Wednesday, August 20, 2014              Edition: #5288

Sheeters Always Prosper!

★ Sony Pictures has caved in to threats from North Korea and returned to the editing room with its upcoming comedy “The Interview”. James Franco & Seth Rogen play a talk show host and his producer who wind up at the heart of a plot to assassinate North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un. Government officials in Pyongyang have described the film as an act of terrorism and filed a complaint with the UN in an attempt to block its release. To alleviate tensions, Sony has decided to digitally alter thousands of military uniform buttons that are replicas of actual buttons worn by the North Korean army; and it’s also considering cutting a scene in which Kim Jong-Un’s face is melted in slow motion. Initially scheduled to open August 8th, “The Interview” is now due December 25th. (Sounds like a lot of ganja went into the making of this.)
★ Julianne Hough is reportedly set to return to “Dancing With the Stars” as a judge. The 2-time dancing champ on the ABC-TV show quit the program after 2009’s 8th season to pursue a music and film career. But inside sources now say the 26-year-old has been offered the 4 th seat on the judging panel for the upcoming 19th season, alongside current judges Carrie Ann Inaba, Len Goodman, and Bruno Tonioli. She’s no stranger to sitting on the panel as she filled in for Goodman as a guest judge in October last year. (Professional dancer Maksim Chmerkovskiy, who won the 18th season of the show earlier this year, is said to be totally ticked he wasn’t asked.)
★ And Brazilian beauty Gisele Bundchen has been named the world’s highest-paid model for the 8th consecutive year. The 34-year-old wife of NFL star Tom Brady has earned an estimated $47 million over the past year, thanks to ad campaigns for Balenciaga, H&M, Sonia Rykiel, and Stuart Weitzman. Victoria’s Secret angels Doutzen Kroes and Adriana Lima tie for a distant 2nd with earnings of $8 million. Veteran model Kate Moss comes in at #4 with $7 million, tying with “Sports Illustrated” cover girl Kate Upton, a newcomer to the list. Other new faces include Cara Delevingne, Karlie Kloss, and Jourdan Dunn. (Tom Brady makes $15 million a year … and the wife is still the main bread-winner.)

• “America’s Got Talent” (NBC/CityTV) – A performance from magic group The Illusionists; 5 acts move on to the semi-finals.
• “Ellen DeGeneres Show” (syndicated/CTV2) – Lake Street Dive (“Bad Self Portraits”). Rerun.
• “Jimmy Kimmel Live” (ABC/CityTV) – Jake Owen (“Days of Gold”). Rerun.
• “Last Call With Carson Daly” (NBC) – The Preatures (“Is This How You Feel”). Rerun.
• “Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson” (CBS) –  Keb’ Mo’ (“Blues Americana”). Rerun.
• “Late Night With Seth Meyers” (NBC/CTV2) – Broods (“Evergreen”). Rerun.
• “Late Show With David Letterman” (CBS/Omni1) – Jeremy Messersmith (“Heart Murmurs”).
• “So You Think You Can Dance” (FOX/CTV2) – The top 6 finalists perform; guest judge Christina Applegate; Rixton performs.
• “Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” (NBC/CTV2) – Thirty Seconds to Mars (“Love, Lust, Faith and Dreams”).

• Bob Seger – The classic rocker is coming back with a new album, “Ride Out”, to be released October 14th. The first single, “Detroit Made”, pays homage to America’s love affair with the automobile.
• Chris Brown / Trey Songz – The two Virginia natives have announced on Instagram they are teaming up for a joint tour this Autumn, and hint they have recorded a duet together that’s yet to be heard. They’re asking fans for suggestions on a name for the tour.
• Ed Sheeran – He’s reportedly been asked to be an usher at the upcoming wedding of actress Courteney Cox & Snow Patrol Guitarist Johnny McDaid. The Brit singer is close friends with the future newlyweds, and was apparently responsible for introducing them.
• Iggy Azalea – The 24-year-old rapper’s being blasted for her moodiness on the set of her new MTV show “House of Style”. Word has it she had a ‘complete scowl’ on her face throughout a recent shoot at the Versace store in Beverly Hills CA … unless the cameras were on.
• Jay Z – He’s venturing into the boxing world, with his sights set on turning unknown fighters into celebrities. The hip-hop mogul and his Roc Nation Sports agency recently obtained a licence to promote bouts in NYC and Boston, according to ESPN.
• Taylor Swift – She’s announced her ‘very first, official pop album’ is coming October 27th, to be called “1989” (she was born December 13, 1989). It’s a collaboration with Swedish producers Max Martin and Shellback, who also worked on 2 of her biggest hits: “I Knew You Were Trouble” and “We Are Never Getting Back Together”.
• U2 – While previous reports suggested they’re delaying their new album until 2015, “Irish Times” is now quoting a source as saying there will be a new single from U2 this September, with the album to follow shortly thereafter.

Spirituality typically promotes ideas of peace, bliss, and inner calm. But new University of Kentucky research has found that religious people are more likely to become aggressive when drunk and the stronger their views, the more hostile they become. Rather than a specific religion, the study focuses on belief in a ‘sacred being’. When sober, spiritual participants were found to be less hostile than those without strong beliefs, but as they drank alcohol these same people became increasingly aggressive and violent compared to the non-believers. The researchers conclude the study indicates that alcohol ‘releases the beast within’ highly religious people, although the reasons are unknown. (Drunken Buddhists will even swat flies!)
– “Daily Mail”

A pill for jet lag is a step closer after scientists at California’s Salk Institute for Biological Sciences have discovered the single gene that seems to trigger it. That gene, Lhx1, controls waking and sleeping patterns. For the study, the scientists experimented on mice, disrupting their cyclical exposure to light and dark while comparing changes in their genes. Mice with little or no Lhx1 readjusted much faster to jet lag conditions. It’s thought a pill to override Lhx1 might also help control sleep disorders and help shift workers from whom sleep interruption is known to cause health problems. It might even reduce dementia, as the severity of that disorder stems from sleep disturbance. (A prime market for this stuff … radio morning show personalities.)
– CTV News

A statistical look at who we are and the things we do …
• 67% of women say they can tell how masculine a guy is by the kind of drink he orders.
• 52% of parents intentionally allow their kids to win at board games.
• 40% of us do not have a true friend at work.
• 39% of guys say they wouldn’t want their mothers to know if they purchased a motorcycle.
• 25% of us admit we’ve lied to get out of going to a family gathering.
• 2% of people worldwide have green eyes.

Soon you may be able to charge your phone by … SHOUTING at it. A prototype gadget created by Queen Mary University of London in cooperation with Nokia converts sound waves from speech into about 5 volts of energy. The device, about the size of a mobile phone, uses zinc oxide, which produces electricity when subjected to what’s known as ‘mechanical stress’. That stress could come from vibrations in sound that move tiny rods inside. The invention was inspired by research which found playing pop or rock music improves the performance of solar cells. It’s hoped this energy-harvesting prototype could someday be used to charge mobile phones using everyday background noise. (In future, family arguments could be useful.)
– @MailOnline

New cutting-edge vocab …
• ‘Cryptofinance’ – The use of cryptography and privacy techniques to enable financial transactions that are secret and anonymous. It’s important enough nowadays to become the subject of university courses.
• ‘Loom Bands’ – The latest craze for many, these are colorful rubber bands woven together into bracelets. Shops now sell kits to make them, which are increasingly being used to make other items, from necklaces and key rings to phone cases and even bikinis.
• ‘SWATification’ – The increase in the use and militarization of police SWAT teams. SWAT team raids in the USA have increased 25-fold since 1980.
• ‘Virtual Mobbing’ – Using online media and technologies to attack or gang up on a particular person or thing. Police brutality, for instance.

Parental punishments have officially gone digital with intense parental control apps, such as ‘Ignore No More’. If parents feel their children are ignoring their phone calls or texts, they can remotely lock down their kids’ phones using this Google Android app. After the phone is locked, the kids have to call their parents to get an unlock code. They are also be able to call police if it is an emergency. And if a kid tries to tamper with the app, the phone automatically locks down and sends an email to the parent. The ‘Ignore No More’ app costs $2.50. (Actual effective parenting is free and only involves time.)

• 1-in-10 people in the UK does not have a close friend.
– “The Independent”
• After the US, South Korea is the nation that sends the most missionaries around-the-world.
– “The Economist”
• Emails sent to employees of German auto-maker Daimler while they are on vacation are automatically deleted.
– BBC News


1948 [66] Robert Plant, West Bromwich UK, classic rock singer (w/Allison Krauss-“Raising Sand”, Led Zeppelin-“Stairway to Heaven”)/Rock & Roll Hall of Fame (1995)  BS FACTOID: He & current band Sensational Space Shifters release the new album “Lullaby and … The Ceaseless Roar” September 9th.

1956 [58] Joan Allen, Rochelle IL, movie actress (‘Jason Bourne’ films, “The Upside of Anger”)

1969 [45] Billy Gardell, Pittsburgh PA, TV actor (‘Mike Biggs’ on “Mike & Molly” since 2010)

1970 [44] Fred Durst, Gastonia NC, rock singer (Limp Bizkit-“My Way”, “Re-Arranged”)

1974 [40] Amy Adams, Vicenza, Italy, movie actress (“American Hustle”, “Trouble With the Curve”)  COMING UP: Tim Burton’s new film “Big Eyes”, opening December 25th.

1983 [31] Andrew Garfield, Los Angeles CA [raised Surrey UK], movie actor (“The Amazing Spider-Man” films, “The Social Network”)  UP NEXT: “99 Homes”, debuting August 29th at the 71st Venice International Film Festival.

1992 [22] Demi Lovato, Albuquerque NM, pop singer (“Heart Attack”, “Skyscraper”)/TV personality (“The X Factor” 2012-13)/TV actress (“Sonny With a Chance” 2009-11)

• “Lemonade Day”, set aside to honor the old-fashioned Summer refreshment favorite. Many sources indicate that lemonade was invented in Paris, France on this day in 1630.

• “Medical Dosimetrist Day”, observed annually on the 3rd Wednesday of August to recognize the importance of these professionals who are key members of the radiation oncology teams that help patients survive cancer.

• “Radio Day”, for no apparent reason other than someone penciled it in on a calendar years ago. To celebrate, all on-air personalities get a hefty raise, free lunch, and a magnum of Champagne. (In your dreams.)

• “World Mosquito Day”, observed annually to commemorate the 1897 date when British doctor Sir Ronald Ross discovered the link between malaria transmission and mosquitoes.

2013 [01] Novelist/screenwriter Elmore Leonard dies in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan at age 87 (20 of his stories have been made into movies or TV shows, including “Get Shorty”, “Out of Sight”, “Jackie Brown”, “3:10 to Yuma”, “Justified”)

1969 [45] All 4 members of The Beatles gather in their London studios for the final time as they complete work on “I Want You (She’s So Heavy)” and finalize the track order for their last recorded album, “Abbey Road”

1974 [40] Nolan Ryan of the California Angels becomes the 1st MLB player to have a pitch clocked at over 100 mph (100.4 mph, to be precise)

2000 [14] Tiger Woods wins the PGA Championship to become the 1st golfer since Ben Hogan in 1953 to win 3 majors in a single year

2012 [02] Augusta National Golf Club (home of The Masters) announces it is finally opening its doors to women (former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and banker Darla Moore become the 1st female members)

2004 [10] In an event arranged by the Washington Tow Truck Association, 83 trucks roll through Wenatchee WA, setting a Guinness Record for ‘World’s Largest Parade of Tow Trucks’

[Thurs] “The Simpsons” marathon begins (FXX)
[Thurs] Spumoni Day
[Thurs] Senior Citizens Day
[Fri] “If I Stay”; “Sin City: A Dame to Kill For”; “When the Game Stands Tall” open in movie theaters
[Fri] Reading & Leeds Festivals begin (UK)
[Fri] Hug Your Boss Day
This Week Is … Don’t Wait, Celebrate! Week
This Month Is … Cataract Awareness Month


(You just don’t know it.)
• Tailgating – Grilling is great, but grilling + sports + beer + getting way too competitive is even better.
• Hot Cocoa – Nothing helps you kick back like a hot cup of cocoa, especially if it’s spiked.
• Halloween Candy – The only time it’s acceptable to have candy for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
• Apple Picking – If you don’t pick your own apples, then you’re doing Fall all wrong.
• Holiday Leftovers – Mashed potatoes for days. Cranberry sauce on everything.
• Hot Soup – Not to mention cheddar broccoli bread bowls that’ll warm you up anytime.
• Pumpkin Pie – Might as well pop that top button on your pants now. It’s almost pie time.
• Pumpkin Spice Lattés – The first time each year that you catch a whiff of that pumpkin aroma, it’s magic.
• Mulled Wine – The perfect beverage for every Autumn party or family get-together.
• No More Hot Dogs – Bye-bye, Summer. We’ll be wanting you and your weenies again next year. Until then … so long tube steak!
– Adapted from

Don’t play stupid with me … I’m better at it.

☎ What’s the weirdest sign you’ve seen posted in your workplace?

Question: Compared to their mothers, women today have much bigger WHAT?
Answer: Engagement rings.

We don’t have to change friends if we understand that friends change.

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