December 24, 2008

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Wednesday, December 24, 2008     Edition: #3929
‘Twas The Sheet Before Christmas …


Word has it one of the reasons “Private Practice” (ABC) actress Kate Walsh is estranged from husband Alex Young is her growing closeness with castmate David Sutcliffe, the actor who plays her love interest on the show, cop ‘Kevin Nelson’ (a case of life imitating love scenes?) . . . Rumors are flying that ‘Jim & Pam’ (Jenna Fischer & John Krasinski) are set to actually make it down the aisle on “The Office” after a casting call has gone out for an actor to play ‘a relative’ (… who gives away the bride?) . . . Lindsay Lohan’s GF Sam Ronson has been briefly hospitalized due to ‘exhaustion’ (gee, wonder where she got that excuse from?) . . . Now we find out how Paris Hilton had $2-million-worth of jewelry stolen from her house – she forgot to lock the front door (your insurance company wants to talk to you, hon’) . . . Former Spice Girl and personal brand flogger Victoria Beckham claims she ‘dresses like a school teacher’ (wow, what kind of twisted school did she go to?) . . . And a tissue used by movie star Scarlett Johansson on the “Tonight Show With Jay Leno” has been sold for $5,300 in an eBay charity auction after she reportedly blew her nose twice, leaving lipstick and mucus behind, before putting it in a bag and signing it (somebody can now clone their own Scarlett!).

• “Ellen DeGeneres Show” (syndicated/A Channel) – Cher, Pussycat Dolls, Missy Elliott perform.
• “Jimmy Kimmel Live” (ABC/CityTV) – Fall Out Boy is onstage.
• “Last Call With Carson Daly” (NBC) – Gym Class Heroes are on.
• “Oprah Winfrey Show” (syndicated/CTV) – Beyoncé is the special guest.
• “Today Show” (NBC) – Lady Antebellum performs “Baby It’s Cold Outside” and the Grammy-nominated hit “Love Don’t Live Here”.

• Aerosmith – Here’s a sign of the times: they’ve now made more money from the June release of “Guitar Hero: Aerosmith” than either of their last 2 albums.
• Britney Spears – An LA court has awarded her father Jamie Spears a $6,000 per month raise for helping his daughter through her turbulent period. He had been receiving $10,000 a month to act as her conservator. He’s also getting an additional $1,200 monthly to maintain an office.
• Bruce Springsteen – He’ll release a greatest hits collection exclusively via Wal-Mart on January 13th that will feature 12 tracks focusing on his recordings with the E Street Band.
• Martha Reeves – The Detroit city councilwoman and former lead singer of Martha & the Vandellas is pushing a plan for the life-sized sculptures of Motown greats like Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, the Supremes, and herself immortalized in statue-form as Detroit landmarks.
• Tim McGraw – He’s already recorded tracks with Nelly and Chris Brown, and now T-Pain says he’s also going into the studio with the country star. The debut of ‘country hop’?
• U2 – The upcoming album “No Line On the Horizon” will be available in 5 different incarnations, the glitziest of which carries a $96 list price at The set is due March 2nd internationally and the following day in North America. As well as standard CD and double vinyl packages, it will be offered in 3 additional limited editions.


• “Bedtime Stories” ( PG Comedy ): Adam Sandler stars in this family-friendly Disney comedy about a hotel handyman who tells lavish bedtime stories to his niece and nephew that somehow, someway, start to magically come true. Co-stars Keri Russell, Courteney Cox, and Brit comedian Russell Brand.
• “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” ( PG-13 Fantasy ): Brad Pitt plays a man with an unusual affliction: As everyone around him grows older, he ages backwards, making the challenges of life such as creating friendships, finding a job, and falling in love difficult and heartbreaking. Co-stars Oscar-winning actresses Cate Blanchett and Tilda Swinton.
• “Marley & Me” ( PG Comedy ): Owen Wilson & Jennifer Aniston play the newlywed owners of an impossibly cute, but impossible-to-live-with yellow Labrador retriever named ‘Marley’, who teaches them a thing or two about patience and parenthood. Co-stars Eric Dane (“Grey’s Anatomy”). What does it mean when a big-time star decides to make a dog movie?
• “The Spirit” ( PG-13 Thriller ): Gabriel Macht plays a rookie cop who returns from the dead to fight crime in ‘Central City’. His main opposition is a former lab technician who has reinvented himself as ‘The Octopus’ (Samuel L Jackson). Directed by “Sin City” author Frank Miller. Scarlett Johansson is the eye candy with a name to match … ‘Silken Floss’.
• “Valkyrie” ( PG-13 War Drama ): Tom Cruise plays Claus von Stauffenberg, who led a group of fellow German army colonels in an attempt to assassinate Adolf Hitler toward the end of WW2. Directed by Bryan Singer (“Usual Suspects”). Co-stars Kenneth Branagh and Bill Nighy. The 2nd release from Cruise’s United Artists studio (and maybe last if it bombs like “Lions for Lambs”).

A selection of movies in the making …
• “The Phantom Legacy” – This follow-up to the 1996 film “The Phantom” will be shot entirely in Australia, with production set to begin within 6 months or so. “The Phantom” began as a newspaper comic strip in 1936. The protagonist – alter ego ‘Kit Walker’ – is the 21st in a family of men who have passed the task of fighting injustice onto their sons. No casting yet.
• “Pirates Of the Caribbean 4” – It’s still in the planning process but word has it neither Orlando Bloom nor Keira Knightley will appear in the new film. The plot will center solely around ‘Jack Sparrow’ (Johnny Depp) and perhaps an addition to the ‘Sparrow’ family tree. Among the names being tossed about: Rob Pattinson (“Twilight”), Russell Brand (“Bedtime Stories”), and Zac Efron (“High School Musical”).
• “Thor” – British Shakespearean actor/director Kenneth Branagh has been confirmed as the surprise choice to helm the new Marvel comic book movie about the superpowered alter-ego of a disabled medical student and his mighty hammer ‘Mjolnir’. It’s scheduled for release in Spring 2010. No casting has been confirmed.


British teachers are being encouraged to give inner-city students ‘high fives’ in order to boost their performance in exams. As part of a government-backed plan, they are being told to adopt the congratulatory hand slaps to help foster more positive relationships and help make kids them more interested in education. It’s also suggested that students are applauded by classmates when they do well. (If you get an A, you get a complete end-zone celebration.)
– “Daily Telegraph“


As usual when times get tough, all kinds of new euphemisms get invented to soften the harsh sound of the terms ‘layoffs’ and ‘job losses’. Among the very latest …
• Actions to Simplify Our Organization.
• De-verticalization.
• Off-boarding Jobs.
• Rationalizing.
• Strategic Review of Strategies.
• Surplusing.
• Synergy-Related Headcount Adjustment Goal.
– “Business Week”


The average e-mail inbox will have 450 messages waiting to be dealt with upon returning to work after Christmas, of which 70% will be spam, according to research by communications consultant Expert Messaging. Heavy e-mail users could face a ‘spamalanche’ of up to 3,000. Workplace communications expert Bob Hallewell advises you sort your inbox using the ‘4-D’ strategy: ‘Deal With it Now’, ‘Delegate It’, ‘Delete It’, and ‘Defer it Until Later’. (How about ‘Dump It’?)
– “GQ”

Highlights of a holiday season activity poll by the Policy Exchange think-tank …
• Brits increase their alcohol consumption by 41% over the holiday season, more than any other nationality. Canadians and Germans tie for 2nd with a 36% increase.
• The odds of being killed by a drunk driver are highest in France.
• Americans lead in holiday season church attendance with 55% making at least one visit to a church, followed by Italians at 49%.
• Germany tops the world poll for unlawful killings at Christmas, although murders increase in every country. Only in Japan do break-ins and burglaries decrease during the holiday period.
• 19% of Brits celebrate the holidays abroad, exiting the UK to vacation elsewhere in greater numbers than any other country. By comparison, only 4% of Americans travel abroad (mostly to Mexico, Canada and the UK).
• Worldwide suicide rates actually drop at Christmastime (contrary to popular belief), with Italy and Japan registering the greatest decrease.
– “The Guardian”


Most car seats are built to fit the body type of a 5-ft, 10-in male. Unless you fit those dimensions, your neck and middle & lower back won’t align in a natural ‘S’ configuration, according to chiropractor Steven Conway. His suggestions to remedy the problem …
• Guys, move your wallet from your back pocket to a front pocket. This will keep your hips level and your spine aligned.
• Optimize your seat angle. Two clicks back from straight up will help relieve the downward pressure on your vertebrae.
• Adjust your headrest. Its center should sit at ear level about 2 ins (5 cm) from the back of your head.
• If your car doesn’t come with an adjustable lumbar support, consider purchasing a backrest. The more you support your spine, the less your back will ache.
– “Best Life”

Brit musician-turned-activist Bob Geldof is set to tell all about fellow world peace and anti-poverty campaigners in “Soldiers Of Peace”, a documentary film due for release next year. A sampling of his revelations: the Dalai Lama may be a great advocate of peace but in real life he is very argumentative. South Africa’s Nelson Mandela is a great historical figure but he gets a bit cranky. And the late Mother Teresa was ‘a tough old bird who was often a complete pain to be with, annoyed all the authorities, and was hard on her nuns’. (And no doubt Ghandi was a tad tetchy.)
– “First Post”


Ever sit in a fast-food joint for a half-hour, then try to get rid of the stink on your clothing? Well those arbiters of good taste over at Burger King have created a new meat-scented body spray called ‘Flame’. Quote: “Flame by BK captures the essence of ‘The Whopper’ and gives it to you. Behold the scent of seduction, with a hint of flame broiled meat.” Charming. The company has wisely kept the price of this delectable treat down to a mere $3.99 a bottle. (As it’s only available through Ricky’s Halloween costume superstore, it’s a joke … we think.)
– “Curious Times”

A study commissioned by RSA Insurance has found that hungover drivers drive 10 mph faster on average than stone cold sober ones and are 4 times as dangerous.

“Mr Jackson is in fine health, and finalizing negotiations with a major entertainment company & television network for both a world tour and a series of specials and appearances.”
– Michael Jackson’s official spokesperson, Dr Tohme Tohme, refuting claims of ill health in Ian Halperin’s upcoming unauthorized biography. (Tohme Tohme … liar liar.)


1971 [37] Ricky Martin, San Juan PR, Latin/pop singer (“La Vida Loca”, “She Bangs”)/new papa of twins

1974 [34] Ryan Seacrest, Atlanta GA, TV host (“American Idol” since 2002, “New Year’s Rockin’ Eve”)/radio personality (KIIS-FM Los Angeles, “American Top 40”)


Pop singer Jimmy Buffett (“Margarittaville’”) is 62; Actress Sissy Spacek (“In the Bedroom”) is 59; pop singer Annie Lennox (“Into the West”) is 54; Country singer Steve Wariner (“Two Teardrops”) is 54; Pop singer Dido (“White Flag”) is 37; Montréal MP Justin Trudeau is 37.


• “Christmas Eve”, a family gift-giving occasion in many countries.

• “National Egg Nog Day”, celebrating the seasonal rum or brandy drink that has nothing good for you in it but sure tastes good. A coffee spiked with egg nog and brandy is called a ‘tom-tom’.

1990 [18] Tom Cruise weds Nicole Kidman, his co-star from “Days of Thunder” (lasts 11 years)

1818 [190] Melody to “Silent Night, Holy Night” is composed by Franz Gruber as a favor to his friend Joseph Franz Mohr who had written the lyrics as a poem (now sung in more than 180 languages)

[Thurs] Christmas Day
[Fri] Kwanzaa begins
[Fri] Whiner’s Day
[Fri] Recyclable Packaging Day
[Fri] Boxing Day (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, UK)
[Sat] Fruitcake Day
[Sun] Card Playing Day
[1 week today] New Year’s Eve
This Week Is … Halcyon Days
This Month Is … Safe Toys & Gifts Month


Two snowmen are standing in a field. One says to the other: “Funny, I can smell carrots, too.”

A standard bottle of champagne measures 750 ml or 3-quarters of a liter. But champagne also comes in much bigger bottles, with much bigger names …
• Magnum … 1.5 liters (equal to 2 bottles)
• Jeroboam … 3 liters (4 bottles)
• Rehoboam … 4.5 liters (6 bottles)
• Methuselah … 6 liters (8 bottles)
• Salmanazar … 9 liters (12 bottles)
• Balthazar … 12 liters (16 bottles)
• Nebuchadnezzar … 15 liters (20 bottles)
A useful mnemonic for these big bottle sizes is: ‘My Judy Really Makes Splendid Belching Noises’.

Where would be the absolutely best place to spend New Year’s Eve?

Today’s Question: A recent survey finds that married women spend 15 more minutes doing THIS for their pet than for their husband.
Answer to Give Out Next Show: Buying a gift.


Treat each day as your last, one day you will be right.

Leave a comment