December 24, 2009

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Thursday, December 24, 2009        Edition: #4172

Late actress Brittany Murphy’s final movie project, a comedy called “Shrinking Charlotte”, will move ahead without her, producers now looking to recast her part and begin filming in the new year (in Hollywood, grief runs short) . . . According to his brother, Simon Cowell plans to relinquish his role on “American Idol” (FOX) at the end of 2010 to concentrate on bringing his UK talent show “The X Factor” to US television in 2011 (are we still going to be interested by ‘talent shows’ by then?) . . . Actress Kate Hudson says she’s looking forward to going home for the holidays because she loves watching her relatives bicker on Christmas Day (takes your mind off being dumped?) . . . Famous person Paris Hilton admits she believed in Santa Claus until she was 16-years-old (what a blond comment) . . . Movie star Natalie Portman reportedly has a new boyfriend, Australian actor Chris Hemsworth, who’ll co-star with her in the upcoming movie “Thor” (he’s the big brother of Miley Cyrus’ boyfriend Liam Hemsworth) . . . And actress Angelina Jolie has blurted out in a UK paper that she doubts ‘fidelity is absolutely essential for a relationship’ (Merry Christmas, Brad – seems you’re about to get some news!).

• “Bonnie Hunt Show” (syndicated/CityTV) – This afternoon Toby Keith (“American Ride”).
• “Chelsea Lately” (E!) – Tonight Adam Lambert (“For Your Entertainment”).
• “Colbert Report” (Comedy Central/CTV) – Tonight Alicia Keys (“The Element of Freedom”).
• “Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade” ABC) – Friday morning Celine Dion, Jonas Bros, Kelly Ripa, Kris Allen, Ryan Seacrest, and Stevie Wonder are among entertainers featured in parades held at Disneyland in California & Walt Disney World in Florida.
• “Ellen DeGeneres Show” (syndicated/A Channel) – Today Faith Hill (“Joy To the World”).
• “It’s a Wonderful Life” (NBC) – Tonight Jimmy Stewart’s classic Christmas movie gets its annual airing.
• “Jimmy Kimmel Live” (ABC/CityTV) – Tonight Wolfmother (“Cosmic Egg”).
• “Saturday Night Live” (NBC/Global) – Rerun featuring Taylor Swift as both host/musical guest.
• “The View” (ABC/CTV) – Today “The View’s Last Minute Throw Together Christmas Show”, featuring last-minute shopping and decorating ideas.


• Aerosmith – 61-year-old Steven Tyler has released a statement confirming he’s checked into an unnamed rehab clinic to be treated for addiction to painkillers. He also states he’s eager to be back onstage and in the recording studio with his (former) bandmates.
• Beyoncé – She & Jay-Z (Shawn Carter) are reportedly both set to take on dual surnames. She’ll become Beyonce Knowles-Carter; he’ll be Shawn Knowles-Carter, according to “Daily Star”.
• Lady Gaga – Although she frequently insists she’s too busy with music to have a boyfriend, she’s been spotted with a mystery man in the VIP section of LA’s Hyde nightclub.
• Taylor Swift – “You Belong With Me” has been selected #1 in the CMT ranking of the ‘Top 20 Biggest Country Music Videos Of the Year’.
• TI – He’s been released from prison and transferred to a halfway house near his hometown of Atlanta GA. He’ll finish off the last couple months of his sentence for weapons possession in the more comfortable surroundings closer to friends & family.

• “The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus” ( PG-13 Fantasy Adventure ): Director Terry Gilliam’s story of a doctor’s deal with the devil that sends him scrambling to save his daughter on the eve of her 16th birthday features Heath Ledger’s farewell performance. Cast includes Christopher Plummer, Lily Cole, and – filling in for Ledger after he died – Colin Farrell, Johnny Depp, and Jude Law.
• “It’s Complicated” ( R-Rated Romantic Comedy ): Meryl Streep & Alec Baldwin play a divorced couple who hook up again during his son’s college graduation, even though the ex-husband is now married to a much younger woman. Co-stars Steve Martin, Rita Wilson (Mrs Tom Hanks), John Krasinski (“The Office”), and Lake Bell (“What Happens in Vegas”).
• “Nine” ( PG-13 Musical Opens Wide ): “Chicago” director Rob Marshall’s adaptation of the Tony-winning Broadway show features an all-star cast that includes Oscar-winners Daniel Day-Lewis, Marion Cotillard, and Penélope Cruz. The story follows a famous film director as he struggles to juggle relationships with his wife, his mistress, his muse, his agent, and his mother. Co-stars Fergie, Judi Dench, Kate Hudson, Nicole Kidman, Sophia Loren.
• “Sherlock Holmes” ( PG-13 Crime Thriller ): Director Guy Ritchie’s re-imagining of Arthur Conan Doyle’s classic detective features Robert Downey Jr as ‘Holmes’ & Jude Law as stalwart partner ‘Watson’, who engage in a battle of wits and brawn with a nemesis whose plot is a threat to all of England. Co-stars Rachel McAdams.

During the holiday season, the country that experiences the biggest …
• Alcohol Consumption Increase: UK (41%), followed by Canada & Germany (tied at 36%).
• Church Attendance: USA (55%), followed by Italy (49%).
• Murder Rate: Germany tops the world, although murders increase in every country.
• Out-of-Country Travel: Britain (19%). By comparison, only 4% of Americans travel abroad (mostly to Mexico, Canada, and the UK).


• A group of game designers at the National University of Singapore has developed a next-gen immersive gaming system that blends virtual reality and augmented reality with the physical environment. Wearing head-mounted displays and using other peripherals, players use the open space around them to move, jump, crouch and aim within a game, collecting virtual objects and fighting opponents, both real and virtual, along the way. (Think of it as Wii on steroids.)
• The latest concept from Russian advertising & design firm Art Lebedev is called ‘Transparentius’. The gimmick, intended to encourage safe driving, is a see-through tractor trailer. Here’s how it works: A camera mounted on the front of the transport truck captures what’s going on ahead and projects it onto a large screen covering the back doors of the trailer. Voila! The illusion is created that the semi is see-though. (We need this!)
• Diabetics are saddled with the unenviable task of checking their blood sugar levels constantly. But University of Western Ontario biochemical engineer Jin Zhang has developed a new non-invasive technology that lets diabetics keep tabs on their glucose levels with contact lenses that change colors as their blood sugar rises and falls. Nanoparticles embedded in the lenses react with glucose molecules in naturally occurring tears. A chemical reaction then causes the lenses to shift their hues. (Cool, no more fingertip poking!)


In its new list of ‘People You’re Scared of on Facebook’, “GQ” magazine includes these …
• Friend who can’t let you forget how great his lifestyle is.
• Misery lady.
• Inspirational-quote guy who probably has a ‘Successories’ poster in every room of his house.
• Lady who publishes every pedestrian detail of her life.
• Person who has never not commented.
• Hot girl from high school who posts pictures of a quarter of her face so you can’t tell if she’s still hot.

Stanford University scientists have determined that commercial aircraft emissions are responsible for 8% percent of the Earth’s total surface warming since records have been kept. The situation in the Arctic is more extreme – fully 15-to-20% of the warming in this region has been caused by the vapor trails of commercial aircraft.


1971 [38] Ricky Martin, San Juan, Puerto Rico, pop singer (“La Vida Loca”, “She Bangs”)/adoptive father of twins

1974 [35] Ryan Seacrest, Atlanta GA, TV host (“American Idol” since 2002, “New Year’s Rockin’ Eve”)/radio personality (KIIS-FM Los Angeles, “American Top 40”)

Pop singer Jimmy Buffett (“Margarittaville’”) is 63; Movie actress Sissy Spacek (“In the Bedroom”) is 60; Pop singer Annie Lennox (“Into the West”) is 55; Country singer Steve Wariner (“Two Teardrops”) is 55; Pop singer Dido (“White Flag”) is 38; Montréal MP Justin Trudeau is 38.

Imprisoned record producer Phil Spector is 70; “America’s Most Wanted” TV host John Walsh is 64; Rock drummer Lars Ulrich (Metallica) is 46; Movie actor/rock singer Jared Leto (30 Seconds to Mars) is 38; Rock singer Chris Daughtry (Daughtrey) is 30.

• “Christmas Eve”, a family gift-giving occasion in many countries.
• “National Egg Nog Day”, celebrating the seasonal rum or brandy drink that has nothing good for you in it but sure tastes good. A coffee spiked with egg nog and brandy is called a ‘tom-tom’.

• “Boxing Day”, a legal holiday in Australia, Canada, Germany, New Zealand, and the UK which takes its name from the old English tradition of boxing up gifts & food for the less fortunate. It coincided with “St Stephen’s Day”, when churches opened their collection boxes to the poor. In South Africa, it’s known as “Day of Goodwill”. In Canada, it’s also the excuse for giant after-Christmas sales in stores, similar to the post-Thanksgiving “Black Friday” in the USA.
• “Kwanzaa” begins (through January 1st), the African-American version of traditional African harvest festivals, celebrated in North America since 1966. ‘Kwanzaa’ means ‘first fruit’ in Swahili.
• “National Whiner’s Day”, dedicated to people who whine about unwanted Christmas gifts.

• “Day of Ashura”, a Muslim observance on the 10th day of Muharram on the Islamic calendar. For Shia Muslims, it’s a day of mourning for the grandson of Prophet Muhammad. On the other hand, Sunni Muslims observe it as commemoration of the day Moses fasted to express gratitude for the liberation of the Israelites from Egypt. It’s a public holiday in Bahrain, India, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Pakistan, and elsewhere.

1990 [19] Tom Cruise weds Nicole Kidman, his co-star from “Days of Thunder” (lasts 11 years)


1818 [191] Melody to “Silent Night, Holy Night” is composed by Franz Gruber as a favor to his friend Joseph Franz Mohr who had written the lyrics as a poem (now sung in more than 180 languages)


[Sat] Thank-You Note Day
[Sun] Fruitcake Day
[Mon] Card Playing Day
[Tues] Pepper Pot Day
[Wed] Bicarbonate of Soda Day
[Thurs] New Years Eve
[Thurs] Full ‘Blue’ Moon
This Week Is … Halcyon Days
This Month Is … Safe Toys & Gifts Month


• If you think you’re fat, you probably are. Don’t ask.
• Ask for what you want. Subtle hints don’t work.
• Your mom doesn’t have to be our best friend.
• If you ask a question you don’t want an answer to, expect an answer you don’t want to hear.
• ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ are perfectly acceptable answers.
• You can either ask us to do something or tell us how you want it done … not both.
• It is neither in your best interest nor ours to take a quiz from “Cosmopolitan” together.
• The relationship is never going to be like it was the first 2 months we went out.
– Adapted from

• ‘Third Eye Barbie’
• ‘Daddy’s Little Bartender’
• ‘My First Machete’
• ‘Big Box Of Small, Easy To Swallow, Sharp Edged Plastic Pieces’
• ‘The Who’s That With Mommy? Spy Set’
• ‘Dr Randy’s Home Vasectomy Lab’
• ‘The Supermodel Polly Purge Doll’
• ‘Tyco Electric Fence’
• ‘Playskool’s My First Prostate Exam’

Why can’t you be a non-conformist like everyone else?


Since 1955, NORAD (North American Aerospace Defense Command) has tracked Santa’s progress from the North Pole on Christmas Eve. Originally it was via recorded phone line and audio reports carried by many radio stations. Nowadays you have the choice of following Santa’s trek online, using Google Earth, by installing a Google Gadget, or by getting updates on Facebook or Twitter. How traditional!


Which or the following statements are true and which are total crapola?
• Because of a football’s resemblance to an olive, the Chinese often call the American game ‘olive ball’. [True. So never order a martini in Beijing.]
• In Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol”, ‘Scrooge’s’ deceased business partner was ‘Bob Marley’. [BS, ‘Jacob Marley’.]
• Christmas is the biggest candy-selling season of the year. [True.]
• In Mexico, children leave their shoes on balconies to be filled with toys on Christmas Eve. [BS. They do that but on January 6th, known as ”Los Tres Reyes”.)


What’s the most annoying cliché you constantly hear used in your workplace? (A new poll on the subject is topped by ‘at the end of the day’. Runners-up include: ‘It’s not rocket science’; ‘thinking outside the box’; ‘give you a heads up’; and the ubiquitous ‘going forward’.)

Today’s Question: 40% of us admit to doing THIS during the holiday season.
Answer to Give Out Next Show: Re-gifting.


If everything goes perfectly, something’s wrong.

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