Wednesday, October 9, 2013        Edition: #5076

Sheet Happens!

• Critics say “Masters Of Sex” is turning out to be one of the year’s best new TV shows. The 1950s-set Showtime drama is only 2-episodes-old, but is already generating boffo reviews and respectable ratings. What makes it so good? Great writing; great acting by stars Michael Sheen & Lizzy Caplan; subtle injections of humor; and it seems comfortable in its own skin, never trying too hard to grab the viewer’s attention. (Following “Homeland” doesn’t hurt either.)
• Brit billionaire Richard Branson’s home in the British Virgin Islands has now been completely rebuilt after a devastating blaze 2 years ago. More than 20 guests, including actress Kate Winslet, were forced to flee after lightning struck the Necker Island estate and an inferno ensued in August 2011. Branson heroically carried his elderly mother to safety. He says he’s ‘thrilled with the results’ of the Great House reconstruction. (He’s owned the private island for over 30 years.)
• A new TV series will boldly go where no show has gone before, with a grand prize that will launch its winner into space. NBC-TV is partnering with Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic and TV producer Mark Burnett for a new reality-competition series called “Space Race”, in which the winner wins passage on the space-liner expected to begin commercial flights next year. (Nothing to sniff at … a single ticket costs $250,000.)
– “Washington Post”
• Brad Pitt’s ‘Make it Right’ charity is building a $50,000 storm-resistant home in the Rockaways area of Queens NY that was devastated by Superstorm Sandy October 29, 2012. The so-called ‘Resilient House’ needs almost no heating or cooling and has many other ‘green’ features. The winning design in an architectural competition by Toronto’s Sunstainable.TO is a modern riff on the area’s traditional bungalows. It’s hoped the new house will be the first of many built in the district. (‘Make It Right’ was created in the wake of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans.)
• And the Daniel Craig-starring Harold Pinter play “Betrayal” has taken in over $1.1 million in just 7 preview shows on Broadway, breaking the Barrymore Theater box office record previously set by “Death Of a Salesman” in 2012. Co-starring Craig’s wife Rachel Weisz and directed by Mike Nichols, “Betrayal” is the story of a publisher whose wife has an affair with a literary agent … his best friend. (“Betrayal” officially opens October 27th.)

• “American Horror Story: Coven” (FX) – Season debut of what is technically a returning show, but each season is a complete reset. This year the story focuses on witches and takes place in New Orleans. Cast features Jessica Lange and Kathy Bates.
• “Arsenio Hall” (syndicated) – MC Lyte (“Seven & Seven”).
• BFI London Film Festival (London) – The 57th annual through October 20th screens 234 feature films, including 22 world premieres. Among the most anticipated: Stephen Frears’ film “Philomena”; Steve McQueen’s “12 Years a Slave”; and “Saving Mr Banks”, the untold story of how the Disney classic “Mary Poppins” made it to the bigscreen.
• CBGB Music & Film Festival (NYC) – A 40th anniversary celebration of the iconic, now-defunct rock venue through Sunday. It combines music concerts with 40+ film screenings, including the new movie “CBGB”, starring Alan Rickman as the famous club’s owner Hilly Krystal.
• “Conan” (TBS/CTV) – Steve Martin & Edie Brickell (“Love Has Come For You”). Rerun.
• “Ellen DeGeneres Show” (syndicated/CTV2) – Lorde (“Pure Heroine”).
• “Jimmy Kimmel Live” (ABC/CityTV) – Arctic Monkeys (“AM”).
• “Last Call With Carson Daly” (NBC) – Kimbra (“Vows”). Rerun.
• “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon” (NBC/CTV2) – Cassadee Pope (“Frame by Frame”).
• “Late Show With David Letterman” (CBS/NTV/Omni1) – The Weeknd (“Kiss Land”).
• “Marilyn Denis Show” (CTV/CTV2) – Autumn Hill (“Favourite Mistake”).
• “The Tomorrow People” (CW/CTV) – Debut of a new fantasy drama based on the British series of the same name. The story follows a group of attractive young people with special powers, ie: telekinesis, teleportation, and telepathic communication.
• “Tonight Show With Jay Leno” (NBC/CTV2) – Lissie (“Back to Forever”).
• “The View” (ABC/CTV) – Kelly Clarkson (“Wrapped in Red”, out November 26th).
• “The X Factor” (FOX/CTV2) – More hopefuls perform for the judges.

• Beady Eye – Liam Gallagher is in a dog fight with estranged wife Nicole Appleton. Word has it he’s desperately missing his ‘sausage’ dogs, Ruby Tuesday and Brigitte Bardot, and is looking to secure legal rights to shared custody of the mutts.
• Britney Spears – Since leaving rehab in 2007 she refuses to let her entourage drink alcohol at the dinner table with her. This week at the LA Four Seasons the strict booze ban reportedly became too much for her buds. The second she retired for the night, they hit the bar … hard.
• Jay Z – His Roc Nation management company has just signed Steven Spielberg’s kids. The indie duo Wardell, comprised of Spielberg offspring Sasha & Theo, impressed many at the South By Southwest festival earlier this year. They’ll release their debut album in 2014.
• Lauryn Hill – She’s required to serve another 3 months of home detention as part of her sentence for tax evasion, but a judge is allowing her to tour November-December provided she checks in with her probation officer. After that, she must return home to complete her sentence.
• Madonna – She tells “Harper’s Bazaar” she’s studying the Koran, the holy scripture of Islam, to better understand the religion as her charitable foundation builds schools in Muslim countries. Raised a Catholic, she’s been a follower of the Kabbalah sect of Judaism since 1998.
• Michael Jackson – His mother Katherine insists she does not regret suing AEG Live over her son’s death even though she’s lost the case. In fact, she is reportedly planning to meet with the jurors in order to decide whether to appeal the verdict.
• Radiohead – In a new interview, frontman Thom Yorke says the mainstream music industry is in its last gasp, quote: “The last desperate fart of a dying corpse.” He says all artists should now be concerned with what comes next and how they’ll survive creating new music in the future.
• Spice Girls – Geri Halliwell is paying for her own reality TV show. The former pop star has reportedly spent thousands to capture her every move as she attempts to revive her music career while also carrying out duties as a single mom to 7-year-old daughter Bluebell.

A BS breakdown of who we are and what we do …
• 87% of people polled think that the ‘most impressive job’ is Firefighter (followed by Scientist, Doctor, Nurse, and Teacher).
• 77% of us have a flashlight that we have never ever used.
• 70% of teens say they perform much better in school when they have their ‘good luck charm’.
• 69% of women say they have no desire to date a guy who has grey hair.
• 45% of drivers avoid parallel parking because someone once told them they’re bad at it.
• 22% of women and 19% of men now have a tattoo.

Friends who obsessively post photos of their meals on Instagram or Pinterest can spoil your appetite, a new Brigham Young University study finds. How so? Looking at too many food photos can cause sensory boredom, so it feels like you’ve already experienced eating the food and subsequently don’t enjoy it as much. So in a way, you become tired of the taste without even consuming the food. On the other hand, this phenomenon could work as a positive. If you have a weakness for a certain unhealthy food and want to prevent yourself from eating it … simply look at a lot of pictures of it. (Might we suggest this website:

New terms leaking into our lingo …
• ‘Haloodie’ – A person who has an ardent interest in halal food (permissible according to Islamic law). In London, there’s actually a “Haloodie Festival” featuring high-end high-end halal products such as organic meat, the knives to chop it, and even non-alcoholic champagne.
• ‘Poopetrator’ – A term coined by Yale University students for a twisted person who purposely defecates in a public place. Seriously, this is something people yearn to do?
• ‘Screen Sightedness’ – Myopia caused by too much time spent indoors staring at small screens. And it’s a real deal: There has been a 35% increase in nearsightedness since the launch of smartphones in 1997.

A Montréal man who spent 3 years eating meals made of foodstuffs from the dollar store has penned a cookbook from his experience. Jonathan Lemieux was living a starving student’s existence 3 years ago when he realized that, as well as cheap pens, his local dollar store sold food. Working within a budget of $100-a-month, Lemieux put his own frugal spin on such recipes as Shepherd’s Pie (tinned beef, canned corn, powdered mash potatoes) and Seafood Paella (canned mussels, oysters, beef jerky, and rice). His book is titled “Survivre Avec une Poignée de Change” (“Surviving with a Handful of Change”). (What’s your best 2-dollar meal?)
– CTV News

In what’s become a bit of a tradition, filmmaker Quentin Tarantino has unveiled his favorite movies of the year, which is usually at odds with upcoming Oscar nominees. His best of 2013 …
5. Joe Swanberg’s “Drinking Buddies”, a drama set at a craft beer brewery in Chicago.
4. James Wan’s “The Conjuring”, which made $300 million+ on a skimpy $20-million budget.
3. Woody Allen’s “Blue Jasmine”, featuring a tour de force performance by Cate Blanchett.
2. Richard Linklater’s “Before Midnight”, one of the best reviewed movies of the year.
1. “Afternoon Delight”, a comedy-drama written by Jill Soloway, who also won the Directing Award at the Sundance Film Festival in January.

This week a white diamond the size of a golf ball sold for $30.6 million at a Sotheby’s jewelry auction in Hong Kong, edging out the previous record for such a stone set just 6 months ago. Two phone bidders competed for the 118-carat rock from southern Africa in 6 minutes of furious bidding until one eventually dropped out.
– AP

• The first ‘drunk tank’ was set up in Prague in 1951.
– Magazine Monitor
• The first Volkswagen Beetle was known as the ‘Strength Through Joy Car’ (KdF-Wagen).
– “London Review of Books”


1948 [65] Jackson Browne, Heidelberg, Germany, classic rock musician (“Running On Empty”, “Somebody’s Baby”)

1952 [61] Sharon Osbourne (Arden), Brixton UK, TV personality (“The Talk” since 2010, “America’s Got Talent” 2007-12, “The X-Factor UK” since 2004, “The Osbournes” 2002-05)/Mrs Ozzy Osbourne since 1982/talent manager (Ozzy)

1964 [49] Guillermo del Toro, Guadalajara, Mexico, filmmaker (“The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey”, “Pan’s Labyrinth”) UP NEXT: “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug”, December 11th.

1979 [34] Brandon Routh, Norwalk IA, movie actor (“Scott Pilgrim vs The World”, “Superman Returns”)

1993 [20] Scotty McCreery, Raleigh NC, country singer (“The Trouble With Girls”, “I Love You This Big”)/reality TV personality (“American Idol” season 10 winner in 2011)

• “Bring Your Teddy Bear to Work & School Day”, an annual event on the 2nd Wednesday of October. (‘Cause you’re just not getting picked on enough.)

• “Emergency Nurses Day”, saluting the dedication and commitment of emergency nursing professionals, who bring care, comfort, and compassion to patients.

• “Fire Prevention Day”, a highlight of the annual observance of “Fire Prevention Week”. Why today? It marks the anniversary of the ‘Great Chicago Fire of 1871′, the disaster that began a movement toward fire prevention as an adjunct to firefighting.

• “International Alan Day”, celebrating anyone with the name ‘Alan’, ‘Allan’, ‘Alannis’, ‘Al’, ‘Allen’ or anything vaguely in the area.

• “International Walk to School Day”, a day to fight pollution and obesity and to establish safe neighborhood routes for walking and bicycling.

• “Leif Erikson Day” in Norway and Iceland, commemorating the Viking explorer’s discovery of North America (‘Vinland’) circa 1000 AD … almost 500 years before Christopher Columbus.

• “UN World Post Day”, honoring the founding of the Universal Postal Union in 1874. Today the UPU, with 189 member countries, oversees the co-ordination of the global postal service. When was the last time you actually wrote something on a piece of paper and mailed it snail-mail?

2007 [06] MTV’s “A Shot at Love With Tila Tequila” (TV’s 1st ‘bisexual dating show’) debuts, in which 16 men & 16 women compete for a chance to get romantic with the tiny hottie who first made a name for herself online

1940 [73] John Winston Lennon is born in Liverpool, England (hard to imagine what the music world would be like without his influence, both as a solo artist and as part of The Beatles)

1946 [67] Simmons Company charges $39.50 for the 1st ‘Electric Blanket’ (ahhh, snuggly!)

1996 [17] World’s ‘Largest Grilled Cheese Sandwich’ (a 3,000-lb monster made by Kraft Foods)

[Thurs] International Newspaper Carrier Day
[Thurs] World Porridge Day
[Fri] “Captain Phillips”; “Machete Kills”; “Romeo & Juliet” open in movie theaters
[Fri] “2012 Made In America” music festival airs (Showtime)
[Fri] International Day Of the Girl
[Fri] Coming Out Day
[Fri] World Egg Day
This Week Is … Carry a Tune Week
This Month Is … Celebrating The Bilingual Child Month


• Whyzit nobody believes an ‘official spokesperson’ but everybody trusts an ‘unidentified source’?
• Whyzit while you’re in school there may be a shortage of qualified personnel in a particular field, but by the time you graduate with the necessary qualifications that field’s employment market is glutted?
• Whyzit a newborn baby always seems to bear a striking resemblance to the relative with the most money?
• Whyzit there’s never a war in countries you might want to visit? It’s always Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria. Why not liberate Aruba … maybe Tahiti?
• Whyzit anything too stupid to be said is sung?

What’s the most annoying expression used in everyday conversation?

She’s found the secret of youth … she lies about her age.

Question: A recent survey by “GQ Magazine” finds that when it comes to shopping, men most detest shopping for THIS.
Answer: Furniture.

Everyone hits a brick wall now and then; the trick is not to do it with your head.

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