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ONE YEAR OLDER: FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 5 _ Charlotte Rampling is 75. Barbara Hershey (Beaches, A Killing in a Small Town) is 73. Christopher Guest (Best in Show, A Mighty Wind) is 73. Tom Wilkinson (Michael Clayton) is 73. Tim Meadows (Saturday Night Live) is 60. Jennifer Jason Leigh (The Hateful Eight, Annihilation) is 59. Laura Linney (Sully, Nocturnal Animals) is 57. Chris Parnell (SNL, 30 Rock) is 54. Michael Sheen (Frost/Nixon, Twilight films) is 52. David Chisum (Black Box, One Life to Live) is 51. Soccer player Cristiano Ronaldo is 36. Darren Criss (Glee) is 34. And today is Bubble Gum Day. Shower With A Friend Day. Weatherperson’s Day. Working Naked Day. Frozen Yogurt Day.

ONE YEAR OLDER: SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 6 _ Mike Farrell is 82. Tom Brokaw is 81. Robert Townsend is 64. Kathy Najimy is 64. Richie McDonald of Lonestar is 59. Axl Rose is 59. Rick Astley is 55. Josh Stewart is 44. Charlie Heaton is 27. And today is Barber Day. Canadian Maple Syrup Day. Ice Cream For Breakfast Day. Play Outside Day. Play Monopoly Day. Take Your Child To The Library Day. Play Your Ukulele Day. Chopsticks Day.

ONE YEAR OLDER: SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 7 _ Robert Smigel is 61. James Spader is 61. Garth Brooks is 59. Chris Rock is 56. Ashton Kutcher is 43. And today is Super Bowl Sunday. Ballet Day. Popcorn Day. Wave All Your Fingers At Your Neighbors Day. Fettuccine Alfredo Day. Send a Card to a Friend Day.

WOMEN ARE DIFFICULT TO READ _ A study backs up what men have said all along: Women are difficult to read. And the women agree. Researchers (Indiana University) showed video clips from 24 different speed dates and asked male and female participants two simple questions: “Do you think the man was interested in this woman?” and “Do you think the woman was interested in this man?” Their answers were then compared with the responses of the speed daters themselves. The results show that both men and women are able to gauge a man’s interest in a woman, but are equally baffled when it comes to figuring out if a woman is interested in a man.

… The study’s lead researcher says that the biological drive behind dating — finding an optimal mate for gene promotion — gives women reason to be elusive. Being coy forces the men to spend more time interacting with the woman, because they are unsure if they have successfully courted her. Therefore, the woman has more time to gather information about her date.

FACEBOOK THIS _ Here’s an easy one to post on your Facebook for the weekend: “What’s the combined score of the Super Bowl going to be?”

THE SECRET TO HAPPINESS _ The secret to happiness doesn’t come from thinking happy thoughts … it comes from thinking happy thoughts fast. Here’s what researchers at Princeton and Harvard universities found: Results suggested that thinking fast made participants feel more elated, creative and, to a lesser degree, energetic and powerful. Activities that promote fast thinking, then, such as whip­ping through an easy crossword puzzle or brain-storming quickly about an idea, can boost energy and mood. The researchers think that “thinking quickly may unleash the brain’s novelty-loving dopamine system, which is involved in sensations of pleasure and reward.”

WACKY-BUT-TRUE: THIEVES STEAL HOMEWORK _ Three blundering South African thieves came up short after they successfully robbed a school principal but then made off with the wrong bag of loot. The men forced their way into the principal’s office at gunpoint and held up the headmaster and two secretaries, piling jewelry, money and the contents of the school safe into a black briefcase. Turning to flee, one of the robbers grabbed the wrong black briefcase, escaping instead with the principal’s bag stuffed with homework.

DEATH BY SUPER BOWL PARTY? _ You know how Dr. Fauci and other medical experts are telling us not to host or attend Super Bowl parties this year because, well, it could lead to death? They’re not wrong. There’s historical proof, courtesy of a Tulane University study, which revealed that cities with teams in the Super Bowl see a rise in flu deaths — and it’s significant. For those in the 65-years-and-older age group, having a team in the Super Bowl leads to an average 18 percent increase in flu deaths.

… The Tulane study team examined county-level statistics from 1974-2009 to arrive at their findings of the 18 percent increase in flu deaths in cities which have teams competing in the big game. The reason: “It’s people that are staying at home and hosting small local gatherings, so your Super Bowl party, that are actually passing influenza among themselves. Every year, we host these parties that we go to and it changes mixing patterns and you are coughing and sneezing and sharing chips and dip with people that you often don’t and so we get the influenza transmitted in novel ways that’s then going to eventually wind up in the lungs of a 65-year old.”

WORST VALENTINE’S DAY GIFTS _ In an online survey, women were asked to share the worst Valentine’s Day gifts they’d received.
• Two large bags of kitty litter. I have one cat and it prefers a certain brand of litter.
• A ‘gift card’ for two free weeks of one of those meal prep and delivery services.
• A huge box of coffee pods. I don’t own a coffee making machine.

NEWS ATTACK! _ Researchers say they can predict the success of a relationship based on the speaking style of a couple. [If a couple speaks softly to one another, things are probably good — if a couple prefers to communicate via thrown shoes, there may be a problem.]

ONE YEAR OLDER _ Wednesday, January 6.
• Rowan Atkinson is 66
• Chef Nigella Lawson is 61
• TV personality Ree Drummond is 52
• Norman Reedus is 52
• TV personality Julie Chen is 51
• Eddie Redmayne is 39
• Kate McKinnon is 37

SPECIAL EVENTS _ Shortbread Day. Technology Day. Bean Day. Cuddle Up Day.

4 IN 10 ADULTS CAN’T STOP WORKING NO MATTER WHERE THEY ARE _ Life is all about balance, and one of the most important balancing acts of any adult’s day-to day existence is separating work life and home life. Unfortunately, many modern workers just don’t know when to take a break — even if they’re home and the workday is over. That’s the main finding from a survey that found a staggering 40 percent just cannot stop working.

… The survey also found that one in six employees spend more than 11 hours a week focusing on their job while outside the office — typically by checking their emails or making calls.

RUNNING A MARATHON COULD HELP YOU LIVE LONGER _ Need another reason to sign up for a marathon? Research suggests training and running a marathon for the first time could reverse some of the effects of aging on our bodies. Researchers found that for the 138 healthy, first-time marathon runners they tracked, training and completing the London marathon was associated with a four-year reduction in their “vascular age.” Specifically, they found that marathon training reversed the age-related stiffening of the body’s main artery and helped reduce blood pressure.

100 THINGS TO TOSS FROM YOUR HOME IN THE NEW YEAR _ The Today show posted this a few years back, but it’s fund to bring back around after a new year begins.

WACKY-BUT-TRUE: BURGLAR FALLS ASLEEP IN HOME _ In Spain, a burglar fell asleep in front of the TV after eating several plates of food in an apartment he had broken into. The owner of the apartment returned home to find the man asleep on a sofa with the TV on. Thinking it was his son, he was about to put a blanket over him for warmth when he saw it was an intruder and tiptoed out to call the police.

FACEBOOK THIS _ “Finish this phrase: ‘You might be a parent if…’ Here are a couple to get us started:
• You automatically cut your own food into teensy-weensy pieces.
• Your idea of a good time includes going to Target — alone — on a Saturday night.
• You’ve discussed poop with someone like you’re a couple of NCIS investigators.”

CHATTERING AWAY TO BABIES IS EVEN BETTER FOR THEM THAN READING _ Parents of tiny babies: When you’re home with the kid, keep a one-sided conversation going about anything and everything while you’re folding laundry, making dinner, or doing whatever else around the house. The the results of a study reveal that a steady stream of idle chatter from mom or dad’s mouth improves the child’s cognitive development, even more so than reading to them does.

CAN YOU GUESS? _ You see them every day, nearly everywhere you go, though you can’t touch them. They can weigh 20,000 pounds or more. What are they? Answer: Clouds. Some can weigh as little as 20,000 pounds, while others can weight up to a couple million pounds.

WHAT DOES Y-E-S SPELL? _ Try this on a cohost, or grab your smartphone and record people in the office.
You: What does Y-E-S spell?
Co-host: (Will reply YES.)
You: What does E-Y-E-S spell?
Co-host: (Will quite likely mess it up.)

… There are videos of people being asked to say what Y-E-S spells.

ONE YEAR OLDER _ January 4, 2021.
• Dyan Cannon is 82
• Fashion designer and famous mom Tina Knowles is 67
• Author Harlan Coben is 59
• Dave Foley is 58
• D’Arcy Carden (Janet on The Good Place) is 41

SPECIAL EVENTS _ National Weigh-In Day. Trivia Day. Hypnotism Day. Spaghetti Day. Divorce Monday (the first Monday of the year is supposedly when more divorces are filed).

THE CHEWING GUM DIET _ Researchers at the Mayo Clinic calculated that chewing gum burns up about 11 calories an hour. This mean that someone who chews gum every waking hour for a year will lose about 11 pounds.

OBVIOUS: THE OLDER WE GET, THE MORE WE FALL _ The older we get, the more likely we are to fall and hurt our heads. That bit of info from folks at a Finnish hospital. Fact is, once we reach the age of 80 our chances of falling and taking a serious head injury double what they were when we are in our 70s. In a bizarre twist researchers also found that the majority of seniors who fall do so indoors while living at home. The research argues for better protection for elderly heads.

BY JANUARY 14 MANY OF OUR RESOLUTIONS WILL BE GONE _ If you’re one of those who made a New Year’s resolution, don’t feel bad if you’re already stumbling. Experts say that by January 14 over a third of resolution-makers will have quit.

WACKY-BUT-TRUE: PET STORE FOOD EATER CAUGHT _ Police in Germany caught the person responsible for breaking into a number of stores. The man would break in and pocket a few dog toys. He would also open and eat a can of cat food before leaving each store.

NEWS ATTACK! _ Sleep researchers say that some of us are ‘sleep eaters’: people who, while still asleep, raid the fridge. Some sleep eaters even devour stuff like cat food and medicine. [Which would explain the taste of Preparation H in your mouth in the morning.]

YOU KNOW IT’S JANUARY WHEN _ You know it’s January when…
• The stores offer 95% off Christmas merchandise.
• The colors of red and green make you sick.
• Every Christmas toy in the house has dead batteries.
• There are plenty of parking spaces at Target.

CAN YOU GUESS? _ Can you guess how many Oreo Cookies are made each year? Answer: 16 billion!

BEING ‘HANGRY’ IS REAL, SO DON’T NEGLECT THE SNACKS _ You haven’t eaten for a while and you’re starting to get snappy with everyone. You’re hangry. It’s not just a joke, it’s a real phenomenon. Research has pointed to the idea that being hangry is legit. The lower your blood sugar gets, the less fuel your brain has to function. While you can handle all the critical brain tasks like breathing and seeing, more complex things like turning a bickering argument about the dishes into a constructive conversation aren’t as simple. The result? You deal with the little things more impulsively, which leads to getting angrier easier.

🗣 Topic: Can you tell when your significant is getting hangry? How do you handle it — by simply saying, “You’re hangry — you need to eat”?