Thursday, December 18, 2008        Edition: #3925
100% Grade A Bull!

24-year-old movie star Scarlett Johansson is planning a follow-up to her lame debut music album, “Anywhere I Lay My Head”, this time featuring original songs instead of covers (but will she sing or again use a ton of vocal FX over her talking the lyrics?) . . . A court document filed by the daughter of 81-year-old Emmy-winning actor Peter Falk (“Columbo”) seeks to appoint her as his conservator as he’s allegedly suffering from Alzheimer’s (does this explain his trademark line: “Oh I forgot, just one more thing …”) . . . Fully 11 tracks from “High School Musical 3: Senior Year” have made the list of possible nominees for next year’s ‘Best Original Song’ Academy Award (thank gawd only 2 can make the shortlist!) . . . Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo Productions has just signed a deal to make mini-series, movies, documentaries & TV series for HBO (step #42 in her world domination plan) . . . In addition to landing Jack Black as a guest star on a 1-hour, post-“Super Bowl” episode of “The Office” (February 1st), NBC-TV has also snared Jessica Alba & Cloris Leachman for the special (a ‘Dunder-Mifflin’ roast of ‘Michael’) . . . . And according to a new survey, Simon Cowell (“American Idol”, the UK’s “X Factor”) is more famous among British kids under 10 than Queen Elizabeth II or – God (by coincidence Cowell thinks he IS God).

• “Ellen DeGeneres Show” (syndicated/A Channel) – Plain White T’s (“Hey There Delilah”) are on.
• “Jimmy Kimmel Live” (ABC/CityTV) – All-American Rejects (“Gives You Hell”) perform.
• “Last Call With Carson Daly” (NBC) – The Cure promote the new album “4:13 Dream”.
• “Late Show With David Letterman” (CBS) – Athens GA indie band Of Montreal performs.
• “Late Night With Conan O’Brien” (NBC) – Little Big Town (“Bring It on Home”) is featured.
• “Live With Regis & Kelly” (syndicated/CTV) – Irish New Age artist Enya (“And Winter Came”) is a guest.
• “Tonight Show With Jay Leno” (NBC/A Channel) – Los Lonely Boys (“Heaven”) are onstage.

• Britney Spears – Word has it she’s asked her ex-, Kevin Federline, to move back in. An insider says they’ve been seeing a counselor and have drawn up a list of rules to improve their relationship. (#1: Always wear underwear when out in public …”)
• Katy Perry – A report claims that on a recent visit to Paris, her Gym Class Heroes BF, Travis McCoy, kissed her with a diamond ring in his mouth which led to a marriage proposal. (And the ring sliding on more easily.)
• Julianne Hough – The “Dancing With the Stars” pro-turned-country singer has landed the opening spot on George Strait’s 2009 Summer tour, beginning May 15th in Charlotte NC.
• Lil Wayne – His lawyers are seeking ‘more time to turn over documents’ in response to a lawsuit that accuses him of copyright infringement. It’s claimed he didn’t have permission to sample a song by singer Karma-Ann Swanepoel on his track “I Feel Like Dying”. (Oops!)
• No Doubt – While they recently announced the reunited band will tour in 2009, it doesn’t look like their 1st new album since 2001 will be out next year. Drummer Adrian Young says they’ll be working on it using a mobile studio in their tour bus. (They’ll now have a ‘horn section’.)
• Red Hot Chili Peppers – Reports claim frontman Anthony Kiedis was in & out of hospital this past Summer for treatment of kidney disease, possibly related to past drug use. His reps deny he was treated for kidney problems … but are mum about any hospital visits.

A BS selection of movies in the making …
• “H2” – Rob Zombie will reunite with his good friend ‘Michael Myers’ for another “Halloween” film. According to “Variety”, Zombie will write and direct “H2“, a sequel to his 2007 remake of the horror classic. Production is expected to begin in March. Zombie is currently working on a new album, which is also expected out some time in 2009.
• ‘Untitled Avatar Film’ – “Pirates Of the Caribbean” director Gore Verbinski has acquired rights to a “Wall Street Journal” article that will be the basis for a film about the world of online fantasy role-playing. The story focuses on a man who spends up to 20 hours a day online, existing through an avatar who is a thriving, musclebound entrepreneur. In reality, he’s a diabetic, chain-smoking, married 53-year-old.
• “The Wedding” – “Juno” director Jason Reitman is helming this upcoming romantic comedy about the perils and peccadilloes of young love, says “Hollywood Reporter”. Jesse Eisenberg (“The Squid & the Whale“) will play a young man who crashes the wedding of a 30-ish woman he’s infatuated with, played by Anna Friel (“Pushing Daisies”).

Real life is rarely as cut-and-dried as on television, particularly in the realm of crime and punishment. A few of the myths created by TV crime shows …
• TV detectives work one case at a time. In the real world, they juggle a deep backlog of cases.
• Experts who perform scientific analyses are rarely the same people who do the detective work and make arrests, unlike TV where one team tackles every aspect of an investigation.
• Few real forensic scientists ever drive a Hummer – or other exotic vehicle – to a crime scene.
• The almost instant turnaround of DNA tests is what TV writers refer to as a ‘time cheat’, a trick necessary to wrap up the story. In reality, due to the screening, extraction, and replication process (not to mention the backlog), DNA test can take months.
• The results of DNA tests are rarely, if ever, 100% conclusive.
• Just about every murder investigation on TV leads to an arrest and conviction. In the real world, less than half of cases are ever solved.
– “Uncle John’s Unsinkable Bathroom Reader”

You can usually tell if a gift was personally wrapped or if the store did it, right? Not anymore! Online retailer has drafted 20 of its male forklift truck drivers and warehouse assistants to wrap presents as quickly as possible, using ugly brown packing tape and very little care, so it appears that the buyer gave it the ‘personal touch’. The $9-service, called ‘CrapWrap’, has attracted over 500 customers in its 1st week. Whether it’s a book, DVD, or something trickier such as a kitchen utensil, the ‘CrapWrap’ team guarantees to make a mess of it! (Sounds like a storyline for “The Office”!)

A new ranking of the worst licks & riffs ever …
5. The Beatles’ George Harrison … “All You Need Is Love” (1967).
4. Cream’s Eric Clapton … Falstaff beer ad (1967).
3. Carlos Santana … “The Game of Love” (2002).
2. Blue Cheer’s Leigh Stevens … “Summertime Blues” (1968).
1. Poison’s CC DeVille … “Guitar Solo” (1991).
The entire worst one hundred are listed here …
– “Guitar World”

The latest innovation planned for the new Palazzo Versace Hotel in Dubai is … a refrigerated beach. A network of pipes beneath the sand will circulate a coolant to absorb heat from the surface. The adjacent swimming pool will be refrigerated and there’s also a proposal to install giant blowers to waft a gentle breeze over the fabricated beach. Environmentalist Rachel Noble of Tourism Concern thinks the plan isn’t ecologically sound. Dubai is like a bubble world, she says, where things that are worrying the rest of the world, like climate change, are simply ignored. (Heated refrigerators in every room!)
– TimesOnline

Ways to pinch pennies during tough economic times that you may not have considered …
• Dilute your bottled water with tap water.
• Give up premium cable for shadow puppetry.
• Switch from hard-boiled eggs to soft-boiled … save 5 minutes-worth of energy costs.
• Quit your job and eliminate the expense of commuting.
– “New Yorker”

Why do we yawn? Bingham University biologist Andrew Gallup says he’s discovered it’s to prevent our brains from overheating. The finding solves several mysteries about yawning, such as why it’s most common just before and after sleeping; why certain diseases lead to excessive yawning; and why breathing through the nose and cooling off the forehead often stop yawning. The key yawn instigator appears to be brain temperature. (Don’t be a hot head … give her!)
– “Discovery News”

• In the Middle Ages, the ‘Festival of the Ass’ was held on Christmas Eve, recalling Joseph & Mary’s flight into Egypt.
• There used to be a ‘Festival of Madmen’ on Christmas Day, when servants became masters and masters became servants for the day.

1943 [65] Keith Richards, Dartford UK, classic rock guitarist (Rolling Stones-“Start Me Up”, “Satisfaction”)/Rock & Roll Hall of Fame (1989)/part-time movie actor (“Pirates Of the Caribbean: At Worlds End”)

1946 [62] Steven Spielberg, Cincinnati OH, movie director/producer (“Indiana Jones & The Kingdom Of the Crystal Skull”, 3 Academy Awards: “Saving Private Ryan”, “Schindler’s List”, 1986 Irving G Thalberg Award)

1963 [45] Brad Pitt, Shawnee OK, movie actor (“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”, “Ocean’s 11”)/Angelina Jolie’s partner since 2005/Mr Jennifer Aniston 2000-05/’Make It Right’ New Orleans rebuilding project founder

1968 [40] Rachel Griffiths, Melbourne, Australia, TV actress (‘Sarah Whedon‘ on “Brothers & Sisters” since 2006, “Six Feet Under” 2001-05)

1970 [38] DMX (Earl Simmons), Mount Vernon NY, rapper (“Touch It”, “Party Up”)/movie actor (“Cradle 2 the Grave”, “Romeo Must Die”)/frequent convict

1978 [30] Daniel Cleary, Carbonear NL, NHL winger (2008 Stanley Cup-Detroit Red Wings)

1978 [30] Katie Holmes, Toledo OH, Broadway actress (“All My Sons”)/movie actress (“Batman Begins”, “First Daughter”)/former TV actress (“Dawson’s Creek” 1998-2003)/Mrs Tom Cruise since 2006

1980 [28] Christina Aguilera, Staten Island NY, pop singer (“Keeps Gettin’ Better”, “Beautiful”)/5 Grammy Awards/30 million albums sold worldwide  FACTOID: Her 4th studio album is tentatively set for release in Summer 2009.

• “Bake Cookies Day”. What’s the best kind of homemade cookie: Chocolate Chip, Oatmeal-Raisin, or Peanut Butter?

• “International Migrants Day”, a day of solidarity for migrant workers, on the anniversary of the UN’s 1990 adoption of the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrants Workers & Members of Their Families. About 17,000 migrant farm workers come to Canada each year to pick fruits & vegetables.

• “Let’s See What We Find In the Fridge Day”, a day to be brave and eat something from the back of the refrigerator. Ask listeners for their grossest discoveries.

• “Oatmeal Muffin Day”. “Here [co-host], put this muffin in your mouth!”

• “Roast Suckling Pig Day”. Here [co-host], put this apple in your mouth!”

• “Wear a Plunger On Your Head Day” for some unknown reason. Something to do with your potty mouth maybe?.

1998 [10] “Shakespeare in Love” opens in movie theaters (later wins 7 Academy Awards)

2002 [06] “Lord Of the Rings: The Two Towers” opens in theaters (grosses over $925 million worldwide, ranking #8 all-time)

1892 [116] 1st performance of Tchaikovsky’s seasonal favorite, “The Nutcracker Suite”, in St Petersburg, Russia

1978 [30] “YMCA” by the Village People is certified Gold

1999 [09] Christina Aguilera releases her hit single “What A Girl Wants” on her 19th birthday

1993 [15] ‘World’s Largest Hotel’ opens, the 5,000-room MGM Grand in Las Vegas (The Venetian in Vegas now claims to be largest, at least in terms of area)

[Fri] “Seven Pounds”; “The Tale of Despereaux”; “Yes Man” open in movie theaters
[Sun] Winter begins
[Sun] Humbug Day
[Sun] Look at the Bright Side Day
[Sun] Flashlight Day
[Mon] Hanukkah begins
[Mon] Abilities Day
[Wed] Christmas Eve
[Wed] Egg Nog Day
This Week Is … Tell Someone They’re Doing a Good Job Week
This Month Is … Closed Caption TV Month

• He’s renamed the reindeer Breezy, Dapper, Edgy, Feisty, Gutsy, Hardy, Intrepid, and Jaunty.
• He lives at the North Pole so he can keep his PC cool.
• He’s replaced elves with a state-of-the-art robotic workforce.
• He spends 364 days a year indoors, creating stuff.
• He owns the largest database in the world.
• He’s not really fat … just loaded down with gadgets.
• He’s replaced Rudolph’s nose with a laser pointer.

Modesty is one of my more outstanding qualities.

• Across Europe, the plural of ‘Euro’ is ‘Euros’ … apart from Italy. What is it there?
a. Eura.
b. Euri. [CORRECT]
c. Europis.

• The poinsettia is the traditional Christmas flower. Where did it originally grow?
a. Canada.
b. China.
c. Mexico. [CORRECT]

What is the most useful gift you’ve ever been given?

Today’s Question: A new study says that unhappy people do more of THIS than happy people.
Answer to Give Out Next Show: Watch TV. (Unhappy folks do it 30% more than people who consider themselves happy, meaning 6 more hours of TV per week for the sad peeps.)

An optimist laughs to forget. A pessimist forgets to laugh.

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