PRO December 11, 2015

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DATEBOOK: DECEMBER 11, 2015

This is day 345 of 2015. There are 20 days remaining.

BIRTHDAYS

• Rita Moreno is 84

• Donna Mills (Knots Landing) is 75

• U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is 72

• Brenda Lee (Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree) is 71

• Teri Garr is 68

• Bess Armstrong is 62

• Nikki Sixx of Motley Crue is 57

• Gary Dourdan (C.S.I.) is 49

• Mos Def is 42

• Karla Souza (How to Get Away With Murder) is 29

• Hailee Steinfeld (True Grit, Ender’s Game) is 19

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.

• 2013: Pope Francis was named Time magazine’s Person of the Year.

SPECIAL EVENTS

• International Mountain Day

• Official Lost & Found Day

• National Noodle Ring Day

• Have a Bagel Day

UPCOMING

• December 21: Winter begins (11:48 PM ET)

• December 23: Festivus

• December 25: Christmas Day

• January 1: New Year’s Day

• February 7: Super Bowl 50

More holidays – Updated with 2016 holidays.

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DATEBOOK WEEKEND

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 12

• Game-show host Bob Barker is 92. Connie Francis is 78. Dionne Warwick is 75. Dickey Betts (Allman Brothers) is 72. Bill Nighy is 66. Jennifer Connelly is 45. Madchen Amick (Twin Peaks) is 45. Regina Hall is 45. Actress Mayim Bialik is 40.

• Day Of The Horse. Gingerbread Decorating Day. Gingerbread House Day Cocoa Day. Poinsettia Day.

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 13

• Dick Van Dyke is 90. Christopher Plummer is 86. John Davidson is 74. Ted Nugent is 67. Randy Owen of Alabama is 66. Wendie Malick is 65. Country singer John Anderson is 61. Steve Buscemi is 58. NeNe Leakes is 49. Jamie Foxx is 48. Amy Lee of Evanescence is 34. Taylor Swift is 26. Maisy Stella is 12.

• Worldwide Candle Lighting Day. Ice Cream Day. International Children’s Day. Violin Day. Popcorn String Day.

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NUMBER FOR THE DAY

288: Height, in miles, of all the credit cards in the U.S. if stacked.

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NEWS ATTACK!

North Korea’s Kim Jong-Un is now bragging that he’s developed a hydrogen bomb. [He saw a video on YouTube. He thinks all you have to do is drop some Mentos into a Pepsi bottle.]

In Boston a train took off without an operator. It went past several stations before it was safely brought to a stop. [People knew something was wrong. The train was running on time.]

One of Kim Jong-Un’s uncles broke a long silence and gave an interview about why he fled North Korea for the United States in the 1990s. He said that he was afraid of what life would one day mean under Kim Jong-Un. [Plus, he had a huge crush on the cast of Ally McBeal.]

In Ohio suspensions and fines have been handed out after the wrong horse, a male, was entered into a race strictly for female horses. [Officials suspected that it might be male after it won, and immediately launched into a touchdown dance.]

In Farmville, North Carolina a silo full of sweet potatoes caught fire and has been smoldering ever since Thanksgiving week. Local residents have had enough of the smell. [Well, who doesn’t get tired of Thanksgiving leftovers?]

Airlines are banning hoverboards. Their lithium batteries present a fire hazard. [And flight attendants keep getting knocked over.]

It’s going to be an unseasonably warm weekend in much of the country. [It’s so warm that Donald Trump was seen putting the top down on his clown car.]

A goat and a tiger are a big hit at a Russian animal safari park. The goat was originally delivered to the tiger enclosure as live prey, but the two animals immediately liked each other, and now enjoy living together [which is still not legal in every country].

Moscow is installing WiFi at its largest cemeteries. [“Well, yeah, duh, I know grandma is buried over there, but the reception is, like, so much better over here!”]

Moscow is installing WiFi at its largest cemeteries. [You can now visit the dead while binge watching The Walking Dead.]

According to a new study, men are discriminated against in the workplace and prevented from climbing the corporate ladder if they’re too good looking. [Tell me something I don’t know.]

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NEWS & NUGGETS

DELTA BANS HOVERBOARDS ON ALL FLIGHTS _ Last week I gave you a list of the airlines that have either banned hoverboards, or don’t allow them to be checked. Add Delta to the banned list. The airline said Thursday that effective today (December 11) your battery-powered rolling contraption can’t be on the plane — carry-on or checked. The issue, says Delta, are “Poorly labeled, powerful lithium-ion batteries … manufacturers do not consistently provide detail about the size or power of their lithium-ion batteries.” Delta added, “While occurrences are uncommon, these batteries can spontaneously overheat and pose a fire hazard risk.”

FB icon Start it on Facebook, take it to the phones: If you fly a lot what else do you wish airlines would ban from flights?

UTAH MOM HAS BABY’S FACEBOOK PHOTOS STOLEN, USED IN SCAM _ Utah mother Laura Cardoza received an odd Facebook message from a stranger living over 2,000 miles away in Syracuse, New York. The stranger, a man named Andy, told Cardoza that his daughter had faked a pregnancy along with the subsequent birth and death of her fake child —and had used photos of Cardoza’s young daughter to pull off the scam, asking for money for her fake child’s funeral. Cardoza’s daughter, now two years old, struggled after she was born, and Cardoza shared the pictures to show her inspiring progress. However, she didn’t take into account that con artists could be looking for her pictures, too.

… It’s a good idea for all Facebook users to check their privacy settings, but it’s especially critical for parents to secure their profiles. Photos of children should only be shared with trusted individuals.

YOU CAN WIN FREE STARBUCKS FOR LIFE _ If your Starbucks habit has been hurting your wallet this year, there may be a solution for 2016 — if you’re the lucky type. For the second year the coffee company is holding a sweepstakes for rewards members offering coffee for life. Sort of. If you’re 15 or 25 or even 35 it’s not really “for life.” The prize is one beverage and one food item each day for the next 30 years. But we’ll take it!

… If you’re a registered My Starbucks Rewards Member, you’ll get a code each time you make a Starbucks purchase using your rewards card till January 11. You can then log onto StarbucksForLife.com, sign in and play a “game” where you enter the code. At the end of the game, you’ll learn whether you won.

… Only five people will win the coveted prize — but 25 people will win one year’s worth of free Starbucks; 125 people will win a month’s worth; and 500 will win a week’s worth.

PARENTS SQUISHING BABY’S FACES TO LOOK LIKE RICE BALLS _ Another trend that originated in Japan is sweeping the Internet. And this trend is actually pretty cute. Parents are squishing their babies’ faces to resemble rice balls. Parents place their thumbs under the baby’s cheeks and “frame” their face. People are even trying it out on dogs and pets, too. | VIDEO

CEMETERIES IN MOSCOW TO OFFER FREE WI-FI _ If you created a list of thing that should be made available for free at cemeteries it might include facial tissue for wiping away tears, and flowers for when you’ve forgotten to bring some for the grave site. Maybe umbrellas for those rainy days when you’d like to pay your respects. How about Wi-Fi. Sure, complimentary Wi-Fi at coffee shops, airports and doctors’ offices waiting rooms makes sense — but cemeteries? Moscow’s government has decided to provide free Wi-Fi services in 2016.

… One reason to offer free Wi-Fi: Internet access can make certain needs, such as navigating the funeral grounds, easier. Online every person interested in the identity of the buried or the monument of a grave will be able to obtain the necessary information.

DINOSAUR BLOOD VESSELS SURVIVED 80 MILLION YEARS _ A new study finds tiny, delicate vessels that carried blood through a duck-billed dinosaur 80 million years ago never fossilized and still contain the beast’s tissue. Researchers discovered the prize specimens on the leg bone of Brachylophosaurus canadensis, a 30-foot-long duck-billed dinosaur that was excavated in Montana in 2007. But it wasn’t immediately clear whether the blood vessels were made of organic matter originally from the dinosaur, or whether they had been contaminated over the years and were now made of bacteria or other components.

… Now, several tests show that the specimens are the original blood vessels, making them the oldest blood vessels on record to survive with their original components.

WILDLIFE OFFICIALS RELEASING FAKE SNAKES AROUND FLORIDA LANDMARKS _ If you happen to notice an increase in snakes around Florida, don’t worry. Florida wildlife officials are releasing fake snakes around state landmarks to raise awareness about nonnative species. They’re promoting the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s Python Challenge to promote Everglades conservation efforts. The python removal competition in South Florida kicks off January 16 and ends February 14. Officials hope the hunt will remind residents that they can get involved and help be part of the solution in dealing with invasive Florida species, like Burmese pythons.

NEW RESEARCH SHOWS TODDLERS ARE HAPPIER TO GIVE THAN RECEIVE _ There’s been an accepted consensus that toddlers are selfish creatures, but new research shows they may in fact be hardwired with a moral compass after all. Psychologists (Lara Aknin, Kiley Hamlin and Elizabeth Dunn) have thought about the “warm glow” that humans experience when we do nice things for others, and wondered how early in life that feeling emerges. To examine this, they performed a research experiment with a group of 23-month-olds, putting on a puppet show and studying their facial expressions as different acts of giving occurred. First, each toddler was given eight treats. Then he watched as the experimenter gave one treat to the puppet. Next, he was asked to give the puppet a “found” treat — not one of his own. Finally, the toddler was asked to give one his own treats to the puppet, making a personal sacrifice.

… They found that the toddlers were happier when giving treats than they were when receiving them. And they were even more happy when giving away their own treats than when giving away a treat from the researcher.

WOMAN SEARCHES FOR SWEATSHIRT OF BEST FRIEND’S LATE MOTHER _ A Toronto woman launched a search for a sweatshirt belonging to her best friend’s late mother after it was accidentally donated to an Oklahoma Goodwill. Alison Williams took to Reddit hoping for a “Christmas miracle” as she looked to recover the white sweatshirt that belonged to the mother of her longtime friend Jennifer Hovis. She explained online: “Fairly recently, my best friend’s mother died very unexpectedly. This week, her father cleared out her closet and donated her clothes to Goodwill. When my friend asked for a specific sweatshirt, she found it was too late.” Unable to make the trip to Oklahoma herself, Williams called Goodwill’s central location, as well as nearly every store in the state and pleaded with Reddit users to help search for the sweatshirt. While Williams is cautiously optimistic about being able to find the sweater, she is grateful for all of the help she has received since sharing her search with the world.

APPS OF THE YEAR _ You may have heard that Apple named Periscope its App of the Year. Too bad no one’s using it. A few other websites have named Digit the best app of 2015 — and we should all be using it. Digit scans your checking account and sneaks away little denominations. It also texts a daily checking balance, allowing you to keep up with your cash flow and constantly redefine daily budgeting.

… One of the cool things about it is that it really isn’t an “app” at all — it’s a text messaging service that you can use with any mobile phone, even a dumb phone. Every 2 or 3 days, Digit transfers some money (usually $5-50) from your checking account to your Digit savings. Digit never transfer more than you can afford, so you don’t have to worry about over-drafting your account. In fact, it has a no-overdraft guarantee.

… No app is necessary — just sign up at digit.co.

PENTAGON TO CHANGE ‘DOG TAGS’ FOR FIRST TIME IN 40 YEARS _ For the first time since the 1970s, the U.S. Department of Defense is implementing a change to the aluminum identification tags worn around the necks of American servicemen and women. The change is minor, but impactful. The only thing that will change about the “dog tags” is that they will no longer include servicemen and women’s Social Security numbers. The Social Security numbers will be replaced by a randomly-generated 10-digit Department of Defense identification number.

FOOTBALL COACH BUYS HIS SENIORS SUITS FOR JOB INTERVIEWS _ Southern Miss football coach Todd Monken was recently named C-USA Coach of the Year, and here’s one reason why that might be: He recently bought all 18 of his senior players suits to wear for their first job interviews. The money for the suits came from funds donated to the program. The outfits were not against NCAA violations, since seniors can receive up to $425 in gifts.

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WACKY-BUT-TRUE

WACKY-BUT-TRUE: WANT THE LOVELY SMELL OF PRINGLES IN CANDLE FORM? _ This holiday season, fill your home with the smell of Pringles with these chip-scented candles. The candles currently come in three flavors: Pigs in Blankets, Cheesy Cheese and Texas BBQ, and promise to fill your homes with the festive smell of Pringles. A Pringles spokesperson explained: “Sales of Pringles boom at Christmas… so what better way to create the perfect festive atmosphere than with the scented Pringles candle?” The bad news: the candles are currently just being tested and aren’t actually available to buy this year.

WACKY-BUT-TRUE: POLICE FORCED TO REMOVE MUGSHOT FROM FACEBOOK _ A UK teen wanted by the police is not only on the lam, but was made fun of so badly that the police department took his photo off their Facebook page. Caylan Clossick is wanted in connection with a burglary. Cops posted his mugshot to their Facebook page on December 7, and people started mocking him — primarily for his ears. The picture has since been deleted. | IMAGE

WACKY-BUT-TRUE: DEPUTIES CONFRONT NUDE OREGON MAN TAKING PICTURES _ Kansas authorities say an Oregon man was urged to head home after he was spotted taking pictures of a wheat field wearing nothing “but a hat and a smile.” The Harvey County sheriff’s office says it’s technically not illegal to be publicly naked in the county, as long as one is not trying to arouse oneself or others.

WACKY-BUT-TRUE: MAN SURRENDERS AFTER HEARING COPS OUTSIDE STORAGE UNIT _ A man who was growing marijuana in a central Florida storage unit panicked when he heard a police helicopter hovering nearby and called 911 to surrender. The problem? Police officers (in Edgewater) were in the neighborhood to investigate an unrelated suspicious death.

WACKY-BUT-TRUE: HOVERBOARD SHOPLIFTER STEALS CASE OF ENERGY DRINK _ We may have our first documented case of a hoverboard being used to commit a crime. In London surveillance video shows a teen hoverboard into a convenience store, grab a case of energy drink and hoverboard out without paying. His face can be seen clearly in the video so if he hasn’t been picked up by police yet, he soon will be.

WACKY-BUT-TRUE: SWEET POTATO FIRE HAS BEEN BURNING SINCE NOVEMBER _ At one time there were probably plenty of sweet potato lovers in Farmville, North Carolina. But not anymore. Smoke from burnt sweet potatoes floating around the town of Farmville is coming from a silo full of the dehydrated sweet spuds that has been smoldering in the town since at least the week of Thanksgiving. Firefighters and other town personnel have been at the scene around the clock since November 27. At least 25 million gallons of water has been sprayed, but it’s not clear when it might be extinguished. The fire doesn’t pose a health threat to the 5,000 residents of Farmville, but obviously many residents are growing weary of the smoke and smell.

WACKY-BUT-TRUE: BANK ROBBER CALLED FOR MORE MONEY _ In Australia police have made an arrest after a man called a bank manager demanding more money two days after robbing the manager’s bank. The bank manager agreed to meet the robber, then phone police. The meeting was to have been just down the block from the bank but the crook called back to say he wasn’t comfortable with the location. He never showed up at the meeting spot but cops traced his number and arrested him.

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ON TELEVISION

SEASON FINALE: THE AMAZING RACE (8p ET, CBS) — The final 3 teams race to the finish line. Season 28 will premiere in February.

LAST MAN STANDING (8p ET, ABC) — This is the last new episode until January 8th.

UNDATEABLE (8p ET, NBC) — New

MASTERCHEF JUNIOR (8p ET, FOX) — The remaining junior home cooks must make a batch of raspberry mint lemonade for judge Christina Tosi to blind taste test.

THE 84TH ANNUAL HOLLYWOOD CHRISTMAS PARADE (8p ET, CW) — Erik Estrada, Laura McKenzie, Dean Cain and Montel Williams host this annual event that features inflatable character balloons, celebrity-filled cars and live musical performances.

DR. KEN (8:30p ET, ABC) — Lance Barber (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia) guest stars in the last new episode of the year. The show will return January 8th.

TRUTH BE TOLD (8:30p ET, NBC) — New

HAWAII FIVE-O (9p ET, CBS) — This is the last new episode until January 8th.

GRIMM (9p ET, NBC) — This is the last new episode until January 22nd.

SHARK TANK (9p ET, ABC) — In this new edition, a Christmas-decorating aficionado presents animated glow balls and synchronized musical trees.

WORLD’S FUNNIEST (9p ET, FOX) — Comedians Godfrey, Fortune Feimster and Erik Griffin are the featured guest panelists in this new edition.

BLUE BLOODS (10p ET, CBS) — This is the last new episode until January 8th.

20/20 (10p ET, ABC) — New

DATELINE (10p ET, NBC) — New

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ENTERTAINMENT

KRISTIN CAVALLARI’S BROTHER MICHAEL FOUND DEAD _ Kristin Cavallari has confirmed that a body found is that of her missing brother, Michael Cavallari. Michael’s body was found in Utah just days after his car was found off the side of the road still running with his cell phone and laptop computer still inside. Kristin issued a statement Thursday: “We have just been informed by the authorities my brother’s body has been found. This is a very painful time and we are still processing it all.”

… People Magazine reported that Michael Cavallari had not been seen in over two weeks.

MICHAEL B. JORDAN GOT KNOCKED OUT FOR REAL DURING CREED FILMING _ Michael B. Jorden, who plays Apollo Creed’s son in the new movie Creed, was knocked out for real during the shooting of the film — a fact we wouldn’t know except that Sylvester Stallone posted a video of the incident on Twitter Thursday. | VIDEO

… The blow was delivered by Creed’s adversary in the film, the real-life former pro light heavyweight Tony Bellew, who plays world champion Pretty Ricky Conlan. They were choreographing the boxing sequences, working on timing, when Jordan literally walked into one of Bellew’s right hands. Jordan was OK once he woke up.

… Stallone himself was hospitalized after taking a punch to the chest by Dolph Lundgren during the filming of Rocky IV, in 1985.

2015’s BEST CHRISTMAS ALBUM IS GOATS SCREAMING _ Bringing the yuletide joy has never been easier with the help of 2015’s best Christmas album: All I Want For Christmas Is a Goat. The album goatifies all of your favorite carols, including “Jingle Bells,” “Joy To The World,” and “We Wish You A Merry Christmas.” It’s available to stream on Spotify, iTunes, and more. Get some audio from the Pro Audio page.

STAR WARS CONDOMS KEEP YOUR SABER COVERED _ (CAUTION) Want to avoid the pitter-patter of little padawans? Condoms called Saber Skins let you sheath your lightsaber the Star Wars way. The condoms are made by Graphic Armor, a company that specializes in custom-made condoms. They feature quotes such as “No, I am your father.”

DOWNTON ABBEY STAR WILL PLAY A THIEF ON TNT _ Michelle Dockery is officially moving from England. Her new series Good Behavior will debut on TNT in 2016. Good Behavior stars Dockery as a thief and con artist who takes on a mission to stop a hitman’s assignment to kill a man’s wife — just as she gets out of prison.

AMERICAN NINJA WARRIOR SPINOFF TO PREMIERE IN JANUARY _ Team Ninja Warrior will premiere January 19 on Esquire Network. The spinoff to American Ninja Warrior will have the best ninja warriors from around the world racing against each other in teams of three. T

STEVE CARELL ON INSIDE THE ACTORS STUDIO _ Steve Carell is Bravo’s next guest on Inside the Actors Studio. His episode will air on December 17.

STEVE HARVEY WILL HOST 2015 MISS UNIVERSE _ Steve Harvey will host the 2015 Miss Universe pageant December 20 from Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas.

CATE BLANCHETT MAY JOIN NEXT THOR MOVIE _ Thor: Ragnarok may be adding Cate Blanchett who is in talks for a unspecified role. She would be joining Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston, who starred in the previous two installments, as well as Mark Ruffalo as the Hulk.

KIM AND KANYE DONATE SHOES _ Kim and Kanye’s newborn, Saint West, is already living up to his name because days after his birth, his parents are donating 1,000 pairs of shoes to charity after hearing a young girl’s plea for help. Kim was breastfeeding Saint when she says she saw a TV segment about a girl looking to repay Soles4Souls with 1,000 pairs of shoes after the charity helped her family following Hurricane Katrina. Kim pointed out in a barrage of tweets that she could help. Only problem — she couldn’t find the girl’s name. But with a little research it’s been learned she’s 17-year-old Amelia Flores, who’s since relocated to Wichita, Kansas. Sources say the shoes will mostly be Kardashian Kollection and Adidas kicks.

NETFLIX RENEWS GRACE AND FRANKIE FOR A THIRD SEASON _ Before Grace and Frankie ‘s second season has aired, Netflix has already renewed the comedy for another season.The news broke the same day Lily Tomlin was nominated for a Golden Globe in her role as Frankie. The comedy has yet to announce a release date for its second season next year.

SEINFELD, HAMILL, McHALE CONFIRMED FOR MST3K _ Some big names will be coming to the Mystery Science Theater 3000 reboot. Jerry Seinfeld, Mark Hamill and Community star Joel McHale confirmed on Twitter that they’ll be making guest appearances on the new season of the rebooted comedy cult classic. Mythbusters star and special effects guru Adam Savage will also consult on effects for the season.

… These four are just the most recent notable additions to the MST3K reboot. Comedian Patton Oswalt will also write and act on the show. In addition to Oswalt, new cast members will include Felicia Day, Hampton Yount, Baron Vaughn, and Jonah Ray.

… Bill Hader, Neil Patrick Harris and Jack Black have been contacted about making cameos.

WILL SMITH MAY ENTER POLITICS _ Will Smith came from West Philadelphia and conquered Hollywood. Now he’s looking to take a stab in the political arena. Smith tells The Hollywood Reporter, “I look at the political landscape, I think that there might be a future out there for me. They might need me out there. This is the first year that I’ve been incensed to a level that I can’t sleep, you know? So I’m feeling that at some point, in the near future, I will have to lend my voice to the conversation in a somewhat different way.”

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AUDIO

NEW TO THE PRO AUDIO PAGE

• MOVIE: Chris Hemsworth on weight loss during In The Heart Of The Sea.

• HOLIDAY: Clips from the album All I Want For Christmas Is a Goat.

• TOPICAL: Obama reads mean tweets is one of YouTube’s top virals of 2015.

• TOPICAL: Harrison Ford comments on Trump liking him in Air Force One.

• CONTEST: Mystery Voice – Vin Diesel

• CONTEST: Mystery Voice – Bill Gates

• TOPICAL: Fox News commentator fired for calling Obama a bad name (caution).

• SONG: Too Fat for the Chimney by Gisele Mackenzie (1957). Use as an intro to a Christmas break or for a comparison of songs then and now.

• TOPICAL: Ellen recently helped Kim Kardashian with baby names.

• TOPICAL: President Obama speaks to the country on Sunday, December 6.

• REAL CALLER AUDIO: Family Christmas traditions.

• OFFBEAT: President Obama sings Jingle Bells.

• TOPICAL: Roger Ebert in 1983 defends Star Wars.

• DROP: Seinfeld clip about Festivus. (See 12/1 issue)

• DROPS: Funny Christmas clips package — many clips!

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BITS & BREAKS

EVERY MAN WANTS (BLANK) FOR CHRISTMAS

FB icon Start it on Facebook, take it to the phones: Complete the sentence: “For Christmas, every man wants a ________.”

THINK SMOKING ISN’T HARMING YOUR PET? THINK AGAIN

Smoking may be dangerous for your pet, too. Studies have found pets living with smokers are more likely to develop cancer:

• Dogs have a 60 percent greater risk of lung cancer.

• Long-nosed dogs are twice as likely to develop nasal cancer.

• Cats are three times as likely to develop lymphoma.

• Tobacco particles are trapped in pets’ fur and ingested when they groom themselves!

NEW IN THEATERS TODAY

IN THE HEART OF THE SEA (PG-13) Based on the 1820 event, a whaling ship is preyed upon by a sperm whale, stranding its crew at sea for 90 days, thousands of miles from home.

• Chris Hemsworth, Cillian Murphy, Tom Holland, Brendan Gleeson
website, trailer, reviews

LEGEND (R – GOES WIDE) The film tells the story of the identical twin gangsters Reggie and Ronnie Kray, two of the most notorious criminals in British history, and their organized crime empire in the East End of London during the 1960s.

• Tom Hardy, Emily Browning, Taron Egerton
website, trailer, reviews

OPENING NEXT WEEK

• Star Wars: The Force Awakens

• Sisters

• Alvin and the Chipmunks – The Road Chip

NEW ON DVD THIS WEEKEND

Minions

Ant-Man

Marvel Cinematic Universe: Phase 2 Collection

Transporter Refueled

Walt Before Mickey

Doc Martin, Series 7

Family Guy Season 13

Hannibal: Season 3

X-Files: The Collector’s Set

Under the Dome: Season 3

PROBABILITY OF HAVING A WHITE CHRISTMAS IN THE USA

What are the chances your city will be hit by snowfall for the holidays? In fact, very few places have a high probability of experiencing at least 1-inch of snowfall on December 25, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The map, of course, is just an estimate, since it was compiled from weather patterns observed from 1981-2010.

2015’s MOST OVERUSED WORDS

BuzzFeed came up with this list. Are there any words you wish would go away January 1?

Squad
What it meant before 2015: A small, organized group usually made up of military personnel.
What it meant in 2015: Your posse; people you’re rarely seen without.

Bae
What it meant before 2015: Term rarely used for a significant other; acronym for “before anyone else.”
What it meant in 2015: Any person you adore.

Fleek
What it meant before 2015: Used to describe flawless eyebrows.
What it meant in 2015: Literally anything that’s top notch/on point. Not restricted to eyebrows.

Shade
What it meant before 2015: Protection from harsh light or heat.
What it meant in 2015: A low-key way to diss someone.

Life
What it meant before 2015: A period of existence.
What it meant in 2015: Something that’s given to you when you’re overly satisfied.

Slay
What it meant before 2015: To kill or destroy. Commonly used in reference to killing dragons.
What it meant in 2015: To reach true, admirable success; what you scream at someone who’s reached this level of success.

Chill
What it meant before 2015: Coldness; a calm state of being.
What it meant in 2015: What you do while “watching” Netflix with a love interest.

Felicia
What it meant before 2015: A person named Felicia.
What it meant in 2015: A person, whether they’re named Felicia or not, you dismiss when you’ve had enough of their presence.

Tea
What it meant before 2015: A beverage made from dried leaves.
What it meant in 2015: Hot gossip.

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FUN & GAMES

TRIVIA: During the holidays, 15% of mall shoppers admit to doing this. (Stalking for a parking space — following shoppers who are on their way to their car in the hopes of snagging their parking space.)

BRAIN TEASER

I may run rings around you
Or escape your clutching grip
Or leave a treacherous trail
That gives a sudden slip.
(If you’re not careful!)

You always end up winning,
While I shrink with each new meet:
Our bouts will be my ruin,
But you’ll come out smelling sweet.

What am I?

Answer: A bar of soap.

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JOKE OF THE DAY

A 65-year-old man went to the doctor for his exam and the doctor was amazed at what good shape the guy was in. The doctor asked, “To what do you attribute your good health?” The old timer said, “I’m a pilot and that’s why I’m in such good shape. I’m up well before daylight, climb all over the aircraft doing my pre-flight inspection, fly all day, etc.” The doctor said, “Well, I’m sure that helps, but there’s got to be more to it. How old was your dad when he died?” The old timer said, “Who said my dad’s dead?” The doctor said, “You mean you’re 65 years old and your dad’s still alive? How old is he?” The old timer said, “He’s 84 years old and, in fact, he built and flies his own airplane! He went flying with me this morning. That’s why he’s still alive… he’s a pilot too!” The doctor said, “Well, that’s great, but I’m sure there’s more to it. How about your dad’s dad? How old was he when he died?” The old timer said, “Who said my grandpa’s dead?” The doctor said, “You mean your dad is 84 years old and his father is still living?! How old is he?” The old timer said, “Grandpa is 102 years old and he was a pilot too.” The doctor was getting frustrated at this point and said, “I guess he went flying with you this morning too?” The old timer said, “No — Grandpa couldn’t go this morning because he just got married and he’s on his honeymoon.” The doctor said in amazement, “Got married?! Why would a 102-year-old guy want to get married?” The old timer said, “Who said he wanted to?

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VIDEO OF THE DAY

Man narrowly avoids getting crushed in scary London roof collapse.

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IMAGE OF THE DAY

Hey, am I freaking you out at all?


Source: unknown

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LAST MINUTE ITEMS

The Best and Worst Journalism of 2015. Includes a nod to John Oliver.

• Dude Perfect’s RC edition.

• When your radio show prep service gives you a list… do the work.

• Top 25 News Photos of 2015.

• Hard to believe it’s been a year since we got this “special” Michael Bay Edition Star Wars trailer.

• We actually bought these $15 Amazon headphones — and they don’t suck.

Trailer Town is a beautifully designed site featuring a curated feed of the latest trailers.

• Blog: Boomerang is your awesome show producer and digital assistant.

• Time to Elf Yourself again?

• Is it illegal to drive with a dog on my lap?

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DATEBOOK: DECEMBER 14, 2015

This is day 348 of 2015. There are 17 days remaining.

BIRTHDAYS

• Patty Duke is 69

• Dee Wallace Stone (Cujo, Elliot’s mom in E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial) is 67

• Cliff Williams of AC/DC is 66

• Vanessa Hudgens is 27

• Tori Kelly is 23

IT HAPPENED TODAY

• 1819: Alabama became the 22nd U.S. state.

• 1902: The Commercial Pacific Cable Company laid the first Pacific telegraph cable, from Ocean Beach, San Francisco to Honolulu, Hawaii.

• 1903: The Wright Brothers made their first attempt to fly with the Wright Flyer at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. It crashes. Three days days later, after repairs, they get it to fly.

• 1959: The Motown record label was founded in Detroit, Michigan by Berry Gordy.

• 1962: The Mona Lisa was assessed at $100 million, the highest insurance valuance for a painting in history.

• 1977: The film “Saturday Night Fever” was released.

• 1985: America’s winningest high school football coach (at the time) called it quits at age 71. Gordon Wood of Brownwood High School in Central Texas retires after 43 years. Wood sported a career record of 405 wins, 88 losses and 12 ties. The football stadium at Brownwood High has since been rebuilt and named for him.

• 1989: New York City police announced they had lost the trail of Sylvia Matos, who had registered her car at 19 addresses with 36 different license plates. She had 2,800 unpaid parking tickets, totaling $171,000 in fines.

• 1991: Michael Jackson’s Dangerous debuted at #1 on the Billboard pop album music chart.

• 1999: Charles M. Schulz, creator of the comic strip Peanuts, announced his retirement.

• 2000: The Federal Trade Commission unanimously approved the $111 billion merger of America Online and Time Warner.

• 2003: U.S. President George W. Bush announces the capture of Saddam Hussein.

• 2008: President George W. Bush made his fourth and final (planned) trip to Iraq as president and almost got struck by two shoes thrown at him by Iraqi journalist Muntadhar al-Zaidi during a farewell conference in Baghdad.

• 2012: The Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting occurred in Newtown, Connecticut. Adam Lanza fatally shot 20 children and 6 adult staff members. Prior to driving to the school, Lanza shot and killed his mother at their Newtown home. As first responders arrived at the scene, Lanza committed suicide by shooting himself in the head.

SPECIAL EVENTS

• Gluten-free Baking Week

Green Monday

• Monkey Day: 14 Link or Link

• Biscuits and Gravy Day

UPCOMING

• December 21: Winter begins (11:48 PM ET)

• December 23: Festivus

• December 25: Christmas Day

• January 1: New Year’s Day

• February 7: Super Bowl 50

More holidays – Updated with 2016 holidays.

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