Friday, December 30, 2016

GSA Auctions Jewelry and Exotic Collectibles Update

12/29/2016 06:45 PM EST

CURRENT BID: $40    STATE: VA    NO. OF BIDDERS: 0     CLOSE TIME: 01-05-2017 05:45 PM CT.


  One lot consisting of (1) women's pearl necklace. May or may not be authentic pearl. NOTICE TO BIDDER: Picture(s) may or may not be an actual depiction of property offered for sale, and can only be relied upon as a reasonable representation thereof. Physical inspection of property is encouraged and highly recommended. 0031NZ1112A 0031NZ73151112A

AGE SUCCESS RATES

  • Percent of people in their twenties who achieve their resolution each year, 39% 
  • Percent of people over 50 who achieve their resolution each year, 14% 
  • Resolution maintained through first week, 75% 
  • Past two weeks, 71% 
  • Past one month, 64% 
  • Past six months, 46%

TYPE OF RESOLUTIONS

(Percentage above 100% because of multiple resolutions)
  • Self-Improvement or education related resolutions, 47% 
  • Weight related resolutions, 38% 
  • Money related resolutions, 34% 
  • Relationship related resolutions, 31%

NEWS YEARS RESOLUTION STATISTICS

  • Percent of Americans who usually make New Year's Resolutions, 45% 
  • Percent of Americans who infrequently make New Year's Resolutions, 17% 
  • Percent of Americans who absolutely never make New Year's Resolutions, 38% 
  • Percent of people who are successful in achieving their resolution, 8% 
  • Percent who have infrequent success, 49% 
  • Percent who never succeed and fail on their resolution each year, 24% 
  • People who explicitly make resolutions are 10 times more likely to attain their goals than people who don't explicitly make resolutions,

NEW YEAR'S TRADITIONS

(FactMonster.com)

Hogmanay (Scotland)
The birthplace of "Auld Lang Syne" is also the home of Hogmanay (hog-mah-NAY), the rousing Scottish New Year's celebration (the origins of the name are obscure). One of the traditions is "first-footing." Shortly after midnight on New Year's eve, neighbors pay visits to each other and impart New Year's wishes. Traditionally, First foots used to bring along a gift of coal for the fire, or shortbread. It is considered especially lucky if a tall, dark, and handsome man is the first to enter your house after the new year is rung in. The Edinburgh Hogmanay celebration is the largest in the country, and consists of an all-night street party.

Oshogatsu (Japan)
The New Year is the most important holiday in Japan, and is a symbol of renewal. In December, various Bonenkai or "forget-the-year parties" are held to bid farewell to the problems and concerns of the past year and prepare for a new beginning. Misunderstandings and grudges are forgiven and houses are scrubbed. At midnight on Dec. 31, Buddhist temples strike their gongs 108 times, in an effort to expel 108 types of human weakness. New Year's day itself is a day of joy and no work is to be done. Children receive otoshidamas, small gifts with money inside. Sending New Year's cards is a popular tradition -- if postmarked by a certain date, the Japanese post office guarantees delivery of all New Year's cards on January 1.

Spain
The Spanish ritual on New Year's Eve is to eat twelve grapes at midnight. The tradition is meant to secure twelve happy months in the coming year.

The Netherlands
The Dutch burn bonfires of Christmas trees on the street and launch fireworks. The fires are meant to purge the old and welcome the new.

Greece
In Greece, New Year's Day is also the Festival of St. Basil, one of the founders of the Greek Orthodox Church. One of the traditional foods served is Vassilopitta, or St Basil's cake. A silver or gold coin is baked inside the cake. Whoever finds the coin in their piece of cake will be especially lucky during the coming year.

United States
Probably the most famous tradition in the United States is the dropping of the New Year ball in Times Square, New York City, at 11:59 P.M. Thousands gather to watch the ball make its one-minute descent, arriving exactly at midnight. The tradition first began in 1907. The original ball was made of iron and wood; the current ball is made of Waterford Crystal, weighs 1,070 pounds, and is six feet in diameter.

A traditional southern New Year's dish is Hoppin' John -- black eyed peas and ham hocks. An old saying goes, "Eat peas on New Year's day to have plenty of everything the rest of the year."

Another American tradition is the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California. The Tournament of Roses parade that precedes the football game on New Year's day is made up of elaborate and inventive floats. The first parade was held in 1886.

Widely Observed New Year Symbols and Traditions

Resolutions
It is believed that the Babylonians were the first to make New Year's resolutions, and people all over the world have been breaking them ever since. The early Christians believed the first day of the New Year should be spent reflecting on past mistakes and resolving to improve oneself in the New Year.

Fireworks
Noisemaking and fireworks on New Year's Eve is believed to have originated in ancient times, when noise and fire were thought to dispel evil spirits and bring good luck. The Chinese are credited with inventing fireworks and use them to spectacular effect in their New Year's celebrations.

NEW YEAR'S EVE PARTY THEMES FOR KIDS

(sheknows.com) You can simply break out the party hats and horns, or plan a themed party for your kids on New Year's Eve.

Pajama party
Skip the fancy dresses and dapper suits and instead ask that the kids come in their comfortable and warm pajamas. The other parents will love this idea, especially when they are carrying their sleepy children to their bed after returning home from your party. Or, if you are hosting just a few kids, make it a sleepover. It doesn't matter if the little ones drift off before midnight, because they'll already be in their sleeping bags.

Dance party
Make a playlist or mix CD of kid-friendly tunes, like the song from Kidz Bop. If you have a gaming system, purchase the Just Dance Kids video games to keep the kids entertained and take the pressure off of you -- teaching them how to dance.

Karaoke party
Rent or buy a karaoke machine and let the kids be as loud as they want while singing their favorite songs. Many karaoke machines hook up to your TV and Blu-ray player so that you can watch the kids "singing" live, and also record it to watch for years to come.

Movie marathon
Most kids won't want to sit around watching the New Year's Eve specials on TV. So instead, rent a few movies. Depending on the age of the party guests, consider renting movies that have two or more sequels: Toy Story, Kung Fu Panda, Cars, Harry Potter, The Twilight Saga, etc.

Craft party
In between the eating, dancing, singing and movie watching, you can keep the kids busy with fun New Year's Eve crafts. Set up different craft stations with age appropriate crafts. Remember that little ones shouldn't be unsupervised around things that can be easily swallowed, such as beads, sequins, etc. Pipe cleaner fireworks are an easy (and fun) craft that children love making on New Year's Eve. Learn how to make them and other New Year's crafts for kids.

YOU WANT TO CELEBRATE WHERE?

With New Year's Eve just days away and 70 percent of Americans celebrating the day in some way, including large, organized events and party-hopping, WalletHub took an in-depth look at the Best & Worst Cities to Celebrate New Year's Eve. The data set ranges from the legality of fireworks to the average price of a New Year's Eve party ticket.

Best Cities to Celebrate New Year's Eve

1. Orlando, FL
2. San Francisco, CA
3. Atlanta, GA
4. San Diego, CA
5. Scottsdale, AZ
6. Minneapolis, MN
7. Portland, OR
8. Cincinnati, OH
9. Las Vegas, NV
10. Honolulu, HI

Worst Cities to Celebrate New Year's Eve

91. San Bernardino, CA
92. Arlington, TX
93. Charlotte, NC
94. Garland, TX
95. Laredo, TX
96. Fort Worth, TX
97. Hialeah, FL
98. Jersey City, NJ
99. Newark, NJ
100. North Las Vegas, NV

More statistics you'll want to know:


The average price of a New Year's Eve party ticket in Pittsburgh is seven times higher than in Greensboro, NC.
The price of a three-star hotel on New Year's Eve is seven times higher in Honolulu than in Tucson, AZ.
Orlando, FL, has 6 times as many restaurants per capita as Phoenix, AZ.
Miami has 45 times as many jewelry shops per capita as North Las Vegas, NV.
Orlando has 21 times as many nightlife options per capita as Hialeah, FL.

HEALTHY NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTIONS (THAT YOU CAN ACTUALLY KEEP)

1. Only eat when sitting down. 

It's true, we tend to eat mindlessly and "graze" more when standing up. Sitting down encourages us to be present and eat with more focus–things that can prevent us from overeating.

2. Use small dinner plates. 

Using a smaller plate, research has shown, leads to taking smaller portions. If you're trying to avoid overeating, this is a simple trick.

3. Park is the back row at the grocery store. 

if you routinely hit the grocery store two or three times a week, walking an extra quarter mile to and from the store is an easy way to get more exercise into your busy day. You can adopt this policy everywhere you park, or just at the grocery store for starters.

4. Take the stairs at work. 

if you are only going up a flight or two, make a promise to yourself that you will take the stairs and give your legs and lungs a little workout mid-day.

5. Switch out coffee for green tea. 

Green tea has a multitude of health benefits, including warding off cancer, diabetes, high cholesterol and heart disease, stroke and dementia. If you can't do without your cup of joe every day, then start with just Mondays. Remember, the goal is to make small, manageable resolutions that you will keep.

6. Sign up for a 5K.

Not a runner? Walk. The very act of signing up for a race will make you more accountable to lace up your sneakers and train for it.

7. Give your spouse one compliment a day.

It's so easy to nitpick and criticize our partners, but make a positive change in your relationship by offering one nice, thoughtful exchange a day.

8. Start a journal.

You don't have to write pages and pages. You don't even have to write in it every day. But honestly jotting down your thoughts, emotions, goals and hopes can be very healing to our souls.

9. Ditch naysayers.

Life is too short to surround yourself with people who are negative, thoughtless, selfish or not healthy for you. Know how to tell? Monitor how you feel when you're around them–do you feel drained, angry, anxious or insecure? Might be time to weed them out of your life.

10. Find more positive friends.

In addition to the above, make a commitment that you are going to surround yourself with those who make you feel great, warm, happy and comfortable. You'll notice a big difference in your energy when you're with them.

11. Give up soda.

You don't have to completely rid your diet of all sugar and processed foods (although, that's great if you do), but replacing soda with water each day will make a huge difference in your health.

12. Sign up for a class.

It doesn't matter what it is–yoga, Zumba, dance, photography, creative writing–anything that you are interested in and want to learn more about is great. In order to keep our minds healthy, it's important to continue learning new things.

13. Turn off the local news.

You've probably noticed that the local news is often filled with negative, draining stories about violence, shootings, murders, thefts, etc. Definitely not a good way to start or end the day. Instead, get your news through reputable papers and online sites where you can pick and choose what you want to read.

14. Commit to vegan days.

Take Meatless Mondays a step further and ditch the dairy too. Just one day a week of freeing your diet from all animal products can make a tremendous difference to your health, our environment and the life of animals who are often treated cruelly and inhumanely at factory farms.

15. Read more.

Let's turn off the TV and our computers an hour earlier each day and read. Commit to reading one book a month and feel the difference it makes in your mental and brain health.

NIGHTTIME IS THE RIGHT TIME

Women's Health magazine asked women, "When's the right time for him to meet your friends?" 
  • 2% said, "Never, I don't want him flirting with them" 
  • 16% said, "After we've been dating a few months" 
  • 25% said, "Right away their opinions matter" 
  • 57% said, "After we've been dating a few weeks"


"What's the sexiest thing a guy can wear?"
  • 40% said jeans and a sweater 
  • 22% said a suit 
  • 16% said khakis and a button-down shirt 
  • 12% said a tuxedo 
  • 10% said shorts and a T-shirt

WE ALL SCREAM FOR ICE CREAM

Chocolate ice cream is the number one favorite flavor of ice cream, according to a Harris Poll in which 27 percent said chocolate is their fave. Coming in right behind chocolate are vanilla and cookie dough/cookies and cream.

  • The top 10 favorite flavors of ice cream: 
  • Chocolate: 27 percent 
  • Vanilla: 23 percent 
  • Cookie dough/cookies and cream: 22 percent 
  • Butter pecan/Swiss almond and mint chocolate chip (tie): 19 percent 
  • Strawberry: 14 percent 
  • Rocky road: 12 percent 
  • Peanut butter: 10 percent 
  • Coffee: 9 percent 
  • Cherry vanilla: 8 percent 




Multiple responses were accepted so the total adds up to more than 100 percent. Here's more:


  • 45 percent like to eat their ice cream in a cup, compared with 31 percent who prefer a cone, 16 percent who like it in a sundae and 4 percent who choose an ice cream sandwich. 
  • When it comes to favorite toppings, 53 percent of those who eat ice cream choose hot fudge, while 41 percent want nuts, 39 percent prefer whipped cream and 38 percent choose caramel. 
  • Other favorite toppings include fruit, such as strawberries or bananas (31 percent), sprinkles (20 percent), candy bits (17 percent) and marshmallow (11 percent). 
  • 16 percent are purists and prefer to eat their ice cream plain. 
  • 2 percent say they don't eat ice cream.

IS THAT LEGAL TO ASK?

Job seekers may think they're the only ones sweating the job interview -- afraid they'll say the wrong thing or answer inappropriately -- but hiring managers are under just as much pressure. There are a number of questions interviewers are legally not allowed to ask, but sometimes the parameters are not clear. For example, in an attempt to make a candidate feel at ease, the interviewer might innocently ask him, "What does your wife do?" Wrong. It's illegal to ask if someone is married, even using a backdoor approach like this. According to CareerBuilder.com, 20 percent of hiring managers admitted in a nationwide survey by Harris Poll that they asked a question in a job interview they found out later was illegal to ask.
  • Ten interview questions that are illegal to ask: 
  • What is your religious affiliation? 
  • Are you pregnant? 
  • What is your political affiliation? 
  • What is your race, color or ethnicity? 
  • How old are you? 
  • Are you disabled? 
  • Are you married? 
  • Do you have children or plan to? 
  • Are you in debt? 
  • Do you social drink or smoke? 
"It's important for both interviewer and interviewee to understand what employers do and don't have a legal right to ask in a job interview -- for both parties' protection," says Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources officer at CareerBuilder. "Though their intentions may be harmless, hiring managers could unknowingly be putting themselves at risk for legal action, as a job candidate could argue that certain questions were used to discriminate against him or her."

DID YOU KNOW?

  • 20% of homes has a doorbell for the back door that doesn't work, and they have no desire to fix it. 
  • The average guy spends $107 on dry cleaning every year. 
  • About 42% of us turn on a night light before bed. 
  • According to Reader's Digest, reading to kids at bedtime in American homes has decreased by over 80% since 1960. 
  • The average person goes gray four years sooner than compared to 40 years ago.

TODAY'S IMPOSSIBLE QUESTION

80% of us think we're good at this... but in reality we aren't? Spelling.

Music Calendar...

In 1942 Frank Sinatra opens at New York's Paramount Theatre for an 8-week

engagement. 400 policemen were used to control the crowds.

In 1944 Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys make their debut performance at

the Grand Ole Opry.

In 1962 Brenda Lee is slightly injured when she runs into her burning

Nashville home to rescue her poodle, Cee Cee.

In 1966 The Beatles record "When I'm 64" at Abbey Road Studios in London.

In 1966 Billboard magazine reports that the Beatles held the #1 position on

the charts in 13 countries.

In 1967 "Hello Goodbye" by the Beatles hits #1 on the U.S. top 40 chart and

stayed there for 3 weeks.

In 1969 "Leaving On A Jet Plane" by Peter, Paul and Mary is certified gold.

In 1972 Nilsson's album "Son Of Schmilsson" is certified gold.

In 1972 "Could It Be I'm Falling In Love" by the Spinners enters the U.S.

top 40 chart.

In 1974 The entity known as The Beatles legally comes to an end, four years

after Paul McCartney sued his bandmates to dissolve the partnership.

In 1976 Abba receives a gold record for their "Greatest Hits" album.

In 1977 The Sex Pistols scheduled U.S. debut concert in Pittsburgh is

cancelled due to visa problems.

In 1978 A 40-foot giant inflatable pig being photographed for a Pink Floyd

album cover breaks loose and floats away over London.

In 1979 Broadway composer Richard Rodgers, who had written the scores of

"Oklahoma!" and "The Sound Of Music," dies at age 77.

In 1979 Emerson, Lake and Palmer disband.

In 1980 The Beach Boys receive a star on The Hollywood Walk Of Fame.

In 1981 The J. Geils Band's album "Freeze Frame" is certified gold.

In 1988 Terence Trent D'Arby and girlfriend Mary Vango become parents to

daughter Seraphina.

In 1989 Nirvana's Krist Novoselic marries Shelli Dilley in Tacoma, WA.

In 1991 Bruce Springsteen and wife Patti Scialfa become the parents of

daughter Jessica Rae.

In 1992 Bobby Brown kicks off a North American tour.

In 1993 Deni Hines marries INXS guitarist Kirk Pengilly.

In 1994 The Beatles' "Abbey Road" album and Elvis Presley's "Heartbreak

Hotel" are inducted to the NARAS Hall of Fame.

In 1995 Elton John is awarded the CBE (Commander of the British Empire).

In 1995 "Free As A Bird" by The Beatles enters the U.S. top 40 chart.

In 1996 A federal judge in Houston rules in favor of a bar named the "Velvet

Elvis" in a copyright infringement lawsuit filed by Elvis Presley

Enterprises.

In 1999 George Harrison fights off a knife-wielding intruder who broke into

his mansion west of London and stabbed him in the chest.

In 1999 The Smashing Pumpkins appears as the "blind date" at the Miller

Genuine Draft Blind Date concert in Dublin.

In 2002 Diana Ross is arrested for drunk driving in Tucson, Arizona.

Today In History...

In 1809 Wearing masks at parties and balls is banned in Boston, MA.

In 1853 The U.S. buys some 45,000 miles of land from Mexico in a deal that

becomes known as the Gadsden Purchase (the southern part of Arizona

and New Mexico).

In 1894 Suffragist Amelia Jenks Bloomer dies. She was best known for wearing

a short skirt and baggy trousers that became known as "bloomers."

In 1903 602 people die when fire breaks out in the Iroquois Theater in

Chicago.

In 1911 Sun Yat-sen is elected the first president of the Republic of China

after the fall of the Chinese dynasties.

In 1916 Grigori Rasputin is assassinated in Russia.

In 1922 Vladimir I. Lenin proclaims the establishment of the Union of Soviet

Socialist Republics (USSR).

In 1924 Astronomer Edwin Hubble announces the existence of other Milky Way

systems.

In 1935 Italian bombers destroy a Swedish Red Cross unit in Ethiopia.

In 1936 A huge sitdown strike erupts at the Fisher Body Plant in Flint, MI,

when workers learn 5 employees were fired for wearing union buttons.

In 1938 The electronic television system is patented by V.K. Zworykin.

In 1940 California's first freeway, the Arroyo Seco Parkway connecting

Los Angeles and Pasadena, is officially opened.

In 1944 King George II of Greece proclaims a regency to rule his country,

virtually renouncing the throne.

In 1947 King Michael of Romania agrees to abdicate, but charges he was

forced off the throne by Communists.

In 1970 The U.S. ceases from putting real silver in silver dollars and

50 cent coins.

In 1972 The U.S. halts its heavy bombing of North Vietnam.

In 1977 President Jimmy Carter holds the first news conference by an

American president in Eastern Europe.

In 1978 Ohio State University fires Woody Hayes as its football coach, one

day after Hayes punched Clemson University player Charlie Bauman

during the Gator Bowl after Bauman intercepted an Ohio pass.

In 1985 The Reagan administration accuses Libya of supporting the Abu Nidal

Palestinian faction suspected of carrying out the attacks on the

Rome and Vienna airports on December 27 that claimed 20 lives, but

stopped short of holding Libya responsible for the massacre.

In 1986 The Soviet Union turns down a proposal by the U.S for an exchange of

televised New Year's greetings by President Reagan and Soviet leader

Mikhail S. Gorbachev.

In 1987 Manufacturers of all-terrain vehicles agree to withdraw the 3-wheel

model from dealer's inventories.

In 1988 President Reagan and President-elect Bush are subpoenaed to testify

as defense witnesses in the pending Iran-Contra trial of Oliver

North. (The subpoenas were ultimately suppressed.)

In 1988 President Reagan and President-elect Bush are subpoenaed to testify

as defense witnesses in the pending Iran-Contra trial of Oliver

North. (The subpoenas were subsequently quashed.)

In 1990 Iraq's information minister, Latif Nussayif Jassim, said President

Bush "must have been drunk" when he suggested Iraq might withdraw

from Kuwait.

In 1991 30 people are killed by a car bomb in Lebanon.

In 1991 The remains of two kidnapped Americans killed by their captors in

Lebanon, William Buckley and Marine Colonel William R. Higgins,

arrive in the U.S. for burial.

In 1991 Leaders of the Commonwealth of Independent States agree to establish

unified command over nuclear weapons, while allowing member states

to form their own armies.

In 1992 President Bush embarks on the final foreign trip of his term in

office, heading to a Black Sea summit with Russian President Boris

Yeltsin.

In 1992 President Bush embarks on the final foreign trip of his term in

office, heading to a Black Sea summit with Russian President Boris

Yeltsin, with a stopover in Somalia to visit U.S. troops.

In 1993 Israel and the Vatican agree to recognize one another.

In 1994 U.S. Army helicopter pilot Bobby Hall walks to freedom 13 days after

he was captured by North Korea. Co-pilot David Hilemon died when the

chopper was shot down.

In 1994 A gunman walks into a pair of suburban Boston abortion clinics and

opened fire, killing two employees and wounding five other people.

(A suspect, John C. Salvi III, was later arrested).

In 1995 A U.S. military policeman, Martin John Begosh, becomes the first

American injured in NATO's Bosnia peace mission when his Humvee hit

an anti-tank mine.

In 1996 About 36 people are killed when a bomb explodes on an Indian

commuter train; a militant group claimed responsibility.

In 1997 The single deadliest massacre in Algeria's history begins in four

mountain villages as armed men killed 412 men, women and children.

In 2000 22 people are killed in five bombings in the Manila area of the

Philippines.

In 2000 Hollywood screenwriter Julius J. Epstein, who co-wrote the script

for "Casablanca," dies at age 91.

In 2002 Suspected extremist Abed Abdul Razak Kamel kills three U.S. 

missionaries at a Baptist hospital in Yemen. (He was later sentenced

to death for the murders.)

In 2003 The Bush administration announced it would ban the sale of ephedra, 

the herbal stimulant linked to 155 deaths and dozens of heart 

attacks and strokes. 

Born On This Day...

In 1850 Geologist, John Milne (invented the seismograph)

In 1851 Businessman, Asa Griggs Candler (founded Coca Cola Corp. in 1873)

In 1865 English poet/short story writer, Rudyard Kipling (Jungle Book)

In 1867 American capitalist/philanthropist, Simon Guggenheim

In 1869 Canadian economist/humorist, Stephen Leacock

In 1876 Spanish violinist, Pablo Casals

In 1883 Actress, Mary Forbes (The Picture of Dorian Gray, Les Miserables)

In 1884 Japanese Prime Minister, Tojo Hideki (World War II)

In 1892 Actor, John Litel (Sam Aldrich-Henry Aldrich movies)

In 1898 Actor, Tom Keene (Plan Nine From Outer Space)

In 1910 Author, Paul Bowles (Sheltering Sky) [d: 11-18-99]

In 1911 Actress, Jeanette Nolan (The Virginian) [d: 6-5-98]

In 1912 Actress, Rosina Lawrence (Our Gang, Little Rascals) [d: 6-23-97]

In 1914 Emcee/game show host, Bert Parks (Miss America) [d: 2-2-92]

In 1919 Actress, Jo Van Fleet (East of Eden) [d: 6-10-96]

In 1920 Actor, Jack Lord (Det. Steve McGarrett-Hawaii Five-O) [d: 1-21-98]

In 1927 Actor, Bernard "Bernie" Barrow Edge of Night, Loving) [d: 8-4-93]

In 1928 Blues guitarist, Bo Diddley (Say Man, I'm A Man) [d: 6-2-08]

In 1929 Actress, Barbara Nichols (Ginger-Love That Jill) [d: 10-5-76]

In 1931 Astronaut, Captain Charles A. Bassett [d: 2-28-66]

In 1931 Singer, Skeeter Davis (The End Of The Word) [d: 9-19-04]

In 1934 Actor, Russ Tamblyn (West Side Story, Dr. Jacoby-Twin Peaks) (82)

In 1935 Baseball Hall-of-Famer, Sandy Koufax (Dodgers) (81)

In 1937 Singer/songwriter, John Hartford (Gentle On My Mind) [d: 6-4-01]

In 1937 Singer/songwriter, Paul Stookey (Peter, Paul and Mary) (79)

In 1938 Actor, Joe Bologna (My Favorite Year, Chapter Two) (78)

In 1939 Singer/songwriter, Del Shannon (Runaway) [d: 2-8-90]

In 1940 Drummer, Kenny Pentifallo (Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes) (76)

In 1941 Football Hall-of-Famer, Mel Renfro (Cowboys, 10-time Pro Bowl) (75)

In 1942 Singer/songwriter, Michael Nesmith (Monkees) (74)

In 1942 Actor, Fred Ward (Silkwood, The Right Stuff, Escape from Alcatraz) (74)

In 1946 Drummer, Clive Bunker (Jethro Tull) (70)

In 1946 Actor/singer, Davy Jones (Monkees) [d: 2-29-12]

In 1946 Singer/songwriter, Patti Smith (Because The Night) (70)

In 1947 Actor, Michael Burns (Barnaby West-Wagon Train) (69)

In 1947 Singer/songwriter, Jeff Lynn (ELO, Traveling Wilburys) (69)

In 1953 Astronaut, Daniel T. Barry (STS-72, STS-105, STS-96) (63)

In 1953 Broadcast journalist, Meredith Vieira (60 Minutes, Today, The View) (63)

In 1956 Country singer/guitarist, Suzy Bogguss (60)

In 1956 Actress, Sheryl Lee Ralph (Designing Women, Moesha, Its A Living) (60)

In 1957 TV host/newsperson, Matt Lauer (HBO News, Today Show) (59)

In 1957 Actress, Patricia Kalember (Loving, thirtysomething, Sisters) (59)

In 1958 Astronaut, Steven L. Smith (STS-68, STS-103, STS-110, STS-82) (58)

In 1959 Actress/singer, Tracey Ullman (Tracey Ullman Show) (57)

In 1960 Guitarist, Rob Hotchkiss (Train) (56)

In 1961 Canadian runner, Ben Johnson (Olypmic-Gold-1988-disqualified) (55)

In 1965 Beverly Hills madam, Heidi Fleiss (51)

In 1969 Singer, Jay Kay (Jamiroquai) (47)

In 1969 Golfer, Michelle McGann (47)

In 1973 Actor, Jason Behr (Dawson's Creek, Roswell, 7th Heaven) (43)

In 1973 Actress, Maureen Flannigan (Evie-Out Of This World, 7th Heaven) (43)

In 1974 Actor, Padraic Duffy (Mark Harris-Dallas) (42)

In 1975 Golfer, Tiger Woods (Masters-1997) (41)

In 1976 Actress, Meredith Monroe (Andie-Dawson's Creek) (40)

In 1978 Singer, Tyrese (38)

In 1980 Actress, Eliza Dushku (Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Bring It On) (36)

In 1982 Actress, Kristin Kreuk (Lana Lang-Smallville) (34)

In 1983 Actress, Ashley Bashioum (MacKenzie-Young & the Restless) (33)

In 1983 Actress, Noley Thornton (Erica-Beverly Hills 90210, Heidi) (33)



ON THIS DAY

The Roman Emperor Titus was born on this date back in 40 AD. In case you're wondering, yes, he had a last name: Adrum.

On this date in 1809, the city of Boston banned costume balls. Police enforced the ban with the occasional masker raid.

In 1940 that the very first freeway opened up in Los Angeles. Sadly, it was five years before the "on ramp" was invented.

Let's Make a Deal first aired way back in 1964

TODAY IS

Former golf king Tiger Woods hits 41 today. Oh, and it's his birthday too.

TV host Matt Lauer turns 59 today. Well, today on "The Today Show," Matt Lauer turns 59 today. Oh, never mind!

TOP 10 COMMONLY BROKEN NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTIONS

  1. Lose Weight and Get Fit 
  2. Quit Smoking 
  3. Learn Something New 
  4. Eat Healthier and Diet 
  5. Get Out of Debt and Save Money 
  6. Spend More Time with Family 
  7. Travel to New Places 
  8. Be Less Stressed 
  9. Volunteer 
  10. Drink Less

Thursday, December 29, 2016

DID YOU KNOW?

  • 65% of people surveyed said they've paid the full sticker price at a car dealership, even though they didn't have to. 
  • A survey reveals that 40% of men admit to playing up their cold & flu symptoms to get attention. 
  • 18% of people started their holiday shopping on the Saturday before Christmas. 
  • Your hair is considered to be the least destructible part of the human body. 
  • Nearly 70% of men say they wish they received more compliments from their partner. 

TODAY'S IMPOSSIBLE QUESTION

One in four men say they never use this common product. Deodorant.

NOT ENOUGH SLEEP MAKES YOU FAT

With all the demands of work and family and the very real need for some "I" time, it's hard to get enough sleep, especially on weekdays. If that describes you, ask yourself this question: Do you crave fatty foods? It turns out that our appetite for fatty foods -- from cheeseburgers to cheesecake -- is increased when we don't get enough sleep. Not only does this have implications for insomniacs, but also for those who work the evening shift, night shirt, rotating shifts or any kind of irregular schedule. In a study, participants were given one night of regular sleep and were then randomized for either total sleep deprivation (34 volunteers) or as part of the control group (12 volunteers) for the remaining three nights. Those who stayed awake all night were allowed to move about, watch TV, read, play video and board games and eat as much or as little as they wanted. Each was given a brain scan, known as a functional MRI (fMRI), to examine brain connectivity changes. The results:
  • Those who were not allowed to sleep consumed almost 1,000 calories while they stayed awake all night. In addition, they ate a similar amount of calories during the day following sleep deprivation as they did the day before. 
  • What did they eat? It wasn't celery and carrots. These healthy adults ate a greater percentage of calories from fat and a lower percentage of calories from carbohydrates during the day following total sleep deprivation. 
  • Notably, the researchers found from the brain scans that those who were sleep deprived and craving fatty foods had an increased connectivity with the part of the brain called the "salience network," which is a pathway in the brain that guides decision-making. 

SOCIAL MEDIA CAN KILL YOUR CAREER

(CareerBuilder.com Social media have become the norm, both as a part of everyday life and as a part of your success or failure during your job search. You hear all the time about how to use social media in your job search or about social media as one of the many ways you can get fired -- or not hired. Usually when we talk about social media in terms of getting fired or losing your chance to get hired, it's in the context of your digital footprint: not posting inappropriate photos, racial slurs or nasty comments about your boss and colleagues, for example. But now there's a new piece of the puzzle to consider: If an employer sees that you're overly active on social media, your professional commitment might be questioned. Here are six tips to avoid social media overkill and manage your online presence effectively:

Add to the conversation
"Use LinkedIn to post your resume online. Contribute to industry and occupation-specific discussions," Neece says.

Have more than one account
Have two social media accounts, Sperber says. "One that is geared toward your desired industry so employers can see that you're attempting to be active and another one for personal use." Be sure to protect your profiles so they aren't accessible to the public.

Score face time
"Use online resources to get face-to-face or voice-to-voice with another person. Each of us is most memorable and most influential in person," Neece says.

Just say no
If your social media profiles are protected and a potential employer requests to follow you, don't feel obligated to accept, Sperber says. "That's what your other 'professional' account is for."

Stay positive
"Don't badmouth any of the companies that you're applying to, especially if you feel the interview didn't go well," Sperber says. If qyou put something on the Internet, it's out there for anyone to see.

Keep things to yourself
Don't publicize that you're going to an interview or just finished an interview at a company. Some companies do not like to have their recruiting process -- or that they're even having one -- publicized, Sperber says.

Topic: As a boss, have you ever not hired someone because of what you saw on their Facebook page? Topic: A lot of high security/government jobs are now asking for Facebook passwords as a prerequisite to being hired. Would you allow a potential employer to have your password? Topic: Do you regret having something on your Facebook page because it may have prevented you from being hired?


LIVE LONG AND PROSPER

Want to live longer and be happier doing it? Then pray or attend your place of worship. Incredibly, oodles of scientific studies have concluded that folks who attend religious services regularly and/or believe in God and pray, live longer and happier lives. Here are some of the amazing findings:

  • In 2006, University of Texas scientists discovered that those who attended religious services live 7 years longer. 
  • In 2006, the American Society of Hypertension found that churchgoers have lower blood pressure. 
  • In 2004, UCLA researchers found that religious students were healthier emotionally and mentally. 
  • A decade old study of patients with broken hips discovered that those who believed in God were less depressed and recovered sooner. 
  • Other studies concluded that believers with breast cancer recovered faster and those with arthritis and heart disease showed greater improvement. 
  • And a 1999 survey found that people who prayed regularly had stronger immune systems.

TEN BEST TRIVIA FACTS

The 10 best trivia facts about New Year's across the world have been identified by researchers and ranked by a national poll conducted on behalf of GameIt at gameit.us, a trivia game and shopping app. In their hunt for interesting New Year's trivia, GameIt's researchers trawled the web, pored over trivia books and mined the sum of accumulated human knowledge, before narrowing down the field to a shortlist of 10 pieces of New Year's trivia says Bryce Johnson, founder of GameIt.

Here are the best New Year's Trivia Facts:
  1. More cars are stolen in the U.S. on New Year's Day than on any other holiday 
  2. January 1 was first established as the New Year by Julius Caesar 
  3. The earliest recorded festivities to welcome the New Year took place in Babylon 4,000 years ago (and were celebrated in late March) 
  4. The Italians, Spanish, Mexicans and Bolivians all share a custom of celebrating the New Year by wearing red underwear for good luck 
  5. The first inhabited place to experience New Year each year is Kiritimati, more commonly known as Christmas Island 
  6. Banging bread on the walls to frighten away dead relatives was a traditional Irish custom for celebrating the New Year 
  7. The Dutch have a custom of welcoming the New Year by firing homemade cannons created by heating milk-jugs with tight lids 
  8. Throwing furniture out of the window to welcome the New Year is a custom in the Hillbrow neighborhood of Johannesburg, South Africa 
  9. On New Year's Day 1946, Emperor Hirohito of Japan officially announced that he was not a god 
  10. The Belgians and Swiss ranked last-and Brazilians first-in a recent global vote for best nationality to spend New Year's Eve with

TOO MUCH IS TOO MUCH

Too much alcohol can temporarily alter your personality. Some people turn mean and nasty. Others become sweet and docile. Researchers at the University of Missouri-Columbia wanted to classify libation-induced personalities in order to categorize different "types" of drinkers--well beyond the "good drunk" and the "bad drunk." "Some people are known to get angry and violent, careless and irresponsible, or weepy and inconsolable when drinking, and it is often what earns them the label of being a 'problem drinker,'" explains study leader Rachel Winograd. "However, until now, there has been no empirical investigation into the unique types of personality-like changes that people undergo when drinking." Winograd's team developed four distinct personality types based on how the students acted in terms of four classic personality traits -- agreeableness, conscientiousness, intellect and extroversion -- after binge drinking. The results:

42 percent: Ernest Hemingway
These drunks can imbibe a large quantity of liquor and show minimal signs of intoxication or change in personality.

23 percent: Mr. Hyde
They are the angry drunks, becoming less responsible and more hostile after imbibing.

20 percent: Nutty Professor
They are shy and introverted when sober and quite extroverted when drunk. Liquor dramatically alters their personality, allowing them to shed most of their inhibitions.

15 percent: Mary Poppins
When sober, they have an agreeable, outgoing and sweet personality, and liquor only makes them more kind and happy.

So what? By describing how personality is affected by binge drinking, researchers can develop terms to help guide interventions for those abusing alcohol and possibly struggling with alcohol-related addiction, according to Winograd.

TODAY IS

Angelina's dad, John Voight, turns 78 today. She gets most of the credit for his aging.

ON THIS DAY

It was on this date in 1792 that the leaders of the French revolution voted to send King Louis the 16th to the guillotine. In no time at all, he became King Louis the 15 & 7/8ths.

On this date in 1848, gas lights were installed in the White House. It took less than a wick to do it.

Music Calendar...

In 1943 Bing Crosby records "San Fernando Valley."

In 1945 Sheb Wooley records the first commercial record made in Nashville

on the Bullet label.

In 1945 "White Christmas" by Bing Crosby hits #1 again on the charts.

In 1951 "Cry" by Johnnie Ray is #1 on the U.S. top 40 chart.

In 1955 13-year-old Barbra Striesand records "You'll Never Know."

In 1957 Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme are married in Las Vegas, Nevada.

In 1962 "Hey Paula" by Paul & Paula enters the U.S. top 40 chart.

In 1963 Folk group the Weavers ("Goodnight Irene," "On Top of Old Smokey")

give their farewell concert at Orchestra Hall in Chicago.

In 1963 WMCA/New York, and its famed "Good Guys," become the first radio

station to play the Beatles' "I Want to Hold Your Hand" in the U.S.

In 1965 The Supremes' single "My World Is Empty Without You" is released.

In 1966 After finishing up "Strawberry Fields Forever," the Beatles begin

work on "Penny Lane."

In 1967 Dave Mason leaves Traffic.

In 1971 "An Old Fashioned Love Song" by Three Dog Night is certified gold.

In 1973 "Time In A Bottle" by Jim Croce hits #1 on the U.S. top 40 chart and

stayed there for 2 weeks.

In 1975 Paul Kantner and Grace Slick split up after 7 years of marriage.

In 1977 Linda Ronstadt, James Taylor and Peter Asher appear on the cover of

Rolling Stone magazine.

In 1978 The cast of "Beatlemania" celebrates it's 700th performance.

In 1980 Tim Hardin, best known for penning "If I Were A Carpenter" dies of

a herion overdose in his Hollywood home at the age of 40.

In 1982 Jamaica issues a commemorative stamp honoring the late Bob Marley.

In 1992 "I Will Always Love You" by Whitney Houston is certified gold,

platinum and double platinum.

In 1994 TLC's Lisa Lopes pleads guilty to arson charges. She had set a fire

that destroyed boyfriend Andre Rison's $1 million Atlanta mansion.

In 1997 Motley Crue drummer Tommy Lee and wife Pamela Anderson Lee have a

second son, Dylan Jagger Lee.

In 1997 Yoko Ono tells BBC Radio that John Lennon was the "visionary" and

the reason for the Beatles' success, and that the only contribution

McCartney made to the band was organizing Lennon's talent.

In 1997 The Spice Girls, Bob Dylan, Sean "Puffy" Combs and Elton John make

Entertainment Weekly's list of the Top Entertainers of 1997.

In 1998 Boyz II Men's single "I Will Get There" is released.

In 1999 Pollstar reports that the Rolling Stones were the top concert money

makers for 1999, pulling in $64.7 million.

In 1999 Chris Isaak receives the key to the city in his hometown of

Stockton, California.

In 2001 TV Guide publishes a "tribute to George Harrison."

Today In History...

In 1170 Archbishop Thomas Becket is murdered in Canterbury Cathedral in

England.

In 1813 The British burn Buffalo, New York, during the War of 1812.

In 1837 Canadian militiamen destroy the Caroline, a U.S. steamboat docked at

Buffalo, New York.

In 1845 Texas becomes the 28th U.S. state.

In 1848 Gas lights are installed at the White House for the first time.

In 1851 The first Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA) chapter opens in

Boston, MA.

In 1890 The Wounded Knee massacre takes place in South Dakota. 300 Sioux

Indians are killed by U.S. troops sent to disarm them.

In 1913 The first movie serial, "The Adventures of Kathlyn," premieres in

Chicago, Illinois.

In 1934 Japan renounces the Washington Naval Treaty of 1922 and the London

Naval Treaty of 1930.

In 1940 During World War II, Germany begins dropping incendiary bombs on

London, England.

In 1949 The first UHF TV station begins regular operations in Bridgeport,

Connecticut.

In 1952 The first transistorized hearing aid is offered for sale in

Elmsford, New York.

In 1975 11 are killed, 75 are hurt, when a terrorist's bomb explodes at

LaGuardia Airport in New York City.

In 1983 The Rev. Jesse Jackson leaves New York on his successful mission to

Syria to secure the release of U.S. Navy pilot Robert O. Goodman

Jr., who had been shot down during a raid in Lebanon.

In 1984 Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi claims victory in parliamentary

elections as his Congress Party captures more than a two-thirds

majority in the lower house of Parliament.

In 1985 2 days after terrorists murder 20 civilians at the Rome and Vienna

airports in Italy, Libya's Khadafi calls them "heros."

In 1986 Former British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan dies at age 92.

In 1987 Cosmonaut Yuri Romanenko ends a recond 326 days in space.

In 1987 NASA delays the planned June launch of the space shuttle -- the

first since the Challenger disaster -- because a motor component

failed during a test-firing of the redesigned booster rocket.

In 1988 The FAA, responding to the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103, announces

tightened security measures for U.S. air carriers at 103 airports in

the Middle East and Western Europe.

In 1989 Playwright Vaclav Havel is elected president of Czechoslovakia by

the country's Federal Assembly, becoming the first non-communist to

hold the post in over forty years.

In 1991 Following the breakup of the Soviet Union, Russian President Boris

Yeltsin announces that Russia would create its own army.

In 1992 Brazilian President Fernando Collor de Mello resigns.

In 1992 New York Governor Mario Cuomo commutes the sentence of Jean Harris,

the convicted killer of "Scarsdale Diet" author Herman Tarnower.

In 1992 David and Sharon Schoo of St. Charles, IL, are arrested at O'Hare

International Airport as they returned from vacation for leaving

their young daughters at home, alone.

In 1992 The United States and Russia announce an agreement on a nuclear arms

reduction treaty.

In 1994 U.S. officials confirm the release in North Korea of Army helicopter

pilot Bobby Hall, 12 days after he was captured in a shootdown in

which co-pilot David Hilemon was killed.

In 1995 Japan's finance minister announces the resignation of the deputy

finance minister over several scandals, including the ministry's

cover-up of trading losses at Daiwa Bank's New York office.

In 1996 Government leaders in Guatemala sign an accord ending 36 years of

civil conflict.

In 1996 North Korea apologizes for sending a spy submarine into South Korean

waters.

In 1997 Hong Kong begins killing 1.4 million chickens to stem the spread of

a mysterious bird flu that had already killed four people.

In 2001 A fire sparked by a fireworks explosion in downtown Lima, Peru,

kills 274 people.

In 2003 Actor Earl Hindman, who'd played the mostly unseen neighbor Wilson

on "Home Improvement," dies at age 61

Born On This Day...

In 1946 Singer, Marianne Faithfull (As Tears Go By) (70)

In 1776 Inventor, Charles Macintosh (patented waterproof fabric)

In 1800 Inventor, Charles Goodyear (vulcanization process for rubber)

In 1808 Andrew Johnson, 17th U.S. president (1865-69)

In 1809 English statesman, William Ewart Gladstone

In 1859 Venustiano Carranza, president of Mexico (1915-20)

In 1876 Spanish cellist/composer, Pablo Casals

In 1879 World War I aviation hero, Billy Mitchell

In 1881 Heaveyweight boxing champ, Jess Willard (1915-19)

In 1891 Businesswoman, Joyce Clyde Hall (founded Hallmark Cards)

In 1894 Actor, Emory Parnell (The Life of Riley)

In 1900 Jazz musician/singer, Willie Humphrey [d: 6-7-94]

In 1903 Jazz trumpeter, Clyde McCoy (wah wah sound) [d: 6-11-90]

In 1907 Dr. Robert Clifton Weaver, first black to serve in U.S. Cabinet

In 1909 Actor, Thomas Beck (Charlie Chan movies, Priest-Heidi) [d: 9-23-95]

In 1917 Los Angeles mayor, Tom Bradley (1973-93) [d: 9-29-98]

In 1919 Journalist, Jim Murray (founded Sports Illustrated) [d: 8-16-98]

In 1920 Actress, Viveca Lindfors (The Way We Were) [d: 10-25-95]

In 1922 Novelist, William Gaddis (The Recognitions) [d: 12-16-98]

In 1932 Actress, Inga Swenson (Gretchen Kraus-Benson) (84)

In 1933 Actor, Joseph Maher (Sister Act) [d: 7-17-98]

In 1934 Actor, Ed Flanders (Dr. Westphall-St. Elsewhere) [d: 2-22-95]

In 1934 Broadcast journalist, Tom Jarriel (20/20) (82)

In 1936 Football Hall-of-Famer, Ray Nitschke (Packers) [d: 3-8-98]

In 1936 Actress, Mary Tyler Moore (Dick Van Dyke, Mary Tyler Moore) (80)

In 1937 Actress, Barbara Steele (Julia-Dark Shadows) (79)

In 1938 Actor, Jon Voight (Deliverance, Midnight Cowboy, Heat) (78)

In 1939 Country singer/songwriter, Ed Bruce (77)

In 1941 Singer/flautist/harmonicist, Ray Thomas (Moody Blues) (75)

In 1942 Actress, Angel Tompkins (Bees, Prime Cut, Murphy's Law) (74)

In 1946 Folk singer/actress, Marianne Faithful (70)

In 1947 Actor, Ted Danson (Sam-Cheers, Three Men & A Baby, Mike-Ink) (69)

In 1947 Drummer, Cozy Powell (Black Sabbath, Whitesnake) [d: 4-5-98]

In 1950 Singer/guitarist, Robert Parissi (Wild Cherry) (66)

In 1950 Actor, Jon Polito (Crosetti-Homicide) [d: 9-1-16]

In 1951 Singer, Yvonne Elliman (If I Can't Have You) (65)

In 1951 Singer, Laurel Masse (The Manhattan Transfer) (65)

In 1952 Ballerina, Gelsey Kirkland (Nutcracker) (64)

In 1955 Guitarist/producer, Neal Geraldo (Pat Benatar) (61)

In 1955 Actress, Charlayne Woodard (Fresh Prince, Days of Our Lives) (61)

In 1958 Astronaut, Nancy Jane Sherlock (STS-57 STS-70, STS-88, STS-109) (58)

In 1959 Former football player, Mervyn Fernandez (Raiders) (57)

In 1959 Actress, Leslie Graves (Brenda-Capitol, Death Wish II) [d: 8-23-95]

In 1959 Comedian/actress, Paula Poundstone (57)

In 1960 Actress, Patricia Clarkson (Murder One, The Green Mile) (56)

In 1961 Guitarist, Mark "Cow" Day (Happy Mondays) (55)

In 1964 Actress, Kimberly Russell (Sarah-Head of the Class) (52)

In 1965 Singer, Dexter Holland (Offspring) (51)

In 1965 Actor, John Haymes Newton (Melrose Place, Superboy) (51)

In 1966 TV host, Mystro Clark (Soul Train) (50)

In 1966 Actor, Jason Gould (Bernard-The Prince of Tides) (50)

In 1969 Actress, Jennifer Ehle (Backbeat, Pride & Prejudice) (47)

In 1970 Singer/songwriter, Glen Phillips (Toad the Wet Sprocket) (46)

In 1970 Actor, Kevin Weisman (Gone in 60 Seconds, Alias) (46)

In 1972 Actor, David Fumero (Cristian-One Life To Live) (44)

In 1972 Actor, Jude Law (Cold Mountain, Sky Captain, Alfie) (44)

In 1974 Actor, Mekki Phifer (Dr. Gregory Pratt-ER) (42)

In 1975 Actor, Shawn Hatosy (The Faculty, Inventing The Abbotts) (41)

In 1975 Playmate, Kalin Olson (August-1997) (41)

In 1976 Actor, Jason Shane Scott (Will-One Life To Live) (40)

In 1979 Actor, Diego Luna (Open Range, The Terminal) (37)

In 1983 Country singer, Jessica Andrews (33)

In 1984 Actor, Sean Stone, (The Doors, Natural Born Killers, Nixon) (32)

ENTERTAINMENT NEWS

Carrie Fisher fans don't have to worry about the makeshift star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame disappearing ... at least not yet. A rep for the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce tells TMZ ... they're inclined to leave the shrine alone so fans of the legendary actress can have a place to mourn. The rep added they'll remove it in a few days, but for now the star on Orange and Hollywood Blvd. stays. It's interesting ... Carrie's fans were stunned to learn she doesn't have a star on Hollywood's iconic sidewalks following news of her death Tuesday. This also happened back in April when Prince died. The rep tells us back then they followed the same protocol -- allow fans to mourn ... but the star was eventually removed. As for a permanent star ... the Chamber says someone needs to nominate Carrie, but now that she's passed, there's a 5-year waiting period before she becomes eligible. (TMZ)

Jennifer Lopez and Drake Fuel Romance Rumors on Instagram. So much for keeping things on the DL. Jennifer Lopez and Drake cuddled up Tuesday night, seemingly confirming their romantic status. The 47-year-old singer and the 30-year-old rapper shared the intimate moment on Instagram. However, neither star included a caption, leading fans to speculate about the duo. Neither star should expect to receive a "like" from Rihanna, as the she's unfollowed them both. J.Lo and Drake, meanwhile, still subscribe to the 28-year-old "Needed Me" singer's Instagram. So...what's going on between Lopez and Drake? The musicians first sparked romance rumors in early December when Drake attended two of Lopez's Las Vegas concerts back-to-back. The "Too Good" rapper later hosted "a super intimate dinner" at Delilah in West Hollywood, and he left the celebrity hotspot with the Latin superstar. Neither Lopez nor Drake has addressed the nature of their relationship. Even so, a source tells E! News, "They are seeing each other." While they are "not exclusive," Drake "is really into her." According to the source, "They have great chemistry." Perhaps the two will ring in the New Year together, as Lopez recently canceled her show at Miami's E11even nightclub. Per her rep, Lopez wanted to focus on "personal and family time." Lopez, who split with choreographer Casper Smart earlier this year, recently took some time to reflect on her personal and professional accomplishments. "I have a ritual every year once everyone is asleep," she wrote on Instagram. "I like to go sit by the tree and think about the year that just went by. Check in on how I feel right in that moment about everything in my life." "The magic of the sparkly tree always takes me away into my thoughts and feelings...and this year I can honestly say my heart is full," the "I Luh Ya Papi" singer wrote on Christmas Eve. "This year had its ups and downs but as I sit here in my living room w my coconuts sleeping soundly upstairs, all of us healthy, a house full of family and friends, I feel surrounded by love and overflowing with gratitude for the many new blessings in my life!!! Merry Christmas everyone." (Eonline)

Gwyneth Paltrow Says Chris Martin Would Still ''Take a Bullet" for Her. Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin may have split over two years ago and officially divorced in July, but they've never been too proud to admit they still care about each other very much. In fact, the 44-year-old actress covers the February issue of InStyle magazine and opens up about how the pair co-parent their two children, Apple, 12, and Moses, 10, in a healthy and mature manner. "He's at my house every single day," Paltrow told the publication. "We have our own lives but we still have our family life." She says that even though they're no longer married, the former couple still maintains a strong bond. "To this day, Chris would take a bullet for me, even though I'm not his wife," she revealed. "I honestly think Chris and I have contributed something positive to the culture of divorce." Of course, this incites the question: How does her current boyfriend Brad Falchuk feel about her relationship with Martin? "He has his own version of it, his own family where it's not a couple but it's a family," she said, referencing his split from Suzanne Falchuk with whom he shares two children. Perhaps this confidence in her varying relationships has a lot to do with the confidence she has in herself, which she told InStyle came with age. "When I turned 40, I felt like I got this free software upgrade that I wasn't expecting. It just happened," she explained. "Suddenly I was like, 'Oh, this is fantastic: I don't care! I like myself, and I'm just going to live my life. I'm going to stop worrying and tearing myself down.'" That also provides the perfect explanation about why she doesn't care when people poke fun at her Goop website or her eccentric health and wellness habits. "I've learned how the cycle works," she said. "It used to be that I would talk about something or write about it, and people would be like, 'What the f--k is she talking about? She's a witch!' And then later on it would sort of catch on. So now I just recognize it: OK, I'm going to talk about this, and people will think it's weird, and that's how it goes." Now, she's confident in her role as a trailblazer on wellness issues. "I'm like, this is my role. I'm here to do this," she revealed. "A friend told me if you're a trailblazer, you're the first one through, and you get the cuts because you're hacking the path." Read her full interview with InStyle. (Eonline)

Paul Simon breaks silence on ex-wife Carrie Fisher's death. Paul Simon spoke out about the death of his ex-wife Carrie Fisher on Wednesday. Simon, who has been married to Edie Brickell since 1992, shared his second marriage with Fisher between August 1983 and July 1984. Fisher died Tuesday morning after suffering what was described as a massive heart attack Friday while on a flight from London to Los Angeles. Fisher's daughter, Billie Lourd, confirmed the death on Tuesday. "She was loved by the world and she will be missed profoundly," the statement read. Lourd was Fisher's daughter with talent agent Bryan Lourd, whom Fisher referred to as her second husband in interviews, although the two were never officially married. "Yesterday was a horrible day. Carrie was a special, wonderful girl. It's too soon," Simon wrote on Twitter early Wednesday, adding his voice to a chorus of people who knew and loved Fisher during her lifetime, and have shared memories since her death. "No words," Fisher's "Star Wars" co-star Mark Hamill wrote on Twitter shortly after news of her death was confirmed. "Devastated." "Carrie was one-of-a-kind... brilliant, original," Harrison Ford said in a statement. "Funny and emotionally fearless. She lived her life, bravely." J.J. Abrams posted a hand-written note which read, "You didn't need to meet Carrie Fisher to understand her power. She was just as brilliant and beautiful, tough and wonderful, incisive and funny as you could imagine. What an unfair thing to lose her. How lucky to have been blessed with her at all." (PageSix)

Carrie Fisher's Daughter Billie Lourd Gets Support From Taylor Lautner and Scream Queens Co-Stars After Mother's Death. Carrie Fisher's daughter is receiving support from those closest to her in the wake of tragedy. As the world continues to mourn the loss of the talented actress, Billie Lourd is mourning the loss of her mother, and those who know the young celeb are offering their condolences in hopes of adding some love and light during this dark time. Rumored love interest Taylor Lautner took to Instagram to share a photo of the pair with the words, "This girl is one of the strongest, most fearless individuals I've ever met. Absolutely beautiful inside and out. I'm lucky to know you @praisethelourd ... [heart emoji], me." Many of her other Scream Queens co-stars also took to social media to share their grief over Fisher's death and kind words for their friend and colleague. Fisher passed away on Tuesday after she suffered a heart attack on a flight from London to Los Angeles. She was 60 years old. Speaking on behalf of her daughter Billie Lourd, the family's spokesman Simon Halls announced the news. "It is with a very deep sadness that Billie Lourd confirms that her beloved mother Carrie Fisher passed away at 8:55 this morning," he told E! News in a statement. "She was loved by the world and she will be missed profoundly. Our entire family thanks you for your thoughts and prayers." (Eonline)

Carrie Fisher's Sister Joely on Actress' ''Unfathomable'' Death: "How Dare You Take Her Away From Us?" Joely Fisher is speaking out following the tragic passing of her big sister. In the hours following Carrie Fisher's death Tuesday morning, the actress took to Twitter with a heartbreaking dedication to the Star Wars icon. "Breaking my silence with a broken heart...the Unfathomable loss...the earth is off its axis today...how dare you take her away from us," Joely wrote alongside a photo of the pair embracing each other. During Fisher's subsequent hospitalization after suffering a heart attack while aboard a flight heading from London to Los Angeles Friday, Joely continued to thank fans for their ongoing support. "Fisher Girls... Your love and prayers are deeply felt..." Joely, 49, tweeted after news of Carrie's health scare surfaced. At the time, Joely, who currently stars in the Laguna Playhouse's production of Sleeping Beauty, shared she would perform in an afternoon matinee as scheduled, then return to Carrie's bedside. As for other members of the actress' immediate family, mom Debbie Reynolds publicly reacted to Carrie's passing via Facebook: "Thank you to everyone who has embraced the gifts and talents of my beloved and amazing daughter. I am grateful for your thoughts and prayers that are now guiding her to her next stop." Fisher's 24-year-old daughter and Scream Queens starlet Billie Lourd confirmed the news in a statement to E! News that read, "She was loved by the world and she will be missed profoundly. Our entire family thanks you for your thoughts and prayers." In the wake of Carrie's death, members of her Star Wars family and fellow Hollywood A-listers have shared just how much she impacted their personal lives and careers. Harrison Ford told E! News in a statement, "Carrie was one-of-a-kind... brilliant, original. Funny and emotionally fearless. She lived her life, bravely." A tribute from George Lucas, who cast Fisher as Princess Leia, read in part, "Carrie and I have been friends most of our adult lives. She was extremely smart; a talented actress, writer and comedienne with a very colorful personality that everyone loved." Likewise, co-star Daisy Ridley shared with us, "Devastated at this monumental loss. How lucky we all are to have known her, and how awful that we have to say goodbye." (Eonline)

The woman who plays "Supergirl" is super over her marriage ... and just filed to divorce the former "Glee" star she married back in 2013 ... TMZ has learned. Melissa Benoist just filed court docs seeking to end her 4 year marriage to Blake Jenner ... who played Ryder Lynn on "Glee" after winning the role on Oxygen's "The Glee Project." Both 28-year-old Melissa and 24-year-old Blake later got roles on CW's "Supergirl" -- where Melissa plays the main superhero ... and Blake appeared on 2 episodes. In the court docs, Melissa cites "irreconcilable differences" for the split -- and wants to block the court's ability to dish out spousal support to either of them. They have no kids ... so no issues there. One last thing, she wants to change her legal name back to Melissa Benoist ... and drop the Jenner thing for good. Seems to be the only person in Hollywood who doesn't want to be a Jenner these days. (TMZ)

Queen Latifah Carjacked at Atlanta Gas Station. Queen Latifah's car was stolen in Atlanta on Dec. 20, FOX-5 -- Atlanta reported Wednesday. Fulton County Police said someone else was driving the 46-year-old actress' 2015 Mercedes Benz S63 at the time of the incident. The driver was pumping gas when a white BMW pulled up beside him, according to the report. He heard the ignition start, then saw Latifah's car drive off. The ordeal happened at the Shell gas station on Fulton Industrial Boulevard. Police later discovered the stolen vehicle at an apartment complex on McDaniels Street. Security said it saw three males near the car, in addition to a white BMW and a Dodge Charger. Fulton County Police were in touch with Latifah throughout the investigation. Soon after her Mercedes was recovered, the former talk show host searched inside the vehicle. According to the police report, she discovered lemonade and fruit punch bottles that the thieves left behind. The carjackers remain at large. Latifah (real name: Dana Williams) has not commented on via her social media accounts. This wasn't the first time Latifah had been carjacked. Twenty-two years ago in Harlem, her BMW 740i was stolen and her bodyguard Sean Moon was shot and critically wounded. Two teenagers, Rashin Fortune and Ricardo Rodriguez, were later charged with attempted murder. Latifah currently stars in Fox's Star as Carlotta Brown, the owner of an Atlanta beauty salon. (Eonline)

Marc Anthony has filed for divorce from his third wife, Shannon De Lima. Marc filed legal docs, first obtained by TheDirty, which should be pretty simple to process. They have no kids and married just 2 years ago. According to the docs, Anthony says the marriage is "irretrievably broken." They've already divided up the property in a confidential settlement. They say the split is amicable. The couple announced their separation last month, one day after J Lo and Marc kissed on the lips at the Latin Grammys. (TMZ)

T.I.'s Wife Tiny Files for Divorce After 6 Years of Marriage. Another Hollywood couple has called it quits. T.I..'s wife Tiny has filed for divorce from the rapper after six years of marriage, E! News can confirm. The two have three children together, King Harris, Major Harris and Heiress Harris. Tiny, who was born Tameka Cottle, also has an older daughter, Zonnique Pullins, from a previous relationship. Cottle has three stepchildren from her marriage to T.I., born Clifford Harris Jr., named Messiah, Domani and Deyjah Harris. A source tells E! News that they have been having ups and downs in their relationship for some time now and that "arguments and disagreements over some issues led them to split." Ultimately, our insider tells us, the two want to "still be friends for the kids and family." The former couple documented their lives on the hit VH1 series T.I. & Tiny: The Family Hustle, which debuted back in December 2011. Tiny first made a name for herself in the music industry when she was a member of the uber-successful R&B group Xscape. She also won a Grammy Award for her work as a writer on the TLC hit single "No Scrubs." Neither Tiny nor T.I. have spoken out about their split on social media yet, although based on their Instagram accounts, it appears that the former duo spent the holidays together as a family with their children. TMZ first reported the news. (Eonline)

The man arrested in connection with the death of an actress from "Step Up" has officially been charged with murder. 29-year-old Adrian Johnson was just slapped with a first degree murder charge Tuesday after Tricia Lynn McCauley was found dead in her car in Washington D.C. the same morning. The medical examiner's office reportedly determined she died from asphyxia -- strangulation. As we reported ... cops say Johnson and McCauley did not know each other. It could be a carjacking ... cops say Johnson was seen driving Tricia's car. Tricia was a stand-in for Jenna Dewan Tatum in "Step Up" in 2006, as well as a yoga instructor in the D.C. area. She was 46. (TMZ)

THE OTHER STUFF . . .

Carrie Fisher's heart failure aboard a United jet is the latest fatal incident in what has become a real problem on commercial airliners. Several EMTs who work LAX tell us ... they frequently encounter passengers with heart problems, and a number of the fatalities are preventable. Passengers on long flights who experience chest pain, shortness of breath and other signs of distress often tell themselves they can wait it out until the plane lands, losing precious time. As one EMT put it, "They think, 'only one hour to go' and they can just bite the bullet." And the EMTs say passengers often assume no one on board is capable of dealing with heart issues, but they add flight attendants have training and there are often passengers on board with medical training. Another problem ... people frequently don't take critical meds during long flights ... they just lose any sense of time. We're told male passengers tend to be more stubborn than females ... ignoring signs of trouble. As for Carrie, we did some checking and there's no obvious evidence she was in distress before her heart stopped. Family sources tell us they received no texts from her during the flight complaining of ill health. (TMZ)

Kate Beckinsale Spills on Why She Can't Quit Her ''Incredibly Punishing" Fitness and Diet Regimen. Kate Beckinsale works hard for her bod. The 43-year-old actress appears on the cover of Shape magazine's January/February 2017 issue, looking more toned than ever in a barely-there, colorblock bikini. As for how Kate prepped for her physically-demanding role in Underworld: Blood Wars, she attributes those rock solid abs to celeb fitness guru Gunnar Peterson for pushing her to the limit. "I work out hard with Gunnar five or six times a week," Beckinsale revealed, adding, "I do circuit training interspersed with brutal cardio, such as crazy things on a nonmotorized treadmill. That part is torture. But the thing I like about circuit training is that you're never doing one thing for very long. You get to the point where you almost can't bear it, and it changes to something else." Kate wasn't always such a dedicated fitness freak, but that all changed when she recognized the benefits working out had on her mental health. "I start out absolutely dreading it, do an incredibly punishing workout, bitch about it the whole time, and end up feeling 100 percent better when I leave. Working out is basically nature's antidepressant," Beckinsale added. The brunette beauty explained that although she loves practicing yoga, "Hard-core workouts have really made a big difference in my life. I have a lot of internal energy, and intense exercise helps me channel that energy. I find balance by doing a workout that makes me pour sweat. I never was that girl before, but I am now." As for Kate's nutrition plan, let's just say cheat days are few and far between. A longtime vegetarian, Beckinsale began introducing meat into her diet for extra energy while filming Pearl Harbor. She explained, "[My 17-year-old daughter] Lily and I eat clean -- we have a lot of sauteed vegetables like brussels sprouts and broccoli and chicken and fish." "Also, I don't drink alcohol," she continued. "I feel [its effects] very quickly, so I've never actually had an entire glass of anything alcoholic." For more from Kate, pick up the latest issue of Shape when it hits newsstands Jan. 3. (Eonline)

The face on Carrie Fisher's pooch says it all. Family and friends gathered Tuesday at the legendary actress' Bev Hills home to mourn her passing ... and Gary was right there with them too. We broke the story ... Carrie's daughter, Billie, will take custody of the beloved French bulldog. (TMZ)

Carrie Fisher's cherished dog -- a 4-year-old pooch named Gary -- will now be cared for by Carrie's daughter ... TMZ has learned. Family friends are telling us Billie Lourd will take custody of the French bulldog, which was by Carrie's side on the plane from London to LAX when Carrie's heart stopped. The pooch also visited Carrie at UCLA Medical Center. Billie already has a French bulldog named Tina, that's best friends with Gary. We're told she wants to make sure the 2 get along in the long term and she's able to handle the added responsibility. A family source told TMZ, Carrie always wanted Billie to take Gary if something happened to her. If, for some reason, Billie can't care for Gary for the long haul, the dog will remain in the family. The dog was like a child to Carrie, who carted her best friend almost everywhere she went ... even interviews. Gary was adopted as a service pet to help Carrie with her bipolar disorder. (TMZ)

It's out with the old and in with the new for Korean Air ... and all probably thanks to Richard Marx. The airline's decided to loosen its Taser usage policy ... 1 week after the '80s hitmaker was forced to subdue an unruly passenger who proved too much for crew members to handle on their own. The new policy will reportedly allow for a "more active use" of Tasers. Employees will also add on more security gear training, and the male-to-female ratio of flight crews will be under review. The old policy meant Tasers could only be used when lives or the physical safety of passengers and cabin crew was threatened. As we reported ... Richard and his wife, Daisy Fuentes, railed on the airline for its lax response to the out-of-control passenger who kicked and spat at crew members while he was tied to his seat. Daisy referred to the crew as "completely ill trained." (TMZ)

Music

Garth Brooks Scores 18th Top 10 Album on Billboard 200. "The Ultimate Collection" climbs 13-6. Plus, Jon Pardi notches his third Hot Country Songs top 10. Garth Brooks banks his 18th top 10 album on the Billboard 200, as his 10-CD box set, The Ultimate Collection, vaults 13-6 in its second week (on the chart dated Jan. 7, 2017). The set surges by 75 percent to 64,000 equivalent units (all from traditional album sales) in the week ending Dec. 22, according to Nielsen Music. The Billboard 200 chart ranks the most popular albums of the week in the U.S. based on multi-metric consumption, which includes traditional album sales, track equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA). inReadNow with 18 top 10s, Brooks breaks a tie with Tim McGraw (17) for the second-most top 10s among core country acts in the Billboard 200's 60-year history. George Strait leads with 20. (Among all artists, The Rolling Stones boast a record 37 top 10s.) Concurrently, The Ultimate Collection leads Top Country Albums for a second week, where it's Brooks' 16th No. 1. The set was released as a Target exclusive Nov. 11; it has sold 390,000 copies to date. Notably, the package was not eligible for Billboard's charts for its first four weeks as, per chart policy, its price ($29.99) fell below the minimum price for it to chart ($3.49 for a single disc, or $3.49 times the amount of discs in a multi-disc box set, in a title's first four weeks of release). As The Ultimate Collection remains at No. 1 on Top Country Albums, Brooks occupies the top 10 with four titles for a second straight week: Christmas Together, with his wife, Trisha Yearwood, declines 2-4 (23,000 sold, down 8 percent); the Christmas Together/Gunslinger bundle, available exclusively at Walmart, pushes 8-6 (15,000, up 18 percent); and the stand-alone Gunslinger, Brooks' new studio album, rises 10-7 (15,000, up 30 percent). (Gunslinger is also included as one of the 10 CDs in The Ultimate Collection.) Meanwhile, Brooks adds his 85th and 86th Country Airplay chart entries (a sum second only to Strait's 98, dating to the chart's Jan. 20, 1990, inception), as "Baby, It's Cold Outside," with Yearwood, and "Ugly Christmas Sweater" debut at Nos. 49 and 52, respectively. Both are from Christmas Together. "Baby, Let's Lay Down and Dance," the lead single from Gunslinger, ranks at No. 24 after debuting and peaking at No. 19. STEPPING UP: Jon Pardi's "Dirt on My Boots" ascends to the Hot Country Songs top 10, kicking 13-10. The track jumps 7-3 on Country Digital Song Sales (a new best rank for Pardi on the chart) with 16,000 downloads sold (up 11 percent). It rises 19-17 on Country Airplay (14 million audience impressions, down 3 percent) and 20-18 on Country Streaming Songs (1.7 million U.S. streams, up 3 percent). "Boots" is Pardi's third Hot Country Songs top 10, following the No. 4-peaking "Head Over Boots" (August 2016) and "Up All Night" (No. 10, February 2014). (Billboard)

Neil Diamond Shines With 38th Adult Contemporary Chart Top 10. The icon's "The Christmas Medley (Acoustic Christmas)" climbs 11-10. Pop legend Neil Diamond lands his 38th top 10 on Billboard's Adult Contemporary radio airplay chart, as "The Christmas Medley (Acoustic Christmas)" rises 11-10 (on the survey dated Jan. 7, 2017). Diamond moves within one of Elton John's record for the most top 10s since the chart premiered in the Billboard issue dated July 17, 1961 (see list, below). "Medley" is from Diamond's recently-released album Acoustic Christmas. The set hits a new high on the Jan. 7-dated Holiday Albums chart, rising 8-6, and boasts the highest weekly sales of its eight weeks on the ranking (16,000, up 8 percent, in the week ending Dec. 22, according to Nielsen Music). Diamond earns his first AC top 10 since his last entry on the chart, fellow carol "Cherry Cherry Christmas," hit No. 4 on Jan. 2, 2010. He links his first pair of consecutive top 10s since 1989, when "This Time" and "The Best Years of Our Lives" reached Nos. 9 and 7, respectively. Among Diamond's 38 AC top 10s are eight No. 1s. He led the list the longest with his first No. 1, "Song Sung Blue," which ruled for seven weeks in 1972. Diamond is set to begin his 50 Year Anniversary World Tour April 7 in Fresno, California. He first hit the Billboard Hot 100 in May 1966 with "Solitary Man." "People have been loyal and listening for years, so you just want to give them everything," Diamond recently said. "Let it all wash over them, and make sure everybody has a great time." Here is an updated ranking of the acts with the most top 10s in the AC chart's 55-year history: (Hollywood Reporter)

Pentatonix's 'Christmas' Album Hits No. 1 on Billboard 200 Chart. Vocal group Pentatonix scores its second No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 chart, as A Pentatonix Christmas jumps from No. 2 to No. 1 on the latest list, earning 206,000 equivalent album units in the week ending Dec. 22 (up 32 percent), according to Nielsen Music. Of that sum, 185,000 were in traditional album sales (up 33 percent). It's the first holiday album at No. 1 in five years, since Michael Buble's Christmas ruled the tally for five consecutive weeks on the charts dated Dec. 10, 2011, through Jan. 7, 2012. The Billboard 200 chart ranks the most popular albums of the week in the U.S. based on multi-metric consumption, which includes traditional album sales, track equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA). The new Jan. 7, 2017-dated chart (where Pentatonix rises to No. 1) will be posted in full to Billboard's websites on Wednesday, Dec. 28 (one day later than normal, due to the Christmas holiday on Dec. 25). inReadPentatonix previously led the list with its self-titled album, which debuted atop the list in 2015. A Pentatonix Christmas was released through RCA Records on Oct. 21. It debuted at No. 3 on the Nov. 12-dated chart, and has never ranked lower than No. 6 on the list in its nine weeks on the chart. The album benefits from not only holiday-fueled purchases (after all, it is a Christmas album) as well as a sale price in the iTunes Store (for just $7.99), but also a number of TV appearances from the group during the tracking week. The act's Dec. 7 performance on ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live! repeated on Dec. 16; NBC's A Pentatonix Christmas Special (which premiered on Dec. 14) received an encore airing on Dec. 17; they sang on NBC's America's Got Talent Holiday Spectacular on Dec. 19; and they performed on Fox News' Fox & Friends on Dec. 21 and the syndicated Rachael Ray Show on Dec. 22. A Pentatonix Christmas is the group's sixth top 10 album overall, and third holiday effort to reach the region, following 2014's No. 2-peaking That's Christmas to Me, and the 2013 PTXmas EP, which climbed to No. 7. Pentatonix's latest No. 1 also earns the largest sales week for a holiday album in two years, since Pentatonix's previous holiday set, That's Christmas to Me, sold 203,000 copies in the week ending Dec. 21, 2014. In fact, the last acts that weren't Pentatonix to sell more in a single week with a holiday album were Michael Buble and Justin Bieber during the week ending Dec. 25, 2011. That week, Buble sold 467,000 copies of Christmas, while Bieber moved 225,000 copies of his Under the Mistletoe. Further, A Pentatonix Christmas is the first album to earn its first week at No. 1 by climbing there -- as opposed to debuting or re-entering at No. 1-- since Rihanna's Anti vaulted from No. 27 to No. 1 in its second chart week, on the Feb. 20-dated list. Also notable, since A Pentatonix Christmas reaches No. 1 in its ninth week on the list, it logs the slowest continuous climb to No. 1 (thus excepting re-entries at No. 1 from Prince's The Very Best of Prince and Chris Stapleton's Traveller) since the March 16, 2013-dated list, when Bruno Mars' Unorthodox Jukebox reached No. 1 in its 12th week. Speaking of Mars, back on the new Billboard 200 chart, his 24K Magic rises two spots to No. 2 with 114,000 units (up 54 percent) while The Weeknd's Starboy stays steady at No. 3 with 101,000 units (down 7 percent). The previous week's No. 1, J. Cole's 4 Your Eyez Only, dips 1-4 with 90,000 units (down 82 percent). Pentatonix's That's Christmas to Me holds at No. 5 with 78,000 units (up 20 percent). Garth Brooks' new boxed set, The Ultimate Collection, jumps 13-6 in its second chart week (64,000 units -- up 75 percent), granting the superstar his 18th top 10 album. Among country acts, Brooks is now solely in second place with the most top 10s, behind only George Strait, who has 20 top 10s. (Brooks was previously tied with Tim McGraw, who has 17 top 10s.) As for the rest of the new top 10, the original Broadway cast recording of Hamilton is a non-mover at No. 7 with 58,000 units (up 21 percent), Metallica's Hardwired... To Self-Destruct ascends 11-8 with 53,000 units (up 30 percent), The Rolling Stones' Blue & Lonesome rises 10-9 with 52,000 units (up 21 percent), and the Moana soundtrack dips 8-10 with 51,000 units (though it's up 7 percent). (Billboard)

Movies

'Rogue One' Box Office Nears $350M in U.S.; 'Sing' Croons Loudly on Tuesday. 'Sing' and 'Passengers' hold at No. 2 and No. 3, while 'Hidden Figures' continues to impress in limited debut. Lucasfilm's and Disney's Rogue One: A Star Wars Story continues to rule the year-end holidays, earning an estimated $22.5 million Tuesday from 4,157 theaters as the stand-alone prequel prepares to cross the $350 million mark at the North American box office Wednesday. And by the end of New Year's weekend, the stand-alone Star Wars prequel should clear $400 million domestically, a feat accomplished by only two other 2016 releases, Disney/Pixar's Finding Dory ($486.3 million) and Disney/Marvel's Captain America: Civil War ($408.1 million). Rogue One finished Tuesday with $340.6 million domestically and $615.9 million globally. The stretch between Christmas Day and New Year's weekend can be the most lucrative corridor at the box office with many kids out of school and many adults off from work. Illumination's and Universal's new animated holiday offering Sing is the other big player after Rogue One. The music-themed animated film, easily holding at No. 2, took in $17.4 million Tuesday from 4,022 theaters for a total $93 million, meaning it will clear $100 million sometime Wednesday. Morten Tyldum's Passengers, the sci-fi space romance starring Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt, continues to come in at No. 3, grossing an estimated $6 million Tuesday for a domestic total of roughly $36 million. The Sony movie got off to a soft start but hopes to make up ground this week after seeing a big jump from Saturday to Christmas Day. In another win for Disney, Thanksgiving animated film Moana jumped Dec. 21 entries Why Him? and Assassin's Creed on Tuesday with an estimated $4 million from 2,687 theaters and putting the movie's domestic total at $189 million. The movie's staying power, along with Sing, underscores the strength family titles have enjoyed this year. The troubled big-budget video game adaptation Assassin's Creed, starring Michael Fassbender, narrowly beat R-rated comedy Why Him? to come in the No. 5 spot with $3.5 million for a total $25.3 million. Assassin's Creed is proving to be a major disappointment, considering its $125 million budget. New Regency financed the film, with Fox handling distribution duties. From Fox proper, Why Him?, starring Bryan Cranston and James Franco, placed No. 6 with $3.4 million for a total $19 million. The comedy opened Dec. 23. Denzel Washington's Broadway play adaptation Fences, expanding nationwide Christmas Day, placed No. 6 with an estimated $3.1 million from 2,233 theaters for a three-day total of $14.9 million. Fences, from Paramount, placed No. 7, followed by fellow awards contender, La La Land. The musical, starring Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling, expanded Christmas Day into a total of 724 theaters. La La Land grossed an estimated $2.6 million Tuesday for a total $19.7 million. Among other award contenders making a play over the year-end holidays, Fox 2000's and Chernin Entertainment's Hidden Figures continues to impress after opening in 25 theaters Christmas Day. The historical drama earned an estimated $212,319 Tuesday for a per-theater average of $8,493 -- the best of any film. It also crossed the $1 million mark to end the day with a total $1.1 million. Hidden Figures, starring Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monae as NASA mathematicians who helped launch men into space, opened in 15 markets, including New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Houston -- home of NASA's Johnson Space Center -- and Hampton, Va., where the movie is set. Peter Berg's and Mark Wahlberg's Boston Marathon bombing drama Patriots Day -- which opened Dec. 23 in seven theaters in Boston, Los Angeles and New York -- grossed another $49,946 Tuesday for a location average of $7,135 and total $382,418. Martin Scorsese's Silence, bowing in four theaters in New York and Los Angeles on Dec. 23, grossed an estimated $22,306 Tuesday for a location average of $5,577 and total $185,924. Paramount, Scorsese's home studio, is releasing the film, starring Andrew Garfield, Adam Driver and Liam Neeson. Ben Affleck's Live by Night, a late awards entry, is faring poorly so far in comparison to his other directorial outings. The movie, opening Christmas Day in Los Angeles and New York, earned $8,369 Tuesday for a location average of $2,091 and total $57,000. (Hollywood Reporter)

2016's International Box-Office Surprises. Korea loves 'La La Land,' 'Now You See Me 2' killed in China and 'Bridget Jones's Baby" made $188 million overseas. The list of 2016 global box-office hits is made up of many expected titles: a lot of Disney -- Finding Dory, Captain America: Civil War, Zootopia, The Jungle Book and, of course Rouge One: A Star Wars Story -- plus the usual suspects among the studio tentpoles: Warner Bros.' Superman v. Batman: Dawn of Justice, Suicide Squad and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them; and Universal's The Secret Life of Pets. Fox's anti-superhero movie Deadpool, which grossed $783 million worldwide, is the only major upset in the top 10 list this year. But drop a bit further down and the 2016 foreign box office reveals a surprisingly diverse international audience, whose choices in Hollywood entertainment range widely and don't always match up with those in America. Take Bridget Jones's Baby, the third, and likely final, entry in the Renee Zellweger-fronted chick-lit franchise. The movie earned just $24 million for Universal in the U.S. but enjoyed a $188 million bonanza internationally, fully 89 percent of its total box-office take. The British focus of the film -- based on Helen Fielding's London-set books -- obviously helped its performance in Blighty, where it earned a whopping $61 million, as well as in the rest of Europe where the film outperformed relative to the U.S. Tiny Holland was the standout. With a total gross of $11.5 million, Bridget Jones's Baby was the number-one film of the year in the Netherlands. The lowlands have long had a tradition of female-focused comedies -- see the hit Gooische Women franchise headed by local superstar Linda de Mol -- which helps to explain the appeal of Bridget Jones. Another femme-focused rom-com, Warner Bros.' Me Before You, nearly tripled its $56 million domestic take on the international market, earning fully 81 percent of its gross outside North America. Here, the success was also a matter of clear counter-programming. Warner bowed Thea Sharrock's debut feature, starring Emilia Clarke as a caregiver tending to Sam Claflin, a former banker paralyzed by a motorcycle accident, in the summer during the European Soccer Championships when most studios had pulled more male-focused features from their schedules. The tactic worked. Me Before You performed best in soccer-mad territories such as Germany ($20 million), Brazil ($17 million) and Mexico ($11.6 million), where the film had little in the way of competition. In Norway, another big soccer nation, Me Before You was the top-grossing title of 2016. The Nordic appeal likely had a lot to do with Clarke, a huge star in Northern Europe thanks to her starring role in HBO's Game of Thrones, a major hit in the region. Sony's animated The Angry Birds Movie also did particularly well in Scandinavia, thanks in part to local loyalties. The original mobile game on which the film is based was invented by Rovio, a Finnish company. That explains why the movie earned $3.7 million in Finland, making it the country's number-one movie of 2016. La La Land, Lionsgate's awards-season musical, is only just starting its international rollout but already its gross in South Korea ($9.3 million) has surpassed that of North America ($7.2 million). Here the success of Damien Chazelle's sophomore feature has to do with the Korean love of all things musical. The massive K-pop industry has primed South Koreans to come out for music-themed films. Korea was the number-two market for Chazelle's debut, Whiplash, with a $11.4 million gross, behind only the U.S. with $13 million. John Carney's music-themed romance Begin Again grossed $25.9 million in South Korea, compared to $16 million domestically. Carney's Dublin-set follow-up, Sing Street has earned $3.8 million in Korea against $1.8 million in North America. Recently, South Korean has seen major success with re-releasing older Hollywood films, with musicals such as Chicago and The Phantom of the Opera among the biggest draws. Elsewhere in Asia, Sully, Clint Eastwood's real-life aviation adventure tale starring Tom Hanks, wowed in Japan, where the film has earned $12 million, outperforming all other international territories. Warner gave the film the more universal title Hudson-kawa no Kiseki, "Miracle on the Hudson River," for its Japanese launch, but the movie's appeal had as much to do with the Japanese audience's love of the everyman hero -- epitomized by Hanks' "Sully" Sullenberger -- which tends to be more popular in the territory than superhero types. Eastwood has also been a favorite in Japan since his well-received war drama Letters From Iwo Jima. China's slowing, but still booming box office came to rescue of several Hollywood titles this year, including Ang Lee's Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk. The Iraq war drama, which earned just $1.7 million domestically, grossed $24 million on Chinese release, thanks to Bona Film Group, one of the financial backers of the Fox title who helped roll out the film in China. Lee's name also helped in China, where the Taiwan-born filmmaker is something of national treasure. Indeed, Billy Lynn actually earned more in Taiwan ($3.2 million) than it did in North America. An even bigger Chinese success story was Now You See Me 2, the magic-themed thriller from Jon M. Chu, the sequel to Louis Leterrier's 2013 hit. The film earned $97 million in China, substantially more than the $65 million it took in North America. Opening head-to-head against Independence Day: Resurgence, it actually outperformed Roland Emmerich's sci-fi blockbuster, which earned $75 million in China. Key to the film's Chinese success was clever use of the Chinese casino enclave of Macau as a shooting location for the sequel and the casting of Taiwanese mega-star Jay Chou in a key supporting role. Past Hollywood productions have seen their efforts to woo Chinese fans backfire but Chou, well-known for his offscreen love of magic tricks, was ideally cast. Leomus Pictures, the Chinese group that, together with Hunan TV, has partnered with Lionsgate on a $375 million film slate, also insisted that Chou have a place on the movie's international poster. Lionsgate and Leomus are now planning a Chinese spinoff of the franchise and exploring the possibility of producing Escape Plan 2 as a China co-production. (Eonline)

TV

Carrie Fisher's TV Presence Will Be Felt With Family Guy, Catastrophe and More. The world may have lost an icon when Carrie Fisher passed away on Tuesday, Dec. 27 at the age of 60, but viewers haven't seen the last of her just yet. In addition to the upcoming Star Wars Episode VIII where Fisher will reprise her star-making role of General Leia Organa, Fisher has quite a few TV roles in the can. Fisher, who has recurred on Family Guy as Angela, Peter Griffin's boss, since 2005, will be heard in two more episodes of the Fox animated comedy, according to Variety. "Carrie Fisher was smart, funny, talented, surprising, and always a hell of a fun time to be around. Family Guy will miss her immensely," Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane tweeted after news of Fisher's passing broke. In terms of non-animated work, Fisher will return to Amazon's Catastrophe opposite Rob Delaney and Sharon Horgan. The flight where she suffered her cardiac arrest was her return to the United States from filming the comedy in the United Kingdom. Horgan and Fisher were posting selfies of each other (and dogs) in late December as they filmed. "Carrie was my friend. It took me three series but I got her in the end. She was the most generous, fun, gifted, smart, kind, funny funny funny person I've ever met," Horgan wrote on Instagram with a photo. "She certainly wasn't ready to go. I'm so glad we became pals. I'm so devastated at her loss. I want to write about her more but I can't process yet." Fisher re-teamed with her famous mom, Debbie Reynolds, for a documentary that premiered at Cannes in September. Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds will air on HBO in 2017. No premiere date was officially announced. Fisher had a number of small screen roles over her extensive career. She received an Emmy nomination for an episode of 30 Rock and another for the televised version of her one-woman show, Wishful Drinking. "Carrie Fisher meant a lot to me. Like many women my age, Princess Leia occupies about sixty percent of my brain at any given time," Tina Fey told Time about Fisher. "But Carrie's honest writing and her razor-sharp wit were an even greater gift." (Eonline)

Bones Final Season Premiere: Will the Team Be Able to Save an Abducted Brennan?! Get ready for Taken, Bones-style. Bones' final season is almost here (Jan. 3) and it's jumping right back into the drama from the finale, with the team desperately trying to find Brennan (Emily Deschanel) after she was abducted by ex-squintern Zack (Eric Millegan). In E! News' exclusive sneak peek from the season 12 premiere, Cam (Tamara Taylor) and Angela (Michaela Conlin) are reviewing security footage from the lab to find out just how Zach was able to take Brennan. "The problem is Zach was able to remotely turn off some of the cameras," Angela says, going on to say she wasn't able to find any exterior cameras that were turned off. Wait, so does that mean Brennan is actually still inside the Jeffersonian?! Hey, isn't it true you always find what you are looking for right in front of you most of the time? Fans can expect the final season of the longrunning hit to "celebrate the inventive series and bring the storylines of Brennan, Booth (David Boreanaz) and the Jeffersonian-FBI team to a close, allowing the show's loyal fans to say goodbye to these indelible characters," Fox said. Plus, the network promised "the return of fan-favorite guest stars and squinterns, as well as an old flame from one of the team's past." Oh, and a wedding will be going down before the series' end! Bones' final season premieres on Jan. 3, 2017, at 9 p.m. on Fox. (Eonline)

Leah Remini Turns Spotlight on FBI in Scientology Docuseries. "Now we answer the question why the FBI hasn't done anything," Remini tweeted during Tuesday's episode of her A&E docuseries, 'Scientology and the Aftermath.' Leah Remini is taking on the Church of Scientology with each episode of her docuseries, Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath, currently airing on A&E, and Tuesday night, she turned the spotlight on the FBI. In the episode, the fifth of eight in the series, Remini, who broke from the Church in 2013, and her co-host, former Scientologist Mike Rinder, traveled to Denver to meet two former executives of the Church, Marc and Claire Headley. The couple were high-ranking Sea Organization members before escaping the Church and becoming "suppressive persons" in 2005. During the sitdown with the married couple, Claire Headley recounts to Remini how she was allegedly coerced into having an abortion during her younger years in the Church. Members of the Sea Organization, like the Headleys and Remini when she was a member, sign a billion-year contract to join the organization, which does not allow children. "If you were in the Sea Organization and you got pregnant you were expected to have an abortion," said Rinder, adding that the Church claims pressuring women to have an abortion either has never happened or doesn't happen anymore. "The truth of the matter is, it is a mortal sin to get pregnant as a Sea Org member because that means you will have to leave the Sea Organization and therefore 'break' your billion-year contract." A tearful Claire Headley, who now has three children with her husband, said, "Some wounds you can't heal" Adding, "It doesn't make it any easier to deal with it. Ever." It was experiencing and witnessing such abuse that ultimately led the couple to decide to leave the Church, or "defect," after being members for 30 years. The final straw came when Church leader David Miscavige "went off" on Marc Headley over a snide comment. "He started punching me and slugging me and pushed me against a desk unit," he claims. "At that point I sort of realized, 'Ok, the Pope of Scientology just beat the shit out of me.' For me, that was it." The pair detailed each of their dangerous but successful escapes, which happened in 2005. They are now "suppressive persons," which means none of their family members in the Church can communicate with them again. When Remini asks if they relayed these alleged abuses to the authorities and the FBI, the Headleys say they have "in depth." They filed lawsuits individually and together and though Marc Headley says the Church admitted to what happened, it was ruled as part of the Church's religious right and the Headleys' religious practice. "Religions in the United States under the First Amendment basically have free rein to do whatever they want to do and your option is: Leave the religion, go somewhere else," explains Rinder. "The First Amendment says, effectively, the government or any branch of government, including courts, may not entangle themselves in making decisions about the ecclesiastical or the religious practices of any religion." A title card reveals the Headleys lost their lawsuit against the Church, but feel that speaking out and "exposing the practice of coerced abortions has made it harder for this abuse to continue." During the episode, the actress took to Twitter to say, "Now we answer the question why the FBI hasn't done anything #ScientologyTheAftermath." Remini admits that she doesn't know exactly what legal steps can be taken to help, but vows that she will find ways to bring justice to these victims and prevent these instances from happening again. The A&E series, which premiered Nov. 29, follows the actress' memoir, Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology, and years of interviews and public statements she has made in hopes of exposing the truth about the Church. In both her memoir and in the series, Remini speaks to other former Scientologists who allege similar experiences of abuse and harassment during and after leaving the Church. The Church released a lengthy response to the premiere of Remini's show, which can be read in full here. Ahead of each segment, Scientology and the Aftermath airs a title card declaring the Church "challenges the credibility" of the series. During the episode, Remini and Rinder realized twice that they were being followed by two separate private investigators. "It doesn't intimidate me, it makes me want to retaliate because I'm not going to f -- ing stand for it," she says, revealing the underlying motive behind her series. "This cult or another cult, I don't want people to feel powerless because something seems more powerful than you," she later says, encouraging everyone watching to "do something. You can do something." (Hollywood Reporter)

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