Wednesday, March 14, 2012        Edition: #4705

Sheet Happens!

Celebrity TV chef Mario Batali and his business partner have agreed to pay $5.25 million to settle a lawsuit that alleged they skimmed from their restaurant workers’ tips (must have been a humongous tip jar!) . . . Russell Brand is being investigated by police after a photographer claimed the Brit actor grabbed the iPhone from his hand and hurled it through the window of an abandoned building in New Orleans this week (are we getting testy?) . . . 62-year-old actor Jeff Bridges (“The Big Lebowski”) is co-writing a spiritual guidebook with social activist Bernie Glassman titled “The Dude & The Zen Master”, to be published this Fall (mimicking ‘The Dude’, the height of aspiration?) . . . “Hollywood Life” reports 19-year-old Bobbi Kristina Brown has been spotted making out in public with 22-year-old Nicholas Gordon, whom Whitney Houston raised as if he were her own son (they live in the same Atlanta house they shared with Whitney) . . . Actor Channing Tatum is branching out into business by opening his own bar on Bourbon Street in New Orleans within the next few months, to be called “Saints & Sinners” (he came to know the city while shooting “21 Jump Street”, opening this Friday) . . . And actress Halle Berry’s new engagement ring from French star Olivier Martinez is said to be a one-of-a-kind  4-carat emerald from ‘closed-down mines’ in Muzo, Columbia, which contains secret codes and symbols which only the person wearing it can see (looks like … “100% Zirconium”).


• “American Idol” (FOX/CTV) – The finalists perform for the judges.
• “Jimmy Kimmel Live” (ABC/CHCH) – The Crystal Method f/Martha Reeves (“Sling the Decks”).
• “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon” (NBC/CTV2) – All-American Rejects (“When the World Comes Down”). Rerun.
• “Late Show With David Letterman” (CBS/NTV/Omni1) – Ting Tings (“Sounds from Nowheresville”).
• “Tavis Smiley” (PBS) – Sinead O’Connor (“How About I Be Me And You Be You?”). Rerun.
• “Tonight Show With Jay Leno” (NBC/CTV2) – Meat Loaf (“Hell In a Handbasket”).

• Black Eyed Peas – For his new movie “Scenic Route”, Fergie’s actor-husband Josh Duhamel just had his hair cut into a mohawk. (How very apl de ap of him!)
• Bob Dylan – He’s currently recording his 35th studio album at Jackson Browne’s studio in LA, according to Los Lobos multi-instrumentalist David Hidalgo, who’s participating. (Dylan turns 71 on May 24th.)
• Dierks Bentley – He’s scored his 9th career #1 hit as “Home” has taken over the top spot on both the “Billboard” and Mediabase country charts.
• Fiona Apple – Tonight marks her return to the spotlight when she opens NPR Music’s “South-by-Southwest Festival” showcase in Austin, Texas. It’s her 1st gig outside LA in 5 years. She’ll also play Pitchfork’s SXSW showcase Thursday.
• Madonna – She tells “The Sun” that she often feels as if her ‘head is going to explode’ from all the stress of being a single mom. (Nothing compared to real, non-entouraged single mothers.)
• Nicki Minaj – She’s on the verge of securing a deal to launch her own clothing collection, and also says she’s working on writing 2 books.
• Radiohead – Producer Nigel Godrich has tweeted that the anti-gay protest staged outside their Kansas City gig on the weekend by militant right-wing Westboro Baptist Church was the ‘highlight’ of their US tour.
• Sade – Hard to believe but new stats show she was the top-earning British musician in America last year, eclipsing Adele. That’s thanks to her first North American tour in a decade and the release of “The Ultimate Collection” album. Total take …$16.4 million.
• U2 – Courtney Love blabs in “NY Daily News” that she’s moved into a rented Manhattan condo, thanks to a glowing character reference from Bono. She had a long-running legal battle with her former landlord. (Had she not frittered away Cobain’s money, she’d have been able to buy an entire building.)

New terms leaking into our lingo …
• ‘100-Foot Diet’ – A diet that consists mostly of food grown in one’s own garden. (“Billy, go on out to the patio and grab us some free-range chicken.”)
• ‘Physible’ – A digital file containing instructions that enable a 3-D printer to create a physical object. The printers are getting more affordable, but they’re still limited by the kinds of materials they can use.
• ‘Placenta Pill’ – A pill made from a woman’s placenta and taken by that woman to treat certain postpartum conditions. It’s prepared by boiling, slicing, and dehydrating the placenta and then purée-ing what’s left into a fine powder. The powder is capped in a small pill. This entire process is known as ‘placenta encapsulation’.

In both a heralded and maligned effort to aid the homeless, NYC ad agency BBH is making a number of homeless people actual wi-fi ‘hot spots’ during the “SXSW Festival”, currently underway in Austin, Texas. It’s being touted as ‘a dignified way to provide the homeless with a desirable service to offer’ rather than having to lower themselves to beg. The 13 homeless people taking part in the program are called ‘Hotspot Managers’ and get to keep their earnings in full. (We say it beats a dirty squeegee on our already clean windshield any day.)


Skills that have become outmoded due to the passage of time & technology …
• Cranking a car window up & down.
• Cursive handwriting.
• Getting to know your neighbors.
• Loading 35-mm film into a camera.
• Making popcorn in a pot with oil.
• Navigating using a compass.
• Reading a dicitonary.
• Remembering phone numbers.
• Spelling.
• Using a pay phone.
There are hundreds more listed here …
– “Curious Times”

Cellphone use while driving was just the beginning. Automakers from Detroit to Japan are rolling out vehicles that are becoming virtual iPads on wheels. Next-generation vehicles, safety experts warn, could make multitasking motorists even more of a hazard. Drivers will be able to press steering wheel buttons to buy movie tickets and give voice updates for their Facebook pages. Daimler is working on technology that will enable drivers to read info on the windshield by waving their hand. And Ford is offering a system that converts smartphones into routers, giving all passengers Internet access while on-the-road. (What, no hot tubs?)
– “San Jose Mercury News”

The odds of some everyday (and not-so-everyday) occurrences happening …
• 1-in-3 … Successfully climbing Mount Everest; getting divorced.
• 1-in-50 … Odds that you’ll live to age 100.
• 1-in-246 … Dying from falling down.
• 1-in-250 … Odds your child is a genius; odds of writing a “New York Times” bestseller.
• 1-in-2,500 … Professional golfer getting a hole-in-one.
• 1-in-5,000 … Amateur golfer getting a hole-in-one.
• 1-in-10,000 … Guessing a 4-digit lock combination on 1st try; finding a 4-leaf clover on 1st try.
• 1-in-700,000 … Dying from being bitten by a dog; having quintuplets.
• 1-in-10 million … Dying from parts falling off a plane; any given American being elected president.
• 1-in-250 million … You will die this year from a falling coconut.
• 1-in-300 million … You will die this year from a shark attack.

In Japan, fortune-tellers are advising those who want to be successful in life to start by … scrubbing the bathroom. The book, “Cleaning the Toilet to Attract Luck”, is part of a series advising readers on how to attract good fortune through bathroom hygiene, an idea that has been popularized in magazines and TV programs. Linking a clean toilet to good fortune and perhaps even greater beauty has existed in the country for a long time, according to the book’s editor Yuka Soma. (Yeah, that’s what most people are thinking while scrubbing a toilet … “Man, I’m one lucky bastard!”)
– “Social Studies”

• An average driver spends approximately 2 hours and 14 minutes kissing in their car in a lifetime.
• In an average lifetime, people spend 4 years traveling in cars, 6 months of that time waiting for red traffic lights to turn green.


1933 [79] Sir Michael Caine (Maurice Micklewhite), London UK, movie actor (“Inception”, “Batman Begins”)/2 Academy Awards (“Cider House Rules”, “Hannah & Her Sisters”)  UP NEXT: “The Dark Knight Rises”, opening July 20th.

1948 [64] Billy Crystal, Long Beach NY, movie actor (“Cars”, “City Slickers”)/2012 Academy Awards host/stand-up comedian

1958 [54] Prince Albert II of Monaco (Albert Alexandre Louis Pierre de Matignon-Grimaldi), Monte Carlo, Monaco, Monaco’s 32nd ruler following the 2005 death of his father, Prince Rainier

1959 [53] Tamara Tunie, McKeesport PA, TV actress (‘Dr Melinda Warner’ on “Law & Order: SVU” since 2000)

1970 [42] Kristian Bush, Knoxville TN, country singer/guitarist/mandolin player (Sugarland-“Stuck Like Glue”, “It Happens”)

1979 [33] Chris Klein, Hinsdale IL, movie actor (“The United States of Leland”, “American Pie” movies)  COMING UP: “American Reunion”, opening April 6th.

1986 [26] Jamie Bell, Billingham UK, movie actor (“The Adventures Of Tintin”, “Billy Elliot”).

• “International Ask a Question Day”, an annual observance whose goal is to improve our knowledge and lives by asking more and better questions. Such as …
– If it helps you get better, is it really a ‘placebo’?
– What was the best thing BEFORE sliced bread?
– Is it bad luck to be superstitious?
– Why is ‘abbreviated’ such a long word?
– Do elevators smell different to midgets?

• “Potato Chip Day”, honoring North America’s favorite snack food. It was invented by chef George Crum on this day in 1853 at a resort in Saratoga Springs NY after an uppity diner complained the potato slices were too thick. As a joke, Crum sliced a new batch paper-thin, fried them in boiling oil and salted them. The fussy patron loved the ‘crunchy potato slices’ which soon became known as ‘Saratoga chips’. Before long, grocery stores were selling them in bulk from large barrels. (What’s the best flavored potato chip?)

• “Registered Dietitian Day”, the 5th annual observance commemorating the dedication of RDs as advocates who advance our nutritional status.

• “White Day”, celebrated in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and China. It’s sort of the flipside of Valentines Day. Men who received chocolate gifts on that occasion are expected to return the favor by giving gifts today. Traditionally, popular White Day gifts are cookies, jewellery, white chocolate, white lingerie, and marshmallows.

• “World Pi Day”, as in March 14 or 3/14 or 3.14 … get it? It honors the magic number for circles that expresses the ratio between radius and circumference. Supercomputers have computed pi to more than a trillion decimal places, which would take over 15,000 years to say out loud.


1998 [14] “Nokia Presents The George Strait Chevy Truck Country Music Festival Brought To You By Wrangler” opens (likely setting some kind of record for sponsorship deals in a single event name)


1992 [20] Researchers announce that broccoli fights cancer (kids everywhere moan)

[Thurs] Absolutely Incredible Kid Day
[Thurs] Companies That Care Day
[Thurs] Ides of March
[Thurs] World Consumer Rights Day
[Fri] “Casa De Mi Padre”; “21 Jump Street” open in movie theaters
[Sat] St Patrick’s Day
This Week Is … Wildlife Week
This Month Is … Eye Donor Month


✗ Screen Actors Guild refuses to pay you scale for your role as ‘corpse’ on an episode of “CSI”.
✗ In the middle of an audition director shouts, “Who is this has-been, get me David Hasselhoff!”
✗ Even Ryan Seacrest has stopped kissing your butt.
✗ In the credits, you’re no longer ‘over the title’, you’re under the caterer.
✗ Your latest co-star was a St Bernard.
✗ Your last movie shipped ‘direct to landfill’.
✗ Your ass is now too big to fit on the casting couch.
– Adapted from


☎ Should employees be banned from wearing religious symbols at work? (In a controversial move, the government of Britain is arguing that Christians have no right to wear a cross or crucifix at work as it is ‘not a requirement of the faith’.)

What a great place to work! You can name your salary. I call mine ‘Fred’.

• Fast-food chain Arby’s took its name from the initials ‘R’ and ‘B’. What did they stand for?
a. Roast Beef.
b. Raffel Brothers. [CORRECT]
c. Red Blood.

• What do women notice first when they look at a guy?
a. Face. [CORRECT. According to a recent poll, it’s the first pick of 56% of women.]
b. Clothes.
c. Butt.
– PA News


Question: Most people think that Dad is a better choice than Mom when it comes to THIS.
Answer: Teaching the kids to drive.

Those who do the most usually demand the least.

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