Monday, December 22, 2008 Edition: #3927
Good Morning, Sheetheads!

• Former “Rolling Stone” magazine writer Ian Halperin, who’s working on a new biography of Michael Jackson, suggests the ‘King of Pop’ may be seriously ill, suffering from a deadly lung condition. The condition, known as Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency, is a potentially fatal genetic illness. Halperin claims Jackson is losing vision in his left eye and has subsequently developed the lung condition emphysema. That means he needs a lung transplant but he may be too weak to go through with it. (See, he’s more than just wacko!)
• Media mogul Oprah Winfrey has been named PETA’s ‘Person Of the Year’ because she’s used her ‘powerful voice to defend those without one’. The animal advocacy group is sending her an award plaque & letter of appreciation. Harpo Productions says the talk show host is on hiatus and unavailable for comment. (She’s relaxing on a bearskin rug in front of the fireplace in her Montana hunting lodge.)
• A hooded burglar broke into Paris Hilton’s California mansion and stole millions of dollars worth of jewelry on Friday. The intruder is believed to have forced his way through the front door of the property in Sherman Oaks before ransacking her bedroom and making off with an estimated $2-million worth of bling. Hilton was not home at the time. (She was already filing a claim at the insurance office.)
– World Entertainment New Network
• Courtney Love says she’s stopped taking her antidepressants while recording a new album in a bid to confront her inner demons. Kurt Cobain’s oft-troubled widow says fans will get a glimpse of her true self with the release of “Nobody’s Daughter” next year, because she refused to take any medication to moderate her personality. (I think we speak on behalf of everyone when we say … oh oh.)
– “Elle”
• 42-year-old Halle Berry has suffered a ‘wardrobe malfunction’ while shooting her new flick “Frankie & Alice” in Vancouver. The actress’s slinky black outfit came undone as she was filming a chase scene, but trouper Halle finished the scene in which she ends up dashing in front of a car and taking a tumble … even though the temperature was an uncharacteristically chilly -7C (19F). (Giving whole new meaning to the term ‘chest cold’.)
– “News Of the World”
• Is Simon leaving “American Idol”? In a conference call with the press Simon Cowell has confirmed he’ll make a decision about whether or not to stay in the new year. His inclination to leave isn’t due to any personality conflict but rather his workload. He maintains the show could continue another 10 years, but he has several other irons in the fire. (10 more years? Isn’t that kind of torture covered in the Geneva Conventions?)
• Movie actor Matthew McConaughey (“Tropic Thunder”) is reportedly itching to have another baby. Although he & girlfriend Camila Alves welcomed little Levi into the world just 6 months ago, reports say he’d love to have more babies but Camila would like to wait. She recently told a celebrity magazine, “After 60 hours of labor, I’m taking it one day at a time.” (60 hours? Isn’t that kind of torture covered in the Geneva Conventions?)
• “Friday Night Lights” actress Minka Kelly (NBC) & NY Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter have done their best to keep their 6-month romance under the radar. But according to an insider, the couple is now looking for a home in the LA area. Word has it Derek stays at Minka’s condo whenever he ‘slides in’ to town but it’s pretty tiny so they need more space and that’s why they’re house-hunting. (Hope they can afford the down payment!)
– “The Scoop”

• “Jimmy Kimmel Live (ABC/CityTV) – Brit band Keane is on.
• “Late Show With David Letterman” (CBS) – Classic rocker Todd Rundgren plays onstage.
• “Live With Regis & Kelly” (ABC/CTV) – Il Divo performs.
• “2008: Today Looks Back, A Holiday Special” (NBC) – This primetime special features a countdown of the top 5 stories of ‘08 and spotlights memorable events & news-makers.

• Amy Winehouse – She’s reportedly been released after a month in the exclusive London Clinic, a rep claiming she was suffering from ‘an adverse reaction to prescription medication’. Word is she’s jetted off to the Caribbean island of St Lucia for the holidays.
• Britney Spears – Her publicist is denying reports that she’s dating Good Charlotte rocker Benji Madden. “In Touch” magazine is reporting they’ve dined together and seen each other several times since. (Even Britney wouldn’t want Paris Hilton’s sloppy seconds.)
• DMX – He’s been extradited from his cell in Miami FL to Maricopa County Jail in Arizona. It’s there he’s facing charges of drug possession, identity theft and animal cruelty which he previously skipped out on.
• Fergie – She & actor finacé Josh Duhamel have reportedly set the date for their wedding, the weekend of January 9th-11th, according to “Access Hollywood”.
• “Guitar Hero World Tour” – Brooks & Dunn’s “Hillbilly Deluxe”, Brad Paisley’s “Ticks”, and Rascal Flatts’ “Me & My Gang” will be available for download January 8th as part of the new ‘Country Rock Track Pack’.
• Janet Jackson – In an entry on his blog, music producer Jermaine Dupri says it’s untrue he’s split up with her and she also isn’t pregnant. Jackson & Dupri have been dating for about 4 years.
• Kanye West – He says he has already made his New Year’s resolution; he’s promising to make peace with the paparazzi.
• Taylor Swift – The teenage country phenom has now officially sold more than 5 million albums, combining her 2006 self-titled debut (3.7 million) and this year’s “Fearless” (1.5 million). She’s just been named the ‘Best-Selling Country Artist’ of ‘08 by “Billboard” magazine.

No need to worry about your kids climbing the walls due to holiday treats. It’s commonly thought children become hyperactive after eating sugar, but regardless of what parents may think, it’s been proven that sugar does NOT, in fact, cause hyperactive behavior. At least 12 randomized trials looking at sugar levels and behavior have been unable to detect any difference between kids who’d consumed sugar and those who didn’t … even among those with ADHD. (We like these ‘scientists’ to come over and babysit for a night.)
– BBC News

We’ve all been told to put a hat on in Winter because most heat is lost through the head, right? Well, a recent study shows there’s nothing particularly special about heat loss from the head … any uncovered part of the body loses heat. The belief probably originated with an old military experiment in which scientists measured body temperatures of individuals in Arctic survival suits (but with no hat). Had that experiment been done with the participants wearing only swimsuits, for instance, they would not have lost more than 10% of their body heat through their heads … they would have been chilled all over.
– “Scientific American”

It’s often been suggested that you should avoid eating late at night in order to avoid unwanted weight gain. The idea is that you cannot burn off calories if you are asleep. But in a recent study of more than 2,500 subjects, eating at night was not associated with weight gain but eating more than 3 meals a day was. Ultimately, taking in more calories makes you gain weight … no matter when you eat them.

There is simply no such thing as a ‘cure’ for a hangover according to Indiana University researchers. The team trawled through medical literature and the Internet for evidence about a wide range of commonly held beliefs. The online search produced endless methods claiming to cure hangovers from aspirin to bananas to charcoal & water. But despite numerous trials carried out on both traditional and oddball cures, the researchers conclude there is no scientific evidence of an effective method of either preventing or getting rid of a hangover. (Except not drinking, that is.)
– “British Medical Journal”

In 2008 Earth has been cooler than at any time since the turn of the century, scientists say. Cooling La Nina conditions in the Pacific brought temperatures down to levels last seen in the year 2000. The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) notes, however, that temperatures remained about 0.3C above the 1961-1990 average. Computer models suggest that natural cycles may cool Earth’s surface in the next few years, masking the warming impact of rising greenhouse gas levels. Using data from 2 major monitoring networks, the WMO reports that despite the cooling, 2008 still ranks among the 10 warmest years on record. Temperatures are now about 0.7C above pre-industrial times. (We’re confused … is the sky falling or not?)

A simple sneeze may be a tell-tale sign of sexual arousal for some people. British doctors have investigated the phenomenon after hearing of a middle-aged patient who had uncontrollable sneezing fits whenever he thought of sex. They subsequently unearthed evidence, via Internet chatrooms, of 17 others – of both genders – with the same problem. The study suggests it may be due to some sort of mix-up in brain circuitry. In an interesting related finding, the researchers also discovered 3 people who have sneezing fits after orgasm. (How romantic.)
– “Journal Of the Royal Society of Medicine”

December is the month in which you’re most likely to die from poisoning, falling, or in a fire. (So happy holidays, eh?)


1945 [63] Diane Sawyer, Glasgow KY, TV news correspondent (“Good Morning America” since 1999, “Primetime Live” since 1989, “20/20” 1998-2000, “60 Minutes” 1984-89)

1949 [59] Robin Gibb, Isle of Man, oldies singer (Bee Gees-“Stayin’ Alive”, “I Started a Joke”)/Rock & Roll Hall of Fame (1997)

1962 [46] Ralph Fiennes (‘fanes’), Suffolk UK, movie actor (“Harry Potter” films, “The Constant Gardener”)/stage actor (1995 Tony Award-“Hamlet”)

1989 [19] Jordin Sparks, Phoenix AZ, pop singer (w/Chris Brown-“No Air”, “Tattoo)/”American Idol 6” winner

• “Capricorn the Goat” astrology sign begins. People born under the sign are said to be practical, disciplined, methodical, organized, cautious, and careful.

• “Global Orgasm for World Peace”, the 3rd annual attempt to join the world’s citizens in a simultaneous orgasm combined with thoughts of peace and love for all humankind. This solstice synchronized celebration is the brainwave of San Francisco CA peace activists Donna Sheehan (78) & Paul Reffell (57). The mission statement of the event is to ‘effect change in the energy field of the Earth through input of the largest possible surge of human energy’. (O come all ye faithful!)

• “Hanukkah”, the Jewish “Festival of Lights” which began last night at sundown, continues for 8 days.

• “International Arbor Day”. What a great time of year to honor trees … just as we’re slaughtering them and dragging them into our homes!

2006 [02] “Night At the Museum”, starring Ben Stiller, opens in movie theaters

1958 [50] The Chipmunks hit #1 with “The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don’t Be Late)”, the novelty tune that tops the charts for a month

1990 [18] Pearl Jam performs for the 1st time, using the name ‘Mookie Blaylock’ as the opening act for Alice in Chains in Seattle WA

2000 [08] 42-year-old Madonna & 32-year-old movie director Guy Ritchie wed at Skibo Castle in the highlands of Scotland (divorce decree nisi is pending)

1882 [126] 1st strings of ‘Christmas Tree Lights’ go on sale, created in Thomas Edison’s labs just 3 years after the invention of the light bulb (the original tree lights are red, white & blue)

1956 [52] Cleveland Browns coach Paul Brown is 1st to use a helmet radio to communicate with his quarterback but his NFL opponents, the NY Giants, tune in the frequency and intercept plays to win

[Wed] Christmas Eve
[Wed] Egg Nog 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
This Week Is … Halcyon Days
This Week Is … Make a New Year’s Resolution to Stop Smoking Month

• Is the world full of smart people pretending, or imbeciles who mean it?
• How do you write zero in Roman numerals?
• If cats and dogs didn’t have fur, would we still pet them?
• Do jellyfish get gas from eating jellybeans?
• How do you get off a non-stop flight?
• If athletes get athlete’s foot, do astronauts get mistletoe?

• Want to hit George Bush with your shoe? Go here!
• Just in case your ‘holiday newsletter’ isn’t annoying enough, now you can send a Christmas e-card of you singing “Blue Christmas” with Elvis.

If money were no object, what one gift would you purchase for yourself?

199 years ago today (1809) the USA passed the ‘Non-Intercourse Act’. What did it forbid?
a. Adultery among all American citizens.
b. Trade with France & Britain. [CORRECT. It was to retaliate against Napoleon’s Decrees and the British blockade, and caused a commercial depression in Canada.]
c. Illicit relationships between first cousins.

You’ll never be the man your mother was …

Today’s Question: In 1977 only 35% of women did THIS after they got married; today 70% do it.
Answer to Give Out Next Show: Take their husband’s name.

It’s smart to pick your friends … but not to pieces.

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