Wednesday, December 14, 2011        Edition: #4651
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“Glee” star Lea Michelle says she was nervous when Ashton Kutcher was cast as her love interest in the new movie “New Year’s Eve”, because she thought he was ‘out of her league’ (she must still be in the minors) . . . The “Glee” cast has recorded a new version of “Do They Know It’s Christmas?”, Band Aid’s 1984 holiday season hit, and is donating all proceeds to the Band Aid Trust (not the greatest tune of all-time but it sure seems to have legs!) . . . The iconic wig that late screen star Elizabeth Taylor wore in the classic film “Cleopatra” has sold at auction for $16,000 (and you thought you were paying too much for a hairdo!) . . . Meantime, late actor-director Orson Welles’ ‘Best Original Screenplay’ Oscar for “Citizen Kane” (1941) is now up for auction and is expected to fetch $600,000-to-$1 million (bidding closes December 20th) . . . “Gossip Girl” star Leighton Meester’s mother has dropped a lawsuit claiming she & her daughter had an oral contract guaranteeing her $10,000-a-month in support (the money-grubbing mom apparently used previous funds sent home to care for Leighton’s younger brother on cosmetic surgery) . . . American Airlines flight attendants have requested that Alec Baldwin’s TV show “30 Rock” be pulled from in-flight entertainment options following last week’s bust-up between the actor and a staffer (that’ll hurt him, won’t it?) . . . 36-year-old movie star Charlize Theron (next seen in “Snow White & The Huntsman”) reveals she’s been in serious relationships since she was 19 and so has never been on a ‘casual date’ (volunteers?) . . . Like their half-sisters the Kardashians, the Jenner sisters Kylie (14) and Kendall (16) are set to get their own spin-off reality TV shows on E! Network (please stop, Ryan Seacrest, you’re ruining TV!) . . . And 23-year-old movie actress Nikki Blonsky, the little spitfire who played ‘Tracy Turnblad’ in the 2007 musical “Hairspray”, has taken on a new gig as a make-up artist at Superstar Hairstylists in Great Neck NY after falling on hard times (further proof fame can be so fleeting).

• “Barbara Walters Presents the 10 Most Fascinating People of 2011” (ABC/Global) – In her annual 90-minute prime-time special, the veteran journalist interviews Derek Jeter (NY Yankees); Donald Trump; Kim, Khloe & Kourtney Kardashian; Katy Perry; royal-in-law Pippa Middleton; and Simon Cowell among others. (#1 is a secret, but we’d bet on Lady Gaga.)
• “Conan” (TBS/CTV) – Deer Tick (“Divine Providence”).
• “Ellen DeGeneres Show” (syndicated/CTV2) – Christina Perri (“lovestrong”).
• “Jimmy Kimmel Live” (ABC/CHCH) – Young Jeezy (“Thug Motivation 103: Hustlerz Ambition”, out December 20th).
• “Last Call With Carson Daly” (NBC) – The Decemberists (“Long Live the King”).
• “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon” (NBC/CTV2) – Beyoncé (“4”).
• “The Rosie Show” (OWN) – Justin Bieber (“Under the Mistletoe”).
• “Survivor” (CBS/Global) – The 5 remaining survivors battle it out to see who’ll make it onto Sunday’s finalé.
• “Tonight Show With Jay Leno” (NBC/CTV2) – Common (“The Dreamer, The Believer”).
• “The X Factor” (FOX/CTV) – The remaining 4 finalists perform.


• Barry Manilow – The 68-year-old has-been pop star underwent hip repair surgery at a Los Angeles hospital Monday, just a day after completing a 7-year run of shows in Las Vegas.
• Beyoncé – She’s currently pregnant with her first child with husband Jay-Z but has revealed she hopes to have lots more kids before she turns 40. So that’s 10 years … and ticking.
• Christina Perri – Last week the “Jar of Hearts” singer was the victim of an attempted carjacking. A man approached her car in an LA parking garage, opened the door, and punched her several times before running off when she started honking the horn.
• Flo Rida – He’s escaped jail time for DUI charges relating to an incident in June when his $1.7- million Bugatti was spotted weaving all over the road in Miami Beach, Florida. His attorney has convinced a judge to send him to a first-time offenders program instead.
• Lady Gaga – She’s working on becoming an ordained minister so she can perform a same-sex wedding ceremony for one of her best friends, her yoga instructor in NYC.
• Ozzy Osbourne – His 59-year-old wife Sharon, host of daytime TV show “The Talk”, employs a full-time nanny to look after … their 12 dogs.
• Smashing Pumpkins – Billy Corgan tells “New York Post” he wants to write music for Broadway musicals in the future, but first he’ll hone his songwriting skills. Quote: “If I do Broadway, I’m not coming to write 3-chord rock songs.”


A BS selection of movies in the making …
• “Attachment” – This upcoming thriller begins with a married woman’s one-night-stand with a student. Things get complicated when her young lover begins dating her daughter and stalking her family. No casting announced as yet, but filming is expected to begin next Spring.
• “The Iceman” – Winona Ryder has replaced Maggie Gyllenhaal as the wife of notorious contract killer Richard Kuklinki in this crime drama coming in 2013. Michael Shannon has the title role. The hitman became famous for freezing victim’s bodies to disguise the time of death.
• “Justice League” – Word has it Warner Bros is looking to push forward with this project after sequels for “Man of Steel” and “Green Lantern” are completed. The plan would be for Henry Cavill and Ryan Reynolds to reprise their roles as ‘Superman’ and ‘Green Lantern’.
• “Labor Day” – Director Jason Reitman (“Juno”) says he wrote “Up In the Air” in a Starbucks coffee shop in Palm Springs, California because he struggles to concentrate when he works at home. So he’s adopted the same venue to work on his new film, due in 2013.
• “Men In Black III” – This week the trailer is out for the 3rd film in the franchise. Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones are back in action, this time traveling back in time to 1969 when the world is threatened by an evil alien. The tongue-in-cheek thriller is set to open next May.

Sleep plays a role in test performance, but perhaps in unexpected ways. Dan Taylor, director of the sleep-and-health-research lab at the University of North Texas suggests that students review the toughest material right before going to bed the night before a test. That approach makes it easier to recall the material later, he says. And don’t wake up earlier than usual to study – that could interfere with the rapid-eye-movement sleep that aids memory. (Another tip: Make sure to use indelible ink when writing cheat notes on your palm.)
– “Wall Street Journal”

BEST OF 2011:

The American Film Institute has announced it’s choice for top movies of the year as picked by a panel of industry experts including Oscar-winning actress Whoopi Goldberg and movie historian Leonard Maltin. In alphabetical order, they are …
• “Bridesmaids”
• “The Descendants”
• “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo”
• “The Help”
• “Hugo”
• “J Edgar”
• “Midnight In Paris”
• “Moneyball”
• “The Tree Of Life”
• “War Horse”


New terms leaking into our lingo …
• ‘Architectural Myopia’ – Building design that emphasizes distinctive, attention-getting features over practical concerns or simple aesthetics.
• ‘Grey-Sky Thinking’ – Negative or pessimistic thoughts, ideas, or solutions. Opposite of ‘Blue Sky Thinking’.
• ‘Window Farm’ – A small, vertical, hydroponic garden installed by a window and used for growing crops such as herbs and vegetables. (NBC-TV has created a window farm in NYC’s Rockefeller Center where it’s growing 25 types of vegetables.)


This is cool! When students in Florida’s Pinellas County fill up their lunch trays in school cafeterias and walk over to the cash registers, they just wave a hand over the Fujitsu PalmSecure system, square-inch sensors that identify each student by the pattern of veins in his or her palm. Buying lunch involves no cards or cash and therefore less waiting. In fact, wait times have been cut in half since the program started. (And now all bullies have to do is grab your wrist in order to get you to buy lunch.)
– “Scientific American”


Big blockbusters also mean big illegal downloads according to a new study released by TorrentFreak. The all-time most stolen movies …
5. “The Hangover”
4. “Inception”
3. “Transformers”
2. “The Dark Knight”
1. “Avatar” (21 million illegal downloads since its release in 2009).
– “Hollywood Reporter”


Here’s good news for students and worrying parents as researchers have discovered a quick and easy method to boost exam scores. In a new study, researchers at NYC’s St Lawrence University have determined that chewing gum for 5 minutes before taking a test improves test scores. However, students should use the initial boost judiciously as the benefits extend for only the first 15-to-20 minutes. The effect has been dubbed ‘mastication-induced arousal’. (Now every single desk in study hall is going to have a hardened wad welded to it’s bottom.)

• People who don’t have trouble paying attention in the first place can actually perform worse when they take attention-enhancing drugs.
• LAPD are reporting that one of the most stolen items from Los Angeles schools these days is … tubas.
– “San Jose Mercury News”
• From this Friday, December 16th through Christmas Day, 8 major movies will be released – including 2 by Steven Spielberg – while about a half-dozen specialty titles will either enter the market or expand their footprint.


1949 [62] Cliff Williams, Romford UK, rock bassst (AC/DC-“Rock ‘n Roll Train”, “Moneytalks”)/Rock & Roll Hall of Fame (2003)

1988 [23] Vanessa Hudgens, Salinas CA, movie actress (“High School Musical” movies, “Thirteen”)


• “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 heaven!

• “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).

1977 [34] “Saturday Night Fever”, starring John Travolta & Olivia Newton-John, has its world premiere in Los Angeles (the Bee Gees generate several hits from the soundtrack)

1992 [19] Disney’s “The Muppet Christmas Carol” opens in movie theaters

1980 [31] At widow Yoko Ono’s request, a 10-minute worldwide silent vigil is held at 2 pm EST for John Lennon, who had been gunned down 6 days earlier (over 100,000 observe the vigil in NYC’s Central Park; 30,000 in Liverpool, England)

1991 [20] Michael Jackson’s “Dangerous” debuts at #1 on the “Billboard” album chart

1911 [100] Norwegian Roald Amundsen becomes the 1st explorer to reach the South Pole, beating out his British rival, Robert F Scott

1947 [64] National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) is created

1976 [35] 1st “Barbara Walters Special” (with Jimmy Carter & Barbra Streisand) airs on ABC-TV

[Thurs] Cat Herders Day
[Fri] “Alvin & The Chipmunks: Chipwrecked”; “Carnage”; “Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows” open in movie theaters
[Fri] “Christmas in Washington” (TNT)
[Fri] Chocolate-Covered Anything Day
[Fri] Underdog Day
[Sat] Wright Bros Day
[Sun] International Migrants Day
This Week Is … Civil Rights Week
This Month Is … International Calendar Awareness Month


• Hamster … Miniature iPod and headband to wear while running the exercise wheel.
• Sea Monkey … Teeny tiny Jet Ski.
• Cat … ‘Big Bird’ and a hibachi.
• Iguana … Jumbo bottle of No-Doz.
• Rabbit … A vasectomy for ‘Mr Energizer’ over there.
• Goldfish … A ‘Boycott Pepperidge Farms Snacks’ T-shirt.
• Gerbil … A 3rd birthday.
• Dog … “A sock! NO, a ball! NO, a ball in a sock! That would be so cool! Throw it! Throw it! Throw it!”
– Adapted from

Have you noticed? Anybody driving slower than you is an idiot, but anyone going faster is a maniac.

Which is considered the world’s most expensive spice?
a. Marjoram.
b. Saffron. [CORRECT, made from dried crocus stigmas, which are harvested by hand.]
c. Anise.
– “Better Homes & Gardens”

In Australia, Brazil, Europe, and most recently Israel, the declawing of cats has become illegal, with some seriously stiff penalties. Good idea or bad?

Question: 7-out-of-10 men say they wish they received more of THESE from their partner.
Answer: Compliments.

If at first you don’t succeed, destroy all evidence that you tried.

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