Tuesday, September 27, 2011


More Details on Justin and Selena's "Titanic" Date:

Not that most of us would ever be able to replicate it, but here are a few more details on that "Titanic" date JUSTIN BIEBER treated SELENA GOMEZ to on Friday night. --After DEMI LOVATO'S show at the Nokia Theater, Justin told Selena, quote, "Follow me" . . . then took her through the underground tunnel that connects the Nokia to the Staples Center. --When they entered, the arena was empty and dark . . . except for a candlelit table for two. They had steak and pasta, catered by the arena's restaurant, the Lexus Club . . . and then they watched the movie.

Heather Locklear Can Still Rock a Bikini At 50:

HEATHER LOCKLEAR turned 50 on Sunday . . . but somebody forgot to tell her BODY that. Especially the part she sits on. --Heather showed off what she's still got the other day, during a Hawaiian vacation with fiancé JACK WAGNER. (--Check her out here.) (TMZ)

Jordin Sparks and Jason DeRulo Are Dating:

JORDIN SPARKS and fellow singer JASON DERULO are a couple. They were spotted out Sunday night celebrating Jason's 22nd birthday. (--Jordin is 21.) (--You can check out video of them getting into their car here. Notice at the very end of the clip, a photographer asks Jordin if she's still wearing her PURITY RING, and she flashes it for the camera. Sorry, Jason.)

Paris Hilton Gave Money to Poor People in India:

The similarities between PARIS HILTON and Jesus have just risen to . . . well . . . ONE. Because Paris was running around Mumbai, India the other day giving money to the poor. --Paris has been in India promoting her new line of purses . . . but she was also struck by the poverty that she saw. So she did something about it. --First, she was photographed sticking her hand out the window of her chauffeured SUV and handing a hundred-dollar bill to a woman and two children. --Then, she reportedly gave the rest of the cash she had on her . . . which amounted to about $2,000 . . . to other people in the area. --She Tweeted, quote, "India is beautiful, but some parts are very poverty stricken. Broke my heart to see babies sleeping on the streets." --Then she added, quote, "What are the most credible non-profit charity organizations here in India? After seeing what I've seen, I want to help make a difference." (--Check out pictures of Paris giving that lady $100 here.)

Kim Kardashian is The Most Annoying Celebrity . . . And Other Pop Culture Poll Results:

KIM KARDASHIAN is the Most Annoying Celebrity . . . according to a poll by "Parade" magazine and Yahoo! --Kim took the top spot with 29% of the vote. CHARLIE SHEEN was a close second, with 27% . . . and surprisingly, SNOOKI only made it to THIRD, with 21%.

--For some reason, there's only a Top 6. Here's the rest of the list . . .

#4.) Lindsay Lohan, 16%

#5.) Donald Trump, 5%

#6.) "Bachelor" Brad Womack, 1%

--Most Annoying Celebrity is only one of several categories in the "Parade" annual pop culture poll.

--Other categories include Coolest Couple, Hottest Summer Tune . . . and who would be the best choice to play women's soccer minx HOPE SOLO in a movie. (???)

Most Likely to Succeed from "Harry Potter":

#1.) Emma Watson, 79%

#2.) Daniel Radcliffe, 18%

#3.) Rupert Grint, 2%

Hottest Summer Tune:

#1.) "Rolling in the Deep", Adele, 28%

#2.) "Last Friday Night (TGIF)", Katy Perry, 22%

#3.) "Party Rock Anthem", LMFAO, 15%

(--Rebecca Black's "Friday" finished 8th. Check out the complete list here.)

Royal Sister's Suitor:

Who should date PIPPA MIDDLETON? RYAN REYNOLDS tops the list with 22%, while JAKE GYLLENHAAL and LEONARDO DICAPRIO tied for second with 18%. (Full List)

Solo's Big Screen Match-Up:

Who should play Hope Solo in a movie? JESSICA BIEL is America's overwhelming choice, with 47% of the vote. She's followed by BLAKE LIVELY with 20%. (Full List)

Coolest Couple:

#1.) Will Smith and Jada Pinkett, 27%

#2.) Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck, 26%

#3.) Prince William and Kate Middleton, 20%

(Full List)

Most Replaceable "American Idol" Judge:

#1.) Jennifer Lopez, 40%

#2.) Steven Tyler, 36%

#3.) Randy Jackson, 24%

(--Check out even more poll results here.)
Charlie Sheen's Lawsuit Over "Two and a Half Men" Has Officially Been Settled:

CHARLIE SHEEN has officially settled his lawsuit with his former bosses over his firing from "Two and a Half Men". They won't reveal the dollar amount, but sources are still saying Charlie gets around $25 million. --And TMZ is sticking with its story that Charlie is in line for $100 million in syndication profits over the next seven years. --Warner Brothers issued a statement saying, quote, "Warner Brothers Television, Chuck Lorre and Charlie Sheen have resolved their dispute to the parties' mutual satisfaction. --"The pending lawsuit and arbitration will be dismissed as to all parties. The parties have agreed to maintain confidentiality over the terms of the settlement."

Ellen DeGeneres Was Treated for Chest Pains Yesterday:

ELLEN DEGENERES was treated for chest pains yesterday before the taping of her show, but she's fine. --Ellen told her audience that she woke up in the middle of the night with a tightness in her chest. When she got to work yesterday, it was still happening . . . so paramedics were called. (--Not surprisingly, Ellen turned her explanation of the events into a comedy routine . . . which you can watch here.)

Angelina Jolie and Gwen Stefani Brought Their Kids Together for a Play Date:

There was a SUPERSTAR PLAY DATE in London yesterday, when ANGELINA JOLIE brought Shiloh, Zahara and the twins, Knox and Vivienne, to GWEN STEFANI'S house to play with her son Kingston. (--Check out some pics here.)

Arnold Schwarzenegger Has Commissioned Three Eight-Foot Bronze Statues of Himself:

ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER has commissioned three, eight-foot-tall bronze statues . . . of HIMSELF. --One is going to the Schwarzenegger museum in his childhood home of Thal, Austria. Another is going to Columbus, Ohio, where the annual Arnold Classic bodybuilding competition takes place. --He's keeping the third one for himself. (--Here's a photo of Arnold inspecting one of the statues.) (Wallowa.com)

Here's a List of All the Foods Brad Pitt Has Eaten in His Movies:

If you watch a lot of BRAD PITT movies, then you've probably noticed that FOOD is one of his favorite props. He seems to spend a lot of his screen time EATING things. --"New York" magazine noticed . . . and they put together a list of all the foods Brad has eaten in his various films. (--It's long. Check it out here.)

The Dog Who Played "Padfoot" in the "Harry Potter" Movies Is Up for Adoption:

A black German Shepherd named Berry is up for adoption in London. Should that matter to you? Yes, if you're a "Harry Potter" fan. --In the movies, Berry played Padfoot . . . the animal form of GARY OLDMAN'S character, Sirius Black. --Berry's owner, a stuntman named Paul Thompson, says he spends too much time away from home and can't properly take care of him. (--Check out Berry's adoption page here.)

New Jersey Taxpayers Will *Not* Have to Pay "Jersey Shore" $420,000:

Earlier this month, we heard that New Jersey taxpayers would be responsible for covering a $420,000 tax credit for "Jersey Shore" . . . as part of a program that was designed to attract the entertainment business to the state.--Well, that won't be happening. Governor CHRIS CHRISTIE vetoed the credit. It wasn't unexpected . . . Christie is on the record as a "Jersey Shore" hater. --Regarding the veto, Christie said, quote, "As chief executive I am duty-bound to ensure that taxpayers are not footing a $420,000 bill for a project which does nothing more than perpetuate misconceptions about the state and its citizens."

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

--"Glee" . . . 8:00 to 9:00 P.M. on Fox. (--Idina Menzel returns as Rachel's biological mother, Shelby Corcoran . . . who also adopted Quinn's baby.)

--"Dancing with the Stars" [Results Show] . . . 9:00 to 10:00 P.M. on ABC. (--Music Guests: Demi Lovato and The Script.) (--DELICIOUS AUDIO ALERT: Grab all your performance show clips here.)

--"19 Kids & Counting" [5th Season Premiere] . . . 9:00 to 10:00 P.M. on TLC.

--"Raising Hope" . . . 9:30 to 10:00 P.M. on Fox. (--Stephen Root guest stars as Sabrina's father Cap Collins.)

--"The Little Couple" [4th Season Premiere] . . . 10:00 to 11:00 P.M. on TLC.

--"Awkward" [1st Season Finale] . . . 11:00 P.M. to Midnight on MTV.


The "Game of Thrones" PC Game Hits Stores This Week . . . Along with New Console Games for "X-Men" and the Latest "Cabela's Big Game Hunter":

--"X-Men: Destiny" (T) . . . on Xbox360, PS3, Wii, and the DS. You play as a new mutant who joins either the X-Men or The Brotherhood of Mutants.

There are three types of powers, and you can also enhance your character by picking up "X-Genes" throughout the game that give you the mutant power of established X-Men characters, like Wolverine's healing or Iceman's ability to freeze objects. (Trailer)

--"FIFA Soccer 12" (E) . . . on Xbox360, PS3, Wii, and the DS. This year's premiere soccer game features three major game play changes, the best of which is the Precision Dribbling feature. It allows you to dribble whilst shielding, meaning you can move around while holding other players off, rather than being stuck in one spot. (Trailer) (Tim Lincecum vs. Landon Donovan) (Steve Nash vs. Hope Solo) (United States of FIFA)

--"Cabela's Big Game Hunter 2012" (T) . . . on Xbox360, PS3, and Wii. "Cabela's" new hunting game features dynamic weather and natural hazards, the ability to read the animals movement to see what they will do next, and if you get the TOP SHOT Elite Firearm controller bundle for PS3 or Wii you get your very own fake plastic gun that you can snap your Wiimote or Move controller into. (Trailer) (Missing)

--"A Game of Thrones: Genesis" . . . on the PC. This strategy game is based on George R.R. Martin's "Song of Fire and Ice" book series, which inspired HBO's "The Game of Thrones". It takes place over 1,000 years in the fictional world of Westeros. The goal of the game is to win the Iron Throne by obtaining enough prestige within the realm. (Trailer)

(--You can pick this one up on Thursday.)

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

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

#1.) "Star Wars" fans have waited months and months to get a release date for the massive multiplayer PC game "The Old Republic". And now we finally have one. The game launches on December 20th and will cost you about $15 a month. (Full Story)

#2.) DC Universe Online is going to be free to play. That's right. Instead of paying a monthly fee players will be able to download and play the game for free. They will still offer a "Premium" or "Legendary" membership, which gives you access to more features if you desire to spend real life cash on in-game items. (Full Story)

#3.) Microsoft is allegedly close to signing a deal that would allow Xbox 360 owners to subscribe to Comcast and Verizon Fios packages directly through their console, without needing a cable box. (Full Story)

#4.) Check out this trailer for "Burnout CRASH!", featuring DAVID HASSELHOFF. You can download this game on Xbox 360 and PS3 right now.

#5.) Here's a gallery of screen shots for the first video game based off of the "NCIS" TV show. (Full Story)

#6.) Ever want to hop out of your car and club a random stranger after playing "Grand Theft Auto"? You aren't alone. Researchers in Sweden discovered that a majority of the gamers they studied exhibited some form of "game-like visions or obsessive thoughts" well after they stopped playing games. They are calling their results Game Transfer Phenomena. (Full Story)

#7.) This music video, inspired by the game "Mirror's Edge", may show the most bad ass way to leave the office ever. The music isn't great but the video is very well done. (Video)

#8.) You know how Xbox users have been getting access to "Call of Duty" content a month ahead of PS3 users? Well now it's time for PS3 owners to gloat. All expansion packs for "Battlefield 3" will appear a week early for the PS3. (Full Story)


--"The Ledge" - Charlie Hunnam from "Sons of Anarchy" is caught having an affair and given a choice: Either he jumps off the roof within the hour, or the husband shoots his adulterous wife. Liv Tyler plays the wife, Patrick Wilson is the husband, and Terrence Howard is a cop trying to get Charlie off the ledge.

--"Transformers: Dark of the Moon" (In stores Friday, September 30th) Rosie Huntington-Whiteley replaces Megan Fox as his Shia LaBeouf's 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. The Decepticons use the cargo from the crash site to launch an assault back on Earth and tear apart Chicago in the process.

TV Series On DVD:

--"How I Met Your Mother: Season 6" . . . a three-disc DVD set.
--"CSI - The Eleventh Season" . . . a six-disc DVD set.
--"CSI: Miami - The Ninth Season" . . . a six-disc DVD set.
--"CSI: New York - The Seven Season" . . . a six-disc DVD set.
--"Law & Order: Special Victims Unit - The 12th Year" . . . a five-disc DVD set.
--"Hung: The Complete Second Season" . . . a two-disc DVD set.
--"Army Wives: Season 5" . . . a three-disc DVD set.
--"The Middle: Season 2" . . . a three-disc DVD set.
--"The Cleveland Show: Season 2" . . . a four-disc DVD set.
--"Call Me Fitz: Season 1" . . . a three-disc DVD set.


This Week's CD Releases:

--"Sweetheart of the Sun", The Bangles (--Their fifth album and first new album in eight years. Listen to the first single, "I'll Never Be Through With You", here.)

--"Chickenfoot 3", Chickenfoot . . . better known as the rock supergroup formed by Sammy Hagar, former Van Halen bassist Michael Anthony, Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith, and Coldplay nemesis Joe Satriani.

--"Neighborhoods", the sixth album from Blink-182

--"Vice Verses", the eighth album from Switchfoot

--"All The Way", Allstar Weekend (--Their second album includes the songs "Not Your Birthday" and "Blame It on September".)

--"Future History", Jason Derulo (--This is his second album. It includes his hits "Don't Wanna Go Home" and "It Girl".)

--"Music Is Better Than Words", Seth MacFarlane (--You may not have known this, but the creator of "Family Guy" has a passion for music from the 1940s and '50s. This is him seriously singing songs from that era, backed by a full orchestra.) (--Norah Jones and Sara Bareilles help on a few tracks. And Seth recorded it using Frank Sinatra's original microphone, on loan from the Smithsonian.)

--"Hits from Yesterday & the Day Before", Barenaked Ladies (--A greatest hits disc, that also includes the theme to "The Big Bang Theory".)

--"Lady and Gentlemen", LeAnn Rimes (--An album of classic country songs performed from a modern female perspective, plus three original bonus tracks . . . including her single "Give".) (--Her covers include George Jones' "He Stopped Loving Her Today", Waylon Jennings' "A Good Hearted Woman", Kris Kristofferson's "Help Me Make It Through the Night", and Freddy Fender's "Wasted Days and Wasted Nights".)

Bassist Mike Mills Says R.E.M. Didn't Break Up Because They Suck Now:

R.E.M. didn't offer up much of an explanation when they said they were "calling it a day" last week . . . but in a new interview with "Rolling Stone", bassist MIKE MILLS sheds some light on their decision. --He tells "Rolling Stone", quote, "We're doing this for good reasons, and we end up looking back at all the fun, the joy and the incredible opportunities we had. --"It's not because we have to, or we can't stand each other . . . or we suck. We're happy. But we're done." They came to that conclusion privately a few months ago. --Mills also says that they thought about ending the band after putting out their "Around the Sun" album in 2004 . . . when they DID suck. But they decided to stick around long enough to redeem themselves. --He explains, quote, "We needed to prove, not only to our fans and critics but to ourselves, that we could still make great records . . . and we made two ['Accelerate', in 2008, and 'Collapse Into Now' earlier this year]. --"We thought, 'We've done it. Now, let's do something no other band has done: Shake hands and walk away as friends.'" --R.E.M. will release a double-disc greatest hits album called "Part Lies, Part Heart, Part Truth, Part Garbage" on November 15th. It includes three new songs: "We All Go Back to Where We Belong", "Hallelujah" and "A Month of Saturdays". (--Everyone loved R.E.M. up through their 1994 album "Monster" . . . or up TO that album. "Monster" was the "grunge" one with "What's the Frequency, Kenneth?" Some people dug it and others despised it.) (--But I always thought their next three "New Adventures in Hi-Fi", "Up" and "Reveal" were underappreciated, good albums. As for the rest, I don't know. I lost interest while suffering through "Around the Sun".)

Video of Coldplay Paying Tribute to R.E.M. with "Everybody Hurts":

COLDPLAY paid tribute to R.E.M. on Saturday night by playing "Everybody Hurts". They were performing in Atlanta . . . about an hour outside of Athens, Georgia, where R.E.M. formed 31 years ago. --Before the song, singer CHRIS MARTIN said, quote, "We're going to maybe shoot ourselves in the foot right now . . . please don't judge this cover version on its musical merits, see it for the gesture rather than the actual sound." (--Here's video.)

INXS Has Hired a New Singer:

INXS has moved on from their on-again, off-again relationship with singer J.D. FORTUNE, who they found through that stupid reality show back in 2005. (--Their original singer MICHAEL HUTCHENCE committed suicide in 1997.) --INXS has hired a new singer named Ciaran Gribbin. He'll hit the road with them in November when they begin a tour of Australia, South America and Europe. (--His first name is pronounced KEER-ahn, with a hard C.) --Ciaran met the band at a party two years ago, and has already started recording demos with INXS. You can stream one of them, "Tiny Summer", on INXS.com. (--If you're REALLY into INXS for some reason . . . there's more information on Ciaran at their site, here.)

Check Out Video of Chris Brown Slipping and Falling Onstage:

CHRIS BROWN slipped and fell during his performance in Indianapolis on Sunday night, and naturally there's video of it on YouTube. (--You can check it out, here.) WARNING: Chris says, quote, "I know y'all seen me bust my ass.") --Meanwhile, Chris took to Twitter last night to DENY a rumor from MediaTakeOut.com that claimed his girlfriend was incubating. He Tweeted, quote, "So we are clear, [she's] not pregnant."

Britney Spears Says Her "Criminal" Video Wasn't Insensitive to Britain:

BRITNEY SPEARS filmed her "Criminal" video in Britain this month . . . and it's actually generating some controversy there. --Some local politicians are upset because the video has a shot of Britney holding a gun, and running from a London building. They think that's insensitive in the wake of the riots that happened in Britain last month . . . and they asked her to apologize. --But it doesn't sound like that will happen. Last night, Britney's camp released this statement: Quote, "The video is a fantasy story, which literally plays out the lyrics of a song written three years before the riots ever happened." (--The video isn't out yet, but here are a few pictures from the set.)

Lady Gaga Has Already Met with President Obama:

LADY GAGA vowed to talk to PRESIDENT OBAMA about bullying after a young fan committed suicide last week . . . and it sounds like she already tracked him down. --ABC News reports that Lady Gaga attended an Obama fundraiser last night. She reportedly talked with him for a few minutes before the event . . . and asked him about bullying during the Q&A. There aren't any specifics on what was discussed. --In other news, Lady Gaga says she's already working on her next album . . . even though "Born This Way" just came out four months ago. Her manager hinted that she could give the album away for FREE, but that probably won't end up happening.


Showbiz Extras . . . Random Links to Additional Stories:

Actor SEAN MAHER from "The Playboy Club" has come out of the closet. Sci-fi fans also know him as Simon Tam on "Firefly". (Full Story)

SPENCER PRATT is so down on his luck, his agent won't even return his calls. A source says he calls his talent agency up to 30 times a day, and they either laugh or just hang up on him. (Full Story)

ANTOINE DODSON . . . a.k.a. The Bed Intruder Guy . . . was arrested in Huntsville, Alabama. Police responded to a noise complaint at Antoine's house because he was playing his music too loud. But they found out he had an outstanding warrant for failure to appear in court on a marijuana charge. (Full Story)

SHARON STONE called 911 yesterday morning at about 2:00 A.M. because she thought someone broke into her house. It was a false alarm. (Full Story)

SARAH PALIN may sue the publisher of that new book about her, for, quote, "knowingly publishing false statements." (Full Story)


The Internet is Only the Fifth Most Common Way People Get Local News . . . Traditional Media Still Dominates:

Call this one a victory for TRADITION. Just don't tweet that it's a victory for tradition, because that would go against the spirit of things.
--In a nationwide survey by the Pew Research Center, the Internet was only rated the FIFTH most common way people get local news. --Good old-fashioned local TV news came in first. 74% of people say they turn on the TV to find out about the four main local topics they're most interested in: Weather, breaking news, politics, and crime.

--Word-of-mouth came in as the second-most common source for local news, at 55%.

--Radio . . . which is God's chosen medium . . . came in third, at 51%.

--Local newspapers came in fourth, at 50%.

--Then the Internet came in fifth, at 47%.

--Only 3% of people use Twitter to get their local news.
(Washington Post)

Facebook is Now More Popular for Dating Than Regular Dating Sites:

At least according to one survey, dating sites aren't the top sites for dating online anymore. --In the survey, 18% of people said FACEBOOK and other social networking sites are the best way to meet people online . . . making that the number one answer. --17% ask a friend or use mutual friends to introduce them to someone online . . . 13% say they use the big online dating sites . . . and 6% use niche dating sites. (Sudbury Star)

A New Study Finds Biking to Work . . . Will Kill You:

Studies come out every day finding that one thing is good for you, and another thing is bad for you. So I kinda like studies like this one, because they bring you back to reality and remind you that eventually . . . EVERYTHING KILLS YOU. --A study out of the London School of Medicine found that people who ride their bikes to work have 230% more black carbon in their lungs than people who drive. The chance of that being a coincidence is less than 1%. --Jonathan Grigg is a professor who led the study. He says that while biking is generally viewed as the HEALTHY way to commute, bikers who ride regularly during rush hour are breathing in more of the carbon that comes from fuel combustion. --And that exposes them to serious health risks, including respiratory problems and even lung cancer. (The Atlantic)
Your Grocery Store Might Get Rid of the Self-Checkout Lanes . . . Because No One's Using Them:

In theory, the self-checkout lanes at the grocery store are a good idea. They SHOULD be faster, they SHOULD be easier, and they SHOULD make you less likely to want to stab the person in front of you. --But they haven't really done that. --People have had trouble adapting to them . . . stores haven't saved on staff because they have to be monitored for theft and for people who have trouble with the machines . . . and customers haven't fallen in love with them. --According to a study by the Food Marketing Institute out of Virginia, only 16% of the grocery transactions in 2010 were done at self-checkouts in stores that provided that option. In other words, five out of six people chose to go to a cashier. --Three years ago, as self-checkouts were just starting to get big, they accounted for 22% of transactions. --So now, because people don't really like the self-checkouts, a lot of chains are getting rid of them . . . or at least shutting most of them down so the staff members who used to monitor them can move over to regular registers. (USA Today)

Consumers are Cutting Back in the Poor Economy . . . but Still Splurging on Cheesecake, Cocktails, and Wine:

People are trying to find ways to cut expenses in the tough economy, but they can only be good for so long . . . then they have to splurge. --That's caused some very strange consumer spending patterns, according to a study by market research firm Symphony IRI. --People aren't willing to spend money on their lawn. Sales of fertilizer and weed killer dropped by 19% in the last year. --Thermometers, flashlights, batteries, diapers, bleach, shoe polish, car wax, and socks have all seen their sales plummet. --But while we're letting our lawns, cars, clothes and disaster preparations suffer, what ARE we willing to spend on? Booze and desserts, mostly. --Sales of premade cocktails are up 24% in the past year. Refrigerated baked goods are up 16%, and cheesecake is up 22%. Wine sales have also gone up by 6%. --You've probably heard this before . . . economists call it the "lipstick index." In economic downturns, people keep spending money on cosmetics, so they'll look good. And sales for cosmetics are currently up 22%, with nail polish up 10%. (NY Times)

The National Average for Tipping In Restaurants is Getting Closer to 20%:

The days of tipping 15% are pretty much over. I mean . . . you can still do it, but you're going to look CHEAP compared to the other people in the restaurant. Maybe even the old people. --According to a national survey by Zagat, the nationwide average for tipping is up to 19.2%. --And San Francisco and Seattle tied for the LOWEST tipping averages of any major city, at 18.6%. (Haute Living)

The Culinary Genius Behind Doritos Has Died . . . and Will Have Doritos Sprinkled on His Grave:

Now THIS is a badass funeral idea. --Arch West of Dallas, Texas is the culinary genius who created DORITOS. And one week ago, he passed away at the age of 97 from complications with heart surgery. --His funeral is scheduled for Saturday, and his family plans to follow his wishes. And his wish is . . . for them to SPRINKLE DORITOS in his grave, on top of the urn containing his ashes, before they throw on the dirt. --West was a marketing VP for Frito-Lay back in the '60s. In 1964, he was on a family vacation in southern California, outside of San Diego, and went to a little stand that was selling fried tortilla chips. --He thought they were amazing and took the idea back to Frito-Lay. They weren't in love with the idea, but let him run some market research . . . and the chips tested THROUGH THE ROOF. --Doritos were released in 1966, and were the first tortilla chip to make a nationwide run in the U.S. --The most recent sales numbers had them moving 924 MILLION BAGS last year in the U.S. . . . and doing $5 BILLION in global sales. West retired from Frito-Lay in 1971. (Washington Post)

A Computer Programmer Created Virtual Monkeys . . . to See if They Could Type All of Shakespeare's Work:

You know the saying that if you had enough monkeys typing for long enough, they'd eventually recreate the works of William Shakespeare? The idea is that certain things are INCREDIBLY unlikely . . . but they're possible once you throw in infinity. --The concept's been around for a long time, and sometimes it's a million monkeys typing for a million years, sometimes it's an infinite number of monkeys for an infinite number of years. Whatever. --Anyway, a computer programmer named Jesse Anderson wants to test it for real . . . and says it's not as hard as you might think. --Jesse created a million "virtual monkeys" who started typing on August 21st. They produce strings of nine characters, which Jesse's program checks to see if any of Shakespeare's work has the same 9-character string. --So, yeah . . . not QUITE what the old theory had in mind. --After five weeks of reassembling Shakespeare's plays, nine characters at a time, Jesse says the e-monkeys have produced more than 45 trillion keystrokes, and they've recreated 99.9% of the plays. --The only play that the monkeys have already completely reproduced is "A Lover's Complaint" which is Shakespeare's shortest work. --They have 20 characters left out of the more than 106,000 in "Romeo and Juliet" and 33 left to finish "Macbeth". (BBC)


A Drunk Woman Tries to Rob a Convenience Store With a Toy Gun . . . But is Outsmarted by an Employee:

Around 5:51 A.M. on Sunday morning, 19-year-old Wilnelia Caraballo was DRUNK and decided to rob a convenience store in Palm Bay, Florida. And she was sort of armed . . . with a PLASTIC Uzi-type gun. --She stumbled into the store and demanded some money. But one of the clerks who was stocking a cooler in the back decided to take a shot at outsmarting her . . . and it worked. He yelled, "Palm Bay police! Get on the ground!" --And Wilnelia thought it really WAS the cops . . . so she did. The clerks grabbed her and held her until the real police arrived. She was arrested for attempted armed robbery. (Orlando Sentinel) (--Here's her drunken mugshot.)

Yahtzee? You're Gonna Choke Your Wife Over Yahtzee?

I never condone violence against women. And I ESPECIALLY don't condone violence against women over mediocre board games. --On Saturday, 50-year-old Ian Stuart Wood of East Naples, Florida was arrested for choking his wife over a game. Monopoly? Nope. Scrabble? Not a chance. No, he choked his wife over . . . YAHTZEE. --Apparently they were playing, things got heated, it escalated, and Wood ended up pushing his wife and choking her. She was able to escape and call 911. --Wood was arrested and charged with domestic battery by strangulation, false imprisonment, and resisting arrest. (Naples News) (--Here's his mugshot.)


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

Are banks getting rid of free checking? Only 45% of non-interest-bearing checking accounts are free now, down from 65% last year, and 76% two years ago. The average fee is $4.75, up 75% from last year. (Full Story)

A 46-year-old convict in Texas was released in April after doing 26 years for stabbing a guy to death. But he couldn't handle the outside world, and how much it had changed since 1983. So he burned down a house to get an arson charge and get sent back to prison. (Full Story)

According to a new study, under stress, one out of four people will confess to something they didn't do. (Full Story)


#1.) New Earthquake Footage from the Washington Monument Shows Debris Falling from the Ceiling . . . And a Panicked Security Guard Running for Her Life:

Because of last month's 5.8 magnitude earthquake on the East Coast, officials in D.C. still don't know when the Washington Monument will reopen. --They originally said it cracked the top, but they didn't think the damage was that bad. But it turns out they found a bunch of debris on the ground around it. And the elevator can only go about halfway to the top right now. --But they say the monument IS still structurally sound, and there's no risk of it falling down. --The National Park Service released a video yesterday taken during the earthquake by a security camera in the observation deck. It shows A LOT of shaking. Then debris starts falling from the ceiling, and people run down the stairs. --And here's how scared everyone was: When the shaking starts, there's a female security guard sitting in a chair. And instead of helping other people evacuate . . . she's the second one out. (--Search for "Video Shows Washington Monument Shaking During Quake." She runs down the stairs at :20, and it shows footage from more security cameras at 1:02.)
#2.) And Now . . . Slow-Motion Footage of a Guy Getting Hit in the Face with a Water Balloon That Doesn't Pop:

Here's something you've probably never seen before: Slow-motion video of a guy getting hit in the face with a water balloon that doesn't pop. Someone posted it online, and the balloon completely flattens out like a pancake, then bounces off. (--Search for "Water Balloon to the Face Doesn't Pop." See it in full speed at :14, and in slow-motion at :34.)

#3.) Check Out a Montage of Movie Characters Saying Every U.S. State Capital:

Someone with way too much time on their hands tracked down clips of movie characters saying every single state capital. --It's a minute and a half long, and has clips from "The Simpsons Movie", "Ferris Bueller's Day Off", "Annie Hall", "Shawshank Redemption", and a bunch more. (--Search for "The U.S. State Capitals Supercut." Warning: There's a bleeped F-word at the beginning of the clip.)

Three Laws You Might Be Breaking Without Even Knowing It:

If you think you're a law-abiding citizen, check out this list from Cracked.com. It's three laws you might be breaking without even knowing it.

#1.) Connecting to an Unsecure Wi-Fi Network. It was illegal before you even knew the Internet EXISTED. --Congress passed the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act in 1986, and made it a FEDERAL CRIME to gain unauthorized access to a computer or a website. And they specifically included wireless routers too. They just don't enforce it. --But in at least four documented cases . . . in Florida, Illinois, Michigan, and Alaska . . . people HAVE been arrested for using someone else's Internet.

#2.) Singing "Happy Birthday To You" in Public. You've probably heard it's copyrighted . . . which is why you almost never hear it in movies or TV shows. --But technically, ANYONE can get sued for copyright infringement if they sing it in a public place where, quote, "a substantial number of persons" can hear it . . . not counting your friends and family singing with you. --In fact, the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers once told the Girl Scouts of America that if they wanted to keep singing it at birthday parties, they'd have to pay ROYALTIES. --They ended up backing off though . . . because suing the Girl Scouts would've made them look downright evil. --The song was originally copyrighted by a publishing company in 1935, but Time Warner owns it now. And they make about $2 million dollars off it every year.

#3.) Playing Fantasy Football with Your Friends. But only if there's A LOT of money at stake. --According to the Illegal Gambling Act of 1970, any betting that violates state or local law and involves five or more people is technically an illegal gambling ring. But only if $2,000 or more exchanges hands in one day. --So that means if you win your high-stakes fantasy football league this year and get a big check in the mail, you could technically get up to TEN YEARS in prison. (Cracked.com)


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