March 6, 2013 INTL

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Wednesday March 6, 2013        Edition: #4935

Our Sheet Don’t Stink!

Late comedian Bob Hope (1903-2003) was a legendary real estate investor as well as a legendary performer, as witnessed by the new listing of one of his Palm Springs, California properties, a 24,000-square-foot mega-mansion that’s capable of entertaining up to 300 guests (it’s yours for – ouch! – $50 million) . . . Filmmaker Andy Wachowski & his transgender sister Lana are facing a $300-million lawsuit from screenwriter Thomas Althouse, who alleges they stole the premise for their 2 sequels to “The Matrix” (“The Matrix Reloaded” and “The Matrix Revolutions”) from ideas in a script he submitted in 1993 (and yes, he claims he just recently noticed) . . . Will Smith’s celebrity spawn Jaden Smith is “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” in his own way, reportedly dating K-family kid Kylie Jenner (he’s 14, she’s 15 – think it’s serious?) . . . Actor and all around busy guy James Franco says he’s still planning to release his 2010 documentary on the behind-the-scenes workings of “Saturday Night Live” (hasn’t “30 Rock” thoroughly picked over this carcass already?) . . . Actress Halle Berry has confirmed she’ll be reprising her role as ‘Storm’ in the next “X-Men” movie (thereby increasing the cast membership to 4,373) . . . Actor Jason Ritter (“Parenthood”) & former “Gilmore Girls” star Alexis Bledel will play a marriage-challenged couple in the new FOX comedy “Friends & Family”, an adaptation of the UK series “Gavin & Stacey” (Brit comedies often flourish when they cross the pond) . . . And just when we thought sorta-singer, sometime-actress Miley Cyrus’ hair couldn’t get any more wacked, she’s upped and dyed it blue (how desperate for attention are we?).

• “American Idol” (FOX) – The male semifinalists perform.
• “Jimmy Kimmel Live” (ABC) – Luke Bryan (“Spring Break … Here to Party”).
• “Last Call With Carson Daly” (NBC) – Tift Merritt (“Traveling Alone”). Rerun.
• “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon” (NBC) – Avett Bros (“The Carpenter”). Rerun.
• “Late Show With David Letterman” (CBS) – David Byrne & St Vincent (“Love This Giant”). Rerun.
• “Tonight Show With Jay Leno” (NBC) – Rodriquez (“Searching For Sugar Man”). Rerun.
• “The View” (ABC) – Lea Michele (“Glee”).

• The Band Perry – Their new album, due April 5th, will be titled “Pioneer”. It will feature a dozen tracks, including their #1 hit “Better Dig Two”.
• Drake – Pictures of him at Cameo Nightclub in Charlotte NC, winging dollar bills around at exotic dancers, have surfaced online. When all was said and spread, observers estimate he blew $50,000 in cash at the strip club. Classy.
• Justin Bieber – London’s O2 Arena is under pressure to provide refunds after he showed up 2 hours late for his Monday night gig there then finished the show at midnight, later than the school-night curfew of many of his young fans who were forced to exit early. The Biebs claims the advertised start time was incorrect, so he was only 40 minutes late.
• Linkin Park – They’ve designed a bracelet to benefit Haitian victims of last October’s Hurricane Sandy. Released via the Music for Relief Foundation, it features a black adjustable band with interlocking circles engraved ‘Music For Relief’.
• Michael Jackson – His sister LaToya has signed his 3 kids – Prince, Paris, and Blanket – to her talent agency and is said to be pushing them to do a reality TV show. Prince recently made his TV debut as a correspondent on “Entertainment Tonight” and will soon appear on “90210”. Paris is scheduled to make her  bigscreen acting debut shortly.
• Status Quo – Tonight in Manchester, England the classic rockers begin a reunion tour that runs through March 17th at London’s Wembley Arena. The original members recently reformed 30 years after they split over legal disagreements. While they only logged a single North American hit (1968’s “Pictures of Matchstick Men”), they notched up dozens of chart hits throughout the 1970s and ‘80s in Britain.

So there you are. Sick. But there’s a looming deadline at work, you’re overwhelmed with projects, pressures from the boss. Sick leave is exhausted, and you can’t miss a day’s pay, so you soldier on, incurring loathing from co-workers who treat you like you have a contagious disease … which, it just so happens, you do. And the great debate rages on: Do you go to work sick or stay home? Medical experts seem to agree: Stay home! Here’s why …
• You know you don’t like it when someone else shows up sniffling and coughing all over the place. So don’t do it to them.
• Your level of productivity drops significantly when you’re under the weather.
• Taking cold or flu medications can impair cognition, leaving you foggy-headed.
• It’s critical for contagion control to avoid the domino effect by staying away from people.
• No matter what your job is, the world will not stop if you don’t go to work.
• You’ll get much better much faster if you stay home.
(Obstinately working while sick is known as ‘presenteeism’, opposite of ‘absenteeism’.)
– Condensed from “Oakland Tribune”

A statistical look at who we are and the things we do …
• 55% of Baby Boomers don’t exercise at all, compared with 17% of the previous generation.
• 52% of 18-to-34-year-olds say that overwhelming worries have disrupted their sleep in the past month.
• 33% of drivers say they’ve lost control of their car because of a sneeze.
• 27% of us believe that ‘Sherlock Holmes’ was a real person.
• 25% of us experience ‘office rage’ or anger at work.
• 24% of women say it’s attractive when a man shaves his legs.

What’s called ‘Machine-to-Machine Communication’ is getting a lot of buzz at this year’s “Mobile World Congress” wireless trade show in Barcelona, Spain. The first wave of wireless technology was all about getting people to talk to each other on cellphones. The next wave will be getting things to talk to each other, with no humans in between. Some experts believe these connections will outgrow the traditional phone biz in less than a decade. A few proposed applications …
✓ A car that tells your insurance company how you’re driving.
✓ Bathroom scales that automatically chart your weight online.
✓ A meter that warns your air conditioner when electricity gets more expensive.
– AP

New terms leaking into our lingo …
• ‘BYOD’ – Standing for ‘Bring Your Own Device’, it’s the use of a personally owned mobile device, such as a laptop, smartphone, or tablet, to access a workplace network. The company wins by saving on hardware; the employee wins by avoiding lugging around 2 devices; but IT people are stuck adapting everyone’s personal hardware for work use.
• ‘Selfie’ – A photograph taken of oneself, often for the purpose of posting it on a social networking site. Ever since Madonna joined Instagram, all she posts are selfies. But she’s got nothing on Rihanna, who seems to crank out time-lapse selfies.
• ‘Sick-Lit’ – A new literary genre that features individuals dealing with fatal or devastating diseases. Many of today’s novels written for teenagers deal with themes of death, fatal disease, and psychological disease such as anorexia.

While other phone companies are going larger with ‘phablets’, Japanese telecom provider Willcom has just announced the ‘Phone Strap 2’, which it says is the world’s smallest and lightest phone. It measures just 32 x 70 x 10.7 mm (1.25 x 2.75 x 0.4 ins), and weighs only 32 grams (1 oz), a ridiculously tiny handset when compared to its contemporaries. The handset is intended to ‘strap’ onto a larger handset or tablet, providing basic calling, email, and text messaging. It will be available later this year in white, pink, or black … but only in Japan. (Good luck pressing those itsy bitsy keys!)

✳ “Life is what happens when you’re making other plans.” … “Life is what happens while you’re looking at your smartphone.”
✳ “It’s better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.” … “It’s better to have GIFed and lost than to never have GIFed at all.”
✳ “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” … “Beauty is in the eye of the executive producer.”
✳ “Two roads diverged in a wood and I took the one less traveled by.” … “Two roads diverged in a wood and I took the one less Tweeted about.”
✳ “You are what you eat.” … “You are what you download.”
✳ “The revolution will not be televised.” … “The revolution will be Tweeted, liked, and shared.”
✳ “The pen is mightier than the sword.” … “The send button is mightier than the sword.”
✳ “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” … “What doesn’t kill you makes you wish it did.”
✳ “Art imitates life.” … “Life imitates high school.”
✳ “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.” …  “Keep your friends close and your profile info closer.”

One of the newest methods for spurring self-improvement is to turn every task into a game. So-called ‘gamification’ apps keep score of real-life situations to promote certain behaviors – whether it’s taking out the trash, going for a run, or complimenting someone. Yet this system has its problems. Users must be actively involved, sometimes wearing a device or manually inputing data into a smartphone app. These tasks can intrude upon everyday life, turning the entire process into a painstaking chore. (And besides, an app can’t tell when you’re lying.)
– “Popular Science”

In North Korea, women are ‘encouraged’ to choose from 18 officially sanctioned hairstyles. Men have 10 options.
– “Daily Mail”


1946 [67] David Gilmour, Cambridge UK, classic rock singer/guitarist (Pink Floyd-“Wish You Were Here”, “Another Brick In the Wall”)

1947 [66] Rob Reiner, Bronx NY, movie producer/director/writer (“The Bucket List”, “A Few Good Men”)/ex-TV actor (“All In the Family” 1971-78)

1972 [41] Shaquille O’Neal, Newark NJ, retired (1992-2011) NBA player (Boston Celtics, Cleveland Cavaliers, Phoenix Suns, Miami Heat, LA Lakers, Orlando Magic)/15-time All-Star

1984 [29] Chris Tomson, NYC, indie rock drummer (Vampire Weekend-“Cousins”, “A-Punk”)

• “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 83 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.

• “Learn What Your Name Means Day”, as “Celebrate Your Name Week” continues. You can find out what yours is all about here …

• “Southern Drawl Day”, a good excuse for y’all to talk funny like yer from America’s Deep South. Might we suggest …
✓ “He was grinning like a possum eating persimmons.”
✓ “That was so good it would bring a tear to a glass eye.”
✓ “That was slicker than snot on a doorknob.”
✓ “She’s as purdy as a speckled pup.”
✓ “He’s wound tighter than a Gibson guitar.”
✓ “Well, butter my butt and call me a biscuit!”
There’s a whole mess more here …

2000 [13] 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)

1912 [101] 1st ‘Oreo’ cookie sold (over 491 billion have sold since)

1938 [75] Thomas Garson of Chicago IL eats 22 hamburgers and 2 quarts of ice cream in 25 minutes to win a bet

[Thurs] Be Heard Day
[Thurs] World Maths Day
[Thurs] Cereal Day
[Fri] “Dead Man Down”; “Oz The Great & Powerful” open in movie theaters
[Fri] International Women’s Day
[Fri] “SXSW” begins (Austin TX)
[Fri] Middle Name Pride Day
This Week Is … Cheerleading Week
This Month Is … Cataract Awareness Month


• Only drive cars made before 1993.
• Add a sporting-looking racing stripe along each side … using duct tape.
• Get a vanity plate that reads ‘BAIT CAR’.
• Deter interest in your vehicle AND help the environment by composting used baby diapers in your trunk.
• Install the new ‘Steering Wheel Laser Cannon’ from Ronco.
• Only park beside extremely expensive, unlocked cars.
– Adapted from

I am their leader, which way did they go?

• 31 years ago today (1982), Susan Birmingham set the world record for the loudest what?
a. Belch.
b. Shout. [CORRECT. 120 decibels.]
c. Fluffy.

• According to a survey of doctors, which is ‘the most painful type of pain’?
a. Kidney stones. [CORRECT]
b. Giving birth.
c. Hangnail.
– “Focus”

☎ Are our household appliances getting too complicated? What are some of the hi-tech features you’ve never used (or maybe don’t even understand) on your dishwasher, refrigerator, clothes dryer, washing machine. What pretentious settings do they have? (‘Reduced Crease’, ‘Allergy’, ‘Hand Wash’, etc).

Question: Retail stats show that, by far, more of THESE are sold in the month of March.
Answer: Home pregnancy tests.

If at first you don’t succeed, you’ll get lots of advice.

Leave a comment