Friday, June 21, 2013        Edition: #5012

We’ve Got Our Sheet Together!

✳ Hospital officials in Rome now say 51-year-old actor James Gandolfini died of cardiac arrest. The Emmy-winning actor, whose 1999-2007 role as mob boss ‘Tony’ on “The Sopranos” (HBO) won him 3 Emmys and made him a household name, was reportedly discovered unconscious late Wednesday by his 13-year-old son Michael. He’d been scheduled to attend the closing of the Taormina Film Festival in Sicily on Saturday. An autopsy is scheduled to begin today. (A couple years back, he was quoted as saying: “I’m too tired to be a tough guy anymore.”)
✳ A&E’s hit show “Storage Wars” is using various legal maneuvers to avoid admitting that the show routinely plants items in storage lockers without telling the audience the show is faked. Former cast member Dave Hester was first to blow the whistle about lockers being ‘salted’. The network has previously vowed the show is real and is now doing everything possible to avoid addressing the issue. (Would you be watching if the lockers contained the usual rubbish people store?)
✳ Nick Prugo, ringleader of Hollywood’s so-called ‘Bling Ring’, has now publicly apologized to his celeb victims, including Megan Fox, Orlando Bloom, and Rachel Bilson, after stealing $3 million-worth of goods from their homes during a 10-month crime spree in 2008-09. He was convicted of felony residential burglary and sentenced to a year behind bars, while he also underwent rehab for substance abuse. (His apology comes just as Sofia Coppola’s “The Bling Ring” movie is opening … coincidence?)
– “Star Magazine”
✳ And 46-year-old Sam Taylor-Johnson has been signed to direct  the Hollywood adaptation of erotic bestseller “50 Shades of Grey”. She’s the wife of “Kick-Ass” star Aaron Taylor-Johnson (23), who played John Lennon in her 2009 directorial debut “Nowhere Boy”. While her hiring prompts speculation her young hubby will be considered for the role of ‘Christian Grey’, sources say he’s not expected to pursue it. Felicity Jones (29) is the actress most often rumored for the role of virginal protagonist ‘Anastasia Steele’. (They’re moving downward from the B-list now … is this movie scaring off the big names?)

• “America’s Got Talent” (NBC/CityTV) – Sunday more hopefuls perform for the judges. Rerun.
• “Celebrity Wife Swap” (ABC) – Sunday in the 2nd season debut, sisters Bristol & Willow Palin trade lives with mother-daughter duo Melissa & Joan Rivers. (Where’s the ‘wives’? And the celebrities’?)
• “Devious Maids” (Lifetime) – Sunday the series debut of a drama following the lives of 5 maids working for the rich & famous in Beverly Hills CA. (This is the de facto new “Desperate Housewives”, as it comes its creator, Marc Cherry, as well as its former star, Eva Longoria.)
• “Ellen DeGeneres Show” (syndicated/CTV2) – Today Grizzly Bear (“Shields”). Rerun.
• Firefly Music Festival (Dover DE) – Today the 2nd annual 3-day event gets underway with a lineup that includes: Foster The People, Imagine Dragons, The Lumineers, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, Vampire Weekend, and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs.
• “Good Morning America” (ABC) – Today John Legend performs (“Wake Up!”).
• “Last Call With Carson Daly” (NBC) – Tonight Foals (“Holy Fire”). Rerun.
• “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon” (NBC/CTV2) – Tonight Zedd (“Spectrum”).
• “Late Show With David Letterman” (CBS/NTV/Omni1) – Tonight Steve Martin & Edie Brickell (“Love Has Come For You”). Rerun.
• “Madonna: the MDNA Tour” (EPIX) – Saturday the premiere of a concert doc filmed primarily in Miami FL that follows the most successful and highest grossing tour of 2012.
• “Stanley Cup Final” (CBC/NBC) – Saturday Game 5, from the United Center in Chicago IL.
• “Tavis Smiley” (PBS) – Tonight India.Arie (“Songversation”).
• “Today Show” (NBC) – Today Hunter Hayes (“Hunter Hayes Encore”) performs.
• “Tonight Show With Jay Leno” (NBC/CTV2) – Tonight Joseph Arthur (“Ballad of Boogie Christ”).
• “The View” (ABC/CTV) – Today guest co-host Ne-Yo (“R.E.D.”).

• Black Sabbath – Mirroring its performance in the UK, “13” has become their 1st-ever #1 album in the USA. Ozzy Osbourne never had a #1 record in his solo career before either.
• Bruno Mars – Saturday the North American leg of his “Moonshine Jungle World Tour” begins in Washington DC, with special guest Fitz & The Tantrums. After it wraps September 1st in San Juan, Puerto Rico the tour’s European leg begins.
• Justin Bieber – Saturday the “Believe Tour” resumes in San Diego CA with dates booked through August 10th in Atlanta GA. He’s just confirmed plans to release another movie, as well as new music later this year.
• Paul McCartney – Saturday his “Out There!” tour hits Warsaw, Poland.
• Pitbull – His concert this week at LA’s famed Hollywood Bowl featured Jennifer Lopez and her ex, Marc Anthony, as surprise guests. It also featured (ugh) Chris Brown.
• Rihanna – Don’t try to grab her while she’s in the middle of a song. She’ll hit you with her microphone. Hard. That’s what she did to a fan this week during a gig in Birmingham, England.
• Wilco – This weekend they’re bringing back their “Solid Sound Music & Arts Festival” to North Adams MA. As well as curating the lineup, Wilco performs 2 full sets during the 3-day festival.

• “Monsters University” ( G-Rated Animated Adventure ): This prequel to “Monsters, Inc” (2001) looks at the relationship between ‘Mike’ and ‘Sulley’ during their days at ‘Monsters University’ … when they weren’t necessarily the best of friends. Voice cast includes Billy Crystal, John Goodman, Steve Buscemi, Helen Mirren.
• “World War Z” ( PG-13 Sci-Fi Thriller ): Brad Pitt stars as a UN worker who traverses the world in a race against time to stop the Zombie pandemic that is toppling armies and governments, and threatening to destroy humanity. Co-stars Mireille Enos, Daniella Kertesz, James Badge Dale. Based on the novel by Max Brooks.
• Opening in limited release: “The Bling Ring” (Crime Drama); “Downloaded” (Documentary); “A Hijacking” (Thriller); “Maniac” (Horror Thriller); and “Unfinished Song” (Comedy).

Clapping is contagious. A new Swedish study finds that applause can vary in length and volume even when an audience witnesses the same quality performance. This is due to the dynamics of the crowd. When 1 or 2 people put their hands together, it sparks a chain reaction. Spurred on by the noise, other audience members join in. The performance being watched, no matter how brilliant, has little effect on the duration of applause. Researchers have found that, as well as starting applause, it only takes a couple of people to end it. (When you quit clapping, the person next to you may decide to … and so on and so on.)
– Condensed from BBC News

If you fail to get up and turn off this new alarm clock … it shreds your money. US inventor Rich Olson has combined a Sparkfun Clockit and a USB paper shredder to create a bizarre machine that uses a cash incentive to rouse sleepy-headed users. He’s programmed the device to tear up a paper bill each time the user fails to turn it off within a few seconds. (This is reminiscent of an 1882 invention called the ‘Wood Block Alarm’, which was suspended over the bed and dropped 20 wooden blocks on the head when it went off.)

• The average Australian is a 37-year-old woman with 2 children. (Actually, the average Australian is a kangaroo as ‘roos outnumber people most of the time.)
– Magazine Monitor
• Moustache transplants are popular in Turkey. (Especially among men.)
– “Wall Street Journal”


1950 [63] Joey Kramer, NYC, rock drummer (Aerosmith-“I Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing”, “Dream On”)/Rock & Roll Hall of Fame (2001)

1951 [62] Nils Lofgren, Chicago IL, classic rock guitarist (Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band-“Born In the USA”, “Born to Run”)

1976 [37] Mike Einziger, LA CA, alt-rock guitarist (Incubus-“Anna-Molly”, “Drive”)

1979 [34] Chris Pratt, Virginia MN, TV actor (‘Andy Dwyer’ on “Parks & Recreation’ since 2009)

1981 [32] Brandon Flowers, Henderson NV, pop/rock singer-keyboardist (The Killers-“Human”, “When You Were Young”)

1982 [31] Prince William (William Arthur Philip Louis Windsor), London UK, Duke of Cambridge/eldest son of Prince Charles & the late Princess Diana/married to Kate Middleton (Duchess of Cambridge) 2011/2nd-in-line to the British throne after his dad

1986 [27] Lana Del Rey (Elizabeth Grant), NYC, pop singer-songwriter (“Born to Die”, “Video Games”)

Movie actress Meryl Streep (“The Iron Lady”) is 64; Pop singer Cyndi Lauper (“True Colors”) is 60; Novelist Dan Brown (“Inferno”) is 49; TV host Carson Daly (“The Voice”) is 40.

TV personality Randy Jackson (ex-“American Idol”) is 57; Movie actress Frances McDormand (“Fargo”) is 56; TV actress Selma Blair (ex-“Anger Management”) is 41; Pop singer KT Tunstall (“Black Horse & The Cherry Tree”) is 38; Pop singer-songwriter Jason Mraz (“I’m Yours”) is 36; Actress Melissa Rauch (“Big Bang Theory”) is 33; Pop singer Duffy (“Mercy”) is 29.

• “Aboriginal Day” in Canada, established in 1996 as a special day to celebrate the unique heritage, cultures, and contributions of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis people in Canada.
• “Atheists Solidarity Day”, a day of awareness when atheists everywhere are encouraged to be open about their lack of belief in god and not fear harmful consequences.
• “Baby Boomer Recognition Day”, a special day to commemorate the accomplishments of those born between 1946 and 1964. The oldest ‘boomers’ are now 67.
• “Canadian North Midnight Classic”, the 63rd annual all-night golf tournament in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, possible because there’s 24 hours of daylight at the Summer Solstice.
• “First Day of Summer” after the “Summer Solstice” at 1:04 am EDT this morning. The arrival of Summer is also the excuse for “Flip Flop Day” and “Stock Up on Antiperspirant Day”.
• “Go Skateboarding Day”, an unofficial annual holiday conceived by the International Association of Skateboard Companies to promote boarding.
• “International Surfing Day”, an environmentally-conscious observance that celebrates the sport of surfing, the surfing lifestyle, and the sustainability of ocean resources.
• “Midnight Sun Baseball Classic”, the 108th annual in Fairbanks, Alaska which begins at 10:30 pm without artificial lights, because these days Alaskans enjoy 22 hours of direct sunlight daily.
• “Take Your Dog to Work Day”, created by Pet Sitters International in 1999 to give dog owners the opportunity to invite their ‘best friend’ into participating workplaces.
• “Ugliest Dog Contest”, the 25th annual at the Sonoma-Marin Fair in Petaluma, California. Top dog wins $1,000. Some of them can be downright hideous – missing a limb, an eye, or fur.
• “World Handshake Day” … but only after you use your hand sanitizer, OK?
• “World Humanist Day”, a day for spreading awareness of Humanism as a means to affect change. Humanism is a philosophy that promotes human reason, ethics, and justice.

• “Backyard Campout Night”, great fun for kids of all ages. But not so much for the adults trying to sleep indoors who wake up to the door slamming every time the ‘campers’ need drinks, food or the bathroom; or get scared by spooky noises coming from the neighbor’s yard.
• “Stupid Guy Thing Day”. Women are always talking about it (“Oh that’s just another stupid guy thing …”), so here’s the day to commemorate it! Women everywhere are encouraged to make a list of ‘Stupid Guy Things’ and pass it on.

• “Let It Go Day”, a day to release pent-up emotions. Whatever is bugging you, let it go!
• “Strawberry Moon”, the Full Moon of June, named for the relatively short season for harvesting strawberries.

2003 [10] “Harry Potter & The Order Of the Phoenix” (book 5) is released in bookstores and grosses more in 1 day than the heavily-hyped movie opening of “Hulk”, an unprecedented feat in publishing

2004 [09] ‘SpaceShipOne’ rocket punches through Earth’s atmosphere, then returns to glide to a landing on California’s Mojave Desert in the 1st privately-financed manned spaceflight (a lot more to come)

2000 [13] ‘World’s Longest Bench’ is unveiled at a flower show in Japan, measuring 1,832 feet and seating 900 people (world’s largest collection of chewing gum wads is stuck underneath)

[Mon] Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day (Québec)
[Mon] “Under The Dome” debuts (CBS/Global)
[Mon] Celebration Of the Senses
[Mon] International Fairy Day
[Tues] Please Take My Children to Work Day
This Week Is … Camping Week
This Month Is … Audio Book Appreciation Month


A new “USA Today” study finds that tens-of-thousands patients undergo surgery they don’t need each year. It’s estimated that 10%-20% of some common surgeries aren’t necessary.
✗ Hernia Implant.
✗ Internal Tanning.
✗ Saliva Transfusion.
✗ Permanent Bow-tie.
✗ Decorative Lung Fringe.
✗ Carbonation of Spinal Fluid.
✗ Molding Liver into Shape of Little Scottie Dog.
✗ Combining Large & Small Intestine Into Single More Manageable Medium Intestine.

☎ A recent Gallup poll finds that 50% of us are ‘not engaged’ at work and are just going through the motions. 20% are ‘actively disengaged’; in other words, hate going to work. Only 30% of us are ‘engaged, involved in, enthusiastic about, and committed to’ the workplace. So – aside from money – what would it take for you to become enthusiastic about work?

Where were the very first Swiss army knives made?
a. Switzerland, idiot!
b. Germany. [CORRECT]
c. China, like everything else.

I believe you should live each day as if it is your last, which is why I don’t have any clean laundry. Because, come on, who wants to wash clothes on the last day of their life?

Question: Sales of THIS increase by 65% during Summer.
Answer: Cracker Jack.

Never invest your money in anything that eats or needs repairing.

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