Wednesday, December 11, 2013        Edition: #5121

Don’t Take Any Sheet, Unless It’s Pure Bull!

★ “TIME” magazine’s ‘2013 Person Of the Year’ is being announced this morning. Among those on the shortlist of possibilities: Barrack Obama, Pope Francis, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, Syria’s President Bashar Assad, and … Miley Cyrus. She’s actually leading in the public vote. The magazine’s justification for her inclusion: “At a time when you’re living with an explosion of exhibitionism since we all carry cameras with us at all times, she is a symbol of the way we live.”
★ Looking for a classy alternative to PVC and bondage? “50 Shades Of Grey” author EL James and Swedish fashion house KappAhl have created a new line of lingerie inspired by the hugely popular book and its protagonists ‘Christian Grey’ and ‘Anastasia Steele’. But with lacy bras and high-waisted satin panties, the collection is a lot less kinky than you might expect. Grey dominates the color palette, although there are also touches of red and black. There’s even a lacy mask included in the line if you want to make your nighttime look a little more risqué.
★ Hollywood star Leonardo DiCaprio is backing a team in the new electric car racing Formula E championship. He’s co-founded a Monaco-based team with electric car-maker Venturi Automobiles. Formula E racing starts next year, with the declared aim of giving a boost to the electric vehicle market. It’s thought the competitive design element between teams should spur innovation and the development of better EVs. The racing series will compete in 10 cities to start, including Beijing, Berlin, Buenos Aires, London, Los Angeles, and Miami.
★ And in a new “Playboy” interview, Ben Affleck claims that, thanks to paparazzi taking photos of his daughters leaving preschool, a stalker who’d threatened to kill Affleck’s entire family showed up at the school. Thankfully he was arrested, but Affleck’s wife Jennifer Garner then launched a campaign to lobby California lawmakers to create new legislation penalizing photographers who harass celebrities’ kids with hefty fines and a year behind bars. Her efforts were a big success and Senate Bill 606 comes into effect January 1st.

• “Arsenio Hall” (syndicated) – Kelly Rowland (“Talk a Good Game”).
• “Conan” (TBS/CTV) – John Legend (“Love In the Future”).
• “Jimmy Kimmel Live” (ABC/CityTV) – Mac Miller (“Watching Movies With the Sound Off”).
• “Kelly Clarkson’s Cautionary Christmas Music Tale” (NBC) – Just in time to promote her new Christmas album “Wrapped in Red”, a special with a new take on a traditional holiday story. Appearing alongside Clarkson (now Kelly Blackstock), step mother-in-law Reba McEntire, Blake Shelton, and Trisha Yearwood.
• “Last Call With Carson Daly” (NBC) – Jenny O (“Automechanic”).
• “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon” (NBC/CTV2) – Calexico and Iron & Wine (“In the Reins”).
• “Late Show With David Letterman” (CBS/NTV/Omni1) – Nick Lowe (“Quality Street: A Seasonal Selection for All the Family”).
• “Nobel Peace Prize Concert” (AXS) – “Homeland” actress Claire Danes hosts the annual event in Oslo, Norway that’s broadcast in more than 100 countries. Performers include James Blunt and Mary J Blige. The 2013 prize has been awarded to the Organization For the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).
• “The Sing-Off” (NBC) – The 9 remaining groups perform party anthems.
• “The Talk” (CBS) – R&B legend Patti LaBelle.
• “Tonight Show With Jay Leno” (NBC/CTV2) – The Head & The Heart (“Let’s Be Still”).
• “The X Factor” (FOX/CTV2) – The acts each perform 2 songs.

• Garth Brooks – No details as yet but he’s confirmed to “Good Morning America’s” Robin Robert that he’ll embark on a world tour next year. He jokes that at age 52 his trek will be “a wheelchair and walker kind of thing”. An official announcement is expected soon.
• Justin Bieber – “Billboard” reports he’s now working on a video for the tune “Confident”, which he plans to release at the top of 2014. That’s when he’ll also be announcing plans to release his next album during the 4th quarter of 2014.
• Kanye West – Further signs “The Yeezus Tour” is going so well. He ordered a female heckler be removed from his recent San Antonio TX show, then ranted: “Do I look like a motherf—ing comedian? Don’t f—ing heckle me! I’m Kanye motherf–-ing West! I am dead f–-ing serious!”
• Katy Perry – She tells “Marie Claire” magazine she reluctantly broke off her romance with John Mayer to deal with her feelings following her 2011 marriage split from Russell Brand. She says the time apart from Mayer has only made their relationship stronger.
• U2 – They’ve now officially signed a new management contract with Live Nation and Guy Oseary (Madonna’s manager), marking the end of an era with their 35-year manager, Paul McGuinness, who has retired. U2 is expected to release a new album next year.

New terms leaking into our lingo …
• ‘Dronejacking’ – The hijacking of a drone, either by physically capturing the device or by compromising its navigation system. (How long before this becomes a technique built into videogames?)
• ‘Perching’ – Hovering around in a crowded parking lot in your car, waiting for, and possibly following, a shopper who is heading to their vehicle, hopefully freeing up a parking spot for you. (Stalking … the retail version.)
• ‘Self-Trolling’ (aka ‘Cyber Self-Harm’) – A new phenomenon in which young people are anonymously cyberbullying themselves online, sort of a digital version of cutting oneself. In one poll, 9% of students admitted they had ‘self-trolled’ at one time or another. (So incredibly sad.)

Facebook has devised a ‘Sympathize’ button as an alternative to the ‘Like’. So far the button has been created only as part of an internal project and there are no plans to launch it for widespread use. It was suggested as an alternative tag option during a Facebook ‘hackathon’, in which the company’s engineers brainstorm new concepts. The idea would be to have it available to tag a status update in specific situations such as when a user is grieving the loss of a loved one. (What other buttons should Facebook have? How about: ‘Dislike’; ‘I Have No Idea What You Are Talking About’; or perhaps a non-committal … ‘Meh’.)

Another ranking of the stars who make too much, this one based on their last 3 movies and comparing their pay to return on investment. Those getting big bucks to bomb …
5. Kevin James
4. Nicolas Cage
3. Reese Witherspoon
2. Katherine Heigl
1. Adam Sandler

The same drug that helps men’s erectile dysfunction might chase away women’s painful period cramps. Viagra appears to alleviate moderate to severe menstrual cramps in women, according to a new Penn State University study. The researchers found that sildenafil citrate, the active ingredient in Viagra and similar drugs, seems to ease period cramps that don’t respond to painkillers such as ibuprofen. But don’t get too excited yet, the small study involved just 25 women aged 18-to-35. Researchers say far more studies are needed before the little blue pill replaces other painkillers as a cramp-buster. (It’ll need a new name. Suggestions?)

TOP 10 STARS OF 2013:
A just-released new ranking of actors based on page-views on the Internet Movie Database …
5. Tom Hardy (“The Dark Knight Rises”).
4. Ryan Gosling (“Gangster Squad”).
3. Leonardo DiCaprio (“The Great Gatsby”).
2. Chloë Grace Moretz (“Carrie”).
1. Jennifer Lawrence (“The Hunger Games: Catching Fire”)
No one comes close to Lawrence’s popularity … she received 89% more page views than the runner-up.

You may never have to tell someone how you’re feeling again! San Francisco CA design lab Sensoree has created the ‘Mood Sweater’, which features LED lights around the collar that change color with the wearer’s moods and emotions. The sweater’s technology uses what’s called ‘Galvanic Skin Response’ (a feature of polygraph tests) to change hue: Blue meaning ‘calm or tranquil’; pink meaning ‘excited’; yellow meaning ‘ecstatic’; and red meaning ‘nervous or in love’. The ‘Mood Sweater’ will be available for purchase in March, but no price is yet released. (The ‘Mood Ring’ was a big deal in 1975 … for about 15 minutes.)
– “The Guardian”

A BS breakdown of who we are and what we do …
• 87% of us do hold out breath when clicking to send an email.
• 67% of smartphone users check their email first thing every morning.
• 63% of us don’t trust anyone but ourselves to prepare a holiday meal.
• 59% of people 50-plus say they feel either ‘a little’ or ‘a lot’ younger than their age.
• 31% of us admit we shop while on-the-clock at work.
• 10% of men admit the problem they’re most reluctant to discuss with a doctor is ‘smelly feet’.

Some people are willing to settle for less just to be coupled up. University of Toronto research concludes that it’s the fear of being single that leads many to stay in unsatisfactory relationships. The study on loneliness also breaks the gender stereotype that only women struggle with the fear of being alone. Researchers say results show that both men and women have concerns about being single, leading to similar coping behaviors such as staying in relationships they aren’t happy in or dating people who aren’t very good for them. (Which is worse … dining alone or with a complete jerk?)

In addition to having worked sweeping floors and running tests in a chemical laboratory as a teenager, Pope Francis has revealed he also used to work as … a bouncer.
– “Catholic News”


1944 [69] 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)

1954 [59] Jermaine Jackson, Gary IN, has-been pop singer (The Jacksons, Jackson 5)/former reality TV personality (“The Jacksons: A Family Dynasty” 2009)

1958 [55] Nikki Sixx (Frank Ferranno), San Jose CA, rock bassist (Motley Crue-“If I Die Tomorrow”, “Girls Girls Girls”)

1973 [40] Mos Def (Dante Smith), Brooklyn NY, movie actor (“Cadillac Records”, “The Italian Job”)/rapper (“Mathematics”)

1981 [32] Zacky Vengeance (Baker), Huntington Beach CA, metal rock guitarist-vocalist (Avenged Sevenfold-“So Far Away”, “Buried Alive”)

• “International Mountain Day”, first declared by the UN in 2002 to draw attention to the important role that mountainous regions play in water and food supply.

• “National Tango Day” in Argentina, particularly in Buenos Aires, where the classic dance was invented toward the end of the 19th century. (Everybody now! Dum, dum dum, dum, da-dadda dum dum, dum dum ….)

• “Scaling Day” (“Fête de l’Escalade”) 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. (How charming!)

1992 [21] Disney’s live-action feature “The Muppet Christmas Carol” is released in movie theaters

2012 [01] Ravi Shankar, Indian-American sitar player/composer (and father to jazz singer Norah Jones) dies in San Diego CA at age 92

2000 [13] 1st ‘Player-Owner’ in NHL history as Pittsburgh Penquins co-owner Mario Lemeiux announces he’s coming out of 3-plus-years of retirement to play again

1977 [36] Tampa Bay Buccaneers finally win an NFL game after losing their first 26 regular season games, 11 by shutout (beat New Orleans Saints 33-14)

[Thurs] Gingerbread House Day
[Thurs] Fresh Breath Day
[Thurs] Poinsettia Day
[Fri] “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug”; “A Madea Christmas” open in movie theaters
[Sat] Day Of the Horse
This Week Is … Human Rights Week
This Month Is … Stress-Free Family Holidays Month


● Always look both ways when running a red light.
● When on a one-way street, stay to the right to allow oncoming traffic to pass.
● Never stop for a pedestrian unless he flings himself under the wheels of your car.
● Never use directional signals when changing lanes. They only warn other drivers to speed up and not let you in.
● Making eye contact revokes your right-of-way.

Start every day with a smile … and get it over with.

• Why are tennis balls fuzzy?
a. So players have better racquet control. [CORRECT]
b. So they absorb sweat from players’ fingers.
c. No real reason other than it looks cool.

• QEII’s Buckingham Palace is built on the former site of what?
a. An ale house.
b. An insane asylum.
c. A brothel. [CORRECT]
– “QI”

☎ Do screw tops take something away from a bottle of wine? (Raise your hands, cork purists!)

Question: Only one of THESE has ever been to both the North and South Poles.
Answer: Dog.

If you live by the calendar, your days are numbered.

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