PRO February 3, 2015

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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: FEBRUARY 3, 2015

This is day 34 of 2015. There are 331 days remaining.

BIRTHDAYS

• NFL Hall of Famer Fran Tarkenton is 75

• Blythe Danner (Meet the Parents movies, Gwyneth Paltrow’s mom) is 72

• NFL Hall of Famer Bob Griese is 70

• Dave Davies of The Kinks is 68

• Morgan Fairchild is 65

• Nathan Lane is 59

• Maura Tierney (ER, NewsRadio) is 50

• Isla Fisher (The Lookout, Now You See Me, Wedding Crashers) is 39

• Matthew Moy (2 Broke Girls) is 31

• Rebel Wilson (Pitch Perfect, Super Fun Night) is 29

IT HAPPENED TODAY

• 1690: The first paper money in America was issued by the colony of Massachusetts.

• 1809: The territory of Illinois was created.

• 1959: Rock ‘n’ roll stars Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson died in a plane crash near Clear Lake, Iowa.

• 1971: Apollo 14 astronauts Alan B. Shepard Jr. and Edgar D. Mitchell landed on the lunar surface during the third successful manned mission to the moon.

• 1971: New York Police Officer Frank Serpico was shot during a drug bust in Brooklyn and survived to later testify against police corruption.

• 1994: The space shuttle Discovery blasted off with a woman, Air Force Lt. Col. Eileen Collins, in the pilot’s seat for the first time.

• 2000: Chinese officials kicked cartoons out of the country by banning TNT and the Cartoon Network. Beijing powers-that-be wouldn’t say what they disliked about Bugs Bunny, but Porky Pig and Elmer Fudd were labeled as contraband.

• 2005: In Nepal, with his son and other relatives by his side, a 75-year-old man married a dog. It’s a custom in that community for older men to marry a dog to bring them good luck and avoid great misfortune later in life. Unfortunately, three days later, the man died of natural causes.

• 2013: In Super Bowl 47 the Baltimore Ravens beat the San Francisco 49ers, 34-31.

SPECIAL EVENTS

• The Day the Music Died. Buddy Holly, Richie Valens and the Big Bopper died in a plane crash in 1959.

• Carrot Cake Day

UPCOMING

• February 14: Valentine’s Day (Saturday)

• February 16: President’s Day (Monday)

• February 19: Chinese New Year (Thursday)

• March 8: Daylight Saving Time begins (Sunday)

• March 17: St. Patrick’s Day (Tuesday)

• March 20: Spring begins (Friday, 6:45p ET)

More holidays

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NUMBER FOR THE DAY

8 billion: Sweethearts made by Necco (neck-oh) each year. 100,000 pounds of hearts are made each day, which sell out in six weeks.

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NEWS ATTACK!

The Zamboni driver at a girls high school hockey game in Fargo, North Dakota was arrested in the middle of the game for operating the Zamboni while drunk. [And with his turn signal on.]

Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel has entered a treatment facility. [There’s a treatment facility for being a jerk?]

Chris Christie said that it’s okay for parents to not have their child vaccinated. [Of course, on the campaign trail he’s not gonna kiss any of those babies.]

After a public relations nightmare Walmart has decided that its greeter in a Georgia store can say, “Have a blessed day.” [To protest the store’s objection he’d started wishing customers, “May the Force be with you.”]

New research shows that letting kids under two-and-a-half years old play with smartphones and tablets stunts their social-emotional development. [Yeah, but will it keep them quiet? ]

A man was arrested for trying to climb over a crowd control barrier outside the White House. [He claimed that he was just there to pick up his drone.]

That Pennsylvania groundhog saw its shadow, predicting six more weeks of winter. [At least for Seahawks fans.]

In Sweden one business is experimenting with employees being able to get into the building without a key thanks to the identification chip implanted into their hands. [It also makes it a lot harder to lie about what time you got to work.]

In Sweden one business is experimenting with employees being able to get into the building without a key thanks to the identification chip implanted into their hands. [It would be bad enough if you got fired but on the way out the building Security would add insult to injury by slicing open your hand.]

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NEWS & NUGGETS

NATIONWIDE EXEC ON THAT SUPER BOWL AD _ Nationwide Insurance’s chief marketing officer says he was surprised at the level of backlash that his company’s controversial Super Bowl ad received, but that “if it saved one child, it’s worth it.” The ad, intended to raise awareness about preventable childhood deaths, featured a young boy who shared that he’d never get to ride a bike, get married or travel the world because he had died. Many said that the ad struck an inappropriately macabre tone, especially during the Super Bowl.

… The Nationwide exec said the tone was designed to spark a dialogue: “The decision was about how strong an intervention are we going to stage. If we went too strong, people would shut down. If we went too quiet it runs the risk of being forgotten. … Two-thirds of Americans don’t think they have to do anything to make their homes safer. We wanted to raise awareness for this issue.”

… Nationwide said the ad was not designed to sell insurance. Another, more lighthearted Super Bowl spot featuring Mindy Kaling and Matt Damon was a sales pitch to “Join the Nation.”

… Laura Ries, a partner with branding consultancy Ries & Ries, pointed out that the ad wasn’t a public service announcement. “If they wanted to be pure advocacy, they didn’t have to slap their logo on it. Selling insurance that way seems rather cold and calculated.” Ries said that viewers were bummed out because there seemed to be no solution to the problem.

DID 6% OF AMERICANS CALL IN SICK MONDAY? _ You may have seen this on social media yesterday: 6% of your fellow Americans were going to call in sick because, you know, it’s the day after the Super Bowl and we’re all a bunch of slackers. But if you looked around your place of work I bet 6 out of 100 employees weren’t missing. Turns out the number of people who call in sick the Monday after the Super Bowl isn’t much higher than the usual number of people who call in sick on a Monday. A survey taken before a Big Game a few years ago revealed that just 1% of Americans “considered” taking a sick day — but it doesn’t say how many actually followed through.

ANOTHER DAY, ANOTHER TODDLER FINDS A GUN _ A 3-year-old Florida boy shot his mother in the leg while she slept in their home Monday. The Florida Department of Children & Families are investigating how the boy gained access to the gun.

… The incident came less than two days after a 3-year-old boy shot both his parents — including his pregnant mother — with one bullet in a motel room in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The boy pulled the gun from his mother’s handbag while apparently reaching for an iPod.

… Earlier in the month, three other child-related shootings had more dire results. At least three boys were killed in separate handgun accidents, two who shot themselves and the third shot by his 5-year-old brother. Those deaths came less than a month after a 2-year-old killed his mother in an Idaho Walmart.

BIG MAC SPECIAL SAUCE BEING AUCTIONED FOR $18,000 _ A bottle of the Big Mac secret sauce is up for auction in Australia and already receiving more than $18,000 in bids. There are still seven days left in the auction. A spokesman for McDonald’s Australia says: “Big Mac sauce is one of the most iconic McDonald’s ingredients and people often ask us where they can buy it; so we’re excited to be the first country in the world to offer tubs of Big Mac sauce to our customers.” The limited run of Special Sauce bottles will benefit the Ronald McDonald House charity in Australia. | Check here for latest bids

FB icon Start it on Facebook, take it to the phones: What restaurant specialty item do you wish you could take home?

JIMMY THE GROUNDHOG BITES MAYOR _ Groundhog Day was more eventful than usual in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin Monday morning as their resident rodent prognosticator, Jimmy the Groundhog, tried to take a bite out of the mayor’s face while relaying his Groundhog Day forecast. Heroically holding it together, despite rubbing his ear and checking his fingers for blood, Mayor Jonathon Freund announced that Jimmy the Groundhog had not seen his shadow. | VIDEO

UPDATE: FUNDRAISER LAUNCHED FOR MAN WHO WALKS 21 MILES FOR WORK _ Yesterday I told you about James Robertson, a 56-year-old Detroit man who walks 21 miles a day to and from work. His heroic story — and his impressive perfect attendance record — have encouraged people from around the U.S. to pay it forward and raise money for him to purchase a car, pay its insurance and provide professional financial management. Robertson says he walks 8 miles to work in the morning and then 13 miles in the evening in order to make it home, no matter the weather. He take the bus for parts of his daily commutes but the public transportation system in Detroit does not fully extend to where Robertson works. | GOFUNDME LINK

20-YEAR-OLD BODY PARTS FOUND IN POLICE STATION _ (CAUTION) While cleaning part of a police station in the Indian city of Unnao last week, workers found bags of human remains inside a room that had long been locked — and the body parts are likely two decades old or more. A superintendent of police said that the room was used as a mortuary, holding bodies before funerals, until 2008 when a hospital took over that duty. More than 100 skeletons and 400 internal body parts were present.

THERE’S A NEW APP FOR RICH PEOPLE WHO WANT TO DATE _ Samantha Daniels is a 15-year matchmaker who launched The Dating Lounge on Facebook a couple of years ago. Her matchmaking service caters to clients who are “ultra-successful, ultra-busy, ultra-cultured [and] ultra-educated.” She says her clients are people without the time required for eHarmony or the low standards required for Tinder. The Dating Lounge as a Facebook app was a hit, so Daniels developed an iPhone app.

… Like with most dating apps, members make profiles; they can upload photos and share personal information and interests. Daniels stresses that members get to be extremely specific about just how rich they are. Whereas the highest income level you can list on Match.com is $100,000, on The Dating Lounge, “we start at $100,000, and you can say you make a million, or two million, [or more].”

… One of the trickiest parts of The Dating Lounge is getting in: it’s an invitation-only group. There are a few ways to gain access. First off, anyone who was a member on Facebook will automatically have their membership transferred to the mobile app. Then there’s the possibility of getting in through a friend; know someone who’s already in The Dating Lounge, and they can send you an invite. Beyond that, you’ll have to submit an application if you want to gain entry, and only the high-end and well-connected need apply. Finally, invitations will only be extended to single people looking for meaningful relationships — so no sleazy married guys looking for some fun on the side.

SIT BACK, RELAX, AND ENJOY THE SMELL _ The next time you’re flying for a business trip, you might notice a different smell in the airplane cabin. Delta and United are among a group of airlines collaborating with professional scent marketers to develop their own signature fragrances in an effort to help customers relax and potentially distinguish their brand. United Airlines is rolling out its own new fragrance – -tentatively called ‘Landing’ — which the Wall Street Journal describes as a combination of orange peel, sandalwood, cedar, and leather. Delta already has been diffusing its signature scent “Calm,” a mixture of lavender and chamomile, in airplane cabins, lavatory soap dispensers, and hot towels given to premium classes for about two years. Several other airlines are now approaching launch dates for their own signature aromas.

… But what about customers with sensitive noses and allergies? An executive with Alaska Airlines says they won’t be laying their scents on thick. What scent would Alaska Airlines pump into its airplanes — pine trees and bears?

LIVING NEAR TREES MEANS FEWER ANTIDEPRESSANTS _ Trees are incredibly smart. They run on sunshine, provide shade in summer and ever so kindly drop their leaves to allow the winter sun through. And now researchers (University of Exeter) have determined that they are good for our mental health, too. Londoners who had more trees on their street popped fewer antidepressant pills.

BEES HELP ARMED COPS KEEP THEIR COOL _ Britain’s first police beekeeping ­club has launched to help officers in Scotland Yard’s CO19 firearms unit keep calm. Publicity material for the club says the activity is ideal for stressed cops because it is a “relaxing and rewarding hobby”.

THE TIC TAC TOE TEE, THE T-SHIRT YOU CAN PLAY _ If you’re always ready for a game of Tic Tac Toe and you want to communicate to others your willingness to play any time anywhere, you should get behind a new Kickstarter. The Tic Tac Toe Tee is a shirt with a special light-weight Velcro playing area affixed to the front. The tee comes with embroidered X and O Velcro playing pieces. Mikko Jarvenpaa thought up the idea for the shirt while traveling around the world. He was backpacking by himself, getting a bit lonely, and thought it would be a good way to connect with people. Jarvenpaa was inspired to put the Tic Tac Toe Tee up on Kickstarter after his hunch was proved correct; people stopped him and his friends wearing prototype shirts at parties, on the street, and in bars, wanting to play and buy their own. | LINK

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WACKY-BUT-TRUE

WACKY-BUT-TRUE: CARE TO GUESS WHAT WAS IN A BAG THAT SPARKED A BOMB INVESTIGATION? _ Port Authority Police in New York City had to investigate a potential bomb situation when officers found a silver bag by itself at a bus station. After a canine unit arrived to check for explosives and came up empty, officers opened it up to find it held about a thousand individually-packaged male and female condoms of various brands and styles. Police say the owner has not yet come forward to claim the bag.

WACKY-BUT-TRUE: MOM OF 3 DOESN’T KNOW SHE’S PREGNANT UNTIL 4TH BABY WANTS OUT _ A West Virginia mom recently gave birth to her fourth child — and didn’t know she was pregnant until she went into labor. The new kiddo is a fourth son for Mandie Smith and her husband JR, but the first to come without warning. Mandie said she woke up with “significant pain” around 2am last Thursday. She initially thought it was some other medical condition, but she quickly realized she was about to have a baby. Within hours, little Harrison Smith was born. He may have given his parents the shock of their lives, but the little guy was full term and perfectly healthy. Smith claims she had zero idea she was pregnant for the last nine months. She hasn’t suffered any of the usual symptoms and hasn’t gained much weight.

WACKY-BUT-TRUE: POLICE NAB DRIVER WHOSE LICENSE EXPIRED 37 YEARS AGO _ Over the weekend a driver in (Pelham) Ontario, Canada, was charged with driving with an expired license. Police said the man’s license had expired 37 years ago.

WACKY-BUT-TRUE: COP EMBARRASSED BY POTPOURRI BUST _ A police officer in England (Staffordshire) who thought he’d stumbled upon a major load of cannabis was embarrassed to discover his haul was potpourri.

WACKY-BUT-TRUE: WOMAN ATE DOG TREATS AND LEFT WITHOUT PAYING FOR THEM _ Deputies say a North Naples, Florida, woman drank Red Bull and ate dog treats at Walmart then left without paying for them. Employees watched the woman drink the Red Bull, then grab a bag of rawhide dog treats, which she began munching on.

WACKY-BUT-TRUE: BOOTS SURGICALLY REMOVED FROM DOG’S STOMACH _ Veterinarians in Philadelphia operated to remove a couple of foreign objects from the stomach of a dog. The 4-year-old dog, Vince, was brought in by his owners when they discovered he had ingested a large amount of a pair of calf-high woman’s boots.

WACKY-BUT-TRUE: GROOM CAUGHT COOKING METH AHEAD OF WEDDING _ Police in China busted a suspect during a raid of his apartment-turned-drug lab. He said he was planning to hand out some freshly-made meth to guests at his upcoming wedding celebration.

WACKY-BUT-TRUE: TRUCKER PULLING TOOTH TRIGGERS HIGHWAY BACKUP _ A truck driver distracted by yanking free his loose tooth veered off the road and caused a miles-long backup on an Alabama freeway. When police spoke with the man about the incident he showed them the tooth in his shirt pocket as proof.

WACKY-BUT-TRUE: 200 POUNDS OF BRISKET STOLEN FROM RESTAURANT _ A San Antonio restaurant was robbed of a popular menu item the day before the Super Bowl. An estimated 200 pounds of brisket was stolen at the B&B Smokehouse.

WACKY-BUT-TRUE: MAN CLOGS HIS TOILET, DECIDES TO SET OFF FIRE ALARM _ A guy in Pennsylvania (Delaware County) had a clogged toilet in his apartment and called building maintenance. The guy thought they weren’t responding quickly enough so he set off a fire alarm. The entire building was evacuated and fire fighters showed up thinking there was a genuine emergency. After the man told police that he was the one who set the alarm off and revealed his reasons for doing so, he was promptly arrested. The man had been trying to flush potatoes down his toilet.

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ON TELEVISION

NCIS (8p ET, CBS) — Susanna Thompson (Arrow) guest stars in this new episode.

PARKS AND RECREATION (8p ET, NBC) — Two new episodes air back to back. Rachel Dratch and Ginuwine guest star.

SHARK TANK (8p ET, ABC) — New

MASTERCHEF JUNIOR (8p ET, FOX) — Gordon Ramsay’s daughter, Matilda Ramsay, is the guest in tonight’s new episode.

THE FLASH (8p ET, CW) — New

NCIS: NEW ORLEANS (9p ET, CBS) — Diane Neal (NCIS, Law & Order: SVU),  BD Wong (Law & Order: SVU) and Anne Dudek (Mad Men) guest star in this new episode.

MARVEL’S AGENT CARTER (9p ET, ABC) — New

MARRY ME (9p ET, NBC) — New

NEW GIRL (9p ET, FOX) — Lori Greiner (Shark Tank) guest stars as herself in this new episode.

SUPERNATURAL (9p ET, CW) — New

ABOUT A BOY (9:30p ET, NBC) — Jama Williamson (Parks and Recreation) guest stars in this new episode.

THE MINDY PROJECT (9:30p ET, FOX) — New

PERSON OF INTEREST (10p ET, CBS) — New

FOREVER (10p ET, ABC) — Burn Gorman (Game of Thrones) guest stars in this new episode.

CHICAGO FIRE (10p ET, NBC) — New

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ENTERTAINMENT

BOBBI KRISTINA BROWN “FIGHTING FOR HER LIFE” _ A new statement from Whitney Houston’s family says the late singer’s daughter is “fighting for her life.” Bobbi Kristina Brown was hospitalized Saturday after she was found face down and unresponsive in a bathtub. Houston’s daughter’s medical scare comes just days before the anniversary of Houston’s death, who was found in a bathtub on February 11, 2012 and later pronounced dead.

EVERYONE WATCHED A RECORD-SETTING SUPER BOWL _ NBC’s broadcast of Super Bowl 49 was the most-watched broadcast in television history, beating last year’s big game to take the title. A record-setting 114.4 million people tuned in to see Tom Brady lead the New England Patriots to a 28-24 comeback against the Seattle Seahawks for the NFL championship in Phoenix, Arizona. That’s 2.2 million more people than the previously most-watched TV broadcast, last year’s Super Bowl on Fox.

… The last six Super Bowls dating back to Super Bowl 44 in 2010 make up the top six television broadcasts of all time, ahead of the 1983 series finale of M*A*S*H.

… NBC’s post-Super Bowl airing of a special episode of The Blacklist also was a boon for NBC, with 26.5 million viewers tuning in to the James Spader crime drama.

BRADLEY COOPER REVEALS THE BEST THING ABOUT ‘AMERICAN SNIPER’ _ American Sniper continues to dominate at the box office, and its star, Bradley Cooper — who played Chris Kyle — says one of the best parts about the movie is that they hired veterans to play some of the roles.

RIHANNA WANTS LEONARDO DICAPRIO TO LOSE THE WEIGHT _ Are things getting serious between Rihanna and Leonardo DiCaprio? It’s hard to tell since they both like to indulge in the party lifestyle. That said, it looks like Rihanna wants Leo to at least make a sacrifice if he wants to stick with her. According to OK! magazine, Rihanna knows that DiCaprio is a bit heavy and not what she’s used to in a boyfriend, so she’s requesting he shed a few pounds. It’s said that Rihanna has been less than subtle with dropping hints, and has teased DiCaprio, but apparently the Wolf of Wall Street actor isn’t getting the picture. Rihanna, clearly a woman on a mission, reportedly got a trainer for DiCaprio so he can rock a six-pack.

NATHAN FILLION TO APPEAR ON ‘THE BIG BANG THEORY’ _ Nathan Fillion will appear on The Big Bang Theory. The 43-year-old actor will guest star as himself on the CBS sitcom’s February 19 episode. The episode will have Raj and Leonard spot Fillion at a restaurant and debate whether to approach him. Sheldon is a fan of the actor’s series Firefly, and frequently references the program on the show.

ELVIS PRESLEY’S CUSTOM CADILLAC HEADED TO AUCTION _ Elvis Presley‘s custom-made 1972 Cadillac Deville station wagon is going to live auction. The vehicle was Presley’s favorite car in his later years. General Motors built the Cadillac specifically for the singer, who originally gave the car to his manager, Colonel Tom Parker, as a gift. But Presley borrowed the car so often to drive from his shows in Las Vegas to his Los Angeles home that Parker eventually gave it back. After Presley finished his time in Vegas in 1976, he drove the Cadillac back to Memphis, Tennessee, on his final road trip. Presley died four months after returning to Graceland.

… The vehicle, which features 24-carat gold badges and chromed wire wheels, is set to go to auction on February 12.

CW ORDERS ‘TALES FROM THE DARKSIDE _ The CW has picked up its first two pilots of the 2015-2016 season: a reinvention of “Tales From the Darkside” and a project called “Cordon,” which revolves around an epidemic that breaks out in Atlanta, leaving some people stuck on the outside of a large city quarantine. It’s based on a Belgian series.

BRUCE JENNER REMOVES PICTURES OF HIMSELF AS A MAN FROM HIS HOME _ Bruce Jenner is seemingly at the end of his transition into a woman. A source claims he has taken out all of the pictures of himself as a man from his home.

SNIPER MINI-SERIES PLANNED _ The Weinstein Company has acquired television rights to Nicholas Irving’s newly released autobiographical book “The Reaper: Autobiography of One of the Deadliest Special Ops Snipers”. The book offers the memoir of Special Operations Direct Action Sniper Nicolas Irving, the U.S. Army 3rd Ranger Battalion’s deadliest sniper. The plan is to adapt Irving’s story into a five-night television series event.

‘FROZEN’ RETURNS IN ‘FROZEN FEVER’ _ The filmmakers who brought us the animated hit musical Frozen in November 2013 have created a seven-minute short centered around Princess Anna (voiced by Kristen Bell), Princess Elsa (Idina Menzel), Kristoff (Jonathan Groff) and the snowman Olaf (Josh Gad). Frozen Fever will show in theaters before Disney’s live-action Cinderella, out March 13.

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AUDIO

Audio Archives

SNOW CLIPS

Here’s an updated package of snow-related clips. » download

STRANGE THINGS YOU’VE SEEN WHILE DRIVING!

I saw a guy reading a book on the highway yesterday. What’s the strangest thing you’ve seen someone do while driving? Here are four calls to help with the phones. » download  Visit the Pro Audio page and click the Phone Starters Archive link for another batch of calls on this topic.

PREGNANCY INSULTS

“One of our co-workers is pregnant and shared with us after the show yesterday that some guy at (local store) asked her, “Are you having twins?” Moms, how were you insulted during your pregnancy?” Here are three calls to help with the phones. » download

VALENTINE’S DAY CLIP PACKAGE

Here’s a huge, updated package of Valentine’s Day-related audio clips. » download

BIG PURCHASES ON A WHIM

What’s the biggest purchase you’ve made on a whim? Here are four calls to help with the phones or to drop into a promo. » download

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BITS & BREAKS

NEW ON DVD TODAY

THE 10 MOST POPULAR PEOPLE ON TWITTER

Katy Perry maintains her position as Twitter’s most-popular individual, with more than 64 million followers. Perry now has a growing lead of almost four and a half million followers over second-placed (and former number one) Justin Bieber.

Here’s the latest look at Twitter’s 10 most-popular users.

1. Katy Perry (@katyperry, 64,431,799 followers)

2. Justin Bieber (@justinbieber, 59,934,261)

3. Barack Obama (@barackobama, 54,192,819)

4. Taylor Swift (@taylorswift13, 51,777,237)

5. Lady Gaga (@ladygaga, 43,979,935)

6. Justin Timberlake (@jtimberlake, 41,168,816)

7. Britney Spears (@britneyspears, 40,631,771)

8. Rihanna (@rihanna, 40,240,864)

9. Ellen Degeneres (@TheEllenShow, 38,656,354)

10. Cristiano Ronaldo (@Cristiano, 33,260,833)

HOW ONE FAMILY RAISED 12 KIDS

Francis Thompson and his wife raised 12 kids and wrote a an article for Quartz titled “How I Made Sure All 12 of My Kids Could Pay for College Themselves.” | LINK

But the article isn’t about making his kids get jobs while they were still in diapers and socking away every last penny. It’s about raising kids to be well-rounded, self-sufficient members of society.

Here are just a few of Thompson’s tips.

Chores

  • Kids had to perform chores from age 3. A 3-year-old does not clean toilets very well but by the time he is 4, it’s a reasonably good job.
  • They got allowances based on how they did the chores for the week.
  • We had the children wash their own clothes by the time they turned 8. We assigned them a wash day.
  • When they started reading, they had to make dinner by reading a recipe. They also had to learn to double a recipe.
  • The boys and girls had to learn to sew.

Study time

  • We had study time from 6 to 8pm every week day. No television, computer, games, or other activities until the two hours were up. If they had no homework, then they read books. For those too young to be in school, we had someone read books to them. After the two hours, they could do whatever they wanted as long as they were in by curfew.

Picky eaters not allowed

  • We all ate dinner and breakfast together. Breakfast was at 5:15am and then the children had to do chores before school. Dinner was at 5:30pm.

Extracurriculars

  • All kids had to play some kind of sport. They got to choose, but choosing none was not an option. We started them in grade school. We did not care if it was swimming, football, baseball, fencing, tennis, etc. and did not care if they chose to change sports. But they had to play something.
  • All kids had to be in some kind of club: Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, history, drama, etc.

In it together

  • We required the children to help each other. When a fifth grader is required to read 30 minutes a day, and a first grader is required to be read to 30 minutes a day, have one sit next to the other and read. Those in high school calculus tutored those in algebra or grade-school math.
  • We assigned an older child to a younger child to teach them and help them accomplish their weekly chores.

Vacation policy

  • We would take family vacations every summer for two or three weeks. We could afford a hotel, or cruise, but did not choose those options. We went camping and backpacking. If it rained, then we would figure out how to backpack in the rain and survive. We would set up a base camp at a site with five or six tents, and I would take all kids age 6 or older on a three- to five-day backpack trip. My wife would stay with the little ones. Remember, for 15 years, she was either pregnant or just had a baby. My kids and I hiked across the Grand Canyon, to the top of Mount Whitney, across the Continental Divide, across Yosemite.

Read the entire article here.

WACKIEST DEMANDS PARENTS HAVE MADE OF BIRTHDAY PARTY GUESTS

A parenting blog asked its readers to share some wild demands made of birthday party guests.

• All kids had to wear a bowtie, or large hair bow for girls.

• Guests were asked not to wear the color red at all, because it was the birthday boy’s favorite color and he would freak out if anybody else was wearing it.

• My son, who was 4 at the time, got sick and couldn’t go to his friend’s party. I emailed the mom to let her know we couldn’t make it — and she wrote me back that thanks to people like me, her son’s birthday was completely ruined.

• We were asked to attend a birthday party even though the birthday child was sick and wouldn’t be there.

• Cash only for gifts.

• Gifts were supposed to have something to do with “zoo animals” because that was the party theme.

• All the parents of guests knew not to let their kids have a single bite of birthday cake before the birthday boy did because it was his day and he would have a tantrum.

• All kids would have to change out of their clothes and into cloth jumpsuits, because the birthday girl had severe allergies. The birthday girl wore a fancy dress, while the guests looked like mini prisoners.

FB icon Start it on Facebook, take it to the phones: What’s the wackiest thing you’ve been asked to do for a kid birthday party, or wackiest thing you’ve seen at one?

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FUN & GAMES

TRIVIA: In a survey, 40% of kids say they like their sandwiches presented this way. (Cut diagonally)

WHAT’S IN COMMON?

• Light bulb

• Movie projector

• Phonograph

Answer: All were invented by Thomas Edison.

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JOKE OF THE DAY

When Mr. Jones and his lovely assistant were traveling on business, they checked into a hotel that was overbooked and were told they’d have to share a room for one night. After the initial awkwardness, they tucked into separate beds. “Mr. Jones,” the assistant called out in the dark, “I’m chilly. Would you mind getting me a blanket?” “I have a better idea,” Mr. Jones replied. “Why don’t we pretend we’re married, just for tonight?” “I’d like that,” said the assistant. “Good,” said Mr. Jones. “Then get your own blanket.”

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VIDEO OF THE DAY

Extreme Hammock Spinning

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2BjCAmB9Ado

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IMAGE OF THE DAY

Always put your wipers up before a blizzard.


Source: imgur

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LAST MINUTE ITEMS

• What the world eats. (Click U.S. for a shocker.)

• A Navy SEAL Explains 8 Secrets To Grit And Resilience.

Perpetual Pizza

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

• Before you post to your station or show blog, run it through ProWritingAid.

• Rediscover your musical past.

• What’s your gadget worth?

• Which cities sleep in, which get to work early.

• Work cheat: Look like your using Outlook when you’re on reddit.

• I noticed this tiny thing on Google Maps.

• Nobody is using Google+.

• What the vinyl “comeback” really looks like.

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DATEBOOK: FEBRUARY 4, 2015

This is day 35 of 2015. There are 330 days remaining.

BIRTHDAYS

• Former U.S. Vice President Dan Quayle is 68

• Alice Cooper is 67

• TV personality Nicolle Wallace (The View) is 43

• Boxer Oscar De La Hoya is 42

• Singer Natalie Imbruglia is 40

• Singer Gavin DeGraw is 38

IT HAPPENED TODAY

• 1789: George Washington was unanimously elected to be the first President of the United States by the U.S. Electoral College.

• 1792: George Washington was unanimously elected to a second term as President of the United States by the U.S. Electoral College.

• 1913: Rosa Parks was born. (Died 2005.)

• 1938: Walt Disney released the classic children’s movie “Snow White & The Seven Dwarfs.”

• 1974: Newspaper heiress Patricia Hearst was kidnapped in Berkeley, California, by the so-called Symbionese Liberation Army.

• 1977: Dick Clark’s “American Bandstand” celebrated its 25th anniversary.

• 1983: Singer Karen Carpenter died at the age of 32.

• 1990: Seattle police said a 68-year-old woman arrested for shoplifting cigarettes blamed the episode on Judge Wapner. She said she heard the judge tell talk show host Pat Sajak that “everybody steals, at least once in their life.”

• 1991: The Baseball Hall of Fame voted to ban Pete Rose.

• 1997: A civil jury found O.J. Simpson liable for the deaths of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend Ronald Goldman. He had been acquitted in criminal court.

• 1998: While in Belgium, Bill Gates was assaulted by a Belgian man and hit in the face with a cream pie.

• 2004: Facebook was founded by Mark Zuckerberg and three fellow Harvard students. It’s name at launch was TheFacebook.

• 2010: A restaurant in Dubai unveiled its new quarter-pound camel burger.

SPECIAL EVENTS

• World Cancer Day

• Thank A Mailman Day

• Homemade Soup Day

UPCOMING

• February 14: Valentine’s Day (Saturday)

• February 16: President’s Day (Monday)

• February 19: Chinese New Year (Thursday)

• March 8: Daylight Saving Time begins (Sunday)

• March 17: St. Patrick’s Day (Tuesday)

• March 20: Spring begins (Friday, 6:45p ET)

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