Wednesday, February 11, 2015        Edition: #5395


★ An anti-domestic abuse organization is planning to protest tomorrow’s “Fifty Shades Of Grey” movie premiere in Britain. Members of what’s called ‘Fifty Shades is Domestic Abuse’ are set to target the glitzy screening in London’s Leicester Square. A spokesperson claims the film glamorizes domestic violence and stalking. Another campaign, titled ’50 Dollars Not 50 Shades’, created by American & Canadian anti-domestic abuse organizations last week, is encouraging film fans to boycott the movie and donate the ticket money to their cause instead.
★ Northern Irish actor Jamie Dornan says he apologized to his “Fifty Shades Of Grey” co-star Dakota Johnson before they filmed S&M sex scenes together. The model-turned-actor plays bondage-loving businessman ‘Christian Grey’ in the bigscreen adaptation of EL James’ steamy book. He tells Britain’s “Notebook” magazine, “If I was about to be doing something particularly heinous to Dakota, I would apologize in advance and say, ‘I’m probably not going to derive a huge amount of pleasure out of this. I want you to know that’.” The film opens Friday.
★ The next ‘Spider-Man’ movie will be a joint project between Sony Pictures and Marvel Studios, with Kevin Feige and Sony’s outgoing chairman Amy Pascal signing on as producers. However, Sony Pictures will not be giving up film rights to the character and still intends to release a new installment of its own franchise following the ‘Spider-Man’ Marvel debut. It’s not yet revealed who will play ‘Spider-Man’ in his first Marvel outing, but in a statement Sony refers to ‘the new Spider-Man’, prompting speculation Andrew Garfield will not be returning to the role.

• “American Idol” (FOX) – The contestants perform solos one last time before the next round of eliminations.
• “Conan” (TBS/CTV) – Lee Ann Womack (“The Way I’m Livin'”).
• “Ellen DeGeneres Show” (syndicated/CTV2) – Ricky Martin (“A Quien Quiera Escuchar”).
• “Jimmy Kimmel Live” (ABC/CityTV) – Sam Smith (“In the Lonely Hour”).
• “Last Call With Carson Daly” (NBC) – The Acid (“Liminal”).
• “Late Night With Seth Meyers” (NBC/CTV) – The Districts (“A Flourish & A Spoil”).
• “Late Show With David Letterman” (CBS/Omni1) – Madisen Ward & The Mama Bear, a mother & son act from Kansas City making their network TV debut (“Live by Water”).
• “Marilyn Denis Show” (CTV/CTV2) – Country star Dierks Bentley (“Riser”).
• “Meredith Vieira Show” (syndicated) – Christina Perri (“Head or Heart”).
• “Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” (NBC/CTV2) – Kyle Kinane (“I Liked This Old Stuff Better”).
• “The View” (ABC/CTV) – Andy Grammer (“Magazines Or Novels”).

• Beyoncé & Jay Z – Detail, the producer behind Bey & Jay’s “Drunk in Love”, has let it slip that he’s working with music’s royal couple on a long-rumored full-length collaborative album. Quote: “In my imaginary mind, I will work to say it’s true.” Uh, what exactly does that mean?
• Bob Marley – A new life-sized statue has been erected to celebrate what would have been the reggae legend’s 70th birthday. The image of Marley dancing and singing while holding a guitar has been unveiled in Jamaica’s Trench Town, where Marley’s family moved when he was 12-years-old. It’s part of a multi-million dollar renovation to the area’s Culture Yard.
• Florida Georgia Line – They’ve now countersued the organizer of last July’s Country Explosion music festival in Utah after being hit with a $15-million lawsuit for breaching an agreement. Here’s the sequence of events: On closing night their manager was given a check to cover the remainder of their appearance fee; the check subsequently bounced; the organizer claims they failed to wait 3 days to cash it as stipulated; the organizer has since filed suit claiming damage to professional reputation. By the way, the total appearance fee was … $450,000.
• Meghan Trainor – Tonight she launches her first-ever North American headline tour in Vancouver BC. Australian pop band Sheppard are special guests on the “That Bass Tour”, with dates scheduled through March 20th in Nashville TN. The trek then heads overseas.
• Miley Cyrus – She’s submitted the short film “Tongue Tied” to the NYC Porn Film Festival, which begins later this month. It features the scantily-clad star in a number of suggestive poses while wearing bondage gear. The festival founder describes the film as ‘a pop take on S&M’.
• Snoop Dogg – According to, he’s aiming to raise $25 million to invest in start-up technology businesses affiliated with the legalized marijuana industry Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, and Washington. He’s already a co-owner of website

In Singapore, food is a national obsession, but finding enough people to bring the food to diners is increasingly becoming a problem. Infinium Robotics thinks it has come up with a solution … flying robot waiters. The drones, due to be introduced at a local restaurant-bar chain by the end of this year, can carry up to 2 kg (4.4 lbs) of food and drink. The unpiloted Infinium-Serve Flying Robots whizz above the heads of diners on paths charted by a computer program, and navigate using infra-red sensors placed around the restaurant. The idea is to free up human staff so they are able to interact more with customers and enhance the dining experience. And oh, just to be safe, the drones’ whirling blades are covered with cages. (Otherwise … drone hair salon.)
– BBC News

A statistical look at who we are and the things we do …
• 62% of adults say they will celebrate Valentines Day.
• 50%-plus of all Valentine cards are purchased in the 6 days prior to the observance.
• 23% will purchase flowers or plants for Valentines Day, two-thirds of them men.
• 32% of parents have submitted job résumés on their child’s behalf … some without telling the child.
• 25% of employers have received messages from parents urging them to hire their son or daughter.
• 4% of parents have actually shown up for a child’s job interview.

Social media fanatics could soon be able to live in ‘Facebook Town’. The social media company has bought up more than 200 acres of California’s Silicon Valley, reportedly with the aim of integrating its new corporate campus into a community. In reality, it’s still too early to say exactly what Facebook may do with the site and whether they will go ahead with a full-scale Facebook town where workers and other locals can live next to Facebook HQ. No official plans appear to have been drawn up as yet, but more than a quarter of the residents of Menlo Park already work for the company and ‘Facebook Town’ may be seen as a way of offering something back to the area. (What features do you think it might have? A giant community ‘wall’? A daily status update on the welcome sign?)
– @BBCNewsbeat

Before the mid-1900s, diseases like whooping cough, polio, measles, severe influenza, and rubella struck hundreds-of-thousands of infants, children, and adults. Thousands died every year from them. As vaccines were developed and became widely used, rates of these diseases declined until most were virtually eradicated. A few facts (not based on wild conjecture) …
• Nearly everyone got measles before there was a vaccine, and hundreds died from it each year. Up until very recently, most currently practicing doctors had never seen a case.
• More than 15,000 North Americans died from diphtheria in 1921, before there was a vaccine. Only 1 case of diphtheria has been reported to the Centers for Disease Control since 2004.
• An epidemic of rubella (German measles) in 1964-65 infected 12½ million North Americans, killing 2,000 babies and causing 11,000 miscarriages. By 2012, just 9 cases were reported.
Controversy over the MMR vaccine (an immunization against measles, mumps, and rubella that is typically administered shortly after a child’s 1st birthday) is a result of a fraudulent 1998 paper by one Andrew Wakefield, who linked the vaccine to the onset of autism. The article was eventually retracted and Wakefield was struck from the UK’s medical registry for fraud. (If we quit listening to ignorant fear-mongers, we could easily stop the current measles outbreak.)
– /

A new Samsung net-connected ‘Smart TV’ takes verbal orders from viewers. A privacy statement in the TV set’s paperwork warns: “Please be aware that if your spoken words include personal or other sensitive information, that information will be among the data captured and transmitted to a third party through your use of voice recognition.” It appears the ‘third party’ in question is the company that produces Samsung’s speech-to-text conversion. Some are comparing the technology to George Orwell’s futuristic novel “1984”, but the company has issued a calming clarification saying that Samsung does not retain voice data or sell it. (Yet.)

The world’s oldest cat is now 121 … in cat years. ‘Tiffany Two’ was born March 13, 1988 in San Diego, California and is said to still look great for being 26 human years-old. Owner Sharon Voorhees says her geriatric yet feisty tortoiseshell is not afraid of anything, and walks right past dogs. Unlike a lot of centenarians, she still manages to go up and down stairs. While her longevity is impressive, she still has a long way to go to beat the oldest cat ever. ‘Creme Puff’ was 38 years, 3 days old when she died August 6, 2005.

Seahorses are monogamous creatures. They even hold tails. (Awwww.)


1962 [53] Sheryl Crow, Kennett MO, pop singer (“Summer Day”, w/Kid Rock-“Picture”)

1969 [46] Jennifer Aniston, Sherman Oaks CA, movie actress (“Cake”, “The Break-Up”)/former TV actress (“Friends” 1994-2004)  UP NEXT: “She’s Funny That Way”, opening May 1st.

1974 [41] D’Angelo (Michael Archer), Richmond VA, neo-soul singer-songwriter/producer (“Untitled [How Does It Feel]”, “Lady”)

1977 [38] Mike Shinoda, Agoura CA, rock singer-songwriter (Linkin Park-“Numb”, “In the End”)

1979 [36] Brandy (Norwood), Macomb MS, pop singer (w/Monica-“The Boy Is Mine”, “Have You Ever?”)

1980 [35] Jon Jones, Omaha NE, country bassist (Eli Young Band-“Drunk Last Night”, “Even If It Breaks Your Heart”)

1981 [34] Kelly (Kelendria) Rowland, Atlanta GA, pop singer (w/Nelly-“Dilemma”, Destiny’s Child-“Lose My Breath”)/TV personality (“The X Factor” Australia 2010, UK 2011, US 2013)

1992 [23] Taylor Lautner, Grand Rapids MI, movie actor (“Grown Ups 2”, “Twilight Saga” films)

• “Don’t Cry Over Spilled Milk Day”, an annual reminder that everyone screws up now and then. It’s a day to  be optimistic, think positive, look on the bright side, and find something good in whatever happens.

• “Get Out Your Guitar Day”, a day to pull your axe out of the attic, dust it off and, if you’re lucky, find someone who can tune it.

• “Inventors Day”, honoring the birth date of prolific inventor Thomas Alva Edison (1847-1931), who single-handedly patented some 1,200 inventions.

• “Pro Sports Wives Day”, the 10th annual declared by the Professional Sports Wives Association. In the USA alone, there are some 500,000 married to pro athletes and coaches.

• “Satisfied Staying Single Day”, for those who choose to live independently and are quite happy doing so, thank-you very much. (See Bull’s Bits.)

• “Shut-in Visitation Day”, encouraging us to brighten the day for someone who is unable to get out and about. Observed concurrently with “World Day Of the Sick”.

2010 [05] Brit fashion designer Alexander McQueen (a favorite among celebs like Kanye West, Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, and Sarah Jessica Parker) dies at age 40 of an apparent suicide

2012 [03] On the eve of the Grammy Awards, singer Whitney Houston accidentally drowns in her bathtub at LA’s Beverly Hilton Hotel due to effects of chronic cocaine use and heart disease

2013 [02] Pope Benedict XVI announces his resignation from the papacy, the first pontiff to resign in close to 600 years

1977 [38] ‘Heaviest Known Crustacean’ is caught off Nova Scotia, a 44.5-lb (20.2-kg) lobster which measures 3.5 ft (1 m) from claw-tip to tail-fan (and requires 13 lbs of liquified butter)

[Thurs] Darwin Day
[Fri] Friday the 13th
[Fri] Blame Someone Else Day
[Fri] Get a Different Name Day
[Fri] World Radio Day
[Sat] Valentines Day
[Sat] 2015 NBA All-Star Game (NYC)
This Week Is … International Flirting Week
This Month Is … Marijuana Awareness Month


It’s that time of year, when everyone feels pressured to couple up in time for Valentines Day. Resist! Instead, use this as a time to revel in your singlehood. Just some of the advantages …
✓ Instead of spending money on Valentines Day, you can save it for more important things, like sandwiches and doughnuts.
✓ You only have one Netflix queue, and it’s filled with exactly what you want to watch.
✓ The whole bed is yours, and you can lie smack-dab in the middle of it … at 1 in the afternoon.
✓ You don’t have to share your food, which means the entire pizza can be yours. And you can order whatever you want on that pizza without having to consult someone first.
✓ A whole bottle of wine for dinner? No problem. No pants. No regrets.
✓ You don’t have to worry about drama, or stupid random arguments with a significant other.
✓ Don’t want to clean up after yourself? Don’t.
✓ You can totally make out with 4 different people in one night, no questions asked.
✓ You don’t have to work your schedule around someone else’s, so there’s no guilt if you want to take a spontaneous trip or just watch Netflix all day.
✓ Two words: No. In-laws.
– Adapted from

☎ Let’s say that suddenly everything less than $5 is free. What would you help yourself to first and why?

Which herb was an early symbol of Valentines Day?
a. Basil
b. Bay Leaves [CORRECT]
c. Garlic

I bought some powdered water, but I don’t know what to add to it.

Question: The average person is carrying around THIS right now.
Answer: $22 in cash.

After a certain age, if you don’t wake up aching in every joint, you are probably dead.

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