Monday, January 9, 2012


Beyoncé and Jay-Z Now Have a Daughter Named Blue Ivy:

BEYONCÉ gave birth to a baby girl in New York on Saturday. Her name is Blue Ivy Carter. This is the first child for Beyoncé and husband JAY-Z . . . whose real name is Shawn Carter. --Ivy was delivered by C-section. Here are some congratulatory Tweets . . .

--Beyoncé's sister SOLANGE KNOWLES: "The most beautiful girl in the world."

--RIHANNA: "Welcome to the world princess Carter! Love Aunty Rih."

--GWYNETH PALTROW: "Welcome to the world Blue! We love you already."

--DIDDY: "Congrats to jay and B. God Bless. And many more!"

--SNOOKI: "Beyoncé congrats on your baby gurl mama!!!! So happy for you, you deserve it sexpot."

--KOURTNEY KARDASHIAN: "Congratulations to Beyoncé, the 2nd Princess of Pop (behind Britney) for her new baby girl Ivy Blue!"

(--Some sources are saying the baby's name is "Ivy Blue" . . . but most are going with "Blue Ivy". I definitely think "Ivy Blue" sounds better. But Gwyneth called her "Blue", and she probably has an inside track here.)

Katy Perry's Ultra-Religious Parents Are Happy She's Divorced . . . Oh, and They Also Apparently Hate Jews:

KATY PERRY'S parents are super-religious. In fact, they're Christian preachers. --Last Wednesday, they did some guest-preaching at the Church on the Rise in Westlake, Ohio . . . and according to the not-always-reliable British tabloids, they said some REALLY controversial stuff. --For starters, Katy's dad KEITH HUDSON went on an ANTI-SEMITIC RANT. He said, quote, "You know how to make the Jew jealous? Have some money, honey. You go to L.A. and they own all the Rolex and diamond places. --"Walk down a part of L.A. where we live and it is so rich it smells. You ever smell rich? They are all Jews, hallelujah. Amen." --Keith and his wife MARY also suggested that Katy's divorce from RUSSELL BRAND is a good thing . . . because it brought people to the church for their sermon. -Keith said, quote, "What has taken place in my daughter's life has opened many opportunities to go in and be with guarded and gated people. --"God has given us a platform to go in and meet people . . . and they like us because we are cool. We are not threatening." --And Mary said, quote, "I'm sure Katy is trending on the Internet just to get you to church tonight. I mean all over the world, who knows how God is bringing them in? --"The most important thing is you are here and God wants to put the fire in you in 2012." -Meanwhile, Katy Tweeted about her divorce on Saturday. She said, quote, "I am so grateful for all the love and support I've had from people around the world. You guys have made my heart happy again." -Then she added, quote, "Concerning the gossip, I want to be clear that NO ONE speaks for me. Not a blog, magazine, 'close sources' or my family." (--It's not clear if that last sentence was in any way addressing what Katy's parents said during that sermon.) (--You can watch a YouTube ad for Keith and Mary's ministry here. And their website is (--And yes, Katy's real last name is Hudson.)

Is Johnny Depp's Relationship In Trouble?

It always seemed like JOHNNY DEPP had one of the best non-marriages in showbiz. He and French model VANESSA PARADIS have been together since 1998 and they have two kids, 12-year-old Lily-Rose and 9-year-old Jack. --But the not-always-reliable says the relationship is in big trouble . . . and Johnny is even consulting lawyers to figure out how to end it. --A source says, quote, "Johnny isn't handling anything well right now. People around him are worried about how Johnny is doing because he and Vanessa seem so fractured right now. Their relationship is heading toward the end."
Kristy McNichol Has Finally Come Out of the Closet . . . Do You Even Know Who Kristy McNichol Is?

I think a lot of people figured this out years ago . . . but it's finally official: KRISTY MCNICHOL is OUT AND PROUD. --Kristy . . . who's 49 . . . also has a girlfriend, whom she's been living with for the past TWO DECADES. And she posted a picture of the two of them together because she wants to be, quote "open about who I am." (--Here's the picture.) (People) --Kristy's rep says, quote, "[She] is very sad about kids being bullied. She hopes that coming out can help kids who need support. She would like to help others who feel different." --Ironically, the "kids" Kristy wants to help probably have no idea who she is. --Kristy was a famous child star in the 1970s. She did a lot of guest appearances on TV shows and also starred on the drama series "Family". From 1988 to 1995, she appeared on the sitcom "Empty Nest". --Kristy pretty much dropped out of showbiz after that, because she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. (--And let's not forget . . . Kristy starred in the 1982 cinematic classic, "White Dog" . . . the moving story of a young girl and her dog . . . which has been trained to ATTACK AND KILL BLACK PEOPLE. Here's the trailer.)

Corey Feldman Says He'll Name the Men Who Molested Him:

After COREY HAIM died, COREY FELDMAN opened up about the underside of the industry . . . and the molestation the two of them allegedly endured when they were child actors. But he didn't identify any of the abusers. --But now, Corey says he's ready to name names. He says, quote, "When I was 14 and 15, things were happening to me. These older men were leching around like vultures. --"It was basically me laying there pretending I was asleep and them going about their business. I will write a book . . . I will put all the information forward." --Feldman blames this for Corey Haim's drug abuse and resulting death. And also the abandonment both Coreys endured at the hands of the showbiz industry. --He says, quote, "Corey and I were pegged as the scapegoats. People need to know the reason Corey and I were swept under the carpet like the beaten dogs that were sent to the pound so no one had to deal with us anymore. --"I stood up and said there is a bigger problem, that I'd lost Corey and that I didn't want to see any more kids lost to these sick perverts." --He adds, quote, "The question is why had he been brushed under the carpet? Why do people make us out to be dumb and belittle us? --"Even today people say about me, 'Eighties heart-throb . . . hasn't done anything since.' The truth is I haven't stopped. Last year I did four films."

Brad Pitt Injured His Knee Running Down a Hill:

BRAD PITT was walking with a cane when he escorted ANGELINA JOLIE to a film festival over the weekend. (--Check out a picture here.) (People) --Brad injured his knee, but he did it to save his 3-year-old daughter Vivienne from getting hurt. He says, quote, "I was carrying my daughter down the hill and I slipped. It was either her or me."

Nick Cannon Had Surgery on Friday:

NICK CANNON had surgery on Friday, but we don't have any details. All we have is this Tweet from Nick on Friday . . . quote, "Just left the operating table and I was awake during the whole procedure. #OUCH" --On Saturday he Tweeted, quote, "Recovering... about to be stronger than ever! #Ncredible!" --And yesterday he Tweeted congratulations to BEYONCÉ and JAY-Z on the birth of their daughter. (--Nick suffered "mild kidney failure" last week.) --On Friday, MARIAH CAREY Tweeted, quote, "Nick is in stable condition with a good prognosis, hopefully he'll be discharged within 2 days. As always he's laughing and in good spirits." As far as we know, Nick is still in the hospital. (--Mariah also Tweeted this picture of them.) (Twitter)

Lindsay Lohan Has a New Tattoo on Her Hand:

LINDSAY LOHAN has a new tattoo on her hand. It says "Live without regrets" . . . and it goes from her wrist to the base of her thumb. (--Check it out here.) (TMZ)

Charlie Sheen Got Some Work Done on His Grill:

Back when CHARLIE SHEEN was having his meltdown last year, we saw pictures of his messed-up grill. And, of course, we attributed the damage to his love of, in his own words, "banging seven-gram rocks." --Well, whatever caused Charlie's dental problems, he had them fixed on Friday. He posted a picture of himself with his "brilliant cosmetic dentist", saying, quote, "The grill now perfect for Fiat, DirectTV & Anger Management! Smile world!" (--Here's the pic . . . along with some "before" pics for comparison.) (TMZ) --"Anger Management" is the new series Charlie is working on. It's based on the ADAM SANDLER / JACK NICHOLSON movie of the same name. It'll air on FX.) -In related news, Charlie came through on his pledge to help victims of the Alabama tornado. He recently donated $25,000. $10,000 of that was money he raised . . . and the rest was his own money.)


Tim Tebow Threw a Dramatic Game-Winning Pass to Beat the Steelers in the Playoffs:

Denver Broncos quarterback TIM TEBOW lived up to the hype . . . and threw a game-winning touchdown pass to beat the Pittsburgh Steelers 29 to 23 in overtime. Here's what you need to know:

--On the first play of overtime, Tebow threw a pass that wide receiver DEMARYIUS THOMAS caught 18 yards down the field. He was several yards past the nearest Steelers defensive player, and he ran the remaining 62 yards for a touchdown. --It was the LONGEST overtime pass in NFL history. And it gave Tim a career-high 316 yards for the game. (--Get it? 316? Like John 3.16, which is a bible verse he likes to quote.) --It also ended the game, because overtime in the NFL is "sudden death". (--They changed the overtime rules last year: You can ONLY win the game on your first possession if you get an actual touchdown, as opposed to a field goal.) --It's because 34% of the time, teams that won the coin toss in overtime scored right away, and the other team never even got the ball.) (--Basically, they don't want the team that has the ball first to be able to win with a quick field goal. Because no one likes field goals.) (--This was the first overtime playoff game since the rule went into effect, and it actually took the referee longer to EXPLAIN the new rule than it did to PLAY the overtime.) --Even before his overtime heroics, Tebow had a pretty good game. He threw for one touchdown in the first half and ran for another one as the Broncos took a 20 to 6 lead. --Pittsburgh came back to tie the score at 23 when BEN ROETHLISBERGER threw a 31-yard touchdown pass with just under four minutes left. Ben had 289 yards for the game. --The Broncos are now one of EIGHT teams left in the playoffs. They play the New England Patriots next week.

Why Does Everyone Care About Tim Tebow?

TIM TEBOW has been one of the most talked-about sports figures this year. Here's a quick recap of why. -Football experts who care about things like "pocket presence" and "mechanics" say he's not a good quarterback. And he completed less than half of his passes this year. --Quarterbacks like TOM BRADY and BEN ROETHLISBERGER complete about two thirds of their passes. --But Tebow WINS games, often in dramatic fashion. He took over as a starter when the Broncos were 1 and 4, and led them to seven more wins to make the playoffs. And he set an NFL record with SIX late-game comebacks in his first 11 starts. --He's also an outspoken Christian, who kneels and prays on the sidelines. While in college at Florida, he starred in a Pro Life commercial that aired during the Super Bowl, where he basically thanked his mother for not aborting him. --So a lot of people HATE on Tebow . . . either because of his beliefs, because he won't keep them to himself, or because they think he's over-hyped: A lot of football guys think he gets more attention than his abilities would merit. (--That includes some other players. Last week, Baltimore Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs said, quote, "Once again, God had to save Tim Tebow and the Denver Broncos. With all due respect, we don't need God on our sidelines.") --But a lot of people also LOVE Tim Tebow, because he leads a clean life, including a pledge to remain a virgin. He's a role model for kids, which is rare in pro sports. --So many of his fans think any type of criticism . . . including criticism by football experts . . . is actually just prejudice against Christians.

There Were Some Other NFL Playoff Games This Weekend:

Other than the dramatic Denver Broncos win over the Steelers in overtime, there were three other NFL Playoff games this weekend. Here's what happened: --The New York Giants, who had to beat the Cowboys last week in the last game of the season just to MAKE the playoffs, pummeled the Atlanta Falcons 24-to-2. --The Houston Texans played in their first Playoff game in team history, and beat the Cincinnati Bengals 31-to-10. Running back ARIAN FOSTER scored two touchdowns for the Texans. --The New Orleans Saints beat the Detroit Lions 45-to-28. Quarterback DREW BREES threw for 466 yards, which is the second most EVER in the Playoffs, and the team set a Playoff record for most yards. --Drew Brees and the Saints also set REGULAR SEASON records this year for most yards gained. --The four teams with the best record this year all got the weekend off: The Green Bay Packers, San Francisco 49ers, New England Patriots, and Baltimore Ravens all had byes this week, and will play this week's winners next weekend.
Is Tim Burton Cheating On Johnny Depp with Robert Downey Jr.?

TIM BURTON may be cheating on JOHNNY DEPP. Burton is in talks to direct a new take on "Pinocchio". This one will be told more from the point of view of Pinocchio's creator, Geppetto. --But it's ROBERT DOWNEY JR., not Depp, who's in talks to play him. (--That could easily change. And Burton may not even end up directing it. This is all in the very early stages, and nobody has signed on yet.)

"The Devil Inside" Easily Topped the Weekend Box Office:

The low-budget horror movie "The Devil Inside" made a surprising $34.5 million to top the weekend box office. --Analysts were expecting the film to make about half that, and it's even more impressive when you consider the movie only cost about $1 million to make.

"The Unit" from "Jersey Shore" Is Facing a Drug Possession Charge:

THE UNIT from "Jersey Shore" is facing a drug possession charge. He's THE SITUATION'S friend who appeared on the fifth season premiere of "Jersey Shore". --Last summer, police caught The Unit with the hallucinogen Special K. He was hanging at the "Jersey Shore" house in Seaside Heights at the time. --The Unit wouldn't comment directly on this charge, but he did say, quote, "I've had [drug] issues in the past and I've flourished coming out of them . . . and I'm a complete man and I'm sober." --For what it's worth, the new season of "Jersey Shore" did film this summer . . . so there's a chance the arrest could be featured or addressed on an upcoming episode. --By the way, "Jersey Shore" ratings are slipping. Finally. --7.6 million people watched the Season Five premiere last Thursday night. That's down 14% from the 8.8 million who tuned in for the Season Four premiere. It was also the first season premiere that was down from the previous one. --The show's debut episode attracted 1.4 million viewers, the second season premiere had 5.3 million viewers, and the third season premiere had 8.5 million. And again, Season Four peaked with 8.8 million viewers. --Still, 7.6 million is a big audience for MTV, so they probably aren't sweating the dip.

Kelly Clarkson, Alanis Morissette and Ne-Yo Will Be Guest Advisers on "The Voice":

The contestants on the next season of "The Voice" will have even more famous singers to work with. --In addition to the mentors . . . CHRISTINA AGUILERA, ADAM LEVINE, BLAKE SHELTON and CEE LO GREEN . . . there will be "celebrity advisers" who will assist the mentors. --They will help out during the "battle rounds" phase of the competition, helping out each mentor's six contestants. Each mentor has chosen two advisers.

--JEWEL and LIONEL RICHIE will work with Christina.


--Blake has tapped KELLY CLARKSON and his wife MIRANDA LAMBERT.

--And Cee Lo will have NE-YO and Kenny "Babyface" Edmonds

--The second season of "The Voice" will premiere after the Super Bowl on Sunday, February 5th.

It's Official: There Won't Be a "Glee" Spin-Off:

Over the weekend, Fox announced that there WON'T be a "Glee" spin-off. --Six months ago, there was a lot of speculation about whether or not the main cast members who are "graduating" would move on to a "Glee" spin-off . . . or if they'd just be abandoned all together. --Last we heard, co-creator Ryan Murphy said they initially planned on having the characters graduate and move on to a new show, but those plans have been scrapped. --There aren't many further details at this point. A Fox suit said that CHRIS COLFER, LEA MICHELE and CORY MONTEITH'S characters will still graduate . . . but that they want to have them remain on the show in some capacity. --He added, quote, "[We have an] interesting idea that I think is going to give us something cool to dig into for next season." He didn't elaborate, other than to say that this spring's episodes will set up their plan for next season. --Lea has already signed on for another season. Chris and Cory haven't yet. --Yesterday, Lea Tweeted, quote, "Ryan Murphy has some brilliant and ground-breaking ideas for including us graduates in the show for next season! It's going to be great!"


Could We See New Xbox And PlayStation Consoles This Summer?

--There's a rumor going around that the new Xbox and PlayStation consoles will be both be shown at E3 in Los Angeles this June. (Full Story)

--"Star Wars: The Old Republic" was awarded a Guinness world record for being the largest entertainment voice over project ever. The game has over 200,000 lines of dialogue, which easily beats any other film or video game. (Full Story)

--GARY OLDMAN was on "Conan" last week discussing what it's like to yell random combat commands while doing the voice over work for the "Call of Duty" games. (Video)

--Check out some screen shots from the upcoming "South Park" role playing game. (Photos)

--Here's a list of every game that is supposedly coming out this year . . . and a few for 2013. (Full Story)


Monday TV Reminders:

--"The Mortified Sessions" . . . 8:00 to 8:30 P.M. on Sundance. "NYPD Blue's" Ricky Schroder shares embarrassing moments from his youth.

--"America's Money Class with Suze Orman" [Series Premiere] . . . 9:00 to 10:00 P.M. on OWN. Financial expert Suze Orman lectures on money and shares her tips for erasing debt and buying a home.


--"There Be Dragons" - A historical drama set during the Spanish Civil War, with two friends on opposite sides: One becomes a soldier and the other one becomes a priest.

It's told in flashbacks as a modern journalist investigates the death of the priest, who was the founder of Opus Dei . . . which you'd probably never heard of before "The Da Vinci Code". It stars Charlie Cox, Wes Bentley, and Bond girl Olga Kurylenko.

--"Killer Elite" - Jason Statham is a former special ops agent who takes on a military organization after his mentor . . . Robert De Niro . . . is captured by Clive Owen.

--"Moneyball" - The true story of how the Oakland A's built a winning team with a small budget, using players the scouts rejected. Brad Pitt plays the general manager, Jonah Hill is his statistics expert, and Philip Seymour Hoffman is the A's dugout manager.

--"What's Your Number" - Anna Faris reads that women who've had more than 20 lovers are stuck being single . . . and freaks out because she's already been with 20 guys. So she vows to take another look at her exes before sleeping with anyone else.

Chris Evans is the neighbor who helps track them down, and the men from her past include Andy Samberg, "Reno 911's" Tom Lennon, and "Star Trek's" Zachary Quinto.

TV Series On DVD:

--"Boardwalk Empire: The Complete First Season" . . . a five-disc DVD set.

--"Hawaii Five-O: The 12th and Final Season" . . . a five-disc DVD set.


This Week's CD Releases:

--"Fallen Empires", the sixth album from Snow Patrol

--The score to "Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol".

--"The Lowdown", Stevie Nicks

--"Live On Air", Van Morrison

The Top-Grossing North American Tours of 2011:

Pollstar has released its annual report on the Top-Grossing North American Tours.

--Once again, U2 took the top spot. Their tour grossed $156 million last year. TAYLOR SWIFT followed with $97.7 million. Here's the Top 10:

1.) U2, $156 million

2.) Taylor Swift, $97.7 million

3.) Kenny Chesney, $84.6 million

4.) Lady Gaga, $63.7 million

5.) Bon Jovi, $57.1 million

6.) Elton John, $51.8 million

7.) Sade, $48.6 million

8.) Kanye West and Jay-Z, $48.3 million

9.) Lil Wayne, $44.4 million

10.) Celine Dion, $41.2 million

--By the way, if you wondered why New Kids on the Block and the Backstreet Boys were out touring together . . . in 2011. . . it wasn't just for the love of music. The real reason: Their tour came in at #11, grossing $40.7 million. (--You can download a .PDF of the Top 200 tours, here.) (--The concert industry was up slightly from last year. The Top 100 tours sold $2.34 billion in tickets last year. That's a 6.3% increase from 2010, when the concert industry experienced its first decline in 15 years.) (--But that isn't a sign that the economy has recovered . . . it's a sign that ticket prices went up. For the Top 100 tours, ticket sales were DOWN 2.6% from 2010. But the average ticket cost $67.22, an 8.9% jump over 2010.) (--The concert grosses followed a similar pattern globally. The Top 50 tours around the world made $3.07 billion in gross ticket sales, up 3.7% from 2010 but off 8% from 2009.) (--U2 also came in #1 globally, with $231.9 million in ticket sales. The second-biggest tour was by the reunited British boy band TAKE THAT. They made $224 million, despite not coming to America.) (--Apparently, we aren't the only ones who can't resist the lure of witnessing the tragic, embarrassing obsessions of our youth.)

Rihanna Is the Best Selling Digital Artist of All Time:

Nielsen Soundscan reports that RIHANNA has sold 47.5 million digital downloads overall, which makes her the best-selling digital artist of all time, at least for now. --The BLACK EYED PEAS are next with 42.4 million, and EMINEM is just 100,000 behind that, with 42.3 million digital downloads. --Lady Gaga is fourth. She's sold 42.1 million digital downloads over the years . . . and Taylor Swift is fifth with digital sales of 41.82 million digital downloads.

Check Out a Gallery of Album Covers . . . Without the Dead Guys:

Someone with too much time on their hands . . . and a decent amount of skill . . . digitally altered some classic album covers to ERASE the dead musicians.\ --It's pretty cool, because the dead guys aren't just crossed out or cut out. Whoever did this made it look like the dead guys were simply never there in the first place. (--You can find a slideshow of all the altered album covers at Or you can see a bunch of them on one page, here.) (--The two that really stuck out to me were the Beatles and the Ramones. Those covers just look so much emptier than the originals.)


Showbiz Extras . . . Random Links to Additional Stories:

BRISTOL PALIN is fed up with Hollywood. She's back in Alaska working in a dermatologist's office. And she's still NOT HAVING SEX. (Full Story)

PAULA ABDUL'S boyfriend says they split amicably back in November. (Full Story)

Check out a huge list of Stars Who've Lost Their Looks. (Slideshow)

JOSH LUCAS . . . who's starring in the new TV version of "The Firm" . . . is engaged. (Full Story)

SIENNA MILLER is pregnant . . . and engaged. (Full Story)

"Webster" superstar EMMANUEL LEWIS had a home in Georgia foreclosed on and auctioned off for $56,000. (Full Story)

Boxer FLOYD MAYWEATHER JR. was sentenced to 90 days in jail for beating up his baby-mama. But the judge let him postpone the sentence until June 1st so that he can train for his May 5th fight in Vegas. (Full Story)

Even though "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" didn't do as well as expected, Sony is going ahead with the two sequels. (Full Story)

HARRY CONNICK JR. will play MARISKA HARGITAY'S love interest on several episodes of "Law & Order: SVU", starting later this month. Also, Mariska announced she's sticking with the show next season. (Full Story)

This is the best news gay people are likely to hear all day: KATHY GRIFFIN is getting a weekly talk show on Bravo. (Full Story)

METALLICA is planning a 3D movie for theatrical release in 2013. There's no word yet if it's a concert, a documentary or something else. (--But I have a feeling Metallica fans will accept anything, as long as Lou Reed isn't involved.) (Full Story)

Former FLEETWOOD MAC guitarist BOB WESTON has died at the age of 64. Weston was only in the band for about a year in the early '70s. He got kicked out for nailing MICK FLEETWOOD'S wife. (Full Story)

KEITH RICHARDS had corrective eye surgery. (Full Story)



Stephen Hawking Turned 70 Genius Years Old on Sunday . . . and Women are Still His Biggest Mystery:

On Sunday, STEPHEN HAWKING turned 70. Marking 70 years as the world's smartest man AND coolest guy in a wheelchair. Yeah, I went there, so deal with it, LARRY FLYNT and the guy in "Glee". -We thought we'd take this opportunity to celebrate Hawking's life, quotes, and stories. I mean . . . who ELSE should we take advice from? Someone with an IQ UNDER 200? Come on.

His birthday greeting:

--For his 70th birthday, Hawking made a wish . . . for us. Quote, "Remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Be curious. And however difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at. It matters that you don't just give up."

At 70, His Biggest Mystery is . . . Women:

--Take comfort in the fact that even a genius will NEVER understand women. Hawking admitted that at age 70, women are still, quote, "a complete mystery to me." --Hawking has had two wives. He married his first wife in 1965 and they were together until 1991. Then he married his nurse in 1995 . . . they divorced in 2006 and he claimed she had abused him.

Four Famous Quotes:

--On his "robot" voice box. Quote, "The voice that I use is a very old hardware speech synthesizer, made in 1986. I keep it because I have not heard a voice I like better and because, by now, I have identified with it."

--On the universe. Quote, "I think the universe was spontaneously created out of nothing, according to the laws of science. It has no beginning and no end."

--On UFOs. Quote, "I am discounting reports of UFOs. Why would they appear only to cranks and weirdos?"

--On his guest appearance on "The Simpsons". Quote, "My daughter Lucy knew one of the scriptwriters. He said he would like to write an episode involving me. I accepted immediately because it would be fun, and because 'The Simpsons' is the best thing on American television."

Five Trivia Facts About Hawking:

#1.) At age 22 he was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's disease . . . ALS, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis . . . and was given only a few years to live. He clearly beat that deadline . . . by almost 50 years now . . . but it did put him in a wheelchair forever.

#2.) He did not graduate at the top of his class, although he was the best math student and, quote, "chaotically enthusiastic in chemistry."

#3.) As an undergrad at Oxford University, he admitted he only worked about an hour a day. Quote, "I'm not proud of this lack of work" . . . it's just that school was THAT easy for him.

#4.) He and his first wife, Jane, had three children: Robert, Lucy, and Timothy.

#5.) Let's all keep calm about this . . . but he predicted that humanity WILL end for one of three reasons: Global warming, a new virus, or the impact of a comet.

Four in Five Men Now Have Body Image Issues . . . That's More Than Women:

We never thought we'd see the day, but it's finally happened. Men are now more insecure about their bodies than women. And you know who I blame? RYAN GOSLING. Put those abs away, a-hole. --In a new survey by the University of the West of England, 80.7% of men, or more than four in five, admit they have body image issues. Only 75% of women in the survey said the same thing. --And 38% of men said they'd actually give up years of their life for a perfect body. 12% would give up one year . . . 15.2% would give up two to five years . . . 5.3% would give up six to 10 years . . . and 5.3% would give up more than 10 years.

--Here are some more findings from the study . . .

--63% of men feel like their arms or chests aren't muscular enough.

--30% of men say they've heard someone refer to their "beer belly" . . . 19% have heard someone call them chubby . . . and 19% have heard someone talking about their MAN BOOBS.

--4% of guys have made themselves sick to try to control their weight. 3.4% have tried taking laxatives to lose weight.

(The Guardian)
Here's How to Build a Three-Foot Tower of Food To Maximize Your Trips to a Buffet:

Shen Hongrui is an engineer in Beijing, China. And he had a problem. He loved going to the pizza and salad buffet at his local Pizza Hut, but their rules only allow people to take ONE PLATE of food. So he never felt like he was getting enough. --So he put his engineering expertise to use and figured out a strategy ANY of us can use to maximize our trips to a buffet. Whether you're only allowed one trip, or whether you just want to get the most out of every trip, this trick's for you.

#1.) Put a layer of carrot sticks in a circle on the plate.

#2.) Use cucumber slices to build a circle around the edge of the plate, on top of the carrot sticks. Stack enough cucumber slices to build up a wall that's about six to nine inches high.

#3.) Fill the area inside of your cucumber circle with any food you want.

#4.) Now repeat the process. Put another circle of carrot sticks on top, then build another cucumber layer. Fill that with food.

#5.) Now do it again, building your third layer.

--In the end, you'll have a three-foot tower with carrot foundations and cucumber walls, and all the food you want in the middle. You might even want to eat those vegetables, too. But probably not. (Daily Mail)

(--Here's a photo of one of these towers, plus some visual instructions on how to pull this off.)

Here are Your Odds of Getting Audited by the IRS This Year:

Hey, here's some GOOD news about being POOR.--According to data from the IRS, your odds of getting audited are DRASTICALLY lower this year if you make small money than if you make big money. --Last year, the IRS audited 12.5% of people making more than $1 MILLION . . . that's one in eight. And they audited 4% of people making $200,000 and more . . . that's one in 25. --They only audited 1% of people making less than $200,000 . . . that's one in one hundred. --The same thing happened for companies. Businesses with $250 MILLION in assets had an audit rate of 27.6% . . . businesses with less than $10 MILLION in assets had a rate of 1%. (Los Angeles Times)

Forget Investing in Stocks, Bonds, and Mutual Funds . . . Hiring a Lobbyist Could Earn Up to a 22,000% Return on Your Investment:

If you're looking for the best return on your money, consider hiring someone to lobby Congress on your behalf. --Researchers Raquel Alexander and Susan Scholz of the University of Kansas looked at how much companies spend on lobbyists, and how much they get back in benefits once favorable laws are passed. --What they found is that money spent lobbying earns more than any other type of investment. --When Congress passed the American Jobs Creation Act in 2004, it gave corporations a one-time tax break worth billions of dollars . . . all of which was made possible by the hard work of lobbyists, who influenced the bill. --Raquel and Susan looked at how much the lobbyists were paid by the companies that benefitted from the law and found that the money paid to them earned a 22,000% return. --That means that every dollar companies spent lobbying earned back $220 in reduced taxes. --The researchers admit that not every new law pays off at such a high rate of return, and companies could lose money on lobbyists as well. (NPR)

"Avoid Ghetto" . . . Microsoft's New Map Technology Gives Directions That Keep You Out of High-Crime Neighborhoods:

There's a FINE LINE between usefulness and offensiveness. And this is right on the fence. --Microsoft has been granted a new patent on map technology that's been nicknamed the "AVOID GHETTO" feature. --They've created a system that gives you GPS directions that specifically avoid high-crime areas. So if you get walking or driving directions, even if the fastest route is through a dangerous part of town, your route won't take you through there. --The directions use FBI crime statistics to determine which areas are or aren't dangerous. --Of course, with anything like this, you can see it as helpful . . . or you can see it as offensive and potentially RACIST. Obviously, Microsoft hopes you see it the first way. --The feature could be included in Windows Phones in the near future. Microsoft hasn't given a target date yet. Besides high-crime areas, the GPS will also steer you away from areas that are, quote, "subject to harsh temperatures." (cnet)

Idiotic Moments in Modern Racism #1: Third-Grade Math Homework in Georgia Features Questions About Slaves Picking Cotton and Being Beaten:

At Beaver Ridge Elementary School in Norcross, Georgia, a math teacher sent a group of third graders home with their math homework. (--His name hasn't been released.) --And in a horrible, horrible decision, he gave several of the questions themes about SLAVERY. --Like, quote, "Each tree had 56 oranges. If eight slaves pick them equally, then how much would each slave pick." And even worse, quote, "If Frederick got two beatings per day, how many beatings did he get in one week?" --Naturally, parents were outraged. A Gwinnett County school district spokeswoman says the teachers at the school were, quote, "trying to do a cross-curricular activity" and incorporating social studies into math problems. --But obviously that attempt went WAY off course. She says, quote, "We agree that these questions were not appropriate." --There's no word on what's going to happen to the teacher, but so far there's been no indication that he or she could be fired. (ABC News)

Idiotic Moments in Modern Racism #2: A Papa John's Employee Describes an Asian Customer as "Lady Chinky Eyes" On Her Receipt:

Racism at a pizza place in New York? SPIKE LEE TOTALLY saw this coming. --On Friday, a 24-year-old Korean woman named Minhee Cho went to a Papa John's in the Hamilton Heights neighborhood in New York City and ordered a small pepperoni pizza. --When she got home with the pizza, she saw how an employee there had identified her on her receipt. He called her, quote, "LADY CHINKY EYES." --On Saturday, she tweeted about what happened. Quote, "Hey @PapaJohns just FYI my name isn't 'lady chinky eyes.'" She also included a photo of the receipt. --Papa John's responded on Saturday evening with an apology, and said the employee has been fired. (--So I guess you could say they DID THE RIGHT THING? HI-YO! Someone make sure Radio Raheem is OK.) --Minhee accepted their apology but says she isn't planning to go back to Papa John's again. --Quote, "Some of the tweets I've gotten back are, 'Why are you going to Papa John's when you live in New York City?'" (New York Daily News)

Get to Know North Korea's New Leader . . . He Learned to Drive at Age Three and Is Learning His Seventh Language:

New North Korean leader Kim Jong-un turned 28 years old yesterday. His father, Kim Jong-il died on December 17th, making him the youngest world leader. --Kim has some big shoes to fill, especially if you believe the North Korean state-run media. -According to their propaganda, Kim Jong-il was an avid golfer, usually made three or four holes-in-one per round, and wrote and composed six operas. --And ever since North Korea began leaking out information about Kim Jong-un, it sounds like he's a chip off the old block. --According to his state-issued biography, he learned to drive at age three, and by age eight, he was able to safely drive up to 75 miles an hour on dirt roads. --He also learned four foreign languages as a teenager and is busy learning three more now. (--They don't specify which ones.) --Oh, and he's also a poet, marksman, military strategist, and an expert in economics. --The state media declared Kim Jong-un to be a "great person born of heaven," making him just the third person EVER to hold that title. The other two were his father, Kim Jong-il, and his grandfather, Kim Il-sung. (Washington Post)

A Woman Literally Coughed Up a Lung:

You know the phrase "coughing up a lung"? Well . . . um . . . a woman actually DID that. --There's a new case report in the "New England Journal of Medicine" about a 40-year-old woman in Birmingham, England who had an asthma attack so severe, she basically coughed up her lung.--She'd been coughing so hard that she managed to herniate her lung . . . and cough it THROUGH HER RIBS. --Dr. Rachel Vreeman of Indiana University says, quote, "While she didn't technically cough UP her lung, she coughed OUT her lung." --The woman had surgery and was able to fully recover. --This is a freak case, of course, so you PROBABLY don't have to worry about coughing so hard that you eject your lung out of your chest. Probably. (MSNBC)

Police in Wisconsin Arrested a Guy Whose Legal Name is Beezow Doo-Doo Zopittybop-Bop-Bop:

Every once in a while in this line of work, we're introduced to someone who has a name that's SO ridiculous, we BOW DOWN in awestruck reverence. This man has one of those names. --On Thursday in Madison, Wisconsin, police arrested a 30-year-old man whose actual legal name is . . . BEEZOW DOO-DOO ZOPITTYBOP-BOP-BOP. --Again, that's Beezow Doo-Doo Zopittybop-Bop-Bop. -According to court records, he was born Jeffrey Drew Wilschke. In October, he legally changed his namea to Beezow Doo-Doo Zopittybop-Bop-Bop. Like, a judge approved that and everything. It's on his driver's license. --And you'll never believe this, but on Thursday he was arrested for possession of marijuana. --He was also hit with charges of carrying a concealed weapon, possession of drug paraphernalia, and a probation violation. He was on probation because last April, back when he was Jeffrey, he was arrested with a loaded gun in his backpack. (Madison Capital Times)

A Man Appearing in Court for Drug Charges Shows Up in a Jacket Featuring the Recipe for Making Crack:

Here's more proof that CRACK DON'T SMOKE ITSELF. And it also don't make itself, either. --Last week, a man from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, whose name wasn't released, was appearing in court to face some drug charges. --And the man chose to wear a jacket that features a cartoon-style recipe for MAKING CRACK COCAINE. Again . . . his jacket had the recipe for crack printed on it, and he decided to wear that jacket to court. --The jacket shows a series of pictures including a white substance with a spoon, a carton of baking soda, a pot over a fire, and a crack rock. --It also featured the slogan, quote, "Stack paper, say nothing" . . . which means "get money, hold on to it." --The man apparently didn't get in an extra trouble for wearing the jacket, and there's no word on how his court appearance went. --His lawyer says he regularly has to remind clients, quote, "No drug related clothes when you come to court [like] giant marijuana leaves on their t-shirts." (South Florida Sun-Sentinel)

A Bank Robber is Foiled When He Hands Over His Gun . . . Instead of His Bag for the Cash:

This sounds like something that would happen in a cartoon. In London, a man walked into a bank, pulled out a gun, and demanded that a teller put $1 MILLION into his bag. --Only when he went to hand the teller the bag, he was either nervous, an idiot, or some combination of the two . . . because instead of handing over his bag, he accidentally handed over HIS GUN. --When he realized what had happened he ran out of the bank empty-handed. The police are still searching for the guy. (The Telegraph)

A Woman Cross-Dresses So She Can Rob Her Neighbors:

CROSS DRESSING is a respectable practice and a time-honored tradition. So it makes me sick . . . just SICK . . . to see it misused like this for the sake of CRIME. --In Salt Lake City, Utah, a 31-year-old woman . . . whose name wasn't released . . . was arrested last week for a CROSS-DRESSING BURGLARY SPREE. --The woman would put on a fake mustache and a men's suit, then break into her neighbors' houses. She figured the disguise would keep them from recognizing her. --But one couple WAS able to see past the mustache and recognize her, so they called the cops. And now she's facing three felony counts of burglary and theft. (Salt Lake Tribune)

A Man Holds Up a Beauty Store . . . And Tells the Clerk, "My [B-word] Needs Hair Extensions, Which are the Best Ones?"

Last week, a woman named Benitra Jackson was working at a store called Main Beauty Supply in Dallas, Texas. She was just about to close for the night when a man busted into the store with a gun. --He had two demands from Benitra. Money . . . and HAIR EXTENSIONS. --See, as he explained, quote, "My [b-word] needs some hair extensions, which are the best ones." --Benitra says, quote, "I was like, really? I wanted to laugh . . . but I was in shock." --So she REALLY stuck it to him. She figured he wouldn't know which hair extensions were good and which ones weren't, so she grabbed a couple of random cheap ones off the shelf and handed them to him. --He was satisfied and left. The police are still looking for him. --Benitra says she hopes they catch him . . . and that when he gives his lady the hair extensions, quote, "I hope she doesn't like them." (Huffington Post)

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

A Navy SEAL in California tried to impress a girl he took home from a bar by showing her his gun . . . and accidentally shot himself in the head and died. (Full Story)

Two burglars in Oregon stole a rare coin collection worth several thousand dollars . . . and dumped it in a supermarket coin counting machine to get $450. (Full Story)

According to a new Canadian study, doctors should avoid certain terms when discussing a patient's weight, because they could be considered offensive and make patients reluctant to discuss the issue. Those terms include, quote, "fatness" . . . "obesity" . . . "you are lazy" . . . and "you are way too fat". (Full Story)

Can higher speed limits cause obesity? (Full Story)

Zimbabwe has passed a law . . . making it illegal to sell second-hand underwear? (Full Story)


#1.) An Australian Girl's Bungee Cord Snapped, She Landed in a Crocodile-Infested River . . . and Survived:

An Australian student named Erin Worth was bungee jumping over the Zambezi River in Zimbabwe last week when her bungee cord snapped . . . and somehow she survived. Now the cell phone video from one of her friends is up on YouTube. --It's hard to tell how far off the ground she was when it snapped, but the bridge she jumped from was over 350 feet up. Then she landed headfirst in the river . . . which is apparently filled with CROCODILES. --Even though Erin's legs were tied together . . . and she blacked out when she hit the water . . . she was eventually able to swim to a rock and hold on until help got there. --She ended up in a hospital in South Africa, where doctors treated her for a few cuts and some MAJOR bruises. But no broken bones. (--Search for "Aussie Tourist's Bungee Cord Snaps." It snaps at :10, and she hits the water at :13.) (--WARNING: There's an unbleeped F-bomb at :31.)

#2.) John McCain Accidentally Endorsed President Obama at a Mitt Romney Campaign Event:

In case you missed it, JOHN MCCAIN accidentally endorsed PRESIDENT OBAMA on Thursday. He was speaking to Republican supporters at a Mitt Romney campaign event in South Carolina. --He said, quote, "I am confident [that] with the leadership and the backing of the American people, President Obama will turn this country around." He obviously MEANT to say Mitt Romney. (--Search for "John McCain Endorses Obama.")

#3.) Charles Barkley's Third Time Hosting "Saturday Night Live" Was Pretty Lame . . . and He Also Called Weight Watchers a "Scam":

CHARLES BARKLEY hosted "Saturday Night Live" for the third time. And like the last two times, he basically just read the cue cards. But his best moment was probably when he played Shaquille O'Neal. --Anyway, Barkley is also in the news because he's the new spokesman for Weight Watchers. But during a commercial break in TNT's coverage of the Heat-Hawks game on Thursday, he referred to it as a "scam." --It's not as bad as it sounds though, because he wasn't calling Weight Watchers ITSELF a scam. He was just saying he can't believe they're paying him to lose weight. --He said, quote, "I thought this was the greatest scam going -- getting paid to watch sports. But this Weight Watchers thing is a BIGGER scam." (--Search for "Charles Barkley Weight Watchers Scam." He says it at :19.)
Five Things That Will Be Cheaper in 2012, and Five That Won't:

The website has a list of things they expect to be cheaper this year, and a list of things that will be more expensive.

--One major thing you'll be paying more for is . . . gas: The national average is up 12 cents a gallon since the middle of December, and it's expected to keep going up. But first, here are five things that will cost LESS.

#1.) iPads and Android Tablets. The price of refurbished iPads dropped when the iPad 2 came out last year. And the same thing will happen with iPad 2s when the iPad 3 comes out. The cost of NEW iPad 2s might drop as well. --And now that the $199 Kindle Fire is Amazon's most successful product ever, the prices on ALL tablets are expected to start going down.

#2.) GPS Units. GPS apps for your smartphone are getting better, so not as many people are buying stand-alone units. Last year, you could get a GPS unit that used to cost $150 for about $70. And they're expected to get even cheaper in 2012.

#3.) 3D TVs. A year ago, you could get a 55-inch 3-D TV for about $1,500. Now, you can get one for under $1,000. And with newer models coming out, the prices on the old models should drop dramatically.

#4.) Car Rentals. Rental companies apparently have a surplus of cars this year. So the website is predicting more deals than there were in 2011.

#5.) Property. Last year, average home prices were down 3.4%. And unless the unemployment rate starts dropping significantly . . . which most experts don't think will happen . . . home prices should keep going down, or at least stay the same.

Here are five things that are expected to be MORE expensive.

#1.) Airline Tickets. According to American Express, the price for a seat in coach will go up 5%, and a seat in business class will cost 7% more than last year. --And if you're flying to any country in the European Union, you'll pay an extra $15 per passenger because of a new "green tax" that's aimed at reducing emissions.

#2.) Hard Drives. There's a shortage because of all the flooding in Thailand last year. So prices will be up for the next few months, until production catches up with demand.

#3.) Gold. The price of gold is expected to go up for the 11th year in a row. On average, its gone up 17% a year for the past decade. This year, it's supposed to go up 12%.

#3.) Water. Cities all across the country have to increase revenue so they can balance their budgets. And one of the easiest ways to do it is to up everyone's water bill. --In most areas, it probably won't be that significant. But water bills in the Chicago area are expected to go up by as much as 25%.

#5.) Shipping. Starting January 22nd, the U.S. Postal Service will start charging an average of 4.6% more to send a package. FedEx and UPS are also planning to charge about 5% more for small packages this year. (


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