Thursday, July 29, 2010        Edition: #4310
Sheet Happens!

If reports are to be believed, former “American Idol” producer Nigel Lythgoe (“So You Think You Can Dance”) might be about to return to the show and – if that happens – his first move will be canning Randy Jackson, Ellen DeGeneres, and Kara DioGuardi and bringing in Justin Timberlake, Elton John, and Usher as the new judges (if it ain’t broke …) . . . has announced that Stieg Larsson, author of “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo”, has become the first to sell more than 1 million Kindle e-books, thanks to his popular ‘Millennium Trilogy’ mystery novels (he died in 2004, probably never even hearing of ‘Kindle’) . . . 46-year-old actor Russell Crowe has signed on to narrate the upcoming $15-million production “Ben Hur: The Stadium Spectacular” in Sydney, Australia, which will basically be a live version of the famous 1959 movie that starred Charlton Heston (more than 2,000 performers!) . . . Comic actor Chris Tucker (“Rush Hour” films) continues to have tax trouble, the IRS filing papers demanding over $11.5 million in back taxes (that’s on top of a $3.5-million lien filed against him by the State of California last year) . . . Former “America’s Got Talent” judge David Hasselhoff will appear in a new music video by his 30-year-old model/actress girlfriend Anouska de Georgiou – as a naughty schoolboy (he’s finally found work!) . . . 36-year-old famous person Victoria Beckham is said to be a big fan of the ‘chocolate wax’ offered at London skincare boutique Strip (doesn’t matter if it’s chocolate or pizza – it still hurts!) . . . And 54-year-old Mel Gibson has now met with LAPD detectives to ‘present evidence’ of alleged extortion by ex-girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva, whom he claims tried to get money in return for keeping his recorded phone rants private (dude, at this point your only hope is to go hide on your private Fijian island and …. quit talking!).


• “CSI” (CBS/CTV) – In a rerun show, a member of Rascal Flatts is electrocuted by his own guitar during a concert.
• “Jersey Shore” (MTV) – The 2nd season debut, set in Miami Beach. The series will eventually return to Seaside Heights NJ where some new faces will be introduced in the 2nd half of the season.
• “Jimmy Kimmel Live” (ABC/CityTV) – Swell Season (“Strict Joy”).
• “Kerrang! Awards” – The British rock magazine hands out its annual awards. Thirty Seconds to Mars and Paramore lead nominations with 4 each.
• “Last Call With Carson Daly” (NBC) – 311 (“Uplifter”).
• “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon” (NBC/A Channel) – Of Montreal (“False Priest”).
• “Late Show With David Letterman” (CBS) – Interpol (self-titled album coming in September).
• “So You Think You Can Dance” (FOX/CTV) – Dancers from the movie “Step Up 3-D” (opening August 6th) perform; Christian TV (“When She Turns 18”) performs; 2 contestants are eliminated.
• “Tonight Show With Jay Leno” (NBC/A Channel) – Stone Temple Pilots (“Stone Temple Pilots”).
• “The View” (ABC/CTV) – Barack Obama makes the 1st appearance by a sitting US president on a daytime TV talk show. The interview about jobs, the economy, the Gulf oil spill, and family life inside the White House was taped yesterday. Co-host Barbara Walters returns to the studio for the first time since undergoing open-heart surgery in May.


• Arcade Fire – Director Terry Gilliam (“Brazil”, “12 Monkeys”) will direct a live webcast of their August 5th Madison Square Garden concert in NYC. The entire show will stream online.
• Elton John – He’s slammed the musicians’ boycott of Arizona over the state’s new immigration law, which takes effect today. “Arizona Daily Star” reports he told a Tucson concert crowd: “I have read that some artists won’t come here. They are f–kwits! I still play in California and as a gay man I have no legal rights whatsoever. So what’s the f–k’s with these people?”
• LeAnn Rimes – She’s taking her relationship with actor Eddie Cibrian to the next level, moving him into her house. A source tells it just made sense because his lease was up and her mansion is bigger and already familiar to Eddie’s sons.
• Madonna – She flies commercial, but not the way the rest of us do. On a recent Virgin Atlantic flight she had an entire aisle in 1st class for her entourage. Cabin crew weren’t allowed to walk down her aisle or ask her any questions; they had to go through her assistants. She even brought along a private chef to cook her special macrobiotic meals in the air.
• Michael Jackson – According to a story in the “NY Post”, he allegedly had a secret collection of Nazi memorabilia and contracted specialty video sellers to discreetly get him hard-to-find films and documentaries.
• Reba McEntire – This week she & her crew braved brutal temperatures (heat index 108 F) as well as a thunderstorm that manifested a nearby tornado while filming the music video for her new single, “Turn On the Radio”, in Nashville.


• “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” – Daniel Craig (‘James Bond’) has signed on to star as journalist ‘Mikael Blomkvist’ in a Hollywood version of the first book of the hugely popular “Millennium Trilogy” written by late Swedish author Stieg Larsson (a Swedish movie version has already been made). The film’s due in 2011.
• “Midnight in Paris” – French First Lady Carla Bruni, who is married to French president Nicolas Sarkozy, has filmed a cameo role in Woody Allen’s latest film. The scenes alongside actors Owen Wilson, Marion Cotillard, Adrien Brody, Rachel McAdams, and Michael Sheen, were filmed this week around the Pantheon. One scene featuring Bruni was reportedly shot 32 times.
• “World War Z” – 46-year-old Brad Pitt has been confirmed by the book’s author, Max Brooks, to be taking a starring role in the bigscreen adaptation. The story tells the tale of a man researching a zombie pandemic that took place in the past that led to much of the world’s population being killed off. Paramount is hoping to release the film by Summer 2012.
• “X-Men: First Class” – Kevin Bacon is being lined up for a role as the chief villain in this upcoming prequel that will follow the early friendship between ‘Charles Xavier’ (James McAvoy) and ‘Erik Lensherr’ (Michael Fassbender) as they struggle with their mutant abilities and set up a school for gifted youngsters. The 4th ‘X’ film begins shooting next month.


Collecting employees together for ‘brainstorm’ sessions trying to come up with good ideas is a bad idea. Researchers have found that working in groups actually hinders creativity. How so? It’s likely due to a long observed phenomenon known as ‘social loafing’. When people work in a group, they aren’t especially motivated to put out time and energy. After all, they won’t receive personal praise if the group does well and can blame others if it performs badly. Observers think that’s why group brainstorming seems to stifle, not stimulate, creative juices. (A great excuse to avoid attending tedious meetings! You’re welcome.)
– “Focus Magazine”


The recent ‘Pulse Of a Nation’ project conducted by scientists at Northwestern University and Harvard analyzed some 300 million public tweets in an attempt to find the mood in America. A few highlights …
• The West Coast is an altogether happier place than the East Coast.
• The most consistently happy state is Hawaii; the most miserable Mississippi (oil spill) and Alaska (Palin?).
• And the day most people are feeling grumpy is not Monday, but Thursday. That’s probably because we’ve already had enough of the workplace but there’s still another day to go before the weekend.
– BBC News


Since the success of “Avatar”, the percentage of revenue from 3-D movies has drastically declined. Why are movie-goers shunning the gimmick? There appears to be 2 factors. First, 3-D movies are noticeably dimmer. Film critic Roger Ebert has declared 3-D movies are ‘noticeably darker than standard 2-D’. The other factor is price. 3-D pics are usually at least 25% more expensive. While movie-goers seem happy to pay extra for an ‘event’ such as “Avatar”, they appear less willing to pay a premium for a standard Saturday night popcorn flick. (Is it dead … or just being overused?)

A sampling of stars who started out underprivileged, never experiencing financial security until they struck out on their own …
• Hilary Swank – Grew up in a trailer park in Washington. When she was 15 her mother lost her job and the two slept in their car or at the homes of friends. Now worth $40 million.
• JK Rowling – Surviving as a single mom, the author briefly lived off welfare and in government housing while she wrote the first “Harry Potter”. She’s now worth well over $1 billion.
• Jim Carrey – After his father was laid off, his family lost their home and was forced to live in a van. He now earns about $20 million per film.
• Leighton Meester – Her mother gave birth to her while in prison for drug smuggling. The “Gossip Girl” actress is worth an estimated $5 million today.
• Oprah Winfrey – Born in Mississippi to young, unwed parents, she was raised by her grandmother until she was 6. Winfrey is now worth over $2.7 billion.
• Sarah Jessica Parker – The youngest of 4 born into a struggling family in a coal-mining town. Her divorced mother remarried and had 4 more. Parker is now worth more than $130 million.
• Tom Cruise – Another child of a struggling single mom, who reportedly held up to 4 jobs at a time to support her children. His fortune is estimated at circa $250 million.
– Excerpted from “Woman’s Day”


This week a Dutch court has cleared the way for 14-year-old Laura Dekker to try to become the youngest to sail around-the-world solo. She’d planned to begin the 2-year voyage last September but the court blocked her departure, ruling it a risk to her safety. It’s now likely she’ll embark on the journey from Portugal within 2 weeks. Sailing is definitely in her blood … she was born on her parents’ yacht off New Zealand.
– “China Daily”


• ‘Alien Abduction Insurance’ exists and 2 claims have actually been paid out.
• Since Old Spice began its ‘smell like a man’ ad campaign (“I am on a horse”), sales are up 107%.
• According to the UN, the world’s elderly population is growing at its fastest rate ever. By 2050, there will be more than 2 billion people aged 60 or over.


1953 [57] Ken Burns, NYC, Emmy Award-winning writer, producer, documentary-maker (“The National Parks”, “Baseball”, “The Civil War”)

1953 [57] Tim Gunn, Washington DC, fashion consultant/TV personality (“Project Runway”, “Tim Gunn’s Guide to Style”/author (“A Guide to Quality, Taste & Style”)

1953 [57] Geddy Lee, Toronto ON, classic rock singer/bassist (Rush-“Far Cry”, “Test for Echo”)

1953 [57] Patti Scialfa, Deal NJ, classic rock singer (E Street Band-“Hungry Heart”, “Born to Run”)/Mrs Bruce Springsteen since 1991

1966 [44] Martina McBride (Schiff), Medicine Lodge KS, country singer (“Anyway”, “This One’s For the Girls”)

1973 [37] James Otto, Fort Lewis WA, country singer (“Groovy Little Summer Song”, “Just Got Started Lovin’ You”)

1974 [36] Josh Radnor, Bexley OH, TV actor (‘Ted Mosby’ on “How I Met Your Mother” since 2005)

1977 [33] Danger Mouse (Brian Burton), White Plains NY, pop recording artist (Gnarls Barkley-“Crazy”)/record producer (Gorillaz-“Demon Days”, Beck-“Modern Guilt”)

1982 [28] Allison Mack, Preetz, Germany, TV actress (‘Chloe Sullivan’ on “Smallville” since 2001)


• “Chili Dog Day”, saluting one of our favorite summertime foods.

• “Great Texas Mosquito Festival” through Saturday in Clute TX, home of the world’s largest mosquito, ‘Willie Man Chew’. Participants put on their bug repellent and celebrate with the ‘Mr & Mrs Mosquito Legs Contest’ and a ‘Mosquito-Calling Contest’.

• “International Lasagna Day” celebrating the famous Italian dish that’s become a worldwide fave. Almost all recipes for the ‘perfect lasagna’ feature ricotta as the cheese of choice. However, everybody seems to have their own secret ingredient. What’s yours?

• “Louisiana Watermelon Fest”, the 47th annual through Saturday in Farmerville LA. Seed-spitting attendees also participate in the ‘Watermelon Hunt’, ‘Watermelon Eating Contest’, and ‘Best Dressed Watermelon Contest’. Ah, watermelon … a sure sign of summertime!

• “Rain Day” in Waynesburg, Pennsylvania, an annual community event that started more than a hundred years ago when a farmer noticed it always seemed to rain on July 29th. They now claim it has rained on this date every year since 1796. True or not, it’s a good excuse for an annual party!


2000 [10] Actors Brad Pitt & Jennifer Aniston wed in Malibu CA (they separate after 4-and-a-half years, thanks to that hussy Angelina)


1958 [52] ‘NASA’ (National Aeronautics & Space Administration) is established

2003 [07] Boston’s Bill Mueller becomes the 1st player in Major League history to hit grand slam home runs from both sides of the plate in a single game (also hits a 3rd homer in 14-7 win over the Rangers in Texas)


1986 [24] Record for ‘Hammock Swinging’ begins (ends after 240 hours of lying around)

1988 [22] Reg Morris of Walsall UK sets world record for ‘Crawling on Hands & Knees’ at 28.5
miles (his wife still refuses to take him back)


[Fri] “Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore”; “Charlie St Cloud”; “Dinner for Schmucks” open in movie theaters
[Fri] Cheesecake Day
[Fri] Father-In-Law Day
[Fri] Talk In an Elevator Day
[Fri] System Administrator Appreciation Day
This Week Is … Salad Week
This Month Is … Air-Conditioning Appreciation Days


In Iceland, you should never do what in a restaurant?
a. Compliment the chef.
b. Tip the waiter. [CORRECT. Tipping in a restaurant is considered an insult.]
c. Try to bribe the maitre d’.


If you could bring one character to life from your favorite book, which would it be?

Today’s Question: Men who do THIS at least twice a week live an average of 5 years longer.
Answer to Give Out Next Show: Have sex. (

Wisdom is knowing what to do with what you know.

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