PRO July 31, 2015

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DATEBOOK: JULY 31, 2015

This is day 212 of 2015. There are 153 days remaining.

BIRTHDAYS

• Michael Biehn (Aliens, Kyle Reese in The Terminator and Terminator 2: Judgement Day) is 59

• Wesley Snipes (The Expendables 3) is 53

• Author J.K. Rowling is 50

• Dean Cain is 49

• Annie Parisse (The Following, Alexandra Borgia on Law & Order) is 40

• Singer-musician Zac Brown is 37

• Actor-producer-writer B.J. Novak (Inglourious Basterds, Ryan Howard on The Office) is 36

• Rico Rodriguez (Manny Delgado on Modern Family) is 17

IT HAPPENED TODAY

• 1790: The first U.S. patent was issued, granted to inventor Samuel Hopkins for a potash process.

• 1930: The radio mystery program The Shadow aired for the first time.

• 1971: Apollo 15 astronauts became the first to ride in a lunar rover.

• 1975: In Detroit, Michigan, Teamsters Union president Jimmy Hoffa was reported missing.

• 1980: Fictional character Harry Potter was born today.

• 1981: A seven-week strike by major league baseball players ended.

• 1990: Nolan Ryan became the 20th major league pitcher to win 300 games as his Texas Rangers beat the Milwaukee Brewers 11-3.

• 1995: The Walt Disney Company agreed to acquire Capital Cities-ABC Inc. in a $19 billion deal.

• 1996: Three brothers, a sister, and two cousins all drowned while trying to rescue a chicken and each other from a 60-foot-deep well in Nazlat Imara, Egypt. The chicken survived.

• 1997: Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago announced that “the Teddy Bear Lady,” a $15-thousand-a-year secretary who passed out teddy bears to children in the hospital, had left $18-million for research into children’s diseases. Gladys Holm, who never married and had no heirs, apparently had invested wisely in the stock market.

• 2002: A knife-wielding robber in the Philippines was beaten up by his victim, a 25-year-old pregnant woman with a black belt in taekwondo. Clarissa de Guzman of Manila said when the robber focused his attention on her jewelry and money, she kicked him in the head, then in the groin and all over.

• 2005: Diners at a pizzeria in a western Austrian town panicked and called the police when a nearly 10-foot-long tiger python was seen slithering across the restaurant floor. The cops managed to catch the snake before anyone was bitten.

• 2012: A second power grid failure in two days left 670 million people in India without power.

SPECIAL EVENTS

• Talk in An Elevator Day

• System Administrator Appreciation Day: 31 Link  Link (Last Friday)

• Cotton Candy Day

UPCOMING

• August 3-9: Sturgis Rally

• September 7: Labor Day

• September 10: NFL season begins (Steelers at Patriots)

More holidays

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DATEBOOK WEEKEND

SATURDAY, AUGUST 1

• Blues singer-musician Robert Cray is 62. Joe Elliott of Def Leppard is 56. Rapper Chuck D of Public Enemy is 55. Rapper Coolio is 52. Movie director Sam Mendes is 50. Country singer George Ducas is 49. Tempestt Bledsoe is 42.

• August is Happiness Happens Month, Get Ready for Kindergarten Month, Children’s Eye Health & Safety Month, Children’s Vision and Learning Month, Make Your Reading Be A Haven Month, National Catfish Month, National Inventors’ Month, National Toddler Month, Mental & Educational Wellness Month, Spinal Muscular Atrophy Awareness Month

• Girlfriend’s Day; Mustard Day; Sandcastle Day; US Air Force Day; Raspberry Cream Pie Day

SUNDAY, AUGUST 2

• Director Wes Craven is 76. Kathy Lennon of The Lennon Sisters is 72. Joanna Cassidy is 70. Kathryn Harrold is 65. Butch Patrick (The Munsters) is 62. Victoria Jackson is 56. Mary-Louise Parker is 51. Director-actor Kevin Smith is 45. Sam Worthington (Terminator Salvation) is 39. Edward Furlong is 38. Hallie Eisenberg is 23.

• National Doll Day; National Kids’ Day; Sisters Day; Ice Cream Sandwich Day; Friendship Day; International Forgiveness Day

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NUMBER FOR THE DAY

147,000: Dentists in the U.S. There are around 23,000 in Canada.

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NEWS ATTACK!

Netflix says that in September it will release an original documentary called Keith Richards—Under the Influence. [Recommended by 3 out of 4 pharmacists.]

China announced that it will prosecute another top military officer for corruption. [China seems to be in competition with North Korea to see who can avoid paying the most retirement pensions.]

In Poland a badger stole several beers from people at the beach then got so drunk that he was unconscious for two days. [He awoke with a massive hangover and the mother of all sunburns.]

The massive growth in China has resulted in the country running out of water. [Chinese officials say they intend to interview Tom Selleck.]

The FAA’s investigating how an Allegiant Air passenger jet almost ran out of fuel. [According to the pilot, his teenager borrowed the plane and returned it without refilling the tank.]

A report reveals that the world’s seabird population has plummeted a frightening 70% in just the past 60 years. [That’s almost as fast as the drop in ticket sales for Adam Sandler movies.]

Disgraced former baseball player Jose Canseco says that he will spend a week as a woman in order to support Caitlyn Jenner. [I can’t imagine that Jose Canseco in a bra and panties would be of much help to anyone.]

The University of Phoenix is under investigation for unfair business practices. [The school has a long and distinguished history. The cousin of that guy who used to work in the cubicle next to my old roommate almost graduated from there.]

Olympic athletes training in the waters of Rio are getting sick from the highly contaminated water that’s being described as way beyond toxic and loaded with human feces. [The good thing is they don’t have to worry about shark attacks. The sharks have no interest in opening their mouths.]

FedEx announced that it will no longer transport dangerous pathogens such as anthrax. [This could be the big break that Uber’s been looking for.]

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NEWS & NUGGETS

GIRLS SCAM ISIS ON SOCIAL MEDIA FOR TRAVEL MONEY _ If you’re low on funds for that big vacation, you could always ask to borrow some, run a Kickstarter campaign — or swindle a couple of Islamic State recruiters. It may not be the safest way to make money, but that’s what three young women from Chechnya did. The Chechen women are under investigation for fraud after they allegedly scammed ISIS members into giving them money on the pretense that they would use it to travel from their homeland to Syria. The ladies got away with some $3,300 before being discovered.

… The ISIS members allegedly reached out to the young women on their social media accounts, asking them to join the militant cause. The women kept in touch with members and even sent fake pictures to string them along. After the IS members wired the money, the “con artists” closed their accounts, stopped all communication, and kept the windfall. They had no intention of actually leaving the country, though one admitted that she used to consider joining.

ZIMBABWE CONSERVATION GROUP TO DENTIST: DONATE YOUR TIME _ The dentist who killed Cecil the lion can acquit himself by putting down his bow and arrow and picking up a drill. An official from the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force says, as much as they condemn what Dr. Walter Palmer did to their beloved lion, they don’t think he deserves the threats that have come his way. The organization has an idea — that Dr. Palmer should come back to Zimbabwe and provide free dental services to the poor, like community service.

AGGRESSIVE COBRA FOUND AT HOUSTON HIGH-RISE APARTMENTS _ An “aggressive” 2-foot-long cobra captured at a luxury high-rise apartment complex in Houston has been euthanized. Police were called to the complex after residents spotted an albino monocled cobra on the third floor over the weekend. Police used a broom to corner and capture the snake. No injuries were reported. Authorities aren’t sure how the snake, which is native to Southeast Asia, ended up in the building or who owned it.

YOUTUBER SURPRISES HIS ANGRY GRANDPA WITH A NEW HOUSE _ An “angry” grandpa turned into a sad grandpa after his grandson, YouTube star Michael Green, bought him a house. For weeks prior to the filming of the above video, Michael and his girlfriend had been taking “Angry Grandpa” on trips to look for a new house. But when they finally found the right house they gave it to grandpa Charles. The video begins with Michael and Charles roaming a vacant house. Charles is clearly impressed by the size and structure of the place and repeatedly tells Michael that he and Bridget will be very happy in the house. A little over halfway through the video, Michael finally hands his grandfather a key and tells him why they were really there: “We are not searching for a house for us pop, we are searching for a house for you.” • VIDEO

GRAPHIC SHOWS WHAT A CAN OF COKE COULD BE DOING TO YOUR BODY _ The Renegade Pharmacist quit his job as a pharmacist after recovering from a chronic illness without medication. As part of his new holistic lifestyle, he created a chart explaining what happens to your body in the hour after you drink a single Coke. Renegade made the chart in May but it’s picked up steam on Facebook this week. • INFOGRAPHIC

… As stated on Renegade’s Coke infographic, one can of soda contains up to 10 teaspoons of sugar — which exceeds the recommended daily intake. The excess sugar causes blood sugar levels to spike within 20 minutes. As a result, soda drinkers will experience an “insulin burst,” prompting the liver to produce fat.

… Within 40 minutes of consuming a can of soda “caffeine absorption is complete.” As a result, the drinker will experience increased blood pressure, dilated pupils, and a burst of energy.

… Sugary soda increases dopamine production within 45 minutes. As a result, the drink essentially fuels “the pleasure centers of your brain.” The Renegade Pharmacist suggests “this is physically the same way heroin works.”

… Sugary sodas also deplete the body of essential nutrients, as they are bound by the phosphoric acid and eliminated during urination.

… A similar infographic (published by Mercola) suggests Diet Coke is as dangerous as the original.

NOTICE TO DRONIES: NO SPYING _ Where should we draw the line between the advancement of technology and the protection of personal privacy? For one Kentucky man, his property line is where he gets to make the call, and he made that point of view perfectly clear when he pointed his shotgun at a drone hovering in his backyard and pulled the trigger. William Merideth said, “It was just right there. It was hovering. I would never have shot it if it was flying. When he came down with a video camera right over my back deck, that’s not going to work.”

… Merideth claims that the drone was first spotted hovering over his neighbor’s house — a claim his neighbor confirms — and he had no intentions of taking any actions against it until it entered onto his own property. Merideth’s 16-year-old daughter was laying out by their pool at the time, and when the drone pilot decided to stop his vehicle and get an electronic eyeful, he decided enough was enough.

… Merideth fetched his shotgun and pumped three helpings of birdshot into the $1,800 drone, taking it out of the air. Shortly thereafter, the drone pilot and three of his friends arrived at Merideth’s property. He told them, “If you cross that sidewalk onto my property, there’s going to be another shooting.” The police eventually arrived and Merideth was charged with first-degree criminal mischief and first-degree wanton endangerment, both related to his discharge of the firearm.

FORMER PENNSYLVANIA GOVERNOR: A HOT DOG IS A SANDWICH _ Former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell has become the latest high-profile personality to weigh in on the debate over whether a hot dog qualifies as a sandwich. Rendell was asked by an interviewer to weigh in on the subject, which has recently become a topic of heated Internet debate, and he came out in favor of giving sandwich status to hot dogs. The former guv said: “It’s got bread. Would you put a hoagie in the sandwich category? What I would think is the hot dog, the cheese steak, the hoagie, they’re in the elite sandwich category … If you eat a hot dog without the bun, it’s not a sandwich, obviously. But if you use the bun, I think that it’s just a different type of sandwich, but it’s still a sandwich. The bread to me would be the key.”

2-YEAR-OLD HAS BEST THEME BIRTHDAY PARTY EVER _ Kids have tons of obsessions, from dinosaurs to space to dolls. For 2-year-old Grayson Dobra, that obsession is a New Orleans attorney named Morris Bart. Bart is a personal injury attorney in Louisiana with a set of catchy local commercials. It’s these commercials that led to little Grayson’s obsession. His mom explains: “Before he could walk or talk, every time the Morris Bart commercial would come on, he was just fixated. You couldn’t talk to him. You couldn’t do anything with him. He would just sit and stare at the TV. You could call his name, give him a toy. He didn’t care. He just wanted to watch the Bart commercial.”

… Although invited, Bart was unable to attend the party. He sent Grayson an autographed portrait and some keychains. And the birthday party featured a cake with Bart’s face on it and a cardboard cutout. • VIDEO

FB icon Start it on Facebook, take it to the phones: What TV commercial turns your kid into a zombie?

A HACKER HAS A WAY TO ALMOST COMPLETELY CONTROL A GM CAR _ Another day, another security flaw found in a connected car. On Thursday, a hacker named Samy Kamkar revealed a gadget that he claims enables the takeover of any GM vehicle with the OnStar system. The gadget, which Kamkar built for $100 and cleverly calls the OwnStar system, allows a hacker to basically do exactly what the OnStar system does. A hacker can locate, unlock, and start the car using the gadget. However, in order for the device to work, a hacker must first install it somewhere on the car it wishes to breach. Once the driver opens the OnStar app within WiFi range of Kamkar’s device placed on the car, he is capable of gaining access to the car.

… Kamkar posted a video on Thursday that showed how the device works. A GM spokesperson told the website Tech Insider that a fix has already been implemented.

MAN SUES AIRLINE FOR BECAUSE OF OBESE MAN SITTING NEXT TO HIM _ A man is suing an airline, claiming he got a back injury after being forced to sit next to an obese man who coughed a lot. James Andres Bassos has taken Etihad Airways to court in Queensland, Australia, saying he was forced to twist and contort his body for long periods on a 2011 flight from Sydney to Dubai. Bassos’ claim states the ‘grossly overweight’ passenger was spilling into his seat, was coughing frequently and had fluid coming from his mouth. After five hours he asked to be moved but airline staff had allegedly refused. Half an hour later, Bassos complained again and he was moved to a crew seat. However, for security reasons he had to return to his seat next to the fat man later for another hour, and again for the final 90 minutes of the flight.

… Bassos is claiming damages for personal injuries, saying that being forced to twist his body for such a long time to avoid contact with the other passenger gave him a back injury and exacerbated an existing back condition.

THE ICONIC ‘UP’ HOUSE IN SEATTLE IS HEADED FOR A HAPPY ENDING _ A small house in Seattle that has become an iconic landmark thanks to its resemblance to the home in the 2009 Pixar film Up has likely been spared the wrecking ball. The Edith Macefield House, named for its late owner, has stood in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood since around the turn of the 20th century, even as development has left it in the shadows of new surrounding businesses. Now, after threats of being torn down, it seems the house will be allowed to stay intact — in a different location. While no official announcement will be made by the current owner of the house or its broker until next week, the broker confirmed in a statement that the current owner has selected a nonprofit to whom the house will be donated. Local media reports the house will be saved and moved.

… At one point, Macefield — who passed away in 2008 — was offered $1 million to vacate the house, but turned it down. In 2007, she told the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, “I don’t want to move. I don’t need the money. Money doesn’t mean anything.”

YOU’RE KISSING ALL WRONG, ACCORDING TO MOST OF THE WORLD _ If someone likes you — as in really, really likes you — you’d expect them to part their lips and pull you in for a close one, right? But according to new research, kissing isn’t considered romantic and/or sexual all over the globe. In a new study (in American Anthropologist) researchers laid out what they found after studying lip-to-lip kissing in 168 different cultures.

… After gathering data from a wide range of geographical locations, historical backgrounds, and social structures, scientists found that we’ve been taking our kissing for granted. Of the 168 cultures they studied, 91 of them — or 51% — did not kiss romantically. The reason why we assumed everyone would? Scientists chalk it up to our “Western ethnocentrism.” In other words, thinking, “Well, we like it, so everyone else must, too.”

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WACKY-BUT-TRUE

WACKY-BUT-TRUE: COPS STOP 7 PEOPLE RIDING 1 SCOOTER _ Police in China pulled over a guy riding a scooter for carrying six other people on his vehicle. Three men were riding on the seat along with driver, while one man straddled the front bumper, one sat atop the attached back compartment and another stood on a foot peg. Two of the passengers were so chill they were enjoying cigarettes.

WACKY-BUT-TRUE: PARTY-ANIMAL BADGER FOUND DRUNK ON BEACH _ A badger is recovering at a Polish animal shelter after the party animal was found passed out on a beach from having too much to drink. The badger is believed to have stolen the booze from fellow beachgoers, before removing the beer caps with her teeth and guzzling away.

WACKY-BUT-TRUE: EMERGENCY CALL: ‘MY CAT ATE MY BACON!’ _ A man in the UK called 911 (999) with what he believed was a serious crime: His cat ate his bacon. Over the course of the 90-second call, the caller told the operator that he wanted to press charges against his girlfriend and the bacon-eating feline. The operator finally explained point blank: “Sir, it’s not a criminal offense to let your cat eat your bacon. And we don’t arrest cats.”

WACKY-BUT-TRUE: WANTED MAN RUNS A MARATHON _ Palm Beach County, Florida, sheriff’s deputies spotted a wanted man. Donald Howard appeared to be working on his car on the side of the road, but when they stopped to speak to him Howard jumped into his car and took off. He drove through the yards of several homes and got tangled in a fence, so he jumped out and ran, and deputies lost sight of him. Howard allegedly broke into several houses to change his clothes and get something to drink. Deputies followed a trail of discarded juice boxes and items allegedly stolen from the homes. The search team grew to 20 deputies, five local police officers, four sheriff dogs, and the sheriff’s helicopter. When Howard was spotted, deputies would order him to stop, but he would just run off again. He finally collapsed 2½ hours later, exhausted, a few blocks from where the chase started.

WACKY-BUT-TRUE: BURGLAR TAKES HER KIDS TO WORK _ Kim Steffen-Brauch was taking an afternoon nap in her Colorado home when she says she “felt this presence, almost like I could hear footsteps going across my living room.” She jumped up and grabbed her pistol. Sure enough, she found herself face-to-face with a home-invasion burglar. Steffen-Brauch held the intruder at gunpoint and waited for sheriff’s deputies to arrive. The intruder, Melanie Romero, was not only charged with burglary, but also child abuse — because she brought her three children along. Deputies found them waiting in her car.

WACKY-BUT-TRUE: GUMBO MURDER _ Two employees at Buddy’s Seafood Market in Panama City Beach, Florida, got into an argument on the job. Police say Orlando Thompson at first walked away, but came back with a 15-inch knife and stabbed his co-worker (killing him). The argument? How much spice goes into the restaurant’s gumbo.

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ON TELEVISION

ELEMENTARY (8p ET, CBS) — Repeat

AMERICA’S GOT TALENT (8p ET, NBC) — A 2-hour repeat

SHARK TANK (8p ET, ABC) — Repeat

MASTERCHEF (8p ET, FOX) — Repeat

MASTERS OF ILLUSION (8p ET, CW) — New

DESCENDANTS (8p ET, Disney) — In this original comedy film, the trouble-making offspring of villainous Disney characters get a chance at redemption when they are allowed to attend a prep school alongside of the teen descendants of Fairy Godmother, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, and Mulan. Kristin Chenoweth (Glee), Dove Cameron (Liv and Maddie), Cameron Boyce (Jessie) and Kathy Najimy star.

WHOSE LINE IS IT ANYWAY? (8:30p ET, CW) — Repeat

HAWAII FIVE-O (9p ET, CBS) — Repeat

WHAT WOULD YOU DO? (9p ET, ABC) — Repeat

GOTHAM (9p ET, FOX) — Repeat

PENN AND TELLER: FOOL US (9p ET, CW) — Repeat

SERIES PREMIERE: COLD JUSTICE: SEX CRIMES (9p ET, TNT) — This spinoff of Cold Justice features former prosecutors Casey Garrett and Alicia O’Neill.

BLUE BLOODS (10p ET, CBS) — Repeat

20/20 (10p ET, ABC) — Repeat

DATELINE (10p ET, NBC) — New

WET HOT AMERICAN SUMMER: FIRST DAY OF CAMP (Netflix) — The original cast (including Elizabeth Banks, Bradley Cooper, Ken Marino, Amy Poehler, and Paul Rudd) reunites for an 8-episode prequel of the original 2001 movie.

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ENTERTAINMENT

DWAYNE ‘THE ROCK’ JOHNSON ON HULK HOGAN’S RACIST RANT _ Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson spoke about Hulk Hogan’s racist rant at Thursday’s Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour. The Rock said, “Yeah, I saw that. I was pretty disappointed with what I heard…” Hogan’s contract with the WWE was terminated last week after audio surfaced in which the wrestler repeatedly used the N-word. The Rock said, “I’ve known [him] for a lot of years. And my dad helped train him in Florida in the ’70s, with my uncles. So I had not known the man to be racist.”

GAME OF THRONES LIKELY TO END AFTER SEASON 8 _ The end of Game of Thrones is in sight. HBO’s programming president (Michael Lombardo) predicted Thursday that the Emmy-winning fantasy series will likely end after its eighth season. He said at the TV Critics Association summer press tour: “Obviously we’re shooting season six now, hopefully discussing seven. I think their feeling is we’re looking at two more seasons after six. I’m hoping they’ll change their minds, but that’s what we’re looking at right now.”

TRUMP-CUBAN 2016? _ Mark Cuban would definitely consider joining Donald Trump’s ticket, should the real-estate magnet win the nomination. The Dallas Mavericks owner said, “Would I consider? Yes. Would I do it? Probably not. I’m not cut out for politics. At least [the] way they are now. Maybe in the future if Trump truly impacts how the game is played.”

… Cuban explained, “Up until Trump announced his candidacy the conventional wisdom was that you had to be a professional politician in order to run. You had to have a background that was politically scrubbed. In other words, smart people who didn’t live perfect lives could never run. Smart people who didn’t want their families put under the media spotlight wouldn’t run. The Donald is changing all of that. He has changed the game and for that he deserves a lot of credit.”

… And what about some of his controversial comments, especially those on Mexican immigrants? “I don’t care if he says the wrong thing. He says what’s on his mind. He gives honest answers rather than prepared answers. This is more important than anything any candidate has done in years.”

SALMA HAYEK DESPISES DONALD TRUMP _ While Donald Trump is doing remarkably well in the polls, some celebrities are doing what they can to speak out against the GOP candidate — and others are trying to avoid giving him an ounce more of publicity. One is actress Salma Hayek, who recently discussed her distaste for Donald Trump. As a Mexican national, Salma Hayek took deep offense to remarks made by Donald Trump that Mexican immigrants to the United States are all rapists, criminals and drug dealers. Hayek says, “I’m aware that [Donald Trump] would say anything to attract attention and create publicity around him. … I’d be surprised if he did something courageous and meaningful that nobody found out about. This was not courageous and meaningful.”

JOSE CANSECO TO LIVE AS A WOMAN FOR A WEEK _ Jose Canseco has gone from baseball slugger to steroid-stained pariah, now he’ll try being a woman — at least for a week. Canseco will show his support for former Olympic decathlon gold medalist Caitlyn Jenner’s decision to come out as transgender by dressing up and living as a female for seven days. The 51-year-old admitted he didn’t fully understand Jenner’s transition at first, but says he’s had a change of heart. The former Yankee doesn’t say what he hopes his decision to don lipstick and leggings will accomplish.

GUY RITCHIE MARRIES JACQUI AINSLEY AT STAR-STUDDED CEREMONY _ Guy Ritchie is a married man once again. The 46-year-old director and his longtime girlfriend, Jacqui Ainsley, became husband and wife on Thursday at their home in Wiltshire, England. Quite a few celebrities were in attendance at the wedding — including Brad Pitt, Jason Statham, David Beckham and Rose Huntington-Whiteley.

JOHNNY DEPP INTIMIDATES IN NEW ‘BLACK MASS’ TRAILER _ Johnny Depp intimidates as Whitey Bulger in a new Black Mass trailer. The 52-year-old actor brings the real-life gangster to life in the new preview, which follows Bulger’s rise to power in the 1970s. The notorious criminal and his gang built an empire in Boston before he became an FBI informant for 30 years. • TRAILER

… Co-starring with Depp are Joel Edgerton, Benedict Cumberbatch, Dakota Johnson, Kevin Bacon, Peter Sarsgaard, Corey Stoll and Sienna Miller.

MAROON 5 STAR ADAM LEVINE HEADED FOR DIVORCE? _ Maroon 5 star Adam Levine is reportedly headed for the divorce court just a week after his first wedding anniversary. Levine married Victoria’s Secret model Behati Prinsloo in Mexico in July of 2014. Levine and Prinsloo first got together in 2012, but they split up after less than 12 months together. Levine and Prinsloo reconciled after a short time apart, and they were engaged in July of 2013 before tying the knot last year.

… Just two weeks after their first wedding anniversary, it is widely reported that Levine’s marriage is already in trouble, and apparently, the Maroon 5 frontman’s wandering eye and flirtatious manner are to blame.

MARIAH CAREY TO DIRECT AND STAR IN CHRISTMAS MOVIE _ Mariah Carey will make her directorial debut on the Hallmark Channel’s Mariah Carey’s Christmas Project, which will start shooting in October and screen in December as part of the network’s Countdown to Christmas. Carey will also costar in the holiday movie, which marks her first acting role since 2013’s The Butler.

KATE MARA TO LEAD MEGAN LEAVEY WAR DRAMA _ She hits theaters next week as a superhero in Fantastic Four, and Kate Mara has now signed on to play real-life hero Megan Leavey. Based on Leavey’s inspiring true story, the movie centers on the US Corporal and her dog Rex, who were both injured while disarming an IED in Iraq. Leavey went on to receive the purple heart for her actions, and recovered with Sgt. Rex. before returning home. Leavey then attempted to adopt Rex, but was denied and the bomb-sniffing canine was sent back to Iraq. After spending six years fighting through bureaucratic roadblocks, Leavey’s endeavor to adopt Rex gained national notoriety and support, launching a campaign to return the dog with his handler. Following Rex’s retirement from duty, the duo were reunited, though they were only able to spend a brief time together before Rex passed.

FOX YANKS ‘KNOCK KNOCK LIVE’ _ Knock Knock Live is no longer. Two weeks into the reality series run, Fox has opted to pull the plug. The Ryan Seacrest-hosted wish-fulfillment series debuted with just 1.75 million viewers July 21 — one of the network’s lowest series debuts ever. Week two, which included a Justin Bieber cameo, scored an even-more-dismal 1.6 million total viewers.

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BITS & BREAKS

NEW IN THEATERS THIS WEEKEND

VACATION (R) — OPENED WEDNESDAY

Rusty Griswold takes his own family on a road trip to “Walley World” in order to spice things up with his wife and reconnect with his sons.

• Ed Helms, Christina Applegate, Chris Hemsworth, Leslie Mann, Chevy Chase, Beverly D’Angelo
• Links: websitetrailerreviews

MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – ROGUE NATION (PG-13)

Ethan and team take on their most impossible mission yet, eradicating the Syndicate – an International rogue organization as highly skilled as they are, committed to destroying the IMF.

• Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg, Alec Baldwin, Ving Rhames
• Links: websitetrailerreviews

» download page

NEW ON DVD THIS WEEKEND

OPENING NEXT WEEK

• Friday: Fantastic Four

• Friday: The Gift

• Friday: Ricki and the Flash

• Friday: Shaun the Sheep Movie

SPACE STATION ASTRONAUT ANNOYANCES

They polled past and present International Space Station astronauts on their top annoyances. They are:

• The robot arm is missing its middle finger.

• Zero gravity causes the bathroom air freshener to float to the ceiling.

• The beer tap was installed backwards and is sucking up the oxygen.

• To save space, the regular repair manuals were replaced with the Cliff’s Notes versions.

• The tool kit is missing the hammer for whacking malfunctioning equipment.

• There’s no caller ID on the phone and they got stuck talking to Obama about his golf game.

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FUN & GAMES

TRIVIA: Roughly 325 people (in the U.S.) die each year because of what? (Trains. That includes collisions, derailments, etc.)

FOUR THINGS

I’ll describe four unrelated things or places or people. The first begins with the letter ‘F’; the second begins with the letter ‘O’; and so on.

• A movie that gave us the song “Let It Go.” (Frozen)

• You breathe this in. (Oxygen)

• A famous Irish rock band. (U2)

• Often used in the military and law enforcement, another way to say OK. (Roger)

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JOKE OF THE DAY

Dave was sitting on his usual stool in the corner bar when his old buddy John walked in. “John!” Dave called out, “I thought you gave up coming to the bar so you and the wife could spend more time together and — you know — work on having children?” “That’s why I’m here,” John said. “We were just fighting about it.” Dave said, “I thought you two were in total agreement that you both wanted kids?” “That’s what I thought too,” John said. Dave asked, “Well, what happened?” “Well,” John said, taking a big gulp of his beer, “I found out we’re not in total agreement — she only wants me to have them with her.”

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VIDEO OF THE DAY

1,000 musicians covered Learn to Fly in a very epic performance.

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IMAGE OF THE DAY

The left one, the right one… or both?


Source: bitsandpieces.us

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LAST MINUTE ITEMS

• How many superhero films will be made before you die?

• Draw in peanut butter.

• The world’s strongest coffee.

• Time-lapse of severe weather and natural wonders.

• Your daily source of natural rain sounds.

• What speed do you read?

• Your radio station videos are too long.

• How big is space?

• Justin Watkins took his drone out for a pleasant ride — and it caught a tornado in Kansas.

• Use your mouse to play with the text.

• The real value of $100 in each state.

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DATEBOOK: AUGUST 3, 2015

This is day 215 of 2015. There are 150 days remaining.

BIRTHDAYS

• Tony Bennett is 89

• Martin Sheen is 75

• Martha Stewart is 74

• Jay North (Dennis the Menace) is 64

• John C. McGinley (Scrubs, Wild Hogs) is 56

• Isaiah Washington (formerly of Grey’s Anatomy) is 52

• Michael Ealy is 42

• NFL quarterback Tom Brady (New England Patriots) is 38

• Evangeline Lilly (Ant-Man, Lost) is 36

IT HAPPENED TODAY

• 1492: A half hour before sunrise, Christopher Columbus set sail from Palos, Spain, on a voyage that took him to the present-day Americas.

• 1933: The Mickey Mouse Watch first went on sale for $2.75.

• 1946: The National Basketball Association was founded.

• 1971: Paul McCartney announced the formation of a new band called Wings.

• 1977: After building and testing 25 units, Radio Shack issued a press release introducing its TRS-80 computer. Within weeks, the company had thousands of orders.

• 1999: Salesman Simon Thompson got a shock when his car broke down in west London and Prince William and Prince Harry stopped to help him push it down the street and out of the way. He said the 17- and 14-year-old Royals acted as though it was no big deal.

• 2004: The pedestal of the Statue of Liberty reopened after being closed since the September 11, 2001 attacks.

• 2007: Scholastic, the U.S. publisher of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books, announced that the seventh and final Potter book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, sold 11.5 million copies in its first 10 days and that an original printing of 12 million would be been increased to 14 m

SPECIAL EVENTS

• August is Happiness Happens Month, Get Ready for Kindergarten Month, Children’s Eye Health & Safety Month, Children’s Vision and Learning Month, Make Your Reading Be A Haven Month, National Catfish Month, National Inventors’ Month, National Toddler Month, Mental & Educational Wellness Month, Spinal Muscular Atrophy Awareness Month

• International Clown Week; Scrabble Week; Simplify Your Life Week; World Breastfeeding Week; Assistance Dog Week; Farmers’ Market Week; Psychic Week; Single Working Women’s Week; Sturgis Rally

• Assistance Dog Day; Friendship Day; Psychic Day; Watermelon Day

UPCOMING

• August 3-9:Sturgis Rally

• September 7: Labor Day

• September 10: NFL season begins (Steelers at Patriots)

More holidays

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