INTERPREP ★ NOVEMBER 29, 2018

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DATEBOOK: NOVEMBER 29, 2018

BIRTHDAYS

• Director Joel Coen is 64

• Howie Mandel is 63

• Tom Sizemore is 57

• Andrew McCarthy is 56

• Don Cheadle (Marvel movies) is 54

• Jonathan Knight of New Kids on the Block is 50

• Gena Lee Nolin (Sheena, Baywatch) is 47

• Brian Baumgartner (The Office) is 46

• Chadwick Boseman (Black Panther) is 42

• Anna Faris (Mom, Scary Movie) is 42

• Lauren German (Lucifer, Chicago Fire) is 40

IT HAPPENED TODAY

• 1972: Atari announced the game Pong.

• 1975: The name “Micro-soft” (for “microcomputer software”) was first used in a letter from Bill Gates to Paul Allen.

• 1984: A 14-ounce spider monkey named Miss Baker died at age 27 of kidney failure in Huntsville, Alabama. In 1959 Miss Baker became the first American to travel into outer space.

• 1988: U.S. patent #4,787,160 was issued to Larence Balsamo of Roselle, Illinois, for his Greeting Card Confetti Delivery System, an air suction process that would shower confetti on a person opening a greeting card.

• 2004: Godzilla received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

• 2012: A new species of freshwater fish was discovered. The new species of darter fish, Etheostoma obama, were named after U.S. President Barack Obama.

SPECIAL EVENTS

• Square Dancing Day

• Throw Out Your Leftovers Day

• Buy Nothing Day

• Rice Cake Day

• Chocolates Day. I think this day is to celebrate the fancy-ish boxed stuff people give as gifts.

UPCOMING

• December 2: Hanukkah starts
• December 6: Time Person of the Year
• December 6: Golden Globe nominees announced
• December 21: Winter begins (5:23 PM ET)
• January 6: Golden Globes
• January 21: Martin Luther King Jr. Day


NUMBER FOR THE DAY

1.1 million: Lawyers in the U.S.


NEWS ATTACK!

A woman in North Carolina asked a convenience store clerk for one type of lottery ticket but received a different kind. That ticket turned out to be worth $277 million. [To show her eternal thanks the woman gave the clerk a really big handshake.]

A steer in Australia that stands an amazing 6-foot-4 has been deemed too huge to go to the slaughterhouse. Instead, the steer, which weighs 1.4 tons, [has been declared eligible for next year’s NFL draft].

A soccer team in Ireland has issued an apology after mistakenly reporting that one of its players had died. [I’m a very slow runner but even I move fast enough that people can tell that I’ve still alive.]

In Australia, the pilot of a freight airplane fell asleep and flew 29 miles past the airport. [He apologized but explained that the inflight movie was SOOO boring.]

Thieves in Vienna, Austria walked into an auction house, took an expensive painting by Renoir off the wall, and then disappeared. [That’s interesting. I had no idea that shopping at an art auction was that simple.]

Burger King now has flame-grilled bones for your dog. [“I’m returning this. My dog ordered postal carrier flavor and this is squirrel flavor.”]

The Honda Odyssey is being recalled because the sliding doors can open while driving. [Authorities recommend that after each speed bump drivers conduct an immediate headcount.]

A miniature toy version of the Dyson vacuum cleaner is reportedly a big hit this season with kids. [These are not any kids I would have spent any time with.]

Esquire just released its list of the best new restaurants in America. [None of them require you to place your order by yelling into a microphone.]

Scientists report that they have figured out how to melt gold at room temperature. [But why would I want my gold to do something that I don’t want my M&Ms to do?]


NEWS & NUGGETS

OFFICE CHRISTMAS PARTIES CAN BE A MINEFIELD OF DRAMA _ One in three office workers has done something they regret at a holiday party. And if you’re into office gossip, the average person will find out seven pieces of gossip about colleagues they didn’t previously know when attending a holiday party.

MORE THAN A THIRD OF US HAVE NO IDEA WHAT TO GET OUR PARTNER _ The other half is the trickiest person to buy for. Despite spending more time with their partner than any other family member, more than a third have absolutely no idea what to get them this Christmas. A typical adult will spend almost three hours searching for the perfect gift for their significant.

… We spend the least amount of time shopping for the boss — just 32 minutes.

FACEBOOK IS TESTING THE ABILITY TO BAN WORDS AND PHRASES _ If you’re looking to keep certain content from ever appearing on your Facebook wall, there might be a feature coming for you. A source says Facebook is testing the ability to ban certain words, phrases and emoji from appearing on your personal timeline.

FB icon Start it on Facebook, take it to the phones: Facebook tests the ability to block certain words on your timeline. What word or phrase would you block?

TO SEE HOW MUCH PEOPLE WOULD PAY FOR $20 SHOES, PAYLESS OPENED A FAKE LUXURY STORE _ Shoe seller Payless recently had a bit of fun at the expense of some fashion influencers in Santa Monica, California. The store took over a former Armani store, stocked it with Payless merchandise, and then invited fashion influencers to attend a party celebrating the store’s opening. But there was a twist: they thought they were attending the store opening for a new high-end designer, Palessi, not looking at shoes from Payless. Influencers who attended the party paid between $200 and $600 for Payless shoes that are traditionally priced between $20-40, and many of the guests commented on how their purchases were “sophisticated” or “made with high-quality materials.” The goal was to remind customers that  Payless is a place to shop for affordable fashion.

DYSON’S TOY VACUUM ACTUALLY WORKS _ Having trouble getting your kids to clean up after themselves? Well, how about turning it into a game? Dyson’s got a kid-sized toy vacuum called the Casdon that actually sucks dirt up off the floor. It isn’t as powerful as the Dyson moms and dads use, but it works just well enough to trick your kiddo into picking up some of the slack. $30 on Amazon.

MASSIVE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS DISPLAY IS ANNOYING NEIGHBORS _ A whole lot of Christmas cheer has turned one New Jersey town into a battlefield. A massive 70,000-Christmas light display (in Old Bridge) home has left neighbors frustrated for years. Now, township officials say the homeowner must pay $2,000 a day if he wants to keep his Christmas light show going. Tom Apruzzi said his show puts smiles on attendees’ faces during what can be a difficult season of the year. But his neighbors said the crowds and cars parked on the road make it dangerous for everyone. Town officials told him he needs to pay $2,000 per night for police security at the light show. That fee would include the cost of paying officers overtime for the evening, moveable light posts to light the street, and fuel to power the movable light posts. Apruzzi called the fees “bureaucratic baloney.” He started a online fundraiser with a goal of $75,000 to pay the fees and says the show will go on starting December 1, whether or not he raises enough money.

SOUTH KOREANS ARE CHECKING INTO FAKE PRISONS FOR SOME PEACE AND QUIET _ South Koreans are escaping the country’s demanding academic and working culture by booking themselves into fake prisons. The fake prisons offer people a chance to relax and live in solitary confinement for 24 hours. The cells are 16 feet square. All technology is banned, as well as clocks and mirrors, and residents wear prison jumpsuits. Even meals are served through the hatch of cell doors, which are locked. Most residents choose to stay in the cells with just a diary and a yoga mat, but they can take part in spiritual group activities if they like. The cost is $90 a night.

McDONALD’S TOUCHSCREENS HAVE HUMAN POO ON THEM _ A British study has found that the touchscreens you use to order food in McDonald’s restaurants carry traces of human poo. An investigation was carried out in six London branches of the fast food chain, and every McDonald’s screen that was swabbed was found to have poo bacteria on them.

… One of the researchers said, “We were all surprised how much gut and faecal bacteria there was on the touchscreen machines.” Really, dude?

BMW’s NEW SUV WILL HAVE EVERY SAFETY FEATURE _ If you want to be really, really safe on the road — and you have $75,000 — BMW’s new X7 SUV will come loaded with just about every bit of safety tech out there. The X7, coming in March, will have:

• Lane-keep assist
• Adaptive cruise control
• Assisted parking
• Blind-spot detection
• Lane-departure warning
• Rear and frontal collision warning
• Pedestrian warning
• Rear cross-traffic warning

MAN GIVES $1,000 CHECKS TO EVERY STUDENT AT PARADISE HIGH SCHOOL _ A San Diego businessman wanted to do something to help young people affected by the Camp Fire, which decimated the city of Paradise, California. So 90-year-old Bob Wilson came with two suitcases full of $1,000 checks — enough for each of Paradise High School’s 980 students and 105 staff members, including teachers, janitors and bus drivers. The students and staff from Paradise showed up at a nearby high school Tuesday night, where Wilson handed out the checks — $1.1 million in all.

APPLE WATCH COULD ADD TWO YEARS TO YOUR LIFE* _ If you’ve been holding off buying an Apple Watch, maybe adding two years to your life will make you change your mind. Research on 400,000 adults found that those who used fitness trackers linked to reward schemes saw activity levels increase by more than a third.

… So, just wearing an Apple Watch or other fitness device won’t add two years to your life. Participants in the study who wore an Apple Watch made monthly payments of up to $16, depending on their activity levels, but had to pay nothing if monthly exercise targets were achieved.

… Those with the fitness trackers managed 4.8 days activity a month on average, compared with 3.5 days among those without the devices.

WIVES AND THEIR MOTHERS-IN-LAW _ It might be men who always crack the mother-in-law jokes but research suggests the prickliest relationships are between women and their daughters-in-law. A study of hundreds of families revealed that nearly two-thirds of women admit that friction with their husband’s mother had caused them long-term unhappiness and stress. During the research, conducted over two decades, women accused their mothers-in-law of showing unreasonably jealous, maternal love towards their sons. And the frosty relations were found to be mutual as mothers-in-law complained that they had been isolated and excluded by their sons’ wives.

… Speaking of mothers-in-law:

• Two men are in a bar and one says to his friend, “My mother-in-law is an angel.” His friend replies, “You’re lucky. Mine’s still alive.”

• A woman woke her husband in the middle of the night and said, “There’s a burglar downstairs in the kitchen and he’s eating the cake that my mother made for us.” The husband replies, “Who shall I call, the police or an ambulance?”

REMEMBER THIS? A YEAR AGO THIS WEEK: PROPERTY PRICES LOWER ON STREETS WITH SILLY NAMES _ If you are looking for an affordable home in your preferred suburb, it may pay to find the street with the silliest name. A study shows house prices on streets with silly names are lower than houses on nearby streets. The study was conducted by students at Sacred Heart College in Geelong, Australia, for a science class. The students identified 27 streets with silly names, including Butt Street and Fanny Street, and analyzed home prices on those streets and on streets nearby. The student researchers found that property prices on streets with silly names were about 20% lower than properties on the normally-named roads.


WACKY-BUT-TRUE

WACKY-BUT-TRUE: DEFENSE WITH A CANDY CANE _ A man in California had a few people over to his house, but a neighbor apparently didn’t like this. The neighbor attempted to attack some of the guests with a knife. So the man hosting his friends fought back with a two-foot decorative lawn candy cane.

WACKY-BUT-TRUE: CIG THIEF USES PANTS _ Police in Germany arrested a shoplifter who aroused suspicion by waddling through a supermarket with 170 cigarette packets in his pants. The cops said the thief, a man in his twenties, was helped by three accomplices who formed a protective shield by holding newspapers in front of the man and his bulging pants.

WACKY-BUT-TRUE: WOMAN PULLED KNIFE AFTER SOMEONE COMPLAINED SHE ‘FARTED LOUDLY’ _ A Florida woman was arrested after she pulled out a knife at a Dollar General store. Shanetta Yvette Wilson reportedly pulled the knife out after a man complained she “farted loudly.”

WACKY-BUT-TRUE: GIANT INFLATABLE SANTA HOLDS UP TRAFFIC _ Drivers in England (Wisbech) were forced to stop when a giant red-suited figure carrying a sack broke free from its moorings and blew on to the road. A traffic alert announced there was “slow traffic due to a large inflatable Santa on the B198…”


ON TELEVISION

OLAF’S FROZEN ADVENTURE (8p ET, ABC) — Olaf teams up with Sven to bring some holiday traditions to princesses Anna and Elsa. Josh Gad, Kristen Bell and Idina Menzel all reprise their characters from the original Disney film.

LEGO JURASSIC WORLD: THE SECRET EXHIBIT (8p ET, NBC) — In this new 2-part animated LEGO prequel adventure, Jurassic World’s soon-to-be top employees team up to move a trio of dinosaurs across the island for the grand opening of a new, super-secret exhibit. Part 2 follows.

THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL (8p ET, FOX) — New Orleans Saints at Dallas Cowboys

TOY STORY THAT TIME FORGOT (8:30p ET, ABC) — During a post-Christmas play date, a new set of action figures turns out to be dangerously delusional.

THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF DISNEY: MAGICAL HOLIDAY CELEBRATION (9p ET, ABC) — The Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort celebrate the holidays with music and special guests. Performers include Gwen Stefani, Meghan Trainor, Brett Eldredge, Andrea Bocelli, Jordan Fisher, Aloe Blacc, Maddie Poppe and Why Don’t We.

WILL & GRACE (9p ET, NBC) — New. Will’s mom (guest star Blythe Danner) visits after the death of her beloved dog.

MOM (9p ET, CBS) — New. Christy competes for a prestigious internship.

MURPHY BROWN (9:30p ET, CBS) — New. Frank is physically attacked while covering a political rally.

S.W.A.T. (10p ET, CBS) — New. The team is called into work on their day off to end a hostage situation.

LAW & ORDER: SVU (10p ET, NBC) — New. The investigation into a young author’s death leads to a decades-old secret. Judd Hirsch and Wallace Shawn guest star.


ENTERTAINMENT

NETFLIX SERIES WILL BE SET ENTIRELY IN A POLICE INTERROGATION ROOM _ Almost every police procedural show features scenes set in a dark and atmospheric interrogation room, where we watch a furious cop question a sweaty suspect. Netflix plans to take things to the next level with Criminal, a new series set entirely in interrogation rooms. The show will tell 12 individual stories in 45-minute episodes.

JON BON JOVI’S WINE WAS NAMED THE BEST ROSÉ OF 2018 _ Cheers to Jon Bon Jovi. The singer’s wine, Hampton Water, which he developed with his son Jesse Bongiovi and French winemaker Gerard Bertrand, was recently named the top-ranked rosé of 2018 by Wine Spectator. The vino grabbed the 83rd spot on the list of Top 100 Wines, which only included one other rosé besides Hampton Water.

AMY SCHUMER POSTS VOMIT VIDEO TO SHOW WHAT PREGNANCY IS LIKE _ We like it when our favorite celebrities give us a glimpse into their real lives — after all, it’s why we follow them on social media. But did Amy Schumer take it a bit too far? The comedian posted a graphic video on Instagram of herself throwing up to give her fans a peek at what pregnancy is really like. The caption reads, “Turn sound off if you have a weak stomach.” Schumer was on her way to perform stand-up comedy in New York City on Tuesday, when she vomited into a cup during her car ride. • VIDEO

MARK RUFFALO LOST HIS BACKPACK, TURNS TO TWITTER FOR HELP _ When Mark Ruffalo lost his backpack in a New York City cab on Tuesday night, he quickly reached out to Twitter asking if they could help him find his lost item. Ruffalo, who plays The Hulk in Marvel movies, tweeted, “New Yorkers that I love so much, please help me find my backpack … Reward if found.” Ruffalo tweeted on Wednesday that he had found his backpack.

… In 2016, Twitter helped him find his cellphone and wallet during a blizzard in New York City.

FIRST CITY TO RECEIVE AN XFL TEAM ANNOUNCED _ The first city to receive an XFL team for the 2020 relaunch of the league has been announced. St. Louis will be the first of eight cities to receive a team. The remaining seven cities will reportedly be revealed next week. St. Louis was host to the NFL’s Rams several years ago, before the team moved to Los Angeles in 2015.

… The XFL relaunch comes from WWE’s Vince McMahon.

A CHRISTMAS STORY ANNIVERSARY _ It’s the 35th anniversary of A Christmas Story. The 1983 film, an adaptation of Jean Shepard’s memoir of a boy in the 1940s, was set in Indiana but largely filmed in Canada and Ohio. The movie starred Peter Billingsley as Ralphie Parker, a young boy determined to get a Red Ryder BB gun for Christmas. The film was a modest theatrical success, but critics loved it.


AUDIO

Find these audio files on the PRO AUDIO PAGE.

• DROP: So, we can walk and chew gum.

• MYSTERY VOICE: Jack Black. Can your audience guess who it is?

• SFX: Very happy winner.


BITS & BREAKS

GRAB AND POST ON YOUR FACEBOOK PAGE

FB icon  “Advertising experts say this is the most buzzed about TV ad for November. Know the company?”

(Geico)

SHOWER THOUGHTS

On reddit there’s a page where people share stuff they thought of while showering.

• Being rich is basically making mistakes affordable.

• Over your lifetime thousands of people will have seen you from their windows and formed a thought about you without ever meeting you.

• Streaming services would probably make better movie recommendations if they analyzed the movies you stop watching 10 minutes in.

• When the first baby is born on Mars, we will need to add the category “Planet of Birth” to our passports.

• When people say “it gets better” half of the time they mean “you will get use to it”.

• Do people ever call pet food company hotlines to complain it doesn’t taste as advertised?

• Your hands will never touch the elbows of the arms they belong to.

TRENDING ON TWITTER: #HallmarkMoviesIn5Words

• So bad, but so good.

• They’re all the same movie.

• Same actors just different movie.

• White people being very mediocre.

• Meet me at the gazebo.

• Like bathing in hot chocolate.

WEIRDEST SUPERSTITIONS PEOPLE BELIEVE WILL BRING WEALTH

FB icon Start it on Facebook, take it to the phones: What superstition do you believe that helps you bring in money?

About 13% of people define themselves as superstitious, but 35% will act superstitiously if a chance presents itself, such as picking up a penny from the ground. Here are some superstitions people believe will bring wealth.

Ensuring that purses always contain some money. Putting money in a purse or a wallet, especially if you gift it to another person, is widely practiced in Greece, but the superstition has spread all over the continent. The logic is simple — money attracts money.

Never leaving bags on the floor. An old Chinese proverb goes: “A purse on the floor is money out the door.”

Appreciating bird droppings. Referred to as guano, seabird droppings were a very important commodity in the 19th century. Guano was traded and sold as fertilizer in many countries. Today, many believe that finding bird poop on your property brings good luck and money.

Burying a St. Joseph statue. The idea is that burying a plastic statue of Jesus’ foster father will help sell your home faster. Where the notion came from is unclear, but many realtors believe in it. The practice became widely popular in the United States in the 1990s. After the house has been sold, it’s important to dig up the statue to keep it from changing owners.

Writing “$” on your hand every morning. Writing “money” or the dollar sign with red on your right palm every morning before you leave the house for 15 consecutive days, starting with the day of the new moon, is supposed to get you an unexpected amount of money within a few days.

Finding a spider in your pocket. The superstition that a spider found on one’s clothes brings money goes back to the 16th century. It’s best if you find the spider in your pocket because this means you will always have money. A similar “rule” is to never kill a spider found in the house, as you would be killing your good luck and fortune.

Picking pennies that are heads up. A lucky penny is supposed to bring a person good luck. The “find a penny, pick it up, and all day long you’ll have good luck” saying counts if the penny is heads up. If it’s tails up, it means bad luck.

Having a cricket as a pet. Some people in European countries believe that a cricket inside the house will bring with it wealth and fortune.

Keeping a jar of pennies. If you keep the jar in the kitchen, it’s supposed to bring prosperity and wealth into your home. For similar reasons, you should always have a penny in your pocket.


FUN & GAMES

TRIVIA: Experts on consumer spending say when we shop with one of these we buy 40% more. (A child or children)

TRIVIA: What do the following words have in common: accent, effort, access, almost, and biopsy? (Their letters are arranged in alphabetical order)

TRIVIA: According to a recent survey, 41% of women think it’s okay to ask a man what on a first date? (What the man earns)


DATEBOOK: NOVEMBER 30, 2018

BIRTHDAYS

• Director Ridley Scott is 81

• Mandy Patinkin is 66

• Billy Idol is 63

• Ben Stiller is 53

• Clay Aiken is 40

• Elisha Cuthbert (24) is 36

• Kaley Cuoco (The Big Bang Theory) is 33

• Chrissy Teigen is 33

IT HAPPENED TODAY

• 1954: In Sylacauga, Alabama, an 8½ pound sulfide meteorite crashed through a roof and hit Elizabeth Hodges in her living room after bouncing off her radio, giving her a bad bruise.

• 1982: Thriller, Michael Jackson’s sixth studio album, was released. Seven songs from the album would land in the top ten.

• 1997: A 34-year-old man walked into the Bielefeld, Germany, police station and confessed to an armed bank robbery in the town ten years earlier. The man told police he had found God after finding a Bible in the street and wanted to confess.

• 2002: A shoplifter who stuffed a frozen chicken drumstick down his underpants was caught because he couldn’t stop hopping around at a supermarket in Saronno, Italy. A cashier spotted the 25-year-old man “bouncing about and adjusting himself” repeatedly. A security guard held the man for police, with the evidence in his pants.

• 2004: Longtime Jeopardy! champion Ken Jennings finally lost, leaving him with $2,520,700, television’s all-time biggest game show haul.

• 2013: Actor Paul Walker died in a single-vehicle collision alongside friend Roger Rodas. Three films that he was involved in at the time were released posthumously: Hours (2013), Brick Mansions (2014) and Furious 7 (2015).

SPECIAL EVENTS

• Computer Security Day

• Mason Jar Day

• Stay Home Because You’re Well Day

• Mousse Day

UPCOMING

• December 2: Hanukkah starts
• December 6: Time Person of the Year
• December 6: Golden Globe nominees announced
• December 21: Winter begins (5:23 PM ET)
• January 6: Golden Globes
• January 21: Martin Luther King Jr. Day


DATEBOOK WEEKEND

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 1

• Woody Allen is 83. Sarah Silverman is 48. Janelle Monae is 33. Zoe Kravitz is 30.

• Christmas Lights Day. Antartica Day. Bartender Appreciation Day. Basketball Day. Earmuff Day. Rosa Parks Day. World Aids Awareness Day. Eat a Red Apple Day. Fried Pie Day.

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 2

• Lucy Liu is 50. Rena Sofer is 50. Britney Spears is 37. Country singer Jana Kramer is 35. Charlie Puth is 27.

• Hanukkah. International Day for the Abolition of Slavery Day. Mutt Day.