2 Year Old singing Taylor Swift's "You Belong with Me"
By MYFOXDC STAFF/myfoxdc
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Taylor Swift might be raking in the awards in 2009, but she'd better watch out because she's got some competition. She's young, blonde, talented, and she's got style.
She's also a toddler.
The latest YouTube sensation is an adorable little blonde girl who does her best Taylor impression for the camera. The video was posted by her mom, who's also behind the camera.
In the description of the video, her mom writes, "As most young kids do, our daughter loves Taylor Swift. Here is her attempt to replicate Taylor's performance on the subway during the VMA's."
The 2 year old even pulls off a wardrobe change during the two-minute performance. She starts off wearing a brown bucket hat and a red coat, but when she gets to the chorus of "You Belong With Me", she rips off the hat and coat to reveal her princess dress. The little girl even carries an imaginary microphone, which she sings into, appropriately.
The hit of the video is definitely at the end —she finishes the song, and then yells out, "I love you, New York!"
So far, the little girl's a hit. The YouTube video had been viewed more than 776,000 times at the time this story was published.
Tim McGraw had nothing but wonderful words to say about Sandra Bullock, his co-star in the new movie The Blind Side -- a true story about the life of professional football player Michael Oher. Tim tells Nashville's Tennessean, "She's very unaffected. Whether you are in the music business or the movie business, you run into characters, but she is definitely not one of them. She's just a very cool, friendly, down-to-earth person. For me, she always reminded me of like my best friend's little sister."
Tim had to slightly alter his appearance to look more like Sean Tuohy, the character he plays in the film, but he said he didn't mind shaving off his trademark goatee. "That's the great thing about movies -- I don't have to be me. I look like a totally different person when I shave."
Tim McGraw and Sugarland appear on today's episode of the Oprah Winfrey Show (check local listings) in the talk show queen's first-ever holiday duet extravaganza.
Sugarland's Kristian Bush says he and partner Jennifer Nettles were excited to appear on Oprah for the second time this year. He says, "The only thing better than having appeared on Oprah in February and getting her phone number would be that her phone number pops back up on your phone and she says, 'Would you come back and be on my show again?'"
Tim teams up with R-&-B star Alicia Keys, while Sugarland duets (or tri-ets?) with Oscar-winning actress Jennifer Hudson on a Christmas classic from their new Gold and Green holiday album. The other duet features Mary J. Blige with Andrea Bocelli.
Tim appeared in last year's holiday hit, Four Christmases. He played "Dallas," one of Vince Vaughan's brothers. Four Christmases also starred Reese Witherspoon, Robert Duvall, Jon Favreau, Sissy Spacek, Jon Voight and Dwight Yoakam.
One of Tim's favorite Christmas songs is "Away in the Manger," which wife Faith Hill put on her Joy to the World album last year.
Sugarland has been tapped to perform on the TNT Christmas In Washington special airing on December 20th at 8 p.m. ET. The duo will join President Obama and the First Lady, as well as fellow entertainers Mary J. Blige, Neil Diamond, Rob Thomas, Usher and host George Lopez. The show will be taped at the National Building Museum in Washington, DC on December 13th.
Carrie Underwood recently taped her upcoming holiday special, Carrie Underwood: An All-Star Holiday Special. She tells People magazine, "It was a lot of fun to tape, and I think we ended up with a great show."
The Oklahoma native teams up with an all-star cast, including pal Brad Paisley, American Idol's David Cook, Broadway and television star Kristin Chenoweth, as well as the legendary Dolly Parton. Of Parton's appearance, she says, "It was a dream come true."
Carrie Underwood: An All-Star Holiday Special airs December 7th at 8:00 pm (ET) on FOX.
Carrie plans on being home in Checotah, Oklahoma for the Christmas holiday. She tells People, "We are together and that's the most important thing."
Something that has to be on the table for the holiday is her mom's broccoli cheese and potato casseroles. She says, "I just love food!"
Taylor Swift released the Platinum Edition of her hit album, Fearless, a few weeks ago, and the collection features six new songs, including a cover of the Nashville rock band Luna Halo's song "Untouchable," which originally appeared on the group's 2007 major-label debut album.
Luna Halo member Nathan Barlowe was thrilled with Taylor's version of the song, and they're apparently being inundated with offers to write tunes for other country stars. "A lot of people are curious to see if we can repeat the magic somehow, and we are, too," Nathan tells Nashville's Tennessean. "Songwriting, to me, if you're good at it, it's a craft that you're constantly learning, especially when you switch formats. There's a learning curve there that takes a little time. Luckily, we're hooking up with some of the greatest writers in town, and we're learning from them."
If you happened to miss Taylor hosting Saturday Night Live earlier this month, you can catch the show again as it repeats December 26th on NBC.
Taylor was home in Hendersonville for the Thanksgiving holiday and hung out with friends over the weekend. She tweeted, "Driving around with [best friend] Abigail just like when we were 16. 'Fifteen' just came on the car radio."
The battle of the country charts is currently between Lady Antebellum's "Need You Now" and Luke Bryan's "Do I." The two acts are friends as well as labelmates, and it just so happens that Lady Antebellum, who's held the Number One position for two weeks, has a stake in Luke knocking them out of the top spot -- Lady A's Charles Kelley and Dave Haywood co-wrote "Do I," while Hillary Scott sang background vocals.
Charles tells us when he and Dave moved to Nashville, they just wanted to write songs. [(Charles) "When we first moved to Nashville, you know, Dave and I, we honestly got to the point where we were like, 'I just want to write songs.' Man, I love writing. I love waking up around 10, write a song, eat some lunch, finish the song, and then you're done with your day. (laughs) What a great life. They have the best lives ever. And so, our whole dream when we moved to Nashville was to hear another artist sing a song that we penned. And to hear a song on the radio that someone's singing that you're a big fan of, and Luke and us have become such huge buddies. So, we're excited. It's a lot of fun for us to kind of watch that move up the charts, and I just think he sounds awesome on it and I'm hoping it shoots its way along right up to the top." (Dave Haywood) "And Hillary's singing backup on it."
We'll find out tomorrow if Luke takes over the top spot on the charts.
You can take a peek at Lady A's new album cover for Need You Now -- the follow-up to their platinum-selling self-titled debut album -- at their official website LadyAntebellum.com.
Need You Now, which features the chart-topping title track, arrives in stores January 26th.
"Do I" is the first single from Luke's second album, Doin' My Thing, which hit stores in October.
Keith Urban and wife Nicole Kidman are getting into the Christmas spirit. The two were spotted a few days ago at The Home Depot in Los Angeles stocking up on holiday decorations, according to Australia's Daily Mail. The couple were seen laughing and joking as they strolled up and down the aisles loading their carts high with festive trinkets, including numerous gold ornaments.
Last week, Keith appeared at the 23rd ARIA Awards Ceremony in Australia, where he was nominated for Best Country Album, which went to Troy Cassar-Daley. Keith performed his hit "Kiss a Girl" on the show.
Keith is nominated for four Country Music Association of Australia awards, which takes place in New South Wales on January 23rd. He's up for Best Album for Defying Gravity, Best Male Artist, Best Single for "Kiss a Girl" and Best Song for "Why's It Been So Long."
The Australian leg of Keith's Escape Together World Tour will kick off next month.
Dierks Bentley narrates a new DVD documentary, The Rise of Kahne, featuring NASCAR driver Kasey Kahne. The film, which arrives in stores December 12th, follows Kahne's actions on and off the track, as he drives his way to superstardom.
Dierks is currently in the midst of writing and recording a pair of albums -- one bluegrass and one country -- which he plans to release next year.
Dierks still has a handful of concert dates on the books until the end of the year. On December 9th, he'll be in Los Angeles and on December 10th, he kicks off a two-night stand in Las Vegas.
Gary Allan is gearing up to release his new album, Get Off on the Pain, early next year, and he's really thrilled with the first single, "Today," even though he didn't write it.
Gary tells us when he heard the song, it really affected him, and he just had to record it. "'Today,' I didn't write it, but I think that we've all got like somebody in our lives that you just kinda feel like, 'Man, I missed that, and when your heart's moving too slow,' I guess that's what that is. So, this song just hit me really hard. I knew it was a hit right when I heard it, and I was excited to cut it and excited to get it out."
Gary wrote or co-wrote five of the tracks on Get Off on the Pain,which is due in stores February 2nd.
Gary was born and raised in La Mirada, California, but now resides in Nashville.
Gary turned down a record deal with A&M Records when he was still in high school.
The first concert Gary attended was Ernest Tubb at the Universal Amphitheater in Los Angeles.
BRITTANY MURPHY'S HUSBAND HOSPITALIZED: Brittany Murphy's husband Simon Monjack was rushed to the hospital on Saturday (November 28th) after the couple's flight from Puerto Rico landed in Los Angeles. TMZ.com reports that Murphy told responding fire department personnel that she thought her husband was having an asthma attack that didn't warrant hospitalization, but the officers disagreed. Sources told TMZ that Monjack was "incoherent" when EMTs boarded the plane.
NICK HOGAN IN MINOR CRASH: Nick Hogan was involved in a minor car accident on Saturday (November 28th) night in Los Angeles. TMZ.com reports that there were no injuries and although police came to the scene, no report was taken. Ironically, Hogan -- who spent time in jail last year after causing an accident that seriously injured his friend -- was coming back from a charity event to raise money for an organization that teaches people to drive safely when the accident occurred.
TOM ARNOLD MARRIED: Tom Arnold got married for the fourth time on Saturday (November 28th). People magazine reports that the comedian tied the knot with Ashley Groussman in Hawaii in front of about 75 people, including best man Dax Shepard. Arnold recently wrote on the couple's weddingchannel.com page, "I knew that if I could get Ashley to fall in love with me, I'd never have to worry about anything else as long as I lived."
TAWNY KITAEN CHARGED WITH DUI: Tawny Kitaen has been officially charged with driving under the influence stemming from her September arrest. TMZ.com reports that the reality star faces up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine if convicted. She was pulled over by police near John Wayne Airport in California three months ago, allegedly making "contact with officers after operating a vehicle while under the influence."
TAYLOR LAUTNER AMONG DECEMBER 'SNL' HOSTS: Taylor Lautner is among the recently-announced actors who will be hosting Saturday Night Live in December. Examiner.com reports that the New Moon hunk will take control of the program on December 12th with musical guest Bon Jovi. Gossip Girl'sBlake Lively will kick off the month's programs on December 5th with musical guest Rihanna while James Franco has the honor of hosting on December 19th.
ANOTHER 'AMITYVILLE' REMAKE? Another remake of The Amityville Horror is reportedly in the works. PerezHilton.com claims that the Weinstein Company and Dimension Films have acquired the rights to redo the scary flick, which was last put on the big screen in 2005.
'PARANORMAL ACTIVITY' DVD OFFERS NEW ENDING: An alternate ending to Paranormal Activity will be featured on the film's DVD. Entertainment Weekly announced the popular horror film will be available for home viewing beginning on December 29th.
Tiger Woods is praising the actions of his wife Elin Nordegren and denying rumors that he was cheating with another woman after crashing his car near his house in Orlando on Friday, (November 27th). In a post on his website Sunday (November 30th), the 33-year-old golf champion said, "This situation is my fault and it's obviously embarrassing to my family and me. I'm human and I'm not perfect. I will certainly make sure this doesn't happen again."
The National Enquirer and other gossip sites reported that Woods had left his home after a physical altercation with his wife over his alleged affair with a New York club hostess named Rachel Uchitel. He reportedly suffered wounds on his face, which if caused by his wife, could lead to charges. Some gossip sites speculate that Woods is refusing police interviews so that his injuries cannot be assessed.
Woods countered, "This is a private matter and I want to keep it that way. Although I understand there is curiosity, the many false, unfounded and malicious rumors that are currently circulating about my family and me are irresponsible."
He continued: "The only person responsible for the accident is me. My wife, Elin, acted courageously when she saw I was hurt and in trouble. She was the first person to help me. Any other assertion is absolutely false. This incident has been stressful and very difficult for Elin, our family and me. I appreciate all the concern and well wishes that we have received. But, I would also ask for some understanding that my family and I deserve some privacy no matter how intrusive some people can be."
TIGER REFUSES POLICE INTERVIEW
Woods also canceled an interview Sunday with Florida state troopers about the incident. It was the third time he canceled a police interview after his wife told authorities that Woods was sleeping on Friday, and postponing it on Saturday. Sgt. Kim Montes of the Florida Highway Patrol told AP that no other interview has been scheduled with Woods and is not required to continue the investigation.
911 CALL DETAILS ACCIDENT'S AFTERMATH
People.com reported that a neighbor called 911 after Woods crashed his 2009 Escalade into a fire hydrant and then into a tree minutes after leaving his home at 2:55 a.m. Though it was previously reported that Nordegren broke the back window of the SUV with a golf club to get her husband out of the car, the 911 caller tells the dispatcher that he was not trapped in the car.
In the call, which was released on Sunday, the neighbor is heard saying, "I need an ambulance immediately, I have someone down in front of my house."
The conversation continued, "(Dispatcher) What happened? What's wrong? (Neighbor) I have a neighbor, he hit the tree and we came out here just to see what was going on. I see him and he's laying down. (Dispatcher) By hit a tree, you mean it was an auto accident? (Neighbor) Yes there was an auto accident, yeah."
Woods reportedly suffered lacerations to his face and lips. He was treated at a local hospital and released in good condition.
ALLEGED MISTRESS DENIES INVOLVEMENT
Meanwhile, Uchitel says she has met Woods, but is not involved with him. "I resent my reputation is getting completely blasted in the media," she said. "Everyone is assuming I came out and said this. This is not a story I have anything to do with."
Sources have told Bossip.com that Tiger's facial lacerations were not due to the crash but were inflicted by his wife during a physical altercation, after which he chose to leave the house. As Tiger drove away, Elin came after him and struck the vehicle several times with a golf club.
According to these sources, Woods became "distracted," and thought he had stopped the vehicle when he turned to see what had happened. At that point the SUV rolled forward, striking the fire hydrant and then a tree. The sources also say that Tiger was taking prescription meds for an injury, which is why he was "out of it" at the scene.
The Twilight Saga: New Moon held on to the top spot at the North American box office for the second weekend in a row, as the vampire romance took in $42.5 million for the three days and $66 million over the five-day Thanksgiving holiday. In fact, the top three spots were the same as last weekend, with The Blind Side remaining in second place and 2012 staying in third.
The comedy Old Dogs, starring John Travolta and Robin Williams as best friends who are unexpectedly put in charge of the care of seven-year-old twins, opened in fourth place, with a $16.8 million take over the weekend and $24 million for five days. Kelly Preston and Seth Green co-star. The action movie Ninja Assassin, starring Korean superstar Rain as a member of a secret clan of assassins who seeks revenge on the people who trained him after they kill his friend, debuted at Number 6, taking in $13.1 million for the three days and $21 million for the five-day period.
The animated "stop-motion" film Fantastic Mr. Fox, based on the Roald Dahl children's book, expanded into wide release and climbed into the top 10, finishing at Number 9. It features the voices of George Clooney, MerylStreep, Jason Schwartzman and Bill Murray, and was directed by Wes Anderson.
SUSPECT SOUGHT IN SHOOTING DEATHS OF FOUR WASHINGTON COPS: Police are searching for a 37-year-old ex-con who's suspected in the shooting deaths of four police officers Sunday (November 29th) inside a Parkland, Washington, coffee shop. The man being sought, Maurice Clemmons, has an extensive violent criminal history in Arkansas, including aggravated robbery and theft. He was also recently arrested and charged in Washington state for assaulting a police officer and second-degree rape of a child. He posted $150,000 bail and was released last week. There's still no known motive for why the killer went into the coffee shop Sunday morning and gunned down the three male and one female officers, ranging in age from 37 to 42. It's believed one of the four was able to fight back, and may have shot the suspect before he died.
In 1989, a 17-year-old Clemmons was convicted in Arkansas for aggravated robbery. He was paroled in 2000 after then-Governor Mike Huckabee commuted his 95-year sentence, citing Clemmons' youth. Clemmons later violated parole and was returned to prison. He was released in 2004.
IRAN SAYS WILL BUILD 10 NEW NUCLEAR FACILITIES: Iran yesterday (November 29th) said it will build 10 new uranium enrichment facilities, a major expansion of its controversial nuclear program. However, Vice President Ali Akbar Salehi told state radio Iran hadn't intended to do so until the International Atomic Energy Agency's resolution Friday (November 27th), backed by U.S., Britain, France, China, Russia and Germany, demanding that Iran stop construction of its newly-revealed enrichment facility and end all other enrichment activities. Salehi said Iran made the decision to build the 10 new facilities in addition to the one it already has because it needed to give a strong response. The U.S. and its allies charge Iran is trying to produce nuclear weapons, but Iran insists it's only interested in nuclear energy to produce electricity.
REPORT: BIN LADEN IN REACH OF U.S. TROOPS IN DECEMBER 2001: A Senate Foreign Relations Committee report says that Osama bin Laden was within reach of U.S. troops in the mountains of Tora Bora in December 2001 when American military leaders made the costly decision not to pursue the al-Qaida leader with massive force. According to the report, the failure to catch bin Laden then has had lasting consequences beyond just his fate, saying it laid the foundation for the renewed Afghan insurgency today, and inflamed the internal conflict now threatening Pakistan. The report says bin Laden was hiding in Tora Bora when the U.S. could have mounted a rapid assault with at least several thousand troops. Instead, fewer than 100 U.S. commandos, working with Afghan militias, tried to track him down, aided by airstrikes. At the time, then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld expressed concern that a large U.S. troop presence might cause a backlash, and he and some others said the evidence wasn't conclusive about bin Laden's location.
TRANSSEXUAL SPORTSWRITER DEAD, SUICIDE SUSPECTED:Los Angeles Times sportswriter Mike Penner, who announced two years ago that he was a transsexual and was changing his name to Christine Daniels, was pronounced dead Friday (November 27th) after being found at his L.A. home. The Times reported that he's believed to have committed suicide. The 52-year-old veteran sportswriter had returned to using the name Mike Penner last year. Penner wrote a story for the Times in April 2007 in which he revealed that he'd be taking a few weeks vacation, and would be returning as a woman. He wrote, "I am a transsexual sports writer. It has taken more than 40 years, a million tears and hundreds of hours of soul-wrenching therapy for me to work up the courage to type those words." Penner's bosses were supportive, and he reported as Christine Daniels. But he eventually reverted to writing under the name Mike Penner, and was a Times columnist at the time of his death.
OBAMAS TAKE IN COLLEGE BASKETBALL GAME:President Obama and his family took in a college basketball game Saturday (November 28th) in Washington, D.C., between George Washington University and Oregon State, which is coached by first lady Michelle Obama's brother, Craig Robinson. Obama, his wife, daughters Malia and Sasha and mother-in-law Marian Robinson sat courtside in the Smith Center, watching and cheering as Oregon State won the game 64-57.
SPACE SHUTTLE RETURNS TO EARTH: The space shuttle Atlantis returned to Earth Friday (November 27th), touching down in Cape Canaveral with seven astronauts on board. Among them was Randolph Bresnik, whose wife gave birth to their daughter Saturday while he was in orbit, and who flew home to Houston a day ahead of his crewmates to see them both. Also returning was Nicole Stott, who'd spent three months at the International Space Station. Atlantis delivered a load of large spare parts to the space station, and crew members performed three spacewalks to install equipment and carry out maintenance.
Only five space shuttle flights remain, all scheduled for next year, with the first set for February.
HUCKABEE SAYS LIKELY WON'T RUN FOR PREZ IN 2012: Fox News host and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee said on CBS' Face the Nation Sunday (November 29th) that he probably won't run for president in 2012. Part of the reasoning behind his likely decision is the fact that he doesn't think President Obama will lose his re-election bid. He said, "Anyone who thinks Barack Obama is an easy mark off, just remember Bill Clinton was just labeled politically dead and came back to win a resounding re-election in 1996." However, he sounded less certain during another appearance yesterday, on Fox News Sunday. On that show, Huckabee said he's leaning slightly against running for president in 2012 but says it's far too early to say what he'll do. Huckabee, a favorite of evangelical conservatives, finished second in the 2008 Republican presidential primary behind winner John McCain.
MYSTERY SADDAM HUSSEIN CHANNEL TURNS UP ON IRAQI TV: A mysterious satellite channel that celebrates Saddam Hussein began broadcasting in Iraq Friday (November 27th), on the Islamic calendar's anniversary of the late dictator's 2006 execution. It's unknown who's behind the channel -- whose official name alternates between the Arabic words for "the banner" and "the Arab" -- but the Iraqi government suspects it's members of the Baath political party that Saddam once led. It mostly airs flattering, still images of Saddam, set against audio recordings of him making speeches and reciting poetry. Patriotic music urges listeners to, quote, "liberate our country." The channel is broadcast across the Arab world, but it's unclear where it's being broadcast from.
NFL SCORES -- WEEK 12: Here are the results of this week's National Football League games. (Home teams are listed in italics):
New England Patriots at New Orleans Saints (8:30 p.m. ET)
NETS GO 0-17, MATCH NBA RECORD FOR WORST SEASON START: The New Jersey Nets lost 106-87 to the Los Angeles Lakers last night (November 29th), bringing their record to 0-17, which ties the record for worst start to an NBA season, held by the 1988-89 Miami Heat and the 1999 Los Angeles Clippers. The loss came a few hours after Nets head coach Lawrence Frank was fired, and his assistant, Tom Barrise, filled in temporarily.
(Headline News, FYI and Sports stories were compiled in part from reports by the Associated Press and Reuters.)
HEROES - Unexpected visitors greet H.R.G.; Samuel's plan starts to come to fruition; Claire's journey takes her to an unexpected destination.
TRAUMA - As a bad batch of heroin hits San Francisco, Glenn questions Nancy's judgment during an encounter with a 'frequent flyer'; a bizarre theft sends Marisa on a wild goose chase; Boone contemplates his future; a romance begins to take off.
ONE TREE HILL - Nathan and Haley's careers bring about a tough decision for the family; Julian reveals a secret to Alex; Jamie learns the truth about Skills' new job.
GOSSIP GIRL - Blair suspects her mother of keeping a big secret; Vanessa shows up on Dan's doorstep for Thanksgiving; Chuck tells Nate he has potentially damaging information about one of their friends.
DAY TIME TALK SHOW
THE ELLEN DEGENERES SHOW - (repeat) THE OPRAH WINFREY SHOW - Oprah's Holiday Music Extravaganza THE VIEW - Deepak Chopra
LATE NIGHT TALK SHOWS
THE LATE SHOW WITH DAVID LETTERMAN (CBS) - (repeat) THE JAY LENO SHOW (NBC) - Bill Maher, Adam Carolla THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH CONAN O'BRIEN (NBC) - William Shatner, a performance by the past of Mary Poppins JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE (ABC) - (repeat) THE LATE LATE SHOW WITH CRAIG FERGUSON (CBS) - Michael Sheen, Lance Burton LATE NIGHT WITH JIMMY FALLON (NBC) - (repeat) LAST CALL WITH CARSON DALY (NBC) - (repeat) THE DAILY SHOW WITH JON STEWART (COMEDY CENTRAL) - Maziar Bahari THE COLBERT REPORT (COMEDY CENTRAL) - Cevin Soling LOPEZTONIGHT - Katey Sagal, Joanna Krupa, David Guetta featuring Akon
COUPLE HAS BLACK FRIDAY WEDDING IN LINE AT BEST BUY: A bargain-hunting couple looking for a way to save money on their wedding decided to get married while on line to get into a Best Buy for Black Friday deals. The couple waited outside the Best Buy for two days to ensure they were first in line, along with their combined four kids from previous relationships. "We are saving money standing in line for Black Friday and we're not really spending much on the wedding," said the bride. "So we said we are here looking for deals on Black Friday. Let's have a wedding doing the same thing," added her husband. (WFIE)
SECRETARY CALLS IN BOMB THREAT TO DELAY BOSS' FLIGHT: A Florida woman is accused of calling in a bomb threat to Miama International Airport in an attempt to delay her boss' flight. She reported sent an e-mail saying that there was a bomb on board an American Airlines flight to Honduras so that her boss, who was running late, would not miss his flight. (WSVN)
POLICE RESPOND TO PARENTS FIGHTING OVER TOY HAMSTERS: Indiana police said they responded to two seperate calls on Friday from Toys 'R Us stores reporting parents fighting over robotic hamsters. Reports say the lines for the stores were much longer than expected and customers were cutting the line and not cooperating. Three squad cars were called after a fight broke out in the back of one line. (the Consumerist)
VIETNAMESE MAN DIGS UP DEAD WIFE TO SLEEP WITH HER: A Vietnamese man reportedly dug up his dead wife and slept with her body for five years so that he could hug her in bed. The 55-year-old man said that after his wife died in 2003 he spent many nights asleep on top of her grave, but after his children prevented him from going to the grave he decided to dig up his wife and take her home. He molded clay around her remains and put clothes on her. "I'm a person that does things differently. I'm not like normal people," said the man. (TVNZ)
'TURKEY DROP': DUMPING SOMEONE OVER THANKSGIVING: A Washington University junior told an NPR host, "The turkey drop is that holiday breakup season where all the college students return home for their first major vacation and everyone breaks up." It's often freshmen who do the majority of the turkey dropping. After three months living apart and making new friends, high school sweethearts reunite to find their long-distance relationship is more burden than they want. You're not safe from the turkey drop if you're out of college, either, according to relationship and sex advice guru Dan Savage. "For grown-ups," he says, "it's the anticipation of being stuck for three or four more months. You're a cad if you break up around Christmas. And then there's New Years -- and you can't dump somebody right around New Years. After that, if you don't jump on it, is Valentine's Day," Savage says. "God forbid if their birthday should fall somewhere between November and February -- then you're really stuck. Thanksgiving is really when you have to pull the trigger if you're not willing to tough it out through February."
EQUATION CALCULATES TOYS' PLAY VALUE: Psychologist Cliff Arnall has created an equation that is designed to calculate a toy's 'play value' based on factors including cost, the amount of time a child is expected to spend with it and whether it encourages social interaction. A toy that scores 40 or above is considered to to be of excellent value. Professor Arnall developed the equation after a study of 5,000 parents and children, commissioned by British toy company Worlds Apart, revealed that 65 percent of kids receive Christmas presents they don't like or don't play with.
SUDOKU REPORTEDLY BURNS 90 CALORIES AN HOUR: The Daily Mail reports that one researcher claims you can burn 90 calories an hour doing sudoku puzzles. Doing puzzles and quizzes burns an average of 90 calories every hour, they say -- while a chocolate chip cookie contains an average 56 calories. A British Dietetic Association spokesman said, "When thinking hard, the brain needs to get its energy from somewhere. It can get this energy from burning calories. The brain is like any other body part -- if you are working it hard, it will need more calories to work well."
Dr. Katherine Ramsland, who teaches forensic psychology at DeSales University and wrote the book, The Science of Vampires addressed the origins of the myth. (Fox News)
Avoiding sunlight: Several elements of the vampire legend are based around facts, artfully combined into a scary whole. Vampires are commonly depicted as creatures of the dark, being highly sensitive to sunlight. This is the case for people afflicted with porphyria, a well-known condition that makes one allergic to the sun. When exposed to the sun, people with porphyria develop burning blisters and swelling of the skin. Porphyria is extremely rare, of course, but not so its milder cousin, polymorphic light eruption. This type of allergic reaction is characterized by the formation of bumpy and itchy rashes on sun-exposed skin. But it's not actually an allergy to the sun, rather an immune reaction.
Immortality: Dracula is commonly regarded as not just long-lived, but literally immortal. Ramsland thinks there is science to explain this aspect of the myth, noting research on what scientists call "immortalized cells." The aging process is partly predicated on the lifespan of our cells; as long as they continue dividing, we remain young, and structures in our cells called telomeres play a part in cellular division. What controls the telomeres? Ramsland explains that "through the activity of an enzyme known as telomerase, the youth-preserving activity of the telomeres can be extended. In other words, there's an actual chemical in our cells that may hold the secret to eternal youth, and if so, it may explain how vampires can live forever."
Drinking blood: Mosquitoes, bats and other creatures drink blood, but humans rarely do -- unless they have an iron deficiency such as anemia, notes Dr. Manuel Alvarez, managing editor for health at FoxNews.com. Those suffering from iron deficiencies could feel the need to rush out for an extra side-helping of iron-rich spinach . . . or may opt to eat an extremely bloody steak. Craving iron and feasting on human blood are very different, of course. But Dr. Manny notes that pica, the pattern of eating non-foods or even blood, can result from anemia. This may not explain the vampire mythology, but it could explain one of the characteristics associated with the creatures.
Killing humans: Physicists Costas J. Efthimiou and Sohang Gandhi argue a good case against vampires, based on the hard facts of physics. In their 2007 paper "Cinema Fiction vs. Physics Reality: Ghosts, Vampires and Zombies," The pair work out a mathematical formula to describe the number of humans left after x months of vampirism spreading through a population of size and " . . . we conclude that if the first vampire appeared on January 1st of 1600 AD, humanity would have been wiped out by June of 1602, two and a half years later. We conclude that vampires cannot exist, since their existence contradicts the existence of human beings. Incidentally, the logical proof that we just presented is of a type known as reduction ad absurdum, that is, reduction to the absurd."
According to Wikipedia, The Jon Stewart Show was the first talk show on that network and was an instant hit, becoming the second-highest rated MTV show behind Beavis and Butt-head. In 1994, Paramount pulled the plug on The Arsenio Hall Show and, with new corporate sibling MTV (through MTV parent Viacom's acquisition of the studio), launched an hour-long syndicated late-night version of The Jon Stewart Show. It was canceled in less than two years. Amongst the fans of the show was David Letterman, who was the final guest of The Jon Stewart Show.
Shoppers Turned Out Over Black Friday Weekend, But Spent Less
Holiday shoppers turned out on Black Friday and over the weekend, which was good news for retailers, but they weren't spending as much, focusing on practical, small-ticket and sale items. According to preliminary figures released Saturday (November 28th) by ShopperTrak, sales rose just 0.5 percent Friday compared with a year ago. So despite the increase in shoppers, the National Retail Federation trade group said Sunday it's sticking to its forecast for holiday sales to decline 1 percent from last year.
There was some promising news, as overall reports from malls and stores showed shoppers continued to come in over the weekend. That's a change from last year, when stores had a pretty good Black Friday, but sales tanked the rest of the weekend and season. For the season overall, sales were down three percent last year. This year, traffic to stores and websites rose to 195 million from 172 million in 2008.
Analysts said that store chains that may have done better this past weekend include discount retailers like Wal-Mart and Target, teen apparel retailers Aeropostale and American Eagle Outfitters, and higher-end chains like Saks.
Black Friday was a great Red White and Blue Success!
THANKS FLAGGER'S for making Black Friday at Preferred Outlets at Laughlin such a success and getting in on all the great deals! If you missed it, not to worry! More deals to be had all weekend long at Preferred Outlets. Head over and shop their 53 stores until you drop! Get everything you need on your list and save tones of $$$$$$$!
The place to be Black Friday is Preferred Outlets in Laughlin! Join me bright and early at 9am -11am Nevada Time by the Boot Barn at the Preferred Outlets in Laughlin and I will pass one FREE Santa Stocking along to each of you Flagger's 18 and over FILLED full of goodies from the 53 fine retailers. You will also have a chace at WINNING 1 of 3 32' TV's to be given away, Nitendo DS Lite or a pair of 1 CART DIAMOND HOOP EARRINGS from Ultra Diamonds! Ohhhhhhhhh, I would LOVE to have those earrings. I can't win them but you sure can!!! Don't miss your chance be at Preferred Outlets at 9am -11am Nevada time this Friday!!!! Let's shop till we drop!!!
Chris Young celebrated his very first Number One hit, "Gettin' You Home," with a party in Nashville yesterday (Tuesday, November 24th). Chris co-wrote the song which, he tells us, he can hardly believe hit the top of the charts. It's just still surreal. I still pinch myself everyday about it. It sounds stupid and a hokey answer to say, but we were shootin' the new video, and I was sittin' there and I was like, 'Man!' They're like, 'What?' I'm like, 'I got a Number One record!' It's just really strange to me. It's cool playin' it out and people all know the words to it."
Chris will continue the celebration through Thanksgiving, where he says he plans to have an all-out feast. "Diet is out the window on Thanksgiving this year. Last year I was like right in the middle of the radio tour. I'm like, 'I'm sorry, I can't eat that,' and then I spent the rest of the year goin', 'Man! I missed out on cheese bisuits and turkey,' and so this year I'm eatin' it (laughs)!"
Chris will perform at the 5th annual Sound & Speed event in Nashville on January 8th. He will join headliner Hank Williams, Jr., along with a host of NASCAR's star drivers.
Blake Shelton tells us that his girlfriend, Miranda Lambert, is a great cook. She likes to experiment, and he says that more often than not, her results are impressive. And it's a good thing. Because Blake says he is definitely not a cook and tells us he won't be much help with Thanksgiving dinner. "I don't do any turkey carving. I guess if there's any outdoor cooking to be done, I'll babysit it but I'm really not that good at grilling either. I'm more of a just stand around, what do you need me to carry type of guy. But I don't do much of the cooking."
Blake says he's not even any good at the manly activity of frying turkeys. "I have fried turkeys. In fact, we did that for about three or four years in a row and after about the third year of carving into a raw turkey that I could have sworn there's no way it's been sitting in there that long, and still not be done yet. And then you've got to put it back in there. And then it's ruined. So I've stopped frying turkeys, or baking them. Turkeys are just too big."
You might recall that Shelton once had a pet turkey... named Turkey.
Blake's new single, "Hillbilly Bone," features a guest appearance by Trace Adkins.
Hank Williams, Jr. and Chris Young will perform at the fifth annual Sprint Sound & Speed event scheduled for January 8th and 9th at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. Sound & Speed combines the worlds of music and NASCAR, with the appearance of such drivers as Dale Earnhardt Jr., Tony Stewart, Denny Hamlin, Kasey Kahne, Michael Waltrip, Clint Bowyer, Reed Sorenson, and David Stremme. NASCAR legend Kyle Petty will also give a special performance with his band.
Other country stars scheduled to appear at the 2010 Sound & Speed include Jason Michael Carroll, Josh Turner, and members of Diamond Rio.
Tickets for the Sound & Speed concerts are available through TicketMaster.
For more information about the event, log onto soundandspeed.org.
Since its inception, the event has attracted about 40,000 fans and has raised more than $800,000 for Victory Junction Camp.
The Camp was founded by Kyle and Pattie Petty for children with chronic medical conditions or serious illnesses.
Andy Griggs and his family are dealing with the devastating loss of their Nashville-area home to fire over the weekend, and now a beloved four-legged member of the family is missing. Their Miniature Yorkshire Terrier, Lexie, was last seen running around the yard while the fire department was fighting the fire. Andy asks that anyone who finds her contact either the phone number on her tag or his publicist's office at 615-321-1383.
A spokesperson for Andy said, "She (Lexie) is a member of their family. They are very worried about her and would very much like for her to be returned home safely."
The Griggs' home was destroyed on Saturday (November 21st). The cause of the blaze is still unknown.
Aside from missing their pet, Andy says the family is holding up well. He said, "We are doing good. My family and I thank you for your prayers. I can actually feel them."
NICOLE KIDMAN'S NOT PREGNANT: Nicole Kidman is not pregnant. After the 42-year-old actress was photographed at the American Music Awards holding her belly and a finger to her lips, rumors began swirling that she and Keith Urban were expecting another baby. Her rep clarified, "This is not true."
NICOLE RICHIE STILL RECOVERING FROM PNEUMONIA: Nicole Richie has thanked fans for well-wishes during her battle with pneumonia. The star, who was recently hospitalized for the illness, blogged on Tuesday (November 24th), "Right now it's important for me to stay in bed and recover. Reading all of your messages on Twitter and my website has really brightened my spirits and I am so grateful for the support. I look forward to seeing you all very soon and wish you a happy Thanksgiving."
'NEW MOON' STARS TWEET: Rob Pattinson and Kristen Stewart are embracing Twitter. The New Moon co-stars posted their first messages on the social networking site earlier this week, thanking fans for supporting their movie. Pattinson wrote on Summit Entertainment's official Twilight Twitter page, "Thank you for making NEW MOON #1. It's very exciting to be a part of something embraced by so many people. I hope you are looking forward to ECLIPSE as much as I am." Stewart then followed up, posting, "You all have proven you're the most amazing fans in the world once again." Her in experience was evident after she added, "Yes, I twittered. Or twitted, tweeted? I dunno, but thank you sooo much anyway!"
JOSEPH FIENNES DENIES WIFE IS PREGNANT: Joseph Fiennes has shot down rumors that he's about to become a first-time father. The actor spoke out after the Daily Mail claimed his new wife was expecting a baby, telling Britain's Now newspaper, "No it isn't (true). A newspaper said I made an announcement, which felt like I opened my French doors and said, 'Ladies and gentleman, I just want you to know. . . ' But it just never happened. I'd love to have kids; I grew up in a large family."
ALYSSA MILANO CONFRONTS TWITTER IMPOSTOR: Alyssa Milano blew the whistle on a Twitter impostor. Earlier this week the actress tweeted, "Maybe Alyssa_Milano would like to tell us all why she is pretending to be me." Shortly after, the fake account was suspended and now reads "Sorry, the profile you were trying to view has been suspended due to strange activity."
DONNY OSMOND CROWNED DANCING WITH THE STARS CHAMPION
Donny Osmond was crowned the new champion of ABC's Dancing with the Stars on the season finale Tuesday night (November 24th), and he celebrated by running into the audience and picking up his wife, who he carried onto the stage. The 1970s teen idol was helped to the title by his performance last night of an Argentine tango with his professional dancing partner, Kym Johnson, that earned the top score of the final performances.
Singer Mya, who performed a jive with her partner, Dmitry Chaplin, for her final dance, was the runner-up, and Kelly Osbourne, the daughter of legendary rocker Ozzy Osbourne, came in third. The 25-year-old Osbourne began crying after her last dance -- a cover of Ray LaMontagne's "Trouble" that she performed with partner Louis Van Amstel -- and thanked the American TV audience. With dad Ozzy, mom Sharon and brother Jack looking on, Osbourne said she'd, quote, "grown so much" during the show.
Whitney Houston made a guest appearance, performing the single "Million Dollar Bill" off her comeback album, and her 1980s hit, "I Wanna Dance with Somebody."
SUSAN BOYLE DOCUMENTARY AIRING NEXT MONTH: Susan Boyle will be the subject of a documentary slated to air on the TV Guide Network on December 13th. The New York Post reports that the special -- which is being co-produced by Simon Cowell -- features live performances by the 48-year-old singer who rose to super-stardom earlier this year.
USA RENEWS 'BURN NOTICE': USA has renewed Burn Notice for a fourth season. EW.com reports that a deal to bring the show back for a 16-episode season was made official earlier this week. The new episodes will likely debut next summer.
ROB PATTINSON DOCUMENTARY COMING TO COMPUTERS: A Rob Pattinson documentary is coming to America. Variety reports that Revolver, the U.K. distributor of Robsessed, will is making the documentary available only to buy or rent on iTunes. The company's CEO Justin Marciano told Variety that the digital release "demonstrates our belief that the future is most certainly digital." The film charts the rise of the British star of the "Twilight" films although CinemaBlend.com reports that it seems more "like assembled paparazzi footage and talking head interviews with people who don't actually know him."
DUSTIN HOFFMAN REPORTEDLY TURNS DOWN 'FOCKERS' MOVIE: Dustin Hoffman has reportedly refused to reprise his role as Ben Stiller's father in the upcoming Little Fockers. Although he starred in 2004's Meet the Fockers, Starpulse.com reports that he won't be in the upcoming film, nor is it certain whether Barbra Streisand -- who played his wife -- will be back for the next installment.
A Wisconsin clothing boutique has settled its lawsuit against Oprah Winfrey's mother. Valentina Inc. of Milwaukee had originally filed suit against Vernita Lee in July 2008 after she failed to pay a bill of $155,547.
Lee's attorneys tried to place the blame on the retailer, saying it never should have extended credit to Oprah's mom in the first place, since she already had a history of failing to repay loans and credit cards.
Details are scant on the settlement, but many believe Winfrey herself stepped in to bail her mother out of trouble.
According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the store will only receive part of what was owed. A final hearing to sign off on the judgment is set for December 7th.
Although Taylor Lautner is arguably one of the most popular teenagers on the planet right now, the New Moon star admits that his career once made him a laughing stock among his peers. The 17-year-old told Rolling Stone, "I was never extremely confident. Because I was an actor, when I was in school there was a little bullying going on. Not physical bullying but people making fun of what I do . . . I just had to tell myself I can't let this get to me. This is what love to do. And I'm going to continue to do it."
Lautner is staying humble about his notoriety, explaining that superstardom "could have happened to anybody who played Jacob." He added, "I was just lucky enough to be the one that has the opportunity. I'm so grateful. It's Twilight. It's not me personally."
Paula Abdul is looking to take Oprah's place as television's resident talk show queen. The former American Idol judge told Extra that she hopes to have her own such program within three years.
The 47-year-old explained, "It would be fun and quirky and it would be insightful. It would be fun to jam with the band and have amazing guests and introduce amazing different formats on the show."
She added, "I feel I would be really good at it. I have the ability to connect with people on a level. I've proven to pierce the heartstrings, but also to be celebratory and bring out the best in people."
Perhaps hoping for an endorsement down the road, Abdul took the time to praise Winfrey, calling her a "phenomenon" who "broke barriers and let the path for other women to be empowered." She added, "Like 'American Idol,' there's a place and time that makes history. That's Oprah."
Opening today (November 25th) is the new comedy Old Dogs, starring Robin Williams, John Travolta, Kelly Preston and Seth Green. The movie is about two best friends, played by Williams and Travolta, who have their lives turned upside down when they're unexpectedly charged with the care of seven-year-old twins while approaching the biggest business deal of their lives. Old Dogs was directed by Walter Becker.
Old Dogs is rated PG.
Opening today (November 25th) in wide release is the new animated 'stop-motion' film from director Wes Anderson, Fantastic Mr. Fox, starring George Clooney, MerylStreep, Jason Schwartzman and Bill Murray. Based on Roald Dahl's children's book, the story follow Mr. and Mrs. Fox, played by Clooney and Streep, as they live the perfect life with their son Ash, played by Schwartzman, and visiting nephew Kristopherson, played by Eric Anderson, but when Mr. Fox slips back into his old ways as a sneaky chicken thief, he endangers his family and the whole animal community forcing the animals to band together and fight the farmers who are determined to kill fantastic Mr. Fox.
Fantastic Mr. Fox is rated PG and has a running time of 1 hour and 30 minutes.
Opening today (November 25th) is the new action movie Ninja Assassin, starring Rain, Naomie Harris, Ben Miles and Rick Yune. The film follows Raizo, a member of the secret clan of assassins known as the Ozunu, who seeks revenge on the very people who trained him after the Ozunu kill his friend. Ninja Assassin was directed by James McTeigue.
Ninja Assassin is rated R.
Opening today (November 25th) is the highly anticipated film The Road, starring Viggo Mortensen, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Charlize Theron, Robert Duvall and Guy Pierce. The film follows a father, played by Mortensen, and his son, played by Smit-McPhee, who try to keep the dream of civilzation alive as they roam through the post-apocalyptic landscape. The Road was directed by John Hillcoat.
The Road is rated R and has a running time of 2 hours.
OBAMA SET TO PRESENT PLAN FOR MORE TROOPS IN AFGHANISTAN:President Obama said yesterday (November 24th) that he's ready to lay out his plans for the way forward in Afghanistan, which is virtually sure to include sending more troops, saying, "I intend to finish the job." Obama is expected to explain it all to the American people in a prime time speech next Tuesday night (December 1st). AP cited sources as saying the president will lay out his plans for expanding the Afghan conflict, and then ultimately ending America's military role. Aware of polls showing the American public about evenly split on sending in more troops, Obama said, "I feel very confident that when the American people hear a clear rationale for what we're doing there and how we intend to achieve our goals, that they will be supportive." Military officials expect an increase of 32,000 to 35,000 troops, below the reported 40,000 General Stanley McChrystal had requested.
OBAMA HOSTS INDIAN PRIME MINISTER AT FIRST STATE DINNER: Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was the guest of honor last night (November 24th) at the first state dinner of the Obama administration. There were 338 people on the guest list as President Obama and First lady Michelle Obama hosted the prime minister and his wife at the dinner held in a huge, carpeted white tent set up on the South Lawn, with suspended chandeliers and views of the Washington Monument and Lincoln Memorial through clear panels. Award-winning chef Marcus Samuelsson of the restaurant Aquavit in New York was brought in to help White House executive chef Cristeta Comerford and her staff prepare the meal, which was largely vegetarian since Singh is a vegetarian. The after-dinner entertainment included performances by singer and actress Jennifer Hudson and Indian musician and singer A.R. Rahman, who composed the music for the Academy Award-winning movie Slumdog Millionaire.
POLICE SAY HANGED CENSUS WORKER COMMITTED SUICIDE: Police have concluded that a census worker who was found hanged to death from a tree in rural Kentucky in September with the word "fed" scrawled on his chest committed suicide and staged his death to look like a murder so there'd be a big insurance payout for his son. Initial suspicions that Bill Sparkman may have been killed over anti-government sentiment gave way to the belief it was suicide when investigators discovered that there were no defensive wounds, and that Sparkman believed he had cancer, had two insurance policies worth $600,000, and had an adult son who needed money. Authorities also said that Sparkman talked about his plan about a week before his death to someone who didn't take him seriously at the time.
PANEL BEGINS DEBATING POSSIBLE IMPEACHMENT OF S.C. GOV: A panel of South Carolina state lawmakers began debating yesterday (November 24th) whether Governor Mark Sanford should be impeached over his failure to inform his staff of his whereabouts or put anyone in charge when he disappeared for five days in June to go visit his mistress in Argentina. Although his staff had put out a statement at the time that the married governor was hiking on the Appalachian Trail, Sanford confessed where he'd really been when he returned. Later investigations found the two-term Republican governor also may have violated state ethics laws for travel and campaign finances, and he faces 37 civil charges that he used his office to personally benefit himself. The committee will meet at least three more times before deciding whether to forward the impeachment measure to the House Judiciary Committee.
TURKEY 'COURAGE' BEING PARDONED TODAY: A lucky turkey named Courage will be pardoned today (November 24th) by President Obama in the annual tradition that began in 1947 with President Harry Truman. Another turkey, Carolina, will be on hand in case there's any problem with Courage. After the Rose Garden ceremony -- which will be Obama's first turkey-pardoning -- Courage and Carolina will be flown to Disneyland to serve as grand marshal of its annual Thanksgiving Day parade, and they'll then move into their new home in the theme park's Frontierland.
CDC WARNS AGAINST HOLIDAY SPREAD OF SWINE FLU: The swine flu epidemic seems to have begun to wane in the U.S., but plenty of people are still ill, and health officials are warning that Thanksgiving travel and holiday gatherings could lead to a new spread of the disease. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has launched a new travel-health campaign ahead of Thanksgiving, putting up posters in airports, seaports and border crossings, and using advertisements with slogans like, "Stop, Wash & Go." The CDC is also urging people to travel only if they are well, wash their hands often, and cough or sneeze into a tissue or the bend of their elbow.
AIRLINES FINED FOR KEEPING PASSENGERS ON PLANE OVERNIGHT: The federal government yesterday (November 24th) imposed fines for the first time ever against airlines for stranding passengers on a plane overnight. Continental Airlines and its ExpressJet Airlines affiliate were fined $100,000 and Mesaba Airlines, a unit of Delta Air Lines, was fined $75,000 for the August 8th incident in Rochester, Minnesota. Forty-seven passengers were forced to stay on board a Continental Express plane on the tarmac overnight after it diverted to Rochester because of bad weather while en route from Houston to Minneapolis. Mesaba, which was the only airline staffing the Rochester airport at the time, refused to let the passengers exit the plane and enter the terminal because there were no federal security personnel on duty. Government regulators found that all three airlines violated a law against unfair and deceptive practices.
SAAB LIKELY TO SHUT DOWN: General Motors could decide in a matter of days to shut down the decades-old Swedish Saab brand after a deal to sell it to a specialty carmaker collapsed Tuesday (November 24th). There are no other apparent interested parties, and the Swedish government is refusing to buy Saab, so it's very likely the GM board will soon decide to shut it down. That would jeopardize the jobs of Saab's 4,500 employees, most of whom are in Sweden. GM has been looking to shed brands this year and focus on the core ones of Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac. The GM board has already decided to phase out the Saturn brand.
GM bought half of Saab in 1990 for $600 million and the rest in 2000 for $125 million.
Saab was created in 1947 by a Swedish aerospace company.
WHAT WASN'T ON THE PILGRIM'S TABLE: Besides the big bird, there are lots of other foods that have become traditional for the Thanksgiving meal. But you might be surprised to know that many of those foods were not on the menu at the first Thanksgiving. According to the Mayflower Web Pages, the Pilgrims would have been surprised to see any of the following foods on their table:
Sweet potatoes, potatoes, or yams -- These hadn't yet been introduced in New England.
Corn on the cob -- What the Pilgrims called "Indian corn" was only used to make cornmeal.
Cranberry sauce -- Although they had cranberries, they didn't have sugar.
Popcorn-- "Indian corn" could only be half-popped, and wouldn't have tasted very good.
Pumpkin pie -- However, they probably made a type of pumpkin pudding, sweetened by honey or syrup.
What you might be surprised to know was on the menu at the first Thanksgiving was fish and seafood, which was plentiful in coastal New England, including cod, bass, eel, clams and mussels.
PILGRIM CLOTHING MYTH: The image we all have in our heads of Pilgrims at the time of the first Thanksgiving in 1621 is that of men and women who dressed only in black and white with big buckles on their shoes, hats and clothes. But according to the History Channel, that idea of Pilgrim fashion is a myth. Buckles didn't become popular until later in the 17th century, and black and white clothes were usually worn only on Sundays and at formal occasions. Instead, women usually wore red, earthy green, brown, blue, violet and gray, while men wore clothing in white, beige, black, earthy green and brown.
TURKEY TRIVIA: Here are some facts about the turkey you'll be eating on Thanksgiving:
Scientific name: melegragris gallopavo
Plumage: bronze, dark brown and black on wild turkeys with 3,500 feathers at maturity
Turkeys live in flocks, roosting at night in thick tree trunks.
Male turkeys are called "gobblers" or "toms" and female turkeys are called "hens."
Turkeys are polygamous -- one male has a harem of females.
Toms attract hens by gobbling and strutting.
Hens lay about 12 eggs at a time, which hatch in 28 days.
Turkeys can fly at speeds up to 55 miles per hour and run at around 12 miles per hour.
Turkeys have 27 calls besides the gobble, including the "kee-kee," the "purr," the "yelp," the "whine" and the "cluck."
PUJOLS WINS SECOND STRAIGHT NATIONAL LEAGUE MVP AWARD: St. Louis Cardinals' first baseman Albert Pujols was named the National League MVP for the second year in a row yesterday (November 24th) and the third time overall, added to his win in 2005. Pujols won unanimously, getting all 32 first-place votes and 448 points in balloting by the Baseball Writers' Association of America. Hanley Ramirez of the Florida Marlins was second with 233 points, and the Philadelphia Phillies' Ryan Howard came in third with 217. Pujols led the major leagues this year in home runs, with 47, runs, slugging percentage and intentional walks, and topped the National League in on-base percentage. He's the first player to repeat as MVP since Barry Bonds won four in a row from 2001 to 2004.
Catcher Joe Mauer of the Minnesota Twins was voted the American League MVP on Monday.
WASHINGTON WIZARDS OWNER ABE POLLIN DEAD AT 85: Washington Wizards owner Abe Pollin, the NBA's longest-tenured owner, died Tuesday (November 24th) at age 85. The cause of death wasn't disclosed, but he'd suffered for years from a rare brain disorder. Pollin and two partners bought the Washington Bullets in 1964, and he bought them out four years later. He renamed the team the Washington Wizards in 1997 because of the violent connotation of the word "Bullets," particularly in a city associated with crime. The team won the NBA title in 1978, and Pollin vowed he wouldn't sell the franchise until it won another championship. Pollin also introduced sports innovations, including the Capital Centre being the country's first sports major venue to have luxury boxes and a big replay screen.
GRACIE - After the death of her older brother, a teenager petitions her high school for the right to take his place on the boys varsity soccer team. 2007. Starring Dermot Mulroney, Elisabeth Shue, Andrew Shue and Carly Schroeder.
NIP/TUCK - Matt and Alexis request unusual surgical procedures from Christian; Erica discovers the horrible truth about her husband; Julia seeks revenge on her mother.
DAY TIME TALK SHOW
THE ELLEN DEGENERES SHOW - Sandra Bullock THE OPRAH WINFREY SHOW - Remembering Ted Kennedy: Vicki Kennedy's First TV Interview THE VIEW - Natalie Portman, Dancing with the Stars finalists
LATE NIGHT TALK SHOWS
THE LATE SHOW WITH DAVID LETTERMAN (CBS) - Natalie Portman, Adam Lambert THE JAY LENO SHOW (NBC) - Paula Patton THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH CONAN O'BRIEN (NBC) - Norm MacDonald, Gretchen Bleiler, Dan Cummins JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE (ABC) - Charles Barkley, Peter Facinelli, Leona Lewis THE LATE LATE SHOW WITH CRAIG FERGUSON (CBS) - Robin Wright, Wolfgang Puck LATE NIGHT WITH JIMMY FALLON (NBC) - Seth Green, Tommy Lee, Padma Lakshmi, Mos Def & Talib Kweli LAST CALL WITH CARSON DALY (NBC) - David Gray THE DAILY SHOW WITH JON STEWART (COMEDY CENTRAL) - (repeat) THE COLBERT REPORT (COMEDY CENTRAL) - (repeat) LOPEZTONIGHT - Arsenio Hall
NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM - A night watchman at The Museum of Natural History discovers that exhibits come alive after the building closes. Starring Ben Stiller, Carla Gugino, Mickey Rooney and Dick Van Dyke.
A CHARLIE BROWN THANKSGIVING - The Peanuts gather around Charlie's pingpong table for an unusual feast; a bonus cartoon is 'This is America, Charlie Brown: The Mayflower Voyagers.'
BEYONCE...I AM YOURS - A performance from Las Vegas; unseen footage of the singer's life off stage and moments from her childhood.
PAUL MCCARTNEY: GOOD EVENING NEW YORK CITY - McCartney performs some of his favorite songs at Citi Field in Queens; includes footage of the original Beatles concert at Shea stadium and an interview with Paul.
THE ELLEN DEGENERES SHOW - (repeat) THE OPRAH WINFREY SHOW - (repeat) THE VIEW - (repeat)
LATE NIGHT TALK SHOWS
THE LATE SHOW WITH DAVID LETTERMAN (CBS) - (repeat) THE JAY LENO SHOW (NBC) - Megan Fox THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH CONAN O'BRIEN (NBC) - Pee Wee Herman, Donald Faison, Bon Jovi JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE (ABC) - (repeat) THE LATE LATE SHOW WITH CRAIG FERGUSON (CBS) - (repeat) LATE NIGHT WITH JIMMY FALLON (NBC) - Robin Williams, Rashida Jones LAST CALL WITH CARSON DALY (NBC) - Weezer THE DAILY SHOW WITH JON STEWART (COMEDY CENTRAL) - (repeat) THE COLBERT REPORT (COMEDY CENTRAL) - (repeat) LOPEZTONIGHT - Taylor Lautner, Kristin Cavallari, LMFAO
REAL ESTATE AGENT FINDS PILE OF BONES AT SHOWING: A Louisiana real estate agent showing a house found a pile of human bones in the basement, which investigators say are so old they had to have been there before the house was built. A forensic investigator said he believes the bones belong to Native Americans that were buried on the land. The real estate agent said he later learned from the previous owners that they would often find the bones will mowing the lawn or doing yard work and would put them in the basement. (AP)
DAD LEAVES SON OUTSIDE, GOES INTO STRIP CLUB: Police arrested an Indianapolis man who left his 5-year-old son alone outside a strip club and later called police intoxicated to report his truck and child missing. According to police the man was too drunk to remember where he parked, but they found the boy alone in the car watching cartoons with the keys in the ignition and doors unlocked. The 39-year-old man was charged with public intoxication and child neglect. (AP)
BABOONS ROBBING TOURISTS IN SOUTH AFRICA: Officials in the city of Cape Town, South Africa are struggling to control the population of baboons, who seem to have learned how to open car doors and windows to find food inside. Just last Tuesday 29 baboons raided four cars in a small coastal neighborhood, led by one baboon the locals have nicknamed "Fred" who apparently figured out how to open the cars. Officials say there are approximately 420 baboons, which run in troopes, in the surrounding area and that they basically spend all day rescuing tourists from the primates. (AP)
WORLD'S OLDEST SHEEP DIES IN HEATWAVE: An Australian sheep named Lucky said to be the oldest sheep in the world at 23 years, six months died Tuesday morning. Lucky's owner said the cause of death is related to a heatwave that has struck most of south east Australia, reaching a record of 86 degrees for November. Sheep typically have a life expectancy of 10 to 12 years. (AFP)
NEW YORK COOKING BOOZ-Y TURKEY: A local NYC tavern is unveiling what the owner is calling the nation's first 100-proof turkey. A spokesman for the owner of O'Casey's Tavern in Midtown Manhattan says that the bird is infused with fruit-flavored and 100-proof Georgi vodka for three days before being cooked. The flavors of vodka include peach, raspberry, cherry and apple. The gravy is also laced with the distilled liquor. Out of concern for the danger of drinking-and-driving, the tavern is offering free taxi ride home to anyone who orders the turkey. It wasn't immediately clear how much it will cost to have some of the boozy bird.
IS BINGE EATING LIKE DRUG ADDICTION? The Los Angeles Times reported, "The notion that binge eating and addiction are linked is supported by brain imaging studies that show significant overlap between the brain circuits activated by a drug addict's "craving" and those of a binge eater pondering an eating jag. Researchers also find that the brains of overeaters and those with substance addictions share a common shortage of receptors for the neurotransmitter dopamine, a key chemical in the activation of reward-seeking brain circuits."
WOMEN ANXIOUS ABOUT BODY IMAGE: According to a study reported on by the Telegraph, on average, women had negative thoughts about their bodies 36 times a day. One hundred women were asked to carry a clicker in an experiment to measure how many times they felt anxiety about their bodies ageing. Over a seven day period, the women aged 35 to 69 had to use the clicker every time they worried about their face, body, or appearance in general and on average did so 36 times.
250 million -- The preliminary estimate of turkeys raised in the United States in 2009. That's down 8 percent from the number raised during 2008. The turkeys produced in 2008 together weighed 7.9 billion pounds and were valued at $4.5 billion.
45.5 million -- The preliminary estimate of turkeys Minnesota expected to raise in 2009. The Gopher State was tops in turkey production, followed by North Carolina (37.5 million), Arkansas (28 million), Missouri (21 million), Virginia (16.4 million) and California (15 million). These six states together would probably account for about two-thirds of U.S. turkeys produced in 2009.
709 million pounds -- The forecast for U.S. cranberry production in 2009. Wisconsin is expected to lead all states in the production of cranberries, with 400 million pounds, followed by Massachusetts (190 million). New Jersey, Oregon and Washington are also expected to have substantial production, ranging from 16 million to 54 million pounds.
1.8 billion pounds -- The total weight of sweet potatoes -- another popular Thanksgiving side dish -- produced by major sweet potato producing states in 2008. North Carolina (874 million pounds) produced more sweet potatoes than any other state. It was followed by California (437 million pounds) and Mississippi (335 million pounds).
1.1 billion pounds -- Total production of pumpkins produced in the major pumpkin-producing states in 2008. Illinois led the country by producing 496 million pounds of the vined orange gourd. Pumpkin patches in California, Pennsylvania and New York also provided lots of pumpkins: Each state produced at least 100 million pounds. The value of all pumpkins produced by major pumpkin-producing states was $141 million.
3: Number of places in the United States named after the holiday's traditional main course. Turkey, Texas, was the most populous in 2008, with 456 residents, followed by Turkey Creek, La. (361) and Turkey, N.C. (272). There are also nine townships around the country named Turkey, three in Kansas.
5: Number of places and townships in the United States that are named Cranberry or some spelling variation of the red, acidic berry (e.g., Cranbury, N.J.), a popular side dish at Thanksgiving. Cranberry township (Butler County), Pa., was the most populous of these places in 2008, with 27,194 residents. Cranberry township (Venango County), Pa., was next (6,795).
Your mother-in-law insists on helping with the cooking -- but keeps getting in the way: As she adds yet more salt to the gravy (telling you that your husband prefers it that way), resist the temptation to slam her on the knuckles with the ladle. "Gently redirect her behavior. Promote her to social director. Say: 'I love that you're in the kitchen, but I've got it covered. You could really help me by going into the living room and encouraging the kids to talk to the other guests.'" She'll feel useful, while you desperately try to rescue the gravy with sugar and lemon juice. Or throw it out.
You accepted a Thanksgiving invitation, but now you're having second thoughts, thinking you'd rather spend the day elsewhere -- or even on your own: Little white lies never hurt anyone. Say that some kind of business-travel commitment has come up. However, when the big day arrives, don't be afraid to do a U-turn. Just say the trip got canceled at the last minute. People always overcater for Thanksgiving, so if you do show up, it's no big deal. But make sure you call ahead and bring an expensive bottle of Champagne for the host.
The guys slump in front of the TV to watch sports after the meal and do nothing to help: Many men hide behind that lame "She doesn't want us in the kitchen anyways" excuse. But this isn't an episode of "Mad Men." Share the chores between the sexes. Tell them that, if they don't clean up now, they're skipping dessert. Or say: 'You can watch the game, but just so you know, the dishes will be waiting for you when it's over.' Stick to your guns. Put even one darn plate in that dishwasher, and the sisterhood suffers.
Your sulky "New Moon"-addict kids set up camp in their bedroom, obsessively watching "Twilight" on DVD. They refuse to come out into the light: Don't have unrealistic expectations. Accept that modern families with teenagers have zero in common with the Waltons. Don't force the issue or yell at them. Say: 'If you don't come down and interact, you're getting nothing to eat'," she says. You'll soon hear the march of clumpy vampire feet.
Your mom is prone to baring her soul at Thanksgiving, reminiscing and ruminating on what she doesn't have to be thankful for. It usually involves her going into intimate details about why her husband left her for another woman: If you can't face another "But her thighs are so much fatter than mine" conversation, look outside the family and ask a co-worker or friend to join in the festivities. Invite an outsider who has nowhere to go. This is not only charitable, but it's great protection from family members who are likely to air dirty laundry when only familiar faces are present.
Your sister drops a bombshell during dinner, announcing that she's getting divorced: Don't allow the crisis to ruin the meal. Acknowledge it by saying, 'Oh my God, I am so sorry,' but don't probe any further. Say: 'Let's talk about this afterward over coffee, but now tell us one good thing that is happening in your life.' Hopefully, she will be able to come up with something to move the conversation on. Afterward, take her aside, together with other close family members, and discuss the problem in a less stressful atmosphere.
Your uncle has too much to drink and makes an unhelpful comment about your sister's weight and her divorce: Immediately cut off his alcohol supply and quietly suggest he lie down in another room. He might have spoken out publicly, but don't start a public screaming match. Take him aside and warn him that, if he says anything else like that, he's going to have to leave. Whatever happens, don't allow his inappropriate comments to ignite a huge argument with different sets of relatives taking sides. The last thing you want is a family feud. Get him to repair the damage by apologizing and admitting he was drunk.
You invited your neighbors, but their bratty kids are running wild. Their ultraliberal, laid-back style of parenting clearly isn't working, because their 10-year-old repeatedly tries to stab your toddler with a carving fork: Where kids are concerned, fight fire with fire. Express yourself. Unleash the monster inside of you, take a deep breath, count to 10 as you approach the tormentor, and SCREEEEAAAM! into their ear. Then smile your most mysterious smile and say: 'Go ask your mom about scream therapy'. This tactic almost guarantees the neighbors won't darken your door again at Thanksgiving.
It's a tradition to go around the table with each person saying what he or she is grateful for. Trouble is, the guys and teens roll their eyes at such a folksy exercise and can't think of anything original to say: Granny's head would spin if you dropped the tradition altogether. So mix it up bit. As an alternative, ask everyone at the table to honor the person to their left of them, giving praise for what they like best about him or her. The honoree may only say 'Thank you.' But limit the praise to one or two sentences.
The 83rd annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade will kick off at 9 a.m. on Thursday (November 26th), featuring the iconic giant helium character balloons, floats, marching bands, clowns, celebrities, Broadway show performances, the Radio City Rockettes, and much more before ending three hours later with the traditional arrival of Santa Claus to usher in the holiday season. In a big change this year, the nationally-televised parade for the first time won't be winding its way down Broadway. Parts of Broadway were closed to vehicular traffic this year, making it off-limits to floats. So while starting at the same place as usual, Central Park West and 77th Street in Manhattan, the parade will make several corner turns and go down different streets and avenues on a slightly longer 2.65-mile route before ending at Macy's flagship store on 34th Street.
Among the 16 signature giant helium balloons this year are four new additions:
Pillsbury Doughboy -- The giggly Pillsbury Doughboy is making his parade debut, measuring in at more than 63 times his normal 8 3/4-inch height. Also known as Poppin' Fresh, the doughboy will be flying over the parade route with his arms outstretched, wearing his signature chef's hat and scarf.
Ronald McDonald -- This is the third version of Ronald McDonald to fly in the Macy's parade since he made his debut in 1966 holding a bouquet of party balloons. This Ronald will be wearing ice skates, ready for some winter fun.
Sailor Mickey -- Sailor Mickey Mouse will be sporting his nautical-themed red, white and blue sailor outfit in his parade debut, as he salutes the crowd from on board a ship's anchor.
Spider-Man -- Spidey is returning to the Macy's parade after a decade away in celebration of Marvel Comics' 70th anniversary. The new buffer Spider-Man is posed in a crawl with one hand ready to release a web.
There are three new floats in the line-up, including a new sleigh for Santa:
Local Heroes Helping Everyday -- This float salutes firefighters, doctors, nurses, crossing guards and police officers, who all lend a hand to neighbors every day. The local heroes come together on this float from Hamburger Helper that features a fire truck with a hydraulic ladder to rescue a cat caught up a tree.
There's a Party in My City -- The world of Yo Gabba Gabba! comes to life, compete with DJ Lance Rock, Brobee, Foofa, Muno, Plex and Toodee. They'll debut a special "dancey dance" number, and reflect the show's theme of teaching kids simple lessons through music.
Santa's Sleigh -- It's a special year for Santa Claus, as the big guy in the red suit who everyone waits for to end the parade is getting a new sleigh for the first time in more than 40 years. The sleigh depicts Santa leaving the North Pole to make his Christmas Eve journey, showcasing his Toyshop home and a giant ice and granite obelisk that's supported by ice sculptures of a walrus and a polar bear.
Among the celebrities who'll be appearing in the parade are: singers Andrea Bocelli, Carly Simon, Gloria Gaynor and Season Five American Idol runner-up Katharine McPhee; Late Night host Jimmy Fallon and his show's band The Roots; 30 Rock actress Jane Krakowski; and Miss America Katie Stam.
The first hour of the broadcast will include performances from the Broadway shows Bye, Bye Birdie, Hair, Billy Elliot and Shrek.
Colin Hanks turns 32 today. I just can't imagine Tom Hanks having a kid that old. Those years stranded on the island must keep him young.
Stanley Livingston turns 59 today. Besides sounding like an African expedition, he starred as youngest son "Chip" in "My Three Sons."
Pete Best, the original drummer for the Beatles, turns 68 today. Most of those years spent kicking himself. In honor of his birthday, everyone will give his presents to Ringo.
THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW
A Canadian woman lost her disability benefits for depression when her insurance agent found photos of her on Facebook at a male strip club.
Seven bulls being used on the set of a film starring Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz broke free in Spain and slightly injured two people. Cruise and Diaz were not on the set at the time.
The white glove Michael Jackson wore when he premiered his trademark moonwalk dance in 1983 was sold at an auction for $350,000!
For the record, Sarah Palin's memoir sold 300,000 copies on the first day, which is more than Hillary Clinton, but less than Bill Clinton.
People who consumed a diet rich in calcium and dairy products as children live longer lives as adults, according to a 65-year study from the Queensland Institute of Medical Research in Brisbane, Australia.
No details have been given, but a "family matter" has put the brakes on production of Courtney Cox's series, "Cougar Town."
The 5 Oldest English words are "I," "we," "two," "three" and "five." Biologists at England's University of Reading created a computer model to analyze the rate of change of words in English and other languages.
Rebecca Mader -- whose character, anthropologist Charlotte Lewis, died onscreen last season -- has returned to the cast for the sixth and final season of "Lost."
Little Sunday Rose Kidman Urban is only a year old but she's already showing signs of following in her famous daddy's footsteps. Keith Urban told reporters backstage at the American Music Awards on Sunday (November 22nd) that he and Sunday share a bit of time jamming together each day. "Well, she's got some pipes! (laughs) They're loud, you know! I think so. I think she sounds quite musical. I sit her at the piano every morning and we play. We mash the keys together, and so hopefully she'll have a little bit of that!"
Keith won his very first American Music Award for Favorite Country Male Artist on Sunday night.
He will be taking his Escape Together World tour back home to Australia next month beginning on December 12th in Melbourne.
Keith, his wife, Nicole Kidman, and Sunday Rose will spend the holidays down under with family and friends.
Jimmy Wayne's new album, Sara Smile, is in stores this week. It made sense to name the 10-song CD after the debut single because as Jimmy tells us, the Hall & Oates re-make is the cornerstone for the entire project. "The song 'Sara Smile' was what I consider the flaghsip song, the song that we started off with, and (label head) Scott Borchetta and I were talkin' about putting this record together. 'Why don't we go back and pull some of the songs that we didn't put on the last album?', because of some production reasons. The song 'Do You Believe Me Now,' when I presented that song to the label it was so much different than anything else we had recorded."
Jimmy knew he had a hit on his hands with "Do You Believe Me Now," so rather than let the song go, he decided to build his last album around the tune that went on to be a three-week Number One."I wanted the record to have some consistency, so instead of putting those songs on that album, I just asked that we record more songs from that producer, Joe West, so there would be some consistency with 'Do You Believe Me Now' and then we released the album, and then a year later we move on to this album, Sara Smile, and go back and get the songs that we didn't use for that album and use 'em for this album cause they sound more like the Sara Smile sound, if you will."
The song, "Sara Smile," features special guests Daryl Hall and John Oates.
Jimmy's Do You Believe Me Now CD was released in 2008.
Andy Griggs and his family escaped injury on Saturday (November 21st) when their Nashville-area home caught on fire. There is no word on what caused the blaze, but the home is reportedly a total loss.
Andy's publicist issued a statement saying, "Andy and his family are strong in their spiritual faith and are very appreciative to be alive. Andy is very touched by all of the support of his fans and all of the messages of concern. He wants to assure everyone that he and his family are fine and he expresses his most sincere thanks to all of this fans and friends for their thoughts and prayers at this time."
Andy's latest CD, The Good Life, was released in 2008 by Nashville indie label Montage Music Group.
Previously, Andy released three albums for RCA Label Group. His biggest hits, "You Won't Ever Be Lonely" and "She's More," peaked at Number Two in 1999 and 2000, respectively.
Fans can watch Joe Nichols' brand new video for "Gimmie That Girl" online at both cmt. com and gactv.com. The live performance clip was recently shot at Cowboys in San Antonio, Texas before a packed house. This is Joe's very first live concert video.
He said, "There's nothing like performing a song in front of an audience. The energy is something that's hard to describe. I've wanted to do a live concert music video for a while now, and when we were discussing treatments for this new single, I knew the time was right. If you've never been to one of my concerts, this music video gives you a good idea of what it's like."
"Gimmie That Girl" is the second single from Nichols' new CD, Old Things New.
Joe documents his first trip to Iraq this summer in the new GAC special, My Military Diary, currently airing on the cable network.
He soon heads to the Big Apple to begin rehearsals for the Broadway musical of Pure Country. The show, which will also star Lorrie Morgan, will open early next year.
Michelle Branch checked in with fans this week about what she's been up to lately, but offered no new release date for her new solo album, which was supposed to come out November 10th. That got delayed after a series of record label issues, but there's still no word from Branch on when it will be released. In her latest blog, post, Branch writes, "I know it seems super quiet around here but believe me, I've been keeping extremely busy!! I just got back from Minneapolis and Omaha where I had two really great shows. She adds, "I'm getting ready to head to Arizona to visit my family for Thanksgiving. I am so looking forward to it. It's gonna be nice to have a week of relaxation before getting back on the horse. December is starting to look like a crazy month."
Branch has released a few new songs on her website and has been playing her latest tracks live. She clues us in about how she goes about writing her songs: "It's kind of crazy because sometimes you write things that you don't even know that you're feeling until you write it on paper. You might be feeling something and then you write it and you'll read it back, you know, a couple of days later and you go, 'Oh, wow, I was feeling like that.' I really can't walk you through the whole process because it's different every time, but that's one of the things that happens every time I write."SOUNDCUE (:20 OC: . . . times I write.)
A who's who list of young stars appear on the seventh edition of A Very Special Christmas collection, due out today (Tuesday, November 24th), including Carrie Underwood, Kellie Pickler, Miley Cyrus, and Colbie Caillat. Also contributing holiday tracks to the set are the Carter Twins, Charice, Kristinia DeBarge, Gloriana, Vanessa Hudgens, Sean Kingston, Leighton Meester, Mitchel Musso,and Ashley Tisdale. The album will feature original recordings of new and traditional Christmas songs that each artist selected especially for the compilation. Proceeds from CD sales will go to the Special Olympics.
The first A Very Special Christmas came out in 1987. In all, the albums have raised more than $l00 million for Special Olympics, the most ever raised by a benefit recording series.
Special Olympics founder Eunice Kennedy Shriver passed away this year.
Dolly Parton is opening a Nashville store full of, well, all things Dolly! Dolly Parton's Trinkets & Treasures won't celebrate its grand opening until the spring of next year, but the first 500 preview shoppers in the store today (Tuesday, November 24th) who spend at least $20 will receive a free Backwoods Barbie tour book.
The store, which is located on 2nd Avenue in downtown Nashville, is decorated in Dolly's trademark "Coat of Many Colors" -- pink, yellow, red, blue, green and purple -- both inside and out.
Items to be found at Trinkets & Treasures include the superstar's CDs, t-shirts, hats, jewelry and a collection of children and tween items.
This is Dolly's very first retail store.
Dolly launched her own Dolly Records in 2007 with the Backwoods Barbie CD.
Her latest CD/DVD project, Dolly Parton: Live From London, was released earlier this year.
Dierks Bentley climbed to Number One on the Billboard country singles chart with "Free And Easy (Down The Road I Go)" in 2007.
Toby Keith's "I Wanna Talk About Me" made it to the top spot on the Billboard country singles chart in 2001.
Ashland, Kentucky proclaimed it Billy Ray Cyrus Day in 1998. The city presented the singer with a key to the city, and a section of Kentucky Route 693, in nearby Flatwoods, was renamed Billy Ray Cyrus Boulevard.
K.T. Oslin charted a Number One country single in Billboard with "Come Next Monday" in 1990.
Wanted: The Outlaws, featuring Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Tompall Glaser and Jessi Colter, became the first country album to receive the new platinum certification, signifying one million units shipped, in 1976.
"The Most Beautiful Girl" took Charlie Rich to Number One on the Billboard country singles chart in 1973.
Brenda Lee's holiday classic "Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree" was released in 1958.
JON'S BREACH OF CONTRACT CAUGHT ON TAPE? TLC aired the final episode of Jon & Kate Plus 8 last night, but reality continues for Jon Gosselin. Although nothing new about the family was revealed during Monday's (November 23rd) episode, RadarOnline.com reported earlier in the day that a tape surfaced in which Jon's manager, Mike Heller, discusses money deals that breach Gosselin's exclusive contract with TLC. Jon's supposed friend Michael Lohan is the other person involved in the discussion. Last month TLC filed a breach of contract lawsuit against Jon over deals such as the one discussed on tape.See clips from the final Jon and Kate episode here: http://tinyurl.com/ykbq6tv
POLICE CHIEF IN SARAH JESSICA PARKER SURROGATE THEFT FOUND GUILTY: An Ohio police chief accused of stealing items from the surrogate mom who carried Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick's twin daughters was found guilty Monday (November 23rd) on three of six charges. People magazine reported that after 12 hours of deliberation, a jury found Carpenter guilty of receiving stolen property, theft in office and tampering with evidence. He was found not guilty on two counts of burglary and one count of unauthorized use of property or services but could still face up to ten years in prison. He will be sentenced on December 10th.
AMA VIEWERS GOSSIP ABOUT KATE HUDSON'S SMALL CHEST: Kate Hudson's breasts -- or lack thereof -- were fodder for conversation after she bared most of her chest in a revealing dress at Sunday (November 22nd) night's American Music Awards. After the actress and her Nine co-star Nicole Kidman introduced the Black Eyed Peas, Marlon Wayans tweeted, "[Kate] is pretty but she got a chest like me in White Chicks." Hudson once acknowledged her small assets to InStyle magazine, saying, "Maybe the reason I don't have a problem with nudity is that since I have such small breasts I never feel that they are gratuitous."
SIENNA MILLER AND JUDE LAW DATING DESPITE DENIALS? Although they've denied rumors of a rekindled romance, Jude Law and Sienna Miller have reportedly been seen getting "cozy" around New York City, where they're both starring on Broadway. A source told the New York Daily News that the actors were spotted at a Manhattan bar over the weekend, "They came in together and got a table with a few friends around 1 a.m. At one point, Jude ordered shots for the two of them, and he was egging her on to take one. They were laughing a lot and whispering to each other -- it looked like they were genuinely having a good time." The source added, "It looked like he wanted people to see that they were together."
CANDY SPELLING SETTLES LAWSUIT: Candy Spelling has settled a lawsuit brought forth by her former maid. TMZ.com reported that Lourdes Serrano had sued Tori's mother, claiming that Candy was a "tightwad" boss who made her clock out for ten-minute breaks twice a day and wouldn't pay for the downtime. Although the settlement terms are confidential, sources told TMZ that the maid got "chump change."
MAN ACCUSED OF VIDEOTAPING ESPN REPORTER SAYS HE'S INNOCENT: A Chicago insurance man pleaded not guilty on Monday (November 23rd) to charges that he videotaped television sports reporter Erin Andrews in her hotel room while she was nude and tried to sell the footage. Reuters reported that Michael David Barrett, who is free on $100,000 bond and was charged in federal court in Los Angeles, faces up to five years in federal prison if convicted.
AMAS GET BIG RATINGS: Sunday (November 22nd) night's American Music Awards marked the broadcast's largest viewing audience since 2002. Parade.com reports that the show drew an estimated 14.2 million viewers. Despite the milestone, NBC's Sunday Night Football edged out the awards show in the ratings by an estimated 400,000 people.
REGIS PHILBIN TAKING LEAVE OF ABSENCE FROM 'LIVE': Regis Philbin is taking a leave of absence from Live with Regis and Kelly to recover from his upcoming hip surgery. The 78-year-old announced on Monday's (November 23rd) program that he'd be absent from the program beginning December 1st and into the new year.
'COUGAR TOWN' TO RESUME FILMING: Courteney Cox Arquette's mystery family matter was apparently resolved as the cast of Cougar Town is expected to resume filming next Monday (November 30th). PerezHilton.com reported that filming is back on track, but there's still no word as to what issue was behind the production delay that was announced over the weekend.
SUSAN SARANDON HONORED IN SWEDEN: Susan Sarandon was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award at last weekend's Stockholm International Film Festival in Sweden. Swedish actor Gustaf Hammarsten presented Sarandon a 15-pound bronze horse statue after saying, "The roles Susan Sarandon has played often gain a life of their own beyond the films themselves. Reflection, seduction and rebellion animate her characters and seem to be the key tools in her actor's repertoire."
OPRAH DEVELOPING HBO SERIES? Oprah Winfrey's Harpo Films is developing a pilot for an untitled, "sexually charged" HBO series, Variety reports. The hour-long drama would reportedly deal with a woman who leaves her marriage abruptly for a very different lifesty
Mya is poised to take the victory on Dancing With the Stars after last night's (November 23rd) competition finale, accumulating a score of 87/90 after performing three routines. Of course, fan voting plays a large part in determining the winner so Donny Osmond has a great shot of claiming the mirror ball trophy with his score of 85/90.
Kelly Osbourne on the other hand, came in a distant third, with a total score of 76/90. After her freestyle performance to "I Will Survive," the judges complimented her effort and look -- but not her dancing.
Mya captured two 30s by the night's end while Donny received one perfect score. Kelly placed third in all three rounds of dance.
Martha Stewart attempted to quiet rumors of a cat fight with Rachael Ray, using the platform of her talk show to clear the air. After slamming Ray's cooking abilities during an interview with Nightline last week, Stewart said on Monday (November 23rd), "I just want to take this opportunity just to address some comments that are circulating on the Internet regarding me and Rachael Ray. And just for the record there are no bad feeling between us nor have there ever been."
She went on, "I truly believe that Rachael has done a terrific job bringing people, many people who would of never of even stepped into the kitchen or made a dish to cook. I applaud Rachel for her enthusiastic approach to cooking and I really had a great time being a guest on her show and it was a lot of fun to have her on this show making pie with me too. Come on back Rachael, anytime you want and I hope you have a Yum-o Thanksgiving."
Stewart originally started the feud rumors after saying during her interview, "Well, to me, she professed that she could -- cannot bake. She -- just did a new cookbook which is just a re-edit of a lot of her old recipes. She -- and that's not good enough for me."
BRAND AND ANGIE GAVE $6.8 MILLION TO CHARITY LAST YEAR!
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie gave nearly $7 million to charity in 2008, according to a tax return from their Jolie-Pitt Foundation. The Hollywood Reporter revealed that the $6.8 million given away was more than double what the foundation gifted in 2007.
According to the publication, the foundation earned approximately $13 million last year, meaning half was dispersed to organizations like Global Health, Human Rights Watch and Brad's Make it Right Foundation.
While those organizations each received a minimum of $1 million, they also gave $500,000 to the Armed Services YMCA of the U.S. Army, $50,000 to the Springfield, Missouri Public Schools -- Pitt's hometown -- and roughly a million dollars to projects in Cambodia, the country from which they adopted their first child, Maddox.
RACHEL WEISZ ADMITS MOTHERHOOD COMES WITH HAIR PULLING MOMENTS
Rachel Weisz is not pretending that motherhood is all smiles and bliss. The actress, who became a first-time mom to son Henry in 2006, admitted to Redbook magazine, "I think one of the things that mothers aren't allowed to talk about enough to one another is the times when you're pulling your hair out at home with the kids. Those moments when everything is crashing in and you feel like you're going to scream. It doesn't make us less good or less human, just real."
She added, "I think there is sometimes too much pressure on us to be perfect parents, to be empathetic and loving all the time. Every woman needs a good girlfriend to be able to turn to and say, 'I just can't deal with it all today.' Because even though children are the most precious things in the world, they are also sent to test us. I think women are already stretched and pressured to be perfect, and it kind of drives me crazy."
Overall, however, life has improved for Weisz since becoming a mom. She explained, "I find I can get a lot more done since I've had Henry. Suddenly, in 45 minutes, you can get twice as much done as you once did. I've become a lot more organized. And I'm a much happier person since I've had Henry, and much more balanced. I feel I have an ultimate purpose beyond anything else in my life."
FORT HOOD SUSPECT MAY USE INSANITY DEFENSE: The civilian attorney for the Fort Hood massacre suspect said yesterday (November 23rd) that Army psychiatrist Major Nidal Hasan will likely plead not guilty to the charges against him in his military trial and may use an insanity defense. John Galligan told AP, "Based on the evidence thus far, his mental status must be raised. Anybody who allegedly engages in conduct that is completely contradictory to his lifestyle and military career -- an insanity defense has to be considered." Hasan has been charged with the premeditated murder of the 13 people killed in the November 5th shooting rampage. More than two dozen other people were wounded. Hasan remains in custody in intensive care at a military hospital, where he was taken after being shot during the attack.
TAX CREDIT BOOSTS HOME SALES TO BIGGEST INCREASE IN A DECADE: The National Association of Realtors said Monday (November 23rd) that sales of existing homes increased 10.1 percent in October from September for the biggest monthly increase in a decade, boosted by first-time homeowners taking advantage of a special tax credit of up to $8,00. The credit had been due to expire this month before Congress extended it until spring and expanded it to more buyers.
CHINA EXECUTES TWO PEOPLE OVER TAINTED MILK SCANDAL: China executed two people Tuesday (November 24th) for their roles in last year's tainted milk powder scandal in which at least six children died from tainted infant formula and more than 300,000 became sick. Cattle farmer Zhang Yujun and Geng Jinping were convicted of producing and selling a phony protein powder containing the industrial chemical melamine, which, when added to watered-down milk, can fool inspectors testing for protein. Melamine can cause kidney stones and kidney failure. Zhang and Geng sold much of the fake protein powder to producers who then sold tainted milk to one of China's biggest dairies. In all, 21 people were tried and sentenced over the scandal.
MORE THAN TWO MILLION DROP-SIDE CRIBS RECALLED: A recall was announced Monday (November 23rd) in the U.S. and Canada of more than 2.1 million drop-side cribs made by Stork Craft Manufacturing, after reports of four infants dying from suffocation. The Consumer Product Safety Commission said the cribs involved in this largest crib recall in U.S. history were sold from 1993 through October of this year, and some 150,000 of them have the Fisher-Price logo. The Stork Craft cribs have had hardware problems, and there can also be assembly mistakes by the crib owner, both of which can cause the drop-side to detach, creating a dangerous space between the side and the mattress where an infant can become trapped. Consumer advocates have complained for years about drop-side cribs, and more than five million of them have been recalled over the past two years alone.
MISDIAGNOSED MAN WAS AWARE BUT PARALYZED FOR 23 YEARS: A 46-year-old Belgian man who was misdiagnosed as being in a vegetative state after a 1983 car accident has revealed that he was conscious the whole time and aware of what was going on around him, able to see foggily, hear and feel, but unable to move or communicate for 23 years. Rom Houben, who now communicates using one finger and a special touchscreen, described how he felt during those years in a Belgian TV interview Monday (November 23rd), "Powerlessness. Utter powerlessness. At first I was angry, then I learned to live with it." Houben's family had never accepted the diagnosis, and repeatedly took him other doctors for evaluation. Finally, three years ago, a PET scan showed his brain to be almost normal, and the family and doctors began trying to establish communication. There was a breakthrough when Houben was able to slightly move his foot to indicate yes or no. Houben has since been diagnosed with a form a "locked-in syndrome," in which people are unable to speak or move, but can think and reason. Although there's little chance his physical condition will improve, Houben is moving forward by writing a book.
SCHWARZENEGGER CAUGHT PARKING ILLEGALLY: Just a few weeks after his wife was caught parking illegally in a red zone, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has apparently done the same thing. The celebrity website TMZ.com posted photos yesterday (November 23rd) of Schwarzenegger getting into a silver convertible Porsche that was parked in a Beverly Hills red zone on Saturday (November 21st), where no stopping, standing or parking is allowed. Maria Shriver apologized when she was caught on video parking in a red zone, but Schwarzenegger's office declined to comment.
SEXY BONUS FOR HERO PILOT SULLENBERGER AND HIS WIFE: A revelation about hero pilot Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger that perhaps falls into the category of "too much information" was revealed in an interview he and his wife, Lorrie, did with Matt Lauer for NBC's People of the Year special set to air on Thanksgiving night. When asked if Sully's sudden celebrity after safely landing a crippled jet in the Hudson River helped or hurt their relationship, Lorrie said, "He doesn't know I'm gonna say this, but I had joked the other day that . . . the hero sex really helps a 20-year-old marriage." Sullenberger himself added, "Rock star sex."
Other people interviewed for the show include singer Taylor Swift, "Octomom" Nadya Suleman, British singing sensation Susan Boyle, and NBA star Kobe Bryant.
OBAMA ANNOUNCES WHITE HOUSE SCIENCE FAIR:President Obama said Monday (November 23rd) that he'll convene a national science fair at the White House next year to honor young inventors in the same way college and professional athletes are celebrated for their championships. Obama said, "You know, if you win the NCAA championship, you come to the White House. Well, if you're a young person and you produce the best experiment or design, the best hardware or software, you ought to be recognized for that achievement, too. Scientists and engineers ought to stand side by side with athletes and entertainers as role models."
RUSSIAN BILLIONAIRE REPORTEDLY BUYS HITLER'S MERCEDES: A German newspaper reported Monday (November 23rd) that an unidentified Russian billionaire has bought Adolf Hitler's original, dark-blue Mercedes 770 K for between $6 million and $15 million. The Express newspaper said a middleman for the billionaire approached German vintage car dealer Michael Froehlich and asked him to track down Hitler's car. Despite being conflicted about doing so, Froehlich tracked down the Mercedes in Germany, and the Russian flew in and bought it from the private owner.
TITANS TOP TEXANS 20-17 IN 'MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL': The Tennessee Titans beat the Houston Texans 20-17 in Monday Night Football last night (November 23rd), getting the win on a 53-yard field goal by Rob Bironas with less than a minute remaining in the game. The Texans had a chance to tie it up and send the game into overtime before their home fans in Houston, but Kris Brown's 49-yard field goal attempt with one second left went wide left. This was the fourth straight victory for Tennessee after an 0-6 start.
MAUER NAMED AMERICAN LEAGUE MVP IN NEAR-UNANIMOUS VOTE: Minnesota Twins catcher Joe Mauer won the American League Most Valuable Player Award yesterday (November 23rd) in a near-unanimous vote. Mauer got 27 of 28 first-place votes and 387 points in balloting by the Baseball Writers' Association of America, followed by New York Yankees Mark Teixeira in second place, with 225 points, and Derek Jeter in third, with 193. The Detroit Tigers' Miguel Cabrera got the other first-place vote and finished in fourth place. The 26-year-old Mauer led the AL this year in batting average, at .365, on-base percentage and slugging percentage, becoming the first AL player to top all three categories in the same season since George Brett in 1980.
The National League MVP will be announced today.
GOALIE ROLOSON BLOCKS 58 SHOTS, MOST IN NHL IN 18 YEARS: New York Islanders goalie Dwayne Roloson blocked 58 shots last night (November 23rd) against the Toronto Maple Leafs, the most by an NHL goalie in 18 years. Ron Tugnutt blocked 70 shots for the Quebec Nordiques against the Boston Bruins on March 21, 1991. The 40-year-old Roloson's accomplishment helped the Islanders beat the Maple Leafs 4-3 in overtime.
(Headline News, FYI and Sports stories were compiled in part from reports by the Associated Press and Reuters.)
SONS OF ANARCHY - Jax and Clay prepare to battle The League; A.J. learns the truth about Ethan's business dealings; Tara ensures her position at the hospital.
THE HILLS - TBA
THE CITY - TBA
DAY TIME TALK SHOW
THE ELLEN DEGENERES SHOW - Bon Jovi THE OPRAH WINFREY SHOW - Oprah and People Magazine Salute Headlind Making Heroes of 2009 THE VIEW - Robin Williams, Matthew Rhys
LATE NIGHT TALK SHOWS
THE LATE SHOW WITH DAVID LETTERMAN (CBS) - Zac Efron, Carrie Fisher, Rihanna THE JAY LENO SHOW (NBC) - Charles Barkley, the latest castoff from The Biggest Loser THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH CONAN O'BRIEN (NBC) - Jack McBrayer, Marisa Miller, Weezer JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE (ABC) - Charlize Theron, the winner of Dancing with the Stars, Ron Artest, Regis Philbin THE LATE LATE SHOW WITH CRAIG FERGUSON (CBS) - Maria Bello, Peter Capaldi LATE NIGHT WITH JIMMY FALLON (NBC) - Claire Danes, Chad Ochocinco, the Pixies LAST CALL WITH CARSON DALY (NBC) - OK Go THE DAILY SHOW WITH JON STEWART (COMEDY CENTRAL) - (repeat) THE COLBERT REPORT (COMEDY CENTRAL) - (repeat) LOPEZTONIGHT - Sandra Bullock, Derek Luke
MAN SURVIVES FOUR DAYS LOST IN FLORIDA EVERGLADES: A Florida man on a hunting trip with friends and family made a nearly fatal mistake when he decided to take off on his own into the woods to hunt deer. It didn't take long for the man to realize he was lost, but things got worse when he realized his compass wasn't working and his cell phone was damaged by water. He survived by drinking spring water and eating catfish and bull frogs. The thick brush of the Everglades made it difficult for rescue teams to find him, but the man was finally discovered by a Bloodhound and his handlers after four days. He suffered an injured knee and hundreds of bug bites, but is now at home and doing well. (news-press.com)
BAGEL CART PREVENTS ARMED ROBBERY: Two armed Orlando men who tried to rob a bagel store were chased away when an employee pushed a bagel cart at them. Witnesses say the two suspects wore hooded sweatshirts and masks, and were armed with shotguns when they entered the store around 5:30 a.m. One customer was in the store at the time of the attempted robbery, but no one was hurt. (Orlando Sentinel)
WOMAN ASKS FOR DONATIONS TOWARD TURKEY'S EYE SURGERY: A Massachusetts woman and her husband are asking people in their community and on Craigslist to donate money toward a fund to get their pet turkey eye surgery. The turkey, who was adopted by the couple from a Rhode Island farm last week, has cataracts and cannot eat independently or fly. The procedure could cost as much as $2,600. (AP)
TAVERN TO SERVE 100-PROOF TURKEY: A New York City tavern owner says he'll be serving 100-proof turkeys this Thanksgiving, infused with 100-proof Georgi vodka for three days before being cooked. Customers will have the option of choosing a turkey made with either peach, raspberry, cherry or apple flavoured vodka. The gravy will also be made with a distilled liquor. To keep customers safe, the tavern is offering free taxi rides home to anyone who orders the tanked turkey. (AP)
WOMEN PICK ON MENS' HOUSEWORK TO FEEL MORE FEMININE: According to a major study reported on by Jezebel.com, female breadwinners exaggerate their partner's uselessness around the home because they feel guilty about devoting too much time to their career, and not enough to their role of wife and mother. By nagging their man over his alleged shortcomings, women feel more feminine because they can control the traditionally female role of maintaining the home and family, experts say. Dr Rebecca Meisenbach, professor of communication at Missouri University, said, "Working women who provide the majority of the household's income continue to articulate themselves as the ones who "see" household messes and needs as a way to retain claim to an element of traditional female identity."
HAVING FRIENDS OVER MORE STRESSFUL WORK: According to a new British survey, many people now find that inviting friends round to share a meal is more stressful than the daily commute, seeing the bank manager or even going for a job interview. Some are even resorting to underhand tactics; 16 percent have cheated with the cooking and not told guests, with one in five men admitting to buying in food and passing it off as their own cooking. The research found that 24 percent of the 1,007 people questioned thought that hosting a dinner party was more stressful than going to a job interview. Topping of the list of concerns for nervous hosts is that fear that the dishes will go wrong (36 percent), followed by the guests not enjoying themselves at (33 percent).
MEN LEAVING JILTED BRIDES IN INDIA: According to the BBC, there's a new trend among men in England. The BBC reports that men are going to India, marrying women, telling them they'll bring them back soon (but that they should have lots of sex first) then flying home and abandoning them. The report claims that there are up to 20,000 of these abandoned brides in India.
HEALTH OBSESSION MAKING US MORE SICK? Scientists warn that our obsession with hygiene could be impairing our skin's ability to stay healthy. According to the Daily Mail, scientists say bacteria on the skin's surface play an active role in preventing rashes and damping down cuts and bruises. One possible explanation for soaring numbers of allergies is that children's immune systems are not developing properly because they are not exposed to enough bugs and dirt.
Dessert: Even the most obsessive-compulsive mother won't mind another saccharine temptress joining her well-planned menu. The obvious choice here is pumpkin pie, but chances are your store-bought pie will be joining three homemade ones without much thought. Bring pumpkin ice cream and a bottle of brandy to pour a shot on each scoop (if you live in the southwest, try tequila).
Bread: This doesn't mean showing up with a loaf of Wonder Bread -- go to your local bakery and ask what they recommend for a Thanksgiving dinner. If you really want to score bonus points, bake your own -- you don't even need a bread machine.
DVDs: While everyone is tripping out on tryptophan, be the hero and pop in the perfect holiday DVD. Son-In-Law and Home for the Holidays aren't great movies, but they're both Thanksgiving-themed and safe for families. If there aren't children around, bring the Thanksgiving classics Planes, Trains and Automobiles or Hannah and Her Sisters. If there are children, bring the latest Pixar film or A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving.
Games: Skip Monopoly, otherwise Aunt Sandy will be chucking hotels at you by 3 a.m. Board games like Scattergories or DVD games like Shout about Movies are great ways to avoid conversation. Research Thanksgiving trivia and write up your own 10-question game. Have everyone guess the answers and award the winner with a prize.
Camera/video camera: Everybody likes their holidays documented, but many times no one wants to be in charge of the camera. Bring your digital camera and snap lots of photos. Upload them to an online album and send e-mails to the family. Even if they didn't like you before, they'll appreciate the effort afterward. If you're video-inclined, capture some footage and splice together a home movie.
Booze: Do your research -- find out who drinks and ask what that person's favorite poison is. Spend the most on the patriarch's bottle, but surprise the wayward uncle with his favorite gin and the sister-in-law with blueberry-infused vodka. If you're not sure what people drink, bring a couple six-packs of holiday ale or pumpkin beer and nice bottles of white and red wine (Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc are Thanksgiving classics).
Consumer Reports Takes on Pushy Holiday Retail Practices
With the traditional holiday shopping season officially kicking off on "Black Friday" at the end of this week, Consumer Reports has launched a public education campaign aimed at pushy holiday retail practices. They're boosting it with a full-page ad in today's (November 24th) USA Today highlighting three of the top holiday shopping annoyances -- extended warranty sales pitches; cashiers that ask for your phone number or other personal information; and pushing store credit cards at the register.
The full list of holiday shopping annoyances, as determined by a nationally-representative survey of Americans, is:
72 percent -- Stores that never open all the checkout lines
68 percent -- Fake sales. If something is always 20 percent off, it's not on sale.
67 percent -- Coupons that exclude almost everything in the store
62 percent -- Being hounded by extended warranty sales pitches
58 percent -- Cashiers that ask for your phone number or other personal info
56 percent -- In-store prices that don't match the same company's online prices
53 percent -- Employees required to up-sell you at the register
52 percent -- Pushing store credit cards at the register
50 percent -- Mail-in rebates
48 percent -- Stores that require loyalty cards to get discounts.
43 percent -- Stores that have a minimum purchase requirement for credit cards
YOU KNOW I love ALL you Flagger's but LHC Flagger's ROCKED IT on Saturday! Oh my goodness did we have a great time at the grand opening at the McDonald’s at the shops at LHC! Thank you so much to Theresa, Diane and Steven and all the McDonal's Crew and the Flagger's that came out to race the Kflag Cars, pick up free happy meals, Sea World Tix and so many other great prizes. Don't for get to drop by your local McDoanld's to pick up the 4 different colors collectable Coke glasses with the purchase of a Value Meal. AND the McRib is back at low, low price!! McDonald's....I'M LOVIN" IT!
Taylor Swift is among the year's newsmakers and will be spotlighted in NBC's People Of The Year special. The show, which will be hosted by Matt Lauer, will air on Thanksgiving night (Thursday, November 26th) at 9 p.m. ET. Also on the list are "Octo-mom" Nadya Suleman , Britain's Got Talent star Susan Boyle, NBA star Kobe Bryant, Captain Chelsey 'Sully' Sullenberger, the commercial pilot who successfully landed his jet in the Hudson River, and Richard Phillips, the captain who fought off Somali pirates.
Taylor's last year as been chock full of great memories and milestones. Other than winning the CMA's Entertainer of the year a few weeks ago, she tells us that one opportunity was the definite highlight. "SNL really stands out in my mind as one of those things that I'm really going to look back on whenever I have a bad day or anything like that because, honestly, that was the coolest week of my life. I felt like I was part of such a tradition, and getting to make friends with those people that make me laugh every Saturday, that was something I'm never, ever going to forget."
Taylor won five trophies at last night's (Sunday, November 22nd) American Music Awards, including Favorite Female Pop/Rock Artist, Favorite Country Female Artist and the night's big honor, Artist of the Year, beating out the late Michael Jackson, Lady Gaga, Eminem and Kings of Leon. Taylor made her acceptance speeches via satellite from London, where she was rehearsing for a show there tonight (Monday, November 23rd).
Taylor will take some time off over the holidays to celebrate her 20th birthday -- on December 13th -- as well as spend time with family.
She'll kick off the 2010 leg of her Fearless tour in Brisbane, Australia on February 4th.
The U.S. leg begins on March 4th in Tampa, Florida.
Taylor Swift and the late Michael Jackson were the big winners at the 2009 American Music Awards last night (Sunday, November 22nd) at the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles. Swift, who accepted her awards via satellite from London, scored five prizes out of a total of six nominations. Jackson won four posthumous honors, putting his AMA trophy total at 23, the most for any artist. But he ended up losing the event's biggest recognition -- Artist of the Year -- to the 19-year-old Swift. Jackson's trophies were accepted by his brother Jermaine, who paid tribute to King of Pop by wearing a glittery white glove. Other multiple winners included hip-hop acts Jay-Z and the Black Eyed Peas, with two each.
Adam Lambert shocked audiences with his closing performance, which featured sexually suggestive dancing -- and a guy-on-guy kiss. Rolling Stone reported that producers weren't told about the kiss in advance.
The night was also chock-full of elaborate performances by various acts, including Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lopez and others. It was also a night of comebacks -- with Rihanna returning to the awards scene after missing the Grammy Awards earlier this year after she was allegedly assaulted by her former boyfriend Chris Brown. Whitney Houston also returned -- making her first live TV performance in five years. The evening revolved around Michael Jackson, with his sister Janet Jackson kicking off the show with medley of hits.
Nominees were determined by radio airplay and retail sales, and members of the public chose the winners through online voting. That's why Jackson got so many nominations, even though he didn't release any new material.
Although it's been widely reported that Lady Gaga is ineligible for a best new artist nod at the Grammys because of a past nominations, Grammy president Neil Portnow revealed to EW.com at the American Music Awards that there's a chance things could change. He said, "The awards and nominations committee meets to review the rules every year. We change the rules frequently. We recognize that situation is not perfect, and we are looking at ways to figure it out."
ARTIST OF THE YEAR -- Taylor Swift
POP/ROCK -- Favorite Band, Duo or Group: The Black Eyed Peas
COUNTRY -- Favorite Band, Duo or Group: Rascal Flatts
POP/ROCK -- Favorite Female Artist: Taylor Swift
POP/ROCK -- Favorite Album: Number Ones, Michael Jackson
ALTERNATIVE ROCK -- Favorite Artist: Green Day
SOUL/R&B -- Favorite Male Artist: Michael Jackson
COUNTRY -- Favorite Male Artist: Keith Urban
COUNTRY -- Favorite Album: Fearless, Taylor Swift
SOUL/R&B -- Favorite Female Artist: Beyonce
T-MOBILE BREAKTHROUGH ARTIST: Gloriana
COUNTRY -- Favorite Female Artist: Taylor Swift
POP/ROCK -- Favorite Male Artist: Michael Jackson
ADULT CONTEMPORARY: Favorite Artist Taylor Swift
RAP/HIP-HOP -- Favorite Male Artist: Jay-Z
RAP/HIP-HOP - Favorite Album: Blueprint 3, Jay-Z
SOUL/R&B -- Favorite Band, Duo or Group: The Black Eyed Peas
SOUL/R&B -- Favorite Album: Number Ones, Michael Jackson
CONTEMPORARY INSPIRATIONAL -- Favorite Artist: Mary Mary
When Paula Abdul hit the stage to introduce the first award, the microphone wasn't on. Rascal Flatts also faced microphone issues. When they spoke there was a major echo -- so much so that they ended up joking about it by creating their own echo while speaking.
Sofia Vergara from Modern Family had the whole audience laughing with her intro for Keith Urban. She called him a "Papicito muy rico!"
Taylor Swift accepted the award for Favorite Female Artist via satellite from London where she was rehearsing for a concert.
Snoop Dogg made a joke about getting high when introducing an award with Aerosmith's Joe Perry.
Jermaine Jackson accepted the American Music Award for the late Michael Jackson, telling the crowd, "The message that Michael had will live on forever, and that's he saw good in everyone and he wanted everyone to do good, and he always started with love. Start with love, and let's love each other. We miss you, Michael. You'll always be in our heart."
Keith Urban dedicated his award to his wife, Nicole Kidman, and their daughter, Sunday.
Rihanna made a return to the awards scene with a performance. Earlier this year, she missed the Grammy Awards following the scuffle with then-boyfriend, Chris Brown.
Country act Gloriana beats Lady Gaga for Breakthrough Artist.
Jennifer Lopez fell on her butt mid-routine after jumping off a man's back, but swiftly got back up.
Whitney Houston gave her first live performance on television in five years and took home the award for International Artist of the Year award -- making her only the seventh person to win the honor. The award, according to an inscription read by actor and presenter Samuel L. Jackson, is given "in recognition of her worldwide success exemplified by her international record sales, radio airplay in countries all over the world, live performances that span the globe, and popularity that knows no borders or boundaries."
When Swift accepted the Artist of the Year award, she said, "Music has never been ultimately about competition," adding that it was an "unimaginable honor" to be named in the the same awards category as Jackson. She also thanked the Jackson family.
Janet Jackson opened up the show with a medley of her hits, including "Control," "What Have You Done For Me Lately," "Miss You Much" and "Everywhere I Go," "Make Me" from her new greatest hits album, among others. She received a standing ovation, but it seemed like much of performance was lip-synched.
Daughtry performed "Life After You," from its sophomore album, Leave This Town.
Shakira put on a big production of "Give It Up To Me" from her She Wolf album.
Keith Urban performed his hit song "Kiss A Girl."
Kelly Clarkson performed her new single, the ballad "Already Gone."
After an introduction from Yankees star Alex Rodriguez, Alicia Keys and Jay-Z performed their hit, "Empire State Of Mind." Keys sang a version of the classic, "New York, New York." The performance got nearly everyone out of the seats, including a very enthusiastic Whitney Houston, who was singing along from the audience.
The Black Eyed Peas performed "Meet Me Halfway" and "Boom Boom Pow."
Rihanna sang two new songs -- "Wait Your Turn" and "Hard," which appear on her latest album, Rated R, out this week. She opened her song while spinning in a wheel in what seemed like it could have been a torture device.
Carrie Underwood sang her new song "Cowboy Casanova" from her new Play On album.
Lady Gaga sang two new songs -- "Bad Romance" and "Speechless." During her performance she knocked out a glass wall to get to an enclosed piano, where she sat while surrounded by flames. She broke bottles against the piano while playing.
Mary J. Blige sang "I Am," off her upcoming album, Stronger With Each Tear.
Jennifer Lopez performed "Louboutins" from her upcoming album Love? due out in 2010. She seemed to be lip-synching.
Whitney Houston sang her new song "I Didn't Know My Own Strength."
Alicia Keys performed "Try Sleeping With A Broken Heart" off of her upcoming album, The Element Of Freedom.
Eminem and 50 Cent did a version of their new son, "Crack A Bottle," off of Eminem's upcoming album.
Timbaland performed "Morning After Dark," featuring SoShy and Nelly Furtado.
Green Day did a version of "21 Guns" from its latest album, 21st Century Breakdown.
Adam Lambert performed his first single "For Your Entertainment."
Colbie Caillat, Alex Rodriguez, Christian Slater, Pete Wentz, Demi Lovato, Dominic Monaghan, Donny Osmond, Drake, Jason Aldean, Jeremiah, Joe Perry, Julie Bowen, Kate Hudson, Kelly Osbourne, Keri Hilson, Kid Cudi, Kris Allen, Kristen Bell, Leona Lewis, Melissa Etheridge, Michelle Rodriguez, Morena Baccarin, Mya, Ne-Yo, Nicole Kidman, Orianthi, Paula Abdul, Perez Hilton, Rascal Flatts, Reba McEntire, Ryan Seacrest, Samuel L. Jackson, Selena Gomez, Seth Green, Sofia Vergara, Snoop Dogg, Toni Braxton and Zac Brown Band, among others.
From Vicky on People.com: "Why is Janet wearing MC Hammer pants?"
Black Eyed Peas
From Chad on People.com: "Must have taken hours to Bedazzle their outfits. Fergs has a lot of extensions in tonight."
From Melissa on People.com: "Her hair looks the same as Carrie Underwood's -- I see a trend."
From Dee on People.com: "He didn't even spit out his gum."
From Amanda on People.com: "It looks like Nicole is wearing a pageant strip and seashells."
From Melissa on People.com: "Rihanna is the Transformers robot!"
From Michelle on People.com: "She looks like a drum majorette."
From Chad on People.com: "So, that leotard should settle the debate over whether Lady Gaga has man or lady parts."
From Michelle on People.com: "Okay, I got it. She is the love child of Marilyn Manson and Gwen Stefani."
Mary J. Blige
From Steve on People.com: "Blah, her dress doesn't even light up."
From Michele on People.com: "Nice silhouette. Dress is good. Ooooh she looks good."
From Chad on People.com: "He clearly got the memo re. spikey shoulder pads."
From Brian on People.com: "Bondage in prime time, wow!"
John Rich is breathing a sigh of relief after a Nashville judge dismissed assault and harassment charges brough against him by an aspiring singer. Former Nashville Star contestant Jared Ashley had accused the Big & Rich member of punching him in the face at a private Nashville nightclub co-owned by John in March of last year.
Witnesses, including John, testified on Friday (November 20th) that he did not hit Jared.
The harassment charges stemmed from a threatening phone call made to Jared by John and his friend, Sebastian Bach, former lead singer of the 80s rock group Skid Row. The judge dropped those charges because Jared had told a Florida radio station while on the air that he was "just honored" to have gotten a call from Sebastian as a fan of Skid Row.
John and Jared still have civil suits pending against each other.
John's behavior over the past year or so have raised eyebrows. In addition to this situation, John punched a guy in Los Angeles and broke his nose late last year in a drunken incident at the Mondrian Hotel. The argument was allegedly over a girl.
In June of this year, just days after Jared Ashely filed his lawsuit, John physically threatened a bartender in Nashville who reminded him that his beer needed to be finished by 3 a.m. in compliance with state law.
Kenny Chesney's upcoming tour movie, Summer In 3-D, is the only type of project that will ever bring him to the big screen. Or the little one, for that matter. While Trace Adkins, Sara Evans,Julianne Hough and Tanya Tucker have all dabbled in reality television, Kenny tells us he'll never venture into that territory. "Never! No, my life's real enough, you know (laughs)? I don't think so. I really don't. I just don't think that I would. I would rather concentrate on tryin' to connect with fans in the audience and tryin' to write a great song and cut great music, and that takes up a lot of time, to be honest with you. I don't think you'll ever see me do that."
Kenny adds that he lacks the desire -- and the talent -- to act. "I've even had a lot of people ask me if I want to act. I'm never sayin' never, but it's not something I wake up everyday wanting to do, and so I don't think I'd ever take a year off to go do a movie or something. I wouldn't be that good at it anyway. I think I realized doin' the 'You Save Me' video where it took us three days to shoot three minutes of an opening of a video. I realized right then I wanted my day job back -- that I was never gonna have the patience to act (laughs)."
Kenny Chesney: Summer In 3-D will hit theaters in April.
The film was shot during the course of his Kenny's 2009 Sun City Carnival tour in five cities -- Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Seattle, Boston and Indianapolis.
Carrie Underwood donated the sheet music from the song "I Ain't In Checotah (pronounced SHA-COTAH) Anymore" to the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame and Museum. The plaque, which includes a signed photo of Carrie along with the lyrics, were unveiled during a special event at the Museum in Muskogee on Thursday (November 19th) night.
Carrie co-wrote the song for her debut album, Some Hearts.
She was made a member of the Oklahoma Hall of Fame in September.
A man driving one of Miley Cyrus's tour buses was killed on Friday (November 20th) after the vehicle crashed on a Virginia highway. TMZ.com reports that Miley herself was not on the bus nor involved in any way.
TMZ added that 911 calls from the scene indicate that the driver, 53-year-old Bill Douglas, may have suffered cardiac arrest after the crash. Police told the site that there were no obvious signs that alcohol played a factor in the crash, and believe Douglas may have had health-related issues.
Cyrus released a statement on her website that read, "We are deeply saddened by the loss of Bill 'Uncle Bill' Douglas. Members of our tour are like members of our family. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family in the midst of this tragedy. He will truly be missed."
TMZ reported that one other person was injured in the crash.
Miley played her first concert since the crash, in North Carolina, on Sunday (November 22nd) as scheduled.
LAWSUIT AGAINST CYRUS DISMISSED
A $4 billion lawsuit against Miley Cyrus stemming from her infamous slant-eyed photo has been dismissed. After the snapshot -- of Cyrus posing with her eyes pulled to the sides -- hit the internet, Lucie Kim sued the teen, accusing her of violating a statute that prohibits businesses from discriminating against minorities, specifically in terms of offering equal access to public accommodations.
A judge ruled that while the photo may have been offensive, it didn't break any state laws.
DOES ROBERT PATTISON SMELL BAD, OR WHAT? The Internet-wide rumor that Robert Pattinson smells bad may be an unintended consequence of some advice he got from a celebrity pal, according to New York magazine. Peter Facinelli, who plays Pattison's dad in the Twilight series, took credit or blame for the rumor at the New York premiere of New Moon on Thursday night. He says he advised the younger star to wear the same clothes every day to foil photographers who have to come up with an obviously new pic to get top dollar. Meanwhile, Pattinson's co-stars are having fun keeping the rumour going.
Ashley Greene, who plays his sister in Twilight, says she avoids breathing while in his presence. "You know what, I think maybe out of a defense mechanism, I don't sniff him," she said.
Chris Weitz, the film's director, swears he's glad that R-Patz is kind of stinky. "I can smell him coming, that's the nice thing," Weitz says.
NICOLE RICHIE IS HOME FROM HOSPITAL:Nicole Richie is back home and doing well after a hospital stay for treatment of pneumonia, her boyfriend Joel Madden wrote on his band Good Charlotte's web site. "All is well and we are home with no problems," Madden wrote. He came back to Los Angeles from an international tour last week and went straight to Cedars-Sinai Hospital, where Nicole was being treated. Nicole ande Joel have two children, son Sparrow, born in September, and daughter Harlow, 22 months.
NO VERDICT YET IN SARAH JESSICA PARKER SURROGATE CASE: Jury deliberations resume today (Monday) in the trial of an Ohio police chief who allegedly broke into the home of the woman who carried twins as a surrogate mom for Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick. Martins Ferry Police Chief Barry Carpenter is accused of taking photos of an ultrasound test and a plaster stomach cast that were in the surrogate's home, in hopes of selling them to celebrity photographers. Carpenter has said he entered the home while on routine patrol only because a basement door was open. He says he showed the photo to paparazzi and others as a joke. The jury deliberated for five hours on Friday.
HEIDI KLUM IS NOW MRS. SAMUEL: It's official. Heidi Klum is now Heidi Samuel. A court commissioner approved her petition to adopt her husband Seal's last name on Friday in Los Angeles. It's about time. The supermodel and the soul singer were married four years ago, and had their third child together, daughter Lou, five weeks ago. They also have two sons, Henry, 3, and Johan, 2. And Seal, who is 46 years old, is the adoptive father of Klum's daughter Leni, 5. The ProjectRunway star has not said whether she'll use her new surname professionally.
LARRY HAGMAN'S DALLAS-SIZE ESTATE UP FOR SALE: Actor Larry Hagman, best known as wicked J.R. Ewing in the 1980s series Dallas, is hoping to sell a sprawling mansion in Ojai (oh HI), California, that is worthy of an oil baron. But the house is so eco-friendly that the electric bill is only $13 a year! The solar-powered house itself, however, will cost you $11 million. It has nine bedrooms and 14.5 bathrooms sprinkled around 18,000 square feet of space.
OJ SIMPSON'S JAILHOUSE CAREER: Prison inmate and ex-football star OJ Simpson is lifting weights and getting in shape at Lovelock Correctional Center in Nevada, according to The New York Post. In his spare time, he teaches other inmates about anger management and preaches racial harmony. Um . . . Anger management? OJ?
HOWARD K. STERN SETTLES OUT OF COURT: The one-time lawyer and lover of Anna Nicole Smith has settled out of court his suit against writer Rita Crosby, author of the book about Smith Blonde Ambition. Stern sued over an allegation in the book that Stern and Larry Birkhead, rivals for the affections of Smith, had been caught on tape in a sexual encounter with each other. A move to dismiss was filed on Friday, according to TMZ.
The Twilight Saga: New Moon soared to the top of the weekend box office in its debut, taking in $140.7 million in North America -- more than twice the $69.6 million for last year's Twilight, the first film in the vampire romance franchise -- and $258.8 million worldwide. New Moon placed third on the all-time opening chart, behind last year's $158.4 million debut weekend for the Batman movie The Dark Knight, and 2007's $151.1 million for Spider-Man 3. However, it set a record high for opening day with $72.7 million, topping the previous record of $67.2 million by The Dark Knight.
New Moon continues the story based on Stephanie Meyer's novels of the romance between a teenage girl, played by Kristen Stewart, and a vampire, played by Robert Pattinson. The sequel sets up a love triangle among Stewart's Bella, Pattinson's Edward and Jacob, a werewolf portrayed by Taylor Lautner, who gets involved with Bella when she and Edward break up. Pre-teen and teen girls are a major fan base for the Twilight books, so females made up 80 percent of New Moon movie-goers, and half the audience was under 21.
Opening in second place was the football drama The Blind Side, starring Sandra Bullock, Quinton Aaron, Kathy Bates and Tim McGraw in the real-life story of Baltimore Ravens tackle Michael Oher, who was a homeless black teen taken in by a wealthy white family. The animated Planet 51, about a NASA astronaut who lands on a planet of aliens living the life of 1950s America, debuted at Number Four. It features the voices of Dwayne Johnson, Jessica Biel, Sean William Scott, Gary Oldman and John Cleese.
Last weekend's top movie, the disaster film 2012, fell to third place.
THIS WEEKEND TOP TEN MOVIES -- NOVEMBER 20-22
The Twilight Saga: New Moon, $140.7 million
The Blind Side, $34.5 million
2012, $26.5 million
Planet 51, $12.6 million
Disney's A Christmas Carol, $12.2 million
Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire, $11 million
Dr. Conrad Murray, the man who is the prime suspect in the homicide death of Michael Jackson, is returning to work. The doctor's attorney, Edward Chernoff told The Associated Press on Sunday that Murray will be at his Armstrong Medical Clinic in Houston on Monday (November 23rd).
Murray, 56, was hired to oversee Jackson's medical needs as he rehearsed for his This Is It concerts in London. He was the person who administered the sedative propofol, and was at Jackson's bedside when he died on June 25th. He has maintained that he did not kill the singer.
Murray has been the focus of an interstate investigation, with police searching the Houston clinic as well as his Las Vegas home and office.
Chernoff said that Murray has been the target of numerous threats and has not been able to work since before July 22nd, when police began their search.
Dr. Murray has no choice but to try to earn money from his practice. Earlier this month he was ordered by a family court judge in Los Angeles to pay $1000 a month in child support for a young son.
He also had to file suit against This Is It promoter AEG for services rendered to Jackson. But problems with his contract -- which was never signed by the pop singer -- and overwhelmingly negative publicity could mean he will never recoup.
Meanwhile, a judge slapped down a request from the LAPD to keep search warrants and other documents in the ongoing homicide investigation sealed until after January 18th. Though the motion was denied, the date gives a clue as to when the police may be looking to formally charge Dr. Murray in Jackson's death.
SANDRA BULLOCK GETS A CAREER BEST:New Moon may have broken records last weekend, but Sandra Bullock got a respectable second place at the box office, and her personal career best for a movie opening, with her new drama The Blind Side. The movie came in second with $34.5 million in ticket sales. The fact-based story about a Tennessee housewife who takes in a homeless black teenager and encourages him to become a football hero has won strong reviews from critics. Only last September, her comedy All About Steve was a bomb, earning less in its entire run than The Blind Side did in its opening weekend. Bullock's biggest movie so far is The Proposal, which earned $164 million in the U.S.
UMA AND R-PATZ GET CLOSEUP:Uma Thurman has signed to co-star with Twilight series star Rob Pattinson in an adaptation of the short story "Bel Ami" by French writer Guy de Maupassant (gee deh maw-pah-SAHNT). Kristin Scott Thomas also has joined the cast. Ami tells the story of a young French journalist who rises to wealth and success in Paris by seducing influential women. Thurman and Thomas both play socialites who fall for Pattinson's character. Nicole Kidman reportedly turned down the role that Thurman is playing.
DONNY, MYA OR KELLY? Who will take home the mirrorball? Will it be Donny Osmond, Mya or Kelly Osbourne? The big finale of Dancing with the Stars finally airs this week. The finale starts tonight at 8 PM ET, with the results show to air tomorrow night (Tuesday) on ABC.
TRAVOLTA SCREENS OLD DOGS FOR CHARITY:John Travolta and Kelly Preston held a private advance screening of their latest movie at home in Ocala, Florida, as a fundraiser for local charities. The event raised money for five nonprofit agencies, including the Jett Travolta Foundation, named for the couple's son Jett, who died at age 16 at the family vacation home in the Bahamas. Other beneficiaries include Florida Highway Patrol Advisory Council, Project Hope, the Marion County Public Safety Assistance Trust, and the Humane Society of Marion County. John and Kelly and their daughter Ella Bleu greeted fans on the red carpet Friday for the movie, Old Dogs. Robin Williams co-stars in the Disney comedy about two men who are placed in the care of 7-year-old twins.
Old Dogs opens this Wednesday, November 25th.
COUGAR TOWN SHUTS DOWN FOR NOW: Production of the sitcom Cougar Town has temporarily shut down while star Courteney Cox takes care of a family matter, according to a statement from ABC. Reps for the star and the show declined to identify the issue. Cox, who is 45, plays a randy divorcee on the ensemble comedy.
BRAD PITT MAY BE HEADED FOR BERMUDA TRIANGLE: Some day soon, you may see Brad Pitt on the big screen playing a cargo pilot who crashes in the Bermuda Triangle and ends up in a parallel universe fighting evil aliens. A major Indian movie production company and Pitt's company have bought the movie rights to the story, called Dark Void. But first, Dark Void is being released as a video game. The game, developed for Windows, Playstation 3 and Xbox 360, is due in January. The Indian movie company, Reliance, has done deals with other Hollywood stars including Pitt pals Julia Roberts and George Clooney.
LEVI JOHNSTON PLAYS IT COY: Photos from Levi Johnston'sPlaygirl magazine photo shoot finally popped up on the Internet on Saturday, and he's playing it coy, or at least Playgirl is. The photos show Johnston only from the waist up. More equally tasteful photos will be released weekly for the next few weeks, a Playgirl spokesman says. Readers who want to see the whole Levi -- or at least as much as the photos reveal -- will have to buy the mag or enroll in the Web site. As the Web site Gawker.com says: "Levi only has one thing Playgirl's readers want to see, and it's not his SAT2 score."
The dust hasn't even settled on Oprah Winfrey's announcement last week that she'll end her long-running daytime talk show in 2011, and already people are talking about who could replace her. Winfrey's show has claimed the coveted 4 p.m. eastern time slot for more than 20 years. That's considered the best time of the day, because more people are at home then.
A few of the contenders for Oprah's slot:
Dr. Phil, a protege of Oprah's. But he's been around for a while and his ratings are slipping, suggesting that viewers may be getting tired of the Philster.
Dr. Oz, another Oprah protege, is a newcomer and a surprise success in daytime. But his show is health oriented, and no one knows if he can do a wide-ranging show like Oprah's.
Ellen deGeneres sure has been getting a lot of attention from Oprah lately. Ellen is currently featured on the cover of O magazine, and the two stars have showed up on each other's shows lately. That has led to rumors that Ellen is Oprah's choice.
But wait! There's Gayle King! Oprah's real-life best buddy briefly had a talk show of her own in 2007. Okay, it bombed big time. But might Oprah give her another show of her very own?
Just sayin' . . . It really is Oprah's decision. She has a financial stake in both the Dr. Phil and Dr. Oz shows, for starters. And Gayle King is now editor of Oprah's O magazine. And Oprah's still the most powerful woman in television, if not the most powerful person in show biz.
Jon and Kate Gosselin made it through an arbitration session on issues related to their divorce on Saturday, according to Internet reports. The session did not stretch into a second day. That's a sign that the squabbling former reality tv stars have agreed broadly on the terms of their divorce.
According to TMZ.com, Jon agreed that Kate will get primary custody of their eight children. Neither is demanding spousal support. Division of their assets is now up to the court. A decision is due in about 30 days.
Jon reportedly brought along a bouquet of roses to give his ex, but she left them on the table -- literally -- at the end of the negotiation session.
The very last episode of the all-too-real reality show airs tonight (Monday) on TLC.
In an emotion-packed evening, Nicole Kidman, Kate Hudson, George Lopez and Neil Patrick Harris turned the spotlight on others Saturday night at a gala event in honor of CNN Heroes. The annual awards show hosted by anchor Anderson Cooper celebrates 10 people, none of them previously famous, who are making an extraordinary contribution to the world. "I've cried twice and we're on hero three," said Harris backstage.
This year's top winner is Efren Penaflorida, a young man from the Philippines who has devoted his life to getting an education for himself and other Filipinos. Each of the honorees received a $25,000 grant to continue their work, and the top winner got an additional $100,000 grant. Pierce Brosnan created a moving moment while honoring Andrea Ivory, a breast cancer survivor who runs a free mobile mammography project in Miami. Brosnan's first wife, Cassandra Harris, died of ovarian cancer in 1991. Cassandra was a "magnificent mother, a wonderful actor," Brosnan said.
The 10 finalists were selected by a panel that included former Secretary of State Colin Powell, Whoopi Goldberg and CNN founder Ted Turner. The winner was chosen in an online vote, with nearly 3 million votes cast.
CNN Heroes will air on the network on Thanksgiving Day.
VOTE MOVES HEALTH BILL TO FULL SENATE FOR DEBATE: The Senate voted 60-39 Saturday night (November 21st) with no votes to spare to move the health insurance reform bill to the full Senate for what will be weeks of debate and proposed amendments after the Thanksgiving holiday. Three wavering moderate Democrats and independent Joe Lieberman voted in the end to advance the bill, giving the majority the 60 votes needed to block a filibuster. All the Republicans voted against it. A tough battle still lies ahead, with those same four centrists threatening to side with the Republicans and filibuster the bill to keep it from having a final vote, with their main objection being the inclusion of a public option. The legislation would require most Americans to carry insurance and provide subsidies to those who couldn't afford it, and would ban the insurance industry practice of denying coverage because of pre-existing conditions. Congressional budget analysts say the measure will cost $979 billion over a decade, but reduce deficits over the same period while extending coverage to 94 percent of the population.
ATTORNEY: 9/11 DEFENDANTS WANT TO EXPLAIN THEIR VIEWS IN COURT: An attorney for one of the five defendants who will face trial in a New York City federal courtroom for the 9/11 attacks said Sunday (November 22nd) that they will plead not guilty so they can voice their criticism of U.S. foreign policy and explain their views. The New York Times cited Scott Fenstermaker, lawyer for Ali Abd al-Aziz Ali, as saying that the men -- including accused mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed -- wouldn't deny their role in the attacks but, quote, "would explain what happened and why they did it." Critics of Attorney General Eric Holder's recent decision to give the men a civilian trial in New York said it would give them a propaganda platform. But he said before the Senate Judiciary Committee last week, "I have every confidence that the nation and the world will see him for the coward that he is. I'm not scared of what Khalid Sheikh Mohammed has to say at trial -- and no one else needs to be, either." A Justice Department spokesman said yesterday that while the accused terrorists may try to the use the trial to express their views, quote, "we have full confidence in the ability of the courts, and in particular the federal judge who may preside over the trial, to ensure that the proceeding is conducted appropriately and with minimal disruption."
GLOBAL WARMING FASTER, WORSE SINCE KYOTO: Global warming has gotten worse and sped up since the 1997 Kyoto international accord to fight climate change, going beyond even some of the worst predictions made at the time, AP reported Sunday (November 22nd), ahead of next month's climate summit in Copenhagen. Among some of the changes over the past 12 years: the world's oceans have risen by about an inch and a half; droughts and wildfires have become more severe; more species of plants and animals are at risk; temperatures over the past 12 years are 0.4 of a degree warmer than the dozen years leading up to 1997. According to AP, the changes that have the scientists most alarmed are in the Arctic, with melting summer sea ice, and around the world with the loss of key land-based ice masses. Since the Kyoto agreement to reduce greenhouse gas pollution, it's actually increased, with carbon dioxide emissions up 31 percent, leading to an increase of carbon dioxide in the air of 6.5 percent. This is in large part because the U.S., China and India, the world's top carbon polluters, didn't take part in the pact's emission reductions. Additionally, developing countries were not covered.
IRAN CONDUCTING WAR GAMES TO PROTECT NUKE SITES: Iran began five days of air defense war games Sunday (November 22nd) aimed at protecting its nuclear facilities from attack, state TV reported. At the same time, the commander of the Revolutionary Guard's air force, General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, played down threats against his country by Israel, which has not ruled out launching air strikes against the nuclear facilities. He said on the Guard's official website, "We are sure they are not able to do anything against us since they cannot predict our reaction. If their fighter planes could escape from Iran's air defense system, their bases will be hit by our devastating surface-to-surface missiles before they land."
The U.S. and its Western allies accuse Iran of trying to build nuclear weapons, but Iran insists the program is only for peaceful, energy-producing purposes.
OFFICIALS: RADIATION AT THREE MILE ISLAND NOT SIGNIFICANT: The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission says the small amount of radiation detected at the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant in Pennsylvania isn't significant, ABC News reported. The NRC sent investigators to the plant after the radiation was detected and about 150 employees were sent home Saturday afternoon (November 21st). NRC specialist John White told ABC there's no indication that radiation at the plant exceeded or even approached regulatory limits, and Exelon Nuclear spokeswoman Beth Archer says the radiation was quickly contained.
A partial meltdown famously occurred at Three Mile Island in 1979.
AT LEAST 104 DEAD IN CHINA MINE EXPLOSION: Grieving family members were demanding answers Monday (November 23rd) from Chinese mining officials after a massive underground gas explosion Saturday night left 104 men dead and four missing in the city of Hegang. Some 500 miners had been working at the state-owned coal mine at the time of the blast. China has the deadliest mining industry in the world, with 1,175 people killed in the first six months of the year alone. However, that was actually an 18.4 percent decline from the same period a year earlier.
PALIN MEETS WITH BILLY GRAHAM, HAS BIG BOOK SALES: Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and several members of her family had dinner with the Reverend Billy Graham yesterday (November 22nd) at his North Carolina home. Palin, who will be at Fort Bragg in the state today to do a book signing for her new memoir, had never met Graham before. The legendary, 91-year-old preacher said it was an honor having Palin in his home and that they took the opportunity to pray together. "I, like many people, have been impressed with her strong commitment to her faith, to family and love of country," he said in a statement. Graham's son, Franklin, got to know Palin earlier this year in Alaska and he invited her to North Carolina.
Meanwhile, publisher HarperCollins said Friday (November 29th) that Palin's memoir, Going Rogue, sold 300,000 copies on its first day Tuesday, among the best openings ever for a nonfiction book. By comparison, Bill Clinton's My Life debuted with sales of 400,000 copies in 2004, and Hillary Clinton's Living History started at 200,000 copies in 2003.
LEVI JOHNSTON'S MOTHER SENTENCED TO THREE YEARS: The mother of Levi Johnston, the ex-fiance of former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin's 18-year-old daughter Bristol and father of their infant son, was sentenced to three years in prison Friday (November 20th) on drug charges. Sherry Johnston pleaded guilty in August to one count of possession of the painkiller OxyContin with intent to deliver. Five other felony counts were dropped in the plea deal, which called for a five-year prison sentence with two years suspended. The Anchorage Daily News reported that the 43-year-old Johnston will serve her sentence at Alaska's only female prison.
ASTRONAUT'S BABY BORN WHILE HE'S IN ORBIT: Astronaut Randolph Bresnik's daughter was born Saturday night (November 21st) while he was in orbit 220 miles above the Earth on his first space shuttle mission, becoming only the second astronaut to ever have a child while he was in space. Bresnik had completed his first spacewalk from the linked space shuttle Atlantis and International Space Station just hours before Abigail Mae Bresnik was born. This is the second child for Bresnik and his wife, Rebecca, after they adopted a boy from Ukraine a year ago. Bresnik is set to return to Earth on Friday.
BARNES & NOBLE SOLD OUT OF NEW 'NOOK' E-READER: Barnes & Noble said Friday (November 20th) that it had sold out of its newly-launched Nook electronic readers due to high demand, one day after a similar announcement by Sony about its e-reader, Daily Edition. Reuters cited analysts as saying those pre-holiday miscalculations could boost sales of Amazon.com's market-leading Kindle e-reader. Barnes & Noble said Nooks ordered from Friday will be shipped in January, with gift-givers issued a holiday certificate that cites the January shipping. Additionally, Nook e-readers sold in Barnes & Noble stores are in limited supply. Industry experts have said that e-readers will be top-selling electronic gadgets for the holidays.
SANTA LETTERS WILL BE GOING OUT FROM NORTH POLE AFTER ALL: The U.S. Postal Service brought Christmas cheer back to North Pole, Alaska, Friday (November 20th) when it reversed its decision to end the small town's decades-old program of replying to children's letters addressed to "Santa Claus, North Pole." Town residents had protested and even Alaska's congressional delegation got involved before the Postal Service relented, with spokesman Ernie Swanson saying, "We never wanted to spoil people's Christmas." The Postal Service had originally said it wasn't feasible to enact stronger security restrictions in Alaska that it had put in place nationwide last year after a volunteer with the agency's similar Operation Santa program in Maryland was found to be a registered sex offender. Even though they are going ahead with the program, the letters will still be subject to the tighter security rules.
NFL SCORES -- WEEK 11: Here are the results of this week's National Football League games. (Home teams are listed in italics):
Indianapolis Colts 17, Baltimore Ravens 15 -- Colts remain undefeated at 10-0.
Dallas Cowboys 7, Washington Redskins 6
Detroit Lions 38, Cleveland Browns 37
Jacksonville Jaguars 18, Buffalo Bills 15
Minnesota Vikings 35, Seattle Seahawks 9 -- Minnesota quarterback Brett Favre completed a career-high 88 percent of his passes -- 22 of 25 throws -- for 213 yards and four touchdowns.
New Orleans Saints 38, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 7 -- Saints remain undefeated at 10-0.
New York Giants 34, Atlanta Falcons 31
Kansas City Chiefs 27, Pittsburgh Steelers 24
Green Bay Packers 30, San Francisco 49ers 24
Arizona Cardinals 21, St. Louis Rams 13
San Diego Chargers 32, Denver Broncos 3
Oakland Raiders 20, Cincinnati Bengals 17
New England Patriots 31, New York Jets 14
Philadelphia Eagles 24, Chicago Bears 20
Tonight's Monday Night Football game on ESPN:
Tennessee Titans at Houston Texans (8:30 p.m. ET)
(Headline News, FYI and Sports stories were compiled in part from reports by the Associated Press and Reuters.)
JON & KATE PLUS 8 - Jon and Kate address the ups and downs of the last few years; Kate and the kids milk cows at a dairy farm; Jon and the children visit a firehouse.
DAY TIME TALK SHOW
THE ELLEN DEGENERES SHOW - Penelope Cruz, the latest castoffs from So You Think You Can Dance, Kris Allen THE OPRAH WINFREY SHOW - Inside sex addiction rehab THE VIEW - Zac Efron, Claire Danes, Norah Jones
LATE NIGHT TALK SHOWS
THE LATE SHOW WITH DAVID LETTERMAN (CBS) - Robin Williams, Ashley Greene THE JAY LENO SHOW (NBC) - Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Lady Gaga THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH CONAN O'BRIEN (NBC) - Taylor Lautner, John Cleese, Timbaland with Nelly Furtado and So Shy JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE (ABC) - Andre Agassi, Weezer THE LATE LATE SHOW WITH CRAIG FERGUSON (CBS) - Margaret Cho, Carl Edwards LATE NIGHT WITH JIMMY FALLON (NBC) - ILO LAST CALL WITH CARSON DALY (NBC) - Brett Dennen THE DAILY SHOW WITH JON STEWART (COMEDY CENTRAL) - (repeat) THE COLBERT REPORT (COMEDY CENTRAL) - (repeat) LOPEZTONIGHT - Eva Mendes, Craig Robinson
POLICE TO AWARD SOBER DRIVERS WITH FREE TURKEYS: Police in Salinas, California, announced that they will give away free Thanksgiving turkeys to some drivers who successfully pass a sobriety test at checkpoints on the road Tuesday night. While the department did not reveal how winners would be chosen, the turkeys were donated by local businesses, police officers and any citizens who would like to donate. This is the seventh year the turkeys will be given away, and the popularity of the event has police keeping the location of the checkpoint secret. They are asking drivers not to pass through more than once to try to win a turkey. (NBC)
MAN BLAMES FBI MIND CONTROL FOR CRASH: A Minneapolis man who crashed into a building told police that the FBI had a mind-control device inside which caused the accident by sending signals through his head and reading his thoughts. The building, home to Physicians and Surgeons Capital Corp., suffered more than $20,000 in damages. (WCCO)
BANK ROBBERY SUSPECT EATS EVIDENCE: Police say a man suspected of robbing a bank in Streetsboro, Ohio, was able to reach into his pocket while being arrested and ate a piece of paper. They believe the paper was a note to a bank teller demanding money. Luckily for police, that wasn't the only evidence they had, since the car fit the description of the bank robbers, with money found inside and an exploded bank dye pack. (AP)
POLICE BLOW UP CAR PARKED IN 'SENSITIVE AREA': A London man who parked on a side street before catching a boat his friends rented for his birthday returned the next day to find his car destroyed. Police explained that he had parked the car in a sensitive area, near the Ministry of Defense and in the exact location of a parade to commemorate the end of World War I and that they had witnessed him running from the car on surveillance footage. They set off two controlled explosions to open the front doors, hood and trunk. A spokesman for a car insurance company said under the circumstances, the company could contest his claims. (Oxford Mail)
WOMEN LIKE VAMPIRES BECAUSE THEY SECRETLY WANT GAY MEN? According to Esquire magazine, "Vampires have overwhelmed pop culture because young straight women want to have sex with gay men." The magazine explains, "Edward, the romantic hero of the Twilight series, is a sweet, screwed-up high school kid, and at the beginning of his relationship with Bella, she is attracted to him because he is strange, beautiful, and seemingly repulsed by her. This exact scenario happened several times in my high school between straight girls and gay guys who either hadn't figured out they were gay or were still in the closet. Twilight's fantasy is that the gorgeous gay guy can be your boyfriend, and for the slightly awkward teenage girls who consume the books and movies, that's the clincher. Vampire fiction for young women is the equivalent of lesbian porn for men: Both create an atmosphere of sexual abandon that is nonthreatening. Sex that's dangerous and safe at the same time, risky but comfortable, gooey and violent but also traditional and loving. In the bedroom, we want to have one foot in the twenty-first century and another in the nineteenth."
PEOPLE GETTING MARRIED FOR HEALTH INSURANCE: A blogger on TheFrisky.com admitted, "I'd never been one of those girls who'd dreamt about her perfect wedding. The virgin-white dress, the exorbitant costs, the fuss over a big, shiny rock -- none of it ever appealed to me. I wanted to find a lifelong partner, and a family sounded nice, too, but honestly? I never cared much about that piece of paper. So why did I just marry my boyfriend after pondering it for a mere two hours? One (evidently all-too-common) reason: health insurance."
43% OF AMERICANS WILL BE OBESE? According to new data reported by USA Today, obesity will cost Americans roughly $334 billion in medical expenses by 2018. That would account for 21% of the nation's total health-care spending. Those figures are based on the projection that in a decade 43% of us will be obese, a term defined by when an individual is 30 pounds of more over a healthy weight level.
INTERNET MAY CURE DEPRESSION IN SENIORS: A recent study by the Phoenix Center for Advanced Legal & Economic Public Policy Studies, a non-profit think-tank in Washington, DC, indicates that spending time online cuts the incidence of depression among senior citizens by at least 20 percent. The results were based on surveys of 7,000 people age 55 and older who were retired and not working, but not living in nursing homes. Co-author Sherry G. Ford said, "Increased Internet access and use by senior citizens enables them to connect with sources of social support when face-to-face interaction becomes more difficult. Considering that depression costs the U.S. economy about $100 billion annually, Internet use for the elderly may have a significant payoff."
Name three celebrities who have patents for their inventions.
A: Jamie Lee Curtis, Harry Connick Jr., Eddie Van Halen, Marlon Brando, Penn Jillette
Penn Jillette, U.S. Patent 5,920,923 -- Hydro-therapeutic stimulator. A spa designed to stimulate a female user with water jets.
Marlon Brando, U.S. Patent 6,812,392 -- Drumhead tensioning device and method. An invention which makes it possible to tune a drum.
Harry Connick, Jr., U.S. Patent 6,348,648 -- System and method for coordinating music display among players in an orchestra. An electronic system, a device with a screen, used to show the sheet music for the musicians, for example in an orchestra, while they are playing, instead of the more commonly used paper. Connick uses this system when performing with his big band.
Jamie Lee Curtis, U.S. Patent 4,753,647 -- Infant garment. A disposable baby diaper with pockets containing one or more removable clean-up wipers.
Eddie Van Halen, U.S. Patent 4,656,917 -- Musical instrument support
University Makes Overweight Students Take a Fitness Class to Graduate
Pennsylvania's Lincoln University is drawing fire over its controversial requirement that overweight undergrads must take a fitness course in order to graduate, although they don't have to actually lose weight. Officials at the historically black school near the town of Oxford said Friday (November 20th) that they're concerned about high rates of obesity and diabetes, especially in the African-American community.
This year's seniors are the first class governed by the mandate, and they've begun realizing that, if they're affected, they have to take the class in the spring if they haven't already done so. Under the mandate, students have to get tested for their body mass index, and if it's 30 or above, which is classified as being obese, they must take the class, which involves walking, aerobics, weight training and other physical activities, as well as information on nutrition, stress and sleep.
Senior Tiana Lawson wrote against the requirement in this week's edition of the student newspaper, and in an AP interview said her problem is with larger students being singled out, not with getting healthy or losing weight. She said, "If Lincoln truly is concerned about everyone being healthy, then everyone should have to take this gym class, not just people who happen to be bigger."
Tim McGraw's new movie, The Blind Side, opens in theaters across the country today (Friday, November 20th). The film is based on the best-selling novel by Michael Lewis, The Blind Side: Evolution of the Game. It tells the true story of Michael Oher (pronounced OAR), a homeless African-American teen from a broken household who is taken in by the Tuohy (pronounced TEW-EY) family, a well-to-do white family that sees extraordinary promise in him. Tim plays Sean Tuohy, while Sandra Bullock plays his wife, Leigh Anne Tuohy.
Juggling both an acting and a recording career may seem daunting, but Tim tells us one actually benefits the other. "After doing movies and sort of finding a different way of approaching how to get into being somebody else, instead of interpreting it in a song you interpret it with your whole body and not so much just your voice singing, so it does help you when you go back into the studio to record an album you do take part of that other part of yourself that you discovered in order to do that in the movies. I think they feed off each other and they help each other and hopefully makes it better."
The Blind Side was filmed in Atlanta, Georgia.
In other Tim news, he is featured in the new issue of People magazine as one of the "Sexiest Men Alive." He told ACC Top 40, "I like it, I have to say. Except, I have to explain it all to my friends who are sitting back there. They're not gonna let me live it down," he said of his band, the Dancehall Doctors.
Tim's wife, Faith Hill, has already been in several of People's "Most Beautiful" issues, a fact that he says will be brought to his attention. He said, "She'll pull that out on me when it's to her convenience."
Carrie Underwood has been spotted at a lot of hockey games lately, and she tells us her romance with Ottawa Senators player Mike Fisher is only part of the reason. "I love sports. I'm a huge football fan. I love football season. I live for football season, and now I've diversified my sports portfolio and I am into hockey for many reasons. I never realized -- hockey's like man sport. And you thought football was man sport? Hockey's . . . they make them look like weenies!"
Carrie told Ellen DeGeneres earlier this week that she met Mike through a bandmember who set the two up. She was less than thrilled to hear that some of his teeth were not real, but Carrie tells us she now has a whole new respect for these guys on ice. "They work so hard! They work everyday. They practice everyday. I've seen the damage it can do -- loss of teeth!! Could you imagine, like, you could lose your teeth in your job!! I would pick a different job myself, but that's me, but I just love bein' there, and I just love seeing people do what they love and people screaming and cheering them on. It's like they're at their own concert but they're not singing, and these people are so excited. It's great!"
The singer admits she does get a little uptight when violence erupts during the games. "I'm not a fan of the fights. I get . . . like it makes me nervous, especially when someone I know's involved."
Carrie will perform at the American Music Awards on Sunday (November 22nd). She is also nominated for Favorite Country Female Artist. The show airs live from Los Angeles on ABC-TV.
Taylor Swift is among the artists who have attached their name to a lawsuit against a sports bar in Idaho. According to TMZ, a sting operation by songwriting organization BMI uncovered that The Sports Cellar Bar was playing Taylor's music, as well as using it for Karaoke, and not paying the proper licensing fees for the right to do so.
BMI and Taylor want this bar to pay up. The suit reportedly asks for unspecified damages.
Lady Antebellum is on a roll! First they take home two awards at last week's CMA's, then they top the charts this week with their latest single, "Need You Now." Now the trio learns that both "Need You Now" and their debut single, "Love Don't Live Here," have been certified gold this week.
Lady Antebellum's sophomore CD, also called Need You Now, will be released on January 26th.
They will kick off 2010 by joining Tim McGraw on his Southern Voice tour in February.
"Need You Now" is spending its sixth consecutive week at Number One on the Billboard Canada chart.
Sales of their self-titled debut album spiked 130% after their appearance on the CMA Awards. Since the show, they sold more than 45,000 albums, besting their first-week release sales by almost 2,000 units.
The next CMT Crossroads episode will feature the pairing of the Zac Brown Band and Jimmy Buffett. The show will be taped next month before an invitation-only audience in Nashville. The episode will premiere in March of next year.
Jimmy will release a new studio album, called Buffet Hotel, on December 8th. It will be his first studio album in three years.
The Zac Brown Band will be in Los Angeles on Sunday (November 22nd) for the American Music Awards. They are nominated in two categories -- Favorite Country Band, Duo or Group and Favorite Country Album for The Foundation. They are also semifinalists in the T-Mobile Breakthrough Artist category. Finalists are determined by text messaging.
The Zac Brown Band are currently on the road with their Breaking Southern Ground headlining tour.
The group trails Lady Gaga as the biggest-selling new artist of 2009 with their platinum debut album, The Foundation.
They have charted three Number One singles.
Joe Nichols, David Nail, Heidi Newfield, Josh Thompson, Easton Corbin and Halfway To Hazard are among the acts set to perform on the Academy of Country Music stage at the upcoming Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (NFR). The event will be held in Las Vegas from December 3rd through December 12th. The performances will take place inside the Cox Pavilion at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas. The event is free to NFR fans and open to all ticket holders. Josh Kelley has signed a new record deal with Universal Music Group Nashville, and with that, he's making the move to country music. Kelley has been working hard on a soul-tinged country album, which is expected out next year. He tells Entertainment Weekly, "Country is where I'm going to live out the rest of my career. This is the style and level of songwriting that I've always wanted. I'm coming home." So the label deal makes sense for the Georgia native, who says, "Universal is a perfect home for me and my music. They have an awesome track record of allowing artists to be who they really are, and have already been so supportive of my new music. I'm stoked to be part of such a talented group of artists and staff."
Kelley wrote a new song for the album, called "Naleigh Moon," for the daughter he and wife, actress Katherine Heigl, recently adopted from Korea. And Heigl herself might even direct the video for one of the album's more upbeat songs called "Great Idea." Kelley says, "She's never wanted to do that with any of my songs, but when she heard that, she perked up. There's gonna be a lot of upbeat songs on this album, because at the end of the day, people wanna shake it."
JIM CARREY'S DAUGHTER GETS MARRIED: Jim Carrey has a new son-in-law. The actor confirmed that his pregnant daughter Jane recently got married, tweeting, "My Jane is a married woman. Days ago her and my new son-in-law Alex got hitched. The day was simply perfect . . . lots of love there." Carrey confirmed in July that 21-year-old Jane was expecting her first child with then-boyfriend Alex Sanatana.
PARKER-BRODERICK SURROGATE TESTIFIES: The woman who carried Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick's twin girls testified on Thursday (November 19th) in the trial of a police chief is accused of breaking into her home while she was pregnant. Michelle Ross said ultrasound photos and tax information were gone when she returned, and that some items were misplaced, including a plaster cast of her stomach made when pregnancy with her own son. Police Chief Barry Carpenter is accused of breaking into her home in May and then trying to sell items related to the pregnancy to paparazzi.
MARTHA STEWART LOST $1 BILLION IN TRADING SCANDAL: Martha Stewart admitted that her net worth significantly dropped when she was to jail in 2004 on charges lying to authorities. When asked for a dollar figure relating to the incident that stemmed from lying about the 2001 stock sale of ImClone System Inc., Stewart told Nightline, "Probably more than a billion dollars, of course." She added, "When you are prosecuted in such a way, and a great portion of wealth is dissipated, all I can think so much is what I could have done with all that, and for the good of mankind, and I hope I can continue."
LINDSAY LOHAN'S DAD WON'T RELEASE MORE TAPES: Lindsay Lohan's father says that he's done releasing private audio tapes concerning the 23-year-old starlet. Michael Lohan told Life & Style magazine, "I will not release another audiotape about Lindsay. I did it because I wanted Lindsay to know how I felt when I heard that tape. When I get a phone call at two, three, four or five in the morning from my daughter and she's in dire straits, I get very concerned."
HEIDI KLUM MAKES SURPRISE RUNWAY APPEARANCE SIX WEEKS AFTER GIVING BIRTH: Heidi Klum not only served as host of the Victoria Secrets Fashion Show, she also made a surprise walk down the runway. The model/mom put on a corset and full skirt and took to the runway just six weeks after giving birth to her daughter Lou. The Victoria Secrets Fashion Show airs on December 1 at 10 p.m. on CBS.
NEW BOYFRIEND FOR AUDRINA PATRIDGE? Audrina Patridge is reportedly dating Glee star Mark Salling.Usmagazine.com reports that the maybe-couple was "joined at the hip" at a recent industry party and although the two left separately, they exited at the same time and their cars followed one another as they drove off.
JAMES VAN DER BEEK FILES FOR DIVORCE:James Van Der Beek has filed for divorce from his wife of nearly six years, actress Heather Ann McComb, People reports. The couple separated earlier this year.
SUSAN BOYLE ALBUM BREAKS PRE-SALE RECORDS: Susan Boyle's upcoming debut album has become the largest global CD pre-order in the history of Amazon.com. The retailer declined to give exact sales figure but announced on Thursday (November 19th) that the disc, "I Dreamed a Dream," surpassed the 2008 record held by "Supermarket Fantasy" from Japanese rock band Mr. Children, 2007's "Not Too Late" by U.S. singer Norah Jones, and British group Take That's "Never Forget: The Ultimate Collection" in 2008. The album will be released on November 24th.
PREMIERE DATE ANNOUNCED FOR 'LOST': A premiere date has been announced for the sixth and final season of Lost. ABC revealed that the anticipated season will begin on February 2nd at 8 p.m. with a recap episode, followed by a two-hour season premiere.
LAUREN CONRAD WRITING STYLE GUIDE: Lauren Conrad has inked a deal to write a style guide. People magazine reports that the former reality star will unveil fashion tips in Lauren Conrad Style, which will be published by Harper Collins in the fall of 2010. She said in a statement, "I am really excited to write a style guide. I think fashion should be fun and reflective of who you are. When you wear clothes you feel good in, it shows in everything you do. I know this guide will offer simple, practical tips to help anyone look fabulous."
ANNE HATHAWAY WANTED FOR 'SPIDER-MAN':Spider-Man 4 producers are reportedly looking to get Anne Hathaway on-board for a role in the upcoming blockbuster. Deadline.com reports that Hathaway is wanted for a starring role -- but she won't replace Kirsten Dunst.
'SIMPSON' CONTEST WINNER ANNOUNCED:The Simpsons has selected a contest winner in its search to create a character for Fox's long-running animated series. A 52-year-old hospital operations manager from Connecticut named Peggy Black took the prize after dreaming up ladies' man Ricardo Bomba, who is "someone that all the women love and all the men want to be." Bomba will be introduced in the January 31st episode featuring guest star Chris Martin of Coldplay. The episode had been mostly completed, with a spot reserved for the contest character.
KRISTEN STEWART AND DAKOTA FANNING LOCK LIPS IN UPCOMING MOIVE
Kristen Stewart may have some new romance rumors to deal with -- this time concerning a different New Moon co-star, Dakota Fanning. 15-year-old Fanning admitted that she and Stewart lock lips in a scene for their second film collaboration, The Runaways.
When asked about the kiss, Fanning told Access Hollywood, "Yes, it happens in The Runaways. We were so into the scene and into the script and the characters."
She added, "We're playing Joan Jett and Cherie Currie and they're best friends in the film and became really close in real life. And that's something that went down back in the '70s."
Robert Downey Jr.'s working days may be numbered. The actor, who plays Sherlock Holmes in Guy Ritchie's upcoming film, told Entertainment Weekly, "I have no set plans for my future. I've never had it this good -- this is my day in the sun -- and I certainly don't want to look a gift horse in the molars. But [my wife] Susan and I want to begin to be in our lives as much as we are in our jobs. I'd love just to sit here and say, 'What movie's playing tonight?' I'd love to finish the new book about D-day I'm reading. I love painting, I love music."He added, "I'm f-ing really good at what I do -- and have been for a long time, so I don't waver on that. But here's the thing: I can only be a guy on a call sheet probably, I don't know, maybe a couple more times. It's something I'm so grateful to have in my palm, and yet I already see its inevitable decay."
However, he added, "If Sherlock Holmes performs well, I could be busy for the next 5 or 7 or 10 years."
DREW BARRU,PRE REPORTEDLY KICKS MESSY JUSTIN LONG OUT OF THE HOUSE
Drew Barrymore and Justin Long have reportedly hit a speed bump in their rekindled relationship. Star magazine reports that Barrymore has kicked her beau out of her Hollywood Hills home because Long couldn't change his bachelor ways.
A source told the magazine, "Drew really had it with being Justin's babysitter at home. And it's not just that he made a mess, it's his attitude. He gets mopey and is a big-time couch potato. She isn't thrilled about seeing this side of him."
Despite the reverse co-habitation, the couple is reportedly still on. The insider said, "She gently told Justin that things would be better between them if he moved back to his own place. Then it would be special when they're together -- they wouldn't feel like an old married couple."
The source added, "It was really the wake up call he needed. He knows Drew's a great girl. He's going to do everything he can to make her happy."
OPRAH WINFEY ANNOUNCING END TO SYNDICATED TALK SHOW!
Media mogul Oprah Winfrey will end her top-rated TV talk show at the end of its 25th season, in September 2011. The talk show host will announce her decision publicly during The Oprah Winfrey Show broadcast today (Friday, November 20th).
The coming announcement was hyped on ABC-TV websites by Harpo Inc.'s president Thursday.
GossipCop.com also reports that a letter was sent to Winfrey's staff on Thursday (November 19th), informing them "the sun will set" on the highly successful program on September 9, 2011.
In recent years Winfrey has mulled whether to continue the daily chatfest, and for how long. It's widely assumed Winfrey will expand her involvement in the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN), the cable network she launched last year, after concluding her 25th and final season of Oprah.
Kirsten Dunst and Jake Gyllenhaal not best friends.
Unlike the legions of celebrities who publically maintain that they are "best friends" with an ex after a break-up, Kirsten Dunst admits that she and Jake Gyllenhaal are not close. When asked about the actor, who she split from in 2004 after two years together, Dunst told Allure magazine, "It would be nice to see him. But we're not good friends."
The couple previously shared a home in Los Angeles and a dog named Atticus, who now resides with Gyllenhaal. The actor has been dating Reese Witherspoon since 2007.
Dunst, however, is single. When asked about notable guests in her apartment, she said, "My girlfriends will sleep in bed with me, but no guests, not long-term, anyway."
The actress also shared her reflections on a recent cross-country road trip, saying, "After we were done, I was like, 'Wow, America is so poor. Just the towns you come across -- all that's there are restaurants and gas stations. There are beautiful stretches of pasture, but for the most part, people live simply. The East and West Coast are so different from the rest of America."
Opening today (November 20th) is the highly anticipated second installment of Stephanie Meyer's Twilight Saga, New Moon, starring Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner, Rachelle Lefevre and Dakota Fanning. New Moon follows Bella Swan, played by Stewart, who gets deeper into the mysteries of the supernatural world she wants to be a part of only to find herself in greater danger than ever. New Moon was directed Chris Weitz.
New Moon is rated PG-13 and running time of 2 hours and 10 minutes.
New Moon is has taken over the top place in Fandango's record breaking pre-ticket sales. The top five advance tickets sellers on Fandango are New Moon (2009), Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith (2005), Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince (2009), The Dark Knight (2008) and Twilight (2008).
According to movietickets.com, 2,150 screenings of New Moon have already sold out.
TWILIGHT TRIVIA GAME Q: Why did Bella move to Forks, Washington?
A: Bella Swan moved to Forks, Washington from Phoenix, Arizona. Her mom, Renee Dwyer, recently married Phil, a minor league baseball player. Phil has to travel with his team and Renee would stay home with Bella. Bella knew her mom wanted to be able to go with Phil, but would never leave her alone. She decided to move in with her Dad, Charlie Swan, so her mom would be able to travel with Phil.
Q: What is Edward Cullen?
Edward Cullen, and the rest of the Cullen family are Vampires.
Q: What are Edward's sisters names?
The names of Edward's sisters are Alice Cullen and Rosalie Hale.
Q: What are Edward's brothers names?
The names of Edward's brothers are Jasper Hale and Emmett Cullen.
Q: Who tries to kill Bella?
A group of nomadic vampires, James, Laurent, and Victoria, stop to play a game of baseball with the Cullen family. James gets a whiff of Bella's scent and senses the rage in Edward. James, who is a tracker, is set on tracking Bella and killing her to enrage Edward. He hopes to fight Edward.
Q: What kind of vehicle does Rosalie have?
Rosalie Cullen has a red, BMW M3 convertible.
Q: What kind of food does Bella order at the restaurant in Port Angeles?
Bella orders Mushroom Ravioli when Edward takes her to dinner in Port Angeles.
Q: What kind of animal does Edward like to hunt?
Edward likes to hunt Mountain Lions.
Q: What is the game that the Cullen's like to play in thunder storms?
Because of the strength the Cullen family has, they need a thunder storm to cover up the sound of them hitting a baseball.
Opening today (November 20th) is the new sports drama The Blind Side starring Sandra Bullock, Kathy Bates, Tim McGraw and Quinton Aaron. The Blind Side tells true story of Michael Oher, a homeless black teenager, played by Aaron, who has been in and out of the system for years until Leigh Anne Tuohy, played by Bullock, and her husband Sean, played by McGraw, take him in, giving Michael a new chance at life allowing him to realize his potential as a student and football player. The Blind Side was directed by John Lee Hancock.
The Blind Side is rated PG-13 and has a running time of 2 hours and 6 minutes.
Opening today (November 20th) is the new animated film Planet 51, with Dwayne Johnson, Jessica Biel, Sean William Scott, Gary Oldman and John Cleese lending their voices. Planet 51 is a follows astronaut Captain Chuck Baker who lands on Planet 51 thinking he's the first person to step foot on it until he finds that the planet is inhabited by little green people who are happily living in communities resembling the white picket fence world of 1950s America. The inhabitants' only fear is that their planet will be taken over by alien invaders, like Chuck, who must figure out a way to escape becoming a part of the Planet 51 Alien Invaders Space Museum. Planet 51 was directed by Jorge Blanco.
PENTAGON TO REVIEW PROCEDURES AFTER FORT HOOD SHOOTING: The Pentagon said yesterday (November 19th) that it will review its procedures for identifying volatile soldiers in the wake of the Fort Hood shooting rampage. Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced a 45-day emergency investigation into personnel, medical, mental health, discharge and other policies in all areas of the Defense Department, as well as ways to improve security and emergency response at its facilities. The review will be led by former Army Secretary Togo West and former Navy chief Vernon Clark. A longer, second review lasting about six months will look at what Gates called "systemic institutional shortcomings." Gates stressed that his review is separate from the criminal investigation into Major Nidal Malik Hasan, the Army psychiatrist accused of killing 13 people at Fort Hood and wounding more than 30, and shouldn't be seen as targeting Muslims or anyone else.
President Obama has already ordered a review of all intelligence related to Hasan, including his contacts with a radical imam overseas, concerns raised by some of his colleagues, and whether warnings were properly shared and acted upon.
REID SETS SATURDAY VOTE TO ADVANCE HEALTH BILL FOR DEBATE: One day after presenting the Senate Democrats' 10-year, $849 billion health insurance reform bill, Majority Leader Harry Reid yesterday (November 19th) scheduled a vote for Saturday evening (November 21st) on advancing the measure to the floor for full debate, which would begin after Thanksgiving. Democrats control 60 seats, including two independents, and will need all those votes to advance the legislation in the face of a Republican filibuster. Three moderate Democrats have not yet said how they'll vote, although none of them has announced a plan to defect.
FORECLOSURES MOVING BEYOND SUBPRIME LOANS: A report out yesterday (November 19th) from the Mortgage Bankers Association showed that the foreclosure crisis is moving beyond subprime loans and affecting a growing proportion of fixed-rate loans made to people with good credit. Last year, it was subprime loans driving the crisis, however with unemployment now at 10.2 percent, even people with good credit are now having trouble paying their mortgage. Driven by rising job loss, prime fixed-rate loans to borrowers with good credit accounted for nearly 33 percent of new foreclosures last quarter, up from 21 percent a year ago. Meanwhile, subprime loans with adjustable rates have fallen to 16 percent of new foreclosures, from 35 percent a year earlier.
PAP SMEAR RECOMMENDATIONS CHANGED: Just days after a government panel reversed decades of recommendations and said women shouldn't start getting mammograms until age 50 instead of age 40, and then only every two years, there's been another change in health guidelines women have long been given. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists is saying today (November 20th) that most women in their 20s can have a Pap smear every two years instead of annually, saying that's enough to catch slow-growing cervical cancer. ACOG also says women 30 and older should wait three years between Paps once they've had three clear consecutive tests, and that routine Paps should start at age 21, a change from the previous recommendation of age 21 or within three years of first sexual intercourse, whichever came first.
ACOG said the new Pap guidelines coming out at the same time as the mammogram advice change is coincidence.
COMPUTER GLITCH CAUSES WIDESPREAD FLIGHT DELAYS: A Federal Aviation Administration computer glitch early yesterday morning (November 19th) caused widespread flight cancellations and delays across the country that lasted well into the rest of the day. The problem at a FAA computer center in Salt Lake City began at around 5 a.m., preventing air traffic controller computers across the country from talking to each other. Until it was fixed some four hours later, at around 9 a.m., air traffic controllers had to type in complicated flight plans themselves because they couldn't be transferred automatically from computers in one region of the country to another. The slowed down the whole system, and it took many hours to untangle.
The incident was reminiscent of an August 2008 software malfunction that delayed hundreds of flights across the country.
ALASKA RESIDENTS TRYING TO SAVE SANTA LETTER-WRITING PROGRAM: Residents of the small town of North Pole, Alaska, are trying to save their traditional program dating back to 1954 of volunteers responding to children's letters addressed to "Santa Claus, North Pole," after the U.S. Postal Service decided this month to end it. The Postal Service's decision came after a volunteer with the agency's similar Operation Santa program in Maryland was recognized last year as a registered sex offender. The Postal Service put tighter security measures in place, including replacing children's last names and addresses on the letters with computerized codes so volunteer responders can't read them. In explaining its North Pole decision, the agency said dealing with the stronger restrictions isn't feasible in Alaska. The residents of North Pole are trying to come up with a way to keep their program going, and the state's congressional delegation has stepped in to try and help.
FAMILY MEMBERS OF TWO SENATORS INVOLVED IN DUIs: The daughter of Democratic Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts and wife of Republican Senator Richard Lugar of Indiana were both involved in DUI incidents over the past two days. The 2004 Democratic presidential nominee's 36-year-old daughter, Alexandra, was arrested and booked for a possible DUI early Thursday (November 19th) in Los Angeles. However, a spokesman for the senator said in a statement, "Alexandra Kerry was pulled over for an expired registration and was released after the results of a breathalyzer test . . . were under the legal limit." The younger Kerry is due in court on December 10th. Meanwhile, Lugar's 76-year-old wife, Charlene, was charged with drunk driving and a hit-and-run after hitting a parked car in McLean, Virginia, Wednesday night and taking off. The senator said in a statement that he's thankful no-one was hurt, and that he and his wife are, quote, "deeply sorry and embarrassed." Charlene Lugar is due for trial on January 8th.
'ADMONISH' NAMED WORD OF THE YEAR IN WAKE OF JOE WILSON'S 'YOU LIE!' OUTBURST: Merriam-Webster announced its annual Word of the Year yesterday (November 19th), which is based on the words that are looked up most during the year on its free online dictionary. Almost all the words in the top 10 were associated with a news event or coverage leading to a spike in look-ups. That was true for the World of the Year, "admonish," which people began searching for after GOP Rep. Joe Wilson of South Carolina shouted out "You lie!" during President Obama's speech before a joint session of Congress on health insurance reform in September and was admonished by the House for it.
Here are the runners-up, a loose definition, and what generated interest in them:
Emaciated -- very thin -- Michael Jackson was described in some reports as being emaciated at the time of his death.
Empathy -- understanding and being sensitive to other's feelings and experiences -- Republicans criticized President Obama when he said Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor would bring a, quote, "quality of empathy" to the bench.
Furlough -- leave of absence from duty -- Many government agencies and businesses announced unpaid furloughs for workers during the recession.
Inaugurate -- induct into office -- President Obama was inaugurated in January as the first black president.
Nugatory -- of little or no consequence -- Only word in the top 10 without a clear link to current events.
Pandemic -- occurring over a wide geographic area and affecting a high proportion of the population -- The swine flu was declared a pandemic.
Philanderer -- someone who has casual or illicit sex with women, especially someone who's unfaithful to his wife -- Both Governor Mark Sanford of South Carolina and David Letterman made headlines for their affairs.
Repose -- to lie at rest, to lie dead -- Senator Ted Kennedy's body was brought to the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library to lie in repose after his death.
Rogue -- when used as an adjective, as in the title of Sarah Palin's new memoir, Going Rogue, its means uncontrollable, aberrant or dangerous
WEBBY AWARD GROUP LIST DECADE'S TOP 10 INTERNET MOMENTS: The International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences, which has given out the annual Webby Award since 1996 for Internet excellence, has chosen what it believes are the past decade's 10 most influential moments on the Internet. They are:
Free classifieds site Craigslist expands outside San Francisco in 2000, impacting newspapers nationwide
Google AdWords launches in 2000, letting advertisers precisely target their customers
Free, open-source encyclopedia Wikipedia launches in 2001
Napster shut down in 2001, opening the file-sharing floodgates
Google's initial public offering (IPO) in 2004
Online video revolution in 2006 that led to a boom in homemade and professional content online
Facebook opens to non-college students and Twitter takes off in 2006
iPhone debuts in 2007
2008 U.S. presidential campaign in which the Internet changed how campaigns are run
2009 Iranian election protests during which Twitter was vital in organizing demonstrations and getting out information
DOLPHINS BEAT PANTHERS 24-17, WILLIAMS SCORES THREE TDs: The Miami Dolphins downed the Carolina Panthers 24-17 last night (November 19th) in a game that saw Miami's Ricky Williams score three touchdowns and rush for 119 yards. The Dolphins have won four of their last six games, after starting the season at 0-3. The Panthers' last shot to tie the game ended as quarterback's Jake Delhomme's desperation pass into the end zone was knocked down by Tyrone Culver as time expired.
LINCECUM REPEATS AS NL CY YOUNG AWARD WINNER: San Francisco Giants pitcher Tim Lincecum was named that National League Cy Young Award winner for the second year in a row yesterday (November 19th), becoming the first repeat winner since Randy Johnson, who won it in four consecutive years, from 1999 to 2002. Lincecum received 11 first-place votes, 12 seconds and nine thirds for 100 points in balloting released by the Baseball Writers' Association of America, beating second place finisher Chris Carpenter of the St. Louis Cardinals by just six points, and Adam Wainwright, also of the Cardinals, in third by 10 points in the tight vote. The 25-year-old Lincecum went 15-7 for the season with a 2.48 ERA and a league-leading 261 strikeouts.
Wainwright, who led the NL with 19 wins, actually got one more first-place vote than Lincecum, making him the only player other than Trevor Hoffman in 1998 to get the most firsts and not win the award.
The Kansas City Royals' Zack Greinke was awarded the American League Cy Young earlier this week.
REPORT: JAYSON WILLIAMS AGREES TO PLEA DEAL: The Associated Press reported Thursday (November 19th) that retired NBA star Jayson Williams has agreed to a plea deal that would send him to prison for up to three years for accidentally shooting a driver at his New Jersey estate in 2002, citing a person with knowledge of the case. Williams will reportedly plead guilty today to aggravated assault, avoiding a retrial set for January on a reckless manslaughter charge. Witnesses testified that Williams was showing off a shotgun in his bedroom in February 2002 when he snapped the weapon shut and it fired, killing driver Costas Christofi. They also testified that Williams initially put the gun in the dead man's hands and told those present to lie about what happened. The defense has said that the shooting was an accident and Williams panicked afterward. During his initial trial in 2004, the jury acquitted Williams of aggravated manslaughter and convicted him of covering up the shooting, but deadlocked on the reckless manslaughter count. He's remained free on bail pending the retrial's outcome.
Williams retired in 2000 after nine seasons in the NBA with the Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Nets.
(Headline News, FYI and Sports stories were compiled in part from reports by the Associated Press and Reuters.)
SHREK THE THIRD - Shrek and friends set out to find Fiona's slacker cousin and bring him back to rule the lan of Far, Far Away. Starring Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz, Antonio Banderas and Rupert Everett.
SMALLVILLE - Tess kidnaps Lois in an attempt to find out where she went during her disappearance; Clark makes a significant decision about Zod.
AMERICA'S NEXT TOP MODEL (repeat)
DAY TIME TALK SHOW
THE ELLEN DEGENERES SHOW - Robert Pattinson, 13- year-old violinist Justus Rivera THE OPRAH WINFREY SHOW - America's Favorite Husband Ray Romano Returns to TV THE VIEW - Joseph Califano, Emily Osment
LATE NIGHT TALK SHOWS
THE LATE SHOW WITH DAVID LETTERMAN (CBS) - Viggo Mortensen, Paula Poundstone, Lyle Lovett THE JAY LENO SHOW - Kellan Lutz, Ed Begley Jr. THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH CONAN O'BRIEN (NBC) - Eva Mendes, Jon Bon Jovi, Bon Jovi JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE (ABC) - Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, Taylor Lautner, Death Cab for Cutie THE LATE LATE SHOW WITH CRAIG FERGUSON (CBS) - Neil Patrick Harris, David Gray LATE NIGHT WITH JIMMY FALLON (NBC) - Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Elvis Costello LAST CALL WITH CARSON DALY (NBC) - Morena Baccarin, Lisa Hannigan
ELDERLY WOMEN FENDS OFF ROBBERS WITH HAIRBRUSH: An 82-year-old British woman said she was able to defend herself against two men who forced their way into her home to rob her. The woman said she bit one of the men and kicked him in the seat of his pants when he tried to pin her down to a bed and demanded money. The other man felt the wrath of her hairbrush and a bible she waved in his face. That's when she was able to run out of the house to find help, but said she regrets not locking the men in the house. Police are still searching for the robbers who only got away with a small amount of money. (News Letter)
TEEN CALLS 911 OVER PARENTS TAKING XBOX AWAY: Buffalo Grove police said a 15-year-old Illinois boy called 911 to complain that his parents took his Xbox 360 away from him. The boy then hung up and officers were dispatched to the location of the call. Once they arrived the boy asked whether his parents had the legal right to take the video game system away from him. The police told the boy that he needed to listen to his parents. (Daily Herald)
MAN STUFFS STOLEN GOLD INTO COOKED CHICKEN: An employee of a gold retailer in South Africa was arrested this week after he was caught stealing gold jewelery by stuffing the items into a cooked chicken. The plan failed when he set off a metal detector at the retailers central offices in Johannesburg. The amount of gold hidden in the chicken is unknown, and the man faces trial for attempted theft and possession of allegedly stolen goods. (AFP)
CHICKEN-SUITED MAN BURSTS INTO COMMITTEE MEETING: A man dressed in a chicken suit suddenly burst into a Durango, Colorado committee meeting on laws for raising backyard fowl. Witnesses said the man ran around flapping his wings before taking a seat in the nearly empty gallery. Then the giant chicken stood up, laid an egg on the floor and walked out. The committee members said the were perplexed but also amused. (AP)
WOMEN SHOULD SHOW 40% OF BODY TO ATTRACT MEN: The findings were based on work by four female researchers, who discreetly observed women at one of the city's biggest nightclubs from a balcony above the dance floor. Using tape recorders hidden in their handbags, the researchers took note of what female clubbers were wearing and how many times they were approached by men asking them to dance. For the purposes of the study, each arm accounted for 10 percent of the body, each leg for 15 percent and the torso for 50 percent. Women who revealed around 40 percent of their skin attracted twice as many men as those who covered up. However, those who exposed any more than this also fared worse. Experts believe that showing too much flesh puts men off because it suggests they might be unfaithful.
FEMALE VIAGRA IN THE WORKS: A failed anti-depression drug may end the elusive search for the female version of Viagra. Asylum.com reports that during its initial clinical testing, flibanserin didn't cheer women up; rather, many who took it reported "an increased libido that they liked." This led to a series of studies in which pre-menopausal women in three countries went on a 24-week course of the drug and documented in a diary the intensity of their sexual desires and how many satisfactory sexual encounters they had. Researchers found 100 milligrams a day of the drug resulted in "significant improvements" on both fronts relative to women who took a placebo. While Viagra and other erectile dysfunction medications work on the blood supply, flibanserin achieves its action on the fairer sex by heading directly for a female's sexually complicated brain.
LINGERE GPS AVAILABLE: The New York Daily News reports that, courtesy of LindeLucy Lingerie designer Lucia Iorio, the "Find Me If You Can" line comes equipped with a pager-sized GPS that allows those with the password to track the wearer's whereabouts online. The black box is sewn into the bodice of the lingerie and is clearly visible. The designer said, "This collection . . . is a wink to women and a challenge to men because, even if she gives him the password to her GPS, she can always turn it off. She can be found only if she wants to [be]. It's not a modern chastity belt. Some men think they can keep tabs on their girlfriends with it, but they're wrong."
OBESE PEOPLE DON'T THINK THEY'RE FAT: A new study presented at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions based on survey data collected in Dallas, found that one in 10 participants -- all of whom were classified as obese -- were satisfied with their body size and didn't think they needed to lose weight. Lead researcher Tiffany Powell, a cardiology fellow at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center said, "That is a sizeable percentage who don't understand they are overweight and believe they are healthy."
The Too-Much-In-Love Couple: Between the constant "I love my honey sooooo much!!" and "I have the most amazing husband in the whole world!!!" updates, these couples do proclaim too much. Their updates are filled with flowery adjectives and almost always include the words "amazing," "luckiest," and "best! ever!" Don't these people have personal email addresses? Can't they actually speak to one another in person and leave the rest of us out of it? But, of course, all these proclamations aren't for their benefit, they're for ours. We're supposed to feel jealous of their burning love for one another and their incredible luck to have found each other. Unfriend!
The Pathetic Couple: Outside of their relationship, this couple is miserable and empty. If either of them so much as works outside the home and they're forced to spend eight hours apart, their updates are peppered with hourly countdowns until their end-of-the-day reunion. If one gets invited to a function without the other, they use their Facebook update to announce how unfair the world is and how nothing else in life is as important as the time they spend with each other. "I have to go to my BFF's bachelorette party tonight, which means a whole evening without Nick! No fair!!!" How these couples ever managed to survive in the world without each other is one of the great mysteries of life.
The Boring Couple: It's clear that the Boring Couple, who does nothing but constantly hang out at home, has forgotten that other people actually have fun for fun. They update with: "Excited to stay in for 'movie and pizza night' with the hubby!" or "Gonna cook a big dinner for wifey tonight!!" Well, hey, guess what, the rest of us are going to eat dinner at some point, too, and unless it's enjoyed with a mentor we've just been granted a meal with from the Make-A-Wish foundation, it probably doesn't warrant two exclamation points or, you know, a status update on Facebook. These people would be more sad than annoying if they weren't so smug about their domestic bliss.
The Passive-Aggressive Couple: Perhaps the biggest offender of them all, this couple hashes out their issues with one another in passive-aggressive, embarrassing, and often melodramatic updates, like "Would have gotten a lot more sleep if somebody didn't keep me up all night with his constant farting!" or "There's nothing I hate more than a man who can't make up his mind which he woman he wants!" Every other day your feed is cluttered with messages that they've broken up or gotten back together. At least you can take comfort in knowing that they totally deserve each other.
The TMI Couple: The TMI couple clearly has something to prove and that something is the amount of sex they're having versus the amount you're not having, you poor soul. Let's just hope they're practicing great birth control, otherwise we'll soon see them on Facebook's Most Annoying Parents list. Unfriend.
Lee Ann Womack has been added to next year's George Strait tour with special guest Reba McEntire. The arena trek kicks off on January 22nd in Baltimore, Maryland and runs through April 10th in Des Moines, Iowa.
Lee Ann has long been a fan of George's and toured with him multiple times as part of his Country Music Festival. She has recorded with the "King" of country music and even developed a friendship with him over the years, but Lee Ann says no one humbles her more than George. "There are times I think in people's careers when they go through those hot spells or whatever. And you think, I'm rockin', I'm doing good, you know. And then you get around George Strait and you think, 'Man, I'm nothing' (laughs). He's just so huge, and people just go crazy when he walks into a room or when he walks out on stage. There's nothing that will humble you quicker than being in his presence, because it's like 'Lee Ann who?'"
While thrilled about the tour, Lee Ann is already having wardrobe issues. She joked, "I'm trying to figure out what to wear, cause you can't out-starch George and you sure can't out-spangle Reba!"
Lee Ann and George were nominated for Musical Event of the Year at last week's CMA Awards for "Everything But Quits."
The two won that award in 2005 for "Good News, Bad News."
Dierks Bentley will take the first few months of the new year off to work on two new projects that he hopes to release in 2010. One is his next studio album, while the other is a special bluegrass project.
Dierks told The Boot, "Every album I've done has a bluegrass song on it, so it's not a surprise that one day I might make a bluegrass record. It would be a cool thing for me."
Switching things up has become mandatory for Dierks in order to keep things interesting, he tells us: "Musically, (I) just try to make records that always excite me, I guess, and not be afraid to take chances and even somewhere down the road disappoint people with an album that maybe no one really likes but me. There's some artists who I love that make really consistent albums every time that sound the same as the one before, and I buy 'em because of that, 'cause I love that consistent sound that singer makes, but my thing is always going to be trying to take it somewhere new, looking for new sounds and new songs and new ideas and new melodies and just going in one direction or the other, hopefully always up, but maybe sometimes to the left or right and just trying to take it somewhere where it's always exciting to me."
Dierks will be hitting the road again next spring, but he hopes to squeeze in one of his High Times and Hangovers tours of bars and clubs again with group Cross Canadian Ragweed before signing on with any major tours.
Dierks' latest album, Feel That Fire, was released in February of this year.
Sugarland has been tapped to perform on the TNT Christmas In Washington special airing on December 20th at 8 p.m. ET. The duo will join President Obama and the First Lady, as well as fellow entertainers Mary J. Blige, Neil Diamond, Rob Thomas, Usher and host George Lopez. The show will be taped at the National Building Museum in Washington, DC on December 13th.
Sugarland was in Chicago recently to tape a segment for The Oprah Winfrey Show. The episode is set to air on November 30th.
Sugarland is so far the only country act performing on The Grammy Nominations Concert Live!!, taking place on December 2nd at Club Nokia in Los Angeles. The show, which announces the Grammy nominees, will air live on CBS.
We now know where Dolly Parton stands on the subject of gay marriage -- she's for it, she told CNN host Joy Behar during her recent appearance on Joy's show. Dolly said, "Sure, why can't they get married? They should suffer like the rest of us do."
In all seriousness, Dolly has told us that she doesn't judge others. "I have many friends that are gay and lesbian. I don't make any bones about that. I'm not out there preaching for anybody. I accept everybody as they are."
She does have some strong feelings for those who criticize gay people, however, like celebrated pastor Joel Osteen, who recently said that "homosexuality is not God's best work." Dolly said, "I think God made us who we are and how we are, and I don't think if (Osteen) was a religious person, he would be judging people."
Other country stars who have recently come to the defense of gay people and their right to legally marry include Reba McEntire and Sugarland's Jennifer Nettles. In fact, Jennifer has performed at Gay Pride in Atlanta on three different occasions. She told ChicagoPride.com, "I've always had a large gay following, particularly in the lesbian community. I am grateful for that. To me, it means my music transcends categories. It also means that I'm a cute girl singing a rock song in an alto voice!"
Actress Jennette McCurdy from the TV show iCarly is trying to break into the country music biz. Jennette will not be leaving her day job as Sam Puckett on the popular Nickelodeon show, but she's been spending a lot of time in Nashville writing for her debut album. The 17-year-old is signed to Capitol Records.
Jennette told The Tennessean, "I've been a country music fan my whole life. My grandma and my mom raised me on country music. Right now, I'm in love with Keith Urban. It's pretty sad. There's no way I should be thinking this much about him. I have to stop it. I love Rascal Flatts. They are the nicest guys."
Jennette plans to make the big move to Nashville early next year, but will continue to commute to California for the show.
There is no word yet on when her first album will be released.
NICOLE RICHIE HOSPITALIZED WITH PNEUMONIA: Nicole Richie has been hospitalized with pneumonia. X17Online.com received a statement from the star's rep which reads, "Nicole has checked into Cedars Sinai where she is being treated for pneumonia. She is doing well."
GERARD BUTLER RECREATES MICHALE JACKSON SCENE: Gerard Butler paid homage to Michael Jackson on Tuesday (November 17th), pretending to dangle a fake baby out of his London hotel room. E! reports that Butler's "baby" was actually just a plant wrapped in a towel but it's expected he was aiming to recreate Jackson's infamous 2002 scene in Berlin. Check out Butler: http://tinyurl.com/yg2ltng
COPS REPORTEDLY CALLED OVER PARIS HILTON ARGUMENT: Paris Hilton and boyfriend Doug Reinhardt reportedly got into a drunken argument early Wednesday (November 18th) morning. PerezHilton.com reports that police responded to a call regarding "drunk people arguing" after a witness saw Hilton screaming at Reinhardt outside a residence. After Reinhardt got out of his car, the two supposed began shoving each other, but went back inside after police confronted them at the scene. Hilton denied the story, telling TMZ.com, ""Doug and I were in bed, sound asleep, when Doug's houseguests from hell got into an argument. We had nothing to do with it. Doug told the LAPD that his guests' fight was over and that we had nothing to do with it."
ANDREW LLYOD WEBBER HOSPITALIZED: Andrew Llyod Webber was hospitalized earlier this week after developing an infection following surgery relating to his battle with prostate cancer. A statement on the famed composer's website read, "He has been advised that while the operation was entirely successful, he has developed a postoperative 'chronic infection' which needs immediate treatment. He still hopes to be back at work in the New Year.
THOUSANDS OF 'NEW MOON' SCREENINGS SELLING: Over 2,000 screenings of New Moon have reportedly sold out. A spokesperson for MovieTickets.com said that 2,150 showings of the film are at capacity, adding that the film is "accounting for 90 percent of all ticket sales."
WILL FERRELL DEEMED HOLLYWOOD'S MOST OVERPAID STAR: Will Ferrell is Hollywood's most overpaid star, according to Forbes magazine. Using a formula that calculated the actor's estimated salary on each film, including DVD and TV sales, compared to the film's revenues from theater box offices and elsewhere, Forbes.com said that for every dollar Ferrell was paid, his films earned an average $3.29. Flops like Land of the Lost, Semi-Pro and Step Brothers are to blame for his decreasing value. Other overpaid stars include Ewan McGregor, Billy Bob Thorton and Eddie Murphy. To see the top ten, go to: http://tinyurl.com/y95njsn
'GOSSIP GIRL' STAR DESIGNING JEWELRY: Michelle Trachtenberg is getting into the jewelry design business. Usmagazine.com reports that the Gossip Girl actress has signed a deal with luxe handbag designer Coach to design a line of costume jewelry. The designs, which Women's Wear Daily describes as "tough-girl meets sugary-sweet vibe," will hit stores next spring.
HEATHER LOCKLEAR DOESN'T HELP 'MELROSE' MUCH: Heather Locklear's hyped return to Melrose Place did little to boost the show's sagging ratings. The Hollywood Reporter announced that Locklear's debut earlier this week bumped ratings just 14 percent from its series-low-matching performance a week ago -- pulling in a total audience of 1.5 million. The publication noted that the show is still dropping 30 percent from its 90210 lead-in.
After revealing a handwritten agreement detailing the working relationship between Jon Gosselin and his former fling Kate Major, RadarOnline.com is reporting that Major plans on suing the reality dad for breach of that contract. The scrawled agreement stated that Major would act as Gosselin's personal assistant and handle "some but not all future accounts" in exchange for letting Jon regulate her conversations with the media.
Attorney Ben Pietra told Radar, "Kate called me and has retained my services regarding a possible breach of contract between herself and Jon Gosselin. We are keeping our legal options open, but if a breach of contract has occurred, we will be moving forward with a lawsuit."
A source told the website that after Kate resigned from her position as an entertainment magazine reporter, "Kate 2.0 and Jon spent a weekend in a hotel where they drew up the contract. Jon told her he would match the salary she was making at the magazine if she came to work for him as his personal employee."
Rob Pattinson's fan interactions have become quite abnormal since shooting to super-fame with the Twilight saga. In separate interviews for New Moon, the actor detailed how he's bitten members of his adoring public -- and gotten them to strip for him.
On The Late Show with David Letterman, Pattinson admitted that a male fan asked that the actor bite him, and Rob complied.
While talking to Ellen DeGeneres, Pattinson revealed that on one press line, "You kind of get 10 seconds with each person and you never really say anything and I kind of got bored of saying, 'Hey, how are you doing?' A fan] said in her 10 seconds, 'What can I do to get your attention?' I was like um, just take your clothes off."
He continued, "She stood there and frantically started taking her clothes off and got dragged out of the room by security. I never felt more terrible."
Fandango released the following facts from a survey New Moon fans:
66% say the love story in "New Moon" is the biggest draw in their decision to buy a ticket.
57% claim Alice Cullen (Ashley Greene) is the secondary character they'd most like to see in his or her own "Twilight" spin-off movie.
39% of moviegoers plan to take off time on Friday - from school or work - in order to see the movie.
27% of respondents surprisingly picked "Breaking Dawn" as their favorite book among Stephanie Meyer's "Twilight" novels; 16% chose "Eclipse; 11% voted for the first "Twilight" and only 8% pegged "New Moon" as their favorite. (38% said they love all the "Twilight" books equally.)
MARTHA STEWART GOES AFTER RACHEL RAY IN NEW INTERVIEW
Martha Stewart slammed competitor Rachel Ray in a new interview with ABC News' Nightline. In her first television sit-down since serving five months in prison in 2004 for lying to investigators about a stock trade, Stewart says of Ray, "Well, to me, she professed that she could -- cannot bake. She -- just did a new cookbook which is just a re-edit of a lot of her old recipes. She -- and that's not good enough for me."
She went on to say that Ray is "more of an entertainer ... with her bubbly personality, than she is a teacher, like me. That's not what she's professing to be."
When asked if she was angered by Stewart's remarks, Ray responded, "Why would it make me mad? Her skill set is far beyond mine. That's simply the reality of it." Ray added, "That doesn't mean that what I do isn't important too . . . I don't consider it needling. I really just think she's being honest. She does have a better skill set than I do when it comes to producing a beautiful, perfect, high-quality meal. I'd rather eat Martha's than mine, too."
Usmagazine.com reports that the interview will air tonight (November 19th)
JOHNNY DEPP REPEATS AS PEOPLE MAG'S SEXIEST MAN ALIVE
Johnny Depp has been crowned People magazine's 2009 Sexiest Man Alive -- six years after the honor was first bestowed upon him in 2003. Kate Coyne, the publication's senior editor, announced the news on Wednesday (November 18th), explaining that Depp has achieved an almost "iconic status in terms of sexiness."
The magazine said in a statement, "Whether it's onscreen in roles like Captain Jack Sparrow in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise or at home with his family on their private Bahamian island, the 46-year-old father of two with 25 years in show business still reigns as Hollywood's most irresistible iconoclast,"
People reports that the only other two-time winners are Brad Pitt and George Clooney. Depp is succeeding 2008's sexist man, Hugh Jackman.
Other sexy men recognized by the magazine include Zac Efron, Ryan Reynolds and Rob Pattinson -- who many blogs feel was more deserving of the title this year.
It's unclear if Taylor Lautner and Taylor Swift are dating -- but they're certainly not engaged. A rep for the New Moon star denied a report in the National Enquirer claiming that the 17-year-old recently proposed to the country star.
A source told the publication, "Just weeks after winning approval from country star Taylor Swift's mom to date her daughter, 'Twilight' hunk Taylor Lautner has proposed!" The Enquirer acknowledged that the couple's families then urged the pair to get to know each other better "before taking such a big step."
Lautner's rep deemed the story in its entirety, "absolutely not true."
The director of New Moon plans to quit movie-making for good after completing one last project. Chris Weitz told MovieMaker magazine, "Every time I make a movie I'm pretty much convinced it's the last time I'm going to be able to do it and that really it's a rather silly occupation to undertake. But I think I have maybe one more film in me."
The director says that he wants his final work to be an homage to the Italian classic The Bicycle Thief called The Gardener. He explained, "I feel that if I were to do this one film, I'd feel okay just sitting back and reading. I'd really like to read some books. You know, it sounds ridiculous, but I'd really like to be a better surfer. I'd like to learn to speak Spanish fluently; I'd like to travel around, live in Italy; I'd like to learn kung fu ... It's nice to make movies, but it's also really hard."
REID UNVEILS HEALTH INSURANCE REFORM LEGISLATION: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid yesterday (November 18th) finally unveiled health insurance reform legislation written over weeks of negotiation with White House aides and incorporating elements from two bills passed earlier by Senate committees. The 10-year, $849 billion measure will extend coverage to 30 million more Americans, and ban insurance companies from rejecting people with pre-existing conditions. According to Congressional Budget Office estimates, it will reduce deficits by $127 billion over a decade. The measure will set up insurance marketplaces, where consumers would have the choice of buying government-sold insurance, and Americans would be required to carry health insurance, but subsidies would be provided to help those who couldn't otherwise afford it. Next up will be a vote to bring the legislation to the floor for weeks of debate and votes on amendments.
Reid released his legislation more than a week after the House approved its version of a health insurance reform bill on a 220-215 vote.
OBAMA AND HOLDER SAY 9/11 MASTERMIND WILL BE CONVICTED:President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder yesterday (November 18th) both rejected criticism of the decision to try professed 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in New York, and predicted he'd be convicted and executed. Obama, speaking in TV interviews on his Asian trip, said those offended by the rights given Mohammed by him facing a civilian instead of military trial won't find it, quote, "offensive at all when he's convicted and when the death penalty is applied to him." At the same time, he added he's not prejudging the outcome. Meanwhile, Holder spoke as he was questioned by the Senate Judiciary Committee. He said he's certain Mohammed and four alleged accomplices will be convicted, saying, "Failure is not an option." Addressing concerns raised by GOP opponents that Mohammed will use the trial as a platform to spew his hateful rhetoric, Holder said judges can control unruly defendants and that whatever he says will make him look worse,declaring, "I have every confidence that the nation and the world will see him for the coward that he is. I'm not scared of what Khalid Sheikh Mohammed has to say at trial -- and no one else needs to be, either."
OBAMA WARNS IRAN AFTER IT REJECTS NUCLEAR DEAL: President Obama issued a strong warning to Iran Thursday (November 19th) of the consequences of its rejection of a deal to send enriched uranium abroad for further processing, which aimed to delay Iran's potential ability to make bombs by at least a year. The International Atomic Energy Agency had said Iran should send 75 percent of its enriched uranium to Russia and France, where it would be turned into fuel for a medical research reactor in Tehran. Speaking in South Korea Obama said the U.S. had begun discussions with its allies, quote, "about the importance of having consequences," meaning more sanctions. However, Iran's foreign minister rejected such talk, saying the West had learned from, quote, "failed experiences" of the past.
SEBELIUS SAYS WOMEN SHOULD GET MAMMOGRAMS AT AGE 40: Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said Wednesday (November 18th) that women should continue getting annual mammograms starting at age 40, speaking amid the uproar and confusion caused by a government task-force recommendation task force two days earlier that the breast screening test isn't needed until women turn 50, and then only every two years. The American Cancer Society has long said annual mammograms should begin at age 40, and they were among those rejecting the panel's recommendation. Sebelius said that policies regarding Medicare coverage for mammograms hasn't changed, explaining that the task force doesn't, quote, "set federal policy and they don't determine what services are covered by the federal government." She continued, "Indeed, I would be very surprised if any private insurance company changed its mammography coverage decisions as a result of this action."
JUDGE: ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS' NEGLIGENCE LED TO KATRINA FLOODING: A federal judge ruled Wednesday (November 18th) that the Army Corps of Engineers' failure to properly maintain a navigation channel led to massive flooding in New Orleans in Hurricane Katrina. The judge sided with five residents and one business who'd brought the suit charging negligence caused the flooding of the Lower Ninth Ward and St. Bernard Parish, and awarded them $720,000. His decision could eventually lead to the government having to pay much more money, as it should give more than 100,000 other individuals, businesses and government entities better odds of getting billions of dollars in damages.
ATTEMPTED PIRATE ATTACK ON MAERSK ALABAMA THWARTED: An attempted Somali pirate attack was thwarted Wednesday (November 18th) against the Maersk Alabama, the U.S. cargo ship hijacked in April whose captain was held hostage for days before being freed by Navy SEAL sharpshooters. Private security guards aboard the ship used guns and a sound blaster to repel the attack off the Horn of Africa, as the Maersk Alabama was headed to Kenya. Experts say it's not unusual for ships to be attacked by pirates more than once, especially in trouble spots.
HUNDREDS TURN OUT FOR START OF PALIN BOOK TOUR: Hundreds of people turned out in Michigan, yesterday (November 18th) for the first stop of Sarah Palin's three-week book tour for her new memoir, Going Rogue. More than a thousand people lined up at a Barnes & Noble in Grand Rapids to meet the former Alaska governor and 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee after getting wristbands allowing them to get two copies of the book signed. Although the memoir was just released Tuesday, it has topped online best-seller lists for weeks. Palin has done several interviews related to the book release, including with Oprah Winfrey, Barbara Walters, and several conservative commentators, including Rush Limbaugh.
OBAMA MET WITH HALF-BROTHER IN CHINA:President Obama said yesterday (November 18th) that he'd met briefly in China with a half-brother who lives there and who recently wrote a semi-autobiographical novel about their Kenyan father, who the brother says was abusive. Obama spent three days in China earlier this week as part of his Asian tour, and confirmed that he'd met with Mark Ndesandjo when asked about it by CNN. Obama said, "I don't know him well. I met him for the first time a couple of years ago. He stopped by with his wife for about five minutes during the trip." Ndesandjo, who's lived in China since 2002, described the meeting to AP as being "overwhelming" and "intense." The two last met in January, when Ndesandjo attended Obama's inauguration as a family guest.
Ndesandjo's mother, Ruth Nidesand, was Barack Obama Sr.'s third wife, who he married after divorcing Barack Obama's mother two years after he was born. Obama Sr. died in a car accident in 1982.
BAD NEWS FOR EGGO WAFFLES FANS: Kellogg had some bad news yesterday (November 18th) for fans of their Eggo frozen waffles, announcing that there's going to be a shortage nationwide until next summer because of interruptions in production at two of the four plants that make them. An Atlanta plant was shut down for some time by a storm in September that dumped large amounts of rain, and some production lines at a Tennessee plant are closed indefinitely for repairs. The effects of the shortage are already being felt, with many stores having near-empty Eggo shelves.
BYRD NOW LONGEST-SERVING MEMBER OF CONGRESS EVER: Democratic Senator Robert Byrd of West Virginia became the longest-serving member of Congress ever on Wednesday (November 18th), after nearly 57 years of service. Byrd, who'll turn 92 Friday and is in fragile health, said, "I've loved every precious minute of it," during a day of floor tributes to him as the Senate passed a resolution marking the milestone. He wept a few minutes later as he said his only regret is that his wife Erma, who died in 2006, wasn't there. Byrd was first elected to the House in 1952, and then moved up six years later to the Senate, where he is now in his unprecedented ninth term. The record had previously been held by Democrat Carl Hayden of Arizona, who served in the House and Senate from 1912 to 1969.
CANDY CROWLEY TALKS ABOUT HER WEIGHT LOSS: People who are regular CNN watchers couldn't help but notice that senior political correspondent Candy Crowley has lost a significant amount of weight. While there's been speculation in the blogosphere about how she did it, Crowley hadn't spoken about her weight loss publicly until now, when she agreed to speak Tuesday (November 17th) to James Rainey of the L.A. Times. Crowley said she'd been reluctant to come forward, but she wanted to thank the many fans who've sent her emails expressing their admiration, and to shoot down the chatter than she might have had gastric bypass or Lap-Band surgery. Instead, Crowley said she's lost the weight through dieting, swimming and working out since last December. But she believes what might have made the biggest difference is that she's taken up transcendental medication, explaining, "I'm lighter now in a lot of ways."
CHENEY HAS NEW GRANDCHILD: Former Vice President Dick Cheney and his wife Lynne have become grandparents for the seventh time, after their daughter Mary Cheney gave birth to a baby girl yesterday (November 18th) named Sarah Lynne Cheney. This is the second child for Mary and her partner, Heather Poe, after their son Samuel was born in 2007.
ANGELS' SCIOSCIA, ROCKIES' TRACY WIN MANAGER OF THE YEAR:Mike Scioscia of the Los Angeles Angels and Jim Tracy of the Colorado Rockies were named Manager of the Year yesterday (November 18th) for the American League and National League, respectively. This is a second Manager of the Year award for Scioscia, who managed his team to a third consecutive division title during a difficult year that included the April death of pitcher Nick Adenhart in a car accident. Tracy, who led his team to winning the wild card, became only the second manager ever to win the award after taking over during the season. He was promoted by the Rockies from bench coach after Clint Hurdle was fired in late May.
Scioscia got 15 first-place votes in balloting by the Baseball Writers' Association of America and 106 points, with Ron Gardenhire of the Minnesota Twins coming in second. Tracy received 29 first-place votes and 151 points, and Tony LaRussa of the St. Louis Cardinals was a distant second.
(Headline News, FYI and Sports stories were compiled in part from reports by the Associated Press and Reuters.)
COMMUNITY - The gang nominates Jeff to talk some sense into Chang when he assigns an absurd amount of homework; Troy and Abed's biology lab subject goes missing.
PARKS AND RECREATION - Leslie invites herself on Ron's annual hunting trip; Andy and April bond in the office.
THE OFFICE - When David Wallace invites Michael to the Dunder Mifflin shareholder meeting in New York, Michael brings Oscar, Dwight and Andy along; Jim tries to get Ryan to do work.
30 ROCK - Liz makes a drastic change to her living arrangements when her apartment building is converted to condos; Jack and Tracy re-evaluate their plans for parenthood; Kenneth is on a mission to make the show greener.
THE JAY LENO SHOW - Dakota Fanning, Jane Krakowski
BONES - Booth's grandfather comes to live with him and tags along as Brennan and Booth investigatea human remains that were found by a real estate agent who was showing a property to prospective buyers.
FRINGE - An abduction in Boston leads the Fringe team to uncover details of the mysterious man known as The Observer.
FLASHFORWARD - Bryce searches for the woman in his flashforward; Tracy's odd behavior concerns Aaron.
GREY'S ANATOMY - Miranda is visited by her father, who disapproves of her life choices; Mark and Lexie must cope with the arrival of a woman from his past; Thatcher questions the chief's recent bahavior.
PRIVATE PRACTICE - Addison is shaken by her father's arrival to Los Angeles; Cooper is arrested for refusing to cooperate in a patient's case.
THE VAMPIRE DIARIES - Damon and Stefan find they have some competition to deal with; Elena makes a shocking discovery.
SUPERNATURAL - Dean, Sam and Castiel try to find Lucifer and send him back to hell.
IT'S ALWAYS SUNNY IN PHILADELPHIA - Dennis reveals his full proof system for seducing any woman to the rest of the gang, but they don't grasp the concept.
THE LEAGUE - Kevin enlists Taco to scare Ellie of her toy; the guys join Pete on what was supposed to be his 5th anniversary spa trip.
PROJECT RUNWAY - (season finale) Finale Part 2, TBA
DAY TIME TALK SHOW
THE ELLEN DEGENERES SHOW - Simon Baker, Leona Lewis, Andre Agassi THE OPRAH WINFREY SHOW - Oprah! Make Over My Man! THE VIEW - John Stamos, Katey Sagal, Dancing with the Stars castoff Joanna Krupa
LATE NIGHT TALK SHOWS
THE LATE SHOW WITH DAVID LETTERMAN (CBS) - Stephen Colbert, Emily Blunt, John Mayer THE JAY LENO SHOW (NBC) - Dakota Fanning, Jane Krakowski THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH CONAN O'BRIEN (NBC) - Nicole Kidman, Anderson Cooper, Leona Lewis JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE (ABC) - Carrie Underwood, Heidi Montag & Spencer Pratt THE LATE LATE SHOW WITH CRAIG FERGUSON (CBS) - Sandra Bullock, Ben Foster LATE NIGHT WITH JIMMY FALLON (NBC) - Taylor Lautner, Katey Sagal LAST CALL WITH CARSON DALY (NBC) - Bill Simmons, the Raveonettes THE DAILY SHOW WITH JON STEWART (COMEDY CENTRAL) - Jack's Mannequin THE COLBERT REPORT (COMEDY CENTRAL) - Elvis Costello LOPEZTONIGHT - Ted Danson, Floyd Mayweather, Orianthi
RASTA SINGER ACCUSED OF TREASON FOR BOCHED ANTHEM: Members of Jamaica's parliament are so angry about a reggae singer's awful rendition of their national anthem that they are now accusing him of treason. The singer performed the anthem at a rugby match last Friday night in France. One member of the parliament said, "It is treason! I don't know how he could get onto the stage if he couldn't sing the anthem. He is ready for retirement," and believes an apology is not good enough to spare the singer and the official who recommended him from punishment. (news24.com)
COUPLE CAUGHT STEALING 150 VASES FROM CEMETERY: St. Augustine County, Florida police said a man and a woman were arrested on Tuesday after they were caught trying to sell brass funeral vases stolen from graves to a recycling facility. The police became aware of the couple's plan while they were investigating the disappearance of 150 funeral vases from St. Augustine Memorial Gardens. The two were detained and confessed to stealing the vases, valued at about $33,000. (news4jax.com)
LARGE BLOCK OF ICE CRASHES THROUGH KITCHEN CEILING: A Colorado family said a basketball-sized chunk of ice crashed into their home last Saturday, devastating their kitchen. Luckily no one was hurt, although the family was home at the time when the ice, apparently from a plane flying overhead, hit the house. The FAA has sent investigators to look into the incident, but an official said it was an isolated incident and said getting hit by falling ice is "on the magnitude of a lightning strike." The family said they kept a piece of the ice in their freezer. (AP)
81 YEAR OLD MAN GOES FOR 370 MILE JOY RIDE: An Australian man was visiting friends near Sydney Monday morning when he went out to buy a newspaper. After driving all day the man finally stopped for directions near Melbourne, when a police officer informed him that he was about 370 miles out of his way. When asked why he hadn't stopped for directions earlier he said, "I just like to drive." At a news conference a reporter asked the man if he'd consider owning a GPS, to which he replied, "Why would you want one of those? You can't get lost. There is no fun in that." (AFP)
THINKING YOUR TEAM MAY LOSE MAKES SPORTS MORE EXCITING: A study published in the December issue of the Journal of Communication finds that fans who at some point thought their team was going to lose find a game more enjoyable. Researchers polled students from three Midwestern universities who watched the 2006 Ohio State/Michigan football game. Students who found the game to be more suspenseful -- no matter who they were rooting for -- also found the game more enjoyable. As researcher Silvia Knobloch-Westerwick told Ohio State University Research News, "You need the negative emotions of thinking your team might lose to get you in an excited, nervous state . . . If your team wins, all that negative tension is suddenly converted to positive energy, which will put you in a euphoric state."
SHOULD YOU KEEP STORE OWNERS IN CHECK? Have you ever called out a store owner on what you know is an illegal practice? We've heard that operating an open cash register -- thus escaping paying tax on the purchase -- is not allowed, nor should it be permitted to require a minimum purchase price for a credit card to be used.
FIRM TRANSLATES BABY NAMES: A British translation firm will vet expectant couples' off-the-wall baby names, ensuring their offspring aren't saddled with monikers that mean something embarrassing in another language. The New York Daily News reports that for about $1,700, Today Translation's linguists will perform a "name translation audit," meaning they'll check out the name in 100 languages. The paper reports that the new service might have come in handy for Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, whose daughter Suri's name actually means pickpocket in Japanese and "turned sour" in French.
PLACENTA FACIALS GETTING POPULAR: According to the Daily Mail, the latest Hollywood craze is placenta facials. Nutritionist Susannah Lawson explained, "The placenta is more than a cushioned casing for a baby. It's rich in proteins and iron as well as a host of other vital nutrients."
SAFE CONVERSATION TOPICS FOR THANKSGIVING WITH HIS FAMILY(YourTango.com)
Subject: Recent or upcoming vacations.
Required Background Info: Find out if his parents like to travel, where they've been lately, etc.-- even though you'll ask these same questions of the parents and/or relatives, it's good to have some background info (and subsequent light research completed). Chances are they'll have gone or are going somewhere you're dying to go/have been, and voila you're trading travel stories like old friends.
Conversation Starter: "Aunt Lorraine, John tells me you and Uncle Mike just returned from a trip to the Southwest. I've always wanted to go! How was it?"
Subject: The food.
Required Background Info: Find out how much/often his parents cook. Is his mom a culinary genius? Or do they prefer to bring in catered food? Are they vegans or do they hate them? All these bits help to avoid awkward foot-in-mouth food discussions.
Conversation Starter: "Mrs. Miller, these roasted potatoes are amazing. What herbs did you use?" Or "Mrs. Miller, you have the best taste in caterers. I can't believe you found time to sit down and plan the whole event."
Subject: Their home.
Required Background Info: Find out if either of his parents (or whomever is hosting) is into big home decor. When's the last time they redecorated? (This is also a great point to talk to his dad -- if they've done renovations recently.) Then use the info to talk about how you hope to have this much space someday to design and turn into such a warm, inviting place.
Conversation Starter: "Mr. Miller, I hear you've added on to house recently. How did it go? I'd love to see where most of the changes took place."
Subject: Their hobbies.
Required Background Info: Find out what they are, or if they have any. Then do some research -- but not too much. You don't want to have more expertise than they do. Use it as an opportunity to ask questions and express interest in something they're passionate about.
Conversation Starter: "Mr. Miller, John tells me you have a thing for Nascar. Doesn't all of that speed make you anxious?" (Mr. Miller will probably chuckle and launch into a 20-minute explanation of the need for high speed.)
Subject: Their relationships.
Required Background Info: This one is tricky, but essential. If extended family is there, you need to know who is married to whom, and if any are separated or divorced. You don't want to ask Aunt Mary about Uncle Pat if he's off with his "other family" this Thanksgiving. But if there are decades-long marriages, use that time to ask for the secrets to a lasting relationship.
Conversation Starter: "Grandma Miller, what's the one piece of advice you can give to keep a relationship as strong as yours and Grandpa Miller's?"
Subject: The pets.
Required Background Info: If the silences are long and awkward, the family pet(s) are an easy (and safe) conversation topic. The research beforehand is pretty simple: Find out if his family members are cat or dog people (every family has a loyalty).
Conversation Starter: "Mittens is just the cutest. Have you always had cats? It took years of begging as a child before we got our family pet."
What American Oscar-winner's only official musical recordings were French singles?
A: Jodie Foster
According to Wikipedia, she made her debut (and only official) musical recordings in France in 1977: two 7" singles, "Je T'attends Depuis la Nuit des Temps" b/w "La Vie C'est Chouette" and "When I Looked at Your Face" backed with "La Vie C'est Chouette." The A-side of the former is sung in French, the A-side of the latter in English. The B-side of both is mostly spoken word and is performed in both French and English. These three recordings were included on the soundtrack to Foster's 1977 French film Moi, fleur bleue.
The family that pulled off the "balloon boy" hoax was in New York City earlier this week taking meetings and taping an interview with ABC, according to the website TVNewser. ABC producers took Richard and Mayumi Heene and their three young sons out Monday night (November 16th) for a sushi dinner at the mid-priced Ocean Grill restaurant, and then paid for an SUV to take them back to their hotel. The entertainment website TMZ.com caught up the family outside the restaurant, but they didn't say anything. Both Richard and Mayumi Heene entered guilty pleas in the balloon hoax, which was carried out in order to get attention because they wanted a reality show deal. The family had previously appeared on ABC's Wife Swap. They will be sentenced next month, with the possibility of up to 90 days for Richard and 60 days for Mayumi.
Taylor Swift has extended her writing talent to include greeting cards. She has partnered with American Greetings Corp. to produce not only cards, but gift packaging, stationery, online photo personalization products and online greetings. Products will available in the spring of next year.
Taylor said, "My idea of a great song is a song that says how I feel better than I could. I feel the same way about greeting cards. I've always been fascinated by feelings and how we express them to each other. Getting to write and design these cards is a wonderful experience."
The new Taylor Swift greeting card collection will be sold throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and US military bases worldwide, and online at Americangreetings.com and Photoworks.com.
Julianne Hough tops Maxim magazine's "Hottest Women Of Country Music" list. The Top Five is rounded out by Taylor Swift, Jessie James, Gloriana's Cheyenne Kimball and Shania Twain.
The complete list of the 18 "Hottest Women Of Country Music" also includes 6) Carrie Underwood, 7) Hillary Scott of Lady Antebellum, 8) Danielle Peck, 9) Sara Evans, 10) Sugarland's Jennifer Nettles, 11) Kellie Pickler, 12) Miranda Lambert, 13) Kristy Lee Cook, 14) Martina McBride, 15) Julie Roberts, 16) Gretchen Wilson, 17) Faith Hill, and 18) both Kimberly Schlapman and Karen Fairchild of Little Big Town.
Miranda Lambert's current Revolution CD presented a bit of a struggle for the singer. She had to find a balance between the rebelliousness that has defined her music for the past few years and allowing a softer side of herself to be revealed, which on occasion managed to surprise even her, Miranda tells us.I mean, I have a song on this album called 'Love Song.' That shocks the hell out of me my own self. I'm like, 'What the heck? Why am I writin' about love? What's wrong with me?' But I just think part of who I am is feisty and Texas and I am who I am, like it or not, I don't care, and part of who I am is when I love you I love you so much, and I have a really heart of gold once you get in there, and so that's where the balance comes."
Revolution is the closest fans will get to getting to know the real Miranda, according to the singer. "From a song like 'Only Prettier' to a song like 'Makin' Plans,' it's like they're both just elements of my personality, but I haven't really shown that much of my personality yet. I mean, as far as opening up on a record definitely this one's wide open."
Miranda's latest single, "White Liar," is climbing the country charts.
She hits the road with Brad Paisley as part of his American Saturday Night tour in January.
Kellie Pickler will head out on another USO tour sometime after the holidays this year. Kellie tells us she will have some fun company with her to help entertain the troops. "Jamey Johnson and Randy Houser and I are doin' a USO tour together, so we're very, very excited about that and I'm sure I'll have some very interesting stories to share when I get back (laughs). I'm sure there'll never be a dull moment with those two, so it'll be fun!"
Kellie can't give any details about when she's leaving, but says that even she doesn't know where she and her travel companions are headed. "We never find out like where we're gonna be goin' until we get on the plane and they hand us our tour book, and that'll tell us where we're gonna be. Now, this past Christmas, Kid Rock and Zac Brown Band and a few comedians, we went to Afghanistan. We went to Iraq, Germany, Kosovo, England and Afghanistan. We did nine shows in five days, I think. We worked real hard, but it was completely worth it. We had a blast!"
Kellie will re-join the 2010 leg of Taylor Swift's U.S. Fearless tour in March.
Wynonna Judd will join Santa Claus aboard the 67th annual Santa Train on Saturday (November 21st). She and her two children will make the trek from Shelby, Kentucky to Kingsport, Tennessee to deliver more than 15 tons of toys and gifts to thousands of people gathered at scheduled stops along the train's route.
Wynonna will kick off her third annual A Classic Christmas tour on November 28th in Hershey, Pennsylvania.
She will release her first novel, called Restless Heart, in April of 2010.
Darryl Worley hopes to get fans in the Christmas spirit with his rendition of "Jingle Bells," which he has recorded exclusively for Verizon Wireless. The full song, ringtone and ringback tone will be available for purchase throughout the holiday season to Verizon subscribers on VCAST Music (wzw.com/mp3).
Darryl will release a new single, called "Best of Both Worlds," in January.
It's the third single from his latest album, Sounds Like Life.
The album's title track was a recent Top 10 on the country charts.
For the fourth year in a row, Tracy Lawrence will host his Mission Possible Turkey Fry on Tuesday (November 24th) to benefit the Nashville Rescue Mission. Lorrie Morgan and Sarah Darling will be among the artists joining Tracy to fry up about 400 turkeys in the Mission's parking lot to help feed those who live there.
Tracy said, "This event is one of my favorites of the year. It's a true and heartfelt gesture by all; I'm in awe each year in the support from my friends and the community who come out to lend a hand, make a donation, and fry up some turkeys."
The Mission Possible Turkey Fry is open to the public, however donations are encouraged.
Since the event's inception, Tracy and his friends have donated more than 4,000 turkeys and raised more than $100,000 for the Mission.
Jerry Lee Lewis & his third wife, Myra, divorced in 1970.
Conway Twitty recorded "Hello, Darlin'" in 1969.
Barbara Mandrell hosted her first network TV special in 1980.
The Zac Brown Band's album, The Foundation, was released on 2008.
Kenny Chesney earned gold singles for "I Go Back" and "There Goes My Life" in 2005.
The Johnny Cash biopic, Walk The Line, opened in 2005. The film starred Joaquin Phoenix as Johnny, along with Reese Witherspoon as June Carter, Shelby Lynne as Cash's mother, and Shooter Jennings played his late father, Waylon Jennings.
Brad Paisley has his first date with actress Kimberly Williams in 2001.
Johnny Lee earned a gold single for "Lookin' For Love" in 1980.
WOMAN THAT TRIED TO EXTORT CINDY CRAWFORD TURNS SELF IN: The 26-year-old German model who allegedly tried to extort $100,000 from Cindy Crawford turned himself into police on Monday (November 16th). TMZ.com reports that Edis Kayalar has been charged with one count extortion. Kayalar reportedly threatened to release a photo of Crawford's eight-year-old daughter, Kaia, bound and gagged in a chair, and could face up to two years in prison if convicted.
ANTHONY MICHAEL HALL'S GIRLFRIEND GETS RETRAINING ORDER: Anthony Michael Hall's ex-girlfriend has obtained a temporary restraining order against the Breakfast Club star. The New York Post reports that Hall has been ordered to stay away from his Diana Falzone after he allegedly stalked her and attacked her in her New York apartment. The 41-year-old, who suffers from bipolar disorder, allegedly tried to kick down her door during an early-hours visit and bashed her head against the wall when she finally let him in. A spokesman for Hall said he was not aware of the temporary restraining order, but insisted, "All of the allegations are erroneous and will be addressed accordingly."
RYAN SEAREST GETS RESTRAINING ORDER AGAINST STALKER: A judge has granted a civil restraining order against a man accused of stalking Ryan Seacrest. The Associated Press reports that the order, which was issued on Tuesday (November 17th), requires Chidi Benjamin Uzomah Jr. to stay 100 yards away from Seacrest. Uzomah is currently in jail, where he was taken after his arrest last month outside of E! on felony stalking charges.
TILA TEUILA SUING EX-BOYFRIEND: Tila Tequila is suing her ex-boyfriend Shawne Merriman over allegations he attacked her in September. After a District Attorney ruled that there was insufficient evidence of her assault claims to prosecute the case, the reality star filed a lawsuit in civil court, accusing the NFL star of assault, battery, false imprisonment and emotional distress. Cops were called to Merriman's house after Tila dialed 911 and claimed she had been choked and prevented from leaving the property by the sports star.
MISCHA BARTON GETTING ANOTHER CHANCE ON TV? Mischa Barton's canceled CW show The Beautiful Life is reportedly getting a second breath of life. The New York Daily News reports that the network plans to air the remaining episodes of the drama next summer, but as of now, there is still no intention to resume filming. A spokesperson for the network noted that the supposed resurrection came from the show's Facebook page, which is not officially connected to the CW. Paul McGuire clarified, "The status of unaired episodes has yet to be determined."
NEW COMEDY TO STAR RYAN REYNOLDS AND ANNA FARIS: Ryan Reynolds and Anna Faris are teaming up for the upcoming comedy TMI. Variety reports that the movie will center on the premise that while honesty is the best policy for a relationship, "too much information" might not be the best thing.
MTV GETS RIGHTS TO 'THIS IS IT': MTV has secured the TV rights to the Michael Jackson movie, This Is It. Variety reports that the deal will make the film available to MTV and its sibling nets in 2011 for a six-year window.
BOB SAGET STARRING IN NEW SHOW: Bob Saget will star in a new reality series on A&E. The Hollywood Reporter announced that Bob Saget's Strange Days will feature the actor immersing himself in cultures such as the world of mail-order brides and joining a survivalist cult prepping for the end of the world to rushing at a fraternity.
FORMER BUSINESS MANAGER DETAILS ON NIC CAGE'S SPENDING
Samuel Levin, the man Nicolas Cage claims is responsible for his financial ruin, has countersued the actor, alleging that his money situation was out of control before Levin stepped into the picture. TMZ.com reports that in the countersuit, Levin says that by the time he was hired in 2001, "Coppola [Cage] had already squandered tens of millions of dollars . . . and owed millions of dollars in... income taxes, with no funds available to pay the tax debt."
Levin allegedly told Cage at the time that he needed an annual income of $30 million to maintain his lavish lifestyle, which included house, art, jewelry and car-buying sprees.
He added that the actor spent most of his free time "shopping for high-ticket purchases," including 15 homes, a Gulfstream jet, and a flotilla of yachts. Additionally, he claims Cage "also spent huge sums taking his sizable entourage on costly vacations and threw enormous, Gatsby-scale parties at his residences."
Levin also noted, "The pinnacle of [Cage's] spending spree came with his Quixotic acquisitions of Midford Castle in England and Schloss Neidstein Castle in Bavaria." Levin claims he warned Cage the castles were "decrepit" and needed huge amount of money just to make them habitable.
He pointed out that the actor owes him $128,872.98 in unpaid business management services.
Susan Boyle has revealed details of her difficult childhood. The singer, who shot to fame earlier this year on Britain's Got Talent, reportedly told the Daily Mirror that she was hit in school and bullied because of her learning disabilities.
Boyle, who was reportedly starved of oxygen at birth and has mild learning difficulties, is quoted as having said, "You're looking at someone who would get the belt every day. 'Will you shut up, Susan!? -- whack!"
She added, "I was often left behind at school because of one thing or another. I was a slow learner. I'm just, I'm a wee bit slower at picking things up than other people. So you get left behind in a system that just wants to rush on, you know?"
As for being picked on by other kids, she said, "There's nothing worse than another person having power over you by bullying you and you not knowing how to get rid of that thing."
PUBLICIST BREAKS OFF RYAN SEACREST-ROB PATTINSO INTERVIEW ON RED CARPET
A publicist broke up Ryan Seacrest's interview with Rob Pattinson at Monday (November 16th) night's New Moon premiere when he dared to ask about the actor's relationship with Kristen Stewart. At the conclusion of a hasty sit-down, Seacrest mused, "What's the deal with you and Kristen Stewart?" -- prompting his handler to rip Pattinson out of the interview.
In other news, reports are swirling that Pattinson might have been chosen as People magazine's Sexiest Man Alive for 2009. Several blogs, such as JustJared, Right TV and Celebuzz posted news of Pattinson's selection, but others claimed the news was a hoax, as was a doctored magazine cover proclaiming the news.
Meanwhile, Pattinson recently told Parade.com how his involvement in the Twilight saga has changed his perspective on relationships. The actor said, "Getting involved in Twilight has definitely changed my mind about how people are kind of fanatical about wanting to have the perfect relationship. I had no idea that people were so desperate and felt like it was so unobtainable. They want to put this idea of unconditional devotion just so high above everything else, which is why they can't get enough of this story."
He also commented on getting semi-nude in the film, telling the site, "I felt pretty goofy stepping out into the sunlight in front of 2,000 people in a town square, ripping my clothes off. I was essentially doing a striptease. But here's the irony, it was also one of the moments where I've really felt closest to people's emotional attachment to Edward. There were so many extras in that scene who were Twilight fans who had flown in just to be a part of it. It was a moment where I've felt the whole weight of anticipation, and I guess responsibility as well, of being Edward, for all the people who were kind of so obsessed with the stories. It was quite uplifting and it was also very nerve-wracking."
Julianne Hough will not return to Dancing With the Stars next season. Although she only mentioned a one-season absence when announcing her decision to take the current cycle off, Hough told Ryan Seacrest on Monday (November 16th) that she'd be out for season nine as well.
Hough, who will star in the upcoming Footloose remake and is currently shooting Burlesque opposite Christina Aguilera, told Seacrest, "I'm not [going back] next season. But I love that show."
As for the season after next, she said, "We're going to cross that bridge when we get to that."
Model Joanna Krupa was voted off Dancing With the Stars last night. Judge Len Goodman said Krupa and her partner Derek Hough were the "most consistent of all of our couples" throughout the season, regularly landing near the top of the leader board.
Finalist Mya, Kelly Osbourne and Donny Osmond will compete for the mirrorball trophy next week.
Last night's episode included performances by The Bee Gees, Alicia Keys and
Whitney Houston is scheduled to perform on next week's finale.
U.S. STRONGLY CRITICIZES NEW ISRAELI HOUSING IN EAST JERUSALEM: The White House strongly rebuked Israel yesterday (November 17th) as the country moved toward construction of 900 new housing units in a Jewish neighborhood in East Jerusalem. President Obama has demanded that Israel stop building new or expanding existing Jewish settlements in the West Bank, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has only gone so far as to offer restraint on building there. But Israel has long insisted that East Jerusalem -- which was captured from Jordan in the 1967 Mideast War and which the Palestinians want as a capital of their future state -- will never be surrendered. Israel claims the whole of the city as its capital. Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs said, "We are dismayed," and charged the Israelis are making it, quote, "more difficult for our efforts [toward peacemaking] to succeed." Israel said that the East Jerusalem neighborhood, called Gilo, is an integral part of the country, and that building there has continued for decades, so there's nothing new in the current planning.
OBAMA MEETS WITH CHINESE PREMIER WEN JIABAO:President Obama wrapped the China leg of his Asian trip Wednesday (November 18th) with talks with Premier Wen Jiabao and than a tourist visit to the Great Wall. The two were expected to touch on similar topics of contention, such as China's currency policy, as Obama discussed in his summit the day before with President Hu Jintao. Although Hu is China's top leader, Wen is more deeply involved in day-to-day economic affairs, and may have been more willing to negotiate on currency and China's own complaints about what it sees as U.S. trade protectionism. Obama flew to South Korea later in the day.
IRAN SENTENCES FIVE TO DEATH OVER POST-ELECTION UNREST: Iranian state television reported yesterday (November 17th) that five unidentified defendants have been sentenced to death in a mass trial of opposition figures accused of fomenting the unrest that followed the disputed June presidential election, saying the five were members of terrorist and armed opposition groups. Amnesty International identified one of them as Mohammad Reza Ali Zamani, who testified in August that he met with a U.S. intelligence agent in Iraq's self-governing Kurdish region and received money and a phone in return for information on the Iranian government and student movements. Rights groups and opposition figures in Iran have criticized the court proceedings, calling them a "show trial" and saying confessions are coerced.
WOMAN PLEADS GUILTY IN ELIZABETH SMART KIDNAPPING: The woman who aided in the kidnapping and captivity of then-14-year-old Elizabeth Smart in 2002 pleaded guilty yesterday (November 17th) to federal charges of kidnapping and unlawful transportation of a minor. Sixty-four-year-old Wanda Barzee also apologized to the now 22-year-old Smart, who wasn't in court, saying, I am so sorry, Elizabeth, for all the pain and suffering I have caused you and your family. It is my hope that you will be able to find it in your heart to forgive me." Barzee's plea came after 15 months of court-ordered treatments with anti-psychotic medications that had restored her competency to stand trial. After Smart was taken at knifepoint from the bedroom of her Salt Lake City home by Barzee's now-estranged husband, Brian David Mitchell, she was found nine months later walking on suburban street with the couple. Smart has testified that Mitchell took her as a polygamous wife within hours of her kidnapping and raped her, and continued to rape her every day of her captivity.
Under the plea deal, Barzee is expected to receive 15 years in prison, with credit for about six years already served, and will cooperate in state and federal cases against Mitchell.
ARMY SUICIDES ON TRACK TO SET RECORD HIGH: Suicides in the U.S. Army among active-duty soldiers has already matched last year's record of 140, and will almost certainly set a new high before the year is over, according to General Peter Chiarelli, Army vice chief of staff. Another 71 soldiers committed suicide this year after being taken off duty, nearly 25 percent more than the 2008 total. Chiarelli said at a briefing yesterday (November 17th), "This is horrible, and I do not want to downplay the significance of these numbers in any way." At the same time, Chiarelli cautioned against assuming links to combat stress or forces stretched thin by the prolonged wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, noting that about one-third of the soldiers who took their own lives had never been deployed overseas.
IRS SAYS OFFSHORE TAX AMNESTY IS BIG SUCCESS: The Internal Revenue Service said Tuesday (November 17th) that its recent amnesty program, which offered reduced penalties for wealthy Americans who voluntarily disclosed previously undeclared foreign bank accounts and assets, was a big success, with unprecedented participation. IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman said some 14,700 people came forward under the program that ended in October, which will bring billions of dollars into the U.S. treasury. Although the amnesty has ended, Shulman encouraged Americans with hidden offshore assets to continue to come forward and talk with the IRS, saying, "It will be much worse for them if we find them first."
10-YEAR-OLD ARKANSAS GIRL TASERED: A police officer in Ozark, Arkansas, used a Taser stun gun last week on a 10-year-old girl who was being combative as he tried to get her into a patrol car to be taken to a youth shelter. Officer Dustin Bradshaw had gone to the home after the girl's mother called police. According to Bradshaw's report, he found her on the floor screaming and crying and refusing to follow her mother's instructions, and the mother told him to Taser the girl. Bradshaw said he carried the girl to the living room and told her she was going to jail, meanwhile she was violently kicking, hitting him in the groin. He then gave her what he described as a, quote, "very, very brief" stun with the Taser, handcuffed her, put her in the patrol car, and took her to the youth shelter.
AFGHANISTAN RANKED AS SECOND MOST-CORRUPT COUNTRY: An annual ranking lists Afghanistan as the world's second most-corrupt country, a decline of three places since last year, leaving it behind only lawless Somalia. The ranking from Transparency International's Corruption Perceptions index comes as Afghan President Hamid Karzai has been unable or unwilling to take on cronyism and bribery, and after the U.S. has given $39 billion in humanitarian and reconstruction aid to the country since 2001. Singapore, Denmark and New Zealand were seen as the least corrupt countries, while Bangladesh, Belarus, Guatemala, Lithuania, Poland and Syria were among the countries that improved the most. The U.S. fell one spot to 19th from 18th last year.
SANTAS WANT THE SWINE FLU VACCINE: Many of the Santas readying to spread out to malls and stores across the country ahead of Christmas want to be given priority for the H1N1 swine flu vaccine, since they deal with sick and sniffly kids all the time. Ernest Berger, president of the group Santa America, asked GOP Rep. Jo Bonner of Alabama last week to designate Santas a priority group for the vaccine, like health care workers or infant caregivers. Bonner's office said staff members were looking into the idea. Another organization, the Amalgamated Order of Real Bearded Santas, featured a seminar on swine flu at a recent conference, and urged members to use hand sanitizer and take vitamins to boost their immune system.
BILLS COACH JAURON FIRED, FEWELL CHOSE TO REPLACE HIM: Buffalo Bills head coach Dick Jauron was abruptly fired yesterday (November 17th), and defensive coordinator Perry Fewell was named as his interim replacement. The move came two days after the Bills lost 41-17 to the Tennessee Titans, sending their record to a dismal 3-6 with seven games left in the regular season. Hall of Fame Bills owner Ralph Wilson described the decision as a difficult one, but one, quote, "for the best interest of our team."
GREINKE WINS AL CY YOUNG AWARD: Kansas City Royals ace Zack Greinke won the American League Cy Young Award yesterday (November 17th), beating out Felix Hernandez of the Seattle Mariners. The achievement was a big turnaround for the 26-year-old right-hander, who led the AL in losses in 2005 and quit baseball for a time in 2006 after being diagnosed with a social anxiety disorder. But this season, he went 16-8 with a major league-low 2.16 ERA, and got 25 of 28 first-place votes and three seconds for 134 points in balloting by the Baseball Writers' Association of America. Hernandez, who was 19-5 with a 2.49 ERA, got two first-place votes, 23 seconds, and one third for 80 points. The Detroit Tigers' Justin Verlander came in fourth.
The good news for Greinke came just days before his marriage Saturday (November 21st) to high school girlfriend Emily Kuchar, a former Dallas Cowboys cheerleader.
The National League winner will be announced Thursday (November 19th).
BRENDAN SHANAHAN RETIRING FROM NHL:Brendan Shanahan announced yesterday (November 17th) that he's retiring from the NHL after 21 seasons. The 40-year-old forward, who's an almost certain future Hall of Famer, hasn't played this season after leaving the New Jersey Devils in October, just before the season began, after he was told there wasn't a spot for him on the team's top three lines. Shanahan has 656 career goals, putting him at 11th on the all-time list. In addition to the Devils, the eight-time All-Star also played for St. Louis, Hartford, the New York Rangers, and Detroit, with whom he won three Stanley Cup titles.
(Headline News, FYI and Sports stories were compiled in part from reports by the Associated Press and Reuters.)
MERCY - Veronica learns she might be pregnant; Dr. Harris wages war against the hospital; Chloe uncovers a nasty secret about her boyfriend.
LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT - DNA evidence points to Benson as the prime suspect when the sexually mutilated body of a member of a bike gang is found in the park; Stabler fights to prove her innocence.
THE JAY LENO SHOW - Larry the Cable Guy, Mikey Day
THE MIDDLE - An accident leads to a visit from a social worker; Bob tries to help Mr. Ehlert shoot a commercial.
MODERN FAMILY - Claire wants to surprise Phil with a private performance by one of their favorite musicians (Edward Norton); Cameron and Mitchell invite their friend Sal (Elizabeth Banks) out for a night on the town.
COUGAR TOWN - Jules convinces Ellie and Laurie to go away with her for a wild weekend; Jules runs into her nemesis.
IN THE SPOTLIGHT WITH ROBIN ROBERTS: JANET JACKSON - The singer, who was known to be close to Michael, allows cameras into her home for the first time.
AMERICA'S NEXT TOP MODEL - (season finale) The two remaining models try to impress the judges with their final commercial and runway show; the winner is chosen.
AMERICA'S NEXT TOP MODEL - Never before seen moments from cycle 13.
SOUTH PARK - Things turn deadly when the boys spend a fun filled day at the water park.
NIP/TUCK - Julia's mother (Vanessa Redgrave) threatens to take custody of Annie and Connor; Mike reveals his future plans with Kimber; Christian bonds with a new patient.
REAL WORLD/ROAD RULES CHALLENGE - Tensions flare between KellyAnne and Dunbar; Brad makes a decision that shakes up the competition.
DAY TIME TALK SHOW
THE ELLEN DEGENERES SHOW - Carrie Underwood, Kellan Lutz THE OPRAH WINFREY SHOW - Daniel Day-Lewis, Nicole Kidman, Penelope Cruz: The Cast of 'Nine' THE VIEW - Jaclyn Smith, Sofia Vergara
LATE NIGHT TALK SHOWS
THE LATE SHOW WITH DAVID LETTERMAN (CBS) - Stupid human tricks, Robert Pattinson, Ray Davies THE JAY LENO SHOW (NBC) - Larry the Cable Guy, Mikey Day THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH CONAN O'BRIEN (NBC) - Seth Green, Heidi Montag & Spencer Pratt, the Brian Setzer Orchestra JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE (ABC) - 50 Cent, Marv Albert THE LATE LATE SHOW WITH CRAIG FERGUSON (CBS) - David Duchovny, Lewis Black LATE NIGHT WITH JIMMY FALLON (NBC) - Kristen Stewart, Jamie Kennedy, the Avett Brothers LAST CALL WITH CARSON DALY (NBC) - David Plouffe, Jeret 'Speedy' Peterson, Metric THE DAILY SHOW WITH JON STEWART (COMEDY CENTRAL) - Lou Dobbs THE COLBERT REPORT (COMEDY CENTRAL) - Norah Jones LOPEZTONIGHT - Oscar de la Hoya, Bill Engvall, Amerie
HOTEL GIVES CUSTOMERS THE HAMSTER EXPERIENCE: A French hotel is offering its customers a unique stay in a room that resembles a hamster cage. Visitors can eat hamster grain, job on a giant hamster wheel, and sleep in a hay stack. Let's just hope customers will still use the bathroom. (Telegraph.co.uk)
ROBBER FEEDS CRYING BABY: The Indianapolis police department is still searching for two people they said robbed a house Friday morning. According to the cops, it appears the robbers took time out of robbing the house to warm up a bottle of milk for a crying baby. The two men said they needed jumper cables for their car, but forced their way inside and tied up the family. When the baby started to cry, the family asked the robbers if they could feed the baby, which they agreed to do. The crime occured in broad daylight on a busy street. (WISHTV.com)
WOMAN DIVORCES HUSBAND OVER SOAP OPERAS: An Indian woman has divorced her husband, because she said he would not allow her to watch soap operas. A local newspaper said the dispute lead to daily arguments over four years related to the popular shows. (AFP)
GERMAN ORCHESTRA TO PLAY IN BROTHELS: Seven musicians from Berlin, Germany's Forum for Contemporary Music will perform for employees of a brothel to promote an upcoming festival devoted to "erotic music culture." The orchestra will perform what they describe as "erotic" works in an effort to bring classical music "out of the concert hall and to where people are." (AFP)
MEN ARE QUICKER TO SAY 'I LOVE YOU': Men in relationships tend to beat their girlfriends to saying, "I love you." Contradicting the stereotype that guys keep their feelings close to the vest, a survey of 2,000 men and women reported on by Asylum.com found that it takes the average man seven months before he tells a new partner that he loves her, whereas woman take almost eight months to make the proclamation. These results don't surprise clinical psychologist Oliver Jones, who believes that fellas are more likely to be "swept away" by a budding relationship. He says this is "because women mature sooner than men and develop to be more hard-nosed, realistic and in touch with their emotions."
EMAIL ON ITS WAY OUT? The Daily Mail reports that email could disappear within a decade as millions of teenagers ditch it as their main form of communication in favor of social networking sites. Although inboxes are still filling up daily all over the world, experts believe emails are dying out because they are too slow, too inconvenient and simply not fashionable any more. Experts claim people prefer the 'one and done' style of message, which is where a short message like those on Twitter, can be sent to all contacts at the same time. The study by the social anthropologist from the University of Kent, for broadband provider TalkTalk found only 51 percent of British people in their teens or early twenties say email is their first choice of communication.
WOMEN MORE LIKELY TO STAY WITH A SICK PARTNER: A new study has found that men are six times more likely to leave a sick partner than women. Co-author Dr. Marc Chamberlain released the results of his study, "Gender Disparity in the Rate of Partner Abandonment in Patients with Serious Medical Illness," this month and says that while divorce within the confines of serious illness, such as cancer or MS, the rates of break ups along the gender divide are staggering. Chamberlain says that rate of divorce when the man was the patient was around 2.9 percent, while the number jumped to 20.8 percent when the woman was ill.
Putting your ex on a pedestal. In reality, Roger was mediocre in bed, wore too much cologne, and hogged the remote. But now that he's no longer in your life, Mr. Ho Hum has become Mr. The One Who Got Away, the guy that no lackluster blind date can hold a candle to.
Playing the coulda-woulda-shoulda game with your ex even though you have a new guy. The good news: There's a new man in your life. The bad news: Rather than enjoying your new relationship, you're using it as an excuse to make your ex feel jealous. Maybe you want him back, maybe you just like the idea of two guys fighting over you, or maybe you just like undermining your love life.
Obsessing over his ex. It's common to feel threatened by your new man's past loves, but making them an issue -- provided they're not calling him at all hours of the night, posting boudoir pics on his Facebook wall, or jabbing needles into a makeshift voodoo doll that bears a striking resemblance to you -- will only make you the issue.
Worming your way into your ex's relationship. Not all couples have messy breakups. Some become friends, go to one another's weddings, and do a great job of pretending that they've never seen each other naked. But if your ex/friend has moved on, you need to respect that.
Cyberstalking him. Just because you know your ex's email password doesn't mean you should use it; does the phrase "invasion of privacy" mean anything to you? Snooping through his inbox, Googling him constantly, or going through his Facebook page with a fine-toothed comb will only result in seeing things that will hurt you. Screw that. De-friend him until you've had a cooling off period, and find a positive activity to distract you whenever you get the urge to play detective -- yoga, a phone call to a pal, "Golden Girls" reruns ...
Convincing yourself that you're "just friends." You are not "just friends" if the following conditions apply: you think about him 24/7; he still gets under your skin; your friends would be on the phone to Dr. Phil if they knew you still saw him, which is why you don't tell them; you use him for your flirting fix; you diss his new girlfriend; you use his friends as informants; you want to get back together; you haven't found a new relationship yet; you wouldn't dream of introducing him to your new guy; or -- oopsie -- you're still sleeping together.
Lady Antebellum earns their second Number One hit this week with "Need You Now." The song is the debut release and title track from their upcoming sophomore CD, due out on January 26th.
Their last single, "I Run To You," topped the charts back in July.
The tune was named Single of the Year at last week's CMA Awards. Lady Antebellum also was named the CMA's Vocal Group of the Year.
Hillary Scott said, "We have been on clouds 9, 10, 11 and 12 all week. As songwriters, we really couldn't be more proud...we are just putting our stories and emotions in these songs and to know that other people have these same feelings is so amazing and wonderful and validating...not just on an artistic level, but also on a human level...We feel so much love from the country music community and other artists and country radio and the fans. I get emotional even talking about it now."
"Need You Now" is in its sixth week at Number One on the Billboard Canada Country chart.
Lady Antebellum will join Tim McGraw on his Southern Voice beginning early next year.
Carrie Underwood will join a star-studded group of celebrities as part of the third annual CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute. Carrie and Leona Lewis will perform at the event, which honors everyday citizens who are making a difference in their communities and beyond. The show, which will be hosted by CNN anchor Anderson Cooper, will air from the Kodak Theater in Hollywood on Thanksgiving day (Thursday, November 26th) at 9 p.m. ET on CNN/U.S., CNN International and CNN en Espanol.
Nicole Kidman, Kate Hudson, Neil Patrick Harris, Pierce Brosnan, Dwayne Johnson, Eva Mendes, Randy Jackson and Julia Louis-Dreyfus are also scheduled to appear on CNN Heroes.
Despite a recent report that Carrie is planning to move in with her hockey player boyfriend, Mike Fisher, the superstar says it's absolutely not true. She took to her official website to clear up the rumor, posting "I read something recently that a certain someone and I were moving in together. This is beyond not true...just another example of people making stuff up out of thin air! Neither one of us would ever do that. I would never live with my boyfriend...not my style."
The cover of InStyle magazine's December issue features Taylor Swift in 3-D. But this only works if you follow a few steps: first, log onto InStyle.com/Taylor, and then hold the magazine up to your webcam and watch Taylor come to life. Within seconds, a red bow flies off the page and unravels while snow falls in 3-D as Taylor welcomes viewers with a holiday greeting and an inside look at her InStyle photo shoot.
Inside the issue, Swift covers such topics as her relationships, including with Taylor Lautner, her co-star in the upcoming romantic comedy Valentine's Day, and moving out of her parents' house.
On the "other" Taylor, she said, "He and I have gotten really close. It would be confusing on the set with two Taylors in the same scene. They were like, 'Taylor, on your mark --no, not you, the other one!' So halfway through the shoot, I said, 'How about you guys call me Swifty and call him Taylor?'"
She also talks about being comfortable in her own skin. "I don't ever feel misunderstood. And I don't feel as if I need to make some giant statement and start wearing a completely different new wardrobe for the next project or start speaking in a different way or writing songs in a different way. When you start overthinking that stuff with your career, you stop being who you are and start being who you think you should be. And when you get into that space, that's very dangerous territory. So I'm just going to continue to be who I am."
The December issue of InSyle hits newsstands on Friday (November 20th).
Got a headache? Trace Adkins can help. He is the new celebrity spokesperson for BC Headache Powder for the next two years. Trace is one of only two country stars to ever represent the company in its 100-year history. The first was Faron Young in the mid-1970s.
Trace will be featured in ads as well as on in-store retail merchandise. His 2010 tour will also be sponsored by BC, as are his 38 stops on the current Shine All Night tour with Martina McBride.
Trace said, "I'm very particular about attaching my name to products or causes, unless it's something I use or believe in. My relationship with BC Headache Powder is personal and runs deep. I still remember when my grandfather gave me my first BC. I even remember the product advertising jingle from the 70's. I am proud to be representing BC, especially on tour in front of thousands of fans."
Trace has a hit on his hands with his latest single, "All I Ask For Anymore." The song is a Top 15 and climbing.
Sugarland recently released their very first Christmas album, called Gold And Green. Kristian Bush and Jennifer Nettles recorded 10 songs in all, five of which they wrote specifically for the project. The other five are holiday standards.
Kristian and Jennifer tell us they approached this CD with a very clear idea of how this album would be incorporated into the lives of their fans. "Christmas records are soundtracks. They're not things you sit down and go, 'Everybody be quiet. We're gonna listen to our Christmas record now.' No, it happens behind you while you're. . . (Jennifer Nettles) Opening presents. (Kristian) Opening presents or while you're cooking . . . (Jennifer) Having a party . . . (Kristian) It's the soundtrack to your holiday, and we were conscious of that when we were makin' it."
The duo are in the process of recording a new album, the followup to their 2008 Love On The Inside CD.
Craig Morgan is writing and listening to music for his next album. It's the same thing he was doing months ago when he happened to pen his latest hit single, "Bonfire." In an unusual turn of events, the label liked the song so much that instead of holding it for the next project they added it on to Craig's That's Why CD, which had already been in stores since last year.
So going through this process now is a little like deja vu, as Craig tells us:"It makes me nervous because that's where I was at when 'Bonfire' happened. I mean, I was writing and listening to songs for the next record, so now that this has happened I'm a little confused, cause this ain't the way it's supposed to work in our business. You're not supposed to finish a record and write songs and then go back and put 'em back on the record again."
Craig says his iPhone has become a precious tool in helping him decide which songs will make the cut and which ones won't. "On my iPhone, my little iPod section, what does it say? Playlists? Artist songs or whatever? I have a 'Next Record' playlist, so if I hear something or I write something, I do a demo of it, and I think, 'God, this is so cool! I've gotta have this for the next record,' I throw 'em in that file, and then I might be drivin' down the road or on the bus or something and I wanna hear something different or new stuff and I'll play that 'Next Record' playlist and, heck, sometimes songs hang in there. Sometimes they don't."
Craig will play in Charlotte, North Carolina on Thursday (November 19th).
"Bonfire" is a Top 10 hit and climbing on the country charts.
Who knew that Brad Paisley and Martina McBride were REO Speedwagon fans?! Both singers made a surprise appearance at the rock band's concert at Nashville's Sommet Center on Sunday night (November 15th). According to reports, Brad and Martina joined the band on their hit "Roll With the Changes."
Brad has wrapped his American Saturday Night tour for the year, but Martina is in the midst of the Shine All Night tour with co-headliner Trace Adkins. Their next show is on Saturday (November 21st) in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Brad just launched a new record label called Sea Gayle Records. His partners in the deal are also his partners in Sea Gayle Music Publishing, both of which are based in Nashville. Sea Gayle Records is a joint venture with Sony Music/Nashville. The label's first artist, Jerrod Niemann, will be on Sea Gayle/Columbia.
Bucky Covington will release a five-song digital EP recorded at his recent hometown concert in Rockingham, North Carolina. The project, called Live From Rockingham, will be available for download beginning today (Tuesday, November 17th). Songs featured on the live release include Bucky's Top 10 hits "A Different World," "It's Good To Be Us" and "I'll Walk" plus his brand new single, "Gotta Be Somebody," and a special preview of "Mexicoma" from his upcoming sophomore album. Bonus items include the video for "Gotta Be Somebody." The clip debuted at Number One on the fan-voted CMT Pure 12-Pack Countdown last week.
"Gotta Be Somebody" is the re-make of Nickelback's former Number One hit, which was co-written by band members Chad Kroeger and Ryan Peake.
Bucky's new album, I'm Alright, is scheduled for release in the spring.
Bucky's self-titled debut CD bowed at Number One on Billboard's Top Country Albums chart in April 2007.
He was a finalist on the fifth season of American Idol, along with fellow country star Kellie Pickler.
KEN OBER DIES: Former MTV host Ken Ober has passed away at the age of 52. A representative for the comedian, who was best known for hosting MTV's Remote Control beginning in the late 1980's, confirmed his death, but offered no other details. After Remote Control, Ober went on to host other game shows, like Smush" and "Make Me Laugh. In the years since, Ober worked as a supervising producer on Tough Crowd With Colin Quinn, a consulting producer on The New Adventures of Old Christine and a writer and producer on Mind of Mencia.
KATE HUDSON DENIES ALEX RODRIGUEZ CENTAUR RUMORS: Kate Hudson has laughed off reports that boyfriend Alex Rodriguez has a picture of himself as a centaur -- half-man, half-horse -- hanging inside his bedroom. When confronted with such an image, Hudson balked to MTV News, "What is that? That's horrible." When asked to comment on the story -- told to Usmagazine.com by a former Rodriguez flame -- Hudson said, "That is the craziest thing anyone has ever asked me. I don't indulge in those types of stories. As humorous as you might think they are."
ADRIANA LIMA GIVES BIRTH: Adriana Lima gave birth to a daughter on Sunday (November 15th) in New York City. A rep for the Victoria's Secret model told People magazine, "Adriana and Marko are thrilled to announce they had a baby girl, Valentina Lima Jaric. Mother, father and baby are all doing well." Lima wed NBA player Marko Jaric on Valentine's Day this year.
BURGLAR BUNCH SUSPECT PLEADS NOT GUILTY: Alexis Neiers, one of the suspects in the allegedly celebrity bling ring that targeted Hollywood homes belonging to Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, Audrina Patridge, Ashley Tisdale and Rachel Bilson pleaded not guilty Monday (November 16th) to felony burglary. The aspiring reality star, who is free on $50,000 bail, told reporters outside the courthouse, "This is a very difficult time for my family and myself right now. I just want to say thank you for respecting my privacy, and I'm really looking forward to my day in court and to getting this all cleared up." She is due back in court for a preliminary hearing on November 30th.
EDWARD WOODWARD DIES: British actor Edward Woodward passed away in England on Monday (November 16th). The 79-year-old's agent announced that the actor, best known for roles including the TV series The Equalizer and the film The Wicker Man, died in a Cornwall hospital after suffering from illnesses including pneumonia.
TRIAL OVER SARAH JESSICA PARKER'S SURROGATE BREAK-IN BEGINS: The trial of an Ohio police chief accused of breaking into the home of the surrogate mother for Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick's twins has begun. Barry P. Carpenter, along with Chad M. Dojack, was arrested after meeting with a a photographer last May and offering to sell items such as a poem, photos, legal documents about the surrogacy agreement, pictures of ultrasounds, and a cell-phone picture of a belly cast. The photographer reportedly alerted the surrogacy agency, which reported the thefts to police. Dojack's trial is set for January.
PENNY MARSHALL IS 'FINE': Penny Marshall says she is "fine" despite reports that she's suffering from brain cancer and liver tumors. When asked about the National Enquirer's claims that she had brain surgery last month, she told Extra, "I know . . . there's all that (bleep). I'm walking and talking and I'm fine." She added, "Thank you for your concern, but I'm fine. They get it a little cockeyed sometimes."
JOHN STAMOS GETS STAR ON WALK OF FAME: John Stamos received the 2,393rd star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Monday (November 16th). Television producer and movie director Garry Marshall and Stamos' "Full House" co-star Bob Saget joined the actor for the ceremony.
FX GETS RIGHTS TO '2012': FX has snagged the TV rights to the new hit disaster movie 2012. The Hollywood Reporter announced that the network wasted no time in securing the film after its $225 million opening weekend worldwide and will begin airing it in -- 2012.
FLAVOR FLAV DIRECTING DORITOS COMMERCIAL? Flavor Flav is reportedly experimenting with a directing career. The New York Post reports that the former VH1 reality star entered Doritos' annual "Crash the Super Bowl" ad contest, in which users are asked to submit their own ads to compete for a $1 million prize. A source at the company told the paper, "He did this totally randomly and unprovoked. And it's actually pretty damn good."
HAYDEN PANETTIERE PRODUCING NEW SERIES: Hayden Panettiere will reportedly produce a new CW series called HMS, which will follow a class of intelligent Harvard Medical School students. The Hollywood Reporter revealed that the drama will appeal to a younger audience than Grey's Anatomy, but have a similar feel to the ABC show.
VICTORIA BECKHAM REPORTEDLY GETS ANIMATION JOB: Victoria Beckham will reportedly be voicing a character in the upcoming Madagascar sequel. PerezHilton.com reports that there's no word on what character Beckham would be lending her voice to, but the celebrity has voice work experience, having played "Queen Amphitrite" in a yet-to-be aired episode of Nickelodeon's Spongebob Squarepants. Ben Stiller and David Schwimmer have provided two of the prominent voices in the first two Madagascar installments. The third is due out in 2012.
LAWSUIT AGAINST ELISABETH HASSELBECK DISMISSED: A federal judge in Massachusetts has dismissed a lawsuit accusing The View co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck of plagiarism. Although Cape Cod author Susan Hassett claimed Hasselbeck lifted content from her book on the digestive disorder celiac disease, a judge dismissed the lawsuit last week after Hassett's attorney declined to pursue it.
DAVID LETTERMAN DENIES REPORTS THAT WIFE KICKED HIM OUT
David Letterman's rep has denied reports that the talk show host's wife kicked him out of the couple's home in the wake of his sex scandal. After the National Enquirer reported that 49-year-old Regina Lasko booted Letterman from the family's Westchester mansion, his rep told the New York Daily News, "The National Enquirer has it wrong."
The tabloid claimed that Letterman had moved into his luxury loft in lower Manhattan full-time after angering Lasko with the complete truth about his affairs.
Letterman's mother, Dorothy Mengering, even commented on the supposed move, telling the Daily News, "I don't know anything about that."
NICOLE KIDMAN CREDITS BREAST FEEDING FOR LANDING NINE ROLE
Nicole Kidman credits her baby-boosted bust with landing her a role in the upcoming musical, Nine. The actress said that she was cast in the film shortly after giving birth to daughter Sunday Rose, telling Entertainment Tonight Canada, "[I had] big boobs because I was breast feeding -- I was perfect for it. I wouldn't get cast now."
She elaborated on her post-baby chest, telling Ladies' Home Journal, "They're not very big, my boobs, so they just became normal size. I loved it! I felt very Woman. When you've had a slightly androgynous body your whole life, having breasts is a nice feeling."
Nine, which comes out next month, co-stars Daniel Day-Lewis, Penelope Cruz and Fergie.
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are entering the jewelry design business. Women's Wear Daily reports that the couple have been working on a limited edition collection of snake-inspired gold jewelry and silver accessories called The Protector for more than a year, which will go on sale this week at Asprey stores in London, New York, Beverly Hills, Tokyo and Dubai.
Usmagazine.com reports that prices start at $525 for a silver baby spoon with a "curving, serpent-shaped handle." Other items in the collection include silver baby gifts such as the spoon, an eggcup, tooth box and picture frame, as well as pendants and rings made from gold and micropave diamonds, all featuring curving snakes.
According to WWD.com, the snake theme stems from a snake ring Jolie was given while pregnant with daughter Shiloh. She's reportedly since considered the reptile to be a protector of her family.
Proceeds from the collection will go to Education Partnership for Children of Conflict, which Jolie co-founded in 2006 and raises awareness and funds to educate child victims of war, conflict and natural disasters.
The city of Los Angeles is determined to recoup the $3 million in police and security services it spent on Michael Jackson's public memorial, despite the fact that an audit concluded that the event pumped even more dollars into the local economy.
Jackson's July 7th memorial at Staples Center was a $4 million bonanza for local hotels, restaurants and other businesses, according to the report released Friday by the city's chief legislative analyst and city administrative officer. The City Council's Public Safety Committee is also expected to review the report next week.
But L.A. City Attorney Carmen Trutanich is leading the crusade, and looking to event promoter AEG to cough up some of the money. AEG feels the city is trying to bully the company into paying.
"The bottom line is the city attorney's very committed to recouping the taxpayer's dollars," city attorney spokesman John Franklin said. "During these tough economic times right now, that's big money. We're laying off, people are getting furloughed. ... It's still money that we put out for a memorial service for Michael Jackson."
Heidi and Spencer Pratt are looking to branch out beyond The Hills and star in their own reality show. The couple, who rose to fame on the MTV reality hit, told the Associated Press that they've begun shopping the idea for a new show to several networks.
They explained that The Hills only focuses on a small part of their lives, and their own show would reveal everything that happens to them and could even include live segments. The couple ideally would appear on both programs simultaneously.
In other news, the reality couple's hyped interview with Al Roker was scrapped on Monday (November 16th). The pair were expected on the Today show to promote their new book, How to Be Famous: Our Guide to Looking the Part, Playing the Press, and Becoming a Tabloid Fixture, but a rep announced that "Due to a change in the show's schedule," the sit-down was canceled.
When the couple appeared on the show this past June, Montag said Roker made her cry with his harsh line of questioning about their attention-grabbing behavior.
EVA LONGORIA PARKER NAMED PHILANTHROPIST OF THE YEAR
Eva Longoria Parker has been named The Hollywood Reporter's Philanthropist of the Year. The publication highlighted the Desperate Housewives actress for her "relentless dedication to giving back to her community and serving others as well as for her long-standing commitment to Latino causes."
Publisher Eric Mika said, "I've never met a more conscientious and socially aware young, energetic talent. Eva's efforts on behalf of the causes near and dear to her are Herculean. She pours her free time and energy into raising millions of dollars for charitable missions that make a difference in the Latino community and other humanitarian organizations."
The actress currently serves as the national spokesperson for Padres Contra El Cancer (Parents Against Cancer), a nonprofit committed to improving the lives of Latino children with cancer and their families and has founded Eva's Heroes, a nonprofit in her hometown of San Antonio, in 2006.
She also serves as executive producer, in collaboration with nonprofit producer Shine Global, on "The Harvest," a documentary focusing on the plight of the 500,000 child farm workers in America, most of whom are Latino.
OBAMA, HU EMPHASIZE COOPERATION AFTER BEIJING MEETING:President Obama and Chinese President Hu Jintao on Tuesday (November 17th) emphasized cooperation on the economy, climate change and energy, as well as, to an extent, the nuclear threats presented by Iran and North Korea, after a two-and-a-half-hour meeting in Beijing. At the same time, differences remain, with Hu calling for a strong stand against protectionism, speaking about recent U.S. levies on imports of Chinese tires and steel, and Obama reiterating that that human rights are universal and need to be respected by all countries. The U.S. also has concerns about China's currency, which it believes is undervalued and has contributed to the huge trade gap with that country. Obama's visit to China as part of his Asian tour comes as the communist nation is growing more important on the world stage, and Obama spoke about cooperation between the two nations, saying, "I do not believe that one country's success must come at the expense of another."
IAEA SAYS IRAN NUKE SITE CONSTRUCTION IS ADVANCED: The International Atomic Energy Agency said in a report yesterday (November 16th) that construction of an until recently secret uranium enrichment site in Iran is at an advanced stage, ahead of a planned 2011 start-up. The revelation of the highly-fortified, underground plant has led to concerns about other possible undeclared Iranian nuclear facilities that are not subject to IAEA oversight. Although the report didn't give an estimate of the facility's capabilities, AP cited a senior international official as saying it appeared designed to produce about a ton of enriched uranium a year. According to the official, as well as analysts, that would be enough for a nuclear warhead, but too little for Iran's civilian reactors, which aren't yet online. Iran insists its nuclear program is meant only to produce energy.
PANEL ADVISES NOT STARTING MAMMOGRAMS UNTIL 50: In new guidelines that are sure to stir strong debate as well as confusion, a government panel said Monday (November 16th) that most women don't need to get a mammogram until they are 50, and then should get one only every two years. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force said getting screened so early and often leads to too many false alarms and unneeded biopsies, without improving women's odds of survival. That's a major reversal from two-decade-old guidelines from the American Cancer Society that women begin getting annual mammograms at age 40, and the new advice was challenged by the Cancer Society. In addition, the panel said breast self-exams don't do any good, and women's should no longer be taught how to do them. On that advice there may be more agreement, as the Cancer Society and other medical groups have been backing away from promoting breast self-exams in recent years because of little evidence of their effectiveness.
AMOUNT OF HUNGER UP IN AMERICA: Data out yesterday (November 16th) from the Agriculture Department found that 14.6 percent of U.S. households -- the equivalent of about 49 million people -- suffered from food insecurity in 2008, meaning they don't have enough food for an active, healthy lifestyle. That's up significantly from 11.1 percent in 2007, and it's likely the numbers will be even higher for 2009 amid the continuing economic slowdown. It's also the highest rate since food insecurity began being tracked in 1995. Included in those figures were 16.7 million children who didn't have enough food, up 4.3 million over 2007. President Obama noted that other indicators of hunger have gone up, including food stamp applications and the use of food banks, and said his administration is committed to reversing the trend.
SHUTTLE ATLANTIS BLASTS OFF, LAUNCH TWITTERED: The space shuttle Atlantis blasted off Monday (November 16th) from Cape Canaveral in Florida, launching six astronauts and a full load of spare parts for the International Space Station. NASA wants to get as many of the parts up to the station as possible before the three remaining shuttles are retired next fall. The equipment will be needed for NASA's plans to keep the space station in orbit until 2015, or possibly 2020. On hand in front-row seats for the launch were 100 NASA fan contest winners who wrote continuous commentary about it on Twitter. This shuttle flight is the last of the year, and leaves only five more flights to go before the shuttles are retired.
CHICAGO BOARD OF ED PRESIDENT DEAD IN SUICIDE:Michael Scott, the president of the Chicago Board of Education, was found dead yesterday (November 16th) with a bullet wound to the head in what the medical examiner's office has ruled a suicide. The 60-year-old Scott's body and a handgun were found on a Chicago River embankment at about 3:15 a.m. after his car was spotted nearby. His family had reported him missing overnight. Scott revealed in August that he'd been subpoenaed by a grand jury investigating allegations of politically-influenced admissions to the city's selective-enrollment high schools, but no immediate connection was made between the case and his death. U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, who was CEO of Chicago Public Schools before joining the Obama administration, said the city, quote, "has lost a great leader."
NEW OXFORD AMERICAN DICTIONARY NAMES 'UNFRIEND' WORD OF THE YEAR: The New Oxford American Dictionary revealed yesterday (November 16th) that it had chosen "unfriend," a verb meaning to remove someone as a "friend" on a social networking site like Facebook, as its 2009 Word of the Year. The dictionary chooses a top word each year to reflect the ethos of the year and its lasting potential as a word of cultural significance and use. Some of the finalists that weren't chosen were:
hashtag -- a hash [#] sign, also known as a number sign, added to a word or phrase that allows Twitter users to search for tweets that contain similarly tagged items
intexicated -- distracted because of texting while driving
zombie bank -- a financial institution whose liabilities are greater than its assets, but that continues to operate because of government support
birther -- conspiracy theorist who questions whether President Obama was born in the U.S.
teabagger -- person who protests President Obama's economic policies, often through local demonstrations known as Tea Party protests in a riff on the Boston Tea Party of 1773
funemployed -- taking advantage of your newly unemployed status to have fun or pursue other interests
tramp stamp -- a tattoo on the lower back, usually on a woman
BALTIMORE GETS 16-0 'MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL' WIN OVER CLEVELAND: Despite a dreadful first half, the Baltimore Ravens scored a 16-0 Monday Night Football win over the hapless Cleveland Browns last night (November 16th) in Cleveland. In Baltimore's first possession of the third quarter, Ray Rice scored a touchdown on a 13-yard run. Then, on the next play, safety Dawan Landry returned an interception of Browns' quarterback Brady Quinn 48 yards for another TD. Meanwhile, the Browns, who've scored only five offensive touchdowns in their last 15 games, never made it past Baltimore's 45-yard line.
COGHLAN, BAILEY WIN BASEBALL ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: Florida Marlins left fielder and leadoff hitter Chris Coghlan was named the National League's Rookie of the Year yesterday (November 16th), while Oakland A's closer Andrew Bailey won the award in the American League. Coghlan, who batted .321 with nine homers and 31 doubles, edged Philadelphia Phillies pitcher J.A. Happ, getting 17 first-place votes and 105 points in balloting by the Baseball Writers' Association of America. Happ got 10 first-place votes and 94 points. Bailey, who had 26 saves and a 1.84 ERA this season, was chosen first on 13 of 28 ballots and finished with 88 points. Texas Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus came in second with 65 points, one more than Detroit Tigers pitcher Rick Porcello.
TITANS OWNER FIRED $250K FOR OBSCENE GESTURE: The NFL fined Tennessee Titans owner Bud Adams $250,000 Monday (November 16th) for making an obscene gesture at Buffalo fans while celebrating Tennessee's 41-17 victory over the Bills Sunday. The 86-year-old Adams was seen flipping off Buffalo fans while in his luxury suite, and again on the field after the victory. He issued an apology a couple of hours later. League spokesman Greg Aiello said the fine was for conduct detrimental to the NFL.
(Headline News, FYI and Sports stories were compiled in part from reports by the Associated Press and Reuters.)
90210 - Navid confronts Adrianna about her drug use; Debbie and Harry are surprised when Annie wants to invite Jasper over for dinner; Ivy, Dixon and Navid try to help Liam tell Naomi the truth about Jen.
MELROSE PLACE - Ella is stunned when WPK owner Amanda Woodward fires half the staff, including Caleb; Auggie gives in to Violet's flirtations; David asks Lauren on a date.
SONS OF ANARCHY - Chibs makes a secret deal with Agent Stahl in order to protect his wife and daughter; Opie seeks revenge and reconciliation.
THE HILLS - Jayde clashes with Kristin after deciding she wants Brody back; Heidi hatches a plan to get pregnant with or without Spencer's approval.
THE CITY - Erin opens up about her issues with Olivia; Whitney and Roxy go on some disastrous dates.
DAY TIME TALK SHOW
THE ELLEN DEGENERES SHOW - Dwayne Johnson, Brian Williams, 12-year-old singer Rhap Salazar THE OPRAH WINFREY SHOW - Why Millions of Women are Using Porn and Erotica: Lisa Ling Reports THE VIEW - Sandra Bullock, Tim McGraw, Quinton Aaron, Morena Bacccarin
LATE NIGHT TALK SHOWS
THE LATE SHOW WITH DAVID LETTERMAN (CBS) - Penelope Cruz, Joe Cada, the Script THE JAY LENO SHOW (NBC) - Tyra Banks, the latest Biggest Loser castoff, Arsenio Hall THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH CONAN O'BRIEN (NBC) - 50 Cent, Jane Lynch JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE (ABC) - John Stamos, Emily VanCamp, the latest Dancing with the Stars castoff, OneRepublic THE LATE LATE SHOW WITH CRAIG FERGUSON (CBS) - Woody Harrelson, Joe Theismann LATE NIGHT WITH JIMMY FALLON (NBC) - Shakira, Cheech and Chong, Neko Case LAST CALL WITH CARSON DALY (NBC) - Chuck Klosterman, Rhys Miller, Drennon Davis THE DAILY SHOW WITH JON STEWART (COMEDY CENTRAL) - Vice President Joe Biden THE COLBERT REPORT (COMEDY CENTRAL) - Malcolm Gladwell LOPEZTONIGHT - Andy Garcia, Justin Beiber, Real Housewives of Orange County Jeana Kehough, Alexis Bellino & Tamra Barney
PEOPLE STUCK ON CAROUSEL ASKED TO PAY FOR RESCUE: Fourteen people who became trapped on a carousel in Germany, some upside for almost an hour are getting stuck with the bill after a rescue team was called to get them down. The amusement park maintains that they would have been able to lower the people themselves, had they not called the fire brigade, and refuses to pay for the costs of the rescue. Each person will have to pay about $420, but a spokesman for the Berlin fire service said they will have the option to reclaim the costs from the insurance providers or sue the operator of the ride. (AFP)
DOOR-TO-DOOR POT SALESMAN KNOCKS ON COP'S DOOR: A Texas man trying to sell marijuana door-to-door in his apartment complex accidentally turned himself over when he knocked on the door of a police officer. Police say the man had a gun and was intoxicated when he tried to sell the cop 3oz of weed. The police officer went back inside his apartment and came back with his badge, placing the man under arrest. The charges will carry more weight because the apartment complex is near a university, which is a drug and weapon free zone. (KRGV)
MAN WITH $600 IN CASH STEALS PENCIL: Police say a man who was found to have $600 in cash was arrested for allegedly stealing a pencil from a store in Bellingham, Washington. The pencil thief was taken to jail after it was discovered that he had an outstanding warrant in Everett, Washington. When police questioned why the man would steal the mechanical pencil worth about $6 when he had money to buy it he responded, "I don't know, being stupid I guess." (AP)
POLICE SEARCHING FOR FAT AND NAKED ROBBER: A Des Moines, Iowa couple was awoken by intruders in their home Sunday morning. First, the husband discovered a man sleeping on a couch, but he was able to escape out the front door. Meanwhile, downstairs his wife confronted a large, naked woman who was also able to escape into a van parked outside. The husband said about $600 was missing from his wallet, but nothing else appears to be missing. Police are still searching for the robbers and have a jacket they left behind as evidence. (Des Moines Register)
HOLDING HANDS CAN RELIEVE WOMEN'S PAIN: London's Daily Mail reported that holding a lover's hand or simply looking at a picture of him could relieve a woman's pain. Researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles, found that women who had given mild burns felt less pain when looking at their lover's photograph, compared to looking at the picture of a stranger. The women also seemed to feel better if they were holding their lover's hand. The study, which is published in the journal Psychological Science, "underscores the importance of social relationships and staying socially connected," according to researchers.
INVISIBILITY CLOAK BECOMING A REALITY?Asylum.com reports that scientists are coming closer to developing a real invisibility cloak. The Imperial College of London and the University of Southampton have been awarded a grant of about $ 8 million from the Leverhulme Trust to further research "metamaterials" that could hopefully bend light away as it reflects from the surface, tricking the human eye into believing an item made of metamaterials is not there. To create the materials, scientists have to alter the structure of an already existing material using complex nanopatterns. Scientists think these metamaterials could be used to create a "perfect lens" microscope that could see particles smaller than the light waves looking at it.
RESEARCHER SAYS LESBIANS MAKE BETTER PARENTS: Stephen Scott, director of research at the National Academy for Parenting Practitioners, has said his research shows children from lesbian couples do better in life than the offspring of heterosexual couples. He expressed his controversial opinion during a meeting for the launch of think tank Demos, saying, "Lesbians make better parents than a man and a women." Research at Birkbeck College, part of London University, and Clark University in Massachusetts suggests that same-sex couples make good parents because children cannot be conceived accidentally -- parents must make an active decision to adopt or find a sperm donor. However, campaigners counter that fathers play an important part in family life and children have a right to get to know both of their biological parents.
CHEMICALS IN PLASTIC 'FEMINIZING' BOYS? Chemicals used in plastics are 'feminizing' the brains of baby boys, a new study reported on by Fox News shows. The site reported that those exposed to high doses in the womb are less likely to play with 'male' toys such as cars. They are also less willing to join 'rough and tumble' games. The study found that phthalates -- chemicals that can mimic the female sex hormone oestrogen -- were strongly linked with more feminine play in the boys, but had no impact on girls. The researchers believe the chemicals reduce levels of the male sex hormone testosterone in unborn babies, altering the development of the brain and male genitals.
SIGNS YOUR WORKPLACE IS DYSFUNCTIONAL (CareerBuilder.com)
Sign No. 1: Conspicuously posted vision or value statements are filled with vague but important-sounding words like "excellence" and "quality." -- These words are seldom defined and the concepts they allude to are never measured.
Sign No. 2: Bringing up a problem is considered as evidence of a personality defect rather than as an observation of reality. -- In a dysfunctional company, what it looks like is not only more important than what it is, it is what it is. If you don't believe that, you are the problem. A surprising amount of information is classified. Dysfunctional companies have more state secrets than the CIA. Anything that might embarrass the boss turns out to be a national security issue.
Sign No. 3: If by chance there are problems, the usual solution is a motivational seminar. -- Attitude is everything, especially in places where facts are embarrassing or inconvenient. In a dysfunctional family, there's an elephant -- usually a drunken abusive parent -- in the parlor, but no one ever mentions him. To appear sane, you have to pretend that the elephant is invisible, and that drives you crazy. Businesses are full of invisible elephants, too. Usually they are things that might cause difficulties for people with enough clout to prevent their discussion. The emperor may be naked, but if you have a good attitude, you won't mention it.
Sign No. 4: Double messages are delivered with a straight face. -- Quality and quantity are both job one. You can do it both cheaper and better, just don't ask how. If you're motivated enough, you should know already.
Sign No. 5: History is regularly edited to make executive decisions more correct, and correct decisions more executive than they actually were. -- Those huge salaries require some justification.
Sign No. 6: People are discouraged from putting things in writing. -- What is written, especially financial records, is purposely confusing. You can never tell when you might need a little deniability.
Sign No. 7: Directions are ambiguous and often vaguely threatening. -- Before you respond to a vague threat, remember this: Virtually every corporate scandal begins with someone saying, "Do it; I don't care how." That person is seldom the one who gets indicted.
Sign No. 8: Internal competition is encouraged and rewarded. -- The word "teamwork" may be batted around like a softball at a company picnic, but in a dysfunctional company, the star players are the only ones who get recognition and big bucks.
Sign No. 9: Decisions are made at the highest level possible. -- Regardless of what it is, you have to check with your boss before doing it. She also has to check with her boss.
Sign No. 10: Delegating means telling somebody to do something, not giving them the power to do it. -- According to Webster's Dictionary, you delegate authority, not tasks. In dysfunctional companies, you may have responsibility, but the authority lives in the office upstairs.
Sign No. 11: Management approaches from the latest best-seller are regularly misunderstood to mean what we're doing already is right on the mark. -- "Seven Habits of Highly Effective People," "Good to Great" and "Who Moved My Cheese?" all seem to boil down to, "quit griping and do more with less."
Sign No. 12: Resources are tightly controlled. -- Your department may need upgraded software, but there's been a spending freeze since 2006. Cost control is entry-level management, but in a dysfunctional company, anything more sophisticated is considered too touchy-feely. Whatever you propose, the first question you will be asked is if it can be done cheaper.
Sign No. 13: You are expected to feel lucky to have a job and know you could lose it if you don't toe the line. -- Dysfunctional companies maintain control using the threat of punishment. Most will maintain that they also use positive rewards ... like your paycheck. A few people are actually fired, but most of those who go are driven to quit.
Sign No. 14: Rules are enforced based on who you are rather than what you do. -- In a dysfunctional company, there are clearly insiders and outsiders and everyone knows who belongs in each group. Accountability has different meanings depending on which group you're in.
Sign No. 15: The company fails the Dilbert Test. -- Dysfunctional organizations have no sense of humor. People who post unflattering cartoons risk joining the ranks of the disappeared. When an organization loses the ability to laugh at itself, it is headed for big trouble. If you'd get in trouble for printing this article and posting it on the bulletin board at work, maybe it's time to look for another job before this one drives you crazy.
Totally Smoke-Free Apartment Building to Open Soon in NYC
New York City's first completely non-smoking apartment building is set to open in Manhattan around the start of the new year, local station WCBS-TV reported yesterday (November 16th), not only banning smoking anywhere in the building, but in its immediate perimeter outside as well. Violators of the ban at the upscale building still under construction in East Harlem could be taken to court.
Although some might argue that people should be allowed to smoke in their apartments, the fact is that smoke wafts into hallways and neighboring apartments, so non-smokers can be exposed as well. Kinne Yon of family-owned Kenbar Management, which runs the building, told WCBS, "We feel that you're impacting, in a rental, so many people around you that we would like to offer the public an opportunity to live in a smoke-free environment."
A recent Zogby poll found that 58 percent of New Yorkers said they'd pay more to live in a smoke-free home.
The debate continues . . . Did Taylor Swift win the CMA's Entertainer of the Year award prematurely? We already know what Wynonna thinks, but she did feel the need to clarify her "too much too soon" comment via Twitter last week. On Thursday (November 12th) Wynonna posted, "I understand that my comment about Taylor Swift's Entertainer of the Year nomination came across as a negative statement. My intent was not to take anything away from her talent and contributions to the country music industry...all of which are truly unprecedented for an artist of ANY age. Taylor is a beautiful, hard working young woman that deserves the success she has had and I support her as an artist and as a woman in the business."
Randy Travis seconds Wynonna's initial comments. He told People, "As a writer, she is a phenomenal talent. When you look at the body of work that she has written at the age when she came into this business, it's remarkable. It really is. But do I think that entertainer of the year might have been a little early? In my opinion, yes, for whatever that's worth."
Taylor does have some heavyweights supporting her, however. Faith Hill told People, "I think she worked her tail off the last couple (of years) and she deserves to win."
Tim McGraw added, "I've been doing this a long time and she's got a better head on her shoulders than I do, so I don't know how anybody could complain about that."
And Taylor? She sees both points of view, as she told reporters backstage after the CMA Awards. "I feel very lucky to have been able to experience this in a way that I see it as having happened fast and then I also see that there was a gradual build. I've been able to attend several CMA shows so I know what this means. I'm thankful for that. I look at it from both ways. Of course this feels like just yesterday that I was knocking on doors of Nashville going, 'Hey, will you listen to my demo,' but then again I feel so lucky to have been an opening act for every single person that I was nominated against in the Entertainer of the Year category. I'm just very appreciative right now!"
Carrie Underwood heads to Los Angeles this week to continue promotion for her brand new CD, Play On. She kicks things off tonight (Monday, November 16th) with her first ever appearance on The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien. On Wednesday (November 18th), Carrie visits with Ellen DeGeneres where she performs and spneds some time chatting with the talk show host. On Thursday (November 19th), Carrie performs an outdoor concert on Jimmy Kimmel Live!. She wraps up her week with a performance on the American Music Awards on Sunday (November 22nd), where she is nominated for Favorite Female Country Artist. The show airs live from the Nokia Theater on ABC at 8 p.m. ET.
Play On bowed at Number One on both the Billboard pop and country albums charts last week, while her first single, "Cowboy Casanova," also claimed the top spot.
Carrie tells us that she experimented vocally on Play On: "Well I feel like since the beginning, you know, and even on my Idol days I always had big songs, like big, long, high-note songs, and I feel like especially on Play On, on this album, I feel like there's a lot more intricacies -- like delicate parts in songs."
Carrie added it was time to show fans her 'softer side.' "It's not all about like big, loud voice all the time. There's a much softer side, so I feel like that's something I've been able to explore and we also have a bunch of big stuff on there, too, but I feel like the range and the types of songs and things like that that I'm doing is a lot more diversified than I've done on previous albums."
Play On sold nearly 318,000 copies its first week, giving Carrie the highest first-week sales for a female artist in 2009.
It's only a coincidence that Darius Rucker's latest single is called "History In The Making" because he's literally making history in country music. He is only the second African-American to experience marked success in the genre, the first being Charley Pride.
Darius tells us he now realizes what an impact he's making. "Makin' this record, I never thought about bein' an African-American guy makin' a country record. I just thought I was a guy makin' a country record until my first song went into the Top 20 and people started talkin' about it. I'm proud of that. I'm proud to be that guy who's taken up where Charley Pride left off and tryin' to make country music that people wanna listen to."
So far, Darius has charted three consecutive Number One hits, and his debut country CD, Learn To Live, has sold more than a million copies. He won the CMA's New Artist of the Year award last week.
Charley is the only other African-American who has won a CMA award, taking home Male Vocalist in 1971 and 1972, and Entertainer of the Year in 1971.
Alan Jackson and his wife, Denise, are featured on the cover of the December issue of PeopleCountry magazine, which is currently on newsstands. The Jacksons talk about their greatest gifts in a feature called "I Count My Blessings," which includes input from Carrie Underwood, Joe Nichols, Zac Brown, and Holly Williams, among others. This issue of People Country also takes a pictorial walk down memory lane with Carrie Underwood, shows Zac Brown's ever-growing family, and shares wedding photos from Holly William's and Joe Nichols' respective nuptials.
OFF THE RECORD
Sources tell us that Alan has completed his record deal with Arista Nashville and has not re-signed with the label. There is no word yet on who will release his next project, but Alan recently told us that he is readying a new single for release next month, while his new album will be out next year.
John Mayer was thrilled to have Taylor Swift perform on his fourth album, Battle Studies, due out tomorrow (Tuesday, September 17th). Looking back, he calls it a "wild experience," telling PopEater.com, that the idea to have her sing on the track "Half Of My Heart came after he imagined "hearing her voice in harmony" with his. Mayer adds, "It was a little bit like writing a screenplay with an actor in mind. I went to this place in my mind like Taylor and I were in the '70s playing on The Johnny Cash Show. He's glad it all worked out, noting, "What an amazing place to be in an industry where you can say 'This little idea I have is only to put the biggest selling female artist of the year on my song.' All you have to do is express that idea to somebody and they say 'Yeah, I'd like to do that.' What a wild experience that is. It's crazy."
Mayer is set to perform a "secret" MySpace show tonight (Monday, November 16th) in Brooklyn, New York.
He'll perform a concert tomorrow in New York City, which will broadcast on Fuse.
Gretchen Wilson's new single, "Work Hard, Play Harder," will be used in an ABC-TV feature called "The Art of the Burnout" during the NASCAR Ford 400 season finale Sprint Cup race at the Homestead-Miami Speedway on Sunday (November 22nd).
Gretchen said, "This is a perfect song for racing, because NASCAR fans really do work hard and play harder. It's an anthem for working-class people, and especially working females like myself."
"Work Hard, Play Harder" is being offered as a free download in People magazine's December country music issue, which is on newsstands now.
Gretchen co-wrote the single, which is the first from her upcoming CD, I Got Your Country Right Here. The project is the debut release from Gretchen's own label, Redneck Records. It will be released early next year.
LAUREN BACALL GETS AN OSCAR: At age 85, smoky-voiced film legend Lauren Bacall brought down the house when she took the stage to accept an honorary life-time achievement Oscar at the Academy of Motion Pictures Governors Awards on Saturday night. Bacall accepted her gold statuette with a whoop of delight, saying: "I can't believe it--a man at last!" Bacall starred in more than 30 films, but had never won an Oscar. Bacall's career was launched in 1944, when she starred opposite Humphrey Bogart in the now-classic To Have and Have Not. On screen and off, Bogie and Bacall were among Hollywood's greatest couples until his death in 1957.
KOURTNEY KARDASHIAN SHOWERED WITH GIFTS: About 80 guests joined Kourtney Kardashian's sisters and mom Kris Kardashian at a baby shower over the weekend at the family's home in Hidden Hills, California, PEOPLE.com reports. The first-time mom-to-be and boyfriend Scott Disick are expecting the baby in December. All the sisters--Kim, Khloe, Kylie and Kendall Kardashian--were there for the party. Guests included Kim's BFF, jewelry designer Brittny Gastineau and Kris's good friend, comedian Heather McDonald, a regular on Chelsea Lately. Said sister Kim of Kourtney: "She's a really cute pregnant girl. It's just a big belly."
ROSIE O'DONNELL LOSES GIRLFRIEND, GAINS CHIHUAHUA:Rosie O'Donnell refused to talk about the status of her relationship with partner Kelli Carpenter--until a dog whisperer on her radio show had a chat with a chihuahua who spilled the beans. During an on-air appearance with Rosie and her dog Misty, pet psychic Sonya Fitzpatrick said Misty is much happier with Rosie than in her previous home. Rosie then fessed up that she got the pooch two years ago, just three days after Kelli moved out of the home they had shared. Rosie said she got Misty because "I wanted another child or something to love. And I got the dog."
KELLY SHARBAUGH DIDN'T SEE THIS COMING: The second member of the Galu tribe to get the axe on the Survivor: Samoa series was flabbergasted at her elimination on week 9. When host Jeff Probst said her name, Kelly Sharbaugh tells PEOPLE magazine: "I was like, 'What just happened? What did I do?' I was so emotional because I was so unprepared. I didn't even wear my favorite boots to tribal because the thought that I could go never crossed my mind." She'll never see those boots again, either. First fire ants nested in them, and then presumably the tsunami that struck Samoa washed them away.
LINDSAY LOHAN DOES NOT PAY FOR DRINKS: Apparently no one has told Lindsay Lohan that her off-screen antics have not exactly catapulted her to the top of the Hollywood A-list. According to PEOPLE magazine, Lohan caused a big stink at a Hollywood club when the bartender had the nerve to hand her a bill for the two bottles of expensive champagne she had just downed. An onlooker says she was yelling obscenities at the bartender and everyone else in sight. The onlooker says: "She was crying and wanted to go home. She kept saying 'I don't pay for drinks! This is ridiculous! I'm freaking out!'" She finally paid with a credit card borrowed from a friend. A very foolish friend.
STEPHANIE PRATT PLEADS NOT GUILTY: In more tipsy celebrity news, Stephanie Pratt, star of The Hills, will enroll in rehab for 30 days after an appearance in a Los Angeles court last Friday on a misdemeanor charge of driving under the influence. She recently told PEOPLE magazine that the arrest "was the worst thing to happen to me and, at the same time, it was the biggest blessing" as a life lesson. Nevertheless, she pleaded not guilty to the charge. Pratt could have gotten six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.
GOSSELIN BODYGUARD SAYS HE'LL SUE: A representative for Jon Gosselin has already denied a report that a bodyguard witnessed the reality show star snorting cocaine and making a sex tape. And now the bodyguard, Thomas Meinelt, reportedly plans to sue The National Enquirer over the story, according to a report in USMagazine.com. Meanwhile, Gosselin is in Hawaii to attend the wedding of Shane Victorino, an outfielder for the Philadelphia Phillies.
BRAD AND ANGELINA GO TO THE MUSEUM:Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie looked a bit like contemporary works of art themselves when they attended the 30th anniversary gala at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles on Saturday night. Both dressed in sleek black designer duds. Angelina wore an Armani gown, and Brad wore a Tom Ford tuxedo. The effect was damaged, however, by the scraggly beard that Brad is now sporting. Also at the star-studded gathering were Gwen Stefani, Christina Ricci, Jessica Alba, Kate Beckinsale, Guy Ritchie, James Franco, and Pierce Brosnan. Lady GaGa performed at the event.
FARRAH FAWCETT NAMED A SECRET LOVER IN HER WILL: The late star of Charlies Angels excluded long-time boyfriend Ryan O'Neal from her will, but left $96,000 to former Texas football star Greg Lott, according to British tabloid The Sunday Express. For reasons that cannot be explained by any rational person, O'Neal and Lott have been engaged in a public dispute over whether Lott is "a disgruntled ex-boyfriend" of Fawcett's from the 1960s, or the love of Fawcett's life. Lott apparently released details of the legacy to support his case. Most of Fawcett's fortune went to Redmond O'Neal, the son she and Ryan had together.
ADD ZSA ZSA GABOR TO MADOFF VICTIM LIST: Ancient celebrity Zsa Zsa Gabor is the latest victim of swindler Bernie Madoff to be named. A lawyer for the actress, who is 92, says that Gabor and her husband are having trouble paying a big tax bill after losing about $7 million in the Ponzi scheme. The IRS has worked out a payment plan for the couple, who owe about $118,000 in back taxes. For those too young to remember her, Zsa Zsa was one of the original gold-digging blonde beauties, and entertained late-night television audiences in the 1960s with tales of her many wealthy ex-husbands.
DANIEL RADCLIFFE DENIES POT REPORTS:Daniel Radcliffe did not smoke marijuana at a party, according to his spokesperson. After the report in the Daily Mirror that the Harry Potter star had been spotted smoking cannabis, his rep issued a statement saying, "We categorically deny the allegations regarding Daniel Radcliffe published in today's Daily Mirror. Daniel does smoke the occasional roll-up cigarette, but he was not doing anything more than this. We are considering our position and will be taking all necessary action in relation to such allegations."
The global-disaster action movie 2012 opened in first place at the North American weekend box office and scored big internationally as well, taking in $225 million worldwide. The film uses Mayan calendar theories and other end-of-the-world prophecies to depict a global cataclysm. John Cusack, Danny Glover, Amanda Peet, Thandie Newton, Oliver Platt and Woody Harrelson star in the saga of a scramble to save some members of humanity on board giant arks as the Earth's crust shifts and most of the planet is covered in water.
The only other new movie opening in wide release, the rock-and-roll comedy Pirate Radio, debuted out of the top 10 in 11th place. Its ensemble cast features Philip Seymour Hoffman, Bill Nighy and Kenneth Branagh in a story about 1960s DJs illegally broadcasting rock music into Britain from a boat offshore.
Last week's top movie, the newest version of A Christmas Carol starring Jim Carrey, fell to second place.
The acclaimed drama Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire finished at Number Four, up eight places in its second week of limited release. It will expand to about 100 markets next weekend, up from just nine. The movie stars newcomer Gabourey Sidibe in the gripping story of an overweight, illiterate teenager in 1980s Harlem who's victimized by incest and abuse.
THIS WEEKEND'S TOP TEN MOVIES -- NOVEMBER 13-15
2012, $65 million
A Christmas Carol, $22.3 million
The Men Who Stare at Goats, $6.2 million
Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire, $6.1 million
KATHY GRIFFIN TO APPEAR ON LAW&ORDER: SVU: Kathy Griffin will make a guest appearance on an upcoming episode of Law & Order: SVU. TV Guide reports that the show's executive producer, Neal Baer, asked fans on Twitter last week to fill in the spaces in a Hangman-type game to guess the guest-star. After nearly a day's worth of guesses, he revealed that the D-List star would be appearing on the show later this season.
CAKE BOSS TO REPLACE JON & KATE:Jon and Kate Plus 8's timeslot on TLC will be occupied by Cake Boss when the scandal-plagued reality show finally goes off the air later this month. The New York Post reports that Cake Boss, which revolves around a New Jersey bakery owner, will air at 9 p.m. ET on Monday nights beginning November 30th.
CHARLIE'S ANGELS REMAKE IN THE WORKS: ABC is reportedly ordered a pilot for a modern version of the classic 1970s television series Charlie's Angels. Variety reports Josh Friedman, who recently adapted the Terminator franchise for a Fox series, will write and executive produce the new Angels. Shows like 90210 and Melrose Place are currently winning new fans in modern versions, but others including Knightrider and The Bionic Woman were not successful.
JOHN CUSACK IS NO HARRISON FORD:John Cusack, star of 2012, knows he's not the usual action movie star. Leading men like Harrison Ford usually get those blockbuster roles. "I sneaked in the back door and somehow got this one," he told CBS in an interview last week. It's working out for Cusack, though. His movie grossed $65 million over the weekend.
TAYLOR LAUTNER IS SUCH A DOLL: Bella and Edward from the Twilight saga have already been immortalized as Barbie dolls, and now Jacob has been added to the collection. The new doll, modeled after Taylor Lautner's werewolf character, shows off his muscular bod in denim cut-off shorts. He can be yours for $24.95, but not until February 2010.
TOUGH JOB FOR JIM CAVIEZEL: The new miniseries remake of The Prisoner is the hardest job Jim Caviezel has ever had, next to playing Jesus in the movie The Passion of the Christ. In an interview with The Boston Herald, Cavaziel said: "I'm drawn to find stuff that is going to either fall on its face or blow peoples' minds." In the six-part remake of a classic 1960s television drama, he plays Six, a man trapped in a creepy place called The Village. "I would say to a viewer that it's like George Orwell's1984 on steroids," Cavaziel says.
British actor Ian McKellen plays Two, the mysterious leader of The Village.
LOU DOBBS ON FOX:Lou Dobbs, the veteran CNN anchor who abruptly resigned on air last week, will be seen tonight (Monday) on Fox News. The network, home of politically conservative views, said Dobbs will be interviewed on The O'Reilly Factor about his resignation and his views on immigration. Those views, often expressed by Dobbs during his news program, are believed to have caused his exit from CNN. Fox insists it has had no discussions with Dobbs about any ongoing role at the network.
Hundreds of fans of the Twilight saga are already camped out on the sidewalk outside Mann's Village Theatre and Bruin Theatre in Los Angeles. The latest installment, New Moon, gets its premiere there tonight (Monday). "Twi-hard" fans from as far away as Australia descended on the neighborhood over the weekend to grab a spot and await the big event, The Los Angeles Times reports. Cardboard cut-outs of Edward and Jacob have been posted at the front of the line for fans to pose with. The movie opens in wide release on November 20th, with many showings already sold out.CHECK IT OUT: See the New Moon trailer at ttp://www.reelzchannel.com/newmoon
It's been quite a year for comedy star and talk show hostess Ellen DeGeneres. She's currently featured on the cover of Oprah's O magazine. She's pitching products for American Express and Cover Girl cosmetics. And starting in January, she'll join the judges on American Idol, the nation's top-rated television show. The New York Times points out that it's quite a change from ten years ago, when DeGeneres announced to the world that she's a lesbian--a temporarily career-destroying admission. What has changed? Well, she's not alone "out" there anymore. Celebrities who are "openly lesbian" now include MSNBC talk show host Rachel Maddow, personal finance guru Suze Orman, and comedian Wanda Sykes. But Ellen seems to have a special place in America's heart. "She's dancing in her sneakers and making everybody else get up and dance, too," Maddow told The Times. "She's unthreatening by the nature of her comedic gift."
Ellen and partner Portia de Rossi, who are married, appeared together on Oprah Winfrey's talk show last Monday.
Danny Devito stripped naked for the upcoming Christmas special of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. The actor, who turns 65-years-old on November 17th, told Fox 411, "Well you know it is really interesting because when I signed on to that scene . . . when they said you're going to do the naked thing, I loved it."
He added, "I thought it was really great and I was gung-ho about it and then you realize that you're doing in front of two hundred background atmosphere extras. And you don't know them and walk out greased and you know, slipping and sliding with your butt out and everything."
Kristen Stewart, co-star of the mega-hit Twilight movie series, is a prime example of a new type of young American celebrity, The New York Times points out. Just 19 years old, she grew up watching young celebrities like Britney Spears and Lindsay Lohan wipe out in the harsh glare of the publicity spotlight, and she's eager to avoid their fate. "What really kills me - it really rips me up - is when people think I'm abrasive, inconsiderate or ungrateful because I don't go outside in a bikini and wave to the paparazzi. Come on!" she said in a recent interview. Her strategy of keeping her clothes on and her personal life private appears to be working so far. The young actress is being praised by tough-to-please Hollywood people like Sean Penn. Penn, who cast her in his movie Into the Wild, calls her "magically easy to direct," and "a real force with terrific instincts."
ALEC BALDWIN AND OTHERS SHOW THEIR OSCAR READY FACES
The audience at the Governors Awards event staged by the Academy of Motion Pictures was packed with people who hope to get onto the stage in March when the rest of the Oscars are awarded. Alec Baldwin was there. Baldwin is a potential supporting actor candidate for It's Complicated, and he'll be on stage on March 7 anyway, as co-host with Steve Martin. Jeff Bridges, getting best actor buzz for Crazy Heart, was on hand, as was Morgan Freeman, who plays Nelson Mandela in Invictus. And so was newcomer Gabourey Sidibe, who's making a splash in Precious. She definitely took the part of excited ingenue at the awards show, especially after Tom Hanks showered her with praise for her role in the intense drama. Sidibe told Variety: "I have moments where I stop, look around the room and realize where I am, and freak out. So I try not to have those moments too often."CHECK IT OUT: Moviefone already has its early Oscar buzz up at http://www.moviefone.com/oscars-academy-awards/features/oscar-predictions
SPRINT CUP: Jimmie Johnson Closes in on Title at Phoenix
Race Recap: Checker O'Reilly Auto Parts 500, Phoenix International Speedway - Avondale, AZ
10 Kasey Kahne
9 Ryan Newman
8 Denny Hamlin
7 Greg Biffle
6 Juan Pablo Montoya
5 Tony Stewart
4 Kurt Busch
3 Jeff Gordon
2 Mark Martin
1 Jimmie Johnson gets his fourth win in nine races and has now won four of five past events at Phoenix International Speedway. With a 108-point lead in the Chase standings, Johnson needs to finish only 28th or better next week to clinch his record-setting fourth straight title.
OBAMA HOLDS STUDENT TOWN HALL MEETING IN CHINA:President Obama held a town hall meeting with students in Shanghai Monday (November 16th) after arriving in China the day before on the next leg of his Asian trip. In remarks before he took questions, Obama said the U.S. isn't seeking to contain China's rise, and called for more balanced trade between the two nations, which is now heavily in China's favor. The U.S. also has expressed concerns about China's currency, which many in Washington say is so under-valued that it is warping the global economy. Meanwhile, China has accused the U.S. and other countries of protectionism aimed at China's goods. During the town hall meeting, Obama called for human rights and greater transparency on the Internet, which is heavily censored in China, saying, "These freedoms of expression and worship, of access to information and political participation, we believe are universal rights, they should be available to all people including ethnic and religious minorities." Obama will be heading to Beijing Tuesday for a summit with President Hu Jintao.
Obama began his Asian trip at the end of last week in Japan, and attended a summit of Asia-Pacific leaders in Singapore over the weekend.
DEMOCRATS, REPUBLICANS SPLIT ON 9/11 MASTERMIND TRIAL IN NYC: Democrats and Republicans took up different sides on the Sunday morning talk shows overAttorney General Eric Holder's decision to try alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four accomplices in New York City. Republicans argued that the five are war criminals who should be tried in military tribunals. Former Mayor Rudy Giuliani said on Fox News Sunday that it would increase the security threat to the city and give radical Islamists a platform to propagate their ideology. But the administration says the five were conspirators to a crime committed on American soil, and Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont said on CBS' Face the Nation that if someone murders Americans in this country, they should be tried in the U.S. The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee said, "I don't think we should run and hide and cower. Let's use our system." Current New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg agrees with the decision, saying Friday (November 13th), when the announcement was made, "It is fitting that 9/11 suspects face justice near the World Trade Center site where so many New Yorkers were murdered." New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly also said holding the trial in the city most devastated by the 2001 attacks is appropriate, and said the Police Department is prepared to meet any security challenge.
POSSIBLE 'COFFEE SUMMIT' FOR HILLARY CLINTON AND PALIN?: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Sunday (November 15th) that she'd, quote, "look forward" to sitting down with Sarah Palin, after the former Alaska governor wrote in her new memoir, Going Rogue, that after her own national campaign experience, she came to agree with Clinton's complaints about biased news coverage. In a passage read to Clinton on ABC's This Week with George Stephanapoulos by the host, Palin wrote, "Should Secretary Clinton and I ever sit down over a cup of coffee, I know that we will fundamentally disagree on many issues. But my hat is off to her hard work on the 2008 campaign trail. A lot of her supporters think she proved what Margaret Thatcher proclaimed, 'If you want something said, ask a man. If you want something done, ask a woman.'" Clinton said, "Well, you know, I've never met her. And look, I'd look forward to sit down and talk with her. . . . I would look forward to having a chance to actually get to meet her." According to the New York Times, bloggers quickly dubbed any such meeting a "coffee summit," riffing on the "beer summit" hosted by President Obama over the summer between Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates and the Cambridge police officer who arrested him and who'd been accused by Gates of racial profiling.
NASA'S MOON CRASH FOUND WATER: NASA announced Friday (November 13th) that their Moon crash last month, in which they slammed a spacecraft into the lunar surface, kicked up a plume that contained 25 gallons of water in the forms of ice and vapor. Anthony Colaprete, the lead scientist for the mission, said, "We found water. And we didn't find just a little bit. We found a significant amount." He said the 25 gallons kicked up was only what scientists could see. Scientists had previously found just tiny amounts of water in lunar soil. Some experts say the water find makes the Moon a more attractive site for renewed exploration, since having water would make it easier to set up a base camp for astronauts, supplying drinking water and a key ingredient for rocket fuel.
EX-REP. JEFFERSON SENTENCED TO 13 YEARS: Former Democratic Rep. William Jefferson of Louisiana was sentenced Friday (November 13th) to 13 years in prison for taking bribes. Jefferson, who famously hid $90,000 in cash in his freezer, was convicted in August of taking some $500,000 in bribes and seeking millions more in exchange for using his influence to broker business deals in Africa. The 62-year-old Jefferson represented parts of New Orleans for nearly 20 years and was re-elected in 2006 even after news of the bribery scandal broke. However, he was later indicted and lost to Republican Ahn "Joseph" Cao about a year ago.
SWIM CLUB ACCUSED OF RACIAL BIAS TO DECLARE BANKRUPTCY: The suburban Philadelphia swim club that was accused of discrimination over the summer when it revoked the memberships of mostly black and Hispanic day camp children plans to declare bankruptcy, the Philadelphia Daily News reported Saturday (November 14th). Valley Swim Club President John Duesler said in an e-mail to members that although legal proceedings and negative media exposure would be blamed, quote, "the truth is that the club has struggled to stay out of the red for at least the last decade." At the same time, the Daily News reported that Duesler said members, quote, "are all tired and beaten down and just sickened by how our club has been improperly portrayed," and that most everyone wants to move on.
The Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission found in September that there was probable cause that the campers were asked to leave the one time they went and not to return because of what it called "racial animus" expressed by one member and "racially coded comments" by other members.
The club has said there were too many children for the number of lifeguards on duty, and that only a few of the children knew how to swim.
The children in the Creative Steps day camp have filed a lawsuit against the Huntingdon Valley Club.
WORLD'S BIGGEST CRUISE SHIP DOCKS IN FORT LAUDERDALE: The world's largest cruise ship, Royal Caribbean's new Oasis of the Seas, arrived in Florida Friday (November 13th), docking in Fort Lauderdale after sailing in late October from Finland, where it was built. The $1.5 billion ship is nearly 40 percent larger than the next-biggest cruise ship, with 2,700 cabins that can hold 6,300 passengers. The 16-deck ship also features different areas called "neighborhoods," which are parks, squares and arenas with special themes. The Oasis of the Seas will depart on its first Caribbean cruise on December 5th.
NFL SCORES -- WEEK 10: Here are the results of this week's National Football League games. (Home teams are listed in italics):
Carolina Panthers 28, Atlanta Falcons 19
Miami Dolphins 25, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 23
Minnesota Vikings 27, Detroit Lions 10
Cincinnati Bengals 18, Pittsburgh Steelers 12
Tennessee Titans 41, Buffalo Bills 17
Washington Redskins 27, Denver Broncos 17
New Orleans Saints 28, St. Louis Rams 23 -- The Saints remain undefeated for the season, at 9-0.
Jacksonville Jaguars 24, New York Jets 22
Kansas City Chiefs 16, Oakland Raiders 10
Arizona Cardinals 31, Seattle Seahawks 20
San Diego Chargers 31, Philadelphia Eagles 23
Green Bay Packers 17, Dallas Cowboys 7
Indianapolis Colts 35, New England Patriots 34 -- The Colts held on to their undefeated season by getting a touchdown with 13 seconds left. That came after Pats coach Bill Belichick gambled on fourth-and-2 from his own 28-yard line with 2:08 to go and fell short of the first down.
Tonight's Monday Night Football game on ESPN:
Baltimore Ravens at Cleveland Browns (8:30 p.m. ET)
TIGER WOODS WINS IN AUSTRALIA:Tiger Woods got his first win in Australia Sunday (November 15th), taking the Australian Masters in a two-shot victory over that country's Greg Chalmers before record crowds. Woods now has a win on every continent where golf is played. It had been 11 years since Woods last competed in Australia, at the 1998 Presidents Cup.
MICHELLE WIE FINALLY GETS LPGA WIN:Michelle Wie finally won her first LPGA Tour title Sunday (November 15th), winning the Lorena Ochoa Invitational in Guadalajara, Mexico, by two strokes over Paula Creamer. The win came in Wie's 65th LPGA Tour event after six second-place finishes, with her only significant career victory until Sunday being the 2003 USGA Women's Amateur Public Links. Wie, arguably the biggest attraction in women's golf, first qualified for a USGA event at age 10 and played an LPGA event when she was 12. She played PGA Tour events when she was 14, and turned pro in 2005 while she was still in high school. But she then went into a long slump that she's begun to come out of after joining the LPGA this season.
(Headline News, FYI and Sports stories were compiled in part from reports by the Associated Press and Reuters.)
ONE TREE HILL - Nathan and Clay reach a breaking point, causing a rift between Quinn and Haley; Millicent's drug problem gets worse.
GOSSIP GIRL - Blair tries to impress the students at NYU with a private Lady Gaga concert; Seren asks Nate for help; Jenny agrees to do Chuck a favor.
THE PRISONER - (miniseries permiere) Six becomes a spy for Two; 313 is fearful of her gift; The Village is struck by a natural disaster.
TWILIGHT: LOVE BITES - The rumored romance between Twilight stars Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart is discussed. Interviews with the actors.
MTV NEWS SPECIALS - A look at the Twlight saga phonomenon, including interviews with the film's stars Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner.
JON & KATE PLUS 8 - Kate enrolls the children in gymnastics classes; Jon takes the children to a local minor league baseball game.
JON & KATE PLUS 8 - Kate shares newfound footage from the cutting room floor; the family decides to get passports for a big trip; Jon tries to train the dogs; Kate goes on the road for her book tour.
DAY TIME TALK SHOW
THE ELLEN DEGENERES SHOW - Dakota Fanning, Diddy THE OPRAH WINFREY SHOW - A World Exclusive: Oprah and Sarah Palin Meet for the First Time THE VIEW - Shakira
LATE NIGHT TALK SHOWS
THE LATE SHOW WITH DAVID LETTERMAN (CBS) - Sharon Stone, Seth Meyers, Wyclef Jean with Cyndi Lauper THE JAY LENO SHOW (NBC) - Taylor Lautner, Heather Locklear THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH CONAN O'BRIEN (NBC) - Kristen Stewart, Judd Apatow, Carrie Underwood JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE (ABC) - (repeat) THE LATE LATE SHOW WITH CRAIG FERGUSON (CBS) - LL Cool J, Mindy Kaling, Ben Harper and Relentless7 LATE NIGHT WITH JIMMY FALLON (NBC) - Tim McGraw, Anna Torv, Josh Capon LAST CALL WITH CARSON DALY (NBC) - (repeat) THE DAILY SHOW WITH JON STEWART (COMEDY CENTRAL) - Jake Adelstein THE COLBERT REPORT (COMEDY CENTRAL) - Paul Goldberger LOPEZTONIGHT - Charlie Sheen, Demi Lovato, Slash
COUPLE CAUGHT DRUNK DRIVING 3 TIMES IN 3 HOURS: An Australian couple was pulled over three times over the course of three hours for drunk driving, all three times on the same road. Police said the first time they pulled the two over the husband was found to be over the legal limit and observed that his wife was drunk as well. The second time they were caught she was driving, and the third time it was the husband again. They refused to accompany police back to the station, but were not arrested and will face drunk driving charges. (AFP)
CONVICTED COP SEEKS OVERTIME PAY FOR COURT APPEARANCE: A former Stoughton, MA police sergeant who was convicted of attempted extortion is now asking for $113,000 "at minimum" in compensation from the town for overtime and hours spent in court. The officer, released from prison last month, filed the request through an attoreny which accounts for unused vacation and sick days, hours spent in court and overtime used to prepare for his case. An official said the town will reject the man's request. (enterprisenews.com)
FLORIDA MAN CHOOSES PET PIG OVER HOME: A South Florida man who has been ordered to either give up his 300-pound pet pig or find a new home in a different town says he will keep the pig and leave. The man says his Yorkshire pig named Strawberry is like a member of his family. The town only allows one Vietnamese pot belly pig per household and says it is worried the pig will grow large tusks. (CBS 4)
DRUNK WOMAN MISTAKES POLICE OFFICER FOR FAST FOOD SERVER: An East Tennesse woman was arrested for driving under the influence and possession of drug paraphernalia after 911 callers reported that nearly hit several vehicles before pulling into a fast food restaurant. Police found her slumped over the steering wheel with a syringe and a spoon with a white powdery residue and bottles of perscription medicine in the car. When they tried to get her attention, the woman tried to give the officer a $20 bill, mistaking her for a drive-thru attendent. (Tennessean.com)
SOME WOMEN GET DOLLED UP TO SHOP: A writer for TheFrisky.com admitted that she spends a significant amount of time dresses up before she does shopping. The blog post read, "I had to look very put-together, but not like I was trying too hard. And while you may find this a colossal waste of time, I gotta point out that dressing up before shopping in fancy-pants stores really did get me better customer service from the sales floor staff (sad, but true!) and I just felt better about myself, even if I was just there to find a new pair of, say, gloves or something small."
WOMEN IN LONG-TERM RELATIONSHIPS HAVE HEALTHIER BABIES: Women in long-term relationships appear to have healthier pregnancies and births, claim scientists. The Telegraph reports that scientists found that women who had slept with a partner exclusively for at least six months had fewer undersized babies and a lower rate of pre-eclampsia -- pregnancy induced high blood pressure. Experts believe that the reason for the healthier birth is long-term exposure to the biological father's sperm which boosts the immune system.
SNEEZING MAKES PEOPLE WORRY:Asylum.com reports that witnessing a sneeze immediately increases one's worry about general health hazards. Researchers at the University of Michigan asked a group of college students, who had just seen a planted actor sneeze, to rate the chances of an average American contracting a disease, dying prematurely of a heart attack and being the victim of a violent attack. The respondents predicted a much greater likelihood of each of these scenarios unfolding than those in a control group who were not exposed to the sneezer. The researchers admit that some of this discrepancy can be attributed to swine flu being in the news. Said one of the team members: "When there is a health threat and people are exposed to little reminders of that it elicits a fear response that makes you feel that the world is a dangerous place."
DEBATE STILL RAGES OVER HOW MUCH SONS SHOULD BE MOTHERED: The Huffington Post reports that a persistent myth tells women that too much closeness with their sons can make them gay or feminine. One mom, who is haunted by the memory of a psychiatrist telling her not to hug her son too much, said, "Young boys who learn to be giving and gentle and kind have not lost any of their masculinity. A boy needs tools to experience the world and freedom to grow into a complete person. If more adults were accepted for the complete people they truly are, more children in the world would receive the same kind of nurturing."
PEOPLE WATCHING PORN IN PUBLIC: With all the technology at our fingertips, access to sexual content or porn doesn't have to wait until you get home to the privacy of your desktop computer. The Washington Post recently reported that people are no longer waiting until they're alone to enjoy porn. Whether it's watching some graphic cartoons on a laptop on the commute home or catching a clip of two girls going at it on your iPhone at the library while everyone else is studying, this "secondhand porn" is suddenly becoming unavoidable.
According to Wikipedia, Bill Cosby leant his name to what three shows?
A: He starred in his own series, The Bill Cosby Show, in 1969. During the 1980s, Cosby produced and starred in what is considered to be one of the decade's defining sitcoms, The Cosby Show, which aired eight seasons from 1984 to 1992. In the 1990s, he starred in Cosby, which aired from 1996 to 2000.
Twitter, The Economy Among Panel Ideas for 'Time' Person of the Year
As we draw closer to the end of 2008, when Time magazine will name its annual Person of the Year, discussion is starting about who should be chosen. A six-member panel that met last Thursday (November 12th) in New York City wound up split between two ideas, and interestingly enough, neither were people. According to Folio's Jason Fell, half of the panelists voted for Twitter, and the other half for the economy.
However, Fell writes that the panelists -- who were former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Barbara Walters, surgeon and new TV host Dr. Mehmet Oz, Oprah magazine editor-at-large Gayle King, restaurateur and Top Chef judge Tom Colicchio, and 29-year-old Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravensthal -- did propose some actual people as well. Among them were:
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, in relation to Obama's proposed healthcare bill, and Bernie Madoff -- Suggested by Walters
"Patient zero," the first person who contracted the H1N1 swine flu virus -- Suggested by Dr. Oz
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke -- Suggested by Colocchio
New Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor -- Suggested by King
General David Petraeus and Hudson River landing hero pilot Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger -- Suggested by Giuliani
Last year's Person of the Year was then-President-elect Barack Obama.
Wynonna Judd has never been one to hold back, and she certainly didn't at this week's CMA Awards. Wynonna didn't say whether or not she's a Taylor Swift fan, but she takes issue with the teenager's rapid-fire success amounting to the CMA's biggest honor, Entertainer of the Year. Wynonna, who served as presenter at the show, told USA Today that it's "too much too soon."
Wynonna said, "Mom (Naomi Judd) and I rode in a car for the first year of our career to visit radio stations. There was a making of the star, there was a rising up, and the fans went with us. Now it's over coffee breaks, the success, almost. It's like the girl who wins an Oscar and she's under 20. What do you do from here?"
Other people feel Taylor's success, which has crossed all genres, has opened doors for country music. Taylor tells us she's proud to be a country music ambassador of sorts wherever she performs. "I have such a gratefulness for the people who have been open-minded towards me. When I first went to country radio, nobody was used to playing songs by a 16-year-old writing songs about the guy who sat next to her in class, and I am so going to be forever grateful and forever proud to be able to play country music regardless of wherever the venue may be."
Some of those venues are new territory for a country singer, so Taylor's proud to blaze the trail. "I feel so lucky to be able to sing country music, and I feel so lucky to be able to take trips to New York City for the VMA's or go to New York for Saturday Night Live and sing country music in those places."
Taylor's other CMA wins on Wednesday (November 11th) night are Video for "Love Story," Album for Fearless, and Female Vocalist.
She kicks off her 2010 Fearless tour on March 4th in Tampa, Florida.
Carrie Underwood has both a Number One single and now a Number One album on the charts this week. Play On debuts at the top of the all-genre Billboard 200 and Top Country Albums charts with first-week sales of more than 317,000 copies.
The release earns the highest first-week sales of the year for any solo country artist and the best release-week tally for a female artist in any genre in 2009.
Play On knocks Michael Jackson's This Is It from the top spot.
The CD is also tops in digital sales, with nearly 63,000 copies sold.
Carrie's debut single, "Cowboy Casanova," also topped the charts this week, giving the former American Idol winner her 11th Number One hit.
Carrie is the only country act in Nielsen SoundScan history to achieve first-week sales of more than 300,000 units on each of their first three albums.
Her 2005 debut, Some Hearts, has now sold more than seven million units, while her last CD, Carnival Ride, is at the three million mark and climbing.
Despite their break up, Chuck Wicks and Julianne Hough showed up together on the red carpet at the CMA Awards on Wednesday night (November 11th). Chuck told Entertainment Tonight, "Julianne is actually my date tonight, so it's all good man. We're going to have a good time and we will address (the breakup) together, but right now we're going to have a lot of fun."
Despite the optimistic attitude, Chuck reportedly looked quite sad backstage. According to People, "he sat with his head down, shoulders slumped, and didn't crack a smile."
Julianne, on the other hand, has been keeping herself busy, which is what her brother says led to the demise of the relationship. Julianne has begun production on the feature film Burlesque. Derek Hough told People about Julianne's filming experience so far saying, "She's telling me that she has bruises, and cuts, and rug burns all over her body. She's told me that she's never, ever danced like this in her life."
Burlesque stars Christina Aguilera, Cher, Kristen Bell and Stanley Tucci. The film is set to open in theaters next Thanksgiving.
Julianne has also landed a role in the feature film Footloose.
She is working on a new album.
She recently wrapped up touring for the year, having opened for George Strait among others throughout 2009.
George Strait will play a small part in a new movie called A Pure Country Gift. Scenes from the film were shot on Wednesday (November 11th) at Nashville's Municipal Auditorium. While the title is close to George's 1992 debut movie, Pure Country, the two films are completely separate.
A Pure Country Gift also stars singer Katrina Elam.
There is no word yet on when the movie will be released.
Lady Antebellum may have ended Rascal Flatts' longtime reign as the CMA's Vocal Group of the Year, but they candidly admit they have tried to be just like them. Well, when it comes to music anyway, as Dave Haywood, Hillary Scott and Charles Kelley tell us: "(Dave) We've been tryin' to emulate those guys for years . . . forever. (Hillary) We're just huge fans. (Charles) They always make great records. They pick really great songs, whether they wrote 'em or not, and we even tried to take a little bit of that with us. This next record we have a few outside songs. There's just amazing songs here in Nashville and you're doing yourself a disservice not to cut those and make the best album possible, and we tried to do that and we learned that from groups like Rascal Flatts."
Lady Antebellum's sophomore album, Need You Now, will be released on January 26th.
The album's title track and debut single sits at Number Two on the Billboard country chart.
In addition to Top Vocal Group, Lady Antebellum took home the award for Single of the Year for "I Run To You" at the CMA Awards this week.
Sugarland, the Black Eyed Peas and Maxwell are the first performers announced for The Grammy Nominations Concert Live!! - Countdown To Music's Biggest Night. The one-hour special will air live from Club Nokia in Los Angeles on December 2nd at 8 p.m. ET. The special will be hosted by LL Cool J. Additional performers and presenters will be announced shortly.
The special marks the second time nominations for the annual Grammy Awards will be announced live on primetime television.
The 52nd annual Grammy Awards will air live from the Staples Center in Los Angeles on January 31, 2010 on CBS.
Martina McBride and Rodney Atkins have been added to the line-up of artists to perform this Saturday night (November 14th) when MySpace Music streams a Grand Ole Opry performance with video for the first time. The live stream, set for 9 p.m. ET, will also include performances by Carrie Underwood and Jake Owen.
A pre-show webcast will begin at 8:30 p.m. ET featuring artist interviews, video clips, and more live coverage from backstage at the Opry.
The Opry is being staged at the historic Ryman Auditorium through January 30, 2010.
Brooks & Dunn surprised Taylor Swift backstage during dress rehearsals for the CMA Awards on Wednesday (November 11th) night and presented her with the 2009 CMA International Artist Achievement Award. Kix Brooks and Ronnie Dunn received the award last year, along with Dierks Bentley.
The Award recognizes "outstanding achievement by a U.S.-based artist who contributes to the awareness and development of Country Music outside the United States," according to a release.
Taylor's current Fearless CD has earned Gold and Platinum certifications in 14 countries spanning five continents.
Her hit song "Love Story" reached Number One on charts in Australia, Singapore, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom; Top Five in the Czech Republic, Ireland, and Norway; Top 10 in Denmark and Finland; and Top 20 in Greece, Holland, Hungary, Spain, Sweden, South Africa, and on the European Chart.
Taylor graces the 3-D cover of InStyle magazine's September issue, available on newsstands on November 20th.
Past winners of the CMA International Artist Achievement Award include Trisha Yearwood, Shania Twain, Reba McEntire, Dixie Chicks, Dolly Parton, Keith Urban, and Dwight Yoakam.
TARA REID DENIES ENGAGEMENT RUMORS: Although she's sporting a new diamond ring from her boyfriend, Tara Reid is not engaged. The 34-year-old, who is dating internet entrepreneur Michael Atmann, told People magazine, "I got a beautiful ring from my boyfriend for my birthday last weekend. But we're not engaged . . . yet!" Reid confirmed that she posed nude for Playboy's January/February double issue, saying, "Playboy had approached me in the past, but now just seemed like the right time to do it since I'm in a great place in my life and in love. I felt incredibly comfortable at the shoot. I think it helped a lot by choosing a brilliant female photographer."
JON GOSSELIN FILES COUNTERSUIT AGAINST TLC:RadarOnline.com confirmed that Jon Gosselin has indeed filed a countersuit against TLC, accusing the network of being "overly restrictive" and violating Pennsylvania child labor laws by failing to get work permits allowing the eight tots to be filmed for public consumption. The suit was a response to TLC's legal action against Jon , in which the network sued him for breach of contract. The countersuit is for $5 million.
NICOLAS CAGE HOMES REPORTEDLY UP FOR AUCTION: Two homes belonging to Nicolas Cage reportedly went up for auction on Thursday (November 12th) because the actor failed to pay the mortgage debts on the New Orleans properties and the bank eventually foreclosed. TMZ.com reports that the two homes were each estimated to be worth more than $3 million.
BLAKE LIVELY HAIR SPARKS CRAZE: Blake Lively is reportedly sparking a hair craze reminiscent of Jennifer Aniston's "Rachel" 'do more than a decade ago. The New York Times reports that the Gossip Girl star's blonde locks are frequently requested at salons, explaining, "It's aspirational hair. [Clients] don't just want the hair, they want the life." However the paper notes that "the look only works for tall, slim women" but "kind of transcends" age.
ASHLEY JENSEN GIVES BIRTH: Ashley Jense and her husband Terence Beesley welcomed a son last month. People magazine revealed that the Accidentally on Purpose star named their baby boy Francis Jonathan Beesley upon his October 20th birth. The couple eloped in January of 2007 after seven years together.
HARVEY KEITEL JOINS 'LITTLE FOCKERS' Harvey Keitel has joined the cast of Little Fockers -- the sequel to Meet the Parents and Meet the Fockers. The Hollywood Reporter announced that Keitel will play a contractor employed by Ben Stiller's character in the movie, which will also feature Teri Polo, Robert De Niro, Blythe Danner and Owen Wilson, along with newcomers Jessica Alba and Laura Dern.
MARTIN SCORSES GETTING HONORED AT GOLDEN GLOBES: Martin Scorsese will be honored during January's Golden Globe Awards with the Cecil B. DeMille Award for his "outstanding contribution to the entertainment field." The director -- a two time Globe winner -- joins the likes of Steven Spielberg, Warren Beatty, Anthony Hopkins, and MichaelDouglas, who have previously received the honor.
'NEW MOON' ALREADY LOGGING RECORD-BREAKING TICKET SALES: New Moon is on track to becoming Fandango's number one advance ticket-seller of all time. The ticketing company announced on Thursday (November 12th) that a week before New Moon's release, it had already surpassed Twilight in advance ticket sales. Currently the film ranks only behind Star Wars: Episode III, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and The Dark Knight in advance sales. Fandango's COO said, "Ever since we started selling advance tickets to New Moon on August 31, the demand has been unstoppable, as the fan base just keeps growing every day. New Moon is tracking to be Fandango's #1 top advance ticket-seller of all time."
Susan Boyle is reportedly being stalked by a middle-aged female fan. Britain's The Sun reports that Boyle was "shaken up" after her bodyguard recently intercepted the American woman at the singer's Scotland home. Prior to that, the woman bad been bombarding Boyle with "weird letters."
The Sun reports that Simon Cowell has since ordered more protection around Boyle. A source told the paper, "Simon is not taking any chances. This woman is constantly following Susan around the world. It is a middle-aged American woman who has become obsessed with her. At first, people thought it was no more than a nuisance. But after what happened to Leona (Lewis) everyone is taking extra precautions."
Lewis, another Cowell protege, was punched by a deranged fan at a book-signing last month.
Megan Fox is puzzled by her promiscuous reputation, since in reality she's a one-man gal. The Transformers actress told the New York Times magazine, "Girls think I'm a slut, and I've been in the same relationship since I was 18. The problem is, if they think you're attractive, you're either stupid or a whore or a dumb whore. The instinct among girls is to attack the jugular."
She admits that the public perception around her may have stemmed from her comments to men's magazines, in which "there's a certain character that I play." She explained, "She's not fully fleshed out -- she doesn't have her own name -- but she shows up to do men's-magazine interviews. There's something so ridiculous about always being in your underwear in those magazines, and you know the interview is going to run opposite those pictures. So, there's a character that talks to all of them."
Fox addressed comparisons between herself and Angelina Jolie saying, "She's so serious and stoic. I'm the opposite. When I do interviews, I say things that I think are hysterical. But because we live in a world of sound bites, you're not allowed to have a sense of humor. Sarcasm doesn't translate in print at all. And neither does self-deprecating humor. I'm not a tigress like Angelina. Of course, people want me to be. But I want to be the contradiction of that."
TWILIGHT DIRECTOR CONFIRMS PATTINSON AND STEWART ARE DATING
Twilight director Catherine Hardwicke has offered further proof that Rob Pattinson and Kristen Stewart are indeed a real-life couple. Hardwicke recently told Time magazine, "After I cast him, I told Rob, Don't even think about having a romance with her. She's under 18. You will be arrested."
The director, who didn't return to helm New Moon, said that the actor appeared to have heeded her warnings -- for a little bit. She said, "I didn't have a camera in the hotel room. I cannot say (what happened on Twilight), but in terms of what Kristen told me directly, it didn't happen on the first movie. Nothing crossed the line while on the first film."
She added, "I think it took a long time for Kristen to realize, O.K., I've got to give this a go and really try to be with this person."
Opening today is the new comedy from Richard Curtis, best known for writing and directing Love Actually, Pirate Radio. The film follows a group of 1960s rogue DJs on a boat in the middle of the Atlantic, playing rock records and breaking the law all for their love of music. They stood up against the British government, which did everything to shut them down. Pirate Radio stars Philip Seymour Hoffman, Bill Nighy, Rhys Ifans and Kenneth Branagh.
Pirate Radio is rated R and has a running time of 1 hour and 55 minutes.
Opening today (November 13th) is the new science fiction film 2012. The movie is based around a global cataclysm that brings earth to its end and tells the story of the people who struggle to survive. 2012 stars John Cusack, Danny Glover, Amanda Peet, Thandie Newton, Oliver Platt and Woody Harrelson. It was directed by Roland Emmerich.
2012 is rated PG-13 and has a running time of 2 hours and 40 minutes.
FEDS MOVE TO SEIZE MOSQUES, SKYSCRAPER OVER IRANIAN TIES: Federal prosecutors took steps Thursday (November 12th) to seize four mosques in the U.S. -- in New York City, Maryland, California and Houston -- and a skyscraper on New York's Fifth Avenue that are owned by a nonprofit Muslim organization long suspected of being secretly controlled by the Iranian government. The prosecutors filed a civil complaint against the Alavi Foundation, seeking the forfeiture of more than $500 million in assets, including the buildings and bank accounts. The Alavi Foundation intends to fight in court, and the mosques and skyscraper will remain open while the case works its way through court in what could be a long process. Iran has been accused by the U.S. of bankrolling terrorism and trying to build a nuclear bomb.
FORT HOOD SUSPECT CHARGED WITH MURDER: Army psychiatrist Major Nidal Malik Hasan was charged with 13 counts of premeditated murder in the Fort Hood massacre as he lay in a hospital bed Thursday (November 12th), and he could face a 14th charge for the unborn child of a pregnant soldier who was killed. He will be tried in a military court, and could face the death penalty if convicted. Meanwhile, President Obama ordered a review of all intelligence related to Hasan to determine whether it was properly shared and acted upon within the government and whether warning signs were missed.
SUICIDE CAR BOMB HITS PAKISTAN SPY AGENCY: A suicide car bomb devastated Pakistan's main spy agency building in Peshawar Friday (November 13th), killing at least seven people. Much of the three-story building was destroyed in the early morning attack, and most of the dead were security guards. The bombing struck at the center of the institution overseeing much of the Pakistan's anti-terror campaign, and was the latest in a string of attacks on security forces and civilian and Western targets since the government launched an offensive last month against militants in the northwest Afghan border region, where al-Qaida and Taliban leaders are believed to be hiding out.
SWINE FLU HAS SICKENED 22 MILLION, KILLED NEARLY 4,000 IN U.S.: The swine flu has sickened about 22 million Americans since it first surfaced in April and killed nearly 4,000, including 540 children, according to estimates released Thursday (November 12th) by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Those figures are nearly four times previous estimates, but instead of reflecting a sudden worsening of the disease in the U.S., they are a better attempt to to show the flu's real toll. Dr. Anne Schuchat of the CDC continued to urge patience in seeking vaccine for the swine flu, saying, "It's a marathon and not a sprint. More vaccine is being ordered and delivered and used every day."
BALLOON BOY'S PARENTS TO PLEAD GUILTY TODAY: The parents of the "balloon boy" are set to plead guilty today (November 13th) to charges in a deal that will avoid the possibility of his mother being deported to her native Japan if she'd been convicted of a felony. Richard Heene will be charged in Colorado with one count of attempting to influence a public servant, which is a felony, and his wife Mayumi will face one count of false reporting to authorities, a misdemeanor. Richard may also be sentenced to 90 days in jail and Mayumi to 60 days, and will have probation as well. The Heenes called 911 on October 15th to report they believed their young son had floated away in a home-made balloon. The balloon's flight was televised live across the country as officials tried to bring it down, but when it finally landed, the boy wasn't on it. He later emerged and said he'd been hiding in the garage. However, it was soon discovered that the whole thing was a hoax staged by the family in hopes of boosting their prospects of getting a reality TV deal.
KILLER OF ARKANSAS TV ANCHOR SENTENCED TO LIFE IN PRISON: An Arkansas jury yesterday (November 12th) sentenced the killer of a popular local TV anchor to life in prison without parole, sparing him the death penalty after hearing testimony about his difficult upbringing by an abusive, drug-addicted mother. The same jury had convicted 29-year-old Curtis Lavelle Vance the day before for the brutal beating death of 26-year-old Anne Pressly in October 2008. Vance had said he was looking to steal laptop computers when he broke into Pressly's home.
PALIN'S BOOK CONFIRMS CAMPAIGN TENSION WITH MCCAIN CAMP: Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin confirms in her new memoir that there was tension in the Republican presidential campaign last fall between her aides and those of John McCain, according to AP, which was able to buy a copy of Going Rogue Thursday (November 12th), ahead of its official sale date of next Tuesday (November 17th). The former vice presidential nominee also confirms that she'd wanted to speak on election night when she and McCain lost, but wasn't allowed to, and complains that she couldn't bring all her family members up on stage with her. AP describes the book as containing, quote, "tributes to family and faith and patriotism, and attacks against the media and other perceived opponents." Also in Going Rogue, according to AP:
Palin says the campaign kept her, quote, "bottled up" from reporters, leading to allegations that she was avoiding journalists.
Palin accuses CBS anchor Katie Couric of being "badgering" and biased in their series of interviews, which turned out to be disastrous for the VP candidate. She also criticizes ABC anchor Charles Gibson over his early interview of her, saying he seemed bored by substantive issues related to her time as governor.
Palin contends she received a $500,000 bill for the McCain campaign vetting her for the VP nod. The McCain camp denies this, saying the bill was sent to Palin by her own lawyer, and that the fee was way too high for the vetting help he gave.
Palin says that when her teenage daughter Bristol's pregnancy was announced, she rewrote the statement prepared on her behalf by the McCain campaign. But she was horrified to see a news anchor read the original version, which she believes glamorized and endorsed her daughter's situation.
JOHN KING REPLACING DOBBS ON CNN: CNN announced yesterday (November 12th) that John King, who hosts Sunday's State of the Union program, will be taking over the 7 p.m. weekday spot vacated by Lou Dobbs, who announced Wednesday night that he was leaving, effective immediately. King will go on the air early next year at 7 p.m. with a political program, leading into Campbell Brown's show at 8 p.m. The move reflects CNN's commitment to be non-partisan with its evening shows, as opposed to Fox and MSNBC, which air opinion shows during those hours on the political right and left, respectively.
SMOKING IN U.S. UP FOR FIRST TIME IN 15 YEARS: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said yesterday (November 12th) that cigarette smoking in the U.S. increased slightly in 2008 for the first time in nearly 15 years. Just under 21 percent of adults said they smoked in a national survey, up from the year before, when it was 19.8 percent, and the first increase since 1994. Health officials believe that gains in reducing smoking have been undermined by cuts in state tobacco control campaigns. Additionally, the tobacco industry has been discounting cigarettes to offset tax increases. Still, the smoking rate has been cut in half since the mid-1960s, when about 40 percent of American adults smoked.
BUSH ANNOUNCES LAUNCH OF NAMESAKE INSTITUTE: Former President George W. Bush yesterday (November 12th) announced the launch of the new George W. Bush Institute, which will be housed alongside his presidential library at Southern Methodist University in Texas. According to the New York Times, Bush sought to define his administration's legacy as having promoted freedom, improved education, fought disease and advocated economic opportunity. The former president expressed some discomfort with his decision to approve a $700 billion Wall Street bailout last year, but he said it was necessary to avoid a much worse worldwide economic collapse. Bush stayed true to his pledge not to criticize President Obama, but he warned against an expansion of government as we emerge from the financial crisis, something Republicans have accused Obama of doing. He said, "As the world recovers, we're going to face the temptation to replace the risk and reward model of the private sector with the blunt instruments of government spending and control. History shows that the greater threat to prosperity is not too little government involvement but too much."
'CALL OF DUTY: MODERN WARFARE 2' VIDEO GAME BREAKS RECORDS: Activision said yesterday (November 12th) that its heavily-anticipated video game, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, smashed records for sales in its first 24 hours, becoming, quote, "the biggest launch in history across all forms of entertainment." The game, which shipped worldwide Tuesday (November 10th), sold some 4.7 million copies to bring in $310 million in 24 hours in just North America and the U.K. The previous record-holder, Grand Theft Auto IV, sold 3.6 million copies and generated $310 million in its first day, but that was worldwide, not just in two countries. By comparison, the record-setting movie The Dark Knight had a $150 million opening weekend last year.
49ERS BEAT BEARS 10-6 IN SAN FRANCISCO: A bad night for Jay Cutler turned into a good one for the San Francisco 49ers, who ended a four-game losing streak with a 10-6 win at home over the Chicago Bears Thursday (November 12th) in a game in which the Chicago quarterback threw a career-high five interceptions. It wasn't exactly a stellar night for the 49ers, however, as they were penalized nine times and quarterback Alex Smith threw an interception and was sacked twice. Last night's game marked the first time that Mike Singletary faced his former team as a head coach. The Hall of Fame linebacker spent all 12 of his NFL seasons with the Bears.
MADDEN AWARD WILL HONOR NFL'S BEST OFFENSIVE LINE: The NFL announced yesterday (November 12th) that it will honor the game's best offensive line with a new award named after former head coach and longtime broadcaster John Madden. The Madden Most Valuable Protectors Award will be determined by fans through an Internet vote in January with input from an NFL panel, and will be presented during Super Bowl week. Madden was a lineman in college and an offensive line coach in the NFL before going on to become head coach of the Oakland Raiders.
(Headline News, FYI and Sports stories were compiled in part from reports by the Associated Press and Reuters.)
SMALLVILLE - Superhero twins Jayna and Zan come to Metropolis to help the Blur fight crime, but their botched attempts land Clark in hot water with the district attorney.
AMERICA'S NEXT TOP MODEL (repeat)
ANDERSON COOPER 360 - US soldiers are convicted of murder.
CRASH - TBA
MONK - Monk attempts to save the wedding of someone close to him by finding out who is trying to sabotage it and why.
DAY TIME TALK SHOW
THE ELLEN DEGENERES SHOW - Ryan Seacrest, the latest So You Think You Can Dance castoff THE OPRAH WINFREY SHOW - Twilight Phenom Stephanie Meyer, Karaoke Winner and Robin Givens THE VIEW - Kool & the Gang, Duff Goldman
LATE NIGHT TALK SHOWS
THE LATE SHOW WITH DAVID LETTERMAN (CBS) - Mariah Carey, Kumail Nanijani THE JAY LENO SHOW - Terry Bradshaw, Sheryl Crow THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH CONAN O'BRIEN (NBC) - Reese Witherspoon, Gabourney 'Gabby' Sidibe, Kris Allen JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE (ABC) - Diddy, Super Dave Osborne, Huey Lewis & the News THE LATE LATE SHOW WITH CRAIG FERGUSON (CBS) - LATE NIGHT WITH JIMMY FALLON (NBC) - Harry Connick Jr., Peter Sagal LAST CALL WITH CARSON DALY (NBC) - Emmy Rossum, Crocodiles
MAN DRIVES $1.5 MILLION CAR INTO MARSH: A Texas man drove his $1.5 million Bugatti into a marsh because he was distracted by a low-flying pelican. Reports say the man dropped his cell phone after he saw the bird and reached down to get it when he veered into the salt marsh. When police arrived the car was half-submerged and it is not know whether it can be salvaged. No one was injured in the accident. (AP)
FACEBOOK ALIBI HELPS TEEN AVOID JAIL SENTENCE: A New York teen avoided 25 years for armed robbery thanks to a Facebook status update that read "Where are my pancakes?" The Facebook update validated an alibi provided by his parents that said he was home at their Harlem apartment at the time of the crimes. Authorities were able to trace the update to a computer in the home, eight miles away from the crime scene, and the teen was found not guilty. (AFP)
POLICE DEPARTMENT SENDS PRISON CRATE FULL OF POT TO PRISON: A Texas prison received a crate full of what was supposed to be fruit as a gift from a local police station, but instead found the crate full of marijuana. An investigation revealed that the fruit, in which the pot was hidden was taken from a truck after police busted it for smuggling marijuana. They say the officers and drug-sniffing dogs must have missed the crate. When prisoners found the marijuana they alerted prison guards and were searched to make sure they hadn't taken any. (My Fox Dallas/Fort Worth)
OHIO COUPLE MARRIED FOR 61 YEARS DIES ONE DAY APART: An Ohio couple whose family said they almost never spent a day apart in 61 years of marriage died one day apart, both at the age of 86. Their daughter said the couple shared a room at a nursing home and that her mother seemed to be hanging on for something despite her worsening condition until her father's condition neared death. She passed at 8 p.m. on Sunday, and her husband at 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, less than 48 hours apart. The family will hold a joint funeral. (Jackson Sun)
MEN DON'T BUY THEIR OWN UNDERWEAR: According to a survey conducted by British department store Debenhams, the average man only buys new underpants when he is about to start a new relationship. The New York Daily News reports that the survey also found that men only take responsibility for buying their own underwear for about 17 years of their lives. The rest of the time it falls to their mothers, and later to their wives or girlfriends. Age also proved to be a factor in a guy's underwear habits. Debenhams' study showed that men between the ages of 19 and 26 prefer tight briefs, while guys between 26 and 33 wear boxers. Y-front underwear is the favorite of the over-33 crowd.
DEVICE TWEETS YOUR WEIGHT: Withings, a company that makes a Wi-fi scale that can upload your weight to your blog or iPhone, has recently added Twitter capabilities to the device. Now you can share your weight gain/ loss with the entire Twitterverse. Check it out: http://tinyurl.com/y8tt9fp
WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU FORGET A NAME (CareerBuilder.com)
Confess: "What's your name again?" would not be appropriate. Try something like, "I am so sorry, I have completely blanked on your name." This said, with sincerity, is appropriate and speaks volumes about you while also demonstrating your genuine interest in knowing who she is and remembering her. As always, it is not what you say, but how you say it.
Ask 'What is your full name?': The person will respond saying his first and last name. At which point you might say, "Yes, I knew it was 'Bill,' but 'Bill Flynn'"; now you have both.
Go to a respected third party: Ask, "What is the name of the woman in the blue dress?" You may then approach her, greet her by name and be a hero, suggesting you remembered her name.
Ask for a business card or calling card: Take this opportunity to make yet another visual association.
Ask him to spell his name: Be careful here. He could say, "J-O-N-E-S. In other words, exactly the way it sounds." This can happen from time to time. It's OK. Others understand and appreciate your effort in trying to know their name.
Introduce yourself: Approach the other person and say your name, first and last. In business, we should all be conditioned so that when we hear another person say her name, we respond by saying our name, slowly and clearly, so it can be understood and remembered.
The 'setup': Sending over a trusted friend, colleague or spouse to introduce himself so the individual in question will respond by saying his name is frequently done and is effective. The person who designed this "setup" is then free to confidently approach the person, calling him by name.
WEEKEND SURVIVAL KIT: HOSTING THE IN-LAWS (TheNest.com)
Friday Night: Whether they arrive by plane, train, or automobile, have refreshments ready. Find out which drinks your father-in-law enjoys and them on hand. Does your mother-in-law have a thing for French cheeses? Put a couple of her favorite varieties on a platter with fruit and crackers. Ask about their trip and keep their mouths full to limit the complaining.
Saturday Morning: Offer an array of bagels or hot or cold cereal. Or suck up to your mother-in-law by asking her to help out. Tell her you were thinking of making pancakes and see if she wants to show you the secret to her famous boysenberry recipe.
Saturday Afternoon: Hop in the car with your spouse and gang, and take a scenic tour of the town so the in-laws feel as though they're getting an exclusive peek into your lives. Even if you don't think it's terribly exciting, they will. Follow it up with a trip to the park or an art gallery or catch a movie. It's the perfect convo topic if you're stalled for stuff to say.
Saturday Night: So your in-laws may not be the most exciting Saturday night duo, but try hard anyway. If they're prying too much ("When are we gonna have grandkids?") turn the spotlight on them: How'd they meet? Your mother-in-law may brag about her son incessantly, but has she shared all those funny moments from his childhood?
Sunday Morning: Invite friends over to join the group (trust us, you'll need reinforcements). Keep things casual with a buffet-style spread of breads, muffins, and fruit. When it's time for them to head out, say how wonderful it was to spend time with them (even if you're lying). Oh, and hold in that sigh of relief until they're completely out the door.
According to Wikipedia, Condoleezza Rice was once engaged to what footballer player?
A: Richard "Rick" Upchurch, who played wide receiver for the Denver Broncos (1975-1983) of the NFL. Before his NFL career, he played for the University of Minnesota and went to high school at Springfield High School in Holland, Ohio. In 2000, Upchurch was named one of the 300 best NFL players of all time.
Should Middle School Students Have Been Arrested for a Cafeteria Food Fight?
The latest example of what some contend are zero tolerance policies at schools that have gone too far is the arrest last week of more than two dozen students at a Chicago-area middle school for a lunchtime food fight in the cafeteria. The students at the high-performing Perspectives Charter Middle School who were arrested range in age from 11 to 15, and were charged with misdemeanor reckless conduct. Cassandra Russell, who's 13, told ABC News, "They took us to jail, fingerprinted us, mugshotted us..."
The students will have to appear in court, where a judge will decide whether to dismiss the charges or uphold them with a penalty of probation or community service. The school, which also suspended the participants for three days, said in a statement, "The Chicago police officers who help protect our school, concerned about potential injuries resulting from the fight, felt it was necessary to arrest those responsible."
Critics say that treating major violations and minor infractions the same way under zero tolerance policies defies common sense. John Whitehead, president of the The Rutherford Institute, which is a civil liberties group, told ABC News, "You have police coming in and investigating and sometimes taking kids down to the police station -- grade-school children -- for what we used to call childish behavior." But advocates such policies are necessary as the only way to hold students accountable and maintain strict safety standards.
Congrats to Linda from Gold River Auto! She is the big winner who gave her boss the bird! She will be passing along a fresh turkey to her boss this Thanksgiving! Your chance to win is coming up tomorrow on the morning show brought to you by Ray and the fine folks at Findaly Motor Co. on the Parkway in BHC and the Tri States # 1 Country Station....Country Kflag!
Last night (Wednesday, November 11th) belonged to Taylor Swift. She went into the CMA Awards with four nominations and walked out with as many trophies, including the night's biggest award, Entertainer of the Year. Taylor is officially the youngest winner in that category in the history of the CMA Awards.
In between picking up trophies, Taylor managed two live performances during the show, which was held at the Sommet Center in downtown Nashville. She opened the Awards with "Forever And Always," a song she wrote about Joe Jonas after their much-talked-about break up. She also did an audience sing-along of "Fifteen."
Other big winners last night included Lady Antebellum, who took home Single of the Year and Vocal Group of the Year, ending Rascal Flatts' six-year reign in that category.
Brad Paisley won his third consecutive Male Vocalist award, as well as Musical Event with Keith Urban for "Start A Band."
And Sugarland took home what would have been Brooks & Dunn's 17th and final win for Vocal Duo of the Year, much to their surprise.
The complete CMA winner's list is as follows:
SINGLE: "I Run To You" by Lady Antebellum SONG: "In Color" written by Jamey Johnson, James Otto, Lee Thomas Miller VOCAL GROUP: Lady Antebellum NEW ARTIST: Darius Rucker ALBUM: Fearless Taylor Swift VOCAL DUO: Sugarland MALE VOCALIST: Brad Paisley MUSICAL EVENT: "Start A Band" by Brad Paisley & Keith Urban VIDEO: "Love Story" Taylor Swift MUSICIAN: Mac McAnally FEMALE: Taylor Swift ENTERTAINER: Taylor Swift
The fact that the CMA Awards show was held on Veteran's Day was not lost on the many winners who gave thanks to the troops during their acceptance speeches, including Hillary Scott of Lady Antebellum and show co-host Carrie Underwood, who acknowledged the troops in the audience and led the crowd in a round of applause as they stood up.
Another highlight of the evening was when Barbara Mandrell was honored as one of this year's Country Music Hall of Fame inductees. She was surprised with a performance of her signature song, "I Was Country When Country Wasn't Cool," sung by Martina McBride and George Strait.
CMA Awards co-hosts Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood kept viewers entertained throughout the three-hour ABC broadcast with their witty banter and clever songs about subjects like Kanye West and Brooks & Dunn's break up, not to mention their own individual performances of their latest hits. All in all, Carrie made 11 wardrobe changes throughout the night.
Barbara Mandrell on Hall of Fame recognition during CMA Awards: "It's just very overwhelming, and especially to have my friend Martina and to have my friend George. That's a generous example of giving your love, for them to sing my signature song for me. That's pretty amazing of them."
Darius Rucker on New Artist win: "This was a record I made from my heart. I would've made it in my basement if I hadn't gotten a deal with Capitol when I did, and the best part of all this is the people who program country radio and the fans who call in for the songs, before they listened to the songs they said, 'We're gonna put all the pop stuff aside. Give us a song. If it's good we'll play it. If not, we won't,' and they liked the song and they played it, and here I am a year later with a bunch of people takin' my damn picture and I got a CMA award."
Sugarland on beating Brooks & Dunn for Vocal Duo award: "(Jennifer Nettles) I appreciate it on the level that it is recognition for the year, because obviously these awards are done yearly, I think it's also, though, interesting and bittersweet in the same right because we both thought Brooks & Dunn, that they were gonna get it because (Kristian Bush) If this is their very last time sittin' in that audience . . . you know. (Jennifer) I wish they'd come up to say something. (Kristian) I know! (Jennifer) You know, but whatever!"
Brad Paisley on third consecutive Male Vocalist win: "Three years in a row is unbelievable! Anytime you can streak in a category -- careful -- it's certainly not only some pressure but it's a rare, rare sort of honor and (I'm) really proud to carry that badge another year, and anyway, thanks to everybody for makin' that happen."
Brad Paisley on hosting CMA Awards for second year:"I think when we were writing this we were applying a lot of the things that I've learned in playing arenas, which is just the sort of concise certain jokes that really play, and I felt like it just worked really well. I was really, really, really proud of everything about that, and Carrie was an amazing co-host, and we both just had the best time!"
Brad Paisley on Taylor Swift as Entertainer: "Next year we're not gonna take any opening acts out. We've stopped that. I'm through with that. I'm not gonna . . . I'm kidding! I couldn't be prouder of her. She has taken the music world by storm. She's the biggest artist in music period by far right now, so it's a hands-down she's Entertainer of the Year in country music. No doubt! I'm really proud for her. I'm not at all surprised as how fast she's gone."
Taylor Swift on Entertainer win: "Well tonight I'm just gonna dance around with my band and my crew and my record label and freak out because honestly I never imagined that the unattainable thing that I had always held in my mind and my imagination would happen to me at 19. I couldn't be more grateful, but I love a challenge, and right now the challenge is to find that next challenge."
KIEFER SUTHERLAND BACK WITH EX? Tabloid reports are claiming the Kiefer Sutherland has rekindled his relationship with ex-wife Kelly Winn. A source told Star magazine, "She really understands him and his quirks, and once the pressure was off to fix the marriage, he relaxed and became more open with her. He's finally realized he never should have left Kelly." The two split in 1999 after three years of marriage, but Sutherland waited until 2004 to file for a divorce -- which was finally granted in 2008. Winn was Sutherland's second wife. He was previously married to Camelia Kath and had most recently been linked to magazine editor Siobhan Bonnouvrier.
KATE HUDSON REPORTEDLY WANTS TO GET MARRIED: Kate Hudson is reportedly pushing her Yankee boyfriend Alex Rodriguez to elope, but the slugger isn't ready yet. In Touch magazine claims that the marital tension is showing; as apparent when Hudson left a recent World Series celebration "in a huff without saying goodbye."
'TWILIGHT' CO-STARS CAUGHT HOLDING HANDS: Rob Pattinson and Kristen Stewart ruined any credibility they'd built up regarding romance denials after they were snapped holding hands on the way to an airport in Paris. Their New Moon co-star Peter Facinelli poked fun at the uproar that the photo created, tweeting, "Co-stars caught holding hands. Guess this picture proves everything" -- with a link to a picture of himself grasping Kellan Lutz's hand.
JOEY LAWRENCE TO BE A DAD AGAIN: Joey Lawrence is going to be a dad for the second time. Usmagazine.com reports that the former Blossom star and his wife, Chandie Yawn-Nelson, are having a baby girl. The couple, who wed in 2005, already have a three-year-old daughter named Charli.
WOMAN ATTACKED BY CHIMP SHOWS OFF FACE: Charla Nash, who was famously mauled by her friend's pet chimpanzee earlier this year, showed her face for the first time on Wednesday's (November 11th) Oprah Winfrey Show. To see a picture of what she looks like now, click here: http://tinyurl.com/ylhakxf
GEORGE LOPEZ SHOW HAS STRONG DEBUT: George Lopez's new late-night talk show premiere to strong ratings earlier this week. The Hollywood Reporter announced that Lopez brought in drew 3.2 million viewers during its cross-network premiere on TNT, TBS and TruTv, which is higher than the current season averages of the adult-demographic draws for talk shows like CBS' Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson, ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live and Comedy Central's The Daily Show With Jon Stewart. Using the combined three-network number, the show was sampled by more adult-demo viewers than Conan O'Brien or David Letterman's average.
ABC CANCELS 'HANK': ABC has canceled Kelsey Grammer's freshman sitcom Hank. A network insider told Entertainment Weekly that there are no current plans to air the five remaining episodes.
KATHY GRIFFIN REALITY SHOW RENEWED: Kathy Griffin's Bravo reality show has been renewed. PerezHilton.com reports that a day after Griffin's ABC dance series was axed, insiders have revealed that My Life on the D-List received a ten-episode pick up.
RACHEL MCADAMS JOINING 'SPIDER-MAN'? Rachel McAdams is reportedly joining the upcoming Spider-Man sequel. A source told film website Heyuguys.co.uk that The Notebook actress will play Black Cat. The insider said, "She falls in love with Peter Parker, and uncovers his true identity. Her father then dies, and (she) becomes a threat to Peter Parker."
FOX CANCELS 'DOLLHOUSE': Fox has canceled the Eliza Dushku drama Dollhouse. E! reports that although the show will return with a string of new episodes beginning on December 4th, no more shows are being produced. Sources told E! that the last new episode serves as a season finale "in a significant way and gives (creator) Joss Whedon enough time to wrap up the stories."
TWITTERER LANDS SITCOM DEAL: A popular Twitter account is being turned into a television sitcom. The Hollywood Reporter announced that "S--- My Dad Says," which chronicles the observations of a 29-year-old living with his 73-year-old father, has been picked up for CBS. Will & Grace creators David Kohan and Max Mutchnick to produce a pilot sitcom about a family blessed with a grumpy, foul-mouthed grandfather.
JENNIFER MORRISON CONFIRMS 'HOUSE' DEPARTURE: Jennifer Morrison has confirmed that she's leaving House. When asked on The Bonnie Hunt Show if she was done with the Fox drama, Morrison responded, "I am, as far as I know, yes." E! however, noted that the show's producers keeping talking about bringing her back for guest spots.
Jon and Kate Gosselin will spend Christmas together. The reality dad revealed, "Christmas Eve and Christmas day are joint-shared custody days, which means we're both in the house. So we'll be there."
Jon told PopEater.com that despite the bitter estrangement between himself and Kate, he expects the holiday will go smoothly for their eight children. He said that the family will be sticking to tradition, explaining that the kids "do the stockings early Christmas morning," and "Kate makes sticky buns. We keep it all the same. Nothing has changed. That way they have the sense of security with everything that's going on."
Kate will reportedly spend Thanksgiving by herself with the kids. During a recent interview with Entertainment Tonight, Jon and on-off girlfriend Hailey Glassman bickered about their own plans, referencing the fact that Jon would be alone for the holiday if not for her.
Angelina Jolie has reportedly started the process of adopting a Syrian girl. OK! magazine claims that a spokesman for the Immigration and Naturalization Service in Washington D.C. confirmed that the wheels were in motion, but said that "only Angelina's name was on the adoption papers."
Jolie and her longtime partner Brad Pitt have six children; three biological and three adopted.
While OK! suggests that Pitt was left off the paperwork because he didn't want a seventh child; it's noteworthy that Jolie adopted oldest son Maddox when she was still married to Billy Bob Thorton and that she adopted daughter Zahara by herself; even though she was with Pitt at the time.
In other Jolie news, the actress's father Jon Voight claims that he and his daughter are no longer estranged. Although Jolie stopped speaking to her dad in 2001 after he appeared on Access Hollywood and pleaded for her to seek help for her "serious mental problems," Voight recently told Us Weekly, "We're in touch, but not regularly."
He added, "We love each other and that's the most important thing."
A family friend told the magazine that the two met in person earlier this year after Jolie reached out to her dad. The source noted, "Brad [Pitt] has been supportive -- a key factor in her reaching out."
OBAMA REJECTS AFGHANISTAN OPTIONS, WANTS CHANGES:President Obama rejected all the Afghanistan war options presented to him by his national security team in a war council meeting yesterday (November 11th) and wants revisions to clarify how and when U.S. troops would turn over responsibility to the Afghan government, a senior administration official told AP. Obama stated his position as his ambassador in Afghanistan, Karl Eikenberry -- himself a former commander of U.S. troops there -- reportedly strongly opposed a U.S. troop increase in messages to Washington just ahead of yesterday's meeting, concerned that boosting the American presence could make the country more reliant on the U.S., not less. Playing a large role is U.S. skepticism about the leadership of President Hamid Karzai and the corruption in his government. At the same time, Obama is still expected to send in more troops, and will likely announce a revamped war strategy, including a decision on troops, shortly after he returns from his nine-day Asian trip on November 19th.
FORT HOOD SUSPECT'S BEHAVIOR HAD BEEN QUESTIONED: A group of doctors overseeing Major Nidal Hasan's medical training discussed concerns about his overly zealous religious views and strange behavior months before he was accused of last week's shooting rampage at Fort Hood, Texas, that left 13 dead and 29 wounded, AP reported yesterday (November 11th), citing a military official. They viewed Hasan as at times belligerent, defensive and argumentative in his frequent discussions of his Muslim faith, and the 39-year-old psychiatrist was also characterized as a mediocre student and lazy worker. Because of the concerns about Hasan's performance and religious views, he was sent to Fort Hood, because other doctors at the large military installation could handle the workload if he continued to perform poorly. However, the group overseeing Hasan saw no evidence that he was violent or a threat.
Meanwhile, the FBI said yesterday that a joint terrorism task force that learned late last year that Hasan had repeated contact with a radical Muslim cleric overseas didn't refer the information to superiors because it was concluded he wasn't linked to terrorism.
OBAMA BEGINNING ASIAN TOUR:President Obama is leaving today (November 12th) on a nine-day tour of Asia where economic issues, climate change, the North Korean and Iranian nuclear disputes, and his review of Afghanistan strategy will be high on his agenda. Obama's trip will begin in Japan, and include a stop in Singapore for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, followed by visits to China and South Korea. A key part of Obama's journey will be his three-day visit to China, since having an effective working relationship with that nation will be crucial to efforts to deepen U.S. engagement in Asia. Obama has said he would talk to Beijing about encouraging Chinese consumers to spend more and opening Chinese markets further to U.S. goods.
MAN CONVICTED OF KILLING ARKANSAS TV ANCHORWOMAN: A 29-year-old man was convicted of capital murder yesterday (November 11th) for the beating death of an Arkansas TV anchorwoman in October 2008. Curtis Lavelle Vance could face the death penalty for the murder of 26-year-old Anne Pressly, who was beaten so brutally that her face was shattered and she never regained consciousness before dying five days later. Vance was also convicted of residential burglary, rape and theft of property. Vance told police that he went to Pressly's neighborhood looking to steal laptop computers, and entered the home through a Dutch door Pressly left open for her dogs. Pressly's mother found her battered daughter curled in a fetal position in bed the next morning when she went to check on her after being unable to reach her.
LOU DOBBS ANNOUNCES HE'S LEAVING CNN: CNN anchor Lou Dobbs announced during his show last night (November 11th) that he is leaving the network, effective immediately. "This will be my last broadcast here on CNN, where I've worked for most of the past 30 years, and where I have many friends and colleagues whom I admire deeply and respect greatly. I'm the last of the original anchors here on CNN and I'm proud to have had the privilege to helping to build the world's first news network." Dobbs, who also hosts a syndicated radio show, said his decision came after many months of discussions with CNN, and that he'd be considering a number of options for the future. "Over the past six months, it's become increasingly clear that strong winds of change have begun buffeting this country and affecting all of us, and some leaders in media, politics and business have been urging me to go beyond the role here at CNN and to engage in constructive problem-solving as well as to contribute positively to a better understanding of the great issues of our day."
Although Dobbs hosted a business broadcast for most of his tenure at CNN, over the last few years he's transitioned to doing a more opinionated, news-oriented show. He's been particularly focused on illegal immigration, and Latino groups had been seeking his removal.
Dobbs angered CNN management this summer by continuing to asking questions about President Obama's birthplace after network reporters had determined that Obama was born in Hawaii and there was no issue.
CNN is set to announce Dobbs' replacement today.
'FORBES' LISTS WORLD'S MOST POWERFUL PEOPLE:Forbes magazine has released its first ranking of the World's Most Powerful People, listing, quote, "the 67 heads of state, criminals, financiers and philanthropists who really run the world." Forbes said that in making its list, it defined power in four dimensions: having influence over lots of other people; controlling financial resources; having power in multiple spheres; and actively using power. The top 15 people on the list are:
President Obama -- unanimously chosen by a wide margin
Chinese President Hu Jintao
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin -- Much more powerful than his handpicked successor as president, Dmitry Medvedev
U.S. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke
Sergey Brin and Larry Page -- Co-founders and presidents of Google
Carlos Slim Helu -- Mexican telecommunications monopolist who's the world's third-richest man
Rupert Murdoch -- Head of a media empire in the U.S., Britain and Australia that includes News Corp., parent company of Fox News
Michael Duke -- President and CEO of Wal-Mart
Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz al Saud -- King and absolute ruler of Saudi Arabia
Bill Gates -- Co-founder and still chairman of Microsoft who's the world's richest man
Pope Benedict the 16th
Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi -- Also a media tycoon
Jeff Immelt -- Chairman and CEO of General Electric, the world's largest company
Warren Buffett -- Famously shrewd investor and world's second-richest man
German Chancellor Angela Merkel -- World's most powerful woman
EX-SUPREME COURT JUSTICE O'CONNOR'S HUSBAND DEAD AT AGE 79:John J. O'Connor, the husband of retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, died Wednesday (November 11th) of complications related to Alzheimer's disease. He was 79. John O'Connor, who was also a lawyer, was diagnosed nearly two decades ago, but his condition had gotten markedly worse in recent years, and Justice O'Connor cited the need to care for her husband when she announced her retirement in 2005. John O'Connor is survived by his wife of 57 years, as well as their three sons and six grandchildren.
NEW DINOSAUR SPECIES DISCOVERED IN SOUTH AFRICA: Scientists in South Africa announced yesterday (November 11th) that they'd discovered a new species of dinosaur that could help explain how the prehistoric creatures evolved into the largest animals on land. The Aardonyx celestae was a 23-foot-long plant-eater who lived about 200 million years ago. Although it walked on its hind legs, it could also drop down to all fours, with scientists saying the dinosaur could be a missing evolutionary link. Aardonyx celestae shares many characteristics with the plant-eating herbivores that walked on two legs, but it also has similar attributes to sauropods, which grew to massive sizes and walked on four legs, with long necks and whip-like tails.
ROCKEFELLER CENTER CHRISTMAS TREE CHOSEN, CUT DOWN: In an annual sign that the Christmas season is right around the corner, the tree that will stand in New York City's Rockefeller Center was cut down yesterday (November 11th) at the Easton, Connecticut, home of teacher Maria Corti. Aerial searches are done each year to find a suitable tree for Rockefeller Center, and Corti's 76-foot Norway spruce was spotted as a good candidate. The tree will be lit during a nationally-broadcast show on Wednesday, December 2nd, and it will be donated after Christmas to Habitat for Humanity to use as wood for a home in Connecticut.
MIKE TYSON ARRESTED: Former heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson was arrested Wednesday (November 11th) at Los Angeles International Airport after getting into a scuffle with a photographer, who was also arrested. The 43-year-old Tyson told police that the paparazzo had hit him in an attempt to provoke the ex-champ, but the photographer charged Tyson punched him in the face and tried to take the film from his camera. The photographer was taken to a local hospital for treatment for a cut on his forehead. Both men are pressing charges of battery against the other.
(Headline News, FYI and Sports stories were compiled in part from reports by the Associated Press and Reuters.)
BONES - Booth must get re-certified for FBI marksmanship, but he is not the accurate shot he was before undergoing brain surgery; Brennan and Booth investigate the death of a little person who was a former westling star.
FRINGE - A kidnapping escalates into a hostage situation, and authorities closing in discover that an unknown force has mind blowning consequences; Fringe Division identifies a link between the incident and Massive Dynamic.
FLASHFORWARD - Mark's romantic getaway with Olivia is cut short when he gets a tip that leads him to the tattoed assassin in his flashforward; Aaron learns the truth about his daughter's accident.
GREY'S ANATOMY - Owen recruits a fellow Iraq War veteran to be the new cardiothoracic surgeon, but Cristina questions the new surgeon's abilities; Izzie returns with her high school mentor seeking treatment for dementia.
PRIVATE PRACTICE - Addison and Sam perform urgent field care when, while out hiking, they stumble across a couple trapped in their car after an accident.
THE VAMPIRE DIARIES - Bonnie has frightening dreams about one of her ancestors; Caroline and Bonnie continue to fight over the medallion; Damon tells Stefan why he returned to Mystic Falls.
SUPERNATURAL - A fan tricks Dean and Sam into attending a 'Supernatural' fan convention.
IT'S ALWAYS SUNNY IN PHILADELPHIA - Mac and Dennis decide to spend some time apart; Charlie lends his feline expertise to help Dee find her cat.
THE LEAGUE - Ruxin invites everyone over for Sunday afternoon football, to see the baby and lunch.
PROJECT RUNWAY - Finale Part 1.
DAY TIME TALK SHOW
THE ELLEN DEGENERES SHOW - Harry Connick Jr., Paula Patton THE OPRAH WINFREY SHOW - Oprah's Karaoke Challenge: The Finals THE VIEW - Rachael Ray, the latest Dancing with the Stars castoff
LATE NIGHT TALK SHOWS
THE LATE SHOW WITH DAVID LETTERMAN (CBS) - Kid Scientists, Amanda Peet, the Cribs with Johnny Marr THE JAY LENO SHOW (NBC) - Penelope Cruz, Dolly Parton THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH CONAN O'BRIEN (NBC) - Al Gore, Jim Parsons, Jason Mraz JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE (ABC) - Danny DeVito, Streeter Seidell & Amir Blumenfeld, Switchfoot THE LATE LATE SHOW WITH CRAIG FERGUSON (CBS) - Trace Adkins, Nick Griffin LATE NIGHT WITH JIMMY FALLON (NBC) - Kate Walsh, Penn & Teller, Goodie Mob LAST CALL WITH CARSON DALY (NBC) - Danny Glover, Lissy Trullie THE DAILY SHOW WITH JON STEWART (COMEDY CENTRAL) - Dr. Jane Goodall THE COLBERT REPORT (COMEDY CENTRAL) - Woody Harrelson LOPEZ TONIGHT (TBS) - Larry David, Kelly Osbourne
MORE THAN ONE POUND OF NAILS REMOVED FROM MAN'S STOMACH: Doctors say they removed 1.5 lbs. of metal, including nails, coins, scrap metal and copper wire from a Peruvian man's stomach after he was brought in for chest pain. The hospital said they suspected the man had appendicitis, but instead found a hole in his stomach. The 26-year-old construction worker said he ate the metal for months and is considering doing it in public for sport. He is currently being held for mental examination. (AP)
POOR INDIAN VILLAGERS SAY RARE TURTLE IS GOD: Poor Hindu villagers in eastern India have refused to give a rare sea turtle to authorities, because they say it is the incarnation of the god Jagannath. The pattern on the turtles shell is said to be resemble holy symbols and has attracted people from throughout the region bearing gifts. The Indian government said the rare species of turtle is protected under law and anyone caught with it can be jailed for up to one year, but the village priest is adamant about keeping it. (Reuters)
MAN ARMED WITH KNIFE STEALS FOUR BLOCKS OF CHEESE: A Hartford man was arrested after he stole four blocks of Colby Jack cheese from a grocery store and slashed at a manager who tried to stop him. The manager was unharmed, but the man threatened to assault him the next time he came into the store. Police were able to track down the man a few blocks away with the cheese still in his pocket. (Hartford Courant)
THIEF FALLS ASLEEP ON THE JOB: Police have caught an Australian man who feel asleep while attempting to pick the lock to a shopping center. The man was found sleeping with lock breaking wire in his hand. Police also found his car full of prescription drugs linked to a pharmacy burglary reported earlier in the day. (Metro.co.uk)
HOT WOMEN ARE GOOD FOR MEN'S HEALTH: Hanging out with hot women makes men feel better about themselves than they do when they hang around other men, researchers have found. DivineCaroline.com reports that just being around a hot girl boosts men's levels of testosterone and cortisol, hormones that improve alertness and well-being. In tests, just five minutes in the presence of a pretty girl boosted testosterone 14 percent and cortisone, an anti-stress hormone, by 48 percent. Around other men, though, the hormones dipped -- suggesting men could be better off having a quick chat with a pretty female pal than hanging out with the boys.
MEN AND WOMEN DRUNK DIAL FOR DIFFERENT REASONS: Lemondrop.com reports that Amber Ferris and Erin Hellenbaugh, instructors at Kent State University, did research on the trend of drunk dialing. After talking to more than 400 college students and asking them why they do it, the pair found that women were more likely to drunk dial for "confidence, relational maintenance, confession of emotion and reconnection,' whereas men intoxicall for "sexual purposes."
PHOTOS REVEAL YOUR PERSONALITY TO STRANGERS: New research shows that people can tell whether someone is an extravert or introvert and how high self-esteem is, even by looking at a neutral pose, according to a study reported by LiveScience. For the study, a dozen observers looked at full-body photos of 123 undergraduate students whom they'd never met. Six observers viewed the students in a neutral pose and six saw the same students in a spontaneous pose. They rated each picture on 10 personality traits then compared the ratings with the profile owner's self-ratings and ratings from three of their close friends. The observer accurately identified 9 out of 10 traits in the expressive shots, were able to judge extraversion and self-esteem correctly in the controlled poses. Laura Naumann of Sonoma State University, one of the study's researchers, told LiveScience, "In an age dominated by social media where personal photographs are ubiquitous, it becomes important to understand the ways personality is communicated via our appearance. The appearance one portrays in his or her photographs has important implications for their professional and social life."
GUM THEFT ON THE RISE: Connecticut police have noticed a rise in the theft of chewing gum. New Britain State's Attorney Scott Murphy told the Hartford Courant, "We've had a number of larceny cases recently involving thefts of substantial amounts of chewing gum. What the motive is, we don't know. But gum thefts are increasing." Since the March arrest of a man suspected of shoplifting $800 worth of Orbit chewing gum, West Hartford police have investigated four gum theft complaints.
THE SEXUAL SIDE EFFECTS OF THANKSGIVING DINNER (YourTango.com)
Pumpkin Pie: Pumpkin pie does more than expand your waistline: it's also an olfactory sexual aphrodisiac. According Alan Hirsch, a neurologist at Chicago's Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation, the aroma of pumpkin pie increases blood flow to the penis by 40 percent. It works even better when combined with the scent of lavender. And it's not just the smell that gives rise. When consumed, pumpkin provides a healthy dose of zinc, an element necessary for healthy blood flow and testosterone production.
Oysters: Oysters have a long-standing reputation as an aphrodisiac, and for good reason: they contain an enormous amounts of zinc, which, as mentioned before, is oh-so-important for testosterone production (read libido) in both men and women. For men specifically, it has been shown to improve both the longevity of an erection and the quality of sperm.
Fig/Cranberry Sauce: This cranberry sauce with port and dried figs recipe is great for both getting in the mood beforehand and for preventing complications afterward. Figs are high in the sex-drive-boosting Vitamin A (important for the reproductive and circulatory systems), while cranberries are great for treating potential urinary tract infections with a healthy dose of Vitamin C. Figs are also fairly sexually suggestive (when sliced, they resemble a woman's vulva) and could make quite an addition to a holiday tablescape.
Sweet Potato: The sweet potato, while not exactly scientifically proven, has been said to increase the female sex drive if consumed in large amounts. What science does know about the sweet potato is that it is high in potassium, which helps reduce stress, as well as Vitamins A, C and iron -- all important sex drive-enhancing nutrients.
Celery & Fennel: Celery seems to find its way in just about every recipe, yet it remains such an unassuming vegetable. Men listen up: celery contains androsterone -- a powerful male hormone that stimulates female sexual arousal. Historically, it has also been used as a cure for impotence. For all you ladies out there, while the men chew on celery, make sure you chomp on a bit of fennel. Fennel contains an estrogen-like substance called estriol that not only will boost your libido, but will also help alleviate post-dinner bloating and cure many PMS-related symptoms.
Chocolate: What's not to love about chocolate? Not only does it pump up your endorphins, it also stimulates the production of dopamine in the brain and will increase a woman's sex drive. What's more, according to Italian researchers, women who eat chocolate regularly have a better sex life than those who deny themselves the treat. So, do yourself a favor and include this Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie along with the classic pumpkin.
Booze: Red, red wine . . . we all know it makes one feel fine, but along with decreasing your inhibitions, red wine is also rich in resveratrol, an important antioxidant. A study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine found that levels of sexual desire were higher in women who were moderate drinkers of red wine than in their counterparts who preferred other alcoholic drinks, or were teetotalers.
Dating Website for 'Beautiful People' Tough on Germans, Britons
Men and women from Germany and Briton are among those who've fared the worst on a dating site that says it only allows beautiful people to join. On BeautifulPeople.com, prospective members upload a recent photo and brief personal profile, and current members then have 48 hours to vote on whether the applicants are attractive enough to join. Voting options are: "Yes definitely"; "Hmm yes, O.K."; "Hmm no, not really"; and "No definitely not." Fewer than one in eight British men and three in 20 British women have been accepted, as have just 15 percent of German men and 13 percent of German women. Russian and Polish men also have done badly, however Russian women have a 44 percent acceptance rate. At the other end of the spectrum, Swedish men have been the most successful, with 65 percent accepted, and 76 percent of Norwegian women have made the cut.
BeautifulPeople.com was founded seven years ago in Denmark, and expanded around the world last month. Since then, nearly 1.8 million people from 190 countries have been rejected, while 360,000 new members have been accepted.
On Veterans Day, KFLAG honors all military veterans!!!!!
Veterans Day history goes back to 1918, on the eleventh hour, of the eleventh day, in the eleventh month. It was on this day the Armistice was signed to end the fighting of World War I. Armistice Day was voted a federal holiday in 1938 later to be renamed and declared Veterans Day by President Nixon. Veterans Day not only honors the men and women who have served in the United States armed services, but also remembers the sacrifices made during World War I to ensure lasting peace. The President officiates a ceremony conducted at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, in Arlington National Cemetery, to remember all those who have fallen in battle over the years. Americans will commonly observe a moment of silence at 11:00 in the morning to show there respect for all who fought for peace.
On Veterans Day, Americans honor all living military veterans, including the many working moms who are veterans of military service. Indeed, the 1.8 million female veterans are more likely to work full-time than their civilian counterparts.
Here are some other Veterans Day facts you may not know.
In 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed legislation changing the name to Veterans Day in order to honor veterans of all American wars.
Veterans by the Numbers:
There were 23.6 million military veterans in the U.S. in 2007. Of those:
1.8 million were female.
2.4 million were black.
million were Hispanic.
9.3 million were 65 and older.
1.9 million were younger than 35.
Veterans by the War: A third of all living veterans served during the Vietnam War. In 2007, there were:
7.9 million Vietnam-era veterans. (1964-1975)
5 million Gulf War veterans. Of these, 16% were women. (August 1990 to present)
2.9 million World War II veterans. (1941-1945)
3 million veterans of the Korean War. (1950-1953)
358,000 veterans of both the Vietnam and Gulf War eras.
Veterans in the Work Force:
10.7 million veterans were in the civilian labor force in 2007.
Women veterans earned $32,217 in 2005, more than the $27,272 earned by female civilians with no military experience.
Male veterans earned $42,128 in 2005, more than the $39,880 earned by male civilians with no military service.
Female veterans were more likely to work 35 hours or more each week and more than 3 times as likely to work in public administration, compared with non-veterans.
Veterans owned 3 million (14.5%) of the 20.5 million businesses the Census Bureau surveyed in 2002.
Veterans' Income, Education and Disability:
Veterans earned a median income of $36,053 in 2007. But 5.7% of veterans lived in poverty.
A quarter of veterans 25 and older held at least a bachelor's degree. 90% of that group held at least a high school diploma.
6 million veterans had a disability when surveyed in 2007.
Veterans More Likely to Vote:
17.4 million veterans voted in the 2004 presidential election. That's 74% of all veterans, compared with 63% of non-veterans.
14 million veterans voted in the 2006 congressional election. That's 61% of all veterans, compared with only 46% of civilians with no military service.
Carrie Underwood says that this year's CMA Awards nominations pretty much make her life complete. She is up for Female Vocalist of the Year alongside her musical hero, Reba McEntire, and her duet with Randy Travis on "I Told You So" is in the running for Musical Event of the Year. Carrie tells us that this nod is near and dear to her heart. "I just, I love Randy! I just love him, and I'm so honored to be nominated with him for something. This is really, truly like a seven-year-old's dreams completely coming true in one night to be nominated with these two -- other people as well, but to be up for an award with Randy and then to be up against (laughs) an award with Reba. It's a good night regardless (of) whatever happens."
"I Told You So" was written and originally recorded by Randy. His version climbed to the top of the country charts in 1988, while Carrie took it to Number Two earlier this year.
Carrie is firmly in Randy's corner for CMA Song of the Year."For the record, I'm crossin' my fingers and prayin' so hard that Randy wins Song of the Year because I think he deserves it so much!"
The CMA Awards airs live tonight (Wednesday, November 11th) from Nashville's Sommet Center on ABC.
Carrie will perform on the show, in addition to co-hosting it with Brad Paisley.
Carrie Underwood heads into tonight's (Wednesday, November 11th) CMA Awards with another Number One hit under her belt. Her latest single, "Cowboy Casanova," claims the top spot on the country charts this week just 10 weeks after its release. This is Carrie's overall 11th chart-topper, and the fastest Number One country single of her career.
Carrie co-wrote "Cowboy Casanova" for her brand new CD, Play On, which was released earlier this month.
Carrie has more Number One hits to her credit than any other American Idol winner.
"Cowboy Casanova" is the debut release from Play On.
The CMA Awards airs tonight on ABC beginning at 8 p.m. ET.
Julianne Hough and Chuck Wicks have ended their romance. People magazine reports the two "needed some time apart" after a little more than a year of dating.
Both Julianne and Chuck will be in attendance at the CMA Awards tonight (Wednesday, November 11th) in Nashville. Chuck will be interviewing his peers on the red carpet as a special correspondent for Entertainment Tonight. Julianne will serve as a presenter during the live Awards show broadcast. The CMA Awards airs on ABC beginning at 8 p.m. ET.
Chuck and Julianne first met and got to know each other while on tour with Brad Paisley.
The two danced as a couple on last season's Dancing With The Stars.
As the only other female country artist to ever serve as both host and musical guest on Saturday Night Live, Dolly Parton says she definitely tuned in to see Taylor Swift do the same on Saturday (November 7th) night. And she tells us she was quite impressed:"I did stay up to watch Taylor because I remember when I did that years ago. It's the hardest thing I've ever done in my life is to try to host a show, be the musical guest and you gotta be in all those skits, and it's all live! The only thing they taped was that one little piece with her with the vampire thing. I guess they had to do that, but I mean you go constantly, and she did a much finer job than I did gettin' in and out of the transitions, but it was really, really hard."
Dolly says that Taylor is really the complete package. "I watched her and I thought, 'That little thing!' She's so young, she's so talented, she's so professional. It's like she's been in this business for so many years. I was really, really proud of her, and I know as soon as she finished she just collapsed, cause it's a big job, but everybody thought she did great. Well she's amazing anyway. She's real special, but I think Taylor did a wonderful job!"
Dolly's new DVD/CD package, called Live From London, is in stores this week. This is the superstar's very first live DVD of her career.
It was recorded during a sold-out two-night stint at London's O2 Arena on her recent Backwoods Barbie tour.
Taylor Swift leads the final country nominees at the 2010 People's Choice Awards with three nominations -- Favorite Female Artist, Favorite Pop Artist and Favorite Country Artist. Keith Urban and Carrie Underwood each earned two nods. Keith was voted in the Favorite Country Artist and Favorite Male Artist categories, while Carrie was nominated for Favorite Country Artist and Favorite Female Artist. Tim McGraw is up for Favorite Male Artist. Brad Paisley and Rascal Flatts round out the Favorite Country Artist nominees.
More than 16 million fans voted online for the final list.
The winners will be determined by votes placed online at peopleschoice.com.
The People's Choice Awards airs live on CBS on January 6th at 9 p.m. ET.
The 11th annual A Home For The Holidays With Faith Hill special to raise awareness about the importance of adoption will air on CBS on December 23rd. Her special guests include Reba McEntire, Carrie Underwood, R&B star Mary J. Blige, and pop singer Shakira. Actress Jenna Elfman (Accidentally on Purpose) and Nia Vardalos (My Big Fat Greek Wedding) will also appear to present inspirational stories about adoption.
Faith was adopted as an infant.
She eventually found her birthmother, who died in 2007.
Some other famous adoptees include Rodney Atkins, Jamie Foxx, actress Melissa Gilbert, Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, Olympic skater Scott Hamilton, and blues musician Bo Diddley.
Trace Adkins has inspired a new comic book action hero. Tough southern guy "Luke McBain" will be the star of a new four-issue comic book being released today (Wednesday, November 11th) by Gauge Comics. The writer and publisher of the series spent a lot of time with Trace to make sure McBain felt authentic. The title character of Luke McBain was drawn to Trace's likeness and reflects some of his life philosophy.
The story takes place when McBain returns home to rural Louisiana after serving 14 years in prison, having taken the fall for a crime he didn't commit. He finds himself in a town now controlled by greed and corruption, and he's the only one with the courage to set things right. Although the book contains some violence, it is generally suitable for all ages.
Subsequent issues will be hitting comic book stores monthly through February 2010.
Trace is the first country artist to be featured as a fictional character in a comic book project.
Other artists that have been involved with the comic book scene include Gerald Way of My Chemical Romance and Tori Amos.
Trace will stop by The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson on Thursday (November 12th). It airs on CBS at 12:35 a.m. ET.
His latest Top 20 single, "All I Ask For Anymore" continues to climb the charts.
He will launch a co-headlining tour with Martina McBride on November 21st.
CMT will broadcast Sugarland's one-hour network special that originally aired on ABC back in August. Sugarland: Live On The Inside will re-air exlusively on the cable network on Friday (November 13th) at 10 p.m. ET.
The special was filmed during the duo's Love On The Inside tour stop at Rupp Arena in Lexington, Kentucky.
Future CMT Live On The Inside airdates include Saturday (November 14th) at 10 a.m. ET, November 16th at 10 a.m. ET, November 18th at 8 a.m. ET, and November 20th at 10 a.m. ET.
In other Sugarland news, their 2004 debut CD, Twice The Speed Of Life has been certified triple platinum for sales of more than three million copies. The album includes the hits "Baby Girl" and "Something More."
Sugarland recently released their first holiday CD, called Gold And Green. The 10-track collection is made up of both standards and originals.
The duo are up for Album of the Year for Love On The Inside and Vocal Duo of the Year at tonight's (Wednesday, November 11th) CMA Awards. They are also set to perform on the live show, which will air on ABC at 8 p.m. ET.
ARREST WARRANT FOR RANDY QUAID DROPPED: An arrest warrant for Randy Quaid and his wife Evi has been dropped after the couple posted bail of $20,000 each last week. The Quaids' attorney says that their outstanding hotel bill -- at the root of the case -- has been paid and he hopes to talk with prosecutors about a resolution. The warrant was issued after the couple failed to show up for three court appearances.
'ANTM' JUDGE REVEALS HE'S A FATHER:America's Next Top model judge "Miss J" Alexander revealed on Tuesday's (November 10th) Tyra Show that he has a seven-year-old son. The reality star said on the show that he and his ex-boyfriend were both sperm donors, although the ex is actually the biological father of the boy, whose name is Boris. Alexander said, "A French lesbian had asked if we would be sperm donors. So we thought, 'OK, you want me to do you?' And she was like, 'Ooooh, I'm not that talented.' So I said, 'Okay fine.' So we did a little test tube." He added that he's still involved in Boris's life and wrote in his new book that fatherhood has "enriched my life beyond imagination."
ANOTHER 'HILLS' FEUD BREWING? Kristin Cavallari has reportedly moved in on another one of Audrina Patridge's ex-boyfriends. People magazine reports that Cavallari -- who famously feuded with Patridge on The Hills over Justin Bobby -- is dating a guy named Tal Cooperman, who was spotted with her rival last summer. A source told People, "It's brand new. They're having a lot of fun enjoying getting to know each other better. It's not for the show. They hit it off and have been hanging out off-camera."
DISABLED ACTORS UPSET OVER 'GLEE' CASTING: A group of disabled actors are upset that a non-paraplegic person was cast as a wheelchair-bound student on Fox's Glee. The Associated Press quotes CSI cast member Robert David Hall as having said of the matter, "I think there's a fear of litigation, that a person with disabilities might slow a production down, fear that viewers might be uncomfortable. I've made my living as an actor for 30 years and I walk on two artificial legs." Glee executive producer Brad Falchuk defended the casting of Kevin McHale, saying, "It's hard to say no to someone that talented. We brought in anyone: white, black, Asian, in a wheelchair. It was very hard to find people who could really sing, really act, and have that charisma you need on TV."
HALLE BERRY RECEIVING AWARD: Halle Berry will receive the Sherry Lansing leadership award at next month's 18th annual Power 100: Women in Entertainment breakfast. The Hollywood Reporter, which throws the event, announced that Berry will join fellow Oscar winners Meryl Streep and Jodie Foster as a recipient of the award. The breakfast will be held at the Beverly Hills hotel on December 4th.
LETTERMAN EXTORTION SUSPECT ASKS THAT CASE BE DISMISSED
A TV news producer accused of blackmailing David Letterman asked that a judge dismiss the attempted first-degree grand larceny case against him, arguing that there was nothing illegal about taking a $2 million check in exchange for documents alluding to the late night host's sexual exploits. Robert J. Halderman's lawyer said on Tuesday (November 10th) that he was only trying to sell Letterman a screenplay.
Letterman's attorney responded outside of court, "It's classic blackmail, no matter how Mr. Halderman's lawyer wants to dress it up," and said Letterman is prepared to testify in the case goes to court.
Authorities say that in exchange for the money, Halderman provided a letter saying he needed to make "a large chunk of money" and a claim that his screenplay would depict how Letterman's world would "collapse around him" when information about his private life was disclosed. Photos, personal correspondence and portions of a diary also were enclosed.
Halderman was arrested after depositing a phony check and has pleaded not guilty to charges against him.
Before prosecutors unveiled the cast last month, Letterman used his talk show as a platform to admit past sexual relationships with show staffers -- including Halderman's former girlfriend.
SIMON COWELL IS DEEMED THE TOP EARNING MAN IN PRIME TIME
Simon Cowell has been deemed the top earning man in prime-time U.S. television after raking in $75 million from June 1, 2008 to June 1, 2009. The 50-year-old American Idol star beat out Donald Trump and co-star Ryan Seacrest for the top spot on the Forbes list.
The individuals' total earnings reflects income from all of each person's ventures -- not just their prime-time pursuits. For example, in addition to American Idol, Cowell also profits from his record label, which has signed the likes of Leona Lewis and Susan Boyle.
Jon Gosselin is reportedly planning to countersue TLC for $5 million in the wake of the network's breach of contract lawsuit against him. RadarOnline.com reports that Gosselin will contend that he was not adequately represented when he signed his TLC contract and claim that he cannot make a living due to its restrictions.
The website reports that Jon still has no formal representation in Maryland as his lawyer is not licensed to practice in the state nor is there paperwork in Montgomery County Circuit Court noting his official legal representation.
Radar noted that Jon will likely argue that TLC was preventing him from earning a living with a contract that was too restrictive. However, in its court filing, TLC said that it offered to keep paying Jon when it planned to change the show from Jon & Kate Plus 8 to Kate Plus 8. The suit also notes that TLC is not stopping Jon from earning a living and points out that he is always able to go back to his former job in Information Technology.
In the suit against Jon, TLC is claiming damages because his unauthorized business deals and interviews have "basically created a competitor to their programming."
VAMPIRES POSIED TO DOMINATE PEOPLE'S CHOICE AWARDS
Twlight leads the list of nominees for the People's Choice Awards, snagging six potential honors including Favorite Movie as well as acting nods for Kristen Stewart, Rob Pattinson and Taylor Lautner.
The awards appear to have a vampire theme as HBO's True Blood is also up for multiple nominations including Favorite TV Obsession and Favorite TV Drama Actress for Anna Paquin.
In the music categories, Taylor Swift and Miley Cyrus earned three and two nods repectively, while Britney Spears, Beyonce and Lady Gaga all have a shot at recognition.
CSI, Grey's Anatomy, House, Lost and NCIS are competiting for Favorite TV Drama while Dexter, Gossip Girl, The Hills and The Secret Life of the American Teenager join True Blood as the Favorite TV Obsession nominees.
Queen Latifah is set to host the show, which airs live on CBS on January 6th.
Here's the complete list of nominees:
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation
How I Met Your Mother
The Big Bang Theory
Two and a Half Men
Jennifer Love Hewitt
Neil Patrick Harris
Eva Longoria Parker
The Secret Life of the American Teenager
Live with Regis & Kelly
The Ellen DeGeneres Show
The Oprah Winfrey Show
The Tyra Banks Show
The Vampire Diaries
Dancing With the Stars
So You Think You Can Dance
It's Me or the Dog
The Good Wife
The Vampire Diaries
NCIS: Los Angeles
Accidentally on Purpose
The Cleveland Show
Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds, The Proposal
Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart and Taylor Lautner, The Twilight Saga
Shia LaBeouf and Megan Fox, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
Hugh Jackman, Liev Schreiber, Ryan Reynolds, will.i.am, Dominic Monaghan and Daniel Henney, X-Men Origins: Wolverine
Hannah Montana: The Movie
Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs
Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian
Where the Wild Things Are
(500) Days of Summer
Tyler Perry's Madea Goes to Jail
The Twilight Saga
He's Just Not That Into You
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Breakout Music Artist
Kings of Leon
Cobra Starship & Leighton Meester, "Good Girls Go Bad"
ROB PATTINSON ADMITS PERSONAL HYGIENE IS DISGUSTING
In what may be an attempt to scare off his legions of female fans, Rob Pattinson has revealed that his personal hygiene is "so disgusting." The 23-year-old Twilight said during an interview with the UK's New magazine, "These jeans are a few days old. But the top is probably fresh because it gets to the point where even I can't stand the air around me."
He also brushed off comparisons to his romantic alter-ego, Edward, admitting, "I don't think I'm romantic any more. I'm just a bit manic depressive!"
Pattinson claims that his career has actually hindered his love life, explaining, "Acting ruined my seduction techniques because you start to think everything is a 'method.'"
Aaron Carter and his professional partner, Karina Smirnoff, were eliminated from Dancing With The Stars on Tuesday. After beating out former NFL receiver Michael Irvin in a dance-off last week, he found himself in the bottom two once again. Carter said he learned a lot during his eight weeks on the program. "I've grown so much from your compliments and your criticism," he said, "so I've got to say thank you."
Tuesday's episode also featured performances by Michael Buble, who sang his new single, and Susan Boyle, who performed what has become her signature song, "I Dreamed a Dream."
Besides Osmond, the remaining semifinalists include Kelly Osbourne, singer Mya and model Joanna Krupa.
OBAMA SPEAKS AT FORT HOOD MEMORIAL SERVICE: President Obama spoke at a memorial service yesterday (November 10th) at Fort Hood, Texas, for the 12 soldiers and one civilian killed in a shooting rampage at the sprawling Army base last week, allegedly by Army psychiatrist Major Nidal Hasan. Obama didn't name Hasan, but alluded to the evidence that Hasan may have been motivated by Islamic extremism: ["It may be hard to comprehend the twisted logic that led to this tragedy. But this much we do know: no faith justifies these murderous and craven acts. No just and loving God looks upon them with favor. For what he has done, we know that the killer will be met with justice, in this world and the next."] SOUNDCUE (:25 OC: . . . and the next.)
Speaking before an estimated crowd of 15,000, Obama spoke the name of each of the 13 people killed and briefly described them, saying they will always be remembered: ["Every evening that the sun sets on a tranquil town, every dawn that a flag is unfurled, every moment that an American enjoys life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, that is their legacy."] SOUNDCUE (:13 OC: . . . is their legacy.)
The president and first lady Michelle Obama met privately with the family members of those killed, as well as the 29 wounded and their families. After the ceremony, Obama walked solemnly along a row of 13 pairs of combat boots that had been set up below the stage, each with an inverted rifle topped with a helmet. A picture of every person killed rested below the boots, and Obama placed a commander-in-chief's coin next to each photo.
Meanwhile, AP cited two U.S. officials as saying a Pentagon worker on a terrorism task force had looked into Hasan's background months ago and had concluded he didn't merit further investigation. The group had been notified of communications between Hasan and a radical Islamic imam overseas.
D.C. SNIPER EXECUTED:John Allen Muhammad, the mastermind behind the Washington, D.C.-area sniper attacks in October 2002 that left 10 dead in a three-week killing spree, was executed Tuesday (November 10th) in Virginia. The 48-year-old Muhammad refused to say any last words before he was put to death by lethal injection at 9:11 p.m. for the murder of Dean Harold Meyers, who was shot and killed at a Manassas gas station. Lee Boyd Malvo, Muhammad's accomplice who was 17 at the time of the attacks, has been sentenced to life in prison without parole. The motive for the attacks isn't truly clear. Malvo said Muhammad wanted to extort $10 million from the government to set up a camp in Canada where homeless children would be trained as terrorists. But Muhammad's ex-wife said she believes they were a smoke screen for his plan to kill her and regain custody of their three children.
BILL CLINTON URGES DEMOCRATIC SENATORS TO PASS HEALTH BILL: Former President Bill Clinton urged Senate Democrats Tuesday (November 10th) to pass health insurance reform legislation by the end of the year, telling wavering lawmakers that an imperfect bill is preferable to another failure like the one he and the party went through in 1994. Clinton spoke during the party's weekly closed-door caucus meeting on Capitol Hill at the invitation of Majority Leader Harry Reid. AP cited several Democrats at the meeting as saying Clinton didn't express an opinion on controversial issues such as the public option or the availability of abortion coverage, but told them that expanding health care is good policy and good politics.
WORKPLACE VIOLENCE IN OREGON, NEW YORK: A 36-year-old woman was killed and two of her co-workers injured at a drug-testing lab in Tualatin, Oregon, when the woman's estranged husband opened fire Tuesday (November 10th) and then killed himself. Teresa Maria Beiser died, as did her husband, 39-year-old Robert James Beiser in the suburban Portland shooting.
Meanwhile, in Pine Plains, New York, about 90 miles of New York City, a 42-year-old father of an Army veteran sneaked a disassembled shotgun into a middle school just after classes began, put it together in a bathroom, and then held the principal hostage for more than two hours before surrendering. Christopher Craft Sr. wanted school officials and police to talk to the media about his message, quote, "concerning the wrongful treatment of United States Military personnel," according to court documents.
FIVE MISSIONS TO U.N. GET ENVELOPES WITH WHITE POWDER: Five foreign missions to the United Nations have received envelopes with a suspicious white powder inside, according to New York City police. The missions to the United Kingdom and Germany received envelopes Tuesday (November 10th), after the missions of France, Austria and Uzbekistan got envelopes Monday. Tests showed the three envelopes sent to the missions Monday contained flour, and tests were being conducted on the two received yesterday. All five envelopes had Texas postmarks, and three of them contained notes referring to al-Qaida and mentioning the FBI.
EX-ASTRONAUT PLEADS GUILTY IN ATTACK ON ROMANTIC RIVAL: Navy Captain and former astronaut Lisa Nowak, who drove from Houston to Orlando in February 2007 to attack a romantic rival, pled guilty yesterday (November 10th) to reduced charges and was sentenced to one year's probation. Nowak had confronted Colleen Shipman, who'd begun dating the married Nowak's love interest, former space shuttle pilot Bill Oefelein, in the parking lot of Orlando International Airport. Nowak tried to get into Shipman's car and then attacked her with pepper spray, but Shipman was able to get away. When police arrested Nowak soon after, they found her in the parking lot getting rid of a bag that contained a steel mallet, a knife, a BB pistol, rubber tubing and several large garbage bags. Shipman, who's a former Air Force captain, told the judge after Nowak's plea yesterday, "I know in my heart when Lisa Nowak attacked me, she was going to kill me." Shipman said she still fears for her life, suffers nightmares, migraines, high blood pressure and other medical problems, and has bought a shotgun. Nowak apologized to Shipman for the pain she brought to her life.
Nowak was dismissed from the astronaut corps after her arrest.
Shipman now lives in Alaska with Oefelein.
UNITED PILOT CHARGED WITH BEING OVER ALCOHOL LIMIT: British police said yesterday (November 10th) that a 51-year-old United Airlines pilot has been charged with having too much alcohol in his system when he was taken off his flight from London to Chicago shortly before takeoff the day before. Erwin Vermont Washington of Colorado was arrested after authorities were alerted by another member of United's staff. It wasn't clear how much alcohol Washington had in his system, but British law forbids pilots from having a blood alcohol level of more than .02 percent. After Washington was taken into custody, the flight was canceled, and the 124 passengers were put on other flights. Washington, who has been suspended by United pending an investigation, could face up to two years in prison in Britain, a fine, or both if convicted.
NIELSEN: TV VIEWING IN U.S. AT AN ALL-TIME HIGH: The Nielsen Company reported yesterday (November 10th) that TV viewing in the U.S. reached an all-time high in the 2008-2009 season. Americans spent an average four hours and 49 minutes each day watching broadcast and cable TV -- including recorded programs -- up four minutes from the previous season and 20 percent from 10 years earlier. Additionally, the average household watched eight hours and 21 minutes of TV a day on average, which is also a record. Nielsen said the increase was the result of homes having more TVs, greater use of digital video recorders, and an increase in channels and content.
VATICAN STUDYING POSSIBILITY OF ALIEN LIFE, IMPLICATIONS FOR THE CHURCH: The Vatican is studying the possibility that extraterrestrial life could exist, as well as the implications for the Catholic Church if it does. Reverend Jose Gabriel Funes, an astronomer and director of the Vatican Observatory, presented the results yesterday (November 10th) of a five-day conference that gathered astronomers, physicists, biologists and other experts to discuss the field of astrobiology, which is the study of the origin of life and its existence elsewhere in the universe. Funes said in an interview last year that the existence of life beyond the Earth doesn't contradict a faith in God. He told the L'Osservatore Romano newspaper, "Just as there is a multitude of creatures on Earth, there could be other beings, even intelligent ones, created by God."
Recent popes have been working to overcome the accusation that the Church was hostile to science, and Pope Benedict the 16th has made strengthening the relationship between faith and reason a key aspect of his papacy,
21-YEAR-OLD BECOMES YOUNGEST WORLD SERIES OF POKER WINNER: Twenty-one-year-old Joe Cada of Michigan won the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas yesterday (November 10th), becoming the event's youngest champion ever. Cada won $8.55 million after battling eight others during the weekend finale of the no-limits Texas Hold'em tournament that began in July with 6,494 players. Coming in second was 46-year-old logger Darvin Moon of Maryland, who won $5.18 million. Cada, who left community college to become a professional poker player, entered the main event with the help of backers who paid his $10,000 entry fee in exchange for a 50 percent cut of his winnings.
KAREEM ABDUL-JABBAR REVEALS LEUKEMIA DIAGNOSIS: Basketball great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has revealed that he's being treated for a rare form of leukemia, but said that his prognosis is encouraging. The NBA's all-time leading scorer told AP Monday (November 9th) that he was diagnosed last December with chronic myeloid leukemia, and is taking an oral medication for the disease. The 62-year-old Abdul-Jabbar said the he wants to bring awareness to the disease, citing the way his former Los Angeles Lakers teammate Magic Johnson did so for HIV when he was diagnosed. The six-time NBA MVP said he'll be posting updates to his Facebook and Twitter accounts.
VIN SCULLY TO DECIDE FUTURE AFTER 2010 SEASON: Hall of Fame sportscaster Vin Scully said Tuesday (November 10th) that he'll continue to broadcast games for the Los Angeles Dodgers through the 2010 season, and will then decide whether to retire. The 81-year-old Scully told AP that he still loves the job he's had with the Dodgers since 1950, but that it's hard to be away from his wife during a long season. Scully's 59-year tenure with the Dodgers -- going back to when the team was still in Brooklyn -- is the longest of any current sports broadcaster with the same team.
(Headline News, FYI and Sports stories were compiled in part from reports by the Associated Press and Reuters.)
MERCY - Veronica and Mike are reunited by a family crisis; Sonia's bratty high school rival becomes her patient.
LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT - A case becomes more complicated when racy photos of the victim are leaked onto the internet; Stabler's son is drawn into a series of compromising events by his best friend.
THE 43RD ANNUAL CMA AWARDS - Honoring excellence in country music, Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood host; scheduled to perform include Jason Aldean, Darius Rucker, Reba McEntire, Sugarland, Taylor Swift and Keith Urban.
AMERICA'S NEXT TOP MODEL - The four remaining models must channel Pele, the Hawaiian goddess of volcanoes during their photo shoot; two models are eliminated.
THE VAMPIRE DIARIES (repeat)
NIP/TUCK - Matt's crime spree catches up to him; Julia returns from New York; Sean discovers devastating details about his marriage to Teddy.
DAY TIME TALK SHOW
THE ELLEN DEGENERES SHOW - John Travolta, Ella Bleu Travolta THE OPRAH WINFREY SHOW - TBA THE VIEW - Woody Harrelson, the Broadway cast of Finian's Rainbow
LATE NIGHT TALK SHOWS
THE LATE SHOW WITH DAVID LETTERMAN (CBS) - Kate Walsh, Norah Jones THE JAY LENO SHOW (NBC) - Sandra Bullock THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH CONAN O'BRIEN (NBC) - Heather Locklear, Rodman JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE (ABC) - Dominic Monaghan, Los Lonely Boys THE LATE LATE SHOW WITH CRAIG FERGUSON (CBS) - Kenneth Branagh LATE NIGHT WITH JIMMY FALLON (NBC) - Jason Schwartzman, Joan Cusack, Carly Simon LAST CALL WITH CARSON DALY (NBC) - Jared Leto THE DAILY SHOW WITH JON STEWART (COMEDY CENTRAL) - Clarence Clemons THE COLBERT REPORT (COMEDY CENTRAL) - Christopher Caldwell
WOMAN DRIVES INTO AQUARIUM WITH CHILD IN LAP: A Tampa, Florida woman drove her pickup truck into a 1,500-gallon aquarium outside Tampa International Airport, but luckily sustained no injuries to herself or her unrestrained 6-year-old son who was in her lap. Unfortunately, 90% of the 40 or so saltwater fish on display did not survive. The airport had spent $200,000 on the exhibit as part of a public art program. The woman was cited for reckless driving. (AP)
MAN CAUGHT STEALING CHAMPAGNE FOR 63rd TIME: A 70-year-old man was arrested on Chicago's West Side for stealing a $135 bottle of champagne. It was the 63rd time he's been arrested, leading authorities to up the charges against him from misdemeanor to a felony due to his extensive record. Police say the man has been known to use over 50 aliases. (AP)
STONED DRIVER TALKS TO POLICE ABOUT DRAGONS: An Australian man pulled over for a random breath test passed with a negative blood-alcohol level, but quickly blew his cover. Police still suspicious of his appearance asked the man to step out of the vehicle, at which time he seemed to walk unsteadily and take long pauses between answering questions. That's when police say he began to talk about "mystical dragons". He was charged with driving under the influence of drugs and possessing a dangerous drug. (The Mercury)
COLLEGE SUSPENDS GIRL WHO SHAVED HEAD FOR CHARITY: A 15-year-old from Brisbane, Australia has been suspended by Mount Alvernia College for shaving her head. The girl did so to raise money for cancer research, since her father has been diagnosed with terminal cancer. The Catholic school says the student is in violation of their dress code and cannot return to school until her hair grows back. "I am just appalled that she could be suspended by a Catholic school that promotes joy, respect and community spirit," said the girl's mother. The school is not expected to back off the suspension. (Courier Mail)
TEXT MESSAGES REPLACING GREETING CARDS: Traditional greetings cards are gradually being replaced by text messages, as more people are opting to show that they care with technology rather than pen and paper. A survey conducted for www.rightmobilephone.co.uk of 1,014 people found that 58 percent of people claimed they would now send a simple text message instead of popping a card in the post. Family members proved to be the most likely to get a card handed to them or sent in the mail, with 66 percent saying they usually buy their immediate relatives a card on special occasions, compared to just 42 percent of people who said the same for their friends.
EMPLOYEES SHAVE OFF YEARS AFTER RETIREMENT: Workers feel ten years younger after they retire, according to a study reported on in the Telegraph that highlights the physical toll of lengthy careers. Researchers analyzed almost 15,000 employees and found that they felt increasingly less well in the years leading up to retirement, but significantly better after they stopped work. The study, which took annual surveys of the French workers' self-rated health, found that between the year before retirement and the year after, the risk of workers saying they were not well fell from 19 to 14 percent -- a drop the researchers said corresponded to a gain in health of eight to 10 years.
IS IT OKAY TO CHEAT ON YOUR HAIRDRESSER? Some people are extremely loyal to their hairdressers, carrying on long-term relationships that outlast marriages and friendships -- following these stylists from salon to salon.
COLLEGE MEN DON'T LIKE SKINNY GIRLS: A survey of male college students finds they prefer women of average weight and build. Asylum.com reports that the 18-to-26-year-old men who participated in a study at Scotland's St. Andrews University came to that conclusion by looking only at pictures of faces. When looking at an array of head shots, the gents consistently singled out those that paired with either underweight or overweight body types as being both less attractive and less healthy than those that topped normal frames. There has long been a correlation between the perceived health of a face and its attractiveness, but this is the first study to tie a gaunt or plump visage to a negative impression of overall build.
CARB DIETERS HAPPIER THAN HIGH-FAT COUNTERPARTS: Reuters Life reports that eating a diet high in carbohydrates and low on fat helps people lose weight and also makes them feel happier than a diet with less carbs but more meat and dairy. A study looked at 106 overweight or obese people in Australia aged 24 to 64 who followed one of two diets for a year: a low-fat, high-carb diet with bread, pasta and rice, or a low-carb, high-fat diet with more meat and dairy. Researchers from several Australian institutions including CSIRO, the University of South Australia and Flinders University found the dieters lost an average of 30 lbs each, with no significant difference in weight loss between the two groups. But the dieters following the high-carb, low-fat diet were found to be less angry, hostile, depressed and confused than those eating more meat and dairy products after the year.
According to AskMen.com, what state has the most professional hockey franchises?
A: Texas is home to 11 professional hockey franchises: The Dallas Stars (NHL); the Texas Stars, Houston Aeros and San Antonio Rampage (AHL); and the Allen Americans, Amarillo Gorillas, Corpus Christi IceRays, Laredo Bucks, Odessa Jackalopes, Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees and Texas Brahmas (CHL). A 12th team, the CHL's Austin Ice Bats, recently folded
Safin Says Agassi Should Give Back Titles After Crystal Meth Confession
Former Number One-ranked tennis player Marat Safin said in an interview yesterday (November 10th) that Andre Agassi should give his titles and winnings back after confessing in his new autobiography, Open, that he used crystal meth in 1997 and tested positive for the drug. Agassi, who retired in 2006, wrote that the test result was thrown out after he lied to the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP), saying he "unwittingly" took the substance.
Safin, who plans to retire later this month, told France's L'Equipe newspaper that Agassi should, quote, "give his titles, his money and his Grand Slam titles back." Agassi won 60 titles, including eight Grand Slams during his career. Safin also questioned why Agassi went public, saying, "I do not defend the ATP, but what he said put them in a bad position. ATP allowed him to win a lot of tournaments, to make a lot of money. They kept his secret, so why be so cruel with them? There are times you need to be able to shut up."
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Taylor Swift has been tapped to open the 43rd annual CMA Awards tomorrow night (Wednesday, November 11th) with a live performance. Her appearance there comes on the heels of her much-praised appearance as both host and musical guest on Saturday Night Live over the weekend. Taylor gave the NBC show a season-high rating of 5.0.
The CMA Awards, hosted by Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood, will air live from the Sommet Center in Nashville on ABC-TV at 8 p.m. ET.
In addition to Taylor, performers already announced include Jason Aldean, Brooks & Dunn, Kenny Chesney and Dave Mathews, Billy Currington, Vince Gill and Daughtry, Kid Rock and Jamey Johnson, Lady Antebellum, Miranda Lambert, Martina McBride, Reba McEntire, Tim McGraw, Brad Paisley, Darius Rucker, George Strait, Sugarland, Carrie Underwood, Keith Urban, and Zac Brown Band.
Dale Earnhardt Jr., Neil Flynn, Patricia Heaton, Julianne Hough, Randy Houser, The Judds, Kid Rock, Kris Kristofferson, Jake Owen, Kellie Pickler, LeAnn Rimes, Robin Roberts, and Lee Ann Womack will all present awards during the telecast.
Taylor is up for four awards this year -- Entertainer; Female; Album for Fearless; and Music Video for "Love Story."
She qualifies for a fifth trophy because she produced Fearless with Nathan Chapman.
Kenny Chesney is bringing his summer tour experience to the big screen. Kenny Chesney: Summer In 3-D gives fans a whole new perspective on what USA Today has deemed the biggest tour of the year. Other major acts who have released such movies include the Rolling Stones and U2.
Kenny said, "I'd seen U2's movie and was blown away. It was like something I'd never seen, and I wondered what would happen if we tried to capture some of what was going on like that... How would it look, because this is more straight up... When we did, everyone who saw the footage agreed, and we started taking this project very seriously."
Kenny Chesney: Summer In 3-D was shot over the course of six nights in five cities -- Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Seattle, Boston and Indianapolis -- with 22 3-D camera rigs.
The film will be in theaters in April of next year.
Kenny is nominated for three trophies at Wednesday's (November 11th) CMA Awards -- Entertainer of the Year, Male Vocalist and Vocal Event with Mac McAnally for "Down the Road."
Kenny will perform "I'm Alive" with Dave Matthews during the live broadcast of the CMA Awards, airing on ABC at 8 p.m. ET.
Carrie Underwood will be making an appearance at the new store called Opry Originals: The Shop on Broadway located in downtown Nashville's famed Lower Broadway area on Saturday (November 14th). The store will open at 10 a.m. (CT) and will hand out a limited number of autograph vouchers on a first-come, first-served basis with the purchase of Carrie's new CD, Play On, from the Opry Originals store. The signing will run from 5:30 - 6:30 p.m.
The signing is prior to Carrie's performance at the Grand Ole Opry, taking place at the Ryman Auditorium this weekend. The superstar will hit the historic stage for two shows later that evening. The show will also be featured as part of the Opry's first-ever live stream on MySpace Music beginning at 9 p.m. (ET).
Jake Owen will also be performing at the Opry that night, and will be featured on the live stream.
Carrie performs on Good Morning America this morning (Tuesday, November 10th).
Carrie's Play On CD was released earlier this week.
Her current single, "Cowboy Casanova," is the fastest-rising hit of Carrie's career to date.
In addition to co-hosting the CMA Awards tomorrow night (Wednesday, November 11th), Carrie is nominated for Female Vocalist of the Year along with Reba McEntire, Martina McBride, Miranda Lambert and Taylor Swift.
Kellie Pickler will be among the presenters at tomorrow (Wednesday, November 11th) night's CMA Awards. Kellie says whether performing or handing out a trophy, it's all a little nerve-wracking considering the audience is made up of her peers. "Long before American Idol I've watched the CMA's. Just to be able to be in the same room with all those people that I've followed their careers and bought their music and had their posters on my walls -- it's really cool to be in the room with that much talent. It's incredible, so it is a little scary regardless of what you're doing, even if you just have to sit there, cause I'm bound to mess that up -- just sitting there!"
The CMA Awards will air live on ABC beginning at 8 p.m. ET.
The show will be hosted by Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley for the second year in a row.
Kellie's latest single, "Didn't You Know How Much I Loved You," continues its climb up the country charts.
Dolly Parton hosted a red carpet media event in Nashville yesterday (Monday, November 9th) to celebrate today's (Tuesday, November 10th) release of Dolly: Live From London, a new DVD and two-disc CD package recorded during two sold-out shows at London's O2 Arena. Carrie Underwood, Kellie Pickler, George Jones and Wynonna are among the celebs who turned out for the event.
This is the first DVD that captures Dolly's live performance, so what did the legend tell reporters will be surprise to fans? "Not a thing. I hope they ain't hypin' it too much. It's just that it's out and it's Christmas and we're tryin to sell it cause it makes a good present, and it wraps up really nice, but if you've ever seen me at all it's just some of what I do. It's just me in London doin' it."
Dolly: Live From London features 15 of her hits performed in concert.
In between song footage is exclusive intimate interview footage with Parton, who introduces viewers to the various members of her staff and takes cameras behind the scenes at her soundcheck.
Dolly: Live From London is the third project release from Parton's own Dolly Records.
Songs performed by Parton on the live CD and DVD include "Here You Come Again," "I Will Always Love You," "Two Doors Down," "9 to 5," Islands in the Stream," "Jolene," "Better Get To Livin,'" "Backwoods Barbie" and "Jesus and Gravity."