Friday, July 1, 2011



Lindsay Lohan Went Out Wednesday Night . . . And Almost Fell Leaving a Bar. Was She Drunk?

LINDSAY LOHAN spent her first night of freedom at a bar, not surprisingly. And on her way out, she stumbled and almost fell while wading through a sea of paparazzi scumbags. --Lindsay spent several hours at the Lexington Social House for some kind of going away party for a friend. Actors EMILE HIRSCH and LYNDSY FONSECA were there, too. --There's no word how much drinking Lindsay was or wasn't doing. One source says that she had a cocktail at the very least. Another says she chain-smoked and drank soda all night. --A witness says, quote, "She was in a good mood. She definitely seemed happy to be free and out celebrating with friends." --The paparazzi situation waiting for her outside when she left the joint at 1:30 in the morning was INSANE. And when she stumbled, one of them shouted, quote, "She's drunk!" --Yesterday, Lindsay Tweeted, quote, "If anyone caused me to nearly fall it was the psychotic paparazzi." (--Here's video. There's nothing in it to suggest Lindsay was intoxicated. In fact, if you look at her face at the end of the clip, where she and her friends are in their SUV, I'd say she DOESN'T look drunk.)

We Won't See Any Naked Pregnant Pics of Victoria Beckham:

You can decide for yourself if this is a good thing or a bad thing: We won't be seeing any nude pregnant pics of VICTORIA BECKHAM . . . because she doesn't roll that way. --She says, quote, "I'm not really one of these people that likes to go out and pose and flaunt being pregnant. Not like there's anything wrong in that. --"I'm so proud to be pregnant and I feel so blessed and so happy, I really do. But I'm just not that kind of person. --"So, no, I won't be taking my clothes off. I don't think anyone needs to see that, other than my husband."

Heidi Klum Still Tans Naked:

Here's a pleasant image to take with you over the long weekend: HEIDI KLUM still prefers to tan naked. And she thinks ALL women should feel free to do the same. --She says, quote, "I love tanning my body and I don't love tan lines necessarily. I don't think too much about what other people think or if they think this woman is too old to wear just a bikini or a bikini bottom. --"I come from Europe so I'm not American." --She adds, quote, "It is very different here than it is German or Italy. I grew up with men wearing Speedos on the beach and topless women on the beach at any age." (--Heidi is 38 years old . . . although to be fair, her body really doesn't show it. So it's pretty easy for her not to care how little clothing she wears in public.) (--For the rest of us, showing the world what we look like beneath our clothing can be far more traumatic.)

Jonathan Rhys Meyers Was Hospitalized After an Alleged Suicide Attempt:

JONATHAN RHYS MEYERS . . . who stars as King Henry the 8th on the Showtime series "The Tudors" . . . was rushed to a London hospital Tuesday night after what some are calling a suicide attempt. --Rhys Meyers was found on the floor of his home Tuesday night by paramedics answering an emergency call. He refused treatment, so police were called . . . and he was taken to the hospital in an ambulance. --He was discharged early yesterday morning. It's not clear who called the paramedics in the first place. --Rhys Meyers apparently took some kind of pills, but we don't know what they were. He's been battling alcohol and drug problems for years. He's been to rehab FIVE times, including twice this year. --At least one source is calling this a drug relapse, but NOT a suicide attempt. --Rhys Meyers has yet to comment.

Tobey Maguire Says He Didn't Mean To Play Illegal Poker:

TOBEY MAGUIRE'S attorney is fighting back against that lawsuit over his winnings in supposedly illegal, high-stakes poker games. --In court papers released yesterday, Tobey's attorney says that he didn't knowingly play illegal games. In addition, he wasn't involved in the Ponzi scheme at the center of the lawsuit. --His attorney says that Tobey, quote, "unconditionally denies having engaged in any conduct whatsoever in violation of law and further categorically denies having knowingly or intentionally participated in any fraudulent scheme." --The court papers also state that if the games WERE illegal, Tobey didn't know it. As far as he knew, they were not, quote, "controlled games", which require the host to have a license. --To him, it was just guys getting together and playing cards. And he denies there was, quote, "a regular roster of players consisting of wealthy celebrities, entrepreneurs, attorneys and businessmen." (--There are various rules regarding what constitutes a legal poker game in the state of California. I won't bore you with the details.) --Tobey and several other players are being sued for money they won from a guy named Bradley Ruderman. The plaintiffs are people Ruderman ripped off in a Ponzi scheme. They say Ruderman paid his poker losses with THEIR money. -Tobey is being sued for over $300,000.-Tobey's lawyer also notes that Tobey LOST $168,500 to Ruderman. So if he DOES end up having to pay, the amount should be reduced.

"Macho Man" Randy Savage Died of Heart Disease:

The coroner's report on RANDY "MACHO MAN" SAVAGE is in, and the official cause of death is HEART DISEASE. --The coroner says Savage had an enlarged heart, and suffered a serious "cardiac event" while driving last month on a Florida highway. In other words, he had a heart attack behind the wheel. --As you probably recall, Savage crashed his car into a tree, but it was the heart attack that killed him. His wife was also in the car, and she suffered only minor injuries. --There's no evidence Savage was taking heart medication, which means he may not have known he was sick.

Ewan McGregor and His Wife Have Adopted Another Child:

EWAN MCGREGOR and his wife Eve have adopted another baby girl. All we know about her is that she's four months old. There's no word on her name or nationality. --Ewan and Eve adopted a baby girl from Mongolia five years ago. They also have two biological daughters, who are 15 and 9 years old.

Tom Hanks' Son "Chet Haze" Has Released A New Video:

TOM HANKS' 20-year-old son Chester . . . whom you probably know better as WHITE RAPPER SUPREME CHET HAZE . . . has released a music video. --It's pretty low-concept. It's just Chet performing onstage, while people in the audience wave glow sticks. The song is called "Another Chance". (--Check it out here. Now, I'm definitely not the right guy to judge, but to me, this didn't sound like a horrible song. Am I wrong?)


The New "Transformers" Movie Will Compete With Tom Hanks and Selena Gomez at the Box Office . . . But It's Playing in Nearly Twice As Many Theaters:

#1.) "Transformers: Dark of the Moon" (PG-13) (Opened Wednesday)

Shia LaBeouf returns as Sam Witwicky, and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley replaces Megan Fox as his love interest. The plot for the third movie reveals that the entire space race of the '60s was a response to a crash landing on the moon.

--Leonard Nimoy does the voice of Sentinel Prime. He's the pilot of the crashed ship that Neil Armstrong and his Apollo 11 crew discover during their secret lunar mission. The Decepticons use the cargo from the crash site to launch an assault back on Earth and tear apart Chicago in the process.

--Hugo Weaving is back as Megatron, and Peter Cullen is Optimus Prime . . . just like he has been ever since the original animated series. The human cast includes Tyrese Gibson, Josh Duhamel, Patrick Dempsey and John Malkovich. (Trailer) (Teaser)

#2.) "Larry Crowne" (PG-13)

Tom Hanks loses his job and goes back to school at the local community college. Julia Roberts is his disinterested teacher. It's a romantic comedy that he co-wrote with Nia Vardalos from "My Big Fat Greek Wedding". Tom Hanks is also the director. He previously costarred with Julia Roberts in the movie "Charlie Wilson's War". (Trailer)

#3.) "Monte Carlo" (PG) Selena Gomez is mistaken for a spoiled British heiress who looks just like her, and then pretends to be that chick after getting a taste of what it's like to be rich. Leighton Meester and Katie Cassidy are the two friends vacationing with her, and "Glee's" Cory Monteith plays Katie's boyfriend, who follows them to Europe. (Trailer)
Check Out This Awesome Mashup Of "Friends With Benefits" and "No Strings Attached":

This year marks the release of two very similar movies. --In January, we had ASHTON KUTCHER and NATALIE PORTMAN in "No Strings Attached" . . . a movie about a man and a woman who decide to become FRIENDS WITH BENEFITS. --And next month, JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE and MILA KUNIS hit theaters in "Friends With Benefits" . . . a movie about a man and a woman who decide to have a sexual relationship with NO STRINGS ATTACHED. --Confused? Of course you are. And someone out there in cyberspace decided to muddy the waters even more, but in a most HI-larious way . . . by mashing up the two trailers to show just how IDENTICAL these movies are. (--Check it out here.)

A "Thor" Sequel Will Be Out in 2013:

A "Thor" sequel has been green-lit AND given a release date. You can expect it in theaters in July of 2013. CHRIS HEMSWORTH will return to play the title character, but director KENNETH BRANAGH won't be back. --There's no word on any other cast members. (--Thor's next big-screen appearance is in "The Avengers", which comes out next May.)

MSNBC Analyst Mark Halperin Called President Obama a D-Word on Live TV:

MSNBC political analyst MARK HALPERIN referred to PRESIDENT OBAMA as a naughty word live on "Morning Joe" yesterday. --Mark was talking about Obama's demeanor during his press conference Wednesday on the economy. That's when he dropped the D-word . . . the part of the male anatomy that rhymes with STICK. --He said, quote, "I thought he was kind of a [D-word] yesterday." --As inappropriate as that is, in retrospect it's actually pretty amusing . . . if you consider the total COMEDY OF ERRORS that happened before and after his comment that allowed this to happen. --It all started when Mark asked co-hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika BrzezinskI, if the show was on a seven-second delay. In other words, this was a premeditated comment, and he wanted to see if they could censor him. --They egged him on. Mika said, quote, "We have it, we can use it, right?" --Then she and Joe said things like, quote, "Yeah, sure . . . come on . . . go for it . . . take a chance . . . yeah, let's see what happens . . . I'm behind you, you fall down, I'll catch you." (???) And so Mark dropped the bomb. --Apparently, they didn't think Mark would actually say something like that, because immediately afterwards, Joe said, quote, "Oh my God. Delay that! Delay that! What are you doing? I can't believe you- I was joking! Don't do that. Did we delay that?" --And the answer to that question is: No. No, they didn't. And that's because they just happened to have a new producer at the knobs, who DIDN'T KNOW HOW to use the seven-second delay button. --Later, when they found out the comment was NOT censored, the producer explained that he got confused by all the buttons. And Mika responded, quote, "You're supposed to actually know how to do the job before you get the job." --Joe added, quote, "I'd tell you what I think of you, but you don't know what button to push." (--You can find video, here. WARNING: The D-word is UNCENSORED.) --Mark apologized on the air . . . saying, quote, "Joking aside, this is an absolute apology . . . I became part of the joke, but that's no excuse. I'm sorry, and I shouldn't have said it. I apologize to the president and the viewers who heard me say that." (--You can find video of the apology, here. WARNING: The D-word is also UNCENSORED in this clip. The apology begins 15 seconds in.)

MSNBC Has Suspended Mark Halperin Indefinitely:

MSNBC has suspended political analyst Mark Halperin indefinitely for "characterizing" PRESIDENT OBAMA as a D-word LIVE on "Morning Joe" yesterday. --The network issued a statement saying: Quote, "Mark Halperin's comments were completely inappropriate and unacceptable . . . we strive for a high level of discourse and comments like these have no place on our air." --Mark responded with his own statement in AGREEMENT. He said, quote, "I completely agree . . . I believe that the step they are taking in response is totally appropriate . . . my remark was unacceptable, and I deeply regret it." --Mark is also an editor at "Time" magazine. They're NOT suspending him . . . however they did say Mark's comments were, quote, "inappropriate and in no way reflective of 'Time's' views."

Mark Halperin Previously Called Obama a Part of a *Woman's* Anatomy:

MSNBC analyst Mark Halperin is an equal opportunity naughty-word user . . . when referring to PRESIDENT OBAMA. In a 2008 radio interview, he called Obama the P-word . . . the part of the female anatomy that rhymes with WUSSY. --This time, he wasn't talking about his own thoughts, he was "characterizing" the feelings of JOHN EDWARDS. --Here's Mark's exact quote: "[John] kinda thinks Obama is . . . he thinks Obama is kind of a [P-word] . . . he has real questions about Obama's toughness, his readiness for the office."

Christina Aguilera Will Be Back on "The Voice" Next Season, Along with the Other Three Coaches:

It's official: All four celebrity coaches will be back on "The Voice" for Season Two, which will begin sometime early next year. --There was some speculation online that CHRISTINA AGUILERA might not be back, but yesterday NBC confirmed that she would. -Obviously, the CRAZY money NBC is throwing at her was part of her decision. According to reports, she pulls down $225,000 PER EPISODE, which is three-times what the guys are getting. --CEE-LO GREEN, ADAM LEVINE and BLAKE SHELTON reportedly make $75,000 an episode.

(--Check your local listing for times in your area.)
Friday TV Reminders:

--"Bucket & Skinner's Epic Adventures" [SERIES Premiere] . . . 8:00 to 9:00 P.M. on Nickelodeon. (--A new sitcom for your kids. It's about two surf-loving high school kids living in a southern California beach town.)

--"Dual Survival" [2nd Season Finale] . . . 9:00 to 10:00 P.M. on Discovery.

--"My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding" [1st Season Finale] . . . 10:00 to 11:00 P.M. on TLC.

Saturday TV Reminders:

--"Biography: Tom Hanks" . . . 7:00 to 8:00 A.M. on A&E. (--His new movie "Larry Crowne" hits theaters today.)

--"Wimbledon: Women's Final" . . . 9:00 A.M. to 2:00 P.M. Eastern on NBC.

--"98th Tour de France" [Stage 1] . . . 2:00 to 3:30 P.M. Eastern on NBC.

--"NASCAR Racing: Sprint Cup in Daytona Beach" . . . 7:30 to 11:00 P.M. Eastern on TNT.

--"Grand Ole Opry Live" . . . 7:00 to 9:00 P.M. on GAC. (--Steve Wariner, Jimmy Wayne, Joe Diffie and Troy Olsen perform.)

--"Austin City Limits" . . . 9:00 to 10:00 P.M. on PBS. (--Robert Earl Keen and Hayes Carll perform.) (REPEAT)

Saturday TV Reminders:

--"Saturday Night Live" . . . 11:30 P.M. to 1:00 A.M. on NBC. (--Helen Mirren guest hosts and Foo Fighters are the musical guest.) (REPEAT)

Sunday TV Reminders:

--"Wimbledon: Men's Final" . . . 9:00 A.M. to 3:00 P.M. Eastern on NBC.

--"98th Tour de France" [Stage 2] . . . 3:00 to 4:30 P.M. Eastern on NBC.

--"PGA Tour Golf: AT&T National" [Final Round] . . . 3:00 to 6:30 P.M. Eastern on CBS.

--"Christopher Titus: Neverlution" . . . 9:00 to 10:00 P.M. on Comedy Central. (--Comedian Christopher Titus performs at the California Center for the Arts in Escondido, California.)

--"The Marriage Ref" . . . 10:00 to 11:00 P.M. on NBC. (--Tracy Morgan, Susie Essman and Regis Philbin listen to married couples disputes.)

--"Treme" [2nd Season Finale] . . . 10:00 to 11:30 P.M. on HBO. (--The finale is set at the annual New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival in 2007. Performances include The Iguanas, Wanda Rouzan, Donald Harrison Jr. and Lucinda Williams.)

Monday TV Reminders: (--Check your local listings.)

--"Yankee Doodle Dandy" . . . 8:00 to 10:30 P.M. Eastern on TCM. (--Conan O'Brien hosts this classic James Cagney musical. Cagney plays George M. Cohen, the guy who wrote the patriotic anthems, "Over There" and "You're a Grand Old Flag".)

(--You may not have known this, but Cagney was actually a fantastic tap dancer. You can watch him singing and dancing to the title song from the movie, here. Skip ahead to 1:20 for the song. The dancing gets good at the 2:00 mark.) (--Years later, Cagney played Cohen one more time for a scene in a Bob Hope movie called "The Seven Little Foys". The two of them did a great tap dance routine together, which you can check out here.)

--"Single Ladies" . . . 9:00 to 10:00 P.M. on VH1. (--Queen Latifah guest stars.)

--"Rupaul's Drag U" [2nd Season Premiere] . . . 9:00 to 10:00 P.M. on Logo. (--"Glee's" coach Beiste . . . Dot Marie Jones guest judges.)

--"Citizen U.S.A.: A 50-State Road Trip" . . . 9:00 to 10:00 P.M. on HBO. (--Nancy Pelosi's daughter, Alexandra Pelosi, visits naturalization ceremonies in every state to interview our country's newest citizens.)


--"A Capitol Fourth" . . . 8:00 to 9:30 P.M. on PBS. (--Jimmy Smits hosts, with performances by Josh Groban, "Glee's" Matthew Morrison, "American Idol's" Jordin Sparks, Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers, and Little Richard.)

--"Macy's 4th Of July Fireworks Spectacular 2011" . . . 9:00 to 10:00 P.M. on NBC. (--Nick Lachey hosts. Performers include Beyoncé and Brad Paisley.)

--"Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular" . . . 10:00 to 11:00 P.M. on CBS. (--Lionel Richie performs with the Boston Pops Orchestra. Michael Chiklis hosts.)

Justin Bieber Called a BET Awards Doorman a D-Bag for Not Letting His Security Enter with Him:

JUSTIN BIEBER was a presenter at the BET Awards last Sunday . . . but before he got onstage, he had to first get in the building. And apparently, that was an ordeal. --Justin was stopped at the door because a member of his entourage didn't have a ticket to get in. The doorman was holding his ground, and both sides were arguing. And that's when Justin lost his cool. (CAREFUL) --Justin said, quote, "I need to bring my security with me! This guy's a [D-bag]." (--Only he said the actual word "douche bag".) (--Fortunately, this moment was actually caught on video. Here's the link. WARNING: "Douche bag" is UNCENSORED. Justin's comment begins 32 seconds in.) --Eventually, all of Justin's people got inside. -Justin's rep says he was merely standing up for his crew. And a rep for BET downplayed the situation . . . quote, "It's our standard policy to make sure everyone has their tickets or credential upon arrival. Justin had the proper credentials." --By the way, Google has produced a commercial for its Chrome browser that celebrates Justin Bieber's YouTube success story. (--You can check it out, here.)

Beyoncé Led a Dance Party for the Harlem Boys and Girls Club:

This is pretty cool: BEYONCÉ made a surprise appearance at a Harlem Boys and Girls Club event yesterday. It actually took place at a local Target store. --Beyoncé's choreographer was teaching the kids a dance lesson. According to TMZ, Beyoncé showed up onstage out of the blue . . . and "led an impromptu dance party." --Not surprisingly, the kids were going ballistic. (--Here's video.)

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Is Promoting . . . the Smashing Pumpkins?

Did you know the SMASHING PUMPKINS had another album in the works? Or, did you even know the Smashing Pumpkins were still a band? Well, would you believe it if you heard it from NBA legend KAREEM ABDUL-JABBAR? --As strange as it is, Kareem appears in a video promo for the Pumpkins, in which he smashes a pumpkin . . . by DUNKING it . . . and says, quote, "Check out the new Smashing Pumpkins album 'Oceania', it's coming soon." (???) (--Here it is.) (--Last I heard, BILLY CORGAN and his NON-classic Pumpkins lineup were recording 44 songs that they were releasing for free online. Well this album is apparently part of that project. There's no release date for "Oceania" yet.)
Paul McCartney's Old Road Manager Told Him to Retire at Age 50:

Some former road manager once advised PAUL MCCARTNEY to retire at age 50 . . . which means he would've been done 19 YEARS AGO, in 1992. --Paul tells "Mojo" magazine, quote, "One of my old guys who I used to have as my manager, I was knocking 50 and he said, 'I think it's time you retired.' I thought, 'I know what you mean, but I don't really feel like it. --"'And if I'm really enjoying this, why retire?' So I decided against it, and got rid of him. I wonder what he thinks today. Perhaps that he was right, but hopefully not."

Will Jay-Z and Kanye West's "Watch the Throne" Collaboration Hit on the Fourth of July?

There's a groundswell on the hip-hop sites online suggesting that JAY-Z and KANYE WEST will release their "Watch the Throne" collaboration on Monday . . . the Fourth of July. Since this would be a surprise release, it'd be for digital retailers only. --But then again, we've been hearing about this thing coming out since January.


Showbiz Extras . . . Random Links to Additional Stories:

ASHTON KUTCHER is involved in a huge Twitter war with "The Village Voice" . . . because they accused him of using incorrect child prostitution statistics in his anti-sex trafficking campaign. (Full Story)

JULIA ROBERTS says that if she weren't an actress, she would have been a home economics teacher. (Full Story)

Check out pictures of BRADLEY COOPER in blonde dreadlocks, holding a baby tiger. All we know is that he was filming, quote, "a new project directed by DAX SHEPARD." (Us Weekly) (People)

AMY WINEHOUSE'S website was hacked and vandalized by some guys who called themselves, quote, "a team of homosexual Negroes" who where, quote, "taking back the Internet from the white devil." (Full Story)

Here we go again: The Octomom is once again close to losing her house. (Full Story)

BEN STILLER and VINCE VAUGHN will appear together in "Neighborhood Watch" . . . a movie about a bunch of guys who set up a neighborhood watch just to get some time away from their families every night . . . but end up uncovering a plot to destroy the world. (Full Story)

The "X Factor" judges inadvertently made arrangements to stay at a HAUNTED HOTEL while in Dallas this week. PAULA ABDUL was spooked by the bathroom faucets turning on and off, but SIMON COWELL was supposedly "happy with the ghosts." (Full Story)

The final episode of GLENN BECK'S Fox News show aired yesterday. Among other things, he said, quote, "As a guy who has traded my soul before, I will not trade it again. Never want anything too much. Never. It will destroy you." (Video)

SHIA LABEOUF is filming a documentary on the making of MARILYN MANSON'S next album. (Full Story) has put together an epic list of the 50 Gayest Ads Ever . . . from all over the world. Oh, and that's gay in the GOOD way, of course. (List, with videos.)

"Call of Duty: Black Ops" multiplayer gaming will get another Double XP weekend for the Fourth of July holiday. It starts today at 10:00 A.M. Pacific and ends on July 5th. That's straight from Treyarch's community manager. (Tweet)

"Red Dead Redemption" is having a QUADRUPLE XP weekend for the holiday. It starts at 9:00 A.M. today. (Full Story)


Eight Random Facts About July 4th:

#1.) Americans spend $111 MILLION on popsicles and charcoal for July 4th weekend.

#2.) Americans spend $203 MILLION just on CONDIMENTS for July 4th. That's more than the $193 MILLION we spend on hamburger patties.

#3.) No July 4th spending compares to FIREWORKS . . . we spend at least $600 MILLION on 'em nationwide.

#4.) Over 80% of the American flags in the U.S. were made in China.

#5.) When America became an independent nation in 1776, it had a population of 2.5 million. Now the population is over 311 million.

#6.) Last year, New York City had the largest fireworks display in the U.S. It included 22 tons of fireworks . . . about the same weight as six elephants.

#7.) Last year there were 11,000 firework-related injuries . . . more than half of which were minor burns on the hands. There was only one death . . . and that was a guy balancing a mortar shell in a tube on his head.

#8.) The 4th of July is the biggest holiday for beer sales, with approximately 68.3 MILLION cases of beer sold. The rest of the top five, in order are: Labor Day, Memorial Day, Father's Day (--awesome), and Christmas. (This Blog Rules)

One Out of Six People Would Demand to Bring their Laptop or iPad Along on Their Honeymoon:

Nothing says "romance" like having relations with your new husband or wife in an oceanfront cabana in Bora Bora . . . and then rolling off of them to check your email. --According to a new Harris poll, one out of six people say they would DEMAND to bring their laptop or iPad along on their honeymoon. --There's more. 48% of people say they're unhappy when they're in bed without a computer, smartphone, or tablet. 36% need one when they go shopping with their spouse. 29% need one at a sporting event. --And 11% don't like being away from their devices when they're on a DATE. --Two out of three people surveyed say they use more than one computer, smartphone, or tablet every week. --15% use four or more. (Business News Daily)

It Costs a Damn Fortune to Be Someone's Bridesmaid:

So one of your friends just got engaged and she didn't ask you to be one of her bridesmaids. Your correct response should be . . . oh dear Lord, thank you. --According to a new survey by, the average cost for you when you're asked to be in a wedding party is . . . $1,695. --That's what it costs these days to travel to the wedding, stay at a hotel, buy a dress, buy a gift, go to a bachelorette party, and cover other random expenses. --The survey also found most women don't realize they've spent that much. There's usually a good year-and-a-half between an engagement and a wedding, so the money kinda leaks out . . . and suddenly, you're down nearly two grand. (Daily Mail)

Burger King, KFC, McDonald's, and Taco Bell Share the Honor of Being the Worst Fast Food Chains in the U.S.:

Yesterday, "Consumer Reports" released the results of a survey about fast food. And basically, the bigger the chain . . . the more people hate it. --Burger King, KFC, McDonald's, and Taco Bell scored the worst of the 53 major U.S. fast food chains. And just ahead of them were some more big ones: Arby's, Quiznos, Domino's, and Pizza Hut. --The main knocks against them were uninspiring food and service. They all scored well in price, though . . . they're some of the cheapest fast food chains in the U.S. --In-N-Out Burger had the highest scores of any fast-food chain in the country. It finished just ahead of Chipotle, Chick-fil-A, and Papa Murphy's. --Here are a few more random findings from the survey . . . --KFC, Popeyes, and Pizza Hut got ranked as having the slowest service. --In-N-Out Burger, Papa Murphy's, and CiCi's Pizza got the highest rankings for value . . . good quality at a low price. Sbarro, Round Table Pizza, and KFC got the worst value rankings. --And only 13% of people say they ordered a "healthy" meal during their last trip to a fast food restaurant. (Consumer Reports)

Is Your Shampoo Making You Chubby?

I'm all about finding things to blame chubbiness on other than the fact that my body is, at all times, about 40% gravy. So this is a GREAT one. --According to Paula Baillie-Hamilton, who's an expert on metabolism and toxins at Stirling University in Scotland, your SHAMPOO could be making you chubby. --A lot of shampoos apparently contain chemicals like Bisphenol A, phthalates, PCBs, and even traces of pesticides. --Those can actually mess with our natural hormone responses and the built-in weight control systems in our bodies . . . and that makes them like, quote, "chemical calories." --She says that you can potentially cut down on weight gain by switching to organic shampoos. --Other people in the scientific world aren't as fully convinced, of course . . . but there HAVE been lab tests that showed lab rats exposed to those chemicals have 10% more fat cells than normal lab rats. (

A Man Finds $17,000, Returns It Like a Good Human Being . . . And Ends Up Getting Fined $500 For Lying About Where He Found It:

THIS is why if I ever find a giant sack of cash, I'm going to ignore my conscience and keep the money. -On June 6th, 54-year-old Robert Adams of Arlington Heights, Illinois, found a Chase Bank bag of cash near an ATM in a Walgreens. The bag contained almost $17,000. --Robert is a good person with a soul. So he drove to a Chase Bank nearby and turned the bag over to them. --The police investigated how the cash ended up just sitting there. When they talked to Robert, for no particular reason, he told them he found the bag at a newspaper stand near the bank, not at the Walgreens. --The bank traced the money back to the ATM at the Walgreens, though . . . and when the cops watched surveillance footage, they saw Robert pick it up there. --Robert was promptly charged with filing a false report and was fined $500 . . . which means that his conscience cost him $17,500 total. --He says he doesn't know why he lied about the bag, quote, "It was a hot day, I just wanted to get home. I wasn't looking for a reward. I'm very sorry about this whole thing." (Chicago Tribune)
Seven People Make an Amazing Escape From Their Burning House:

On Wednesday, around 6:30 A.M., 21-year-old Allana Hudson of Galesburg, Illinois, woke up when she smelled smoke. Turned out the stove had caught fire . . . and the house was going up in flames. --And that's when Allana and her six family members and friends inside the house sprang into action . . . and made an absolutely THRILLING escape. Here's how it went down. #1.) Her cousin, 25-year-old George Hudson, jumped out of an upstairs window, bounced off an awning, and landed safely on the concrete outside.
#2.) Allana and her friend, Kristan Cooper, dropped Allana's two babies down to George. The babies are a one-year-old and a two-month-old. George safely caught both babies.
#3.) Allana jumped from the upstairs window. She fractured her foot.
#4.) A roofing truck happened to drive by and the driver saw what was going on. He ran over with his ladder, which Kristan climbed down to escape.
#5.) Allana's uncle, William Hudson, was trapped in the basement. George kicked in a side door to help him escape.
#6.) Then William went back in to carry Allana's 70-year-old grandmother, Ester Hammond, out of the house.
--All of that took less than three minutes . . . which was how long it took the fire department to get there. The babies and grandma were hospitalized but were all okay. (ABC 8 - Quad Cities)


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

Check out a list of the ten dirtiest beaches in America. And no, they're not all in Jersey. (Full Story)

Illinois is keeping its beaches clean using . . . Border Collies? The dogs chase and harass seagulls, to keep them from pooping on the beach and contaminating the water. (Full Story)

A woman in Boise, Idaho claims she's been banned from every Wal-Mart in America . . . for extreme couponing. (Full Story)

These days, hackers like to front that they're anarchist cyber-sleuths. Sounds sexy . . . but we all know they're annoying nerds. Then they go and do something like this, and I'm willing to give them a golf clap: Sometime in the past few days, unknown hackers went after Al Qaeda's online communications network and brought the whole thing down. (Full Story)


#1.) Happy Fourth of July! Enjoy Some Fireworks in Super Slow-Motion:

Before you set off fireworks in your back yard in REAL time, there's a video online that shows them exploding in super slow-motion, and taking out an egg, some jello, a jar of mayo, and a bag of flour. (--Search for "Fourth of July Ultra Slow-Motion.")

#2.) A Guy Grabbed the French President by His Coat and Yanked . . . Then Got Tackled by Security:

Politicians walk around shaking hands all the time . . . and most people HATE politicians. So it's amazing this doesn't happen more often: --Yesterday, French President NICOLAS SARKOZY was glad-handing people in southwest France. And some guy reached out, grabbed him by his lapel, and yanked him into a metal barricade. Then security tackled the guy. --It's not clear what the guy was planning to do, if anything. All we know is he's 32 and works at a local music school. (--Search for "Man Yanks Sarkozy by Shoulder.")
#3.) A Video of a Male Chinese Cheerleader in a Girl's Cheerleading Outfit Is a Hit on YouTube:

A video of a male Chinese cheerleader is a hit on YouTube right now. If you think male cheerleading is lame, this guy takes it to a different level: The main difference is . . . he's in the same skirt and top the GIRLS are wearing. --He does all the same moves too, and he does them perfectly. The only time he screws up is when he slips after he does the splits. (--Search online for "Chinese Male Cheerleader Brings It On." He does the splits at :27.)

#4.) Check Out James Brown in an Old Japanese Ad for Miso Soup:

If there's one thing you associate most with JAMES BROWN . . . it's probably not miso soup. But in 1992, the Godfather of Soul shot two commercials for Nissin Cup Noodle that aired in Japan. --Both ads show him standing behind a steaming cup of delicious noodles, dancing to the song, "Sex Machine". (--Search for "James Brown Miso Soup." It shows both ads back-to-back.)

Four Fourth of July Tips for Dog Owners:

Independence Day is a loud holiday, which means it's not great for dogs. So here's a quick list of four tips to keep your dog happy and safe this Fourth of July.

#1.) Make Sure Your Dog Is Wearing Its Collar. This is the most important one, because if it gets spooked by fireworks, it might run away. So make sure the collar is on, and the tags have the right contact info.

#2.) Keep Your Dog in a Quiet Room. If it really starts freaking out, draw the blinds, and turn on the TV or the radio to drown out the noise.

#3.) Don't Console Your Dog If It Gets Scared. It seems weird, but most dog experts agree that if you comfort your dog when it's scared, it reinforces the idea that it SHOULD be scared. --You're supposed to just ignore the barking, and hopefully it'll calm down.

#4.) Don't Bring Your Dog to a Fireworks Show. They usually take place at parks or next to a body of water. . . which are two places you might NORMALLY bring your dog. --But don't do it on the Fourth of July, because if he gets scared and runs off in an area he doesn't know, it's an even bigger headache. And you also have to worry about all the traffic. (

Five Mobile Apps for Dating:

Everybody's got a smartphone these days, so it's only natural that we'd start using them to hook up. Today we've got five mobile apps you can use for everything from making dinner reservations to coming up with pickup lines.

#1.) Date Smart. It's a GPS-enabled app that finds romantic spots and fun things to do nearby. It's also got tips on WHAT you should do together, like if you're looking for something cultural like a museum, or something crazy like skydiving.

#2.) Date Escape. This is for when the date SUCKS and you need to make a quick exit. It sends fake calls and texts to your phone so you can end a bad date early.

#3.) OpenTable. This one lets you to make dinner reservations without having to talk to anyone. All you have to do is enter the time you want to have dinner, and it displays available tables that meet your criteria.

#4.) iFlirt. It's an app gives you access to millions of pick-up lines, so you'll never be at a loss for words when trying to approach someone. But let's face it . . . if you need an app like this you're already screwed.

#5.) Jimmy the Bartender. This app is from "Men's Health" advice columnist Jimmy the Bartender, and it's got helpful info for single guys. --It comes with a GPS-enabled guide to good bars, tips for approaching women, and drink recipes for when you're spending the night in. There's even an "Instant Wingman" app, which suggests how to approach women when you're out by yourself. (
Seven Affordable Fourth of July Date Ideas:

The 4th of July is on Monday. If you still don't have any plans, here are seven AFFORDABLE things you can do this weekend . . .

#1.) Outdoor Concert. There are always free 4th of July concerts and firework shows, so check out what's going on near you.

#2.) Barbeque. A barbeque is totally inexpensive to host if you make it a potluck.

#3.) Something Historic. Google your city to find out what local American memorials or museums are nearby.

#4.) A Rooftop Bar. Find a cool outdoor bar with a good happy hour. You'll get to enjoy cocktails in the summer weather, and you might be able to see a nearby fireworks show.

#5.) Get Wet. If you can't hit up a beach, find a friend with a pool.

#6.) Bonfire. Get some friends together and have a bonfire. And bring some sparklers to get into the spirit.

#7.) Movie Night. If you just feel like staying in, have a 4th of July-themed movie night with stuff like "Independence Day", "The Patriot" or . . . yeah, one of those. (Cosmopolitan)

Celebrating July 4th Safely

New data by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission shows that last year, during the 30 days surrounding July 4th, fireworks sent about 1,900 injured Americans to emergency rooms. CPSC’s statistics show that in all of 2010 about 8,600 consumers ended up in hospital emergency rooms due to injuries involving legal and illegal fireworks. CPSC’s annual death and injury report on fireworks also indicates that approximately 40% of estimated injuries occurred to children younger than 15 years of age. CPSC also received reports of three fatalities related to fireworks. Consumers who decide to purchase legal fireworks are urged to take these safety steps:

•Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks.

•Avoid buying fireworks that are packaged in brown paper because this is often a sign that the fireworks were made for professional displays and that they could pose a danger to consumers.

•Always have an adult supervise fireworks activities. Parents don’t realize that young children suffer injuries from sparklers. Sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees - hot enough to melt some metals.

•Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Back up to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks.

•Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully.

•Never point or throw fireworks at another person.

•Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishap.

•Light fireworks one at a time, then move back quickly.

•Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.

•After fireworks complete their burning, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding it to prevent a trash fire.

•Make sure fireworks are legal in your area before buying or using them.


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