Tuesday, September 6, 2011


Symbolism Alert! That Tree Tiger Woods Crashed Into Has Been Replaced By . . . a Port-a-Potty:

The tree that TIGER WOODS crashed into while backing out of his driveway that fateful night in November of 2009 is no more. Somebody new moved into that property and got rid of it. --It was in pretty bad shape since Tiger wrapped part of his escalade around it. The new owners are going to plant a new tree eventually . . . but right now, while renovations are being done, there's a port-a-potty where it used to be. (--Obviously perfect symbolism for where Tiger's life and career have been since he hit the tree. Here are some pics.) (TMZ)

Charlie Sheen Had a Low-Key Birthday Dinner with Brooke Mueller and the Twins:

CHARLIE SHEEN celebrated his birthday with twins . . . But they were HIS OWN. --Charlie, ex-wife BROOKE MUELLER and their sons Bob and Max had dinner at an Italian restaurant called Buca di Beppo in Encino, California. (--Charlie turned 46 on Saturday.) --As far as we know, no alcoholic beverages were consumed. Charlie and Brooke were drinking soda and iced tea. (--Here are some pics.) (Daily Mail)

Does Shia LaBeouf's Mother Control His Money?

SHIA LABEOUF'S girlfriend of seven months, Karolyn Pho, has a problem: She's dating a multimillionaire, but he doesn't act like one . . . because his mother still controls his purse strings. --Yes, even though Shia is 25 years old, he lets his 68-year-old mother Shayna handle his finances. --A source says, quote, "He has to ask her what he can buy and can't buy . . . Karolyn feels he's too much of a mama's boy. --"She has told Shia that she is annoyed with Shayna for interfering with his finances. She wants Shia to step up and show her that he truly wears the pants in the relationship."

"HawthoRNe" Has Been Canceled . . . But It Probably Had Nothing to Do with the Jada Pinkett / Marc Anthony Situation:

TNT has canceled the medical drama "HawthoRNe" . . . and while the rumors are already out there, it's not likely this had anything to do with the JADA PINKETT / MARC ANTHONY situation. --The show, which ran for three seasons, hasn't been generating much in the way of ratings or buzz lately. And while TNT didn't give an explanation, that's the most probable reason it got the ax. --Jada Tweeted the following . . . quote, "Hey everyone . . . if you don't know Hawthorne will not be returning for another season. --"I want to say thank you to all the fans for being Hawthorne soldiers...All our facebook fans...twitter soldiers and viewers...you held us down. Of course you know there is more to come...believe it!"

Alyson Hannigan Denies She's Pregnant . . . And Has Four Excuses as to Why She Looks Like She Could Be:

ALYSON HANNIGAN was photographed during a family outing this weekend with her husband and their 2-year-old daughter . . . and Alyson looked a little more substantial around her midsection than usual. --So obviously, people started speculating that she's pregnant. (--Here's the pic.) (E! Online) --Well, Alyson took to Twitter on Sunday to deny it . . . and she was armed with a BATTERY OF EXCUSES. --She said, quote, "NO, I'm not pregnant! I just ate too much carnival food, that time of the month, hurt my back & couldn't suck my gut in, & need 2 do cardio!" --Then she added, quote, "And I'm NEVER gonna wear that shirt again!!!" --For the record, that's FOUR excuses: Too much carnival food . . . menstrual bloating . . . an ailing back that prevented her from sucking in her gut . . . and an unflattering shirt. --But you have to give Alyson props for addressing this . . . and for having fun with it.
A Joke About Seizures in the "Tower Heist" Trailer Upset an Actor Who Has an Epileptic Son:

BRETT RATNER . . . the director of the upcoming BEN STILLER / EDDIE MURPHY comedy "Tower Heist" . . . has apologized for a scene in the trailer that seems to make fun of epilepsy. --In the scene, Eddie remembers Ben's character as the kid from their daycare who was always having seizures. And he jokingly calls him "little seizure boy". (--Check out the trailer here. It happens at about the 1:15 mark.) --Actor GREG GRUNBERG is not in the movie. But he has a 15-year-old son with epilepsy. And the trailer bothered him. -He went on Twitter and called it, quote, "terribly offensive" and "not funny and wrong!" He also called for a boycott of the movie. --So director Brett Ratner apologized. He wrote to Grunberg saying, quote, "I am so sorry you are offended. . . . I sincerely feel bad." Ratner also asked the studio to take that scene out of any TV ads for the movie. --And while it's apparently still in the actual film, Grunberg was satisfied with Ratner's effort. He Tweeted, quote, "I'm lifting my personal boycott of ur hilarious film." (--Grunberg played Matt Parkman on NBC's "Heroes" . . . and this summer, he was on a short-lived summer replacement series called "Love Bites" . . . which was also on NBC.)

Eddie Murphy Is In Talks to Host the Oscars:

EDDIE MURPHY is in early talks to host the Oscars . . . which take place in February. --It was the idea of director BRETT RATNER . . . who's one of the producers of the show. He just directed Eddie in the upcoming comedy "Tower Heist". (--That movie opens in November . . . and Eddie's next movie, "A Thousand Words", comes out in January.) --Of course, BILLY CRYSTAL recently expressed interest in hosting the show again . . . and he's definitely the most beloved Oscar host of the past few decades. --He hosted the show EIGHT times between 1989 and 2003.

Check Out Some Pictures of the Avengers:

"The Avengers" is currently filming in New York City . . . and a ton of photos from the set hit the Internet yesterday. It's not the whole cast, but we do have SCARLETT JOHANSSON in her skintight Black Widow outfit. --For the ladies, we also have CHRIS HEMSWORTH as Thor, CHRIS EVANS as Captain America and JEREMY RENNER as Hawkeye. (--"The Avengers" opens next May. Check out the pics here.) (Egotastic)

"The Help" Won the Labor Day Weekend Box Office:

"The Help" made another $19 million over the long Labor Day weekend, which was enough to top the box office for a third week in a row. The movie has now made $123 million in its four weeks of release. --HELEN MIRREN'S Nazi-hunting movie "The Debt" made $12.6 million in 2nd place. It was followed by "Apollo 18" with $10.7 million and "Shark Night 3D" with $10.3 million.

1.) "The Help", $19 million. Up to $123 million in its 4th week.

2.) (NEW) "The Debt", $12.6 million. Up to $14.5 million since Wednesday.

3.) (NEW) "Apollo 18", $10.7 million.


Chaz Bono Says America Really "Needs" to See Him on TV:

CHAZ BONO has responded to the criticism about his gig on "Dancing with the Stars". He says, quote, "[The backlash has] made me realize I'm really glad I'm doing this, because America really needs to see this. --"It just kind of shows why for me it's important to be on the show, because so little still is known about what it means to be transgender. And there's so many just completely inaccurate stereotypes and thoughts that people have."

Chaz Bono Has Already Lost Five Pounds:

Despite being a "star," most people only know three things about CHAZ BONO: His parents are CHER and the late SONNY BONO . . . he's transgender . . . and he's, well, generously candy-coated. --Well, one of those things is changing . . . and this time it isn't his gender. --Chaz's "Dancing with the Stars" partner LACEY SCHWIMMER says Chaz has lost five pounds in six days. She adds, quote, "He says he's not eating any differently, he's just dancing." But that doesn't mean Chaz is eating junk food. --TMZ says Chaz has been complaining that the producers aren't offering enough healthy food options at the rehearsals . . . and has asked for something other than "chips, candy, granola and protein bars."

Chaz Bono Doesn't Want to Dance to His Parents' Music:

Will CHAZ BONO ever dance to any SONNY & CHER songs on "Dancing with the Stars"? Maybe . . . but Chaz isn't really feeling it. --Chaz's partner LACEY SCHWIMMER says, quote, "Chaz has already told me he doesn't want to dance to any of his parents' songs . . . he doesn't want people to think we're just going to dance to his parents' songs for votes. --"But the show really wants it to happen, so we'll see." Lacey adds that she heard Cher wanted to appear on the show at some point, but it doesn't sound like anything is in the works yet.

Jennifer Lopez Says the "American Idol" Judges Have Already Had a Disagreement This Season:

It sounds like the "American Idol" judges are trying out something new this season. And that is: NOT always agreeing with each other. --JENNIFER LOPEZ made this revelation on RYAN SEACREST'S radio show . . . saying that she's had her first battle with STEVEN TYLER and RANDY JACKSON. --She said, quote, "[We] got into our first fight. I got really, really upset. There was this girl that came in and sang and she was amazing. And Steven, as he will do when we're doing our auditions, he'll ask her for another song. --"I was surprised because I was ready to vote. I was like, 'This girl is amazing.'" But after the second song, Randy and Steven voted NOT to let her continue. --Jennifer told Ryan, quote, "I thought I was being Punk'd. [I thought], 'How can we let this girl go?' I was upset. When I believe in something . . . I knew this girl deserves the chance." --Elsewhere in the interview, J-Lo said that the auditions are "going really great," but she added, quote, "The kids, we're being really tough on them." (--Of course, that's what the judges say EVERY year . . . so take that with a grain of salt.) (--Here's audio from the interview. The "fight" stuff begins at the 6:50 mark.)

The MDA Telethon Did Better Than Last Year Without Jerry Lewis:

The Muscular Dystrophy Association's annual Labor Day telethon did better than last year . . . despite being without JERRY LEWIS, who had hosted the telethon every year since 1966. --This year, the telethon raised nearly $61.5 million, which was up about $2.6 million from last year. --Jerry's departure is still a mystery. At one point, it seemed like the MDA was pushing him out, and that he was leaving involuntarily. But during the program, the replacement co-hosts said that Jerry, quote, "retired." --"American Idol" producer Nigel Lythgoe co-hosted the telethon with an entertainment journalist named Jann Carl. --After the telethon, Nigel said he thought Jerry would show up anyway. He said, quote, "I was fully expecting him to turn up at any point and join that six hours . . . and I'm sorry he didn't. --"And hopefully another year he might. I mean, he knows that he is always welcome on the telethon. It's his baby." --There's no word from Jerry.

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

--"I Survived…: 9/11" . . . 8:00 to 9:30 P.M. on Bio. (--Twelve survivors from the September 11th terrorist attacks recount their stories.)

--"America's Got Talent" [Performance Show] . . . 9:00 to 11:00 P.M. on NBC.

--"Take the Money and Run" [1st Season Finale] . . . 9:00 to 10:00 P.M. on ABC.

--"Flipping Out" [5th Season Finale] . . . 9:00 to 10:00 P.M. on Bravo.

--"Combat Hospital" [1st Season Finale] . . . 10:00 to 11:00 P.M. on ABC.

--"Sons of Anarchy" [4th Season Premiere] . . . 10:00 to 11:30 P.M. on FX.

--"The Rachel Zoe Project" [4th Season Premiere] . . . 10:00 to 11:00 P.M. on Bravo.

--"Picker Sisters" [1st Season Finale] . . . 10:00 to 11:00 P.M. on Lifetime.

--"Repo Games" [1st Season Finale] . . . 11:30 P.M. to Midnight on Spike TV.


There is a Game For Everybody Among This Week's New Releases:

--"Dead Island" (M) . . . on Xbox360, PS3, and PC. You play as a variety of tourists caught on an island resort during a zombie infestation. You can waste zombies with up to four friends at once, as well as customize your weapons and character's attributes.

Although the announcement trailer doesn't include any in-game footage, it is considered to be one of the most compelling video game trailers ever.

--"Driver: San Francisco" (T) . . . on Xbox360, PS3, and Wii. The fourth game in the "Driver" series takes place in comatose dreams of undercover cop John Tanner. Since he's dreaming you have the ability to "shift" into other people's bodies, gaining the ability to drive whichever of the games 120 licensed vehicles they are driving. Tanner uses this ability to help teenagers win street races to get money for college fees, aid some vigilante ex-cops in removing fake medicine from circulation, and lend his driving abilities to police officers who are hunting down his nemesis Charles Jericho. Split screen and online multiplayer will also be available for the first time in the series with nine different game modes. If you plan on picking this one up for PC you are going to have to wait till September 27th. (Trailer)

--"Resistance 3" (M) . . . on PS3. The third "Resistance" is the first in the series to support 3D and Playstation Move. It includes online multiplayer with up to 16-players.

Approximately ninety percent of Earth's population is dead or has been turned into Chimera (alien parasites) when the game's main character, dishonorably discharged Sentinel Joseph Capelli, makes the journey from Oklahoma to New York City with a cure for the Chimera in hand. (Trailer)

--"Warhammer 40k: Space Marine" (M) . . . on Xbox360, PS3, and PC. In this action game you play as Space Marines, who are genetically modified super human soldiers created by the Emperor to conquer the galaxy and defend mankind. (Trailer)

--"Disgaea 4: A Promise Unforgotten" (T) . . . on PS3. Not really sure what's going on with this game . . . it looks like a strategy game infused with crazy Japanese anime cartoons. If you've played the other three games in the series then you should enjoy this one. If you haven't, then you probably don't care. (Trailer)

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

Video Game Extras . . . Random Links to Additional Stories:

#1.) Check out "Modern Warfare 3's" latest multiplayer trailer. The game drops in two months, on November 8th.

(--To promote the upcoming "Call of Duty" release, map packs for "World at War" and the first two "Modern Warfare" games are now available at HALF PRICE.)

#2.) Here's the newest trailer for "Gears of War 3". The game hits stores in two weeks, on September 20th. (Video)

#3.) Many of the cast members of "Red Dead Redemption" are back together to shoot a live-action horror movie called "From the Trailer to the Grave". (Full Story) (--The free "Myths & Mavericks" pack drops next week, on September 13th, and it will feature 8 new multiplayer characters and 11 new multiplayer maps.)

#4.) "Star Trek Online" is abandoning their subscription-based model and making the game free-to-play. (Full Story)

--"X-Men: First Class" (In Stores Friday) - A prequel about the early days of the X-Men . . . when Professor X and Magneto were friends. James McAvoy is Professor X, Michael Fassbender is Magneto, and Jennifer Lawrence is the new Mystique. -Kevin Bacon plays the villain, a guy named Sebastian Shaw, who's gathering mutants to help him take over the world. The rest of the cast includes Zoe Kravitz, January Jones from "Mad Men", and Rose Byrne from "Damages".

--"Hanna" - Saoirse Ronan from "The Lovely Bones" plays a teenager who's been trained by her ex-CIA father to be the perfect assassin. Eric Bana plays her dad and Cate Blanchett is the agent trying to get her before she kills her target.

--"Everything Must Go" - Will Ferrell's wife throws him out, but instead of leaving, he holds a massive yard sale with the help of a chubby neighborhood kid played by Christopher Jordan Wallace, better known as the 15-year-old son of the Notorious B.I.G.

--"Assassination Games" - Jean Claude Van Damme and a British actor named Scott Adkins are assassins who screw up each other's attempt on the same target, a drug dealer who put Adkins' wife in a coma. They then team up to take him out.

--"Last Night" (Blu Ray) - Keira Knightley and Sam Worthington are a happily married couple who are both tempted during a night apart. For him, it's Eva Mendes. For her, it's a handsome French stud from her past.

TV Series On DVD:

--"Fringe: The Complete Third Season" . . . a six-disc DVD set.
--"Criminal Minds: The Sixth Season" . . . a six-disc DVD set.
--"Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior - The Complete Series" . . . a three-disc DVD set.
--"No Ordinary Family: The Complete Series" . . . a four-disc DVD set.
--"Two and a Half Men: The Complete Eighth Season" . . . a two-disc DVD set of what's better known as Charlie Sheen's LAST season on the show.
--"The Office: Season Seven" . . . a five-disc DVD set.
--"Community: The Complete Second Season" . . . a four-disc DVD set.
--"Parks & Recreation: Season 3" . . . a three-disc DVD set.


This Week's CD Releases:

--"Let Them Talk", Hugh Laurie (--A blues album, featuring the guy from "House" singing and playing the piano.)

--"Listen To Me: Buddy Holly", Various Artists (--Tomorrow would have been Buddy Holly's 75th birthday, so to honor that, we've got a tribute album of Buddy Holly songs performed by today's artists, including . . .) (. . . The Fray, Cobra Starship, Pat Monahan from Train, Patrick Stump from Fall Out Boy, Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys, Stevie Nicks, Natalie Merchant, Chris Isaak, Zooey Deschanel, Monty Python's Eric Idle, and RINGO STARR!)

--"Hurricane", Grace Jones . . . better known to the world as THE star of Arnold's second Conan film, "Conan the Destroyer". This is her 11th album.

--"Here for A Good Time", George Strait

--"Ghost to a Ghost/Gutter Town", Hank 3 . . . a.k.a. Hank Williams the Third (--He's releasing THREE albums today. This one's a double album of regular country music. However, it also includes a very naughtily titled song called "[C-word] of a [B-word]".)

--"Cattle Callin", HANk3 (--The second of Hank's three albums is a speed metal disc.)

--"Hank 3's Attention Deficit Domination", HANk3 (--And the third of his three albums that are hitting stores today is his, quote, "doom/stoner-rock" disc.)
Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong Was Kicked Off a Plane Because His Pants Were Too Saggy:

GREEN DAY singer BILLIE JOE ARMSTRONG was kicked off a plane last week because he refused to PULL UP HIS PANTS. Billie Joe is 39 years old, by the way. --Last Thursday, Billie Joe Tweeted, quote, "Just got kicked off a Southwest flight because my pants sagged too low! What the [eff]? No joke!" --According to reports, a flight attendant approached him while the passengers were boarding the plane, and asked him to pull his pants up. Billie Joe refused . . . and said, quote, "Don't you have better things to do than worry about that?" --The flight attendant repeated the request . . . and Billie Joe replied, quote, "I'm just trying to get to my [effing] seat!" --At that point, Billie Joe and the unidentified person he was traveling with were "removed" from the plane. They were placed on the next flight, and according to Southwest . . . everything is cool. --The airline put out a statement saying, quote, "We reached out to apologize for this customer's experience. We followed up with this customer and involved employees to get more details and, in our latest conversations, understand from the customer the situation was resolved to his satisfaction." --Billie Joe has not said anything beyond his initial "No joke!" Tweet.

The Bellamy Brothers Have Apologized to Britney Spears for Claiming She Ripped Them Off:

The old-school country music duo THE BELLAMY BROTHERS have apologized to BRITNEY SPEARS for claiming that her song "Hold It Against Me" ripped off their 1979 song, "If I Said You Had a Beautiful Body, Would You Hold It Against Me". --Britney's songwriters Dr. Luke and Max Martin sued the Bellamy Brothers for defamation . . . and now the whole thing has been settled with an apology from the Bellamys. The case was dismissed, and no money changed hands.

Adele "Pukes a Lot" Before Going On Stage:

Here's a semi-disgusting detail that you may not have known about ADELE: She gets so nervous before her shows that she PUKES. --She tells the British version of "Vogue" magazine, quote, "I puke quite a lot before going on stage . . . but never actually on stage." --Adele also admits to having "insecurities" about her body, but she says she doesn't let it bother her. She explains, quote, "I've seen people where it rules their lives, who want to be thinner or have bigger boobs, and how it wears them down . . . --"And I don't want that in my life . . . I have [body] insecurities, of course, but I don't hang out with anyone who points them out to me."

My Chemical Romance Fired Their Drummer for Stealing from Them:

MY CHEMICAL ROMANCE fired their touring drummer MICHAEL PEDICONE, who joined the band late last year. --The band explains, quote, "He was caught red-handed stealing from the band and confessed to police. We are heartbroken and sick to our stomachs over this entire situation." --There aren't any details on WHAT he stole . . . but the band has said they're not pressing charges. --Pedicone had this to say on Twitter: Quote, "What happened is more complicated than it sounds, but I did make a mistake. --"It was never my intention to hurt this band or all of you. It was an error in judgment based on a whole other situation that's way deeper but this does not define me." --My Chemical Romance has replaced Pedicone with a drummer named Jarrod Alexander, who's played with Death By Stereo and Suicide File. It's unclear if he's the permanent replacement.

Lil Wayne Has Set a New iTunes Record:

Last month, "Watch the Throne" . . . the KANYE WEST / JAY-Z collaboration . . . sold 290,000 copies in its first week on iTunes. That broke the iTunes record for most album downloads in one week. --But that record was short-lived, because LIL WAYNE just broke it. --Wayne's "Tha Carter 4" was downloaded 300,000 times in the first four days it was available. Even more impressive: "Tha Carter 4" was not an iTunes exclusive like "Watch the Throne" was. --If you count both digital and CD sales, "Tha Carter 4" may have sold over 850,000 copies in its first week, which ended Sunday. The official numbers won't be released until tomorrow.
Soulja Boy Is Being Criticized for Dissing the Troops:

There's some controversy over a new SOULJA BOY track called "Let's Be Real", which seems to DISS American troops. --Here's the offending lyric: Quote, "[Eff] the FBI and the army troops . . . fighting for what? Be your own man . . . I'll be flying through the clouds with green like I'm Peter Pan." (--You can listen to the whole track, here. WARNING: There's a lot of UNCENSORED PROFANITY. The first 30 seconds is just Soulja Boy hyping HIMSELF, which for him, definitely isn't unusual. The lyric about the troops begins 38 seconds in.) (--By the way, is it just me . . . or is this song BEYOND TERRIBLE?) --Obviously, a lot of people are not digging the army lyric. For example, a retired Marine named Fred A. Flores told TMZ, quote, "It's a very offensive statement . . . especially with the 10th anniversary of 9/11 coming up. --"[The rap] is very irresponsible, especially for a person who is an entertainer for the youth of our country." He thinks Soulja Boy should, quote, "apologize to ALL armed forces." --Soulja Boy has not responded. (--Is it really all that surprising that he has a misguided perception of the armed forces? I mean, he calls himself "Soulja Boy" . . . and he's a rapper who's mainly interested in protecting his own right to "turn his swag on.")


Showbiz Extras . . . Random Links to Additional Stories:

Former SPICE GIRL MEL B. had a baby girl on Thursday night. This is the first child for Mel and husband Stephen Belafonte together. But Mel already has two kids . . . one of which was fathered by EDDIE MURPHY. Belafonte also has a child from a previous relationship. (Full Story)

CHEYENNE JACKSON from "Glee" and "30 Rock" married his partner, Monte Lapka, on Saturday in the Hamptons. Jackson plays Danny Baker on "30 Rock" and the coach of the rival glee club, Vocal Adrenaline, on "Glee". (Full Story)

The photographer who took those pictures of "Glee" star HEATHER MORRIS with a black eye says he's going to sell some of them and donate all the proceeds to a domestic violence charity. (Full Story)

GERARD DEPARDIEU did a video making fun of his airplane urination incident, in which he's dressed as some kind of French cartoon character. It's all in French though, so if you don't understand the language, you can't really tell what's going on. (Full Story)

Pro wrestler KURT ANGLE was arrested for driving drunk over the weekend. But he says he WASN'T drunk, and thinks he's being FRAMED. (Full Story)

A man was found dead and fully-clothed at the bottom of a swimming pool after a party at the home of Houston Texans defensive end ANTONIO SMITH. Police believe it was an accident. (Full Story)

The "National Enquirer" says ELIN NORDEGREN is ready to get married again . . . and TIGER WOODS isn't happy about it. (Full Story)

COREY FELDMAN is being sued for accepting $5,000 to appear at a horror convention in Pennsylvania . . . then NO-SHOWING. (Full Story)

It's official: HOLLY ROBINSON PEETE has been let go from "The Talk". (Full Story)

SUSAN LUCCI wrote a new epilogue for the paperback edition of her memoir, "All My Life", in which she rips into the head of ABC's daytime division for allowing "All My Children" to be canceled. (Full Story)

MADONNA will release her next album in the spring of 2012. (Full Story)

SCARLETT JOHANSSON is singing again. (Full Story)

Rapper T.I. was released from prison to a halfway house last Wednesday . . . then re-incarcerated the following day. Why? Because he used a tricked-out tour bus as his transportation, and failed to alert prison officials to that fact beforehand. (Full Story)


A Toy Poodle Saves Its Owner From a House Fire:

This just proves that a dog doesn't have to be big or look like Lassie to be a HERO. The dog just needs to have a really, really annoying bark. --On Friday morning, a toy poodle weighing under 10 pounds SAVED its owner from a HOUSE FIRE. --Around 3:10 A.M. on Friday, firefighters in West Jordan, Utah got a call about a house on fire. --A woman and two children inside made it out safely before the fire department got there . . . but the woman's third kid, a 19-year-old son, was still trapped inside. None of their names have been released. --When the fire department finally arrived, the toy poodle ran up and started barking at them. And when they tried to go upstairs, the poodle barked even more, until they finally followed him down to the basement. --It turns out their instinct to look for the 19-year-old upstairs was wrong . . . he was actually in the basement. Thanks to the dog guiding them, the firefighters and paramedics were able to get him out of there. --The 19-year-old was treated for minor smoke inhalation and was released. The dog was uninjured. --The house sustained about $40,000 in damage. The fire department believes a leaking gas meter caused the fire. (Salt Lake Tribune)

The Month You're Born in Makes a Huge Impact on Your Future Career:

This sounds like some mix of astrology, superstition, and an old wives' tale . . . but apparently there's actual data to back it up. --A new study out of England found that the MONTH when someone is born makes a big impact on their future career. --It's hard to figure out the science behind it . . . there are theories about things like the amount of sunlight pregnant women are exposed to, or the allergies children are more prone to in different seasons. But no one's really sure. --All they know is that data has shown people born in certain months end up in certain careers more often. Here are the findings . . .

--JANUARY. Lots of doctors and debt collectors, fewer real estate agents.

--FEBRUARY. Lots of artists and traffic cops, fewer physicists. Also, people born in February are most prone to narcolepsy. (???)

--MARCH. Lots of pilots and musicians.

--APRIL. The only career that's overrepresented in April over time is . . . dictators. People born in April are also more likely to have lower-than-average IQs, and more health problems.

--MAY. Lots of politicians, fewer pro athletes.

--JUNE. Lots of CEOs. Also high on Nobel Prize winners.

--JULY. Lots of manual laborers and artists.

--AUGUST. Lots of manual laborers and high-ranking politicians.

--SEPTEMBER. Lots of people in academia and sports.

--OCTOBER. Lots of politicians. People in October are also most likely to live the longest.

--NOVEMBER. Lots of serial killers. Also, people born in November are most prone to bipolar disorder.

--DECEMBER. Lots of dentists. Also lots of religious and secular MESSIAHS . . . everyone from JESUS . . . to STALIN and MAO.

(Daily Mail)

Nine Out of Ten Teenagers Admit They're Embarrassed by Their Parents . . . Usually Because of Kissing or Dancing in Public:

Frankly, we'd be surprised if this number was any LOWER. According to a new survey commissioned by Twentieth Century Fox, 88% of teenagers, or almost nine out of ten, admit they're EMBARRASSED by their parents. --The two main causes of embarrassment are when their parents DANCE over-enthusiastically at celebrations like weddings . . . and when their parents engage in public displays of affection. --72% of teenagers say they hold off on introducing a new boyfriend or girlfriend to their parents because they're afraid of being embarrassed. --60% say their parents tell them exaggerated stories about back when THEY were teenagers. --And a quarter of parents admit their kids are RIGHT, they do exaggerate . . . 26% have lied to their kids about how well they did in school, and 24% lie about having gone to a classic concert. (TopNews)

Americans Are More Afraid of Visiting Mexico Than the Middle East:

A company called Mark Travel did a survey asking Americans which countries they're going to avoid traveling to this year. And the number one place we're AFRAID of visiting is . . . MEXICO. --Apparently all that talk of kidnappings, beheadings, and drug wars was enough to scare us away from cheap Xanax and donkey shows in Tijuana. 25% of Americans said they would NOT travel to Mexico this year, no matter what. --The Middle East came in second, at 20%. Japan came in third, at 11%. --The choices only included places that Americans regularly DO travel to . . . which is why places like Iraq, North Korea, and Afghanistan aren't on the list. --In the first five months of 2011, travel from the U.S. to Mexico went down 7% . . . in spite of a big tourism marketing push by Mexico. --After the uprising in Egypt, American travel there went down almost 50%. --And after the Japanese earthquake and tsunami, American travel there dropped 30%. (Sacramento Bee)
A Guy Is Suing His 22 Co-Workers . . . For Winning a $99 Million Lottery Jackpot While He Was on Medical Leave:

Back on August 5th, 22 employees at the KraftMaid kitchen cabinet company in Jefferson, Ohio won a Mega Millions lottery jackpot worth $99 million. (--Jefferson is near the Pennsylvania border, about 60 miles east of Cleveland.) --And for the past eight years, 39-year-old Edward Hairston has paid five dollars a month to participate in the company's lottery pool.
--He's worked at the company in for 14 years . . . but he hurt his back earlier this year, went on medical leave, and didn't make his monthly payment in June, July, or August. --And when his co-workers landed the jackpot, Edward decided that as a longtime member of the lottery pool, he was entitled to an equal share of the money. --Edward admits that he was $15 behind in his monthly payments, but he says in the past the group has set aside money from smaller winnings to cover for people . . . including one co-worker who was out for five months. --Last week, a judge set aside $2 million of the jackpot, which COULD be Edward's share, depending on the outcome of a trial that starts in December. --Two other people played up through July and missed out on the jackpot too. But they haven't complained or filed suit . . . yet. (Cleveland.com) (--It sucks to be Edward, but he could have sent in the money. On the other hand, the other group members are pulling in more than $2 million after taxes, and including Edward would cost them about $200,000.)

It Now Costs $25 to Visit Someone in Prison in Arizona:

It looks like Arizona is continuing HARD on its mission to be the state with the most controversial laws. Here's the latest one: They're CHARGING YOU to visit someone in prison. --Arizona now charges a one-time $25 fee to adults who visit inmates in one of their 15 state prisons. It's the first prison visitation fee in the U.S. --They say the fee is a "background check" fee . . . and any revenue will be used to repair and maintain the prisons. --And now, the controversy. The ACLU has called the fee, quote, "mind-boggling" and believes it'll cut down on prison visits . . . which could ultimately lead to more crime. --Quote, "We know one of the best things you can do if you want people to lead a law-abiding life when they get out of prison is continue family contact while they're in prison." --A group called Middle Ground Prison Reform is also suing the Arizona Corrections Department. They say the fee is unconstitutional because it's basically an illegal special tax on a single group. --The Arizona state senate says the fees are just one way that the state is trying to make up its $1.6 BILLION deficit. They think it could single-handedly generate the $150 MILLION they need to maintain the prisons. (New York Times)


A Woman Goes on a Date With a Guy She Met on Facebook . . . and He Uses Her as a Getaway Driver in a Robbery:

No matter how many people meet the love of their life online . . . never forget that it's STILL the home of the sketchiest people on Earth. -23-year-old Leah Gibbs of Rhondda, in South Wales, met a 21-year-old named Adam Minton on Facebook. They talked for a little while and eventually decided to go on a date. --Adam had Leah pick him up. That's maybe a TINY bit suspect, but not a red flag. Then he asked her to drive him to a small casino nearby. That's a much bigger first date red flag, but again, she just went with it. --Then Adam ran inside and asked her to wait in the car. A few minutes later, he ran back out . . . with a KNIFE in one hand and a BAG OF MONEY in the other. When he got in the car, he started screaming "Drive, drive, drive!" --He made Leah drive him back to his house, and tried to get her to come inside. At that point she'd FINALLY seen enough, and decided to end the date early. --The cops ended up arresting both of them. Leah spent the night in jail, and wasn't cleared until Adam admitted she hadn't known about the plan. --Adam ended up getting four-and-a-half years in prison. (News.com.au)

Police in New Zealand Are Looking For a Woman Who Was Breastfeeding Her Infant . . . While Driving:

Kids need to eat, and we support allowing women to breastfeed their children wherever they need to. But this is an exception . . . --Drivers called police to report a dangerous situation on the road near Kamo, New Zealand (--about 100 miles north of Auckland). --An unnamed woman was driving with her four young children in the car. Three of them were in the backseat, and the fourth was being BREASTFED by the woman as she drove. --By the time police arrived, the woman was gone, but witnesses wrote down her license plate number. Police are also sending the information on the woman to social services. (News.com.au)

A Judge Orders a Man to Pay His Ex-Wife $14,000 to Compensate for a "Lack of Sex Over 21 Years of Marriage":

Planning to give the business to your wife tonight? You SHOULD be. Or else the poor sucker in this cautionary tale could be YOU. --A 51-year-old man was in court last week in France. He's only been identified as Jean-Louis B. (--This went down in the city of Nice. That's pronounced 'Niece' Cletus.) --His 47-year-old ex-wife is suing him and claims he was solely responsible for their break-up . . . because he refused to have sex with her during their 21-year marriage. --Jean-Louis said he had, quote, "tiredness and health problems" that kept him from giving his wife the good stuff regularly. --Well, a judge . . . DISAGREED. --He ruled that France's legal code states that married couples agree to a, quote, "shared communal life" and that implies that, quote, "sexual relations must form part of a marriage." --And he ruled that Jean-Louis owes her $14,000 in compensation for, quote, "lack of sex over 21 years of marriage." (The Telegraph)

Is This a Record? A Woman is Caught Shoplifting 111 Items From a Walmart in Her Purse and On Her Body:

They don't keep world records on this kind of stuff . . . but if they did, this JUST might set one. --Last week, a woman was busted shoplifting 111 ITEMS from a Walmart . . . and ALL of them were either in her purse or jammed all over her body. --48-year-old Christine Troxell Reeder of Monroe, Tennessee, went into the Walmart and put 111 different items in her purse, in her pockets, down her shirt, in her pants, in her socks, and everywhere else she had room. --In a testament to Walmart's low prices, the 111 items only came out to $436 total. And some of the stuff she stole was JEWELRY. --She took $72 worth of clothing, $157 in jewelry, $206 in miscellaneous craft items, and a $1 box of Ziploc bags. --A security officer at Walmart saw her trying to leave the store with all of the shoplifted stuff and called the police. --Christine was arrested for shoplifting. (Cookeville Herald-Citizen)

Now This is a Role-Reversal . . . a Man is Arrested for Biting a Python:

Now THIS is one hell of a twist on the old "a snake bites man" story. --54-year-old David Senk of Sacramento, California was arrested last week for biting . . . a PYTHON. --David was drunk and went to a liquor store, where for some reason a woman was showing her three-foot python to the store's owners. Apparently when David saw the snake . . . without even being provoked . . . he BIT DOWN on its body, twice. --And he REALLY injured the python. It needed SURGERY to have two ribs removed, and to repair its liver. But the snake got stitched up and is now recovering from its injuries --David was arrested for unlawfully maiming or mutilating a reptile. --David says he was so drunk at the time, he doesn't remember anything. He told a reporter, quote, "I did what? If you find the owner, tell him I'm real sorry. I'm willing to help pay for the medical expenses." --He also said that he's, quote, "not too fond of snakes [but] I try not to bite them." (Sacramento Bee)

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

Would you like to dig giant holes and move stuff around with Caterpillar backhoes and excavators, for fun? Sort of like a sandbox for grownups? Well, in Vegas, you can. (Full Story)

A new drug trial in British hospitals is testing whether stroke victims can be treated using . . . the saliva of vampire bats. (Full Story)

A New Jersey court ruled that a company WAS allowed to tell an employee to stop talking about her deceased daughter, and to remove the daughter's ballet slippers from her cubicle, because it was disrupting the office. (Full Story)

Photo of the Day: As a hazing ritual, rookie relief pitchers in Major League Baseball are forced to wear little girl's school backpacks to bring sunflower seeds and candy bars to the bullpen. (Full Story)

According to a new study in the journal "Pediatrics", kids exposed to second-hand smoke miss more days of school than other kids. (Full Story)


#1.) Planking, Owling, Horse Man-ing . . . and now Batmanning:

I hate to call stuff like 'planking' and 'owling' a trend, because let's face it: How many people are actually doing this crap? Anyway, you can add 'Batmaning' to the list of stupid Internet trends that aren't really sweeping the nation. --It's sort of like planking, but instead of just lying down flat somewhere, you have to HANG UPSIDE DOWN off of something by your feet . . . like a sleeping bat. So while it has nothing to do with Batman, at least it involves some athletic ability. (--Search YouTube for "Original Batmanning Video.")

#2.) Watch Justin Bieber Get Past Steve Nash With a Nice Crossover Move:

JUSTIN BIEBER went one-on-one against Phoenix Suns player STEVE NASH at a charity basketball event in Atlanta over the weekend . . . and beat him to the basket with a nice little crossover move, for a reverse layup. --Yeah, he might have committed a travelling violation first . . . and yeah, it's a charity gig, so Nash wasn't really trying. But some people say Nash never plays good D, and it still looks like he got schooled. You can see SELENA GOMEZ cheering at the end too. (--Search for "Justin Bieber - Crossover Steve Nash - Basketball.")

#3.) A National Guard Band Covered Adele . . . and Killed it:

There's a video from the beginning of August that was making the rounds on Facebook over the weekend. It's a rock band in the Air National Guard covering ADELE'S "Rolling In The Deep" . . . and they kill it. --The group's called Sidewinder, and the YouTube video of the song already has over 1.4 million hits. (--Search for "Rolling in the Deep - Military cover".)

#4.) Check Out the First-Ever Pixar Movie:

The founder of Pixar is a guy named Ed Catmull. But WAY before Pixar made their modern classics, Ed was a grad student at the University of Utah studying math, physics, and computer science. --And while he was there, he made a cool prototype of what was to come. You can check it out online, it's a computer-animated 3D rendering of Ed's left hand, and some faces. But keep in mind, it's from 1972 . . . almost 40 years ago. (--Search for "First Pixar Film: Ed Catmull's 3D Hand, Face Project". You see the hand for the first time 56 seconds in, and they do computer-animated faces at 4:56.)

Four Beneficial Activities They Don't Let Kids Do in School:

Most teachers want the best for their students. But some of the policies that schools have can actually be detrimental to your child's education. Here's a list from Cracked.com of four beneficial activities they don't let kids do in school.

#1.) Texting. Kids can learn bad grammar from texting, because there's no pressure to use punctuation, or even full words. But despite that fact, research has shown that texting actually IMPROVES language skills. --Basically, the better you are at texting, the better you are at writing. And the earlier you start, the better.

#2.) No Chewing Gum. Teachers can't stand it when kids snap their gum. But CHEWING gum could actually result in better grades. It's been shown to help you focus, and it relieves tension. The military even uses it to keep soldiers alert.

#3.) No Fidgeting. Studies have shown that fidgeting at your desk can burn up to 350 extra calories a day . . . which is the equivalent of a 30-minute jog.

#4.) No Doodling. Teachers think that if a kid is drawing in his notebook, he's not paying attention. But the exact opposite might be true. According to researchers, doodling keeps your brain active and keeps you more alert. --And if you DON'T doodle, you're more likely to get bored and lose interest in what the teacher is saying. (Cracked.com)


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