Thursday, December 11, 2008        Edition: #3920
Don’t Take Any Sheet, Unless It’s Pure Bull!

Britain’s Sky TV is being criticized for showing the death of a 59-year-old American man at a Zurich, Switzerland euthanasia clinic on its Real Lives channel last night, but defends the documentary as ‘an informative, articulate and educated insight’ into the issue of assisted suicide (FOX-TV is likely already looking at a possibility of a series) . . . 46-year-old Paula Abdul is claiming that  “American Idol” producers were told that the late Paula Goodspeed had stalked Abdul in the past but encouraged the unstable woman to appear on the show for ‘entertainment value’ – twice (Goodspeed was found dead of an apparent suicide near Abdul’s home last month) . . . 35-year-old Ben Scott, only child of AC/DC legend Bon Scott, has announced he’d like consideration for the lead role in filmmaker Eddie Martin’s upcoming movie about his father . . . After much speculation, it’s been confirmed that The Roots are indeed the house band for Jimmy Fallon’s new NBC-TV talk show, which will replace “Late Night With Conan O’Brien” in the new year (when Conan bumps Jay) . . . 37-year-old Latin singer Ricky Martin says he’ll never hire a nanny to look after his twin sons because he doesn’t want to miss a moment of their childhood (on the upside, that means he won’t be singing much) . . . Actor Tom Cruise has his people combing Toronto, searching for his missing BlackBerry after misplacing it between interviews promoting his new movie “Valkyrie” (anyone want the Scientology HQ number?) . . . And “The Tales Of Beedle the Bard”, the new collection by “Harry Potter” author JK Rowling, is likely to become the fastest-selling book of 2008 as close to 370,000 copies have been sold since it was published last week (all proceeds go to a children’s charity because JK has no more room for money storage).

• “Ellen DeGeneres Show” (syndicated/A Channel) – Rapper/actor Common is a guest.
• “Jimmy Kimmel Live” (ABC/CityTV) – Snow Patrol (“A Million And One Suns”) performs.
• “Last Call With Carson Daly” (NBC) – Gym Class Heroes promote their album “The Quilt”.
• “Late Night With Conan O’Brien” (NBC/A Channel) – 82-year-old Tony Bennett promotes his new seasonal album, “A Swingin’ Christmas”.
• Nobel Peace Concert (Oslo, Norway) – Brit actor Sir Michael Caine & Hollywood star Scarlett Johansson co-host an evening of performances by Diana Ross, Dierks Bentley, Feist, and Jason Mraz among others.
• Profiles In History Auction – Among the 3,500-odd lots being auctioned over 3 days by the leading dealer in Hollywood memorabilia is the original light saber wielded by Mark Hamill as ‘Luke Skywalker’ in “Star Wars” (valued at $175,000); the trademark fedora & whip used by Harrison Ford in “Indiana Jones & The Temple Of Doom” (circa $120,000); and first editions of Ian Fleming’s ‘James Bond’ novels.
• “Tonight Show With Jay Leno” (NBC/A Channel) – The Cure (“4:13 Dream”) perform.

• Britney Spears – Her album “Circus” will top the album charts next week, according to her label Jive. Estimates have it selling some 500,000 copies in its first week of release.
• DMX – He’s back behind bars … again. The rapper was apprehended in Florida just days after a bench warrant was issued for his arrest when he missed a court appearance Friday in Arizona.
• Katy Perry – She’s apologized for a comment she made about Lily Allen, in which she called herself a ‘skinnier version’ of the Brit singer. Ouch!
• Kenny Chesney – He’s calling his 2009 tour the “Sun City Carnival”. Among the tour stops are the Stagecoach Festival in Indio CA (April 26) ; the Calgary Stampede in Calgary AB (July 10); Cheyenne Frontier Days in Cheyenne WY (July 24-25); and another visit to Gillette Stadium near Boston MA (August 15).
• Leona Lewis – “Billboard Magazine” has named her the ‘Top New Artist Of the Year’ for 2008.
• Mariah Carey – Her rep is once again denying she is pregnant via husband Nick Cannon, even though “NY Post” says she was spotted exiting an LA gynecology clinic waving an ultrasound. Maybe she’s just getting fat? Her new album “Mariah Carey: The Ballads” will be released January 20.
• Outkast – Andre 3000 and Turner Broadcasting are facing a $2-million lawsuit from a former art student, alleging the idea for the animated TV series “Class of 3000” was stolen. Timothy McGee claims he submitted a suspiciously similar premise to the Cartoon Network in 1997. The show landed the 2007 “Emmy Award” for ‘Outstanding Individual Achievement in Animation’.

A BS selection of movies in the making …
• “Alvin & the Chipmunks: The Squeakuel” – Betty Thomas (“Doctor Dolittle”) has signed on to direct a follow-up to the 2007 family comedy featuring the animated singing rodents. The new film introduces the ‘Chipmunks’ female counterparts, the ‘Chipettes’. Justin Long, Matthew Gray Gubler & Jesse McCartney are returning to voice the lead roles. Why a squeakuel? The first movie grossed over $360 million worldwide. It’s scheduled for a Christmas Day 2009 release.
• “The Lost City of Z” – Brad Pitt will play British soldier and spy Percy Fawcett in this true story about a 1920s adventurer who left Victorian society to explore in the Amazon, only to become obsessed by the idea of an advanced civilization he called ‘Z’ which he believed existed in the depths of the jungle. Pitt will produce as well as star in the film. It’s due out in 2010.
• “Revolutionary Road“ – In this soon-to-release romantic drama, “Titanic” duo Leonardo Dicaprio & Kate Winslet hit the bigscreen again as lovers. Word has it they had to be pushed to jack up the heat during love scenes by director Sam Mendes (“American Beauty”), who just happens to be … Winslet’s husband. Now how awkward would that be? The film opens in limited release December 26.

• ‘Once in a Blue Moon’: Meaning ‘not very often’, it refers to a 2nd Full Moon within a month, something that occurs only once in 2.4 years on average.
• ‘Mad as a Hatter’: Hat-makers once used mercury to make the brims of hats. When absorbed through the skin, it would wreak havoc on the nervous system, causing tremors, fatigue, and behavioral dysfunction.
• ‘Saved by the Bell’: Before modern medicine, it was hard to determine if a person was really dead or simply in a deep sleep. As a precaution, the presumed dead were buried with a string that ran from the corpse’s finger to a bell. If there was a mistake, the person could twitch the finger and thus be saved from being buried alive.
• Cold Turkey: To completely abandon an addictive habit. As a result, the habit-kicker may experience cold sweats and goose bumps as blood rushes from the surface of the skin to internal organs. That bristling gooseflesh looks like the skin of a plucked turkey.
– “Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader Plunges Into the Universe”

Women may prefer to opt for shorter, cropped hairdos but most men would rather see them grow it long, according to a new poll. The ‘long and wavy’ look (ie: Angelina Jolie) tops a preference survey of 3,000 men, with 43% voting it ‘sexiest’. Runners-up include the ‘long and straight’ look (Jennifer Aniston) and the ‘classic bob’ (Katie Holmes). The survey’s sponsor Tresemmé Philips, suggests that long hair is traditionally linked to femininity which is likely the reason almost half of men surveyed picked that look.
– “The Telegraph”

Most men aren’t prepared for the physical stress of shoveling snow. It can lead to strains, injuries, and even a heart attack. Experts say warming up before you shovel is key. Walk around your yard and start slowly before you dive into a drift. Afterward, perform the following cool-down, designed to bring your blood pressure down slowly …
• Arm Swings – Swing one arm at a time, 10 forward and 10 backward.
• Russian Twist – Reach both arms straight out in front of you. Swing them in a relaxed fashion side-to-side. Perform 10 twists on each side.
• Leg Swing – Swing one leg at a time forward and back 10 times, then side-to-side for 10. Then sit down and take 10-to-20 slow, relaxed breaths.
– “Men’s Fitness”

These are actual products which have been legally patented …
• ‘Destiny Clock’ … a clock that counts down to zero based on your life expectancy.
• ‘EZ Store Furniture’ … furniture filled with helium that floats to the ceiling when not being used.
• ‘Sunbather Toe Rings’ … mini-handcuffs used to connect the big toes together, thereby preventing sunburn to the thighs.

• A survey on in-car arguments finds that the most common causes are: bad map reading, back seat driving, interior temperature, and … choice of radio station. (Well, we can solve that last one, can’t we?)
• A recent Reuters survey on Internet usage finds that 54% of business people claim to ‘get a high’ when they locate info they were looking for in an online search. (Oh please, ‘get a life’!)
• A retail shopping survey reveals that 69% of us have, at one time, bought something we don’t like … just because it was on sale. (Yeah, they’re called Christmas presents.)

• About $4 billion is spent annually on unwanted Christmas gifts according to a Yale University study.
– AP
• Canadians buy about 200 million Christmas cards each year, accounting for 40% of all greeting cards sold.
– CP
• Some 190 billion emails are sent daily – or more than 2 million per second – by 1.2 billion email senders. About 70% (133 billion emails) are spam and/or viruses. There are about 1.4 billion registered email addresses.

1944 [64] Brenda Lee (Tarpley), Lithonia GA, 4′-9” oldies singer who was 16 when she recorded “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree”/Country Music Hall of Fame (1998)/Rock & Roll Hall of Fame (2002)

1958 [50] Nikki Sixx (Frank Ferranno), San Jose CA, rock bassist (Motley Crue-“If I Die Tomorrow”, “Girls Girls Girls”)

1966 [42] Gary Dourdan, Philadelphia PA, TV actor (‘CSI Warrick Brown’ on “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” since 2000)

1973 [35] Mos Def (Dante Smith), Brooklyn NY, movie actor (“Cadillac Records”, “The Italian Job”)/rapper (“Mathematics”)

• “Noodle Day”, celebrating everyone’s favorite long ‘n slippery food. Besides the versatile egg noodle, there are a gazillion types of pasta noodles including: Angel Hair, Fettuccine, Fusilli, Gnocchi, Lasagne, Macaroni, Manicotti, Penne, Rigatoni, Rotini, Spaghetti, Vermicelli, and Ziti. So what’s your fave?

• “Scaling Day” in Geneva, Switzerland, an annual celebration for over 400 years, since 1602. It’s when stores sell pot-shaped chocolate candies to represent the soup pots women used in medieval days to pour scalding water on any invaders attempting to ‘scale’ city walls. Charming.

1972 [36] Rock group Genesis debuts at a concert at Brandeis University in Massachusetts (includes Peter Gabriel, Phil Collins, Steve Hackett, Mike Rutherford, and Tony Banks)

1844 [164] 1st ‘Dental Anesthetic’, used by one Dr John Riggs (before that … mallet to the forehead)

1946 [62] United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) is established (giving future Hollywood stars something to do in their spare time)

2000 [08] 1st ‘Player/Owner’ in NHL history as Pittsburgh Penquins’ owner Mario Lemeiux announces he’s coming out of 3-plus-years of retirement to play again

1937 [71] Toronto beats Winnipeg 4-3 in the Grey Gup game played latest in the year (perhaps the ball shattering on kickoff convinced officials December was too cold?)

1985 [23] Edmonton Oilers beat Chicago Blackhawks 12-9 to tie NHL record for goals in a game (21) and set record for most points (goals and assists) at 62

[Fri] Poinsettia Day
[Fri] Full ‘Cold’ Moon
[Fri] Ding-A-Ling Day
[Fri] “The Day the Earth Stood Still”; “Delgo”; “Nothing Like the Holidays” open in movie theaters
[Sat] “The Nutcracker” simulcast in movie theaters across Canada
[Sun] “Shrek the Musical” opens on Broadway
[Sun] Bouillabaisse Day
This Week Is … Human Rights Week
This Month Is … Stress-Free Family Holiday Month

• “Whose tiny little fingers are these in the table saw?”
• “You know Rudolph’s ‘naturally red nose’? Collagen injection.”
• “I’ll build toys for the fat bastard, but shaving his back hair is where I draw the line.”
• “Even if you did see it online, we don’t make a ‘Poke Your Eye Out Stick’!”
• “Please Mrs Claus, those batteries are for the children’s toys!”
• “Hey Santa, YOU try building a PlayStation with nothing but antique Victorian woodcarving tools, chubbo!!”
• “Uh-oh! Looks like fat boy drank his lunch again.”

• Never mention how nice it is to have a boss who can play Santa without padding.
• It’s bad form to do a cannonball into the eggnog.
• Try to act with dignity, decency and decorum … even if you are a lawyer.
• Do not recommend to the boss that she mix her Chivas with Slim-Fast.
• Always carefully replace all the items on the boss’s desk after making out with a sales rep.
• Nothing says class like a woman double fisting Seagram’s VO from the bottle.
• It’s totally improper to wear mistletoe … on your belt.
• If your party is ‘cash bar only’, consider quitting your job.

Coldplay is denying the accusation by guitarist Joe Satriani that they copied his work “If I Could Fly” for their hit “Viva La Vida”. The lawsuit says the Grammy-nominated song contains ‘substantial, original portions’ of the 2004 instrumental song. You decide by listening here …

• Do you sleep in the same position all night because it annoys your cat when you move?
• Do you have more than 4 opened but rejected cans of cat food in the refrigerator?
• Do you put off making the bed until the cat gets up?
• Do you watch bad TV because the cat is sleeping on the remote?

In the interest of promoting more erudite language as well as general goofiness, here’s a truly weird word for you to toss around for the day …
• ‘Fard’ – To paint the face with cosmetics, so as to hide blemishes. (“There’s no point in trying to fard over your acne outbreak, it just makes it look like a relief map of Asia.”)
– “Oxford English Dictionary”

What one Christmas tradition would you never want to give up?

Today’s Question: The average one of THESE weighs 247 lbs.
Answer to Give Out Next Show: Shopping mall Santa Claus.

The only difference between a rut and a grave is the depth.

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