December 23, 2008

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Tuesday, December 23, 2008        Edition: #3928
Jingle Bull … Jingle Bull …

Madonna’s ex-, Guy Ritchie, is reportedly dating actor Hugh Grant’s ex-GF, 33-year-old millionaire heiress Jemima Khan, socialite daughter of Lady Annabel Goldsmith & late financier Sir James Goldsmith (Guy’s already working on his next payday) . . . Warner Music has yanked all its music videos from YouTube after negotiations over payment from parent company Google for playing its recording artists reached an impasse (no more James Blunt – how will you live?) . . . Katie Holmes’ rep has announced the actress will not be joining hubby Tom Cruise at the “Golden Globe Awards” January 11th as it’s the same night as her final Broadway performance in “All My Sons” (hmm, somebody just started wearing the family pants) . . . Britain’s Sky TV says it will soon be able to air programs in 3-D for subscribers using its ‘Sky+HD’ box, an HDTV set, and those oh-so-stylish 3-D glasses (so you’ll only need a mid-size bank loan) . . . The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has announced it will cease suing individuals for swapping music online (about 35,000 have been pinched since 2003), one reason being that the legal costs exceed the settlement money it brings in (now how about paying back all the 12-year-olds that got fleeced?) . . . The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland OH is celebrating the 50th anniversary of Motown Records with an extensive exhibit opening January 1st . . . Movie actor Robert Pattinson’s breakthrough role came just in time – he was evicted from his apartment on the exact same day he landed the lead role in “Twilight” . . . And during a recent performance of magician David Copperfield’s Las Vegas show, one of his assistants got tangled in a giant industrial fan being used onstage and ended up breaking an arm (ta-da!).

• “Ellen DeGeneres Show” (syndicated/A Channel) – Country star Taylor Swift is a guest.
• “Funniest Commercials Of the Year: 2008 “ (TBS) – A showcase of the year’s most-humorous ads from around-the-world.
• “A Home For The Holidays” (CBS) – This 10th annual special features celebrities sharing inspirational stories about adoption. Among those appearing: Faith Hill, Gavin Rossdale, Jamie Foxx, Melissa Etheridge, and Tim McGraw.
• “Jimmy Kimmel Live” (ABC/CityTV) – John Legend performs music from his album “John Legend: Sounds Of the Season”.
• “Late Night With Conan O’Brien” (NBC/A Channel) – Roots band Old Crow Medicine Show perform “Alabama High-Test” from their latest bluegrass album “Tennessee Pusher”.
• “Late Show With David Letterman” (CBS) – Darlene Love performs “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)”, an annual tradition on Letterman’s late night shows since 1986.
• “Tonight Show With Jay Leno” (NBC) – Natalie Cole sings seasonal favorites.

• Barenaked Ladies – Drummer Tyler Stewart says he’s looking forward to seeing ‘the ass end of 2008′ and to 2009 in which the band will celebrate its 20th anniversary with a boxed set and, hopefully, some new music.
• Carrie Underwood – She ranks as 2008’s ‘Country Artist with the Most Airplay’, placing #1 overall and #1 female; Brad Paisley is the #1 male.
• Led Zeppelin – 60-year-old former frontman Robert Plant has finally ruled out the band reuniting for a tour, saying he’s moved on to other things and is getting too old to play 2-hour rock shows in giant arenas around-the-world.
• Queen – Guitarist Brian May tells Britain’s “Daily Express” that he did not realize his bandmate Freddie Mercury was gay for years because the flamboyant singer had a string of girlfriends.

• “Burn After Reading” ( Crime Comedy ): The latest from the Coen Bros (“No Country For Old Men“) features an ensemble cast including John Malkovich, Brad Pitt, Tilda Swinton, Frances McDormand, and George Clooney. The story centers on cloak-and-dagger intrigue at the CIA when a disc containing an agent’s secret memoirs falls into the wrong hands.
• “Death Race“ ( Action Adventure ): Jason Statham (“Transporter”) plays a former NASCAR champ who’s framed for the murder of his wife and subsequently sent to a notorious prison overseen by a warden (Joan Allen) who’s created the country’s most popular sport: a kill-or-be-killed car race in which inmates compete for their freedom. Tyrese Gibson (“2 Fast 2 Furious”) co-stars. Shot entirely in Montréal.
• “Hamlet 2“ ( Comedy ): A failed actor-turned-worse-high-school-drama teacher (Steve Coogan) stages a politically incorrect musical sequel to Shakespeare’s “Hamlet”. Co-stars Amy Poehler, David Arquette, and Elisabeth Shue.
• “House Bunny” ( Comedy ): Anna Faris stars as a Playboy bunny who’s booted from the Playboy mansion and winds up becoming the new house mother in a sorority house inhabited by socially clueless women. “American Idol 5” runner-up Katharine McPhee and celebrity spawn Rumer Willis have small roles.
• “The Women” ( Drama ): TV’s “Murphy Brown”-creator Diane English directs Meg Ryan, Annette Bening, Eva Mendes, and Candice Bergen in a tale about affluent Manhattanites that pokes holes in their contentedness. Based on the star-studded 1939 classic starring Norma Shearer, Joan Crawford, and Rosalind Russell and updated to present-day.

A new listing of the costliest split-ups, ranked by the estimated settlements paid out …
5. Actor Harrison Ford from Melissa Mathison … $85 million.
4. Singer Madonna from Guy Ritchie … $76 million-$92 million.
3. Director Steven Spielberg from Amy Irving … $100 million.
2. Singer Neil Diamond from Marcia Murphey … $150 million.
1. NBA star Michael Jordan from Juanita Jordan … $168 million.
– “Forbes Magazine”

Rutgers University researchers have used motion-capture cameras, similar to those used in video games and movies, to record the movements of dozens of Jamaican dancers. Their conclusion: the bodies of the ‘hottest dancers’ are more symmetrical than those of the less coordinated.

A BS snapshot of who we are and what we do …
• 60% of retail items that are on sale have a price ending in ‘9′.
• 52% of us admit we’ve sung “Singing in the Rain” at least once while taking a shower.
• 32% of us say having a significant other is not important over the holiday season.
• 25% of women say the #1 thing they would change about their man is his hair.
• Only 16% of us wash our hands correctly.

In what’s believed to be a medical first, a 15-year-old British cat’s eyesight has been restored by … contact lenses. ‘Ernest’ the cat was suffering from entropion, which made his lids turn inward and scratch his eyeballs. Veterinarians suggested the innovative solution because the cat was too old to risk a general anesthetic. Staff at the Godshill RSPCA on the Isle of Wight – Ernest’s home of 13 years – say the puss will continue to live there because he’s a popular attraction on the reception desk. His lenses will be removed and cleaned by staff every 3 weeks.
– Ananova News

One opinion of the most kick-ass songs of the year …
5. Coldplay … “Viva La Vida”.
4. Estelle f/Kanye West … “American Boy”.
3. Flo Rida … “Low”.
2. MIA … “Paper Planes”.
1. Lil Wayne … “A Milli”.
– “Blender Magazine”

Author Don Russell, who writes a beer column for the “Philadelphia Daily News” as ‘Joe Sixpack’, has published a new book entitled “Christmas Beer: The Cheeriest, Tastiest, and Most Unusual Holiday Brews”. It contains descriptions of 150 seasonal suds with names like ‘Belgian Frostbite’, ‘Hibernation Ale’, and ‘Old Fezziwig’. Russell says these holiday beers have nothing much in common when it comes to color, content, or flavor. But, as generosity is a hallmark of the season, many of the brewers simply add a little more of what they use during the rest of the year. (For example … alcohol.)
– “Washington Post”

Got a vegetarian coming for dinner over the holidays? Food writer Wendy Miller offers a few tips for hosts …
• Find out in advance who’s a veggie. Don’t leave it until Christmas Day.
• Look for inventive vegetarian recipes online.
• Cook the roast potatoes in vegetable oil.
• Watch out for the wine. Most wines contain ‘isinglass’, a fining material made from the air bladder of a sturgeon.
• Give vegetarians bacon chips or roast-chicken chips. Most meat-flavored potato chips have never been anywhere near an animal.
– “Daily Telegraph”

• The biggest-selling Christmas single of all time is Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas” from the soundtrack of the holiday movie classic “Holiday Inn”. More than 30 million copies have been sold.
• The custom of kissing under the mistletoe originated in France, were it was reserved for New Year’s Day. Today, kisses can be exchanged under the mistletoe anytime during the holiday season.
• The common name for mistletoe is derived from … bird droppings. ‘Mistel’ is the Anglo-Saxon word for ‘dung’; and ‘toe’ the word for ‘twig’. So, mistletoe means ‘dung-on-a-twig’.


1943 [65] Harry Shearer, LA CA, comedian/TV voice-over actor (numerous voices on “The Simpsons”)/movie voice actor (“Chicken Little”)/movie actor (“This is Spinal Tap”)

1946 [62] Susan Lucci, Scarsdale NY, TV soap opera actress (‘Erica Kane’ in over 500 episodes of “All My Children” since 1970)/reality TV personality (“Dancing With the Stars 7”)

1964 [44] Eddie Vedder (Edward Louis Severson III), Evanston IL, alt-rock singer (“Hard Sun”, Pearl Jam- “Last Kiss”)

1967 [41] Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, Turin, Italy, singer/songwriter/former fashion model who became First Lady of France in 2008 by marrying French president Nicolas Sarkozy

1970 [38] Catriona LeMay-Doan, Saskatoon SK, former speed skater (1998, 2002 Olympic champion-500 meters)/Order of Canada (2005)/Canadian Sports Hall of Fame (2005)

1978 [30] Estella Warren, Peterborough ON, fashion model (“Sports Illustrated”, “Vogue”, “Vanity Fair”)/movie actress (“Planet Of the Apes”, “The Cooler”)/”Maxim” magazine’s ‘Hottest Woman of 2000′

• “Account Of a Visit from St Nicholas” (better known as “Twas the Night Before Christmas”) by Clement C Moore was first published in the “Troy (NY) Sentinel” 185 years ago TODAY (1823).

• “Noche de Rabano” (“Night Of the Radishes”) in Oaxaca (wah-HAH-kah), Mexico, when figurines are cleverly carved … from radishes. How festive!

1997 [11] 62-year-old movie director Woody Allen & 27-year-old stepdaughter Soon-Yi Previn quietly wed in Venice, Italy

2007 [01] Canadian jazz great Oscar Peterson dies in Mississauga ON at age 82

1951 [57] 1st ‘Coast-to-Coast Televised Football Game’ as LA Rams beat Cleveland Browns 24-17 for NFL championship

1986 [22] Dick Rutan & Jeana Yeager complete 24,986-mile ‘Non-Stop Around-the-World Flight’

[Wed] Christmas Eve
[Wed] Egg Nog Day
[Thurs] Christmas Day
[Thurs] “Bedtime Stories”; “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”; “Marley & Me”; “The Spirit”,  “Valkyrie” open in movie theaters
[Fri] Kwanzaa begins
[Fri] Whiner’s Day
[Fri] Recyclable Packaging Day
This Week Is … Las Posadas
This Month Is … Winter Month


• Two of Santa’s reindeer were originally named ‘Dunder’ and ‘Blixem’ not ‘Donner’ and ‘Blitzen’. [TRUE]
• The name of ”Boxing Day” comes from the need to rid the house of empty boxes the day after Christmas. [MYTH]
• ‘Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer’ was created for Montgomery Ward department stores. [TRUE]
• Poinsettia plants are poisonous. [MYTH. In reality they are fairly harmless. Of 22,793 cases of poinsettia exposure reported to poison control in the US, there were no deaths and 96% did not require medical treatment and none resulted in considerable poisoning. A study in rats could not find a toxic level of the plant sap.]
• Christmas cards date to 1843. [TRUE]
• German and British front-line soldiers sang carols, exchanged gifts, and played soccer during a temporary World War I Christmas truce. [TRUE]
• The suicide rate increases significantly during the holiday season. [MYTH. There is no real evidence to suggest this. In fact, around-the-world suicides tend to peak in warm months.]
• In Canada, Santa’s postal code is H0H 0H0. [TRUE]

• 108 years ago today (1900), Canadian radio pioneer Reginald Fessenden sent the first message via AM radio for a distance of about a mile in Brant Rock MA while working for the US Weather Service. What did he say?
a. “Is it snowing where you are, Mr Thiessen?” [CORRECT]
b. “Watson, come here … I need you.”
c. “Does this dress make me look fat?”

• What is the Irish custom of ‘feeding the wren’ on December 26th?
a. Taking one’s in-laws out to dinner.
b. Carrying a wren door to door, to collect money for charity. [CORRECT. An artificial wren may also be used.]
c. Putting out suet and seeds for the wild birds.

Ranked by worldwide box office, rounded off to the nearest million …
5. “Iron Man” … $582 million.
4. “Hancock” … $624 million.
3. “Kung Fu Panda” … $632 million.
2. “Indiana Jones & The Kingdom Of the Crystal Skull” … $787 million.
1. “The Dark Knight” … $997 million.
– “Box Office Mojo”

Who’s the hardest person to buy for on your gift list? Why?

Today’s Question: Women aged 18-34 are far more likely to do THIS than older women … or men of any age.
Answer to Give Out Next Show: Peek at their Christmas gifts.


The pursuit of happiness is the chase of a lifetime.

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