Wednesday, August 21, 2013        Edition: #5051

Sheet Happens!

✶ Filmmaker JJ Abrams (“Star Trek”, “Lost”, “Star Wars”) has released a frightening new teaser clip on Bad Robot’s YouTube channel that’s simply entitled “Stranger”. A gravelly voice narrates a dark shoreline scene showing a bedraggled figure trying to pull himself out of the sea. He’s eventually confronted by a creepy man … with his lips sewn shut. The only clue as to what this is all about is the caption ‘Soon’. (Sometimes his promos are better than his projects.)
✶ Actor Bruce Willis claims he shops … at Costco. The “Die Hard” star has earned millions for his roles in action-packed blockbusters during his 33-year career, but admits he cannot resist the lure of a bargain. He says he’s a frequent visitor to various branches of the warehouse chain and often loads up his oversized cart with items he doesn’t need. Quote: “In its own way, Costco is like an art museum.” (Yeah right … if paintings came in cartons of 48.)
✶ Oscar-winner Adrien Brody will be making magic on the small-screen in a new mini-series for the History Channel about legendary illusionist Harry Houdini. “The Piano” star will play the master magician, who wowed crowds around-the-world with death-defying escapes at the beginning of the 20th century. “House of Cards” actress Kristen Connolly will play Houdini’s wife Bess in the 4-part series, which begins filming later this year. (Judging by the number of movies on the topic, magic is making a comeback.)
✶ 2 years ago Samantha Shannon was a 19-year-old slaving away as an intern. But she put her mind to writing a fantasy novel and yesterday published “The Bone Season”, a 480-page tome that’s already being likened to JK Rowling’s ‘Harry Potter’ series. The book has been released in 20 countries and the screen rights have already been sold to Andy Serkis, the actor who played ‘Golum’ in the “Lord of the Rings” movies, who’s a partner in film production company The Imaginarium. (This girl must be black & blue from pinching herself.)
✶ And Simon Cowell has reportedly arranged for baby mama Lauren Silverman to fly to the UK so she can … meet his mother. An inside source says he’s more nervous about that than becoming a dad because Simon’s mom, Julie Brett, is ‘the boss’. He wants her approval, the source claims, and it’s crucial to him the 2 most important women in his life form a bond. Simon has remained tight-lipped on his feelings for Lauren, but pals say “The X Factor” boss is keen to get married in order to make his new family legitimate. (That’s about as likely as him keeping his hairy chest covered.)
– “Closer Magazine”

• “America’s Got Talent” (NBC/CityTV) – 4 acts move on to the semifinals.
• “Conan” (TBS/CTV) – The Black Angels (“Indigo Meadow”). Rerun.
• “Ellen DeGeneres Show” (syndicated/CTV2) – Maroon 5 (“Overexposed”). Rerun.
• “Jimmy Kimmel Live” (ABC/CityTV) – Joan Jett (“Unvarnished”, out October 1st). Rerun.
• “Last Call With Carson Daly” (NBC) – A Silent Film (“Sand & Snow”). Rerun.
• “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon” (NBC/CTV2) – Mayer Hawthorne (“A Strange Arrangement”). Rerun.
• “Late Show With David Letterman” (CBS/NTV/Omni1) – Valerie June (“Pushin’ Against a Stone”).
• “Live With Kelly & Michael” (ABC/CTV) – Steven Tyler (Aerosmith). Rerun.
• “Tonight Show With Jay Leno” (NBC/CTV2) – Phillip Phillips (“The World From the Side Of the Moon”). Rerun.
• “The View” (ABC/CTV) – Guest co-host Robin Thicke (“Blurred Lines”). Rerun.

• Chris Brown – Drop Entertainment Group has announced that his 4 upcoming gigs in Canada scheduled for Halifax, Toronto, Saint John, and Winnipeg have all been axed due to ‘health-related issues’. What isn’t mentioned is that a growing backlash over his appearances was threatening ticket sales.
• Demi Lovato – Just as it’s been announced the “X Factor” judge will guest-star in a 6-episode arc on FOX-TV’s “Glee” this Fall comes the rumor that she’s had her phone hacked, with the hacker finding and willing to sell a cache of nude photos. (These days this is called ‘promotion’.)
• Justin Timberlake – According to “NY Post”, he’s reuniting with his former group *NSYNC at the MTV Video Music Awards on Sunday for their first performance together since 2004. JT is being presented the ‘Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award’, following in the footsteps of Britney Spears, Janet Jackson, and Madonna.
• Lady Gaga – She’s been chosen to kick off the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards with the first-ever live performance of her new single “Applause”, from her upcoming album “ARTPOP”.
• Michael Jackson – His brother Randy has called for the King of Pop’s 15-year-old daughter Paris to be released from psychiatric care as he fears it’s taking too long. Paris was admitted to the UCLA Medical Center June 5th after an alleged suicide attempt. Though discharged in July, she’s been in a residential treatment center ever since.
• Miley Cyrus – She tells E!’s “Fashion Police” that she’s bored with her short hair. She’s been rocking a peroxide-blonde pixie crop since last Summer but has now decided to grow it out. To that end she’s taking vitamin supplements to boost hair growth. She says she’d wear a weave in the meantime but … she doesn’t have anything to clip it to.

“The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones” ( PG-13 Action Adventure ): Lily Collins stars as ‘Clary Fray’, a girl who learns that she descends from a line of warriors who protect our world from demons. She joins forces with others like her and heads into a dangerous alternate NYC called ‘Downworld’. Based on Cassandra Clare’s 6-novel “Mortal Instruments” series.

Starting in November, Germany will become the 2nd country in-the-world to add a 3rd gender option on birth certificates. German parents will be able to choose between male, female, or ‘blank’. The new law allows parents of newborns who have characteristics of both sexes to wait until the children are old enough to decide if they want to be labeled male or female. Or, people can opt to remain genderless. Australia became the 1st country to legally introduce a 3rd gender about 6 weeks ago. (What would be the perfect genderless name?)
– Der Spiegel Online

A statistical look at who we are and the things we do …
• 54% of men want their partner to be a ‘classy dresser’.
• 43% of female college freshman say gaining weight is their biggest fear about the upcoming year.
• 41% of seashore visitors will not go in the water due to fear of sharks.
• 26% of men consider themselves to be the best looking in their group.
• 16% of us will need to call a tow-truck today.
• 10% of 18-to-34-year-olds admit that they’ve used their cellphones while taking a shower.

Coffee, wine, and sushi during pregnancy? Go ahead, says a new book. In “Expecting Better: Why the Conventional Pregnancy Wisdom Is Wrong and What You Really Need to Know”, author Emily Oster attempts to bust many of the myths surrounding pregnancy by consolidating info from numerous research studies. Some of her conclusions …
✓ Weight gain during pregnancy is less important than a woman’s starting weight; and not gaining enough may be more harmful.
✓ Light drinking is fine … up to 2 glasses of wine weekly in the 1st trimester; up to a glass-a-day in the 2nd and 3rd.
✓ And much of the evidence supports having as many as 3-to-4 cups of coffee a day.
– Associated Press

New words and terms entering the lexicon …
• ‘Apitherapy’ (aka Bee Acupuncture’ or ‘Bee Sting Therapy’) – Patients in China are swarming to acupuncture clinics to be given bee stings to ward off life-threatening illness. Each session can involve dozens of punctures inflicted one-at-a-time by bees. It’s said to treat all manner of ailments from arthritis to cancer. Health experts elsewhere say it’s nothing but quackery.
• ‘Calligraffiti’ – Graffiti that uses or is inspired by calligraphic letterforms and techniques; a fusion of calligraphy and graffiti. (“It appears some medieval scribe has calligraffiti-ed ‘F You’ on the high school.”)
• ‘Digital Hangover’ – Feelings of shame and regret caused by social network photos and other online evidence of one’s embarrassing behavior … often involving drinking. About 16% of us have asked ‘friends’ to take down offensive material for fear family or our employer might see it.

✗ A toilet freshener made by Germany’s Henkel has been pulled after Ukrainians complained it looks like … their national flag. A Henkel rep explains that the product’s blue & yellow horizontal stripes represent water and lemon but the product has been yanked anyway, just 3 days after the company noticed all the complaints online. (The colors in just about any product’s logo are going to be in a flag somewhere, no?)
✗ In Portugal, some 2 dozen ex-pats and vacationers have been busted for … playing bingo for cookies and drinks. The organizer has been fined 700 euros ($950) for hosting the game in a tavern and has also received a 4-month suspended prison sentence. Even some of the bystanders who weren’t participating in the game were fined 150 euros ($200) for ‘witnessing illegal gambling’. (Don’t even think about playing poker on the Algarve!)
– BBC News
✗ A British couple who wanted to spoil their kids hired renowned event planner Steven Duggan to decorate a birthday party for their 1-year-old twins in ‘Peter Pan’ and ‘Alice in Wonderland’ styles. The final bill for this lavish event which the honorees won’t even remember when they grow up … about $113,300. (What will they have to do next year to beat this?)

Dirt Road Cookers, a team of caterers from San Antonio TX, has broken the Guinness World Record for ‘Largest Pizza’. The 46.64-square-foot creations weighed in at about 100 lbs and took nearly 2 hours to cook. The preponderous pie was twice the size of the previous record holder.

Soap and clean water make children grow taller.
– Magazine Monitor


1967 [46] Serj Tankian, Beirut, Lebanon, rock singer (“Empty Walls”, w/System Of a Down-“Hypnotize”)

1973 [40] Sergey Brin, Moscow, Russia [grew up in Adelphi MD], computer wiz who co-founded Google with Larry Page in 1998/personal net worth estimated at $22.8 billion in 2013

1974 [39] Johnny Reid, Lanark, Scotland, country singer (“Fire It Up”, “Kicking Stones”)/CCMA Awards ‘Male Artist Of the Year’ 2008, 2009

1979 [34] Kelis (Rogers-Jones), Harlem NY, R&B singer (“Acapella”, “Milkshake”)/married to rapper Nas 2005-09

1986 [27] Usain Bolt, Trelawny, Jamaica, world’s fastest sprinter (6 Olympic gold medals; 8 World Championship golds, 2 silver)/world 100 meter record (9.58) & 200 meter record (19.19)

1988 [25] Kacey Musgraves, Mineola TX, country singer (“Blowin’ Smoke”, “Merry Go ‘Round”)

1989 [24] Hayden Panettiere, Palisades NY, TV actress (‘Juliette Barnes’ on “Nashville” since 2012, “Heroes” 2006-09)/movie actress (“Scream 4”)

1992 [21] RJ Mitte (Roy Frank Mitte III), Lafayette LA, TV actor (‘Flynn’ on “Breaking Bad” since 2008)/cerebral palsy sufferer

• “Honey Bee Day”, saluting the busiest of insects. As much as one-third of the food we eat is pollinated by honey bees, to say nothing of the honey they provide.

• “Senior Citizens Day”, the 25th annual observance to recognize and show appreciation for the value and contribution of elders to home, family, and society.

• “Spumoni Day”, saluting the Italian dessert made from layers of ice cream, whipped cream, candied fruit, and nuts. It is typically made with 3 layers of flavor: Chocolate, Pistachio, and Cherry. Mmm, bring it on!

• “Statehood Day” in Hawaii, celebrating the 54th anniversary of it becoming the 50th state to join the USA on August 21, 1959. Two things Hawaii doesn’t have … snakes and billboards.

2009 [04] “Inglourious Basterds”, Quentin Tarantino’s long-in-the-works satire about an American-led WW2 killing squad, opens in movie theaters

2005 [08] Rolling Stones kick off “A Bigger Bang” world tour at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts (after pauses for a concussion and alcohol rehab, it wraps 2 years later as the highest-grossing tour to date at over $558 million)

1986 [27] Colin Watson & Andre Douglas set the ‘World Hairdressing Record’ in Northcliff, South Africa by cutting, setting, and styling continuously for 408 hours … that’s 17 days!

[Thurs] Be an Angel Day
[Fri] “The World’s End”; “You’re Next” open in movie theaters
[Fri] Reading & Leeds Festivals begin (UK)
[Sat] International Bat Night
[Sun] Go Topless Day
This Week Is … Freedom of Enterprise Week
This Month Is … Artists Appreciation Month


• “It took this long to get the ol’ blood alcohol level down to the legal driving limit.”
• “Sorry, I overslept and dreamed I had a dead-end job, a windowless office, and a humorless moron for a boss.”
• “Damn car got stuck in reverse and I had to back all the way to work.”
• “Hey, time becomes meaningless when you’re strung out on crystal meth.”
• “I was up all night trying to figure out how to quit this crappy job and I overslept.”
• “Oh, we’re open on Tuesdays?!?”

☎ The hipster hate-on: Warranted or just plain mean?

• Which of the following is illegal in Singapore?
a. Chewing gum on subways.
b. Failure to flush a public toilet.
c. Walking around in your home naked.
[Trick question … ALL OF THEM can result in hefty fines and/or jail sentences.]
– “Trivia Quest”

• Which were Ancient Romans fond of eating?
a. Hippopotami.
b. Tigers.
c. Mice.
[Mice were sometimes served, drowned in red wine.]

I’m in a same-sex marriage … the sex is always the same.

Question: According to a recent poll, THIS is the #1 ‘luxury’ people would like in their home.
Answer: A hot tub.

Never return a kindness … pass it on.

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