Thursday, December 20, 2007        Edition: #3681
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23-year-old “American Idol” winner Fantasia Barrino is reportedly expecting her 2nd child, thus explaining a recent string of canceled performances in “The Color Purple” on Broadway (Atlanta rapper Young Dro is rumored to be the father) . . . Legal eagles for NBA star Tony Parker say they’re planning to sue those responsible for spreading the rumor he had an affair with a French model shortly after wedding “Desperate Housewives” star Eva Longoria, claiming he’s never even laid eyes on the woman (so at least the eyes are innocent) . . . Ubiquitous Rachael Ray has just signed a 2-year deal for a new Food Network show, “Rachael’s Vacation”, while she continues to host “30 Minute Meals” and her own syndicated daytime talk show (in case you’re not getting enough of her screeching) . . . After months of feuding, sometime actor David Hasselhoff & ex-wife Pamela Bach have avoided a court date by reaching both a financial and equal custody agreement regarding their 2 teen daughters (after several bouts of recent rehab, he was unlikely to win in court again) . . . Prolific Hollywood producer Jerry Bruckheimer (“National Treasure”, “Pirates of the Caribbean”, “CSI”, “The Amazing Race”) is set to work in partnership with MTV Games to develop original concepts for brand new computer games (soon this guy will have Bill Gates-type money) . . .  A new international reality TV hit called “The Moment of Truth” has been axed in Colombia after a contestant revealed on the show that she’d hired a hitman to kill her husband – while strapped to a lie detector (oops!) . . . And police in Luanda, the capital of the African nation of Angola, have shot and killed a pair of robbers and wounded 2 others, only notable because – they were all actors shooting a scene for a movie (you can bet that footage will be a keeper!).

• Alicia Keys – Oprah Winfrey has reportedly chosen her for the lead role in her upcoming biopic about reclusive jazz star Lena Horne, who’s now 90 years of age. Filming is set to start in 2008.
• Amy Winehouse – She’s been released on bail after police arrested her in connection with an investigation into ‘perverting the course of justice’. Her husband, Blake Fielder-Civil, is being held in jail, awaiting trial on that charge.
• Christina Aguilera – Reports say she has a precise baby delivery date of JANUARY 10th, thanks to a scheduled cesarean section.
• Fall Out Boy – Guitarist Joe Trohman says there were so many pyrotechnics onstage at the recent “Jingle Ball” in NYC’s Madison Square Garden that his hair was set on fire.
• Fergie – She’s joined the lineup of guest artists for the 25th anniversary edition of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”, offering up a remix of “Beat It” to be produced by Will.I.Am. Akon and Kanye West are also contributing to the remix album slated for release FEBRUARY 12th.
• Foo Fighters – Their upcoming arena tour will feature 2 stages (an acoustic & a main stage), mechanical gags, and an 8-piece backing band. It kicks off mid-JANUARY and runs until March.
• George Strait – His double album, “50 Number Ones”, has just been certified 7-times platinum for shipments of 3.5 million copies.
• Lily Allen – The 22-year-old “LDN” singer has announced she’s expecting a child with 37-year-old Ed Simons of the Chemical Brothers. They’ve only been dating since SEPTEMBER.
• Neil Young – His rock opera “Greendale”, based on his 2003 album of the same name, will make its world premiere at the Undermain Theatre in Dallas TX MARCH 29th.

• Ashley Tisdale – The newly-nosed “High School Musical” star does some lip-syncing on the  “Ellen DeGeneres Show” (syndicated/CityTV). She’s issued an apology to fans for missing recent shows in Miami and Philadelphia, saying her recent nose job is taking longer to heal than expected.
• Dwight Yoakam – The country singer/movie actor appears on “Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson” (CBS).
• The Killers – They perform on a classic edition of the “Tonight Show With Jay Leno” (NBC).
• Madonna/Melissa Etheridge – They appear on a rerun of “Late Show With David Letterman” (CBS).
• Mary J Blige – She’s a guest on “The View” (ABC/CTV).
• Michael Bolton – This morning he’s on the “Today Show” (NBC).
• Prince – He’s been paid a cool $2 million to perform at a private birthday party for a Miami FL businessman that was attended by the likes of actor James Caan, movie director Brett Ratner, and baseball star Alex Rodriguez.

A BS selection of future films …
• “Game” – “Heroes’ star Milo Ventimiglia (‘Peter Petelli’) has signed to star opposite Gerard Butler (“300”) in this sci-fi thriller set in a future-world where humans can control other humans in mass-scale, multi-player, online gaming environments. The movie is now filming in New Mexico.
• “The Hobbit“ – Filmmaker Peter Jackson is on board to produce 2 films based on author JRR Tolkien’s precursor to the “Lord of the Rings”, published in 1937. The deal came together after he settled a legal dispute with New Line Cinema over financial issues relating to the blockbuster trilogy. Principal photography on the new fantasy adventure is expected to begin in 2009.
• “I Love You Philip Morris” – Jim Carrey & Ewan McGregor will co-star as romantic leads in this dark comedy about a married father who’s sent to prison in Texas where he falls in love with his cellmate. His affection inspires him to daring escape attempts. Filming begins NEXT SPRING.
• “King Conan” – Director John McTiernan has signed on to revamp “Conan the Barbarian”, the 1980s fantasy action franchise that made Arnold Schwarzenegger a star. McTiernan will take charge of long-awaited sequel once his legal woes are over. He’s charged with lying to the FBI in the case against shifty Hollywood private detective Anthony Pellicano.

Scientists have shed new light on how humans experience cold. According to a new study, nerves that sense chilly conditions take their orders from a single protein rather than groups of specialized neurons which detect cold sensations, as previously thought. (This exciting news does nothing for those of you with icicles in your moustache while using an ice scraper on your eyeglasses this morning.)
– Reuters

An economist from the University of Texas has released extensive research from the US, Canada, and China which proves conclusively that beautiful people earn more money than the rest of us. His studies suggest that people in the top 30% in the looks department earn between 3-to-5% more than those in the middle 60% of the appearance scale. People in the bottom 10% do even worse, earning 10% less than average. (Especially if they’re fashion models.)
– “New Science”

These are the top trees, based on ‘needle-retention time’ …
• Colorado Blue Spruce, Balsam Fir – 2-3 weeks
• Scotch Pine, Douglas Fir, Eastern White Pine – 4-5 weeks
• Noble Fir, Concolor (White) Fir – 5 weeks
• Fraser Fir – up to 6 weeks
(They missed ‘Aluminum – 300 years’)
– “Detroit Free Press”

Much to the dismay of racehorse breeders, scientists have discovered that a horse’s lineage is far less important than previously thought. The new evidence casts doubt on the rationale that bringing champion horses together will product race-winning offspring, instead suggesting nurture plays a more significant role. (Does this explain why all the nags I pick at the track can be timed with a calendar?)
– “The Guardian”

Beware, the end is near! Australian researcher Robert Bast believes the ancient Mayans had the ability to scientifically predict a major cataclysmic event that will destroy Earth. The ancient Mayan calendar mysteriously ends on a date he says corresponds to December 21, 2012 on our calendar. That leaves us 5 years from TOMORROW before the world ends. Bast thinks it could be caused by a polar ice shift or a movement of Earth’s magnetic poles. (Just in case he’s right, I’m gonna quit making car payments.)
– “Fortean Times”

Starting NEXT WEEK, dating website will offer Facebook users a ‘Little Black Book’ application to help them find potential partners. The online collaboration is a departure from’s subscription model and will instead charge users on a ‘pay-per-contact’ basis. (Shouldn’t they pay us on a ‘pay-per-disaster’ basis?)
– “GQ”

• 47% of women who’ve been snubbed by a sales clerk will never go back to the offending store. Only 22% of slighted men hold a grudge.
• As people become older, their patience for lineups and crowds increases.
– “Social Studies”

“I didn’t believe it because Jamie-Lynn’s always been so conscientious. She’s never late for her curfew. I was in shock. I mean, this is my 16-year-old baby!”
– Show biz mama Lynne Spears telling the new edition of “OK Magazine” how stunned she was that Britney’s little sister is 3-months-pregnant. Perhaps not surprisingly, the release of Lynne’s book on parenting is being put on hold.


1945 [62] Peter Criss (Criscoula), Brooklyn NY, classic rock drummer (KISS-“I Just Wanna Rock & Roll All Night”)

1966 [41] Chris Robinson, Atlanta GA, rock singer (Black Crowes-“Hard to Handle”)/married to actress Kate Hudson 2000-06

1990 [17] JoJo (Joanna Noelle Levesque), Foxborough MA, teenybop singer (“Too Little Too Late”, “Leave [Get Out]”)

• “Eid al-Adha” [‘eed-al-odd-ha’] or “Feast of Sacrifice”, the most important feast of the Muslim calendar. According to the Qur’an, Ibrahim was about to sacrifice his son when a voice from heaven stopped him and allowed him to sacrifice a ram instead. The feast re-enacts Ibrahim’s obedience by sacrificing a cow or ram. The family eats about a third of the meal and donates the rest to the poor.

• “Games Day”. The best-selling board game of all-time? ‘Monopoly’, with over 200 million games sold in 80 countries and in 26 languages since 1935. In fact, an estimated 500 million people around-the-world have played ‘Monopoly’ since its inception.

• “International Human Solidarity Day”, established by the United Nations in 2005 as an initiative in the fight against poverty. It’s a reminder that the world has a collective responsibility to alleviate the plight of the poorest people and encourages governments to respect their commitments to international agreements.

• “I’ve Got My Big Fat Pants On Day”, a day to wear anything you want as long as it’s comfortable and roomy. Wouldn’t this be better celebrated AFTER the holidays?

1946 [61] Frank Capra’s classic Christmas film “It’s A Wonderful Life”, starring Jimmy Stewart, premieres in NYC

2006 [01] 60-year-old Sylvester Stallone’s “Rocky Balboa” debuts in movie theaters, the 6th and final instalment to his boxing hero series

1952 [55] Jimmy Boyd’s “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” reaches #1 on pop charts

1911 [96] 1st ‘Artificial Ice Rink’ (created by Frank Patrick in Vancouver BC)

1919 [88] Canadian National Railway (CNR) is established

1928 [79] 1st ‘International Dogsled Mail’ leaves Minot, Maine for Montréal QC

1979 [28] “Trivial Pursuit” is invented by Montréal journalists Chris Haney & Scott Abbott to settle an argument over who’s the better board game player (it’s patented December 10, 1981 and generates $1 billion in sales in 1984 alone)

1991 [16] NHL grants a new franchise to the Ottawa Senators

1842 [165] 1st ‘In-Home Bathtub’ in America unveiled at Adam Thompson’s house party in Virginia

1879 [128] 1st demonstration of ‘Incandescent Light Bulb’ by Thomas Edison (Christmas tree lights developed just 3 years later by Edison’s assistant Edward Johnson)

1980 [27] 1st (and only) NFL telecast with NO announcers (as a stunt, NBC-TV uses only sounds and graphics for meaningless Jets-Dolphins game)

[Fri] Underdog Day
[Fri] Humbug Day
[Fri] “Charlie Wilson’s War”; “National Treasure: Book of Secrets”; “PS I Love You”; “Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story” open in movie theaters
[Sat] Winter begins (1:08 am EST)
[Mon] Egg Nog Day
[Tues] Christmas Day
This Week Is … International Language Week
This Month Is … Safe Toys & Gifts Month


• A blowing wind on Christmas Day brings good luck. (But not right after dinner.)
• Wearing new shoes on Christmas Day will bring bad luck. (Not to mention aching feet.)
• Snow on Christmas means Easter will be green. (Uh, like when wasn’t it?)
• Place shoes side-by-side on Christmas Eve to prevent a quarreling family. (Or get a turkey with 6 drumsticks.)
• If you don’t eat any plum pudding, you will lose a friend before the next Christmas. (Likely the one who went to all the effort of making the pudding.)
• If you refuse mince pie at Christmas dinner, you will have bad luck for a year. (But you’ll save the embarrassment of upchucking on the dinner table.)
• On Christmas Eve all animals can speak, but it is bad luck to hear them. (Especially after your 5th pail of egg nog.)
• It’s bad luck to let any fire go out in your house during the Christmas season. (It’s worse luck to let the whole shebang burn to the ground!)

What’s the absolute worst seasonal song of all-time?

Are the following statements true or just a load of hooey?
• ‘Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer’ was created for Montgomery Ward department stores. [TRUE]
• Two of Santa’s reindeer were originally named ‘Dunder’ and ‘Blixem’, not ‘Donner’ and ‘Blitzen’. [TRUE]
• The suicide rate increases significantly during the holiday season. [BS]
• Poinsettia plants are poisonous to humans. [BS]
• Christmas cards date back to 1843. [TRUE]
• Power companies are fining customers for keeping their holiday lights up too long. [BS]
• In Canada, Santa’s postal code is H0H 0H0. [TRUE]

Altogether now: “I have an irregular heartbeat pa-rum-pum-pum-pum …”

Today’s Question: 90% of Canadians do THIS but only 75% of Americans.
Answer to Give Out Next Show: Wear their seatbelts.

Every age is modern to those living in it.

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