Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Christopher Walken Won't Talk to the Paparazzi About the Natalie Wood Case:

The paparazzi caught up with CHRISTOPHER WALKEN the other night and asked him what he thinks about the NATALIE WOOD case being reopened. He said, quote, "I don't know" . . . then kept walking. (--Here's video.) --Walken was on Robert Wagner's yacht, The Spendour, on the night in 1981 when Wagner's wife Natalie Wood went overboard and drowned. --Her death was ruled an accident . . . but earlier this month, authorities reopened the case. (--No one is calling Wagner a suspect, but the word is that he's the focus of the investigation.)

Kristen Stewart's Wedding Dress from "Breaking Dawn" and Pippa Middleton's Bridesmaid Gown Can Now Be Yours:

Ladies, if you want to prove you're a TRUE "Twilight" fan, I think I know how you can do it. --You can get married in the dress Bella wore for her wedding to Edward in "Breaking Dawn". A replica of the dress KRISTEN STEWART wore in the movie went on sale yesterday. It'll set you back $799. (--You can try to WIN one here.) --Another classic dress went on sale yesterday. I'm talking about the one that PIPPA MIDDLETON wore as maid of honor when her sister KATE married PRINCE WILLIAM earlier this year. --That one sells for $1,680. (--And you can buy it here.) (--As you may recall, Pippa's version of the dress was WHITE. Check out pictures of her in it here.)

Jennifer Lopez's New Boyfriend Played John McCain in a Dance-Off Video . . . And He's Facing Drag-Racing Charges:

Here are a few things you probably didn't know about JENNIFER LOPEZ'S 24-year-old boyfriend Casper Smart. --First of all, his real name is BEAU. No word on why he goes by "Casper". --Then there's this: In 2008, he appeared in a parody video featuring a dance-off between presidential candidates BARACK OBAMA and JOHN MCCAIN. --The candidates' heads were digitally superimposed on the bodies of real dancers. Casper provided the body for McCain. (--Here's the video.) --And one last note: Casper pleaded no contest to a drag-racing charge back in March. He was slapped with 10 days of community service. (--Before we leave the land of J-Lo, we have this: Have you seen that Fiat commercial where J-Lo drives through her old neighborhood in the Bronx? Well, it turns out Jenny couldn't be bothered to return to her block.) (--A DOUBLE was used for the scenes where the car is actually driving through the Bronx. Close-ups of Jennifer in the car were shot in Los Angeles. Here's the ad.)

Is Tim Tebow's Public Devotion to Jesus Too Much? Former Broncos Quarterback Jake Plummer Thinks So:

When people aren't arguing about TIM TEBOW'S quarterbacking skills, they're debating whether or not he takes his devotion to Jesus too far. --The way he kneels and prays after big plays has even sparked a new craze, appropriately called TEBOWING. (--You can see some pictures of people doing it here.) --One guy who thinks Tim lays the religion on too thick is JAKE PLUMMER. Jake used to have Tebow's job, quarterbacking the Denver Broncos. --He says, quote, "Tebow, regardless of whether I wish he'd just shut up after a game and go hug his teammates, I think he's a winner and I respect that about him. --"I think that when he accepts the fact that we know that he loves Jesus Christ then I think I'll like him a little better." --He adds, quote, "I don't hate him because of that. I just would rather not have to hear that every single time he takes a good snap or makes a good handoff." --Tebow heard what Plummer had to say . . . and he had a response. --He told ESPN, quote, "If you're married, and you have a wife, and you really love your wife, is it good enough to only say to your wife 'I love her' the day you get married? --"Or should you tell her every single day when you wake up and every opportunity? --"And that's how I feel about my relationship with Jesus Christ is that it is the most important thing in my life. So any time I get an opportunity to tell him that I love him or given an opportunity to shout him out on national TV, I'm gonna take that opportunity." --He added, quote, "Christ comes first in my life, and then my family, and then my teammates. I respect Jake's opinion, and I really appreciate his compliment of calling me a winner. --"But I feel like anytime I get the opportunity to give the Lord some praise, he is due for it."


"The Muppets" and Two Other Kids Movies Hit Theaters Today:

#1.) "The Muppets" (PG) (Trailer 1) (Trailer 2)

Jason Segel and Amy Adams help Kermit reunite the Muppets to raise money and keep the old Muppet Theater from being torn down by an oil tycoon. --Neil Patrick Harris, Jack Black, Sarah Silverman, Selena Gomez, Whoopi Goldberg, Rashida Jones, John Krasinski, "Big Bang Theory's" Jim Parsons, Zach Galifianikis, and Ken Jeong all have cameos.

#2.) "Hugo" (PG) (Trailer)

An orphan living in the walls of a Paris train station meets a girl with a heart-shaped key, and it unlocks an invention his father gave him. It's Martin Scorcese's first 3D film, and it's based on the children's book "The Invention of Hugo Cabret". --Hugo's played by a 14-year-old named Asa Butterfield, and Isabelle is Chloe Grace Moretz, who was Hit Girl in the movie "Kick Ass". The adult cast includes Ben Kingsley, Sacha Baron Cohen, Christopher Lee, and Jude Law as Hugo's dad.

#3.) "Arthur Christmas" (PG) (Teaser) (Trailer)

A computer-animated movie about Santa's two sons. Hugh Laurie is Steve, the son running Santa's new high-tech operation who'll become the next Santa, and James McAvoy is his younger brother Arthur, a clumsy kid working in the mail room. --But when Steve screws up and misses one of the presents, Arthur uses their grandfather's old wooden sleigh to try to deliver it before the sun comes up.

#4.) "My Week With Marilyn" (R) (Limited) (Trailer)

Michelle Williams plays Marilyn Monroe in a story about an assistant who falls for her during a movie shoot, after her husband leaves them alone in England for a week. It also stars Kenneth Branagh, Emma Watson and Judi Dench. --Michelle also does her own singing in the movie. You can hear her performing "When Love Goes Wrong, Nothin' Goes Right" and "Heat Wave" on the official site.

Robert Pattinson Doesn't Understand Everyone's Fascination with Vampires:

This seems almost like "Twilight" HERESY . . . so try not to get too upset: --ROBERT PATTINSON doesn't get the whole vampire thing. (!!!) --In an interview with "Empire" magazine, he says, quote, "I have never understood the fascination with vampires. People are obsessed and I don't know why." --He also found playing Edward a little restrictive, because he wasn't allowed to do everything with the character that he wanted to. --He says, quote, "The annoying thing about him is the fan's perception of him as the perfect guy. I wanted to play his flaws but then you have this subliminal idea coming from everywhere saying, 'No he's got to be perfect.' --"I don't think I've ever seen a vampire movie where I think the vampires are attractive. They end up looking worse than they do in their real life with the pale make-up and the fangs."

MTV Is Doing a "Jersey Shore"-Type Show About Rural West Virginians:

MTV is hoping to replicate their "Jersey Shore" success with a new reality show, which will focus on West Virginians. And naturally, there's some concern from the locals that it's going to exploit rural West Virginian stereotypes. --It's called "Buck Wild", and it'll star "a group of friends and recent high school graduates in rural West Virginia . . . [including] a wide range of kids, from the more well off kids living 'up in the hills' to the working-class kids down 'in the holler.' --"[The cast will] take part in regional pastimes like mud racing, squirrel hunting and rope swinging." --Producers have applied for local tax credits twice . . . and been denied twice . . . because officials in West Virginia are concerned that the show may depict the state, quote, "in a derogatory manner." --"Jersey Shore" faced similar problems with Italian-American groups and officials in New Jersey . . . but as usual, MTV is presenting "Buck Wild" as something completely harmless and inoffensive. --Here's how MTV describes the show: Quote, "Whether they're working local jobs, studying in college or just getting by, they share a deep pride in contemporary small-town American life and a passion for living it to the fullest while making up their own rules as they go." --Production is expected to begin in the spring. There's no premiere date yet.
Ewan McGregor Will Star in HBO's "The Corrections":

EWAN MCGREGOR has been cast in an upcoming HBO show called "The Corrections". It's based on a novel of the same name by JONATHAN FRANZEN, which was published in 2001. --Ewan is playing Chip, the middle son of an elderly Midwestern couple played by CHRIS COOPER and DIANNE WIEST. Chip is a college professor who starts working for a crime boss after he loses his job because he had an affair with a student. --This will be Ewan's first regular TV gig. There's no timetable for when "The Corrections" might hit HBO's schedule.

Former "L.A. Law" Star Corbin Bernsen Is *Huge* Into Snow Globes:

Here's an interesting fact: Former "L.A. Law" star CORBIN BERNSEN is a big-time player in the community of hardcore SNOW GLOBE COLLECTORS. (--Corbin played Arnie Becker on "L.A. Law", which ran from 1986 to 1994, and Roger Dorn in the "Major League" movies.) --Corbin has over 8,000 snow globes, which is one of the world's largest snow globe collections. He buys most of them on eBay . . . for an average of $75 to $90 apiece. He estimates that his collection is worth at least $500,000. --Corbin says, quote, "I like those little worlds inside snow globes . . . very private, serene. Very surreal."


Wednesday TV Reminders:

--"The Middle" . . . 8:00 to 8:30 P.M. on ABC. Molly Shannon guest stars as Janet, Frankie's younger polar-opposite sister when they clash over parenting styles while visiting their parents Marsha Mason and Jerry Van Dyke for Thanksgiving.

--"The X Factor" [Results Show] . . . 8:00 to 9:00 P.M. on Fox.

--"Survivor: South Pacific" [Season Highlights] . . . 8:00 to 9:00 P.M. on CBS.

--"In Performance at the White House" . . . 8:00 to 9:00 P.M. on PBS. The White House celebrates country music. Performers include Dierks Bentley, The Band Perry, Alison Krauss, Kris Kristofferson, Lyle Lovett, Darius Rucker, and Lauren Alaina.

--"The Sound Of Mumbai: A Musical" . . . 8:00 to 9:15 P.M. on HBO. The Indian children from the slums of Mumbai perform songs from "The Sound of Music" with the Bombay Chamber Orchestra.

--"Modern Family" . . . 9:00 to 9:30 P.M. on ABC. "Book of Mormon's" Josh Gad guest stars.

--"Happy Endings" . . . 9:30 to 10:00 P.M. on ABC. "The Daily show's" Rob Riggle guests as Dave and Brad's new best friend . . . who also turns out to be their mailman.

--"Mobbed" [Special] . . . 9:00 to 10:00 P.M. on Fox. Howie Mandel hosts as unsuspecting people receive personal messages delivered in the form of a flash mob.

--"The Biggest Loser: Where Are They Now?" . . . 9:00 to 11:00 P.M. on NBC.

--"Extreme Couponing" [2nd Season Finale] . . . 10:00 to 11:00 P.M. on TLC.

--"I Heart Radio Music Festival" . . . 10:00 to 11:00 P.M. on VH1.

--"Inside NASCAR" [2nd Season Finale] . . . 10:30 to 11:00 P.M. on Showtime.


--"Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade" . . . 9:00 A.M. to Noon on NBC. Al Roker, Matt Lauer and Ann Curry host. Celebrity guests are Mary J. Blige, Cee Lo Green, Avril Lavigne, Scotty McCreery, Shelby Lynne and Daniel Radcliffe.

--"Thanksgiving Day Parade" . . . 9:00 A.M. to Noon on CBS. Kevin Frazier and Christina McLarty host. It includes musical performances by John Fogerty, the casts of the Broadway shows "Anything Goes" and "Memphis".

Thanksgiving Day Football:

--"Green Bay vs. the Detroit Lions" . . . 12:30 to 3:30 P.M. ET on Fox.

--"Miami Dolphins vs. the Dallas Cowboys" . . . 4:15 to 7:15 P.M. ET on CBS.

--"San Francisco 49ers vs. the Baltimore Ravens" . . . 8:20 to 11:20 P.M. ET on the NFL Network.

--"Ice Age: A Mammoth Christmas" . . . 8:00 to 8:30 P.M. on Fox.

--"A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving" . . . 8:00 to 9:00 P.M. on ABC.

--"Happiness Is A Warm Blanket, Charlie Brown" . . . 8:30 to 9:00 P.M. on Fox.

--"Punkin Chunkin 2011" . . . 8:00 to 10:00 P.M. on Discovery. "MythBusters" co-stars Kari Byron, Grant Imahara and Tory Belleci are your hosts as engineers unleash their pumpkin-launching machines in Bridgeville, Delaware.

--"A Very Gaga Thanksgiving" . . . 9:30 to 11:00 P.M. on ABC. Lady Gaga hosts her first holiday special and performs her "The Lady Is a Tramp" duet with Tony Bennett.

--"CMT Crossroads" . . . 10:00 to 11:30 P.M. on CMT. Sting and Vince Gill.

--"The 85th Anniversary of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade" . . . 10:00 to 11:00 P.M. on NBC. Matt Lauer looks back at 85 years of the parade.

Friday TV Reminders:

--"Jingle All The Way" . . . 7:00 to 7:30 P.M. on Hallmark. A cartoon about a dog trying to find his way back home to the boy he bonded with in time for Christmas.

--"Hoops&Yoyo Ruin Christmas" . . . 8:00 to 8:30 P.M. on CBS.

--"The Elf On The Shelf: An Elf's Story" . . . 8:30 to 9:00 P.M. on CBS. An elf helps a boy to believe in the magic of Christmas.

--"Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer" . . . 8:00 to 9:00 P.M. on the CW.

--"Olive, the Other Reindeer" . . . 9:00 to 10:00 P.M. on the CW.

--"Tyler Perry's For Better or Worse" [Series Premiere] . . . 10:00 to 11:00 P.M. on TBS. Michael Jai White and Tasha Smith star in this spin-off from Tyler Perry's "Why Did I Get Married?"

--"The 25th Anniversary Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Concert: Part 2" . . . 10:00 P.M. to 1:30 A.M. on VH1. Metallica, U2, Jeff Beck and Bruce Springsteen are among the artists performing.

Saturday TV Reminders:

--"Grand Ole Opry Live" . . . 7:00 to 9:00 P.M. on GAC. (--Hunter Hayes, Del McCoury Band, Charlie Daniels Band and Elizabeth Cook perform.)

--"Austin City Limits" . . . 9:00 to 10:00 P.M. on PBS. (--Monsters of Folk perform.) (REPEAT)

--"Celebrity Ghost Stories" . . . 9:00 to 10:00 P.M. on Bio. Mickey Rooney, Brande Roderick, Eric Mabius and Kim Coles share their ghostly encounters.

--"That Metal Show" . . . 11:00 P.M. to Midnight on VH1 Classic. AC/DC frontman Brian Johnson guests.

--"Saturday Night Live" . . . 11:30 P.M. to 1:00 A.M. on NBC. Melissa McCarthy guest hosts and Lady Antebellum is the musical guest. (REPEAT)

Sunday TV Reminders:

--"Sunday Night Football" . . . 8:15 to 11:15 P.M. Eastern on NBC. The Kansas City Chiefs host the Pittsburgh Steelers at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City.

--"So Random!" . . . 7:30 to 8:00 P.M. on Disney Channel. "American Idol's" Pia Toscano performs "This Time".

--"Hollywood Moms Night" . . . 8:00 to 9:00 P.M. on TV Guide. "The Biggest Loser's" Alison Sweeney and Ali Landry host a dinner party for celebrity moms Denise Richards, Niecy Nash and La La Anthony in order to open up and gossip.

--"2011 Soul Train Awards Pre-Show" . . . 8:00 to 9:00 P.M. on BET. A.J. Calloway and Melanie Fiona do red-carpet interviews.

--"2011 Soul Train Awards" . . . 9:00 to 11:00 P.M. on BET. Cedric the Entertainer is your host, and the performers include Cee Lo Green, Natalie Cole, Common and Jill Scott. (--Here are the nominees.)

--"Mitch Albom's Have A Little Faith" . . . 9:00 to 11:00 P.M. on ABC. Bradley Whitford, Martin Landau and Laurence Fishburne star in this adaption of Mitch Albom's book about his life-altering bonds with two religious leaders.

--"Wilson Phillips: Still Holding On" . . . 9:00 to 9:30 P.M. on TV Guide. The three members of Wilson Phillips are followed as they make a comeback album.

--"Sister Wives" [2nd Season Finale] . . . 9:00 to 10:00 P.M. on TLC.

--"American Dad" . . . 9:30 to 10:00 P.M. on Fox. Sharon Lawrence guest voices as Stan's old flame from his CIA-training days and NFL Hall of Famer Shannon Sharpe has a cameo as himself.

--"Kourtney & Kim Take New York" [2nd Season Premiere] . . . 10:00 to 11:00 P.M. on E!

--"After Lately" [2nd Season Premiere] . . . 11:00 to 11:30 P.M. on E!

--"Talking Dead" [1st Season Finale] . . . Midnight to 12:30 A.M. on AMC.

Nickelback Has Responded to the Haters in Detroit By Poking Fun at Themselves in a Funny or Die Sketch:

Earlier this month, some Detroit Lions fans FREAKED when NICKELBACK was selected to play the halftime show of the Thanksgiving game between the Lions and the Green Bay Packers. --Someone started an online petition asking that Nickelback be replaced, and it's picked up over 55,000 supporters. But it didn't work. The band is going to perform. --However, Nickelback did participate in a Funny or Die video . . . in which they joke about the "controversy" and poke fun at themselves. (--It's up at WARNING: It includes UNCENSORED profanity.) --So why did they do this? --Nickelback's ugly singer CHAD KROEGER explains, quote, "We're huge fans of Funny or Die and anything Will Ferrell is associated with . . . --"So we're like, 'Absolutely, we'd love to come and make fun of the whole thing and ourselves at the same time.'" (--Regardless of what you think of Nickelback's music, you have to give them some props for doing this. It's pretty funny.)

Fergie's Favorite Part of Video Games: "Playing with the Joystick":

A BLACK EYED PEAS video game came out for the Wii and Xbox 360 earlier this month. It's called "The Black Eyed Peas Experience" . . . and basically, it involves interactively mimicking the group's dance moves. --Obviously, it involves more advanced technology than old-school controllers . . . however, FERGIE wouldn't have minded if it didn't. --At a recent launch party, she joked, quote, "I've always liked playing with the 'joystick,' from an early age." (!!!) (--You can find out more about the game and the band's reaction to the technology it uses at

Is Justin Bieber's Alleged Baby Mama Avoiding a DNA Test?

JUSTIN BIEBER had his DNA swabbed last Friday, so it seems like we're close to finding out who's been lying: Justin, or his alleged baby mama Mariah Yeater. --But now, TMZ claims that Mariah and her lawyers haven't made any attempt to contact Justin's people about comparing his DNA with the baby's. --On top of that, so-called "sources connected with Justin" say they don't believe Mariah will EVER provide the baby's DNA . . . because it'll be, quote, "ammunition for a lawsuit [Justin] intends to file against her and her lawyers for abuse of legal process."


Showbiz Extras . . . Random Links to Additional Stories:

J.R. MARTINEZ and KARINA SMIRNOFF won "Dancing With the Stars". This was Karina's first Mirrorball trophy. Robert Kardashian and Cheryl Burke finished second, followed by Ricki Lake and Derek Hough. (Full Story)

59-year-old composer FERNANDO RIVAS . . . who won a Grammy in 1998 for his work on the "Sesame Street" album "Elmopalooza" . . . has been charged with production and possession of child pornography. He has pleaded not guilty. (Full Story)
(--WARNING!!! Some of the details are GRAPHIC.)

Did KATE GOSSELIN get a facelift? (Photos)

Are OLIVIA WILDE and JAKE GYLLENHAAL fornicating? (Full Story)

Despite bizarre rumors to the contrary, 5-year-old SURI CRUISE is NOT writing her own children's book. (Full Story)

In a new PBS documentary, WOODY ALLEN addresses the scandal that erupted when he left MIA FARROW for her adopted daughter SOON-YI. And he says it, quote, "took a little edge off my natural blandness." (Video)

There's a rumor . . . unsubstantiated at this time . . . that ELLEN PAGE is in "The Dark Knight Rises" as Barbara Gordon, daughter of Commissioner Gordon. In the comics, Barbara Gordon is also BATGIRL. (Full Story)

JERRY SEINFELD was the first guy to guest-host "Live! With Kelly" after REGIS PHILBIN'S exit . . . but in his new memoir, "How I Got This Way", Regis complains about his cameo on "Seinfeld" back in the day, calling it, quote, "not funny" and "embarrassing." (Full Story)

(--This was when Kramer goes on "Regis and Kathie Lee" to promote his coffee table book about coffee tables. You can find the clip on YouTube. Regis didn't like how he was supposed to keep saying Kramer was "bonkos!")


Thanksgiving Menus From the Early 1900s Include Pigeon Pie, Broiled Quail, and Turtle Soup:

Remember THIS before you complain about the turkey being dry or how there isn't enough marshmallow topping on your sweet potatoes. You COULD be eating PIGEON and TURTLE. --The website searched through archives in the New York Public Library for Thanksgiving menus from the early 1900s . . . and found that our Thanksgiving dinners have changed A LOT since then. FOR THE BETTER.

--Here are some of the foods people USED to eat . . .

--Sheepshead with Hollandaise sauce. Sheepshead is actually a type of fish. Still, horrible name. And drowning it in Hollandaise sauce wouldn't help.

--Pigeon pie. Yes, in the late 1800s, people ate pigeon. In pie.

--Bisque of Terrapin. That's "turtle soup" if you're not being fancy about it.

--Broiled quail on toast. People still eat quail . . . but not on toast. And not as an appetizer like this.

--Baked tautog. Tautog is a fish that's nicknamed the "poor man's lobster." (Gothamist) (--You can see these old-school Thanksgiving menus on their website here.)

An 86-Year-Old Tried to Deep Fry a Turkey and Ended Up Deep Frying His Own Leg:

Usually we have to wait until AFTER Thanksgiving before the deep fried turkey accident stories start rolling in. But just like Black Friday sales, we're getting an early jump this year. --Over the weekend, 86-year-old Serafino Alfe of Mount Prospect, Illinois was deep frying turkeys for an event at his local country club. As he approached the fryer, he tripped on a piece of cardboard. --He knocked into the fryer, and spilled seven-and-a-half gallons of SCALDING OIL on his leg. So instead of successfully deep frying a turkey, he deep fried his own leg. --He ended up with third-degree burns and needed a skin graft. -He's recovering in the hospital now, but at least he has a sense of humor about the whole thing. He says he loves deep fried turkey, but he doesn't want to taste his own, quote, "drumstick." (Chicago Sun Times)

People on Probation for Alcohol-Related Offenses Drink 27% More Often Between Thanksgiving and New Year's . . . to Cope With Holiday Stress:

Starting with Thanksgiving, the next five weeks are filled with family gatherings, social obligations, and lots of things that need to get done. --That means holiday stress. And holiday stress means it's time for the sweet relief of getting hammered . . . even for criminals who aren't allowed to drink. --A company in Denver called Alcohol Monitoring Systems uses technology to monitor people who've been arrested for alcohol-related violations. The sensors monitor parolees or people on probation by testing their perspiration for alcohol. --And they found that the number of violators who test positive for alcohol use goes up by 27% between Thanksgiving and New Year's. --Not all of the violators are giving into the stress of the season. The holidays also offer more temptations, since alcohol is served at most holiday parties. --A study by the National Highway Safety Administration found that the number of people killed by drunk drivers is two to three times higher during the holidays than at other times of the year. --And courts KNOW that the holidays present a unique challenge to people with a history of drinking . . . so sometimes they'll cut a violator a BREAK if they test positive during the holidays. (PR Newswire)

Pajamagram is Your One-Stop Shop for Matching Christmas Pajamas for the Entire Family . . . Including Babies, Cats, and Dogs:

Here's a product that'll lead to a photo your kids will one day be showing a therapist. But for now . . . family Christmas bonding doesn't get better than this. --A company called Pajamagram makes embarrassing Christmas family photos easier than ever . . . by selling matching sets of pajamas for everyone in the family, INCLUDING the dog and cat. --There's a tool on their website that makes it really easy. You click on the number of women, men, girls, boys, toddlers, infants, dogs, and cats in your family, then select a size and style for everyone. --The only problem is, it's pretty expensive. You're looking at around $50 for adult pajamas, $35 for kids, and $20 for pet pajamas. But won't that photo be worth it? (Pajamagram) (--Here's a sample photo from their website. Notice the cat is only the second-angriest, behind the little girl.) (--Also, not to be a cynic, but the biracial child appears to have been Photoshopped in. And you'll notice that every other set of photos only features white families.)

Amazing Gift Idea if You Can Afford It . . . a Custom-Designed Video Game Based Around Your Life:

As soon as I heard about this idea, I double-checked my credit card limit to see if I could afford it. I cannot. Maybe you can. Because it's amazing. --There's a digital lifestyle and gaming magazine in France called "Amusement" that has started selling customized video games based on your life. --Seriously. They'll take your entire life story and turn it into a video game adventure. They'll recreate your world, everything. --And the team behind it features professional video game designers and artists, so you're going to get a good, legitimate video game. --Unfortunately, something like that is going to be expensive. Each project is priced on an individual basis, but expect to drop somewhere around $67,000. Yes, $67,000. --Abdel Bounane is the editor-in-chief of "Amusement". He says that so far they've made a few games, including one that a guy got for his mom that was a fight game between her and the former prime minister of Greece. --Another one was commissioned by a guy who cheated on his wife. He was the hero, and every time the character finished a level, her face would appear on the bonuses he'd win. (New York Times) (--Here's the website for Amusement where you can learn more.)

American Express Will Give You $25 Free Just for Shopping on Small Business Saturday:

Black Friday gets all the hype, but we're big fans of SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY. That's the brilliant new shopping event happening this Saturday, where people are encouraged to spend money at local businesses. --It's the brainchild of American Express, and they're actually throwing some money behind it. As in free money, FOR YOU. --You can get a $25 credit if you shop at a local business on Saturday. There are a few hoops to jump through, but nothing too hard.

#1.) You have to be an American Express cardholder. (--Hopefully the small business you go to takes Amex . . . sadly, a lot of small businesses don't, because of their fees.)

#2.) You need to sign up for a Foursquare account beforehand. If you're not familiar, Foursquare is yet another social network. It's all about "checking in" at different locations. You can sign up for free at

#3.) Sync your Foursquare account to your Amex account at

#4.) Before you make your purchase on Saturday, use Foursquare to "check in" at the store. Then use your Amex card to buy whatever you're buying.

--And a $25 credit will appear on your American Express statement. Yes, it's a few hoops to jump through, but you're supporting a good initiative AND it's free money, so isn't it worth the five minutes it'll take? (TechCrunch)

Three in Five Americans Plan to Cross Something Off Their "Bucket List" Before the End of the Year:

There are only five weeks left in 2011, but apparently a lot of people think that's enough time to accomplish MAJOR goals in life. --A survey by Princess Cruises found that three in five people expect to cross something off their "bucket list" before the end of the year. --Three in four people said the top goal for their lifetime is to be able to travel. (--Remember, this is a survey by a cruise company.) One in seven people chose a work-related goal. --One in 14 people had a goal related to academics, and one in 20 had a fitness-related goal. --Two thirds of people say they have a bucket list, and young people are more likely to have one than older people. --Nearly half of them say it's important to have a concrete plan in place to cross one item off your list each year. (--Although waiting until the holidays doesn't seem like the best example of concrete planning.) --It also helps to partner with a friend or family member to accomplish items on your list. Publishing your list somewhere public, like your Facebook page, is the LEAST effective way to motivate yourself. Only one in ten people found that helpful. (PR Newswire)

Now Three-Quarters of Guys are Fine with Their Woman Earning More Than They Do:

We're like five years away from the concept of the male breadwinner being completely DEAD. Seriously. It's in a footrace with the Post Office, Blockbuster, and CDs for what's going to vanish first. --In a new study by "Men's Health" and Spike TV, 73% of men . . . that's basically THREE OUT OF FOUR . . . say they have no problem dating a woman who makes more money than them.

--45% of men take it a step further and say they'd have no problem NOT WORKING if their wives made enough money for the family.

--The survey also found . . .

--57% of men in a relationship say they enjoy going grocery shopping.

--69% of men in a relationship take out the garbage.

--7% go to strip clubs.

--And 72% believe the role of a man has changed from a generation ago. (Huffington Post)

Popping a Multivitamin Makes People Have Riskier Sex?

We just learned about a weird side effect from taking a multivitamin . . . besides, ya know, how it makes your pee smell weird: It's not the only effect it has on your genitalia. --A new study out of Taiwan found that both men and women who pop a multivitamin and other supplements are more likely to have RISKY SEX. --That's not all. They're also less likely to exercise and eat healthy, and more likely to binge drink and sunbathe. --Here's the theory. When you take a vitamin, you subconsciously believe you're taking a big step to make yourself INVINCIBLE . . . and that leads to bad choices in other aspects of life. --Obviously, a multivitamin doesn't properly compensate for a lack of exercise, eating poorly, baking in the sun, binge drinking, or slutting it up out there without condoms. (MSNBC)

81% of People Have Finally Admitted They're Dangerous Drivers:

I'd say this number feels just about right . . . when I'm driving, I genuinely believe four out of five other drivers on the road are probably going to do something STUPID. And a new survey backs that up. --A Canadian online insurance site called Kanetix found that 81% of people basically admit they're DANGEROUS DRIVERS. Only 19% believe they're perfect and safe. That's MUCH lower than the result you usually see in surveys, and here's why. --Instead of flat-out asking people if they're good or bad drivers, the survey asked if they did anything from a list of dangerous driving moves. And 81% of people said yes, they do. --Eating or drinking while driving is most common at 39%. Speeding is second, at 36% . . . talking on the phone or texting while driving is third, at 18% . . . following too closely is fourth, at 16% . . . and road rage is fifth, at 11%. --Other habits that made the list are failing to signal at 10% . . . weaving in and out of traffic at 7% . . . putting on makeup while driving at 3% . . . and driving in the carpool lane illegally at 1%. --The survey also found that 3% of people regularly park illegally and 2% park in handicap spaces. (

The Average Number of Friends Separating Any Two Facebook Users Is 4.74:

Facebook has made the world a smaller place. --The phrase "six degrees of separation" refers to the idea that everyone on earth is separated from every other person by six friends or acquaintances at the most. --Most people are familiar with the phrase from the "six degrees of Kevin Bacon" game . . . where you go from any actor to Kevin Bacon in six movies or less . . . but the concept is actually about 30 years older than that. --It came from a study of 300 people sending letters in 1967. As recently as 2008, a test on Microsoft Messaging users found that people were separated by just over six links. --But Facebook recently allowed researchers from the University of Milan to do a larger study . . . on the social network's 721 million users. (--Facebook now has over 800 million users.) That represents about 10% of the world's population. --And what they found was that the average two Facebook users are separated from each other by only 4.74 friends. --In the U.S., where half of everyone over age 13 is on Facebook, people are even closer. The average American Facebook users are separated by 4.37 friends. (New York Times)

Your Average Shower Takes Twice as Long as You Think:

How long do you think you spend in the shower? I'd guess five minutes. Most people think they're in that four-to-five-minute range. --Well . . . the company Unilever used special showerheads to test EXACTLY how long people showered. They tested 2,600 showers from 100 families over ten days. --And they found we're WAY off in our estimates. The average shower actually lasted EIGHT MINUTES . . . so around DOUBLE what people estimated. --And most people think a shower uses a lot less water than a bath, right? Not so much. The average shower used about 16 gallons of water . . . a bath uses 21. --One more finding. Based on the heating cost of an eight-minute shower, if that's what your family averages, you're spending approximately $655-a-year on showers. With a high-powered shower head, that jumps to $1,445. (BBC)

In a Fire or Flood, People are More Likely to Rescue Their Pets Ahead of Their Possessions:

Good to see people still have a soul . . . and value the life of another living creature over the ability to quickly drop in on Facebook. -In a new survey, PETS were picked as the number one thing people would save in a fire or flood. Their laptop came in second, jewelry came in third. (CompareNow)

Redheads are More Scared of the Dentist Than the Rest of Us?

Here's a study from the American Dental Association that proves an INCREDIBLY random fact. Redheads are more COWARDLY at the dentist than the rest of us. --It's true. The study surveyed people about their fears and anxieties when it comes to the dentist, and then got a blood test for different gene variations. --People with a gene called MC1R were more than TWICE as likely to report they skip dental appointments out of fear. And 76% of the people with the gene in the study were redheads. --The researchers believe there could be a connection between red hair and the gene . . . meaning that if you're a redhead, you're genetically predisposed to be afraid of the dentist. --People with MC1R are also more resistant to pain medications. That means they could remember the dentist as being more painful than people with other colored hair . . . and those memories could contribute to their fear. (MSNBC)

Companies are Tracking You Online . . . So Send a Message to Congress to Tell Them to Stop It:

You've probably heard of "cookies" on the Internet. When you visit a website, the site and the ads on it generally put a "cookie" on your computer. Which companies can use to figure out what you like . . . and put targeted ads in front of you. --If that sounds like they're collecting info about you without your permission, that's not too far from the truth. And there are a few bills in Congress right now that would make it possible for you to get on a "Do Not Track" list. --"Consumer Reports" has put together a form online where you can send a message to your representative or senators asking them to support the bill and give you the choice whether or not you want to be tracked online. --If you're interested, send those messages at (--But remember. The cookies are stored on your computer, not the companies' databases. They don't have your name, address, email, job history, religion, or a list of your interests.) (--In other words . . . you're revealing more to the world on Facebook, even in many cases if your profile is private, than you are through cookies.)


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

Two thirds of us check our work email on Thanksgiving and Christmas. And one in four check it several times. (Full Story)

Macy's, JC Penney, Home Shopping Network, and Toys 'R' Us all use Christmas in their ads. Banana Republic, Barnes & Noble, and Office Depot do not. (Full Story)

61% of happy couples say their spouse makes them feel good about themselves. Not surprisingly, only 27% of unhappy couples said that. (Full Story)

According to some new statistics, it looks like people are eating random crap all day long, instead of three meals. 20% of the cookies and pies sold at McDonald's are sold at breakfast time, and half of Denny's sales all day long are breakfast items. (Full Story)

A guy left a suitcase full of $1 million cash in a pizza shop in Australia on Monday. Cops caught up to him yesterday, he ended up in the hospital, and they're still not sure whether the money's legally his. (Full Story)


#1.) President Obama Got Heckled by Occupy Wall Street Protesters:

Occupy Wall Street protesters interrupted PRESIDENT OBAMA'S speech in Manchester, New Hampshire yesterday. --They started by chanting 'mic check,' then did that other annoying thing they always do, where one person yells a line of the message, and the others repeat it. But they didn't get through the whole thing because the crowd started chanting Obama's name. --Obama just listened, smiled, and said, quote, "I appreciate you guys making your point. Let me go ahead and make mine. I'll listen to you, you listen to me."
(--Search for "Raw Video: Obama Interrupted by Hecklers." The crowd starts chanting "Obama" at :47.)

#2.) A Group Won a Talent Show in India by Hitting Each Other with Sledge Hammers, Eating Florescent Lights, and Running Each Other Over with a Car:

Some of the contestants on shows like "America's Got Talent" are so annoying, you want to hit them with a sledge hammer. But in India, contestants do it THEMSELVES. --A group called The Warriors of Goja won an Indian talent show a couple weeks ago by smashing boards on each other's backs, hitting each other with SHARPENED sledge hammers, running a guy over with a car, then running over his HEAD with a motorcycle. --They also smashed florescent lights on their faces, ATE the shards of glass, and made a human pyramid . . . with each guy lying on a bed of NAILS. The judges looked absolutely horrified throughout, but apparently they loved it. (--Search for "Indian Talent Show Warriors of Goja." The glass-eating starts at :48, and the car comes out at :39. WARNING: The end of the video at :6:04 shows them covered in blood.)

#3.) Jimmy Fallon Apologized to Michele Bachmann on Twitter . . . Because When She Walked Out, "The Roots" Played a Song Called "Lyin' Ass [B-word]":

JIMMY FALLON has apologized to MICHELE BACHMANN on Twitter for something that happened on his show Monday night. --Bachmann was a guest, and when she walked out, his house band THE ROOTS played a 1985 Fishbone song called "Lyin' Ass [B-word]". They didn't sing any of the lyrics, so it wasn't an OBVIOUS insult. But it was all over the Internet yesterday. --The drummer QUESTLOVE says the song choice was a, quote, "tongue-in-cheek and spur-of-the-moment decision." Apparently Fallon and the producers had nothing to do with it. --Fallon said on Twitter, quote, "I'm honored that Michele Bachmann was on our show . . . and I'm so sorry about the intro mess. I really hope she comes back." He also posted another Tweet that just said, "Questlove is grounded." (--Search for "Michele Bachmann Jimmy Fallon bizbuzz2000.")
Giving Thanks Can Actually Make You Happier:

On Thanksgiving, you're supposed to take a moment and be thankful for what you have. But according to a new article in "USA Today", you should be doing that EVERY day. --You probably already realize that being thankful can have a positive effect on your emotions. But psychologists didn't really study it until recently. And they've found that it might be one of our most POWERFUL emotions. --A psychology professor named Robert Emmons studied the effects of gratitude, and he says grateful people are more alert, more engaged, more enthusiastic, and feel more connected to other people. --In several studies, he found that about 75% of people from all age groups scored higher in happiness tests if they regularly counted their blessings. And some even slept better. --And appreciating what you have can reduce stress too. Emmons says grateful people are quote, "less likely to experience envy, anger, resentment, regret, and other unpleasant states that produce stress." --They're doing similar studies at the University of Michican. One asked people to sit down every night and write out three things that went well that day, and WHY they went well. And after one month, the people who did it were much more cheerful. --The only catch is, you have to GENUINELY be thankful to see the effects. For example, writing a quick thank-you note, or saying grace at dinner CAN make you a happier person. But only if what you say comes from the heart. (USA Today)


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