December 19, 2014

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Friday, December 19, 2014        Edition: #5364

Can You Believe This Sheet?

★ Well, it seems the cyber-terrorists have won. Not only has the (lame) comedy movie “The Interview” been pulled from theatrical release on Christmas Day, but an upcoming Steve Carell film called “Pyongyang”, also set in North Korea, has been shelved as part of the fall-out. Production on that movie had been slated to begin in March. According to CNBC and CNN, it’s been confirmed that the North Korean government was behind the Guardians of Peace hack attack on Sony Pictures. The “New York Times” reports there are differences of opinion on whether the hackers were aided by Sony insiders.
★ The decision to can “The Interview” has many in Hollywood upset. Filmmaker Judd Apatow tweets: “Will they pull any movie that gets an anonymous threat now? What if an anonymous person got offended by something an executive at Coca-Cola said. Will we all have to stop drinking Coke?”. Actor Rob Lowe, who has a role in “The Interview”, writes on social media: “Wow. Everyone caved. The hackers won. An utter and complete victory for them. Wow.”
★ Mr & Mrs Pitt and Mr & Mrs Clooney have gotten together to celebrate each other’s recent marriages over dinner. The Pitts, who wed in France in August, and the Clooneys, who wed in Venice in September, were unable to attend each other’s nuptials due to their busy schedules. So they’ve gotten together at George Clooney’s Los Angeles mansion, where no expense was spared on the gathering. Clooney reportedly hired the head chef from his favorite restaurant to prepare a spectacular seafood dinner and even had wine shipped in from Brad & Angelina’s vineyard on their Château Miraval estate in the south of France.

• “Canada’s Walk of Fame Gala” (Global) – Tonight the pre-recorded ceremony welcoming 2014 inductees, including classic rockers The Band; hockey player Hayley Wickenheiser; bluesman Jeff Healey; actress Rachel McAdams; and actor Ryan Reynolds.
• “Christmas in Washington 2014” (TNT) – Tonight Aloe Blacc, Christina Perri, Hunter Hayes, and Rita Ora perform in the annual holiday concert.
• “CMA Country Christmas” (ABC) – Saturday a rerun of a 2-hour special taped November 7th at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena, hosted for the 5th consecutive year by Jennifer Nettles (Sugarland). Performers include Alan Jackson, Brad Paisley (w/Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler), Brett Eldredge, Carrie Underwood, Dan + Shay, Hunter Hayes, Little Big Town, and Sara Evans.
• “A Home For the Holidays” (ABC) – Tonight inspirational stories of adoption; performers include Earth, Wind & Fire; Jennifer Hudson; and Train.
• “Jimmy Kimmel Live” (ABC/CityTV) – Tonight  Vintage Trouble (“The Bomb Shelter Sessions”). Rerun.
• “Last Call With Carson Daly” (NBC) – Tonight Le Butcherettes (“Cry Is For the Files”). Rerun.
• “Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson” (CBS/Omni 1) – Tonight Ferguson’s final show after a 10-year run. His replacement, Brit comedian/actor James Corden, won’t start his run until March 9th. Several guest hosts, yet to be named, fill in during January and February.
• “Late Night With Seth Meyers” (NBC/CTV) – Tonight Bob Mould (“Beauty & Ruin”). Rerun.
• “Late Show With David Letterman” (CBS/Omni1) – Tonight Darlene Love brings down the house with her annual rendition of “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)”.
• “MasterChef” (FOX) – Tonight the 2 finalists compete to prepare a 3-course menu; the winner is announced. Rerun.
• “Meredith Vieira Show” (syndicated) – Today Kevin Jonas (ex-Jonas Bros).
• “National Christmas Tree Lighting 2014” (PBS) – Rerun of the December 4th ceremonial lighting of the giant Christmas tree at Presidents Park beside the White House in Washington DC. Tom Hanks & Rita Wilson host; musical guests Chely Wright, Fifth Harmony, Ne-Yo, Nico & Vinz, Patti LaBelle, Steve Miller, and The Tenors.
• “Queen Latifah” (syndicated) – Today Big & Rich (“Gravity”).
• “The Real” (syndicated) – Today Nicki Minaj (“The Pinkprint”).
• “Saturday Night Live” (NBC/Global) – Amy Adams hosts (“Big Eyes”, opening Christmas Day); musical guest One Direction (“Four”).
• “The Talk” (CBS) – Today Trisha Yearwood (“PrizeFighter: Hit After Hit”).
• “Wendy Williams” (syndicated) – Today Mary J Blige (“The London Sessions”).

• The Band Perry – Their Grammy-nominated rendition of “Gentle On My Mind” is the lead single from the soundtrack to the documentary film “Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me”. The John Hartford-penned song was originally a hit for Campbell in 1967.
• Carrie Underwood – Her “Greatest Hits: Decade #1” is #1 on the new ‘Billboard Country Albums’ chart for next week.
• Christina Milian – The Cuban-American singer is thrilled by president Barack Obama’s announcement that he’s working to restore diplomatic ties with Cuba after more than 50 years of embargo. Milian says she hopes to soon visit the land of her ancestors.
• J Cole – He’s atop the new ‘Billboard 200’ with his new album “2014 Forest Hills Drive”.
• Joan Jett & The Blackhearts – The newly-announced Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductees have signed up as the opening act for The Who when they embark on the next leg of their 50th anniversary tour in 2015. The North American trek kicks off April 15th in Tampa FL.
• Kelly Clarkson – Saturday she performs her first annual benefit concert, “Miracle on Broadway”, at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena. Guest performers include her step-mother-in-law Reba McEntire, Garth Brooks & Trisha Yearwood, Ronnie Dunn, Kacey Musgraves, Paramore’s Hayley Williams, Meghan Trainor and others.
• Madonna – Unfinished demos from her upcoming 13th album, tentatively titled “Iconic”, have leaked online. On a track called “Illuminati”, she sings about a secret group that conspiracy theorists believe runs the world. Madonna name-checks those not part of it: ”It’s not Jay Z and Beyoncé; it’s not Oprah and Obama; The Pope, Ariana, Queen Elizabeth or Kanye …”
• Michael Bublé – He’s just wrapped a UK tour this week while battling a heavy head cold, but he says his enthusiastic audiences made it all worthwhile. £1 from every ticket sold in the UK is going to the music therapy charity Nordoff Robbins.
• The 1975 – According to data from music blog SongKick, the Brit indie-rockers are the hardest working band of 2014, performing the most shows and covering the greatest distance between them. The stats: 155,171 miles (249,724 km) traveled, staging a total of 195 concerts (equivalent to 1 gig every 1.8 days).
• Stevie Wonder – The 64-year-old has become a father for the 9th time. He and girlfriend Tomeeka Robyn Bracy have just welcomed a new daughter they’ve named ‘Nia’, his rep has confirmed to “Us Weekly” magazine.

• “Annie” ( PG Musical Comedy ): A foster kid, who lives with her mean foster mom, sees her life change when business tycoon and NYC mayoral candidate ‘Will Stacks’  takes her in. Stars Quvenzhané Wallis (who took over after Willow Smith quit), Cameron Diaz, Jamie Foxx. Latest version of the “Little Orphan Annie” tale that spawned films in 1938, 1982, and 1999.
• “Night At the Museum: Secret Of the Tomb” ( PG Family Adventure ): In this 3rd installment of the franchise, ‘Larry’ (Ben Stiller) circles the globe, uniting favorite and new characters while embarking on an epic quest to ‘save the magic’ before it’s gone forever. Co-stars Dick Van Dyke, Owen Wilson, and the late Robin Williams.
• Opening in limited release: “Goodbye to All That” (Dramedy); and “Mr Turner” (Biographical Drama).

A new study from University College London finds that believing you are younger than you actually are is the key to a long life. Scientists asked study participants how old they felt over an 8-year period and then analyzed their death rates. Results show those who continually say they feel younger than they really are have a better life expectancy. Those who say they feel their age are more likely to die young; and people who feel older than their age are at the greatest risk. So it seems self-perceived age is a quick and easy way to predict longevity. And that may be because feeling young for your age is due to a combination of healthy lifestyle and a greater ‘will to live’. (Fortunately, you eventually forget how old you are. ‘Fess up, how many of you have had to subtract your birth year to figure it out?)

• Actress Halle Berry and singer Adele both admit they have given online dating a try in the past.
– BBC News
• Hillary Clinton’s backstage demands at speaking engagements include diet ginger ale, crudites, humus, and sliced fruit.
– “New York Post”
• Actor Tom Hanks checks into hotels using the name of Scottish music hall singer Harry Lauder as an alias.
– “The Guardian”


1967 [47] Criss Angel (Christopher Sarantakos), NYC, Las Vegas illusionist (“Criss Angel: Believe”)

1972 [42] Alyssa Milano, Brooklyn NY, TV actress (“Mistresses” 2013-14″, “My Name is Earl” 2007-08, “Charmed” 1998-2006)

1980 [34] Jake Gyllenhaal, LA CA, movie actor (“Nightcrawler”, “Brokeback Mountain”)

Rock singer Chris Robinson (Black Crowes) is 48; Movie actor Jonah Hill (“22 Jump Street”) is 31.

Movie actor Samuel L Jackson (“Django Unchained”) is 66; Movie actor Ray Romano (“Ice Age”) is 57; TV actor Kiefer Sutherland (“24”) is 48; Indie rock keyboardist Anna Bulbrook (Airborne Toxic Event) is 32; TV actor Steven Yeun (“The Walking Dead”) is 31.

• “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?
• “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.
• “Oatmeal Muffin Day”, a day to enjoy the cholesterol-lowering benefit of oatmeal in your muffins … then slather on the butter.
• “Underdog Day”, the 38th annual on the 3rd Friday in December saluting all underdogs and unsung heroes, the ‘Number Twos’ who contribute so much to the ‘Number Ones’ that we always hear about: Sherlock Holmes’ Dr Watson, Robinson Crusoe’s Friday, Captain Kirk’s Mr Spock, etc. Ask listeners for other followers who’ve been under-appreciated.

• “Go Caroling Day”, a day to get together and sing out with friends, family, or a singing group. Nursing homes, hospitals and other places often welcome carolers if you call ahead.
• “International Human Solidarity Day”, a UN observance since 2005 to remind us of the importance of solidarity and the spirit of sharing in combatting poverty worldwide.
• “Sangria Day”, a day to put a little olé in your life with the traditional fruity wine punch named for the Spanish word ‘sangre’, which means ‘blood’.

• “Crossword Puzzle Day”, celebrating the 101st anniversary of the first ‘Crossword Puzzle’ being published in the “New York World” (1913). Arthur Wynne devised what he called a ‘Word-Cross’ for the Christmas edition, having no idea he would be starting a worldwide craze. See if you can solve that crude 1st puzzle here …
• “Homeless Persons Memorial Day”, observed since 1990 to bring attention to the tragedy of homelessness and to remember those who have paid the ultimate price for living on the street.
• “Humbug Day”, when 12 ‘humbugs’ are allowed to be uttered in order to vent the frustrations of preparing for the holidays.
• “Winter Solstice” as Winter officially arrives at 6:03 pm EST. That makes this day the shortest of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. In conjunction, it’s “Flashlight Day”, a tongue-in-cheek commemoration of the longest night; “Mumping Day” in England, traditionally when the poor go door-to-door begging for food; and in the Wicca religion it’s “Yule”, marking the Sun-God’s rebirth from the Earth Goddess (source of the ‘yule log’).

1997 [17] “Titanic”, starring Leonardo Dicaprio & Kate Winslet, opens in movie theaters (eventually grosses over $2.1 billion worldwide, now ranking #2 all-time)

2001 [13] “The Lord Of the Rings: The Fellowship Of the Ring” opens in movie theaters (the 1st of the mega-successful trilogy)

2005 [09] Elton John turns down a proposed offer near $6 million to secure TV rights to his civil union to David Furnish (their rep has just confirmed they will tie the knot for a 2nd time this weekend, now that same-sex marriage – as opposed to ‘civil union’ – is legal in Britain)

1917 [97] 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 [92] 24-year-old Theresa Vaughn is tried for bigamy in England after it’s found she has accumulated 62 husbands … in just 5 years

[Mon] Haiku Poetry Day
[Tues] “One Direction: The TV Special” (NBC)
[Wed] Christmas Eve
[Wed] Egg Nog Day
[Thurs] Christmas Day
[Thurs] “Big Eyes”; “The Gambler”; “Into the Woods”; “Unbroken” open in movie theaters
This Week Is … Christmas Bird Count Week
This Month Is … Winter Squash Month


✓ Your BS meter is finely tuned.
✓ Every once in a while someone says they’re going to the bathroom and you reply, “Sit down.”
✓ Every day around 3 pm you feel a sense of relief.
✓ You have an uncanny ability to know what’s going on behind you.
✓ When people are being rowdy you can silence them with just a look.
✓ You can hold your bladder for a long, long time.
✓ Your handwriting is on point.
✓ You still sort of worry about running into a parent or student when buying alcohol.
✓ You think twice before posting anything personal online.
✓ And nothing makes you feel as old as seeing how grown-up the kids you taught have become. (Or prouder.)
– Adapted from

☎ What is the ‘most Christmas’ book of all-time? “A Christmas Carol”? “A Child’s Christmas in Wales”? “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”? “Twas the Night Before Christmas”?

Can you name the Christmas song titles based on the overly verbose descriptions?
• Apply ornamental decorative items to the house’s connective passageways. [“Deck the Halls”]
• To make clinking or tinkling sounds using hollow objects that sound a clear musical note when struck, typically by means of a clapper inside. [“Jingle Bells”]
• My parent’s mother was involved in an unexpected trampling incident with an antlered creature of the genus Rangifer. [“Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer”]
• I witnessed with my own eyes my maternal parent engaged in an embrace with an overweight bearded man in a red snowsuit. [“I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus”]
• Hollow objects having the shape of a deep inverted cup that widens at the lip, made from a white, ductile metallic element with the atomic symbol of Ag. [“Silver Bells”]
• The only thing I desire to acquire on the 25th of December is a pair of processes attached to the forward section my jaw serving for the prehension and mastication of food. [“All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth”]

What was Whitney Houston’s favorite kind of co-ordination? Haaaannnnd eeeyyyeeee …

Question: The typical woman experiences THIS for the first time at age 33.
Answer: Grey hair.

A rental car is the only true ‘all terrain vehicle’.

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