Thursday, June 6, 2013        Edition: #5001

Sheet For Brains!

✳ California travel company Viator is launching Summer tours of Belfast, Northern Ireland and the walled city of Dubrovnik, Croatia, which serve as settings for the wildly popular HBO-TV series “Game of Thrones”. The 9-hour (!!!) walking tour of Belfast includes the ‘Dark Hedges’, where Maisie Williams’ character ‘Arya Stark’ reinvented herself as a boy. The 3-hour Dubrovnik tour includes a stop at the 11th-century Lovrijenac Fortress, where 2 crucial battle scenes were shot. A Viator rep promises that tour guides will be well-versed in the popular series based on the fantasy novels by George RR Martin. (Who’s likely cashing in again.)
✳ Another bio-pic about famed Hollywood couple Elizabeth Taylor & Richard Burton is on the way. The BBC-TV movie stars 47-year-old actress Helena Bonham-Carter (Mrs Tim Burton) & former “The Wire” star Dominic West (NET: Liz & Dick met while filming “Cleopatra” (1963) and began an affair despite both being married. The bio-pic centers on their ensuing volatile, on/off relationship. “Burton & Taylor” airs on BBC 4 later this year. (Hopefully it’s better than Lindsay Lohan & Grant Bowler in Lifetime-TV’s awful “Liz & Dick” earlier this year.)
✳ 37-year-old actress Kate Winslet is pregnant with her 1st child via her latest husband Ned Rocknroll, wacky-named nephew of billionaire Virgin mogul Richard Branson. It will be her 3rd offspring, each fathered by someone different (ex-husbands Jim Threapleton and Sam Mendes also anted up). Meantime, 34-year-old actress Jennifer Love Hewitt has confirmed her engagement to her “Client List” co-star Brian Hallisay, just a day after announcing her pregnancy. Oops! (It all started with “Love Bites”. We mean the TV show where they met.)
– “US Weekly”
✳ Music licensing company BMI has just filed lawsuits against 12 seemingly randomly-picked bars & restaurants, claiming they’ve been playing its songs without paying a licensing fee. For each BMI-licenced song that gets played on a bar jukebox or by a DJ without the proper fee being paid, BMI claims it’s entitled to $150,000 in damages. It seems they’re trying to send a message to hundreds-of-thousands of establishments by picking on a sorrowful few. (Playing “Free Bird” isn’t free after all … it could literally put a bar out of biz!)
✳ And Michael Christian (aka ‘The Royal Prank DJ’) has been named ‘Top Jock’ by Australia’s Southern Cross Austereo radio network, 6 months after he & co-host Mel Greig hit world headlines for duping staff at a UK hospital into divulging confidential info about pregnant duchess Kate Middleton. The joke turned to tragedy when nurse Jacintha Saldanha, who answered the call, was found dead 3 days later in a suspected suicide. Christian has scooped a trip to Los Angeles as part of his prize. (Greig, on the other hand, has not returned to work since the hoax was broadcast. She’ll voluntarily testify at an upcoming inquest.)

• CMA Music Festival (Nashville TN) – The annual country music fan fair runs through Sunday, with autograph sessions, exhibits, and nightly performances by the likes of Blake Shelton, Brad Paisley, Carrie Underwood, Eric Church, Keith Urban, Lady Antebellum, Little Big Town, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Taylor Swift, and the Zac Brown Band.
• “Colbert Report” (Comedy Central/CTV) – Rocker John Mellencamp & music producer T Bone Burnett (“Ghost Brothers of Darkland County”).
• “Conan” (TBS/CTV) – Capital Cities (“In a Tidal Wave of Mystery”).
• “Jimmy Kimmel Live” (ABC/CityTV) – The Lonely Island (“The Wack Album”).
• “Last Call With Carson Daly” (NBC) – Foals (“Holy Fire”).
• “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon” (NBC/CTV2) – Broken Social Scene f/Feist (“Forgiveness Rock Record”).
• “Late Show With David Letterman” (CBS/NTV/Omni1) – Queens Of the Stone Age (“… Like Clockwork”) perform for a 2nd consecutive night.
• “Live With Kelly & Michael” (ABC/CTV) – Avril Lavigne (“Here’s to Never Growing Up”).
• “NBA Finals” (ABC/TSN) – Game 1 from the American Airlines Arena in Miami FL as the Heat host the San Antonio Spurs.
• “The Talk” (CBS) – Gretchen Wilson (“Under the Covers”); The Wanted (“The Wanted Life”).
• “Tonight Show With Jay Leno” (NBC/CTV2) – She & Him (“Volume 3”).

• Adele – Outspoken Chanel designer Karl Lagerfeld claims he called her ‘a little roundish’ not ‘fat’ in a recent interview. He tells CNN’s “Backstage Pass” that snide comment did her a favor in the end as she’s since lost 8 kilos (about 18 lbs).
• George Michael – Police have decided the 49-year-old will not face any charges after falling out of a Range Rover going 70 mph on the M-1 in Hertfordshire, England last month … even though he could be fined for not having his seatbelt fastened. The still unexplained incident caused the former pop star to spend 13 days in hospital being treated for head injuries.
• Miguel – TMZ reports he was told by producers not to attempt his infamously botched jump during his performance at the “Billboard Music Awards”, but he defied the order and lunged into the crowd, dropping a female fan who subsequently smashed her head against the stage. The victim’s lawyer says she may have suffered a brain injury and a lawsuit may be pending.
• U2 – All 4 members have been spotted at NYC’s Electric Lady Studios, apparently working on a new album. “Rolling Stone” reports that Danger Mouse is currently completing his mixing work on the untitled set, reportedly due in the Fall.
• The Wanted – Siva Kaneswaran from the British boy-band has been signed by top London modeling agency Next. Born in Dublin to an Irish mother and Sri Lankan Tamil father, Siva started modeling at age 15 alongside his identical twin brother Kumar.

A BS selection of movies in the making …
• “Camp X-Ray” – Kristen Stewart has signed on for this war-on-terror indie drama that is scheduled to begin shooting in mid-July. Stewart will play a female soldier who is stationed at Camp X-Ray in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. There she forms an unlikely bond with one of the prisoners. No release date is yet set for the film.
• “Fables” – This long-running comic book series is being developed for the bigscreen by David Heyman, who produced the “Harry Potter” movies. The premise centers on fairytale characters ranging from ‘Snow White’ to ‘Cinderella’ to the ‘Big Bad Wolf’, who are kicked out of their world and now live in a secret pocket of NYC. Sounds similar to TV’s “Once Upon a Time”.
• “Imitation Game” – Keira Knightley is in talks to join Benedict Cumberbatch in this indie drama based on the book “Alan Turing: The Enigma”. Turing was a British mathematician and cryptographer who helped crack Germany’s ‘enigma code’ during WW2. He was later prosecuted by the UK government for being gay. Knightley would play his longtime friend.
• “One Shot at Forever” – Based on Chris Ballard’s book “One Shot at Forever: A Small Town, an Unlikely Coach & a Magical Baseball Season”, the story follows an English teacher who reluctantly becomes coach of his high school baseball team in 1971. Bucking conventions, the team, sporting long hair and warming up to rock music, ends up making it to the finals.
• “Pirates Of the Caribbean 5” – Hot off their Oscar-nominated foreign film “Kon-Tiki”, directors Joachim Ronning & Espen Sandberg are in final negotiations to direct yet another sequel to the blockbuster franchise that follows the adventures of ‘Captain Jack Sparrow’. Johnny Depp is already signed to reprise his starring role. The film is scheduled for 2015.

Always forgetting computer passwords? Tech company Motorola is working on some rather unusual solutions to that problem. They’ve unveiled an ‘electronic tattoo’ that sticks to your skin and has an embedded circuit that allows gadgets to identify you. Another experimental idea is a ‘password pill’ you swallow that transmits a signal to devices outside the body. The pill doesn’t need batteries because it is powered by stomach acid. But that’s just a concept so far, it won’t be on sale anytime soon. (Here’s a thought … write your password down on a piece of paper.)
– BBC News

Regular ice cubes are actually terrible at keeping liquids cold. They immediately melt and dilute the flavor and they can alter the taste if your water source isn’t pure. That’s the premise behind a new Kickstarter project called ‘Pucs’. Designers Dave & Calvin Laituri have perfected ice cubes that never water down or change the taste of a drink … because they are made from stainless steel. ‘Pucs’ come in sets of 6 in either a black walnut or maple case. (Brilliant! Make your own using sterilized ball bearings.)

Some of the fascinating things men like to do when the little woman is away from home …
• Fix things. It helps when someone isn’t hanging over your shoulder making ‘helpful suggestions’.
• Clean. But in a truly manly way … using a high-pressure power washer.
• Park the kids in front of the TV. Because a 6-hour “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” marathon is not an option when mom is home.
• Nap. Having your partner standing over your nap-couch with a basket of jumbled socks doesn’t exactly make for a primo snooze.
• Drink. Watching sports while tying on a little buzz is a rare treat when you’re married.
• Eat. Mow down on cheese curls and pork rinds until 20 minutes before you get home.
• Get lonely. Watching “Boardwalk Empire” with pretend ‘pillow wife’ really sucks.
– Condensed from

Social websites seem to be the happiest places on Earth. The vast majority of photos on Facebook, for instance, show people smiling and having fun. While online sites were initially a place to express frustration and sadness in a safe environment (after all, people couldn’t see you), Stanford University sociologist Clifford Nass notes that users are now under pressure to avoid anything but the positive. Statements about negative emotions are much less ‘liked’ and shared, especially when posted by sad people. (Anyone who needs to be ‘liked’ online is truly a sad case to start with.)
– “Pacific Standard Magazine”

In high doses, diet cola may damage your teeth as much as methamphetamine and crack cocaine, finds a new case study in “General Dentistry”. The long-term study looked at a meth addict, a cocaine addict, and someone who drank 2 liters of diet pop daily. While none of the people regularly saw a dentist, to the untrained eye all 3 suffered identical symptoms: Rotting, discolored, and destroyed teeth. Diet cola doesn’t contain sugar but it’s highly acidic, and acid wears away your teeth’s protective enamel and creates an environment where bacteria thrive. (Simple tip: Drink from a straw … it reduces the acid touching your teeth.)
– “Men’s Health”

Let’s be honest, you’re not very good at haggling, are you? You offer 10, the seller demands 100, and you settle somewhere around 50. According to a new Columbia University study, the true secret to negotiating a good deal is … avoiding round numbers. Research suggests there’s power in precision. The study shows that people who offer or ask for precise amounts almost always wring more concessions from the person they’re negotiating with. Researchers think that’s because a precise number – rightly or wrongly – implies you’ve done your homework and know the actual value of a thing. (“Boss, I’m looking for a raise to $68,402 …”)

According to international research, approximately 5% of the population hears voices, even though they are otherwise healthy. (Sssh! I’m busy working here …)


1952 [61] Harvey Fierstein, Brooklyn NY, Broadway actor (Tony Award-“Hairspray”)/playwright (“Torch Song Trilogy”)/movie actor (“Mrs Doubtfire”)

1967 [46] Paul Giamatti, New Haven CT, movie actor (“Cinderella Man”, “Sideways”)/TV actor “John Adams” (HBO)

1970 [43] James ‘Munky’ Shaffer, Rosedale CA, nu metal guitarist (Korn-“Twisted Transistor”, “Here to Stay”)

1974 [39] Uncle Kracker (Matthew Shafer), Mount Clemens MI, country/rock/rap vocalist (“Smile”, “Drift Away”)

1988 [25] Maria (‘Masha’) Alyokhina, Moscow, Russia, punk-rock singer (Pussy Riot)/activist now serving 2 years in prison for ‘hooliganism motivated by religious hatred’

2007 [06] Aubrey Anderson-Emmons, Santa Monica CA, TV actress (‘Lily Tucker-Pritchett’ on “Modern Family” since 2011)

• “D-Day”, the anniversary of the 1944 Allied invasion of Europe during WW2, when before dawn 2,727 ships of every description converged on Normandy carrying 2-million tons of war materials and 155,000 troops. The password used during the invasion was … ‘Mickey Mouse’.

• “Gardening Exercise Day”, a day to get out and workout with your plants. Don’t laugh … if you’ve ever helped a gardener for an afternoon, you know what hard work it is.

• “Yo-Yo Day”, observed on the birth anniversary of Donald Duncan (1892-1971), the businessman who first mass-marketed the invention in the West in the 1930s when it became wildly popular. According to modern legend, the yo-yo was first invented in the Philippines centuries ago … as a weapon. (If it goes down but doesn’t come back up, is it a ‘yo’?)

1998 [15] TV show “Sex & The City” premieres on HBO

1993 [20] The Who’s “Tommy”, now a Broadway play, takes home 5 Tony Awards at the annual ceremony in NYC

1933 [80] 1st ‘Drive-In Theater’ opens, in Camden NJ (25 cents per person or a buck-a-car to see “Wife Beware”)

1992 [21] A pyramid of 45 members of an Indian Army motorcycle team rides 8 motorcycles 874 yards at Bangalore, India for a new Guinness World Record

[Fri] “The Internship”; “The Purge” open in movie theaters
[Sat] Belmont Stakes (Queens NY)
[Sat] Worldwide Knit in Public Day
[Sat] World Oceans Day
[Sun] Children’s Sunday
[Sun] World Wind Day
This Week Is … Automotive Service Professionals Week
This Month … Celibacy Awareness Month


✗ Shows up with a pair of manicure scissors and a Ziploc.
✗ Turns a goat loose and says he’ll be back in 3 weeks.
✗ On the side of his lawnmower you notice the stenciled silhouettes of 13 cats.
✗ Stops every 15 minutes to smoke some clippings.
✗ Always trying to impress you by stopping the lawnmower blade with his head.
✗ Somehow manages to mow the hood ornament off your Lexus.
✗ No toes.

☎ Guest performers at Rolling Stones concerts (Carrie Underwood, Gwen Stefani, Katie Perry, Keith Urban and, most recently, Taylor Swift on Monday in Chicago) … good idea or bad? Who do you think will show up at the rest of this week’s gigs: Air Canada Centre, Toronto tonight; Centre Bell, Montréal on Sunday? Carly Rae Jepsen? The Biebs?

You know you’re getting old when ‘getting lucky’ means finding your car in the mall parking lot.

Question:  The world record for THIS is 8 feet (2.4 meters) in circumference.
Answer: Human hips. (More like hippo hips.)

Just because everything is different doesn’t mean anything has changed.

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