Tuesday (01-28): Data Privacy Day. Blueberry Pancake Day, National Kazoo Day. ALABAMA VEST of Macon, GA, figured out the first Kazoo in the 1840's, then gave the directions to THADDEUS VON CLEGG, a German clock maker, who make it to the specifications. But the first mass-produced kazoos didn't begin until 1912, when EMIL SORG got together with tool and die maker MICHAEL McINTYRE, and opened a factory in Eden, NY, where there's still a museum today.
Birthdays include: Actresses ARIEL WINTER ("Modern Family" --16), CHELSEA BRUMMET ("All That" --27); KATHRYN MORRIS ("Cold Case" --45). Actors ALAN ALDA (78); "Lord of the Rings" ELIJAH WOOD (33), and EDWARD BURNS (46). NICK CARTER of the Backstreet Boys is 34; 'N Sync's JOEY FATONE is 37. Also, singer SARAH McLACHLAN (46); Matthew McConaughey's baby-mama, CAMILA ALVES (32), Rappers D-J MUGGS of Cypress Hill and RAKIM (both 46); former Playboy Playmate and "Hee Haw" babe BARBI BENTON (64). Also: NICHOLAS SARKOZY, the 23rd President of France, is 59.
SUSAN HOWARD turns 71. Best known as Donna Krebs on "Dallas," she also has the distinction of being the only woman to play a Klingon on the original "Star Trek." Also from "Dallas," JOHN BECK (71).
Death's: Need more proof that smoking isn't good for you? ERIC LAWSON --a tough-as-nails former model who played the Marlboro Man passed away due to COPD on January 10th. The manly man appeared on shows like "Baretta," "The Streets of San Francisco," "Charlie's Angels," "Dynasty" and "Baywatch" and picked up his first cigarette at the tender age of 14. His wife, SUSAN, tells Fox News that he simply couldn't quit and tobacco had a "hold on him." Mr. Lawson was 72.
Legendary folk singer and activist PETE SEEGER is dead. The New York Times says he passed away yesterday at age 94. Pete was one of the first folks singers who lost the toothy grin and realized that those songs were a call to action, and if the people had the same ideas, the music would help them get there. Pete was a member of the WEAVERS, one of the greatest folk groups of all time. His high tenor and banjo opened up folk music to the world. Pete and the Weavers had a number one hit with LEADBELLY's "Goodnight Irene," and songs written or co-written by Pete including "If I Had A Hammer," and "Where Have All The Flowers Gone," which became a song of protest against the war in Vietnam.
THE BYRDS picked up on Pete's arrangement of passaged from the Bible's Book of Ecclesiastes, "Turn! Turn! Turn!" Pete Seeger was a huge influence on so many artists, especially BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN who did a studio and live album of nothing but Pete's timeless tunes. Pete recorded more than 100 albums, but never considered himself a celebrity. In 2009 he said (quote), "My job, is to show folks there’s a lot of good music in this world, and if used right it may help to save the planet.”
Anniversaries: 28-years ago, one of those "Remember where you were when..." moments as the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded 73 seconds after liftoff, killing all seven crew members, including schoolteacher CHRISTA McAULIFFE (1986). The launch was scheduled the day before, but postponed a day due to a technical glitch. Aside from McAuliffe, six other members were on the mission: Commander FRANCIS R. SCOBEE, the pilot, MICHAEL J. SMITH, mission specialists RONALD E. MCNAIR, ELLISON ONIZUKA and JUDITH A. RESNIK, and payload specialist GREGORY B. JARVIS.
--"We Are the World" recording session, 1985.
--"Barnaby Jones" debuted, 1973.
--"Fantasy Island" debuted, 1978.
--The U-S Coast Guard was created by an act of Congress, 1915. Its motto: "Semper Paradus," Latin for "I Think We're Sinking."
--ELVIS PRESLEY appeared on his first network TV show, 1956.
--WDHA in Dover, NJ, becomes the first station to air a CD, 1983.
--Happy anniversary to the first commercial telephone switchboard, put into operation on this day in 1878, but only during the day. Amazingly, it takes longer to connect today than it did back then.
Your tax dollars at work:
A new study finds that for the first time the majority of food stamp recipients are now working age Americans, not children or the elderly, and over one quarter of them --28 percent have attended college, a statistic the Heritage Foundation tries to play up as shocking but that proves to be misleading. Those with a college degree make up only seven percent of those households on food stamps. Nearly 39 percent of working-age Americans hold a 2- or 4-year degree.
Meanwhile, Congress unveiled a farm bill yesterday that included $8 billion in cuts to food stamps, much less than the $39 billion cut initially sought by the House.
Yesterday's winter weather proved a brutal start to the work week for many in the Midwest. People woke up to sub-zero cold and wind chills double digits below that --40 below last night in Chicago-- and the mercury won't rise above zero until tomorrow in what will likely be the longest period of bitter cold in 31 years.
It was hazardous to spend more than just a few minutes outside. Schools in Chicago, Cleveland and Milwaukee are closed until tomorrow. Chicago transit workers lit fires below track switches to keep them from freezing.
In Ohio, snow rollers started forming. Conditions have to be just right as the wind blows chunks of snow around like icy tumbleweeds, picking up more snow material along the way.
In Minneapolis, the Salvation Army has taken 8,500 applications for emergency heating assistance so far this winter. Last year, by this time, they'd taken just 2,700.
The deep freeze extends beyond the Midwest. Extremely cold air will hit the Deep South today, right down to the shores of Mississippi, Alabama and Florida. Winter storm warnings are up in places like Houston, New Orleans, Pensacola, FL, and up into the Carolinas --places that don't really have a lot of infrastructure to handle such weather, and some places will see as much as six inches of snow.
Filling a need:
Stay-at-home moms may get a bad rap as soap opera-loving, chocolate-eating divas, but make no mistake about it --hiring someone to do their work would cost a small fortune! The number crunchers over at Salary.com added up everything a housewife does from cooking to cleaning, running a day care, a part-time psychology practice, janitorial service and more to discover the domestic diva's yearly income should be $113,568! Working mamas haven't been forgotten --they'd earn a whopping $67,436 in their free time!
According to new data from the Global Web Index, usage of other social networks is surging but have a way to go to catch up to Facebook’s dominance. Just over 80 percent of the global Internet audience holds a Facebook membership; about half that number is considered “active” Facebookers. Of that group about 55 percent visit the site more than once per day.
Data from online meeting company FuzeBox underlines the dangers of multi-tasking for businesses, including the cost of distracted workers for businesses --an estimated $450 billion per year, globally. According to FuzeBox:
--People check phones an average of 150 times per day
--Most are “on task” for just over a minute before being interrupted
--Post-interruption, it takes about 25 minutes to resume a task
Multi-tasking was also found to lead to a 40 percent drop in worker productivity and to make up to 50 percent as long to finish a task as those who do not multi-task. As for where all this multi-tasking Happens: more than 90 percent say they multi-task during meetings, 57 percent during phone calls and 23 percent during web conference calls.
Last week's hot Broadway shows (Playbill magazine):
10. "Pippin," $720K,
9. "The Phantom of the Opera," $742K,
8. "Beautiful," $835K,
7. "Twelfth Night/Richard III," $879K,
6. "Matilda," $1.05 million,
5. "Motown," $1.12 million,
4. "Kinky Boots," $1.39 million,
3. "Wicked," $1.60 million,
2. "The Lion King," $1.61 million,
1. "The Book of Mormon," $1.66 million.
FYI: Just outta the top-10: "Jersey Boys," $702K; "Cinderella," $695K; "Newsies," $688K; "Once," $639K; "Mama Mia," $518K; "Chicago," $488K. (01/20-26)
On, off and way-off Broadway:
Lively up your kids! Playbill.com says a new musical is opening on Broadway based on the music of reggae pioneer BOB MARLEY. "Three Little Birds" will bring a bit of Jamaica to young people. The show was written by CEDELLA MARLEY, the first-born daughter of Bob and Rita Marley, inspired by her 2006 picture book. The show opens on February 7th, which would have been Bob's 69th birthday, and runs through February 23rd at the New Victory Theater in Times Square.
It may have been the lure of the remaining two BEATLES performing together, but whatever the case, this year's Grammy Awards pulled in its second-biggest audience in 21 years on Sunday.
New Release Tuesday:
New Album Releases Today (Jan 28):
--Algebra Blessett, "Recovery"
--Amy Ray (Indigo Girls), "Goodnight Tender"
--Angelique Kidjo, "Eve"
--Casting Crowns, "Thrive"
--David Crosby, "Croz"
--Dum Dum Girls, "Too True"
--Gaslight Anthem, "B-Sides"
--Jamie Grace, "Ready To Fly"
--Metallica, "Through The Never"
--Of Mice & Men, "Restoring Force"
--Red Dragon Cartel, "Red Dragon Cartel"
--Sky Ferreira, "Night Time, My Time"
Music DVDs out today:
--"Metallica, Through The Never" (Blu-ray)
--"Downton Abbey: Season Four"
--"Treme: The Complete Fourth Season"
Most and least respected brands of 2013:
Branding firm CoreBrand has named the top-10 most and least respected brands of the year based on a continuous survey of more than 10-thousand business executives from the top-20 percent of US businesses. The brands are rated by their size or familiarity and their quality. Brands that are well known but get low favorability ratings ranked in the least respected category.
10. Foot Locker
9. Rite Aid
8. Capitol One
6. Best Buy
5. Big Lots
3. H&R Block
2. Philip Morris
10. Estee Lauder
8. Campbell’s Soup Company
6. Johnson & Johnson
1. (TIED) Pepsico and Coca-Cola
Health and Medical Briefs:
Researchers at Canada's McMaster University found that people who take flu medications like acetaminophen and ibuprofen often spread germs by returning to work without realizing they're still contagious.
A researcher said the ill people may actually give off more virus because their fever has been reduced, giving the virus more of a chance to multiply at lower temperatures. Multiplied across the country, that could actually raise the number of flu cases by five per cent and cause an estimated one-thousand extra deaths across North America each year.
Cigarettes --major turn-off:
Hey you sexy bachelorettes! Wondering why Mr. Wonderful hasn't come along and swept you off your feet? The answer could be waiting right in the bottom of your purse! Nope, it's not your makeup, gum flavor or tampons, but that pack of cigarettes that's turning dudes off. A new study from Match.com and Chantix shows that 90 percent of singles would rather not date a smoker. In fact, 57 percent claim they'd "never" show interest in someone that lights up and 56 percent of non-smokers would ask their loved one to quit.
Unfortunately, 20-million American women still light up.