Friday, February 21, 2014        Edition: #5165

Here, Have Another Sheetload!

★ Simon Cowell’s new son has been cleared for takeoff. At just 5-days-old, baby Eric has gotten his very first passport, enabling him to become one of the most well-traveled jet-setting babies in the world. Both parents had to be present at a NYC courthouse this week in order to get the job done. Makes sense that they get the official paperwork out of the way – Simon spends tons of time in the UK, so little Eric Phillip Cowell will obviously be making plenty of trips across the pond.
★ Sunday Warner Bros is holding a casting call at London’s Wembley Arena for the role of ‘Peter Pan’ in the upcoming movie “Pan”. Director Joe Wright is searching for an aspiring male actor aged 11-to-13 who is no taller than 5 ft-4 ins for the lead role in the latest re-working of JM Barrie’s classic children’s book. Garret Hedlund is set to play evil pirate ‘Captain Hook’ while Hugh Jackman is said to be considering the role of villainous ‘Captain Blackbeard’. “Pan” is being shot in 3-D and is scheduled to debut on June 26, 2015.
– Bang Showbiz
★ And “Game of Thrones” star Kit Harington has a murky past … one of his direct ancestors invented the flush toilet. The actor, who plays ‘Jon Snow’ on the popular HBO series, reveals that poet John Harington came up with the contraption in the late 1500s. And that, he says, is why it’s called ‘the john’. His ancestor created it for none other than Queen Elizabeth I, and she thanked him by making him her godson. 19th-century plumber Thomas Crapper is often credited with inventing the toilet, but he only came up with the ballcock to finesse it’s operation.

• “The Amazing Race” (CBS/CTV) – Sunday, in the 24th season debut, 11 memorable teams from past seasons return for another shot at the $1 million-prize.
• “Arsenio Hall” (syndicated) – Tonight Merry Clayton (“20 Feet from Stardom”).
• “Daytona 500” (FOX) – Sunday the 56th running of the ‘Great American Race’ at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach FL, kicking off the NASCAR racing season. Country star Luke Bryan performs a pre-race concert.
• “Jimmy Kimmel Live” (ABC/CityTV) – Tonight Naughty Boy f/Sam Smith (“Hotel Cabana”). Rerun.
• “Late Show With David Letterman” (CBS/Omni1) – Tonight Lake Street Dive (“Fun Machine”).
• “Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” (NBC/CTV2) – Tonight Justin Timberlake (“The 20/20 Experience”).
• “Winter Olympics” (CBC/NBC) – Today: Men’s Curling Bronze & Gold Medal Games; Men’s Hockey Semifinals. Saturday: Men’s Hockey Bronze Medal Game. Sunday: Men’s Hockey Gold Medal Game; Closing Ceremonies.

• Arcade Fire – Today they perform as part of Carnival celebrations in the coastal town of Jacmel, Haiti. It’s the country of origin of band member Régine Chassagne’s parents and the band’s latest album, “Reflektor”, is influenced by Haitian musical culture.
• Cee Lo Green – He tells Ellen DeGeneres he won’t be returning to NBC-TV’s hit singing competition “The Voice” … ever. He’s been a coach on 4 of the show’s 5 seasons, although he wasn’t scheduled to appear on Season 6, which starts Monday.
• Justin Bieber – He’s found a (temporary) new home in Atlanta GA, a locally famous ‘spaceship mansion’. While he’s working on a new album over the next 3 months, he’s renting the 5,500-sq-ft house owned by record producer Dallas Austin that looks like something out of “Star Trek”. Word has it the Biebs is also looking for his own place in Atlanta’s exclusive Buckhead neighborhood, where his mentor Usher currently lives.
• Miley Cyrus – Seems she’s quickly moved on from her broken engagement to actor Liam Hemsworth and is now making sweet music with 42-year-old Jared Leto. The two have known each other for a while, but according to “Us Weekly” the former friends are now ‘hooking up’.
• 3 Doors Down – This week bassist Todd Harrell has been arrested in Mississippi on a DUI charge … again. He’s already facing a vehicular homicide case in Tennessee, and has other previous arrests. The group is preparing for a 6-city tour of Canada beginning June 3rd.

• “Pompeii” ( PG-13 Action Adventure ): A slave-turned-gladiator is in a race against time to save his true love, who’s been betrothed to a corrupt Roman Senator. And he must do this just as Mount Vesuvius erupts and the city of Pompeii crumbles all around him. Stars Kit Harington, Carrie-Anne Moss, Emily Browning.
• “3 Days to Kill” ( PG-13 Action Thriller ): A dying Secret Service agent trying to reconnect with his estranged daughter is offered an experimental drug that could save his life in exchange for one last assignment … hunting down the world’s most ruthless terrorist. Stars Kevin Costner, Amber Heard, Hailee Steinfeld.

The new ‘Napwell’ is a sleeping mask that uses built-in lights to mimic the sunrise, so that wearers wake up naturally and energized. Currently in the working prototype stage, the gizmo’s sole purpose is in its name – to help you nap well. The mask blocks out all light to make sure its wearer is not disturbed and uses a built-in timer to indicate when it’s time to rise and shine again. But rather than rousing you from your slumber with a blaring alarm, Napwell uses gentle, diffused lighting, designed to mimic the sunrise. As a result, you wake up slowly but properly, with brain engaged and ready to go. (A cheaper way to do this … quit your job.)

• Waking up exactly 1 second before your alarm goes off.
• Finding your slippers right away.
• Turning the hot and cold faucets to the perfect temperature on the first try.
• Achieving the perfect ratio of cream to sugar to coffee in your morning java.
• Turning on the morning news just in time to see that your favorite band is dropping in for a surprise performance.
• Putting your hand in your coat pocket and finding a crumpled $20-bill inside.
• Looking in the mirror before you leave to magically find a good hair day.
• Watching the train/subway/bus pull up just as you arrive.
• Or, if you drive, grabbing a sweet parking spot by the entrance.
• Finding your headphones not insanely tangled.
• Playing music on shuffle and all your favorite songs come on in-a-row.
• Getting to the gym and your favorite machine is free for the first time in weeks.

Seems there’s a clown crisis! Membership in the World Clown Association, the largest trade organization for clowns, has dropped over the past decade from 3,500 to 2,400. Why? Declining interest, old age and higher standards among employers. That might be good news for anyone who hates and/or fears clowns (coulrophobia) but it’s bad news for the circus world. (At least we’ve got ‘Fizbo’, Eric Stonestreet’s character on “Modern Family” and ‘Krusty the Clown’ on “The Simpsons”.)

Self-styled hygienista Jolie Kerr’s new book “My Boyfriend Barfed in My Handbag” features helpful hints for millennials. Among them …
✓ With marijuana consumption on the rise, new users should be aware that bongs get clogged with residue. Kerr’s solution: Place the pipe in warm water and drop in an Alka-Seltzer.
✓ For a blood stain, run it under cold water as soon as possible; treat with simple hand soap, or soak the area in a bowl of hydrogen peroxide for 15-20 minutes.
✓ To dust your ceiling fan, hook an old pillowcase over the blade, then yank it off. Voila … the dust and gunk come off right into the case.
✓ Gym clothes never smell fresh, even after washing. To get rid of permasweat, soak for a half-hour in cold water with equal-parts Woolite and white vinegar. Then simply air-dry.
✓ And if you’re facing post-party stains caused by ‘tossed cookies’, it can be cleaned using a damp towel or rag. Just massage OxiClean into the stain. (Then find a classier group of friends to party with.)

Despite what you learned in school, it seems cheaters can prosper. Men feel more positive and satisfied after being deceitful, says recent Harvard University research. Study participants who chose to lie about their results on a quiz and weren’t caught felt more fulfilled than non-cheaters. The liars felt this ‘cheater’s high’ whether or not they received financial compensation for good scores. It’s thought there’s a sense of satisfaction or thrill that stems from getting away with something or going around the rules. (Seems men are all weasels at heart.)
– PA News

An MIT analysis of related studies has found that sticking to contained social circles can prevent us from discovering and adopting new healthy habits and trends. Why? New friends can expose us to different ways of thinking, and even help make us smarter. That’s right, smarter. Recent Australian research suggests that people with large, rich social networks have bigger, more developed amygdalas, the brain region associated with memory and emotion. (Most of us have an enlarged omygawda, the part of the brain associated with ‘PARTY!’.)

Having caffeine after absorbing information helps the brain to remember what you learned.
– “Times of London”


1946 [68] Alan Rickman, London UK, movie actor (“Harry Potter” films, “Die Hard”)

1955 [59] Kelsey Grammar, St Thomas, US Virgin Islands, TV actor (“Back to You” 2007-08, 5 Emmy Awards-“Frasier” 1993-2004)/movie actor (“X-Men: The Last Stand”)

1979 [35] Jennifer Love Hewitt, Waco TX, TV actress (“The Client List” 2012-13, “Ghost Whisperer” 2005-10)/movie actress (“Garfield”, “I Know What You Did Last Summer”)

1987 [27] Ellen Page, Halifax NS, movie actress (“Whip It”, “Juno”)

Rock drummer Scott Phillips (Creed/Alter Bridge) is 41; Pop singer James Blunt (“You’re Beautiful”) is 40; Movie actress Drew Barrymore (“50 First Dates”) is 39; Pop-rock singer Tom Higgenson (Plain White T’s) is 35; TV actor Zach Roerig (“The Vampire Diaries”) is 29.

Rock guitarist Brad Whitford (Aerosmith) is 62; TV actress Kelly Macdonald (“Boardwalk Empire”) is 38; Movie actor Josh Gad (“Frozen”) is 33; TV actor Aziz Ansari (“Parks & Recreation”) is 31; Movie actress Emily Blunt (“The Devil Wears Prada”) is 31; Movie actress Dakota Fanning (“Twilight Saga”) is 20.

• “Card Reading Day”, a day to have your future foretold with tarot cards.
• “International Residence Hall Student Staff Recognition Day”, aka ‘Pay Back the Weasels Day’.
• “Single Tasking Day”, a day to focus on one project at a time. Studies show you’ll likely end up accomplishing more.
• “UN International Mother Language Day”. (In school, we always found Latin was a real mother.)

• “Be Humble Day”. Just for one day try not to brag or to boast; and try not to talk about your success or accomplishments. Why? Because humility is a good thing.
• “International Sword Swallowers Day”, a day of recognition for practitioners of the ancient art. Demonstrations are scheduled at Ripley’s Believe It or Not! museums worldwide. There’s actually a Sword Swallowers Association International which, among other things, administers the ‘Injured Sword Swallower’s Relief Fund’.
• “Margarita Day”. Tequila, triple sec, lime juice, and ice are everything you’ll need to celebrate … well, that and some good friends. (And a tropical beach wouldn’t hurt.)
• “Open That Bottle Night” … you know, the one that’s gathering dust in your wine cellar, or maybe that 20-year-old bottle of Scotch you were given as a gift. What are you saving it for?

• “Curling is Cool Day”, celebrating the Winter sport of curling … basically a drinking game with some housecleaning interspersed.
• “Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day”. A recent poll of pet owners finds that fully 34% have eaten dog food at one time or another, most likely just to see what it tastes like.

2000 [14] “Late Show” TV host David Letterman returns to work after quintuple bypass surgery

1997 [17] Spice Girls’ “Wannabe” becomes the 1st debut single by a British group to top North American charts since The Beatles

1948 [66] NASCAR (National Association for Stock Car Racing) is founded

2008 [05] In one of eBay’s most expensive sales to date, the online auction house brokers a deal between an American music collector and an Irish buyer for 3 million albums & singles in various formats at a cost of about $1 per item

[Mon] “Late Night With Seth Meyers” debuts (NBC)
[Mon] “The Voice” season premiere (NBC)
[Mon] “Dallas” season debut (TNT)
[Mon] Cupcake Day
[Tues] “Glee” midseason premiere (FOX)
This Week Is … Build a Better Trade Show Image Week
This Month Is … Bake for Family Fun Month


Saturday is “International Tongue Twister Day”. A recent study by a linguist suggests the hardest tongue twister of all is ‘pad kid poured curd pulled cold’, in part because it makes no sense so it’s tough to remember. Here are a few other …
• Rubber baby buggy bumpers.
• Red leather, yellow leather.
• Ed had edited it.
• Greek grapes.
• Truly rural.
• Chop shops stock chops.
• Are our oars oak?
• Which witch wished which wicked wish?
• The sixth sick sheikh’s sixth sheep’s sick.

☎ Do mobile devices bring more freedom or more stress to work?

Your pewter looks terrible. According to an old home remedy, which should you clean it with?
a. A banana peel.
b. Cabbage leaves. [CORRECT]
c. A damp cat.

I always take life with a grain of salt … plus a slice of lemon … and a shot of tequila.

Question: It’s thought that within 10 years, new cars will no longer have THESE.
Answer: Keys.

The only thing worse than being a bachelor is being a bachelor’s son.

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