December 10, 2014

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Wednesday, December 10, 2014        Edition: #5357

Sheet Happens!

★ American Film Institute’s annual ‘AFI Awards’ for outstanding movies and TV programs of 2014 have been announced. The films are, alphabetically: “American Sniper”, “Birdman”, “Boyhood”, “Foxcatcher”, “The Imitation Game”, “Interstellar”, “Into the Woods”, “Nightcrawler”, “Selma”, “Unbroken”, and “Whiplash”. AFI’s choice of TV programs of the year: “The Americans”, “Fargo”, “Game of Thrones”, “How to Get Away with Murder”, “Jane the Virgin”, “The Knick”, “Mad Men”, “Orange Is the New Black”, “Silicon Valley”, “Transparent”. The honorees will be recognized at a private luncheon in LA on January 9th.
– “Hollywood Reporter”
★ Longtime ballroom dance judge Len Goodman has been saying that his jet-setting schedule is wearing thin, and now it seems he’s reached the breaking point. This past season on ABC-TV’s “Dancing With the Stars”, the 70-year-old missed several weeks of judging as he put in time on his other show, “Strictly Come Dancing”, in England. Now he’s saying that he’s made a choice between the two. Next spring’s season of “DWTS” will be his last. Quote: “Next year is the 20th season of the show. So I think that’s a nice place to stop.”
★ 40-year-old movie star Leonardo DiCaprio sure loves the ladies. According to one report, the movie actor left a Miami FL nightclub with ’20 girls’ while in town for the Art Basel art show. A bystander notes that DiCaprio was hanging out with Joe Jonas at a pop-up club before reportedly leaving with every single girl behind the VIP section. What’s his secret to attracting the opposite sex? Perhaps his ‘man bun’ hairdo?
– “New York Daily News”
★ And actresses Emma Roberts (“American  Horror Story”) and Jamie Lee Curtis (“Halloween” films) are set to star in a new FOX-TV horror-comedy series from “Glee” creator Ryan Murphy to be called “Scream Queens”. The 15-episode hour-long comedy will premiere in Fall 2015, with Season 1 set on a college campus that’s rocked by a series of murders. New settings and storylines will be featured in subsequent seasons of the anthology series.

• “Jimmy Kimmel Live” (ABC/CityTV) – Smashing Pumpkins (“Monuments To an Elegy”).
• “Last Call With Carson Daly” (NBC) – Weezer (“Everything Will Be Alright In the End”).
• “Late Night With Seth Meyers” (NBC/CTV) – Bob Mould (“Beauty & Ruin”).
• “Late Show With David Letterman” (CBS/Omni1) – J Cole (“2014 Forest Hills Drive”).
• “Live With Kelly & Michael” (syndicated/CTV) – Johnnyswim (“Heart Beats”).
• “The Talk” (CBS) – Carrie Underwood (“Greatest Hits: Decade #1”).
• “The View” (ABC/CTV) – Guest co-host Ashanti (“Braveheart”).
• “Wendy Williams” (syndicated) – Johnny Gill (“Game Changer”).

• Band Aid 30 – Charity organizer Bob Geldof says anyone criticizing his “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” lyrics can “f— off” because “it’s a pop song, not a doctoral thesis.”
• Britney Spears – Las Vegas-based chain The Sugar Factory is selling a rhinestone-covered Britney Spears-themed ‘Piece of Me Couture Lollypop’ … for $26.
• Drake – He’s been hospitalized after an altercation with Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs outside a Miami FL nightclub. Diddy reportedly said, “You will never disrespect me”, before landing a punch. Although Drake didn’t lose consciousness, he apparently suffered a dislocated shoulder.
• Muse – Frontman Matt Bellamy and Hollywood actress Kate Hudson have confirmed they’ve split after 4 years together. The formerly engaged pair are parents to a 3-year-old son, Bing. A rep says: “They remain very close friends and committed co-parents.” Yeah, right.
• Slayer – One of the biggest heavy metal bands has just rescued … an adorable little kitten that was freezing on the street. Assistant tour manager Jess Cortese bought it from a homeless man, slept with her in his bunk on the tour bus, and then found it a new owner.

1. Pharrell Williams’ “Happy”.
2. John Legend’s “All of Me”.
3. Katy Perry’s “Dark Horse”.
4. Jason Derulo’s “Talk Dirty”.
5. Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy”.
1. The soundtrack for “Frozen”.
2. Taylor Swift’s “1989”.
3. Coldplay’s “Ghost Stories”.
4. Sam Smith’s “In the Lonely Hour”.
5. Guardians Of the Galaxy” soundtrack.
– Associated Press

The holiday season gets a bad rap when it comes to health, but this time of year can actually boost your mind and body. Here’s how …
✓ Cocoa improves your health. This sweet treat lowers LDL cholesterol and blood pressure, raises HDL cholesterol, and even improves cognitive function and memory.
✓ Caroling calms. Singing can reduce stress hormones and boost oxytocin, the hormone that promotes feelings of trust and bonding.
✓ Shopping is an ‘incidental’ workout. Hoofing it at the mall can burn 200-to-300 calories an hour. Hanging lights, rummaging for decorations, and bustling around the kitchen can also help.
✓ Peppermint eases digestive distress. And just sniffing peppermint can cut cravings, lower the amount of calories you consume, and increase focus and attention while driving.
✓ Giving gifts boosts happiness. And keep in mind that spending money on experiences has been shown to increase happiness more than shelling out for material goods.
✓ Writing holiday cards can promote gratitude. Consider each one an opportunity to write a personal note expressing how much the recipient means to you.
– Condensed from

A statistical look at who we are and the things we do …
• 99% of us will encounter a Salvation Army bell-ringer & red kettle this month.
• 95% of us lock the doors every night before going to bed.
• 50% of us believe our most attractive feature is our hair.
• 17% of us are afraid to ride in an elevator.
• 10% of us admit we’ve cried in the company restroom.
• 8% of us think the thing we do too much of is swear.

SANTA’S SALARY: has figured out a salary for Santa Claus based on his tasks – engineering (managing toy production), auditing (seeing who’s naughty or nice), and piloting chief (flying around his pack of reindeer) among them – and it comes out to around $140,000-a-year. In a poll on the topic, only 16% say that salary is a reasonable amount to pay ol’ St Nick. 29% of respondents think he should make nothing at all (in the spirit of giving), but the exact same percentage thinks he should make $1.8 billion-a-year … a dollar for every child under 15 in the world. (C’mon, what’s money have to do with Christmas? … oh yeah, everything.)
– Adapted from

New terms leaking into our lingo …
• ‘GAFA’ – The corporations Google, Apple, Facebook, and Amazon viewed as a group, particularly one that wields significant power and influence in modern affairs.
• ‘Under-Happy’ – Not as happy as one ought or would like to be. Many Singaporeans are “under happy” at work, or so says a recently released survey.
• ‘Webroom’ – To use the web to research a product and to then purchase the product in a physical store (the opposite of ‘showroom’). Deloitte research has found that nearly 70% of shoppers ‘webroom’ compared with less than 50% who ‘showroom’ before buying.

‘Elevate’, the brain training game, is Apple’s choice for best iPhone app of the year. And the overall most popular iPhone apps for 2014 are …
1. ‘Facebook Messenger’
2. ‘Snapchat’
3. ‘YouTube’
4. ‘Facebook’
5. ‘Instagram’
6. ‘Pandora’
7. ‘Google Maps’
8. ‘Flipagram’
9. ‘Spotify’
10. ‘2048’

Devastating heatwaves AND freezing weather have both become more common over the past 3 decades, claim experts at the UK’s University of East Anglia. Their study shows that extreme weather conditions have been occurring more frequently in the past 30 years compared to a 130-year average. The findings come amid a prediction that 2014 is likely to be the warmest year on record, despite much of the Northern Hemisphere being affected by an Arctic polar vortex in January-February. Temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere have been far more volatile than in the Southern Hemisphere. (Today’s high in Sydney, Australia … 24C or 75F.)
– MailOnline

Woolly mammoths were still around about 1,000 years after the pyramids were built. A small group of woollies lived on Wrangel Island in the Arctic Ocean until about 4,000 years ago.
– Sourced from


1960 [54] (Sir) Kenneth Branagh, Belfast, Northern Ireland, movie actor (“Harry Potter & The Chamber of Secrets”, “Henry V”)/movie director (“Thor”, “Sleuth”)/screenwriter (“Hamlet”)

1964 [50] Bobby Flay, NYC, TV chef (8 different Food Network programs)

1974 [40] Meg White, Grosse Pointe Farms MI, former rock drummer (White Stripes-“Icky Thump”, “Seven Nation Army”)

1981 [33] Noah Harmon, Tucson AZ, rock bassist-vocalist (Airborne Toxic Event-“Changing”, “Sometime Around Midnight”)

• “Dewey Decimal Day”, honoring Melville Dewey who was born December 10, 1851 in Adams Center NY. When he was just 21, he invented the ‘Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC) System’ while working as a student assistant in the Amherst College library. For creating this revolutionary new filing system, he’s known as the ‘Father of Modern Librarianship’.

• “International Human Rights Day”, honoring the UN Declaration of Human Rights in 1948.

• “Nobel Prize Awards Day”. The awards were established by the will of Swedish chemist and dynamite inventor Alfred Nobel and have been held on this date since 1901. The current value of each award is over $1 million.

2004 [10] “Ocean’s Twelve”, sequel to 2001’s “Ocean’s Eleven”, starring George Clooney, Brad Pitt & Julia Roberts, opens in movie theaters

2009 [05] James Cameron’s 3-D sci-fi epic “Avatar” has its world premiere in London (goes on to become highest-grossing movie of all-time at $2.8 billion)

1984 [30] African famine relief song “Do They Know It’s Christmas” by Band Aid is released

1998 [16] A team of 6 astronauts becomes 1st to occupy the International Space Station  BS FACTOID: Here’s where you go to answer the question: How many people are in space right now?

1964 [50] Reverend Martin Luther King Jr is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize at age 35, the youngest to ever win the award

[Thurs] International Mountain Day
[Fri] “Exodus: Gods & Kings”; “Inherent Vice”; “Top Five” open in movie theaters
[Fri] Billboard Women in Music Awards (NYC)
[Fri] “Marco Polo” debuts (Netflix)
[Sat] Gingerbread Decorating Day
[Sat] Day Of the Horse
This Week Is … Human Rights Week
This Month Is … Worldwide Food Service Safety Month


✓ You feel a deep, sorrowful pity each time you walk into a fitting room that’s in shambles.
✓ When you try on clothes with friends, you make them put everything back afterward.
✓ You’ll never walk into a store 10 minutes before closing ever again.
✓ A perfectly neat and correctly sized wall display gives you a small, tingly pleasure.
✓ If you see a mess in a store while you’re shopping, you straighten it up.
✓ You can tolerate standing on your feet for much, much longer than most people.
✓ You always take clothes you want to buy off the hangars before handing them to the cashier.
✓ You miss your label gun a little bit.
✓ You can fake-cheerfully greet anyone under any circumstances.
✓ You still have a name tag stockpile at the bottom of a drawer somewhere.
– Adapted from

If a guy says he will fix something, he’ll fix it. There’s no need to remind him every 6 months.

☎ What’s your favorite thing about Winter?

You run down the list while your guest or phone caller decides which choice is more palatable.
• Would you rather: Live one 1,000-year life? – OR – Live ten 100-year lives?
• Have legs as long as your fingers? – OR – Have fingers as long as your legs?
• Be illiterate, but have the power to read minds? – OR – Just have the ability to read?
• You’re on a desert island with a beautiful woman or man. Would you rather they are top-half fish? – OR – They are bottom-half fish?
• Be 4′-5″? – OR – Be 7′-7″?
• Be able to run at 100 mph? – OR – Fly at 10 mph?
• Sweat mayo? – OR – Have to poop a softball?
• Have a dragon? – OR – Be a dragon?
• Speak any language fluently? – OR – Be able to talk to animals?
• Only be able to whisper? – OR – Only be able to shout?

Which will lower your heart rate and blood pressure after just 20 seconds?
a. Drinking egg nog.
b. Doing ab crunches.
c. Hugging. [CORRECT. University of North Carolina researchers have found that couples who hug for just 20 seconds at the end of a workday are less stressed.]

Question: THIS is true for over half of all homeowners.
Answer: They’ve started a home improvement project but never finished it.

It is better to light just one candle … than to clean the whole apartment.

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