PRO December 11, 2014

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Audio Bits & Breaks Datebook Datebook Tomorrow Entertainment Fun & Games Image of the Day Joke of the Day! Last Minute Items News & Nuggets News Attack Number for the Day Television Video of the Day Wacky-But-True 


DATEBOOK: DECEMBER 11, 2014

This is day 345 of 2014. There are 20 days remaining.

BIRTHDAYS

• Rita Moreno (West Side Story) is 83

• Donna Mills (Knots Landing) is 74

• U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is 71

• Brenda Lee (Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree) is 70

• Teri Garr (Tootsie, Mr. Mom) is 67

• Bess Armstrong is 61

• Nikki Sixx of Motley Crue is 56

• Gary Dourdan (C.S.I.) is 48

• Rapper-actor Mos Def is 41

• Hailee Steinfeld (True Grit, Ender’s Game) is 18

IT HAPPENED TODAY

• 1816: Indiana became the 19th U.S. state.

• 1941: Germany and Italy declared war on the United States.

• 1946: The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) was established.

• 1964: Singer Sam Cooke was shot to death at the Hacienda Motel in Los Angeles.

• 1972: Apollo 17 became the sixth mission to land on the Moon.

• 1972: Genesis debuted in the U.S. at Brandeis University in Massachusetts. The group included Peter Gabriel, Phil Collins, Steve Hackett, Mike Rutherford, and Tony Banks.

• 1977: The Tampa Bay Buccaneers finally won an NFL game by defeating New Orleans 33-14. The Bucs had lost their first 26 regular season games, 11 by shutout.

• 1994: A burglar in Brede, Holland, hammered through a factory roof and four inches of concrete, then drilled into the safe. It was empty. The factory had been closed for ten years.

• 2000: A Romanian man, paralyzed from the waist down, called out the fire department four times in eight hours because he could not reach his cigarette lighter. The 63-year-old man said he was desperate for a cigarette and was so nervous he kept dropping the lighter on the floor.

• 2003: A Romanian man refused to undergo surgery to remove his house keys from his stomach because he didn’t want his ex-wife to use them. Eugen Groza swallowed the keys to keep his ex out of the home they shared together, which was legally hers.

• 2006: Nintendo announced that the just-launched Wii video-game machine might have a problem with a strap that secures its trademark wandlike remote-controller to the player’s wrist. Nintendo said it was investigating reports about the Wii’s strap coming off as players swung around the controller, at times causing the remote to fly out of their hands.

• 2008: Australian astronomers announced that the fabled star that led the wise men to that chilly stable where Jesus was born was most likely a conjunction of Venus and Jupiter that occurred on June 17.

• 2009: Tiger Woods announced an indefinite leave from professional golf to focus on his marriage.

• 2012: HSBC bank settles with U.S. authorities to pay $1.9 billion for drug cartel money laundering.

• 2012: British physicist Stephen Hawking won the $3 million Fundamental Physics Prize, the most lucrative academic prize in the world.

SPECIAL EVENTS

• Today is International Mountain Day. Celebrate by climbing a mountain!

• It’s Have a Bagel Day.

UPCOMING

• Chanukah/Hanukkah (first day): December 17

• Christmas Day: December 25

• New Year’s Day: January 1

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NUMBER FOR THE DAY

The average person receives 9,672 minor injuries in a lifetime.

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NEWS ATTACK!

According to a new hospital study, if you have complications after you return home from surgery, you stand a better chance of survival if you return to that same hospital rather than seek out a different hospital. [That’s because the original hospital will have a better idea of exactly which surgical instrument they left inside you.]

A man missing at sea since the Thanksgiving holiday was found safe aboard his boat 64 miles off Honolulu. He had been away from his family for 12 days. [I’ve got to remember that for next year.]

Time magazine has named its Person of the Year: the brave men and women who risk their lives to fight the scourge of Ebola. [Runner-up was the TV executive who dumped Here Comes Honey Boo Boo.]

A new study says that people who go to bed earlier have fewer worries. [That’s because they don’t see the late news.]

The divided U. S. Congress managed to pass a budget deal at the last minute to prevent the federal government’s complete shutdown. [However, it will continue to close at noon on Wednesdays.]

The Journal for Nature Conservation reports that the world’s reindeer population is in severe trouble due to climate change and poachers. [And deceptively steep roofs.]

The latest research reveals that 84% of vegetarians return to eating meat within only a year. [Well, it’s hard to really say goodbye to meat. Popcorn shrimp is simply another name for lightly battered crack.]

CNN reports that America’s armed security guards are woefully under trained. For example, in California an armed guard must have 54 hours of training while a manicurist must have 400 hours. [Well, you have to think about public safety. A manicurist could give you a really bad infection.]

Sons of Anarchy ended the series with the main character intentionally driving his motorcycle into a truck. [Whoa. That’s the same way they ended Will and Grace.]

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NEWS & NUGGETS

INSTAGRAM OVERTAKES TWITTER IN NUMBER OF USERS _ Instagram announced Wednesday the photo-sharing social network has reached more than 300 million monthly users, surpassing the number of Twitter users for the first time. The company jumped from 200 million monthly users to 300 million in about nine months. Meanwhile, Twitter had about 284 million active monthly users as of the end of October.

… Instagram was purchased by social media giant Facebook in 2012. Facebook currently has 1.35 billion users.

UNITED BUYING 23,000 iPHONE 6 PLUS PHONES FOR FLIGHT ATTENDANTS _ Purchase a beverage or snack on a United flight next year and you probably won’t see that bulky credit card terminal that never seems to print receipts properly. That’s because the airline announced on Wednesday it is buying 23,000 iPhone 6 Plus handsets for flight attendants to use in air.

… The iPhones will also be used for internal United email and procedure manuals. In 2011 the airline dropped some big money on 11,000 iPads for its pilots to replace paper charts and manuals.

HARVARD PROF. APOLOGIZES FOR FEUD WITH RESTAURANT _ UPDATE: Wednesday I told you about the Harvard Business School professor who engaged in a lengthy back and forth with the owner of a couple of Boston-area restaurants over the issue of a $4 overcharge. Apparently the Internet didn’t side with the prof, who is now apologizing: “Having reflected on my interaction with [the restaurant owner], including what I said and how I said it, it’s clear that I was very much out of line. I aspire to act with great respect and humility in dealing with others, no matter what the situation. Clearly I failed to do so. I am sorry, and I intend to do better in the future. I have reached out to [the owner] and will apologize to him personally as well.”

… Note to celebs, politicians and, well, everyone else: this is how you apologize. The professor had a right to complain but he took it too far. But at least he’s apologized the right way.

… The restaurant owner issued a statement of his own, thanking people from all around the world who voiced support for his business.

… Now fix your darn website so it has the correct prices.

VILLAGE WITH 500 RESIDENTS MAILS MORE THAN 10,000 XMAS CARDS _ How is it possible that in a village that boasts a population of only about 500 people sends more than 10,000 Christmas cards from its post office every year? As well all know, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is the esteemed ringleader of all Santa Claus’ flying crew, ever since that whole foggy night situation. As such, his fame has made the village of Rudolph, Wisconsin a popular place when the holidays roll around. People from all around have mailed more than 10,000 cards that will be mailed on Saturday just so their holiday cards for loved ones can be stamped by the Rudolph post office and get the special postal marking the post offices issues every year at this time. It features a bright red reindeer and reads, “Rudolph, WI, home of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.” It’s a tradition that started back in 1945.

… The last batch of cards that will be mailed go out December 13, and will be even more festive this year as the U.S. Postal Service has new Rudolph stamps to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the claymation classic, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.

STRUGGLING WAITRESS GETS LIFE-CHANGING TIP _ A struggling waitress in Missouri recently got the tip of a lifetime. It’s not uncommon for people to be a little more generous around the holidays but the tip Cindy Grady got could not have come at a better time. Grady’s car runs OK, but she says it’s had “probably about five” run-ins with deer. Little did Grady know that some regulars at the restaurant, a couple from Arkansas, had noticed Grady’s car in the parking lot a few months back. Gary Tackett and his wife had only met Cindy in passing so they started asking around the restaurant about the owner of the car and soon learned it was an employee. And so just a few weeks before Christmas they made another trip back to the restaurant. After being waited on by Grady they decided to give her a big tip: a new car.

GRANDMOTHER FOUGHT OFF 3 TEENS WHO TRIED TO STEAL HER VAN _ At the age of 67, Kay Kise was not about to let thugs steal her vehicle after she arrived at her Indianapolis home at around 8 p.m. after doing some Christmas shopping for her grandkids and family. She claims that three men, around the age of 16, approached her and asked her for directions, but when she gave them, one of the teens pulled a gun on her. Kise said that her instinctual reaction was to defend herself. She says she told them, “You’re not getting my van” and she slapped the gun to the side. Kise was hit in the side of the head by the teen and had fallen back into her van. Even though she had been struck and was disoriented, she managed to hold onto her keys.

… A 13-year-old boy heard Kise’s screams and told him mom, who called police. The punks ran off. Kise spent the night in a hospital with several facial fractures.

FB icon Start it on Facebook, take it to the phones: What’s the sassiest or craziest thing your grandparent has ever done?

NFL TEAMS ENDORSE NEW CONDUCT POLICY _ NFL teams on Wednesday unanimously approved a revised and strengthened personal conduct policy. Commissioner Roger Goodell said: “We now have a layered evaluation process to take into account a diversity of expert views. This will better enable us to make appropriate decisions and ensure accountability for everyone involved in the process.”

DRONE FIGHTING _ 2014 was the year that drones found their way into the mainstream as tools for photographers, police officers and trouble-makers. So what’s next? Making them fight. Game of Drones founder Marque Cornblatt, a robot builder and creator of the Aerial Sports League, bills his company as the “bad boys” of the drone biz. He believes that not only are drones going to be everywhere soon, but that his company is going to be the premier label for drone sports, drone television, drone combat and all other drone media. Three or four years ago,Cornblatt and his friends were in a barn drinking beers and flying drones around when someone got the idea to make them fight — whoever has the drone that hits ground the most loses. They started meeting on Friday nights in that same barn to send drones crashing into each other, mounting weapons, nets and other gladiatorial add-on. Now the challenge is to build drones that are cheaper but tougher.

WOULD YOU PAY $1300 FOR A ROADKILL COAT? _ When you see the body of a run-over animal on the side of the road, you probably grimace and take it as a stark reminder of your own mortality. Massachusetts designer Pamela Paquin saw a unique business opportunity. A single mother with a daughter to care for, she came up with the idea to turn pelts of roadkill into winter accessories such as neck muffs, gauntlet gloves, velvet-lined hand muffs, and fur pom-poms to sit atop woolly beanies. Paquin, an animal lover who grew up on a dairy farm, started the company Petite Morte and quickly went about familiarizing herself with the skinning, scraping and tanning process. Paquin has since established connections with wildlife officers and highway patrolmen. Once they stumble upon a salvageable specimen, they will give her a holler and Paquin will drive out and skin it. Over the years, she’s managed to source “accidental fur” from bears, foxes, beavers, raccoons, coyotes, otters, baby fawn, and minks.

… Approximately one million dead animals are found on the road every day.

WHAT SURGEONS SHOULD AND SHOULDN’T PLAY AT WORK _ Almost three quarters of surgeons’ operating rooms are filled with music when patients go under the knife. Most operating room staff say music boosts communication between team members, reduces stress levels and improves efficiency. It also appears to enhance surgical performance by increasing focus, particularly among surgeons who listen to music regularly.

… We suggest the following operating room songs: ‘Staying Alive’ by the Bee Gees, ‘Smooth Operator’ by Sade, ‘Comfortably Numb’ by Pink Floyd, and ‘Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go’ by Wham.

… We suggest avoiding ‘Everybody Hurts’ by REM and Queen’s ‘Another One Bites the Dust’.

COLLEGE PUTS NANNY SOFTWARE ON STUDENT LAPTOPS _ Students at a Chinese university said school officials have crossed the line after being required to install software on their laptops that forcibly shuts them down after five hours. School officials have required all freshman and students who have failed exams to install the software in order to curb computer gaming. The software, called “Internet Dad,” was originally designed for parents to monitor their child’s time spent online.

DEATHBED CONFESSION SENDS FAMILY ON $4.5M TREASURE HUNT _ A New York City landlord told his siblings, on his deathbed, that he hid $4.5 million worth of silver bullion and gold krugerrands — but no one knew where. The confession sent a family into years of litigation and a costly treasure hunt, one still unresolved today. The website DNAinfo New York says Edward Giaimo Jr., a Manhattan lawyer and property owner, told his brother and sister that they would need a truck to move the fortune in metal he had stashed. But in 2007 he died without disclosing the location. Giaimo also left 18 properties in the city’s wealthy Upper East Side neighborhood and $48 million, a fortune that has fueled years of legal proceedings. His brother has since claimed in court filings the the krugerrands — South African gold coins — and silver bullion are buried on the family property or kept in an unknown storage facility. While it doesn’t appear the warring sides ever found the “treasure”, they are still fighting over $10 million discovered in Giaimo’s house.

WOMAN REACHES SOUTH POLE ON A TRACTOR _ A Dutch actress and adventurer has reached the South Pole after 17 days driving across Antarctica on a tractor. 38-year-old Manon Ossevoort drove across the frozen continent on a Massey Ferguson MF 5610 tractor. Overcome with emotion at reaching her goal, Manon hugged the tractor when she arrived and celebrated with her team. Her expedition was the final chapter in a journey that previously saw her drive a tractor 23,600 miles from her home in Holland across Europe and Africa to Cape Town.

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WACKY-BUT-TRUE

WACKY-BUT-TRUE: HIT-AND-RUN ENDS WITH FLUKE RUN-IN _ A man accused of crashing his car into a motorcycle and running from the scene in China was caught after he unwittingly identified himself while sharing a hospital room with the victim. The victim told police he had struck up a conversation with the driver, who said he’s been wounded in a traffic accident. After going into detail, the motorcyclist realized they had been involved in the same collision. The driver of the car had fled the scene because he’d been drinking.

WACKY-BUT-TRUE: MAN SECRETLY LIVING ABOVE BAR FALLS THROUGH CEILING _ In Denver police and firefighters responded to a call about someone falling through the ceiling at the Yard House restaurant in the downtown area. Officers spotted a man walking in the scaffolding above the restaurant but lost site of him. Officers checked the ceiling area and discovered the man had been living above the ceiling tiles of the restaurant for some time. They found bottle caps from alcoholic beverages. Police and firefighters then heard moaning coming from behind the wall near the front door of the restaurant. It was discovered the man was stuck in the wall and firefighters had cut the wall out to rescue him.

WOMAN USES CRAIGSLIST TO FIND SIX CORGIS FOR HER WEDDING _ A woman wants Corgis in the hands of her bridesmaids for her storybook wedding. The problem is she doesn’t have enough of the cute little herding dogs. Her solution was to post an ad on Craigslist: This next April, I will be getting married to the man of my dreams and we will be having the most wonderful storybook wedding that Boston has ever seen. The icing on the cake is sweet, but there’s one thing that would be even sweeter than that. Traditionally, bridesmaids’ hold bouquets; in our wedding, I want them to hold corgis. Unfortunately, I do not have enough corgis for my bridesmaids. I require six more in order to make this dream come true. I’m looking to rent six corgis for roughly two and a half hours during the ceremony. Because this a my dream wedding, price is negotiable and I appreciate your understanding. Please reach out to me if you have six sociable corgis which you would be willing to rent out. These animals would be treated perfectly, and I would love to get us all together to familiarize ourselves with each other. In addition to pay, I would be happy to also share some cake with you.

WACKY-BUT-TRUE: 6-YEAR-OLD ACCIDENTALLY SHAVES HIS ENTIRE HEAD _ We’ve been there before: at a young age, for whatever reason, we decide to do something about our own hair instead of waiting for a professional to take care of it — ultimately ending in disaster. A video is online of a 6-year-old who thought that the electric razor in the bathroom was actually a comb, and by the time his parents discovered him, he’d done a pretty good job at “combing” his hair. The mom, who starts filming instead of taking the razor away from him, casually starts talking to him about it.  Video

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ON TELEVISION

THE BIG BANG THEORY (8p ET, CBS) — New

THE TASTE (8p ET, ABC) — A new, 2-hour edition.

THE BIGGEST LOSER (8p ET, NBC) — The players compete on their own for the first time in this new edition.

BONES (8p ET, FOX) — Bones celebrates its 200th episode and pays homage to Alfred Hitchcock in an episode that re-imagines the team in 1950s Hollywood.

THE VAMPIRE DIARIES (8p ET, CW) — New

MOM (8:30p ET, CBS) — New

TWO AND A HALF MEN (9p ET, CBS) — New

BAD JUDGE (9p ET, NBC) — New

SEASON FINALE: GRACEPOINT (9p ET, FOX) — The Gracepoint murder case comes to a close in the season finale.

REIGN (9p ET, CW) — New

WHITE COLLAR (9p ET, USA) — New

PROJECT RUNWAY ALL STARS (9p ET, Lifetime) — The designers roll the dice on the runway for a fashion gamble in this new edition.

THE MCCARTHYS (9:30p ET, CBS) — New

A TO Z (9:30p ET, NBC) — New

ELEMENTARY (10p ET, CBS) — New

BLAKE SHELTON’S NOT SO FAMILY CHRISTMAS (10p ET, NBC) — In this special from last year, Blake Shelton hosts a star-studded event that includes classic holiday songs and new music. Christina Aguilera, Kelly Clarkson, Miranda Lambert, Larry the Cable Guy, Jay Leno and Reba McEntire all appear.

HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER (10p ET, ABC) — Repeat

COVERT AFFAIRS (10p ET, USA) — New

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ENTERTAINMENT

DAVID LETTERMAN ANNOUNCES THE FINAL ‘LATE SHOW’ DATE _ David Letterman will say his last goodbye as the host of the Late Show on Wednesday, May 20, 2015. The final episode will end a 22 year reign at CBS and a 32 year career as a late night talk show host. The time spent on air also gives him the honor of being the longest running talk show host on television. Stephen Colbert will follow in Letterman’s footsteps.

WOMAN SUES BILL COSBY FOR DENYING THAT HE DRUGGED AND GROPED HER _ Tamara Green, who first accused Bill Cosby of drugging and groping her in the 1970s on The Today Show in 2005, is now suing Cosby for defamation. Since the statute of limitations has run out for sexual assault, this is one way Green can face him in court. Green, a retired attorney, is suing Cosby for lying and denying that he assaulted her. She claims that “repeated denials from Cosby’s publicist have branded her a liar. As a result, Green says she’s been ridiculed in her private life and professionally.”

SHOCKER: 25-YEAR-OLD TAYLOR SWIFT SAYS SHE DRINKS _ Taylor Swift has grown up from the girl she once was when she first entered the music industry. In an effort to introduce fans to her grown-up image, Swift has a mature look that’s in line with every 25-year-old, but it’s important to note she hasn’t veered from who she is as a public figure. That said, she has revealed in an interview with Barbara Walters about drinking on occasion. Swift, who’s been on the road promoting her album 1989, sat down for an interview with Barbara Walters as part of her 10 Most Fascinating special. Swift made the list, and revealed a few interesting tidbits.

… Walters insinuated that she’s been a good girl, a singer who is popular but doesn’t have a bad image or promotes outlandish behavior: “You have never been ‘the bad girl’… You don’t drink. You don’t smoke.” Swift interjected, “I mean, I do drink, I am 25. So it’s not like, I mean… Yeah, I was at a Knicks game and I had a beer and everybody was like, ‘Ohhh!’ I was like, ‘Tsk.’” She admitted that she did wait before drinking legally.

… Instead of saying she’s not a role model like other pop stars might, Swift explains to Walters that she’s aware her words can mean something to her impressionable fan base: “I put every one of my actions through a filter before I do them because that’s the way my life is. That the reality… If I do something reckless or thoughtless or careless, or I treat someone badly, that doesn’t just affect me; it affects that person. Then, if that story gets out, or some 10-year-old sees that I did that in a news article… my actions do have ripples.”

YES, EVERYONE REALLY IS BINGE-WATCHING A LOT MORE NETFLIX _ Americans watch a lot of TV. But increasingly, we don’t watch it “on TV.” If you feel like everyone you know is spending Saturday devouring whole seasons of programming on Netflix instead of channel-surfing on the cable box, you’re not alone. At least half the people you know are doing that, a new survey confirms — and those numbers just keep going up. A survey released Wednesday (by PriceWaterhouseCoopers) shows overall, traditional TV viewership is slowly declining and online streaming — and binge watching in particular — are on the rise.

… Adults 35 and older have maintained or increased their cable subscriptions, but for the under-35s the number who subscribe to cable TV has dropped about 6%. Meanwhile subscriptions to Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu are all up.

… A solid half of the participants in the survey called themselves binge-viewers. And binge-viewing is on the rise: 55% of respondents said they do it more often now than they did last year.

PETER JACKSON GETS A STAR ON THE HOLLYWOOD WALK OF FAME _ Oscar-winning filmmaker Peter Jackson has been presented with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Jackson is best known for shooting the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit blockbusters, which are based on the fantasy novels of J.R.R. Tolkien.

BLIND SIDE DIRECTOR TACKLING THE STORY OF MCDONALD’S _ John Lee Hancock is in negotiations to direct The Founder, the story of the rise of the McDonald’s fast food empire. The Founder is a drama that tells the true story how Ray Kroc, a salesman from Illinois, met Mac and Dick McDonald, who were running a burger operation in 1950s Southern California. Kroc was impressed by the brothers’s speedy system of making the food and saw franchise potential. He maneuvered himself in a position to be able to pull the company from the brothers and create a billion dollar empire.

JENNIFER ANISTON DID NOT CALL ANGELINA JOLIE FOR HEART-TO-HEART _ Jennifer Aniston did not recently call Angelina Jolie for a heart-to-heart and to offer “forgiveness,” despite a new tabloid report. Sources say the cover story in OK! magazine is bogus.

SNOOKI’S ETSY SHOP SELLS OUT IN ONE DAY _ For an all-too-brief, shining moment, Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi — newlywed, Jersey Shore alumnae and entrepreneur — had an Etsy shop where she was selling her handmade kitchen and home décor wares to fans. And almost as soon as the word got around, Nicole’s Craft Room was inundated with orders and the shop was shut down. Polizzi hand-created all 27 items for sale in her shop, including mugs inscribed with phrases familiar to her fans, “You’re the Snooki to my JWoww”. She also had an assortment of candleholders, including some stacked on silver pillars and others hand-painted with motivational sayings, which she noted in the product description were inspired by items in her own home.

KATY PERRY’S ‘DARK HORSE’ IS YOUTUBE’S MOST-WATCHED MUSIC VIDEO OF 2014 _ Katy Perry’s “Dark Horse” was the most-watched music video of 2014, racking up 703 million-plus views on YouTube since its February 20 release.

… The ladies ruled YouTube this year: Eight of the top 10 most-viewed videos were by women, including Nicki Minaj, Meghan Trainor and Iggy Azalea.

‘STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS’ TRAILER ALMOST WASN’T RELEASED _ The trailer for Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens released the day after Thanksgiving is, by now, probably the most-analyzed 88 seconds of film since the Zapruder film. It has gained more than 100 million views online. But we nearly didn’t see it at all, according to Disney CEO Bob Iger. Iger says Episode VII director J.J. Abrams so wanted to preserve the mystery around The Force Awakens that he didn’t want a trailer. But “the rabid Star Wars fanbase prompted Disney to come up with the brief introduction of what the new film would look like.”

WHY DENNIS RODMAN IS NOT TIME’S PERSON OF THE YEAR _ Following a recent trip to Moscow, former NBA player and “basketball ambassador” Dennis Rodman said this week that Russian President Vladimir Putin is “actually cool.” Rodman said his meeting with Putin was not nearly as extensive as his past encounters with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un. Rodman said: “You know, he’s actually cool. … I’m not talking about politics, I ain’t about politics — this was my first time meeting him. He just walked in shook my hand and left with all his people. I just stayed there and had a good time at his restaurant.”

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AUDIO

Audio Archives

COMFORT FOODS

It’s comfort food season. What’s yours? Here are four calls to help with the phones. » download

GRANDMA GOT MOLESTED AT THE AIRPORT

Thanks to Andy R. for reminding us this was on YouTube: Grandma Got Molested at the Airport

CHRISTMAS CLIPS

Our annual clips package continues to grow. Loads of offbeat, funny Christmas drops — updated for 2014. » download

CHARITY CLIPS

Got a charity event or fundraiser coming up? Here are some random clips. » download

KID GIFTS GONE WRONG

When kids make gifts, or are in charge of them, funny things can happen. What’s the kid gift gone wrong you remember? Here are four calls to help with the phones. » download

WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE BEST WORST MOVIE?
What’s the best worst movie? A move you love even though it’s horrible? Here are three calls to help with the phones. » download

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BITS & BREAKS

THROWBACK THURSDAY

“We were talking about this stuff one year ago…”

• GEORGE H.W. BUSH GOT ON TWITTER _ 41st U.S. President George H.W. Bush joined Twitter.

• COUPLE OFFER CAR AS REWARD FOR RETURNING LOST DOG _ A Kentucky family offered one of its cars as a reward for the return of its golden retriever. Ashley and Mike Burns of the Elizabethtown area said their 3-year-old golden retriever, Bella, ran off two days before Thanksgiving with their other dog, Marley, and remained missing after Marley was found the following day by Animal Control. The couple offered a 1999 Pontiac Grand Prix as a reward for Bella’s return.

• FRENCH CAFÉ CHARGED EXTRA TO RUDE CUSTOMERS _ A small French café began charging extra to rude customers. At La Petite Syrah in Nice, a coffee was $7. Using the word “please” saved you $2.

• WALTER WHITE WAS TIME’S INFLUENTIAL FICTIONAL CHARACTER OF 2013 _ Time magazine named anti-hero Walter White as the Most Influential Fictional Character of 2013.

• DRY CLEANER GAVE WRONG WEDDING DRESS IN 1980s _ An Ohio woman who took her wedding dress to be dry cleaned nearly 30 years earlier said she discovered she was given the wrong gown in return. Sharyl Kittel of Cincinnati, who got married in 1987, said she opened the box the dress had been in since she had it dry cleaned shortly after the ceremony and was shocked to discover the now-closed dry cleaning business had given her the wrong dress. Kittel said the dress she received was a 1960s-style gown with a long lace train and a “Miss Betsy” label. Kittel said the name “Ruth” was stitched on the box.

• WILLIE AAMES WAS CRUISE SHIP DIRECTOR _ Willie Aames was once the original teen idol, the 16-year-old who was one of the biggest and most recognized stars on television, on ABC’s Eight is Enough. After decades of struggles that included drug addiction and homelessness, Aames found a new life as a cruise ship director.

ODD FACTS ABOUT LOVE

from Match.com

IF YOU LIKE GO-GET-‘EM TYPES — Look at their hands. People whose ring fingers are longer than their index fingers tend to be logical, decisive and ambitious.

DON’T ASK MARRIED PEOPLE FOR ADVICE — The last people you should ask for advice about your love life are your married friends. Psychologist Frank Bernieri had volunteers watch videos of couples, and then rate how “in love” each couple was. The result? When married people chose the couples they thought were “most in love,” they were wrong almost every time. While singles were almost always right! Married couples project their own happiness onto others who may not be as blissful as they are.

LOVE CHEMISTRY — If you want a woman to fall for you, it helps if you smell like her father. People are programmed to perpetuate their genetic blueprint ­ and finding someone with similar genes means you’re more likely to have healthy babies.

GET HIS OR HER ADRENALINE PUMPING — Researchers had male subjects walk across either a shaky bridge or a sturdy one. Afterwards, an attractive assistant gave the men her phone number. The result? The men who walked across the shaky bridge called the woman more often. So, if you want someone to really dig you, skip the bars and the singles mixers, and try rollerblading, rafting, or a scary movie.

WAYS TO GET YOUR SPOUSE TO HELP AROUND THE HOUSE

Here’s a three-step process for turning a honey DO list into a honey DONE list.

1. Stop asking and be direct. Saying, “Honey, I would appreciate help cleaning the kitchen” is much more effective than “Would you help with the kitchen?” If you’ve asked for help a lot, your spouse is probably tuning you out. So, turning your request into a statement gets you back on their frequency.

2. Stop assigning blame. When you criticize someone, their brain releases stress hormones, which discourages cooperation and makes an argument more likely.

3. Respond to your partner’s requests, too. A show of good faith will give your spouse a new perspective on helping you.

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FUN & GAMES

TRIVIA: The average American can name only eight of these. (Presidents)

WHO SAID IT?

“If my life had been turbulence free, no bumps in the road at all, maybe my music would be more beige, maybe the stadiums wouldn’t be so full and the mantle would be a little more empty.”

• Weird Al Yankovich

• Pitbull

• Kenny Chesney

• Taylor Swift *

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JOKE OF THE DAY

Did you hear about the guy who fell into an upholstery machine? Now he’s fully recovered.

Did you hear about the butcher who backed into the meat grinder? He got a little behind in his work.

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VIDEO OF THE DAY

The Holderness Family has released their annual Christmas video.

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IMAGE OF THE DAY

Now the damn bears are carrying knives!


Source: USA Today

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LAST MINUTE ITEMS

• Newest Mad Max: Fury Road trailer cranks up the action.

• Parking lot incompetence.

• Two idea-packed books for sales, promotions and stunts in 2015. Here’s one, here’s the other.

• Esther Anderson just wanted to sleep, but her baby had other plans.

• Trailer: Terminator: Genisys.

• Star Wars: Episode VII teaser trailer (Michael Bay Edition).

Poo Doh.

• Download Our Boring Radio Station App.

• In one minute, this model goes through 100 years’ worth of hair and makeup trends.

• Random request generator.

• If toddlers texted.

• Remove your personal info from data brokers.

• What if George Lucas was making the new Star Wars movie instead of JJ Abrams?

• The safest gift to get anyone on your holiday list.

• The world sends us garbage, we send back music.

• So you want to own a food truck?

• Comedian does spot-on impressions of celebrities stuck in traffic.

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DATEBOOK: DECEMBER 12, 2014

This is day 346 of 2014. There are 19 days remaining.

BIRTHDAYS

• Game-show host Bob Barker is 91

• Dionne Warwick is 74

• Singer-guitarist Dickey Betts (Allman Brothers) is 71

• Bill Nighy (Pirates of the Caribbean, Shaun of the Dead, Love Actually) is 65

• Singer-percussionist Sheila E. is 57

• Jennifer Connelly(Oscar for A Beautiful Mind) is 44

• Madchen Amick (My Own Worst Enemy, Twin Peaks) is 44

• Regina Hall is 44

• Mayim Bialik is 39

IT HAPPENED TODAY

• 1914: The largest one-day percentage drop in the history of Dow Jones Industrial Average occurred, down 24.39%.

• 1917: In Nebraska, Father Edward J. Flanagan founds Boys Town as a farm village for wayward boys.

• 1968: The Rolling Stones filmed their “Rock & Roll Circus” in London with guests John Lennon, Yoko Ono, Eric Clapton, the Who, Jethro Tull, Mitch Mitchell, Marianne Faithful, and Mia Farrow. The show was finally released 28 years later in 1996.

• 1989: The U.S. issued a patent (#4,885,809) to Charles Muchmore of St. Bernard, Ohio, for his Portable Pocket Spittoon, a flesh-colored plastic flask-like container for tobacco chewers who prefer to spit more privately.

• 1992: A Norway court ruled that Oslo University did not have to re-admit a 39-year-old student until he bathed. The astrophysics major, who had lived in a cave for 14 years, sued the university for a half-million dollars after he was expelled for stinking.

• 2000: A divided U.S. Supreme Court halted the presidential recount in Florida, effectively making Republican George W. Bush the winner.

• 2003: Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger was knighted by Great Britain.

• 2003: Keiko, the killer whale made famous by the “Free Willy” movies, died in the Norwegian fjord that he’d made his home.

• 2003: A disabled cyclist who fell into an icy river was saved when he used his false leg as a float. Brian Denman grabbed the plastic limb which had come off as he lost balance and slid down a bank. He clung to it in the dark for half an hour until fire crews hauled him from the River Tone in the UK.

• 2005: A court in China dismissed harassment charges against a man who broke into the home of a neighbor he secretly  loved and stole one of her bras. The judge decided the man had good intentions because he also did the woman’s laundry, washed her dishes and fixed her computer.

• 2009: Houston became the largest U.S. city to elect an openly gay mayor, with voters handing a solid victory to City Controller Annise Parker.

SPECIAL EVENTS

• Poinsettia Day

• Ugly Christmas Sweater Day

• Gingerbread House Day

UPCOMING

• Chanukah/Hanukkah (first day): December 17

• Christmas Day: December 25

• New Year’s Day: January 1

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DATEBOOK WEEKEND

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 13

• Dick Van Dyke is 89. Ted Nugent is 66. Randy Owen of Alabama is 65. Wendie Malick is 64. Country singer John Anderson is 60. Steve Buscemi is 57. Reality TV star NeNe Leakes is 48. Jamie Foxx is 47. Amy Lee of Evanescence is 33. Taylor Swift is 25. Maisy Stella (Nashville) is 11.

• Today is Gingerbread Decorating Day; Violin Day; Ice Cream Day; Popcorn String Day.

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 14

• Cliff Williams of AC/DC is 65. Archie Kao (Chicago P.D.) is 45. Vanessa Hudgens (High School Musical) is 26.

• Today is Biscuits and Gravy Day; International Children’s Day; Worldwide Candle Lighting Day; Monkey Day.

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