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This is day 184 of 2014. There are 181 days remaining.
• Writer Dave Barry is 67
• Betty Buckley (Eight is Enough) is 67
• Guitarist-singer Paul Barrere of Little Feat is 66
• Jan Smithers (WKRP in Cincinnati) is 65
• Montel Williams is 58
• Tom Cruise is 52
• Thomas Gibson (Criminal Minds, Dharma & Greg) is 52
• Hunter Tylo is 52
• Yeardley Smith (voice of Lisa Simpson on The Simpsons) is 50
• Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is 43
IT HAPPENED TODAY
• 1819: The first savings bank in the United States (The Bank of Savings in New York City) opened.
• 1852: Congress established the United States’ second mint, in San Francisco, California.
• 1884: Dow Jones published its first stock average.
• 1890: Idaho was is admitted as the 43rd U.S. state.
• 1922: Fruit Garden and Home magazine published its first issue. Two years later, the publication became Better Homes and Gardens.
• 1970: Some 200,000 heard Jimi Hendrix play “The Star Spangled Banner” as the 3-day Atlanta Pop Festival opened in Byron, Georgia. Two days later Governor Lester Maddox said he would seek legislation to ban rock festivals in Georgia.
• 1986: U.S. President Ronald Reagan presided over the relighting of the renovated Statue of Liberty.
• 2004: Maria Sharapova won her first Grand Slam title by beating Serena Williams 6-1, 6-4 at Wimbledon.
• 2006: The asteroid labeled as 2004 XP14 flew 268,624 miles by Earth.
• 2008: Because of a banking error a 16-year-old boy in England went to an ATM and found he had $4 million in his account. He withdrew $600 to spend but after the error was corrected he found he was $600 overdrawn.
• It’s International Plastic Bag Free Day.
• Today is Stay Out Of The Sun Day.
• Today begins the Roswell UFO Festival
• It’s Superman Day.
• Today is Compliment Your Mirror Day.
• It’s Chocolate Wafer Day.
67 trillion: Emails sent each year.
A new poll finds that residents of 35 countries feel that they have more personal freedom than Americans enjoy. [You’ve got to be kidding. This is the only country I know where you can be fired as a live-in nanny, and refuse to leave the house.]
A Texas Tech cheerleader is being blasted on the Internet for posing with all the animals she’s killed as a big game hunter. [But she says that she’s done nothing wrong, and besides she only shoots animals that are mascots of Texas Tech’s rivals.]
IBM’s supercomputer Watson has created its own recipe for barbecue sauce. [Which will come in handy when computers take over the world and begin eating humans.]
The House of Representatives quietly changed its rules so it no longer has to make public to the American people any free trips it takes that are paid for by special interest groups. [Because that’s what the 4th of July means to them.]
The FTC is filing suit against T-Mobile for sticking customers with millions of dollars of bogus charges. [They charged extra if you dialed with your left hand, if you butt-dialed, or if you answered the phone by saying, “Yello!”]
A group of scientists who analyzed available DNA samples have reached the conclusion that so far no one has found credible proof that Bigfoot lives. [However, hair samples taken from somewhere near Memphis still hold out hope for Elvis.]
New York authorities are cracking down on acrobats that perform on the subway. [Because the last thing you want is for passengers to actually enjoy riding the subway.]
A Quantas Airlines flight was forced to return to Los Angeles International Airport due to a water leak. [No word yet on whether it was a problem with the plane’s plumbing or a passenger’s plumbing.]
The Tour de France starts Saturday. Meanwhile, the World Cup is still going on, and so is Wimbledon. [So little time in the day, and yet so many sports on TV that Americans don’t care to watch.]
FABIEN COUSTEAU SURFACES _ Thirty-one days after his initial descent and 50 years after his famed grandfather’s original deep-sea mission, Fabien Cousteau is back on dry land. The 46-year-old ocean explorer and documentary filmmaker finished his stint in an underwater lab 63 feet deep off the coast of Key Largo, Florida, on Wednesday, rising to the surface after a brief layover in a decompression unit. The project, called Mission 31, provided a platform to study oceanic pollution and climate change and their impact on wildlife, as well as to conduct scientific experiments on coral reef.
… Cousteau lived and worked in the underwater lab, known as Aquarius, for 31 days on end, the longest period of time spent at that depth in that specific lab. Aquarius is operated by Florida International University in Miami and typically does only 10-day missions. Scientists and researchers from FIU did two-week shifts with Cousteau throughout the month-long period.
… Unlike his grandfather’s mission, Fabien Cousteau’s trip to the bottom of the sea featured daily Skype interviews with interested schools around the world, as well as recording videos and snapping photos from inside Aquarius, which is equipped with Wi-Fi.
UNWED PARENTS’ ‘MAGIC MOMENT’ LASTS UNTIL KID IS 3 _ Attention unmarried-and-maybe-procrastinating parents of the world: Conventional wisdom has long held that you have a “magic moment,” or window, after the birth of your child in which it’s most likely you’ll put a ring on things. But new research from Duke University shows that the magic lasts a little longer than previously thought: Rather than being limited to the period right after birth, the window lasts all the way up ’til Junior turns three.
TARGET ASKS CUSTOMERS TO SHOP WITHOUT GUNS _ Target is the latest U.S. business that’s politely asking gun-rights activists to keep their firearms out of its stores. CEO John Mulligan Wednesday published an open letter on the “complex issue” of open carry laws, which have come under focus in recent months thanks to brazen, audacious demonstrations by Open Carry Texas. The group’s members have carried semi-automatic rifles into restaurants, stores, and other public settings. Their antics and images from the events have infuriated gun control advocates across the country, and even drawn scorn from the NRA — though only briefly. Now, like Starbucks and Chipotle before it, Target is discouraging customers from walking through its shopping aisles with a loaded gun in tow.
… Target isn’t banning guns outright; instead, the company is positioning its new stance as a “respectful request.” That’s the same language Starbucks used in a similar letter posted last year.
WAITSTAFF AT COLORADO RESTAURANT ARMED _ A new “family” restaurant in a small Colorado town is receiving national attention for its waitresses’ unique pieces of flair — loaded fire arms. Servers at Shooters Grill in Rifle, Colorado, carry guns at all times as they perform the normal duties of a restaurant waitstaff. In case it’s not clear, a sign in front of the restaurant reads: “Guns are welcome on premises.”
… The sign also says: “Please keep all weapons holstered unless need arises. In such case, judicious marksmanship is appreciated.”
SLOUCHING MAKES YOU SAD _ Poor posture isn’t just bad for your back. New research reveals that slouching can make you sad and may even dumb you down. One 2012 study found that poor posture can negatively affect our energy levels. Off the back of this, new research has explored the effect of posture on our emotions.
… In the small-scale study, German psychologists took 30 clinically depressed patients and asked them to sit slumped or in an upright position. While seated, they were asked to imagine themselves in a scene related to positive words such as “beauty” and “enjoyable” or negative words including “exhaustion” and “dejected” flashed on a screen in front of them. The patients were then asked to recall the words. Those who sat upright had a balanced recall of positive and negative words but slumped patients showed recall biased towards more negative words.
LUCKIEST LOTTERY PLAYER: HER WINNING SECRET _ Joan Ginther, according to a new report, is the luckiest lottery player ever — the only lottery player researchers could find who has legitimately won prizes of at least $2 million more than twice. In fact, Ginther won jackpots of $2 million or more not just three times, but four. According to Philly.com, the Las Vegas-based, Stanford University educated Ph.D., now 67 years old, won a $5.4 million Texas Lotto jackpot in 1993. Then in 2006, 2008, and 2010 she won prizes on three scratch-off tickets of $2 million, $3 million and $10 million, respectively.
… Those aren’t even her only lottery wins. All told, Ginther won 28 separate lottery payouts. A friend of Ginther’s named Anna Morales won another 24 lesser-valued lottery prizes. How does Gunther do it? Ginther isn’t talking. She refuses interviews and is rarely photographed.
… But Philly.com journalist Peter Mucha thinks he has it figured out: she buys a mind-boggling number of lottery tickets. Based on statistical analysis and data obtained through requests made under open government laws, Mucha concludes that Ginther purchased approximately 80,000 lottery tickets. Including tickets bought by her friend Morales, Ginter appears to have spent as much as $3.3 million on at least 100,000 scratch-off lottery tickets. If that amount seems insane, remember that Ginther already had a big lottery win in 1993 — that paid her $270,000 per year in annual checks. To a large extent, she was gambling with “found” money.
… The IRS allows lottery losses to be written off on tax forms against lottery winnings. Mucha calculates that the $3.3 million Gimther apparently spent on lottery tickets may have actually cost her only about $1 million, due to this generous subsidy from Uncle Sam — and the fact that many of her tickets would have won small prizes of a few bucks, which Ginther likely pumped back into the purchase of more tickets.
AT UNSTAFFED COFFEE SHOP, YOU’RE ON YOUR HONOR _ At The Vault coffee shop in North Dakota, you can get a cup of joe, a cup of tea, a pastry. But you get it yourself and you ring yourself up — and when you do, you’re on your honor at what The Vault’s owner thinks is the only unstaffed, self-serve cafe out there. Owner David Brekke says, “The thing that’s amazing is that people have been extremely honest. When I add up how much has been taken and how much is in the till at the end of the day, people are 15% more generous than thieving.”
… The Vault has a credit card reader and a slot for your dollar bills and your checks, and these are the instructions: “Exact change is not necessary, round down and give yourself a break or round up and help us stay in business.” There are cameras on the premises, but Brekke says that’s more for security than to encourage you to round up.
UNIVERSITY OF UTAH CHANGES LYRICS TO FIGHT SONG _ University of Utah football fans will be singing different words to their century-old fight song this autumn after the school changed the lyrics to be more inclusive of women and minorities. Student body officers had expressed concerns over the “I am a Utah man” song, written in 1904 by a former football coach, saying some of its lyrics could be seen as sexist or racist. The line: “Our coeds are the fairest” will be replaced by “our students are the finest,” and “no other gang of college men” is being changed to “no rival band of college fans.” Throughout the four-verse anthem, the word “man” will be altered to “fan.”
… The university’s president, David Pershing, said in a statement: “When printed officially by the university, this 2014 version of the fight song will be used, but historical renditions of the song will always be acceptable. We encourage you to sing — loudly and with pride — whichever version resonates with you.”
… A task force of students, faculty, staff and alumni reviewed about 1,300 emails with suggested changes before making the decision.
WALKING MAY EASE PARKINSON’S SYMPTOMS _ Going for regular brisk walks may improve symptoms among people with Parkinson’s disease and boost their quality of life. When researchers (from the Cleveland Clinic Lerner Research Institute) compared results from a battery of tests conducted before and after the six months of regular walks, they found participants’ motor function, fitness, mood, tiredness, memory and thinking abilities all improved during the study, on average.
11% OF #NOFILTER TAGGED INSTAGRAM PHOTOS ARE FILTERED _ According to a study (conducted by Spredfast), 11% of Instagram users posting under the #nofilter tag are in-fact using a filter. At an estimated 8.6 million photos, the collection of fibbing photographers is growing daily. One of Instagrams most popular tags #nofilter is meant to be a not-so-humble brag that claims your photograph is so good that it doesn’t need any sprucing up. But the study found that 11 out of every 100 people who claim this are lying.
L.A. BAGGED iPAD PLAN, WILL GIVE KIDS LAPTOPS _The Los Angeles Unified School District’s plan to give every child an iPad — at a cost of $1 billion to taxpayers — failed big time. For one thing, when the devices were broken, lost, or stolen, it wasn’t clear whether parents, the schools, or the kids themselves were responsible. Tech-savy students easily broke through the firewalls administrators had installed to keep them from using the devices to visit social media websites. This prompted some schools to prohibit the use of the iPads at home, when students are away from teacher supervision, even though one of the major intended functions of the iPad program was to give kids a homework aid.
… But the LAUSD hasn’t learned its lesson and will now give kids laptops.
BARBIE CREATES LINKEDIN PAGE TO INSPIRE WOMEN _ With 150 jobs under her belt, Barbie recently created a LinkedIn page where you can view her resume. Taking on the personality of ‘Entrepreneur Barbie’, she hopes to encourage young girls to “dream big” with her profile. Barbie wrote in a posting, “My new business is ‘Dream Incubator’ where I act as a consultant, helping girls around the world play out their imagination, try on different careers, and explore the world around them. Our company tagline is ‘If you can dream it, you can be it!’” The empowerment-focused page also has a shout-out to women entrepreneurs and tips for business inspiration. | Check out Barbie’s profile here.
UPDATE: LIQUOR LICENSE OK’d FOR SHOOTING RANGE _ A City of Omaha shooting range is on its way to securing a liquor license. The Omaha City Council voted 7-0 Tuesday to approve the license for the Harry A. Koch Trap & Skeet Range. Officials said the facility plans to serve only beer, and only in designated clubhouse and patio areas. Alcohol would be available only to people who were not shooting or had finished shooting, and would not be served during youth competitions.
… If the Nebraska Liquor Control Commission signs off on the license, the range would be one of a handful of shooting ranges in the state that can serve alcohol.
MAN NAILS 29 IMPRESSIONS IN ONE SONG _ A singer from Los Angeles has become the latest YouTube sensation after cramming in 29 perfect celebrity impressions into a song he has written. Everyone has at least one good impression in them, but not many can boast about impersonating the likes of Gwen Stefani and Britney Spears, especially if you’re male. Rob Cantor also performs flawless impressions of Kermit the Frog, Peter Griffin, Louis Armstrong, Bono, Gollum and Randy Newman. Video
CANADIANS ARE DROPPING ‘EH’ FROM THEIR SPEECH _ The one-word expression that has come to partially define a Canadian is dying. Instead “right” has moved in, elbowing “eh” out of the way among young, urban speakers of Canadian English. The expression is still common in rural Canada, but kids and young adults in cites are using “right”. Research also points to the popularity of “and stuff,” “and everything” and “you know” to end a sentence.
WACKY-BUT-TRUE: POSTAL SERVICE LOSES CELLO BOW THEN AUCTIONS IT _ A cello bow sent through the postal service was reported lost by the service — only to be auctioned at a later date. Sounds like something very United States Postal Service, but this happened in France. An instrument maker had been commissioned to construct the bow, worth over $5,000. It was shipped via the French postal service but got lost in the mail. The FPS admitted they lost it — before it somehow appeared on an auction website.
WACKY-BUT-TRUE: SCENTED CANDLES THAT CAPTURE THE SMELL OF DIVORCE PAPERS _ ‘Freshly signed Divorce Papers’, ‘One Night Teakwood Stand’, and ‘Grandma’s Last Christmas Tree’ — these are just some of the unique scented candles by the Flicking Candle Company. Made in the U.S. Flicking claims to be “the only candle company in America brave enough to celebrate the fresh scent of failed marriages, ruined friendships, rejection, criminal activity, unprotected sex, and unexpected weight gain”. Loaded with humor, the candles are designed for those going through a hard time. | site link
WACKY-BUT-TRUE: CAR REVERSES OVER MAN’S HEAD _ A man who decided to take a nap in a Poland parking lot survived after a car reversed over his head. The man dozed off to sunbathe. But he soon woke up when a car accidentally reversed over his head and left him trapped underneath the car. The 25-year-old somehow avoided serious injury.
WACKY-BUT-TRUE: GROOM CHASES THIEF WHO GRABBED WEDDING GIFTS _ In Joplin, Missouri, a couple who had just renewed their wedding vows got a rude shock when a man tried to steal wedding gifts from the reception and the groom ran after him. Jared Lightle was outside during the reception Saturday after renewing his vows with his wife, Stephanie, when his mother yelled that someone had taken cards from a gift table in the lobby. When Lightle yelled at a man to stop the suspect began running. So Lightle took off after him. Luckily there were some police officers investigating a traffic accident nearby — they eventually caught the suspect.
THE BIG BANG THEORY (8p ET, CBS) — Repeat
UNDATEABLE (8p ET, NBC) — It’s a night of Undateable on NBC as this repeat is followed by two new episodes.
BLACK BOX (8p ET, ABC) — David Rasche (Men in Black 3) and Frankie Faison (The
Wire) guest star in this new episode.
HELL’S KITCHEN (8p ET, FOX) — New
THE MILLERS (8:30p ET, CBS) — Repeat
UNDATEABLE (9p ET, NBC) — Two new episodes air back to back.
ROOKIE BLUE (9p ET, ABC) — New
BIG BROTHER (9p ET, CBS) — A house guest is evicted and the head of household competition is held in this new edition.
GANG RELATED (9p ET, FOX) — Amaury Nolasco (Prison Break) guest stars in this new episode.
SEASON FINALE: UNDATEABLE (9:30p ET, NBC) — Undateable finishes its first season tonight. The show has not yet been picked up for another go round.
LAST COMIC STANDING (10p ET, NBC) — Repeat
NY MED (10p ET, ABC) — New
ELEMENTARY (10p ET, CBS) — Repeat
AMC ANNOUNCES BREAKING BAD MARATHON WITH NEW ‘EXTRAS’ _ The debut of ‘Better Call Saul,’ the ‘Breaking Bad’ spinoff show starring Bob Odenkirk, has been delayed until early 2015. The new series will span time before, during, and after the events depicted in ‘Breaking Bad.’ To get fans psyched for the new series, AMC has announced a ‘Breaking Bad’ marathon that begins August 10 and runs until October 5. Episodes will air each Sunday night from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. (ET). The rerun schedule will offer previously unseen crew and cast interviews, and new behind-the-scenes commentary and footage.
STYX AND FOREIGNER’S TOUR BUSES CATCH FIRE _ Two tour buses belonging to the bands Foreigner and Styx caught fire Wednesday in a Philadelphia parking lot. The blaze began on the Styx bus shortly after 12 noon and spread to the Foreigner bus that was parked alongside it. Both bands are scheduled to play tonight (Thursday) in Camden, New Jersey. The buses were empty at the time of the fire, and no one was hurt.
RUSSIA BLOCKS ‘HOUSE OF CARDS’ FROM FILMING _ Russia used its informal veto power to block the hit Netflix series House of Cards from filming scenes at the U.N. Security Council in New York. A source says the Russian delegation denied the request saying that the chamber needed to be kept open and available for unanticipated crises. The U.N. Secretary General recommended the 15-nation Security Council approve the show’s request to film in the chamber off-hours in order to generate positive public relations.
RYAN GOSLING WANTED RACHEL McADAMS OFF THE NOTEBOOK _ The Notebook was apparently not a love story on set. Director Nick Cassavetes revealed this week that Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams initially did not get along. The conflict between the two grew so heated that the actor wanted McAdams fired and replaced with a different actress. Cassavetes says, “We went into a room with a producer; they started screaming and yelling at each other. I smoked a cigarette and everybody came out like, ‘All right, let’s do this.’ And it got better after that, you know? They had it out. I think Ryan respected her for standing up for her character and Rachel was happy to get that out in the open. The rest of the film wasn’t smooth sailing, but it was smoother.”
… The Notebook celebrated its ten-year anniversary last week. It grossed over $115 million. Gosling and McAdams dated in real life from 2005 to 2007.
TYLER PERRY CAN HAVE “WHAT WOULD JESUS DO” _ The United States Patent and Trademark Office has declared Tyler Perry to be the winner in a battle over “What Would Jesus Do.” The other person in this fight was Kimberly Kearney. In May 2008, Tyler Perry registered the What Would Jesus Do mark in the category of entertainment services, mentioning in his filing live concerts, a TV program and motion pictures. He included a disclaimer that he wasn’t attempting ownership on the exclusive right to use “Jesus” apart from “What Would Jesus Do.” But months earlier, Kearney had already filed for that same mark for a reality based television program — that never materialized. Tyler Perry Studios said that she wasn’t really using the mark. Perry demanded that the Trademark Office declare her registration abandoned as it was blocking his own attempts to use “What Would Jesus Do.” In the end T.P. has won out and gets Jesus.
LINDSAY LOHAN SUES ROCKSTAR GAMES _ Last December, Forbes reported that Lindsay Lohan spoke with her lawyers about the inclusion of a character with her likeness in Grand Theft Auto V. On Wednesday, Forbes reports that the actress has filed suit against Take-Two Interactive and subsidiary publisher and developer Rockstar Games, maker of the blockbuster videogame. The suit claims that the character Lacey Jonas is an “unequivocal” reference to Lohan, citing the use of her likeness, clothing line, and the Chateau Marmont hotel where she used to live.
BATMAN – THE COMPLETE TELEVISION SERIES HAS BEEN REMASTERED _ The ’60s Batman TV series has been fully remastered and will come out on Blu-ray, DVD, and digital download this fall. The set packs in 120 episodes, remastered in HD, with a bunch of extra features. Look for it in November. Video
JULIANNE HOUGH TALKS RYAN SEACREST _ Julianne Hough covers the latest issue of Redbook Magazine, and in the accompanying interview, she opens up about her relationship with ex-boyfriend Ryan Seacrest. She pretty much unofficially disses him, blaming the relationship on the fact that ‘there was nothing right.’ Julianne and Ryan broke up after two years of dating in 2013, with rumors ranging from Ryan’s sexuality and Julianne’s cheating to be the cause of the split. However, Julianne explains, “There was nothing right. I had one foot out because I didn’t want to get hurt. And I didn’t say what was on my mind because I didn’t want to ruffle any feathers.”
… Some entertainment insiders say Julianne’s alluding to industry pressure to keep dating the A-list celebrity, which many actors and actresses are forced to do to raise their profile. Julianne’s now in another relationship, with an NHL player. She claims that she’s much more open with him than she ever was with Ryan, even adding, “If I had been this open in my last relationship, who knows?”
IS MARIO CANTONE JOINING THE VIEW? _ Now that The View is done cleaning house, the daytime chat fest is reportedly looking to a few familiar faces to fill those empty chairs. The New York Post’s Page Six reports that frequent guest host and comedian Mario Cantone has been offered a deal to join the ABC show. This would be the first time a man has been offered a full-time spot on The View. According to the report, producers are also working very hard to lure Rosie O’Donnell back. O’Donnell was on the show for just one year during which time she frequently sparred with the conservative Elisabeth Hasselbeck. Hasselbeck left in July 2013 to join Fox & Friends.
… In addition to Walters’ departure, The View parted ways with hosts Sherri Shepherd and Jenny McCarthy last week. The only returning face this fall will be Whoopi Goldberg.
HARRY STYLES DENIES RUMORS OF A SOLO CAREER _ Harry Styles is not leaving One Direction for a solo career. The 20-year-old singer recently teamed up with Irish band Kodaline in the studio, sparking speculation that he planned to quit. A representative for Styles issued a statement Wednesday to put breakup rumors to rest: “There are no plans for Harry to release any solo music at this time. Any writing that he is doing is for potential One Direction songs. It’s common knowledge that the boys write separately and bring to each other for the album.”
HOCUS POCUS 2 COMING WITH TINA FEY AS PRODUCER _ Hold on to your brooms because Hocus Pocus the sequel is coming to a theater near you thanks to Tina Fey, who is stepping in as producer. The film is in its very early stages but we know it won’t include Sarah Jessica Parker, Bette Midler, or Kathy Najimy as the leads. Instead Hocus Pocus 2 will act as a spin off to the original 1993 kids film.
… BUT WAIT! Variety spoke to Fey’s reps, who said the report “is not accurate — Tina is not developing a sequel to Hocus Pocus.” There is, however, a kernel of truth to the story. The Wrap confirms that Fey is part of a new “witch movie” at Disney. It isn’t a Hocus Pocus sequel, but another film dealing with witches — currently referred to as the Untitled Witch Project.
SOMETHING I LEARNED WHILE LOOKING FOR SOMETHING ELSE
Instagram wasn’t originally called ‘Instagram.’ In fact, it wasn’t even a photo sharing app. Instagram was initially called ‘Burbn’ (after the Whiskey) and it was a check in app like Foursquare.
Burbn eventually became the photo sharing app we know today because it didn’t do so hot. People were using Burbn, but it did too many things and was too complicated. And so the apps creators started diving into the data to see what people were actually doing when they logged on. It turns out, they were taking pictures… lots of them.
DID YOU KNOW: FOURTH OF JULY EDITION
• The 4th of July was not declared a national holiday until 1941.
• On the 4th of July, 1942, the U.S. air offensive against Nazi Germany began.
• The number of Americans who will spend the holiday at other people’s homes is approximately 41 million.
• The first official 4th of July party was held at the White House in 1801
• Approximately 150 million hot dogs are consumed on this day (no word on how many are kosher).
• Presidents John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and James Monroe all died on the 4th.
• The first Independence Day celebration took place in Philadelphia on July 8, 1776.
• Only John Hancock actually signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. All the others signed later.
• More than 74 million Americans are planning a BBQ for the 4th.
• Americans spend $111 million on popsicles and charcoal for July 4th weekend.
• Approximately 68.3 million cases of beer are sold for the 4th of July, which makes it the biggest holiday for beer sales.
• Americans spend at least $600 million on fireworks nationwide for the 4th. Locally, you can buy them legally in Fillmore, CA.
• The US imports about $3.6 million of American flags each year, most of them from China. Yay globalization?
• The tune of the National Anthem was originally used by an English drinking song called To Anacreon in Heaven. L’chaim!
SEVEN THINGS TO STOP SAYING AT WORK
What kind of impression are you really making at work? Could your language be hindering your career prospects? While it’s important to be authentic, you should be aware of the implications of the words you choose, says Jennifer Frahm, director of Conversations of Change. Here are seven words and phrases you should stop saying if you want to get ahead at work.
1. Sorry, but…
When you preface a request with an apology, for example: “Sorry, but can you just take a look at this report”, it shows a lack of confidence. Don’t apologize for being curious or merely being present. You should have authority in the office.
2. I’ll try
The problem with saying “I’ll try” is it implies you might not succeed. It’s a way of protecting yourself against blame. Try using a variation, such as: “yeah, I’ll give that a shot.” No one ever says, “I’ll give it a shot” in a tentative voice.
3. F— that
The occasional f-bomb may seem harmless enough. But there’s no place for colorful language in the workplace. If your language is super casual, your ideas could be dismissed because they don’t come across with any credibility.
4. I’m too busy
These days everyone with a pulse is busy, so it’s best to avoid stating the obvious. Rather than focus on your busyness, give yourself time to consider whether the request is within your priorities. You could say something like: “I’d love to help. Let me have a think about how I might do that.” This gives you time to work out whether you should do it and whether you can do it.
5. Awesome, amazeballs and amazing
While “amazeballs” is often used ironically, the chances are you hear words like “awesome” and “amazing” bandied about every day. Awesome is a great word when you’re truly in awe of something, but it can make you look quite dumb. You’re going to look like you’ve led a pretty sheltered life if you’re using awesome all the time.
6. “It’s not my job”
Another variation on this is, “but that’s the policy”. Both phrases should be avoided because they show a lack of initiative. It’s OK to admit that you don’t know how to do something, but you should always try and offer another suggestion or find someone who can help.
Start it on Facebook, take it to the phones: Who is the co worker that bugs you and what phrase do they say all the time?
TRIVIA: Food and nutrition experts say you’ll probably eat about 6½ pounds of what this year? (Shelled peanuts, much of it in peanut butter)
ANSWER WRONG AND WIN: INDEPENDENCE DAY EDITION
• What date on the calendar is Independence Day celebrated?
• America declared independence with what document?
• America won her independence from what country?
• Will Smith starred in a movie about the country’s independence from alien rule. Name it.
• There’s a small town in Missouri named Independence. What’s the name of it?
A HIT AND A MISS
I’ll serve up two movies with the same star. Each movie came out at around the same time but one was a hit and the other was a miss.
• The Blind Side and All About Steve (Sandra Bullock)
• Friday Night Lights and The Alamo (Billy Bob Thornton)
• Shrek and The Adventures of Pluto Nash (Eddie Murphy)
• 21 Jump Street and White House Down (Channing Tatum)
• Horrible Bosses and Just Go With It (Jennifer Aniston)
• Minority Report and Vanilla Sky (Tom Cruise)
• Midnight in Paris and Hall Pass (Owen Wilson)
• Toy Story 3 and Larry Crowne (Tom Hanks)
• Alice in Wonderland and The Tourist (Johnny Depp)
The minister was preoccupied with thoughts of how he was going to ask the congregation to come up with more money than they were expecting, for repairs to the church building. Therefore, he was annoyed to find that the regular organist was sick and a substitute had been brought in at the last minute. The substitute wanted to know what to play. “Here’s a copy of the service,” he said impatiently. “But, you’ll have to think of something to play after I make the announcement about the finances.” During the service, the minister paused and said, “Brothers and Sisters, we are in great difficulty; the roof repairs cost twice as much as we expected and we need $4,000 more. Any of you who can pledge $100 or more, please stand up.” At that moment, the substitute organist played “The Star Spangled Banner.” And that is how the substitute became the regular organist.
Here’s your super catchy Fourth of July-themed rap song.
You’re doing it wrong!
• Spotify reveals each state’s patriotic jam.
• A drool-worthy photo of a bed has been making the Internet rounds. It’s a pizza bed.
• The ‘Sealander’ is a mobile caravan that can be used on both land and sea.
• Mike Kennedy in Little Rock dropped us an email: “Hey Steve! Our morning show did a parody video you might want to share on InterPrep. It’s a parody video of #selfie called #milfie.” Check it out.
• ‘Wet Floor’ sign that’s shaped liked a banana peel.
• Darth Vader luggage.
• How Well Do You Know Your Poo? (NSFW word, but a very informative infographic.)
• You show me your recently used emojis, I tell you what’s wrong with your life.
• The Encyclopedia of Radio Promotions is full of 1,000+ ideas.
• One woman, 17 British accents.
• Amazing GIFs.
• Make a hot dog cooker solar oven.
• A “banned” Grey Poupon ad.
• 15 punctuation marks in order of how much they do.
This is day 185 of 2014. There are 180 days remaining.
• Eva Marie Saint(North by Northwest, Oscar for On the Waterfront) is 90
• Gina Lollobrigida is 87
• Playwright Neil Simon is 87
• Singer Bill Withers is 76
• Singer John Waite is 59
• Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino (Jersey Shore) is 32
IT HAPPENED TODAY
• 1054: A supernova was observed by the Chinese, the Arabs and possibly Amerindians. For several months it remained bright enough to be seen during the day. Its remnants formed the Crab Nebula.
• 1802: At West Point, New York, the United States Military Academy opened.
• 1817: At Rome, New York, construction on the Erie Canal began.
• 1826: Former American presidents John Adams and Thomas Jefferson died, fifty years to the day after the adoption of the United States Declaration of Independence.
• 1845: Near Concord, Massachusetts, Henry David Thoreau embarked on a two-year experiment in simple living at Walden Pond.
• 1865: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland was published.
• 1934: Joe Louis won his first professional boxing match.
• 1939: Lou Gehrig, recently diagnosed with Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, told a crowd at Yankee Stadium that he considered himself “The luckiest man on the face of the earth” as he announced his retirement from major league baseball.
• 1966: U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Freedom of Information Act into United States law.
• 1970: The popular syndicated radio show “American Top 40”, hosted by Casey Kasem, debuted.
• 1976: The United States celebrated its bicentennial.
• 1986: More than 250 sailing ships and the United States’ biggest fireworks display honored the Statue of Liberty in its 100th birthday year.
• 1994: Michael Jackson and new bride Lisa Marie Presley arrived in Paris for a two-day visit.
• 1997: NASA’s Pathfinder space probe landed on the surface of Mars.
• 2005: NASA’s Deep Impact spacecraft wound up an 85 million-mile journey by intentionally slamming into the Tempel 1 comet to learn more about comets and other aspects of the solar system.
• 2011: The U.S. Secret Service said it was investigating a breach of Fox News’ Twitter feed in which a hacker announced that U.S. President Barack Obama had been assassinated.
• 2012: Actor Andy Griffith died of a heart attack at his home in Manteo, North Carolina.
• Today (Friday) is Independence Day.
• Today (Friday) is Independence from Meat Day.
• Today (Friday) is Country Music Day.
• Today (Friday) is Sidewalk Egg Frying Day.
• Today (Friday) is Barbecue Day.
• Saturday is Bikini Day.
• Saturday is Work-a-holics Day.
• Sunday is the International Cherry Pit-Spitting Championship in Eau Claire, Michigan. The 2013 winner was Matt “BB Gun” Krause.
• Sunday is International Kissing Day.
• Sunday is Take Your Webmaster to Lunch Day.
• Sunday is Fried Chicken Day.
• Sunday is Build A Scarecrow Day.