Wednesday, February 27, 2013        Edition: #4930

Our Sheet Don’t Stink!

Since “Argo” won ‘Best Picture’ at the Academy Awards on Sunday evening, producer-director-star Ben Affleck has now shaved off his ‘lucky beard’ (and chapped-cheek wife Jennifer Garner is glad he did!) . . . Lindsay Lohan will play herself on Charlie Sheen’s FX sitcom “Anger Management” in an April episode in which she seeks therapy, then develops a romantic relationship with Sheen’s character (art imitating life) . . . Janet Jackson has shot down rumors she’s planning to wed longtime partner Wissam Al Mana by revealing that they were already married in a quiet, private ceremony – last year! (proving flying under the radar is possible if you wanna) . . . Instagram has reportedly threatened to shut down Madonna’s account due to its ‘mature content’ (BS translation: Unflattering photos) . . . And since NBC-TV’s “Up All Night” has imploded, cast member Maya Rudolph (ex-“SNL”) is pitching the idea of a good old fashioned variety TV show and several networks are interested, even though it hasn’t been attempted since 2004 (remember “The Nick & Jessica Variety Hour”? – we thought not).

• “American Idol” (FOX/CTV) – 10 more male singers perform.
• “Jimmy Kimmel Live” (ABC/CityTV) – Gold Fields (“Black Sun”).
• “Last Call With Carson Daly” (NBC) – Tomahawk (“Oddfellows”).
• “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon” (NBC/CTV2) – Jason Aldean (“Night Train”).
• “Late Show With David Letterman” (CBS/NTV/Omni1) – Solange (“True”).
• “Tonight Show With Jay Leno” (NBC/CTV2) – Father John Misty (“Fear Fun”).

• Adele – After winning an Oscar for ‘Best Original Song’, she says she’s now considering getting involved in a Beyoncé-style documentary or a movie musical.
• Big & Rich – Today in Nashville, they receive the Country Radio Seminar’s ‘2013 Artist Humanitarian Award’ for their charitable endeavors that date back more than a decade, ranging from visiting individual patients in hospitals, to staging benefit concerts for the Country Music Hall of Fame.
• Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band – Tonight they hit the road for the first leg of their “Rock & Roll Never Forgets” tour. The trek starts in Toledo OH. Seger has been slowly cooking up a new album, though it’s unclear when it will come out.
• Chris Brown – It’s a solid 4 years too late in coming, but he’s finally dropped the bravado and admitted that the physical assault he inflicted on Rihanna is the ‘deepest regret of his life’.
• Kanye West – He and pregnant partner Kim Kardashian have posed for the cover of French magazine “L’Officiel Hommes”, stripping off for a sexy photo depicting them in the throes of passion.
• Taylor Swift – After performing at the “2013 Brit Awards”, she stuck around to enjoy London. Maybe this is why: She’s been spotted out on the town with 22-year-old British singer-songwriter Tom Odell. (She’s already thinking of things to rhyme with ‘Tom’.)

Researchers at Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz, Germany tested readers to see if modern-day e-readers and tablets are better than books when it comes to reading speed and brain effort. Among readers aged 21-to-34 no difference was detected. But big differences were recorded among users aged 60-to-77. In fact, using an iPad both improved their reading speed and reduced effort compared to either paper or e-readers. (When you get down to it, a book is pretty hi-tech: It’s portable, never needs charging, can easily be shared, and if you sit on it … nothing happens.)

While we might believe we have the ability to read another person’s face, body language is the real clue that reveals whether the strong emotions someone is feeling are positive or negative. For a recent study published in the journal “Science”, participants in an experiment were shown a series of photos of tennis players taken just after winning or losing a point. Consistently, participants were more apt to correctly determine whether the players were winning or losing when shown a full body photo rather than just a facial shot. (The full body shot showing the loser spiking his racket into the ground, for instance.)
– “Daily Telegraph”

A BS breakdown of who we are and what we do …
• 58% have called into work sick when we weren’t. (Meaning 42% are lying.)
• 43% of women who wear high-heels daily say they’ll never give them up despite the pain they create. (92% of guys are glad about that.)
• 40% of women have hurled footwear at a man. (Usually a high-heel.)
• 35% of us give to charity at least once a month. (Does your university student count as a charity?)
• 29% of us ignore an RSVP on an invitation. (‘Remember you Stupid Vampires’?)
• 21% of us think it’s morally acceptable to cheat on income taxes. (79% believe it’s an obligation.)

The college sports athlete who studies exercise has long been the butt of jokes and the target of critics who lament the fact that most athletic scholarships are wasted by people who are more interested in making the pros than getting a respectable education. But as the population skews older there’s a growing demand for fitness trainers, physical therapists, pre-med students, and specialists who study the science of obesity, movement, and performance. As a result, few majors on campus are growing faster than kinesiology, the science of exercise. (These people know how to chew the fat.)
– “Wall Street Journal”

Dutch researchers say the wriggly beetle larvae known as mealworms could one day dominate supermarket shelves as a more sustainable alternative to chicken, beef, pork, or milk. Currently, livestock use about 70% of all farmland. In addition, the demand for animal protein continues to rise globally, and is expected to grow by up to 80% by 2050. The researchers have found that growing mealworms releases less greenhouse gas and takes up only a fraction of the land needed to raise traditional livestock for protein. (Why would they be called mealworms unless you’re supposed to eat them?)

New terms leaking into our lingo …
✓ ‘Brandalism’ – This combination of ‘branding’ and ‘vandalism’ describes a movement in which street artists paint over advertising billboards with their own designs and slogans.
✓ ‘Self-interrupt’ – To interrupt one’s own work to check social media or perform some other non-work-related task. Julie Morgenstern, author of “Never Check Email In the Morning” thinks we self-interrupt at work just as much as we’re interrupted by others.
✓ ‘Success Theater’ – Posting images and stories designed to make others believe you are more successful than you really are. We’ve become better at choreographing ourselves and showing our best sides to the screen, capturing the most flattering angle of our faces, our homes, our evenings out, our loved ones, and our trips.

If you need your workforce to generate great new ideas, you might be tempted to have your employees look for options online. You’d do better to take away their computers and pack them off to the woods. In a study by psychologists at the University of Kansas and the University of Utah, people who went on a backpacking trip run by Outward Bound – and were banned from using electronics the whole time – performed 50% better on a test of creative problem-solving after several days out in nature than people who hadn’t been on the trip. (That’s great, boss, but how are we supposed to check our freakin’ Facebook in the forest?)
– “Boston Globe”

Hard to believe but recent research suggests that a pessimistic outlook might be better for mental health overall. The researchers set out to examine the best method for dealing with life stressors and determine if positive outlook resulted in improved mental health. They found that in the case of subjects experiencing less stressful situations, a positive perspective led to increased mental health over time. However, in more stressful instances, this same perspective was found to correlate with an increase in depressive symptoms. (This is why Eeyore is mentally healthy and Pooh is … called Pooh.)

✓ Mold Killer – As you may have heard, vodka can be used to clean your clothes but did you know it also destroys mold? Spray it directly on moldy patches in the shower, or on your smelly shoes, to get rid of nasty smells and make mildew disappear. The cheap stuff works just as good as the more expensive stuff, so save your top-shelf potato juice for drinking, not cleaning.
✓ Pest Control – When the slug army invades your yard, you can fight back with a saucer full of beer. Slugs, like dudes, love beer and will be drawn to the scent. Once they climb inside the saucer, they’ll drown. If they’re lucky, they might get a bit tipsy first, to ease their passing into that great slime-ball in the sky.
✓ Fly Trap – If you want to trap and kill those pesky fruit flies, try baiting them with some wine. The sticky, fruity allure of red wine makes it the perfect bait for the buzzing pests. To set the trap, pour some wine into a glass or jar, cover the top with plastic wrap, and poke several small holes (fly size) into the plastic. The flies will fly into to the jar, but wont be able to fly back out.
✓ Fertilizer – Don’t throw those half empty beer bottles away after a party; they can be put to good use fertilizing plants in your yard. Just plop the bottles neck down into the soil, and let the stale beer drip down into the dirt. Beer is full of lots of good stuff like yeast, which helps plants grow.
✓ Ice Pack – Why would you want to use a vodka icepack rather than a standard one? If you mix vodka and water into a Ziploc or watertight bag, you’ll end up with the perfect icepack; since the vodka won’t completely freeze (it’ll become kind of slushy). Thus you can mold the icepack to your injury or sore body part, and reuse the pack again and again.

Tyler Cowen, a Professor of Economics at Washington DC’s George Mason University, once walked into class the day of the final exam and said: “Here is the exam. Write your own questions. Write your own answers. Harder questions and better answers get more points.” Then he walked out. Would you like to have an exam like this? After all, wouldn’t students who know their stuff really excel? (Or maybe this is just a sure sign of a prof with a hangover.)

The next fashion statement for the tips of your fingers could be ‘NailDisplay’, which shows content from your smartphone or tablet on a tiny screen worn over your fingernails. Developers at the National Taiwan University in Taipei say it could display a magnified view of the portion of a smartphone’s screen beneath your fingertips, making it easier to tap accurately on the phone’s virtual keypad and to control a music player by showing buttons. It could also display video on your nails, or a photo of someone calling you on the phone. (“OMG, I broke a nail!” may someday require help from your IT department.)
– “New Scientist”

Authors who finish other writers’ works are known as ‘continuators’. (Also thieves.)
– BBC News


1954 [59] Neal Schon, Tinker Air Force Base OK, oldies guitarist (Journey-“Open Arms”, “Don’t Stop Believin’”)

1960 [53] Johnny Van Zant, Jacksonville FL, country-rock singer (Van Zant-“Help Somebody”, Lynyrd Skynyrd-“Sweet Home Alabama”)

1971 [42] Rozonda ‘Chilli’ Thomas, Atlanta GA, pop singer (TLC-“Unpretty”, “No Scrubs”)

1981 [32] Josh Groban, LA CA, pop singer/operatic baritone (“Brave”, “You Raise Me Up”)

1983 [30] Jared Champion, Bowling Green KY, rock drummer (Cage The Elephant-“Shake Me Down”, “Back Against the Wall”)

• “Inconvenience Yourself Day”, observed annually on the 4th Wednesday of February, it’s a day to focus on ways to show respect for others, the environment, and the world around you.

• “Glory in Simple Artistic Achievements Day”, by posting your kid’s ‘fridge art’ perhaps?

• “International Polar Bear Day”, declared by non-profit conservation group Polar Bears International to heighten awareness of the declining population of the big white guys of the Far North.

• “No Brainer Day”, when we’re encouraged to slack off. Any activity attempted should be something done without serious thought … a ‘no brainer’ activity. Like this show, for instance.

2003 [10] Fred Rogers, better known as children’s entertainer “Mr Rogers”, dies of stomach cancer in Pittsburgh PA at age 74

1980 [33] “I Will Survive” by Gloria Gaynor wins the first – and last – Grammy ever awarded for ‘Best Disco Recording’

1827 [186] 1st ‘Mardi Gras’ celebration in New Orleans LA (and 1st co-ed flashes to get a cheap string of beads)

1988 [25] ‘Longest Tandem Bicycle’ is unveiled in New Zealand, measuring 72.96 ft and weighing 340 lbs

[Thurs] Floral Design Day
[Thurs] Chili Day
[Thurs] Tooth Fairy Day
[Thurs] Rare Disease Day
[Fri] “The Battle of Pussy Willow Creek”; “Jack the Giant Slayer”; “The Last Exorcism Part II”; “Stoker”; “21 and Over” open in movie theaters
This Week Is  … Telecommuter Appreciation Week
This Month Is … Bird Feeding Month


• Kiss someone passionately for 1 minute. (6.4 calories)
• Make your bed for 5 minutes. (13 calories)
• Wash your hands for 2 minutes. (16 calories)
• Wash the dishes for 10 minutes. (30 calories)
• Foreplay for about 30 minutes. (61 calories)
• Yak on the phone for 30 minutes. (61 calories)
• Spend 20 minutes slow dancing. (81 calories)
• Sit in a meeting for 1 hour. (122 calories)
• Watch the kids for 1 hour. (327 calories)

If today were a fish, I’d throw it back in.

☎ What is something you have never done but would like to do?

Question: Chances are you have about 5.6 lbs (2.5 kg) of THIS.
Answer: Skin.

The real problem with your leisure time is how to keep other people from using it.

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