Wednesday, December 3, 2008        Edition: #3914
Sheet For Brains!

There’s a new couple on the set of “Gossip Girl” – Ed Westwick & Jessica Szohr have been spotted ‘canoodling’ at the Dallas airport while waiting for a flight to NYC (pre-marital canoodling – shame on you!) . . . This week Akon’s 3rd album “Freedom” has become available on slotMusic, a brand new format for DRM-free MP3 music on a tiny microSD card that can be played on cellphones, computers, and MP3 players (and can be lost in the blink of an eye) . . . 49-year-old former UCLA Medical Center employee Lawanda Jackson has pleaded guilty to ‘violating federal medical privacy law for commercial purposes‘ by selling info about celebrity patients (ie: Britney Spears, Farrah Fawcett) to the “National Enquirer” (to make a few thou in cash, she’s now facing 10 years in the slammer and a $250,000-fine) . . . Madonna & NY Yankee boytoy Alex Rodriguez are said to be discreetly checking out properties between Fifth and Park avenues in NYC, where the double-width mansions sell for up to $60 million (thanks to “Sticky & Sweet” money) . . . Meantime, A-Rod is still shopping his marital home at Trump Park Avenue, slashing the asking price to a mere $10 million, or he’ll rent it out for $50,000 a month – unfurnished (oh, never mind then) . . . 26-year-old movie actress Kirsten Dunst has obtained a restraining order against an alleged stalker whom she alleges has trespassed on her property repeatedly and may be mentally ill (as well as extremely myopic) . . . And after 19 years of marriage (an eternity in Hollywood), 50-year-old “CSI” actress Marg Helgenberger has split with husband Alan Rosenberg, president of the Screen Actors Guild (maybe she took that infrared flashlight gizmo home from work and checked out her own sheets?).

• “Grammy Nominations Concert“ (CBS) – For the first time, the annual nominations for music’s top awards are turned into a primetime special featuring Foo Fighters, John Mayer, and BB King performing live at the Nokia Theatre in LA. Nominations for the 51st annual “Grammy Awards” will be announced live during the show. The event also celebrates the grand opening of LA’s new Grammy Museum. The actual awards take place February 8th in LA.
• “Jimmy Kimmel Live” (ABC/CityTV) – Rapper/actor Ice Cube is on.
• “Last Call With Carson Daly” (NBC) – Panic At the Disco are featured.
• “Late Show With David Letterman” (CBS) – Elvis Costello performs.
• Oasis – They kick off the American leg of their “Dig Out Your Soul” world tour in Oakland CA. Ryan Adams & The Cardinals are the ‘special guests’ on all dates.
• “Spectacle: Elvis Costello with …” (Sundance Channel) – The debut of this new one-on-one talk show features Elton John, and includes performance footage of Elton & Costello collaborating.
• “Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show” (CBS) – This annual bit of primetime naughtiness features top models Heidi Klum, Selita Ebanks, Adriana Lima, Marisa Miller, and Alessandra Ambrosio at the newly refurbished Fontainebleau hotel in Miami Beach FL. Usher is the musical guest.
• “Tonight Show With Jay Leno” (NBC/A Channel) – Aging Welsh crooner Tom Jones is on.
• “The View” (ABC/CTV) – Country star Martina McBride guests.

• Britney Spears – Her upcoming tour, scheduled to kick off in March, will include at least 20 cities in North America plus 2 dates in London next June. Pussycat Dolls will be the opening act.
• Celine Dion – Her current year-long world tour ends in February. She says she’s too busy to write new material even though ideas for tunes and lyrics often pop into her head.
• Creed – Scott Stapp and his former bandmates, the breathy, mildly-Christian rockers that you either love or deeply hate, may be hitting the stage again. They’re said to be hammering out details for a lucrative 2009 reunion tour. They split in 2004.
• Fall Out Boy – New parents Pete Wentz & Ashlee Simpson-Wentz will host a New Year’s Eve bash at Pure Nightclub, the popular party venue in Caesar’s Palace, Las Vegas. (Good luck finding a babysitter, guys.)
• Mariah Carey – Hubby Nick Cannon has reportedly bought her a $1.5-million, 5-bedroom ski chalet in Aspen, Colorado as an early Christmas present. (BS translation: The Mrs allowed him to write his name on the ‘from’ part of the card.)

New terms leaking into the lingo …
• ‘Empty-Time Deficiency Syndrome’ – A fear of free time that causes one to feel irritable, bored and disconnected. (We should all be so lucky.)
• ‘Mug Me Earphones’ – The distinctive white cord and earbuds that tip-off the wearer is using the now hot theft item, the Apple iPod. (“If you’re taking the subway, wear your ugly red headphones instead of your mug-mes.”)
• ‘Philanthrocapitalism’ – Philanthropy that uses the principles, models, and techniques of capitalism. (Bono’s Product RED movement for instance.)

Brain exercises, such as those taught to schoolchildren or advertised on TV as a way to prevent dementia, are a waste of time and money. At least, that’s the opinion of University of Edinburgh neuro-scientist Sergio Della Sala. He says stunts such as breathing through the left nostril, drinking water to increase the brain’s oxygen supply, drinking red wine to fend off dementia, or listening to classical music to boost mental performance are little more than myths. Some of these ‘cures’ are passed on in good faith, Della Sala says, some have been made up by pranksters, and some are invented just to make money.
– “The Observer”

• ‘Papaphobia’ … fear of the Pope.
• ‘Arachibutyrophobia’ … fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of the mouth.
• ‘Trichophobia’ … fear of loose hairs.
• ‘Nomophobia’ … fear of being out of mobile phone contact.
• ‘Ephebiphobia’ … fear of teenagers.
• ‘Scopophobia’ … fear of being looked at.
• ‘Spectrophobia’ … fear of mirrors.
• ‘Phagophobia’ … fear of swallowing.
• ‘Vomitophobia’ … fear of vomiting.
• ‘Triskaidekaphobia’ … fear of the number 13.

Parisian parfumier Etat Libre d’Orange has come up with the attention-grabbing alternative fragrance ‘Sécrétions Magnifiques’. The secretions that the cologne is supposed to smell of include blood, sweat, saliva, and … semen. The stinky stuff is supposed to have a pheromone effect on females. One dissenting critic describes the scent as ‘rubbery, metallic, deeply unpleasant’.
– “The Guardian”

A new ranking of the classic TV specials we look forward to …
5. “The Year Without a Santa Claus”
4. “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”
3. “Frosty the Snowman”
2. “A Charlie Brown Christmas”
1. “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”
(Which ones did they miss?)

About 10,000 Canada Post workers donate their time each year to answer Santa Claus letters from kids around-the-world. Last year, the postal elves received more than a million wish lists! The guy in the red suit’s address is: Santa Claus, North Pole, Canada H0H 0H0. And, of course, he’s also online to answer email …

The world’s oldest stash of marijuana has been discovered in a 2,700-year-old tomb in a remote part of northwestern China. The 789 grams of dried weed was buried alongside a light-haired, blue-eyed Caucasian man who was probably a shaman for the local Gushi culture. The scientists who discovered the stash think the marijuana was definitely cultivated for psychoactive purposes and has a high content of THC, although a precise percentage cannot be calculated.
– “Toronto Star”

A psychological profile of Adolf Hitler recently declassified by the CIA reveals that during WWII the US believed that the Nazi salute was copied from … American cheerleader routines. The report claims that Hitler adored American marching bands and college songs, and that the salute used at all political rallies was a direct copy of the technique used by football cheerleaders. (Apparently ‘Seig Heil’ means ‘Push ‘em back, push ‘em back , waaaayyy back!’.)
– “The Guardian”

Every 3 days a human stomach gets a new lining. (Quicker if you eat out at a Thai restaurant.)

1948 [60] Ozzy (John) Osbourne, Birmingham UK, rock singer (“I Don’t Wanna Stop”, ex-Black Sabbath-“Paranoid”)/reality TV star (“The Osbournes” 2002-05)/husband of Sharon/father of Kelly, Jack & Aimee

1954 [54] Paul Gregg, Altus OK, country musician (Restless Heart-“When She Cries”, “Fast Movin’ Train”)

1955 [53] Steven Culp, La Jolla CA, TV actor (‘Rex Van De Kamp’ on “Desperate Housewives” since 2004)

1960 [48] Daryl Hannah, Chicago IL, movie actress (“Kill Bill”, “Splash”)

1960 [48] Julianne Moore, Fayetteville NC, movie actress (“The Hours”, “The Lost World: Jurassic Park”)

1968 [40] Brendan Fraser, Indianapolis IN, movie actor (“The Mummy: Tomb Of the Dragon Emperor”, “Crash”)

• “International Day of Disabled Persons”, sponsored by the United Nations.

• “Roof Over Your Head Day”, to draw attention to the plight of the homeless.

• “Stress-Free Holidays Month”, as declared by the group ‘Parenting Without Pressure’. It’s a reminder for parents to strive for more stress-free holidays for their families. The website lists ideas on how to enjoy the holiday season without going out of your mind. Among them …
– Recognize the signs of stress and do something about it.
– Keep family expectations realistic.
– Give yourself permission to say ‘No.’
– Watch your diet.
– Exercise.
So what’s your suggestion? (How about ‘Pretend it’s January’?)

1964 [44] 1st broadcast of the “Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer” TV special (wow, that claymation looks almost real, doesn’t it?)

1621 [387] 1st ‘Telescope’ invented by Galileo (next day his neighbors get mini-blinds)

1921 [87] Toronto Argonauts defeat Edmonton Eskimos 23-0 in 1st-ever East-West “Grey Cup” game

1984 [24] Oldest-known bridegroom (103-year-old Harry Stevens of Wisconsin)

[Thurs] Extraordinary Work Team Recognition Day
[Thurs] Wear Brown Shoes Day
[Fri] International Volunteer Day
[Fri] Bathtub Party Day
[Fri] “Cadillac Records”; “Punisher: War Zone” open in movie theaters
[Fri] Christmas Pageant of Peace opening (Washington DC)
[Sat] St Nicholas Day
[Sat] Pawnbrokers Day
[Sun] 31st Kennedy Center Honors (Washington DC)
[Sun] Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day
This Week Is … Aplastic Anemia Awareness Week
This Month Is … Universal Human Rights Month

These are real products currently on the market …
• ‘Holiday Smencils’ – Pencils infused with scents of sugar plum, candy cane, sugar cookies, gingerbread, or cinnamon. Just write ‘n sniff. About $15.
• ‘Barack Obama Action Figure’ – Stands 6-inches tall and is tough enough to take on Big Oil and gentle enough to kiss babies. Has 8 points of articulation, so you can change his positions as often as he … well … changes his positions. Just $12.99.
• ‘Pole Dancer Alarm Clock’ – When the alarm goes off, dance music plays and disco lights flash. At the same time, the buxom blonde dancer gyrates around her pole under the spinning disco ball. You’ll rise whether it’s shining or not! $25.99.
• ‘Men’s Underwear Repair Kit’ – Everything you need to get your unsightly shorts back into presentable shape, including needle & thread, iron-on patches, safety pins, elastic waste-band cincher, duct tape, and … underwear white-out. Also comes with a fully-illustrated 32-page ‘Instruction Manual’. About $10.
• ‘Greatest Hits Collection’ – A 35-year collection of every 45 rpm record listed on the “Billboard” ‘Top 100 Rock & Pop Chart’ from 1955 through the end of 1990 (18,000 records), yours for a mere $275,000 … shipping extra.

What is the word for the following …
• A building in which silence is enforced, like a library or school. [A ‘silentium’.]
• The male version of mid-wives. [‘Mid-men’ or ‘accouchers’.]
• The working section of a piano. [The ‘action’.]
• The plastic things on the end of shoelaces. [‘Aglets.’]
• A person that speaks 2 languages. [‘Bilingual’ or ‘diglot’.]
• The white part of your fingernails. [The ‘lunula’.]
• The back of the human hand. [The ‘opisthenar’.]
• The pin that holds a hinge together. [The ‘pintle’.]
• Compulsive shopping. [‘Oniomania’.]
• Someone who habitually picks their nose. [A ‘rhinotillexomaniac’.]
– Condensed from

Oh, sorry. That wasn’t me talking … that was my wounded inner child.

Jake Bronstein of Zoomdoggle & Co wants to send you a hand-written, one-of-a-kind love letter. Just register your address, name optional, then keep an eye on your mailbox. You’ll be surprised how good it’s going to feel, even coming from a stranger. The goal is to send out 1,000 of them … so feel free to send along a friend’s address too.

Today’s Question: The average kitchen has 6 of THESE tucked away somewhere.
Answer to Give Out Next Show: Promotional coffee mugs.

Culture is anything we do that the monkeys don’t.

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