Thursday, December 19, 2013        Edition: #5127

Can You Believe This Sheet?

“The Bull Sheet” is on holiday hiatus from December 25th through January 3rd inclusive. Subscribers will receive credits for missed service days. If you’ve received an expiry notice, be sure to get your renewal in to ensure “BS” service in the new year.

★ Jailed Pussy Riot members Nadezhda Tolokonnikova & Maria Alekhina are set to be freed within 2 weeks. The women, serving 2-year sentences for staging a protest, are included on a list of Russian convicts who will be released before New Year’s Day under an approved presidential amnesty. The ‘show of compassion’ is to mark the 20th anniversary of the Constitution of the Russian Federation. In all, 3 members of the punk collective were jailed last year. The 3rd, Yekaterina Samutsevich, was freed in October.
★ Hard to believe after all his Twitter rants, but this week Charlie Sheen has been granted visitation rights with his 4-year-old twin sons Bob & Max after a bitter custody battle with ex-wife Brooke Mueller. A California judge has granted Sheen two 120-minute monitored visits a week and, providing he receives good reviews from the LA County Department of Child & Family Services, the “Anger Management” actor’s time with the boys will be gradually increased until the parents are sharing custody equally.
★UK advocacy group Fathers4Justice, which campaigns for custodial rights for dads, has launched a new poster featuring actress Kate Winslet’s face alongside the caption, “Kate, every child deserves a father this Christmas.” The ad refers to her controversial quotes in which she brags that her kids don’t go back-and-forth between her and their dads, they live with her full time. Winslet has a 9-year-old son via ex-hubby Sam Mendes, a 13-year-old daughter from her other ex, Jim Threapleton, and recently gave birth to a son via her 3rd husband Ned Rocknroll.
– “Daily Mirror”
★ And devotees of Stieg Larsson’s “Millennium” trilogy of novels (“The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo”, etc) will be thrilled to hear there’s a 4th instalment on the way. David Lagercrantz is taking over from the late author who was already working on a 4th book before his untimely death at age 50. The new book will also revolve around the characters ‘Lisbeth Salander’ and ‘Mikael Blomqvist’ and will continue with the themes of murder, secrets, and corruption. The as-yet-untitled new tome is set for publication in August 2015.

• “Arsenio Hall” (syndicated) – Chance the Rapper (w/Justin Bieber-“Journals”); TNT (“A Farewell to Arms”).
• “Chelsea Lately” (E!) – Sara Bareilles (“The Blessed Unrest”).
• “Colbert Report” (Comedy Central/CTV) – Blind Boys of Alabama (“Go Tell It On the Mountain”).
• “Conan” (TBS/CTV) – Young the Giant (“Young the Giant”).
• “Ellen DeGeneres Show” (syndicated/CTV2) – Mary J Blige (“A Mary Christmas”).
• “Jimmy Kimmel Live” (ABC/CityTV) – Christopher Cross (“Christopher Cross Christmas”).
• “Last Call With Carson Daly” (NBC) – Two Door Cinema Club (“Beacon”). Rerun.
• “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon” (NBC/CTV2) – Avett Bros (“Magpie & The Dandelion”). Rerun.
• “Late Show With David Letterman” (CBS/NTV/Omni1) – Nashville-based indie/Americana duo The St Johns (“Open Water”).
• “Saturday Night Live” (NBC/Global) – Rerun of a special featuring a compilation of popular holiday season sketches from over the years.
• “The Sing-Off” (NBC) – The groups perform songs chosen by the judges.
• “The Talk” (CBS) – Joan Jett (“Sinner”).
• “Tonight Show With Jay Leno” (NBC/CTV2) – Libera (“The Christmas Album”).
• “The X Factor” (FOX/CTV2) – In part 2 of the 3rd season finalé Leona Lewis, Mary J Blige, and  One Direction perform; Mario Lopez announces the winner.
• “The Year” (ABC) – 2-hour special with celebrities, newsmakers, and special guests reflecting on the events of 2013.

• Britney Spears – British TV show “Surprise Surprise”, which shocks members of the public by making their dreams come true, recruited her to meet a fan at London’s Savoy Hotel. While being treated to tea & scones, the young lad was left speechless when he realized the ‘waitress’ was actually Britney in disguise.
• Chris Brown – His probation relating to his 2009 assault on then-girlfriend Rihanna has been revoked due to his October arrest in Washington DC for punching a man. However, he has not been ordered back to jail for now because the judge is ‘pleased’ with his progress at an LA rehab facility. He’s due back in court for another hearing on February 10th.
• Dwight Yoakam – He was recently involved in a mid-air scare when the plane he was traveling on began billowing smoke. The twin-engine Hawker 800 landed safely at Van Nuys Airport in LA where a fire crew discovered the engine was indeed smoking, but not on fire. Yoakam was returning from a gig in Canada’s Northwest Territories.
• Paul McCartney – His ex-wife Heather Mills has abandoned her efforts to compete in the upcoming 2014 Winter Paralympic Games in Sochi, Russia after officials ruled she did not adhere to equipment guidelines. Mills claims the required equipment causes discomfort.
• Rihanna – There’s further speculation she’s dating rapper A$AP Rocky (Rakim Mayers) after they were spotted together this week at NYC members-only club Soho House. The pair were first romantically linked after sharing a kiss in his video “Fashion Killer”.

A BS selections of movies in the making …
• “Blended” – Adam Sandler & Drew Barrymore (“50 First Dates”, “The Wedding Singer”) have made another rom-com together. The story centers on 2 single parents who, following a disastrous first date, end up both booking trips for their respective families in Africa. When the 2 families are forced to spend their vacation together, hijinks ensue. The film opens May 23rd.
• “Descendants” – Filmmaker Kenny Ortega is directing the 1st-ever live-action film for the Disney Channel. It will feature the children of infamous Disney villains ‘Cruella De Vil’, ‘Maleficent’, and “Aladdin’s” ‘Jafar’, as well as the offspring of ‘Fairy Godmother’, ‘Sleeping Beauty’, ‘Rapunzel’, and ‘Mulan’. Casting is underway and production begins in the Spring.
• “Fairyland” – 42-year-old Sofia Coppola is producing and co-writing the screen adaptation of Alysia Abbott’s memoir, “Fairyland: A Memoir of My Father”. The story follows the life of Steve Abbott, a widowed poet and gay activist in 1970s San Francisco CA, who eventually died from AIDS. The book was published in June.
• “Murder On the Orient Express” – Ridley Scott is producing a new screen adaptation of Agatha Christie’s classic murder mystery novel. The 1934 book features Christie’s famous detective ‘Hercule Poirot’ investigating the death of a passenger on a train departing from Istanbul. The classic tale has previously been adapted for film and TV several times.
• “Sandman” – Writer-director David Goyer (“Man of Steel”) is preparing the screenplay for Neil Gaiman’s classic 1989-96 Vertigo comic. Joseph Gordon-Levitt will star and direct the film for Warner Bros. The dark fantasy revolves around ‘Dream’, who presides over the world of dreams, and his siblings ‘Destiny’, ‘Death’, ‘Destruction’, ‘Despair’, ‘Desire’, and ‘Delirium’.

You may be tired of hearing play-by-play people regurgitate them, but that doesn’t make some sports clichés any less true. A few science-backed platitudes that actually check out …
✓ “Victory tastes sweeter after a bitter defeat” – A UBC study has found that surviving a past hardship increases a person’s ability to enjoy better times by up to 15%.
✓ “This guy’s a born leader” – University College London research has uncovered a ‘leadership gene’ that they say is responsible for roughly 25% of a person’s take-charge capability.
✓ “Practice makes perfect” – You actually do learn from your mistakes. University of Exeter has found that your brain sends out a ‘warning signal’ before you’re about to repeat a past mistake.
✓ “There’s no place like home” – Northeastern University stats show that teams playing at home win more than 60% of the time. Familiarity and fans explain the ‘home-field advantage’.
– Condensed from

Low on internal specifications but high on affordability, the UbiSlate 7Ci is the world’s first sub-$40 Android tablet. Datawind’s low-end device was originally designed to bring Internet and personal computing access to India. It was focused on affordability and accessibility rather than internal specifications. It has just 4GB of internal storage but comes with a host of pre-installed education, entertainment, gaming, and productivity apps. And it only costs $37.99. An upgraded $99.99-version offers voice-calling and a 1-year unlimited basic mobile Internet connection. (And you paid how much for your iPad?)
– Agence France-Presse

Some companies will stop at nothing when it comes to encouraging creativity. A few examples (and the company that has initiated them) …
• A treehouse, encouraging employees to think like the customers … children. (Mind Candy)
• Disco tunnel instead of a corridor. Get your groove on with music & lights. (Karmarama)
• Grass floor, albeit fake sod, but still park-like. (Innocent Drinks)
• Indoor sky, or at least an eye-catching mural of one on the ceiling. (Virgin Money)
• Padded cell. Perfect place to go when you just want to scream and bang your head against the wall. (Wieden & Kennedy)
• A slide from one floor down to the next. Taking the stairs is so old school, no? (Ticketmaster)
• Chalkboard wall, regularly updated with product news and invitations to social events. (Badoo)
So what would inspire you at the office?
– BBC News Magazine

A new Gallup poll of more than 5,000 adults has found that 58% believe a young mom (25 or younger) is the best mom. Men, on the other hand, are considered ideal fatherhood material slightly later, at age 26 or older. While it’s often said that a woman’s fertility peaks in her 20s, recent research suggests that window is longer than we thought – and that the biggest drop-off in fertility may be after age 40. (Which means that there’s still time to get an advanced degree, build a career, or just get some life experience. So don’t let anyone rush you.)

For the general population, taking a daily multivitamin won’t really do anything, according to a pair of new studies. It seems we have been led to believe that vitamin supplements are a magic pill, but such a pill simply doesn’t exist. So what’s good for you? One researcher recommends that people should be active, should not overeat, should not have excessive alcohol, and … should not be spending money on vitamins & minerals. (Exercise, eat right, and curb your drinking … now THAT’S a bitter pill to swallow.)
– Reuters Health

• 90% of guns in Mexico are smuggled in from the USA.
– “QI”
• 20% of the music tracks on Spotify have never been played … not even once.


1967 [46] Criss Angel (Christopher Sarantakos), NYC, Las Vegas illusionist (“Criss Angel Believe”)

1972 [41] Alyssa Milano, Brooklyn NY, TV actress (“Mistresses” 2013, “Project Runway: All Stars” 2013, “My Name is Earl” 2007-08, “Charmed” 1998-2006)

1980 [33] Jake Gyllenhaal, LA CA, movie actor (“Source Code”, “Brokeback Mountain”)

• “Build a Snowman Day”. If the weather doesn’t cooperate, you can always make snowmen out of paper or marshmallows and toothpicks or maybe … mashed potatoes and raisins?

• “I’ve Got My Big Fat Guy Pants On Day”, a day to wear anything you want as long as it’s comfortable and roomy. (Wouldn’t this be more useful about a week from now?)

• “Look For an Evergreen Day”, a day saluting people for whom only a fresh-cut real tree will do for Christmas. For them, the scent of fresh pine helps to capture the feeling of the holidays.

•”Re-gifting Day”, observed annually on the Thursday before Christmas in an attempt to be environmentally-friendly and make life a little easier. It’s a day to decide which unwanted presents can be useful to someone else and then passed along.

1997 [16] “Titanic”, starring Leonardo Dicaprio & Kate Winslet, opens in movie theaters (eventually grosses over $2.1 billion worldwide, now ranking #2 all-time)

2001 [12] “The Lord Of the Rings: The Fellowship Of the Ring” opens in movie theaters (the 1st of the mega-successful trilogy)

2005 [08] Elton John turns down a proposed offer near $6 million to secure TV rights to his civil union to David Furnish

1843 [170] “A Christmas Carol”, a novella by English author Charles Dickens, is 1st published and immediately sells out (various dates are listed; this one is the most likely)

1917 [96] 1st ‘National Hockey League’ games played (5,500 fans watch Montréal Canadiens beat Ottawa Senators 7-4, while 700 soldiers get in free to see Montréal Wanderers defeat Toronto Arenas 10-9)

1922 [91] 24-year-old Theresa Vaughn is tried for bigamy in England after it’s found she has accumulated 62 husbands … in just 5 years

[Fri] “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues”; “Walking With Dinosaurs” open in movie theaters
[Fri] Sangria Day
[Fri] Underdog Day
[Sat] 1st Day of Winter
[Sat] Crossword Puzzle Day
[Sat] Humbug Day
This Week Is … Christmas Bird Count Week
This Month Is … Winter Squash Month


The new book “Adulting: How to Become a Grown-up in 468 Easy(ish) Steps” by Kelly Williams Brown offers tips on acting like a ‘big’ person. But how do you know when it’s time?
● When the bills arrive addressed to you.
● When your bank account doesn’t show a deposit until you personally put something in it.
● When you quit trying to hold your stomach in, no matter who walks into the room.
● When you find yourself feeling really proud of your lawnmower (snowblower).
● When you can go to a fast-food restaurant any time you want … and you don’t.
● When you constantly talk about the price of gasoline.
● When you know what the word ‘equity’ means.
● When you can go bowling without drinking.
● When the voice that wakes you up in the morning isn’t your mom’s … it’s mine.

☎ Is it better to be honest or kind? Why?

In the Ukraine, what does it mean if you find a spider web in the house on Christmas morning?
a. Good luck. [CORRECT. An artificial spider and web are often included in the decorations on Ukrainian Christmas trees. The tradition comes from an old folk tale.]
b. Misfortune will strike in the coming year.
c. The Winter will be unusually cold.
d. Your house needs cleaning!

I stayed up all night playing poker with Tarot cards. I got a full house and 5 people died.

Question: 1-in-4 single people surveyed expect to do THIS during the holiday season.
Answer: Have sex with an ex.

If you plan to leave your mark in the sands of time, you better wear work boots.

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