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DATEBOOK: August 29

• Elliott Gould (M*A*S*H film, the Ocean’s film series, Contagion) is 85

• Rebecca DeMornay (Risky Business) is 64

• Chris Hadfield (first Canadian to walk in space) is 64

• Carla Gugino (The Haunting of Hill House, Entourage) is 52

• Lea Michele (Glee, The Mayor) is 37

• Charlotte Ritchie (Call the Midwife) is 34

• Liam Payne of One Direction is 30

• Reality star Courtney Stodden is 29


• 1896: Chop suey was invented in New York City.

• 1898: The Goodyear tire company was founded.

• 1958: Michael Jackson was born.

• 1966: The last Beatles concert played, in San Francisco, California.

• 1999: Thieves in Melbourne, Australia, stole a truck loaded with toilet paper. Street value: $18,900.

• 2002: A Slovakian motorist who blew up his car and a gas station when he used a cigarette lighter to look into his gas tank was charged with endangering public safety. The 30 year-old man said his fuel gauge had broken.

• 2005: Hurricane Katrina devastated much of the U.S. Gulf Coast from Louisiana (especially the Mississippi Gulf Coast) to the Florida Panhandle, killing more than 1,800 and costing over $125 billion in damage.

• 2007: Six U.S. cruise missiles armed with nuclear warheads were flown without proper authorization from Minot Air Force Base to Barksdale Air Force Base.

• 2012: London held the opening ceremonies for the 2012 Summer Paralympics.

• 2017: Hurricane Harvey set a rainfall record (51.88 inches in Cedar Bayou) from a tropical cyclone in the continental U.S.

• 2022: A big rig crashed and spilled hundreds of pounds of tomatoes when it drove into a center divide in Vacaville, California


• Chop Suey Day

• Touch a Heart Tuesday

• Individual Rights Day

• International Day Against Nuclear Tests

• Lemon Juice Day

• More Herbs, Less Salt Day


3,600: Americans with the last name Claus.


According to the Census Bureau, more than 1 out of every 4 Americans lives alone. [And three out of four wish they did.]

The judge overseeing Donald Trump’s election interference case set a trial date for March 4. [So March really will have some madness.]

A survey finds 2 in 3 dog owners occasionally make a special meal for their pet. [I take mine through the drive-thru and let him order. Which makes sense since he’s in the driver’s seat and close to the speaker.]

Security researchers are reminding is that a good password is at least twelve characters long. [To make it easy to remember, just make your password ’12letterword’.]

A study found that mice that are denied carbs live longer. [I guess in order to build a better mousetrap you build one where an unsuspecting mouse is hit over the head with a loaf of bread.]

A study found that if you’re drinking beer while a song that you like is playing, you’ll get additional enjoyment out of the beer. [You’re also more likely to suffer from the delusion that you can actually sing.]

In a survey, more than half of Americans think Joe Biden is too old to be president. [True, but when he goes for a run it’s easier for the Secret Service to keep up with him.]

If you’re not a Prime member, Amazon is raising the amount you’ll have to buy in order to get free shipping. [How much higher? Let’s just say you’ll need a third mortgage.]


SEASONAL ALLERGIES COULD BE AN INVISIBLE KILLER _ Seasonal allergies are a common occurrence for many people, causing symptoms such as sneezing, itching, and congestion. While these allergies are often seen as a nuisance, recent research suggests that they may have a more significant impact on our health and safety than previously thought. In a study titled Invisible Killer: Seasonal Allergies and Accidents, researchers (Mika Akesaka and Hitoshi Shigeoka) explore the potential link between seasonal allergies and accidents.

… The study suggests that individuals with seasonal allergies may be at a higher risk of accidents. This could be due to the symptoms associated with allergies, such as sneezing, watery eyes, and impaired concentration, which can affect a person’s ability to focus and react quickly.

… Allergy symptoms can have a negative impact on driving performance. Sneezing, itching, and congestion can be distracting and reduce a driver’s ability to stay focused on the road. This impaired driving performance can increase the likelihood of accidents.

… Seasonal allergies can also affect individuals’ performance and safety in the workplace. Symptoms like sneezing and itching can be disruptive and lead to errors or accidents, especially in jobs that require precision or concentration.

… The researchers suggest that individuals with seasonal allergies should take preventive measures to minimize the risk of accidents. This may include managing allergy symptoms through medication, avoiding allergens when possible, and practicing good hygiene to reduce exposure to allergens.

🗣 TOPIC: How do seasonal allergies mess up your life? What do you do when you get hit hard with allergies?

DUMBPHONE FINDER HELPS YOU FIND THE DUMBPHONE FOR YOU_ If you desire a more simple life, one way to get there is to dump your smartphone. Smartphones, although convenient, often serve as a constant source of distraction and stress. But if you need a phone but not the distractions, what do you do? Get a dumbphone — and old-school phone that does the basics: calls, texts, voicemail.

… A website called Dumbphone Finder can help you dump your smartphone. The site is designed to help you figure out which of the dumbphone models available has the specific features you want, and works with your phone provider. • LINK

… Some, for example, have a camera. Some have no apps at all. Some have Facebook. Some won’t work in the U.S. after T-Mobile shuts down its last 2G tower next year. Some are $20 and you can use it anywhere in the world.

🗣 TOPIC: How did your life change when you dumped your smartphone?

MORE THAN ONE IN FOUR ADULTS KEEP SECRETS FROM PARTNERS _ More than one in four adults admit they keep secrets from their partners. The biggest thing women keep from their men is about shopping habits (30% of women). The biggest thing men keep from women is there whereabouts (20% of men).

🗣 TOPIC: What secret did you learn your partner was keeping from you?

BENEFITS OF A MESSY DESK _ A tidy desk has its perks. In addition to looking nice (and impressing your boss), it’s been scientifically proven to foster positive behavior. People sitting at a clean desk are more likely to donate generously, and abstain from littering and crime, than people working in cluttered spaces. But a study (University of Minnesota) revealed that a disorganized, unkempt office can be helpful too. How? It makes you more inventive. Scientists asked people at tidy and untidy desks to develop new uses for ping pong balls and discovered that those sitting at messy desks presented ideas that were more “interesting and creative.”

EMBARRASSING FLATULENCE _ Nearly 1 in 5 people surveyed admit that embarrassing flatulence has halted intimacy. So much for unconditional love. The survey of 1,500 men and women also asked folks to rate the worst places for malodorous emissions. The top three: at a business meeting, on a date and in an elevator. But 78% said they have no problem letting one rip in the privacy of their homes.

LABOR DAY IS COMING _ Monday is Labor Day and no one really knows who invented it. As the legend goes, young carpenter Peter McGuire stood before the New York Central Labor Union in May 1882 proclaiming his plan to honor all workers with a parade through the city. But another union worker, the similarly named machinist Matthew Maguire, is also credited with proposing a day off for laborers. A New Jersey newspaper published an opinion article touting Maguire as the Father of Labor Day, but only after the day became a national holiday in 1894.

… In 1884, the American Federation of Organized Trades and Labor Unions declared that by May 1, 1886, all employers institute an eight-hour workday. When that proclamation failed to come to fruition, workers moved to strike, sparking the brutal Haymarket Riot in Chicago. Years later in 1894, fearing the tainted history of that date would continually lead to radical movements commemorating the riots, President Grover Cleveland decided to follow the lead of several states and make the first Monday in September the official holiday for laborers.

SCIENCE FIGURES OUT SOCIAL MEDIA’S ADDICTIVE LOOP _ A new study on social media says frequent users become “desensitized to positive feedback, such as likes and comments,” sending them into an addictive loop where their sense of well-being depends on getting the next rush of “engagement.” The University of Southern California-Dornsife study confirms what’s well-known anecdotally: being online makes you online. What was once a conscious choice transforms into automatic, almost impulsive action.

… Despite public health experts raising concerns about the negative impact on mental health and overall well-being, a significant majority of Americans — 70 percent — still find themselves drawn to their apps daily, some even hourly.

THE LA TOMATINA FESTIVAL _ Wednesday (August 30) is the annual La Tomatina Festival in Buñol, a little village near Valencia, Spain. Participants throw tomatoes and get involved in a tomato fight purely for entertainment purposes. Since 1945 (minus a couple of pandemic years) it has been held on the last Wednesday of August.

… It started in 1945 when there was a parade. The energy of the parade caused one participant’s big costume heads to fall off. The parade participant got upset and began hitting everything in his path. La Tomatina historians say “there was a market stall of vegetables that fell victim to the fury of the crowd.” People started to pelt each other with tomatoes.

… The following year, some young people engaged in a pre-planned quarrel and brought their own tomatoes from home. Although the police broke it up, this began the yearly tradition.

… Six tons carrying 130 tons of tomatoes are brought in.

… An alternative story to the event’s origin: The red frenzy began in 1944 when Dr. Paco Garces Sanchez and some friends tried to throw tomatoes into the trumpet of a passing musician. The hour-long pelting session turned the town square into a mass of slimy bodies.

‘RING OF FIRE’ SOLAR ECLIPSE VISIBLE FOR THE FIRST TIME IN 11 YEARS _ A ‘ring of fire’ annular solar eclipse will occur on October 14 over parts of the US. The eclipse will start in Oregon around 9 AM and end in Texas three hours later. Only eight states will be in the path of the eclipse: Oregon, California, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, New Mexico, and Texas. The annular eclipse will also be visible in Mexico, Central America, and South America.

… This will be the first time in 11 years that an annular solar eclipse has been visible in North America, previously seen over parts of the same eight states. During an annular eclipse, the moon is too far from Earth to completely block the sun’s light, creating a ring of light or ‘fire’.

36 YEARS LATER, POLICE SOLVE HIKER’S MURDER _ Authorities have announced that a young college student, Catherine “Cathy” Sposito, who was brutally killed on a hiking trail in Arizona decades ago, was the victim of a serial predator who took his own life years later. DNA evidence indicates that Bryan Scott Bennett was responsible for Sposito’s 1987 death. Investigators confirmed the DNA on a wrench used in the slaying belonged to Bennett.

… Authorities hope to determine if there were other victims besides Sposito and three other women believed to have been attacked by Bennett. Sposito was attacked while hiking on Thumb Butte Trail in Prescott and was hit with a rock, wrench, shot in the eye, and stabbed in the head. Other hikers heard her scream for help but she died before they could reach her.

SCIENTISTS REVEAL HOW OUR BRAINS PERCEIVE TIME _ Scientists (Champalimaud Research’s Learning Lab) found out how our brains understand time, especially for short periods like seconds to minutes. They trained rats and saw that brain activity changes speed when the rats think time is moving fast or slow. They used temperature to change this brain activity and saw it also changed how the rats understood time. Unlike the brain area that controls our daily rhythm, this part helps us make quick decisions, like when to cross the road or hit a tennis ball. The study could help us treat diseases like Parkinson’s where people have trouble with timing. It might also help design smarter robots in the future.


🔈 WACKY-BUT-TRUE: LOCH NESS MONSTER HUNTERS THOUGHT THEY HEARD A NOISE, BUT… _ Loch Ness Monster hunters hearing sounds from the lake were excited by their discovery. Researchers are once again trying to prove the existence of “Nessie” the Loch Ness Monster, and are using some of the most advanced detection equipment ever brought to the lake in Scotland. So when the Nessie hunters thought they heard sounds from the lake they were excited. Until they realized their audio recording device wasn’t plugged in — which means they currently have no proof of the beast. One of the researchers said the mysterious sounds were like “gloops” in the water — but they don’t have a recording.

WACKY-BUT-TRUE: WORM DISCOVERED LIVING IN WOMAN’S BRAIN _ Doctors in Australia found a live worm in a woman’s brain, which is the first time something like this has ever been reported. The worm is usually found in pythons and was about 3 inches long. The woman, who is 64, had been feeling sick with stomach pain, sadness, and a cough. It’s thought she might have gotten the worm from eating wild plants.

WACKY-BUT-TRUE: FAILED DRIVING TEST, BURNED CAR _ In Romania a man was given a brand new car by his family as a birthday present. He’d never had a car, or even a driver’s license, so he went to the motor vehicle office to take the driving test. Unfortunately he didn’t pass. He was so distressed by his failure that he went home, got a can of gasoline, poured it on his new car and set it on fire.

WACKY-BUT-TRUE: CREDIT CARD THIEF LOVED BEING WAITED ON _ In  Germany a 38-year-old man was convicted of 468 counts of fraud and forgery after three years of shopping sprees with stolen credit cards. When the cops finally caught him, he blamed it on an unquenchable shopping obsession. He wasn’t interested in the money. He just loved being waited on in stores. All of that customer service made him feel like a king. He had charged around $300,000 worth of merchandise, much of which was still in his home in its original, unopended packaging.

WACKY-BUT-TRUE: IRANIAN REALTOR ARRESTED FOR SELLING APARTMENT TO A DOG _ A controversial real estate deal in Iran has caused a stir after a video went viral showing a couple selling their apartment to a dog named Chester. The couple, who had no heirs, signed the property over to the canine, who placed its paws on an ink pad to stamp the contract. The exact details of the transaction are unclear, but it has resulted in the arrest of the realtor involved and the closure of his company by court order. Iranian authorities argue that selling property to a dog is a violation of society’s moral values and lacks legal basis. Dog ownership in Iran is traditionally frowned upon due to religious beliefs, but dogs have gained popularity among younger Iranians as a symbol of affluence.

WACKY-BUT-TRUE: HOT AIR BALLOON LANDS ON VERMONT HIGHWAY _ A hot air balloon made an emergency landing on a highway median in Vermont after becoming stalled in flight. Five people were aboard for a sunset ride Wednesday night when the pilot landed the craft safely on the Interstate 91 median in Hartford, Vermont. Drivers reported seeing the balloon hovering 30 feet in the air over the road before it landed. Traffic was shut down for about 20 minutes.


AMERICA’S GOT TALENT (8p ET, NBC) – New. Eleven performers take the stage live in this 2-hour edition.


BACK TO THE FUTURE VIDEO TAPE SELLS FOR $10,000 _ A rare VHS tape of the classic eighties’ film Back to the Future just sold for $10,000 at auction. The ‘mint condition’ copy — still in its wrapper — was part of the first batch released in 1986.

… VHS and Betamax tapes became popular in the late 1970s following the invention of video recorders. They dominated the market until DVDs came along in the mid-’90s.

… In 2002, DVDs overtook VHS tapes in sales. By 2003, DVD rentals surpassed VHS rentals in the United States.

WISCONSIN BAR OFFERING DEAL WHEN AARON RODGERS LOSES THIS SEASON _ A bar in Wisconsin is offering a deal of a lifetime: it will pay your tab every time Aaron Rodgers loses while playing for the New York Jets. Rogers, of course, was traded by Wisconsin’s Green Bay Packers earlier this year.

Jack’s American Pub, a Milwaukee based bar, says that every time Rodgers starts the game and loses, they will pay whatever your tab is. According to the rules: “The covered tabs must be opened at least 15 minutes before kickoff and don’t include food. The offer only applies if Rodgers is starting and the Jets’ showdown doesn’t coincide with a Packers game — something that’s scheduled to happen only four times this season. You also have to be present the entire game to cash in that ticket.”

… So, there will only be four games this season that are eligible for the deal.

THE IRRATIONAL TRAILER WITH JESSE L. MARTIN _ Law & Order veteran actor Jesse L. Martin is headed back to NBC this fall in the new crime procedural The Irrational, the first trailer of which dropped Monday. The Irrational follows Alec Baker, a world-renowned professor of behavioral science who offers up his unique and unexpected approach to understanding human behavior to help solve an array of high-stakes cases involving governments, law enforcement and corporations. • VIDEO

… The Irrational completed production on its inaugural 10-episode season prior to start of the crippling writers’ and actors’ strikes.

DANCING WITH THE STARS PRO WITNEY CARSON WILL NOT RETURN FOR SEASON 32 _ Witney Carson confirmed that she will not return to Dancing With the Stars for season 32. The professional dancer, who won the mirrorball trophy with Alfonso Ribeiro in 2014, and husband Carson McAllister share son Leo, 2, and newborn Jet, 3 months.

… She wrote on social media: “You guys know that family is the most important thing to me, and we just really felt that moving our entire family across the country right now was not for us.”

ELTON JOHN IS DOING WELL _ Elton John had to spend the night in the hospital after falling at his villa in Nice, France. The 76-year-old is back home again. A spokesman says John had a “slip” at the villa on Sunday and went to a hospital as a “precautionary measure.” No details on the severity of the fall were released. After check-ups, he was discharged Monday morning.

BARBIE’ IS NOW WARNER BROS. BIGGEST BOX OFFICE HIT EVER _ Greta Gerwig’s film Barbie has become the highest-grossing movie in Warner Bros’ 100-year history, breaking the 12-year record set by Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 2.

… Barbie will also be 2023’s highest-grossing film, having recently surpassed The Super Mario Bros. Movie (global). Barbie is now the 18th top-grossing film of all time (global).

MOST COUNTRY MUSIC ARTISTS NOT FROM SMALL TOWNS _ Country music is rarely from people born in the country, a new analysis found. The percentage of notable country artists originally from a small town is considerably lower than the overall percentage of Americans who actually live in a small town, and has been so since the 1930s. All told, 24 percent of country artists were from towns with fewer than 2,500 residents, and 32 percent were from a town with fewer than 5,000 residents. Of the 1,209 notable, the ones born from the 1920s through the 1930s were the likeliest to actually claim a small town as their hometown, with a range of 40 percent to 60 percent of artists claiming as much.

DWAYNE JOHNSON IS MAKING NOISE ON NETFLIX WITH BALLERS _ Before Dwayne Johnson became famous as an action hero across multiple film franchises, he starred in HBO’s comedy-drama Ballers, which had a five-year run. The show allowed Johnson to break from his typical action hero roles, portraying a retired NFL player turned financial manager.

… Despite ending in 2019, the show has gained a resurgence on Netflix, consistently ranking in the platform’s global top 10. The phenomenon, known as the “Netflix Effect,” has given Ballers a second wave of popularity.

11-YEAR-OLD FAN GETS POST MALONE’S SHOES _ Most artist meet and greets see fans walk away with a photo and an autograph, but Post Malone went above and beyond for one fan ahead of a recent show in Georgia. Post was doing a meet and greet and an 11-year-old boy named Elijah was in attendance with his mom. The pair had driven all the way from Wisconsin to Georgia for the event.

… In a TikTok shared by Elijah’s mom, the kid began his meet and greet with a hug from Post, who asked him if he wanted him to sign anything, at which point Elijah looked down at his sneakers. Post autographed Elijah’s sneakers before noticing the 11-year-old looking at the white Converse he was wearing. He said to the kid, “You love these?” then slipped them off, autographed them, and handed them to the young fan. • VIDEO

… The humble Elijah told a member of the press later: “It was amazing and it was a privilege.”


HOW TO DOWNLOAD: Download audio here or with link in left sidebar.


AUGUST 29 WACKY-BUT-TRUE: Researchers are back at Loch Ness in Scotland, hoping to prove the existence of the infamous Loch Ness Monster. They claim they recently heard something, but forgot to plug in their audio recorder.

→ Here’s a weird underwater sound you can use as you share the story.


Saturday (September 2) is International Bacon Day. Here are some bacon related songs.


Labor Day is coming. Here’s a batch of related drops.


This woman makes a tearful confession on social media. (original video)


This guy went viral in 2022 by sharing texts college freshmen have sent to parents. In addition to this audio from the vault, here are a few more…

• What’s my shoe size?

• My son was with me while I was driving. Someone suddenly pulled out in front of me. My son screamed, “Quick, press the honk button!”

• I was helping my nephew fill out a form and it asked for his height he put 5′ 12″.

• My daughter thought the Brita pitcher filled itself from the humidity in the refrigerator.

• My college daughter called and asked how I made pancakes round.



A 17th Century captain was sailing along with his crew when a pirate ship came over the horizon. The captain says, “Cabin boy, get me my red shirt.” So, he gets his red shirt and they victoriously battle the pirates. Several days later, they spot another pirate ship off the port bow. “Cabin boy,” says the captain “get me my red shirt.” They again battle the pirates and are victorious. Later when things had settled down, the cabin boy asks, “Captain, why do you always want your red shirt just prior to battle?” The captain responds, “Well, in case I am inflicted with a wound, I don’t want the crew to see my injury and lose spirit.” “I see,” says the cabin boy. A few days later, they sight 20 pirate ships in the distance the captain yells out, “Cabin boy, get me my brown pants.”


• Toad Suck, Arkansas is a small town located in Pulaski County. It is named after a bend in the Arkansas River that resembles a toad’s mouth.

• Hot Coffee, Mississippi is a small town located in Marshall County. The name is said to have originated from a local resident who would often say “hot coffee” when he was thirsty.

• Spread Eagle, Wisconsin is a small town located in Oconto County. The name is said to have originated from a large pine tree that was split in half, resembling a spread eagle.

• Frankenstein, Missouri is a small town located in Jefferson County. The name is said to have originated from a local resident who was a fan of the novel Frankenstein.

• Chicken, Alaska is a small town located in Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area. The name is said to have originated from a local gold mine that was called the Chicken Creek Mine.

• Knockemstiff, Ohio is a small town located in Lawrence County. The name is said to have originated from a local legend about a man who was knocked unconscious by a falling tree.

• Rabbit Hash, Kentucky, is an unincorporated community and census-designated place in Boone County, Kentucky.


People were asked to share examples of diva brides and grooms.

• A couple made their bridesmaids and groomsmen sign a contract saying they are legally obligated to give them a gift valued at over $500.

• A bride decided to ask a Facebook group to “roast” the ring her partner planned on proposing with after she accidentally stumbled upon it in a nightstand.

• A bride and groom got into an UberPool with a couple on the way to their wedding and got upset with another random passenger for joining the ride. Maybe don’t order an UberPool?

• A bride asked all of her bridesmaids to cut their hair and dye it the same exact color so that everyone would look “cohesive”.

• A bride was upset because the bartenders she hired want to keep their tips. She felt that the money should go to her honeymoon fund.

• A wedding coordinator sent an email to guests that had a 10-point list of “rules and regulations,” including: Do not wear a hair style other than a basic bob or ponytail; Do not talk to the bride at all; Admission is granted with a gift valued at $75 or more.


I looked at my horoscope this morning and I’m not sure I’m ready for the day…

“As Venus moves into your sign, expect to fall head over heels for that new pizza place around the corner. True love tastes like pepperoni.”


The side of the bed we sleep on, our hair stylist and our supermarket are among the things we are reluctant to change. A survey of adults found eight in 10 of us are self-proclaimed creatures of habit.

The things we wouldn’t want to change:

1. Preferred hair stylist

2. Preferred supermarket

3. Friends

4. Side of bed I sleep on

5. Sports team I support

6. How I have my coffee/tea

7. My preferred coffee/tea brand

9. Milk type (e.g whole, oat, etc)

10. My go-to carry-out meal


• Mind your manners. Say please and thank you and excuse me.

• Take care of yourself. Eat right, exercise and get some sleep so you can be around for the next 30 years.

• Assume the best. Chances are he/she meant to do the right thing even if they messed it up.

• Take turns with the Netflix queue. And restaurant choices. And the TV remote.

• Go out for breakfast. Even if it’s just for a $1 donut. It’s important to carve out time to talk together.

• Be a team. Keep your fights in the locker room.

• Be spouses first. Then be parents second and children third.

• Cultivate separate hobbies. Be interested in things you can talk about other than the kids and the house and your parents.

• Travel together. It brings out the best and worst in you, so you can work through the worst and enjoy the best.

• Put your phone down and make eye contact.

• Kiss more.

• Believe he/she is the most fascinating person in the room. At one time you thought so and it’s not fair to change.

• Be on time. It conveys respect and honor.

• Never make sweeping blanket statements. No one does something every time or always.

• Be amazed. Your spouse is unique. Like no one else God ever made. And they chose you. And you chose them. Be amazed.

The full list.


TRIVIA: The top three products for coupon redemption are cold cereal, soap, and what? (Deodorant)


Lacy needed to go to the store to buy some ingredients to cook with. She started writing them down:

— Butter
— Milk
— Eggs
— Baking Soda
— Cashews
— Oranges
— Vinegar
— Lemon Juice

What was Lacy making?

Answer: A shopping list


• Bananas are technically vegetables. (LIE. However, they are technically berries.)

• Apple makes about $1,440 in profit every second.

• In U.S. history, around 920,000 people have held top-secret security clearances.