport after his government collapses, rendering his papers useless.

OCTOMOM SAYS SHE’S FINALLY AT PEACE _ Most people won’t recognize the name Natalie Suleman, but they absolutely know the infamous “Octomom.” In early 2009, Natalie started getting a ton of tabloid coverage for carrying octuplets to term. People started hating on the mother immediately when they found out that she already had six other children. All 14 of Natalie’s children were born through in vitro fertilization treatments, which she began at age 21. Natalie had her first child in 2001 and continued to have more over the next few years. In 2008, Natalie decided to try for a sixth pregnancy in order to not waste her frozen embryos. Although she should have only had two or three embryos transferred, her doctor transferred 12. His medical license was later revoked. Natalie got pregnant with eight babies, who she delivered in January 2009. Now, those octuplets are eight years old and thriving.

… Since Natalie’s kids are pretty grown up now, she’s taken some time to reflect on her time as a mom. After becoming the Octomom, Natalie used her fame to work on her career. She ended up doing a pornographic film, working in strip clubs, and mixing prescription drugs with alcohol. Eventually, she realized she needed to reject her Octomom persona and be herself again. While reflecting on her past, Natalie admitted that having so many kids was “very foolish, immature and selfish.” That said, she can’t imagine her life any other way now. Although Natalie struggles to make ends meet, she says she’s finally at peace. Today, the family of 15 live in a townhouse in Laguna Niguel, California.

VIRAL ROYAL PHOTO TAKEN BY SINGLE MOM RAKING IN THOUSANDS _ The Christmas snapshot of the Royal Fab Four seen ’round the world — taken by a single mother — has already generated thousands of dollars. The photo taken by Karen Anvil — a less-than-amateur photographer — has already raked in about $7,000 from licensing. That money is just from one of eight territories the photo’s being circulated in so far — the figures for the other territories, which includes the U.S., haven’t been fully calculated yet.

HUMANS MAY HAVE INTERNAL BATHROOM SCALES _ You may think your bathroom scales are the only way to weigh yourself. But in a new medical breakthrough, scientists have discovered ‘internal bathroom scales’ already do the job for you. Swedish researchers have uncovered evidence of a mechanism in the brain of mice that operates in the exact same way. According to the researchers (University of Gothenburg) body weight is recorded by the brain whenever someone stands. If it notices an increase in weight, it triggers a signal that subconsciously tells the brain to stop eating so much food.

… However, the internal scales don’t work for those who sit down too long, such as office workers who spend hours sitting at their desk or TV binge-watchers.

SAILOR AND CAT RESCUED AFTER SEVEN MONTHS DRIFTING IN OCEAN _ A sailor has been rescued along with his cat after their boat broke down in the Indian Ocean seven months ago. 54-year-old Zbigniew Reket was pulled from the waters by the French coastguard. He said that his cat was his only company and that he survived on fish that he caught after his rations — enough for just one month — ran out. He was rescued in his modified lifeboat after being spotted by the crew of a yacht on Christmas Day. Reket said that when he left the Comoros Islands in May he was trying to get to South Africa but his boat broke down.

LIST OF OBJECTS DROPPED ON NEW YEAR’S EVE _ They drop a ball in Times Square. Here’s a list of other stuff dropped around the world on New Year’s Eve.

REMEMBER THIS? A YEAR AGO THIS WEEK: DIVORCING COUPLES ARGUING OVER UNPAID DEBTS FROM THE WEDDING _ A lawyer in the UK says the pressure on couples to stage increasingly expensive “fairytale” weddings is now so great that some are still trying to pay off the bills when they get divorced.

… One UK law firm, which handles around 300 divorces a year, said that a small but significant number of such disputes that his firm sees center on who should clear loans used to pay for the couple’s honeymoon or the wedding ceremony itself.


WACKY-BUT-TRUE

WACKY-BUT-TRUE: ANTI-GAMBLING CRUSADER WINS $25,000 IN GAMING PARLOR SWEEPSTAKES _ Kathy Gilroy has crusaded against gambling for decades, speaking out against casinos, illegal raffles and the recent wave of video poker cafes. As one of the most visible gaming opponents in Illinois, she has warned that the vice erodes society’s values and work ethic, takes money from poor people and can lead to addiction, bankruptcy, crime and suicide. So even she concedes it may seem ironic that she recently won $25,000 by playing a sweepstakes game at a gambling cafe (in Villa Park).

… Gilroy said, “I called a pastor friend, and said, ‘Oh my God, should I send it back? What do I do? Do I donate it?’ He said, ‘Don’t feel guilty. You just got paid for all your volunteer work against gambling.'”

WACKY-BUT-TRUE: MAN WRECKS HOME AFTER WIFE TAKES KIDS TO CHUCK-E-CHEESE _ An upstate New York (Wayne County) man has been arrested following a domestic incident. Deputies say Michael Cowell wrecked his home because he was upset his wife took their kids to Chuck-E-Cheese. Police say Cowell punched and shot several holes in the wall with his BB gun.

WACKY-BUT-TRUE: WOMAN FINED $5,000 FOR DEFAMING PIZZERIA ON FACEBOOK _ An Israeli woman who complained on Facebook about a pizza she purchased from the local pizzeria was slapped with a $5,000 fine. A judge found that the woman had defamed the owner of the pizzeria, damaging his reputation and causing him financial loss. The complaint she used on Facebook: “Yuck.”

WACKY-BUT-TRUE: MAN STEALS GPS UNIT, WHICH GIVES HIM AWAY _ Police in New York arrested a man on suspicion of theft. Police say they stopped the 33-year-old man after they spotted him trying to ride a bicycle while carrying several items, including a car GPS unit. Police say the cyclist gave evasive answers to questions, and when the officer pressed the home button on the GPS, the unit displayed a nearby address. The resident of that home told police the device was his.


ENTERTAINMENT & TV

IN THEATERS _ Nothing new opens wide today, although All the Money in the World expanded on Monday (Christmas Day). The Last Jedi is expected to stay at No. 1 this weekend.

All the Money in the World (R, opens Christmas Day) – The story of the kidnapping of 16-year-old John Paul Getty III and the desperate attempt by his devoted mother to convince his billionaire grandfather Jean Paul Getty to pay the ransom. Mark Wahlberg, Christopher Plummer, Michelle Williams

… Opening next weekend: Insidious: The Last Key.

PASSENGERS ON CHRISSY TEIGEN’S ‘FLIGHT TO NOWHERE’ GET $265 APOLOGY _ Chrissy Teigen‘s tweets paid off. All passengers aboard the 32-year-old model’s “flight to nowhere” were given $265 for their troubles. Teigen tweeted about her eight-hour journey from LAX to LAX on Tuesday, saying: “a flying first for me: 4 hours into an 11 hour flight and we are turning around because we have a passenger who isn’t supposed to be on this plane. Why do we all gotta go back, I do not know.” She kept her followers up-to-date on her wait in the airport lounge for a makeup flight as well.

… NH Flight 175 departed at 11:36 a.m. that day, but looped over the Pacific Ocean and landed at LAX at again at 7:32 p.m instead of completing its route to Tokyo. Teigen and husband John Legend eventually made it to Japan.

… Fans asked her to explain why she didn’t travel privately. She tweeted: “A lot of people have been asking this and I would just like you all to know that a round trip international private flight is like…300,000 dollars.”

TWO TOP-GROSSING ACTORS OF 2017 _ The two top-grossing actors of 2017 were The Fate of the Furious costars Vin Diesel and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. According to Forbes, Diesel and Johnson, who were reportedly embroiled in a feud during the making of the eighth installment of the Fast and the Furious franchise, also turned out to be the first and second highest-grossing actors of the year, respectively. The Fate of the Furious would go on to earn a whopping $1.2 billion at the global box office in 2017, and the two costars’ massively successful years were largely due to that one film.

… Diesel claimed the top spot this year with $1.6 billion in global ticketing receipts. He also starred in the action film xXx: The Return of Xander Cage, which earned over $346 million at the global box office.

… Johnson came in a close second with $1.5 billion, as his other main project, Baywatch, earned a comparatively low total of $177 million globally.

… Actress Gal Gadot came in at number three on the year-end list, with $1.4 billion earned from the global box office success of her films Wonder Woman” and Justice League.

FORMER GUESTS ACCUSE DR. PHIL OF GIVING DRUGS, BOOZE TO ADDICTS _ It may have been a surprise for viewers of Dr. Phil to see Todd Herzog — the winner of Survivor: China — appear completely drunk in an episode aired in 2013, blowing a whopping .263 in a breathalyzer test. But even more shocking are the bombshell allegations that Herzog is making. In a story published by the Boston Globe Thursday, Herzog, who at the time was battling an alcohol addiction, claims that he was stone-cold sober when he arrived at the show’s Los Angeles studio for the taping — and found a bottle of Smirnoff vodka in his dressing room. Herzog says he was unable to resist drinking the bottle — and claims that, once he had, a show staffer gave him a Xanax to “calm his nerves.” He isn’t alone in his accusations. Several Dr. Phil guests have come forward to allege that Phil has put addict guests at risk, whether by leaving them without medical attention or by helping them score drugs throughout the detox process.

… A Dr. Phil representative declined the paper’s request for an interview. CBS reps did not immediately respond to a separate request.

AMC CONSIDERING CHARGING DIFFERENT PRICES FOR SEATS _ Movie theater chain AMC is looking into the possibility of charging different prices for different seats within the same theater. Someone who’s a member of the AMC Stubs reward program said a survey sent to some of its program members asks where they like to sit in the theater and if they’d be willing to pay more or less money for more desirable seats or less desirable seats. Another AMC Stubs member confirmed the survey on Twitter.

ON TELEVISION _ The TV highlights for the weekend, which includes college bowl games.

FRIDAY

  • 48 HOURS (8p ET, CBS) — Repeat
  • SHARK TANK (8p ET, ABC) — Repeat
  • LAW & ORDER: SVU (8p ET, NBC) — Repeat
  • HELL’S KITCHEN (8p ET, FOX) — A 2-hour repeat
  • IHEARTRADIO MUSIC FESTIVAL (8p ET, CW) — Repeat
  • GOODYEAR COTTON BOWL CLASSIC (8:30p ET, ESPN) — No. 8 USC (11-2) battles No. 5 Ohio State (11-2) as the Pac-12 champion battles the Big Ten champion in the Cotton Bowl.
  • MACGYVER (9p ET, CBS) — Repeat
  • 20/20 (9p ET, ABC) — This new, 2-hour special features a young woman that was violently attacked by her abusive boyfriend, but survived to find true love with one of her rescuers.
  • DATELINE (9p ET, NBC) — A new, 2-hour edition
  • BLUE BLOODS (10p ET, CBS) — Repeat
  • SEASON PREMIERE: BILL NYE SAVES THE WORLD (Netflix) — Season 2 begins streaming.
  • SEASON PREMIERE: BLACK MIRROR (Netflix) — This edgy anthology series returns with new episodes. Jodie Foster directs one of the new installments.

SATURDAY

  • CAPITAL ONE ORANGE BOWL (8p ET, ESPN) — No. 10 Miami, the ACC runner-up, takes on the Big Ten runner-up, No. 6 Wisconsin, in the Orange Bowl.
  • ROYAL NEW YEAR’S EVE (8p ET, Hallmark Channel) — This new TV movie stars Jessy Schram, Sam Page and Cheryl Ladd.
  • KING ARTHUR: LEGEND OF THE SWORD (8p ET, HBO) — Charlie Hunnam (Sons of Anarchy) stars as Arthur in this 2017 action fantasy. Jude Law, Djimon Hounsou and Eric Bana also star.
  • 10 DAYS IN THE VALLEY (10p ET, ABC ) — New
  • ACL HALL OF FAME NEW YEAR’S EVE (11p, PBS) — Back in October, three American musical innovators were inducted into the fourth annual Austin City Limits Hall of Fame: singer/songwriter Rosanne Cash, New Orleans funk ‘n’ soul collective the Neville Brothers and late rock & roll legend Roy Orbison. This special features music performances and tributes from Elvis Costello, Brandi Carlile, Neko Case, Ry Cooder, Dr. John, the Mavericks’ Raul Malo, Trombone Shorty, the Nevilles Band and host Chris Isaak.

SUNDAY

NFL Football schedule. Last week of the regular season!

  • DICK CLARK’S NEW YEAR’S ROCKIN’ EVE WITH RYAN SEACREST 2018 (8p ET, ABC) — Host Ryan Seacrest celebrates the countdown to midnight live from Times Square with co-host Jenny McCarthy in NYC. Singer Ciara will be in Los Angeles and Pretty Little Liars star Lucy Hale host the Central time zone countdown from New Orleans. Britney Spears, Camila Cabello, Nick Jonas, and Sugarland will perform live in Times Square. In L.A., Florida Georgia Line, Halsey, Portugal. The Man, Hailee Steinfeld, Alessia Cara, Zedd, G-Eazy, Halsey, Bebe Rexha, Alesso, Kane Brown, BTS, Kelly Clarkson, Fitz and The Tantrums, Khalid, Marshmello, Shawn Mendes, Charlie Puth, and watt will perform. Imagine Dragons will perform live from New Orleans.
  • NEW YEAR’S EVE WITH STEVE HARVEY: LIVE FROM TIMES SQUARE (8p ET, FOX) — Steve Harvey hosts FOX’s first-ever New Year’s Eve special, and Maria Menounos will co-host. Performers include Celine Dion, Backstreet Boys, Macklemore, Skylar Grey, and Flo Rida, as well as Neil Diamond leading the world’s largest sing-along
  • NEW YEAR’S EVE LIVE WITH ANDERSON COOPER (8p ET, CNN) — Cooper is joined this year by Bravo’s Andy Cohen, live from Times Square.
  • DAVE CHAPPELLE: EQUANIMITY (Netflix) — Netflix is releasing TWO new stand up special from Chappelle: Dave Chappelle: The Bird Revelation and Dave Chappelle: Equanimity, marking the 3rd and 4th new specials this year.

FUN & GAMES

TRIVIA: 46% of adults said they have shopped while doing what? (Using the toilet)

BRAIN TEASER

Mike was watching TV and all of a sudden he leaps to his feet and says, “That’s Simon,” pointing at someone who was on the screen. Then his brother Mark comes in, looks at his brother, then looks back at the TV and says, “So it is.” How do they know Simon if they hadn’t seen him before?

Answer: He is their long lost, separated triplet brother.


DATEBOOK: JANUARY 2, 2018

This is day 2 of 2018. There are 363 days remaining.

BIRTHDAYS

• TV host Jack Hanna is 71

• Gabrielle Carteris (Beverly Hills, 90210) is 57

• Tia Carrere (Wayne’s World) is 51

• Cuba Gooding Jr. is 50

• Christy Turlington is 49

• Taye Diggs (How Stella Got Her Groove Back) is 47

• Dax Shepard (Parenthood) is 43

• Dancer Karina Smirnoff is 40

• Kate Bosworth is 35

IT HAPPENED TODAY

• 1890: Alice Sanger became the first female staffer for the White House.

• 1929: Canada and the United States agreed on a plan to preserve Niagara Falls.

• 1935: Bruno Hauptmann went on trial for the murder of Charles Lindbergh, Jr., infant son of aviator Charles Lindbergh.

• 1936: Burma Shave erected roadside signs throughout the U.S. promising, “Free! Free! A Trip to Mars For 900 Empty Jars.” Arliss French collected 900 jars and demanded the free trip. He finally settled when Burma Shave supplied a space suit and flew him to Mars (Moers), Germany, a small town near Dusseldorf.

• 1965: The New York Jets signed University of Alabama quarterback Joe Namath for a reported $400,000.

• 1974: President Richard Nixon signed a bill lowering the maximum US speed limit to 55 MPH in order to conserve gasoline during an OPEC embargo.

• 1983: The musical “Annie,” based on the “Little Orphan Annie” comic strip, closed on Broadway after a run of 2,377 performances.

• 1989: Some 200,000 baseball trading card packs were recalled after an obscenity was discovered painted on infielder Billy Ripken’s bat handle.

• 2006: Twelve men were killed in a methane gas explosion in a West Virginia coal mine. One man was found alive after being trapped underground  41 hours.

SPECIAL EVENTS

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

• This is Diet Resolution Week, National Lose Weight/Feel Great Week

• Happy Mew Year for Cats Day

• Motivation and Inspiration Day

• Personal Trainer Awareness Day

• Science Fiction Day

• Pet Travel and Safety Day

UPCOMING

• 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