Thursday (01-30): Inane Answering Message Day. National Croissant Day.
Birthdays include: CHRISTIAN BALE ("American Hustle" --40), WILMER VALDERAMA (34 --from "That 70's Show"), CHARLES S DUTTON ("Roc" --63); Actress VANESSA REDGRAVE (77), Playboy playmate and comedienne JULIE McCULLOUGH (49); comedienne BRETT BUTLER (56). Singers PHIL COLLINS (63), MARTY BALIN (72 --Jefferson Airplane), WILLIAM KING (Commodores --64); and JODY WATLEY (55). Rappers KID CUDI (30), and KHLEO THOMAS (24). Former VP DICK CHENEY (73).
The late golf champ PAYNE STEWART, STEVE MARIOTT (Small Faces); and "Laugh-In" host DICK MARTIN born this date.
Also, two-time Oscar winner GENE HACKMAN (84, nominated five times. He didn't even get into acting until he was over 30.
Sidebar: Hackman was the sixth choice to play Popeye Doyle in "The French Connection," and originally turned down the role of Little Bill Daggett in "Unforgiven." Both roles won him an Oscar. He was also the first choice to play Hannibal Lector in "Silence of the Lambs," even offered the chance to direct the film. He passed. ANTHONY HOPKINS took the role and won the Oscar, and the film also took home Best Director honors for JONATHAN DEMME.
Anniversaries: The first brawl in the U.S. House of Representatives broke out this day in 1798. The fight was precipitated by an an argument between congressmen from Vermont & Connecticut. Glenn Beck was blamed.
--First episode of "The Lone Ranger" premiered on WXYZ radio in Detroit, 1933. GEORGE SEATON played the Masked Man. Just think, today he'd have to either host a talk show or read liner cards for six other stations-or both.
--The Franklin Roosevelt dime was first issued, 1946. FDR was honored with the dime because of his association with the March of Dimes, but it's the anniversary of his birthday in 1882 (32nd U-S President).
--At Dallas' Love Field, the first moving sidewalk went into operation, back in 1950. It's still there, but it doesn't move. Except to some of the pilots... who think it's moving.
--45 years ago, The BEATLES played together as a group for the last time, 1969, performing on the roof of Apple Studios at 30 Saville Row, London.
--British soldiers in Northern Ireland killed 13 Catholic civil rights marchers on what became known as "Bloody Sunday," 1972. U2 wrote a song about it, "Sunday, Bloody Sunday," on their 1983 album "War."
--The rock group KISS debuted at the Coventry Night Club in Queens, NY, 1973.
No winner in last night's drawing for the Powerball Lottery. That means Saturday night's drawing is valued at $194 million ($110.7 million cash value). Powerball is played in 44 states, Washington, DC and the U-S Virgin Islands. Chances of winning the grand prize (all five numbers plus the powerball) are 1 in 175.2 million.
A new study says 64 percent of women are wearing the wrong bra size. And only 29 percent of women know it. The study --conducted by Triumph International-- basically says that women choose lingerie based on the color and style, not how it actually fits. The SheFinds.com story also says American aren’t paying proper attention to “the girls” compared to other countries. Just 35 percent of U-S women have been fitted for a bra within the last 6 months, which is way lower than the French, Italians, and the Brits.
Spring trends you hate now but will wear later (Source: SheFinds.com):
--Sport Sandals: They may look a little grandma-y but the flat sandals ruled the runways at Marc Jacobs, Celine, Prada and Marni. They may not have the sex appeal of stilettos, but they'll be therapeutic.
--Candy wrapper metallic fabrics: Christopher Kane, Lanvin and Gucci all feature spring styles that look like those foily Easter egg colored candy wrappers.
--Super Wide-Leg Trousers: Skinny jeans are officially out this year. The high-waisted, wide-legged pants you’ve seen in every movie from the 1970s are ba-ack!
--Fringe is spring 2014's biggest ugly breakout trend. It’s on everything: cropped tops, skirts, pants, shoes,
accessories– just... everything!
--Hawaiian Prints are moving out of your grandpa’s closet and into yours. Marc Jacobs and other designers have lots of big floral patterns in store for you.
--Big Shoulders: Nooooooo!!!!! Shoulder pads are trendy again. We're are all doomed to rock that linebacker meets "Dynasty-" era LINDA EVANS look.
--Bermuda Shorts: Yes, they give you “mom butt.” But if everyone is wearing mom-butt shorts, then mom-butts will effectively be negated and no one will have a mom-butt anymore. So really, you’re doing moms a big favor. Go – buy some Bermuda shorts. Your mom will thank you for it.
--“Fancy” Pants: These are pants that are made to be worn with actual dresses... finally making it cool to wear pants under your dress.
--Black and white Jail Cell chic: You have your choice of referee style or classic prison stripes.
Broadcast, cable and video news:
The Nielsen TV ratings sweeps period begins today (and runs thru Feb 26). Get ready for such great stories as: "Your sink can kill you!"
FOX has renewed it's long-running series, "Bones," for a 10th season. The network says it'll also be moving the show from Fridays back to Monday nights starting on Mar 10. The stars EMILY DESCHANEL as forensic anthropologist Dr. Temperance "Bones" Brennan and DAVID BOREANAZ as FBI Special Agent Seeley Booth, who brings the doctor human remains to determine how they died.
GORDON RAMSEY's "Kitchen Nightmares" will take over Bones' Friday timeslot beginning Feb 28.
Super Bowl Commercial update:
You have wait until Sunday to see the Super Bowl but, as is now the custom, you won't have to wait that long to see the commericals. Call it the Edward Snowden phenomenon. Many of the big advertisers have been leaking unveiling their ads online this week, to build buzz and get a little extra mileage out of their very expensive ($4 million per :30 second), celebrity-studded production.
There's an irony to this. Advertisers are using the very tool we're more often choosing over the television to make you watch television. That's the hope, anyway.
Of course, not everyone is leaking the ads, but here are some of the ones you might be talking about come Monday morning. Egads, will they rate highly on USA Today's Ad-O-Meter? Now that's real suspense! Check them out:
--Adorable puppies? Adorable Clydesdales? Gee, could it be... a Budweiser commercial for the Super Bowl? I'm shocked! (Watch) PS: Count the number of cuts in the ad. Ya know, because puppies and Clydesdales secretly don't get along at all! Also: Cats hate these commercials. Then again, they probably hate football, too.
--Here's LAURENCE FISHBURN reprising his Matrix role in a pitch for Kia. Looks like 90s nostalgia is big this year. Best thing about it is Pavoratti's singing. (He was a great tenor) Then again, maybe you don't like opera, but even French opera is easier to understand than the Matrix movies. (Watch)
--This CarMax commercial is okay with humans... guy buys a car from CarMax and people start clapping... everywhere he goes, there are people clapping. They even get RUDY in a shot clapping. Rudy! Rudy! Rudy! Guess he ain't gettin' any roles now that the "Lord of the Rings" movies are over. Or is he in the new ones? (Watch) PS: Here's the same commercial, but a puppy version, thus a vast improvement. Plus, puppies + Super Bowl = success. Just ask Budweiser. (Watch)
--Jaguar unites BEN KINGSLEY, MARK STRONG and TOM HIDDLESTON to explain why British actors make such good bad guys. Jaguar in British is pronounced "Ja-u-are." Sort of like FOR-mu-larrrrr! (Watch)
--Dannon Greek yogurt (Oikes) reunites former "Full House" housemates, JOHN STAMOS, BOB SAGET and DAVE COULIER. See? 90s nostalgia. No one will like these because, after all, who liked the 90s except fans of "Friends," "Seinfeld," Alanis Morrisette and N'Sync? (Watch)
--That's not the only yogurt pitch. Chobani has one with a bear that ransacks a store but what it really wants is yogurt. Yogurt must be huge or something. Where's the Yoga commercial? (Watch)
--This one's cute. Did you know that every time a Volkswagen hits 100-thousand miles, a German engineer gets his wings? And you don't even wanna know about 200-thousand miles. (Watch)
--You will NOT see this SodaStream ad during the Super Bowl. It was technically "banned" just like last year's SodaStream ad because it takes a direct shot at competitors Coke and Pepsi, who are both long-time major Super Bowl advertisers. (SCARLETT JOHANSSON coos, "Sorry, Coke and Pepsi.") Of course, the controversy here is completely manufactured in order to draw more attention to SodaStream. Sort of the same tactic used on Fox News. (Watch)
Super Bowl food buffet update:
The countdown to the Super Bowl is on and millions of fans will be sucking down chips, dips and other goodies while watching the Broncos and Seahawks battle it out. One of the most popular items on the menu is guacamole with 104-million-pounds of avocados being consumed this Sunday. Although it may taste delicious and provides healthy fats and vitamins, there's just one problem --it can be downright ugly when served!
Luckily, the foodies over at Epicurious discovered the secret to keeping guacamole green. Although people swear by leaving the pit inside, plastic wrap, lemon juice and cooking spray, the best results came straight from the tap! Yep, experts found the best approach is to pour the guac into a container with a tight-fitting lid, push out any air pockets, then pour one-half inch of warm water on top and refrigerate until serving time. Just pour the H20 out when it's party time, give it a stir and enjoy a beautiful app.
Nielsen's latest Super Bowl survey reports:
--181 million Americans predicted to sit down and watch Super Bowl XLVIII.
--Pizza jumped from the seventh most likely-to-be-served spot last year to number three; and wings shot up to the fourth spot, from number nine last year. Salty snacks and dips remain numbers one and two, but veggie platters dropped from number three to number nine.
--53 percent of Super Bowl partyers say they will either drink or serve beer during the game. Carbonated beverages came in second, at 51 percent, representing a big switch from last year, when 71 percent served soda, and only 42 percent offered beer.
--71 percent of consumers are expected to watch the commercials this year, up from 68 percent in 2013. The survey says 53 percent of viewers will use social media to share their opinions during the game itself.
--15 percent intend to watch the game on TV while using their smartphone, 14 percent while using a personal computer, and 11 percent a tablet.
What are you buying for Sunday's Big Game?
The National Retail Federation is estimating about the same amount of Super Bowl spending this year as last, an average of about $68 on food, athletic wear, decorations and TVs. Other insights from NRF:
--Total spending on Super Bowl prep predicted to top out at $12.3 billion-with-a-B.
--Party-loving Gen Y is expected to spend most, with 18-to-24-year-olds forking over an average of $93 on Super Bowl partying, and those 25 to 34 spending $101.
--77 percent will buy special food, eight percent team clothing or accessories, and seven percent a new TV.
--About 39 million people plan to host a party, and 62 million say they will attend a get-together. An additional 10 million fans say they will watch from bars or restaurants.
--25 percent of adults told NRF the ads are the most important part of the game (with those in the 45 to 54 demographic most likely to say so).
College football's latest controversy:
Even with the Super Bowl dominating sports pages and sports talk shows, college football is back in the headlines because players at Northwestern University have voted to form a union.
The players argue they're not just students who play sports, but employees who work more than 40 hours a week for the university, training, practicing and playing games that bring millions in revenue to the school. The scholarships that many receive don't fully reflect their value to the school, the players argue. So, they say they should be able to bargain collectively.
ESPN writes that the players "face significant and obvious legal obstacles in their quest to form a union. A series of court decisions in several states over the past 30 years has resulted in a generally accepted rule that college athletes are not employees, cannot collect workers' compensation for injuries and cannot form a union under American labor law."
But the Northwestern players' move comes about three months after players at Grambling State University refused to play a game because they were upset about conditions at their training facilities. It also follows last season's silent expressions of support for the idea that players should be sharing more in college football's success; athletes on several teams wore "All Players United" wristbands. "Powerful winds of change" are blowing across college sports, ESPN says.
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