Wednesday, December 7, 2011


Was Ashton Kutcher "Getting Flirty" with Lea Michele at the Premiere of Their New Movie?

On Monday night, the premiere of the new movie "New Year's Eve" went down in Hollywood. And several websites are reporting that ASHTON KUTCHER was "getting flirty" with LEA MICHELE . . . who plays his love interest in the film. --They were getting a little handsy with each other on the red carpet, but they were probably just hamming it up for the cameras. There's no indication anything is REALLY happening between them. (--Check out the pics here.) (PopSugar) (--"New Year's Eve" is the follow-up to "Valentine's Day" . . . and just like its predecessor, it has a huge ensemble cast . . . which also includes Zac Efron, Michelle Pfeiffer, Halle Berry, Alyssa Milano, Common . . .) (--Robert De Niro, Jessica Biel, Seth Meyers, Jon Bon Jovi, Katherine Heigl, Sofia Vergara, Sarah Jessica Parker, Abigail Breslin, Josh Duhamel, Hilary Swank, Ludacris, Ryan Seacrest as himself and the GREAT JIM BELUSHI.) (--It hits theaters this Friday.)

Robert Pattinson Calls Kristen Stewart a "Sexy Goddess":

It looks like ROBERT PATTINSON and KRISTEN STEWART aren't going to be so secretive about their relationship anymore. In an interview with some magazine called "Capricho", Robert couldn't stop gushing about Kristen. --He said, quote, "She's ambitious. I like that obsessive determination she has to be herself. She's amazing. She takes the things she says too seriously, kind of like the opposite of me." --Asked to describe her look in the first "Breaking Dawn", Pattinson said, quote, "A sexy goddess. She looked amazing." --Rob also gave his take on what he thinks love is . . . quote, "I think it's to be with someone and let that person be herself. --"Each one has to live their own lives, but with the support of the other person. And you need to be able to do what you want."

Charlie Sheen, Elizabeth Taylor, Cairo and Rebecca Black Were Among the Hottest Topics on Twitter This Year:

You had to know this was coming: The Hottest Twitter Topics of 2011. Lists were compiled in several categories, so instead of running through all of them, we'll just give you the HOTTEST topic in each category. Here we go . . . TV: "Pretty Little Liars" (--It's a show on ABC Family. "Two and a Half Men" came in second.)

Movies: "Thor" (--"The Dark Knight Rises" was second.)

Music: Rebecca Black and "Friday"!!! (--Nate Dogg . . . a rapper who died this year . . . was second.)

Actresses: Elizabeth Taylor (--Mila Kunis was second.)

Actors: Charlie Sheen (--Macaulay Culkin was second, but we have no idea why.)

Football: Dallas (--"Green & Yellow" was second. It's a song by Lil' Wayne in honor of the Green Bay Packers.)

NBA: Rashard Lewis (--He's on the Washington Wizards. Ray Allen of the Celtics was second.)

Baseball: Texas Rangers (--They lost to the St. Louis Cardinals in this year's World Series. Bert Blyleven, a pitcher who went into the Hall of Fame this year, was second.)

Hashtags: #egypt (--#tigerblood was second. We've got some additional coverage on Twitter's Top Eight Hashtags of the Year here.)

World News: Mubarak's resignation (--Hosni Mubarak was the Egyptian president who stepped down this year. "Raid on Osama bin Laden" was second.)

Tech: Mac App Store (--Sony NGP was second.)

(--Check out the complete list in each category here.)
Kristen Stewart is the Best Actor for the Buck . . . and Robert Pattinson is Third: has released its annual list of the Best Actors for the Buck. These are the actors . . . and actresses . . . who give movie studios the best return for the salaries they're paid. --Not surprisingly, "Twilight" stars KRISTEN STEWART and ROBERT PATTINSON are high on this year's list. She's #1 and he's #3. --That's because the movies are making HUGE bank. But while Kristen and Rob are being taken care of, they're not pulling down the $20 million salaries that Hollywood's biggest players are demanding. --For every dollar Kristen is paid, her movies earn an average of $55.83. --Robert is bringing in $39.43 for every dollar he's paid. --Sandwiched in between them is ANNE HATHAWAY, who returns $45.67 for each dollar she gets.

#1.) Kristen Stewart, $55.83 per dollar

#2.) Anne Hathaway, $45.67 per dollar

#3.) Robert Pattinson, $39.43 per dollar

#4.) Daniel Radcliffe, $34.24 per dollar

#5.) Shia LaBeouf, $29.40 per dollar

#6.) Robert Downey Jr., $18.74 per dollar

#7.) Matt Damon, $15.83 per dollar

#8.) Cate Blanchett, $15.17 per dollar

#9.) Meryl Streep, $13.54 per dollar

#10.) Johnny Depp, $12.48 per dollar

(--For more info, check out

Alec Baldwin Was Kicked Off an Airplane . . . For Playing "Words With Friends":

ALEC BALDWIN boarded an American Airlines flight from Los Angeles to New York City yesterday afternoon . . . but got booted from the plane before takeoff. Why? Because he was playing "WORDS WITH FRIENDS". (???) --For those of you who don't know, Words With Friends is basically Scrabble for your smart phone. You can also play it on Facebook. You can play it with people you know or hook up with random opponents. --As you may know, airline passengers are required to turn off all electronic devices during takeoff and landing. But since the plane hadn't even begun taxiing yet, Alec thought it was cool to keep playing. He was wrong. --Alec Tweeted, quote, "Flight attendant on American reamed me out 4 playing WORDS W FRIENDS while we sat at the gate, not moving. #nowonderamericaairisbankrupt." --He added, quote, "But, oddly, 30 Rock plays inflight on American. #theresalwaysunited." --Another passenger Tweeted, quote, "On an AA flight at LAX. Alec Baldwin removed from the plane. We had to go back to the gate. Terrible that everyone had to wait. --TMZ claims that it was the pilot who yanked Alec from the plane . . . but not just because of the game. --A source says that after Alec's altercation with the flight attendant, he got up to use the bathroom. And he slammed the lavatory door so hard, the captain heard it. So he made the call to boot him. (--There's no word whether Alec called anyone a RUDE, THOUGHTLESS LITTLE PIG.) --Alec was re-booked on a later flight, but he still wasn't happy about it. He Tweeted, quote, "Last flight with American. Where retired Catholic school gym teachers from the 1950s find jobs as flight attendants." --Here's what Alec's rep had to say about the incident . . . quote, "Alec was asked to leave the flight for playing Words With Friends while parked at the gate. He loves WWF so much that he was willing to leave a plane for it." --American doesn't want to lose Alec's business. The airline already Tweeted that they're looking into the incident, and they want him to give them his side of the story. --And the company that makes Words With Friends released a graphic of the game, with the words "Let Alec Play" in crossword-style. (--You can see it here.) (--Here's an uninteresting video of Alec refusing to talk to a paparazzi scumbag about the incident.)

Terrence Howard's Wife Says He Beats Her and Threatens to Kill Her:

TERRENCE HOWARD doesn't have the best reputation with women. This isn't going to help: --Terrence's estranged wife Michelle got a restraining order against him . . . claiming he's been beating her up since just a week after they got married in January of 2010. He has also frequently threatened to kill her. --Here are some of the things Michelle says Terrence did to her: . . . Slugged her across her face and neck and threatened to throw her off a balcony. . . . Smacked her in the face and chipped her tooth with his wedding ring. . . . Threw her to the ground in a parking lot. . . . Issued various threats such as "I'll hit a woman quicker than I'd hit a man" . . . and, "If you tell anyone about my personal business, I will kill you and no one will ever know." --Terrence has filed his own papers, claiming Michelle is full of it. He also accuses her of threatening to, quote, "release private materials to third parties for her own personal financial gain" unless he paid her money. --One of those materials is supposedly a video of Terrence naked and singing in the shower. (--Michelle filed for divorce earlier this year.)

And Now . . . Mitt Romney Is Bagging on Donald Trump's Debate:

MITT ROMNEY has become the third Republican presidential candidate to bag on the debate DONALD TRUMP is moderating later this month. --Unlike RON PAUL and JON HUNTSMAN, however, Romney didn't have the SACK to admit it's because the whole idea is a JOKE. Instead, he says he's too busy. --He told Fox News, quote, "We have two debates in December that I've agreed to participate in. The rest of the month will be spent campaigning." --Trump, as usual, is overstating the crap out of his importance. He says, quote, "It would seem logical to me that if I was substantially behind in the polls, especially in Iowa, South Carolina and Florida, I would want to participate in this debate. --"But I understand why Governor Romney decided not to do it." --In turning down the invite to Trump's debate, Paul said, quote, "I don't quite understand the marching to his office. I didn't realize he had the ability to lay on hands and anoint people." --And Huntsman took it to another level, saying, quote, "I'm not going to kiss his ring, and I'm not going to kiss any other part of his anatomy." --So far, NEWT GINGRICH and RICK SANTORUM are the only candidates confirmed for the debate.

Adam Sandler is Doing a Sequel to "Grown Ups":

ADAM SANDLER is doing his first sequel. He's making a follow-up to last year's "Grown Ups". --There's no word yet if Kevin James, David Spade, Chris Rock, Rob Schneider or anyone else from the original is coming back . . . but we're assuming they probably will.

Anne Rice's Book About Jesus When He Was Young is Being Made Into a Movie:

There's a movie in the works about Jesus Christ when he was young. It'll be based on the book "Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt" by "Interview with the Vampire" author ANNE RICE. --The book tells the story of Jesus from the age of seven, as he leaves Egypt with his family to return to Nazareth and learn who he really is. There's no word yet on casting. (--I have two words: JUSTIN BIEBER.) (???)

The TV Shows Liberals and Conservatives Love and Hate:

"Entertainment Weekly" commissioned a survey to determine the FAVORITE and LEAST FAVORITE TV shows among liberals and conservatives. --Generally speaking, they found that liberals are down with sarcastic, "media savvy" comedies . . . while conservatives prefer "serious work-centered shows." (--Whether they're scripted dramas or reality programming.) --Here's a rundown of a few shows that LIBERALS love: --"30 Rock", "Parks and Recreation", "Glee", "Modern Family", "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia", "Cougar Town", HBO's "Treme", "The View", "The Late Show with David Letterman", "The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson" . . . --And of course "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" and "The Colbert Report". --Meanwhile, here are some of the shows that CONSERVATIVES love: --"NCIS", "The Mentalist", "Hawaii Five-0", "The Bachelor", "The Biggest Loser", the Discovery Channel's "Swamp Loggers" and "Man Vs. Wild" . . . and the History Channel's "Swamp People", "American Pickers", "Top Shot" and "Pawn Stars". --As for late night, conservatives are watching "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno". --Now, here's a rundown of a few shows that conservatives HATE: --"Jersey Shore", "Family Guy", "South Park", "The Walking Dead", "Dexter", "Weeds" and of course "The Daily Show" and "The Colbert Report". --The conservative hate also seems to veer off the rails a little, with these selections: "Divorce Court", "General Hospital", "Let's Make a Deal" and "Bridezillas". --Meanwhile, here are some of the shows that liberals DESPISE: --"Dog the Bounty Hunter", "COPS", "Deadliest Catch", "Kitchen Nightmares", "CSI: Miami", "The Price Is Right", the Discovery Channel's "Dirty Jobs" and Spike TV's "The Ultimate Fighter". --Liberals are also NOT into the conservatives' beloved SWAMP shows: "Swamp Loggers" and "Swamp People" . . . and they're not down with the PARANORMAL shows "Ghost Hunters", "Ghost Adventures" and "The Haunted". (--You can find the complete lists along with some commentary at Here's the link to the FAVORITE shows. And here's the link to everyone's LEAST FAVORITE shows.) (--By the way, "Entertainment Weekly" did not prove the specifics of how the survey was conducted . . . so it's unclear how big the sample size was.)

The "Jersey Shore" Season Five Trailer:

MTV has unleashed the trailer for the fifth season of "Jersey Shore", which premieres January 5th. It was filmed this past summer in New Jersey . . . after the cast got back from shooting Season Four in Italy. --It's packed with: Drinking, partying, arguing, fighting, idiocy, antics, drama, practical jokes, lame commentary and SNOOKI peeing in the bushes. (--In other words, you'd recognize it as the same-old, same-old . . . even if you haven't actually seen an episode of "Jersey Shore". And yet, you'll probably still end up watching, as usual. You can find the trailer at

"Glee" Is Doing a Michael Jackson Tribute Episode . . . and Chewbacca Will Be on "Glee's" Christmas Episode:

There's been talk about "Glee" doing a MICHAEL JACKSON tribute episode for a while, and guess what: It's finally happening. (--Now that ratings are dropping.) --Of course, "Glee" has already tackled Michael Jackson. They did "Thriller" in the post-Super Bowl episode earlier this year . . . and they just did "Man in the Mirror" and THE JACKSON 5's "ABC" on last night's episode. --According to "TV Guide", the tribute episode will air on January 24th . . . and it will feature "10 to 12 songs from Jackson's library." (--That's a LOT of songs . . .) (--"Glee" episodes are about 43 minutes long, so unless this is going to be an extra long episode, they won't have time to take breaks in-between the songs. Or, maybe they'll group several songs into medleys.) --In other "Glee" news, MATTHEW MORRISON has confirmed that CHEWBACCA is going to appear on the upcoming December 13th episode. That's the show's Christmas episode, which also has some kind of "Star Wars" theme. --Morrison directed it and he says, quote, "We called up George Lucas, and he gave us Chewbacca. There's only one guy who can officially be Chewbacca, and he lives in Northern California. They flew him in. He's been doing it for 12 years." --Die-hard "Glee" fans probably knew about this before you did though, because CHRIS COLFER Tweeted a picture of himself with Chewie last month under the caption, "I officially have my Christmas card!"

Wednesday TV Reminders:

--"The X Factor" . . . 8:00 to 9:30 P.M. on Fox. The top five finalists perform two songs each, with one of their songs being picked by the Pepsi Challenge fan vote.

--"America's Next Top Model" [17th Season Finale] . . . 9:00 to 10:00 P.M. on the CW.

--"Ghost Hunters" [7th Season Finale] . . . 9:00 to 10:00 P.M. on Syfy.

--"Rocket City Rednecks" [1st Season Finale] . . . 9:30 to 0:00 P.M. on NGC.

--"Hot in Cleveland" . . . 10:00 to 10:30 P.M. on TV Land. Sandra Bernhard guest stars when Wendie Malick's character is invited to speak on an A-list gay cruise and she brings her pals Melanie, Joy and Elka with her.

--"Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" . . . 10:00 to 11:00 P.M. on NBC. Treat Williams plays a quarterback arrested in a sting involving a 14-year-old prostitute. NFL stars Jerry Rice and Warren Sapp have cameos.

It Begins: MTV's Best Albums of 2011:

And, it begins. The impending onslaught of "Best Music of the Year" lists has officially commenced . . . and this year, first blood goes to MTV.'s "Bigger Than the Sound" column has released its 20 Best Albums of 2011 list . . . and top honors go to the indie pop band GIRLS for their album, "Father, Son, Holy Ghost". --As usual, this list is a blend of stuff you've never heard . . . alongside mainstream albums that you may or may not feel comfortable calling "the best music of the year."

--Here's the list:

1.) "Father, Son, Holy Ghost", Girls

2.) "21", Adele

3.) "Take Care", Drake

4.) "David Comes to Life", [Effed] Up (--A Canadian hardcore punk band.)

5.) "Skying", The Horrors

6.) "Let England Shake", PJ Harvey

7.) "Bon Iver", Bon Iver

8.) "Watch the Throne", Jay-Z and Kanye West

9.) "In the Mountain, in the Cloud", Portugal. The Man . . . A psychedelic rock band originally from Wasilla, Alaska . . . a.k.a. the home of SARAH PALIN.

10.) "Born This Way", Lady Gaga

11.) "Slave Ambient", The War on Drugs . . . A GREAT indie rock band.

12.) "Nostalgia, Ultra", Frank Ocean . . . He's in the hip-hop group Odd Future.

13.) "Helplessness Blues", Fleet Foxes

14.) "House of Balloons and Thursday", The Weeknd

15.) "Ceremonials", Florence and the Machine

16.) "El Camino", The Black Keys

17.) "How to Get to Heaven from Jacksonville, FL", Gospel Music . . . That's a band name. It isn't actually gospel music, it's "post-punk." For the record, this is an example of how you can choose an extremely un-Google-friendly band name.

18.) "Talk That Talk", Rihanna

19.) "We're New Here", A collaborative album featuring old-school soul singer and poet Gil Scott-Heron, who just died this year, and Jamie XX of the British indie pop group The XX.

20.) "4", Beyoncé

(--You can find their write-ups on each of these albums at

(--From the comments under the story, the big snubs seem to be BRITNEY SPEARS' "Femme Fatale" and LIL WAYNE'S "Tha Carter 4". Do you agree?)

Are These Rock's Greatest Guitar Intros Ever?

What are The Top 10 Greatest Guitar Intros in rock? Well, someone compiled a list and put it on the Internet. (--That someone was Blade from Radio 96.1 out of Raleigh, North Carolina.) --All the songs were released between 1967 and 1990. (--So sadly, the smooth acoustic intro from DEEP BLUE SOMETHING'S 1994 jam "Breakfast at Tiffany's" did NOT make the list. It's a personal favorite.) (???)

--Here's the list:

10.) "School's Out", Alice Cooper (1972)

9.) "Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love", Van Halen (1978)

8.) "Thunderstruck", AC/DC (1990)

7.) "Sweet Home Alabama", Lynyrd Skynyrd (1974)

6.) "Heartbreaker", Led Zeppelin (1969)

5.) "Working Man", Rush (1974)

4.) "Layla", Derek and the Dominos (1970)

3.) "Suffragette City", David Bowie (1976)

2.) "Purple Haze", The Jimi Hendrix Experience (1967)

1.) "Eruption / You Really Got Me", Van Halen (1978)
(--Technically, "Eruption" only works if you think of it as the intro to "You Really Got Me", which it's NOT. It's a solo . . . and one of the best ever.) (--Unfortunately they're permanently linked, because CERTAIN people INSIST on playing them back-to-back. Every. Single. Time. So they've basically become, like, one song.) (--Like ALWAYS playing LED ZEPPELIN'S "Living Loving Maid" after "Heartbreaker". Really? Every single time?) (--Anyway, you can find video of Blade playing all the guitar intros, here.)

"Drift Away" Singer Dobie Gray Is Dead:

DOBIE GRAY . . . who had a huge hit in 1973 with "Drift Away" . . . passed away yesterday. He was 71. There's no word on a cause of death. --He was basically a one-hit wonder, but you may also remember his 1965 song "The 'In' Crowd" . . . and he recorded a new version of "Drift Away" with UNCLE KRACKER in 2003.

Showbiz Extras . . . Random Links to Additional Stories:

RYAN REYNOLDS and BLAKE LIVELY were photographed making out at a bed and breakfast in Utah. (Photos)

Is ALI LOHAN getting way too skinny? (Photos)

WWE Diva KHARMA got engaged . . . and her engagement ring is a mini WRESTLING ring. (Photo)

Four years ago, STEVE JOBS said, quote, "The fact is that people don't read anymore." This week, his biography became's best-selling book of 2011. (Full Story)

CHARLIE SHEEN might just be serious about cleaning up his life and his image. Sources say he's fired personal assistant Rick Calamaro . . . who was believed to be an extremely bad influence. (Full Story)

A former employee of political minx ARIANNA HUFFINGTON claims Arianna used to talk to him on the phone while she was doing her business . . . and, quote, "There were definitely noises. She didn't know to mute the phone." (Full Story)

LADY GAGA is continuing to follow through on her promise to pursue anti-bullying legislation. Yesterday, she was at the White House to talk about it with higher-ups in the OBAMA administration. Obama himself wasn't there though. (Full Story)

METALLICA is celebrating their 30th anniversary with four shows this week in San Francisco. The first show went down on Monday night . . . and it featured former bassist JASON NEWSTED joining in for two songs, "Harvester of Sorrow" and "Damage Inc.". (--You can find a full rundown at

The autopsy results on the death of GWAR guitarist CORY SMOOT have been released. The report says he died from, quote, "a coronary artery thrombosis brought about by his pre-existing coronary artery disease." He was 34. (Full Story)

TMZ has some video of CHRIS BROWN tearin' it up in a BREAK DANCING BATTLE. (Video) (--WARNING: The video contains BLEEPED PROFANITY. Chris bursts on the scene at the 1:20 mark. Whatdya think, is he the best?)

JUSTIN BIEBER has released a new video for "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town". This one is live-action, as opposed to the CLAYMATION video he released last month. (Video)

The Majority of Men Say It's Easier to Maintain Their Car Than Their Relationship:

This survey comes from England . . . but since American men are CLEARLY manlier than British men, it's GOT to be true over here too. --According to the survey, the majority of men . . . just over 50% . . . say that they find it easier to maintain their CAR than their relationship.

--Here are some other things the survey found . . .

--10% say they sometimes find themselves more captivated by the curves on cars than the curves on their partner.

--14% talk more about their cars than their partner. Only 3% of women admitted the same thing.

--Spending money on a car makes the average guy THREE TIMES HAPPIER than spending money on his partner.

--And finally, if they had to get rid of their car or end their relationship . . . 8% would choose their CAR over their partner.

(Torque News)

Want to Impress the Opposite Sex? Leave the Bartender a Great Tip:

This Friday is 'Bartender Appreciation Day,' but don't feel bad for not knowing. It's the first time this fake "holiday" has been celebrated. --To prepare for it, a poll by Harris Interactive looked at how much people appreciated bartenders . . . and they learned a very important fact: --If you want to impress the opposite sex, be sure to tip the bartender generously. --Three out of four people said they tip more than the standard 15%. --57% of men leave at least 20% for a tip, and so do 50% of women. 61% of people under age 34 are big tippers, compared to 47% of people over 45. --And people notice how generous you are. 63% of women said that they find guys who leave good tips for bartenders more appealing. 60% of men said the same thing about women. --In fact, one of the fastest ways to turn off a date is to nickel and dime the bartender. 51% of women said they wouldn't go on another date with someone who didn't leave the bartender a tip. And 37% of men agreed. --So if you haven't been tipping well, your game has been suffering. (PR Newswire)

Five Quick Ways to Clean Up When Unexpected Guests are On the Way:

Most of the year, people are nice enough to leave you alone and never, ever visit. But this is the season when family and friends might actually have the nerve to drop by on short notice. And that's not good if your house is a MESS. --So here's some advice from the website It's five quick things you can do to make your place look at least a LITTLE presentable when unexpected guests are on the way.

#1.) Light a candle. Or spray air freshener. Or make coffee. Or quickly throw a batch of cookies in the oven. Also, take out the trash. Basically, you need to replace bad smells with good smells . . . that goes a long way.

#2.) Clear the clutter. Just throw all the papers and debris into a box and put it out of sight. Also, take any protective covers off the furniture.

#3.) Do some bathroom basics. Wipe down the sink and take a quick scrubber to the toilet. Replace the toilet paper. And if you have time, Windex your mirrors.

#4.) Empty the sink. Throw all the dishes from the sink into the dishwasher. A full sink is one of the main signs of messiness.

#5.) Get rid of dust. Wipe down visible surfaces, and, if you have any time left, vacuum the room where your guests will be sitting.

(PR Newswire)
Good News . . . Companies Are Going to Be More Generous With Bonuses, Gifts, and Parties This Holiday Season:

Here's another sign that the economy may be on its way back: Companies are opening their wallets again this holiday season. surveyed employers about their holiday plans. 40% plan to give holiday bonuses this year, which is up from 33% last year. --Among the companies that gave bonuses both years, 14% are increasing the amount this year. But another 13% are DECREASING the amount. --The number of holiday parties is on the rise too. 58% of companies are planning to throw one this year, up from 52% last year. --Workers don't exactly sound jazzed about the holiday party. Only 36% say they plan to attend this year. --30% of employers plan to give their employees holiday gifts this year. That's up slightly from last year, when 29% of companies gave a gift. --Employees also plan to give back to the boss. 22% of them say they'll buy a gift for the boss. The same amount of people say they'll buy gifts for coworkers. --79% of workers say they won't spend more than $25. 38% will spend less than $10, and 12% aren't even going to spend $5. (PR Newswire)

Amazon Will Give You $5 on Saturday Not to Shop at a Small Business:

You're playing with fire here, You're playing with fire. --Remember how the day after Black Friday was Small Business Saturday? When we were all supposed to shop at small businesses to support them and their MASSIVE contribution to the economy? --Well, THIS Saturday, is basically encouraging you to do the opposite. --They're running a promotion where they want you to go to a store . . . use their iPhone or Android "pricecheck" app to scan an item's barcode . . . then walk out of the store empty-handed and buy the item on Amazon. --And if you do, they'll give you 5% off . . . but only up to $5. --If that sounds like a pretty ruthless assault on actual stores everywhere . . . well, it is. --Because you could do it at a mom-and-pop store that relies on Christmas sales to stay afloat, which would be a pretty jerk movie. But you could ALSO do it with an item you scan at a company even BIGGER than Amazon, like Walmart or Target. --Plus, in the process, you're giving Amazon valuable data about the different prices at stores all over the country. (All Things D) (--You can learn more about the app at And while we're VERY pro-capitalism . . . remember, small businesses put money BACK into your community. Amazon doesn't.)

Parents are Outraged That a School Removed the Word "Gay" From "Deck the Halls":

Make up your mind, parents. Do you think schools are liberal havens trying to secretly turn your children gay? Or do you want them to let the gayness flow without a care in the world? Or do you just like complaining about things? --Parents whose kids go to Cherry Knoll Elementary School in Traverse City, Michigan were outraged . . . OUTRAGED! . . . over a Christmas-related gay controversy. --The first and second-grade students will be singing "Deck the Halls" for the school's annual Christmas concert later this month. And as we all know, one of the lyrics in "Deck the Halls" is "Don we now our gay apparel." --Well . . . the music teacher said they couldn't get any rehearsals done, because the kids wouldn't stop giggling when they sang the line. So she changed the lyric to, "Don we now our BRIGHT apparel." --The school got complaints from parents ranging from "now you're making 'gay' a big deal by changing it" . . . to "who would be offended by one word in a classic Christmas carol?" --The principal at Cherry Knoll is Chris Parker. He ended up agreeing with the parents and says, quote, "This would've been a great opportunity to teach that 'gay' has more than one meaning and is not a bad word." --So, for the concert, the kids WILL sing the song with "gay" in the lyrics. (Yahoo News)

Twitter's Top Eight Hashtags of the Year are a Fitting Mix of Serious Current Events, Pop Culture, and Random Topics:

Twitter just released a list of the eight hashtags that got the most mentions this year. If you're not familiar, hashtags are terms with a pound sign before them, that people use to participate in Twitter conversations about different subjects. --And the top eight hashtags really do give a perfect cross-section of Twitter. Some are related to serious current events . . . some are pop culture nonsense . . . and some are totally random conversation topics that managed to take off.

--Here's the top eight, in order . . .

#1.) #Egypt . . . this was used during the revolution in Egypt.

#2.) #tigerblood . . . which was one of CHARLIE SHEEN'S catchphrases.

#3.) #ThreeWordsToLiveBy . . . a random conversation topic.

#4.) #IDontUnderstandWhy . . . a random conversation topic.

#5.) #Japan . . . after the earthquake and tsunami.

#6.) #ImProudToSay . . . another random conversation topic.

#7.) #SuperBowl . . . before, during, and after the Super Bowl.

#8.) #Jan25 . . . a date that became a symbol for the revolution in Egypt.
(--Tough miss, STEVE JOBS, royal wedding, OSAMA BIN LADEN raid, Black Friday, AMY WINEHOUSE, and NBA lockout. Better luck being more important than "#ThreeWordsToLiveBy" next year, I guess.)

People Believe in God, the Afterlife, and ESP More Than UFOs and Astrology:

When it comes to believing in things we've never actually seen, God still beats out aliens.

--A new survey asked people whether they believe in various religious and supernatural possibilities . . . here's what it found.

--61% believe in God.

--57% believe there's an afterlife.

--55% believe in ESP and other psychic powers.

--33% believe that UFOs have visited Earth.

--And finally, only 25% believe that astrology can predict the future.

(Otago Daily Times)

AT&T Was Named the Worst Cell Phone Service Provider for the Second Year in a Row:

"Consumer Reports" just released the results of their annual survey on cell phone service providers, and for the second year in a row, AT&T took its rightful spot in LAST PLACE. --But there's a difference. One year ago, they were the only ones with the iPhone. Now Verizon and Sprint both have it. So this time around, their bad rating COULD cost them customers who stuck with their bad service for the sake of the iPhone. --Verizon got the highest customer satisfaction ratings, just ahead of Sprint. T-Mobile was in third place . . . but significantly above AT&T. (Consumer Reports)

Kids With Smartphones Study More Often Than Kids Without Them:

Man, if your kids hear this, prepare for this to be EXHIBIT A when they make their case to get iPhones. --According to a new study, kids who have smartphones actually study approximately 40 minutes MORE per week than kids who don't. And yes, it's because they use their phones to study. --Kids with smartphones were most likely to get in extra studying on their way to school, or just before going to bed. Also, 19% used their phones to study in the bathroom. --BUT . . . researchers also found there was no correlation between that extra studying and higher grades. So while a smartphone leads to more studying . . . that didn't necessarily translate to better test scores. (FOX 18 - Quad Cities)
The World's Oldest Dog Has Died at Age 26 . . . Or Age 117 in Human Years:

It's usually considered to be a full, long life when a dog makes it 12 years. This dog more than DOUBLED that. --On Monday, the world's oldest dog died. His name was Pusuke, he was a MUTT, and he was 26. That's 117 in HUMAN YEARS. (--Based on the accepted formula that each of the dog's first two years is the equivalent of 10.5 human years, and then every year after that is the equivalent of four human years.) --His owner was Yumiko Shinohara of Japan. On Monday, Pusuke lost his appetite, stopped breathing, and passed away quickly. -Pusuke was born in April of 1985. Last December, he was named the world's oldest living dog by the "Guinness Book of World Records". --The oldest dog ever in "Guinness" was an Australian cattle dog named Bluey. He died at 29 years old . . . or 129 human years . . . back in 1939. (ABC News) (--Here's a photo of Pusuke from just one year ago. Hard to tell he's 25 in this photo.)

A Man is Playing Xbox Online When Two Guys Break Into His Home . . . So He Asks the Guy He's Playing Against to Call 911:

We've heard of people using a Facebook status update to have someone call 911 for them during an emergency . . . but this is the first time we've heard of someone using a VIDEO GAME SYSTEM. --Yesterday morning around 2:00 A.M., a man in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, was playing an Xbox game against someone else online. There's no word what game they were playing, or where the other guy lives. --Suddenly, two men wearing masks broke into the house. --And instead of pulling out his phone where they might see or hear him call the police . . . the guy asked his video game opponent to call 911 for him. And he did. But unfortunately, the cops didn't get there fast enough. --The intruders attacked the man and stole about $100. --Police are still looking for them. (Kotaku)


A Woman's Plot to Get Money From Her Boyfriend by Faking Her Kidnapping Goes Wrong . . . When He Won't Pay Her $100 Ransom:

Something tells me this relationship ISN'T going to go the distance. --On Saturday, 21-year-old Sarah Zombori of Santa Rosa Beach, Florida decided she was going to get some money out of her boyfriend. His name wasn't released. --So, she and a friend, 57-year-old Joseph Battista, STAGED A KIDNAPPING. Joseph called Sarah's boyfriend, told him that he'd kidnapped Sarah, and said that he'd KILL her if he didn't get a ransom of . . . $100. --And here's what Sarah and Joseph weren't expecting. Sarah's boyfriend apparently decided . . . nah, not worth $100. --Yeah, she faked a kidnapping to try to squeeze money from him, and he felt the relationship wasn't worth 100 bucks. Again, we're guessing there's not much of a future here. --Even though Joseph told the boyfriend not to go to the cops, he went to the cops. --They traced the call and stormed Joseph's home. They found Sarah and Joseph there, who tried to tell them it was a joke. Both were arrested on several felony counts. (Northwest Florida Daily News)


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

An artist says he's found the secret to viewing the Mona Lisa: If you look at it sideways, there are hidden images showing the heads of a buffalo, a lion, and an ape. (Full Story)

Basically, we're all idiots when it comes to passwords. Three-quarters of us don't use strong enough passwords for our most important accounts, 20% of us use the same password for multiple accounts, and 29% of us keep our passwords on a list . . . right near our computer. (Full Story)

#1.) Police in Australia Stripped a Female Occupy Protester Down to Her Underwear . . . After She Refused to Take Off Her "Tent Dress":

The Occupy Wall Street movement has spread to cities all over the world, including Melbourne, Australia, where it's illegal to set up tents in public parks. --So protesters there came up with a hilarious way to get around it: They cut holes in their tents so they could WEAR them like clothing. And when police showed up to evict them, they popped up in their tent outfits, and ran around until the cops left. --But the cops didn't leave for good. Some people are upset over a new video that shows them coming back, and tearing a tent off one of the female protesters . . . who only had underwear on underneath it. --The incident is reportedly being investigated as a possible assault. (--Obviously, getting stripped down by police on camera was probably the woman's whole PLAN. But it's still pretty shocking to see cops rip a girl's "clothing" off, even if it's a tent.) (--Search for "Sara Tent Monster Brutal Vision." They start tearing it off at 4:10, and it's over by 4:40. WARNING: This video includes the F-word and plenty of other profanity.)

#2.) The Guys Who Went to Target Looking for Fake Products Also Took a Trip to Walmart:

The two guys who asked Target employees for ridiculous made-up products are back. They did it again, but this time they went to Walmart. --Some of the things they asked for include "Sassy Señorita Cereal," "Avatar" on VHS, "pork muffs," and a Double-D training bra. (--Search for "Xmas Shopping Prank #2 at Walmart.")

#3.) Here's What Cheerleading Looks Like from the Cheerleader's Point-of-View:

If you watch college football, you see a lot of shots of cheerleader every week. But here's a point of view you've probably never seen: --One of the cheerleaders at LSU wore a camera while they threw her around in the air. It's in slow-motion, but it'll still make you dizzy. (--Search for "From an LSU Cheerleader's Perspective.")

Five Tips to Help Survive Your Office Holiday Party:

If you've got an office Christmas party coming up, has a list of tips to help make sure you don't do something stupid. --Obviously, the first rule is DON'T GET DRUNK. Eat as much as you want, but Gawker suggests a two-drink minimum. Here are five more tips to help you make a good impression.

#1.) Dress Up. Don't just go in your work clothes. Wear something a little nicer. Ideally, it should be something that's professional AND a little festive. Just don't go overboard with an ugly Christmas sweater, unless that's the theme of the party.

#2.) Go Alone if You Want To. Just because YOU have to suffer through a boring party doesn't mean someone else has to. Plus, if your DATE does something embarrassing . . . like drinking too much . . . it reflects badly on YOU. --If you DO bring someone, and it's someone you just started dating . . . don't grope each other, and definitely don't start making out in the corner.

#3.) Overspend on Your Secret Santa Gift, but Not Too Much. Don't buy a $10 gift if the upper limit is $20. But also don't spend FIFTY. --Gawker suggests overspending by five or ten bucks. That ensures you'll bring something nicer than most of the other gifts, but not so nice that it's suspicious.

#4.) Don't Talk About Work. Especially with your boss. Instead, talk about your life OUTSIDE of work . . . so they know you have one. Or better yet, just ask a lot of questions about THEM.

#5.) Don't Call in Sick the Next Day. If you think you're GETTING sick, don't go to the party in the first place. Because if you're healthy enough to make the party, you should be healthy enough to make it to work the next day. --If you forget the two-drink max and DO get drunk, you DEFINITELY have to make it to work. If you don't, you'll never hear the end of it. (


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