Wednesday, December 17, 2014        Edition: #5362

Our Sheet Don’t Stink!

★ Actors Seth Rogen & James Franco, who play idiotic journalists tasked by the CIA with assassinating the North Korean leader in “The Interview” (opening December 25), say they only ever wanted to make a comedy. Eight days before the film opens, Sony Pictures, the studio releasing it, is still dealing with a hacking nightmare that has unleashed an insane amount of the studio’s personnel data. So far, a group called Guardians Of the Peace has claimed responsibility; there are no concrete ties to North Korea as yet. “We did not set out to make a controversial film,” Rogen insists. He and Franco will defend themselves some more tonight on Jimmy Fallon. (Truth be told, this lame pic isn’t worth the worldwide frenzy.)
– USA Today
★ In today’s culture it’s rare for a celebrity not to be on at least one social media site, but one of Hollywood’s top young actresses, Emma Stone, says she stays away from the likes of Twitter and Instagram because she doesn’t have a need to be ‘liked’. Stone most recently worked alongside Zack Galafianakis, Michael Keaton, and Edward Norton in the critically acclaimed dark comedy film “Birdman”. She says she’s confused why other celebs scramble for online attention. Quote: “It’s this very modern ‘keeping up with the Joneses’. It’s almost impossible to find someone that’s not, in some way, on the Internet.” (Just one more reason to like her.)
★ And movie actor Mark Hamill was ‘contractually obligated’ to grow facial hair for the new “Star Wars” movie. The 63-year-old, who played ‘Luke Skywalker’ in the original sci-fi trilogy, is reprising his role in the latest installment, “Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens”, and has swapped his usual clean-cut look for a new shaggy beard. Hamill reveals that the producers ordered him to grow it to give his character more … ‘gravitas’. (Also hides his double chin.)
– Press Association

• “Conan” (TBS/CTV) – King Tuff (“Black Moon Spell”).
• “Corner Gas: The Movie” (CTV) – A 90-minute feature film that brings back ‘Brent Leroy’ (Brent Butt) and the various other eccentrics of the fictional town of Dog River, Saskatchewan. It played in Canadian theaters December 3-7. The weekly sitcom it’s based on aired 2004-09.
• “Jimmy Kimmel Live” (ABC/CityTV) – George Ezra (“Wanted on Voyage”).
• “Late Night With Seth Meyers” (NBC/CTV) – Jungle (“Jungle”).
• “Late Show With David Letterman” (CBS/Omni1) – Willie Nelson w/Billy Joe Shaver (“December Day”).
• “Michael Bublé’s Christmas In New York” (NBC) –  Ariana Grande, Barbra Streisand, Miss Piggy, and the Rockettes dance troupe join Bublé for his 4th annual holiday special.
• “Queen Latifah” (syndicated) – Patti LaBelle (“Miss Patti’s Christmas”).
• “Survivor” (CBS/Global) – In the 2-hour Season 29 finalé, 5 remaining contestants compete for a spot in the last tribal council; then the million-dollar winner is announced at a cast reunion.
• “Tavis Smiley” (PBS) – Lindsey Buckingham (Fleetwood Mac).
• “Watch What Happens Live” (Bravo) – Nicki Minaj (“The Pinkprint”).
• “Wendy Williams” (syndicated) – Gene Simmons (KISS).

• Beyoncé – She’s being sued by Hungarian singer Monika Miczura (aka Mitsou) for allegedly using an unauthorized sample on the hit song “Drunk In Love”. Mitsou claims her 1995 track “Bajba Bajba Pelem” was sampled and digitally manipulated without her permission. Good luck!
• Britney Spears – She has teamed with Iggy Azalea on a new single that will apparently be released early next year. Spears is currently in the middle of her 2-year residency, “Britney: Piece of Me”, at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas.
• Creed – According to former frontman Scott Stapp made a desperate 9-1-1 call last month from the side of a Florida highway, telling the dispatcher he was trying to dodge CIA agents out to kill him. And he’s now said to be under investigation by the Secret Service after threatening Barack Obama during his lengthy tirade.
• Coldplay – Frontman Chris Martin reveals 67-year-old rock icon David Bowie once turned down the chance to collaborate with the band on a recording, saying “It’s not your best.” Ouch!.
• Iggy Azalea – She’s mapped out dates for her “Great Escape Tour”, which hits arenas across North America starting April 14th in Fresno CA. Joining Iggy is Nick Jonas as special guest.
• Jay Z – Word has it he used Taylor Swift’s birthday party as a business meeting. Seems he’s keen for Swift to duet with his wife Beyoncé and also wants her ‘brand’ for other business ventures.
• Justin Bieber – He’s dismissed rumors that he is seeing fashion model Hailey Baldwin, insisting he is ‘super single’. At least until he’s drunk some night and calls Selena … again.
• Miranda Lambert – “Little Red Wagon”, the 3rd single released from her hit album “Platinum”, was co-written by Audra Mae, an Oklahoma-born singer who is the great-great niece of late movie star Judy Garland.

UK-based Jaguar-Land Rover has unveiled a smart concept car that gives drivers 360-degree vision thanks to cameras that make window pillars appear ‘transparent’. When a driver looks to the side, for example, the pillar between the driver- and passenger-door becomes see-through, enabling the driver to view obstacles or cars outside the vehicle. It’s done by using cameras fitted to the outside frame of the car which provide a live feed onto screens on the pillars inside. Pillars either side of the windshield also have the same technology. The futuristic car also has a ‘smart’ windshield that displays hazards and projects a ‘Follow-Me Ghost Car’ for the driver to trail in order to find the best way through traffic. (Sticker price: 4-gazillion.)
– @MailOnline

This isn’t about Facebook ‘likes’. This list comes from a recent consumer survey of 1,100 people aged 13-to-49 by E-Score, a Los Angeles-based consumer research service that provides info to media and entertainment companies. This year’s most liked celebrities …
10. Jennifer Aniston
9. Leonardo DiCaprio (really?)
8. Julia Roberts
7. Bruce Willis
6. Clint Eastwood
5. Will Smith
4. Betty White
3. Sandra Bullock
2. Tom Hanks
1. Morgan Freeman
(Apparently we don’t like many people under 50. A 13-year-old is more apt to say, “Clint who?”)

New cutting-edge vocab …
• ‘Ebolanoia’ – An unwarranted and overblown fear of the Ebola virus, thanks in part to scary headlines and fear-mongering from the media.
• ‘Gastrophysics’ – The theories and experimental methodologies of physics applied to food. Who we eat with; how food is arranged; the color, texture, and weight of plates and cutlery; background noise … all of these things affect taste.
• ‘Pre-cation’ – A vacation taken before starting a new job, particularly a paid vacation from the new employer. The idea flows from the belief that memorable perks and a livable workspace make for happy employees without busting a company’s budget.

A statistical look at who we are and the things we do …
• 76% of workers would rather have a cash bonus instead of a company Christmas party.
• 45% of office workers need help to change their password at work.
• 40% of men haven’t changed their favorite breakfast cereal since they were a kid.
• 28% of husbands admit they gamble at least once a year without telling their wives.
• 12% of us admit that we will peek at a Christmas gift sometime this week.
• 10% of us have been warned to stop shopping online at work.

A few of the wackiest world records set In 2014 …
• ‘Biggest Pillow Fight’ – 4,201 people at a South Dakota State-University of South Dakota football game in Brookings SD.
• ‘Fastest Backhoe’ – Matthew Lucas reached 72.59 mph (116.82 km/h) in the big digger at Bathurst Airport in New South Wales, Australia.
• ‘Fastest Typing Using Nose’ – India’s Khursheed Hussain typed, “Guinness World Records have challenged me to type this sentence using my nose in the fastest time” in 47.44 seconds.
• ‘Longest Backwards Basketball Shot’ – Harlem Globetrotters star Thunder Law sunk one from 82 feet, 2 inches (25.04 m) at the US Airways Center in Phoenix, Arizona. Still only worth 3 pts.
• ‘Longest Journey in Minecraft’ – Kurt J Mac traveled 1,479,940 blocks from the center, or around 920 virtual miles (1,480 km). Equipment brought: sword, pickaxe, and compass.
• ‘Most Lights On a Residential Property’ – 601,736 by the Gay family of LaGrangeville NY, who spent 35 hours programming them to synchronize with Coldplay’s “A Sky Full of Stars”.

The US Navy can now turn seawater into fuel. (That’s not going to bolster falling oil stocks.)
– “Defense News”


1956 [58] Peter Farrelly, Phoenixville PA (”Dumb & Dumber” films, “There’s Something About Mary”)

1973 [41] Eddie Fisher, Colorado Springs CO, rock drummer (OneRepublic-“Counting Stars”, “Apologize”)

1974 [40] Giovanni Ribisi, LA CA, movie actor (“Avatar”, “Flight Of the Phoenix”)/TV actor (“Dads” 2013-14)  UP NEXT: The movie “Selma”, opening December 25th.

1975 [39] Milla Jovovich, Kiev, Ukraine, movie actress (“Resident Evil” films, “Zoolander”)

1978 [36] Neil Sanderson, Peterborough ON, rock drummer (Three Days Grace-“The High Road”, “Break”)

1982 [32] Ben Goldwasser, Mishawaka IN, indie rock singer (MGMT-“Kids”, “Electric Feel”)

1989 [25] Taylor York, Nashville TN, rock bassist (Paramore-“Ain’t It Fun”, “Crushcrushcrush”)

• “Cookie Cutter Day”, an annual salute to the handy little devices that help us make yummy Christmas cookies in the shape of stars, Christmas trees, and Santas.

• “International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers”, the 11th annual when organizers ask sex workers and their customers around-the-world to gather at 5 pm local time to honor those who’ve been killed while on-the-job.

• “Maple Syrup Day”, the opportunity to enjoy and appreciate this delicious North American treat. Canada makes more than 80% of the world’s supply, most of it coming from the province of Québec. The state of Vermont is the biggest producer in the USA.

• “Saturnalia” began, the week-long festival in ancient Rome honoring Saturn the planter god, which initiated the lasting traditions of exchanging gifts, illuminating lights, and closing businesses. Early Christian church leaders scheduled “Christmas” at this time of year partly to counteract this extremely popular pagan celebration.

2003 [11] “Lord Of the Rings: The Return Of the King” opens in movie theaters (final film of the trilogy eventually racks up $1.1 billion in worldwide box office … #8 all-time)

1994 [20] Pop diva Celine Dion (then 26) marries her manager Rene Angelil (then 52) at the Notre-Dame Basilica in Montréal QC

2004 [10] A guitar played by George Harrison while recording The Beatles’ “Revolver” album sells for just shy of $568,000 at a Christie’s auction in NYC

1991 [23] NBA’s most lopsided game as Cleveland beats Miami 148-80 (a 68-point shellacking)

2000 [14] San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Terrell Owens sets a new NFL record of 20 catches in a single game during a 17-0 victory over Chicago Bears

[Thurs] “The Colbert Report” series finalé (Comedy Central)
[Thurs] Answer the Telephone Like Buddy the Elf Day
[Thurs] International Migrants Day
[Thurs] Re-Gifting Day
[Fri] “Annie”; “Mr Turner”; “Night At the Museum: Secret Of the Tomb” open in movie theaters
[Sat] Sangria Day
[Sun] Winter Solstice
This Week Is … Gluten-Free Baking Week
This Month Is … Buckwheat Month


Tired of snowboarding? A few oddball alternatives you might try over the Winter …
✓ Bandy – A mash-up of sports, with elements of soccer, football, ice hockey, and field hockey. There are more than a million players in Russia.
✓ Ice Karting – The entire go-kart track is frozen. Sometimes the karts are modified with spiked tires for extra grip.
✓ Shark Ice Fishing – Anyone can go ice fishing for walleye or perch, but it takes an extreme athlete to face frigid waters for a shark weighing more than 1,000 lbs and measuring up to 21 ft.
✓ Shovel Racing – For over 30 years fans have gathered in New Mexico annually for the  championships, where greased up metal shovels slide down ski slopes at up to 70 mph.
✓ Ski Ballet (aka Acroski) – Flips, rolls, jumps, and graceful arm movements … all set to music, of course.
✓ Skibobbing – It’s essentially a bicycle frame attached to skis, and it’s a great Winter sport for anyone who’s had knee problems.
✓ ‘Skijoring’ – Involves a Nordic skier pulled by something else, whether that’s a snowmobile, a sled dog, or a horse.
✓ Wok Racing – Participants plant their posteriors into a food-grade metal wok and careen down ice chutes similar to the ones used for luge.
– Condensed from

Ask your contestant to guess which of the following terrible movie plots are real …
• “Holiday in Handcuffs” – Trudie has a breakdown at Christmas and desperately kidnaps a man to take home to her parents. [Real Movie]
• “Christmas Dog” – It’s Christmas Eve and Santa’s having a nervous breakdown. But who will deliver the toys? Now the fate of Christmas is in the paws of one brave dog. [BS]
• “Elf On the Run” – Pippy the elf has lived his entire life in the North Pole and longs to see the world. But Pippy gets more than he bargained for when an accident in the toy factory that’s all his fault forces him to flee his home. [BS]
• “Holiday Wishes” – Britney, a rich, spoiled child, and Rachel, an orphan, switch bodies after a visit to the mall with Santa Claus. [Real Movie]
• “Finding Mrs Claus” – When Ms Claus feels neglected by her less than attentive husband, she goes to Las Vegas to help a little girl with her Christmas wish. [Real Movie]
• “Candy Cane Wars” – Janey’s homemade candy cane business is really taking off, but her success is threatened by a ruthless candy corporation that wants to squash her dream. [BS]
– Adapted from

Take some advice from a married guy: “Do it when you get a minute”, actually means, “It should have been done already … and without me telling you.”

☎ What’s the weirdest thing your cat has ever done?

Want to be in your own personalized holiday card? You can send your friends a ‘selfie card’ by using this unique generator …

Question: THIS happens more than 1,800 times a year in Las Vegas.
Answer: A convention.

A woman never forgets the men she could have had; a man, the women he couldn’t.

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