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This is day 233 of 2014. There are 132 days remaining.
• Actor-director Melvin Van Peebles is 82
• Kenny Rogers is 76
• Singer Jackie DeShannon is 73
• TV journalist Harry Smith is 63
• Kim Cattrall is 58
• AOL founder Steve Case is 56
• Carrie-Anne Moss (Matrix films) is 44
• Google co-founder Sergey Brin is 41
• Alicia Witt is 39
• TV personality Brody Jenner (The Hills) is 31
• Track star Usain Bolt is 28
• Brooks Wheelan (Saturday Night Live) is 28
• Cody Kasch is 27
• Hayden Panettiere (Nashville) is 25
• RJ Mitte (Walter White Jr. on Breaking Bad) is 22
IT HAPPENED TODAY
• 1858: The first of seven debates between U.S. Senate candidates Abraham Lincoln and Stephen A. Douglas was held in Ottawa, Illinois.
• 1878: The American Bar Association was founded in Saratoga, New York.
• 1912: Arthur Eldred became the first Eagle Scout, by earning 10 badges of his choice and 11 specific badges. During the past 100 years more than 2 million scouts have achieved the rank of Eagle Scout.
• 1959: President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed an executive order proclaiming Hawaii the 50th state of the union.
• 1987: Sgt. Clayton Lonetree, the first Marine ever court-martialed for spying, was convicted in Quantico, Virginia, of passing secrets to the KGB.
• 1997: Hudson Foods Co. closed a plant in Nebraska, agreeing to destroy some 25 million pounds of hamburger after the largest meat recall in U.S. history.
• 2000: Rescue efforts to reach the sunken Russian nuclear submarine Kursk ended with divers announcing none of the 118 sailors had survived.
• 2003: At the most prestigious theater in Rio de Janeiro, a Brazilian director dropped his pants on stage and mooned the audience after it booed his latest production. It didn’t have the effect he wanted, because the audience cheered the mooning.
• 2006: A Kenosha, Wisconsin, man got trapped in a waist-deep vat of liquid chocolate. The 21-year-old employee of Debelis Corporation claims he crawled into the tank to unplug it and only realized he was stuck when he tried to get out. It took co-workers, police and firefighters two hours to complete the rescue, eventually using coco-butter to thin down the chocolate and pry him free.
• Today is Spumoni Day.
• It’s Poet’s Day.
• It’s Senior Citizen’s Day.
6: Years it took Ken Burns to create the final cut of his new PBS documentary The Roosevelts: An Intimate History. Burns sifted through more than 25,000 photographs and hundreds of hours of newsreels to research the 14-hour film, which will be seen over seven consecutive nights starting September 14. It’s narrated by A-list actors like John Lithgow, Billy Bob Thornton and Meryl Streep.
Performing during halftime of the Super Bowl has meant increased CD and concert ticket sales for the musical artists fortunate enough to get the gig, so the NFL is toying with the idea of making those acts pay for the privilege of performing. [Though they were quick to add that nachos would be still be on the house.]
A frustrated mom has developed an app that would lock a teen’s phone if he refuses to pick up when his parents call. [That’s what you get for teaching your parents how to program.]
It was revealed that Google has programmed its self-driving cars to go faster than the speed limit. Google explained that in case highway traffic all around the car were going faster than the speed limit, they thought it would be safer if their car simply matched the flow of traffic. [Yeah, right. That’s the same excuse my dad used to give every time he got a ticket.]
North Korea personally attacked Secretary of State John Kerry, making fun of his prominent chin. [North Korea is the Donald Trump of nations: loud, mean, and with a fondness for questionable hairstyles.]
Lance Armstrong said in a new interview that if he hadn’t been caught cheating, he would still be lying about it. [Hmm… I wonder if he’s telling the truth.]
A New Zealand mother was sentenced for driving with seven unrestrained kids, three of which were riding in the trunk. She was sentenced to 80 hours of community service. [At a daycare.]
Authorities in Virginia have arrested a man for operating an illegal marijuana farm. His name? Mr. Stoner. [He’s suing for name profiling.]
Iceland is evacuating people who live too close to an active volcano. [In my opinion, if I can see the volcano, I’m living too close to it.]
Officials at the Swedish-Norwegian border caught a man trying to drive across with a car filled with half a ton of frozen chicken. The limit is 50 pounds. And this is the 9th time the man has been caught. [Have you ever had a hobby that just sort of took over your life?]
Officials at the Swedish-Norwegian border caught a man trying to drive across with a car filled with half a ton of frozen chicken. The limit is 50 pounds. And this is the 9th time the man has been caught. [What an inspirational message to you kids out there. Never give up on your dream.]
NEWLY DIAGNOSED ALS VICTIM SHARES SNAPSHOT OF LIFE _ Some skeptics have slammed the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, writing it off as a silly social media fad, a waste of water and just another example of “slacktivism” that allows people to feel good about themselves without really doing much. If you agree with the critics, a new video might change your mind. It was created by 26-year-old Anthony Carbajal, who explains that amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease) runs in his family. His grandmother had it, his mother currently lives with it, and he himself was diagnosed just five months ago.
… In the very emotional video, Carbajal shows just how challenging and devastating life with the insidious disease really is as he takes care of his mom. His message for the haters and the skeptics? The Ice Bucket Challenge is actually an incredibly positive force. Video
HOW LONG WOULD IT TAKE THE WHOLE WORLD TO DO THE IBC? _ Someone does the first Ice Bucket Challenge. This person then picks three other people to do the challenge. These three people then pick 3 people for the challenge. And so on. Wired magazine did the math and figured out that if you start with one person — and no one else had done the IBC yet — it would take just under 35 days for the whole world — around 7 billion people — to do it.
… Kermit the Frog does the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.
NEW YORK IS THE CITY THAT GOES TO BED AT A REASONABLE HOUR _ New York talks a big game on never sleeping — but when you actually dig into the data, as fitness tracker company Jawbone recently did, you see that New Yorkers are actually the earliest to bed among major cities. Jawbone makes the fitness tracker UP, and that gives them data with tens of thousands of people’s sleeping habits in each major city in the United States (and at least 5,000 per international city).
… Jawbone says that Brisbane, Australia, actually goes to sleep the earliest. They turn down, on average, at 10:57pm and wake up at 6:29am. Moscow easily takes the latest bedtime, with the average UP user going to bed at 12:46am.
… Tokyo can claim the mantle for the city that doesn’t spend much time in bed: the average resident with an UP tracker sleeps 5 hours and 46 minutes.
… The UP data captures cultural patterns, like afternoon naps in places like Madrid and Beijing.
LETTER CARRIER SAVES BABY’S LIFE _ In South Carolina Stephanie Cooper’s 11-month-old son had put a plastic wrapper in his mouth Friday, and it got lodged in his throat. Cooper said she was frantic and ran out the front door. Outside her door was her letter carrier, Chris Brown. Cooper says Brown didn’t say a word — he just grabbed her son and did the Heimlich on him and out came the plastic wrapper. Brown said he learned how to do the Heimlich maneuver during emergency training with the post office years ago.
57% PERCENT OF AMERICANS THINK ONLY KIDS WHO WIN SHOULD GET TROPHIES _ In an attempt to boost self-esteem among youth in the U.S., the “everybody wins” approach has become very popular in sports. But what has this really done? It has caused children to think that underperforming is just as good as exceeding, and taken away the desire to compete. In a recent study (by Reason-Rupe) 57% percent of Americans think that only winning players should receive trophies for their participation, whereas 40% percent think that all who participate should receive trophies.
WOMEN SOCCER PLAYERS CALL FAKE TURF DISCRIMINATORY _ With the Women’s World Cup in Canada less than 10 months away, some of the world’s top women soccer players are threatening a lawsuit against FIFA over a literal turf war. The women want the tournament played on real grass instead of artificial turf, and they call the decision to use the “inferior” turf for the first time in the tournament “discriminatory” to women. They liken the turf to concrete and say it not only restricts play but can result in more injuries.
TONY STEWART TO SKIPS 3rd RACE _ Tony Stewart will not race Saturday night at Bristol Motor Speedway, the third Sprint Cup race he’s skipped since his car struck and killed Kevin Ward Jr. during a sprint car race. Stewart’s decision was announced Wednesday and Jeff Burton will once again replace him in the No. 14 Chevrolet.
36-YEAR-OLD BABY SKELETON INSIDE MOTHER _ A 36-year-old baby skeleton was found inside a mother after she went to the doctor for abdominal pains. The patient, who’s now 60 and lives in India, got pregnant when she was 24-years-old and has been carrying around the remains of her stillborn child since then. Recently, when the woman noticed more stomach pain than usual, she had it checked out at a hospital. Doctors were able to narrow down the pain to a lump on the lower right side of her abdomen and it was suspected to be cancer. A large lump of calcified matter was discovered. A CT scan was then done and a baby skeleton appeared to be inside the mother. The skeletal remains were actually outside of the womb, firmly attached to the uterus, intestines, and bladder. A team of doctors removed the bones.
MISSING POT-BELLIED PIG NAMED ‘MR. WIGGLES’ FOUND SAFE _ The story of the wayward Mr. Wiggles has a happy ending. He’s the pot-bellied pig who has been re-united with its owner after escaping from his pen in Washington state (Poulsbo). Sometime on Sunday, Mr. Wiggles made his escape. The family believes he was upset by all the construction noise going on nearby recently. He went over to a gate, nosed it up off its hinges, knocked it down and took off. He traveled several blocks through the woods into a neighborhood. A K-9 officer was on routine patrol and spotted something unusual. The family didn’t realize Mr. Wiggles was missing until Monday morning. The Vietnamese pot bellied pig is home safe and sound with new fence to keep Mr. Wiggles from wiggling free again.
ADD VIDEO GAME SKILLS TO YOUR RESUME? _ If your video gaming skills rock, should you include that skill on your resume? Maybe so. It helped at least one woman get a sweet job at the University of Michigan. Heather Newman included her World of Warcraft experience to prove that she’s a leader. She noted that she has managed up to 500 players in large-scale raids over several hours a week.
… What do the experts think? Mixed. Some think it’s a badge of honor for tech or event-orientated job, while others think it gives the impression you’ll be playing video games in the office all day.
Start it on Facebook, take it to the phones: What’s the strangest skill you included on your resume that you think helped you nail the job?
73-YEAR OLD HAS BEEN DONATING HIS EARNINGS FOR 30 YEARS _ A man in India has given a whole new definition to the word ‘charity’. The 73-year-old never married and took part-time jobs to make ends meet because he donated to the poor every single dollar (rupee) he ever earned as a librarian.
BIG, FORMAL WEDDINGS MIGHT MEAN A HAPPIER MARRIAGE _ A new study found that those who invest in a big, expensive, and formal wedding have a happier marriage than those who scale back. The reason? Researchers are not exactly sure, but noted that couples who had a child before getting married were less likely to have a formal wedding, and having kids before marriage were associated with lower marriage quality.
BUNCH O BALLOONS KICKSTARTER IS DONE _ Remember that water balloon Kickstarter I talked about a month or so ago? I’m talking about the Kickstarter the dad launched that would fill 100 water balloons in less than a minute. His goal was $10,000 and at the time I mentioned it he’d raised much more than that. Well the Kickstarter is over today and he’s raised (click this link for latest total).
COOLER ON KICKSTARTER COULD RAISE MOST MONEY EVER _ Speaking of Kickstarters, the one for that beer cooler — called The Coolest — has just over a week left and has raised over $9 million. Designed by serial inventor Ryan Grepper, The Coolest includes a rechargeable blender to make mixed drinks with, a removable waterproof bluetooth speaker, a smartphone charger, a lid light, a tie down for additional gear, a cooler divider and cutting board, extra-wide wheels for convenient rolling, a bottle opener, and integrated plates and a knife. | kickstarter link
FANCY RESTAURANTS CHARGE 18 CENTS PER MENU WORD _ Linguistics professor Dan Jurafsky combed through 6,500 menus for his new book, The Language of Food. He found that fancier restaurants use longer and more complicated words on menus — ‘accompaniments’ instead of ‘sides’, for instance — and that more letters equals more money. When Jurafsky compared how restaurants described similar dishes, he calculated that every increase of one letter in average word length upped the price by 18 cents.
WOMAN SLAMS ANTHROPOLOGIE AFTER BEING TOLD TO LEAVE WHILE NURSING _ Ingrid Wiese Hesson has slammed Anthropologie after she was asked to leave the sales floor by an employee at the Beverly Hills location for nursing her baby, and subsequently taken to their stock room bathroom to finish breastfeeding. Hesson wrote on her Facebook: “My first time being escorted out of a store for Breastfeeding. After purchasing $700 worth of clothing, my baby started crying so I sat down in the back of a nearly empty store and put on a cover. Within moments I was asked to do it elsewhere. Happy Breastfeeding month anthropologie!!”
… Corporate responded on their Facebook page with the following: “We are disappointed to hear of the unfortunate experience that occurred in our Beverly Hills store. As a company comprised of hundreds of mothers, which seeks to put the customer first, we celebrate women in all of their life stages. Given our staff’s dedication to providing exceptional customer service, we welcome this as an opportunity to enhance our customer experience by providing further training and education for our staff. Our aim is that all women — all mothers — be comfortable in our stores and delight in their relationship with Anthropologie.”
… That wasn’t enough so Hesson and her fellow moms put together a breastfeeding sit-in at the store, and posted a photo of the women with their children and signs of protest on her Facebook page. She wrote, “100+ women Breastfeeding at the Beverly Hills anthropologie!!! Mommy strong! Refuse to move! Know your rights!!”
WACKY-BUT-TRUE: EX-CON GETS HIMSELF ARRESTED TO REUNITE WITH OLD JAIL BUDDY _ Earlier this week I shared the story of the woman who stole a cheap bottle of wine so she could be tossed in jail where her boyfriend was. Today I share the story of an ex-con who was detained for filing a false police report in an attempt to get sent back to jail and see a friend still in detention. This happened in China and the guy was boozed up when he called in the fake police report. When cops asked him why he did it he replied, “I want to reunite with my friend and enjoy the peace of jail.”
WACKY-BUT-TRUE: MAN PROPOSES WITH 1,001 HOT DOGS _ On Saturday a guy in China popped the question using his favorite food. The 28-year-old proposed to his girlfriend with hot dogs. The two met each other inside a bakery that sold hot dogs. The guy spelled out the word ‘Love’ with hot dogs — tucked inside buns — and framed the word with more hot dogs. Altogether he used 1,001 dogs to pop the question. Why the 1,001 hot dogs? Well it turns out they represent the 1,001 days that the two had known each other.
WACKY-BUT-TRUE: MAN CALLS 911 AFTER STRIPPER WON’T HAVE SEX WITH HIM _ No matter what a stripper tells you, there is no touching and no sex. None. One Montana man didn’t like them rules and called 911 after a stripper didn’t make good on what he thought was a done deal. When the police arrived, the man was in for a surprise. Officers questioned him and found out what exactly he had been expecting: namely, sexual favors in exchange for money. Turns out that’s a crime and he was arrested.
WACKY-BUT-TRUE: MOTHER CAUGHT DRIVING WITH THREE KIDS IN TRUNK _ When police in New Zealand stopped Tracy Waihape they found she was transporting a 2-year-old, a 3-year-old and two 14-year-olds unrestrained and in non-compliant car seats. Knowing she was in trouble Waihape led the scene, and took police on a 2 mile chase. When police finally caught up to the mom they put her in the back of a patrol car and then searched her vehicle. And that’s when they found three more kids in the trunk.
WACKY-BUT-TRUE: PLANE ABORTS LANDING AS TRAFFIC CONTROL NAPS _ A China Eastern Airlines plane that was forced to abort its landing after air traffic controllers had dozed off. A transcript of the flight recording released this week shows that the flight crew made repeated attempts to contact the on-duty flight controllers twice — in English and in Chinese — around 2:30am. Those calls went unanswered. The airplane was forced to circle the airport for about 10 minutes before landing.
THE BIG BANG THEORY (8p ET, CBS) — Repeat
HOLLYWOOD GAME NIGHT (8p ET, NBC) — Repeat
THE QUEST (8p ET, ABC) — New
SLEEPY HOLLOW (8p ET, FOX) — Repeat
INSIDE THE ACTORS STUDIO (8p ET, Bravo) — Commemorating the life and career of legendary actor and comedian Robin Williams, Bravo is rerunning his appearance on the show.
MOM (8:30p ET, CBS) — Repeat
BIG BROTHER (9p ET, CBS) — A house guest is evicted and the head of household competition is held in this new edition.
WELCOME TO SWEDEN (9p ET, NBC) — Patrick Duffy (Dallas) and Illeana Douglas guest star in this new episode.
SEASON FINALE: ROOKIE BLUE (9p ET, ABC) — Season 5 ends with a 2-hour finale.
BONES (9p ET, FOX) — Repeat
PROJECT RUNWAY (9p ET, Lifetime) — The designers must create looks for Heidi Klum to wear at the Creative Arts Emmy Awards. Alpine skier Lindsey Vonn is the guest judge.
MYTHBUSTERS (9p ET, Discovery) — This new edition will look at the most efficient way to board an airplane.
WELCOME TO SWEDEN (9:30p ET, NBC) — NBC has cancelled Working the Engels. Another new episode of Welcome To Sweden will air instead.
ELEMENTARY (10p ET, CBS) — Repeat
AMERICA’S GOT TALENT (10p ET, NBC) — Repeat
BILLY CRYSTAL TO DELIVER TRIBUTE TO ROBIN WILLIAMS AT EMMY AWARDS _ Billy Crystal will lead the tribute to Robin Williams at Monday’s 66th Primetime Emmy Awards.
SIMPSON’S MARATHON BEGINS TODAY _ Beginning this morning (Thursday) FXX will air a 12-day 24-hour-a-day marathon of all 500-plus episodes of the Simpsons in chronological order.
SARAH PALIN: TINA FEY MADE MONEY OFF OF ME _ Former Governor of Alaska turned punchline Sarah Palin is still pulling punches when it comes to comedian and writer Tina Fey. As you all know, Palin’s image was quickly built on a horrible round of public interviews, which became the center of many now infamous sketches on Saturday Night Live. In a recent interview Palin joked, “[Fey], you need to at least pay for my kids’ braces or something from all the money that you made off of pretending that you’re me! My goodness, you capitalized on that. Can’t you contribute a little bit? Jeez!”
MEG RYAN AND JOHN MELLENCAMP SPLIT _ Meg Ryan and John Mellencamp have ended their relationship. The actress, 52, and the rocker, 62, split recently after dating for more than three years. A friend said it was the distance — she lives in New York and he resides in Indiana. The pair were last spotted together in May.
ZAC EFRON SINGLE AND MICHELLE RODRIGUEZ ARE DONE _ Michelle Rodriguez and Zac Efron have split after dating for about two months. Us Weekly reports that Rodriguez split with Efron after a big fight in Ibiza, Spain.
TONY SHALHOUB JOINS ‘NURSE JACKIE’ ENSEMBLE _ Emmy Award-winning actor Tony Shalhoub has joined the Season 7 cast of the Showtime comedy Nurse Jackie. He will play Dr. Bernard Prince, a new emergency room doctor who “has a great bedside manner … and who offers Jackie something she desperately needs — a friend.” Shalhoub is best known for his work in the TV series Monk and Wings.
EMMA STONE WILL MAKE BROADWAY DEBUT IN CABARET _ Emma Stone is about to make her Broadway debut. It’s been rumored for a few weeks that Stone was thinking about making her debut in Cabaret and now an announcement has been made sealing the deal. Stone was originally supposed to play the role of Sally Bowles back when talk about a revival of the revival started. Unfortunately she had to drop out due to other commitments. Actress Michelle Williams stepped in to replace Stone and has been playing the role since previews started in March.
… Stone will take up the role opposite Alan Cumming’s Emcee in Cabaret on November 11 after Michelle Williams leaves on November 9.
MILEY CYRUS TO PERFORM LIVE ON FINALE OF CHELSEA LATELY _ Miley Cyrus will perform on the final episode of Chelsea Lately.
The 21-year-old singer will sing a live cover of It’s Over by Roy Orbison to help send host Chelsea Handler off. Handler has partnered with Netflix on a new talk show for 2016. The final episode of Chelsea Lately airs Tuesday (August 26) on the E! network.
AARON PAUL PLANS BREAKING BAD SCAVENGER HUNT IN HONOR OF EMMYS _ Aaron Paul will hold a scavenger hunt throughout Hollywood for a host of Breaking Bad-related treasures. He wrote on his Instagram that some of the prizes to find include signed Breaking Bad scripts, action figures, show art and more. The scavenger hunt is in honor of the final showing for Breaking Bad at the Emmy Awards, where he previously won in 2010 and 2012 for supporting actor in a drama series.
DAVE GROHL WELCOMES DAUGHTER OPHELIA _ There’s a new little Foo Fighter in the world: Dave Grohl is a father again. The rocker and wife Jordyn Blum recently welcomed their third child. The baby is a girl named Ophelia. She joins big sisters Violet Maye, 8, and Harper Willow, 5.
JUSTIN BIEBER AND HIS BODYGUARD SUED BY HAWAII PHOTOGRAPHER _ While Justin Bieber was in Hawaii last year, vacationing at Shipwreck Beach in Kauai, he dove off a rock — and photographer Aja Oxman took a picture it. Well, that didn’t please The Biebs. So, according to a lawsuit filed Wednesday in Los Angeles by Oxman’s attorney, Bieber sent his bodyguard to grab Oxman’s camera, telling him to “do whatever you have to do to get that [memory] card.” The Bieberguard then, according to the complaint, grabbed Oxman in a chokehold, picked him up and slammed him into the hood of a vehicle, roughing him and his photographic equipment up under Bieber’s watchful eye until another photographer took video of it on his cell phone.
IN THEATERS TODAY (THURSDAY)
- Ian Ziering, Tara Reid, Vivica A. Fox, Judd Hirsch
- A freak weather system turns its deadly fury on New York City, unleashing a Sharknado on the population and its most cherished, iconic sites — and only Fin and April can save the Big Apple.
“We were talking about this one year ago today…”
• A high school math teacher and his students in Queensbury, New York, revealed that Double Stuf Oreos don’t actually include twice the creme filling of original cookies.
• A new study claimed one in four dogs is clinically depressed and show signs such as pacing, chasing their tail, howling and pooping. A group called Home Alone Dogs said the reason for all the downer dogs is that so many pooches are left at home during the day and miss their masters.
• A new study discovered that up to 35% of us have had a text conversation while still sleeping.
• A survey revealed the average woman owns 20 pairs of shoes, but only wears 5 of them. And 90% of women admitted that they owned a pair that had never left the closet.
• Hot on the heels of the successful Sharknado, a couple of writers and a producer announced a new film called Squirrels, about killer squirrels. They even produced a concept trailer. It’s a year later — where’s our Squirrels movie?
• Pepsi-flavored Cheetos went on sale in Japan.
• The Couchbunker was unveiled. A normal-looking sofa on the outside, the Couchbunker featured a gun safe under the cushions. The Couchbunker could hide up to 40 rifles and ammunition and included bulletproof cushions, if desired.
THINGS YOU DIDN’T KNOW YOUR iPHONE COULD DO!
Popular Mechanics unearths a few iPhone gems you probably didn’t know about.
Take Siri to School
Tired of Siri pronouncing things wrong? Next time she screws something up, tell her “That’s not how you pronounce X,” and then pronounce it for her. She’ll give it another try, and offer you a few options for how she now thinks she’s supposed to pronounce the word. Pick the one that sounds the best, and Siri will use that pronunciation from now on.
Need a level for a quick DIY project at home? The compass app on your iPhone has one built in. To use it, open up the compass app on your phone, and then swipe to the left to pull up the level screen.
Give Better Vibrations
You’re not limited to the same vibration for everything. Go into the Settings of your phone and then select Sounds, Vibration, and then Create New Vibration to tap out your own buzzing pattern. You can name your creation and then use it as a vibration alert for anything you’d like. For instance, you could have one vibration pattern to signal that you’ve received a text and another for tweets or emails. Once you’ve implemented your own secret code, you won’t need to pull your phone out of your pocket nearly as much.
Control Your Camera With Your Headphones
Arms not quite long enough to get the whole family into that selfie? Use your earbuds as a remote shutter button for your iPhone’s camera. Simply launch the camera as normal, set up your shot, and then press the volume-up button to snap a photo.
Block Calls From Your Ex
Tired of constant calls from your ex or a persistent telemarketer? Block calls from a specific number by clicking the “i” button beside their most recent call or pulling up their contact card in your phone, and selecting Block This Caller from the bottom of the page. Once blocked, you will no longer see texts or calls from that person. If you make up later on, you can unblock their number by going to Settings, Phone, and then Blocked, and removing them from your list.
Juice Up Faster
Have only a few minutes to charge your phone before heading out on the town? Put it in airplane mode to make it power up twice as fast. Since your phone won’t have to use any juice to search for and connect to a wireless tower or a Wi-Fi network, it can concentrate on getting charged up. (Airplane mode is also a great way to stretch that last 5 percent of battery life.)
Remind Yourself to Buy Toilet Paper
The iPhone will allow you to create a geofence around a particular location, and send you a reminder whenever you pass through its virtual gates. For instance, a fence around your local grocery store can remind you to pick up some TP while you shop, or a fence at the office can be the nudge you need to remember to pass along that project file you keep forgetting. Set up a geofence by going into your phone’s Reminders app, create a reminder, and then tap the “i” beside it. Select “Remind me at a location” from the next page, and then add the address where you’d like to receive a notification and whether you’d like to get it as you’re arriving at the place, or as you’re about to leave.
WHAT AN ALS FAMILY REALLY THINKS ABOUT THE ICE BUCKET CHALLENGE
Author, writer and speaker Bo Stern knows ALS intimately — her husband Steve suffers from it. On her blog she tells critics of the Ice Bucket Challenge to chill out. The stunts are raising awareness and raising money, and if that means people are doing goofy YouTube videos, she’s all for it.
And Bo offers some thoughts for those who might wonder what having ALS is like. She calls these Empathetic Experiences — things you can do to walk for just a mile in ALS shoes.
• Pick up a 10-pound weight. Now imagine it’s your fork and move it from your plate to your mouth repeatedly without shaking.
• Sit in a chair for just 15 minutes moving nothing but your eyes. Nothing. No speaking, no scratching your nose, no shifting your weight, no changing the channel on the television, no computer work. Only your eyes. As you sit, imagine: this is your life. Your only life.
• Borrow a wheelchair or power scooter and try to maneuver quickly through the aisles at Walmart, without speaking. Note the way people react to you.
• Strap 25 pounds to your forearm. Now adjust your rearview mirror.
• Using none of your own muscles, have your spouse or child or friend get you dressed and brush your teeth. Write down some of the feelings you have being cared for in this way.
• Before you eat your next meal, take a good, long look at the food. Inhale deeply and appreciate the aroma. Now, imagine never being able to taste that — or any other food — for the rest of your life.
• Put two large marshmallows in your mouth and have a conversation with your friends. How many times must you repeat yourself? How does this make you feel?
• Go to bed and stay in one position for as long as you possibly can, moving nothing.
• Strap weights to your ankles and climb a flight of stairs, taking two at a time. That’s the kind of strength it takes for someone with ALS to tackle the stairs on a good day.
• Install a text-to-speech app on your phone or iPad and use it exclusively to communicate for one day.
TRIVIA: According to his daughter, singer James Brown used 20 of these each day. Hints: They were plastic and pink. (Rollers that he used to set his hair!)
TRIVIA: Hospital emergency rooms treat 32,000 Americans each year because they injured themselves while using what? (Exercise equipment. Nice job, CrossFit!)
FAST FOOD… OR NOT?!
Burger King’s Chicken Fries are back by popularity. I’ll name some fast food menu items — some are real, others are made up. You tell me if it was real or not.
• McDonald’s McLobster (Fast food)
• Subway Coney Island Hot Dog Sub (Not)
• Taco Bell Pacific Shrimp Tacos (Fast food)
• KFC Chicken Livers (Fast food)
• Burger King BK Bucket of Burgers (Not)
• McDonald’s McSpaghetti (Fast food)
• Wendy’s Thanksgiving Turkey Chili (Not)
• Pizza Hut Pickle Pizza (Not)
• Taco Bell Frito Burrito (Fast food)
• Long John Silvers Fish & Frog’s Legs Platter (Not)
• McDonald’s Hula Burger (Fast food)
At the pearly gates Saint Peter asks a guy about the bravest thing he’d ever done. The guy says he spotted a group of guys messing with a girl, and went over and told them to stop. He says they laugh at him so he pushed the biggest one down and told the girl to run. Saint Peter says, “Wow, that was brave. When did that happen?” The man looks at his watch and says, “About 2 minutes ago.”
Back again: Two guys act out a conversation between their mom and aunt.
I don’t understand. I can reach him but I can’t touch him!
• The Encyclopedia of Radio Promotions has 1,000+ ideas.
• The most bizarre heists of all time.
• The Gunfighter is a good short film made better thanks to narration by Nick Offerman.
• Is this the worst local commercial of all time?
• 10 Top Time-Saving Tech Tips (video).
• British artist Ben Long makes art out of dirt with drawings he creates on the back of commercial trucks.
• Eat By Date. How long does food really last?
• Best radio billboards ever. Scroll through them all.
• Trailer: Night at the Museum 3.
• New Interstellar trailer.
• Game About Squares. It’s a game.
• Trailer for Mad Max: Fury Road.
• All the places your can get a military discount.
• This pediatrician makes getting shots fun.
• I know where your cat lives.
• While you work at your desk, rest your feet in this hammock.
• Mega three person hammock!
• Artist reincarnates childhood drawings.
This is day 234 of 2014. There are 131 days remaining.
• Valerie Harper (The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Rhoda) is 75
• Former football coach Bill Parcells is 73
• TV journalist Steve Kroft is 69
• Cindy Williams (Laverne & Shirley) is 67
• Regina Taylor (The Unit, I’ll Fly Away) is 54
• Drummer Debbi Peterson of The Bangles is 53
• Ty Burrell (Modern Family) is 47
• TV chef Giada De Laurentiis is 44
• Howie Dorough of the Backstreet Boys is 41
• Kristen Wiig (Bridesmaids, Saturday Night Live) is 41
IT HAPPENED TODAY
• 1902: President Theodore Roosevelt became the first U.S. chief executive to ride in an automobile, in Hartford, Connecticut.
• 1956: President Dwight D. Eisenhower and Vice President Richard M. Nixon were nominated for second terms by the Republican National Convention in San Francisco.
• 1986: Kerr-McGee Corp. agreed to pay the estate of the late Karen Silkwood $1.38 million, settling a 10-year-old nuclear contamination lawsuit.
• 2003: Alabama’s chief justice, Roy Moore, was suspended for his refusal to obey a federal court order to remove his Ten Commandments monument from the rotunda of his courthouse.
• 2003: In Oslo, Norway, an Elvis impersonator set a world record by singing the King’s hits non-stop for 26 hours, four minutes and 40 seconds.
• 2005: A pilot going from Ireland to France flew this plane for two hours before realizing nearly half of a wing had been ripped away just after take-off. Incredibly he managed to land safely, despite the 5-foot, 7-inch chunk and a fuel tank being missing.
• 2007: The Storm botnet, a botnet created by the Storm Worm, sent out a record 57 million emails in one day.
• Today (Friday) is Be An Angel Day.
• Today (Friday) is Hug Your Boss Day.
• Today (Friday) is Tongue Twister Day.
• Today (Friday) is Take Your Cat To The Vet Day.
• Today (Friday) is Daffodil Day.
• Today (Friday) is Eat a Peach Day.
• Saturday is Ride the Wind Day, a carefree day to soar above the earth. You can catch a ride with the breeze, or float along slowly like a gentle, late summer cloud.
• Saturday is Spongecake Day.
• Sunday is Go Topless Day.
• Sunday is Waffle Iron Day.
• Sunday is International Strange Music Day.
• Sunday is Peach Pie Day.