Thursday March 6, 2014        Edition: #5174

Our Sheet Don’t Stink!

★ A well-connected Apple blogger claims that iOS 7.1 will be released this week in order to support new features that will allow the iTunes Festival to be live-streamed to devices around-the-world. The fest has been an annual event in London, but this year it’s debuting in the US alongside SXSW in Austin TX. Over 5 nights there will be performances by Coldplay, Imagine Dragons, Keith Urban, and Soundgarden; and the shows will be streamed live to Apple devices. The festival begins March 11th, which means the update needs to be released soon to give users the chance to install the new OS and the app to stream the concerts.
– “The Telegraph”
★ Numbers don’t lie: Justin Bieber and Miley Cyrus have paid a high price for their hijinks over the past year. The pop brats’ Q Scores, a closely watched measure of recognition and popularity used to evaluate a celebrity’s appeal, has changed dramatically. Bieber’s negative Q score has increased from 53-to-70 among adults 18-49. Among the ‘tween demographic, Cyrus’ negative Q score has zoomed from 31-to-49. However, it’s not all bad news for Miley, as her popularity among men 18-49 is increasing. Seems they appreciate a good disrobing.
★ Mila Kunis will appear opposite Ashton Kutcher as a guest star in an upcoming episode of his sitcom “Two-and-a-Half Men” (CBS). Kunis will play ‘Vivian’, a free-spirited world traveler who shows up at the home of Kutcher’s ‘Walden’ character. He feels an instant connection even though he’s about to propose to someone else. This marks the duo’s first appearance together on a scripted program since FOX-TV’s “That ‘70s Show”. The real-life couple has been dating for nearly 2 years.
★A FOX-TV drama pilot called “Gotham”, basically a “Batman” prequel, has found its young ‘Bruce Wayne’ (and eventual ‘Batman’) and ‘Selina Kyle’ (aka ‘Catwoman’). Former “Touch” actor David Mazouz has been tapped to play the boy who will grow up to become the ‘Caped Crusader’, while newcomer Camren Bicondova will play ‘Selina’. “Gotham” centers on DC Comics’ top-cop character ‘Commissioner Jim Gordon’ and the villains that made his city famous. Is there room for yet another superhero series?
– “Hollywood Reporter”

• “American Idol” (FOX/CTV) – The contestants face elimination; Phillip Phillips performs; Kodaline performs.
• “Arsenio Hall” (syndicated) – Rick Ross (“Mastermind”).
• “Conan” (TBS/CTV) – Drive-By Truckers (“English Oceans”).
• “Ellen DeGeneres Show” (syndicated/CTV2) – Vanessa Hudgens (“Identified”).
• “Jimmy Kimmel Live” (ABC/CityTV) – Jetta (“Start a Riot”).
• “Last Call With Carson Daly” (NBC) – LP (“Into the Wild”).
• “Late Night With Seth Meyers” (NBC/CTV2) – Lil Jon (“Crunk Rock”).
• “Late Show With David Letterman” (CBS/Omni1) – Bob Mould (“Workbook 25”).
• “Tavis Smiley” (PBS) – Emeli Sandé (“Our Version of Events”).
• “Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” (NBC/CTV2) – Bad Things (“Bad Things”).
• “The View” (ABC/CTV) – Thomas Rhett (“It Goes Like This”).

• Arcade Fire – Tonight their 2014 “Reflektor Tour” of North America gets underway in Louisville KY. The tour is broken into 3 brief legs: March, late April/early May, and late July/early August. Dan Deacon and Kid Koala are the opening acts for the first 9 dates.
• Nine Inch Nails / Queens Of the Stone Age – Tonight in Sydney they join forces for a double headlining tour of Australia and New Zealand. The first band on stage each night is being decided by a coin toss. The 8-date trek also hits Newcastle, Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne, Brisbane, Auckland, and Christchurch.
• P!nk – She’s signed a new worldwide deal that will keep her with RCA Records for years to come. A rep for the label, which released her 2012 album “The Truth About Love”, calls her a ‘one-of-a-kind artist’. P!nk has tallied 25 hits on the ‘Billboard Hot 100’ since her 2000 debut.
• Timbaland – He’s serving as songwriter & song producer on FOX-TV’s new drama pilot “Empire”. The story revolves around a hip-hop empire and the family that runs it. It stars “Hustle & Flow” alums Terrence Howard & Taraji P Henson and will include original and current music.

A BS selection of movies in the making …
• “Absolutely Anything” – Simon Pegg stars alongside Kate Beckinsale in this new comedy directed by Terry Jones. Pegg plays a teacher who discovers he has super-powers thanks to aliens (voiced by Jones’ “Monty Python” cohorts). Also in the cast: Robin Williams (as the voice of a dog), comedian Eddie Izzard, and “Wolf of Wall Street” star Joanna Lumley.
• “Alive Alone” – Idris Elba (“Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom”) stars in this new thriller as ‘Jamal’, a former Guantanamo Bay detainee now working as a NYC taxi driver. Noomi Rapace (“The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo”) co-stars as a prostitute on the run from a feared crime boss, played by Sam Worthington (“Avatar”). The film is set to begin shooting this month.
• “Black Mass” – Johnny Depp is back aboard to play notorious crime boss James ‘Whitey’ Bulger in this bio-pic. He dropped out of the project last year after being asked to take a $10-million pay cut. But now he’s officially signed to play the Boston gangster, who avoided capture for 20 years after being placed on the FBI’s ‘Most Wanted List’. Production begins in May.
• “Susan Cooper” – Action film actor Jason Statham (“Transporter”) is joining Melissa McCarthy (“Bridesmaids”, TV’s “Mike & Molly”) in this comedy about the misadventures of secret agent ‘Susan Cooper’. The “Expendables 2” actor has been in talks since October and has finally agreed to join the project being shot in Budapest, Hungary. It’s due to hit cinemas in May 2015.

In-flight meals are going trendy with gluten-free and artisan ice cream. In its new menu shake-up, United Airlines has become the latest mainstream carrier to add gluten-free alternatives that will extend to salad dressings, soups, fruit, and nut bars. United joins other carriers like Air Canada, American Airlines, Delta, and Singapore Airlines to offer meals that are wheat, rye, barley, and oat-free. Meanwhile, Virgin America has also released a new in-flight menu this month, and is inviting passengers to vote for the artisan ice cream flavor they’d like to see served onboard. (The food’s getting better … the airfare isn’t.)
– Agence France Presse

Infant noise machines can be potentially damaging to babies’ ears, researchers at Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children have found. Like ambient noise machines for adults, infant noise machines play soothing sounds like heartbeats, ocean waves, or raindrops. They may help babies sleep more soundly but researchers warn they can also damage delicate ears when played continuously at maximum volume. Even from 6.5 feet away, all but one of the devices tested surpassed hospital noise limits. And when played at maximum levels for 8 hours, 3 of the machines exceeded legal noise limits for adult workplaces. What to do? Parents should place the machines as far away from the crib as possible, keep the volume low, and limit the time the devices are left turned on. (A practical alternative: Get a rocking chair; hum a lullaby.)
– CBS News

An interesting new way to measure profitability – the amount a company earns per employee. To get the figure, a firm’s net income is simply divided by the number of people it employs. Here are a few of the results in the tech & media sector (rounded off to the nearest 1,000) …
5. Viacom (MTV, Comedy Central, Spike TV, etc) … $230,000 per employee.
4. Facebook … $237,000 per employee.
3. Google … $270,000 per employee.
2. 21st Century Fox (movie & TV assets) … $277,000 per employee.
1. Apple …. $461,000 per employee (80,300) in the past year.
Also in the top 10: Microsoft, Discovery Communications, Time Warner, CBS, Netflix. (A new way to negotiate a raise? “Last year I made this company ….”)

What’s been dubbed ‘Drone Journalism’ is about to go mainstream this year. Photographers are increasingly using small craft that resemble mini-helicopters – not military drones – to get into areas where people cannot pass: War zones, disaster sites, congested crowds, etc. The method is cost-effective – a self-build drone suitable for journalism costs less than $1,500 plus the camera stuck on the front of it. Once journalists have learned to fly them they can take shots that just wouldn’t be possible on foot. And media observers note that these shots have an impact on the eye because the treetop vantage point is new to viewers. (The skies over your city are about to get really congested.)

Asian manufacturers have found that local consumers think it’s cool to have clothing with English slogans … even if they don’t make any sense. According to a website that keeps track of such things, here are some actual slogans that have been spotted …
• “Powerful More Power to Your Elbow. Mutual Help is the Low of Nature”
• “Cute Girl Superstar is Going at USA Happy!”
• “Lovable Black Cat Count Me Is Your Friend. Can You Really Do Everything I Wish I Could to
Billie Jean”
• “I Hate Myself and I Want to Die”
• “Woody Home”
(Now if we could just find a site that explains what Asian characters on Western clothes really mean.)

Sliced bread was originally marketed as ‘the greatest forward step since bread was wrapped’.
– “Quite Interesting”


1946 [68] David Gilmour, Cambridge UK, classic rock singer-guitarist (Pink Floyd-“Wish You Were Here”, “Another Brick In the Wall”)

1984 [30] Chris Tomson, NYC, indie rock drummer (Vampire Weekend-“Cousins”, “A-Punk”)

1991 [23] Tyler, the Creator (Tyler Gregory Okonma), LA CA, rapper (“Yonkers”)/producer (Mac Miller-“Watching Movies With the Sound Off”, Frank Ocean-“Channel Orange”)

• “Day Of the Dude”, promoting the philosophy & lifestyle inspired by fictional character ‘Jeffrey “The Dude” Lebowski’, as portrayed by Jeff Bridges in the Coen Bros’ 1998 film “The Big Lebowski”. ‘Dudeism’, a modern form of Chinese Taoism, has often been referred to as a mock religion, though its founder Oliver Benjamin and adherents take it seriously.

• “Dentist’s Day”, honoring the professionals who help us maintain a big, toothy smile … for a big fee. The business of dentistry has an average profit margin of about 17%, higher than any other industry.

• “Frozen Food Day”, commemorating the first ‘Individually Packaged Frozen Foods’, created by Clarence Birdseye in Springfield, Massachusetts 84 years ago (1930). He got the idea after seeing Canadians thawing and eating naturally frozen fish.

• “Headache Relief Day”, marking the patenting of ‘Aspirin’ on this date in 1899 by the Bayer Company of Germany. ‘Aspirin’ is a much easier way of asking for acetylsalicylic acid.

• “Oreo Cookie Day”, honoring the taste treat many of us deconstruct before eating. The 1st Oreos went on sale on this date in 1912. Over 491 billion have sold since.

• “Southern Drawl Day”, a good excuse for y’all to talk funny like yer from America’s Deep South. Might we suggest …
✓ “We always go to bed with the chickens.”
✓ “He went after it whole hog.”
✓ “I haven’t see you in a coon’s age.”
✓ “Those are as scarce as hen’s teeth.”
✓ “She’s no spring chicken.”
There’s a whole mess more here …

2013 [01] Singer-songwriter and Canadian icon Stompin’ Tom Connors dies at age 77 (his songs include “Bud the Spud”, “The Hockey Song”, and “Moon-Man Newfie”)

2000 [14] With his induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as a solo artist, Eric Clapton becomes the 1st to be so-honored 3 times (also as a member of Cream and The Yardbirds)

1938 [76] Thomas Garson of Chicago IL eats 22 hamburgers and 2 quarts of ice cream in 25 minutes to win a bet

[Fri] “Mr Peabody & Sherman”; “300: Rise Of an Empire” open in movie theaters
[Fri] Employee Appreciation Day
[Fri] Middle Name Pride Day
[Fri] Dress in Blue Day
[Fri] Day of Unplugging
[Sat] International Women’s Day
[Sun] Daylight Saving Time begins (North America)
This Week Is … Write a Letter of Appreciation Week
This Month Is … Cataract Awareness Month


✓ Teaspoon … An unsatisfying bite of ice cream.
✓ Tablespoon … Brain freeze.
✓ Mile … The maximum distance gym teachers can force out-of-shape teenagers to run without being charged with reckless endangerment.
✓ 100 yards … The distance a jock thinks he can throw a Nerf football.
✓ Foot … The average length by which you miss an elevator.
✓ Inch … Three smartphones stacked on top of each other.
✓ Minute … The amount of time you must listen to your cellphone ring before it goes to voicemail if you don’t want the caller to know you’re avoiding their call.
✓ Hour … The length of time you incorrectly believe it will take to run a few errands while using metered parking.
✓ Day … The time it takes to prepare before doing something you don’t want to.
✓ Month … The time it takes to become tired of a popular song.
✓ Year … The time it takes radio to become tired of a popular song.
✓ Decade … The time it takes for the popular song to become an ironic reference.
✓ Dollar … The gratitude you’re expected to show a bartender for opening a beer bottle.

I busted a mirror and got 7 years of bad luck. But my lawyer thinks he can get me off in 5.

The average Los Angeles resident spends 90 hours per year doing which?
a. Waiting in rush-hour traffic. [CORRECT]
b. Applying sunscreen.
c. Getting tattoos.
d. Trying to decide if those are fake or real.

☎ Describe your sex life with the name of a videogame. “Call of Duty”? “Half-Minute Hero”? “Alone In the Dark”?

Question: THIS tends to happen in the car more frequently during Winter months.
Answer: More arguments.

Worrying works! 90% of the things you worry about never happen.

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