Thursday, September 29, 2011



Michael Jackson's Two Eldest Kids Saw Him Die:

Yesterday in the manslaughter trial of DR. CONRAD MURRAY, we learned a very sad fact: MICHAEL JACKSON'S two eldest children, Prince and Paris, saw their father die. --Michael's head of security, Faheem Muhammad, testified that Prince and Paris watched as Murray desperately tried to resuscitate their father. --He said Paris was, quote, "on the ground, balled up crying" . . . while Prince was, quote, "shocked and slowly crying." --Michael's personal assistant, Michael Amir Williams, also took the stand. He said that Michael was in good spirits on the evening of June 24th, 2009 . . . and his performance that night was, quote, "amazing." Michael died the next morning. --Williams testified about receiving a frantic message from Dr. Murray at 12:13 P.M. on the 25th, saying, quote, "Call me right away, please. Please call me right away. Thank you." (--You can listen to it here.) --When he called back, Murray told him, quote, "Get here right away. Mr. Jackson had a bad reaction. Get someone up here right away." --Both Williams and Muhammad testified that after Michael's death, Dr. Murray was very concerned about, quote, "some cream Michael wouldn't want the world to know about." --Murray wanted to be taken back to the house to retrieve this cream . . . but Williams and Muhammad decided NOT to let him back in. --Also on the stand yesterday was Paul Gongaware. He's one of the CEOs of AEG Live, the company that was producing Michael's concerts. He said Dr. Murray originally asked for $5 million to be Michael's doctor. --That didn't fly, but Michael wanted Murray . . . so they hired him for $150,000 a month. --AEG attorney Kathy Jorrie testified that Dr. Murray demanded a CPR machine for Michael. When she asked why he needed it, Murray said there was nothing wrong with Michael . . . it was just a precaution. --Jorrie also spoke with Dr. Murray the night before Michael's death . . . and he told her that Michael was fine. --She said, quote, "Dr. Murray told me repeatedly that Michael Jackson was 'perfectly healthy, in excellent condition, don't worry about it, he's great.'"

Did Demi Moore Tweet Something Last Friday that Suggested There Was Trouble in Her Marriage?

There's still no word from ASHTON KUTCHER and DEMI MOORE about the status of their marriage . . . even on Twitter. Obviously, that's doing nothing to dispel the breakup rumors, since these two normally Tweet EVERYTHING. --Neither of them have been very active on Twitter over the past week, and most of their Tweets have been work-related. --The last thing of interest on either of their accounts was a Tweet Demi posted last Friday. It was a quote from a Greek philosopher named Epictetus. --It said, quote, "When we are offended at any man's fault, turn to yourself & study your own failings. Then you will forget your anger." --That was the day before Ashton and Demi's 6th anniversary, which they spent apart . . . and which Ashton allegedly spent nailing a sexy, 23-year-old blonde. --The woman's name is Sara Leal . . . and she has reportedly hired a lawyer and gone into hiding. (--There are pictures of her all over the web. Check some out here.) (Global Grind) --Ashton reportedly told Sara that he and Demi are separated, but the public just doesn't know it yet. --Last year, Ashton was accused of slipping the stones to a 21-year-old chick on his couch while Demi was out of town. --And that may not be where the story ends. A source says, quote, "It was definitely a long time coming, but they're finally done for good. Ashton was a serial cheater, and Demi just couldn't take it anymore. She didn't deserve to live that way. It's a painful time for Demi." --The only thing left to figure out is how to divvy up their supposed $290 million fortune.

Tyrese Gibson Got Kicked Out of a Radio Station . . . For Suggesting that Liquor Stores Shouldn't be Near Schools:

"Transformers" actor TYRESE GIBSON got kicked out of a radio station during an interview . . . because he suggested that liquor stores shouldn't be near elementary schools. (???) (--It was on 101.7-WJKS in Wilmington, Delaware.) --Tyrese was doing the interview to promote his new album, when he mentioned that he saw a liquor store across the street from a school on his way to the station. And he didn't like that. --He said, quote, "Get them cats out of here . . . selling alcohol right across from your kids school, homie . . . put the pressure on them homie . . . you know how to put pressure on dudes selling in your hood." (--Here's audio.) --When the show went to commercial, the program director called and told the jock not to let Tyrese back on the air. And the owner of the station tells TMZ it was indeed because of his rant. --The guy felt that Tyrese was, quote, "disrespecting" the local community. --Tyrese later Tweeted, quote, "I just kicked out of a radio station from a [program director] who had a problem w/ me speaking on liquor stores that are by elementary schools in Delaware." --"If you don't STAND for something . . . you will damn near fall for Anything." (--Here's audio of Tyrese explaining in detail to TMZ what happened. WARNING!!! This clip contains bleeped profanity.)
Jason Alexander Comes Clean About His Hairpiece:

JASON ALEXANDER came clean about his hairpiece yesterday . . . and yes, it's a hairpiece, not a hair transplant. So why, after decades of baldness, did Jason decide to do something about it? --In an online post, he explained that it was for, quote, "a combination of professional and practical reasons." --He added, quote, "The way my hair has receded in the last two years was best defined as 'dorky' . . . most recently, the look lost any kind of impression other than purely comical. --"I'm happy to be able to sport that kind of look for characters but I didn't want it to be the only kind of characters I could be considered for." --So what exactly is on Jason's head? He called it a, quote, "semi-permanent hairpiece" . . . which means he can, quote, "wear it constantly for weeks at a time, if I so choose . . . or I can take it off any time of any day I choose." --Jason also explained why he didn't give himself a full head of hair . . . quote, "I challenged my designer to make me a piece that would look very similar to the way I did 10 years ago. --"So, it looks like a guy who is losing his hair and isn't an artificial mop of hair that I never had." (--Jason's full message is a LOT longer. You can read the whole thing here.)

Angelina Jolie Took Her Daughters Shiloh and Zahara to Get Their Ears Pierced . . . But Shiloh Chickened Out:

ANGELINA JOLIE took two of her daughters to get their ears pierced: 5-year-old Shiloh and 6-year-old Zahara. But only Zahara went through with it, because Shiloh CHICKENED OUT. --It was actually Zahara's fault, because she, quote, "screamed and then burst into tears" when she got hers done, which freaked Shiloh out. (--Here's a picture of Zahara with her ears pierced.) (Us Weekly)

Former L.A. Dodger Milton Bradley Was Arrested for Swinging a Bat at His Wife:

Major League Baseball star MILTON BRADLEY was arrested Tuesday afternoon for allegedly going after his wife with a BAT. --Bradley's wife called 911, claiming he was chasing her and taking swings at her. (--He missed.) He was arrested, booked on a felony assault charge and released on $30,000 bail. --Bradley was arrested back in January on a charge of making criminal threats to his wife. --In 2004, Bradley was arrested for confronting a cop during a traffic stop. In 2005, the Dodgers traded him to Oakland after he threw a plastic water bottle at fans at Dodger Stadium and had a clubhouse confrontation with a reporter. --He last played for the Seattle Mariners, but was released a few months ago.


Joseph Gordon-Levitt Has Cancer . . . Daniel Craig Might be a Murderer . . . and Anna Faris is Desperate to Hook Up with Her Exes . . . on Film At Least:

#1.) "Dream House" (PG-13)

This one will mess with you. First Daniel Craig discovers his house was once a murder scene. Then he finds out his life with his wife and daughters might not even be real . . . and that he was in a mental institution for supposedly killing them. Rachel Weisz is his wife, and Naomi Watts is a neighbor helping to separate fantasy from reality. (Trailer)

#2.) "50/50" (R)

Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays a guy coming to terms with cancer, and the diagnosis that he only has a 50/50 chance of surviving it. Seth Rogen plays his best friend, Anjelica Houston is his mom, Bryce Dallas Howard plays his girlfriend, and Anna Kendrick is his sexy but inexperienced therapist. (Trailer)

#3.) "What's Your Number" (R)

Anna Faris reads that women who've had more than 20 lovers are stuck being single . . . and freaks out because she's already been with 20 guys. So she vows to take another look at her exes before sleeping with anyone else. --Chris Evans is the neighbor who helps track them down, and the men from her past include Andy Samberg, "Reno 911's" Tom Lennon, and "Star Trek's" Zachary Quinto. (--According to Mr. Skin, a body double was used for her nudity. Sorry.) (Trailer)

Check Out the New Trailer for "Paranormal Activity 3":

There's a new trailer for "Paranormal Activity 3", and this one makes it pretty obvious that subtlety is completely OUT THE WINDOW. (--Check it out here.) --If you follow the franchise, then this will probably mean something to you: The movie takes place in 1988, 18 years before the first two . . . back when Katie and Kristi were kids. The movie comes out October 21st.

Here's a New Trailer for "New Year's Eve":

Check out the new trailer for the insanely star-studded romantic comedy "New Year's Eve" . . . which hits theaters in December. (--You'll find it here.) --This is the follow-up to "Valentine's Day" . . . in that it stars a ton of celebrities in various stories that take place on New Year's Eve. -The cast includes Jessica Biel, Halle Berry, Ashton Kutcher, Lea Michele, Robert De Niro, Katherine Heigl, Abigail Breslin, Hilary Swank, Sarah Jessica Parker, Zac Efron, Sofia Vergara, Michelle Pfeiffer, Josh Duhamel . . . --Sienna Miller, Julie Andrews, Ice-T, John Lithgow, John Stamos, Ludacris and Seth Meyers . . . to name a few.

GLAAD Has Put Together a Chart of All the Gay Characters on TV:

GLAAD . . . the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation . . . has released the results of its annual "Where We Are on TV" study, which reports on the number of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender . . . or "LGBT" . . . characters. --It seems like they put out 5,000 of these reports a year . . . but this time they even put together a fascinating chart of all the LGBT characters on TV, which you can find at (--And here's a cool slideshow of TV's LGBT characters.) -GLAAD reviewed all the shows on tap for this year . . . the 2011 - 2012 season . . . and found that the number of LGBT characters has decreased from last year. --There are now 19 LGBT characters that are considered "regulars" on the broadcast networks. That's out of a total of 647regulars. So 2.9% are LGBT. That's down from 3.9% last year, and 3% in 2009 . . . but up from 2.6% in 2008, and 1.1% in 2007. --Of the broadcast networks, Fox is making GLAAD the happiest . . . with eight gay regulars (or 6.8%). ABC is next with 3.4%. NBC has 1.9%, the CW has 1.5%, and only one of 134 characters on CBS is an LGBT character, which is good for 0.7%. --The percentage of LGBT series regulars on "mainstream cable" is essentially the same as last year. Not surprisingly, HBO and Showtime have the most. (--If you have a few hours to soak in the entire report, which includes a comprehensive breakdown of the gender, ethnicity and specific sexuality of the LGBT characters throughout the TV landscape, you can dive in, here.)

And Now . . . Google Will Tell You If a Celebrity Is Gay!

Have you ever wanted to know if a celebrity is gay . . . INSTANTLY . . . without spending several precious minutes digging through Internet search results? Well, Google has your back. (???) --Now, if you Google something like: "Is NEIL PATRICK HARRIS gay?" . . . your answer will be served up within a fraction of a second! --It appears at the top of the page . . . ahead of all the search results . . . in a line that reads, quote, "Best guess for Neil Patrick Harris Sexual orientation is Gay." And then they toss out a few links that back it up. --It's the same feature that Google has had before, for searches like: "How old is JUSTIN BIEBER?" . . . or "How tall is SNOOKI?" Google digs through various sources and lists the most common result to answer your question. --Google's gaydar doesn't always work. It seems like it only works for A- or B-list celebrities . . . and they have to have gone on record about their sexuality multiple times. And even then, sometimes nothing comes up. --When we played around with it, Google "informed" us that: Elton John, Ricky Martin, Lance Bass and Clay Aiken are gay . . . Rosie O'Donnell and Jodie Foster are lesbians . . . Lindsay Lohan, Anna Paquin and David Bowie are bisexual . . . --And Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal, James Franco, and . . . randomly . . . Britney Spears are listed as straight. --Sadly, there was no response when we tried it with Lady Gaga, Queen Latifah, Anderson Cooper, Kevin Spacey, Oprah Winfrey and Chaz Bono.

TV's Highest Paid Actresses:

The unstoppable list-makers at have struck again! This time, they've unleashed a list of TV's Highest Paid Actresses. --That's "actresses," so talk show hosts and reality TV personalities aren't included. And neither were voice actresses . . . like "The Simpsons'" NANCY CARTWRIGHT and YEARDLEY SMITH. --The numbers include their salaries, syndication checks, and endorsement deals in the year between May of 2010 and this past May. --Here's the Top 10, along with their estimated earnings:

1.) Tina Fey and Eva Longoria, $13 million

3.) Marcia Cross, Mariska Hargitay and Marg Helgenberger, $10 million

6.) Teri Hatcher and Felicity Huffman, $9 million

8.) Courteney Cox and Ellen Pompeo, $7 million

10.) Juliana Margulies, $6 million

A Suspicious Letter with White Powder Was Delivered to "Dancing with the Stars" . . . Is Someone Trying to Attack Our Beloved Chaz Bono?!?

There was a major freak out at CBS Studios in Hollywood yesterday, when a suspicious letter was discovered in the mailroom . . . that contained a "white powder." --There aren't many specifics, but reports say the letter was "intended" for "Dancing with the Stars". (--The show is filmed at CBS Studios, despite being on ABC.) --All kinds of emergency vehicles were deployed to the studio . . . but when they arrived, the authorities determined that the white powder was not anthrax, or any other harmful substance. There's no word what it actually was. --Last year, the same studio had a similar issue when someone discovered white powder in a letter addressed to BRISTOL PALIN, who was competing on "Dancing". And last month, there was another one addressed to CRAIG FERGUSON. --It's unclear if the letter was addressed to any one person in particular this time.

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

--"The X Factor" [Final Auditions] . . . 8:00 to 10:00 P.M. on Fox.

--"Charlie's Angels" . . . 8:00 to 9:00 P.M. on ABC. (--Isaiah Mustafa guest stars.)

--"The Latino List" . . . 8:00 to 9:00 P.M. on HBO. (--Gloria Estefan, Eva Longoria and rapper Pitbull are among Latino personalities profiled through a series of video vignettes.)

--"How To Be A Gentleman" [SERIES Premiere] . . . 8:30 to 9:00 P.M. on CBS. (--David Hornsby plays an uptight etiquette writer for an upscale men's magazine who befriends an obnoxious gym trainer played by Kevin Dillon.)

--"The Office" . . . 9:00 to 9:30 P.M. on NBC. (--James Spader delivers a motivational speech to his employees and challenges them to double their sales.)

--"Grey's Anatomy" . . . 9:00 to 10:00 P.M. on ABC. (--The fifth-year residents perform their first solo surgeries.)

--"Private Practice" [5th Season Premiere] . . . 10:00 to 11:00 P.M. on ABC.

--"Home Takeover with Simon & Tomas" [1st Season Finale] . . . 10:00 to 11:00 P.M. on OWN.

--"Archer" [3rd Season Finale] . . . 10:30 to 11:00 P.M. on FX.
Tony Bennett Just Scored His First #1 Album . . . and is the Oldest Living Person to Ever Top the Chart:

85-year-old TONY BENNETT just scored his first #1 album EVER. His disc "Duets 2" . . . which features duets with artists like Lady Gaga, Carrie Underwood, and Amy Winehouse . . . sold 179,000 copies in its first week of release to take the top spot. --That makes Bennett the oldest living artist to ever top the chart. The previous record-holder was BOB DYLAN, whose "Together Through Life" album debuted at #1 in 2009 when he was 67 years old. Here's the rest of this week's Top 10 . . .

1.) (NEW) "Duets 2", Tony Bennett (179,000 copies)

2.) "Own the Night", Lady Antebellum (125,000 copies)

3.) "21", Adele (117,000 copies)

4.) (NEW) "Unbroken", Demi Lovato (96,000 copies)

5.) "Tha Carter IV", Lil Wayne (84,000 copies)

6.) (NEW) "The Reckoning", NeedToBreathe (49,000 copies)

7.) (NEW) "#1 Girl", Mindless Behavior (36,000 copies)

8.) (NEW) "Sweeter", Gavin DeGraw (34,000 copies)

9.) "Watch the Throne", Jay-Z and Kanye West (31,000 copies)

10.) (NEW) "Pearl Jam Twenty", Pearl Jam (27,000 copies)

Justin Bieber Has Released an Acoustic Remix of Lil Wayne's "How to Love":

JUSTIN BIEBER has released an acoustic remix of LIL WAYNE'S "How to Love". --Justin produced his version . . . played all the instruments on it . . . and even RAPPED a few lines. Sort of. Here's his verse: --"I just want to take my time / I just want to do my thing / Maybe we press rewind / Maybe I buy that ring / We could grow old together / Just share our souls together / Find how to love, kiss and hug / How to roll together . . . --"I just need you by my side / Maybe we could be all right / I just want to hold you right / We can go into the night / You're the one I need." --There's no word if Justin plans on formally releasing his remix . . . but it sounds like he just did it for Wayne. When Justin dropped the song on Twitter, he wished Wayne a happy birthday. (--Lil Wayne turned 29 on Tuesday.) (--You can listen to Justin's "How to Love" remix, here. The rap verse is at the 1:15 mark. And here's Wayne's "How to Love" video for comparison.) --By the way, it sounds like Justin's upcoming Christmas album will come out on November 1st. Yesterday, he Tweeted, quote, "Christmas is coming early this year. #Nov1st." There's no official release date yet.

Simon Cowell Says Lady Gaga, Beyoncé and Katy Perry are "Boring" Singers:

SIMON COWELL is not much of a LADY GAGA fan. --In an interview with Britain's "Mirror" tabloid, Simon said Lady Gaga may be fascinating to SEE . . . but she isn't all that interesting to HEAR. And he lumps BEYONCÉ and KATY PERRY into the same boat. --Simon explains, quote, "If you only ever heard Lady Gaga, she's the most boring singer in the world. You've got to see her . . . you need TV. Same with Beyoncé. Or Katy Perry." --So, he's looking for a more COMPLETE artist on "X Factor". --Simon says, "We're all about image. You have to have that 'X' factor." (--Yeah . . . this coming from the guy who has brought us such chart heavyweights as TAYLOR HICKS and LEE DEWYZE.) (--I'm not saying that the singing prowess of Lady Gaga and Beyoncé is the second coming of greats like Aretha Franklin and old-school WHITNEY HOUSTON . . . I'm just saying Simon struggles to "discover" anyone better.)

Showbiz Extras . . . Random Links to Additional Stories:

NICOLE SCHERZINGER shut SIMON COWELL down last night on "X-Factor". (Video)

"Us Weekly" says JESSICA SIMPSON has put her wedding on hold because, quote, "she can't figure out what kind of day she wants." But some think she might be getting cold feet. (Full Story)

SHANNEN DOHERTY is getting married two weeks from Saturday. Her husband-to-be is a photographer named Kurt Iswarienko. (Full Story)

In honor of Oktoberfest, here's a slideshow of celebrities drinking beer. (Slideshow)

MARK BALLAS filled out one of "Us" magazine's "25 Things You Don't Know About Me" surveys. He reveals that his grandpa invented the Weed Eater . . . that he was an extra in the first "Harry Potter" movie . . . and that one of his pinkie toes, quote, "looks like a cashew nut." (???) (Full Story)

DANE COOK is developing a sitcom for NBC. For now, all we know is that it wouldn't premiere until next fall . . . and that college kids will find it a lot funnier than you will. (Full Story)

KIM, KOURTNEY and KHLOE KARDASHIAN . . . along with KRIS and BRUCE JENNER . . . will co-host the fourth hour of the "Today" show all next week! But not all together. A different Kardashian will join "Today's" HODA KOTB each day.
(Full Story)

The Average Woman Spends $779 Reinventing Her Image After Being Dumped:

Just in case getting DUMPED doesn't take enough of a toll on you emotionally and mentally . . . according to a new study, it also takes a pretty significant toll on you FINANCIALLY.

--Turns out women spend an average of $779 on REINVENTING themselves after being dumped. Here's how that breaks down . . .

--$144 on a new hairdo.

--$62 on tanning.

--$192 on new clothes.

--$96 on new shoes.

--$76 on new make-up.

--$81 on manicures and pedicures.

--And $128 on a gym membership, boot camp, and other attempts to get into shape.

--On top of that, the average woman also spends $109 a week going out once they're single. And 11% immediately buy an online dating membership.

--Finally, the study also found that 6% of women say they've spent around $829 on PLASTIC SURGERY and BOTOX after being dumped.
(Daily Mail)

2% of All Online Daters Have Been Victims of a Scam:

Here's another reminder that no matter how mainstream online dating gets, it will ALWAYS be a MAGNET for THE most sketchy and sometimes dangerous people out there. --A new study has found that approximately 2% of people who've done online dating have been the victims of a scam. Basically, that means you've got a one-in-50 chance of it happening to you. --The scams are almost always financial . . . you meet someone online, develop a relationship, eventually they ask for money, you loan it to them . . . and then they disappear forever. --It's happened to people of both genders and all ages, and the losses ranged anywhere from $75 to $375,000. (The Guardian)

Over Half of Us Use Social Media to Tell Companies When They Screw Up:

We'll say this for social media: It may be a HUGE time waster . . . but it sure does make STALKING and COMPLAINING easier than ever. --Nielsen just released the results of a huge survey on social media use. And that's the main takeaway: Stalking and complaining. That's what we like. --The survey found THE most popular thing to do with Facebook, Twitter, and other social media is to stalk . . . or as they put it, "find and maintain" old friendships. 89% of people use social media for that. --We were also surprised to see that more than HALF of us, 51%, use social media to COMPLAIN and give NEGATIVE FEEDBACK to products and businesses. --And we should . . . publicly complaining on Facebook and Twitter really DOES seem to get better results than making a phone call or sending an email that will get some generic response. --The survey also found that 70% of people use social media to find new friends . . . 48% use it for business contacts . . . 58% use it to get coupons . . . 47% use it for gaming . . . and 35% use it to follow what their favorite celebrities are doing. --Finally, the least common use . . . at least of the options in the survey . . . is dating, at 16%. (Nielsen)
A High School Football Team Has to Vacate Three Wins . . . Because a Mom Posted About Her Kids' Messy Room on Facebook?

Here's yet another reason why PARENTS and FACEBOOK will NEVER mix. --The football team from Perry County High School in Tennessee just had to vacate THREE of their wins so far this season . . . all because one mom posted about her kids' messy rooms on Facebook. --The kids are Rodney and Ryan Belasic. They both play offensive line for Perry High. -And their mom recently posted on Facebook, quote, "How can two boys mess up their room as badly as they do when they're only here on Saturday and Sunday?" --That status update got passed along to the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association. They'd been suspicious that the Belasic boys didn't actually live in Perry County . . . and after the Facebook update they investigated further. --And they found their suspicions were correct . . . the Belasic family actually lives in a different county, Henry County, and the boys just travel to Perry County during the week to go to school. --So technically they were ineligible to play for the team . . . and the team had to vacate three wins. They kept two wins where the Belasics didn't play. But now instead of being 5-and-0, they're 2-and-3. (Yahoo Rivals)

The Average Time it Takes to Find Parking in a Big City is 20 Minutes . . . and One in Four Drivers Has Argued Over a Parking Spot in the Past Year:

IBM conducted a survey in 20 cities around the world and found that . . . it's hard to park in big cities. --Worldwide, the average time it takes to find a spot is about 20 minutes. And it's estimated that 30% of traffic in cities is from drivers looking for parking. --In fact, six out of ten city drivers said that at least once in the last year, they've had to abandon a trip and go home because they couldn't find a parking spot. --The cities where it's hardest to find a spot are Shenzhen, China . . . Beijing, China . . . and Nairobi, Kenya. So, uh . . . yeah: You can all stop looking for parking there now. --People had the least trouble finding parking in Toronto, Montreal, and Stockholm, Sweden. -One in four drivers have gotten into an argument with another driver over a parking space in the last year. Three in five drivers in New Delhi have argued over a spot. And Chicago drivers are the least likely to fight over parking. --Drivers get the most parking tickets in Bangalore, India . . . Moscow . . . and Paris. And you're least likely to get ticketed in Madrid, Spain . . . Johannesburg, South Africa . . . and Chicago. --Overall, New Delhi scored the worst on the parking index, followed by Bangalore and Beijing. Chicago was the friendliest parking city, followed by Los Angeles and Toronto. --Over the last year, drivers in one 15-block section of Los Angeles drove 950,000 miles and used 47,000 gallons of gas looking for a spot. (PR Newswire) (--You can find the Parking Index rankings of the 20 cities here.)

ATM Fees Set a Record High . . . For the Seventh Year in a Row:

Banks now charge an average of $2.40 for non-customers to use their ATMs, which is a record high for ATM fees. --That's a 3% increase from last year, when the $2.33 average fee was a record high. In fact, ATM fees have hit a record high each of the last SEVEN years. --Ten years ago, the average fee was more than a dollar lower, at $1.36. --The ATM fees that banks charge their own customers was unchanged, at $1.41. But that means that if you use an out-of-network ATM, you get hit with BOTH fees, for a total of $3.81. --The city that charges the most to use an ATM is Denver, Colorado. Non-customer fees are 35 cents higher than the average, at $2.75. --San Diego isn't far behind at $2.70, and neither is Houston, at $2.69. The top five is rounded out by Seattle, at $2.63 and New York, at $2.60. --The best place to use an ATM is the Midwest: Four of the five cheapest ATM fees are there. --Cleveland, at $2.06, is 34 cents below the national average. Minneapolis, at $2.15, is next. --Tampa's ATMs charge an average of $2.19. Chicago charges $2.20, and Cincinnati is at $2.22. (Bankrate)

You Yawn More Often in the Winter Than in the Summer . . . Here's Why:

Scientists have found that people YAWN more often during the winter than they do during the summer. So as you find yourself yawning constantly over the next few months . . . here's a theory about WHY that's happening. --An evolutionary biologist from Princeton University believes that one of the main purposes of yawning is to COOL OFF YOUR BRAIN. --When you yawn, you take in air. And it makes sense for your body to yawn in the winter, because you can take in cooler air, which cools down your brain and keeps it at its optimal temperature. --If you yawn in the summer, you take in warm air, which doesn't do your brain any good. (MSNBC)

Most Modern Men Can't Do Even the Most Basic Home Improvement Tasks:

Remember back when you were a kid and you'd watch your father fixing the pipes under the sink, or changing the insulation? And you just kinda assumed one day when you were a dad, you'd suddenly wake up knowing how to do all that too? --Well . . . you don't. And most other guys don't either. --In a new survey, 72% of men said they could handle VERY basic home repair or improvement stuff, but for anything that requires even SLIGHT skill . . . like replacing a broken tile . . . they'd call in a professional.

--40% of men say they either CAN'T do ANYTHING around the home or they probably could, but they'd choose to call a handyman anyway.

--14% of men say that their pride won't let them call a repairman . . . no matter how unqualified they are to make the repairs themselves.

--Changing a fuse is the task that the most men believe they can do, at 70%. Stripping wallpaper and painting the house tied for second, at 61% . . . fitting a curtain rod is fourth, at 53% . . . and unclogging a toilet is fifth, at 51%.

--Installing a brand new kitchen is the skill the fewest men believe they have, at 14% . . . laying new carpet or putting up a deck tied for second-fewest, at 22% . . . installing a sink, laying vinyl floor, and removing a radiator tied for fourth, at 24%. (Daily Mail)


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

Supposedly the lousy economy has resulted in more food banks for pets. (Full Story)

Remember those Reebok shoes that promised to tone your butt just by wearing them? Yeah, they've been ordered to pay $25 million in customer refunds for deceptive advertising. (Full Story)

A high school football coach in upstate New York is in trouble for having players lay on cemetery graves after a loss . . . to make a point about how the people buried there would give anything to trade places with them. (Full Story)

To advertise the release of "Star Wars" on Blu-ray, train cars in Japan installed lightsaber handrails in some cars. (Full Story)

A guy camping in Canada thought he heard a bear trying to break into the tent where he and his buddy were sleeping, and opened fire with a shotgun . . . shooting his buddy in the face. (Full Story)

A couple in the UK just had their third kid born on September 20th. The other two kids are six and three, and have the exact same birthday. The odds of it happening are 133,590 to one. (Full Story)

There's going to be a new scratch & sniff book for kids called "New York, Phew York" featuring the smells of pizza, hotdogs, garbage, and horse manure. (Full Story)

#1.) "Mike Hunt" Signed Up to Speak at a City Council Meeting in LA:

At an L.A. City Council Meeting on Tuesday, someone in the crowd signed up to speak, but used a fake name. And I can't say the first and last name together, but the first name was "Mike," and the last name was "Hunt." --But the guy calling people to the podium DID say both names together . . . four times in ten seconds. (--Search for "LA City Council Mike Hunt Moment.")

#2.) Anderson Cooper Tried Coffee for the First Time . . . And Hated It:

On Tuesday's episode of ANDERSON COOPER'S new talk show, he claimed that he had never tried COFFEE before. He also said he'd never tried spinach or Brussels sprouts. So he tried all three . . . and hated them. --He seemed to hate spinach the most. And said he just doesn't see the point of drinking coffee. (--Search for "Anderson Tries Spinach for the First Time." He tries coffee at :11, spinach at :29, and Brussels sprouts at :56.)

#3.) Joseph Gordon-Levitt Sang Kelly Clarkson's "Since U Been Gone" . . . As Axl Rose:

In case you missed it, JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT did an outstanding Axl Rose impression on "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" on Tuesday. He sang a karaoke version of the Kelly Clarkson song "Since U Been Gone". (--Search for "Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Axl Rose.")

Four Foods That Aren't as Bad for You as You Think:

According to a new article from "Reader's Digest", some of the foods people avoid aren't as unhealthy as you might think. Here are the top four.

#1.) Processed Cheese. The word "processed" sounds nasty. But here's something worse you probably don't think about: A lot of REAL cheese includes 'natural enzymes' that come from a cow's STOMACH. --They help form curds, which are pressed and aged with the help of bacteria. But the processed variety doesn't use bacteria at all. And in the end, the main ingredient is still cheese.

#2.) Microwaved Food. It's gotten a lot of bad press for destroying nutrients. But some studies have shown it's not as bad as people think. For example, microwaved broccoli retains up to 80% of its vitamin C.

#3.) Fat. Believe it or not, your brain is mostly MADE of fat. And fat is the single most important nutrient for preserving brain function. So a low-fat diet can actually make you dumber. --But obviously, not ALL fat is good. Your brain mostly needs omega-3 fats, which are found in things like seafood, beans, spinach, and broccoli.

#4.) Artificial Flavors. If you had to choose between something with "artificial flavors" and something with "natural flavors," you'd almost definitely go with natural, right? Well, according to "Scientific American", "natural flavors" aren't always what you think. --For example, if a drink has natural coconut flavors, sometimes it's not coconut at all. It's from the bark of a tree that grows in Malaysia that just TASTES like coconut. (Reader's Digest)

Countdown to Upcoming Events
• 32 days to Halloween
• 56 days to Thanksgiving
• 87 days to Christmas
• 94 days left in 2011
• 109 days to Martin Luther King Day
• 479 days left of "Hope and Change" :)


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