INTERPREP ★ JANUARY 2, 2019

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DATEBOOK: JANUARY 2, 2019

BIRTHDAYS

• TV host Jack Hanna is 72

• Gabrielle Carter (Beverly Hills, 90210) is 58

• Tia Carrere is 52

• Cuba Gooding Jr. is 51

• Model Christy Turlington is 50

• Taye Diggs is 48

• Dax Shepard (Parenthood) is 44

• Kate Bosworth is 36

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.

• 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.

• 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.

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

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

• Girl Scout Cookie Season begins

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

• Buffet Day

• 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: 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


NUMBER FOR THE DAY

18.7 billion: Text messages sent worldwide each day.


NEWS ATTACK!

The new Will Ferrell movie, Holmes and Watson, is so bad that there are numerous reports of people walking out of the theater in the middle of the film. [They can’t wait to put the movie behind them. Kinda the way most of us feel about 2018.]

The partial government shutdown has resulted in several national parks reporting an overflow of garbage. [For example, when the bears raid a picnic, because they know that the park rangers aren’t around, they no longer take time to separate their disposables from their recyclables.]

Authorities in the Tampa area arrested four men as they were stealing a half-million dollar load of cases of Tequila. [They had more than enough time to get away if they hadn’t felt it necessary to test the quality of each case.]

Revelers in Times Square on New Year’s Eve had to deal with a downpour. [Pickpockets complained of wrinkled fingers.]

With the start of the New Year, it’s now illegal to smoke on the beaches of New Jersey. [So, it’s a little inconvenient but for now on, you’re going to have to get your lung cancer and skin cancer separately.]

A fisherman found 60 pounds of cocaine floating in the Florida Keys. [He noticed fish swimming aimlessly but really, really fast.]

The special section of the U.S. military responsible for it nuclear arsenal is in the news after it tweeted that while Times Square drops a ball on New Year’s Eve, it’s ready to drop something much bigger. [I think what’s about to be dropped is someone’s job.]

John Krasinki is writing a sequel to his hit movie The Quiet Place. [The sequel will be a comedy starring Kristen Bell called The Good Quiet Place.]

A newborn baby in Texas weighed nearly 15 pounds, setting a new hospital record. [This weekend he’ll be suiting up for the Dallas Cowboys.]

The vice-chancellor of a university in India told students not to come to him with their problems. He said that if they have a dispute with someone, they should solve their problem by murdering that person. [“And remember, it will count toward 70% of your final grade.”]


NEWS & NUGGETS

MILITARY APOLOGIZES FOR NEW YEAR’S EVE TWEET _ The U.S. Strategic Command began 2019 in apology mode after it sent a horribly conceived tweet on New Year’s Eve that tried to joke about its capacity to drop huge bombs. The command that is responsible for the country’s nuclear and missile arsenal for some reason thought it would be appropriate to celebrate the new year with a tongue-in-cheek tweet about bombs.

… The original tweet pointed to the Times Square ball-drop tradition and said that “if ever needed, we are #ready to drop something much, much bigger.” The tweet included a video of a B-2 stealth bomber releasing two GPS-guided bombs.

… The Strategic Command quickly deleted the tweet and apologized: “Our previous NYE tweet was in poor taste & does not reflect our values. We apologize. We are dedicated to the security of America & allies.”

BUILDING’S 115-FOOT MOVE TOOK 40 HOURS _ A 65-year-old hotel in China (Hunan Province) was moved about 115 feet north on Friday. Although the building’s journey was literally at a snail’s pace, the 40-hour move took eight years of prep. The entire building was lifted onto an enormous metal base. More than ten tracks were built and thousands of metal poles slowly rolled, transporting the building northward. The old building can now be preserved without hampering development of the surrounding areas.

NURSE DIAGNOSES HER OWN BRAIN TUMOR AFTER SEEING POSTER _ She spends her working days caring for patients with brain tumors but nurse Chantal Smits only realized she too was suffering from a tumor after spotting a poster at work. The now-22-year-old started suffering minor symptoms like headaches in her first year as a nursing student in 2014. She felt tired all the time and used to fall asleep almost as soon as her daily shift was over. Smits took painkillers to ease the pain but didn’t think it was bad enough to see a doctor.

… Fast forward four years and Smits was living with her boyfriend of two years and had qualified as a neurology anesthetic nurse at St. George’s Hospital in England. Every day she assists surgeons operating on patients with brain tumors. By this time, she was suffering crippling headaches almost every day and taking multiple painkillers daily to manage the pain. It wasn’t until February 2018 when she was reading a poster on the hospital wall, listing the signs and symptoms of brain tumors in young people and children, that Smits realized what might be wrong with her. After speaking with her family doctor, she was sent for non-urgent tests, being referred to the same consultant whom she worked with most days. Following an MRI scan, Smits learned she had a large mass on her brain stem.

… Smits has since been diagnosed with a brain stem glioma tumor. It’s currently inoperable and incurable. The good news is, her tumor is stable and is not currently growing. The bad news is, because of its position on her brain stem, it cannot be biopsied. This means nobody can tell her yet whether it is cancerous.

NASA SPACECRAFT CAPTURES IMAGES OF ULTIMA THULE _ NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft made a trek to the far reaches of our solar system, zooming past icy Ultima Thule at 32,000 miles per hour in the early hours of New Year’s Day. Late Tuesday morning, about 10 hours after the middle-of-the-night encounter 4 billion miles away, flight controllers received a signal from the spacecraft.

… According to NASA, images captured during the spacecraft’s approach, revealed that Ultima Thule may have a shape similar to a bowling pin, spinning end over end, with dimensions of approximately 20 by 10 miles. Another possibility is Ultima could be two objects orbiting each other.

TSA SAYS IT WILL USE FLOPPY-EARED DOGS FOR AIRPORT SCREENINGS _ Officials with the Transportation Security Administration say they are hoping to employ more dogs with floppy ears for airport screenings, because pointy-eared canines scare children. TSA administrator David Pekoske revealed the plan to the Washington Examiner recently, saying that the agency has made a “conscious effort” to use floppy-eared dogs. He said: “We find the passenger acceptance of floppy ear dogs is just better. It presents just a little bit less of a concern. Doesn’t scare children.”

… However, a TSA assistant administrator for strategic communication and public affairs says that the agency isn’t totally banning or phasing out dogs with cone-shaped ears. Instead, they are hoping to transition to using floppy-eared dogs over the next few years.

PEOPLE OFFER TO ADOPT ABANDONED DOG NAMED SNOOP _ The most heartbreaking video of 2018 was recorded on December 17. It shows a guy in the UK stopping his car at the side of the road, getting out with his dog, unclipping the dog’s leash, then leaving the dog behind. The dog can be seen racing over to the car, jumping up to the window, walking around the car, and even circling the vehicle as the car drives away. The dog, a Staffordshire bull terrier, was named Snoop by rescuers. (IMAGE) Snoop is currently staying at private kennels and is doing really well and getting lots of staff attention. He’s not up for adoption yet, but offers are coming in from all over the world. Even rapper Snoop Dogg has offered to take in Snoop the dog.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, ALASKA _ Sixty years ago this week (January 3, 1959) Alaska was admitted as the 49th U.S. state. It was on March 30, 1867, that U.S. Secretary of State William H. Seward and Russian envoy Baron Edouard de Stoeckl signed the Treaty of Cession. With a stroke of a pen, Tsar Alexander II had ceded Alaska, his country’s last remaining foothold in North America, to the United States for $7.2 million — about $113 million in today’s dollars.

REMEMBER THIS? A YEAR AGO THIS WEEK: THE SEASON OF MOST BREAKUPS? — Winter is the season of the most breakups, believe it or not. A survey shows that 38 percent of all breakups by singles occur in the dreary months of winter. But never fear, spring is near: Only 15 percent of singles break up in the spring. About 23 percent break-up in the summer and fall. Other fun facts:

• 63 percent of break-ups are initiated by women.
• 4 percent say the hardest part of breaking up is getting back your stuff.


WACKY-BUT-TRUE

WACKY-BUT-TRUE: THIEF CAUGHT ON CAMERA TRYING TO STEAL BIKE IN FRONT OF POLICE HEADQUARTERS _ A man was arrested in Gladstone, Oregon, after allegedly trying to steal a bike locked in front of local police headquarters. The man allegedly approached the bike with a pair of bolt cutters, unaware that the attempted crime was in full view of police security cameras. Two police officers were inside watching the entire act unfold on security monitors.

WACKY-BUT-TRUE: GRANNY PUTS SQUEEZE ON INTRUDER _ In Ireland an 80-year-old woman fended off a naked intruder by grabbing the man’s crotch and squeezing. The man got into the house through an unlocked door. He backed the woman into her living room and pushed her face down onto a chair. That’s when the woman reached behind and squeezed. The man cried out and fled.

WACKY-BUT-TRUE: THE OLD WOMAN IN A MINISKIRT TRAP _ A man was driving in Mexico when he saw a woman in a miniskirt broken down on the side of the road. It was a trap: when he stopped, the woman told him an accomplice had a gun pointed at him. She then super-glued his hands to his steering wheel, tied him up with tape, and demanded his money. He didn’t have any, so she took his credit cards and fled. The man’s engine was still running, so he drove until he found a police officer to help.

WACKY-BUT-TRUE: ASSAULT WITH A SQUEEGEE _ A man in Canada ran from a mugger to the closest lighted place: a gas station. Since the robber was in hot pursuit, the victim grabbed the first weapon he could find: a squeegee used to clean windshields. The robber retaliated by grabbing two squeegees, and chased his victim around until a witness called police. The mugger was arrested.


ON TELEVISION

Lots of reruns, but here’s what’s new.

SEASON PREMIERE: GORDON RAMSAY’S 24 HOURS TO HELL AND BACK (8p ET, FOX) — The season 2 premiere features the Trolley Stop Café, a classic Cajun-inspired New Orleans restaurant. Chef Aarón Sanchez lends his knowledge.

SERIES PREMIERE: GROWN-ISH (8p ET, Freeform) — This Black-ish spinoff is back for a second season. Another new episode follows.

SEAL TEAM (9p ET, CBS) — New. The team partners with the British Special Air Service to rescue passengers on a hijacked plane.

SERIES PREMIERE: THE MASK SINGER (9p ET, FOX) — In this new reality show, celebrities hide their identities in animal costumes and sing before a studio audience and panel of judges and panelists, including Ken Jeong, Jenny McCarthy, Nicole Scherzinger and Robin Thicke. Nick Cannon hosts.

SEASON PREMIERE: PROJECT RUNWAY ALL STARS (9p ET, Lifetime) — The 7th and final season of All Stars will feature seven foreign champions (all winners of international editions of Project Runway) competing against seven previous winners from the U.S. Contestants include winners from Australia, Brazil, Canada, the Netherlands and the U.K. Alyssa Milano hosts, with Isaac Mizrahi and Georgina Chapman back as judges.

CRIMINAL MINDS (10p ET, CBS) — New. The team investigates an abduction that may be linked to a local couple who were killed.


ENTERTAINMENT

BOX OFFICE _ Over the five-day weekend (Friday-Tuesday), Aquaman was tops at the box office with $82 million in ticket sales.

STRANGER THINGS 3 PREMIERE DATE SET FOR JULY _ As the clock ticked down to midnight, Netflix announced the Stranger Things 3 premiere date revealing that the series will return on July 4. Titles for the new episodes include: Suzie, Do You Copy?, The Mall Rats, The Case of the Missing Lifeguard, The Sauna Test, The Source, The Birthday, The Bite and The Battle of Starcourt.

GORDON RAMSAY AND HIS WIFE TANA ARE EXPECTING THEIR FIFTH CHILD _ Gordon Ramsay and his family rang in the new year with some big news. The 52-year-old chef and television personality announced in an Instagram video on Tuesday that he and his wife Tana are expecting their fifth child. He enlisted the help of their four children — Matilda, 17, 19-year-old twins Holly and Jack, and Megan, 20 — to break the news.

SMALL NEVADA TOWN BUZZING WITH ALLEGED TOM CRUISE SIGHTINGS _ The businesses of sleepy Stateline, Nevada, are making the most of its Hollywood moment. With local news reporting that the Top Gun sequel is filming in the area, the three-star Lakeside Inn and Casino, for example, has a big LED sign outside with a message reading, “Tom Cruise may or may not be here in a little while.” A resident of Stateline says, “All of [the area] is buzzing with Tom Cruise sightings, real and not real. Pretty much every handsome, stocky guy somehow morphs into Tom Cruise in people’s heads.”

CELEBRITY BIG BROTHER US SEASON 2 CASTING RUMOR: SEAN SPICER _ There are some rumors coming from a reliable Twitter user that Celebrity Big Brother will welcome Sean Spicer, Nancy Grace and Miranda Cosgrove. In a few weeks, CBS will make the official casting announcement.

TIFFANY HADDISH BOMBS ON NEW YEAR’S EVE _ Like many people on New Year’s Eve, Tiffany Haddish had a night she’d probably like to forget. While performing to a sold-out audience at the James L. Knight Center in Miami, Haddish reportedly bombed so hard on Monday night, several fans got up and walked out of the comedy show. She told the unhappy patrons, “This is going to be on TMZ or whatever.”

… Haddish confirmed what happened on New Year’s Day. She apparently forgot several of her jokes and the ones she did recall, like her mother being in a mental institution or her friends asking for money, reportedly fell flat.


AUDIO

Find these audio files on the PRO AUDIO PAGE.

• DOG WITH A BANANA: Here’s an Orlando, Florida, TV station’s New Year’s Day newscast with a report on how wild it got in downtown. How wild? Dog with a banana wild.

• DOG IS NOT A POTATO: In a viral video, a 5-year-old named Madigan is upset that her aunt called her dog a potato. • VIDEO


BITS & BREAKS

FOR FACEBOOK

What’s your #AntiResolution — the guilty pleasure or bad habit you’re gonna keep?

THE DIRTIEST FOODS YOU’RE EATING

Pre-packaged lettuce. According to the Center for Science in the Public Interest, lettuce accounts for 11% of reported food-poisoning outbreaks linked to produce and “salad” accounted for 28%. Why would this happen? Well, pre-packaged salad mix isn’t naturally more hazardous than loose greens or a head of lettuce, but it’s the claims of being “triple washed” that lull consumers into complacency. So rinse your salad greens one leaf at a time under running water before eating. However, if E. coli bacteria are present, there’s still no guarantee that rinsing the leaves will remove it entirely.

Chicken. Consumer Reports tested over 500 chickens, and found that more than 80% of them were contaminated with bacteria. So what’ll help you avoid a tainted bird? First, test the chicken’s temperature. If the package isn’t cold to the touch when you pick it up at the market, find one that is. Check the bird’s color. If it’s more brown than pink, it can be a sign of poor refrigeration. Also, make sure you cook it thoroughly – that means no pink left when you slice it.

Eggs. Food poisoning linked to eggs sickens an estimated 660,000 people annually and KILLS 300. So what can you do? Check the egg cartons. You’re looking for the word “pasteurized” – the high heat used during the pasteurizing process destroys salmonella. Also, check the expiration date and remove each egg and look for cracks – because germs can enter after pasteurization. Keep the eggs in their carton and store it in the coldest part of your fridge – which is usually the back of the lowest shelf.

DO THIS ONE THING TO MAKE YOUR TO-DO LIST MORE EFFECTIVE

If you’re goal is to get more organized in 2019, or if you’re the kind of person who can’t function without a to-do list, here’s a tip to make that list more effective.

According to FastCompany.com, simple tasks like “Answer Abby’s email” and “Call Mom” is enough. But when the tasks or projects are bigger, writing down “Re-write Department Employee Handbook” doesn’t fly. Why? Because you’ll sit there at your desk, staring at the list, and rack your brain for where you should start and how you should finish.

To make your to-do list work for you, do this instead: For every to-do list item, write down a next step. Every time. Instead of making yourself do the work later, write down a next step (i.e., an “action item”) for every project on your to-do list in advance. Your brain won’t have to spend as much time shifting gears between line items, and you’ll be able to save that energy for the creative thinking you need to keep moving a project forward.

PREDICTIONS ABOUT THE YEAR 2020 MADE LONG AGO

In one year it’ll be 2020. It’s the kind of year that just rolls off the tongue — and sounds very futuristic. Here are some predictions made about 2020.

We’ll have ape chauffeurs. The second issue of The Futurist magazine, published in 1967, contained an exclusive report from the RAND Corporation, a global think tank with a track record that’s included contributing to the space program and the development of the Internet. This time, however, they may’ve been a little off the track. In a story titled “Intelligent Apes Become Chauffeurs,” they shared details from a RAND study indicating that, “by the year 2020 it may be possible to breed intelligent species of animals, such as apes, that will be capable of performing manual labor. During the 21st century, those houses that don’t have a robot in the broom closet could have a live-in ape to do the cleaning and gardening chores.” As for whether apes could be used for driving cars, the study concluded that “the use of well-trained apes as family chauffeurs might decrease the number of automobile accidents.”

We’ll finally make it to Mars. We’ve been dreaming of making it to Mars for as long as we’ve known the red planet existed. But it’s only recently that the venture has started to feel even remotely realistic. Back in 1997, Wired magazine picked the date 2020 as the year when “humans arrive on Mars.” Even NASA projects that the earliest we could get a human on the face of Mars is 2030, and that’s only if we’re really, really lucky.

We’ll live in flying houses. Arthur C. Clarke, an inventor, science writer, and futurist, believed that the boring houses of 1966 would be radically different by the time we reached 2020. The house of the future “would have no roots tying it to the ground,” he wrote. “Gone would be water pipes, drains, power lines; the autonomous home could therefore move, or be moved, to anywhere on earth at the owner’s whim.”

Mail will be sent via rocket. Mail delivered by a cruise missile, as insane as it sounds, was successfully attempted in 1959, when a Navy submarine sent 3,000 letters, all addressed to political figures like President Dwight D. Eisenhower, using only a rocket. The nuclear warhead was taken out and replaced with mail containers, and the missile was launched towards the Naval Auxiliary Air Station. The mail was successfully delivered, and the Postmaster General was so excited by the “historic significance” of mail delivery using rockets that he predicted it would become commonplace by the next century: “Mail will be delivered within hours from New York to California, to Britain, to India or Australia by guided missiles. We stand on the threshold of rocket mail.” Instead, we got email, where messages can be transmitted around the globe within seconds.

C, X, and Q won’t be part of the alphabet. If you’re curious about the future of language, maybe you don’t ask a railroad engineer. But that’s what the Ladies’ Home Journal did in 1900, asking renown engineer John Elfreth Watkins Jr. for his educated guesses about the 21st century. He had no love for what he considered extraneous letters, and so boldly predicted that by 2020, “There will be no C, X, or Q in our everyday alphabet. They will be abandoned because unnecessary.” Instead, Watson wrote, we’d be spelling mostly by sound and would only communicate with “condensed words expressing condensed ideas.” Thanks to text messages, we’re not far off.

Human feet will become just one big toe. So, what’s going to happen to our feet — or, more specifically, our toes — in a year-and-change? In a lecture to the Royal College of Surgeons of England in 1911, a surgeon by the name of Richard Clement Lucas made the following curious prediction: “Human beings in the future will become one-toed. The small toes are being used less and less as time goes on, while the great toe is developing in an astonishing manner.” In roughly one hundred years, Lucas predicted, our outer toes would gradually disappear and “man might become a one-toed race.”


FUN & GAMES

TRIVIA: The world record for doing this is 41 hours. (Pogo stick jumping)

TRIVIA: 51.5% of American households no longer have one of these. (A landline. Just a dozen years ago, only about 15 percent of households were wireless only.)

RIDDLE

Q: When there are two of them, they go on forever. When one of them is taken away, there’s only one. What is it?

A: A mirror.

RIDDLE

I drift forever with the current
Down these long canals they’ve made
Tame, yet wild, I run elusive
Multitasking to your aid.
Before I came, the world was darker
Colder, sometimes, rougher, true
But though I might make living easy,
I’m good at killing people too.

Answer: Electricity


DATEBOOK: JANUARY 3, 2019

BIRTHDAYS

• Victoria Principal (Dallas) is 69

• Mel Gibson is 63

• Danica McKellar (The Wonder Years) is 44

• New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning is 38

IT HAPPENED TODAY

• 1496: Leonardo da Vinci unsuccessfully tested a flying machine.

• 1871: Margarine was patented.

• 1888: The drinking straw was patented.

• 1899: The first known use of the word automobile appeared in an editorial in The New York Times.

• 1959: Alaska was admitted as the 49th U.S. state.

• 1987: Aretha Franklin became the first woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

SPECIAL EVENTS

• Earth at Perihelion. The Earth is closest to the Sun, or at the perihelion, about two weeks after the December Solstice, when it is winter in the Northern Hemisphere. Conversely, the Earth is farthest away from the Sun, at the aphelion point, two weeks after the June Solstice, when the Northern Hemisphere is enjoying warm summer months.

• Vampire Sneeze Practice Day. Sometimes you just don’t have a tissue. In that case, resist the urge to use your hands and instead cough or sneeze into the crook of your elbow, Dracula-style. Practice so you’re not spreading germs the next time you cough or sneeze!

• Fruitcake Toss Day

• Chocolate Covered Cherry Day

• Festival of Sleep Day. Created for people that would like to get some ‘shut eye’ and relaxation after the holidays.

UPCOMING

• 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