Friday, December 13, 2013        Edition: #5123

It’s Your Daily Constitutional Sheet!

★ With 7 nominations each, slavery drama “12 Years a Slave” and 1970s con-artist caper “American Hustle” lead all nominees for the “Golden Globe Awards” announced yesterday. The annual awards from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association are handed out January 12th in Beverly Hills CA. The Globes are considered one of the biggest ceremonies in the Hollywood awards season leading up to the Oscars in March.
★ Just as “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” opens in movie theaters, the filmmaking Weinstein Bros are demanding $75 million from the film trilogy’s gross revenue. Harvey & Bob Weinstein sold film rights to Tolkien’s book to New Line Cinema in 1998, thinking the material would yield just one film. According to the suit, the studio has made the book into 3 separate films ‘solely to deprive plaintiffs’ of agreed revenue. The complaint filed this week in New York State Supreme Court says in part: “This case is about greed and ingratitude.” Indeed.
★ 41-year-old British actor Idris Elba has recorded an album in honor of late South African leader Nelson Mandela. He made the recording with local musicians in South Africa after completing filming for “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom”, in which he plays the anti-apartheid hero. The album will be called “Mi Mandela” and is scheduled to be released sometime in the new year. Quote: “Basically it’s a love letter from me to Mandela about me playing him.”
– “Daily Star”
★ And Universal Pictures is currently deliberating whether “Fast & Furious 7″ can be salvaged.
Screenwriter Chris Morgan has been tasked with writing out late actor Paul Walker’s character ‘Brian O’Connor’. Walker had only filmed half of his scenes at the time of his tragic death. If the character’s exit can be handled in a tasteful manner, production – which was halted after his death – could resume by the end of January. As yet, no final decision has been made on whether the film will go ahead or be scrapped.

• “CMA Country Christmas” (ABC) – Saturday a rerun of last week’s special with country music stars sharing their favorite holiday traditions and memories; Jennifer Nettles (Sugarland) hosts.
• “Jimmy Kimmel Live” (ABC/CityTV) – Tonight R Kelly (“Black Panties”). Rerun.
• “Last Call With Carson Daly” (NBC) – Tonight The Flaming Lips (“Peace” Sword”).
• “Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson” (CBS) – Tonight The Lone Below (“The Lone Below”).
• “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon” (NBC/CTV2) – Tonight Austin Mahone (“Austin Mahone”).
• “Late Show With David Letterman” (CBS/NTV/Omni1) – Tonight Seasick Steve (“Hubcap Music”).
• “Saturday Night Live” (NBC/Global) – Host John Goodman (“Inside Llewyn Davis”); musical guest Kings of Leon (“Mechanical Bull”).
• “The Sound of Music Live!” (NBC) – Saturday a rerun of last week’s live performance of the classic musical. Carrie Underwood sings well but was brutalized for her wooden acting.
• “Survivor” (CBS) – Sunday the winner is selected on the 27th season finalé, followed by a live reunion of the (now well-fed) contestants (aka ‘The Fat Show’).
• “Tonight Show With Jay Leno” (NBC/CTV2) – Tonight Billy Ray Cyrus (“Change My Mind”).

• Ariana Grande – She and her record company are being sued for copyright infringement over her hit “The Way”. Minder Music is claiming the phrase she repeats in the hit, “What we gotta do right here is go back, back into time”, is lifted directly from the 1972 Jimmy Castor Bunch hit “Troglodyte”. The suit seeks a permanent injunction, statutory damages, and legal fees.
• Beyoncé – Today her (deadbeat) dad is scheduled to appear in an LA court to answer to allegations he is months behind on $12,000-a-month child support payments to Alexsandra Wright, the mother of his 4-year-old son Nixon … whom he has never met.
• Courtney Love – Sunday her new autobiography “Courtney Love: My Story” is published. It’s said to address her relationships with Billy Corgan (Smashing Pumpkins), actor Ed Norton, and Trent Reznor (NIN), and – for the first time – her marriage to Kurt Cobain (Nirvana).
• Foo Fighters – Tonight they headline the massive “Foro Sol” festival in Mexico City. It is the Foos’ first major concert in over a year. The National is the opening act.
• Garth Brooks – He’s atop the new “Billboard” all-genre album chart with his box set release, “Blame It All on My Roots: Five Decades of Influences”. The set of 6 CDs and 2 DVDS is being sold only at Walmart.
• Led Zeppelin – Spotify has struck a deal that will make the band’s music available to stream online for the first time. The band’s entire catalogue will be online by this Sunday.

• “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” ( PG-13 Fantasy Adventure ): In the 2nd installment of director Peter Jackson’s trilogy, the dwarves, along with ‘Bilbo Baggins’ and ‘Gandalf the Grey’, continue their quest to reclaim  their homeland ‘Erebor’ from ‘Smaug’ (voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch). Stars Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, Ken Stott.
• “Hours” ( Limited Release PG-13 Drama ): In one of the last films completed by late actor Paul Walker, he plays a father struggling to keep his infant daughter alive in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. The catch is, the baby has to be kept in a neonatal incubator and the only power source is generator that he has to crank every few minutes. Co-stars Genesis Rodriguez.
• “A Madea Christmas” ( PG-13 Dramedy ): In director Tyler Perry’s latest, his ‘Madea’ character dispenses her unique form of holiday spirit when she’s coaxed into helping a friend pay a surprise Christmas visit to her daughter in a rural town. Co-stars Chad Michael Murray, Tika Sumpter, Larry the Cable Guy.
• Also opening in limited release: “Here Comes the Devil” (Horror Thriller); “Liv & Ingmar” (Documentary); and “Nuclear Nation” (Documentary).

University of Illinois researchers have found that both male and female high school students who are rated more attractive than average tend to get better grades and land better-paying jobs after graduation than their peers. On average, women deemed as ‘attractive’ enjoy an 8% wage advantage over regular people, while women with ‘below-average looks’ pay a 4% penalty. ‘Good-looking’ men have a 4% salary edge over ‘nondescript’ co-workers, while ‘less-attractive’ men take a 13% penalty. (Who’s the sadist ranking these people on looks?)

• The advocacy group Campaign For a Commercial-Free Childhood is urging Fisher-Price to stop selling the ‘Newborn-to-Toddler Apptivity Seat’, featuring a tablet mount, because the group says putting an iPad in front of a baby deprives the infant of healthy human interaction. (If it’s not happening at home, why would it be expected in a car?)
• Russian company Yota has launched a new smartphone with 2 screens, one of which uses power-saving e-ink technology and is ‘always on’. The Android phone promises to extend battery life by transferring web pages to the e-ink screen. That allows users to see the info they want without having to ‘wake up’ the phone. (Unfortunately, only available in Europe so far.)
• Unlike current USB cables, the new USB Type-C connector will be reversible. That means users of the Universal Serial Bus cables will no longer have to worry which way the connector is turned when plugging it into a device. The specification is due to be completed by mid-2014, and the first product on the market by 2016. (What we wanna know is … what took ya?)
– “PC Magazine”

Do long-distance relationships ever work? Yes, according to a new Queen’s University study.  Researchers examined two distinct groups – one containing people in long-distance relationships; the other with people who live near their significant others. Participants filled out questionnaires detailing intimacy, commitment, communication, sexual satisfaction, and psychological distress. Perhaps surprisingly, the long-distance couples actually score higher for satisfaction, intimacy, and communication. (Not so good on ‘sexual satisfaction’ though.)

• The 13th of the month falls on Friday more than any other day of the week.
• Any month’s 13th day will fall on a Friday if the month starts on a Sunday.
• Friday the 13th is seen as a lucky day in France and many play the lottery on this day.


1929 [84] Christopher Plummer, Toronto ON, movie actor (2012 Oscar-“Beginners”, “Sound of Music”)/stage actor (1997 Tony-“Barrymore”)/Canada’s Walk of Fame (1999)

1957 [56] Steve Buscemi, Brooklyn NY, TV actor (‘Nucky Thompson’ on “Boardwalk Empire” since 2010, “The Sopranos” 2004-05)/movie actor (“Monster House”, “Fargo”)

1967 [46] Jamie Foxx, Terrell TX, movie actor (“Django Unchained”, “Ray”)/R&B singer (f/T-Pain-“Blame It”, f/Ludacris-“Unpredictable”)

1974 [39] Nicholas McCarthy, Blackpool UK, indie rock guitarist (Franz Ferdinand-“No You Girls”, “Take Me Out”)

1975 [38] Tom DeLonge, Poway CA, rock singer (Blink 182-“I Miss You”, Angels & Airwaves-“Everything’s Magic”)

1981 [32] Amy Lee, Riverside CA, rock singer (Evanescence-“Call Me When You’re Sober”, “My Immortal”)

1989 [24] Taylor Swift, Reading PA, country/pop singer (“I Knew You Were Trouble”, “You Belong With Me”)/15 American Music Awards, 12 Billboard Music Awards, 11 CMA Awards, 7 Grammy Awards, 6 ACM Awards

Classic rock bassist Cliff Williams (AC/DC) is 64; Movie actress/singer Vanessa Hudgens (“Machete Kills”) is 25.

Movie actor Don Johnson (“Django Unchained”) is 64; Classic rock bassist Paul Simonon (The Clash) is 58; Movie actor Adam Brody (“Lovelace”) is 34; Alt-rock guitarist Sergio Pizzorno (Kasabian) is 33.

• “Friday the 13th”, considered bad luck by many. The 6th day of the week and the number 13 both have foreboding reputations dating from ancient times, so when they come together (1-to-3 times a year), tradition has it they bring misfortune. (See BULL’S BITS.)
• “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!)
• “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).
• “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.

• “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).
• “International Shareware Day”, observed annually on the 2nd Saturday of December to celebrate public domain software that you can try before you buy.
• “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.)
• “Monkey Day”, to raise awareness about monkey issues, monkeys in the news, and ways you can help monkeys (apes and other primates included).

• “Cat Herders Day”, a day of sympathy for anyone who feels their job, or even their life, is like trying to herd cats.
• “Zamenhof Day”, the beginning of “International Language Week” celebrated by the International Esperanto League. The international language ‘Esperanto’ was invented by Dr LL Zamenhof in 1887 to solve the world’s language barrier, but never really caught on. Get some useful phrases in ‘Esperantese’ here …

2004 [09] It’s announced that Dick Clark is forced to bow out from hosting his annual ABC-TV event, “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” due to complications from a recent stroke (he dies in April 2012)

2007 [06] At Buckingham Palace, classic rocker Joe Cocker receives the OBE (Order Of the British Empire) honor from Queen Elizabeth II (afterward he was “Feelin’ Alright”)

1928 [85] 1st ‘Clip-On Tie’ is invented (stylin’!)

1983 [30] Highest-scoring basketball game in NBA history as Detroit Pistons defeat Denver Nuggets 186-184 … in triple-overtime

1988 [25] 3 men complete a 29-hour, all-466-station subway ride in NYC

[Mon] Chocolate-covered Anything Day
[Tues] Full ‘Cold’ Moon
[Tues] Free Shipping Day
[Wed] Answer the Phone Like Buddy the Elf Day
[Wed] International Migrants Day
[Wed] “2013 Canada’s Walk of Fame Awards” (Global)
This Week Is … Drunk Drivers Awareness Week
This Month Is … Hi Neighbor Month


✓ There’s a Norse legend that has 12 gods sitting down to a banquet when the 13th (uninvited) god, Loki, shows up. He sets off a chain of events that leads to a slew of natural disasters.
✓ Many Christians believe that the Cain & Abel debacle took place on Friday the 13th and that Jesus was crucified on a Friday.
✓ There were 13 people at the Last Supper. It’s said that Judas Iscariot was the 13th to take his place at the table.
✓ Traditionally there used to be 13 steps leading up to a hangman’s gallows. There’s also a legend that a hangman’s noose traditionally contained 13 turns.
✓ There was a mass arrest and execution of the Knights Templar on Friday, October 13, 1307.
✓ Although any group of witches is now considered a ‘coven’, it was once believed to be made up of exactly 13 members.
✓ There’s an old superstition that says if you have 13 letters in your name, you’re bound to have the devil’s luck.
✓ Kids officially become teenagers at the age of 13 … and we all know that’s a scary phase.
– Adapted from

• It’s extremely unlucky to try to light 3 firecrackers on a match.
• It’s unlucky to attempt to walk under a black cat.
• You should always wait until Thursday to drink any wine made on Wednesday.
• If you break a mirror, you’ll have 7 years of really bad shaves.
• While a rabbit’s foot is lucky, an entire rabbit is luckier … though it makes your keychain heavy.
• It’s truly unlucky to be superstitious.

The easiest way to figure the cost of living is … take your income and add 10%.

What is ‘snarge’?
a. The pull-up tab on a zipper or fly.
b. The discharge from a water treatment plant.
c. The remains of birds hit by airplanes. [CORRECT]

☎ Everybody’s doing it – even Barack Obama – but Is it ever OK to take a selfie at a funeral?

Question: The average worker will have about 45,000 of THESE during their career.
Answer: Cups of coffee.

Early to rise and early to bed makes a man healthy and wealthy and dead.

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