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Adam Elliott

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Congratulations?

Martin Scorsese's new film The Wolf of Wall Street sets the all-time record for use of the f-word. According to Wikipedia, the word is used 506 times over The Wolf of Wall Street's 180-minute running time.

Previously, the record was Spike Lee's 1999 film Summer of Sam with 435 instances. Wolf of Wall Street isn't the first time Scorsese has dabbled in the profane. The director has other projects in the f-word top 20, including Casino (422) and Goodfellas (300).

Congratualtions?

© Photo: Paramount Pictures
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When The Holiday Shows Will Air

Some people's holiday traditions include chopping down their own tree, making intricate gingerbread houses, or fattening up the goose for a festive feast.

Others, like me, make watching television a holiday tradition. For me, it's not Christmas unless I get to watch Linus explain "what Christmas is all about Charlie Brown," or sing along with the Who's down in Who-ville, "wa-hoo doray, wa-hoo doray, welcome Christmas come what may." (I no longer dress as a Christmas tree and dangle ornaments from my glasses!)

So with that in mind, I present a list of some of the most popular holiday shows and when to watch, or set your DVR.

"A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS"
ABC:  7 p.m. Dec. 19

"A CHRISTMAS STORY"
TBS: 7, 9, 11 p.m. Dec. 24; 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11 a.m., 1, 3, 5 p.m. Dec. 25

"DR. SEUSS' HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS" (1966 animated version)
ABC:  7 p.m. Dec. 24
TBS: 2 p.m. Dec. 8, 7 p.m. Dec. 13

"FROSTY THE SNOWMAN"
CBS: 7PM Dec. 6

"IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE"
NBC: 7 p.m. Dec. 14, 7 p.m. Dec. 24

"NATIONAL LAMPOON'S CHRISTMAS VACATION"
FAM: 9 p.m. Dec. 3, 7 p.m. Dec. 4, 8 p.m. Dec. 11, 6 p.m. Dec. 12, 7 p.m. Dec. 15, 8 p.m. Dec. 20, 3 p.m. Dec. 21, 11 p.m. Dec. 24, noon and 8 p.m. Dec. 25, 6 p.m. Dec. 26

"RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER"
CBS: 7 p.m. Dec. 14

"SANTA CLAUS IS COMIN' TO TOWN"
ABC: 7 p.m. Dec. 9
FAM: 9 p.m. Dec. 10, 1:30 p.m. Dec. 21, 7 a.m. Dec. 22, 5 p.m. Dec. 23, 7:30 a.m. Dec. 25

"WHITE CHRISTMAS"
AMC: 6 and 8:45 p.m. Dec. 13, 6 and 8:45 p.m. Dec. 14, 3:15 and 11 p.m. Dec. 15, 12:01 a.m. Dec. 18, 4:15 p.m. Dec. 19, 1 and 11:15 p.m. Dec 23
 
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Locations : To Town
People : Charlie Brown


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Think Wisconsin Isn't The Center Of The Movie Universe?

This may make you think again. 

(Thanks to Steve C. for the share) Some NSFW dialogue in here.

Image source: Wikimedia Commons
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How About Actually Driving In The Car?

What do driver's eat while driving?  On long distance trips, I often prefer a full six course dinner behind the wheel.  (Just Kidding) :)

A California insurance website said its survey of drivers found that candy bars, French fries, potato chips and chicken are the best foods to eat while driving.

The online survey of 1,500 licensed drivers at least 25 years of age found the motorists' most preferred foods while behind the wheel were: candy bars, fries, potato chips and chicken nuggets.

The website said other foods drivers enjoyed in their vehicles included: donuts, fresh fruit, hamburgers, breakfast sandwiches, hot dogs and ice cream cones.


Image source: Wikimedia Commons
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Double Bonus: Dairy Queen & A Good Deed

Just when you thought that things couldn't get any better than a non nom treat at the end of the day...comes a pretty cool story.  The basics...the kid said he just wanted to do the right thing...and he's doing it right.


Image source: Wikimedia Commons

 

Source: Today.com

A Minnesota Dairy Queen manager is getting widespread kudos for an act of kindness that required giving one customer the deep freeze treatment after some questionable behavior.

Joey Prusak had just finished serving one of his regular customers when the visually impaired man unknowingly dropped a $20 bill from his pocket. A woman in line behind him quickly picked up the money – and then put it in her purse.

"She picked it up so quickly that I thought she was going to give it back but she just stood there and waited," Prusak told TODAY.com. "I was extremely confused when she let the man walk by. She just stood there and put it in her purse and I was like, 'Really?'

Prusak, 19, said the experience left him feeling "violated." After taking a few seconds to compose himself, he politely asked the woman to give the money back. The woman refused, insisting the money was hers. Prusak asked her again but got the same response.

That's when Prusak asked the woman to leave.

"She made a big scene, but I told her I couldn't serve her, so she stormed out," he said.

"Everyone that was in the store at the time was kind of in shock. They just looked at each other like, 'did that really happen?' and kept to ourselves," he said.

Not everyone. One of the customers who witnessed the scene wrote about it in a letter to Prusak's boss, commending the employee for his composure and especially for what he did once the woman left.

"Your employee approached the man and took out his wallet and said, 'Sir, on behalf of the Dairy Queen, I would like to give you the $20 you dropped on the ground as you walked away from the counter,” according to the letter, which was sent by an anonymous writer.

The customer sent the note to the owner of the store where Prusak has worked for the past five years, since he was 14. The store owner printed out the note, which was soon posted by a co-worker on his Facebook page. Eventually, the message made its way around the Internet and got picked up on Reddit.

Prusak, who is studying business management at the local community college, is taking all the attention in modest stride. He said the store's owner has called the international Dairy Queen office, hoping executives there will reward Prusak, who races cars as a hobby, by sponsoring a NASCAR vehicle he wants to buy. "I didn't expect it to go anywhere. I didn't tell anyone. I didn't tell my boss. I didn't even tell my own parents," he said. "A lot of people are saying 'thank you' for what I did. Just telling me that means a lot."
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Who Doesn't Love The Eagles?

I guess if you're hearing Desperado for the 100th time that night, it might lead to some trouble.

Police in South Carolina arrested a woman Monday night after she stabbed her roommate multiple times for refusing to stop playing music by the Eagles. 54 year old Vernett Bader, became irritated with her 64-year-old male roommate (and one-time boyfriend) after he rejected her pleas to turn off the Eagles and told her to "shut up."

Bader then entered the kitchen and grabbed a serrated knife, which she subsequently used to stab her roommate several times in the arm, hand, and elbow. The roommate and his brother managed to wrestle the knife away from Bader, but she quickly retrieved another from the kitchen. All three were intoxicated at the time.

I'm thinking if they just played an Eagles song that has several harmonies, say 'Seven Bridges Road,"  they might have been able to sing along together and avoid the fight entirely.

I almost forgot.  There is one other person who doesn't like The Eagles.  The Dude from perhaps the greatest movie of all time "The Big Lebowski."  Careful, this video is NSFW.


Image source: Wikimedia Commons
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Is That You Santa?

This was one of my giant childhood fears.  Thinking Santa Claus would get stuck in my chimney.  No thanks to the movie Gremlins, which reinforced the idea.

Here's the story from the AP:

Firefighters chiseled a hole through bricks early Tuesday to rescue a man who had gotten himself stuck inside a 20-inch wide chimney space at a Washington home that had been converted to apartments.

The young man was not hurt and was not suspected of a crime, but it's unclear why he apparently climbed into the unused chimney, Tacoma Battalion Chief Dyre Fudge said.

"Stories range from 'hide and seek" to 'repairing the ceiling. Nobody was able to get the straight story," Fudge said.

Firefighters were called about 1:30 a.m. to help the young man who was wedged at the second-floor level of the three-story house. A technical team trained in confined-space rescues was called in to rip through a wall and use power equipment to cut a hole in the chimney.

Firefighters lowered a rope to the man to hold him in place until he was able to step out about a half-hour later.

There were other people living in the house, but no one seemed to know why the man apparently climbed into the chimney at the third-floor level and slid down like Santa Claus.


Image source: Wikimedia Commons
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Topics : Human Interest
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Locations : Washington
People : Dyre Fudge


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Ever Have A Meltdown In Public?

Ever feel like you're under the mangifying glass?

Not like people are watching you, but rather you're sitting there and all of a sudden the sunlight hits you and it gets intensly hot.  It happened to me while walking around the Taste Of Madison over the weekend.  Nice weather, but I took a few steps around the Capitol Square and all of a sudden the sunlight reflected from glass on a building hit me like a laser beam.

A weird experience, but appearntly it happnes all over the world.  Check out this Tweet from London:
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Topics : Hospitality_Recreation
Locations : London


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Best Idea I've Heard All Day

I think I have the Do Not Call lists, and my own hesitation to almost never give my phone number out to anyone to thank for the complete lack of telemarketer calls I get these days.  I simply can't stand them, and when one sneaks through, I immediately ask them to add me to their No Call list.

That's why I love this story.  A British man set up their equivalent of a 1-900 number, where people are charged per minute when they call.  Then, he started placing that number on forms, giving it to store and writing it down anywhere when a business would ask for it.

The result so far: He's made about $465, while reducing the number of calls he receives a month from 20-30 to about 13.

Genius.  Pure genius. 

Image source: Wikimedia Commons
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How Would You Like To Be Contacted?

Does that question make you jittery?  I imagine it does with some people.  The reason?  If you hear from someone you haven't heard from in a while, the natural assumption is bad news.

No worries, I'm not going to call your cell anytime soon.

There was a new study out today on how ineffective work emails are.  That got me thinking about how I prefer to be contacted by people.  It's a natural part of life and work, but really, do you want your boss calling your personal cell phone?

Ways I prefer to be contacted in a business communication
  1. Email
  2. Text
  3. Come into my office and say hello
  4. Shouting down the office hall
  5. Hanging out at the water cooler
  6. Phone call
  7. Voice mail
  8. Snail mail
  9. In a meeting (any type meeting)
Ways I prefer to be contacted in a personal communication
  1. Text
  2. Phone call
  3. Email
  4. Social network
  5. Snail Mail
  6. Voice mail
  7. Land line (that'll be tough since I don't have one)
  8. Meeting in the real world (do people still do this?)
  9. Coming over to my house (You have got to be kidding!?!!)
Of course, these can change depending on the person.  (I'm not going to ask my grandmother to text me.)

In any case, here's the new science:
The vast majority of work emails you send and receive are unnecessary or inefficient—and suck up both your time and your employer's money, finds a new study. After tracking the email habits of company executives, researchers found 80% of the messages sent were wasteful and would have been better communicated via a phone call or face-to-face conversation. When the execs cut back on their emailing by half, their employees followed suit without being told, and the company gained an estimated 10,400 employee hours. Email prevents deep focus with constant interruptions.
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Do You Follow The Speed Limit? Birds do.

Some new researcher suggest that birds have learned to observe our posted limits in their own way.

Essentially, the higher the speed limit is on a road, the faster the birds take off to avoid oncoming traffic.

That may seem like a no-brainer, but here's the part that especially intrigued the researchers: The birds don't react based on the speed of a particular vehicle, but on the average speed of the road. They'll take their sweet old time on slow roads and rush on fast ones, no matter the speed of an individual car. More birds tend to get hit in the spring, possibly because young ones haven't yet learned the rules of the road.

This doesn't surprise me much considering I see a bird swoop into traffic at least once a week and they always seem to come out unscathed.  It sure freaks me out though.  In general, I have nothing against birds.  Geese though.  That's a different story.  One traumatic childhood experience of a Goose attacking me and I forever understand where the phrase "his goose is cooked" comes from. STAY AWAY FROM ME GOOSE!



Image source: Wikimedia Commons
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The Story Of My Life, I Get No Respect...

I used to love hearing Rodeny Dangerfied roll out his comedy bits.  Good times.

Poor Delta gets less respect than even Denny's and Philip Morris. A new survey of businesspeople finds the airline is the least respected of the brands studied. The most respected? PepsiCo and Coca-Cola, in a tie. CoreBrand, a branding research firm, asked respondents about 100 well-known corporate brands that have been publicly traded for at least five years; favorability ratings were based on a company's reputation, how people view its management, and how promising it is as an investment. (The survey captures the attitudes of the business world, not consumers.) The bottom five:

  1. Delta Air Lines
  2. Philip Morris
  3. H&R Block
  4. Denny's
  5. Big Lots

The top five:

  1. PepsiCo and Coca-Cola
  2. Hershey's
  3. Harley-Davidson
  4. Bayer
  5. Johnson & Johnson

Image source: Wikimedia Commons
You know who gets no respect from me...the guy who made the sub sandwich I ate for dinner last night.  Blech... 

Let's improve this situation with a little Rodney...
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The Price Is Right May Be Out Of Control

Here's the proof.  Can you imagine your kind old grandmother doing this in The Price Is Right audience?

 

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What Does My Desk Say About Me?

That's a picture of my desk.  It's sorta clean, but then again it's sorta messy. 

What does this say about me?  It says I'm sitting at my desk at 7:45am on Monday morning.  Harumpf...ugh Monday.  My coffee cup is too small today.

In any case, here's a new study about what your desk says about you...

How you keep your desk could impact the choices you make, according to a new study. Researchers found that a participants sitting in an orderly workspace ate healthier and were more generous. That's because a tidy environment influences people to do what's expected of them, says the study. A messy desk wasn't bad, though; the disorganized backdrop promoted more creative problem-solving and originality. The researchers say sloppiness in a creative environment could allow you to see things differently, possibly spurring out-of-the-box thinking.
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What Happens To All Of Us In The Future?

A quote from one of the better movies made in the last 30 years...Back To The Future.   For posterity purposes, I won't recite the next line.

In any case, we are slowly creeping up on November 5th, 2015.  It's an important date, at least in the mythology of the film. That is the day that makeup experts from 1989 had to predict the toll that aging would take on the stars of the movie.  Michael J. Fox, Lea Thompson, Christopher Lloyd,  Crispin Glover, and Tom Wilson all probably sat through hours of makeup design to figure out what they would look like in 2015. 

We'll, we're almost there, so lets compare notes.  Check out these before, after (and future?) photos of how the stars look today, compared to how they were imagined to look in the 80's.

I think Michael J. Fox and Lea Thompson win. 


Image source: Wikimedia Commons
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I Think This Kid Was Cheated

I'm not necessarily a subscriber to the theory that all kids should be rewarded with a medal for participating in life.  In fact, I think some competition is good for kids.  It tests their meddle. 

That said, on this Kids Week of Jeopardy!, I think this kid was cheated and slightly humiliated.

He was wise enough to come up with the right answer, but misspelled it.  It was clear that he was not going to win because the score of the winning contestant far exceeded what the losing boy might have earned. 

"He spelled it badly."  That's what Alex Trebek said to this kid and the judges agreed.  I realize the judges need to make a call on the fly, andthe stakes are higher during the Final Jeopardy round, but this was in bad taste.

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If McDonalds Doubles Wages, Big Mac's go up $.68

In an effort to try and eat a little healthier these days, I've been avoiding fast food as much as possible.

That's not to say I don't fall victim to a Big Mac attack (anybody still use that term anymore?) every now and then.  

You've probably heard of the protests that have been going on where fast-food workers want to make a "living wage" of $15 an hour. Chains say they'd have to jack up prices if that ever happened.

But just how high?

Turns out, not as high as you might think, at least according to one researcher (a student at the University of Kansas.) He found that if McDonald's immediately doubled the wages of all its workers (including the $9 million CEO), it would have to raise the price of a Big Mac 68 cents, from $3.99 to $4.67. Items on the Dollar Menu wouldn't qualify anymore, but that hike is modest as well, to $1.17.

68 cents is literally chump change to me. 17 cents on top of a Dollarr Menu item is even less of a concern to me.  If the research in this article is valid, then Isay we should just chalk up the extra cost as a personal tax for eating food that we know isn't very good for us. Jeesh!  68 cents?!  Give those poor workers a raise already.
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Topics : Labor
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Locations : Kansas


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Who Was Your Wedding Band?

I'm guessing not a lot of people can say 'Journey' played their wedding...unless of course you're a band member.

Neal Schon, who has been the only consistent member of Journey throughout the years says he's going to tie the knot later this year with a Z-List celebrity.  The celeb in question: Michaele Salahi.  Remember her...the White House Party Crasher from 2009.  She's no longer married to the guy she was with at the time of the party crashing, but the status she gained from the incident was apparetly enough to get her a meeting with Neal Schon...and we now know how that's ended up.

She also made an appearance on the extremely short lived Housewives of DC. As for me...I'm not sure why anyone watches those shows.

Oh well...any bets that Faithfully will be the wedding song? 
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Somebody Owes You Something

For all the commuters out there, who go 20 miles or more like me.  This certianly won't put any money back in your pocket...but maybe you'll feel better that everybody at work is paying for it.

According to a new study, the average person spends $406 every month on work-related expenses.  That's $4,872-a-year . . . or about 10% of the average American salary. 

So apparently you need a job just to afford HAVING a job?  Here's how it breaks down . . .

  • Commuting costs $248-a-month, or $2,976-a-year.  Whether it's getting gas, taking public transportation, or parking fees.
  • Lunch and snacks, $90-a-month or $1,080-a-year.
  • Coffee, $21-a-month or $252-a-year.
  • Random birthday and retirement gifts for coworkers, $9.50-a-month or $114-a-year.
  • Work wardrobe, $24-a-month or $288-a-year.
  • Sponsoring your coworkers' charity walks, buying their kids' cookies and candy, and other donations . . . $3-a-month or $36-a-year.
  • Expenses you forget to claim, $10.50-a-month or $126-a-year.

 

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RIP Ray Manzareck

Ray Manzarek, a founding member of the 1960s rock group The Doors whose versatile and often haunting keyboards complemented Jim Morrison's gloomy baritone and helped set the mood for some of rock's most enduring songs, has died. He was 74.

Manzarek died Monday in Rosenheim, Germany, surrounded by his family, said publicist Heidi Robinson-Fitzgerald. She said the musician's manager, Tom Vitorino, confirmed Manzarek died after being stricken with bile duct cancer.

The Doors' original lineup, which also included drummer John Densmore and guitarist Robbie Krieger, was only together for a few years and they only made six studio albums. But the band has retained a large and obsessive following decades after Morrison's death, in 1971. The Doors have sold more than 100 million records and songs such as "Light My Fire" and "Riders On the Storm" are still "classic" rock favorites. For Doors admirers, the band symbolized the darker side of the Los Angeles lifestyle, what happened to the city after the sun went down and the Beach Boys fans headed home.

Next to Morrison, Manzarek was the most distinctive-looking band member, his glasses and wavy blond hair making him resemble a young English professor more than a rock star, a contrast to Morrison's Dionysian glamour - his sensuous mouth and long, dark hair. Musically, Manzarek's spidery organ on "Light My Fire" is one of the most instantly recognizable sounds in rock history.

But he seemed up to finding the right touch for a wide range of songs - the sleepy, lounge-style keyboards on "Riders On the Storm"; the liquid strains for "The Crystal Ship"; the barrelhouse romps on "Roadhouse Blues." The Doors always considered themselves "more" than a rock band and Manzarek, Densmore and Krieger often managed a flowing rapport that blended rock, blues and jazz behind Morrison's self-consciously poetic lyrics.

"There was no keyboard player on the planet more appropriate to support Jim Morrison's words," Densmore said in a statement. "Ray, I felt totally in sync with you musically. It was like we were of one mind, holding down the foundation for Robby and Jim to float on top of. I will miss my musical brother."

The Doors were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993. Their records have been reissued frequently and the band was the subject of a 1991 Oliver Stone movie, "The Doors," starring Val Kilmer as Morrison and Kyle MacLachlan as Manzarek, who complained that the film stereotyped Morrison as a hopeless drunk and also omitted calmer, more humorous times. The Doors' fame has hardly faded even though they're one of the few groups not to allow their music to be used for commercials, a source of great tension among surviving members. Manzarek and Krieger reportedly supported licensing the songs, and Densmore has resisted. The group also feuded when Krieger and Manzarek formed a new group, Doors of the 21st Century. Densmore objected, and Krieger and Manzarek performed under various names.

Other Doors albums included "The Soft Parade," `'Waiting for the Sun" and their last record with Morrison, "L.A. Woman."

Manzarek briefly tried to hold the band together on the albums "Other Voices" and "Full Circle," neither of which had critical or commercial success. He played in other bands over the years, working with X and Iggy Pop among others. He also wrote a memoir, "Light My Fire," and a novel, "The Poet In Exile," in which he imagines receiving messages from a Morrison-like artist who had supposedly died.

Born and raised in Chicago, Manzarek studied piano as a child and briefly considered a career in basketball. After graduating from DePauw University, he headed west to study film at UCLA. A few months after graduation, he and Morrison met in 1965 on Venice Beach in California. As Manzarek would often recall, Morrison read him some lyrics - Let's swim to the moon/Let's climb through the tide/Penetrate the evening that the/City sleeps to hide" - that became the start of "Moonlight Drive."

"I'd never heard lyrics to a rock song like that before," Manzarek told Billboard in 1967. "We talked a while before we decided to get a group together and make a million dollars."

By 1966, they had been joined by Krieger and Densmore and were a sensation live, especially during the theatrical, Oedipal epic, "The End." They were the house band at the famed Whisky a Go Go in Los Angeles before being signed by Elektra Records and releasing a self-titled album in 1967, one of the most talked-about debuts in rock history.

"Well, to me, my God, for anybody who was there it means it was a fantastic time," Manzarek told The Republican in Massachusetts during an interview last year. "We thought we could actually change the world - to make it a more Christian, Islamic, Judaic Buddhist, Hindu, loving world. We thought we could. The children of the `50s post-war generation were actually in love with life and had opened the doors of perception. And we were in love with being alive and wanted to spread that love around the planet and make peace, love and harmony prevail upon earth, while getting stoned, dancing madly and having as much sex as you could possibly have."

Manzarek is survived by his wife, Dorothy; his son Pablo and two brothers, Rick and James. Funeral arrangements are pending.

Source: AP

 

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If You're Happy And You Know It...

When you think of songs that you clap your hands to, what songs come to mind?

Queen - We Will Rock You?

Any Disco song?

Any kids song about being happy and knowing it?

Ultimate Classic Rock.com came up with this list of the Top 10 Hand Clapping Songs.  I don't think i agree with all of them, but some are right on the beat.

 

1.  "Jack & Diane" John Cougar Mellencamp

2.  "My Best Friend's Girl" The Cars

3.  "No Fun" The Stooges

4.  "Another One Bites the Dust" Queen

5.  "No Matter What" Badfinger

6.  "I Want to Hold Your Hand" The Beatles

7.  "Take the Money and Run" Steve Miller Band

8.  "Only the Good Die Young" Billy Joel

9.  "Bang a Gong (Get It On)" T-Rex

10.  "Stuck in the Middle with You" Stealers Wheel

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He Stopped Loving Her Today

Even if you didn't like country music, it's hard to say that you didn't like George Jones.  A country superstar, he died today at the age of 81. He's one of those guys that was so good, it's impossible to deny his talent.  RIP George Jones.

From Wikipedia:

George Glenn Jones (September 12, 1931 – April 26, 2013) was an American country music singer known for his long list of hit records, his distinctive voice and phrasing, and his marriage to Tammy Wynette.

Over the past 20 years, Jones has frequently been referred to as the greatest living country singer. Country music scholar Bill C. Malone writes, "For the two or three minutes consumed by a song, Jones immerses himself so completely in its lyrics, and in the mood it conveys, that the listener can scarcely avoid becoming similarly involved." Waylon Jennings, in his song "It's Alright" expressed a common jealousy when he said, "If we all could sound like we wanted to, we'd all sound like George Jones."

Throughout his long career, Jones made headlines often as much for tales of his drinking, stormy relationships with women, and violent rages as for his prolific career of making records and touring. His wild lifestyle led to Jones missing many performances, earning him the nickname "No Show Jones."[1] With the help of his fourth wife, Nancy, he has been sober for more than 10 years. Jones has had more than 150 hits during his career, both as a solo artist and in duets with other artists. The shape of his nose and facial features have given Jones the nickname "The Possum." Jones said in an interview that he has chosen to tour only about 60 dates a year.

In August 2012, it was announced that at the conclusion of his 2013 tour, Jones' would retire to spend more time with his family. Titled "The Grand Tour", Jones' final tour takes place across 60 dates.

Jones died April 26, 2013 at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee. He was hospitalized April 18 with fever and irregular blood pressure.

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Four Web Links That You Can Use To Help

Here are four important tips and websites in the wake of what happened yesterday at the Boston Marathon.
 
 
1.  The Boston Police Department and FBI have asked for ANY photos, videos, or information from yesterday.  They're stressing that NOTHING is irrelevant.  You can reach the FBI at 1-800-CALL-FBI or email them at Boston@ic.fbi.gov.  There's also a Boston Crime Tips Hotline at 800-494-8477.
 
 
2.  The Boston Mayor's hotline if you're looking for a loved one is 617-635-4500.
(And both the Red Cross and Google have set up websites to help connect people with their friends and family in Boston.)
 
 
3.  It's best to text people in Boston rather than call them.  The cell towers there are overloaded, and it helps to keep them open for emergencies.
 
 
4.  The Red Cross says they have enough blood AND enough money to handle the crisis.  Instead of donating blood now, wait for a few weeks or months.  You can still donate money, but make sure you go to the source and watch out for scams.
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RIP Annette Funicello 1942-2013

There are some people that fit the term 'beloved."  I think Annette Funicello was one of them.

Disney's official fan club has just broken the news on Twitter:

Annette Funicello has died at age 70.

The actress, singer and beloved Mousketeer had been hospitalized due to complications from multiple sclerosis, according to Extra.

The Disney Fan Club says Funicello died today at Mercy Southwest Hospital in Bakersfield, Calif.

Her family confirmed to Extra that Funicello died from complications of multiple sclerosis. They were by her side when she was taken off life support. Funicello had been in an MS coma for years, reports the site.

Funicello was 12 when she became a Mouseketeer. As a teen, she was launched on a successful singing and acting career, but she really gained popularity when she co-starred with Frankie Avalon in a series of "Beach Party" movies in the mid-1960s.

In 1992, Annette announced she had MS.

Funicello was married to her first husband, Jack Gilardi, from 1965 until 1981, and had three children. In 1986, she married California harness racing horse breeder/trainer Glen Holt.

Source: USA TODAY.com
 

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A Sad Day In This Movie Fan's Life

Working in radio, I often get the chance to meet and greet celebrities.  Of those I've met, I distinctly remember and enjoyed meeting Roger Ebert. 

While many teenage kids would sneak cigarettes, booze from mom & dad's liquor cabinet or do something else mischevous, I would stay up late on Sunday nights,  After curfew, after TV hours were done, I would sneak into our family's TV room at 10:30pm and watch At The Movies.

I loved Siskel and Ebert's job, being able to watch movies for a career, then telling people what they thought about them.  I have tried hard to emulate their careers in my own. 

One of my favorite comments from Ebert was when he was analyzing one of the many Friday The 13th sequels from the 1980s and said the film could only be of interest to people who "like to smell dirty socks."  Cutting, brilliant imagery and funny.


I was quite saddened to hear today that Roger Ebert passed away.  Although I had only met him once, I considered him a mentor.  Known for his movie reviews, he was also a literary wiz.  His hands were involved in 1970's Beyond The Valley Of The Dolls, which only upped his street cred.

I also thought he was a well spoken, well versed and well lived Chicagoan. Im so happy he left his mark on this world.

You will be missed. 

PS...Roger....I extremely apologize for allowing my cell phone to go off during your introduction of Alfred Hitchcock's "Rebecca" at the 2004 Wisconsin Film Fest.  There were only about 40 people in the room and I pretended like it wasn't my phone. How embarrasing!


To make up for it, I have held onto my ticket to see "A Hard Day's Night" that Roger introduced at the 2003 Wisconsin Film Festival.  I still remember his description of George Harrison's first chord of the song "A Hard Day's Night."  He said that was the sound that started the 1960s revolution.

Rock on my fellow film fan.

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Do You Hate The Sound Of Your Own Voice?

It's my voice...i can't really change it.  It's just part of me, so why hate it?

You know that thing where everyone hates the sound of their own voice?   Here comes the science to why we think that way....

 ( Note: I am not a scientist, but i do play one on TV...and I found a research article on this today )
 

There are two ways for sounds to reach your inner ear:  Through the AIR, or through the BONES in your skull.   When you talk, your vocal cords vibrate . . . and that vibration goes through the bones in your skull, directly to your inner ear.
 
Traveling through bone causes a sound's frequency to be lower, which means you hear yourself talking in a deeper voice than everyone else . . . since THEY hear your voice through the air.
 
But when you hear a RECORDING of your voice, you hear it the same way everyone ELSE does.  It travels through the air, to your eardrum, and then to your inner ear.  And it sounds high-pitched and unfamiliar, so you don't like it.


At least that's what scientists have to say about it. 

I did the thing where you talk into a fan so often as a child (just like from this clip from "Tommy Boy") that I think this is how I always sound:

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Cofee...you had me at hello

Running out the door today, I unfortunately did't have time to fuel up on that sweet nectar of the morning gods; coffee.  Hopefully you're not in the same dire situation as me today.  I think the solution is just to power through, because the brine they serve here at work is a poor replacement.

Have no fear, I'll keep my head up and persevre, but I did find these coffee myths somehow helped distract me for a few minutes.  These come from health writer on Yahoo.com, so take them with a grain of salt (or a two lumps of sugar if you prefer.)


5 MYTHS ABOUT COFFEE   

Myth #1: Keeping Coffee In Your Freezer Keeps It Fresher


When you freeze or refrigerate your coffee you are doing the worst thing possible for the flavor of your beans. Coffee is the ultimate aroma absorber and despite your best zip locking, the smells in your fridge or freezer will be absorbed by your coffee. Onion flavored coffee doesn't taste that great! Coffee also absorbes moisture when it's in the fridge/freezer. No matter how well it's sealed the coffee will pick up moisture, especially coming in and out of your freezer. For best results keep your coffee in a sealed container out of direct sunlight.



Myth #2: Reheating Coffee In The Microwave Ain't So Bad

One of the cardinal sins in the Kingdom of Coffeedom is reheating coffee in the microwave, and here's why. Aroma and flavor are destroyed by the chemical breakdown in the cooling and re-heating process. There will be an increase in acidity in your coffee cup and you might taste the oils in the coffee that turn rancid if left cold long enough.



Myth #3: The Stronger The Coffee, The Better It Tastes

Just as in math, architecture and art there is a Golden Ratio for making the perfect cup of coffee. Use one tablespoon of coffee for each cup of coffee you are brewing. Great art, like great coffee, demands that some rules are meant to be broken... but starting with this ratio will help you on your way to making a great cup.



Myth #4: Coffee Is Bad For Your Health

This myth is debated, researched and argued by coffee professionals and nutritionists. Read this Huffington Post article to weigh in on the debate. There is ample evidence for and against the benefits of coffee, but coffee has been linked to the reduced likely hood of type 2 diabetes, Parkinson's disease, dementia and has been known to reduce the likelihood of skin and prostate cancer as well as strokes. Let's drink to that!



Myth #5: Espresso Has More Caffeine Than Filter Coffee

For most parents, a morning espresso or cup of coffee is a life saver. So which one has more caffeine? Average espresso shots have between 30 and 50 mg of caffeine while a 12 oz cup of coffee can have as much as 200 mg of caffeine! The reason is the brew time. When making an espresso, the water is in contact with the ground coffee for 20-30 seconds, but when drip coffee is brewing the water is in contact with the coffee for about four minutes, which means it has time to absorb much more caffeine.
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I Owe The Badgers This

I'm certianly not above admitting when I'm wrong, and I was wrong about how well the Badger Men's Hockey Team was going to do this season.

I said at the beginning of the season they were in a rebuilding year and this was going to be a rough one.  I think a lot of fans felt the same way too.  

I also think that's part of the glue that bonded this team together and made them the WCHA Champs that they are.   Using that underdog status, they rose above the adversity and claimed the glory that they rightfully deserve.

Congrats boys!

Best of luck on Friday with Massachusetts-Lowell on Friday at 4:30pm.  I'll be there watching and cheering you on.  Here's a look at the NCAA Bracket.

Thanks to UW Badgers.com for the image.
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Have You Met All Your Friends?

Facebook has changed the definition of 'Friend" from a close personal contact to someone who you've clicked "Like" on.  I used to say that Yes, I know all of my friends.  Now, (at least on FB) I know most of them.

Is it a bad thing?  Not so much.  But then there's this guy who's trying to top me.

A Connecticut man said he raised $5,000 online to fund his trip to visit all 788 of his Facebook friends in person. Ty Morin said the aim of his "Friend Request: Accepted" project, which he is funding with donations received on Kickstarter.com, "is to reconnect with people. No more hiding behind the screen of social media." "Stop looking down at your phone and pretending you're texting your BFF when you walk by an old friend from high school.

Let's get out there and remind people what it's like to have a face to face conversation with someone," Morin said on his Kickstarter page. Morin said he plans to take a picture of each person performing an activity they love. He said he will use a classic 8x10 folding camera to take pictures, which will take extra time.
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Voice Mail: Do It or Don't Do

When's the last time you left a friend a voicemail?  If you can't remember, don't worry,  it means you're being polite.  At least according to an article in the "New York Times", the new rule of cell phone etiquette in this day and age is: only leave a voicemail if it's a LIFE-OR-DEATH EMERGENCY.

Otherwise, hang up and send a text summarizing what you were going to say.

The theory here is that leaving a voicemail is a BURDEN on the other person.  They have to actually go to the trouble of pressing the button and listening to it.  And there's nothing you'd say in a voicemail you can't say in a text.

I for one disagree.  I have a bunch of stored voicemails from my neices and nephews that are just too cute to delete.  Also, who doesn't like to hear the voice of a family member you haven't heard from in a while..assuming you're on good terms with that family member.

I get the feeling that this survey was focused more on the youth of today, who actually stopped reading after three sentences.  Sorry to burden you kids.
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What's Your Secret Service Code Name?

i am quite the sucker for cool handles.  In particular, I have always loved the code name that the president gets in thriller movies. Imagine a scene where the secret service is rushing the president to safety shouting "We must protect Eagle-1!" 

Love it.

There's a movie coming out March 22nd called Olympus Has Fallen. It stars Morgan Freeman, Aaron Eckhart, and Gerard Butler and it looks like a suspense thriller where the White House is under attack.  I suspect the name "Olympus Has Fallen" is some sort of code word for such. 

The film has come up with a Code Name Generator, so each and every one of us can have our own.  Mine:  Stingray.  I like it.

Find out yours here.

Also, check out this list of our actual politicians and their code names.  I'm not sure it's legit, but it's fun! 

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RIP Bonnie Franklin (1944-2013)

TV just lost one of its first modern mothers.   Bonnie Franklin died today at the age of 69 of pancreatic cancer

Franklin first appeared on television at age 9 in The Colgate Comedy Hour.[5] As a small child, she later appeared in a non-credited role in the Alfred Hitchcock film The Wrong Man. In the 1960s she portrayed a teenage feature character in "You're the Judge," a short educational film about baking sponsored by Procter & Gamble featuring the use of Crisco. She debuted on Broadway in 1970 in the musical Applause, earning a Tony Award nomination.[1] She appeared at the Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn, New Jersey in both George M! and A Thousand Clowns.

In 1988, she appeared at the Bucks County Playhouse and at the Pocono Playhouse, both in Pennsylvania, in the title role of Annie Get Your Gun.

In 1988, she appeared with Tony Musante at the Westside Arts Theatre (in Manhattan) in Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune by Terrence McNally. She later performed in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? at the Pittsburgh Public Theater (July 1998). In 1997, she appeared at Ford's Theater, Washington, D.C., in All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten (September 1999). In 2005, she appeared with Bruce Weitz at the New Theatre Restaurant in Overland Park, Kansas in 2 Across (August–September 2011). She played "Ouiser" in a production of Steel Magnolias at the Rubicon Theater, Ventura, California (October 4-October 14, 2011)

In April 2011, Franklin and other cast members from One Day at a Time accepted the "Innovators Award" from the TV Land cable channel—one of several awards in the annual event. The citation on the TV Land web site reads: "One Day At A Time is being presented with the Innovator Award, which is given to a television series that carved out new territory, tackled important issues of its day and helped re-defined its genre. The series, which was a hybrid drama/comedy, addressed such taboo topics as pre-marital sex, suicide, sexual harassment and more, breaking barriers and paving the way for future shows to tackle these issues as well. Developed and written in part by TV visionary Norman Lear, One Day At A Time aired on CBS for nine seasons from 1975-1984. Starring Bonnie Franklin, Valerie Bertinelli and Mackenzie Phillips as Ann Romano, Barbara Cooper and Julie Cooper, the series revolved around a family headed by a single mother (Franklin) that relocates to Indianapolis, where their new apartment building super, Dwayne Schneider (Pat Harrington Jr.), befriends them. Also taking part in the cast reunion is Glenn Scarpelli, who joined the series in 1980 as the son of Ann's boyfriend, Nick."[13]

On April 28, 2012, she was among several stars who appeared at the 28th annual Southland Theatre Artists Goodwill Event (STAGE) benefit, titled Original Cast 3, at the Saban Theatre in Beverly Hills to benefit AIDS Project Los Angeles. The event raised over $200,000 for APLA's work with clients living with HIV and AIDS in Los Angeles County. Franklin and other original-cast members from a variety of musicals, performed songs with which they are associated. Franklin sang the title song from Applause, which she had originally introduced on Broadway in 1970.[14]

Franklin was best known for her portrayal of divorced mother Ms. Ann Romano on the television situation comedy One Day at a Time (1975–1984). Franklin guest-starred on several television series, including The Man from U.N.C.L.E. ("The Gazebo in the Maze Affair" from 1965). She had a semi-regular role in the ABC series Gidget. She directed several episodes of the 1980s sitcom Charles in Charge. In 2011, she was reunited with her One Day at a Time costar Valerie Bertinelli on Hot in Cleveland, playing the mother of Bertinelli's character's boyfriend. Franklin signed to appear in several episodes of the daytime drama The Young and the Restless on CBS television. The episodes were broadcast in August 2012. The actress was cast as a nun, Sister Celeste, who comes to the assistance of Victor Newman.[15]

Franklin appeared in nearly a dozen staged readings with Classic and Contemporary American Playwrights (CCAP) in the Greater Los Angeles area for the last several years. During the 2006-2007 season, she appeared in the drama Toys in the Attic, written by Lillian Hellman. She appeared in Neil Simon's Broadway Bound at the Pico Playhouse in January 2008. CCAP is devoted to reviving seldom seen works and presenting them to student audiences, to create a new audience for theatre. Most recently, CCAP outreach programs work with teachers at North Hollywood, Cleveland and King Drew Medical Magnet high schools. Working with teachers in the English department, CCAP selects works which will be incorporated into the curriculum and, before the presentation, gives a workshop at the school.

Credit: Wikipedia.

Story:   Bonnie Franklin, "One Day At a Time" star,
March 1, 2013, 1:07 pm

NEW YORK (AP) — Bonnie Franklin, the pert, redheaded actress whom millions came to identify with for her role as divorced mom Ann Romano on the long-running sitcom "One Day at a Time," has died.
 
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The Play It Safe Oscars

Seth McFarlane was hosting the Oscars for the first time, so I'm willing to give him some of the benefit of the doubt.

Some of his jokes worked.  Some fell flat on their face.  I just wish that he would have been give the green light to perform his style of comedy, because I guarantee he had funnier material than that, which the showrunners edited out.

From Catherine Zeta Jones lip synching to a cluster vocal performance from the Les Miserables cast, I'm not sure the goal of reaching a younger audience was achieved.  In fact, quite the opposite.  One of my favorite moments was Shirley Bassey belting out "Goldfinger" in the James Bond tribute segment.  Anyone under 20 actually know what was going on there?

In any case, the Oscars are over and I'm satisfied with the results.

Here were my picks.  I went 5 for 7 missing in the Best Supporting Actor and Best Director. 



Best Motion Picture of the Year
Nominees:
 
Amour (2012): Margaret Ménégoz, Stefan Arndt, Veit Heiduschka, Michael Katz
 
Argo (2012): Grant Heslov, Ben Affleck, George Clooney
 
Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012): Dan Janvey, Josh Penn, Michael Gottwald
 
Django Unchained (2012): Stacey Sher, Reginald Hudlin, Pilar Savone
 
Les Misérables (2012): Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Debra Hayward, Cameron Mackintosh
 
Life of Pi (2012): Gil Netter, Ang Lee, David Womark
 
Lincoln (2012): Steven Spielberg, Kathleen Kennedy
 
Silver Linings Playbook (2012): Donna Gigliotti, Bruce Cohen, Jonathan Gordon
 
Zero Dark Thirty (2012): Mark Boal, Kathryn Bigelow, Megan Ellison
 
Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role
Nominees:
 
Bradley Cooper for Silver Linings Playbook (2012)
 
Daniel Day-Lewis for Lincoln (2012)
 
Hugh Jackman for Les Misérables (2012)
 
Joaquin Phoenix for The Master (2012)
 
Denzel Washington for Flight (2012/I)
 
Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role
Nominees:
 
Jessica Chastain for Zero Dark Thirty (2012)
 
Jennifer Lawrence for Silver Linings Playbook (2012)
 
Emmanuelle Riva for Amour (2012)
 
Quvenzhané Wallis for Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012)
 
Naomi Watts for The Impossible (2012)
 
Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role
Nominees:
 
Alan Arkin for Argo (2012)
 
Robert De Niro for Silver Linings Playbook (2012)
 
Philip Seymour Hoffman for The Master (2012)
 
Tommy Lee Jones for Lincoln (2012)
 
Christoph Waltz for Django Unchained (2012)
 
Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role
Nominees:
 
Amy Adams for The Master (2012)
 
Sally Field for Lincoln (2012)
 
Anne Hathaway for Les Misérables (2012)
 
Helen Hunt for The Sessions (2012)
 
Jacki Weaver for Silver Linings Playbook (2012)
 
Best Achievement in Directing
Nominees:

 
Michael Haneke for Amour (2012)
 
Ang Lee for Life of Pi (2012)
 
David O. Russell for Silver Linings Playbook (2012)
 
Steven Spielberg for Lincoln (2012)
 
Benh Zeitlin for Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012)
 
Best Animated Feature Film of the Year

Nominees:
 
Brave (2012): Mark Andrews, Brenda Chapman
 
Frankenweenie (2012): Tim Burton
 
ParaNorman (2012): Sam Fell, Chris Butler
 
The Pirates! Band of Misfits (2012): Peter Lord
 
Wreck-It Ralph (2012): Rich Moore
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My Oscar Predictions

Remember this year, we're calling it THE OSCARS.  The Academy Of Motion Pictures and Scences has managed to obliterate all occurences of "Academy Awards" from the show this year in an effort to appeal to a younger demographic.  (sigh)  If they really want to do that, why not open up a category of "cute kitten" and other internet videos of people injuring themselves, then allow people to vote by text?

Here's my picks for Sunday.  I know you're excited about the Achievement In Best Makeup and Design category, but for some reason it didn't make my cut this year. My picks are bolded out.

 
Best Motion Picture of the Year
Nominees:
 
Amour (2012): Margaret Ménégoz, Stefan Arndt, Veit Heiduschka, Michael Katz
 
Argo (2012): Grant Heslov, Ben Affleck, George Clooney
 
Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012): Dan Janvey, Josh Penn, Michael Gottwald
 
Django Unchained (2012): Stacey Sher, Reginald Hudlin, Pilar Savone
 
Les Misérables (2012): Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Debra Hayward, Cameron Mackintosh
 
Life of Pi (2012): Gil Netter, Ang Lee, David Womark
 
Lincoln (2012): Steven Spielberg, Kathleen Kennedy
 
Silver Linings Playbook (2012): Donna Gigliotti, Bruce Cohen, Jonathan Gordon
 
Zero Dark Thirty (2012): Mark Boal, Kathryn Bigelow, Megan Ellison
 
Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role
Nominees:
 
Bradley Cooper for Silver Linings Playbook (2012)
 
Daniel Day-Lewis for Lincoln (2012)
 
Hugh Jackman for Les Misérables (2012)
 
Joaquin Phoenix for The Master (2012)
 
Denzel Washington for Flight (2012/I)
 
Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role
Nominees:
 
Jessica Chastain for Zero Dark Thirty (2012)
 
Jennifer Lawrence for Silver Linings Playbook (2012)
 
Emmanuelle Riva for Amour (2012)
 
Quvenzhané Wallis for Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012)
 
Naomi Watts for The Impossible (2012)
 
Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role
Nominees:
 
Alan Arkin for Argo (2012)
 
Robert De Niro for Silver Linings Playbook (2012)
 
Philip Seymour Hoffman for The Master (2012)
 
Tommy Lee Jones for Lincoln (2012)
 
Christoph Waltz for Django Unchained (2012)
 
Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role
Nominees:
 
Amy Adams for The Master (2012)
 
Sally Field for Lincoln (2012)
 
Anne Hathaway for Les Misérables (2012)
 
Helen Hunt for The Sessions (2012)
 
Jacki Weaver for Silver Linings Playbook (2012)
 
Best Achievement in Directing
Nominees:

 
Michael Haneke for Amour (2012)
 
Ang Lee for Life of Pi (2012)
 
David O. Russell for Silver Linings Playbook (2012)
 
Steven Spielberg for Lincoln (2012)
 
Benh Zeitlin for Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012)
 
Best Animated Feature Film of the Year

Nominees:
 
Brave (2012): Mark Andrews, Brenda Chapman
 
Frankenweenie (2012): Tim Burton
 
ParaNorman (2012): Sam Fell, Chris Butler
 
The Pirates! Band of Misfits (2012): Peter Lord
 
Wreck-It Ralph (2012): Rich Moore
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You Can Get There From Here

Check this out:

Though recent estimates peg the number of webpages in existence at a staggering 14 billion, a Hungarian physicist says we can get from any one page to any other in 19 clicks or less.

That is to say....if you're on WOLX.com...you could get to SuperBurritosTakeOverTheWorld.com (not a real site) without typing that into the address bar, but simply by making 19 clicks or less.

Interesting...to get at the 19 degrees of separation, Albert-László Barabási used a simulated model of the Web that revealed the following: Those 14 billion pages spawn what Smithsonian refers to as 1 trillion "web documents"—the pages themselves, photos, video, etc. Most of those can claim just a few connections, but small number of them are super connectors that allow you to easily move from one part of the Web to another—in 19 clicks or less. Neat nugget within the nugget: Barabási found that it doesn't matter if the Web grows much larger, or were to become much smaller, the number doesn't budge. It's still 19 clicks or less. He says this does have some cybersecurity implications, though he notes that the all-important connectors are among the more protected parts of the Web.
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Romantic Movies For A Romantic Day

Feeling the swoon of romance today?  It's not a bad day to forget about all those chocolates, special dinners and flowers. 

Just throw in a romantic movie and snuggle up on the couch.  It's economical, it's personal and it's a great way to get some close up time with your significant other.

Here's some suggestions that Redbook magazine is offering up .  I might disagree on a couple of these.  I'll add my suggestions after, but here's Redbook's Top 10 Most Romantic Movies. 
  1. Pretty Woman
  2. Ghost
  3. Say Anything
  4. When Harry Met Sally
  5. The Way We Were
  6. Love Story
  7. Dr. Zhivago
  8. Breakfast At Tiffianys
  9. Casablanca
  10. Gone With The Wind
OK...at this point, i would only recommend numbers 5-10 for movie fantics only.  Sure they're labeled classics, but if you bring any of these out for a romantic movie watching, somebody is going to fall asleep.  I assume that's not the desired resoluton on Valentine's Day

Here's my reworked list.  Trust me, any of these are great romantic choices.
  1. The Princess Bride
  2. Say Anything
  3. When Harry Met Sally
  4. 500 Days Of Summer
  5. Forgetting Sarah Marshall
  6. Annie Hall
  7. Something in theaters now ===>  Warm Bodies
  8. Before Sunrise
  9. Amelie
  10. The Artist

Seriously.  My girl and I still quote The Princess Bride to this day:

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Well, Here's A Good Definition Of Irony

Have you heard of the Heart Attack Grill in Las Vegas?

You can assume a lot from the name, but the eatery's slogan is "a burger to die for." It gives free meals to people who weigh more than 350 pounds, and a sign reads "Caution: This establishment is bad for your health."

Among the menu items; an 8,000-calorie Quadruple Bypass Burger,  butterfat milkshakes and "flatliner fries" cooked in lard.

It's unfortunate, but not shocking that someone died there...

Customer dies of heart attack at the Heart Attack Grill in Vegas

A patron has died after suffering a heart attack at a diner touting "flatliner fries."
 
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Would You Do This For Your Kids?

Earlier this week, in Wellesley, Massachusetts, Paul Baier made a deal with his 14-year-old daughter Rachel.  If she quit Facebook completely until the end of June, he'd pay her $200.  She gets $50 in mid-April and the other $150 on June 26th.

They even signed a contract.  On the part of the contract where Rachel says how she'll use the money, she wrote, quote, "stuff."
 
Paul says this was Rachel's idea.  Quote, "She wants to earn money and also finds Facebook a distraction and a waste of time sometimes."  But she does plan to get back on Facebook once the five months are over.

Hmmmm...would you do this with your kids?

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Choked Up By Horses

Yeah, I'm a sucker for personified stories about animals and the humans who love them.  

That's why, in my opinion, the Budwesier Clydesdale horse commercial was my the best of all the ads from yesterday's game.   Come to think of it, I'm nt much of a fan of horses in the first place, but if they extended the story out of the guy who raised the colt into a successful horse, I would go see that movie.

Let's call it "Clyde."  Oh man, just turn on the waterworks now. A horse that remember's his roots.  Come on.  That's Oscar material.  I'll start on a screenplay draft and hopefully we can see something in theaters by summer of 2017. We'll used Fleetwood Mac's Landslide over and over as the cue for you to get all choked up.

In the meantime, I'm gonna watch this another 15-20 times.  
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Predicting The Big Game

Who's going to win the game this weekend?  Do you even care?

Since the Packers aren't parrt of the fun, I'm not even interested in cheering on the 49ers, who beat the Pack on the road this weekend.

I'll be looking more at the commercials and the reuben dip that my sister makes for game highlights this time around.  Still if you need a prediction....Jimmy Fallon hass a bunch of puppies making the call.  Cuter than the Puppy Bowl?  Perhaps.

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Got Your Menu Planned For the Big Game?

Here's some "good" suggestions:

I only put "good" in quotations, because you may need a trip to the hospital to clear your arteries after eating these.

Fried Bacon Balls - Really Fried Bacon?...
PB & Bacon Meatloaf Sliders - I'm interested....
Grilled Mac & Cheese Sandwiches....yes...
Nacho Lasagna...you had me at Nacho...
Fried Chicken Bacon Nuggets...I'm starting to see a pattern.  Check out the link below for all the recipes.

 

Big Game Snacking - Eat

Whether you're rooting for the 'Niners or Ravens or Saskatchewan Roughriders, the only team that inarguably deserve a win on Sunday is your taste buds, so to guarantee that outcome we've put together a roundup of nearly 50 easy-to-execute Super Bowl… Read More On thrillist.com ›
 
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Roll Out The Barrel(man): New Brewers Logos

Did you see these yet?  I'm digging it...and how many days until Spring Training?

After two months of sfiting through submissions, tallying votes and weighing the opinions of an esteemed panel of judges, the Milwaukee Brewers announced the winner of their “Design a YOUniform” contest on Sunday morning.

Fans and judges chose an entry from Richfield, Minn. resident Ben Peters who impressed them the most.

The cream-colored button-up jersey and navy blue cap look terrific. As does the fancy patch with the barrelman logo that will go on the left sleeve.

Story and images thanks to Yahoo.com
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I Got Lucky In This Department

With Valentine's Day right around the corner, here's my top reason why I like this holiday.   - I don't have to pay it ANY mind at all.

My gracious significant other says she could careless about a holiday we agree was created by florists and the greeting card industry for proft.

Now, does she just say that and expect a gift anyway.  After 18 years together, I think she may have given up on that idea.  So, I think I'm clear.  In any case, here's some new science on the so-called most romantic day of the year.

 - According to a new survey, more than one in eight women have told a guy not to worry about Valentine's Day . . . then gotten upset when it actually happened.
 - The survey also found 56% of women say they expect their boyfriend or husband won't start trying to figure out Valentine's Day plans until February 12th or 13th.
 - 95% say that a gift or plan that shows it took some TIME and THOUGHTFULNESS is more important than a gift or plan that's expensive.
 - Only 11% of women say they most want flowers and chocolates for Valentine's Day this year.
 
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Restaurant Week Review: Captain Bills

If there was ever a list of Madison restaurants that deliver good food consistently, you have to put Captain Bill's on that list.

OK, techincally it's located in Middleton, but with food this tasty, who cares?

I made reservations to dine at Captan Bill's on Sunday night with my significant other and it was the perfect way to wrap up the weekend. It's a great date restaurant and they've done a good job with atmosphere.

We were quikcly and politely seated.  Drinks were prompt and with the Restaurant Week menu, our food was swiftly served.   From the bar, i ordered my standby beverage, a Jack Daniels and Coke.  It was a stiff drink, but that's not such a bad thing before dining.

The full Captain Bill's $25 Restaurant Week menu is here, but here's what we ordered:

I had the Spinach Salad with Hot Bacon Dressing, followed by The Shrimp Duet and closed with the Chocolate Bread Pudding.  My date had the Wedge Salad, paired with the Lobster Tail/Tenderloin Surf and Turf Combo.  She chose the Key Lime Pie dessert. 

Hot bacon dressing jsut naturally sounds good, but the texture combination with fresh spinach was refresing.  The wedge salad was complimentable and tasty.  My shrimp served two ways came with a four prawn worthy sized coconut shrimp, matched with lemon sweetened sauce for dipping.  They were paried with four butterflied shrimp stuffed with large chunks of crab meat, and topped with a glazed holiandaise sauce.  Both sides were complimentary to the main course, which was also paired with diced yellow and orange carrots.

My date's lobster tail was delectable.  Captain Bills never does lobster wrong.   I recommend the tenderloin be served medium for full flavor.

Bread Pudding is a favorite of mine and the chocolate baked in provided a nice harmony of sweetness. The creme' anglaise rounded things out with a creamy texture.  My date, who is a fan of sour, said the key lime pie was tame for her tastes, but after a sampling, my eyes bulged out from the tart.  Cut it with the whipped cream and it's perfect for my tastes.

All that and were were seated, served and had room for some nice conversation in one hour.  Captain Bills cleary has the process down.


Madison Restaurant Week is now through Friday.  Starting at $25, participating restaurants offer a prix-fixed menu with 3 courses and 3 options of each course.  Some restaurants offer a reduced menu for $15 for lunch. This year, some restaurants are also offering $30 and $35 dinner options. No passes, tickets or coupons are required. Diners may simply visit their favorite participating restaurants throughout the week to enjoy the special menus.  Diners are strongly recommended to make reservations in advance.

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Gotta love stories of Paying It Forward

11 People Paying It Forward

Take notes, these people are doing it right. Everybody loves a random act of kindness and these people are definitely committed to making a difference – big or small. So, do you think you’re an Advocate like them? Find out by taking the quiz at ArchetypeMe and discover great content for your archetypes. This gas giver Source: reddit.com  /  via: imgur.com This book buyer Source: reddit.com  /  via: imgur.com This hometown hero Source: justajeepguydc.blogspot.com This generous employer Source: reddit.com  /  via: imgur.com View Entire List ›
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My Oscar Nomination Score Sheet

OK, not my best showing in choosing which movies would get Oscar nominated but not my worst. 

Here's how the Oscar Nominations went. 
(green = correct picks)
(red = incorrect picks)
(blue = totally missed it)

Overall I got 63% of my picks right.  Sigh. 

Looks like the French movie Amour got me.  I have yet to see it, but there's still time before the Oscars are awarded on Feb 24th.

Best Actress in a Leading Role:   80% Correct
Jennifer Lawrence - Silver Linings Playbook
Jessica Chastain - Zero Dark Thirty
Naomi Watts - The Impossible
Helen Mirren - Hitchcock
Quvenzhane wallis - Beasts Of The Southern Wild
Emmanuelle Riva - Amour

Best Actor in a Leading Role:  60% Correct
Bradley Cooper - Silver Linings Playbook
Jack Black - Bernie
Bill Murray - Hyde Park On Hudson

Daniel Day Lewis - Lincoln
Hugh Jackman - Les Miserable
Joaquin Phoenix - The Master
Denzel Washington - Flight


Best Animated Feature: 60% Correct
Brave
Wreck It Ralph
Fankenweenie
Rise Of The Guardians
The Lorax

Paranorman
The Pirates! Band Of Misfits


Best Director: 40% Correct
Kathyrn Bigelow - Zero Dark Thirty
Wes Anderson - Moonrise Kingdom
Ben Affleck - Argo

Ang Lee - Life Of Pi
Steven Speilberg - Lincoln
Behn Zeitlin - Beasts Of The Southern Wild
Michael Haneke - Amour
David O Russell - Silver Linings Playbook


Best Picture:  77% Correct
Zero Dark Thirty
Moonrise Kingdom
Les Miserables
The Impossible
Argo
Django Unchained
Skyfall
Life Of Pi
Lincoln
Silver Linings Playbook
Amour
Beasts Of The Southern Wild


Here's the rest of the nominations.  Coming soon...who will win and who should win.

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Oscar 2013 Predictions

The nominations for the 85th Academy Awards come out tomorrow morning, so I'm calling some shots on the show.  The actual awards get handed out Sunday, February 24th.

Taking into consideration what I've seen and how the other awards season shows are ranking them, here's how I think the nominations will play out tomorrow.

For easy reading, I'm just sticking to the Top 5 Categories; Best Actress; Best Actor; Best Animated; Best Director and Best Picture.


Best Actress in a Leading Role:
Jennifer Lawrence - Silver Linings Playbook
Jessica Chastain - Zero Dark Thirty
Naomi Watts - The Impossible
Helen Mirren - Hitchcock
Quvenzhane wallis - Beasts Of The Southern Wild

Best Actor in a Leading Role:
Bradley Cooper - Silver Linings Playbook
Jack Black - Bernie
Bill Murray - Hyde Park On Hudson
Daniel Day Lewis - Lincoln
Hugh Jackman  - Les Miserable

Best Animated Feature:
Brave
Wreck It Ralph
Fankenweenie
Rise Of The Guardians
The Lorax

Best Director:
Kathyrn Bigelow - Zero Dark Thirty
Wes Anderson - Moonrise Kingdom
Ben Affleck - Argo
Ang Lee - Life Of Pi
Steven Speilberg Lincoln

Best Picture:
Zero Dark Thirty
Moonrise Kingdom
Les Miserables
The Impossible
Argo
Django Unchained
Skyfall
Life Of Pi
Lincoln
Silver Linings Playbook

Here's how the awards were handed out last year.  Did you see all of the winners yet?
 
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RIP Jack Klugman

Some sad Hollywood news over the holiday, when I heard that we lost Jack Klugman. 

In my generation, I feel like I never truly appreciated his work.  I was too young for The Odd Couple and while it was on, I wasn't interested in medical drama's like Quincy MD.

It wasn't until I developed my love of movies and started watching the classics that I came across 1957's .  A brilliant ensemble cast including Peter Fonda, Jack Klugman, EG Marshall, and Martin Balsam.  It's genius is it's simplicity, taking place mosly in one room12 Angry Men, where 12 jurors decide the fate of a man, and let thier biases and good sense run wild.

Jack Klugman was one of the reasons it was such a monumental film and it was also the catalyst in fueling my interest in more of his film catalog.  He was able to handle drama and comedy and that makes him one of the greats. RIP.

Interesting fact about Mr. Klugman: He was believed to have been involved in a long and bitter feud with actor Norman Fell (The Graduate and Mr Roper from Three's Company) that lasted over 40 years. However, it was later revealed by Klugman that he and Fell got along fine and the feud was nothing more than a friendly rivalry.
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How Much Work Is That For Santa?

Everyone knows Santa relies on the magic of Christmas to deliver presents to every kid in the world in one night.  But what if he didn't? 

How big would Santa's organization need to be, to still get everything delivered on Christmas Eve?  Representatives from FedEx and UPS actually crunched the numbers, and according to them, he'd need 12 MILLION employees.  Here's how it breaks down.

There are 760 million children worldwide who would assumedly recieve gitfs from Santa, and Santa has to hit them all in 24 hours . . . about 9,000 deliveries a second.  That's about 760 million pounds of cargo . . . enough for three hundred 747's.

He'd need 46 international distribution centers, with 400,000 elves just loading the sleigh, and another 832,000 in logistics, support, and HR.

He'd also need 40,000 elves to deal with customs regulations in all the different countries . . . 67,000 to secure flyover rights, and schedule and optimize his flight plan . . . and 100 meteorologists.

That still leaves about 10 million elves getting presents to distribution centers, and doing "general assignment." 

All so each kid can get one present each, weighing a pound.  Yowza!

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See You On Friday...unless

The Mayans didn't really say the world was going to end tomorrow . . . that's just how people have misinterpreted them.  So I feel totally, 100% confident in saying the world is NOT going to end tomorrow.
 
 BUT IF IT DOES . . . here's how it's going to go.  According to scientists, the most likely way the world could suddenly end (say in just one day) would be from something called a DARK COMET. That's a massive comet that's not covered in ice and snow like regular comets, which makes it WAY more difficult for us to spot them in space.
 
 A dark comet hitting us would only immediately destroy everything in the impact zone.  BUT . . . it would send so much dust into the atmosphere that it would block the sun, and cause all the crops worldwide to fail.  Kind of like what was predicted in the cheeseball disaster movies Deep Impact, Armageddon, and their 1979 predecessor Meteor.
 
 So we'd all die slowly and painfully from a global famine.  Have a great Thursday!
 
If a dark comet isn't the end, the second-most likely scenario would be an underground volcano erupting.  That would have the same effect of shooting dust into the atmosphere.  See Dante's Peek or ask any surviving relatives of Pompeii about that one.

In any case, let us remind ourselves that these sci fi distractions are for entertainment purposes only.  See you on Friday.

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Bad Taste? Nah.

someecards.com - I can't wait until we lose power from this storm so I can finally start eating my emergency junk food.
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How You Can Help Those Affected In Newton, CT

Some have contacted us asking how they can help the families of the victims of the Connecticut shooting. 

NOTE: These are verified charities/sources that you can send donations to and help:

The United Way of Western Connecticut is accepting donations in a partnership with Newtown Savings Bank. Check donations may be mailed to: Sandy Hook School Support Fund, c/o Newtown Savings Bank, 39 Main St., Newtown CT 06470, or you can drop off a donation at any Newtown Savings Bank branch location. You can also donate by credit card here: https://newtown.uwwesternct.org.
 
"To several staff, volunteers and contributors, Newtown is home," the United Way of Western Connecticut says on its website. "We will stand with the community and everyone affected directly and indirectly by this tragic event as we face the days and weeks ahead."

From the Newtown Bee Newspaper:  A group of Newtown parents has formed the My Sandy Hook Family Fund (www.MySandyHookFamilyFund.com). This group is made up of the parents of the children who survived. They are the classmates, friends, coaches and neighbors of the victims of Friday’s massacre.  The goal of the Family Fund is to provide immediate and continuing support to the 26 families who lost children and family members in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. All net proceeds donated will go to support the families of the victims.  CLICK HERE for more information on donating to this fund...

Listeners have asked where they can send non-cash donations as well, suchs as teddy bears and other toys/stuffed animals.  An employee of the Newtown Bee Newspaper tells us that they have received many such donations and gifts from around the country and globe, and will distribute them to the community and impacted families.  Here is the mailing address for the Newtown Bee:

Newtown Bee

PO Box 5503
Newtown, CT 06470


Note:  It is suggested that gifts not be wrapped.  

Also, gifts should not be sent to the address of the Sandy Hook school. 
 The school is still a crime scene, and officials say it could be closed for some time to come.

President Obama's Vigil Speech 12/16/12
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Major Movie Misquotes

It's been a strange weekend in Wisconsin with the tragedies in Connecticut, then the Packers going on to win. Like many of you, I watched the coverage all weekend long.  I feel like I need a little break this morning. 

Movies are all about escapism. It's one of the reasons I love film.  There was a story over the weekend about how the piano from Casablanca sold, so here's where my mind went with it.


Casablanca9406 Wideweb  470X385,0Play it again Sam.  Right?

Nope.  That's actually one of the most misquoted lines in movie history. 

Misquote: “Play it again, Sam”

This is often believed to have been said by Bogart in Casablanca. In fact, he closest Bogart came to the phrase was this: “You played it for her, you can play it for me…If she can stand it, I can. Play it!” Interestingly, Ingrid Bergman’s character comes closest when she says: “Play it, Sam.”

If you're being picky, there's also these too:


Snow White

Snowwhite

Misquote: “Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?”

This is an incorrect quotation. In Disney’s animated film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937), the wicked Queen asked: “Magic Mirror on the Wall, who is the Fairest one of all?”

Listen to the original

Dracula

01A Dracula

Misquote: I want to suck your blood!

This quote, usually attributed to Bela Lugosi who played Dracula in 1931, was actually never spoken by Lugosi. However, it was used for humor in Tim Burton’s 1994 Ed Wood. Muahaha!

Star Wars

Sw5Vader

Misquote: “Luke, I am your father”

Commonly believed to have been said by Darth Vader, this quote did not actually occur at all. The actual quote was “No, I am your father” and it was not even delivered on camera – it was dubbed in later; what was originally said on camera was “Obi-Wan killed your father”.

Listen to the original

Forrest Gump

Forrest-Gump

Misquote: “My mama always said, ‘Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.”

Okay – it is a minor point, but he actually says “Life was like a box of chocolates.”

Listen to the original

Apollo 13

Apollo

Misquote: “Houston, we have a problem.”

Also sometimes misquoted as: “Houston, we’ve got a problem.” Both are wrong. The correct historical phrase was: “Houston, we’ve had a problem.”

Star Wars

Obi-Wan Kenobi

Misquote: May the Force be With You

This quote is wrongly attributed to Obi Wan Kenobi who actually said: “The Force will be with you…always”, and “Remember, the Force will be with you…always”. Han Solo, on the other hand, did say this at one point in the film.

Listen to the original



Here's the story that got me thinking about film today:

'Casablanca' piano sells in NY for more than $600K

The piano used for the song "As Times Goes By" in the classic 1942 film "Casablanca" has fetched more than $600,000 at auction.
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Odd Beatles Related News

First we get word that Paul McCartney will be the frontman for 90's grunge rock band Nirvana during tonight's 12-12-12 concert for Hurricane Sandy relief. 

Then comes word that Ravi Shankar died.  My guitar gently weeps.

 

Ravi Shankar, Beatles Influence, Dead At 92

December 12, 2012, 8:02 am

  Sitar master introduced Indian music and instruments to the Western World and collaborated with late Beatle George Harrison.

By Gil Kaufman Ravi Shankar Photo: Getty Images

 
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This Made Me Laugh Today

Here's what's going on in this picture:

A group of guys are sitting around manning phones, answering questions about how to fix Christmas light bulbs.  I received this picture via email from a company that was trying to get me to promote their 24-7 Christmas Light Bulb hotline.  (Much like the Thanksgiving Butterball hotline.)
The reason this riduculous image made me laugh is that, only a group of guys that look like this would actually be sitting around answering phoned-in questions about light bulbs.  That's some old school tech support.  Makes me think of the SNL sketch about Chicago Bears fans.  Oh yah der...you can fix dem Light Bulbs now. Ditka.

I suppose since I made fun of thier picture I could give you thier hotline...but use it only in case of a Christmas Lightbulb emergency. (In case you decide to go Clark Grizwold this year.
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Now There's This For A Christmas Gift

There's those weird meat flavored sodas.  There was even a Kevin Bacon Bacon Sculpture.  Now forr the food/bacon junkie in your life, the bacon-centric business J&D Foods has made Siracha flavored lip balm and bacon flavored shaving cream. 

The shaving cream should make you a perfect tasty treat for any bear.

 

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The 12 Days Of Brokeness

It's back.  That's annual list of how much each item in "The 12 Days Of Christmas" would cost.  Who knew those swans would hold their value from year to year.  You'd think you could just catch some in the wild and save the money. 

Every year, the people at PNC Wealth Management calculate their "Christmas Price Index" . . . which looks at all of the items in the song "The 12 Days of Christmas" and figures out how much it would cost to buy all of them.
 
This year, if you wanted to buy everything from the song once, it would cost you $25,431.18.  That's up 4.8% from last year.  But if you think about it, the song doesn't call for you to just buy everything once.  Every day you're supposed to buy that day's gift, like five gold rings or eight maids-a-milking, AND all of the stuff from the previous days.
 
 
Like, on the third day, you don't just buy three French hens.  You ALSO have to buy two more turtle doves and another partridge in a pear tree.  To follow the song to the letter like that, it would cost you $107,300.24.  That's up 6.1% from last year.
 
 
The biggest price jump this year is the six geese-a-laying.  Six geese jumped 29.6%, from $162 in 2011 to $210 this year.  Five gold rings had the next-largest jump.  A pear tree had the third-biggest.
 
 
Here's the full breakdown . . .

--A partridge in a pear tree.  The partridge is $15, the pear tree is $189.99.
 
--Two turtle doves.  They cost $125, or $62.50 per dove.
 
--Three French hens.  These are $165, or $55 per hen.
 
--Four calling birds.  The price is the same as last year, $519.96, or $129.99 each.
 
--Five gold rings.  These are now $750, or $150 per ring.
 
--Six geese-a-laying.  These are $210, or $35 per goose.
 
--Seven swans-a-swimming.  This is the most expensive item on the list, at $7,000, or $1,000 per swan.
 
--Eight maids-a-milking.  They'll cost $58 . . . in other words, each one gets one hour of minimum wage, $7.25.
 
--Nine ladies dancing.  Getting nine dancers costs $6,294.03, or just under $700 per person.
 
--Ten lords-a-leaping.  That's $4,766.70, or $476.67 each.  Although I bet if you shop around you can find 10 guys to jump around for cheaper.
 
--Eleven pipers piping.  They cost $2,562, or $232.90 each.
 
--Twelve drummers drumming.  They cost $2,775.50, or $231.30 each.
 



 

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Who's Up For A Turkey Explosion?

I know injuries are nothing to laugh about, but I just can't help myself when it comes to Turkey Fryer explosions.   I think they are quite hilarious because they are 100% preventable.  Therefore; the boneheads who hurt themselves doing it are bringing it on themselves.

Here's the stats for this year:

A lot of people think deep-fried turkey is the ONLY way to eat turkey.  Unfortunately, it's also BY FAR the riskiest way to eat turkey. According to State Farm insurance, fire departments are called to at least 1,000 MAJOR FIRES or EXPLOSIONS because of turkey frying accidents every Thanksgiving.  And those fires cause more than $15 MILLION in property damage.

  • From 2007 through last year, the state where the most people BLEW THEMSELVES UP or set themselves or their house on fire during turkey frying was . . . Texas.
  • The rest of the top 10 states with the most turkey frying disasters are:  Illinois, New York, Ohio, Florida, California, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, and South Carolina.
  • State Farm also says the number one thing you can do to avoid starting an accidental turkey frying fire is to cook a safe distance away from your home . . . DON'T set up the fryer in your garage or on your patio.
Actually, the number one thing you can do to avoid an accidental turkey frying fire is to cook it in the oven, like normal people do.

Check out Alton Brown making a blowtorch out of his turkey at about 3:00.  Then he shows you the right way.
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This Made Me Say...

Ahhhhhhhhhhhh!

Headline:

Coffee Extinction In The Wild, Spurred By Climate Change, Could Occur By 2080, Study Says

OK.  Fix this problem or we are gonna have a serious problem on our hands.
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Thanksgiving On The Mayflower Results

A big THANK YOU to everyone who helped donate to this year's Thanksgiving On The Mayflower food drive.

With a matching donation from Fresh Madison Market we helped donate over 20,000 pounds worth of food to the Community Action Coalition

School Challenge Winners:
1st Place: Monona Grove HS - $1,000 prize, just over 6,400lbs of food & cash
2nd Place: Blackhawk Middle School - $300 prize, just over 2,200 lbs of food & cash
3rd Place: East High School - $200 prize, just over 400 lbs  of food & cash

See all the the photos on WOLX's Facebook page.  

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