Friday, December 12, 2014        Edition: #5359

Here’s More Bull Roar!

★ Today author JK Rowling releases the 1st of 12 new ‘Harry Potter’-based stories online in the run-up to Christmas. Each day through Christmas Eve she will be publishing a new short story based on fictional characters from her uber-popular franchise. New information about ‘Potter’s arch enemy ‘Draco Malfoy’ will be revealed in one of the stories, and there will also be recipes … for new potions.
NET: / #PottermoreChristmas
★ Sunday 78-year-old acting veteran Burt Reynolds star is parting ways with jewelry, movie props, and art he’s collected over the years in a Julien’s Auctions sale in Las Vegas. The former top box office star denies he’s selling off his stuff because he’s broke. Quote: “Quite frankly, I am sick of so many pictures of myself in my own home.” Items up for grabs include a canoe from the 1972 film “Deliverance”, numerous pairs of Western boots, and an 18K-gold antique pocket watch given to him by his “Smokey & The Bandit” co-star and friend Sally Field.
★ Kirsten Dunst (“Spider-Man”) and Jesse Plemons (“Breaking Bad”) have signed on to appear in Season 2 of FX’s critically-acclaimed drama “Fargo”. The follow-up will premiere next Fall, with production slated to begin in Calgary AB in January. The 2nd season is a prequel set in 1979 Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Dunst plays a beautician with dreams of the big city; Plemons plays her husband, a butcher’s assistant. Joel & Ethan Coen return as exec producers, and Noah Hawley is once again showrunner and writer.
– E! News
★ In a year when meaty movie roles for women 50-plus were as rare as crow’s feet on Rodeo Drive, it’s nice to see the news from London that Monica Bellucci, at 50, is about to become the oldest ‘Bond girl’ ever. Bellucci will co-star with Daniel Craig (42) in “SPECTRE”, the 24th ‘James Bond’ movie, slated for release a bit less than a year from now. The Italian actress is best known for her steamy scenes opposite Keanu Reeves in the 2nd and 3rd “Matrix” films.
– “Bulletin Today”
★ And an online petition has been created urging Massachusetts justice officials to deny actor Mark Wahlberg’s request for a pardon for his 1988 assault convictions. He spent 45 days in jail for attacking 2 Vietnamese men in his hometown of Dorchester MA in separate incidents at the age of 16. Wahlberg has filed a petition with the Board of Pardons asking for the felony charges to be removed from his record. The petition, which accuses Wahlberg of making the move simply ‘for business purposes’, has already attracted close to 10,000 signatures.

• “Barbara Walters Presents: The 10 Most Fascinating People of 2014” (ABC) – Sunday the ‘retired’ TV personality returns with her annual salute to the year’s top newsmakers. Among them: Chelsea Handler, Neil Patrick Harris, Oprah Winfrey, Scarlett Johansson, Taylor Swift.
• Billboard Women in Music Awards (NYC) – Tonight at the 9th annual gala Taylor Swift becomes the 1st artist to be named ‘Billboard Woman Of the Year’ twice. She also won in 2011. Ariana Grande (‘2014 Billboard Rising Star’); Idina Menzel (‘Breakthrough Artist Of the Year’); and Paramore’s Hayley Williams (‘Trailblazer Award’) are also lauded for having a big year.
• “Great Performances” (PBS) – Saturday Lady Gaga & Tony Bennett perform selections from their new album “Cheek to Cheek” at NYC’s Rose Theater. Rerun.
• “Late Show With David Letterman” (CBS/Omni1) – Tonight Dan Penn (“The Fame Recordings”).
• “Live With Kelly & Michael” (syndicated/CTV) – Today Idina Menzel (“Frozen”).
• “Marco Polo” (Netflix) – Today this big-budget historical epic becomes available. The 10-episode series featuring an international cast kicks off the next phase of original content being released on the streaming service. Italian newcomer Lorenzo Richelmy has the title role.
• “Peter Pan Live!” (NBC) – Saturday night a rerun of the live December 4th production starring Allison Williams and Christopher Walken.
• “Saturday Night Live” (NBC/Global) – Martin Freeman hosts (“The Hobbit: The Battle Of the Five Armies”); Charli XCX is musical guest (“Boom Clap”).
• “Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” (NBC/CTV2) – Tonight Yusuf/Cat Stevens (“Tell ‘Em I’m Gone”).

• Beyoncé – She’s reportedly arranged a play date for her 2-year-old daughter Blue Ivy with Britain’s 16-month-old Prince George in the new year. She & Jay Z met Prince William & Kate, Duchess of Cambridge this week during an NBA game at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn NY.
• Elvis Presley – Starting today London’s O2 Arena hosts the new exhibition “Elvis At The O2: The Exhibition Of His Life”, featuring a huge range of memorabilia and a virtual tour of ‘Graceland’. The 9-month show runs until August 31, 2015.
• Kanye West – He’s set to receive the ‘Visionary Award’ at the 2015 “BET Honors”, being presented in Washington DC on January 24th. It’s in recognition of ‘Ye being a ”multifaceted trailblazer and pioneer”. The gala airs February 23rd on BET.
• No Doubt – KROQ Los Angeles signed them up for the annual “K-ROQ Christmas Show” after U2 had to bow out due to Bono’s injury. Saturday’s line-up: Bush, Fall Out Boy, Incubus, Linkin Park, Rise Against, Royal Blood, System Of a Down. As well as No Doubt, Sunday’s sked has Alt-J, Imagine Dragons, Modest Mouse, Interpol, Smashing Pumpkins, and Weezer.
• Taylor Swift – She’s reaching saturation level this weekend. On Saturday the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles opens an exhibit called “The Taylor Swift Experience”, which will be on display through May 10, 2015. It includes personal photos and home videos, interactive experiences, handwritten lyrics, and iconic costumes.

• “Exodus: Gods & Kings” ( PG-13 Biblical Drama ): The defiant leader Moses rises up against the Egyptian Pharaoh Ramses, setting up a monumental journey of escape  out of Egypt by 600,000 slaves and unleashing a terrifying cycle of deadly plagues. Directed by Ridley Scott; stars Christian Bale, Joel Edgerton, Ben Kingsley, Sigourney Weaver.
• “Top Five” ( R-Rated Comedy ): Chris Rock directs and stars as a comedian who tries to make it as a serious actor when his reality-TV star fiancée (Rosario Dawson) talks him into broadcasting their wedding on her TV show. Co-stars Gabrielle Union, Kevin Hart. Cameos by Adam Sandler, JB Smoove, Jerry Seinfeld, Kevin Hart, Tracy Morgan, Whoopi Goldberg.
• Opening in limited release: “Free the Nipple” (Dramedy); and “Inherent Vice” (Crime Comedy).

Clearly smoking is bad for everyone, but apparently it’s worse for men health-wise than women according to research published in the journal “Science”. The study from Uppsala University in Sweden has found that smoking puts men at greater risk for some cancers than women. This may be because smoking reduces the number of Y chromosomes in men’s blood cells. And because Y chromosomes are only present in men, it suggests that cancer is more likely to occur when men lose these chromosomes. Despite this, it’s not all doom and gloom as the scientists have found that those who quit smoking are able to regenerate Y chromosomes. (Your best tip for quitting is …?)

Starting today Girl Guides/Girl Scouts are taking their cookie sales online for the first time. Customers can begin buying boxes of Samoas, Tagalongs, Thin Mints, and all the other flavors from their favorite scout’s digital store. Cookie fans will now have the luxury of paying with a credit card and getting the boxes delivered to their door. Each girl has her own website but is encouraged to only share its URL with people she knows personally. The ‘Digital Cookie’ online platform isn’t replacing the traditional door-to-door and booth sales. Instead, it’s meant to serve as an updated method of teaching participants the skills associated with the cookie program. (Such as taking advantage of the sugar-addicted.)

A new study from Montréal’s McGill University has found that threats don’t stop kids from lying. In fact, the researchers have found that children are more likely to tell the truth because they want to please an adult or because they just believe it’s the right thing to do … not because of any promised repercussions. It was found younger children are more focused on telling the truth to please an adult, while older children have better internalized standards of behavior which made them tell the truth because it’s morally right. The bottom line – punishment does not promote truth-telling. (Idle threats are particularly annoying … “If you don’t stop making a fuss and get in the car right now, I’m leaving you here!”)

A cat has been the mayor of Talkeetna, Alaska for 17 years.
– Sourced from


1949 [65] Bill Nighy, Caterham, England (“Pirates Of the Caribbean” films, “Love Actually”)

1970 [44] Jennifer Connelly, Round Top NY, movie actress (“Noah”, “A Beautiful Mind”)/wed to actor Paul Bettany since 2003

1975 [39] Mayim Bialik, San Diego CA, TV actress (‘Amy Farrah Fowler’ on “Big Bang Theory” since 2010, “Curb Your Enthusiasm” 2005-07, “Blossom” 1990-95)

1977 [37] Bridget Hall, Springdale AR, fashion model (“Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show”) who’s appeared on more than 200 fashion magazine covers

TV/movie actor Steve Buscemi (“Boardwalk Empire”) is 57; Movie actor Jamie Foxx (“Django Unchained”) is 47; Indie rock guitarist Nick McCarthy (Franz Ferdinand) is 40; Rock singer Tom Delonge (Blink-182) is 39; Rock singer Amy Lee (Evanescence) is 33; Pop singer Taylor Swift (“Blank Space”) is 25; TV actress Maisy Stella (“Nashville”) is 11.

Classic rock bassist Cliff Williams (AC/DC) is 65; Movie actress/pop singer Vanessa Hudgens (“Machete Kills”) is 26.

• “Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe”, one of Mexico’s major celebrations, observed since 1746 to honor the country’s patron saint, the ‘Dark Virgin of Guadalupe’ (also patron saint of Corona-with-lime). An estimated 10 million visit her basilica in Mexico City annually.
• “Gingerbread House Day”, time to get at it if you want one in time for the holidays. Also known as “Eat Yourself Out of House and Home Day”.
• “Poinsettia Day”, honoring Dr Joel Roberts Poinsett (1799-1851), the US diplomat who popularized the Central American plant named for him in 1828. Now a favorite decoration for the holiday season, about 60 million are now grown in North America each year.
• “Salesperson Day”, observed annually on the 2nd Friday in December to celebrate sales reps as essential resources for customers. The talented salesperson, it’s said, filters the vast amount of info available to help customers make the best purchasing decisions.
• “Scaling Festival” (“Fête de l’Escalade”) weekend in Geneva, Switzerland, an annual celebration for 400+ years. Stores sell pot-shaped chocolate candies to represent the soup pots used in medieval days to pour scalding water on invaders attempting to ‘scale’ city walls.
• “Ugly Christmas Sweater Day”, celebrating the seasonal fad that’s now become so commercialized that thrift stores are charging top prices for them and other retailers are selling kits to make them.

• “Hot Cocoa Day”, because there’s nothing like a steaming mug of the stuff on a bitter cold December day. (Ouch! Burned my freakin’ tongue!)
• “International Shareware Day”, observed annually on the 2nd Saturday of December to celebrate public domain software that you can try before you buy.
• “St Lucy’s Day”, honoring her 304 AD birth. Legend has it that, in order to follow a life of religious devotion, she cut out her eyes and sent them on a plate to a persistent lover who was haunted by them (especially afterward!). Today, hotels in Sweden feature their own ‘Lucia’, a young blond girl in white gown who serves guests coffee & ‘lussekatter’ (saffron buns).

• “Bouillabaisse Day”, a day to throw some shellfish in a pot with some finely-chopped onion, celery & tomato, a little white wine, a little more white wine, and – BAM!! – a whole mess of garlic. Nummers, instant nirvana!
• “Buy a Tree Day”, a great excuse to visit a nearby tree farm where you can cut your own Christmas tree (which always looks about half the size outdoors).
• “Halcyon Days” begin, the 7 days before and 7 days after the Winter Solstice. According to ancient tradition, it’s a time of peace and tranquillity. (That’s because they didn’t have malls.)
• “International Children’s Day”, a joint initiative between UNICEF and the International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences observed annually on the 2nd Sunday in December. It’s a day when broadcasters are encouraged to ‘tune in to kids’.
• “Monkey Day”, to raise awareness about monkey issues, monkeys in the news, and ways you can help monkeys (apes and other primates included).

2012 [02] The star-studded “12-12-12” benefit concert takes place at NYC’s Madison’s Square Garden, with proceeds going to relief efforts for those impacted by Hurricane Sandy (performers include Alicia Keys, Billy Joel, Bon Jovi, Bruce Springsteen, Chris Martin, Eddie Vedder, Eric Clapton, Kanye West, Roger Waters, Rolling Stones, The Who.)

1974 [40] Rolling Stones begin recording “Black & Blue” album in Munich, Germany (an array of session guitarists replace the departed Mick Taylor; one of them – Ronnie Wood – becomes his permanent replacement)

2003 [11] Rolling Stones’ frontman (Sir) Mick Jagger is knighted by Prince Charles at Buckingham Palace in London

2012 [02] Pope Benedict 16th sends out the 1st papal tweet through his personal Twitter account, using the handle @pontifex

[Mon] Cat Herders Day
[Tues] “Elf: Buddy’s Musical Christmas” (NBC)
[Tues] Chocolate-Covered Anything Day
[Wed] “The Gambler”; “The Hobbit: The Battle Of the Five Armies” open in movie theaters
[Wed] Hanukkah begins (Jewish)
[Wed] Wright Bros Day
This Week Is … Human Rights Week
This Month Is … Worldwide Food Service Safety Month


✓ A pint of beer, a glass of wine, and a shot of vodka all contain about the same amount of alcohol.
✓ Discovery of late Stone Age jugs suggests that intentionally fermented beverages existed at least as early as the Neolithic period (about 10,000 BC).
✓ Most vegetables and almost all fruits contain a small amount of alcohol in them.
✓ In some other countries, the legal drinking age is as low as 16. Many high school cafeterias in Europe serve alcohol to students who choose to drink.
✓ Research suggests that, at any given time, 0.7% of the world population is drunk. That means 50 million people are drunk right now.
✓ A muscular person has a higher alcohol tolerance than someone with more body fat. Water-rich muscle tissue absorbs alcohol more effectively, preventing it from reaching the brain.
✓ A bottle of champagne contains 90 pounds of pressure per square inch, 3 times that found in car tires. That’s why a popped champagne cork can travel as fast as 60 mph (97 km/h).
✓ The most prolific beer-drinking country in the world is the Czech Republic, with an incredible per capita beer consumption of almost 40 gallons a year.
✓ One of the most popular drinks in Cambodia is Tarantula Brandy; a delectable concoction that includes rice liquor and freshly dead tarantulas.
✓ Vodka is the world’s most popular liquor by a huge margin, with about 5 billion liters consumed every year.
– Condensed from

My wife submits and I obey; she always lets me have her way.

☎ What’s the last book you bought someone as a gift?

Question: Chocolate manufacturers currently use one-third of the world’s supply of THIS.
Answer: Almonds.

No one dies a virgin … life screws us all.

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