Tuesday, May 10, 2011


Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver Are Separated:

I don't think anybody saw this one coming: After 25 years of marriage, ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER and MARIA SHRIVER have SEPARATED. Maria reportedly moved out two weeks ago. --Obviously, they're not giving any details . . . but they did release the following statement . . . quote, "This has been a time of great personal and professional transition for each of us. --"After a great deal of thought, reflection, discussion and prayer, we came to this decision together. At this time, we are living apart while we work on the future of our relationship." --They added, quote, "We are continuing to parent our four children together. They are the light and the center of both of our lives. We consider this a private matter and neither we nor any of our friends or family will have further comment. --"We ask for compassion and respect from the media and the public." --Arnold and Maria met in 1977, when TOM BROKAW introduced them at a charity event . . . and they hit it off despite the fact that he's a Republican and she's a member of the staunchly Democratic KENNEDY clan --They got married in 1986.

Alicia Silverstone Gave Birth to a Baby Boy:

ALICIA SILVERSTONE'S vegetarian uterus shot out a baby boy on Friday. --She announced the birth yesterday on her blog. She said, quote, "I'm so grateful to this community for all the love, support, good wishes and happy vibes you've sent me during my pregnancy . . . it has been wonderful. Thank you all!" --This is the first child for Alicia and her husband, Chris Jarecki. Unfortunately for the child, they named him Bear Blu Jarecki. (???)

Sexy Pictures of Famous People: Usher, Russell Brand, Christina Aguilera and . . . A Congressman?

#1.) USHER brought out the GUNS during a gig in Atlantic City over the weekend. Who knew he was so jacked? (TMZ)

#2.) RUSSELL BRAND was spotted in nothing but a pair of tighty-whities while rehearsing for the upcoming movie version of "Rock of Ages" in Miami the other day. (Daily Mail)

#3.) CHRISTINA AGUILERA went out in New York City recently with boyfriend Matt Rutler . . . and very little makeup. Unfortunately, Christina is one of those celebrities who REALLY needs it. (--Not trying to be mean. I'm just sayin'.) (Daily Mail)

#4.) They say politics is showbiz for ugly people. That's not the case with AARON SCHOCK . . . a Republican representative from Illinois. This guy is HOT . . . and he's got MAJOR ABS. "Men's Health" magazine even put him on the cover of the latest issue. (Gawker)

Whitney Houston Is Being Treated for Drugs and Alcohol Again:

Anybody who saw WHITNEY HOUSTON on her recent comeback tour knows that she still has a problem with drugs and alcohol. But yesterday she announced she's taking steps to remedy that. --Her rep said, quote, "Whitney Houston is currently in an out-patient rehab program for drug and alcohol treatment. Whitney voluntarily entered the program to support her long-standing recovery process." --RadarOnline.com says Whitney is back on CRACK . . . which she once told us is WHACK. (--I guess she lied.) --TMZ says she entered the program about 10 days ago . . . and she's only allowed in public if she has someone there to monitor her. --According to MTV News, Whitney showed up at a PRINCE concert in Los Angeles last weekend, and sang onstage with CHAKA KHAN. (--Chaka Khan. You have to say it twice. It's the law.) --It's possible Whitney is trying to sober up for a movie gig. ANGELA BASSETT recently revealed that the sequel to "Waiting to Exhale" is being made into a movie. It's called "Getting to Happy". --The whole cast is expected back, including Angela, Whitney, LORETTA DIVINE and LELA ROCHON. --FOREST WHITAKER is returning to direct, and author TERRY MCMILLAN has once again written the screenplay based on her novel.

Double Entendre of the Day: Chaz Bono's Girlfriend Says It Was "Really Hard" When Chaz Became a Man:

If you were looking for double entendres yesterday, "Oprah" was the place to be. CHAZ BONO and his girlfriend Jennifer Elia were there to talk about Chaz's transition from female to male. --Asked how that transition went, Jennifer said, quote, "IT WAS REALLY HARD." --Of course, she wasn't really talking about, you know, THAT. She was talking about the new level of testosterone coursing through Chaz's finely chiseled, newly-male physique. --She said, quote, "Suddenly [things] didn't mean the same thing to her. And so we really had to, you know, adjust our . . . how we did things and relearn how to be together." --Chaz's heightened MALE SEX DRIVE was one of the many challenges they faced . . . and it prompted Jennifer to move into the guest bedroom for a while.
Lindsay Lohan Is Expected to Plead No Contest to Misdemeanor Theft Today:

LINDSAY LOHAN is expected to plead no contest today to misdemeanor theft. Technically, her lawyer will plead no contest. Lindsay probably won't be there in person. --And sources say that in return for her plea, she'll avoid any additional jail time. They'll just slap her with another year of probation. --Now, Lindsay is still facing a four-month sentence for violating her probation. But as we've already heard, there's a good chance she'll be allowed to serve that sentence AT HOME with an electronic ankle bracelet. --According to TMZ, Lindsay will be eligible for the same time off for good behavior and jail overcrowding as someone who actually serves their time behind bars. And if that's the case, her 120 days could be reduced to just 14. --So the end result of all this tough talk from judges and prosecutors is that Lindsay will skate away from what was originally a FELONY theft charge with two weeks at home wearing the ankle bracelet. --A source tells Radar Online, quote, "Lindsay knows she dodged a major bullet. She doesn't like the fact she'll be on probation for another year, but it beats being in state prison."

Charlie Sheen's "Winning" Song Is Now For Sale On iTunes:

"Winning" . . . the song CHARLIE SHEEN did with SNOOP DOGG . . . went on sale at midnight on iTunes . . . with proceeds going to Charlie's Torpedos Against Tornados charity. (--You can listen to a clip of it here.) --Meanwhile . . . Charlie seems to have a rather inflated view of how his live tour went. He says, quote, "Overall as a grade on this as a team I think we went 17 and 4." --"I know there's a couple in there that felt sorta phoned in but gave me the inspiration for the following night when it was all passion and lunacy. Um, yeah, I think 17 and 4 is fair." --But Charlie seems to have embraced reality when it comes to his future, or lack thereof, on "Two and a Half Men". He says, quote, "I don't know what they're planning. I'm just plodding along like it's over, like there's some closure. --"I have closure now because when Chuck [Lorre] . . . issues a statement talking about . . . writing shows without me . . . that feels like it is pretty final, you know? It's hard." --One last note: Charlie isn't searching for a new goddess to replace BREE OLSON. At least not yet. He says, quote, "Probably not today. That's all I know. Not going to happen today. I don't know. --"You know I was pursuing that with all the right intentions and what are you going to do? People bring variables. I mean, depends on who it is."

There's Another "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" Remake in the Works . . . This Time in 3D:

If you're a fan of "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" . . . and I mean the original 1974 classic . . . then I'm guessing you thought the 2003 remake was bland and pointless. And its 2006 prequel was even more so. --With that in mind, this is either a chance to set things right, or a chance to tarnish the franchise's legacy even further . . . --There is yet another "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" remake in the works. And this one will be in 3D. That's all we know about it at this point.

Was the Elephant in "Water for Elephants" Abused When It Was Trained?

A group called Animal Defenders International claims that the elephant used in the movie "Water for Elephants" was ABUSED. --Not during the filming of the movie, but when it was trained years ago by a company called Have Trunk Will Travel . . . which rents elephants out to movie and TV productions. (--You can see video of the trainers allegedly abusing their animals here. WARNING!!! This video might be disturbing to some viewers.)

It's Official: Meredith Vieira Is Leaving the "Today" Show:

The rumors were true: MEREDITH VIEIRA is leaving the "Today" show. --After over a month of speculation, Meredith made it official on yesterday's episode, saying that she'd decided to leave in order to spend more time with her family. Her last day will be June 8th. (--Her contract wasn't up until September.) --She explained, quote, "It's a difficult day for me. I'm gonna try and hold myself together here, but after months of personal reflection and private conversations between my family and my friends, I have decided to leave 'Today' in June. --"Even as I say this . . . and I know it's the right thing . . . I'm really sad, because in the past . . . I like to say 10 years, but I know it's only five . . . this has been my second home. [I'm] just humbled at what a great experience this has been for me. --"I really hope to stay in the NBC family, that is my goal, it just won't be sitting at the couch every day." --Meredith added, quote, "Time is one of those weird things . . . you can never get enough of it, it just keeps ticking away, but I know I want to spend mine with my husband Richard and my kids." --Richard has had some health problems . . . he's been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and colon cancer . . . but Meredith is NOT quitting to be his caretaker. --She said, quote, "There's so much speculation in the press recently [about] 'poor Meredith with her invalid husband' and I want to set the record straight on that. My husband is in good health, and that's part of the reason I want to leave right now. --"I want to be there with him and I want to have fun and I want to appreciate our time together and not have to punch a clock so much. It diminished him, those articles, and it diminished me." --Meredith is 57. She and Richard have a daughter who's graduating high school . . . and two sons, who are college-age. (--And according to a biography of Meredith I found online, she also has a fear of BRIDGES . . . for what that's worth.) --"Today" co-host MATT LAUER told her, quote, "Suffice it to say that we all feel blessed to have had these last five or six years with you . . . [you] brought class, dignity, talent and a joy of life to the show . . . and we will miss you like crazy." (--Here's video of Meredith's emotional announcement on "Today".)

The Aftermath: Ann Curry and Natalie Morales Have Been Promoted:

After MEREDITH VIEIRA exits the "Today" show on June 8th, ANN CURRY will become MATT LAUER'S co-host. Ann has been the show's newsreader for the past 14 years. --NATALIE MORALES . . . who co-hosts the third hour of the "Today" show will take over for Ann . . . and MSNBC's SAVANNAH GUTHRIE will get Natalie's old job.

Matt Lauer Says He's *Not* Leaving "Today" . . . But Admits to Talking with Katie Couric About a New Talk Show:

Now that this MEREDITH VIEIRA chaos has been settled . . . what about the rumor that MATT LAUER will leave the "Today" show when his contract is up to join the talk show that KATIE COURIC is supposedly planning to do? --Well, Matt says he has talked with Katie . . . but nothing is in the works. --He explains, quote, "We certainly spoke about the possibility. But it turned into just talk, and that's where we left it. It's not going to happen. I'm going to be here for a long period of time and I think that's the best way to answer [that]." --Matt's current "Today" show contract isn't up until December of NEXT year, 2012.

Meredith Vieira's "Today" Show Highlight Reel:

The "Hollywood Reporter" put together a list of MEREDITH VIEIRA'S "five most memorable moments" on the "Today" show. --The list includes: Challenging then-senator HILLARY CLINTON on her vote in favor of the war in Iraq . . . falling on her backside while ice-skating with WILL FERRELL . . . and unleashing an S-word on the air. (--For the whole list . . . complete with videos . . . hit up this link. ***WARNING***: The S-word in the third video is UNCENSORED.)

Robin Roberts Is *Not* Leaving "Good Morning America":

Here's a word of caution for you, in the wake of this "Today" show insanity: Speculating about the impending departures of morning talk show anchors is a SLIPPERY SLOPE. So please, watch yourself. --TheDaily.com claims ROBIN ROBERTS is leaving "Good Morning America" at the end of the year . . . in part because she's so much taller than co-anchor George Stephanopoulos. (???) (--Robin is six feet tall, George is 5-foot-6.) --Well, "Good Morning America's" executive producer says that's not true. He tells the "Hollywood Reporter", quote, "[It's] total garbage. We told them that it was total garbage and they wouldn't listen. It remains total garbage."

"Jersey Shore's" Italian Adventure Has Been Delayed Yet Again:

Part of the fourth season of "Jersey Shore" is supposed to take place in Florence, Italy . . . but production has been delayed yet again. --This time, the mayor of Florence suspended the show's permits because the president of Italy was visiting the city . . . and apparently they didn't want "Jersey Shore" to get in the way. --MTV says it's no biggie . . . they say in the, quote, "spirit of cooperation" they've agreed to push back the start of filming until the president's visit is over. It sounds like they expect to be cleared to begin later this week . . . if they haven't already. (--"Jersey Shore" was supposed to begin filming in Italy last month, but it was previously held up because of contract negotiations and various permit issues.)

Bristol Palin Is Moving In with Kyle Massey . . . for a Reality Show:

BRISTOL PALIN is doing a reality show for the BIO channel, which will involve her moving in with 19-year-old Disney Channel star KYLE MASSEY. (???) Bristol and Kyle became friends while competing on "Dancing with the Stars" together.
--The show follows Bristol's move from Alaska to L.A., where she'll work "at a small charity." She's bringing her two-year-old son Tripp along. It's unclear what Kyle is going to be doing. There's no title yet, but it's expected to premiere later this year.
Tuesday TV Reminders: (--Check your local listings.)

--"NBA Playoffs: Bulls vs. Hawks" [Eastern Conference Semifinals] . . . 8:00 to 10:30 P.M. Eastern on TNT. (--The Chicago Bulls host the Atlanta Hawks.)

--"The Voice" [Battle Round] . . . 8:00 to 9:00 P.M. on NBC. (--Reba, Sia, Monica, and producer Adam Blackstone serve as advisors to the coaches when they pit two of their own team members against each other in a duet competition.)

--"Dancing with the Stars" [Results Show] . . . 9:00 to 10:00 P.M. on ABC. (--Adele and Michael Bolton perform.)

--"Raising Hope" . . . 9:00 to 9:30 P.M. on Fox. (--"My Name Is Earl" co-stars Jaime Pressly and Ethan Suplee guest star as a neighboring couple whose conversations are being transmitted through Hope's baby monitor.)

--"Becoming Chaz" . . . 9:00 to 10:30 P.M. on OWN. (--Cher and Sonny Bono's only daughter Chastity tells of her transformation from female to male in this candid documentary of the now Chaz Bono.)

--"After the Doc: With Rosie O'Donnell" [SERIES Premiere] . . . 10:30 to 11:00 P.M. on OWN. (--Rosie O'Donnell speaks with Chaz Bono and his girlfriend Jennifer Elia regarding the documentary "Becoming Chaz".)

--"The Good Wife" . . . 10:00 to 11:00 P.M. on CBS. (--Sarah Silverman guest stars as the owner of an adultery website that's linked to a client's murder.)


The LEGO "Pirates of the Caribbean" Game Hits Stores Today:

--"LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean" (E10+) . . . on Xbox360, PS3, Wii, DS, 3DS, and PSP. The latest LEGO adventure game is based on all four "Pirates of the Caribbean" movies, including the new one that comes out next week, "On Stranger Tides". This one also includes a split screen option that allows you to explore separately during co-op instead of being stuck on one screen while the other player is dragging their feet. I don't want anyone holding me back while I'm trying to swashbuckle. (Teaser) (Trailer)

--"Brink" (T) . . . on Xbox360, PS3, and PC. A first-person shooter set on a futuristic floating city, after a global environmental crisis has cut it off from the rest of humanity. One key multiplayer feature in this game is each team's deployment area is protected by indestructible turrets, which is VERY appealing to anyone who's ever been spawn-killed. Another feature is the ability to disguise yourself as an enemy you've killed. Brink" also uses a movement system called SMART, Smooth Movement Across Random Terrain. Basically it helps you go over obstacles without having to push additional buttons to jump or climb over things. (Trailer)

--"The First Templar" (T) . . . on Xbox360 and PC. A young knight forms an alliance with a noblewoman to uncover a conspiracy in the Templar knights and solve the mystery of the Holy Grail. You can play it as local split-screen or online co-op. (Trailer)

--"MX vs ATV Alive" (E) . . . on Xbox360 and PS3. This is the fourth off-road racing game in the "MX vs ATV" series. This one actually sells at a reduced price, because they know they'll make up the difference in all the downloadable content. (Trailer)

--"Virtua Tennis 4" (E) . . . on Xbox360, PS3, and Wii. The latest "Virtua Tennis" game features 19 of the best players in the world including Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams. And supports motion-controller technology for the Kinect, Playstation Move, and Wii Motion+. (Trailer)

ESRB Game Ratings: (E) for Everyone; (T) for Teen; (M) for Mature (18+)


--"Justin Bieber: Never Say Never" (G) (In stores Friday) A documentary about Justin Bieber's rise from being a normal Canadian teenager to becoming a DREAMY, GLOBAL sensation. You may also remember that "Never Say Never" is the name of that "Karate Kid" song he did with Jaden Smith. (Trailer)

--"No Strings Attached" (R) Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher enjoy carnal relations with each other under a strict "no strings attached" rule . . . until Ashton breaks the rule by falling in love. Their random group of friends includes Ludacris and "The Office's" Mindy Kaling. (Trailer)

--"Blue Valentine" (R) Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams play a married couple spending one night away from their daughter in order to try to save their failing marriage. Much of the story is told through flashbacks to happier times when they first started dating. (Trailer)

TV Series On DVD:

--"Home Improvement: 20th Anniversary Complete Collection" . . . a 25-disc DVD set. (--It ran for eight seasons.)

--"Webster: Season 2" . . . a four-disc DVD set. (--It ran for six seasons.)


--"Move Like This", The Cars (--This is their first album in nearly 24 years . . . since "Door to Door" came out in 1987. The album is streaming on RollingStone.com.) (--Unlike The New Cars, this reunion does feature singer Ric Ocasek. But a full reunion isn't possible because bassist Benjamin Orr . . . who sang several Cars songs, including "Drive" . . . died of pancreatic cancer in 2000.)

--"Matthew Morrison", Matthew Morrison (--He plays Mr. Scheuster on "Glee". This is his debut album. His guests include Gwyneth Paltrow and Elton John.)

--"Lovestrong", Christina Perri (--This is her debut album. Her song "Jar of Hearts" was featured on "So You Think You Can Dance" last year. You can check it out . . . along with some of her other stuff . . . at her MySpace page.)

Justin Bieber Didn't Appreciate Marg Helgenberger Calling Him a "Brat":

JUSTIN BIEBER did NOT appreciate MARG HELGENBERGER saying that he was, quote, "kind of a brat" on the set of "CSI" . . . and he criticized the media for making it "news." --Justin went on a little rant on Twitter . . . saying, quote, "It's kinda lame when someone you met briefly and never worked with comments on you. I will continue to wish them luck and be kind." --He added, quote, "Even last week [the media] had me [being] scolded on a plane in the news, because I wasn't in my seat fast enough. She was right . . . and I sat down. That's news? --"I know who I am and sometimes people are just going to say what they want. Keep your head up, and be the man your mama raised. #KillEmWithKindness. --"Rumors are just that . . . rumors. In the end, if you just be kind and be yourself people will know who you are. That goes for anyone I think." (--I still think that when Marg said Justin was a brat, she meant it more in the prankster sort of way, than the diva sort of way. I mean, she was talking about him locking a producer in a closet and punching a cake.) (--But regardless, Justin's point is noted. He's responding in a mature way to a problem that . . . as an international superstar . . . is NOT going away.)

Michael Stipe Tried to Save Kurt Cobain from Killing Himself . . . By Offering to Collaborate with Him?

R.E.M. singer MICHAEL STIPE sensed that KURT COBAIN was on the brink of destruction before he killed himself in April of 1994 . . . so he reached out to Kurt to try to save him. What did he do? --He offered to COLLABORATE with him. (???) --Michael tells "Interview" magazine, quote, "I knew him and his daughter. And Courtney [Love] came and stayed at my house. R.E.M. worked on two records in Seattle and Peter Buck lived next door to Kurt and Courtney. --"So we all knew each other. I reached out to him with [a] project as an attempt to prevent what was going to happen. I was doing that to try to save his life." But Kurt basically gave him the cold shoulder. --Michael said, quote, "I sent him a plane ticket and a driver, and he tacked the plane ticket to the wall in the bedroom and the driver sat outside the house for 10 hours. Kurt wouldn't come out and wouldn't answer the phone." (--He didn't elaborate on what the project was, but R.E.M. would've been recording "Monster" around that time.) (--So if Michael was offering Kurt an opportunity to appear on "What's the Frequency, Kenneth?", you could understand why he ignored him.)

Another New Lady Gaga Song Has Been Released:

LADY GAGA unleashed another song off "Born This Way" yesterday. This one's called "The Edge of Glory" . . . and it features CLARENCE CLEMONS of BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN'S E STREET BAND on saxophone. (--Listen to it, here.) --Gaga will release another "Born This Way" song next Monday. It's called "Hair".

T.I. Has Roughly 142 Days Left Before He's Released:

T.I. is scheduled to be a free man again on September 29th, which means he has roughly 142 days left to cross out on his cell wall. --At that time, T.I. would have served 11 months for violating his probation. He was arrested for drug possession in September of last year. (--T.I. was on probation for felony weapons charges. He'd previously served 10 months for that.)

Carrie Underwood Didn't Enjoy Kissing Mike Fisher While He Had His Playoff Beard . . . And There's a Photo of Carrie at Her High School Reunion:

CARRIE UNDERWOOD'S hockey-playing husband Mike Fisher is a total team player. Last month he had to drop the gloves and go after an opponent who landed a cheap shot on his teammate. --And he also joined his fellow Nashville Predators players to go UNSHAVEN during their Stanley Cup playoff run . . . which ended last night when they were eliminated by Vancouver in game six. --Problem is, the beard was a pain on Carrie's face. She says, quote, "We're almost at the point where we're having kissing refusal, because it hurts! It hurts my face." And it sounds like Mike wasn't getting much lovin' from Carrie. --She continues, quote, "He's not the nicest guy either. He's focused on game day, and then with the beard, I'm like, 'Baby, you look mean, so you need to work on being a little extra nice to make up for the beard.'" --Speaking of Carrie Underwood . . . she recently lived the ultimate high school reunion dream: She showed up as a superstar. Carrie actually went back to Oklahoma for her 10-year class reunion at Checotah High. --There's even a photo on Twitter of Carrie and her loser high school classmates. Just kidding about them being losers. But not about the photo. It's out there. (--Here's that photo.)


Showbiz Extras . . . Random Links to Additional Stories:

There's a rumor going around that KATIE HOLMES is pregnant. She's not. (Full Story)

PAUL MCCARTNEY gave his fiancée a $650,000 rock. (Full Story)

DONALD TRUMP told Fox News that he's, quote, "the least racist person there is" . . . and pointed out that a black guy once won "The Apprentice". (Full Story)

STANLEY TUCCI will play talk show host Caesar Flickerman in "The Hunger Games". (Full Story)

TAYLOR MOMSEN and JESSICA SZOHR are no longer series regulars on "Gossip Girl". Their characters will only make guest appearances on the upcoming fifth season. (Full Story)

KID ROCK will be the subject of Comedy Central's next roast. There's no word yet who'll do the roasting. It's scheduled to tape on August 14th. (Full Story)

The early word from the first day of "X Factor" auditions is that L.A. REID is the "meanest judge." He told one contestant, quote, "When was the last time you performed? 18 years ago? Whatever made you stop then, you should've stuck with that decision." (Full Story)



Herbal Viagra Was Found In Bin Laden's Medicine Cabinet:

Yep, just like you would've expected, OSAMA BIN LADEN'S genitals didn't work. --According to NBC News, one of the medications found in bin Laden's medicine cabinet was HERBAL VIAGRA. Not real Viagra . . . the kind of stuff that probably doesn't work, and gets sold through spam emails and at Spencer's Gifts. --The bottle was of Avena syrup. Avena is a wild oat extract that's generally marketed as an over-the-counter engorgement aid. --Bin Laden's medicine cabinet also had drugs to treat high blood pressure, ulcers, shingles, and nerve pain. (Daily Mail)

In a House Fire, 53% of People Would Save Their Photos and Only 12% Would Save Their Electronics:

Remember this every time you hear that technology is stealing our souls. We're still a bunch of sentimental fools. We're just sentimental fools who also happen to have fantastic TVs and iPads. --In a new survey, Americans made it very clear that in a house fire, nostalgia and memories are more important than electronics.--The survey asked: In a house fire, after you knew your loved ones and pets were safe, what one item would you try to save from your home? And PHOTOS were by far the number one answer, getting 53% of the vote. --Electronics only got 12%. --A specific item of clothing came in third, at 10% . . . jewelry was fourth, at 9% . . . and a particular book was fifth, at 3%. --The rest of the people gave another miscellaneous answer. (PR Newswire)

Here's How Much It Screws Up Your Property Value To Live Near Power Plants, Foreclosed Homes, Sex Offenders, and More:

It's hard enough to sell a house for a reasonable price today WITHOUT living next to radiation, pedophiles, and jerk neighbors. So when they join in and pile on . . . man, does it screw you. --The website MainStreet.com studied how different external neighborhood factors can pulverize the value of your home. Here are some of the worst offenders, all of which are totally and completely out of your control.

--Power plants. Living within two miles of a nuclear plant knocks down your property value by 4% to 7%.

--Landfills. Living within two miles of a landfill knocks 6% to 10% off your home's value. If that landfill happens to handle hazardous waste, it goes up to 15%.

--Sex offenders. Having one of these a-holes within a tenth of a mile of your home knocks the value down by 9% . . . and makes selling your home take about 10% longer.

--Foreclosed homes. If people in your neighborhood are getting foreclosed on, it's REALLY bad for you. One foreclosed property within 250 feet hurts your value by an average of 27%.

--Bad landscaping. If your neighbors don't take care of their lawns, it can knock 5% to 10% off your price. But if YOU have an amazing lawn and landscaping, it can INCREASE your price by that same amount. (MainStreet)
McDonald's Is Spending $1 Billion To Redesign Its Restaurants . . . To Look More Like Starbucks:

Apparently, McDonald's is jealous that homeless people seem to feel more comfortable spending $1.50 on a coffee and hanging around Starbucks all day than at one of their restaurants. So they're making strong moves to fix that. --Yesterday, McDonald's announced that they'll be spending $1 BILLION to revamp the majority of their 14,000 U.S. locations . . . essentially, to make them look more like Starbucks and less like playgrounds. --They're getting rid of the bright red and yellow, the fiberglass tables, and the steel chairs. --Instead they'll use muted oranges and yellows, wooden tables, and faux leather chairs. There will be earth-toned facades instead of white walls and glass doors. They want you to come in, feel like an adult, and stay for a while. --It's all part of McDonald's plan to try to make dining more of an experience . . . and less of the get-in-get-out experience we're used to. Basically, they want to channel what companies like Starbucks and Apple have done to get people into their stores. --Max Carmona is McDonald's senior director of restaurant design. He says, quote, "We're not trying to be Apple. But we can be inspired by them. When you're inside an Apple Store, you almost feel like you're inside an iPad and you want to stay there. --"We want people to walk into McDonald's and have the same feeling." --This revamp is going to take until 2015. This year, they'll makeover about 800 locations. They've already started with a few in the Tampa area. (USA Today) (--Here's a photo of a revamped McDonald's in Tampa.)

The Most Common Worry Before Your First Kiss is . . . Should I Keep My Eyes Open?

By this point in your life, you probably have a fuzzy, idealized memory of your first kiss. Meaning you just remember the good parts and have completely blocked out all the awkwardness. --A new study out of Canada asked people to think back on their first kiss, and try to remember what their biggest WORRY was at that moment. Here are the top five responses . . .

#1.) 33% said it was "Should I keep my eyes open or should I close them?"

#2.) 15% said it was "Does my breath smell bad?"

#3.) 14% said "Should I French kiss?"

#4.) 9% said "Do I look attractive?"

#5.) And 7% said it was "Will my parents catch me?" (PR Newswire)

A Police Dispatcher Was Fired For Self-Fondling, and Asking Whether Co-Workers Had Their Naughty Parts Pierced. Oh, and She's a Woman:

In Cedar County, Iowa, a sheriff's department dispatcher was fired after repeatedly behaving in a sexual and inappropriate manner around the office. --That included constantly talking about sex . . . asking co-workers if their naughty parts were pierced . . . sending a text showing naked people painted like frogs (???) . . . and grabbing her own breasts and buttocks. --That's right, HER. --The employee here was a 29-year-old FEMALE named Amy Willey of Lowden, Iowa. She was let go from the sheriff's department last year, but the reason she was dismissed just came out. --Besides fondling herself in the office and asking an officer if his junk was pierced, she also discussed love toys, and told an officer that after he broke up with his girlfriend, he'd better make sure, quote, "his pipes don't get rusty." --The final straw came when she made suggestive comments to another officer on an office phone and the call was recorded. Both the officer and Amy were married. --All of this came out when the department denied Amy unemployment benefits. She went to an unemployment hearing . . . and the judge ruled that because of her behavior, she SHOULD be denied benefits. (Des Moines Register)

Here's How a Man Saved His Life By Finally Deciding To Shave His Forest Down Below:

For every man left out there who's fighting the modern trends and has never trimmed his GIANT FOREST down below . . . this just might be the final nudge you need to take an electric razor to your man stuff. --Back in February, a 32-year-old named Phil Stoker of Portsmouth, England was sitting at a bar with some friends, and talking about grooming 'down there.' One of Phil's friends said he'd just shaved himself bare and he loved it. --Phil laughed . . . but secretly got curious. So a few days later, he took his friend's advice and prepared to de-hair his entire package.--And that's when he found a lump. --He went to a doctor and was diagnosed with testicular cancer. Thanks to his adventure in shaving, he caught it VERY early, so after just one chemo session last week, it looks to be completely gone. (Daily Mirror)

Mugshot of the Day: A Man Whose Forehead Tattoo Preemptively Asks For Forgiveness:

Maybe this guy can see into THE FUTURE. On Saturday morning, 51-year-old Robert Norton Kennedy of Horry County, South Carolina was arrested for assault and battery. And his tattoo seems like he was already prepared for that. --Because Robert's mugshot shows his forehead tattoo, which says, quote, "With God, all things are possible. God loves you. Please forgive me if I say or do anything stupid. Thank you." (The Smoking Gun) (--Here's his mugshot.)

A Man Escapes From the Police . . . Then Gets Caught When He Goes To Home Depot To Find a Tool To Remove His Handcuffs:

On Sunday morning, the police in Pensacola, Florida arrested a man for battery after he got into a fight. He was taken to the hospital, handcuffed, and treated for injuries. --At the hospital, he managed to escape, even though he was still handcuffed. But then things started falling apart. --About an hour later, the police got a call from employees at a Home Depot near the hospital. They said there was a guy in there in handcuffs asking what he could buy at the Home Depot to REMOVE them. --The police came and arrested him. (Pensacola News Journal)

A Man Robbed 24 Banks To Pay Back a Loan From His Ex and Win Her Back . . . But She Turned Him In To the Cops Instead:

A few years back, 34-year-old Adam Lynch of Denver, Colorado was dumped by his girlfriend, a woman named Julia Lundstrom. Part of their fight centered around money . . . he owed her about $11,000. --And he came up with a strategy to win her back. He went on a two-year run of BANK ROBBERIES . . . where he successfully robbed 24 banks in Colorado, California, Wyoming, and Washington . . . to pay her back. --He finally got her to meet with him and paid her the money. He said he got it from some stock dividends, but that didn't ring true with her. She started checking up on him and finally got him to admit he'd gotten the money from bank robberies. --Instead of winning her back with the money and the honesty . . . she called the cops. He's facing up to 20 years in prison. (Denver Post)

A Couple Who Robbed a Bank To Pay For Their Wedding Are Going To Prison:

On January 8th of last year, 28-year-old Charles Koch and 27-year-old Cheri Harper of Stratford, New Jersey went into a branch of Newfield National Bank, claimed they had a bomb, and got the teller to give them some cash. Then they took off. --Turns out they wanted the money so they could afford a trip to Las Vegas from Jersey . . . so they could get MARRIED. --As romantic as that sounds, they were captured driving through Oklahoma five days later and were arrested for first-degree robbery. And now, they've both been sentenced to seven years in prison. (Gloucester County Times)

After a Knife Fight Between a Man and His Cat, the Man Has To Be Airlifted To the Hospital:

Details are still kinda sparse on this one, but it's so incomprehensibly INSANE that we're just going to lay out the facts . . . and all use our imaginations to fill in the details. --On Friday, a man in Cleveland, Texas got into a massive fight with his pet cat. --Like, a massive fight. The man ended up PULLING A KNIFE on the cat. --The cat suffered some injuries in the fight and eventually had to be put down. --The man didn't suffer mortal wounds but didn't exactly escape unscathed . . . the cat injured him so severely that he had to be AIRLIFTED to a hospital in Houston. --That's all we know for sure. We don't know how the man is doing . . . or what could possibly spark a fight-to-the-death between a man and his pet cat. (Cleveland Advocate)

RANDOM News Extras . . . Random Links to Additional Stories:

Police in Detroit are trying to crack a villainous crime ring that distracts and then robs innocent shoppers . . . and the thieves are all middle-aged women. (--Check out the awesome surveillance photos here.)

A 19-year-old member of Austria's national swim team got trapped in a hole on a private beach near Fort Lauderdale on Sunday . . . when he tried to bury himself in sand. He dug a hole seven-feet deep . . . it collapsed around him . . . and it took 60 rescuers two hours to get him out. (Full Story)

Three people suffered minor injuries in Washington, D.C. on Sunday night . . . when someone LITERALLY shouted "fire" in a crowded movie theater. It was a hoax, but the theater was evacuated, and both the police and the fire department had to respond. (Full Story)


#1.) The First Full-Face Transplant Recipient in the U.S. Held a Press Conference . . . And He Looks Pretty Good:

Less than two months ago, a 26-year-old named Dallas Wiens underwent the first full-face transplant surgery in the United States. He held his first press conference yesterday, and he actually looks pretty good. --He's still blind, but he said his main goal was to be able to feel his 4-year-old daughter's kisses again. And doctors say he'll be able to soon. Dallas even said that when his daughter saw him for the first time, she said, "Daddy, you're so handsome". --In November 2008, Dallas was up in a cherry-picker helping to paint his church. His head grazed a high-voltage power line, and he basically lost his entire face to severe burns. But doctors used donor tissue to transplant a forehead, nose, lips, and muscles. --You can check out his press conference on CNN.com. (--Search for "Full-Face Transplant Recipient Speaks." The press conference video is halfway down the page.) (--WARNING: The before photo at the top of the page is pretty graphic.)

#2.) A Video of a Guy Teasing His 'Talking Dog' With Stories About Bacon, Steak and Cat Treats, Is a Hit on YouTube:

A guy made a video of his dog, then edited in voiceover to make it look they were having a conversation, and the dog could talk back. The YouTube video is called "Ultimate Dog Tease", and it's racked up over 10 million views in just over a week. --He basically teases the dog by talking about bacon and steak, and makes it look like the dog is reacting. It's pretty stupid, but it's funny and kind of believable in a weird way. In fact, some idiot on YouTube left a comment asking, "Is this real?"

#3.) And Now . . . A Dog Trying to Get a Statue to Play Fetch:

There's a new video on CollegeHumor.com that shows a dog trying to get a statue to play fetch. It's a metal statue sitting on a park bench, and the dog keeps barking at it and dropping a stick at its feet. Meanwhile, the guys taping it can't stop laughing. (--Search for "Dog Wants Statue to Play Fetch." It picks the stick up and puts it on the statue's lap at :32.)

#4.) If You're a Cat Person . . . Here's a Kitten Terrified of a Tennis Ball:

If dogs don't do it for you, there's a YouTube video called "Kitten vs. a Scary Thing" where a kitten is terrified . . . of a tennis ball sitting in the middle of a room. And the guy who did the video synched it up perfectly with dramatic music from the movie "Alien".

#5.) A Fake Look 'Behind the Scenes' . . . Of Michael Bolton's 1993 Music Video "Said I Loved You But I Lied":

There's a new video on FunnyOrDie.com where "Daily Show" alum ROB RIGGLE plays the producer of MICHAEL BOLTON'S 1993 music video for "Said I Loved You But I Lied". --And he claims Bolton got hopped up on peyote and absinthe during the shoot. He also talks about Bolton's brave decision to wear denim-on-denim. Bolton himself even does a short cameo at the end . . . but it's not that funny. (--Search for "Behind the Music Video with Michael Bolton & Rob Riggle.") (--WARNING: This video includes the F-word, the S-word, the B-word, and other graphic language.)
Three Things Companies Do While Hiring . . . That Should Be Illegal:

Fourteen million Americans are currently unemployed, and the things some companies do while hiring doesn't help. Here are three things companies do while hiring . . . that should be illegal according to WalletPop.com.

#1.) Discriminating Against the Unemployed. Companies are allowed to post job listings that say they're only interested in hiring people who currently have a job. And it tends to weed out the people who aren't really qualified. --But it also does nothing to help the national unemployment rate, which bounced back up to 9% last month. --And it discriminates against women who take time off to have a baby, then want to go back to work.

#2.) Employment-Based Credit Checks. If you apply for a job, the company is allowed to check your credit history to see how responsible you are with your finances . . . which makes sense if you're applying for a job as a banker. --For most jobs though, it's not really necessary. But according to the Society for Human Resource Management, 60% of all employers do credit checks on their employees. --And obviously, if you've been out of work for a while, your credit might be less-than-perfect.

#3.) Asking for Someone's Social Security Number Before They Have the Job. Obviously, you have to give it to them for tax reasons and to prove who you are. --But there's no good reason for a company to ask for it until they've offered you the job and you've accepted. Identity theft affects nearly 10 million people in the U.S. each year. --And if you have to send your social security number to ten or twenty different companies you're applying to, you're much more at risk. --Plus, if your identity is compromised, it can affect your credit . . . which we already know can prevent you from getting a job in the first place. (WalletPop.com)


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