Wednesday, December 14, 2011


Lindsay Lohan Will Not Be on "Ellen" Due to a "Travel Issue":

LINDSAY LOHAN will NOT appear on "Ellen" tomorrow after all. She was supposed to tape the show yesterday, but she couldn't make it back from Hawaii on time. --Is Lindsay up to her old tricks? We don't know. Her rep just said she had a, quote, "travel-related issue that took a few hours to sort out." --Lindsay offered to tape the show TODAY, but producers couldn't move the schedule around, because it's their last day of taping for the season. --Lindsay is due in court today for a progress hearing, and her rep says she IS expected to make it. (--Lucky for her, sources say her probation report is "glowing". You can read more about that here.)

Is Justin Bieber Getting an Engagement Ring for Christmas?

The not-always-reliable "National Enquirer" would like you to believe that SELENA GOMEZ is giving JUSTIN BIEBER an ENGAGEMENT RING for Christmas . . . because he's been kind of down lately. --A so-called "source" says, quote, "Selena is crazy about Justin, and she hates seeing him so upset over the paternity allegations. --"He's been on edge thinking Selena might leave him, so she wants to get him a ring to show that she's with him for the long haul." --Justin's mom Pattie is supposedly on board with the idea, too. And here's some of that patented "National Enquirer" logic to explain why . . . --Ever since this paternity thing came up, Justin has supposedly been talking about having kids of his own . . . which Pattie isn't happy about. --The source says, quote, "Pattie thinks Justin is talking about having kids partly because he's afraid of losing Selena. --"But if Selena proposes, Pattie thinks Justin will feel more secure, and she'll be able to talk them into putting off a wedding and kids."

Does Derek Jeter Send His One-Night Stands Away With a Basket of Autographed Memorabilia in the Morning?

Now this is CLASS: The "New York Post" says that DEREK JETER doesn't make his one-night stands leave empty-handed. On the morning after, he sends them away with gift baskets of AUTOGRAPHED MEMORABILIA. --A source says, quote, "Derek has girls stay with him at his apartment in New York, and then he gets them a car to take them home the next day. Waiting in his car is a gift basket containing signed Jeter memorabilia." --But over the summer, Derek made the mistake of accidentally hooking up with . . . and then gifting . . . the same girl TWICE. --The source says, quote, "Jeter seemed to have forgotten about the first time and gave her the same identical parting gift, a gift basket with a signed Derek Jeter baseball. --"He basically gave her the same gift twice because he'd forgotten hooking up with her the first time." --Jeter broke up with girlfriend MINKA KELLY over the summer, and the source says, quote, "He's definitely over her. He is playing the field."

Paris Jackson Taped an Episode of "Ellen" Yesterday:

When LINDSAY LOHAN bagged on "Ellen" due to "travel-related issues", PARIS JACKSON stepped in and took her place. --Paris taped her appearance yesterday . . . and the show airs tomorrow. Just like it was supposed to happen with Lindsay. --Paris . . . who just signed on to star in her first movie . . . says she's wanted to act since she was "really little" . . . quote, "My dad was in the movie 'Moonwalker' and I knew he could sing really well, but I didn't know he could act. --"I saw that and I said, 'Wow, I want to be just like him.' --"We would do improv together. He would give us little scenarios. He would say, 'OK, in this scene, you're going to cry,' and I'd cry on the spot." --Paris also says she used to hate when MICHAEL made her and her brothers wear masks in public . . . but eventually she understood . . . quote, "I'm like, 'This is stupid. Why am I wearing a mask?' --"But I kind of realized the older I got like he only tried to protect us and he'd explain that to us, too."

Showbiz Photo of the Day: Jennifer Love Hewitt is Reading a Book Called "Why Men Love [B-Words]":

People like to have fun with JENNIFER LOVE HEWITT'S love life. This should help: --It's a picture of Jennifer carrying a book called "Why Men Love [B-Words]: From Doormat to Dreamgirl -- A Woman's Guide to Holding Her Own in a Relationship". --It's a self-help book that came out a few years ago which, quote, "reveals why a strong woman is much more desirable than a 'yes woman' who routinely sacrifices herself." (--Check out a picture here.) (TMZ)

George Clooney Says Aliens Have Stopped Coming Here Because Everybody Has Cameras:

GEORGE CLOONEY has an interesting theory as to why there are fewer alien sightings these days. He says, quote, "I keep thinking: Now that every single human being on earth has a camera phone, where are all those UFO pictures? --"Remember you used to see those pictures. Some guy just happened to have a Polaroid when the UFOs appeared? --"Either it was all bull[crap], or my theory is that the Martians have decided, 'Don't go down there, man. All those [effers] have cameras now.'" (--Easy on the criticism, Cletus. He's obviously joking.)

Jonah Hill Calls the Kardashians "A Super Disgusting Part of Our Culture":

First, James Bond star DANIEL CRAIG called the KARDASHIANS "[Effing] idiots". And now, JONAH HILL is voicing his displeasure at their popularity. --Although he's not TOO serious about it, he definitely thinks there's something wrong with a society in which the Kardashians are more popular than more creative forms of entertainment. --He says, quote, "The truth of it is, I have friends who work in TV and the Kardashians get higher ratings than their TV shows. Shows that people actually work hard on . . . writing and creating and trying to tell stories. --"The fact that the Kardashians could be more popular than a show like 'Mad Men' is disgusting. It's a super disgusting part of our culture, but I still find it funny to make a joke about it. --"Whenever I say I like reality TV, people write about it like they're in shock. I can't even understand it, so I watch it. I think it's funny and I definitely enjoy it in a making-fun-of-it sort of way, but where does the line sort of end? --"When do I stop making fun of it and become an actual fan?"

"Two and a Half Men" Creator Chuck Lorre Says He Was Afraid Charlie Sheen Would Die:

"Two and a Half Men" creator CHUCK LORRE let CHARLIE SHEEN do most of the talking during their little feud that ended with Charlie getting fired from the show. --But now, Chuck is opening up about what really went down earlier this year. And it sounds like he really had Charlie's best interests at heart. --In an interview with "TV Guide", Chuck says, quote, "[Warner Brothers and CBS] chose to make a moral decision as opposed to a financial one. This was not a game. This was drug addiction writ large. --"This was big-time cocaine, and in his own words, an 'epic drug run' that could have ended with either his death or someone else's." --Lorre says that things were getting to the point where he often feared the worst . . . quote, "I was so afraid my friend was going to die. When we would shoot a show on a Friday night, there was always that 'I'll see you Monday. I hope.' --"The holidays were the worst, because those long stretches of time were the ones we feared the most. You couldn't do that much cocaine and work. It was falling apart. It was heartbreaking to be around here then . . . -"There was a tragedy unfolding right in front of us. There was violence and blackouts. On a certain level, if you're looking the other way, you're responsible." -Chuck says he offered to QUIT the show last winter, so that it could continue without him and no one would lose their jobs. Obviously that's not what happened. --He also suggested that he should have quit back in December of 2009, when Charlie was arrested for attacking his then-wife, BROOKE MUELLER, in Aspen, Colorado. --He said, quote, "When he started attacking people with knives, that's it. That should have been it. I should have walked. That's unthinkable. No more. I'm done. --"But for some reason I thought that because she was willing to forgive him . . . we could emerge from this fiasco and be stronger and healthier." --Despite all the "truth torpedoes" Charlie leveled at Chuck, there's still love there. Chuck calls Charlie "a great friend and partner for eight years" . . . and adds, quote, "I cared for him deeply. We had a great time. --"We succeeded beyond our wildest dreams. Sometimes I'll watch the reruns and I'll go, 'That was worth watching.' I'm proud of what we did." --And he wishes Charlie no ill will . . . quote, "Bottom line, I hope he's happy, I hope he's healthy. I hope he's able to be there for his kids."

Donald Trump Has Pulled Out of the December 27th Debate . . . And, Of Course, It's Because All the Candidates Are Afraid of Him:

DONALD TRUMP announced yesterday that he's no longer moderating the December 27th Republican presidential debate that nobody's coming to. --And, in typical Trump fashion, he tried to walk away from a public embarrassment by claiming victory. --See, the candidates who refused to take part in the debate . . . which was all but TWO of them . . . didn't do so because it would have made them look like FOOLS. It's because they're AFRAID OF HIM. --He said, quote, "The Republican Party candidates are very concerned that . . . I will announce my candidacy for President of the United States as an Independent." But he added that he's refusing to give up his right to run, if the best candidate isn't chosen. --And he closed with more bluster . . . quote, "I believe this would not only have been the most watched debate, but also the most substantive and interesting debate!" (--It actually probably WOULD have been the most-watched debate. And the most interesting. But the most substantive? What do YOU think?)

The 20 Best TV Moments of 2011:

"Rolling Stone" has put out a list of The 20 Best TV Moments of 2011. Here it is:

1.) The "Breaking Bad" Finale

2.) The 'Critical Film Studies' Episode of "Community"

3.) Ned Stark's Execution on "Game of Thrones"

4.) The "Parks and Recreation" Drink-Off

5.) Larry David Tastes the 'Palestinian Chicken' on "Curb Your Enthusiasm"

6.) The "Childrens Hospital" 70th Episode

7.) Adam Levine Finds His Groove on "The Voice"

8.) Charlie Sheen's Bender

9.) Steven Tyler Hits "American Idol"

10.) The GOP Debates: The Reality Show of the Year

11.) The "Sons of Anarchy" Finale

12.) "Portlandia's" Song "The Dream of the Nineties Is Alive in Portland"

13.) Obama's "Pimp Strut" . . . or, the dramatic walk he took after announcing the death of Osama Bin Laden.

14.) The Situation's Headbutt on "Jersey Shore"

15.) Triumph the Insult Comic Dog Goes to Wall Street

16.) Michael's Farewell on "The Office"

17.) Ricky Gervais Keeps It Real at the Golden Globes

18.) Drita's Raccoon Hunt on "Mob Wives"

19.) "Mega Python vs. Gatoroid" . . . of course, this is mostly for having '80s rivals Debbie Gibson and Tiffany engage in an EPIC CATFIGHT!

20.) Kim Kardashian's Wedding

(--You can find mini write-ups on each of these events at

The 25 Best Songs Of 2011 . . . According to's "Bigger Than the Sound" column has released its list of The 25 Best Songs of 2011 . . . and here's a shocker: The top honor goes to everybody's favorite song . . . ADELE'S "Rolling in the Deep". Here's the full list:

1.) "Rolling in the Deep", Adele

2.) "Vomit", Girls

3.) "[N-words] in Paris", Jay-Z and Kanye West

4.) "Heavy Metal Lover", Lady Gaga

5.) "Shake It Out", Florence and the Machine

6.) "Take Care", Drake

7.) "The Ladder Song", Bright Eyes

8.) "Bottoms Up", Nickelback

9.) "Love on Top", Beyoncé

10.) "Till the World Ends", Britney Spears

11.) "We Found Love", Rihanna

12.) "Pumped Up Kicks", Foster the People

13.) "Party Rock Anthem", LMFAO

14.) "Super Bass", Nicki Minaj

15.) "6 Foot 7 Foot", Lil Wayne

16.) "Eyes Be Closed", Washed Out

17.) "Dystopia (The Earth Is on Fire)", Yacht

18.) "Beautiful People", Chris Brown

19.) "Lonely Boy", The Black Keys

20.) "Get Some", Lykke Li

21.) "Skyscraper", Demi Lovato

22.) "This Town Doesn't Have Enough Bars for Both of Us", Gospel Music

23.) "Gucci Gucci", Kreayshawn

24.) "Russian Spies", Against Me!

25.) "Beat of My Drum", Nicola Roberts

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

We Don't Hear a Peep From Tom Cruise in the New "Rock of Ages" Trailer:

A new trailer for "Rock of Ages" hit the web yesterday . . . but it did NOT contain what everybody's been waiting to see and hear: TOM CRUISE singing classic '80s jams. --Not only does Cruise not sing in the trailer . . . he doesn't even SPEAK. --Most of the heavy lifting in this trailer goes to ALEC BALDWIN, CATHERINE ZETA-JONES and JULIANNE HOUGH. (--Check it out here.) (--"Rock of Ages", based on the Broadway musical of the same name, opens on June 1st.) (--It also stars Russell Brand, Paul Giamatti, Malin Akerman, Bryan Cranston, Will Forte, Mary J. Blige and WWE superstar Kevin Nash . . . who plays Cruise's character's bodyguard.) (--Former "American Idol" finalist Constantine Maroulis . . . who starred in the Broadway version, is in it, too. But the producers refused to give him the lead. Instead, he plays a "record executive". It's probably a small part.) (--The lead role went to a relative unknown named Diego Boneta.)

Check Out a Montage of Clips from 250 Movies That Came Out This Year . . . In Six Minutes:

Would you like to see a montage of clips from 250 movies that came out this year . . . in SIX MINUTES? If so you're in luck, because somebody put one together. (--Check it out here.) (--It's got all the movies you remember from this year . . . not to mention a few that you definitely SHOULD HAVE seen, like "Hobo With a Shotgun", "Tucker & Dale vs. Evil" and "The Last Circus".) (--If you're looking for an all-day time-waster, sit through this clip until you've identified all the movies you can.)

Budweiser Is Producing a Reality Series About Regular People Fulfilling Their Dreams:

Budweiser is producing a new reality series called "The Big Time", about regular adults as they "fulfill their dreams" like, quote, "pitching for a professional baseball team, and taking center stage at a major music concert." --The participants were chosen over the summer through casting videos submitted to Budweiser's social media sites . . . and Budweiser used their corporate muscle to make the winners' dreams come true. --"The Big Time" will air Saturdays on ABC and ESPN, beginning on January 21st. (--It's refreshing to see regular, healthy people having THEIR dreams come true. After all, aren't their wishes just as important as the wishes of sick kids?)

Wednesday TV Reminders:

--"The X Factor" [Performance Show] . . . 8:00 to 9:30 P.M. on Fox. The top four finalists are . . . Melanie Amaro, Marcus Canty, Josh Krajcik, and Chris Rene.

--"Too Fat For 15: Fighting Back" [2nd Season Finale] . . . 8:00 to 9:00 P.M. on Style.

--"Barbara Walters Presents: The 10 Most Fascinating People of 2011" . . . 9:30 to 11:00 P.M. on ABC. Katy Perry, Simon Cowell, Derek Jeter, Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Eric Stonestreet are among this year's fascinating people.

--"Hot in Cleveland" . . . 10:00 to 10:30 P.M. on TV Land. Betty White teaches the other ladies how to crash a funeral.

--"24/7 Flyers/Rangers: Road to the NHL Winter Classic" [15th Season Premiere] . . . 10:00 to 11:00 P.M. on HBO. The Philadelphia Flyers and the New York Rangers prepare for hockey's Winter Classic in this sports documentary.

--"The Real World: San Diego" [26th Season Finale] . . . 10:00 to 11:00 P.M. on MTV.

--"Debra DiGiovanni: Single, Awkward, Female" . . . 10:00 to 11:00 P.M. on Showtime. Comedienne Debra DiGiovanni performs.

--"Funniest Commercials of the Year: 2011" . . . 10:00 to 11:00 P.M. on TBS. The Old Spice guy Isaiah Mustafa is your host.

--"Psych" . . . 10:00 to 11:00 P.M. on USA. Jason Priestley guest stars as a grifter who scams "Arrested Development's" Tony Hale.

--"Lady Hoggers" [1st Season Finale] . . . 10:30 to 11:00 P.M. on A&E.

--"The Real World: The @%!! They Should've Shown!" . . . 11:00 P.M. to Midnight on MTV.

Here's the Video for Will.I.Am's "T.H.E. (The Hardest Ever)" . . . With Jennifer Lopez and Mick Jagger:

WILL.I.AM has released the video for his solo single "T.H.E. (The Hardest Ever)". The song and video both feature JENNIFER LOPEZ and MICK JAGGER. --It's a pretty high-concept video, at least initially. Will.I.Am is trying out different modes of self-transport, from walking to piloting a space shuttle . . . and everything in-between. --The second half derails a little. Will.I.Am just drives the shuttle through "space," which is basically a laser light show, with J-Lo and Mick Jagger dancing through it. (--If that seems interesting, it's not.) (--You can find the video on Will.I.Am's Google Plus page. WARNING: It contains UNCENSORED PROFANITY. J-Lo first appears at the 1:07 mark. Mick makes his big entrance at the 3:30 mark.) (--If you like the BLACK EYED PEAS, you'll probably dig this . . . but in my opinion, it's pretty abysmal. In fact, when I saw Mick dancing in this video, I felt embarrassed for him. I can't figure out why he's doing this.) --"T.H.E. (The Hardest Ever)" will be on Will.I.Am's upcoming solo album, "#WillPower". It'll be out sometime next year. -Here's what Will.I.Am had to say about the single, the video, and his solo work: Quote, "This next journey is not going to be easy. -"The Black Eyed Peas was so successful . . . beyond what I initially dreamed of . . . but just because the Black Eyed Peas was a success, it doesn't mean I'm going to be successful as a solo act. This I know. --"That is why I titled this 1st single "The Hardest Ever" . . . because the journey is hard . . . and I will do it alone . . . this video is about my new mission and obstacles."

Check Out Chord Overstreet's First Single:

If you didn't know, "Glee" star CHORD OVERSTREET is in the process of recording his debut album, which is being described as, quote, "acoustic pop." --Anyway, a song from the album has leaked online. It's called "Beautiful Girl". (--It's all over the Internet, just Google it. Here's one direct link. By the way, there's no release date for the album, but Chord says it'll be out next year.)

Duff McKagan's Band Will Open for Guns N' Roses:

If you're hoping for a reunion of the original GUNS N' ROSES lineup at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction next year . . . this definitely isn't a bad sign. --DUFF MCKAGAN'S new band LOADED is opening up for Guns at two shows this weekend . . . Friday night in Seattle and Saturday night in Vancouver. (--Of course, Duff was Guns N' Roses' bassist from 1985 through 1997.) (--That being said, AXL ROSE and Duff have been cool recently. Last October, Duff joined Axl and the current Guns lineup onstage in London, and played four songs. It was the first time he'd performed with Axl in well over a decade.)


Showbiz Extras . . . Random Links to Additional Stories:

FANTASIA BARRINO gave birth to a baby boy Tuesday in North Carolina. She named him Dallas Xavier. There's no official word on the dad, but we assume it's that guy who was married when she started dating him in the summer of last year. (Full Story)

KATIE COURIC has broken up with her boyfriend after five years. (Full Story)

DIANE KEATON says she could have dated STEVE JOBS back in the late 1970s, but she was weirded out by all his computer talk. (Full Story)

BROOKE MUELLER has decided not to do outpatient rehab. Instead, she has checked herself into, quote, "a long-term in-patient treatment center where she can focus on her recovery without distraction." (Full Story)

Check out OPRAH WINFREY and SEAN PENN doing charity work together in Haiti this week. (Photos)

ROBERT WAGNER refused to talk to the paparazzi about police reopening the investigation into NATALIE WOOD'S death. (Video)

MATT DAMON dissed the screenplay for the third "Bourne" movie . . . then promptly apologized to the screenwriter. (Full Story)

AUDREY HEPBURN'S apartment from the 1961 film "Breakfast At Tiffany's" is on the market . . . for $5.85 million. (Full Story)

New Orleans Saints quarterback DREW BREES will be on "Sesame Street" tomorrow. (Full Story)

Now that original "Survivor" winner RICHARD HATCH is out of prison, he wants to do a reality show where he gets to know the two children he fathered as a sperm donor over 20 years ago. (Full Story)

Hasidic Jewish rapper MATISYAHU has shaved off his beard. (Full Story)

METALLICA has released four previously-unheard tracks from the 2008 "Death Magnetic" sessions on iTunes. (Full Story)

KELLY CLARKSON is dropping a nine-song EP on December 27th. (Full Story)

And Now, Christmas by the Numbers:

--16.5 billion. The number of cards, letters, and packages that will be handled by the U.S. Postal Service this season.

--Two billion. The number of candy canes that are sold worldwide in December.

--220 million. The cost of all the poinsettias sold during the holiday season. More than 85% of potted plants sold this time of year are poinsettias.

--25 to 30 million. The number of real Christmas trees that Americans will buy this year.

--17 million. The number of artificial Christmas trees Americans will buy this year.

--28. The average number of cards a family will mail out this holiday season.

--1. The rank of gift cards . . . which will easily be the most popular Christmas present this year.

(Sacramento Bee)

The Hit Toy This Christmas is . . . Nothing:

You'd think with all the money companies have at stake in the toy market . . . SOMEONE could've come up with a toy to DOMINATE the wish list of every kid in America. --Not this year. --In the retail industry, the consensus on the "hit toy" of the year is . . . there isn't one. There's no Tickle Me Elmo, Nintendo Wii, or Cabbage Patch Kid. --Some toys are doing well . . . like "Angry Birds" toys, Lalaloopsy Silly Hair dolls, and even Legos . . . but none of them have crossed the threshold to become an all-out hit. (New York Times)

The Average Family Spends Their Time Together on Christmas Watching Eight Hours of Television:

This one comes from England, so it might not be true over here . . . but it probably is. A new survey found that the way the average family spends their time together on Christmas is . . . watching almost eight hours of television. --Seven hours and 45 minutes, to be exact. That includes at least one full length movie, a few Christmas specials, and some sports. About 20% of families say at least one argument generally breaks out on Christmas over what to watch. --"It's a Wonderful Life" is the most popular movie to watch as a family on Christmas. "Home Alone" came in second. (PR Newswire)
6% of People Plan to Celebrate Christmas In January?

The day after Christmas has some of the best sales of the year . . . because stores are getting rid of all of the crap they thought we'd buy. Unfortunately, most of us are completely tapped out financially to capitalize. --Not THESE people. --According to a new survey by the giant accounting firm Deloitte, 6% of people say they plan on celebrating Christmas in JANUARY. That's about one out of every 17. --There are different reasons why people postpone Christmas a week . . . but the main one is financial. --Gifts are less expensive . . . travel is less expensive . . . and food is less expensive. Basically, if you can hold out for two extra weeks, it'll save you a ton. --Of course, if you're not celebrating Christmas on Christmas Day, you're clearly more about the gift-giving aspect of Christmas . . . and less about the birth of Jesus. Although maybe you're just being HONEST about what it's become . . . --But at least you can take comfort in knowing that the birth of Jesus probably WASN'T December 25th: About 1,700 years ago, Christians supposedly picked that day to compete with pagan winter festivals celebrating their own gods. (Washington Post)

The Rate of Christmas Decorating Injuries Keeps Going Up:

Make sure someone spots you when you're setting up your giant rooftop display of Santa and his reindeer. It looks cool, but it's not worth paralysis. --According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, the rate of Christmas decorating injuries has been creeping up. --In 2007 there were approximately 10,000 Christmas decoration-related injuries. In 2008 and 2009 that went up to 12,000. And last year there were more than 13,000. --The most common injuries come from people falling off ladders and cutting themselves on broken ornaments. (PR Newswire)

Only 62% of People Give Holiday Tips . . . Childcare Workers Get Tipped Most Often and Garbage Men the Least Often:

On Monday, we gave you a guide for how much to tip at the holidays. A recent survey by "Consumer Reports" looked at how often people ACTUALLY give tips. --62% of people said that they give a tip to SOMEONE over the holidays. --Childcare providers are the most likely to get a holiday tip. 61% of people who use a daycare or a sitter give them a tip. --The next person most likely to be tipped is the housekeeper. 59% of customers give them something for the holidays, and housekeepers get higher tips than anyone else on the "Consumer Reports" list . . . an average of $50. --People are giving less holiday love to their kids' teachers. Only 48% of parents give the teacher something for the holidays, which is down from 60% last year. --The people LEAST likely to get a tip are garbage men. Only 12% of customers tip them. --Of the people who DON'T tip for the holidays, 48% said they can't afford it. 40% said it's not customary to tip some service providers, and one in eight people say they dread holiday tipping. (PR Newswire)

Here's How to Serve Four People Christmas Dinner . . . For Under $12:

We keep hearing about how people are cutting back and trying to save money this Christmas. But wanna REALLY save money? Time to put your money where your mouth is.

--A website called Student Beans came up with this Christmas dinner menu that serves four people for a total of $11.55 . . . or $2.89 a head. Oh, and it only takes about 10 minutes to prepare. YOU'RE WELCOME, Tiny Tim . . .

--One pack of thin sliced turkey, $3.

--One pack of 12 square frozen waffles, $2.20.

--One bag of frozen mixed vegetables, $1.55.

--One small box of generic dried stuffing mix, $1.

--One jar of generic gravy granules, 50 cents.

--Pack of 20 cooked cocktail sausages, $2.15.

--One pack of sliced ham, $1.15.

--You just need to be willing to eat waffles instead of potatoes . . . and enjoy the taste of ham-wrapped cocktail sausages.

(Daily Mail)

(--You can see a photo of how this dinner looks here.)

For the Next Six Months, 60% of Us Are Cutting Back on Restaurants and Entertainment . . . and 97% of Us Won't Be Buying a Boat:

Since the economy started going south, every six months or so, Harris Interactive has been asking Americans how they plan to change their spending habits. --What they've found is that people keep saying they're ABOUT to start cutting back and saving more . . . but we never actually do. --Their latest poll found that 61% of Americans plan to cut back on eating out over the next six months . . . which is EXACTLY the same percentage that said that in May. --58% of people say they're going to cut back on entertainment expenses over the next six months. In May, 59% of people said that. --51% say they're going to save and invest more money instead of spending it, which is ALSO unchanged from May. --Of course, there are some promises that will probably be easier for us to keep. 97% of Americans say they do NOT plan on buying a boat or recreational vehicle in the next six months. 94% said the same thing in May. --88% aren't buying a new car. 93% don't plan on buying a house, and 77% say it's unlikely that they'll get a new computer. Those are all up a couple percentage points from May's poll. --94% don't plan to start their own business, which is up from 90%. (PR Newswire)

English is Still the World's Number One Language . . . By Far:

You can come out of your bunker now, and stop distributing petitions to make English the national language. English is STILL number one, and it's number one by A LOT. --According to a new study by "Language Monthly", there are 115 countries in the world that use English as a main language. --French is second . . . with 35 countries. --Overall, the combined population of the countries that use English is five billion . . . or roughly 71% of the world. --More than 300 million of the 1.1 billion people in China are currently studying English. (PR Newswire)

The National Transportation Safety Board Wants to Ban All Cell Phone Use in Cars . . . Even if it's Hands-Free:

We've seen so many stories about the dangers of cell phone use in cars, they all kinda blend together and become white noise after a while. But this story is a pretty big deal. --Yesterday, the National Transportation Safety Board issued a ruling that ALL cell phone use behind the wheel should be illegal. No texting, and no calling . . . not even with a hands-free device. --Basically, they want to eliminate cell phones from cars. And while it's up to individual states to decide on their car laws, the NTSB is the top traffic safety board in the country . . . and their recommendations carry a LOT of weight. --In their ruling, they cited a case from Missouri from last August where a teenager in his pickup truck crashed into a school bus. He died, as did a 15-year-old student. He'd sent 11 texts in 11 minutes at the wheel before he crashed. --Why does the NTSB want to even ban talking with a hands-free device? They cite several studies that have shown it's not the act of holding a phone to your ear that distracts you . . . it's the conversation itself. --Under the NTSB's proposed ban, you could still use GPS navigation and OnStar . . . just no talking or texting. (CNN) (--Kelly Nantel is the Chief Public Affairs Officer for the NTSB. Her email is

Here Are the 10 Most Overused Buzzwords in People's LinkedIn Profiles:

Now that more people are looking for jobs using social networks, your LinkedIn profile can be as important to your job search as your resume. --That means more and more people are cramming their profiles with the same buzzwords that make resumes so much fun to read. Check out LinkedIn's annual list of the most overused profile buzzwords.

#1.) Creative: This was the top buzzword in every English-speaking country, as well as Germany and the Netherlands.

#2.) Organizational.

#3.) Effective: This was the top-ranked buzzword in India.

#4.) Extensive experience: This was LAST YEAR'S top-ranked buzzword.

#5.) Track record: This ranked number one in Singapore.

#6.) Motivated.

#7.) Innovating.

#8.) Problem Solving.

#9.) Communication skills.

#10.) Dynamic.


That Line of Dollar Coins Featuring U.S. Presidents is Being Cancelled, Less Than Halfway Through:

Have you been collecting those special gold dollar coins featuring U.S. presidents? No? Well . . . no one else has either. --Back in 2005, Congress passed a bill to create new $1 coins featuring every U.S. president. They've been rolling out four presidents a year, in chronological order. And it turns out they FLOPPED. --They cost $50 MILLION or more to produce every year, but people aren't collecting them. And like ALL dollar coins in this country, no one wants to use them. The Federal Reserve has 1.4 BILLION of them just lying around. --So yesterday, PRESIDENT OBAMA announced that the U.S. Mint will be suspending production, less than halfway through the presidents. --The last presidents who got coins were Andrew Johnson, Ulysses S. Grant, Rutherford B. Hayes, and James Garfield. --Coins commemorating Chester A. Arthur, Grover Cleveland, and Benjamin Harrison were scheduled to come out next year. Only a TINY run of their coins will be made, so collectors can keep trying to complete their full sets. --The government COULD save $5.5 BILLION over the next 30 years by replacing dollar bills with dollar coins . . . only the American people just flat-out REFUSE to use dollar coins. So we're gonna keep on going with bills. (Gawker)


A Woman is Arrested for Assaulting Her Boyfriend With a Box of Wine:

You're not a real American unless you appreciate a good box of wine. Drinking wine out of fancy things like bottles is for the French. So it PAINS me to see a box of wine treated like this. --Last week, 44-year-old Karen Rowand of East Naples, Florida was arrested for assaulting her live-in boyfriend with a box of wine. --Apparently, Rowand was mad at her boyfriend because she believed he'd charged $2,000 on her credit card. He denied it. She was drunk . . . and ANGRY. --So . . . she grabbed the box of wine she'd been drinking out of and threw it at him. It hit him in the FACE. Then she took a half-full beer can and threw it at him. That ALSO hit him in the face. --There's no word on what type of box wine or beer she threw. (--But I'm going to speculate it's that generic Costco brand of wine, and Miller Genuine Draft.) --When the police got there, the boyfriend had a cut under his eye and blood dripping down his face. --Rowand was arrested for battery. (Naples News)


Child Abuse, Child Sexual Abuse, and Child Fatalities in the U.S. are All on the Decline:

Child abuse is one of the most horrible evils in the world . . . so you've GOT to celebrate news like this. As a society, we're finally moving in the right direction. --A new report from the Department of Health and Human Services has found that child abuse, child sexual abuse, and child fatalities are ALL on the decline in the U.S. --In 2006, there were approximately 825,000 children abused in the U.S. In 2010, that was down to 695,000. --That brings the rate down to 10 children abused per 1,000. Still way too high . . . but it's actually the lowest rate EVER since they started keeping data in 1990. --The number of child fatalities from abuse and neglect has dropped from 1,720 in 2007 to 1,560 in 2010. --And the number of children sexually abused dropped from 65,964 in 2009 to 63,527 in 2010. That's down more than 55% from 1992, when a jaw-dropping 150,000 children were sexually abused. --Of course, even though abuse is declining, there's still so much work to be done. --In their release about the report, the HHS said, quote, "We are heartened to see maltreatment on the decline, but even one child being a victim of abuse and neglect is too many." (CBS News)


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

We spent $374,000 to learn that inhaling lemon and lavender doesn't improve your ability to heal from wounds . . . and $666,000 to find that prayer doesn't help cure AIDS. (Full Story)

According to a new study, every 0.1 milligram per milliliter increase in your blood alcohol level increases your likelihood of having unprotected sex by 5%. Whatever that means. Look, when you get hammered, you do nasty stuff like fornicate with random, horny, drunk, unsafe, desperate people like you, got it? Do you need another study? (Full Story)

Photo of the Day: A cop in Miami dropped his pen while he was driving yesterday morning, leaned over to pick it up . . . and accidentally drove his car UP a utility pole. (Full Story)

A teenager in Illinois opened a savings account to learn how to be more responsible. At one point it only had $4.85 in it . . . so the bank hit him with $229 in fees in two weeks: A $10 monthly maintenance fee because he had a low balance, which led to an overdrawn account, which led to $28-a-day in overdraft fees. (Full Story)


#1.) A College Marching Band Showed Up at a Computer Lab to Play Christmas Music . . . and a Student Completely Flipped Out:

It's finals week at colleges all over the country, including Brown University in Rhode Island. And there's a video on where the school's marching band shows up at the computer lab up to play Christmas music. --Maybe it was to cheer them up while they were stressed out, but one kid did NOT appreciate it: Right after the band finished "Joy to the World", he stood in the aisle and SCREAMED at them. He was about as worked up as you can possibly get. --The rant was only a few seconds long, but it's FILLED with F-bombs. Then half the people in the room cheered, and the band played one more quick song before leaving. (--Search for "Christmas Carol Freakout in Computer Lab." The rant is at :29.) (--WARNING: This video includes the F-word and "a**hole.")

#2.) The Bad Lip-Reading Guys Took on Newt Gingrich:

The guys who do the Bad Lip-Reading videos have released their second one of the week. First they did RICK PERRY'S new campaign ad. --And yesterday, they posted a video of NEWT GINGRICH talking about Rick James, impeaching Ronald Reagan, and hanging out with a midget at a bar. --The best part is when it shows him talking gibberish at one of the debates and hacking something up, while Perry, Herman Cain, and Michele Bachmann react. (--Search for "Newt Gingrich Bad Lip-Reading." The best debate stuff starts at 1:29. And don't miss his cat sound at :51. WARNING: This video includes the phrases "badass," "went poo poo in the egg salad," and bleeped profanity.)
Five Things That Could Ruin Your Health This Christmas:

According to the CDC, about 6,000 people will go to the emergency room this year from falling while they put up Christmas decorations. Here are five more things that could ruin your health this Christmas.

#1.) Homemade Eggnog. Unlike most drinks, you have to worry about salmonella. So if you're making your own this year, the FDA recommends heating the eggnog to at least 160 degrees to kill off any potential bacteria.

#2.) A Dry Christmas Tree. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, there are about 250 Christmas tree fires every year. And 13% of those are caused by faulty Christmas lights. You can reduce the risk by keeping your tree watered.

--But the BIGGEST fire threat is actually CANDLES. Each year, they cause over 15,000 residential fires. So if you have holiday candles burning, make sure they're on a steady surface. And blow them out when you leave the room.

#3.) A Blocked Chimney. If you haven't used your fireplace since last year, make sure the chimney's not clogged with leaves or anything else. The U.S. Fire Administration recommends having your chimney inspected once a year.

--Also, you're not supposed to throw wrapping paper in the fire. It's so light, it can float up and out of the chimney while it's still on fire. In other words, you could burn down your house, or your NEIGHBOR'S house.

#4.) A Heart Attack. According to at least one study, more people have heart attacks on Christmas Day than any other day of the year. Potential triggers include stress, over-eating, and too much alcohol.

#5.) Drinking and Driving. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, alcohol-related deaths spike on Christmas and New Year's Day. So if you've been drinking, call a cab, have a designated driver, or stay put. (


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