Friday, December 6, 2013        Edition: #5118

Good Morning, Sheetheads!

★ “Fast & Furious” actress and former model Gal Gadot has been cast as ‘Wonder Woman’ for the new ‘Batman/Superman’ film, sharing screen time with Ben Affleck and Henry Cavill. The 28-year-old Israeli actress will play ‘Diana Prince’ and her superhero alter-ego in director Zack Snyder’s upcoming “Man of Steel” follow-up. The as-yet-untitled movie begins principal photography in the first quarter of 2014 and is scheduled for release in July 2015. (Compared to the character’s depictions in the comics, she’s awfully skinny. She’ll need ‘props’.)
– “USA Today”
★ Gossip blogger Perez Hilton is stepping in front of the camera to star in a new reality TV show, “Gay Dads of New York”, from the producers of “Keeping Up With the Kardashians”. The series will follow Hilton, who recently became a single father and moved to NYC, and a group of single and married gay dads as they support each other through the ups and downs of raising children. Hilton vows that the series will not be ‘trashy or boring’. (Uh, we’ll let you know.)
★ The long-awaited “Veronica Mars” movie now has a release date. Rob Thomas, creator of the teen detective drama, shattered records this year when he called on fans of the cult TV show to donate funds to help him make a movie version. The groundbreaking campaign raised $5.7 million by its 30-day deadline. Thomas has now announced the film will be released exactly 1 year after that fundraising campaign began … March 14th. (This is the project that started the crowdfunding phenomenon in show biz.)
– “Entertainment Weekly”
★ And 28-year-old Formula 1 driver Lewis Hamilton is reportedly set to propose to 35-year-old singer and sometime “X Factor” judge Nicole Scherzinger. The couple, who once again ended their 5-year on-and-off relationship in June, have apparently secretly reconciled. A source says Lewis has chosen a glamorous, very feminine ring that cost 5-figures after receiving permission to propose from Nicole’s mother. Word has it he’s planning on getting down on one knee early in the new year. (Shhh! Don’t tell, ‘kay?)
– Yahoo! OMG!

• “The Amazing Race” (CBS) – Sunday in the 23rd season finalé, the last remaining teams take part in a human bowling competition in Tokyo, Japan; one team wins $1 million.
• “Christmas in Rockefeller Center” (NBC) – Saturday a rerun of this week’s 81st annual tree-lighting ceremony in NYC. Musical performances by Ariana Grande, Babyface, Goo Goo Dolls, Jewel, Leona Lewis, Kelly Clarkson, Mariah Carey, Mary J Blige, and Toni Braxton.
• “Ellen DeGeneres Show” (syndicated/CTV2) – Today Kelly Clarkson (“Wrapped in Red”).
• “Grammy Nominations Concert Live!” (CBS) – Tonight  LL Cool J returns to host the 1-hour special announcing nominees for the upcoming 56th Grammy Awards (January 26th). Among the performers: Drake, Katy Perry, Keith Urban, Lorde, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Robin Thicke, and Taylor Swift.
• “Jimmy Kimmel Live” (ABC/CityTV) – Tonight Fall Out Boy (“Save Rock N Roll”). Rerun.
• Kennedy Center Honors (Washington DC) – Sunday singer Billy Joel, guitarist Carlos Santana and jazzman Herbie Hancock are among 2013 award recipients saluted during a gala performance at the Kennedy Center For the Performing Arts. Airs December 29th on CBS-TV.
• “Last Call With Carson Daly” (NBC) – Tonight White Denim (“Corsicana Lemonade”). Rerun.
• “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon” (NBC/CTV2) – Tonight Pearl Jam (“Lightning Bolt”). Rerun.
• “Late Show With David Letterman” (CBS/NTV/Omni1) – Tonight Kings of Leon (“Mechanical Bull”). Rerun.
• “Live With Kelly & Michael” (ABC/CTV) – Today Colbie Caillat (“Christmas In the Sand”).
• “Saturday Night Live” (NBC/Global) – Host Paul Rudd (“Anchorman: The Legend Continues”, opening December 18th); musical guest One Direction (“Midnight Memories”).
• “Tavis Smiley” (PBS) – Tonight rap pioneers The Sugarhill Gang. Rerun.
• “Tonight Show With Jay Leno” (NBC/CTV2) – Tonight  Ben Harper w/Charlie Musselwhite (“Get Up!”). Rerun.

• Justin Bieber – This week he reportedly refused to remove his hat & sunglasses and made an insulting remark during an inspection at Brisbane International Airport in Australia. After his entourage was detained 2 hours, an unnamed 23-year-old was arrested for carrying cannabis.
• Kanye West – The Anti-Defamation League is demanding an apology after he claimed “Black people don’t have the same level of connections as Jewish people” during a recent radio interview in NYC.
• Katy Perry – She says she wants to use her fame and fortune for good and plans on doing so in her new role as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador.
• Matchbox Twenty – Today-through-Monday their 1st ever ‘Matchbox Twenty Cruise’ aboard the Carnival Imagination sails from Miami FL to Nassau, Bahamas and back. Onboard activities include intimate performances, Q&A sessions, photo opps, and nightly parties.
• Metallica – Sunday they perform at Carlini Argentine Base in Antarctica. It’s the climax of a 10-day cruise for contest winners. Surprisingly, the show will only be heard by the audience through headphones, with no amps. It will stream online as well though … as loud as you want.
• One Direction – “Midnight Memories” has become their 3rd album to top the “Billboard” all-genre chart, with over a half-million sales in its first week. They’re the first group with 3 albums in-a-row debuting at #1.
• Rolling Stones – They’ve announced their 50th anniversary celebration continues next year with a 14-date overseas trek to the Far East, Australia, and New Zealand. They’ll kick off the “14 on Fire” tour in Abu Dhabi on February 14th. The shows run up to April 5th in Auckland NZ.

• “Inside Llewyn Davis” ( Limited Release R-Rated Drama ): The latest from the Coen Bros follows a young singer as he navigates the Greenwich Village folk scene of 1961, struggling to make it as a musician against all odds. Stars Oscar Isaac, Carey Mulligan, John Goodman, Garrett Hedlund. 2013 Gotham Independent Film Awards winner.
• “Out Of the Furnace” ( R-Rated Crime Thriller ): When a young man mysteriously disappears and law enforcement fails to follow through, his imprisoned older brother has a tough decision to make. Once released, he must choose between his own freedom or risking it all to seek justice for his brother. Stars Christian Bale, Casey Affleck, Zoe Saldana, Woody Harrelson.
• Also opening in limited release: “The Last Days on Mars” (Sci-Fi Thriller); and “Swerve” (Crime Drama).

Why is Gwyneth Paltrow so polarizing? Depending on who you ask, the actress is either a master of style and class or the epitome of elitism and pretentiousness. Paltrow’s Q score, the likability measure for famous folks, is 16, which means 16% of adults who are familiar with her say she’s one of their favorite personalities. That’s about average. A high Q score is above 40, the kind of numbers Tom Hanks and Sandra Bullock generally pull. As of the latest Q report, awareness of Paltrow is at 74%, which means 3-out-of-4 adults know who she is, compared to the average celeb at 31%. (So most of us know her … but do we like her?)
– “Daily Beast”

A contraceptive pill for men has moved one step closer after Australian scientists at Monash University have successfully made male mice infertile. Even though the mice had normal sex and were otherwise healthy, they were incapable of reproducing. The next step, researchers say, is to develop a male contraceptive drug which is effective, safe, and easily reversible. It would be an oral medication probably taken daily just like the female contraceptive pill. It’s thought the ‘male pill’ could be available in about 10 years. (Right after your 3rd paternity suit.)

Could your bra stop you from overeating? Microsoft researchers have created a hi-tech brassiere prototype that monitors heart rate, with the goal of preventing stress-related snacking. It’s thought it could lead to a device that delivers ‘just-in-time-support for emotional eating’. The bra has built-in sensors that track heart-rate, respiration, and other factors. In trials, the bra transmitted those readings to a smartphone app as well as the research computer. An attempt to make a similar device for men’s underwear was unsuccessful, as it was too far away from the heart. (In so many ways.)
– “Discovery News”

Texas is now home to the ‘World’s Largest Gingerbread House’. The Texas A&M Traditions Club in Bryan has a new Guinness World Record after constructing a 39,201.8 cubic-foot edifice, which is covered in 22,304 pieces of candy. The sugar shack measures 60-by-42 ft and tops 20 ft at its tallest point. All profits from entrance fees go to charity. The record-breaking bungalow will be up until December 14th. (When Hansel & Gretel are scheduled to hit town.)

• North Americans eat more than 10 billion doughnuts per year.
• According to English folklore, if a woman feeds her husband roast owl, he will become subservient to her every wish.
• ‘Splenda’ was an insecticide that became a sweetener when a lab assistant misheard an instruction to ‘test it’ as ‘taste it’.
– “QI”


1955 [58] Steven Wright, NYC, droll stand-up comedian (“I installed a skylight in my apartment. The people who live above me are furious.”)

1956 [57] Peter Buck, Oakland CA, retired rock guitarist (REM-“Losing My Religion”, “Everybody Hurts”)

1967 [46] Judd Apatow, Syosset NY, movie producer (“Bridesmaids”, “Pineapple Express”)/movie director (“Knocked Up”, “The 40 Year Old Virgin”)

Folk singer-songwriter Tom Waits (“Bad as Me”) is 64; Rock drummer Dominic Howard (Muse) is 36; Pop singer Sara Bareilles (“Love Song”) is 34.

Classic rock singer Gregg Allman (Allman Bros) is 66; TV actor David Harewood (“Homeland”) is 48; Indie rock guitarist Nick Zinner (Yeah Yeah Yeahs) is 39; Movie actor Dominic Monaghan (“Lord Of the Rings”) is 37; TV actor Ian Somerhalder (“Vampire Diaries”) is 35; NFL QB Philip Rivers (San Diego Chargers) is 32; Hip-hop artist Nicki Minaj (“Super Bass”) is 31.

• “Day of Remembrance & Action on Violence Against Women”, established by Canada’s parliament in 1991 to coincide with the anniversary of 1989 ‘Montréal Massacre’ when 14 young women were tragically killed at l’École Polytechnique.
• “Faux Fur Friday”, an excuse to wear your furriest synthetic outfits and accessories for an enjoyable day. (But isn’t it cruel to kill acrylics for their fur?)
• “Gazpacho Day”, in celebration of the spicy but cold Spanish soup. To look like a real rube, order some in a restaurant, then blow on it to cool it down.
• “International Bad Hair Day”, a day to flaunt it if you’ve got it!
• “Miners Day”, saluting the ‘men of the deeps’ who toil away daily underground.
• “Pawnbrokers Day”, celebrated on “St Nicholas Day”, the saint who, among other things, is the patron saint of pawnbroking.
• “St Nicholas Day”, commemorating the 4th-century bishop who died December 6, 342 AD and from whom the traditions of ‘Santa Claus’ and exchanging gifts were derived. No wonder he’s the patron saint of both children and merchants! Many European kids awake today to find candy and oranges in their shoes, or if they’ve been bad … a piece of coal.

• “Cotton Candy Day”, celebrating the sweet, sugary taste-treat that melts in your mouth. It was invented in 1897 as ‘Fairy Floss’, then renamed in 1920. In Greece, Israel, and India it is often referred to as ‘Old Woman’s Hair’. Yuck.
• “Letter Writing Day”, when we’re encouraged to take a few minutes to send someone a handwritten letter. Letter-writing has almost become a lost art. When was the last time you wrote a letter to someone, either printed or in cursive?
• “Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day”, observed on the anniversary of one of the defining moments in American history, the 1941 Japanese raid on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii which caused the USA to enter WW2. It’s the 72nd anniversary of the ‘date which will live in infamy’.

• “Pretend To Be a Time Traveler Day”, when you’re encouraged to imagine for the day that you are a visitor from a different time. (So past or future, pal?)
• “Worldwide Candle Lighting Day”, the 17th annual observance on the 2nd Sunday of December, when we’re encouraged to light candles at 7 pm local time to honor and remember children worldwide who have died at any age from any cause.
• “World Choral Day”, celebrated the 2nd Sunday in December for the past 21 years, when thousands of choirs have joined in the celebration at concerts, festivals, sing-alongs, and other events.

2005 [08] Director Ang Lee’s “Brokeback Mountain”, starring Heath Ledger & Jake Gyllenhaal, premieres in NYC (goes on to win 3 Academy Awards)

1971 [42] “Happy Xmas (War is Over)” is released by John & Yoko Lennon with The Plastic Ono Band and the Harlem Community Choir

2003 [10] Army becomes the 1st team in NCAA major college football history to finish its season 0-13, by losing to Navy 34-6

1983 [30] World record for ‘Continuous Whistling’ set at 45 hours, 20 minutes (stop it … stop that annoying shrillness … shut-up!)

[Mon] “One Direction iHeartRadio Album Release Party” (CW)
[Mon] International Anti-corruption Day
[Tues] “Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show 2013″ (CBS)
[Tues] 2013 Billboard Women in Music Event (NYC)
[Tues] Nobel Prize Day
This Week Is … Recipe Greetings For the Holidays Week
This Month Is … World AIDS Month


Norman Rockwell (1894-1978), long America’s favorite (if a little schmaltzy) mass-market painter, now has auction records to match his popularity. “Saying Grace”, one of his masterpieces, has sold for $46 million at auction this week – 3 times more than his previous record. No word yet on who bought it, but we’re fairly certain they didn’t purchase these …
• “A Boy’s First Manicure”
• “The Old Hobo’s Infected Foot”
• “Sweetheart Of the Cell-Block”
• “Bad Clams”
• “Turn Your Head and Cough”

What do you call a Rastafarian with auburn hair? A Ginger Dread Mon.

Which is a compulsory school subject in Armenia?
a. Armenian.
b. Chess. [CORRECT]
c. Sex Ed.
d. Girls’ Facial Hair Grooming.

☎ Does your family have a regular ‘family night’? (In a recent poll, 65% of respondents say that they do.) When is it and what do you do?

Question: When something breaks around the house, close to half of men do THIS.
Answer: Go buy a new one.

The difficulty with a research grant is that if you solve the problem, you’re out of a job.

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