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This is day 55 of 2016. There are 311 days remaining.
• Steven Hill (Law and Order) is 94
• Barry Bostwick (The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Spin City) is 71
• Edward James Olmos is 69
• Debra Jo Rupp (the mother on That ’70s Show) is 65
• Billy Zane is 50
• Alexander Koch (Under the Dome) is 28
IT HAPPENED TODAY
• 1868: The first parade to have floats was staged at Mardi Gras in New Orleans, Louisiana.
• 1955: Apple founder Steve Jobs was born.
• 1981: Buckingham Palace announced the engagement of Britain’s Prince Charles to Lady Diana Spencer.
• 2008: Fidel Castro resigned as President of Cuba. His brother Raul Castro was unanimously elected.
• Bartender Day
• Inconvenience Yourself Day
• Tortilla Chip Day
• February 28: Academy Awards
• February 29: Leap Day
• March 13: Daylight Saving Time begins (move clocks forward)
• March 15: NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament begins
5½: Height, in feet, of the average newborn giraffe.
A Canadian panel of medical experts is recommending that adults not undergo intrusive and embarrassing colonoscopies to screen for colon cancer, but instead opt for a much simpler, dignified test. [That’s just one more reason I may be moving to Canada next year.]
A female deputy sheriff was caught by surprise when her boyfriend, also a deputy sheriff, asked her to marry him. [Ever the professional, she invoked her right not to answer, and immediately asked for a lawyer.]
A new survey finds that one of the reasons that sales of breakfast cereal has fallen is because millennials say that they don’t want to have to clean their cereal bowls. [So, Kellogg’s is working on an app for that.]
Death Valley in California is one of the world’s most inhospitable places, but it’s wooing photographers with a display of more wildflowers in over a decade, thanks to October rainfall. [So, with Death Valley in bloom, it’s now official that the most lifeless place in America is Congress.]
Scientists now think that a longstanding mysterious noise they hear in the ocean is fish farting. [I knew it! I knew it! I just knew that all those bubbles in my aquarium couldn’t be coming from the filtration pump.]
When a New York City bus driver told a female passenger to stop smoking she hijacked the bus. [I wonder what would have happened if he had told her to stop hijacking.]
A new study finds that college students will be more disgusted at a smelly shirt if they think that it belongs to someone from a rival college as opposed to their own school. [Because nothing stinks quite like the school that rejected you.]
Two peacocks at a zoo in China died from shock after they were manhandled by tourists for selfies. [Makes you wonder if the animals and the people are on the wrong side of the bars at zoos.]
The NFL is considering making it easier to eject unruly players. [Players? Don’t stop there. Please include sportscasters.]
DAD’S EMOTIONAL DEFENSE OF DOWN SYNDROME _ When Nova Scotia dad Robb Scott overheard another father telling his son that Down syndrome was an “illness of not knowing anything,” he said nothing. But as the father of a five-year-old boy with Down syndrome, he felt sick inside. Sitting in his car afterward, Scott poured his heart out in a video that has now reached more than half a million people. Scott says in the video: “I didn’t think his dad was trying to be mean. I could see he was searching for the right thing to say…” Fighting back tears, he continues: “I let that ignorance grow in another generation and failed my son. I don’t mean to get emotional about this and be an exhibitionist about this, but I have to reset that button, because I failed him in that moment.
… “Down syndrome is literally the most beautiful thing that’s ever happened in my life. It’s fun, it’s brilliant, it’s amazing, it’s funny, it’s kind, it’s loving, it’s cuddly. They’re great teachers, people with Down syndrome. It’s not an illness. It’s not even a disability.” • VIDEO
TEEN SUFFERS SECOND DEGREE BURNS WHILE USING PHONE _ An Illinois teen was allegedly burned while using a phone plugged into a charger. And now her mom is raising awareness after her daughter suffered second-degree burns. Jackie Fedro gave 13-year-old Gabbie a smartphone for Christmas. Posting on Instagram, Fedro wrote: “13 yr old burned! Necklace caught current from phone that was charging. #PhoneSafety #TeenSafety #SafetyFirst.” According to BuzzFeed, Gabbie was talking on the phone while it was plugged into the wall when “she was shocked by an electric current” that ran from the phone and through the necklace she was wearing. “She suffered painful second-degree burns and now will have a scar all the way around her neck.” Fedro contacted T-Mobile who offered to replace the phone and pay for Gabbie’s medical bills. The phone has also been sent back for testing.
TODDLERS AGAIN RECREATE THE OSCARS _ As the 88th Academy Awards ceremony approaches for this upcoming weekend, the mother and daughters behind the tumblr Don’t Call Me Oscar are ready with their rendition of each of the “Best Picture” nominees. The popular tumblr account is a kids-friendly photo album of many iconic shots from this year’s movies. Photographer Maggie Storino and her children, Sadie, Sophia and Sloane, collaborate like seasoned industry pros in their recreations, from The Martian to the The Revenant. • IMAGES
PUZZLING OCEAN BUZZ COULD BE FISH FARTS _ When scientists first started hearing an odd noise emanating from the depths of the Pacific Ocean a few years ago, they didn’t know what to think. The sound (described as a continuous humming or buzzing that only happens at certain times of day) wasn’t from typical ocean activity and was too high a decibel level to be the humpback whales’ mating calls that were often heard. But at a meeting of ocean researchers in New Orleans this week, one marine biologist announced she and her team may have finally hit on the answer: It may be a “dinner bell” of sorts for the huge numbers of fish, shrimp, jellies, and squid that live in what’s called the mesopelagic zone — waters from 660 feet to 3,300 feet below the surface — for when they need to head up to the surface to feed every evening. It’s known that some fish are considered to be farting — sort of. Fish emit gas from the swim bladders that control their buoyancy, and as they change depths in the water column a huge communal flatulence fest might be happening.
YOUNG WOMAN CALLS OUT DAD’S VIEWS ON INTERRACIAL DATING _ Twenty-year-old Stephanie Hicks received a hard-to-swallow letter from her dad regarding her relationship with her boyfriend Nike, in which he called interracial relationships “vulgar, despicable and reprehensible”. Stephanie is white, Nike is black. Stephanie shared the letter online. In part it says: “My belief is that interracial relationships are despicable. Vulgar and reprehensible. There’s nothing worse than a half-black, and I’m crushed that my own daughter has entered into such a disgusting relationship.”
… Over a series of since deleted tweets, Nike implied that the couple were considering breaking up, rather than risk Stephanie being kicked out of her home. In response, other interracial couples online have shared their own happy selfies, urging them to pursue their love freely.
… Unfortunately, a bunch of ugly responses from trolls have forced the couple to delete their online accounts, but the messages of support have continued to pour in.
ISRAELI WOMAN CARES FOR INJURED, ORPHANED BATS IN HER HOME _ A small Israeli apartment has been converted into a rescue shelter for injured or orphaned bats. With the help of volunteers, Noura Lifschitz feeds and cares for about 70 rescued bats in her apartment. Lifschitz, who has raised over $15,000 through a website campaign, plans to build a proper shelter for bats.
MILLIONS OF SNICKERS, MARS AND MILKY WAY BARS RECALLED _ Mars, Inc. said Tuesday it’s recalling candy bars and other items in 55 countries after plastic was found in one of its products. On its website the company states: “After a small piece of red plastic was found in one Snickers bar purchased in Germany, Mars has made a precautionary decision to voluntarily recall a selection of Snickers, Mars, Milky Way and Celebrations products produced in our Netherlands factory. We believe this is an isolated incident. The recall concerns only specific products that were manufactured at the Netherlands facility during a limited production period, December 5, 2015 – January 18, 2016.”
AKC HAS ANNOUNCED THEIR TOP FIVE FAVORITE DOG BREEDS _ The American Kennel Club has announced the top five dog breeds in the country, and for the 25th year in a row, the Labrador Retriever has made the number one spot.
… Going back from No. 5 to No. 2, the breed named in the fifth place spot is the Beagle. The Bulldog made it to No. 4, and the Golden Retriever made it to the No. 3 spot. No. 2 went to the most loyal dog of all, the German Shepherd.
BUGS ARE RECIPE FOR SUCCESS FOR FRENCH PASTA MAKER _ A pasta-maker in northeastern France is struggling to meet demand after adding a protein-rich ingredient to the noodles: insects. Stephanie Richard began her homemade pasta business in 2012, and is now hiring again thanks to the success of her latest creations made from insect flour. She calls the insect “the protein of the future.”
DEEP-SPACE TRAVEL MAY BE FUELED BY A HEALTHY DIET OF PRUNES _ So humans have set their sights on Mars, but there are a lot obstacles. But here’s some good news: Science has given researchers a clue to how humans might survive out in the depths of space. The answer: Dried prunes. A study showed dried prunes helped prevent bone loss in a short-term study done on mice.
WOMAN HASN’T SHAMPOOED HER HAIR FOR A YEAR _ The idea of giving up shampoo is, for many, horrifying. But that’s exactly what one UK woman, in search of a more eco-friendly lifestyle has done. In fact, she hasn’t shampooed for a year. 28-year-old Kayleigh Conway decided to go “no ‘poo” after reading an article in Cosmo. Already pursuing a “greener and healthier lifestyle”, the idea of ditching commercial shampoos made sense to her. Kayleigh has been documenting her experiences on her ‘back to basics’ lifestyle blog Blue Jeans White Tee.
… She says on her blog: “For the first time in my life I can literally roll out of bed, run a brush through my hair and my hair looks and feels ready to go.” But the ‘no ‘poo’ method isn’t for the fainthearted, “it requires a lot of hard work and willpower, along with a certain degree of letting go of the desire to have perfect, advert-worthy hair.”
EGYPTIAN MILITARY CALLS TODDLER’S LIFE SENTENCE A MISTAKE _ As alibis go, this one would seem to be airtight: Your honor, my client was only a year old at the time of the crime. But it did not stop an Egyptian military court from convicting the accused, a boy now 3½, of killing three people, carrying guns and firebombs, blocking a road with burning tires, and trying to damage government buildings — and sentencing him to life in prison. The verdict came last week in a mass trial of 107 people suspected of being members of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood. After an uproar over the conviction of the boy — who was never arrested — the military said that it was a case of mistaken identity, and that the authorities had actually meant to try a 16-year-old student with the same name. The teenager is on the run.
TARGET, DC COMICS TEAM UP FOR SUPER HERO GIRLS COLLECTION _ Target has teamed up with DC Comics to launch a collection of merchandise based on some of DC’s most colorfully costumed female characters. The “DC Super Hero Girls” collection includes action figures of famous female heroes and villains, including Wonder Woman, Supergirl, Poison Ivy and others. The merchandise will be available exclusively at Target starting in March.
WACKY-BUT-TRUE: CHEST PAINS SAVE WOMAN’S LIFE _ An Australian woman was experiencing chest pains, so her daughter called for an ambulance. Twenty minutes after the woman was taken the hospital a guy in a truck went off the road and hit the woman’s house — slamming into the room she’d been sitting in all day. The chest pains saved her life — and doctors say they were likely caused by indigestion.
WACKY-BUT-TRUE: WANTED WOMAN SHOWS UP AT JAIL _ A guy in Florida was busted for drunk driving. He was way over the limit and had hit a few parked cars, so police took him to jail. After he had been processed his girlfriend showed up to pick him up. But one of the officers recognized her as being wanted on a couple of outstanding warrants. She was arrested and escorted to jail.
WACKY-BUT-TRUE: CHEESE ON GARLIC KNOTS SPARKS BRAWL _ A brawl broke out at a Florida pizzeria after an order of garlic knots arrived with cheese on top. Police say Jessica Conti demanded her money back and was angered when the clerk put her money on the counter in what Conti considered a disrespectful manner. Three men then stormed into the pizza place and knocked a fax machine and cash register off a counter. They also threw food and pizza boxes. They left before deputies arrived. But someone at the restaurant identified them.
WACKY-BUT-TRUE: NATALIE PORTMAN LOOKALIKES WANTED FOR ‘PORTLAND PORTMANS’ BAND _ Portland, Oregon, could soon be home to a bluegrass band called the Portland Portmans, a group of people who look like actress Natalie Portman. The band’s creator, a man who is allowing himself to be the only one who doesn’t resemble Portman, posted a Craigslist ad in search of lookalikes. The ad says: “Do you look like Natalie Portman? Can you play upright bass, banjo, guitar, mandolin or dobro? Then get in touch.” Each band member will portray a different Portman role.
WACKY-BUT-TRUE: MAN CHANGES MIDDLE NAME TO ‘I LOVE SPAM’ _ Mark Benson has a new middle name. The 41-year-old in Liverpool, England, has legally changed his middle name to I Love Spam. Mark just can’t get enough of the manufactured, canned meat. He has it on toast for breakfast every single day, and also regularly cooks recipes from the Spam website for family dinners. Thankfully his wife and two young daughters also enjoy eating Spam.
… And a 33-year-old guy in London has changed his name to Bacon Double Cheeseburger. Simon Smith was his name. His fiancée Isabella refuses to be Mrs. Double Cheeseburger.
… Some other crazy name changes in the UK:
- Simply MyLovePoet
- Charlene Charlie Penelope Pitstop Colpus Crumb
- George Thomas The Tank Engine
- Michael Connor Lightning Akimbo Wumbo Wigglesworth Pussyfoot Katzenjammer
AMERICAN IDOL (8p ET, FOX) — The judges announce the first eight to make it into the Top 10, leaving six to sing for the final two spots.
SURVIVOR (8p ET, CBS) — In this new edition, a castaway goes to great heights to get an idol.
THE MIDDLE (8p ET, ABC) — In this new episode, Brick wonders when he will become a man after attending a bar mitzvah.
THE MYSTERIES OF LAURA (8p ET, NBC) — Laura tries to get ahead of a Brooklyn detective’s (guest stars Tate Donovan) investigation when her sister is named the prime suspect.
ARROW (8p ET, CW) — In this new episode, Oliver asks Vixen, with her magical abilities, for help battling Darhk.
THE GOLDBERGS (8:30p ET, ABC) — Barry is inspired by Eddie the Eagle in the Olympics, and decides to popularize Ball Ball to gain respect at school in this new episode.
CRIMINAL MINDS (9p ET, CBS) — Marisol Nichols (Teen Wolf) returns as Agent Colfax in this new episode, as the BAU hunt a serial killer who may be working for the F.B.I.
MODERN FAMILY (9p ET, ABC) — In this new episode, the whole family ends up at Jay and Gloria’s after thunderstorms cause massive power outages.
LAW & ORDER: SVU (9p ET, NBC) — In this new episode, after rape charges are dropped against a popular actor, Rollins takes matters into her own hands.
HELL’S KITCHEN (9p ET, FOX) — In this new edition, the teams must cook for former sous chef Andi’s wedding reception.
SUPERNATURAL (9p ET, CW) — In this new episode, Dean and Sam attend the funeral of a wrestler but have to get involved when another wrestler turns up dead.
BLACKISH (9:30p ET, ABC) — This new episode tackles police brutality, as the Johnson family reacts to an incident involving an assault on a black teen.
SEASON FINALE: CODE BLACK (10p ET, CBS) — An explosion at a Presidential debate brings a Governor to Angles Memorial in the first season finale. The show has not yet been renewed for a second season.
CHICAGO P.D. (10p ET, NBC) — In this new episode, the team looks for a connection when two shootings take place in gang territory.
AMERICAN CRIME (10p ET, ABC) — This new episode features interviews with real-life Columbine teachers, along with parents and victims of LGBT bullying.
SUPERSTORE SNAGS SECOND SEASON RENEWAL _ On the heels of the first season finale, NBC has announced that Superstore has been picked-up for a second season.
JEAN-CLAUDE VAN DAMME TO STAR IN ACTION COMEDY _ Jean-Claude Van Damme will show off his comedy chops in a new TV show. Van Damme will star in an original series for Amazon titled Jean-Claude Van Johnson. Van Damme playing a famous martial arts pro/actor who moonlights as a black ops private contractor.
DEMI MOORE COMING BACK TO TV _ Demi Moore could be returning to TV for her first major role since General Hospital in the ’80s, as the actress is set to star in the drama 10 Days in the Valley, which is being shopped around to networks. The series follows Jane Sadler (Moore), an overworked writer and single mother in the middle of a separation whose life is turned upside down when her 5-year-old daughter is taken from her bed in the middle of the night, forcing Jane to put everything on the line to get her child back, including her TV series, her loyalties and her own deep secrets.
DIRTY DANCING EVENT HAS ITS JOHNNY _ Colt Prattes has been cast as Johnny in ABC’s Dirty Dancing event. The dancer/actor will star opposite Abigail Breslin, playing the charismatic dance instructor and leader of the working-class entertainment staff at a Catskills Mountain resort.
AMERICA’S GREATEST MAKERS _ TBS has revealed the celebrity panel of judges for its new tech competition series, America’s Greatest Makers: sports legends Shaquille O’Neal and Kenny Smith, The Big Bang Theory’s Mayim Bialik and Arduino’s Massimo Banzi. The show puts 24 teams in head-to-head competitions to invent game-changing technology and a chance to go home with $1 million.
JIMMY KIMMEL IN EARLY TALKS TO HOST 2016 EMMYS _ Jimmy Kimmel is in very early talks to host the 2016 Emmys. Discussions come before the network and the TV Academy have even solidified a date for the TV awards show. Kimmel’s first and only time hosting the Emmys was in 2012.
KESHA DENIES BEING RAPED OR DRUGGED BY DR. LUKE IN 2011 VIDEO _ Kesha claims Dr. Luke drugged and raped her, but under oath she flatly denied it. TMZ has obtained portions of a Kesha deposition taken in 2011. Kesha and Luke had both been sued by a manager, and she was asked under oath about comments her mom allegedly made against Luke. The video, which TMZ obtained by a Luke source, shows a very relaxed Kesha denying the allegations she’s now making against Luke.
RYAN REYNOLDS LAUNCHES DEADPOOL OSCARS WRITE-IN CAMPAIGN _ Ryan Reynolds turned to Twitter to make the case for an Oscar for his hit superhero film Deadpool. On Tuesday he tweeted: “Only a few hours left for Oscar voting. Too late for a write-in campaign for an ineligible movie?”
… Reynolds even included an image listing the film’s vast accomplishments: Deadpool is the viewer of five Academy Awards. It’s also the winner of four Golden Girls, and a Winner Winner in the “Chicken Dinner” category.
SALMA HAYEK WITH RYAN REYNOLDS IN HITMAN’S BODYGUARD _ Ryan Reynolds and Salma Hayek will star in Hitman’s Bodyguard, which is set to start production in April. They will be joined by Samuel L. Jackson and Gary Oldman in the action flick. Reynolds will play the best protection agent in the world who is assigned to a hit man played by Jackson. The two butt heads and have to endure each other’s company for 24 hours until they get to The Hague, where they encounter a ruthless Eastern European dictator (Oldman) determined to bring them down.
THE VIEW GETS RENEWED FOR 20th SEASON _ ABC has renewed The View for its 20th season.
JON HAMM RESCUED A TRAPPED HUMMINGBIRD _ Just when you thought there couldn’t possibly be another reason why Jon Hamm would be the perfect boyfriend, he goes ahead and rescues a hummingbird. This went down when he was hanging out with the cast of HBO’s Girls. Showrunner Jenni Konner posted a video on Instagram that shows Hamm working with Girls actor Andrew Rannells to gently coax the bird into a baseball hat before setting it free. • VIDEO
DAVID BOWIE’S FINAL ALBUM BEING TURNED INTO INSTAGRAM MINISERIES _ David Bowie’s final album Blackstar is being made into a four-minute miniseries. It will be made up of 16 15-second videos, the first of which will debut on the Instagram channel InstaMiniSeries tomorrow (February 25). The miniseries is called Unbound and is being described as a “visual interpretation” of the songs on Bowie’s final album.
… Bowie gave Carolynn Cecilia and Nikki Borges exclusive access to Blackstar last fall in order to create their innovative miniseries “with no limits or preconditions on [Bowie’s] part.”
TOP TV SHOWS _ Week of February 15-21.
- Grammy Awards, CBS, 24.96 million viewers.
- NCIS, CBS, 17.34 million
- The Big Bang Theory, CBS, 15.24 million
- The Walking Dead, AMC, 13.48 million
- NCIS: New Orleans, CBS, 13.42 million
- Blue Bloods, CBS, 10.74 million
- Madam Secretary, CBS, 10.73 million
- 60 Minutes, CBS, 10.67 million
- Life in Pieces, CBS, 9.34 million
- Hawaii Five-0, CBS, 8.86 million
- Mom, CBS, 8.69 million
- Survivor, CBS, 8.3 million
- American Idol (Wednesday), Fox, 8.23 million
- American Idol (Thursday), Fox, 8.19 million
- The Good Wife, CBS, 7.91 million
- Grey’s Anatomy, ABC, 7.82 million
- Law & Order: SVU, NBC, 7.73 million
- Chicago Fire, NBC, 7.53 million
- Modern Family, ABC, 7.48 million
- Chicago PD, NBC, 7.45 million
Newest on the PRO AUDIO page.
• PHONER: What did you leave on your car. – 5 real callers
• DROPS: Show close clips package.
• DROPS: Show opener clips package.
WHAT WAS YOUR BIGGEST LAPSE IN COMMON SENSE?
What was your biggest lapse in common sense?
• Plugging a power strip into itself.
• I once held a bagel for cutting by placing my finger in the hole.
• Sent my mom a mother’s day card first class but it never arrived. She got super mad thinking I’d forgotten but it turns out I’d just written “Mom” on the envelope, and then mailed it with no address.
THE SADDEST SOUNDING PLACES ON EARTH
The Instagram account SadTopographies complies the most depressing sounding places on Google Maps.
• Abandoned in Hartwick, New York
• Point No Point in Hansville, Washington
• Lake Torment, Annapolis, Nova Scotia, Canada
• Mistake Island in Jonesport, Maine
• Lonely Street off a Lonesome Road, in North Carolina
• Termination Point in Port Ludlow, Washington
• Disappointment Cove, New Zealand.
• Nasty Pond, Oregon
• Bucket of Blood Street in Holbrook, Arizona
• Cape Grim and Suicide Bay in Tazmania, Australia
• Dubious Reservoir in Oregon
• Sad Lake, Oregon
• Failure Canyon in Samak, Utah
• Suffering Street in Menzel Jemil, Tunisia.
• Why Me Lord Lane in Chester, South Carolina.
OSCARS BY THE NUMBERS
• Number of countries in which the 88th Oscars will be seen: 225
• Number of Oscar statuettes given out last year: 51
• Number of press organizations requesting credentials: 787
• Number of still photographers who will be on the red carpet: 60+
• Total number of Oscar statuettes presented since the first Oscars: 3,001
• Height of Oscar statuette: 13½ inches
• Weight of Oscar statuette: 8½ pounds
• Longest Oscar telecast: 2002, with a running time of 4 hours, 23 minutes
• Shortest Oscar telecast: 1959, with a running time of 1 hour, 40 minutes
• Person who has hosted the most Oscar shows: Bob Hope, with 19 host appearances
TRIVIA: Knocking one of these over requires at least 7.5 degrees of tilt. (Bowling pin)
WHAT’S IN COMMON
What do the following things have in common?
• A significant other
Answer: Things you cheat on
Source: bits & pieces blog
This is day 56 of 2016. There are 310 days remaining.
• Karen Grassle (Caroline Ingalls on Little House on the Prairie) is 74
• Veronica Webb is 51
• Tea Leoni is 50
• Carrot Top is 49
• Sean Astin is 45
• Chelsea Handler is 41
• Rashida Jones (The Office, Parks and Recreation) is 40
• James and Oliver Phelps (Harry Potter films) are 30
IT HAPPENED TODAY
• 1919: Oregon placed a 1 cent per U.S. gallon tax on gasoline, becoming the first U.S. state to levy a gasoline tax.
• 1940: A hockey game was televised for the first time, by New York City station W2XBS. The New York Rangers beat the Montreal Canadiens 6-2 at Madison Square Garden.
• 2006: The world’s estimated population reached 6.5 billion.
• 2009: It was revealed by the White House staff that every day President Barack Obama is handed a special purple folder. The folder contains ten letters culled from the thousands the White House Correspondence Office receives each day from Americans who have taken the time to sit down and write to their president.
• Introduce A Girl to Engineering Day
• Chili Day
• Clam Chowder Day
• Chocolate-Covered Peanuts Day
• February 28: Academy Awards
• February 29: Leap Day
• March 13: Daylight Saving Time begins (move clocks forward)
• March 15: NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament begins