Tuesday, October 4, 2011


Is Rosie O'Donnell "Smothering" Her New Girlfriend?

--The "National Enquirer" says that ROSIE O'DONNELL is "SMOTHERING" her new girlfriend. --Just a few months into her relationship with corporate headhunter Michelle Rounds, Rosie is already calling her several times a day at work and pressuring her to move from New York to Chicago to be with her. --A source says, quote, "The warp speed at which Rosie has been pursuing Michelle has left her head spinning. --"But Rosie just won't let up! While the romance is still in the puppy love stage, Rosie is like a giddy teenager and her behavior is verging on obsession." --But Michelle is trying to slow things down. The source says, quote, "Michelle is balking at being pushed to commit. --"She thinks the relationship is far too new for them to be living together, and she's not ready to give up her friends and family back east."

Seth Rogen Got Married Saturday:

SETH ROGEN married his longtime girlfriend Lauren Miller on Saturday in Sonoma, California. --The guest list can pretty much be described as the New Millennium Comedy All-Stars. It included Paul Rudd, Jonah Hill, Craig Robinson, director Judd Apatow and his wife Leslie Mann. (--Leslie played Paul's wife in "Knocked Up". Leslie and Judd's daughters played Leslie and Paul's daughters. And they were at the wedding, too.) --One report even claims ADAM SANDLER was there. --A source says, quote, "The wedding was more laughs than anything else. Every other line was a joke and the crowd couldn't contain their laughter. It was nonstop fun." (--Check out some wedding pics here.) (Popsugar)

Jenna Fischer Had a Baby Boy:

JENNA FISCHER . . . a.k.a. Pam from "The Office" . . . gave birth to a baby boy on September 24th. His name is Weston Lee. This is the first child for Jenna and her husband, writer Lee Kirk.

Rihanna Doesn't Want to Be a Role Model . . . and She Never Knew the C-Word Was Dirty:

RIHANNA isn't really a good role model . . . unless you're a stripper or a hooker. And that's cool with her. Because she doesn't want to be an example for anybody else. And she adds that the Rihanna WE see isn't even real. --She says, quote, "That's not me. That's a part I play. You know, like it's a piece of art, with all these toys and textures to play with. --"See, people . . . they want me to be a role model just because of the life I lead. The things I say in my songs, they expect it of me, and [being a role model] became more of my job than I wanted it to be. But no, I just want to make music. That's it." --Meanwhile . . . Rihanna claims she didn't know until recently that the C-WORD was dirty. In fact, she says it's NOT offensive to people from her home country of Bardados. --She says, quote, "You know African-Americans use the N-word to their brothers? Well, that's the way we use the C-word. --"When I first came here, I was saying it like it was nothing, like, 'Hey, [C-word],' until my make-up artist finally had to tell me to stop. I just never know."

Kiefer Sutherland Believes in Aliens:

We are not alone . . . according to KIEFER SUTHERLAND, anyway. --He says, quote, "When I look up at the sky on a clear night and see the wash of stars and planets, and everything that is outside our universe, I have to believe there is life everywhere. --"It would be very arrogant to believe this is the only planet that could sustain some kind of life."

Showbiz Tragedy! Leonard Nimoy Has Attended His Last "Star Trek" Convention!

Tragic news, "Star Trek" fans: Mr. Spock has attended his last convention. This past weekend, 80-year-old LEONARD NIMOY did a "Trek" convention in Rosemont, Illinois. And he says he's not doing any more. Ever. (--I know that sounds sad, but I understand. At his age, hoofing it around the country for these conventions is just too much . . . TRIBBLE?)
Chaz Bono's Girlfriend Was Once Arrested for Domestic Battery Against an Ex:

I don't know why people are making such a big deal about this, but the "Star" tabloid says that more than seven years ago, CHAZ BONO'S girlfriend JENNIFER ELIA was arrested for domestic battery against an ex. --It happened in May of 2004, and the charge was only a misdemeanor . . . and it could have been a very minor offense. --The "Star" spoke to a legal expert who said the suspect can be arrested, quote, "even if you used only the slightest force . . . any unwanted physical touching will suffice. --"This means that you don't actually have to injure your intimate partner to be convicted." --This happened about a year before Chaz and Jennifer started dating. It's not clear how the case panned out . . . and there's no word whether the victim was male or female. --Jennifer has been known to tip back the sauce, but in May of this year, she said she'd been sober for 14 months.

"Infomercial King" Don Lapre Committed Suicide in Jail:

DON LAPRE . . . the so-called "Infomercial King" . . . was found dead in his Arizona jail cell Sunday morning of an apparent suicide. --The cause of death hasn't been released, but anonymous law enforcement sources told TMZ that a large amount of blood was found in Lapre's cell, leading them to believe he cut himself. There's no word what he may have used. --Lapre was set to go on trial TODAY on 41 counts of conspiracy, fraud and other charges related to his "Greatest Vitamin in the World" business. Lapre was accused of defrauding 220,000 people out of nearly $52 million. (--You can see clips from a couple of Lapre's infomercials here. One is for the Greatest Vitamin in the World . . . and the other is for a scheme involving newspaper classified ads that pretty much launched his career.)

Check Out Some Classic Ryan Gosling / Justin Timberlake Clips from "The New Mickey Mouse Club":

RYAN GOSLING and JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE both got their starts on "The New Mickey Mouse Club" back in the '90s. If you've never seen their work, it's worth checking out. (--Grab two clips here.)

There Was More Testimony from the Emergency Room Doctor Yesterday:

Yesterday in the manslaughter trial of DR. CONRAD MURRAY, there was more testimony from emergency room doctor Richelle Cooper. --She said that MICHAEL JACKSON was, quote, "clinically dead" when he arrived at the hospital. --And while she reiterated that Dr. Murray never told her Michael had taken propofol that day, Dr. Cooper said that information wouldn't have helped them save Michael. --Cooper also said that she would NEVER perform a procedural sedation . . . like the one Dr. Murray allegedly performed on Michael . . . outside of a hospital setting and without the proper monitoring equipment. --Also on the witness stand was Dr. Thao Nguyen, a cardiologist working at the hospital the day of Michael's death. Like numerous other witnesses, she testified that Dr. Murray said the only drug he'd given Michael was lorazepam. --Prosecutors also provided Dr. Murray's phone records from the day of Michael's death to show that he was texting and talking on two of his cell phones during the time he was supposed to be tending to Michael. (--Here are some shots of Dr. Conrad Murray taking a break from the rigors of the trail by getting a PEDICURE.) (Daily Mail)

A "New" Michael Jackson Album Comes Out November 21st . . . But It's Just the Soundtrack to a Cirque du Soleil Show:

There's a "new" MICHAEL JACKSON album coming out on November 21st . . . but it's not full of previously unreleased tracks like his last one. --This one is called "Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour", and it's the soundtrack to a new Cirque du Soleil show of the same name. It'll feature reworked versions of classic MJ songs, mash-ups and the like. --The show kicked off Sunday in Montreal and will hit 60 North American cities, as well as venues around the world . . . before setting up residency at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas next June.

Kevin Bacon Refused a Cameo in the "Footloose" Remake . . . Because He Didn't Want to Cheapen It:

One thing you won't see in the upcoming "Footloose" remake is a cameo by KEVIN BACON. But it's not the fault of the writers, the producers or the director. It was Kevin's idea. --Director Craig Brewer had a great part for Kevin, but Kevin turned it down. Brewer says, quote, "Kevin was wise in saying no to it. I think he had the right reason for it. --"I think that he knew it would cheapen it somehow because if suddenly he showed up winking at the camera, it would have taken some of the teeth out of the narrative." (--I don't know. Is a "Footloose" movie really something that needs its integrity so closely safeguarded? I think more people than not would ENJOY . . . and even EXPECT the cameo.) --Speaking of "Footloose" . . . star JULIANNE HOUGH says RYAN SEACREST had trouble watching the movie because of a scene where she gets beaten up by an abusive boyfriend. --She says, quote, "Ryan saw it and said, 'I can't watch that.' He was like, 'When he hits you I just want to punch the screen . . . When I see you pull some of those faces, those are the faces that I see, so you know so it's hard for me to watch.'"

Pink Has Joined the Cast of a Movie About Sex Addiction:

PINK has joined the cast of "Thanks for Sharing" . . . a movie about SEX ADDICTION. Sadly, it's not quite as dirty as it sounds. Pink will play a "free spirit" who bonds with a sex addict played by an actor named Josh Gad. (--His biggest claim to fame right now is starring in "The Book of Mormon" . . . the Tony-winning Broadway musical from "South Park" creators TREY PARKER and MATT STONE.) --Also in the cast are Gwyneth Paltrow, Tim Robbins, Joely Richardson and Mark Ruffalo.

Sherri Shepherd Doesn't Like When Barbara Walters Says the N-Word, But She's Cool with Whoopi Goldberg Saying It:

For reasons that aren't worth getting into, the ladies on "The View" had quite a discussion on the N-word yesterday . . . and we learned something very interesting about SHERRI SHEPHERD: --Sherri doesn't like when BARBARA WALTERS says the N-word . . . but she's cool with WHOOPI GOLDBERG saying it. --Obviously, Barbara doesn't go around dropping the N-word like she's T.I. or something. She and Whoopi were both using it to report on a story in the news. --The word itself came into the debate when Whoopi said that she didn't like how people censored themselves from actually saying the N-word by just saying "N-word." --But after Barbara said the N-word itself, Sherri freaked. She said, quote, "When I heard [Whoopi] say it, it was fine. You said it a different way. When I heard [Barbara] say it, I didn't like the way you said it. --"Because when you say it, you say [N-word]. And I don't like [N-word]. [Whoopi] didn't say [N-word]. She said [N-word]." --Barbara was confused . . . and apologized for saying it the wrong way, but Sherri added, quote, "Even if you did you still wouldn't have said it the right way." --Or in other words: Sherri doesn't like white people saying the N-word . . . while Whoopi doesn't like white people NOT saying the N-word. --For what it's worth, Barbara was reporting on a story . . . not CALLING or REFERRING to anyone as an N-word. So even though Sherri didn't like "how" she was saying it, she was using it in the same way that Whoopi did. (--You can find video clips of this riveting, hot debate, here. NOTE: ABC did censor the N-word every time the yentas said it. Sherri explains her feelings on Barbara saying the N-word at the 2:30 mark.)

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

--"NCIS" . . . 8:00 to 9:00 P.M. on CBS. (--Lily Tomlin guest stars as McGee's grandmother, who is linked to the murder of a Navy lieutenant.)

--"Glee" . . . 8:00 to 9:00 P.M. on Fox. (--"Happy Days" superstar Donny Most guests as Emma Pillsbury's father.)

--"The Biggest Loser" . . . 8:00 to 10:00 P.M. on NBC. (--NFL stars Drew Brees, Clay Matthews, Tony Gonzalez, Tim Tebow, Shawne Merriman and Eric Dickerson challenge the contestants for a shot at Super Bowl tickets.)

--"Dancing with the Stars" [Results Show] . . . 9:00 to 10:00 P.M. on ABC. (--Music Guests: Mary J. Blige and Estelle.)

--"Gene Simmons Family Jewels" [6th Season Premiere] . . . 9:00 to 10:00 P.M. on A&E.

--"Hardcore Pawn" [4th Season Finale] . . . 9:00 to 9:30 P.M. on TruTV.

--"Body of Proof" . . . 10:00 to 11:00 P.M. on ABC. (--Joanna Cassidy guest stars as Megan's mom when she pays her daughter a visit.)

--"Mad Fashion" [SERIES Premiere] . . . 10:00 to 10:30 P.M. on Bravo. (--Former "Project Runway" contestant Chris March gets his own show.)

--"Onion News Network" [2nd Season Premiere] . . . 10:00 to 10:30 P.M. on IFC.

--"Fashion Hunters" [SERIES Premiere] . . . 10:30 to 11:00 P.M. on Bravo. (--The employees of a high-end consignment shop seek couture fashion to fill their store.)

--"Carfellas" [1st Season Finale] . . . 10:30 to 11:00 P.M. on Discovery Channel.


"Spider-Man", Hoops, and Dancing Are Among This Week's New Releases . . . Plus Several Other Cool Games:

--"Spider-Man: Edge of Time" (T) . . . on Xbox360, PS3, Wii, DS, and the 3DS. This "Spider-Man" game has the Spider-Man of the year 2099 trying to save Peter Parker's life in the present. You play as both of them, with the two timelines evolving parallel to each other and the things you do having an effect on the world of the other Spider-Man. (Trailer)

--"NBA2K12" (E) . . . on Xbox360, PS2, PS3, Wii, PSP, and PC. The most interesting feature about this year's basketball game is the NBA's Greatest Mode. Players can take control of legends such as Hakeem Olajuwon, Larry Bird, and Magic Johnson and play them against other classic and modern-day teams to create dream matchups (Trailer)

--"Just Dance 3" (E) . . . on Xbox360 and PS3. The third "Just Dance" features a Dance Crew multiplayer mode where you and a friend can get down at the same time. You can check out the full 45 song track list here. (Trailer) (--It hits stores Friday.)

--"Rage" (M) . . . on Xbox360, PS3, and PC. You play as a survivor from a meteorite collision with Earth, who was cryogenically frozen underground so he could help rebuild the earth after the impact. Multiplayer with feature vehicles and two separate modes that allow up to six players to compete at the same time. (Trailer)

--"Dark Souls" (M) . . . on Xbox360, PS3, and Wii. The sequel to this generation's hardest game "Demon's Souls" is supposed to be significantly harder than the first game. You will die many, many times while fighting terrifying monsters in dark dungeons, but if you are looking for a challenge this one is for you (Trailer)

--"Payday: The Heist" (M) . . . downloadable on PS3 and the PC. This game has six action packed heists that feature epic Hollywood-style action. You can go through all of bank robbing action with up to three friends at the same time, locally or online. (Trailer)

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

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

#1.) "Gears of War 3" sold over three million units its first week, which was enough to make it the sixth biggest launch week for an Xbox 360 game ever. It was also the biggest sales for any game so far this year. (Full Story)

#2.) Check out this new video that showcases the newest weapon for "Assassin's Creed Revelations", the hookblade.

#3.) The voice cast for "The Eldor Scrolls V: Skyrim" has been announced. Some of the voice actors you might recognize are Max Von Sydow (Father Marin from "The Exorcist"), Lynda Carter (the original "Wonder Woman"), and Christopher Plummer (Captain Von Trapp in "The Sound of Music"). (Full Story)

#4.) Gamers cracked an AIDS virus that had stumped scientists for over a decade and discovered two new planets in less than a week.

#5.) Here's a leaked video of what the new Xbox Live Dashboard is going to look like. The text is in French, but you get the gist of what is going on.

#6.) Sony is launching its "Only on PlayStation Network" today. Exclusive games arrive every Tuesday and if you spend $60 in October you'll get $10 to use in November. PlayStation Plus members also get 20 percent off new games. Also, for the first time ever PS2 titles will be available for download. (Full Story)

#7.) The director of the "Mortal Kombat" web series that was released along with the latest game has gotten the green light from New Line Cinema to reboot the movie franchise with a new full length feature film. (Full Story)

#8.) The Taiwanese animation company that is spoofing just about everything lately has released their version of a trailer for an upcoming "Angry Birds" movie. (--Check out this graphic that shows just how popular "Angry Birds" is.)


--"The Heart Specialist" - A comedy about the love lives of hospital trainees. Wood Harris from "Remember the Titans" plays the chief resident. The rest of the cast includes Zoe Saldana, Mya, Method Man, Jasmine Guy . . . and Ed Asner. (???)

--"Crazy on the Outside" - Tim Allen plays a guy who moves in with his overprotective sister, played by Sigourney Weaver, while he readjusts to life after prison. It also stars "Big Love's" Jeanne Tripplehorn as his sexy probation officer, and Ray Liotta as his former partner, who's trying to lure him back into a life of crime.

--"Scream 4" - Neve Campbell returns as Sidney Prescott, who's back home for a book tour when a new round of Ghostface killings start. Courteney Cox and David Arquette are back too, and Emma Roberts plays Neve's cousin.

--"Fast Five" - Paul Walker's not a cop anymore. He's hanging with Vin Diesel . . . who he broke out of jail with the help of Diesel's hot sister . . . and they're trying to steal $100 million out of police custody. The Rock is the federal agent trying to catch them.

--"African Cats" - Samuel L. Jackson narrates this Disney Nature movie. The stories include a lion with a broken tooth trying to defend his pride against a rival . . . a cheetah raising five newborn cubs . . . and a lion cub's loyalty to her injured mother.

TV Series On DVD:

--"Bored To Death: The Complete Second Season" . . . a two-disc DVD set.

--"In Treatment: The Complete Third Season" . . . a four-disc set of the final season.

--"Lie To Me: Season Three" . . . a four-disc DVD set.

--"According To Jim: Season 5" . . . a four-disc DVD set. (--It ran for eight seasons.)

--"Meet the Browns: Season 2" . . . a three-disc DVD set.

--"Friday Night Lights: The Complete Series" . . . a nineteen-disc DVD set.


This Week's CD Releases:

--"Clear As Day", "American Idol" winner Scotty McCreery (--His debut album. It features his singles "I Love You This Big" and "The Trouble with Girls".)

--"Ocean's Kingdom", Paul McCartney (--This is his fifth classical album. It features four orchestral tunes, with the shortest being 12:29 in length.)

--The soundtrack to Hugh Jackman's boxing robot movie "Real Steel". It includes music from Bad Meets Evil, the Beastie Boys, Foo Fighters, 50 Cent, Eminem, Limp Bizkit, The Prodigy, Tom Morello, and Danny Elfman.

Justin Bieber Has Lost His "Swagger Coach":

Here's a fun activity if you're stuck unemployed and bored: Pay careful attention to JUSTIN BIEBER'S swagger over the next few months. If you notice it starting to slip, there's a good explanation. --Justin's "swagger coach" Ryan Good has decided to move on . . . to bigger and better things. (--Yes, apparently there are BETTER gigs than getting paid to work with Justin Bieber on his "swagger.") (--And YOU can't get a job . . .) --Yesterday, Justin's manager Tweeted, quote, "All you asking: Ryan is going to pursue some of his dreams . . . we encourage him to go after his. He will always be a part of this family. Always." --And Ryan wrote, quote, "Maaan. Thanks for all the love. Y'all are great. The kid has the best fans in the world!!" (--That statement left a little swagger to be desired.) --Technically, Ryan's job was "road manager," but he was regularly referred to as a "swagger coach." Last year, Justin explained, quote, "I have a swagger coach that helps me and teaches me different swaggerific things to do. --"He has helped me with my style and just putting different pieces together and being able to layer and stuff like that."
Will Madonna Be the Next Super Bowl Halftime Show Performer?

There's a rumor going around that MADONNA will headline this year's Super Bowl halftime show, which is scheduled for Sunday, February 5th in Indianapolis. --If it happens, it would be Madonna's first Super Bowl performance. According to reports, she almost did it twice before . . . in 1998 and 2000 . . . but both times the negotiations fell through. --SBNation.com is the site that is reporting this. A rep for the NFL wouldn't confirm or deny it . . . and there's also no word from Madonna's people. --It would be good timing for Madonna. She's releasing an album next spring, and the first single could be out around the time of the Super Bowl. --Obviously, old-school Madonna would have been pretty risky for the NFL . . . especially in the post-wardrobe malfunction era . . . but just plain old Madonna should be fine. (--The last seven Super Bowl headliners have been: The Black Eyed Peas, The Who, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, Prince, the Rolling Stones and Paul McCartney.)

Check Out Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga's "The Lady Is a Tramp" Video:

TONY BENNETT and LADY GAGA have released the video for "The Lady Is a Tramp", their duet from Tony's new album, "Duets 2". --It's similar to Tony's previously released "Body and Soul" video with AMY WINEHOUSE . . . in that the video is Tony and Lady Gaga performing the song together in a studio. --In fact, the main difference is that Amy wasn't wearing the aqua-colored wig that Lady Gaga is. (--You can find the "Lady Is a Tramp" video, here.)

Joe Jonas Had Lil Wayne Appear on a Remix of His Song "Just in Love":

JOE JONAS has released a remix of his song "Just in Love" featuring LIL WAYNE. The remix premiered on RYAN SEACREST'S radio show yesterday. (--You can check it out, here.) --Joe's version will be on his debut solo album "Fastlife", which comes out next Tuesday.

Hank Williams Jr. Compared President Obama to Hitler . . . So ESPN Yanked His "Monday Night Football" Opening:

Yesterday, "Fox & Friends" invited HANK WILLIAMS JR. on to talk about politics, "Monday Night Football" . . . and Adolf Hitler. You know, the usual. Yes, Hank loves to "speak his mind" . . . but this time it cost him. --It all started with one so-called "easy" question. Co-host GRETCHEN CARLSON asked Hank which Republican presidential candidate he liked best, and he deadpanned, "Nobody." --A pretty lame joke so he quickly launched into what was really on his mind. He said, quote, "You remember the golf game they had? That was one of the BIGGEST political mistakes ever. That turned a lot of people off." --Gretchen clarified that he was talking about House Speaker JOHN BOEHNER'S golf game with PRESIDENT OBAMA. --Hank yelled, "Oh, yeah! Come on, come on. That would be like Hitler playing golf with (Israeli Prime Minister) NETANYAHU." (--Yes, the Hitler card. And only a few minutes into the interview.) --Co-host BRIAN KILMEADE didn't understand the analogy, so Hank said, quote, "I'm glad you don't brother, because a lot of people do. They're the enemy . . . Obama! And (Vice President) BIDEN! Are you kidding? The Three Stooges." --It was clear by now that Hank was off the rails because even after all that bashing he complained that the country is "totally polarized". --That's when Gretchen pointed out the irony of his statement. She said quote, "But you used the name of one of the most hated people in all the world to describe the President." Hank agreed, saying, quote, "That's true. But I'm telling you like it is." --It's one thing when a random person says stupid crap on TV. But when you're a very public figure like Hank Williams Jr. . . and you're there to promote that you're the voice of "Monday Night Football", well, you just might reap what you sow. And he has. --A while later ESPN decided to pull Hank's "Monday Night Football" show opening. They issued this statement, quote, "We are extremely disappointed with his comments, and as a result we have decided to pull the open from tonight's telecast." --Naturally, Hank came back with his own statement. Here it is, quote, "Some of us have strong opinions and are often misunderstood. My analogy was extreme . . . but it was to make a point. --"I was simply trying to explain how stupid it seemed to me . . . how ludicrous that pairing was. They're polar opposites and it made no sense. They don't see eye-to-eye and never will. I have always respected the office of the President."

Showbiz Extras . . . Random Links to Additional Stories:

There are some new . . . but not terribly interesting . . . details on the night ASHTON KUTCHER allegedly cheated on DEMI MOORE with SARA LEAL. (Full Story)

JOE JONAS says he did NOT hook up with ASHLEY GREENE again . . . but they're still good friends. (Full Story)

Napster co-founder and former Facebook president SEAN PARKER left a $5,000 tip on a $6,000 bar tab at the Beverly Club in West Hollywood. (Full Story)

Yesterday was the 67th birthday of ROY HORN from SIEGFRIED & ROY. It was also the 8th anniversary of the day he was almost killed in a vicious WHITE TIGER ATTACK. So how did he celebrate? With a birthday cake in the shape of a WHITE TIGER. (Photos)

Several celebrities Tweeted about American convicted murderer AMANDA KNOX having her sentence overturned in an Italian court. But DAVID SPADE wins the award for the FUNNIEST Tweet. He said, quote, "Let's get her out of jail and into Maxim as soon as possible." (Full Story)

A new study by Bing.com has found that "Jersey Shore" is the most "searched-for" show on the Internet. "Glee" was the second most searched-for show. (Full Story)

STEVIE B was a sensation in 1990 when he released "Because I Love You (The Postman Song)". Well, he was arrested in Massachusetts on Friday night because he allegedly owes $420,000 in unpaid child support. Amazingly, Stevie B was performing ONSTAGE when the cops cuffed him. (Full Story)


Today is "Improve Your Office Day" . . . and a Survey Finds What Workers Want to Change at Work:

You didn't know this, but today is a completely made-up holiday called "Improve Your Office Day." Seriously. That makes things like "Grandparents' Day" and "Sweetest Day" look legitimate. --We think it might have been invented by Staples, because they ran a survey in honor of Improve Your Office Day, asking workers what they'd most want to fix around their offices. Here are the results . . .

--44% would eliminate office politics.

--41% would allow telecommuting.

--37% would upgrade the computers or other office technology.

--35% would get nicer or more comfortable office furniture.

--34% would provide more private work areas.

--And 34% would want more flexible hours.

--"Getting a new boss" didn't make the list . . . 78% of the people surveyed said that they'd give their boss a letter grade of "A" or "B." (MarketWatch)
Women Use Facebook to Stay in Touch with Friends and Family . . . Men Use the Phone:

Women are more likely to use Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks to keep in touch with people. --A study by the telecommunications company Rebtel found that 68% of women use social networks to keep in touch with friends, while just 54% of men do. --60% of women use social networking to keep in contact with family members, compared to 42% of men. --At work, 34% of women use Facebook and other social networks to contact colleagues, while 22% of men do. --Men are more likely to use the phone or leave a voicemail to stay in touch with friends, family, and work colleagues. --That contradicts previous studies that found that men were better at using new technology to network. --Rebtel CEO Andreas Bernstrom said, quote, "Men tend to lag behind women when it comes to communicating with others through social media." (Med India)

The Average Household Goes Almost Two Months Between Receiving a Letter In the Mail:

When's the last time you got a personal letter in the mail? Not a greeting card, not an invitation, not a letter from your friends at the collection agencies . . . but an actual letter? --According to a survey by the U.S. Postal Service . . . who, frankly, shouldn't be spending money on surveys . . . the average U.S. household goes almost TWO MONTHS between receiving a personal letter. And even that seems exaggerated. --That figure DOESN'T include greeting cards or party invitations. They're talking about an actual letter, written on stationery. --In 1987, the average American household received a personal letter in the mail once every two weeks. But obviously that was before email, texting, and Facebook. --The Post Office says the steep drop in personal letters is, quote, "primarily driven by the adoption of the Internet as a preferred method of communication." (--You can't slip anything past the Post Office.) --The survey also found that 2010 was the first year in history where fewer than 50% of bills were paid by mail . . . the majority of bills were paid online or over the phone.
--The drop in first-class mail is a big reason for the Postal Service's $8 BILLION in losses this year. -Some historians worry that future generations won't be able to learn about us by bundles of personal letters. But an alternative viewpoint is that future historians will have an EASIER time, storing and searching email. (Huffington Post / Yahoo News)

Breakfast Sausage is America's Favorite Sausage, Beating Out Italian, Bratwurst, and Kielbasa:

If there's one area where you should trust an American's opinion, it's on the subject of greasy meats. We're all doctorate-level geniuses on that. So take this very seriously. --A new poll by the National Hot Dog & Sausage Council . . . which is a real thing . . . asked Americans to name their favorite type of sausage. And here are the results.

--Breakfast sausage is America's favorite, at 27%.

--Italian sausage came in a close second, at 25%.

--Bratwurst is third, at 18%.

--Kielbasa is fourth, at 14%.

--And chorizo came in fifth, at 7%.

(--The remaining 8% said "andouille" or "other".)

--Overall, 82% of Americans, or more than four out of five, eat sausage. That's divided up into 87% of men and 77% of women.

--54% of sausage eaters eat it most often at breakfast . . . 4% eat it most often at lunch . . . and 26% eat it most often at dinner.

--When they're eating breakfast sausage, links are more than twice as popular as patties. (PR Newswire) (--For more, you can reach Janet Riley, the president of the Hot Dog & Sausage Council, at 202-587-4245 or 703-801-2238.)
Cheesecake Factory Has Been Voted America's Best Chain Restaurant:

The Cheesecake Factory is SO American. The portions are huge, the menu features bastardized cuisines from other cultures, and the entire place is based on having dessert. So this makes sense. --In a new survey by "Forbes", Cheesecake Factory was voted America's best casual dining chain restaurant. --The rankings are based on each chain's scores in menu options, food quality, value, service, cleanliness, atmosphere, and healthy choices (--HA!). Here's the full top 10 . . .

#1.) Cheesecake Factory

#2.) Texas Roadhouse

#3.) Olive Garden

#4.) P.F. Chang's

#5.) Carrabba's Italian Grill

#6.) Red Lobster

#7.) Outback Steakhouse

#8.) Cracker Barrel

#9.) Red Robin

#10.) LongHorn Steakhouse (Forbes)

69% of Americans Have a Bucket List . . . and Going on a Trip is the Most Common Item:

According to a new survey by Hilton, 69% of Americans now have a bucket list of things they want to do before they die, either in their heads or written down. -For what it's worth, it's estimated that only about 45% of Americans have a will . . . but we're not here to yell at you about THAT. We're here to look at what people want to squeeze in before they die. --So here are the most common goals that appear on our bucket lists:

--83% want to travel to a specific destination.

--61% want to achieve a professional goal.

--59% want to volunteer for a cause or perform big charity work.

--44% want to see a specific concert, sporting event, or performance.

--38% want to do something DANGEROUS like skydiving or white water rafting.

--29% want to meet a specific celebrity.

--And 19% want to rekindle an old relationship.

--The average number of items on people's bucket lists is 11.

--56% of people say they expect that MONEY will keep them from completing everything on their list . . . and only 28% believe they'll check off the next item within one year. (HGI Media Center)
Here are the Ten Most Nasally Congested Cities In the U.S.:

It's about time we saw a study about the most congested cities . . . nasal, not traffic. --Here's a list of the ten most congested cities in the U.S. based on pollen numbers, air pollution, climate, smoking rates, purchase of congestion products, and flu rates.

#1.) Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

#2.) Birmingham, Alabama

#3.) New Orleans, Louisiana

#4.) Louisville, Kentucky

#5.) Memphis, Tennessee

#6.) San Antonio, Texas

#7.) Dallas, Texas

#8.) Charlotte, North Carolina

#9.) Houston, Texas

#10.) Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

(PR Newswire)

(--You can see the rest of the top 20 here.)

2% of Drivers in West Virginia Hit a Deer Last Year . . . How'd Your State Do?

State Farm Insurance just released its annual report on car accidents involving deer. Which gives us a perfect opportunity to tell the people of West Virginia they need to STOP KILLING BAMBI'S MOM over and over. --The study found that almost 2% of drivers in West Virginia hit a deer in the past year . . . one in every 53 drivers had a car-on-deer accident. That's almost FOUR TIMES the national average, and 50% higher than the next closest state. --Iowa came in second, with a one-in-77 car-on-deer rate. South Dakota is third, at one in 81 . . . Pennsylvania is fourth, at one in 86 . . . and Michigan is fifth, at one in 91. --Overall, the nationwide average is one deer collision for every 193 drivers. --Hawaii . . . where there are fewer deer AND fewer drivers . . . had the lowest rate, at one in 6,267. That means you're 11,825% less likely to crash into a deer in Hawaii than you are in West Virginia. --Car-on-deer collisions have dropped the last three years. State Farm says that gas prices have led to fewer drivers, which has led to fewer drivers smacking deer. (Wall Street Journal)

(--Here's a map and chart with every state's rate, which they've cleverly titled "Trending the Buck". You can reach Dick Luedke from State Farm's public affairs department at 309-766-3635.)


A Man Robs a Gas Station . . . Without Realizing There's a Cop in Line Right Behind Him:

Last week in Snellville, Georgia, 21-year-old Stephen Daniel walked into a gas station and told the manager behind the counter to give him all the money in the register. The manager started putting the money in a bag . . . and LAUGHING. --Why? Because Stephen clearly hadn't bothered to take a look around before the robbery . . . or he would've realized there was a COP in line right behind him. --After the manager handed Stephen the money, the cop . . . Lieutenant B.W. Brown from the Snellville police . . . grabbed him by the shoulder and placed him under arrest. --Stephen wasn't armed, so he's looking at a charge of robbery by fear. (Atlanta Journal Constitution) (--Here's a news video featuring surveillance footage. Warning: There's bleeped profanity.)

A High School Girl Was Named Homecoming Queen During Halftime of a Football Game . . . Then Kicked the Winning Field Goal?

Brianna Amat is a senior at Pinckney Community High School in Pinckney, Michigan. She's also the first girl ever to play on their varsity football team, as the kicker. Which led to an amazing night for her this past weekend. --On Friday night, Pinckney High was playing their homecoming game against Grant Blanc High School, who's ranked seventh in the state. --At halftime, Brianna got a note to go out to the field . . . where she found out she'd been voted HOMECOMING QUEEN by the school. --Then, with Pinckney down 7 to 6 in the second half, the coach had her kick a 31-yard field goal . . . which would be the longest of her career. She nailed it, Pinckney went up 9-7 . . . and WON THE GAME. --Brianna's graduating from Pinckney in June. She's planning to go to Western Michigan University, and major in business advertising. (FOX News) (--Here are some photos of Brianna in her football gear and homecoming crown.)


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

45% of shoppers will spend less this holiday season than last year. 49% will spend the same, only 6% will spend more. 43% say it's because they're earning less, and 37% say they have less savings. (Full Story)

71% of shoppers say they'll use layaway in the next 6 months, even though fewer than half have used it before. 42% will use it specifically for holiday shopping. (Full Story)

According to a new study, college students who post drunken photos on Facebook may be at higher risk of developing . . . a drinking problem. (Full Story)

A county jail in Wisconsin started a new reading program for inmates, where they can record children's books and send them to their kids on the outside. (Full Story)


#1.) Would You Chug 32 Ounces of Ranch Dressing for a Chance to Win Free Subs for a Year?

I know times are tough, but this is just ridiculous: A Cheba Hut sandwich shop in Eugene, Oregon held a contest over the weekend, offering $300 and free subs for a year to the person who could chug 32 OUNCES OF RANCH DRESSING the fastest --There's a video of it online, and one guy does it in 25 SECONDS. --Apparently this isn't the first ranch dressing race sponsored by the restaurant chain. The first one was in Iowa this April . . . where a college student drank 24 ounces in 16 seconds. (--Search for "Raw Video: Chugging Ranch Dressing for $300." It shows the 25-second guy chugging at :15.)

#2.) And Now . . . A Deaf Baby Is Amazed When He Hears His Mother's Voice for the First Time:

Yesterday, we told you about a video where a 29-year-old deaf girl breaks down after hearing her voice for the first time, with the help of a medical device. --And there's a similar video on YouTube you've probably never seen before: It's an eight-month-old BABY hearing his MOTHER'S voice for the first time. As soon as she starts talking, his jaw drops, the pacifier falls out of his mouth, and he smiles. (--Search for "8 Month Old Hears Mom for the First Time.")
#3.) Check Out a Puppeteer with a Realistic Dog Puppet . . . That Plays Fetch with Kids Who Walk Buy:

There's a cool new video online of a puppeteer in Buenos Aires, Argentina. And I normally wouldn't give a puppeteer much love. But this guy's puppet is a realistic looking dog . . . that plays fetch with kids who walk by. (--Search for "Dog Puppeteer in Recoleta." He starts playing fetch at :30. WARNING: The guy with the camera says the F-word at :56.)

Three Ways to Reduce Your Breast Cancer Risk:

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and you probably already know how important it is to check for lumps once a month, and have yearly mammograms after you turn 40 --If you catch it early, the five-year survival rate can be as high as 98%. That's compared to 27% if it's already spreading. --But here are three important things you can also do to REDUCE your breast cancer risk.

#1.) Limit Your Alcohol Intake. Researchers now think that even small amounts of alcohol can increase your chances of developing breast cancer. Two to three drinks a week is the limit.

#2.) Exercise at Least Three Times a Week. Walking is okay, but more vigorous exercise is even better. The goal should be to keep your heart rate up for at least 20 straight minutes.

#3.) Lose Weight and Don't Gain It Back. Being overweight increases your breast cancer risk, especially if you're post-menopausal, and gained the weight as an adult. --A 2008 study at the University of Texas showed that overweight women also have lower survival rates, partly because the cancer tends to be more aggressive. (Health.com)


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