Thursday, October 23, 2014        Edition: #5323

Thanks For Being a Bull Market!

★ Toy chain Toys ‘R’ Us has pulled action figures from the TV show “Breaking Bad” after an online petition collected over 6,000 signatures. A Florida mom began the drive, claiming the figures represent ‘a dangerous deviation from family-friendly values’. The petition noted that the ‘Walter White’ figure is holding a gun and a bag of crystal meth, the drug Bryan Cranston’s character made and sold in the now-concluded AMC drama. (Seriously, what were these doing in a toy store? Would you allow your kids to watch that series?)
★ Warner Bros’ faith in director Peter Jackson to make “The Hobbit” movies has paid off in nearly $2 billion in global box office for the first 2 films, but the cost of the trilogy has bumped up to $745 million according to financial documents filed in New Zealand this month. One reason is the films have been shot in 3-D and in the never-before-seen speed of 48 frames per second. The production cost of “The Hobbit” films is now 3 times what Jackson spent making “The Lord Of the Rings” trilogy. (Likely worth it; the final take is projected to reach $3 billion.)
★ 24-year-old actress Kristen Stewart is set to take a break from the movie biz to concentrate on her new passion for art. The “Twilight Saga” star plans to buy a studio in Los Angeles so she can start working on various art projects, and also intends to write poetry and make a short film. Quote: “I’m taking some time off because I’ve been working for 2 years.” (OMG, that must have been grueling!)
★ And Renée Zellweger is crediting a ‘massive lifestyle change’ for her drastic new look after she shocked fans with her altered appearance at a Hollywood event this week. The 45-year-old actress became a trending topic on Twitter after making her first public appearance in months at the ‘Elle Women in Hollywood Awards’ in LA, sparking debate over her ‘new face’. She says she’s adopted a healthier lifestyle after ‘taking a step back’ from Hollywood. (BS translation: No one’s offered me a role in years, so I dropped 200-grand on cosmetic surgery.)

• “Conan” (TBS/CTV) – Kiesza (“Sound Of a Woman”).
• “Ellen DeGeneres Show” (syndicated/CTV2) – Fergie (“LA Love [La La]”).
• “Jimmy Kimmel Live” (ABC/CityTV) – Taylor Swift (“1989”, out October 27th).
• “Last Call With Carson Daly” (NBC) – The So So Glos (“Blowout”). Rerun.
• “Late Night With Seth Meyers” (NBC/CTV) – Weird Al Yankovic (“Mandatory Fun”). Rerun.
• “Late Show With David Letterman” (CBS/Omni1) – Lenny Kravitz (“Strut”). Rerun.
• “Live With Kelly & Michael” (syndicated/CTV) – Annie Lennox (“Nostalgia”).
• “Queen Latifah” (syndicated) – Kellie Pickler (“The Woman I Am”).
• “Tavis Smiley” (PBS) – Annie Lennox again.
• “Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” (NBC/CTV2) – 5 Seconds of Summer (“5 Seconds of Summer”) Rerun.
• “The View” (ABC/CTV) – Little Big Town (“Pain Killer”).

• Blake Shelton – He’s made history as the 1st country music artist to hit #1 on the ‘Billboard Artist 100’, with “Neon Light”. The chart factors in album & digital song sales plus radio airplay.
• Chris Young – He’s announced his 2015 “AM World Tour” will include his initial visit to Germany, his 2nd trek to Australia, and his 3rd in the UK.
• Jennifer Lopez – She’s reportedly close to signing for a residency at Planet Hollywood Casino & Resort in Las Vegas, the same venue where Britney Spears currently has a residency. J-Lo’s being offered $350,000 per show for a 72-date run. (We did the math for you: $25,200,000.)
• Justin Moore – Tonight his “Off the Beaten Path Tour” starts up in Columbia, Missouri. Newly-signed Broken Bow Records artist Jordan Rager is the opening act.
• Lorde – She’s revealed she was initially asked to contribute just 1 song to the end credits of the upcoming movie “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1”. Then, thanks to her publisher’s recommendation, she went on to curate the entire soundtrack as her own ‘musical vision’.
• Pharrell Williams – He’s teamed with Chanel’s chief designer Karl Lagerfeld to make a new fashion-focused film that will screen during the designer’s Paris-Salzburg pre-Fall collection in December. The movie, set in the designer’s Parisian studio, also stars Cara Delevingne and 6-year-old model Hudson Kroenig.

A BS selection of movies in the making …
• “Cook” – 53-year-old Eddie Murphy has been cast in the lead role of this new drama based on a true story. Murphy plays a chef who is hired by a dying man to make meals and eventually care for his girlfriend and daughter after he has passed away. Bruce Beresford is directing when shooting starts on “Cook” in November.
• “The 5th Wave” – The bigscreen adaptation of Rick Yancey’s popular YA novel is rounding out its cast, adding “Sons of Anarchy” star Maggie Siff and “Hart of Dixie” actress Talitha Bateman. Chloe Grace Moretz stars as ‘Cassie’, one of the human survivors after 4 waves of increasingly deadly attacks have left most of Earth decimated. A film trilogy is planned.
• “Freeheld” – A Catholic boys’ school in New Rochelle NY finds itself the subject of unwanted scrutiny after refusing to let this movie that stars Julianne Moore & Ellen Page as a lesbian couple film on its campus. After first approving the shoot, the school’s principal has since informed the producer that it has reversed its decision. The movie’s due out next year.
• “John Carter of Mars” – 2012’s “John Carter” flopped at the box office but that doesn’t mean we’ll never see the character again onscreen – at least that’s what the estate of its creator is hoping. Edgar Rice Burroughs Inc has announced movie rights have reverted from Disney back to the estate, and a new movie studio will be sought to continue the sci-fi adventure.
• “What the Dinosaurs Did Last Night” – A movie adaptation is already in the works for this toys-come-to-life tale that’s being released as a children’s photo-book next week by publishing house Little Brown & Co. Created by parents Refe & Susan Tuma for their own children, the story reveals the ‘secret lives’ led by their kids’ plastic dinosaur toys when nobody’s around.

Wondering why that idiot politician got elected instead of the smarter one? It could be because of what’s being dubbed ‘face-ism’. That’s right, discrimination due to someone’s facial features could be a previously unidentified type of bigotry, according to a new Carnegie Mellon University study. A few highlights …
• Feminine-looking or naturally happy faces are consistently perceived as more trustworthy.
• Faces highlighted by prominent cheekbones and high eyebrows also suggest trustworthiness and honesty.
• Shifty-looking individuals, characterized by sunken cheeks, furrowed brows, and eyes set close together, are statistically more likely to be convicted of crimes.
• Having a ‘baby face’ is seen as a sign of incompetence.
The researchers conclude that, even though we’d like to think our judgments are rational and based on relevant information, the truth is they are often biased by superficial and irrelevant factors … like the look of a face. (Was Mussolini a face-ist fascist?)

Actual oddball results from real public polls …
✗ 1-in-10 people think ‘HTML’ is a sexually transmitted disease.
✗ 1-in-4 people identify a ‘gigabyte’ as an insect commonly found in South America.
✗ 1-in-4 Americans think God helps decide football games. How come the Saints are such losers?
✗ 1-in-5 Brits would have sex with a robot. Wait, that’s not weird … is it?
✗ 2-out-of-5 people would save their dog from being hit by a bus rather than a foreign tourist.
✗ About half of us think we are smarter than average. Well, 50% would be correct, no?
– Adapted from

North Americans call them chips, Brits call them crisps; but whatever you call them there are certainly some extremely weird versions out there …
✓ ‘Honey Soy Chicken’ (Australia).
✓ ‘Hot Chili Squid’; and ‘Seaweed’ (Thailand).
✓ ‘Red Caviar’ (Russia).
✓ ‘Irish Stew’ (Ireland).
✓ ‘Mint-Flavored’ (India).
✓ ‘Octopus’ (Japan).
✓ ‘Spicy Bloody Mary’ (USA).
✓ ‘Blueberry’; and ‘Lemon Tea’ (China).
✓ ‘Roast Ox Crisps’ (Wales).
✓ ‘English Roast Beef & Yorkshire Pudding’; and – seriously – ‘Cajun Squirrel’ (UK).
(A recent promotional challenge to come up with a new Canadian flavor was won by the proposal … Moosemeat & Maple. Mmm.)
– Adapted from

• Fashionable in 2015 … fragrances that smell of animals, we’re told by a perfumer.
• Mis-readings of the auto-cue prompting system result in fines for Chinese newsreaders if the mistakes build up over a 3-month period.
– “The Times”


1954 [60] Ang Lee, Chaochou, Taiwan, movie director-producer-writer (“Life of Pi”, “Brokeback Mountain”)

1956 [58] Dwight Yoakam, Pikeville KY, country singer (“Fast As You”, “A Thousand Miles From Nowhere”)/movie actor (“Crank” films, “Sling Blade”)

1959 [55] Sam Raimi, Royal Oak MI, movie director-producer-writer (“Oz: The Great & Powerful”, “Spider-Man” movies)

1959 [55] (Alfred Matthew) ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic, Lynwood CA, parody singer (“White & Nerdy”, “Eat It”)

1964 [50] Robert Trujillo (Roberto Agustín Miguel Santiago Samuel Perez de la Santa Concepcion Trujillo Veracruz Batista), Santa Monica CA, rock bassist (Metallica-“Death Magnetic”, “St Anger”)

1974 [40] Eric Bass, Jacksonville FL, rock bassist (Shinedown-“Bully”, “Second Chance”)

1976 [38] Ryan Reynolds, Vancouver BC, movie actor (“Green Lantern”, “X-Men Origins: Wolverine”)/wed to Blake Lively since 2012/wed to Scarlett Johansson 2008-11

1976 [38] Cat Deeley, Birmingham UK, TV host (“So You Think You Can Dance” since 2006)

1983 [31] Matthew Shultz, Bowling Green KY, indie rock singer (Cage the Elephant-“Shake Me Down”, “In One Ear”)

1985 [29] Miguel (Pimentel), LA CA, pop/R&B singer-songwriter (“Adorn”, “Sure Thing”)  BS FACTOID: He’ll be featured on the soundtrack to “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1”, out November 17th.

• “Canning Day”, honoring the 1752 birth of French chef/chemist Nicolas Appert, who came up with the concept of sealing perishable food in jars. For this, he is known as ‘the father of canning’, but he also came up with many other inventions … including the bouillon cube.

• “Diwali” begins, the 5-day Hindu festival whose name means ‘rows of lighted lamps’ (often referred to as the ‘Festival of Lights’). During this time, homes are thoroughly cleaned, candles & lamps are lit, gifts are exchanged, and festive meals are prepared.

• “Do-It-Yourself Day”, celebrating all the handy folks who spend time, money, and sweat on home repairs … just before calling in someone who knows what they’re doing.

• “TV Talk Show Host Day”, to celebrate those ‘gifted with the personality and intellect to enable them to bring out the best in their guests’. It’s an annual observance on the birth anniversary of iconic talk show host Johnny Carson in 1925.

2011 [03] Robin Williams marries Susan Schneider

2004 [10] Pop singer Ashlee Simpson is caught lip-synching during an appearance on NBC-TV’s “Saturday Night Live” (pretty much a career killer)

2001 [13] 1st Apple ‘iPod’ is unveiled, which goes on sale on November 10th for $399

1977 [37] Wesley Paul runs the NYC Marathon in 3 hours & 31 minutes, about 48 minutes behind the winner … but 15 minutes faster than any other 8-year-old ever has!

[Fri] Life Is Beautiful Festival begins (Las Vegas NV)
[Fri] Wear It Pink Day
[Sat] World Pasta Day
[Sat] Muharram (Muslim)
[Sun] Howl At the Moon Night
[Sun] Mother-in-Law Day
This Week Is … Freedom From Bullies Week
This Month Is … International Doll Collectors Month


Baseball novices may be confused by all the RBIs, ERAs, and BoBs mentioned while watching the World Series. Allow us to make things worse …
• ‘ARM#’ (Arm Number) – How many arms a player has. Anything above a 2-point-oh is considered very advantageous.
• ‘REB’ (Rebounds) – Number of rebounds a player makes after quitting baseball for an NBA career before a tearful meeting with his elderly father convinces him to go back to baseball one more time, for Dad.
• ‘RFT’ (Relaxed Fit Trips) – Number of times in a game that a given player trips and falls due to his baggy pant legs snagging in his cleats.
• ‘SPI’ (Spitting Per Inning) – A player’s total expectorations of saliva, sunflower seed shells, and chewing gum wads, but definitely NOT chewing tobacco, in a single inning.
• ‘TPAB’ (Tics Per At Bat) – The number of helmet adjustments, face scratches, bat squeezes, jock modifications, etc accumulated by a nervous and/or superstitious player in a single at-bat.
• ‘WARC’ (Wins Above Replacement Cats) – A measure of how many wins a player contributes to his team’s record as compared to being replaced by 4 dozen feral cats.
And the most useful stat of all …
• ‘G Fact’ (Good Factor) – This number is ‘0’ if the player is lousy at baseball and ‘1’ if the player is good at baseball. Proven extremely useful in determining whether a player is any good.
– Thanks to an idea from Ezra Deutsch-Feldman

You’re looking at a map and spot an ‘ideo locator’. What is it?
a. An arrow indicating ‘You Are Here’. [CORRECT. Guess that makes you an ‘ideo’.]
b. The GPS coordinates for a given location.
c. A dot showing the location of city hall.

☎ What was your best, worst, or most memorable ‘field trip’?

I’ve had a wonderful time … but this wasn’t it.

Question: When women were asked why they don’t sleep on planes, the #1 answer was THIS.
Answer: They’re afraid they’ll drool.

Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity.

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