Wednesday, December 17, 2008        Edition: #3924
Our Sheet Don’t Stink!

Movie musical “Mamma Mia!” has eked by “Titanic” (1997) to become the highest-grossing movie of all-time in the UK, with a total box office take just over $105 million (now in its 23rd week of release, it’s become the #1 movie in 15 countries) . . . A big boo to actress Naomi Watts (“Eastern Promises”) for shunning her celebrity baby-naming duty and tagging her new son with the eminently sane name ‘Samuel’ (we were hoping for something along the lines of ‘50 Watts’) . . . After a seemingly endless trial, 64-year-old Hollywood private eye Anthony Pellicano has finally been sentenced to 15 years in prison for running a wiretapping scheme that spied on the rich & famous and, along with 2 other defendants, ordered to forfeit $2 million (get the screenplay ready!) . . . Actor Dennis Quaid has reached a $750,000-settlement against the hospital that accidentally overdosed his newborn twins with blood-thinning drugs (seems modest considering the size of some of the nuisance suit pay-outs in Lalaland) . . . “Terminator Salvation”, the 5th film in the franchise, looks set to be one of the most talked-about movies of next year (even if much of the talk is “Oh lord, this is terrible!”) . . . 92-year-old Hollywood legend Kirk Douglas (“Spartacus”) has become the ‘oldest celebrity blogger’, the silver surfer racking up some 4,400 ‘friends’ so far on social networking site MySpace (kinda creepy actually) . . . And the CW seemingly won’t let its nostalgia for Aaron Spelling dramas die, as a pilot for a remake of “Melrose Place” (1992-99) is now in the works (bring back Heather Locklear – drugs and all!).

• Akon – His trial is scheduled to begin in Fishkill NY on charges stemming from an incident at a show last year when he allegedly tossed a fan off the stage. The court showdown has already been delayed once.
• “Christmas in Washington“ (TNT) – Dr Phil McGraw & wife Robin return to host this seasonal special featuring a lineup of both Washington and entertainment heavyweights. This year’s entertainment includes country singer Julianne Hough (“The Julianne Hough Holiday Collection”), TV/stage actress Kristen Chenoweth (“Wicked”), and CCM group Casting Crowns.
• ”Jimmy Kimmel Live” (ABC/CityTV) – The Fray (“You Found Me”) is onstage. Their self-titled sophomore album is out February 3rd.
• Kellie Pickler, Kid Rock, and Zac Brown Band – They perform for troops in Iraq today through December 21st.
• ”Last Call With Carson Daly” (NBC) – Panic At the Disco (“Nine In the Afternoon) are on.
• ”Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson” (CBS) – Death Cab For Cutie guests.
• ”Late Show With David Letterman” (CBS) – Broken Social Scene is the musical guest.
• ”Tonight Show With Jay Leno” (NBC/A Channel) – Rock band Staind (“Right Here”) performs.

• ABBA – The ‘Abba Museum’, originally scheduled to open in Stockholm in 2008, will instead go on a world tour in 2009 to countries with strong fan bases, including the UK, US, Australia, Japan, and some European countries. Due to construction delays the permanent museum will open in either late 2011 or early 2012.
• April Wine – It’s been announced they’ll receive a ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ and be inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame March 13th during “Canadian Music Week” in Toronto.
• Dave Matthews Band – On April 14th they’ll release their 1st studio album in 4 years and celebrate with a show at NYC’s Madison Square Garden.
• Little Big Town – The “Bring It on Home” band begins its first headlining tour in 2009, starting January 24th in Jacksonville FL.
• Madonna – Her much discussed divorce settlement with Guy Ritchie, said to be worth as much as $92 million, includes the family’s English country home and their London pub, so the actual cash amount is far less. Ritchie already had an estimated $35-million fortune of his own anyway.
• U2 – They’ve filmed a video in London for the 1st release from their upcoming album, which onlookers say involved ‘marching girls with their boots on’. The first single has long been rumored to be titled “Sexy Boots”.

New terms leaking into the lingo …
• ‘Heart Attack Snow’ – The heavy, wet variety of snow that strains the bodies of shovelers. (Also known as ‘Snowman Snow’!)
• ‘iCrime’ – The theft of a personal media device, particularly an iPod or iPhone. (“Don’t worry, son. The loss of your iPhone was no iCrime. I hid it … so you’d put the damn thing down!”)
• ‘Netroots’ – A grassroots movement that uses the Internet to communicate, organize, and raise money. (The biggest legacy of the Obama presidency so far.)

A BS snapshot of who were are and what we do …
• 72% of women send holiday season cards, but just 60% of men.
• 66% of children invent an ‘imaginary friend’ at some point in their lives.
• 59% of women prefer ‘good guys’ over ‘bad boys’.
• 40% of employees work the majority of their hours outside standard daytime schedules.
• 25% of us have a bout with holiday depression this time of year.
• 15% of dog owners met their future spouse while walking the mutt.

Psychologists at Heriot Watt University in Edinburgh, Scotland say that watching romantic comedies can ruin your love life because they promote unrealistic expectations of relationships. They’ve found that fans of rom-coms often hold the view that if someone is meant to be with you, they should know what you want without being told. Other misconceptions perpetuated by rom-com movies: sex should always be perfect; relationships often develop due to fate and/or destiny; trust and commitment begin from the moment people meet. The researchers studied 40 box office hits from 1995-2005, including “Notting Hill”, “The Wedding Planner”, and “You’ve Got Mail”. (On the other hand, guys who watch action films think they can drive 150 mph and they look really hot with 4 shirt buttons undone.)
– BBC News

A new ranking of the sexiest babes you can control with a joystick …
5. ‘Rachel’ … “Ninja Gaiden 2”.
4. ‘Ivy’ … “Soul Caliber”.
3. ‘Ada Wong’ … “Resident Evil 4”.
2. ‘Joanna’ … “Perfect Dark”.
1. ‘Lara Croft’ … “Tomb Raider” series.

• A 24-year-old British musician who’s fed up with his life has tried to … sell his soul on eBay. Dante Knoxx of Bournemouth offered his ‘used soul’ for a starting bid of about $38,000 or a ‘Buy It Now’ price of $1 million. But eBay has now pulled the listing because it breached corporate policies. The auction had only 2 hours to go and no bids had been made. (Now the guy’s really depressed.)
– “Music Radar”
• A 41-year-old Chinese man says he likes to relax by … eating live snakes and washing them down with a beer. Wen Xide of Wangzhuang village says he has been noshing on reptiles for 10 years after first trying one on a bet for a packet of cigarettes. From then on he became addicted, he says. He admits they’re a bit smelly, but claims they’re very delicious. (Okay … breakfast anyone?)
– Ananova News
• In what may be a legal first, a tough-to-track-down Australian couple has been served with legal papers … via Facebook. Canberra lawyer Mark McCormack found the woman’s page online and used listed details such as her date of birth to argue in Supreme Court that she was the person in question. Her partner was listed as one of her ‘friends’. The couple’s home is being repossessed after they allegedly missed loan payments. (And we’re taking your ‘wall’ too!)

TOP TUBE 2008:
The American Film Institute picks for best TV shows of the year, in alphabetical order …
• “Breaking Bad”
• “In Treatment”
• “John Adams”
• “Life”
• “Lost”
• “Mad Men”
• “The Office”
• “Recount”
• “The Shield”
• “The Wire”
– Reuters

1946 [62] Eugene Levy, Hamilton ON, movie actor (“American Pie” films, “Best in Show”)/former TV actor (‘Stan Shmenge’ and many other characters-“SCTV”)

1949 [59] Paul Rodgers, Middlesbrough UK, rock singer (Queen+Paul Rodgers, ex-The Firm-“Radioactive”, ex-Bad Company-“Can’t Get Enough”, ex-Free-“All Right Now”)

1958 [50] Mike Mills, Orange County CA, rock bassist (REM-“Drive”, “Losing My Religion”)

1964 [44] Michele Tafoya, Manhattan Beach CA, sportscaster (“Monday Night Football” sideline reporter since 2004, “NBA on ABC” sideline reporter 2004-08)

1966 [42] Tracy Byrd, Vidor TX, country singer (“Drinkin’ Bone”, “Ten Rounds with Jose Cuervo”)

1966 [42] Duane Propes, Arlington TX, country bassist (Little Texas-“Life Goes On”, “My Love”)

1973 [35] Eddie Fisher, Colorado Springs CO, rock drummer (OneRepublic-“Stop & Stare”, “Apologize”)

1974 [34] Giovanni Ribisi, LA CA, movie actor (“The Flight of the Phoenix”, “Cold Mountain”)  UP NEXT: Director James Cameron’s sci-fi epic “Avatar” (opening December 18, 2009).

1975 [33] Milla Jovovich, Kiev, Ukraine, movie actress (“Resident Evil” films, “Zoolander”)

1978 [30] Neil Sanderson, Peterborough ON, rock drummer (Three Days Grace-“Never Too Late”, “Just Like You”)

1979 [29] Ryan Key, Jacksonville FL, rock singer/guitarist (Yellowcard-“Lights & Sounds”, “Ocean Avenue”)

1994 [14] Nat Wolff, LA CA, TV actor/singer (“The Naked Brothers Band”)

• “Audubon Christmas Bird Count” through January 3rd, when more than 40,000 North American bird watchers will conduct the annual numbering of our feathered friends. (“1,502 [bam!] … 1,501 …”)

• “First Flight Anniversary Celebration” at Kill Devil Hills NC. A tradition since 1928, it honors the Wright Brothers’ flight at Kitty Hawk NC December 17th, 1903. 105 years ago at 10:35 am ET, the first sustained motorized aircraft flight travelled a total of 850 ft. Orville Wright was the pilot, winning the honors in a coin toss. Wilbur got to run alongside.

• “International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers”, the 6th annual when organizers are asking sex workers and their customers around-the-world to gather at 5 pm local time to honor prostitutes who have been killed while ‘on-the-job’.

• “National Maple Syrup Day”, honoring the great Canadian taste treat that requires a second mortgage on your house to purchase. There are over 12,000 maple syrup producers in Canada, accounting for more than 85% of world production. The province of Québec is the world’s top-ranking maple syrup producer, accounting for more than 70% of all production.

• “National Maple Syrup Day”, the opportunity to enjoy and appreciate this delicious North American treat. Native Americans were the first to harvest and boil the sap of the maple tree into a thick syrup. Canada makes more than 80% of the world’s supply. The state of Vermont is the biggest US producer, followed by Maine, New York, and Ohio.

• “Saturnalia” began, the week-long festival in ancient Rome honoring Saturn the planter god, which was marked with these lasting traditions: the exchange of gifts, illumination of lights, and the closing of businesses. Early Christian church leaders scheduled “Christmas” at this time of year partly to counteract this extremely popular but disapproved pagan celebration.

• “Underdog Day”, the 32nd annual saluting all underdogs and unsung heroes, the ‘Number Twos’, who contribute so much to the ‘Number Ones’ that we always read about. Sherlock Holmes’s Dr Watson, Robinson Cruse’s Friday, Captain Kirk’s Mr Spock and [co-host] are examples. Ask listeners for other followers who’ve been under-appreciated.

2001 [07] Comedian Tom Green files for divorce from actress Drew Barrymore after less than 6 months of marriage

2003 [05] “The Lord Of the Rings: The Return Of the King” opens in movie theaters (#2 movie all-time with $1.1 billion in worldwide box office)

1994 [14] Pop diva Celine Dion (then 26) marries her manager Rene Angelil (then 52) at the Notre-Dame Basilica in Montréal

1994 [14] Actress Heather Locklear marries Bon Jovi rocker Richie Sambora (divorce 2007)

1791 [217] A traffic regulation in NYC establishes the 1st ‘One Way Street’

1843 [165] “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens is published in London and immediately sells out

1965 [43] ‘Largest-Ever Newspaper’, a Sunday edition of the “New York Times”, runs 946 pages but is modestly priced at just 50 cents (or about 5 cents a pound)

1991 [17] NBA’s ‘Most Lopsided Game’ as Cleveland beats Miami 148-80

[Thurs] Bake Cookies Day
[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
This Week Is … Gluten-Free Baking Week
This Month Is … Write A Business Plan Month

Ask a kid, any kid …
• “How does Santa’s huge body fit through those tiny chimneys?”
• “What does Santa do at a house with no chimney?”
• “What exactly are ‘reindeer games’?”
• “Who brings Santa his Christmas gifts?”
• “Why does Santa only work one night a year?”
• “What does Santa do when he’s not delivering presents?”

I think it’s bad luck to be superstitious …

Have you received a dreaded annual ‘family bulletin’ from a friend or relative for the holidays? Read us the most obnoxious excerpts.

Today’s Question: If you have THIS trait, you earn about $2,200 a year more on average than those who do not.
Answer to Give Out Next Show: Being left-handed.

Freedom is doing what you like, happiness liking what you do.

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