Put a new twist on fantasy football with a fake ad for a chat room where men can live out their real football fantasies. Pay tribute to the Real American Hero who feigns illness to stretch a three day weekend into four days off. Have fun with fake trailers for the new movies “One Direction: This is Us,” “Getaway,” and “Closed Circuit.” Barack Obama is joined by Chris Christie to raise awareness of the plight of fast food workers. And on Friday we celebrate National Toasted Marshmallow Day.
Written Prep For Friday, August 30, 2013
UCN Written Prep
Friday, August 30, 2013
Use these links to quickly jump to a section below!
Who Am I?
Hitting the Road
At the Movies
Best TiVo Bets
Our Weird World
Water Cooler Talk
Cool Stuff From the Web
IF THEY WERE REALLY DATING, HE’D BE PRANCING ON A COUCH
Katie Holmes and Jamie Foxx were photographed holding hands at a party in the Hamptons; speculation is the two are dating.***
***In the Spider-man sequel, Jamie plays Electro, a villain who can control electricity. So he can probably short out the Scientology SUV outside her apartment.
***This could be a short term fling that doesn’t go anywhere…like Tom Cruise and the Jack Reacher franchise.
HE WAS EVEN MORE EVIL IN “PRETTY IN PINK”
James Spader will play the robot villain Ultron in the sequel to “The Avengers,” due out May 1, 2015.***
***This will be one incredible battle. Chris Hemsworth who plays Thor, is getting warmed up: he’s fighting with his brother Liam over still wanting to marry Miley Cyrus.
***Some plot details have leaked. To make Bruce Banner mad so he turns into the Hulk, they tell him that Affleck is playing Batman.
HUSBAND JOSH AND HIS STRIPPER HAD A GOOD LAUGH
The Black Eyed Peas’ Fergie gave birth to a baby boy on Thursday; she’s named the baby Axl Jack Duhamel after Axl Rose.***
***The members of her band got the news. For a few minutes, they became the “Rolling Their Eyes” Peas.
***Meaning, Prince William and Kate are kicking themselves for not thinking of it first.
HE CALLS HIMSELF “GREEN DAY ARROW”
A man shot an arrow wrapped in a baggie of marijuana at the recreation area of a jail in Washington State; the man later told police he was aiming at a squirrel.***
***The squirrel is currently storing up Cool Ranch Doritos for the winter.
THEY KEEP IT ON THE DOWN LOW WHEN THEY’RE AT LOWE’S
A South Carolina couple has been arrested for having sex inside a display shed at the Home Depot.***
***They talk dirty during sex. He called her a ho; a salesperson heard them and yelled back that gardening supplies are in aisle number four.
IS IT POSSIBLE BE SICK OF A FAD BEFORE IT EVEN STARTS?
Just days after Miley Cyrus gave a her VMAs performance, a Miley Cyrus–Justin Bieber duet called “Twerk” has leaked online.***
***When these two got together in the studio, sparks flew…over the top of their bong.
***It’s not a great song. In fact, it’s the worst leak involving Bieber since that mop bucket.
***Miley is said to be ecstatic at the way the song turned out. And judging from her behavior, I’m guessing she’s on Ecstasy most of the time.
I’D GIVE THEM ALL TIME-OUTS
Harry Styles’ bandmate in One Direction Liam Payne says Taylor Swift should just “get over it”; Taylor was seen at the VMAs using foul language when Harry was speaking on stage.***
***Harry bent over backwards to be nice to Taylor at the VMAs. Onstage, Miley Cyrus was just bending over.
***Taylor and Selena Gomez were gossiping in the audience, Harry was glaring at her from the stage. Luckily, one of other kids ran and got the teacher to break up the fight.
WELL, HE’S SHOWN HE CAN REALLY HANDLE MONEY
Charlie Sheen has just filmed the 50th episode of his sitcom “Anger Management”; he’s halfway to 100 episodes and a payoff of $150 million.***
***Charlie won’t let success go to this head. It’ll probably go right to his nose.
***His brother Emilio Estevez hit a personal best this week too: 50 pizzas delivered in one night.
A CONGA LINE LED BY A PUNCHLINE
Paris Hilton’s first stint as an international DJ in Ibiza, Spain has been a huge success and she’s already been signed to do a long term gig there in 2014.***
***People are flocking to see Paris up on the stage. At first, they get confused when they don’t see a pole.
Timeline For Friday, August 30, 2013
1797 Mary Shelley, creator of “Frankenstein” is born in London.
1905 Ty Cobb makes his major league batting debut.
1963 The “Hot Line” communication link between Washington and Moscow goes into operation.
1967 The U.S. Senate confirms the appointment of Thurgood Marshall, the first black justice on the U.S. Supreme Court.
1979 President Carter is attacked by a rabbit on a canoe trip in Plains, Georgia.
1980 “Sailing” by Christopher Cross peaks at No. 1.
1980 “Cowboys and Clowns” by Ronnie Milsap peaks at No. 1.
1983 The first black American astronaut to travel in space, blasts off aboard the shuttle Challenger.
1986 “Higher Love” by Steve Winwood peaks at No. 1.
1986 “Heartbeat In The Darkness” by Don Williams peaks at No. 1.
1993 “Late Show With David Letterman” debuts on CBS, after moving from NBC.
1995 James Taylor and ex-wife Carly Simon reunite for their first concert together in 16 years.
1997 “Mo Money, Mo Problems” by Notorious B.I.G. with Puff Daddy & Mase peaks at No. 1.
1997 Americans receive word of the car crash in Paris that claimed the lives of Princess Diana, Dodi Fayed and their driver, Henri Paul. (Because of the time difference, it was August 31st when the crash occurred in America.)
2010 An enormous drill begins preliminary work on carving a half-mile chimney through solid rock to free 33 men trapped in a Chilean mine.
Today National Holistic Pet Day – Frankenstein Day – Toasted Marshmallow Day – Slinky Day
-Tie-in Trivia: It was on this date in 1983 that the first African American astronaut takes off in space aboard the shuttle Challenger. Who was it? (Guion S. Bluford Jr.)
-Tie-In Trivia: It was on this date in 1905 that Ty Cobb made his major league batting debut for what team? (The Detroit Tigers)
-Tie-In One-Liner: On this day in 1979, President Jimmy Carter was attacked by a swimming rabbit on a canoe trip in Georgia. People at the time insisted that rabbits can’t swim. But we do know from the cartoons that they completely fool Elmer Fudd when they dress in drag.
CeleBirthdays For Friday, August 30, 2013
Bill Daily (I Dream of Jeannie: Colonel Roger Healey)-86
Elizabeth Ashley (Evening Shade: Freida Evans / Treme: Aunt Mimi)-74
Ben Jones (The Dukes of Hazzard: Cooter)-72
R. Crumb (Cartoonist – Fritz the Cat – Crumb)-70
Peggy Lipton (Twin Peaks: Norma Jennings / Crash: Susie)-67
Lewis Black (The Daily Show / Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated: Mr. E)-65
Micky Moody (Whitesnake)-63
Timothy Bottoms (That’s My Bush!: George W. Bush)-62
David Paymer (The Good Wife: Judge Richard Cuesta)-59
Michael Chiklis (The Shield: Detective Vic Mackey / No Ordinary Family: Jim Powell)-50
Michael Michele (ER: Dr. Cleo Finch / Kevin Hill: Jessie Grey)-47
Michael Gladis (Eagleheart: Chief)-36
Andy Roddick (Tennis player)-31
Ryan Ross (Panic! At the Disco)-27
Cameron Finley (Baywatch: Tanner Sloan)-26
-Tie-In Trivia: Cameron is Cameron Finley’s middle name. What is his real first name (Joseph)
-Tie-In Trivia: In what movie did Cameron Diaz make her acting debut? (“The Mask”)
-Tie-In One-Liner: Cameron Diaz is 41 today. She’s filming the movie “The Other Woman” and treated the cast and crew to McDonalds, shelling out a thousand dollars. Nicki Minaj is in the film, and since she found Mariah Carey hurt her arm, it was an extremely Happy Meal.
CeleBirthdays For Saturday, August 31, 2013
Frank Robinson (Baseball Hall-of-Famer)-78
Warren Berlinger (Too Close for Comfort: Herb)-76
Jerry Allison (Buddy Holly and the Crickets)-74
Jack Thompson (Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones: Cliegg Lars)-73
Rudolf Schenker (Scorpions)-65
Marcia Clark (O.J. prosecutor)-60
Gina Schock (The Go-Go’s)-56
Glenn Tilbrook (Squeeze)-56
Rachel Dennison (Nine to Five: Doralee Rhodes Brooks)-54
Tony DeFranco (The DeFranco Family)-54
Larry Waddell (Mint Condition)-50
Reb Beach (Dokken/Winger / Alice Cooper)-50
Jaime Gomez (Nash Bridges: Evan Cortez)-48
Jeff Russo (Tonic)-44
Greg Richling (The Wallflowers)-43
Zach Ward (Titus: Dave Scouvel)-43
Chris Tucker (Rush Hour movies: Detective James Carter)-41
Sara Ramirez (Grey’s Anatomy: Dr. Callie Torres)-38
Tamara (Trina & Tamara)-36
-Tie-In Trivia: Richard Gere’s first three big roles were “Days Of Heaven,” “American Gigolo” and “Officer And A Gentleman.” All three roles were first turned down by what actor? (John Travolta)
-Tie-In Trivia: In what movie did Chris Tucker play DJ Ruby Rhod? (“The Fifth Element”)
CeleBirthdays For Sunday, September 1, 2013
Alan Dershowitz (Author / Attorney / Law Professor)-75
Don Stroud (Dragnet: Capt. Lussen)-70
Archie Bell (Archie Bell and the Drells)-69
Barry Gibb (The Bee Gees)-67
Greg Errico (Sly & the Family Stone)-65
Dr. Phil McGraw-63
Steve Goetzman (Exile)-63
Ricardo Chavira (Desperate Housewives: Carlos Solis)-42
J.D. Fortune (INXS)-40
Scott Speedman (Felicity: Ben Covington)-38
Joe Trohman (Fall Out Boy)-29
-Tie-In Trivia: How did J.D. Fortune land his gig with INXS? (He won the reality series “Rock Star: INXS”)
Who Am I?
1. I met Bob Newhart at a Halloween party in Chicago when I was 16-years-old.
2. I broke into show business as a bass player in Midwestern jazz bands and switched to stand-up comedy after serving in the U.S. Army.
3. I worked as an announcer and director at the television station WMAQ-TV in Chicago, where I played a role in developing Bob Newhart’s “Abe Lincoln vs. Madison Ave.” sketch.
4. My first TV role was in a 1964 episode of “Bewitched.”
5. I was a semi-regular panelist on “The Match Game” in the 1970s.
Q. Kool-Aid was invented in 1927 by Edwin Perkins. He later married his childhood sweetheart, Kitty Shoemaker, who had developed her own famous product. What?
A. Jell-O! (Source: U.S. Census Bureau)
Q. According to nyctrip.com, how much does the Statue of Liberty weigh?
A. 225 tons (or 450,000 pounds).
Q. According to Men’s Health, 50% of bar fights are started over this. What?
Hitting the Road
|Aug. 30:||Atlantic City, NJ||Borgata Hotel, Casino & Spa / Music Box|
|Sept. 19:||Snoqualmie, WA||Snoqualmie Ballroom|
|Sept. 20:||Richmond, BC||River Rock Casino Resort|
|Sept. 21:||Yakima, WA||State Fair Park|
|Sept. 27:||Hot Springs, AR||Hot Springs Memorial Field|
|Sept. 28:||Biloxi, MS||Hard Rock Live Biloxi|
|Oct. 17:||Youngstown, OH||Covelli Centre|
|Oct. 18:||Williamsport, PA||Community Arts Center|
|Oct. 19:||Englewood, NJ||Bergen Performing Arts Ctr.|
|Oct. 20:||New Brunswick, NJ||State Theatre|
|Oct. 25:||Lincoln City, OR||Chinook Winds Casino Resort|
|Oct. 26:||Lincoln City, OR||Chinook Winds Casino Resort|
|Oct. 27:||Lewiston, ID||Clearwater River Casino & Lodge|
|Nov. 12:||Moncton, NB||The Centre at Casino New Brunswick|
|Nov. 15:||Westbury, NY||NYCB Theatre At Westbury|
|Nov. 16:||Westbury, NY||NYCB Theatre At Westbury|
|Nov. 17:||Montreal, QC||Olympia de Montreal|
|Dec. 28:||Merrillville, IN||Star Plaza Theatre|
|Dec. 29:||Waukegan, IL||Genesee Theatre|
|Sept. 06:||Columbia, MD||Merriweather Post Pavilion|
|Sept. 07:||Mashantucket, CT||MGM Grand At Foxwoods|
|Sept. 08:||Verona, NY||Event Center At Turning Stone Casino Resort|
|Sept. 13:||York, PA||York Fair Grandstand|
|Sept. 14:||Atlantic City, NJ||Mark G. Etess Arena|
|Oct. 28:||New York, NY||Carnegie Hall|
|Nov. 16:||Thackerville, OK||Global Event Center At Winstar World Casino|
|Nov. 22:||Nashville, TN||Bridgestone Arena|
|Oct. 10:||Oakland, CA||Oracle Arena|
|Oct. 12:||Los Angeles, CA||Staples Center|
|Oct. 13:||Los Angeles, CA||Staples Center|
|Oct. 15:||San Jose, CA||SAP Center At San Jose|
|Oct. 17:||Salt Lake City, UT||EnergySolutions Arena|
|Oct. 18:||Denver, CO||Pepsi Center|
|Oct. 20:||Seattle, WA||KeyArena At Seattle Center|
|Oct. 21:||Vancouver, BC||Rogers Arena|
|Oct. 23:||Edmonton, AB||Rexall Place|
|Oct. 24:||Saskatoon, SK||Credit Union Centre|
|Oct. 26:||Winnipeg, MB||MTS Centre|
|Oct. 27:||Fargo, ND||Fargodome|
|Nov. 02:||Minneapolis, MN||Target Center|
|Nov. 03:||Milwaukee, WI||BMO Harris Bradley Center|
|Nov. 05:||Chicago, IL||United Center|
|Nov. 06:||Auburn Hills, MI||The Palace Of Auburn Hills|
|Nov. 08:||Des Moines, IA||Wells Fargo Arena|
|Nov. 09:||Lincoln, NE||Pinnacle Bank Arena|
|Nov. 11:||St. Louis, MO||Scottrade Center|
|Nov. 12:||Kansas City, MO||Sprint Center|
|Nov. 14:||San Antonio, TX||AT&T Center|
|Nov. 16:||Dallas, TX||American Airlines Center|
|Nov. 17:||North Little Rock, AR||Verizon Arena|
|Nov. 20:||Rosemont, IL||Allstate Arena|
|Nov. 21:||Indianapolis, IN||Bankers Life Fieldhouse|
|Nov. 23:||Cleveland, OH||Quicken Loans Arena|
|Nov. 24:||Washington, DC||Verizon Center|
|Nov. 30:||Toronto, ON||Air Canada Centre|
|Dec. 02:||Toronto, ON||Air Canada Centre|
|Dec. 03:||Montreal, QC||Bell Centre|
|Dec. 05:||Boston, MA||TD Garden|
|Dec. 06:||Philadelphia, PA||Wells Fargo Center|
|Dec. 08:||Brooklyn, NY||Barclays Center|
|Dec. 09:||Brooklyn, NY||Barclays Center|
|Dec. 11:||Newark, NJ||Prudential Center|
|Dec. 13:||Birmingham, AL||BJCC Arena|
|Dec. 14:||Atlanta, GA||Philips Arena|
At the Movies
“Closed Circuit” [R] (Wide)
A high-profile terrorism case unexpectedly binds together two ex-lovers on the defense team – testing the limits of their loyalties and placing their lives in jeopardy. Starring: Eric Bana, Rebecca Hall, Jim Broadbent and Ciarán Hinds.
“Getaway” [PG-13] (Wide)
Former race-car driver Brent Magna is pitted against the clock when his wife is kidnapped by a mysterious villain. He commanders a young woman’s car and takes her on a high-speed race against time. Starring: Ethan Hawke, Selena Gomez and Jon Voight.
“One Direction: This Is Us” [PG13] (Wide)
An intimate all-access look at life on the road for the global music phenomenon. Starring: Liam Payne, Harry Styles and Zayn Malik.
“Afternoon Delight” [R] (Limited)
Rachel is a quick-witted and lovable stay-at-home mom. Frustrated with the realities of preschool auctions, a lackluster sex life and career that’s gone kaput, Rachel visits a strip club to spice up her marriage and meets McKenna, a stripper she adopts as her live-in nanny. Starring: Kathryn Hahn, Juno Temple, Josh Radnor and Jane Lynch.
“The Lifeguard” [R] (Limited)
A former valedictorian quits her reporter job in New York and returns to the place she last felt happy: her childhood home in Connecticut. She gets work as a lifeguard and starts a dangerous relationship with a troubled teenager. Starring: Kristen Bell, Mamie Gummer, Martin Starr and Alex Shaffer.
Intel’s Museum of Me uses information gathered from your Facebook account to create a visual snapshot of your life. The website turns your photos, videos, and status updates into a virtual tour de force of your life. The website is a must try for all Facebook users – it is very interesting – if a bit creepy.
Procatinator is a hilarious website created by Ernesto González Aroca and Claudia Mussett in 2011 that pairs an animated cat GIF with an appropriate song from YouTube. The site certainly lives up to its name, providing an entertaining way to procrastinate. Procatinator also has a Twitter and Facebook page.
Best TiVo Bets
Anderson (Syn) Owner of the “Biggest House in America,” co-host Andy Cohen and Jessica Walter.
Live! With Kelly And Michael (Syn) Tyler Perry and Oprah Winfrey.
The View (ABC) Susan Lucci, Little Big Town and guest co-host Margaret Cho.
Dr. Phil (Syn) “From Star Athlete to Call Girl.”
The Ellen DeGeneres Show (Syn) Mila Kunis and Tegan & Sara.
Rachael Ray Show (Syn) “Dr. Phil Solves Family Feuds & the Perfect Brunch.”
The Doctors (Syn) “Top Health Questions from Baby Boomers!”
The Dr. Oz Show (Syn) “How Bad Are Your Health Mistakes?”
The Wendy Williams Show (Syn) Omarosa and Dr. Gadget.
The Talk (CBS) Selena Gomez, Il Volo and guest co-host Marie Osmond.
Katie Couric (Syn) Cedric The Entertainer and Niecy Nash.
Last Man Standing (ABC)
The Neighbors (ABC)
Shark Tank (ABC)
Undercover Boss (CBS)
Hawaii Five-0 (CBS)
Blue Bloods (CBS)
Off Their Rockers (NBC)
Off Their Rockers (NBC)
Dateline NBC (NBC)
The Following (FOX)
Late Night Lineup:
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (NBC) Sen. John McCain, Diablo Cody and Booker T. Jones with Mayer Hawthorne.
Late Show with David Letterman (CBS) Denzel Washington and James McCartney.
Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (CBS) Steve Carell, Channing Tatum, Julie Chen, Neil Patrick Harris, Nikki Reed and Drew Brees.
Late Night with Jimmy Fallon (NBC) Bryan Cranston, Common, Miranda Hart and Robin Thicke.
Last Call with Carson Daly (NBC) Pete Wentz, “No Place on Earth” and Tift Merritt.
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (COM) Pre-empted.
Jimmy Kimmel Live (ABC) Josh Duhamel, Adam Perry Lang and Luke Bryan.
The Colbert Report (COM) Pre-empted.
Conan (TBS) N/A.
Tavis Smiley (PBS) Wayne Shorter.
Promotional Calendar For September
|Whole Grains Month||World Animal Remembrance Month|
|World Friendship Month||AKC Responsible Dog Ownership Month|
|Atrial Fibrillation Month||Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Month|
|Baby Safety Month||Backpack Safety America Month|
|College Savings Month||Be Kind To Editors And Writers Month|
|Fall Hat Month||Childhood Cancer Awareness Month|
|Happy Cat Month||Go Wild During California Wild Rice Month|
|Mold Awareness Month||Great American Low-Cholesterol, Low-Fat Pizza Bake|
|Sea Cadet Month||Gynecologic Cancer Awareness Month|
|National Chicken Month||International Self-Awareness Month|
|National Coupon Month||International Strategic Thinking Month|
|National Honey Month||National Alcohol And Drug Addiction Recovery Month|
|National Mushroom Month||National DNA, Genomics & Stem Cell Education Month|
|National Piano Month||National Head Lice Prevention Month|
|National Rice Month||National Home Furnishings Month|
|National Sickle Cell Month||National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month|
|One-On-One Month||National Skin Care Awareness Month|
|Pleasure Your Mate Month||Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month|
|Library Card Sign-Up Month||September Is Healthy Aging® Month|
|Shameless Promotion Month||Sports And Home Eye Health And Safety Month|
|Update Your Resume Month||Subliminal Communications Month|
|International People Skills Month|
Wal-Mart is already gearing up for the holiday season and will bring back its layaway program next month, waiving a $5 upfront fee but bringing back the $10 cancellation fee it dropped last year. In its own pre-holiday announcement this week, Toys R Us said it would expand its price-matching program to include online retailers including Amazon, Walmart.com and Target.com.
When Green Shoe Studio in Illinois advertised for video entries for their singer-songwriter contest, they weren’t expecting an entry like the one they got from 96-year old Fred Stobaugh of Peoria. Fred wrote a song which paid tribute to the love of his life, his recently deceased wife Lorraine who he had been married to for 73 years. He sent the song, titled “Oh Sweet Lorraine,” in a big manila envelope to the studio and didn’t expect to hear back. Jacob Colgan of the studio was so touched by the letter that he called Fred up and told him that he was going to professionally record the song for him. “A Letter From Fred” is a short documentary on YouTube that tells this touching story in more detail and shows Fred hearing the song he wrote after it was recorded by professionals. The song is available to download at iTunes and Google Play, with proceeds helping Fred. We dare you not to cry!
Next time you stay at a hotel, you might find something a bit risqué alongside your Gideon Bible. Travelodge released its annual list of the 20 books most left behind in its hotel rooms, and E.L. James’ steamy “Fifty Shades Freed” leads the pack. James appears twice more on the list, with her first two novels, “Fifty Shades of Grey” and “Fifty Shades Darker.” Erotica by authors Sylvia Day and Jennifer Probst round out the top three books most left behind, with Gillian Flynn’s “Gone Girl” and J.K. Rowling’s “Casual Vacancy” coming in fourth and fifth, respectively. 22,648 books were left in Travelodge rooms in the past 12 months, with the most common reason being altruistic: “finished reading it and left it for others” to enjoy. Other people “genuinely lost or forgot it,” or were bored by their reading material. This year’s most discarded book:
|1. “Fifty Shades Freed,” by E.L. James||11. “My Story,” by Cheryl Cole|
|2. “Bared To You,” by Sylvia Day||12. “The Marriage Trap,” by Jennifer Probst|
|3. “The Marriage Bargain,” by Jennifer Probst||13. “Camp David,” by David Walliams|
|4. “Gone Girl,” by Gillian Flynn||14. “Call The Midwife,” by Jennifer Worth|
|5. “The Casual Vacancy,” by J.K. Rowling||15. “Before I Go To Sleep,” by S.J. Watson|
|6. “Fifty Shades Of Grey,” by E.L. James||16. “The Marriage Mistake,” by Jennifer Probst|
|7. “Reflected In You,” by Sylvia Day||17. “The Racketeer,” by John Grisham|
|8. “My Time,” by Bradley Wiggins||18. “The Carrier,” by Sophie Hannah|
|9. “Entwined With You,” by Sylvia Day||19. “Oh Dear Silvia,” by Dawn French|
|10. “Fifty Shades Darker,” by E.L. James||20. “The Great Gatsby,” by F. Scott Fitzgerald|
Although nearly all employers will give Labor Day as a paid holiday, about four in 10 organizations will require at least some workers to toil on the holiday that honors workers, according to the Holiday Practices Survey released by Bloomberg BNA. Overall, 39% of employers said they maintain operations on Labor Day and require some employees to report to work on the paid holiday. Larger employers (those with 1,000 or more employees) were more likely to require at least some employees to report to work than were their smaller counterparts (63% vs. 29%). Other findings:
61% of nonbusiness establishments – which include health care, government, education, membership and social services, and religious organizations – require some employees to work on Labor Day, compared with 32% of nonmanufacturing firms and 30% of manufacturers.
Only 4% of employers overall sponsor Labor Day events or activities, compared with other holidays such as Christmas (28%), Thanksgiving (14%), or Veterans Day (11%).
Labor Day is almost here, and with it, the official end of beach season. If you haven’t made it to the shore this summer, you still have one last shot. Here are the 10 best beaches in America for 2013, according to “Dr. Beach.” Better known as Dr. Stephen P. Leatherman, Dr. Beach is a coastal expert and professor at Florida International University. He ranks the beaches on 50 criteria including the local scene, sand quality, water quality, smell, and environmental management. Last year’s No. 1 beach, Coronado Beach in San Diego, was retired after earning the top spot. The best beaches in America for 2013:
1. Main Beach, East Hampton, NY
2. Kahanamoku Beach, Waikiki, Oahu, HI
3. St. George Island State Park, FL
4. Hamoa Beach, Maui, HI
5. Waimanalo Bay Beach Park, Oahu, HI
6. Barefoot Beach, Bonita Springs, FL
7. Cape Florida State Park, Key Biscayne, FL
8. Cape Hatteras, Outer Banks, NC
9. Coast Guard Beach, Cape Cod, MA
Our Weird World
The Edwards family of St. George, Utah have invented the Squatty Potty, a step stool that they say will improve your “toilet posture” on the john. According to their informational video, scientists have determined that people are supposed to squat not sit. They report, “Squatting to poop is healthier and helps with constipation, hemorrhoids and other digestive issues.” The Squatty Potty comes in three styles and is available to purchase at their site, www.squattypotty.com.
Officials at the Denver Zoo said a woman sought hospital treatment for a rhinoceros bite to her hand. The woman was bitten on the hand Wednesday by a black rhino named Mshindi during a “rhino experience” program that allows zoo visitors to feed the animal. Brian Aucone, the zoo’s vice president for animal care said, “Mshindi is a gentle animal. We believe this was an accident and that he was not trying to hurt anyone.” Aucone said the program has been suspended, but Mshindi will not be removed from public display. The severity of the woman’s injury was not released.
Officials at the Oregon Zoo said a mountain beaver was returned to the woods after trespassing in the facility’s otter exhibit. The rodent, also known as a boomer, was discovered swimming Tuesday in the moat for the river otter exhibit at the Portland facility. The zoo’s Twitter feed said the animal was returned to the wild.
Police in North Charleston, South Carolina, arrested a couple after they were caught having sex in a shed at Home Depot on Wednesday. Emily Craig, 20, and Shaun Bowden, 31, face various charges in connection with the incident. Officers were called to the Home Depot after people at the store reported seeing a man and woman walk into a display shed, close the door behind them. The couple was still inside the shed when officers arrived. Cops entered the shed and found Craig “partially clothed” and Bowden shirtless with “his pants down near his knees” and “penis … exposed.” Police questioned the couple and determined that they were having sex in the shed.
Iowa native Steve Chmelar, who is credited with inventing the foam finger, is not the No. 1 fan of Miley Cyrus’ performance at the MTV Video Music Awards. Chmelar. 59, created the foam finger prototype in 1971. They went on to be mass-produced by Geral Fauss in 1978. Chmelar said he did not like the infamy his invention came to after Cyrus’ raunchy performance shone a new light on the foam finger. “She took an honorable icon that is seen in sporting venues everywhere and degraded it,” Chmelar said. The foam finger Miley wore was created by Lisa Katnic for an editorial shoot, but was not used. It eventually made an appearance in the Robin Thicke’s music video for “Blurred Lines,” and then in Cyrus’ performance with Thicke of the same song.
French police said three sisters turned in $206,301 they found stashed in their dead brother’s couch. The sisters traveled from Algeria to clear out the Montpellier apartment that belonged to their brother, who died in early August at the age of 61. The women discovered the money, which was in 100 and 500 euro notes, inside the man’s couch and turned it over to police. The women also discovered a social security card and bank card belonging to their father, who died in 1995. Police believe the women’s brother continued to collect on his father’s pension in the years following his death.
A man is accused of trying to get marijuana into a Washington state jail by attaching it to an arrow he shot onto the roof. A Whatcom County sheriff’s employee saw the man step out of his pickup truck and use a bow to launch the arrow toward the jail’s second-floor recreation area, but it missed its target. The man, identified as 36-year-old David Wayne Jordan, was arrested for investigation of introducing contraband into the jail, resisting arrest and obstructing law enforcement. Jordan told deputies he had been aiming at a squirrel, but he couldn’t explain why he needed to attach marijuana to the arrow to go squirrel hunting.
The public’s insatiable thirst for giant panda Mei Xiang and her tiny cub has forced the Smithsonian’s National Zoo to limit the Panda Cam stream viewing period to just 15 minutes. But after your 15 minutes are up, you can click refresh for another quarter hour of cuteness. The patience of a devoted group of panda cam observers was rewarded during the wee hours yesterday morning, when Mei Xiang placed her squealing cub on the den floor for all to admire. Mei gave birth at the zoo last Friday, after two weeks of “licking and cradling her toys” for practice. The zoo still doesn’t know the sex of the cub, which weighed in at less than a third of a pound at birth.
Clint Eastwood’s wife Dina has confirmed she is divorcing the actor and filmmaker after 17 years of marriage. Dina, a 48-year-old former television journalist, confirmed yesterday she and her 83-year-old husband have been living apart for some time. However, Eastwood’s manager said, “I know nothing about that.” The couple have one daughter together, 16-year-old Morgan. Eastwood also has seven other children from prior relationships.
Bill Murray dressed as the flamboyant, late entertainer Liberace during his appearance on “Late Show with David Letterman” in New York last night. Murray was the first guest on the chat show 20 years ago and he returned to the program in style to help celebrate its two-decade milestone. He arrived onstage in a white vintage Rolls-Royce below a sign written in script lettering that reads “Billy.” Wearing a white Liberace-style outfit, complete with a cape, and carrying a white toy poodle, Murray was helped out of the car by a young, blonde man, wearing a gold-and-white chauffeur uniform. “Wow, that was wonderful, Bill,” Letterman said, giving Murray a standing ovation. “Wow. Delightful. … I didn’t know you had a dog.”
Fergie and Josh Duhamel are new parents. Fergie gave birth to their first child, a son, in Los Angeles yesterday. Axl Jack Duhamel weighed in at 7 pounds, 10 ounces, her rep said. The child was delivered via scheduled Cesarean section. The couple married in 2009.
Former Batman portrayer Michael Keaton says he is confident Ben Affleck will be “great” as the character in Hollywood’s next installment in the film franchise. Affleck’s casting as the Caped Crusader in an as-yet-untitled 2015 Batman-Superman movie has been met with mixed reactions from fans and the media since it was announced last week. Keaton, 61, played the role in 1989’s “Batman” and 1992’s “Batman Returns.”
Actor Murray Gershenz has died at the age of 91. “The Hangover” star passed away after suffering a heart attack on Wednesday. Gershenz did not embark on his acting career until he was 80, but went to appear in several TV shows and movies including “Mad Men,” “Modern Family,” “The Incredible Burt Wonderstone,” “I Love You, Man” and “NCIS: Los Angeles.”
One year after her divorce from Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes isn’t quite ready to rebound with another A-lister. Holmes was spotted dancing with Jamie Foxx onstage at last weekend’s Apollo in the Hamptons benefit in East Hampton, New York, getting down to sexy tunes like “Blurred Lines” and “Get Lucky.” The incident sparked rumors the two were dating. But Katie’s rep Leslie Sloan says it isn’t so. “Katie and Jamie are friends and have known each other for years,” Sloan says.
James Spader will play the villain Ultron in the next “Avengers” flick, “Avengers: Age of Ultron” due out May 1, 2015. Spader will play the powerful robot villain in the film to be written and directed by Joss Whedon, who made the first “Avengers” in 2012. The sequel will bring together the impressive superheroes, including Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man and Chris Hemsworth as Thor.
Cancer-stricken actress Valerie Harper is “getting pretty close to a remission,” but it is likely only temporary, her doctor says. Harper, 74, announced in March she had been diagnosed with an aggressive form of brain cancer and given as few as three months to live. “I’d say that we’re getting pretty close to a remission. It defies the odds,” neuro-oncologist Dr. Jeremy Rudnick tells the actress in a clip from an NBC documentary about her cancer battle, set to air September 19th. Harper says she underwent traditional chemotherapy, as well as having acupuncture and drinking medicinal Chinese tea to slow the disease’s progress. But Rudnick said the cancer will probably “develop resistance to the therapy” and “it’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when.” Since announcing her diagnosis, Harper has published a memoir, taped an episode of “Hot in Cleveland” with her former “Mary Tyler Moore Show” cast members and starred in a TV movie. She also reportedly plans to compete in the upcoming season of “Dancing with the Stars.”
Ted Nugent’s wife, Shemane, was arrested yesterday after she allegedly brought a gun into a terminal at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. Nugent’s attorney, David Finn, said that taking the gun to the airport was an “honest mistake.” Finn said Nugent had worked late and got up early Thursday for the airport, and either “completely forgot or never knew the weapon was in her bag.”
Dierks Bentley is revving up for his eighth annual “Miles & Music for Kids” celebrity motorcycle ride and concert set for November 3rd in Nashville. The event benefits Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt. Jake Owen and Easton Corbin are the first announced special guests to join Bentley for the all-star concert. Presale tickets are available beginning September 4th on www.dierks.com and general public tickets go on sale September 6th through Ticketmaster.
Jay Z has pulled a first: He exclusively premiered his new video, “Holy Grail,” on his Facebook page yesterday. And he had some heavyweight star power to accompany him – Justin Timberlake, sporting a scruffy new look. The clip, which carried a 24-hour exclusivity window, was the first ever by a major music star to debut on the social media site, according to Billboard, which reported that with more than 17 million Facebook fans for Jay Z and another 25 million for Timberlake, “the combined reach for ‘Holy Grail’ is significant.”
Justin Timberlake announced a last-minute surprise appearance Wednesday at the recently-closed Maxwell’s in Hoboken, New Jersey. JT tweeted that the first 150 people would get in to the gig, which was actually a commercial shoot for Target and his upcoming album, “The 20/20 Experience Part 2.” Timberlake’s appearance consisted of a few performances of his new single, “Take Back The Night.”
Death Cab For Cutie will release a 10th anniversary edition of “Transatlanticism” this fall. The band’s breakthrough record will be available on vinyl, after being out of print for years, along with a deluxe digital version. Barsuk Records will release both versions on October 29th. The deluxe edition will include previously-unreleased demos for all 11 songs on htTransatlanticism.ht Death Cab will also play the album in its entirety this Sunday at the Bumbershoot Festival in Seattle.
Aino Jawo of Icona Pop is sick, forcing the duo to postpone upcoming performances in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Vancouver and their appearance at the Bumbershoot music festival in Seattle. The singer is under “strict orders from her doctor to rest in order to complete the last leg of their ‘Iconic Tour’ tour next month” according to a release. Ticket holders for the postponed shows should hold on to their tickets as rescheduled dates will soon be announced. Tour dates are scheduled to resume September 4th in Portland, Oregon.
In the wake of splitting with ex-frontman Scott Weiland, the rest of Stone Temple Pilots decided to pick up Linkin Park’s Chester Bennington to record in the studio. Their new, five-track EP, entitled “High Rise,” is due out October 8th. The band also has a new name, sort of. “High Rise” is being released under the moniker Stone Temple Pilots with Chester Bennington, perhaps to avoid further inflaming Weiland. The band sued Weiland in May for using STP to promote his solo career. Weiland countersued for $7 million, demanding that the band be barred from using the STP name. STP will hit the road with Bennington beginning September 4th in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
Timbaland plans to thrill the world with the King of Pop. The influential producer is about to start a project using the vocals of Michael Jackson. The project, which Timbaland called “two kings working together,” was announced was during a video interview with Revolt TV, along with his hint about the first taste being a track called “Chicago.”
Kevin Jonas and wife Danielle have revealed the gender of their first child together and confirmed they will welcome a daughter into the world. The couple announced they were expecting last month, and they shared the news with fans on Ustream yesterday. Kevin said: “We’re having a girl … I’m going to be a father to a little girl! Mind blowing. So excited.” In the past, Kevin had admitted he was wishing for a daughter because his family is very male-dominated.
Drake’s dad will appear on his son’s new album. Dennis Graham, who once worked as a drummer for Jerry Lee Lewis, has recorded verses for “Heat of the Moment,” a bonus track on Drake’s upcoming new release, “Nothing Was the Same,” which will also include collaborations with Jay Z and Lil Wayne.
George Strait has signed a new five-album record deal at the age of 61. Strait announced his new MCA Nashville deal at a gala honoring his 60 No. 1 singles earlier this week. Strait has recorded all 40 of his studio albums with MCA and says, “I’ve had a lot of fun and I’m looking forward to a whole lot more.” Meanwhile, Strait has also extended his “Cowboy Rides Away” farewell tour, which kicked off in January and will now continue into next year. New dates will be announced soon.
Little Richard is considering retirement. The singer almost collapsed during a rare show in Washington, D.C. last summer after falling ill during a gig at the Howard Theatre and he hasn’t performed since. Now, after turning 80 in December, he feels the time is right to step back from the spotlight. In a new interview, he says, “I am done, in a sense, because I don’t feel like doing anything right now.” Little Richard now spends his days designing clothes and praying – and thinking about the legacy he’ll leave behind. He says, “I think my legacy should be that when I started in show business, there wasn’t no such thing as rock ‘n’ roll… When I started with ‘Tutti Frutti,’ that’s when rock really started rocking.”
Nazareth rocker Dan McCafferty has announced his retirement from the band just weeks after collapsing onstage at a gig in Canada. The singer, who has fronted the band for 45 years, passed out while performing the opening number at a show in British Columbia on July 9th and he cut short a set at the Summerdays Festival in Switzerland over the weekend after suffering respiratory problems. A new post on the group’s website reads: “We sadly have to tell you all that Dan has been forced to retire due to ill health.” McCafferty, 66, suffers from COPD, which severely restricts his ability to breathe properly.
Jon Bon Jovi’s son Jesse has made the roster at Notre Dame for the upcoming season. Jesse Bongiovi will suit up as a cornerback when the Fighting Irish take on Temple University this weekend.
Rodney Atkins and AXS TV are celebrating Labor Day with an all-day country music marathon. Atkins is set to host AXS TV’s Country Music Marathon with the network’s Ashley Eicher on September 2nd. The marathon was shot at the historic Ryman Auditorium in downtown Nashville and features over 16 hours of concert footage from some of today’s best country artists, including Dierks Bentley, Kenny Chesney, George Jones, Tim McGraw, Willie Nelson and more.
Former Bay City Rollers founder Gordon Clark and bandmates Ian Mitchell and Pat McGlynn have learned they will not profit from an ongoing legal battle between the band and Arista Records. The trio sued as part of a dispute between the band and the record label executives, which was launched in 2007, but an appellate court dismissed their claims that they’re entitled to a share of any potential royalties from movie licensing, digital downloads and ringtones. Brothers Alan and Derek Longmuir, who formed the Bay City Rollers with Clark in the mid-1960s, Eric Faulkner, Duncan Faure, Leslie McKeown and Stuart Wood are still in court attempting to win a share of unpaid royalties after a judge allowed the case to move forward in a partial summary judgment victory for the bandmates in 2011.
Water Cooler Talk
Gus, the Central Park Zoo’s beloved polar bear, has died. Gus had become a symbol for the park and was seen by an estimated 20 million visitors in his lifetime. Veterinarians euthanized Gus on Tuesday after discovering a large, inoperable tumor in his thyroid. He was 27. The median life expectancy for male polar bears in zoos is less than 21. Gus had lived at the Manhattan zoo since 1988, after he was born in his hometown of Toledo, Ohio.
A judge said the NFL and thousands of former players have reached a settlement regarding lawsuits seeking compensation for concussions. A mediation center in California announced the agreement, in which the league and NFL Properties would pay $765 million for medical benefits and injury compensation. More than 4,500 former players, including 10 Pro Football Hall of Fame inductees, and relatives filed suit against the NFL alleging that some health problems since their playing careers ended were related to concussions suffered in football-related activities, such as games and practices. The funds are also to be used for medical and safety research and plaintiffs’ expenses related to the lawsuits. The NFL denies wrongdoing in the settlement offer.
A Plattsmouth, Nebraska man is suing Walmart, claiming a defective plastic bag was ultimately responsible for his wife’s untimely death. William Freis said his wife, Lynette, went grocery shopping April 16, 2010, at a Walmart Supercenter and the cashier gave her one plastic bag for two 42-ounce cans of La Choy and a 2-pound bag of rice. While she was walking to the car, Freis’ bag broke and its contents landed on one of her feet, causing a cut. The cut got infected and “despite multiple rounds of antibiotics and two surgical procedures,” the infection spread and she died in the hospital, the suit said. The lawsuit alleges Walmart did not effectively train its employees on how to fill customers’ bags. The bag’s manufacturer is also a defendant in the suit.
According to an unconfirmed report out of South Korea, an ex-girlfriend of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was allegedly executed by a firing squad. Hyon Song-Wol, a pop singer, was reportedly one of 12 “well-known North Korean performers who were executed by firing squad on August 20th.” Hyon and the other performers were reportedly arrested on August 17th for violating national laws against pornography. They were accused of “videotaping themselves having sex and selling the videos.” All of the families of the victims have reportedly been sent to prison camps under North Korea’s “guilt by association” principle. Kim and Hyon allegedly met 10 years ago, before either was married, but there have been rumors that the two were recently carrying on an affair. It was unclear whether Kim’s wife had anything to do with the alleged executions.
Striking workers at McDonald’s and other fast-food chains conducted strikes and walkouts in nearly 60 cities yesterday, hoping for wage hikes that for many would boost their hourly pay to $15 from the current federal minimum $7.25. The pre-Labor Day protests, which follow a series of strikes that began last November in New York City. targeted fast-food chains including McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s and Yum Brands, whose chains include KFC and Taco Bell. Workers are also seeking the right to unionize. Many fast-food workers earn just $7.25, which works out to about $15,000 for full-timers. More than 25% of Americans earning less than $15 an hour receive one or more social services, such as food stamps and Medicaid, the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities says.
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