Thursday, February 25, 2016          Edition: #5634

Bully For You!

★ Today David Bowie’s “Blackstar” becomes an Instagram miniseries. “Unbound” is a visual interpretation of the late rock icon’s final album. Created by Instagram channel InstaMiniSeries, it consists of 16 episodes, with the first being released tonight at 8pm EST. New episodes will then debut each subsequent Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. Bowie greenlighted the project last Fall, giving the InstaMiniSeries creative team advance access to the music and images from “Blackstar”, thus allowing them to create their own visual interpretations of the songs, with no limits or preconditions on his part.
★ A new study finds that during the 3 weeks after actor Charlie Sheen announced his HIV status last November, there were more HIV-related Google searches than at any other time since 2004, thereby making his announcement the most significant domestic HIV-prevention event in the last decade. On that day, there were about 2.75 million more HIV-related searches than usual. Search terms for HIV symptoms jumped by 540%. The study has also found a 265% increase in news articles about HIV, which has reversed what AP calls a decade-long decline in news reporting about the virus. Charlie finally seems to have done something that’s meaningful. Researchers are calling it the ‘Charlie Sheen effect’.
– “New York Magazine”
★ And Demi Moore is poised to return to the small-screen in a new drama titled “10 Days In the Valley”. The 53-year-old actress has been tapped to play an overworked writer and single mother in the middle of a tense separation from her husband. She faces even more peril when their 5-year-old daughter is kidnapped and she must find a way to get her back. The show is currently being shopped to networks and if it’s picked up to series, it would mark the first major TV role for Moore in 20 years. She last appeared on TV in 2003 as a guest star on the sitcom “Will & Grace”.

• “American Idol” (FOX) – The top 10 finalists are revealed and perform in the 1st live show of the (final) season.
• “Conan” (TBS/CTV) – Lake Street Dive (“Bad Self Portraits”).
• “Ellen DeGeneres Show” (syndicated/CTV2) – Gwen Stefani (“This Is What the Truth Feels Like”, out March 18th).
• “Jimmy Kimmel Live” (ABC/CityTV) – Snakehips f/Tinashe & Chance The Rapper (“All My Friends”).
• “Last Call With Carson Daly” (NBC) – Heartless Bastards (“The Mountain”).
• “Late Night With Seth Meyers” (NBC/CTV) – MisterWives (“Our Own House”).
• “Late Show With Stephen Colbert” (CBS/Global) – Jason Isbell (“Something More Than Free”).
• “Tavis Smiley” (PBS) – Lianne La Havas (“Blood”).
• “Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” (NBC/CTV2) – The 1975 (“I Like It When You Sleep”, out March 4th).

• AC/DC – Frontman Brian Johnson has added a new Jaguar F-Type Project 7 to his impressive car collection. He  tells the “Interactive Jaguar Blog” he’s so impressed by the sound of his new ride, he never has the sound system on.
• Ariana Grande – She’s revealed a title change for her upcoming new album … “Dangerous Woman”. (Because no one is more dangerous than a woman who licks doughnuts.)
• Azealia Banks – She’s been short-listed for the inaugural ‘American Music Prize’ for best debut album. Her “Broke With Expensive Taste” will contend with albums by Chris Stapleton (“Traveller”), Leon Bridges (“Coming Home”), and Mikky Ekko (“Time”). The winner, announced March 2nd, receives a $25,000 cash prize during a gala in Nashville TN.
• Kendrick Lamar – He’ll be inducting NWA into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame at the April 8th induction ceremony at Brooklyn NY’s Barclays Center. Kid Rock, Black Keys, Metallica’s Lars Ulrich, and Rob Thomas will also be part of the ceremony. Other acts getting into the hall this year include Cheap Trick, Chicago, Deep Purple, and Steve Miller.
• Lacey Sturm – She’s made history by becoming the 1st solo female artist to top the ‘Billboard Hard Rock Albums’ chart, with her debut solo set “Life Screams”. Her former band Flyleaf was the 1st female-led act to hit #1 in 2009, with “Memento Mori”.
• One Direction – Harry Styles may be the pop poster of choice on little girls’ walls everywhere, but model Kendall Jenner says he needs deodorant and Taylor Swift claims the Brit pop star has halitosis.

A BS selection of movies in the making …
• “Collateral Beauty” – Brit actress Keira Knightley is in talks to replace Rooney Mara as the female lead in this upcoming comedy. It’s the latest shake-up for the movie, about a top NYC ad executive whose employees hatch an unconventional plan to lift him out of a deep depression. The male lead is seemingly still up in the air.
• “Dirty Dancing” – It’s just been announced that an actor named Colt Prattes will play Patrick Swayze’s iconic character ‘Johnny Castle’ in ABC-TV’s upcoming remake of the 1987 film, alongside Abigal Breslin. You may have noticed his highly honed abs tossing around P!nk in her music video for “Try”. The 3-hour TV-movie reboot premieres on ABC later this year.
• “The Little Mermaid” – Screen veteran Shirley MacLaine has signed to appear in an upcoming live-action version of the hit Disney film. The Oscar-winner leads a cast featuring Poppy Drayton and child actress Loreto Peralta. The new family film will center on a young orphan who discovers an enchanting creature she believes to be the real ‘Little Mermaid’.
• “A Wrinkle in Time” – Filmmaker Ava DuVernay has been chosen to direct the bigscreen version of the classic fantasy novel. Disney has tapped the “Selma” director to helm the movie based on Madeleine L’Engle’s 1963 book about a group of children who travel back in time to find their missing scientist father.

Sales of breakfast cereal is down nearly 30% over the past 15 years. Part of that is growing preference for things like smoothies and protein bars. But nearly 40% of Millennials in a recent survey say eating cereal is ‘inconvenient’ … because you have to clean up afterward. Social observers wonder if this generation is perceiving even the most mundane of responsibilities, like doing dishes, into unthinkable nuisances. Even so, cereal companies are predicting brighter days ahead. It seems Millennials DO like cereal, particularly the flavor, texture, and the vintage nature … just not for breakfast. So look for manufacturers to increasingly market their products to the younger generation as a portable snack. (Mmm, Cap’n Crunch in a baggie.)
– “Washington Post”

Ever felt a buzz but when you check your phone there’s no text, no call, no email, nothing? What gives with the phantom vibration? Maybe you wanted, or even needed, your phone to buzz. University of Michigan researchers have found that people with ‘attachment anxiety’ – insecurity about friendships and other relationships – are much more likely to feel phantom buzzes than those who prefer to be left alone. Someone susceptible might feel something on their skin, for instance, but because they’re so primed to get a message, the sensation ends up feeling like a vibrating phone. Some even hear a phantom ring. A related study has found that 90% of us have experienced the phenomenon to some extent, mistaking tiny muscle spasms for an incoming text. Researchers have dubbed the problem ‘ringxiety’. (We call it insecurity.)
– “Michigan Daily”

• An impetuous 33-year-old Brit bloke named Simon Smith has just changed his name to … ‘Mr Bacon Double Cheeseburger’. Smith says he and his pals were discussing unusual names when his Burger King-inspired moniker was suggested. When the legal papers arrived for him to sign, he was, perhaps unfortunately, drinking with the same group of friends in a pub. There is at least one perk: burger joints are offering him free bacon double cheeseburgers if he provides proof of the name change.
– “Evening Standard”
• If you do it in public in Vienna, Austria, it could cost you $77 … to burp. A bartender has found that out after belching in the proximity of a police officer while at a local amusement park. The ticket notes that the perp violated ‘public decency with a loud belch’. Though it was emitted earlier this month, the belch continues to resonate. Well over 100 people have now promised to attend a flash mob organized on Facebook for this Saturday near the scene of the crime. It’s being dubbed the ‘Loud Belch Flashmob’.

If you’re obsessed with taking the perfect selfie, then we have some great news for you. Because in future, they may be worth more than a few ‘likes’ on Instagram. MasterCard has confirmed it will soon begin accepting selfies as an alternative to passwords when ID verification is needed for payments. The selfie-payment has already been tested in the US and The Netherlands, with MasterCard reporting 92% of test subjects preferring the new system to passwords. MasterCard plans to test selfie ID in other countries including Italy, France, Germany, and the UK in the near future. (That one you took wearing moose antlers? Not gonna work.)
– “Metro”

Here are a few good habits for getting more done during the day …
✓ Designate a dedicated workspace. Just sitting in that space will shift your mind into work mode.
✓ Draw up a schedule. Pick a start time and an end time, and stick to it.
✓ Dress the part. In the same way sitting at a desk shifts you into work mode, getting dressed for the day can rev your focus.
✓ Ignore the dirty dishes. More than a third of people who work from home get distracted by household chores while on the clock.
✓ Plan breaks. Try circling the block; the movement and fresh air will boost your concentration.
✓ Block your social obsession. Nobody may be watching, but that doesn’t make social media any less of a productivity killer.
✓ Hold yourself accountable. Finds ways to quantify how much you actually get done. It will help motivate you and provide a sense of accomplishment.
– Adapted from

In ancient Greece, the word ‘idiot’ referred to all non-politicians. (Times have changed.)


1966 [50] Téa Leoni, NYC, TV actress (‘Elizabeth McCord’ on “Madam Secretary” since 2014)/long-suffering wife of actor David Duchovny

1971 [45] Sean Astin, Santa Monica CA, movie actor (“Lord Of the Rings”, “50 First Dates”)

1975 [41] Chelsea Handler, Livingston NJ, TV personality (“Chelsea Does” on Netflix 2016, “Chelsea Lately” 2007-14)/standup comedian  UP NEXT: An all-new talk show on Netflix beginning later in 2016.

1976 [40] Rashida Jones, LA CA, TV actress (“Parks & Recreation” 2009-15, “The Office” 2006-11)/movie actress (“The Social Network”, “The Muppets”)

1978 [38] Shawna Thompson, Chatom AL, country singer (Thompson Square-“If I Didn’t Have You”, “Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not”)

• “Chili Day”, a great excuse to put together a perfect pot of spicy chili. What’s your secret ingredient?

• “Clam Chowder Day”, a day to add a little heat to your Winter with a bit of bacon, onion, and flour; some diced potatoes and a can of clams, simmered in clam juice and milk. Add lots of black pepper. Nummers!

• “Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day”, an annual highlight of “Engineers Week”. While it’s become more popular for females to enter the filed, engineering remains a predominantly male profession.

2004 [12] Mel Gibson’s controversial film “The Passion Of the Christ” is independently released in about 2,000 theaters (thanks to grassroots promotion, the $30-million film goes on to gross over $600 million worldwide)

2009 [07] Calling his music “the soundtrack of my youth”, Barack Obama presents Stevie Wonder with the Library of Congress ‘Gershwin Prize’

2007 [09] After decades of filmmaking and 7 Academy Award nominations, director Martin Scorsese finally wins his 1st Oscar, for “The Departed”, at the 79th Academy Awards

1896 [120] ‘Largest Chicken Egg’ on record is laid by a Black Minorca hen in England (the 5-yolk egg weighs nearly 12 ounces and measures 12.25 inches around the long axis and 9 inches around the short axis)

[Fri] World Pistachio Day
[Sat] International Polar Bear Day
[Sat] Open That Bottle Night
[Sun] 88th Academy Awards
[Mon] Leap Year Day
This Week Is … Eating Disorders Awareness Week
This Month Is … Jobs in Golf Month


• Needs a glass of water. (Spilled a glass of water.)
• Needs bath water temperature adjusted by an imperceptible degree. (And the scrubby thing stuck to the faucet.)
• Wants a snack. (Not that snack.)
• Needs towel that is hanging approximately 15 inches away.
• Itchy kneecaps require lotion. (Too much lotion on kneecaps!)
• Needs band-aid. (Not that band-aid.)
• Announcing accomplishment of defecation.
• Wonders what happens after death.
• Just making sure you’re still there.
– Thanks to Marika Seigel

What do the French call a bad Thursday? A trajeudi.

☎ What would you do differently if you knew nobody would judge you?

You run down the list rapid-fire while your guest picks one from each pair …
• Being overdressed or underdressed at a party?
• Having a child much more intelligent or much more attractive than yourself?
• Doing things right or doing the right things?
• Being single or in a relationship that’s going nowhere?
• Losing all of your old memories or never being able to make new ones?
• A good friend moving away or losing touch with a good friend who lives nearby?
• Having less work to do or more work that you actually enjoy doing?
• Failing or never trying?

Question: A poll of adults finds that 1-in-5 of us eats THIS every day.
Answer: Cereal.

The closest to perfection most people ever get is when they fill out a job application.

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