Thursday, December 4, 2008        Edition: #3915
Sheet Happens!

Blockbuster is set to begin selling concert tickets at about 500 of its video rental stores, bolstering its effort to create a one-stop shop for entertainment (we already have that – it’s called the Internet) . . . 52-year-old movie actor Mickey Rourke’s comeback performance in “The Wrestler” is short-listed at the “Spirit Awards”, Hollywood’s leading prizes for independent film . . . The Sci Fi network has greenlighted “Caprica”, a prequel series to “Battlestar Galactica” set 50 years previously, which will star Eric Stoltz (a regular on “Chicago Hope” a decade ago) . . . “Friday Night Lights” actress Aimee Teegarden (‘Julie Taylor’) has just been added to the cast of “90210” (CW), which – oh oh – might be a clue to the future of “FNL” (NBC) . . . 22-year-old “10,000 BC” actress Camilla Belle must be trying to make every teen girl in the world hate her as rumors are swirling she’s moved on from 19-year-old Jonas Bros BF Joe Jonas to 22-year-old “Twilight” vampire Robert Pattinson (Taylor Swift is rubbing her hands together in glee) . . . Famous person Lindsay Lohan is denying recent rumors that she’s split with BFF & rumored GF Samantha Ronson (thank goodness, now we can all sleep again) . . . Overly protective new mom Nicole Kidman has offered the paparazzi a rare peek at her baby Sunday Rose (wouldn’t have anything to do with “Australia” tanking at the box office, would it?) . . . And inside word has it that a certain (unnamed) actor on “Grey’s Anatomy” (ABC/CTV) is suddenly getting a lot less screen-time, thanks to being difficult, trying to change dialogue, and giving off a lot of ‘tude lately (‘George’, ‘Alex’ and ‘Derek’ have all been kicked to the curb in recent episodes; which do you think has a target on his back?).

• Amy Grant & Vince Gill – The country couple launches a 15-date Christmas tour in Manchester NH.
• “Ellen DeGeneres Show” (syndicated/A Channel) – Actor/rapper Ludacris promotes his new album “Theater Of the Mind”.
• “Jimmy Kimmel Live” (ABC/CityTV) – Pop singer Tom Jones (“If He Should Ever Leave You”) performs.
• “Tonight Show With Jay Leno” (NBC/A Channel) – Actor/rapper Common is onstage.
• “The View” (ABC/CTV) – Crooner Harry Connick Jr is the guest.

• Amy Winehouse – Estranged hubby Blake Fielder-Civil may be going from the ‘big house’ to the “Big Brother” house as he’s been asked to appear on the UK’s “Celebrity Big Brother” TV series.
• Blink 182 – Drummer Travis Barker tells TMZ the members of the group are friends again and getting along well but quashes rumors about a reunion with one word … “No.”
• Boy George – He’s opted not to give evidence in his own defence at his ongoing trial for allegedly imprisoning a male escort at his London flat. The man claims he was chained to a radiator for long periods of time. (He was a real hottie.)
• Bryan Adams – The 49-year-old classic rocker has reportedly called London cops complaining about a creepy mother & son stalking duo. The pair, said to be Romanian, turned up at his Chelsea home weeks ago and have hounded him ever since. A panic alarm has now been installed in the house. (This will become the new measure of celebrity … ‘double stalking’.)
• Coldplay – Their “Viva La Vida” has been named the hottest iTunes album download of 2008 (circa 500,000). Leona Lewis’s “Bleeding Love” is the top-selling single (about 3.2 million).
• Kanye West – Comedian Stephen Colbert has launched “Operation Humble Kanye”, calling for the entire ‘Colbert Nation’ to buy his seasonal album, “A Colbert Christmas: The Greatest Gift Of All” and thereby topple West’s new album, “808s & Heartbreaks”, from the #1 position.
• Keith Urban – He’ll tour North America next Spring in support of his as-yet-untitled new album. Dates are not confirmed, but the trek is expected to begin in May and run through the Summer.
• Reba McEntire – As well as a new album, the country star’s working on launching new lines of bedding and footwear for retailer Dillard’s. On deck for next year … a luggage line.

A BS selection of movies in the making …
• “Captain Blood” – Warner Bros has given a greenlight to a remake of the 1935 swashbuckler that starred Errol Flynn as a doctor wrongly sentenced to slavery in the Caribbean, where he and his comrades become avenging pirates. It was nominated for a ‘Best Picture’ Oscar. No casting has been announced as yet. (Do we need more onscreen pirates in the Caribbean?)
• “In the Hand of Dante” – Johnny Depp’s production company has scooped up screen rights to Nick Tosches’ 2002 novel. The book tells parallel storylines involving Dante in 14th-century Italy and a modern-day scholar asked to authenticate what might be an original Dante manuscript. Depp is expected to star as well as produce. (Hmm, any car chases?)
• “Magdalena” – This live action film based on the comic book will star Jenna Dewan (“The Grudge 2”) as a young woman who discovers she’s from a long line of female warriors descended from Mary Magdalene who fight supernatural evil. The producer describes the flick as “The Da Vinci Code” meets “Wanted”. Also starring is Luke Goss (“Hellboy II: The Golden Army”) as guardian of the lineage. (Sounds more like dumb flick meets lukewarm box office.)
• “The Runaways” – “Twilight” star Kristen Stewart is set to portray rocker Joan Jett in this rock & roll bio-pic about the first successful all-girl hard rock band in the 1970s. Production is expected in 2009 and will work around Stewart’s commitments to the 2 “Twilight” sequels. Jett will act as an executive producer. (Reluctant star Stewart is becoming the current ‘it’ girl.)
• “Twilight 2: New Moon” – Director Catherine Hardwicke says the cameras could be rolling on the sequel in as little as 5 months … if she gets the gig. As of now things are in a state of flux, although the first draft of a script is complete. If they get the rest of it sorted out, the sequel could be finished by the end of 2009 or beginning of 2010. One spoiler Hardwicke reveals: They’re already looking at ‘Jacob Black’ (Taylor Lautner) transforming into a wolf.

University of Utah researchers believe they’ve proven that even talking on a hands-free phone while driving is more distracting than having a conversation with someone in the passenger seat. In tests using a driving simulator, drivers using a hands-free device were consistently more likely to drift out of their lane and miss a right-hand turn. Analysts also found drivers talking on the phone tend to use simpler speech, with fewer syllables, when driving becomes more demanding. (What did we do before cellphones made it possible to gab at each other 24/7?)
– “The Guardian”

Mental health professionals say the holidays, particularly New Years Eve and to some extent Christmas, are bad times for domestic violence. The experts point to a number of factors that cause people to act violently and aggressively during the holiday season, but the main contributor is increased alcohol and drug use. On top of that, experts predict this year’s holiday season might be even more stressful due to the economic downturn. (Peace on Earth … right.)

Highlights of a new poll of some 30,000 high schoolers for the “2008 Report Card On the Ethics of Youth” …
• 93% claim to have ‘high personal ethics & character’.
• 80% admit they’ve lied to their parents about something significant in the last year.
• 77% think they’re better than most people they know when it comes to ‘doing what is right’.
• 64% admit to cheating on a test during the past year.
• 36% have used the Internet to plagiarize material for an assignment.
• 31% admit they’ve stolen something from a store in the past year.
And here’s the payoff answer: 26% of those questioned admit they lied on at least one of the questions on this survey! (Get out the handcart and set the GPS for hell.)

A Japanese company is hoping to launch the first ‘Space Beer’ before the end of the year. The Sopporo Brewing Company has developed the specialty suds using 3rd-generation barley grains originally grown aboard the International Space Station. The chances of us Earthlings sipping on the extraterrestrial sauce are slim, however, as only 100 bottles will be created in this first batch. (You can bet the price will be ‘sky-high’.)
– Sky News

Britain tops all Western industrial nations in a new poll on … casual sex. The survey asked more than 14,000 adults in 48 countries to fill out an anonymous questionnaire about their love lives. The results show the Brits are more sexually active than Americans, Australians, Canadians, Germans, and even – would you believe it – the French. Researchers think the UK’s high scoring (no pun intended) may be linked to the country’s increasing willingness to accept promiscuity among women as well as men. (Benny Hill would be so proud.)
– “Times of London”

Girls, who’s the guy on TV who makes you go ga-ga? How about …
10. Tom Selleck … “Magnum PI” (1980)/“Las Vegas” (2007-08).
9. Michael Vartan … “Alias” (2001-06).
8. Mark Harmon … “NCIS” (2003-present).
7. Taylor Kitsch … “Friday Night Lights” (2006-present).
6. John Stamos … “ER” (2005-present).
5. Tom Welling … “Smallville” (2001-present).
4. Taye Diggs …. “Private Practice” (2007-present).
3. Josh Holloway …. “Lost” (2004-present).
2. George Clooney … “ER” (1994-2000).
1. Patrick Dempsey … “Grey’s Anatomy” (2005-present).

• Half the world’s population earns about 5% of the world’s wealth.
• 1-in-10 people in the world live on an island.
• Half the world’s population is under 25 years of age.
• On average in the West, people move to a new home every 7 years.

1940 [68] Barbara Amiel, Watford UK, sometime newspaper & magazine columnist (“National Post”, “Macleans”)/wife of Conrad Black since 1992

1949 [59] Jeff Bridges, LA CA, movie actor (“Iron Man”, “Seabiscuit”)/son of late actor Lloyd Bridges/brother of actor Beau Bridges

1955 [53] Brian Prout, Troy NY, country musician (Diamond Rio-“I Believe”, “Beautiful Mess”)

1964 [44] Marisa Tomei, Brooklyn NY, film actress (“Wild Hogs”, 1992 Oscar-“My Cousin Vinny”)

1969 [39] Jay-Z (Shawn Carter), Brooklyn NY, rap artist/producer (w/TI & f/Kanye West & Lil Wayne-“Swagga Like Us”, “Show Me What You Got”)/wed to singer Beyoncé (2008)/former CEO (Def Jam Recordings)/40-40 Club owner (NYC)/New Jersey Nets owner (NBA)

1970 [38] Kevin Sussman, NYC, TV actor (‘Walter on “Ugly Betty” since 2006)

1973 [35] Tyra Banks, Inglewood CA, TV personality (“America’s Next Top Model” since 2003, “The Tyra Banks Show” since 2005)/fashion model (“Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show”)/sometime movie actress (“Halloween: Resurrection”, “Coyote Ugly”)

• “Christmas Lights Across Canada” are officially given the juice at 6 pm on Parliament Hill in Ottawa with the illumination of over 300,000 Christmas lights, continuing till January 7th. Launched in 1985 by the National Capital Commission, the program has grown to include displays at Canadian embassies worldwide and provincial legislatures across the country.

• “Christmas Pageant of Peace” for the 2008 holiday season in Washington DC. Highlights include the 85th “Lighting Of the National Christmas Tree” at 5 pm ET on the Ellipse near the White House. Performers for the ceremony include the US Army Band, country singers Rissi Palmer and Phil Vassar, and Grammy-winning pop singer Jon Secada.

• “Cookie Day”, celebrating the yummiest treat of all. As poet Edgar Guest once wrote: “I’m sorry for people, whoever they are, who live in a house where there’s no cookie jar.” What’s the best kind? Chocolate chip? Oatmeal and raisin? Peanut butter with macadamia nuts?

• “Extraordinary Work Team Recognition Day”, a day for bosses to generously pass out ‘attaboys’ … thereby saving on Christmas bonuses.

• “St Barbara’s Day”, patron saint of firemen, architects, mathematicians, fireworks, miners, sailors, and against lightning, fire, explosions, and sudden death (whew!). Tradition has it that girls should place a cherry tree twig in a glass of water on this day. According to the old custom, if it blooms by Christmas Eve, they’ll marry in the next year.

• “Wear Brown Shoes Day” for some unknown reason. To get the full effect, make sure you wear ‘em with something black.

2006 [02] CTV airs the made-for-TV movie, “Shades of Black”, telling the story of Conrad Black

1980 [28] Rock supergroup Led Zeppelin disbands (they reunite for a one-off concert in 2007)

1909 [99] 1st “Grey Cup” game (University of Toronto 26, Parkdale Canoe Club 6)

1920 [88] 1st American professional football playoff game (Buffalo 7, Canton 3)

1982 [26] 1st human killed by a bowling ball (Hernia? Swallowing? Were other victims ‘spared’?)

[Fri] International Volunteer Day
[Fri] Bathtub Party Day
[Fri] “Cadillac Records”; “Punisher: War Zone” open in movie theaters
[Sat] Day of Remembrance & Action on Violence Against Women
[Sat] St Nicholas Day
[Sat] Pawnbrokers Day
[Sun] 31st Kennedy Center Honors (Washington DC)
[Sun] International Civil Aviation Day
This Week Is … Cookie Cutter Week
This Month Is … Choose A Summer Camp Month

Guys, body language will tell you a lot if you learn to read these vital signs …
10. She buys you a drink.
9. She touches you.
8. She compliments you.
7. She’s makes prolonged eye contact.
6. She lets you touch her.
5. She leans in to be closer.
4. She shares private details.
3. She start talking dirty.
2. She shows you her tattoo.
1. She splits a cab with you.
(And most of all: She looks good in your shirt.)
– Condensed from

Which city is known as ‘The Gingerbread Capital of the World’?
a. Nuremberg, Germany [CORRECT]
b. Edinburgh, Scotland
c. Canterbury, England

Crime does not pay … as well as politics.

In the interest of promoting more erudite language, here’s a truly weird word for you to toss around for the day …
• Apricity … the warmth of the Sun in Winter. (“Our cat’s been nuzzling up against the picture window in the living room to take advantage of the apricity.”)
– “Oxford English Dictionary”

Today’s Question: The average homeowner will buy 7 of THESE in their lifetime.
Answer to Give Out Next Show: Washing machines.

Consciousness … that annoying time between naps.

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