Thursday, December 23, 2010        Edition: #4414
Jingle Bull … Jingle Bull …

Simon Cowell’s US version of “X Factor” (coming next Fall to FOX) has just signed a $55-million sponsorship deal with Pepsi, whereby he & fellow judges will be seen drinking it during the show and in behind-the-scenes footage (just like this show – we get a free coffee once a week if we fill our punch card) . . . Dawn Holland, the female staffer at the Betty Ford Center whom Lindsay Lohan is accusing of misdemeanor battery, has been dismissed – but not for any alleged assault, rather for talking to the media about the incident (just 2 weeks to go, and Lohan screws up again!) . . . “Glee” actress Heather Morris (dim-witted cheerleader ‘Brittany’) is reportedly being considered for the upcoming “Buffy the Vampire” movie remake (uh, this is a speaking role, no?) . . . 34-year-old actor Ryan Reynolds is said to be ‘beyond sad & depressed’ and reportedly told co-workers on the “Green Lantern” set his now estranged 26-year-old actress-wife Scarlett Johansson ‘treated him badly’ – way back in the Spring (seems the titles ‘Sexiest Man Alive’ & ‘Babe Of the Year’ do nothing for a marriage) . . . Meantime, 46-year-old actress Sandra Bullock’s people are denying reports she’s been enjoying ‘date nights’ with Reynolds following his split from Johansson, insisting “The Proposal” co-stars are ‘nothing except friends’ (BS translation: Friends – with benefits) . . . Movie actress Anne Hathaway (“Love & Other Drugs”) has taken her 2-year relationship with actor Adam Shulman (“Dukes of Hazzard: The Beginning”) to the next level, moving in with him at his Brooklyn NY apartment (couldn’t do that with her ex, Raffaello Follieri, as he ended up in the slammer!) . . . Actress Taylor Momsen (“Gossip Girl”) has been dumped by IMG modeling agency, while actress Dakota Fanning (“Twilight Saga”) has been picked up (seems there’s more demand for sweet & innocent than scary & vulgar) . . . “Avatar” is the most-pirated film of the year according to newly-released data (16.6 million illegal downloads), followed by “Kick-Ass” (11.4 million) . . . 32-year-old actress Ginnifer Goodwin (‘Margene Heffman’ on HBO’s “Big Love”) has admitted that she’s been on the Weight Watchers diet since – age 9 (how sad) . . . And Dr Drew Pinsky, whose new show “Dr Drew” premieres on HLN (Headline News) in the Spring, is predicting that Hollywood superstars Brad Pitt & Angelina Jolie are headed for an epic breakup (a forecast based on the fact that – he has a new show debuting in the Spring).

• “Ellen DeGeneres Show” (syndicated/A Channel) – Mariah Carey (“Merry Christmas II You”); Willow Smith (“Whip My Hair”).
• “Jimmy Kimmel Live” (ABC/CityTV) – Darius Rucker (“Charleston SC 1966”).
• “Last Call With Carson Daly” (NBC) – Kate Nash (“My Best Friend Is You”).
• “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon” (NBC/A Channel) – Aaron Neville (“Bring It Home: The Soul Classics”).
• “Late Show With David Letterman” (CBS/Omni) – Darlene Love (“It’s Christmas Of Course”).
• “Live With Regis & Kelly” (syndicated/CTV) – Enrique Iglesias (“Euphoria”).
• “Lopez Tonight” (TBS) – Filter (“The Trouble with Angels”).
• “The View” (ABC/CTV) – Jane Lynch (“Glee”).

• Big & Rich – What started as a surprise musical appearance on “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon” last week has turned into a popular iTunes download for John Rich and Fallon … the festive seasonal duet “Drunk on Christmas”.
• 50 Cent – After 2 burglars broke into his enormous Farmington CT mansion, cops were tipped off by the security system and found one of them slumped in a closet drinking Fiddy’s wine and the other hiding in another of the 52 rooms. Both were discovered to be in possession of pot.
• Jonas Bros – Joe Jonas has been spotted shopping at an upscale jewelry store. Could he be planning a Christmas proposal for girlfriend Ashley Greene (“Twilight Saga”)?
• Lady Gaga – She’s become even more paranoid of stalkers after a female fan used fake backstage passes to sneak through strict security in a bid to meet her at London’s O2 Arena.
The woman was finally caught by management as she made her way toward the dressing room, according to Britain’s “Daily Mirror”.
• Lil Wayne – He’s just sprung for the $11,000 cost of a special wheelchair for a fan’s disabled mother. Good PR move for a guy that’s spent a lot of time in the slammer recently.

• Baoding, China – A cow that’s grown a horn in the center of its forehead has become a local tourist attraction. Farmer Jia Kebing says he noticed a small bump on his bovine’s forehead when it was born 2 years ago but didn’t expect it to grow into an 8-inch (20-cm) horn. Now his farm is famous for having a ‘unicow’ and people are streaming in from all over just to see it.
• Fukuoka, Japan – A woman is suing Google for $7,000, claiming her obsessive-compulsive disorder has become much worse as a result of Google Street View capturing images of … her underwear hanging out to dry. Google has apparently removed the image since, but the woman insists the embarrassment of her undies being available for the whole wired world to see is still affecting her, causing her to lose her job and change her place of residence.
– “Daily Telegraph”
• Melksham, England – A 47-year-old man who’s become famous for celebrating Christmas every day for the past 17 years (and 6,000 Christmas dinners) is now planning to marry … his Christmas tree. Divorcee Andy Park (aka ‘Mr Christmas’) has already bought an engagement ring though he’s unsure which branch he’ll hang it on. His biggest problem is finding someone to perform the ceremony. For the record, he & his artificial tree have know each other for 2 years.
– “The Sun”

A trio of medical experts at Hillerod Hospital in Denmark have initiated a scientific study to determine if the old Danish myth is true, that you can get drunk by immersing your feet in alcohol. To do so, they soaked their feet in a washtub containing 3 bottles of vodka for 3 hours. They measured blood alcohol content every half-hour and rated themselves on a scale of 0-to-10 on self-confidence, urge to speak, and the number of times they desired spontaneous hugs. The result … absolutely no evidence of alcohol absorption whatsoever. (But their soles are really sanitary.)
– “Los Angeles Times”

A new University of Michigan study confirms that men and women approach shopping differently. Men tend to rush in for the desired item, pay, and leave; while women study the fabrics, color, texture, and price before purchasing. Researchers think that pattern goes back to ancient days of hunting & gathering – men doing the hinting; women the gathering. In modern terms, women spend much more time choosing the perfect gift. Men on the other hand, often have a specific item in mind and want to get in, get it, and get out. That’s apparently because in ancestral times, it was critical to get meat home as quickly as possible. (And before the big game starts on TV.)

Dictionary publisher Merriam-Webster has chosen “austerity” as its 2010 ‘Word Of the Year’. The noun meaning ‘enforced or extreme economy’ was the subject of over 250,000 searches on the dictionary’s website. Thanks to faltering economies, austerity measures have been brought into effect in several European countries this year (France, Ireland, Portugal, the UK), causing widespread protesting and several all-out riots. (Word of the year should be … ‘Help!’)
– AP

The ‘Santa Claus Hall of Fame’ in the town of Santa Claus, Indiana has announced that an Illinois man is the first living Santa to be inducted. 48-year-old Phil Wenz has been dressing as Santa since he was 4-years-old and later served for 20 years as the jolly old elf at Santa’s Village in East Dundee, Illinois. The hall of fame’s 13 other inductees include the first-ever department store Santa and several Santas born in the 19th century.

Men tend to behave better when they’re married, both because marriage likely helps improve their behavior and because nice guys are more likely to be married in the first place. A Michigan State University study also finds that men with fewer nasty qualities are more likely to eventually end up married. It’s not clear why men’s behavior improves after marriage, although it may be because married men spend more time with their spouses than their friends, and bad behavior such as binge drinking tends to be a group activity. In addition, married men also ‘have more to lose’ if they’re caught doing something marginal. (And the doghouse to gain.)

• Grab snow from near the base of a tree. Trees give off warmth, which can soften snow; and soft, wet snow makes the best projectiles.
• Snowballs are best when they’re about the size of a tennis ball. Any larger and they won’t fly fast or may break up en route.
• Don’t aim directly at your opponent. Instead, throw your snowball to the right or left to make your foe jog away from that direction. Then throw your kill shot to where he or she is heading.
– “Men’s Health”

Greeting card makers are rolling out new designs that enable animal lovers to send cards from their pets to commemorate nearly every occasion we humans do. Hallmark’s pet cards, which include greetings like ‘Happy Mew Year’ and ‘Merry Yips-mas’, try to avoid overly serious or sentimental messages although one is signed ‘Love’ … followed by a cat paw print.
– “Wall Street Journal”

• On January 1st, the oldest ‘Baby Boomers’ will turn 65.
• Some 500 reindeer a year are killed in vehicle accidents in the northern part of Norway. That’s why Norwegian reindeer owners are putting bright collars on their animals to make them more visible to drivers.


1943 [67] Harry Shearer, LA CA, comedian/TV voice-over actor (numerous voices on “The Simpsons”)/movie actor (“This Is Spinal Tap”)

1946 [64] Susan Lucci, Scarsdale NY, TV soap opera actress (‘Erica Kane’ in over 500 episodes of “All My Children” since 1970)/reality TV personality (“Dancing With the Stars 7”)

1964 [46] Eddie Vedder (Edward Louis Severson III), Evanston IL, alt-rock singer (“Hard Sun”, Pearl Jam- “Last Kiss”)

1967 [43] Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, Turin, Italy, singer/songwriter/former fashion model who became First Lady of France in 2008 by marrying French president Nicolas Sarkozy

1970 [40] Catriona LeMay-Doan, Saskatoon SK, sports analyst (CTV)/former speedskater (1998, 2002 Olympic champion-500 meters)/Order of Canada (2005)/Canadian Sports Hall of Fame (2005)

1978 [32] Estella Warren, Peterborough ON, movie actress (“Planet Of the Apes”, “The Cooler”)/fashion model (“Sports Illustrated”, “Vogue”, “Vanity Fair”)

• “Noche de Rabano” (“Night Of the Radishes”) in Oaxaca (wah-HAH-kah), Mexico, when figurines are cleverly carved … from radishes. How festive!

• “Regifting Day”, an annual observance on the Thursday before Christmas. Many office holiday parties are held on this day, and research shows that fully 40% of office party gifts are regifted.

• “Roots Day”, a day to celebrate your heritage. Many of us are returning to our roots as we head home for Christmas, bringing us a cozy, comfortable feeling and a sense of belonging.

1997 [13] 62-year-old movie director Woody Allen & his 27-year-old stepdaughter Soon-Yi Previn quietly wed in Venice, Italy

1823 [187] “Account Of a Visit from St Nicholas” (better known as “Twas the Night Before Christmas”) by Clement C Moore is first published in the “Troy (NY) Sentinel”

1986 [24] Dick Rutan & Jeana Yeager complete 24,986-mile ‘Non-Stop Around-the-World Flight’ (“Are we flippin’ there yet?!”)

[Fri] Christmas Eve
[Sat] Christmas Day
[Sun] Boxing Day (Australia, Canada, NZ, UK)
[Sun] Candy Cane Day
[Sun] Thank-you Note Day
[Sun] Whiners Day
This Week Is … Gluten-free Baking Week
This Month Is … Winter Month


• Santa remembers it’s Christmas.
• Never explains what exactly you did to deserve that coal in your stocking; if you have to ask, maybe that’s the problem.
• Santa never, ever observed peeing off of rooftops.
• A man would simply not care if you were naughty or nice.
• Matching shoes and belt? Only a woman would accessorize a pantsuit like that.
• No guy would ever name his animals ‘Dancer’ and ‘Prancer’.
– Condensed from

Don’t you love the malls this time of year? They look sort of like a prison riot … with strollers.

Some of the gifts we don’t want …
• Anything that makes a spare roll of toilet paper into a decorative accessory for the bathroom.
• Anything that does not include batteries.
• Anything that is the start of a ‘fascinating new hobby’.
• Anything that you have to feed, water, walk, or have neutered.
• Anything that requires ‘hours of fun putting it together’.
• Anything with a magnet in it that sticks to a refrigerator door.
(All things considered, just send money, and we’ll do the worrying about the gift.)
– Adapted from

What new fad that emerged in 2010 will you be happy to see the end of?

What is ‘chia’, for which Chia Pets are named?
a. A weed.
b. A grass.
c. An herb. [CORRECT. Chia Pets grow either chia, basil, thyme, or alfalfa.]
– Bloomberg Business News

Today’s Question: Even though it puts us at risk, over half of us don’t follow THIS safety precaution.
Answer to Give Out Next Show: Washing our vegetables.

It isn’t so much what we say but how many times we say it that makes us boring.

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