INTERPREP ★ DECEMBER 21, 2018

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DATEBOOK: DECEMBER 21, 2018

BIRTHDAYS

• Phil Donahue is 83

• Jane Fonda is 81

• Samuel L. Jackson is 70

• Jane Kaczmarek (Malcolm in the Middle) is 63

• Ray Romano (Everybody Loves Raymond) is 61

• Actor-comedian Andy Dick (News Radio) is 53

• Kiefer Sutherland ( Designated Survivor, 24) is 52

• Steven Yeun (The Walking Dead) is 35

IT HAPPENED TODAY

• 1913: Arthur Wynne’s “word-cross,” the first crossword puzzle, was published in the New York World.

• 1937: The film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs premiered at the Carthay Circle Theater in Los Angeles.

• 1968: Apollo 8, the first manned mission to the moon, was launched from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

• 1993: TV Guide reported that early Gilligan’s Island press releases gave Gilligan’s first name as “Willy.” The name never was used on the TV show.

• 2012: Gangnam Style became the first video to reach one billion views on YouTube.

• 2016: Robert Hulseman died in Northfield, Illinois. He was credited as the inventor of the red Solo cup.

SPECIAL EVENTS

• Winter begins (5:23 PM ET)

• Don’t Make Your Bed Day

• Crossword Puzzle Day

• Flashlight Day (Shortest day of the year)

• Short Girl Appreciation Day

• Ugly Christmas Sweater Day

• French Fried Shrimp Day

UPCOMING

• December 21: Winter begins (5:23 PM ET)
• December 24: Christmas Eve (Monday)
• December 25: Christmas (Tuesday)
• December 31: New Year’s Eve (Monday)
• January 1: New Year’s Day (Tuesday)
• January 6: Golden Globes
• January 21: Martin Luther King Jr. Day
• January 22: Oscar nominations
• January 27: SAG Awards
• February 2: Groundhog Day
• February 3: Super Bowl
• February 14: Valentine’s Day (Thursday)
• February 18: Presidents Day
• February 24: Academy Awards


DATEBOOK WEEKEND

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 22

• Hector Elizondo is 82. Diane Sawyer is 73. Ralph Fiennes is 56. Lauralee Bell is 50. Jordin Sparks is 29. Meghan Trainor is 25.

• Be A Lover of Silence Day. Date Nut Bread Day.

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 23

• Harry Shearer is 75. Susan Lucci is 72. Eddie Vedder is 54.

Festivus. Bake Day.


NUMBER FOR THE DAY

1.1 million: Packages of Jell-O purchased or consumed each day.


NEWS ATTACK!

On Thursday, mysterious drones spotted circling in the air forced the shutdown of London’s Gatwick Airport. [This is how the invasion begins.]

An escaped jail inmate in Kentucky ran to the highway to flag down a ride. Unfortunately, it was a cop. [This is a guy who definitely should not waste his money on lottery tickets.]

NASA’s Mars InSight lander has placed a seismometer on Mars for earthquakes. [Who knows how many lives it may save?]

Three astronauts returned to earth Thursday after six months at the International Space Station. [Boy, are they way behind on their Christmas shopping.]

Vladimir Putin said that one day he’ll get remarried. [Ladies, you’ve been warned.]

In Indiana, a rooster that had been on the loose for four months was finally captured. [Congratulations, Seal Team 6.]

Scientists say that warming global temperatures are causing more sea turtles to become female. [Because when it’s hot who wants to wear pants?]

A man traveling in Virginia won the lottery because his kids needed to use the restroom. While waiting he purchased two winning tickets — one for $15 and the other for $150,000. [Guess which prize he’s giving to his kids.]

The latest figures show that the average American man weighs nearly 198 pounds while the average woman weighs 170, significantly more than we weighed in the 1960s. [The original Woodstock music festival held over 400,000 people while today it would hold around a dozen.]

An investigation shows that much of the supposedly rare whiskey that sells for tens of thousands of dollars is fake. [Experts say to be wary of any whiskey with a label that reads “shake well before serving.”]

The next Oreo flavor is rumored to be carrot cake. [Good. Now maybe my wife will get off of my back about eating more vegetables?]


NEWS & NUGGETS

RICHEST LOTTERY WILL PAY $2.72 BILLION _ The world’s richest lottery will pay out almost $3 billion tomorrow (December 22) in Spain. The top prize in the annual lottery — dubbed “El Gordo” (The Fat One) — will pay out $778 million. Thousands of others cashed in on runner-up prizes. Since it began in 1812, the Christmas lottery has become a favorite holiday tradition.

The El Gordo Lottery draw will take place at 3AM ET Saturday.

GOFUNDME IS RAISING MONEY TO BUY LADDERS FOR BORDER WALL _ A GoFundMe to help Donald Trump fund his border wall has now raised over $8 million (CHECK). Trump wants $5 billion or he’ll shut down the government. The actual price tag the wall will be over $100 billion.

… A new GoFundMe has launched to respond to the border wall GoFundMe. The page “Ladders to Get Over Trump’s Wall” has raised more than $30,000, and despite its name, it’s not actually raising money to buy ladders. The money collected will be donated to the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES), a Texas-based non-profit that helps with legal services for immigrant children, families, and refugees. • CHECK CURRENT TOTAL

DUNKING OTTER AT OREGON ZOO DIES AT 20 _ Eddie, a sea otter at the Oregon Zoo, died Wednesday morning. He was 20, a remarkably old age for otters, which usually live to be around 15. His main pastimes were dunking a little ball into a hoop. A clip of Eddie dunking a ball into a hoop became popular when the zoo posted the video in 2013. • VIDEO

THE LAST BLOCKBUSTER TWITTER ACCOUNT IS HILARIOUS _ If you’re not following the last Blockbuster’s Twitter account you probably should because it’s funny as heck. The account at twitter.com/loneblockbuster is run by a few employees at the store in Bend, Oregon. Some of its best tweets:

• Even if you browse for a while and don’t find anything at least you got out of the house and got your blood flowing.

• A lot of people don’t know this but we own a large portion of Netflix. Just kidding our electricity just got shut off.

• If old people would stop dying we would be fine.

• Unlike Redbox, we’ll never tip over and crush your skull.

• Please stop sending us photos of abandoned blockbusters. That’s like us sending you photos of your dead grandparents.

ROCKET LAUNCHER TURNED IN AT CITY GUN BUYBACK PROGRAM _ Baltimore police got quite a shock this week during a gun buyback program. Not only did they collect more than 500 weapons, one of the weapons was a rocket launcher. The city was buying back the weapons for between $25 and $500 but it’s unclear how much they paid for the rocket launcher.

REMEMBER THIS? A YEAR AGO THIS WEEK: EVEN 10-MINUTE EXERCISE ROUTINES CAN IMPROVE BRAIN FUNCTION _ Exercise is something most of us need more of, but often don’t have the time to do. But a new study (Western University in London, Canada) has found that even short, 10-minute aerobic exercise routines can dramatically boost our critical thinking skills and ability to focus. During the study, researchers examined two groups of people. One group was inactive for 10 minutes while the other did 10 minutes of medium to fast-paced physical activity on a stationary bike. After the 10 minutes were up, each participant from both groups went through a grueling cognitive task devised to test the parts of their brains that are responsible for decision-making skills and inhibition. The group that did 10 minutes of exercise scored higher than the participants who were inactive. They answered more questions correctly, and their response times were better.


WACKY-BUT-TRUE

WACKY-BUT-TRUE: TEEN LOCKS PARENTS IN HOUSE OVER DAMAGED NIKES _ A 16-year-old in China who got upset with his dad for damaging the teen’s $1,200 Air Jordans locked his parents in the house and showed up at a police station seeking to press charges against his father. A police officer resolved the dispute after three hours of mediation and no charges were pressed.

WACKY-BUT-TRUE: RUNAWAY TRAILER ROLLS DOWN CALIFORNIA ROAD _ A California resident’s home security camera captured the moment a runaway trailer carrying a classic VW van went rolling down a hill. The video (recorded in Victorville) shows the trailer picking up speed as it rolls backward down the hill with no vehicle attached to the hitch. The trailer eventually ended up in a neighbor’s yard. • VIDEO

WACKY-BUT-TRUE: BUY SOME CHOCOLATE, GET SOME WEED _ “Buy some chocolate, get some weed” is the slogan for a new business in Ann Arbor, Michigan. When you buy some chocolate from Smoke’s Chocolate for $10 to $15, you also get some weed. All of the delivery drivers are also medical marijuana patients. Drivers don’t sell marijuana, nor will they gift any to anyone under the age of 21. Marc Bernard launched the business when recreational marijuana became legal in Michigan on December 6. He hired privately-contracted drivers to deliver the sweets and gift the marijuana.

WACKY-BUT-TRUE: THIEF GETS CAUGHT ON SPIKE RAILING _ A thief who caught his pants was left hanging on spiked railings. After climbing over the fence at the back of a store in Belgium at 3 AM Sunday he grabbed a case of energy drink and headed back to the fence, where he quickly lost balance and got his pants caught on the spiked railings. After hanging there for a few hours, he was set free by a passerby before heading off on his bike. • VIDEO

WACKY-BUT-TRUE: DRIVER USES CHICKEN WING STICKER TO AVOID TOLL _ In what is possibly the most interesting use of a chicken wing price sticker ever, a California driver was ticketed Tuesday for allegedly using the sticker in an attempt to avoid paying a toll. An officer patrolling a highway noticed a Ford Mustang with a partially obscured license plate. So the cop pulled the car over and found that the driver had allegedly taken the price sticker off a pound of wings he bought earlier that day, tore it in half, and used the halves to cover digits on both the front and rear plates.

WACKY-BUT-TRUE: MOM GETS HELP FROM YOUNG DAUGHTER TO ROB HOME _ A woman in Georgia found her back door unlocked when she returned home and noticed several items missing from her house. After it happened again and again, she set up a motion-activated camera to see what was happening. Unfortunately, the next time it happened, the camera was stolen. But police were able to recover the recorded video from the woman’s computer and saw her neighbor’s young daughter crawling in through the doggie door, then unlocking the door to let her mother in. Police went to the neighbor’s house and a search turned up the stolen items.


ON TELEVISION

FRIDAY

A HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS: THE 20TH ANNIVERSARY (8p ET, CBS) — This annual star-studded special features heartwarming stories of adoption.  Gwen Stefani, Lukas Graham and more special guests. LL Cool J hosts.

I WANT A DOG FOR CHRISTMAS, CHARLIE BROWN (8p ET, ABC) — Rerun stars in this Charlie Brown spinoff, with Snoopy and Snoopy’s canine brother Spike.

BIRD BOX (Netflix) — Sandra Bullock stars in this new dystopian horror thriller, about a mysterious entity that takes the form of the worst fears of any person who sees it, leading the victim to commit suicide. Sarah Paulson, John Malkovich, Lil Rel Howery (Get Out), Trevante Rhodes (Moonlight), Jacki Weaver, Tom Hollander, and BD Wong also star.

3 BELOW: TALES OF ARCADIA (Netflix) — Diego Luna, Nick Offerman, Glenn Close and Tatiana Maslany lend their voices to the second installment of this computer-animated sci-fi/fantasy series.

7 DAYS OUT (Netflix) — This new docu-series shows what happens in the week leading up to huge events, including The Kentucky Derby, the Westminster Dog Show, Chanel’s haute couture spring/summer 2018 show, NASA’s Cassini mission, and a League of Legends tournament.

SEASON PREMIERE: MARVEL’S RUNAWAYS (Netflix) — In the second season, The Runaways have left their homes (and evil parents) behind and now have to learn to live on their own.

VANITY FAIR (Amazon Prime) — Olivia Cooke stars as Becky Sharp in the latest adaptation of William Thackeray’s classic 19th-century novel. Becky (Cooke) is an enterprising woman constantly trying to better her circumstances by any means necessary.

SATURDAY

JARED BIRMINGHAM BOWL (Noon ET, ESPN) — The last round of bowl games before Christmas (they will resume on Wednesday, Dec. 26). Up first is Memphis vs. Wake Forest, followed by Houston vs. Army; Buffalo vs. Troy; and Louisiana Tech vs. Hawaii.

CMA COUNTRY CHRISTMAS (8p ET, ABC) — Repeat

THE ALEC BALDWIN SHOW (10p ET, ABC) — New. Guests are RuPaul, and the Prime Minister of Norway Erna Solberg.

SUNDAY

SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL (8p ET, NBC) — Kansas City Chiefs at Seattle Seahawks

DISNEY PREP AND LANDING (8p ET, ABC) — Followed by Prep and Landing Naughty Vs Nice.

MADAM SECRETARY (8:30p ET, CBS) — New. Elizabeth goes head to head with a U.S. governor over the state’s new policy of separating unauthorized immigrants from their children.

THE YEAR: 2018 (9p ET, ABC) — A look back at historic and memorable moments from 2018, including interviews with personalities of the year.


ENTERTAINMENT

IN THEATERS TODAY _ Aquaman will win the weekend, with box office estimates on the low end at $65 million, on the high end at $80 million.

… In theaters: Mary Poppins Returns (PG); Aquaman (PG-13); Bumblebee (PG-13); Second Act (PG-13); Welcome to Marwen (PG-13); The Favourite (R, expands wide); Mary Queen of Scots (R, expands wide)

… Opening Christmas day: Holmes & Watson (PG-13); Vice (R)

MEN IN BLACK REBOOT HAS ITS FIRST TRAILER _ The Men in Black reboot starring Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson has a trailer. Men In Black: International comes out in June. • VIDEO

… The first Men in Black was the biggest domestic movie of summer 1997 with $251 million.

PETE DAVIDSON RETURNING TO SNL IN JANUARY _ Pete Davison will return to Saturday Night Live next month following the show’s hiatus for the holidays. Some fans questioned whether or not Pete would be back after the drama surrounding his mental health erupted last week. Davidson took to social media last Saturday, just hours before he was set to go on stage at SNL, and posted a heartbreaking message about not wanting to be on this earth any longer. Fans and friends immediately rushed to Pete’s aid and began to call police in hopes that they would do a welfare check on the comedian. Once it was revealed that Davison was at the 30 Rock studios, his former fiance, Ariana Grande, reportedly hurried to be there for him. Pete did go on stage that night, but only to introduce the musical act, Miley Cyrus and Mark Ronson. Other than that, he did not participate in the live show.

STEVE CARELL SAYS HE WON’T DO AN OFFICE REUNION _ Steve Carell is asked in nearly every interview if he’s up for doing a reunion show for The Office. Nope. Carell says: “I feel like I’m a broken record talking about this because I get asked about it. The show is way more popular now than when it was on the air. I just can’t see it being the same thing, and I think most folks would want it to be the same thing, but it wouldn’t be. Ultimately, I think it’s maybe best to leave well enough alone and just let it exist as what it was. You’d literally have to have all of the same writers, the same producers, the same directors, and the same actors, and even with all of those components, it just wouldn’t be the same.”

NETFLIX IS PLANNING A NEW SHERLOCK HOLMES SERIES CALLED THE IRREGULARS _ Netflix is planning a new Sherlock Holmes series, but with a twist. The show, called The Irregulars, will focus on a group of street urchins whose crime-solving successes Holmes takes credit for.

DONALD TRUMP’S STAR ON THE HOLLYWOOD WALK OF FAME VANDALIZED _ Donald Trump’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame has been vandalized again, this time by a vandal who drew swastikas on it. TMZ has a camera pointed at the site of the star, and its live stream captured a middle-aged man approach the star and pull out a marking device. The vandal then bent down and defaced the star. It happened at about 9 AM on Wednesday, December 19.


AUDIO

Find these audio files on the PRO AUDIO PAGE.

• DROPS: A collection of snow-related clips.

• PHONER: Family Christmas traditions.  →  4 real calls

• DROPS: Many Christmas/holiday audio drops.


BITS & BREAKS

ON BEING A GOOD GUEST

Here are some DOs and DON’Ts to remember about being a courteous guest when attending parties or visiting over the holidays.

Don’t… come empty-handed. Bring candy, flowers or a bottle of wine.

Do… always offer to help in the kitchen — before, during and after the meal. Even though you don’t want to do this, it’s good manners.

Do… help the hosts by picking up glasses and dishes and asking, “Is there anything I can do?” several times during the evening.

Do… talk to guests who seem uncomfortable or out of place.

Do… answer the door, hang up coats, escort people to the dining room — whatever it takes to make people comfortable.

Do… run out for ice, beer or wine if the supply is getting low. This is your chance to look good and buy the beer or wine that you like.

Don’t… overstay your welcome.

Don’t… leave without saying good-bye.

CAPRICORN

If you were born between December 22 and January 19 you’re a Capricorn.

• Your colors are brown and black

• Your best day Saturday

• Your lucky numbers are 4, 8, 13, 22

• Your strengths: Responsible, disciplined, self-control, good managers

• Your weaknesses: Know-it-all, unforgiving, condescending, expecting the worst

• You like: Family, tradition, music, understated status, quality craftsmanship

• You dislike: Almost everything at some point

WHAT TO BUY A MAN FOR CHRISTMAS

Buying gifts for men is not nearly as complicated as it is for women. Follow these rules and you should have no problems.

• When in doubt, buy him a cordless drill. It does not matter if he already has one. As a man, you can never have too many cordless drills. No one knows why.

• If you are really, really broke, buy him anything for his car: a 99 cent ice scraper, a small bottle of de-icer or something to hang from his rear view mirror. Men love gifts for their cars. No one knows why.

• Never buy men bathrobes. If God had wanted men to wear bathrobes, he wouldn’t have invented boxers and briefs.

• Buy men label makers. Almost as good as cordless drills. Within a couple of weeks there will be labels absolutely everywhere. “Socks. Shorts. Cups. Saucers. Door. Lock. Sink.”

• Never buy a man anything that says “some assembly required” on the box. It will ruin his Special Day and he will always have parts left over. No one knows why.

• Men enjoy danger. That’s why they never cook — but they will barbecue. Get him a monster barbecue with a 100-pound propane tank. Tell him the gas line leaks. “Oh the thrill! The challenge! Who wants a hamburger?”

• Tickets to a football game are a smart gift. However, he will not appreciate tickets to “A Retrospective of 19th Century Quilts.” Everyone knows why.

• It’s hard to beat a really good wheelbarrow or an aluminum extension ladder. Never buy a real man a stepladder. It must be an extension ladder.

• Rope. Men love rope. It takes them back to their cowboy origins, or at least the Boy Scouts. Nothing says love like a hundred feet of rope.


FUN & GAMES

TRIVIA: It is estimated that, on average, there are 61,000 people where in the U.S. all the time? (In the air)

TRIVIA: Since it’s release in 2012, what “sweet” smartphone app has been played 1.1 trillion times. (Candy Crush)

TRIVIA: Only 46% of households buy these. (Toothbrushes)

HALLMARK OR HALLMISS?

Thanks to Phil Reeder for sharing this idea in the Facebook group!

I’ll announce some holiday movies, you tell me if they’re real or not by saying Hallmark or Hallmiss.

Christmas at the Dog Pound (HallMISS)

Christmas on a Pirate Ship (HallMISS)

A Shoe Addict’s Christmas (Hallmark)

A Bowling Alley Christmas (HallMISS)

Christmas at Graceland (Hallmark)

A Gingerbread Romance (Hallmark)

Christmas at Grand Valley (Hallmark)


DATEBOOK: DECEMBER 24, 2018

BIRTHDAYS

• Ricky Martin is 47

• Twilight series author Stephenie Meyer is 45

• Ryan Seacrest

IT HAPPENED TODAY

• 1818: “Silent Night” was composed by Franz Xavier Gruber and Josef Mohr.

• 1931: New York City construction workers, at the future site of Rockefeller Center, dragged in a 12-foot Christmas tree and decorated it with tin cans and paper. The first official Rockefeller Center tree, with 700 blue and white lights, appeared two years later.

• 1968: The crew of Apollo 8 entered into orbit around the Moon, becoming the first humans to do so. They performed 10 lunar orbits and broadcast live TV pictures that became the famous Christmas Eve Broadcast, one of the most watched programs in history.

• 2000: The Miami Dolphins edged New England Patriots 27-24, but the teams left the field with three seconds left on the clock. Thirty-six minutes later, they were called back to the playing field to play the final 3 seconds. The final score did not change.

• 2007: An inmate sued the Utah Department of Corrections for denying him his right to practice an ancient Nordic religion while behind bars, saying that in order to properly practice his religion, he needed items including a Thor’s Hammer, a rune staff and a sword.

• 2014: A live Ebola sample was mistakenly sent to a U.S. Centers for Disease Control laboratory that did not meet safety and security standards for handling the virus.

SPECIAL EVENTS

• Christmas Eve

• Egg Nog Day

• National Chocolate Day. Another one? There’s one in July and another in October!

UPCOMING

• December 24: Christmas Eve (Monday)
• December 25: Christmas (Tuesday)
• December 31: New Year’s Eve (Monday)
• January 1: New Year’s Day (Tuesday)
• January 6: Golden Globes
• January 21: Martin Luther King Jr. Day
• January 22: Oscar nominations
• January 27: SAG Awards
• February 2: Groundhog Day
• February 3: Super Bowl
• February 14: Valentine’s Day (Thursday)
• February 18: Presidents Day
• February 24: Academy Awards