Friday, December 23, 2011        Edition: #4658
Jingle Bull … Jingle Bull …

“The Bull Sheet” will be on hiatus for the holidays. Today’s issue is the last until January 2nd.
All subscribers will receive account credits for missed service days.

73-year-old legendary blues-soul-R&B-jazz singer Etta James, who’s suffering from incurable leukemia among other ailments, has taken a turn for the worse and been admitted to a hospital in California where relatives have gathered by her side (one of her biggest hits was “At Last” in 1961) . . . Meantime, a judge has ruled Etta James’ husband of 41 years, Artis Mills, will remain the conservator of her estate following a legal challenge from her son Donto (as the candle flickers, the vultures circle) . . . HBO has axed the shows “Bored to Death”, “Hung”, and “How to Make It in America” and announced a slew of new programs, including Dustin Hoffman’s horseracing drama “Luck” and Ricky Gervais’ “Life’s Too Short” (will one of these be the buzz show of 2012?) . . . Former “Will & Grace” star Debra Messing is still living in the same NYC apartment with her estranged husband, screenwriter Daniel Zelman, even though she announced this week they’ve been ‘separated for several months’ (it’s a mental split?) . . . 53-year-old actor Alec Baldwin (“30 Rock”) says he’s given up plans to run for NYC mayor in 2013 because he’s ‘lost his appetite’ for the role (BS translation: There’s more money in TV) . . . Famous person Jessica Simpson says her new jewelry collection ‘reflects her personality’ (can baubles be vacuous?) . . . “Two-and-a-Half Men” star Ashton Kutcher has been spotted leaving a party in Berlin, Germany with no less than 3 lucky ladies in tow (he must have been severely ‘repressed’ during his marriage to Demi) . . . And 37-year-old Heather Donahue, who was unexpectedly catapulted to movie stardom as a co-creator and co-star of 1999’s surprise indie hit “The Blair Witch Project”, is about to publish her memoir called “GrowGirl: How My Life After The Blair Witch Project Went to Pot”, which details how she quit acting, moved to the desert, and made a living growing pot after burning all her possessions (the one item she saved – the iconic blue ski cap from the movie poster).


• “Ellen DeGeneres Show” (syndicated/CTV2) – Today Justin Bieber (“Under the Mistletoe”). Rerun.
• “Jimmy Kimmel Live” (ABC/CHCH) – Tonight Lenny Kravitz (“Black & White America”). Rerun.
• “Last Call With Carson Daly” (NBC) – Tonight Foster the People (“Torches”).
• “Late Show With David Letterman” (CBS/NTV/Omni1) – Tonight Darlene Love brings down the house with her annual rendition of “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)”.
• “The Rosie Show” (OWN) – Today Justin Bieber (“Under the Mistletoe”).
• “Tavis Smiley” (PBS) – Tonight Alison Krauss (“Paper Airplane”).
• “Tonight Show With Jay Leno” (NBC/CTV2) – Tonight Chris Isaak (“Beyond the Sun”).


• Adam Lambert – Reports say he’s been arrested while on vacation in Finland after a barroom brawl bust-up with his partner Sauli Koskinen. After a scuffle at Helsinki gay club Don’t Tell Mama, they were booked and detained in separate cells, according to
• Adele – Word has it she’s bouncing back from throat surgery and begun basic vocal training. But a friend says she’s taking it slowly, hoping to keep the first half of next year low-key with no pressure to record or perform.
• Faith Hill – She says she & her 3 daughters with Tim McGraw make ‘reindeer food’ on Christmas Eve using oatmeal and glitter. The oatmeal’s so the reindeer will be fed; the glitter’s so they can see their house as it shines up through the stars. Aww!
• George Michael – The 48-year-old Brit pop singer (“Last Christmas”) was discharged from a hospital in Vienna, Austria on Thursday after spending several weeks recovering from severe pneumonia. He was forced to cancel the remaining dates on his European “Symphonica” tour due to the hospitalization. The shows are likely to be re-scheduled for 2012.
• Justin Bieber – This week he took a donation in to Toronto’s Daily Bread Food Bank and spent some time with the young volunteers. He’s spoken openly in the past about his own family’s reliance on food banks during his childhood.
• Lady Gaga – She’s giving away a free download of an unreleased track on Christmas day to say thanks to fans for their support in 2011. The unnamed song was recorded live, in one take, on her tour bus and is said to be ‘uncensored’.
• Lenny Kravitz – He tells CNN’s Piers Morgan he’s struggling to find a girlfriend because his touring schedule keeps him so busy. Since his 1993 divorce from Lisa Bonet, he’s dated a string of stars, including Nicole Kidman and Vanessa Paradis, but has failed to find a lasting relationship.
• R Kelly – He’s looking for business partners to invest in upcoming sequels to his “Trapped in the Closet” song-and-video series because it’s too expensive for him to shoot himself. The last of the first 22 chapters was released in 2007, and now he says he was 32 more.
• Taylor Swift – Her ad for Cover Girl’s NatureLuxe Mousse Mascara has been pulled after it was found that eyelashes in the ad had been digitally retouched in post-production. The ad claimed the product ‘doubles the volume’ of natural lashes while using a more ‘breathable formula’ than competitors.


• “We Bought a Zoo” ( PG Family Comedy ): Matt Damon plays a single dad who buys a dilapidated zoo in the hopes of giving his family a fresh start after the death of his wife. Directed by Cameron Crowe (“Jerry Maguire”, “Almost Famous”) from Benjamin Mee’s memoir. Co-stars Scarlett Johansson, Thomas Haden Church, Elle Fanning.
• “The Darkest Hour” ( PG-13 Sci-Fi Thriller ): Emile Hirsch stars in this thriller about a group of 5 young people who are stranded in Moscow where they must lead the charge against an alien race who’ve attacked Earth via our power supply. Co-stars Olivia Thirlby and Max Minghella. Filmed in 3-D.
• “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close” ( PG-13 Drama ): Newcomer Thomas Horn plays a 9-year-old amateur inventor who searches NYC for the lock that matches a mysterious key left behind by his father (Tom Hanks), who died in the World Trade Center on 9/11. Co-stars Sandra Bullock. Directed by Stephen Daldry (“The Hours”).
• “War Horse” ( PG-13 War Drama ): Steven Spielberg’s epic about ‘Albert’ (Jeremy Irvine), the young owner of a horse that’s sold to the cavalry during World War 1, who joins the army in the hope of rescuing his 4-legged friend. Co-stars Emily Watson and David Thewlis. Based on the Tony Award-winning play.


10. Sade … $50 million.
9. Andre Rieu … $67 million.
8. Lady Gaga … $72 million.
7. Usher … $75 million.
6. Kenny Chesney … $84.6 million.
5. Taylor Swift … $97.3 million.
4. Roger Waters … $150 million.
3. Take That … $185 million.
2. Bon Jovi … $193 million.
1. U2 … $293.3 million.
– “Billboard”


Dictionary publisher Merriam-Webster has chosen ‘pragmatic’ as its 2011 ‘Word Of the Year’.
The word, an adjective that means practical and logical, was the most looked-up word on the Merriam-Webster website over the year. Though its popularity can’t be traced to a specific news event or quote from a famous person, it may have sparked dictionary users’ interest both because they’d heard it in conversations and because it captures the current post-recession mood of encouraging practicality over frivolity. (Likely not many needed to look it up in the dictionary, but we’d pick ‘occupy’ as word of the year.)
– “Chicago Tribune”


• Blood Pressure Cuffs – Studies show 30-to-40% are wrong by 4 mm Hg (millimeters of mercury pressure units) or more. And they could be wrong either way, meaning you could be mis-diagnosed with having high blood pressure or with not having high blood pressure.
• Cellphone – In most cases the ‘bars’ indicating signal strength have nothing to do with signal quality, as in how much of it is actually usable. And the bars only measure how well you’re receiving the signal, not how well your phone is sending one back.
• Elevator & Crosswalk Buttons – Often ‘door close’ buttons on elevators do nothing; they are merely there to appease us. Crosswalk buttons are the same deal, at least at timed traffic lights like the ones in busy downtown areas.
• Fuel Gauges – Your gasoline level is measured by a bulb on an arm. The bulb is always going to be fatter than the arm, so it floats at the very top for some time without the arm moving. Once it touches the bottom, you go from almost empty to flat out ‘E’ without the arm moving as well.
• GPS Navigation – They aren’t always smart enough to account for construction or scary cliff roads or other human elements. And sometimes the GPS is simply dead wrong, due to the low-tech error of outdated maps being used in a hi-tech tool.
• Office Thermostats – Building facilities people know better than to trust us employees with those controls. One specialist estimates 90% of office thermostats do absolutely nothing. In an industry poll, 72% of respondents say they’ve personally installed a fake thermostat.
• Weigh Scales – Inspections have found that 20-to-33% of hospital scales are off. Inspections have also found that many baggage scales in airports are inaccurate … over half of them at one airline’s check-in.
• Speedometer – A multitude of factors can cause variance in its accuracy. Tire pressure, wintery weather, bald tires, problems with the alternator, plus the error allowed by regulations can all add up to your speedometer being off by as much as 10%.
– Condensed from


• Farmed Christmas trees reduce dust and pollen in the air, and provide a habitat for wildlife, plus a single acre of them produces the daily oxygen requirement for 18 people.
• For every real Christmas tree harvested, 1-to-3 seedlings are planted the following Spring. It takes the average Christmas tree 7 years to grow.
• Similar to the ‘27’ club (rock stars who’ve died at age 27), dictators of the world seem to have a ‘69’ club. Rafael Trujillo, Saddam Hussein, Muammar Gaddafi, and now Kim Jong-Il are all members.


1943 [68] Harry Shearer, LA CA, comedian/TV voice-over actor (numerous voices on “The Simpsons”)/movie actor (“This Is Spinal Tap”)

1946 [65] 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 [47] Eddie Vedder (Edward Louis Severson III), Evanston IL, alt-rock singer (“Hard Sun”, Pearl Jam- “Last Kiss”)

1967 [44] Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, Turin, Italy, singer/songwriter/former fashion model who became First Lady of France in 2008 by marrying French president Nicolas Sarkozy

1978 [33] Estella Warren, Peterborough ON, movie actress (“Planet Of the Apes”, “The Cooler”)/fashion model (“Sports Illustrated”, “Vogue”, “Vanity Fair”)

Latin-pop singer Ricky Martin (“La Vida Loca”) is 40; Author Stephenie Meyer (“The Twilight Saga”) is 38; TV personality-producer Ryan Seacrest (“American Idol”) is 37.

Pop singer Jimmy Buffett (“Margarittaville”) is 65; Movie actress Sissy Spacek (“Coal Miner’s Daughter”) is 62; Pop singer Annie Lennox (“No More I Love Yous”) is 57; Pop singer Dido (“White Flag”) is 40.


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

• “Christmas Eve”, a family gift-giving occasion in many countries.
• “Egg Nog Day”, celebrating the seasonal rum or brandy drink that has nothing good for you in it but sure tastes good. A coffee spiked with egg nog and brandy is called a ‘tom-tom’.

• “Christmas Day”, a holiday in at least 105 nations.


1993 [18] “Philadelphia”, starring Tom Hanks, opens in theaters, the first major Hollywood movie to focus on the subject of AIDS

1997 [14] 62-year-old movie director Woody Allen & his 27-year-old stepdaughter Soon-Yi Previn quietly wed in Venice, Italy


1823 [188] “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 [25] Dick Rutan & Jeana Yeager complete 24,986-mile ‘Non-Stop Around-the-World Flight’ (“Are we flippin’ there yet?!”)


[Mon] Boxing Day
[Mon] Kwanzaa begins
[Mon] Candy Cane Day
[Mon] Thank-You Note Day
[Mon] Whiners Day
This Week Is … Gluten-Free Baking Week
This Month Is … Winter Month


• Remove gift from bag. Now remove cat from bag.
• Open box to check gift. Now remove cat from box, replace gift.
• Smooth out gift wrap, realize cat is underneath it and remove cat.
• Toss out first sheet of wrap as cat has chased the scissors and torn the paper.
• Place gift on paper to hold in place while tearing transparent tape.
• Spend 20 minutes carefully trying to remove transparent tape from cat with nail scissors.
• Look for a length of ribbon. Chase cat down hall in order to retrieve ribbon.
• When finished, put gift and all wrapping materials in locked closet.
• Discover cat has somehow also gotten into closet and already torn gift paper.
• Begin again at step 1.
• Upon completion, spend 15 minutes looking for cat until coming to obvious conclusion.
• Unwrap present, untie box and remove cat.
• Go to store and buy a gift bag.
– Adapted from


Which was a traditional Christmas dish in early England?
a. Minced mushroom pie.
b. Pine cones stuffed with almonds and figs.
c. The head of a pig prepared with mustard. [CORRECT]
– “Brain Candy”


Good news for narcoleptics … only 200 sleeps until Christmas!


What did the Internet do for you this year?


Question: They used to be common but now only 1-in-4 teenagers owns one of THESE.
Answer: A watch.


Poverty is sometimes a state of mind induced by a neighbor buying a new car.

Thanks for another great year and happy holidays, everyone!

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