Tuesday, December 21, 2010       Edition: #4412
Get Sheet-Faced Every Morning!

Music mogul Simon Cowell has surprised the judges of his UK talent show “X Factor” (Cheryl Cole, Dannii Minogue, Louis Walsh) by giving them $4,500-worth of Botox each as a Christmas present (is that some kind of slam?) . . . 30-year-old actor Jake Gyllenhaal (“Love & Other Drugs”) has felt compelled to inform us he refuses to wear underwear when filming movie sex scenes (Taylor Swift must be proud!) . . . Michelle Obama has apparently become the only US first lady to ever wear a second-hand gown for an official engagement, donning a vintage black lace outfit by late designer Norman Norell to the “Christmas in Washington” concert (but odds are she didn’t get it at Value Village) . . . Rotund 5’-6” movie actor Jack Black (“Gulliver’s Travels”, opening Christmas Day) says he’s made a resolution to drop 50 lbs in the new year through dieting and exercise (Quote: “Push-ups, sit-ups, and a strict diet of raisins – that’s my plan”) . . . Seems actress Cameron Diaz & NY Yankees star Alex ‘A-Rod’ Rodriguez are a solid couple again as they’re spending a Christmas vacation together in Mexico and he’s brought along his daughters (“Say hello to Auntie Cam, girls”) . . . And actress Gwyneth Paltrow claims her children (via Coldplay frontman Chris Martin) had no idea until recently that she’s a movie star, instead having the mistaken impression that she’s a singer (just like mom).

• “Conan” (TBS/CTV) – Los Lobos (“Tin Can Trust”).
• “Glee” (FOX/Global) – Rerun of the holiday episode “A Very Glee Christmas”.
• “Jimmy Kimmel Live” (ABC/CityTV) – Social Distortion (“Hard Times & Nursery Rhymes”, out January 18th).
• “Last Call With Carson Daly” (NBC) – Alberta Cross (“Broken Side of Time”).
• “Late Show With David Letterman” (CBS/Omni) – Jamie Foxx (“Best Night Of My Life”, released today, featuring cameos from Drake, Justin Timberlake, Ludacris, Rick Ross, TI).
• “Live With Regis & Kelly” (syndicated/CTV) – Katharine McPhee (“Christmas Is the Time to Say I Love You”).
• “Lopez Tonight” (TBS) – Bettye LaVette (“Interpretations: The British Rock Songbook”).
• “Saturday Night Live Presents: A Very Gilly Christmas” (NBC/Global) – Holiday sketches from past years; ‘Gilly’ (Kristen Wiig) also appears in new sketches.
• “Tavis Smiley” (PBS) – Legendary singer/songwriter Patti Smith.
• “Tonight Show With Jay Leno” (NBC/A Channel) – Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings (“I Learned The Hard Way”).

• Katy Perry – Her new hubby Russell Brand has confirmed they’ll definitely be buying Christmas presents for their 3 cats: Krusty, Morrissey, and … Kitty Purry.
• Keri Hilson – Today she releases the new album “No Boys Allowed”, featuring collaborations with Chris Brown, Kanye West, Rick Ross, and Timbaland.
• Lady Gaga – Her Sunday show in Paris, France that had to be scrapped due to a snowstorm is rescheduled for tonight.
• Lee Brice – His “Love Like Crazy” is 2010’s ‘Most-Heard Country Song’. It remained atop the “Billboard” country chart for 56 weeks, longer than any other single … ever.
• Madonna – She’s angered fellow airline passengers after demanding to be let off an aircraft grounded by snow at London’s Stansted Airport 2 hours before anyone else. A special bus was ordered in to allow her and her party of about 15 to vacate the plane.
• Michael Jackson – Property owner Colony Capital wants to turn his now vacant 2,800-acre Neverland ranch into a music school for talented youngsters. First the company needs approval from Santa Barbara County and permission from Michael’s estate to use his name.
• Muse – They’ve infuriated concert organizers in Melbourne, Australia by ignoring a smoking ban and puffing away on cigarettes onstage during their show.
• Paramore – Hayley Williams, Jeremy Davis, and Taylor York have became a trio after fellow founding members Josh & Zac Farro have left the Grammy-nominated group to ‘pursue other ventures’.
• Rascal Flatts – Word has it they’ll spend a few days next Spring shooting part of a miniseries based on a Civil War battle. The group has some acting experience, previously appearing in an episode of “CSI” (CBS).

• “Devil” ( PG-13 Thriller ): The latest from M Night Shyamalan (in writer/producer mode this time) concerns a group of people trapped in an elevator who begin to realize that the Devil is among them. Stars Chris Messina (“Julie & Julia”) and Caroline Dhavernas (“Passchendaele”).
• “Easy A” ( PG-13 Romantic Comedy ): Emma Stone stars as a clean-cut high school student who relies on her school’s rumor mill to advance her social and financial standing, an idea she got from studying “The Scarlet Letter”. Co-stars Amanda Bynes, Penn Badgley, Lisa Kudrow.
• “Salt” ( PG-13 Action Thriller ): Angelina Jolie stars as CIA officer ‘Evelyn Salt’, who is accused of being a spy by a Russian defector. She goes on the run, putting all of her experience and skills to use to elude capture, learn the truth of her identity, and hopefully clear her name.
• “Step Up 3-D” ( PG-13 Musical Drama ) – The kids from the Maryland School Of the Arts head to Paris for an international dance competition. When ‘Moose’ (Adam Sevani) misses the flight home, he gets involved in that city’s underground dance scene, which is staging its own contest.
• “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps” ( PG-13 Drama ): In director Oliver Stone’s follow-up, ‘Gordon Gekko’ (Michael Douglas, reprising his Oscar-winning role from the 1987 film) is fresh out of prison and hopes to redeem himself. Co-stars Shia LaBeouf, Josh Brolin, Carey Mulligan.
• Also released today: “The Andy Griffith Show: 50th Anniversary – The Best of Mayberry” (Vintage TV); “Family Guy: It’s A Trap!” (Animated TV); “Futurama: Volume 5” (Animated TV); “The Rita Hayworth Film Collection” (Compilation); and “The Secret Life Of the American Teenager: Volume 5” (TV).

For the equivalent of about $18, Ukrainian event-planning firm ‘Kind Fairy’ will provide you with a drinking buddy, thereby guaranteeing an evening of good conversation and revelry. The company first began offering buddies for hire last December, and the service quickly became one of its most popular. Virtually all of the rental friends are talented in some way, whether it’s singing, playing the guitar, or reciting poetry. The service is touted as an affordable solution to those who find themselves feeling glum around the holidays. (Cheaper than a real friend?)
– Agence France-Presse

A little indulgence with fruitcake and stuffed turkey is fine for human beings during the holidays but can be life-threatening for household pets. Australian veterinarian Mark Lawrie warns that pet owners could find themselves with an emergency on their hands if they feed their animals human treats. He says that feeding fatty meats to cats and dogs can induce painful pancreatitis, chocolate can be toxic, and onions can cause red blood cells to burst. (In humans, all this excess just induces slumping on the sofa.)
– ANI Science & Health

Office environments for white-collar workers are shrinking, propelled by new technology, changing corporate culture, and the age-old urge to save a buck. In the 1970s, corporations typically thought they needed 500-to-700 square feet per employee to build an effective office. Today’s average is a little more than 200 square feet per person, and observers think the space allocation could shrink to a mere 50 square feet by 2015. (The custodian’s closet will seem roomy.)
– LATimes.com

A BS breakdown of who we are and what we do …
• 85% of centenarians – people 100 years of age or older – are female.
• 46% women say that getting a re-gifted gift would offend them.
• 38% of us say mornings are the best time for making love.
• 33% of men say they won’t lift a finger in the kitchen to help with Christmas dinner due to ‘complicated recipes and previous failures’.
• 16% of couples have had a huge fight over gifts that were clearly for ‘him’.
• 10% of us do not have a microwave.

A year from now – on December 21, 2012 – the ancient Mayan calendar purportedly comes to an end. Australian researcher Robert Bast believes the Mayans had the ability to scientifically predict a major cataclysmic event, such as a polar ice shift or a movement of Earth’s magnetic poles. Some believe the end date forecasts some enormous calamity that will cause the end of the world. (Our take on the whole issue is … the ancient Mayans ran out of writing space.)
– “Fortean Times”

• ‘Color Changing Umbrella’ – Wow, it changes colors when wet! ($40.75)
• ‘Eggnog Soap’ – An aromatic cleaning agent for both hands and body. ($4.48)
• ‘Foot Cozy Heated Slippers’ – Toss ‘em in the microwave and enjoy the comfort of an enveloping warmth combined with the scent of cinnamon, clove, and eucalyptus. ($46.47)
• ‘Giant Post-Its’ – Jumbo Post-It Notes that are about 1-ft square ($9.99)
• ‘Video Fireplace’ – “Ambient Fire: The Ultimate Video Fireplace” DVD ($13.49).
– Oddee.com

Neuro-scientists at Britain’s Cambridge University say the human brain can learn a new word in less than 15 minutes, if the word is listened to 160 times over that period. After that, the brain will have formed a whole new network of neurons specifically tasked with remembering that word. It’s thought the process could be useful in learning foreign languages. (Or torturing political prisoners until they scream in agony.)
– Telegraph.co.uk

According to new research, women who take birth control pills have been found to be more aggressive and jealous.
– Gather.com


1937 [73] Jane Fonda, NYC, movie actress (“Monster-in-Law”)/2 Academy Awards (“Coming Home” 1978, “Klute” 1971)/ex-Mrs Ted Turner 1991-2001

1948 [62] Samuel L Jackson, Washington DC, movie actor (“Iron Man” movies, “Pulp Fiction”)

1957 [53] Ray Romano, Queens NY, movie actor (“Ice Age” movies)/TV sitcom actor (“Everybody Loves Raymond” 1996-2005)

1965 [45] Andy Dick, Charleston SC, pseudo-comedian/TV personality (“Celebrity Rehab with Dr Drew”)/sometime movie actor (“Blonde Ambition”, “Employee Of the Month”)

1966 [44] Kiefer Sutherland, London UK, TV actor (‘Jack Bauer’ on “24” 2001-10)/movie actor (“The Wild”, “A Few Good Men”)/actor Donald Sutherland’s son/grandson of former Saskatchewan premier and 1st federal NDP leader Tommy Douglas

• “Cold Moon”, the Full Moon of December, which this year coincides with a total “Lunar Eclipse”, fully visible in the wee hours this morning throughout North & South America and partially visible in western Europe and western Asia.
NET: http://bit.ly/92pq9D

• “Forefathers Day”, a New England celebration on the anniversary of William Bradford and the Mayflower Pilgrims landing at Plymouth Rock in 1620 in what would become the United States.

• “Global Orgasm for World Peace”, the 5th annual attempt to join the world’s citizens in a simultaneous orgasm combined with thoughts of peace and love for all humanity. This solstice synchronized celebration was initiated by a pair of San Francisco CA peace activists wishing to ‘effect change in the energy field of the Earth through input of the largest possible surge of human energy’.
NET: http://globalorgasm.org

• “Humbug Day”, when 12 ‘humbugs’ are allowed to be uttered in order to vent the frustrations of preparing for the holidays.

• “Winter Solstice”, the shortest day of the year (except in the Southern Hemisphere, where Summer begins). Winter officially arrives at 6:38 pm EST. The solstice is celebrated in many ways …
– “National Flashlight Day”, a tongue-in-cheek commemoration of the year’s longest night.
– “Mumping Day” in England, traditionally when the poor go house-to-house begging for food.
– In the Wicca religion it’s “Yule”, marking the death of the Sun-God and his rebirth from the Earth Goddess. (Source of ‘Yule log’.)
– Iranians celebrate with “Yalda”, when fires and lights are lit and families stay up all night to help the Sun battle against darkness.
– The annual “Yukon International Storytellers Festival” features all-night music and stories in Whitehorse, Yukon.

1937 [73] Disney’s “Snow White & The Seven Dwarfs” premieres, the first full-length animated movie

1913 [97] 1st ‘Crossword Puzzle’, printed in “New York World” (Arthur Wynne devises what he calls a ‘Word-Cross’ for the Christmas edition, having no idea he would be starting a worldwide craze)

1995 [15] The city of Bethlehem passes from Israeli to Palestinian control

[Wed] Haiku Poetry Day
[Wed] Re-gifting Day
[Wed] “Country Strong”; “Little Fockers”; “True Grit” open in movie theaters
[Thurs] Roots Day
[Fri] Christmas Eve
[Sat] Christmas Day
This Week Is … Halcyon Days
This Month Is … Colorectal Cancer Education & Awareness Month


• “Rush Limbaugh reads Johnny Tremain: An Audiobook”.
• The Ann Coulter halter-top.
• “Fili-Busterz”, a winner-take-all quiz game for the whole family.
• The “Grand Old Party” elephant tea cozy.
• “Mama Grizzly ‘n Me” matching rifle sight and make-up mirror set.
• “Palin-Libs”, a fun, fill-in-the-fake-word game for childerns.
– Thanks to Shannon Woodward

Who is the ‘It’ girl of 2010? Lea Michele? Lady Gaga? Ke$ha? Willow Smith?

I’m all ready for Christmas. I took my bathroom scales in for a tune-up.

Which would you get if you boiled blueberries in milk?
b) Grey paint. [CORRECT. Early settlers used it as a primitive method for making it.]
c) Health food for your cat.
c. An upset stomach.
– HaLife.com

Today’s Question: You can see THIS on TV more than 300 times each year.
Answer to Give Out Next Show: The seasonal movie classic “It’s a Wonderful Life”.

Nothing looks as good close-up as it does from far away.

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