Thursday, February 7, 2013        Edition: #4921

Don’t Take Any Sheet, Unless It’s Pure Bull!

Members of Monty Python’s Flying Circus are reteaming for the movie “Absolutely Anything”, a sci-fi farce combining CGI and live action, with original trouper Terry Jones directing (seeing 70-somethings trying to act silly could be sorta sad) . . . A Royal Caribbean cruise ship steward has voluntarily withdrawn his sexual assault lawsuit against actor John Travolta and signed a legal document preventing him from refiling the case, joining 2 other male masseurs who retracted their cases last year (we suspect grease is the word – on these guys’ palms) . . . In addition to the 3 “Star Wars” sequels previously announced, Disney is planning a couple of spin-off movies focused on unspecified characters from the “Star Wars” universe (“50 Shades of Wookiee”?) . . . Marvel’s sci-fi adventure “Guardians Of the Galaxy” has finally cast its lead actor; Chris Pratt (‘Andy Dwyer’ on “Parks & Recreation”) will play ‘Starlord Peter Quill’ (does this guy remind you of a superhero?) . . . Actor Charlie Sheen tells “Katie Couric” his highly-publicized 2011 meltdown was not due to drugs or booze but a testosterone cream he regularly applied to boost his energy levels and libido (oh please!) . . . Actress Judy Greer (“The Descendents”, “Arrested Development”) is getting an advance of nearly $1 million for her upcoming book “I Don’t Know What You Know Me From: Confessions Of a Co-Star”, a humorous collection of essays that will include “Celebrities I’ve Peed Next To” (lovely) . . . Thanks to Ben Affleck’s run of recent awards for his film “Argo”, bookmakers have now lengthened the odds of “Lincoln” winning ‘Best Picture’ at the Oscars to 5/1 (yet somehow Affleck is not nominated for ‘Best Director’ – go figure) . . . And speculation on why Justin Bieber & Selena Gomez broke up after 2 years seems to never cease, the new issue of “Life & Style” reporting it was due to a fling with none other than Rihanna (meaning now there’s only 3 guys left in the biz she hasn’t slept with).

• “American Idol” (FOX/CTV) – More male contestants compete in the Hollywood round in hope of making it to the semifinals.
• “Chelsea Lately” (E!) – Guest host Dave Grohl interviews Tenacious D.
• “Community” (NBC) – 4th season premiere, now airing in the slot vacated by “30 Rock”.
• “Ellen DeGeneres Show” (syndicated/CTV2) – Emeli Sande (“Our Version of Events”).
• “Jimmy Kimmel Live” (ABC/CityTV) – Tim McGraw (“Two Lanes Of Freedom”).
• “Late Show With David Letterman” (CBS/NTV/Omni1) – Elvis tribute artist week continues with Shawn Klush.
• “Live With Kelly & Michael” (syndicated/CTV) – Josh Groban (“All That Echoes”).
• “Tonight Show With Jay Leno” (NBC/CTV2) – Hunter Hayes (“Somebody’s Heartbreak”).

• Beyoncé – “Billboard” reports that her recordings had a massive 230% jump in digital sales following her Super Bowl performance. The Destiny’s Child’s catalog saw an increase of over 600%.
• Black Sabbath – Bassist Geezer Butler tells “Metal Insider” their 2013 world tour will include New Zealand (April), Australia & Japan (May), North America (July-August), South America (October), and Europe (November-December).
• Chris Brown – The LA County DA’s office claims he faked his 1,400 community service hours that were court-ordered in connection with his 2009 sentence for assaulting Rihanna. The prosecutors are asking that a judge order him to fulfill his obligation.
• Justin Timberlake – A documentary about the recording of “The 20/20 Experience” has been filmed and will be released around the same time as the new album, which is due March 19th.
• Katy Perry – Word has it she’s been discussing the idea of creating her own fashion line with the help of her personal stylist Johnny Wujek. He’s also the creative director for fashion shoots on Tyra Banks’ “America’s Next Top Model”.
• Madonna – She’s reportedly planning to auction off some of the costumes and props from her “MDNA” world tour to raise money for Hurricane Sandy relief.
• Taylor Swift – She has the show-opening performance slot on Sunday’s “55th Grammy Awards” (CBS). She’s nominated for 3 awards, including ‘Record Of the Year’ for “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together”.

A newly published psychology study from the University of Missouri suggests that music may be an effective way to improve happiness, particularly when it is combined with an intention to become happier. The psychologists note that neither a determination to be happy nor uplifting music is sufficient alone, it’s the combination of the two that seems to do the trick. Their work has just been published in the “Journal of Positive Psychology”. (What tune is guaranteed to make you happy? The one that makes you wanna roll down the car windows and sing along … when it’s -10.)
– “Pacific Standard Magazine”

Looking to cut back on the calories in your cocktail by mixing, say, diet soda and rum? Well, get ready for the buzz! The rum in that Cuba libré will hit your bloodstream faster if it’s mixed with diet cola. According to a new Northern Kentucky University study, this combination will leave you drunker than if you’d mixed booze with a sugary, caloric mixer. Why? Turns out sugar slows down the absorption of alcohol from the stomach to the bloodstream. In other words, it’s not that diet drinks accelerate intoxication, but that the sugar in regular drinks slows down the rate of alcohol absorption. (Seems your habit of chugging vodka out of the bottle may also be unwise.)

• Manchester, Pennsylvania – David Kime Jr liked eating Whopper Juniors from Burger King so much that when he recently died, his funeral procession stopped by a drive-thru for one last burger. Mourners followed the hearse carrying his flag-draped casket, making it an order of 40 Juniors in total, plus one for the deceased. (In case you’re thinking all those Whoppers may have caused him to croak early … he was 88-years-old.)
– “York Daily Record”
• Belo Horizonte, Brazil – This South American city has been hit with a crime wave by crooks all named … John Lennon. Three Beatle bandits have been busted in the past month, and a 4th has been found dead. A police official – whose name is not Sgt Pepper – says the name ‘John Lennon’ has become common in Brazil ever since the music icon’s 1980 death. (“Imagine all the people, arrested in Brazil …”).
• Tel Aviv, Israel – A local driver has been fined $265 plus towing costs after being accused of illegal parking. That wouldn’t be newsworthy except … road workers were caught on a security camera painting a disabled parking space around the vehicle. The woman has since received an apology from city hall which waved the fine after admitting the incident was a ‘serious error’. (Then they hooked her up to a high-speed tow-truck and charged her with speeding.)
• Rosenheim, Germany – A 53-year-old letter carrier has been taken to court for being … too efficient. After consistently finishing his round before colleagues, they accused him of throwing away mail. In a hearing he explained that he’d simply studied the quickest routes to speed up his round. His supervisor testified she knew of his time-saving methods, but couldn’t accept them as they didn’t follow the rules. Thankfully, the case was tossed out. (See? This is the kind of thing we competent, efficient people always have to put up with!)
– “Times of London”

Toy-maker Hasbro has just revealed the newest “Monopoly” game token (and the one kicked out of the box). Over the past month, hundreds-of-thousands of “Monopoly” fans worldwide have voted for which new token should replace one of the iconic ones being retired after countless journeys past ‘Go’. After a hard-fought campaign, the newest game piece is … a cat, edging out competition from a robot, diamond ring, helicopter, and guitar. And exiting stage right? The iron, which proved slightly less popular than the boot or the wheelbarrow. (Which piece is best? The top hat, obviously.)

What kind of ritual did you go through to officially be recognized as a grown-up? Likely nothing more intense than moving out of mommy & daddy’s basement. On the other hand, some people really have to work for it …
✳ Cliff Diving – Jumping off something really big and not dying was a rite of passage in Hawaii in the 18th century, where King Kahekili used to jump off cliffs just to show that he could. ‘The Birdman’, as he was soon nicknamed, began making his warriors jump off the same cliffs to prove their loyalty and earn his respect. (Hah! You don’t see this at the X Games, do you?)
✳ ‘Hunting Lions’ – The nomadic Maasai group of African tribes has historically used this as a rite of passage for its young men. To prove their manhood the young Maasai men were encouraged to venture out into the savanna to bag 500 pounds of teeth and claws using nothing more than spears and shields. (And what must have been spectacularly large testicles.)
✳ ‘Ritual Beatings’ – The Matis people from the Amazon had an ancient ritual called ‘mariwin’, in which village elders dressed themselves as important spirits and entered the village to whip warriors to make them stronger, children if they were naughty, and even pregnant women to make their babies stronger. (And this was all before “50 Shades of Grey”!)
✳ ‘Hand In a Hole’ – The way this test of bravery worked is that the subject was made to put his or her hand in a hole. If that doesn’t sound too scary, then consider that this hole – or hollow stump or haunted crevasse – would often be filled with critters. How tough a test this was varied depending on one’s primal fear of bugs, snakes, etc. (OMG, there’s hairballs in there!!!!)
✳ Vine Diving – The young men of Vanuatu would scale a wooden tower, then hurl themselves at the dirt below. Sure they had vines attached to their legs to break their fall, similar to a bungee jump, but vines can be a lot less reliable than bungee cords. (All of this to prove the usual assortment of traits: bravery, courage, strength … gullibility.)
– Condensed from

100-year-old great-grandfather Jim Clements is Britain’s (and perhaps the world’s) longest-serving temp. He’s been working for a security company in Harlow for 34 years, since age 66, the result of his wife telling him to “get a job” when he became a bored retiree. He’s now been working a total of 86 years … likely some other kind of record.

Only 2 flavors are interpreted the same way whether eaten or smelled … chocolate and lavender.
– “Daily Telegraph”


1960 [53] James Spader, Boston MA, TV actor (“The Office” 2011-12, “Boston Legal” 2004-08, “The Practice” 2003-04)/movie actor (“Lincoln”, “sex, lies & videotape”)

1962 [51] Garth Brooks, Tulsa OK, country singer (“More Than a Memory”, “Friends in Low Places”)/married to country singer Trisha Yearwood since 2005

1962 [51] David Bryan (Rashbaum), Perth Amboy NJ, pop-rock keyboardist (Bon Jovi-“It’s My Life”, “Always”)

1965 [48] Chris Rock, Andrews SC, comedian/movie actor (“Grown Ups”, “Madagascar” films)

1974 [39] Steve Nash, Johannesburg, South Africa [raised Victoria BC], NBA point guard (LA Lakers)/Order of Canada (2007)

1978 [35] Ashton Kutcher, Cedar Rapids IA, TV actor (“Two-And-a-Half Men” since 2011, “That ‘70s Show” 1998-2005)/movie actor (“New Year’s Eve”, “No Strings Attached”)  UP NEXT: Portrays Apple co-founder Steve Jobs in “jOBS”, opening April 19th.

1978 [35] Tom Blankenship, Louisville KY, rock bassist (My Morning Jacket-“Friends Again”, “Holdin’ On to Black Metal”)

1990 [23] Steven Stamkos, Markham ON, NHL center (Tampa Bay Lightning)

• “Ballet Day”, an annual celebration of the artistic dance-form that keeps people on their toes.

• “Charles Dickens Day”, celebrating the legendary British author (“Oliver Twist”, “David Copperfield”, “A Christmas Carol”) on the anniversary of his birth in 1812.

• “Fettuccine Alfredo Day”, an annual food holiday in appreciation of the pasta dish that involves tossing fettuccine noodles with heavy cream & cheese. (Which then sits in your stomach like a bowling ball.)

• “Wave All Your Fingers at Your Neighbors Day” … instead of just the middle one. (And they’ll be wondering, “What the heck does that idiot want now?”)

1988 [25] 1st episode of “America’s Most Wanted” on FOX-TV (credited with the capture of some 1,200 fugitives)

2014 [-1] 22nd “Winter Olympic Games” open in Sochi, Russia

1964 [49] The Beatles 1st North American tour begins in NYC, the so-called ‘British Invasion’

1875 [138] 1st ‘Tattooing Machine’ (Samuel O’Reilly, NYC)

1976 [37] Toronto Maple Leafs’ Darryl Sittler scores an NHL-record 10 points in a single hockey game, including 6 goals (vs Boston Bruins)

[Fri] “Identity Thief”; “Side Effects”; “Top Gun” (IMAX 3D) open in movie theaters
[Fri] 2013 MusiCares Person Of the Year (Los Angeles)
[Sat] Stop Bullying Day
[Sun] Chinese New Year
[Sun] “55th Grammy Awards” (CBS)
[Sun] British Academy Film Awards (London)
This Week Is … Freelance Writers Appreciation Week
This Month Is … Pet Dental Health Month


In the TV series “Betty White’s Off Their Rockers”, a hidden camera shows senior citizens playing pre-planned pranks on unsuspecting youngsters. But here are a few ….
• Leaving blinker on for miles and miles and miles …
• Repeatedly calling someone by their brother’s name.
• Winning the lottery and dying shortly thereafter.
• Going to church on a weekday.
• Taking forever to order food.
• Then complaining that the service is ‘too slow’.
• Developing own distinct odor.
• Sending mail … in the mail.
• Asking “What?” over and over and over …
– Thanks to Alex Watt.

All the men in my family were bearded, and most of the women.

Valentines Day replaced the ancient pagan fertility festival ‘Lupercalia’. How was it celebrated?
a. By sacrificing a goat. [CORRECT]
b. By buying flowers & chocolate for loved ones.
c. By dancing nude in the village square.

☎ Name some things you shouldn’t write on.

Question: If you’re an average woman, you’ll do THIS 8 times today.
Answer: Check your reflection in a mirror.

Make the most of the best and the least of the worst.

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