Thursday, December 14, 2017

ON THIS DAY

The ancient Roman emperor Nero was born on this date back in 37 A.D. He was best known for his fiddling around... which resulted in a lot of bows... and eventually, in getting burned.

On this date in 1799, George Washington died, less than three years after leaving office. He was not only our first president, but also our first president to die. Always had to be first... .

In 1819, Alabama became the 22nd U.S. State, but quickly climbed the polls to the number two spot.

On this date in 1836 that the U.S. Patent Office burned down. It was decided, after that, no one would be allowed to get a patent on fire.

One of the richest men in the world, J. Paul Getty, was born in 1892. First guy to have a Gucci stocking hanging over his fireplace.

On this date in 1911, Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen becomes the first man to reach the South Pole, right after the first dog beat him to it.

In 1914, the Russians drove the Austrians out of Yugoslavia. It took 23 trips, since there were only two cabs in the entire country.

The first Miniature Golf Course opened in way, way back in 1929

On this date in 1939, the Soviet Union was dropped from the League of Nations. Hey, they were warned: Pay your dues, or else.

In 1946, the United Nations voted to make New York City its official headquarters. That way, they wouldn't have to travel as far to criticize the U.S.

On this date in 1967, DNA was created in a lab at Stanford University. It actually happened by accident. They were trying to create a guy named Dan, but there was a typo.

In 1985, Baseball great Roger Maris died at age 51. Well, it was 51 with an asterisk.

On this date in 1986, the experimental aircraft "Voyager" took off from California. What made it experimental is that they actually served good food.

On this date back in 1987, Chrysler admitted that odometers were turned back on some test and executive models. We just thought we'd roll back the calendar for that one...

In 1997, Cuban President Fidel Castro declared that Christmas would become an official holiday. Talk about coming late to the party.

TODAY IS

We're exactly two months away from Valentine's Day. (That'll be the holiday the stores switch to the day after Christmas.)

Former FBI Director James Comey turns 57 today. Any gifts he gets from the White House, I'd recommend soaking in water first.

Former baseball player Bill Buckner turns 68 today. And, as a special birthday gift, we're not going to mention why he is famous among Boston Red Sox fans. Look it up.

Dee Wallace, the mom in "E.T.," turns 69 today. She didn't enjoy making the movie very much. After all, she was the one who had to clean up after the alien in the closet. Yep, she had an alien running around her home. These days, that's very common. That was back when aliens were from outer space.

Buy a Christmas Tree Day -- The National Christmas Tree Association says that artificial trees now outnumber real trees in American homes. Some say the fakes ones just don't look right. Oddly shaped, not very flexible... oh wait, we were talking about trees, weren't we?

Music Calendar...

In 1959 "Heartaches By The Number" by Guy Mitchell hits #1 on the U.S. top 40 chart and stayed there for 2 weeks.

In 1963 Dinah Washington, 39, dies of an overdose of sleeping pills.

In 1963 "Louie, Louie" by The Kingsmen peaks at #2 on the U.S. top 40 chart and stayed there for six weeks.

In 1964 Michael Brown of The Left Banke meets Rene Fladen, who inspires him to write "Walk Away Rene" and "Pretty Ballerina."

In 1965 Frank Sinatra is featured on the cover of Look magazine.

In 1966 Chad & Jermey do a 2-part episode of ABC-TV's "Batman."

In 1967 The Beatles' "Magical Mystery Tour" is featured on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine.

In 1968 "Crimson & Clover" by Tommy James & the Shondells enters the U.S. top 40 chart.

In 1968 "I Heard It Through The Grapevine" by Marvin Gaye hits #1 on the U.S. top 40 chart and stayed there for 7 weeks.

In 1968 Iron Butterfly's "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" is certified gold.

In 1969 The Jackson Five make their first appearance on "The Ed Sullivan Show" performing "I Want You Back."

In 1970 John Lennon's "Instant Karma" and George Harrison's "My Sweet Lord" are both certified gold.

In 1971 John Lennon & Yoko Ono play at a farewell party for UN secretary U. Thant.

In 1972 "Born to Boogie," a film starring Marc Bolan, directed by Ringo Starr with special guest Elton John, premieres in London.

In 1972 Alexanders department store in New York opens its doors after-hours so Alice Cooper can do his holiday shopping.

In 1972 "Summer Breeze" by Seals & Crofts is certified gold.

In 1973 Loggins & Messina host NBC-TV's "The Midnight Special."

In 1974 Ginger Baker forms the Baker-Gurvitz Army with brothers Paul and Adrian Gurvitz.

In 1974 David Crosby & Graham Nash perform together in San Francisco at a benefit concert for the United Farm Workers and Project Jonah.

In 1974 "Lady" by Styx, "Some Kind Of Wonderful" by Grand Funk and "Fire" by the Ohio Players all enter the U.S. top 40 chart.

In 1978 Cheech & Chong appear on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine.

In 1979 The Village People host NBC-TV's "The Midnight Special."

In 1980 Yoko Ono asks for 10 minutes of nationwide silence following the murder of John Lennon 6 days earlier.

In 1982 The albums "A Merry Mancini Christmas" by Henry Mancini and "H2O" by Hall & Oates are both certified gold, while "Chicago 16" by Chicago goes platinum.

In 1983 "Making Michael Jackson's 'Thriller'" video is released. 

In 1986 Elton John records a live album with the 88-piece Melbourne Orchestra on the last night of his Australian tour.

In 1990 Janet Jackon's "Rhythm Nation 1814" album is certified platinum for the fifth time.

In 1991 Michael Jackson's "Dangerous" CD debuts at #1 on Billboard's albums chart and stayed there for 4 weeks.

In 1993 "Eagles-Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975" by the Eagles is certified multi-platinum (14).

In 1994 Bob Seger's "Greatest Hits" album goes gold and platinum.

In 1995 White House classified documents are released revealing the FBI spied on John Lennon and his anti-war activities during the early 1970's in a possible attempt to have the former Beatle deported.

In 1995 Little Richard, Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen are among those who perform on ABC-TV's "Sinatra: 80 Years My Way."

In 1996 People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) present Paul and Linda McCartney with the group's first Lifetime Achievement Award.

In 1996 "I Believe I Can Fly" by R. Kelly enters the U.S. top 40 chart.

In 1998 R. Kelly's album "R." is certified gold and platinum.

In 1999 Paul McCartney, along with Pink Floyd's David Gilmour and Deep  Purple's Ian Paice, perform at the Cavern Club for the first time since his days with the Beatles.

In 1999 Christina Aguilera's video "Genie Gets Her Wish" and Ricky Martin's video "One Night Only" are both released.

In 1999 "My Love Is Your Love" by Whitney Houston is certified platinum.

In 2000 The Jingle Ball 2000 concert at New York's Madison Square Garden is hosted by Mandy Moore and Jessica Simpson.

Today In History...

In 1799 George Washington, the first U.S. president, dies at age 67, nearly three years after leaving office.

In 1819 Alabama becomes the 22nd U.S. state.

In 1861 Prince Albert, the husband of Queen Victoria, dies in London.

In 1911 Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen becomes the first man to reach the South Pole, beating out an expedition lead by Robert F. Scott.

In 1927 Iraq gains independence from Britain, but British troops remain.

In 1939 The Soviet Union is dropped from the League of Nations.

In 1939 Baltimore's landmark Rennert Hotel, famed for its restaurant's Maryland cuisine, closes its doors citing financial difficulties.

In 1945 Josef Kramer, known as the "Beast of Belsen," and ten others are hanged in Hameln for crimes committed at the Blesen and Auschwitz concentration camps during World War II.

In 1946 The U.N. General Assembly votes to establish U.N. headquarters in New York City.

In 1962 The U.S. space probe Mariner II approaches Venus, transmitting information about the planet's atmosphere and temperature.

In 1967 DNA is created in a lab at Stanford University.

In 1975 Six Moluccan terrorists surrender to police after holding 23 hostage for 12 days on a train near the Dutch town of Beilen.

In 1977 The film "Saturday Night Fever" premieres in New York City.

In 1981 Israel annexes the Golan Heights seized from Syria in 1967.

In 1983 Syrian missile sites were hit by the U.S. Battleship New Jersey's 16-inch guns after someone takes potshots at two U.S. planes.

In 1984 The Reagan administration and Cuba reach an agreement under which Cuban criminals and mental patients who had come to the U.S. as part of the 1980 "Freedom Flotilla" would be sent back.

In 1985 Baseball great Roger Maris dies at age 51.

In 1986 The experimental aircraft Voyager, piloted by Dick Rutan and Jeana Yeager, takes off from California on the first non-stop flight around the world without refueling.

In 1987 Chrysler admits that odometers were turned back on some test and executive models.

In 1987 U.S. Supreme Court nominee Anthony M. Kennedy tells his confirmation hearing he had no hidden agenda for abortion and privacy cases.

In 1988 President Reagan authorizes the U.S. to enter into a "substantive dialogue" with the PLO after chairman Yasser Arafat renounces "all forms of terrorism."

In 1988 The original script of Orson Welles's "War of the Worlds" fetches $143,000 at an auction.

In 1989 Nobel peace prize laureate Andrei D. Sakharov dies at age 68.

In 1990 President Bush says he will nominate Lynn Martin to succeed Elizabeth H. Dole as labor secretary.

In 1991 During a meeting a Camp David, President Bush and Mexican President Carlos Salinas de Gortari renew their commitment to conclude quickly the North American Free Trade Agreement.

In 1992 Russian President Boris Yeltsin loses a battle with hard-liners as he was forced to abandon his reformist prime minister, Yegor Gaidar, in favor of Communist-era technocrat Viktor Chernomyrdin.

In 1993 A Colorado judge strikes down the state's voter-approved Amendment Two prohibiting gay rights laws, calling it unconstitutional.

In 1993 United Mine Workers approve a 5-year contract, ending a strike that had reached seven states and involved some of the nation's biggest coal operators.

In 1993 Actress Myrna Loy dies in New York at age 88.

In 1995 Presidents Alija Izetbegovic of Bosnia, Slobodan Milosevic of Serbia and Franjo Tudjman of Croatia sign a Bosnian peace treaty in Paris.

In 1995 AIDS patient Jeff Getty receives the first-ever bone-marrow transplant from a baboon.

In 1996 A freighter loses power on the Mississippi River and crashes into the Riverwalk complex in New Orleans. No one was killed.

In 1997 ASEAN nations meet in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to commemorate its 30-year anniversary.

In 1997 Cuban President Fidel Castro declares Christmas 1997 an official holiday to ensure the success of Pope John Paul II's upcoming visit to the communist country.

In 1999 Ahmed Ressam, an Algerian national, is arrested after authorities allegedly found nitroglycerin in the trunk of his car as he arrived from Canada by ferry at Port Angeles, WA.

In 1999 Charles M. Schulz announces he would retire from the "Peanuts" comic strip.

In 2000 Russian President Vladimir Putin pardons Edmond Pope, the first American convicted of espionage in Russia in 40 years, and lets him leave the country after eight months in prison.

In 2000 The Federal Trade Commission unanimously approves the $111 billion merger of America Online and Time Warner.

Born On This Day...

In 1503 French physician/astrologer, Nostradamus

In 1546 Astronomer, Tycho Brahe

In 1739 French economist, Pierre Samuel du Pont

In 1894 Actor, Theo Goetz (Papa Bauer-The Guiding Light)

In 1895 King George VI of England (1936-52) (father of Elizabeth II)

In 1896 American aviator, James H. Doolittle (led 1st bombing raid on Japan)

In 1897 Margaret Chase Smith, first woman elected to both houses of Congress

In 1898 Actress, Lillian Randolph (Madame Queen-Amos 'n Andy, Roots)

In 1908 Actor, Morey Amsterdam (Buddy-Dick Van Dyke Show) [d: 10-28-96]

In 1908 Actor, Laurence Naismith (Diamonds Are Forever) [d: 6-5-92]

In 1909 American biochemist, Edward L. Tatum (Nobel-1958) [d: 11-5-75]

In 1910 Singer/saxophonist, Budd Johnson [d: 10-20-84]

In 1911 Orchestra leader/novelty singer, Spike Jones [d: 5-1-65]

In 1922 TV producer, Don Hewitt (60 Minutes) [d: 8-19-09]

In 1923 Actor, Sully Boyar (Dog Day Afternoon, Car Wash) [d: 3-23-01]

In 1932 Actor/director, George Furth (Blazing Saddles) [d: 8-11-08]

In 1932 Singer, Abbe Lane (Xavier Cugat Show) (85)

In 1932 Singer, Charlie Rich (Behind Closed Doors) [d: 7-25-95]

In 1934 Singer, Johnny Moore (The Drifters) [d: 12-30-98]

In 1935 Actor, Lewis Arquette (J.D. Pickett-The Waltons) [d: 2-10-01]

In 1935 Actress, Lee Remick (Days Of Wine & Roses) [d: 7-2-91]

In 1936 Astronaut, Robert Allan Ridley Parker (STS-9, 35) (81)

In 1938 Brazil Catholic theologian, Leonardo Boff (79)

In 1938 Actor, Hal Williams (Sanford & Son, Private Benjamin, 227) (79)

In 1939 Football player, Ernie Davis (1st black to win Heisman) [d: 5-18-63]

In 1943 Singer/bassist, Frank Allen (The Searchers) (74)

In 1946 Actress, Patty Duke (Patty Duke Show, Miracle Worker) [d: 3-29-16]

In 1946 Tennis Hall-of-Famer, Stan Smith (Wimbeldon-1972) (71)

In 1946 Singer, Joyce Wilson (Tony Orlando & Dawn) (71)

In 1948 Actress, Dee Wallace (E.T., New Lassie) (69)

In 1949 Baseball player, Bill Buckner (Red Sox) (68)

In 1949 Bassist, Cliff Williams (AC/DC) (68)

In 1951 Chess player, Jan Timman (66)

In 1953 Tennis player/actor, Vay Amritraj (MI6 agent Vijay-Octopussy) (64)

In 1954 Actor, James Horan (Clay Alden-Loving) (63)

In 1954 Auto racer, Alan Kulwicki [d: 4-1-93]

In 1960 Astronaut, Catherine G. Coleman (57)

In 1960 Actor, Don Franklin (Noah-The Young Riders, Seaquest DSV) (57)

In 1963 Actress, Cynthia Gibb (Search For Tomorrow, Madman of People) (54)

In 1964 Actress, Chelsea Noble (Kate-Growing Pains) (53)

In 1964 Actor/singer, Todd Turquand (Mickey Mouse Club 70s; Rhoda) (53)

In 1965 Actor, Ted Raimi (Lt. J.G. Mack O'Neill-seaQuest DSV) (52)

In 1965 Actress/dancer, Nancy Valen (Ryan's Hope, Hull High, Baywatch) (52)

In 1967 Guitarist, Klaus Eichstadt (Ugly Kid Joe) (50)

In 1968 Actress, Noelle Beck (Trish-Loving, Fletch Lives) (49)

In 1969 Actor, Archie Kao (Archie Johnson-CSI) (48)

In 1971 Actress, Tia Texada (Maritza Cruz-Third Watch) (46)

In 1975 Singer, Brian Dalyrimple (Soul For Real) (42)

In 1975 Playmate, Inga Drozdova (November-1997) (42)

In 1976 Actress, Tammy Blanchard (Drew-The Guiding Light) (41)

In 1977 Actress, Tasha Danner (New Mickey Mouse Club) (40)

In 1977 Model, Bridget Hall (40)

In 1984 Drummer, Mike Fuentes (Isles & Glaciers, Pierce The Veil) (33)

In 1984 Actor, Jackson Rathbone (The Twilight Saga) (33)

In 1987 Singer, Alex Gaskarth (All Time Low) (30)

In 1988 Singer/actress, Vanessa Hudgens (High School Musical) (29)

In 1991 Rap singer, Kiari Cephus (Migos) (26)

In 1992 Singer, Tori Kelly (Unbreakable Smile) (25)

ENTERTAINMENT NEWS

John Stamos Expecting First Child With Fiancee Caitlin McHugh. John Stamos is going to be a dad! The actor, who is engaged to Caitlin McHugh, is having his biggest year yet because he also just confirmed they're expecting their first child together. The Fuller House star, 54, shared the news with People, adding, "I will be a fun dad. I've been practicing for a long time." While the sitcom star and his future wife are keeping the sex of the baby a surprise, the actor did say the little one may have a sibling in the future. "I think so," he told People of having more children in the future, noting McHugh also wants more kids. While the future dad was not sure if he'd ever get to experience fatherhood, McHugh had one pretty special surprise. "The look on John's face when I told him we were pregnant was priceless," the model told People. "It was the look of a man who has wanted a family of his own but wasn't sure it was going to happen for him. Now it is!" The emotional musician also revealed how everything fell into place. "The [pregnancy] happened. Then I said, I better have a ring on her finger because it's the right thing to do, and I wanted to marry her anyway," Stamos told People. "So I called her parents to ask, and it was like, 'You better!'" Stamos popped the question to his girlfriend of more than a year in late October with a romantic proposal in one of their favorite places -- Disneyland! "I kissed the boy and said...yes! That's what you do when the sweetest, most romantic Prince Charming treats you like a princess and asks you to be his," the actress confirmed to her followers online. As Stamos echoed on social media, "I asked...she said yes! ...And we lived happily ever after." Cheers to the next chapter of their fairytale romance! Congratulations you two! (Eonline)

James Corden and Wife Julia Carey Welcome Third Child. ...and baby makes five! James Corden and wife Julia Carey welcomed their third child, a baby girl, earlier Tuesday. On Tuesday, The Late Late Show host took to Twitter to announce the exciting baby news. The funnyman wrote, "Today we welcomed a beautiful baby daughter into the world." The proud papa added, "Both she and her mother are doing great. We can't stop smiling." The Brit wit also thanked Harry Styles, whom he featured on Monday's show, for taking on his hosting duties last minute. Corden added, "Thank you Harry for stepping in to host the show at 2 and a half hours' notice!" In July, a rep for the actor confirmed to E! News that the couple would be expecting another wee one in December. The British comedian, who's quite the hit in the States, and his lady love were married on Sept. 15, 2012. The couple already has two children, 6-year-old son Max, born on March 22, 2011, and 3-year-old daughter Carey, born on Oct. 27, 2014. Corden rose to fame in the U.K. with a successful TV show Gavin and Stacey, which debuted in 2007. While he's been a roaring talent in England for a decade, not many in the states knew of him here up until a few years ago. Eventually, he starred in a Broadway show and won a Tony award for One Man, Two Guvnors in 2012. He then landed a highly coveted role in the film version of Into the Woods in 2014. But even when he nabbed the hosting gig of The Late Late Show in March 2015 he was still relatively unknown in the States. Of course, all that's changed... As for his love life, in 2016, the beloved funnyman talked to Rolling Stone about his wife. "I could never understand when I watch romantic comedies the notion that for some reason unattractive or heavy people don't fall in love. If they do, it's in some odd, kooky, roundabout way -- and it's not. It's exactly the same," he said. He added, "I met my wife; she barely owned a television and worked for Save the Children. We sat down one night and we fell in love and that was it." The new party of five should make for quite the rousing episode of Carpool Karaoke with James at the wheel! (Eonline)

Christina Perri Marries Paul Costabile! See the Singer's Unconventional Wedding Attire. Christina Perri is officially a married woman. The "A Thousand Years" singer said "I Do" to her longtime boyfriend Paul Costabile Tuesday in New York City. "On this day four years ago, we met," she shared on Instagram while showcasing her wedding attire. "Today, WE GOT MARRIED!!!" Paul added, "4 years ago today I met my dream girl in this room. 4 years later today I married my dream girl and best friend. Pretty sure I'm the proudest I've EVER been to be able to call the most bellissima person + woman I've ever known now my wife!!!" Back in June, the couple first announced to their followers that they were engaged. Two months later and the duo shared that they were expecting their first child in early 2018. In fact, the pair recently enjoyed a babymoon with special guest Mickey Mouse. "Every week it's a new fruit. I keep forgetting it's a real little person in there," Christina shared on Instagram. "Can't wait for it to come here and hang out with us!!!" Until then, both Christina and Paul are excited to celebrate their new relationship status and the holidays as one. In addition, Paul is set to host Universal Kids' upcoming show Beat the Clock premiering February 6 at 7:30 p.m. "I thank God for the gift of her, our relationship, our bambino on the way, our family's love and support and this unforgettable year," Paul shared on Instagram. "And for friends and fam wondering... invites to an official shindig coming soon...now I'm going to go scream this news on rooftops across this town because I AM that guy." Congratulations to the couple! (Eonline)

Double the Dancing Shoes! Robert Herjavec and Kym Johnson Expecting Twins. Robert Herjavec and Kym Johnson Herjavec have not one, but two babies on the way! "We waited so long that we decided to double up!" the couple tell PEOPLE exclusively. "We are very grateful for the blessing of twins." The Dancing with the Stars pro, 41, confirmed her pregnancy on Instagram on Monday with a too-cute sonogram featuring one of her unborn children flashing a thumbs-up hand gesture. While Kym is experiencing pregnancy for the first time, her husband Robert Herjavec, 55, is already a father to three children from a previous marriage. The parents-to-be and former DWTS partners fell in love during show rehearsals of the 20th season in 2015, and continued to date after they were eliminated in week 8 at sixth place. Kym and Robert wed in summer 2016, saying their "I dos" in front of family and friends (including DWTS alums Joey Fatone, Lance Bass and Donny Osmond) in Los Angeles. This year, the couple celebrated their first wedding anniversary, telling PEOPLE in August, "One year down, and many more to go! It was beautiful. We had a beautiful dinner. We still love to dance, so we had a dance. It was very romantic." Adding, "It feels like we've known each other forever. It's been almost three years since we met. He's just amazing. We're best friends, and it's just easy." (People)

Lauren Bush Lauren and David Lauren are expecting their second child, and Page Six has learned that Lauren's sister, Ashley Bush, is getting married after her filmmaker boyfriend Julian LeFevre popped the question in Iceland. The Bush sisters -- grandchildren to President George H.W. Bush and daughters of President George W. Bush's brother Neil -- both have exciting news to celebrate over the holidays, their proud mom, Sharon Bush, tells us. She said, "Lauren's second child with David is due in May, and Ashley called me on Monday night to say that Jules proposed while they were on a trip to Iceland, as they were visiting the famous hot springs, the Blue Lagoon. "She said it was so romantic. Jules had planned the trip as a surprise and had just told Ashley to bring warm clothes. We are all so happy and excited for them both." Sharon was hosting an event Monday for the White House Historical Association -- a nonprofit founded in 1961 by Jacqueline Kennedy to promote and preserve the history and decorative arts of the White House -- when Ashley called with the engagement news. We are told Lefevre is an aspiring filmmaker and Ashley has just graduated from USC's film school. He also worked as a cameraman on her 2017 short film, "Bad Girl." FEED founder Lauren showed off a small baby bump at the WHHA event at New York's Lotos Club. At the event, chef Roland Messier joked that Lauren was a "cookie monster" because as a young child she'd always dismantle his gingerbread house creations at the White House to eat. Lauren and David, who is vice chairman and chief innovation officer at his fashion icon father Ralph Lauren's firm, married in September 2011 at his family's ranch in Ridgway, Colo. They have a son, James, 2. Meanwhile, the Laurens and Bushes are making plans for the holidays. Sharon said the Bush clan was first heading to Woodstock, NY, "because the kids want a white Christmas." Then they will celebrate with the Laurens in the sun at Ralph's luxe villa in Jamaica for the new year. (Page Six)

With two close pals expecting, Kirsten Dunst was "in baby mode," the then-32-year-old confessed to UK's Red magazine in 2014, adding, "I think 33 is a good age to have your first baby." Her mid-thirties aren't bad either. A source reveals in the new issue of Us Weekly that the 35-year-old actress and fiance Jesse Plemons are expecting their first child. And that's not the only project in the works for Dunst and the Breaking Bad alum, 29. The ex-costars (they started dating in 2016 while playing husband and wife on FX's Fargo) are slated to wed in Austin next spring. Dunst has already tapped her close pals, Rodarte designers Kate and Laura Mulleavy, to create her dress. "I can't imagine not doing it," Kate told Us at the September 18 Woodshock premiere in L.A. Though her sister noted they hadn't started working on the piece: "We hopefully will get inspiration and figure it out." To hear the actress tell it, the nuptials will be an understated affair. In 2016, she told In Style UK her ideal vows would be "intimate." Her perfect setting: "Courthouse, dinner party and DJ with friends and family. I'll treat it like it would be my fortieth birthday." Among the lucky invitees: Plemons' onetime Friday Night Lights costar Zach Gilford. "I'll definitely be at his wedding," the star recently told Us. "I've met his fiancee and it's one of those couples that you feel like they are the best versions of themselves when they are around each other." (US Weekly)

George Clooney and Amal Clooney were well-meaning parents handing out headphones to their fellow passengers to apologize for having their 6-month-old twins on board. The couple passed out noise-canceling headphones during a recent flight to Amal's native England, a source confirms to PEOPLE. The devices featured the logo of the actor's Casamigos Tequila and came with a note "apologizing ahead of time" if the twins cried, according to the New York Post's Page Six. George, 56, and Amal, 39, welcomed Ella and Alexander in June in London. On Tuesday, the actor's best friend and Casamigos co-founder Gerber revealed just how generous the two-time Sexiest Man Alive and first-time father really is. The father of fashion's It girl Kaia Gerber recalled a time in 2013 when Clooney gifted his closest friends one million dollars each, even paying their taxes for the year. "There's a group of guys we call 'The Boys,'" Gerber said during a recent chat on MSNBC's Headliners show. "George had called me and 'The Boys' and said, 'Hey, mark September 27th, 2013, on your calendar. Everyone's going to come to my house for dinner.' George begins to say, 'Listen, I want you guys to know how much you've meant to me and how much you mean to me in my life,'" recalled the restauranteur. "I came to L.A., I slept on your couch. I'm so fortunate in my life to have all of you and I couldn't be where I am today without all of you. So, it was really important to me that while we're still all here together, that I give back. So I want you all to open your suitcases,'" Clooney said, according to Gerber. "We open it up, and it's $1 million dollars in $20 bills. Every one of us-14 of us-got $1 million. Every single one of us. We're in shock." (People)

Over one year after announcing their plans to separate, Tobey Maguire came out to support estranged wife Jennifer Meyer at the launch of her new jewelry line with Jenna Dewan Tatum last week. The Spider-Man star, 42, and the jewelry designer, 40, posed for pictures at the Dec. 7 charity event in Los Angeles and haven't yet filed for divorce -- but that doesn't mean they're calling off the split. "Their relationship is much better," a source tells PEOPLE in this week's issue, "but they're definitely not reconciling." At the launch, where proceeds benefitted nonprofit organization Baby2Baby, the duo was cordial but not overly chummy. After happily taking for photos with the guest of honor, the Golden Globe nominee quickly ducked out. "The two seemed to be friendly and on good terms, and he genuinely seemed happy to support her," an observer tells PEOPLE. "But Tobey definitely left as soon as he could. Jennifer went about her hostess duties and wasn't phased by this at all." The pair -- married since 2007 -- share daughter Ruby, 11, and son Otis, 8, and remain committed to co-parenting. "After much soul searching and consideration we have made the decision to separate as a couple," they told PEOPLE in a statement in October 2016. "As devoted parents, our first priority remains raising our children together with enduring love, respect and friendship." Added an insider at the time, "They are great parents and they love their children." (People)

Are Zac Efron and Rebecca Ferguson dating? Twitter seems to think so... They recently worked together on new movie The Greatest Showman, so you'd be forgiven for thinking Rebecca Ferguson is just another in a long line of his co-stars Zac Efron has been "linked to". But have you seen him flirting with her on social media? Earlier this month the 30-year-old actor posted a picture of them together on set, with the caption: "A pic is worth a thousand words. Only ones I can think of now are: wtf were u thinking dude?! Look at her!!" This was followed by another photo Tuesday of the pair in New York, and a heart-eye emoji. Rebecca, 34, is a Swedish actress who you might recognize from The Girl on the Train, Florence Foster Jenkins or Mission: Impossible -- Rogue Nation. We ship it, although this did recently happen with his Baywatch co-star, Alexandra Daddario. We're on to you, Efron. (British Glamour)

Matt Lauer's Marriage to Annette Roque Might Not Be Over -- Is Their Relationship On the Mend? Matt Lauer's marriage may not be over. The former Today show host was fired last month for allegations of sexual misconduct, and rumors have been swirling that his marriage to Annette Roque may be crumbling. It doesn't help that the pair has both been photographed without their wedding rings. According to People magazine, Matt is "hopeful" that he'll be able to reconcile with his wife. The couple was spotted this weekend taking their kids horseback riding together. So is their relationship on the mend? (Eonline)

Pierce Brosnan isn't leaving any loose ends burning -- just 14 days after he was sued over a house fire ... the lawsuit's been dismissed. TMZ broke the story ... Pierce was sued by Fireman's Fund Insurance Co. claiming in 2015 it was forced to pay for damages to Pierce's neighbor's house. It caught fire after flames spread from a blaze at Pierce's pad. In the suit, the insurance company said the whole thing started because 007 failed to throw out rags susceptible to spontaneous combustion. What a difference 2 weeks makes? On Monday, the Fireman's Fund Ins. Co. filed new docs to have the case dismissed, the court signed off and that's it. Case closed. The suit can't be refiled -- usually a strong sign there was some sort of confidential settlement. We've reached out to Pierce, so far no word back. (TMZ)

Artie Lange is sitting in a NJ jail again, but it's not for drugs this time -- it's for missing a court date ... about a drug arrest. Cops busted the comedian Tuesday evening at his home in Hoboken, NJ for failing to appear in Essex County court. He was supposed to face charges of heroin possession and drug paraphernalia from his arrest in May. Artie took quite the mug shot this time around -- still rocking what looks like a busted, or infected, nose. He'd posted a pic over the weekend where it looked like he'd been punched in the face, with a cryptic message about fearing nothing. He's still sitting in jail, waiting to see the judge. (TMZ)

Lil Peep's fatal overdose is prompting the Drug Enforcement Administration to jump on the case, and we're told it has everything to do with one specific drug ... Fentanyl. Sources close to the investigation tell TMZ ... the DEA will assist local authorities in Tucson where the rapper overdosed on Fentanyl and Xanax. More specifically, the DEA's main objective is finding out who provided the powerful opioid. We broke the story ... cops are interested in texts allegedly sent from a woman named Mariah Bons ... who we're told went to the rapper's tour bus to see him before he died. She allegedly sent a text to a friend that reads, "Gbc [Lil Peep] high af because of me and my friend lol." The DEA's been all over the nationwide opioid epidemic, and also got involved after Prince died from a Fentanyl overdose. In Peep's case, cops suspect he ingested Xanax laced with Fentanyl. (TMZ)

THE OTHER STUFF . . .

All of the 2018 SAG Award Presenters Will Be Women. As Hollywood remains shadowed by a sea of sexual misconduct allegations against some of the most prominent men in the industry, the 2018 SAG Awards are taking some of the first visible steps to reflect the changes in store. The annual ceremony will feature all female presenters, The New York Times confirmed. As a reflection of the current social climate and the demand for greater female visibility everywhere, executive producer Kathy Connell made the initial suggestion to Sandra Dewey, a president at Turner, after being inspired at January's Women's March and the movement that has ensued since. "I want to salute women who are coming forward to speak at a very difficult time about very difficult subjects at great risk to themselves," she told the newspaper. As a result, all 13 of the acting categories as well as the two stunt categories, which are typically award before the show, will be handed out by female presenters. There is one caveat as the "Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture" category will be introduced by both men and women, but the award will be presented by a woman. Following suit, announcement of the nominations Wednesday morning was also carried out by women -- actresses Olivia Munn and Niecy Nash. To boot, the show's first-ever host will be Kristen Bell. "I'm not the first female host," the Good Place star told The New York Times. "I'm the first host. The fact that a female was chosen to be the first one means my genitals become irrelevant." Of course, men will still be present and honored. "We don't want to slight the men who have given great performances this year -- knowing our membership, I'm sure our men will embrace the opportunity to honor women," Connell told The Hollywood Reporter. As women prepare to run the show come Jan. 21, fans and critics alike are bracing for impact as initial nominees still indicate imbalanced female representation in Hollywood. Such was the case with the 2018 Golden Globe nominations, which lacked a single female nominee for Best Director, snubbed Patty Jenkins' powerful and high grossing production, Wonder Woman, entirely and was disproportionate in the amount of films about men versus their counterparts. As Dewey told the newspaper, "For so many years there's been so much ground to cover in terms of trying to have women statistically catch up." While there's still a great deal to be done, the 2018 SAG Awards are inching a few square feet forward. (Eonline)

Kate del Castillo Bares All for PETA: "I'd Rather Go Naked Than Wear Fur." Kate del Castillo is the latest star to bare it all for PETA's "I'd Rather Go Naked Than Wear Fur" campaign. The Reina del Sur star is seen in an "icy snowscape wearing nothing but frost on her bare skin." "I love this campaign, I think it's very powerful," the actress says. "We need power right now; they're still killing animals for fur. There is a lot of work to do, and that motivates me." The actress, who is currently focusing on Telemundo's Reina del Sur 2, talked about what makes her feel her best. "What makes me feel beautiful? It's peace of mind. It's being happy, I think it comes from within. Because clothes are to look beautiful but you don't necessarily feel that you are a beautiful person," the star explains. "Honestly, when you see yourself in the mirror and there are no regrets and you have peace of mind and you can respect yourself, that makes you a beautiful person and it makes you happy. You don't need to wear fur to be beautiful." "It's not the moment to be silent. I think you have to go naked, go bold." The 45-year-old actress also talked to the organization about her beloved dog. "Lola gives me the passion every single day because I see everything through her eyes. She's my companera (companion), you know. She's my partner, my best friend, she's been with me through the good, the bad...the unconditional love, you can't get anywhere else. Only animals have that beautiful soul and they all do," she says. "People that say that they don't think or have feelings, it's really a stupid statement to say. I see it every single day, and I see God and humanity through her eyes more than I see in human beings, unfortunately." (Eonline)

George Clooney Once Gave 14 of His Best Friends $1 Million Each, Rande Gerber Says. It pays to be pals with George Clooney... literally. The A-list movie star's best friend Rande Gerber revealed on a recent episode of MSNBC's Headliners that back in 2013, George not only paid 14 of his closest friends' taxes for the year, he gave them $1 million each. One. Million. Dollars. As Gerber recalled, "There's a group of guys that we call 'The Boys.' George had called me and 'The Boys' and said, 'Hey, mark September 27, 2013 on your calendar. Everyone's going to come to my house for dinner." When George's dinner guests arrived they found black suitcases at each of their spots around a table, and the Suburbicon director shared a special message to the men who helped him early in his career. Rande (who is married to Cindy Crawford and is a part-owner of Clooney's Casamigos Tequila company) explained, "George begins to say, 'Listen, I want you guys to know how much you've meant to me and how much you mean to me in my life. I came to L.A., I slept on your couch. I'm so fortunate in my life to have all of you and I couldn't be where I am today without all of you.'" "'So,'" Rande said Clooney shared, "'it was really important to me that while we're still all here together, that I give back. So I want you all to open your suitcases.'" Inside was $1 million in $20 bills. As Gerber remembered it, "Every one of us -- 14 of us -- got a million dollars. Every single one of us. We're in shock. Like, what is this? He goes, 'I know we've all been through some hard times, some of you are still going through it. You don't have to worry about your kids, you don't have to worry about, you know, school, you don't have to worry about paying your mortgage.'" "One was working at a bar in Texas at the airport, trying just to support his family," he added. "Rides a bicycle to work every day. I mean these are guys that took care of George and now he's giving it all back. And George said, 'Not only that, I have paid everyone's taxes so this million dollars is yours.'" And even when Rande, who is a successful entrepreneur, told George he could never accept the generous gesture, the actor had quite the response. "I pull him aside and said, 'I absolutely am not taking this million dollars,'" Gerber said. "Immediately George goes, 'I'm just going to make one announcement. If Rande doesn't take the million dollars, nobody gets it.'" (For the record, Gerber complied but donated the hefty gift to charity.) Gerber described this never-before-heard story as a testament to Clooney's character, adding, "This is who George is. That was September 27th, 2013. Now September 27th, 2014, he marries Amal. Now that's good karma right there." Good karma, indeed. (Eonline)

Kensington Palace confirm Meghan Markle will spend Christmas with the Queen. This is a first for the Royal family. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle brightened up 2017 with their engagement news in November, and it's now been confirmed the couple will spend Christmas at Sandringham with the Royal family. A spokesperson for Kensington Palace said: "You can expect to see the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Harry and Ms. Markle at Sandringham on Christmas Day." This breaks the Royal tradition that partners have to wait until they're married before they can join the celebrations in Norfolk. Not many other details have been confirmed, but it's expected that Meghan and Harry will stay with Prince William and Kate Middleton at Amer Hall. This means they'll spend Christmas morning with Prince George, four, and Princess Charlotte, two. The family will all attend church on Christmas day morning, before Christmas lunch at the Queen's country home, Sandringham House. Meghan revealed last month that she's already met the Queen, describing her as an "incredible woman". We can't wait to see the pictures. (British Glamour)

Mel B's making it incredibly difficult for Stephen Belafonte to sell one of their houses because she won't let him in the house ... this according to Stephen Belafonte. Stephen filed new docs saying Mel's breaking a divorce deal they hashed out back in November that included allowing Stephen into one of their houses so he can make repairs, stage it and help unload it. In docs, obtained by TMZ, Stephen says he's been in contact with a realtor who has a buyer with plenty of cash and is interested in buying the crib. Problem is ... Stephen claims Mel's blocking his efforts. He said the potential buyer has more than $6 million in cash in one bank account and even offered to swap houses if that would make it easier for Mel. Stephen also says Mel's not letting him see their kid. Stephen's case in point -- when he showed up to pick up 6-year-old Madison at school only to find out the nanny beat him to it. Stephen wants the judge to enforce the deal they agreed to. (TMZ)

Here's an odd pairing -- '80s rock stars, current TV stars and possibly you ... hooking up to protect farm animals. Any takers? The celebs are auctioning off meet-and-greets to raise funds for a NY based nonprofit called Farm Sanctuary -- and they've got quite a stable of talent. Joan Jett, Richard Marx and Mary Chapin Carpenter are on board -- along with Mayim Bialik from 'Big Bang Theory,' Emma Kenney from "Shameless" and "Downton Abbey" star Lesley Nicol. The music stars are throwing in concert packages, and there's some other cool memorabilia up for auction, too -- like a Moby autographed guitar, and a Jason Mraz guitar string bracelet. Yup, that's a thing. We're told everyone involved is seriously down for Farm Sanctuary's cause -- defending livestock from cruelty. Joan's even visited their shelter. Old MacDonald would be proud! (TMZ)

Omarosa's breaking up with Donald Trump -- she's quit her post at the White House. WH spokesman Sarah Sanders says Omarosa officially resigned on Tuesday to "pursue other opportunities." She had been serving as Trump's Director of Communications for the White House Office of Public Liaison -- but it had been a bumpy road The 'Apprentice' alum famously bumped heads Chief of Staff Gen. Kelly. It's unclear what prompted her sudden departure, but interesting that it coincides with the Alabama Special Election. Omarosa's resignation is not effective until Jan. 20 ... which means she'll get a full year under her belt. (TMZ)

Anderson Cooper called President Trump a "Pathetic loser" -- or so about 10 million people thought for an hour Wednesday morning. The slam on 45 was tweeted from the CNN anchor's verified Twitter account in response to Trump tweeting he knew Roy Moore was going to lose all along. But what seemed like a great Twitter war in the making was not to be. It was a hack ...according to Anderson. He says, "just woke up to find out someone gained access to my twitter account." Anderson says he hasn't posted anything in days, and he's trying to find out who's behind the hack. See? Sometimes the Internet does disappoint. (TMZ)

The woman suing Andy Cohen and Melissa Gorga is doing it for attention, according to a source close to Gorga. Pals of the "Real Housewives of New Jersey" star said that Jackie Beard Robinson -- who claims that the pair made her look like a "felon" on Bravo after a business she ran with Gorga fell apart -- taped scenes for the show, but was cut out. "She then hired a wacky attorney that issued a press release saying they intended to sue and when no one reacted or cared they filed a ridiculous complaint," we're told. A rep for Cohen said "there is no merit to this lawsuit." Beard Robinson didn't get back to us. (Page Six)

Jose Canseco says the women accusing politicians of sexual misconduct are only complaining because the alleged offenders are "ugly men" ... and now the Oakland A's are distancing themselves from the ex-MLB star. Canseco began ranting on Twitter on Tuesday ... saying, "What is going on with all these politicians molesting women I've been molested by several women and never complained." He continued, "Well I mean I've been beaten by women taken advantage of by women and molested by women I never complain but it was kind of a turn-on." "I see the difference I guess cuz I was a good-looking guy and these politicians look like a bag of boogers." But, it was the next line that REALLY pissed some people off ... "These women complaining against sexual misconduct are just racist against ugly men." The comments got back to Jose's former team -- the Oakland A's -- and the organization wasted no time condemning the comments and making it clear they have no relationship with the ex-slugger. "We were disappointed to learn of Mr. Canseco's statements," the team said. "Mr. Canseco is not an employee of the Athletics and his statements do not reflect the values of our organization or those of our most trusted partners." (TMZ)

Music

Bon Jovi Among 2018 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 2018 Inductees. They've seen a million faces, and they've rocked them all...and now it's official: Bon Jovi will finally be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The famed rock band, who rose to fame in the '80s and is led by Jon Bon Jovi, joins Dire Straits, the Moody Blues, the Cars and the late Nina Simone in the class of 2018. In addition, the late Sister Rosetta Tharpe will be honored with an Early Influence award. The news was announced on Wednesday. "Hey everybody, just wanted to say hi, wish you all a happy holiday and, oh yeah, by the way, thank you," Jon said in a video message posted on Instagram, as Bon Jovi's 1986 hit "Wanted Dead or Alive" is played in the background. Inductees are chosen by fans via online voting. 2018 Rock Hall nominees who were not chosen included Depeche Mode, the Eurythmics, Judas Priest and Radiohead. Bon Jovi has been eligible to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame since 2008 and has only been nominated once before, in 2011. Fans have long rallied for the group to get in. "Thanks for inducting us into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Long time coming, but it's finally here," he said. "We'll see you guys in Cleveland. Thanks for all the memories and all the history we continue to make together." Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremonies often see band reunions. Fans are hoping guitarist Richie Sambora who has not performed with Bon Jovi since he left the band's Because We Can tour in 2013, and original bassist Alec John Such, who left the group in 1994, will take the stage with Jon and the rest of the band members. "Oh yeah," Sambora told Variety. "I have no problem playing. None." "They are a huge part of us," drummer Tico Torres told Rolling Stone about Sambora and Such. "We'd love it if they played with us." "The idea is that it's a celebration of what we were and what we are," keyboardist David Bryan added. "You'll see the current lineup and then see the original. It should be a fun night." In addition, if Dire Straits performs at the ceremony, it would mark the British group's first performance since their 1992 split. Bon Jovi, Dire Straits, and the rest of the class of 2018 will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on April 14 in Cleveland. (Eonline)

Ready to rock! The 2018 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductees were announced on Wednesday, December 13. Bon Jovi, Nina Simone, Dire Straits, The Moody Blues and The Cars are the five performers joining the class of 2018. In addition, Sister Rosetta Tharpe will receive the Award for Early Influence. The 33rd annual induction ceremony will be held at Public Auditorium in Cleveland, Ohio, on April 14, 2018. An edited version will be broadcast on HBO and SiriusXM radio in spring 2018. Four of the inductees -- Simone, Dire Straits, The Moody Blues and Tharpe -- were on the ballot for the first time. To be eligible, artists must have released their first commercial recording at least 25 years prior to the induction year. "It's a Christmas miracle," Bon Jovi keyboardist David Bryan said in a statement to Rolling Stone after learning the news. "[We were] guys living the dream, getting on a bus with no guarantees in any way shape or form or anything. It was, 'Let's go out and make this happen.' And we actually did." Dire Straits haven't performed together since the group's 1992 split. Tharpe died in 1973, and Simone died in 2003. Bon Jovi, led by Jon Bon Jovi, and The Moody Blues still actively perform, while The Cars reunited in 2010 after breaking up in 1988. (Page Six)

G Eazy & Halsey Light Up 'Jimmy Kimmel Live!' Stage with Sultry 'Him & I'. G-Eazy continues to ascend the ranks of hip-hop hitmakers after a solid year. As his new album The Beautiful & The Damned is set for release this Friday (Dec. 15), the Oakland rapper took to the Jimmy Kimmel Live! stage Tuesday night (Dec. 12) to perform a solo version the uptempo club banger "No Limit," (without features Cardi B and Harlem rap star A$AP Rocky) and a sensual "Him & I" with help from girlfriend Halsey. The Bay Area artist rolled into the performance in a vintage black Mercedes and paired smooth and confident delivery with live instrumentation on "No Limit," which has become a vibrant club smash over the course of the year. He followed up with the simmered down "Him & I," rhyming at a leisurely pace as Halsey crooned over the chorus and the two circled each other while making serious eye contact and briefly holding hands. G Eazy looks to close out a successful year after securing a top 3 Billboard Hot 100 spot with "No Limit" earlier this year; his second so far in his career. (Billboard)

Thomas Rhett and Florida Georgia Line's Tyler Hubbard Surprise RaeLynn With Christmas Caroling. Apparently, everything really is bigger in the South and holiday cheer is no exception! Country music stars Thomas Rhett, Tyler Hubbard (Florida Georgia Line) and Russell Dickerson teamed up with their wives -- Lauren Akins, Hayley Hubbard, and Kailey Dickerson -- to get into the Christmas spirit this year and went caroling around Nashville dressed in full festive attire. That's right! We're talking top hats, bonnets, velvet scarves and head-to-toe red and green ensembles. The self-proclaimed "Country Carolers" even made a stop at another famous Nashville resident's front porch: former Voice contestant RaeLynn Woodward! "The Official party crashers," wrote the country singer of the unexpected carolers in a post to Instagram. "Swipe to see the most EPIC Christmas Caroling from some of my favorite humans. Thank God for security cameras. #nashville #lovemyfriends #whatsthefirstsong." RaeLynn posted an adorable shot of the group in their over-the-top costumes and of herself in a Christmas-themed Mickey Mouse pajama set -- proving that these carolers aren't the only ones ready for the most wonderful time of the year! The singer even gave her followers a sneak peek at what her festive friends sang by posting videos of the cheerful performance, which was all caught on tape thanks to her security cameras. "Best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear #CountryCarolers" Kailey Dickerson wrote in a post that documented their musical adventure (and gave a well-timed Elf reference). The famous carolers sang enthusiastic renditions of holiday favorites -- such as "Deck the Halls" and "White Christmas." Meanwhile, RaeLynn danced and sang along to the trio of couples. While this may just be their "first annual" outing as a musical troop -- according to Hayley Hubbard's Instagram post -- here's to hoping we'll be seeing more of these Country Carolers next year! (Eonline)

Temptations Bio-Musical 'Ain't Too Proud' Plans Path to Broadway. Following its acclaimed world-premiere run at Berkeley Rep, the Des McAnuff-directed show will play the Kennedy Center in Washington en route to New York. In what is being billed as a pre-Broadway engagement, Ain't Too Proud -- The Life and Times of The Temptations will play a five-week run early next summer at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington. The bio-musical charts the rise of the Motown male-vocal group from the streets of Detroit to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, achieving crossover success in the 1960s and '70s with their smooth harmonies and signature dance moves on classic R&B and soul tracks including "My Girl," "Just My Imagination" and "Papa Was a Rolling Stone." Set against the backdrop of the civil unrest dividing America, the show's book was written by Detroit-born playwright Dominique Morisseau, whose acclaimed works for the stage include Skeleton Crew and Pipeline. Additionally, she is a writer on Showtime's Shameless. Directed by Des McAnuff and choreographed by Sergio Trujillo, who previously collaborated on the long-running smash Jersey Boys, Ain't Too Proud drew strong reviews in its world-premiere engagement at Berkeley Repertory Theatre this fall, becoming the highest-grossing production in the venue's nearly-50-year history. While no Broadway theater or dates have been locked, producers Tom Hulce and Ira Pittelman (Spring Awakening, American Idiot) said in interviews during the Berkeley run that their plan was to find a major venue for summer or early fall 2018, as a stepping stone to New York. The Kennedy Center engagement will play June 19-July 22 in the Eisenhower Theater, with casting to be announced. Ain't Too Proud is one of a handful of jukebox musicals currently in the works, based around the hits of popular music artists. Others include Summer: The Donna Summer Musical, which recently premiered at La Jolla Playhouse, also directed by McAnuff; Tina: The Musical, based on the life of Tina Turner, bowing in London's West End in March; and The Cher Show, a title that requires no explanation, eyeing a Broadway debut next fall. Those shows follow on the heels of Jersey Boys, based on the story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, which ran just over 11 years on Broadway, grossing $558.4 million; and Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, now entering its fifth year on Broadway, with cumulative box office to date of $202.4 million. (Billboard)

Puerto Rico Foundation Launches Campaign to Save Hurricane-Damaged Recordings. The effort will count on proceeds from a new salsa song and video, "Despues de la Tempestad" ("After the Storm") recorded by a quickly united collective of Puerto Rican musicians in time for the holidays. A collection of 30,000 albums and other testaments to Puerto Rico's cultural heritage are at risk, and La Fundación Nacional para la Cultura Popular has launched a campaign to insure its survival. The holdings of the Foundation (in English, the National Foundation for Popular Culture), located in a building in Old San Juan, suffered water damage in Hurricane Maria -- particularly, a cache of records by singers of the "nueva canción" movement. The administrators are working to remove mold from some of the albums. At the same time, they've launched a campaign to fund digitizing the collection to save it from future harm. "The Fundación Nacional para la Cultura Popular suffered significant losses," reads a text on a youcaring.com page where the public can make donations to the private foundation founded by journalist Javier Santiago, who oversees the collection and donated the building it is in housed in. "Due to the great crisis around the island, aid for cultural organizations are scarce. Currently the organization does not have any financial support from private or governmental institutions, that is why we are appealing to the help of our friends and followers around the world to continue the work of saving our Puerto Rican popular culture." The campaign will count on proceeds from a new salsa song and video, "Despues de la Tempestad" ("After the Storm") recorded by a quickly united collective of musicians including Moncho Rivera, Pedro Brull and Lefty Perez, and headed by singer and arranger Nino Segarra and trumpet player Luis González, which was launched at a press conference at the Foundation. The musicians traveled together in a rented bus to Segarra's studio in Sabana Grande to record the single in time for the holidays. Santiago also announced that the Foundation will give back to the community by offering a series of holiday concerts. (Billboard)

Movies

A band of misfits known as the Goonies, a sinking ship, some baseball ghosts and the unrelenting New York cop are being added to the prestigious National Film Registry. The Library of Congress announced Wednesday that the films "The Goonies," ?Titanic," ?Field of Dreams" and "Die Hard" are among the 25 movies tapped for preservation this year. The library selects movies for preservation because of their cultural, historic or artistic importance. This year's slate includes the 1987 musical biopic "La Bamba," ?Superman" from 1978, the 2000 thriller "Memento" and 1941's animated "Dumbo." This year's picks bring the total number of films in the registry to 725. Last year, "The Breakfast Club," ?The Princess Bride" and "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" and "Thelma & Louise" were picked. (Page Six)

Oscars: Daniel Day-Lewis and Why Retirement Doesn't Always Equal a Nom. The 'Phantom Thread' star says it's his last film, but history shows that may not mean the Academy will necessarily hand the 60-year-old veteran (and three-time winner) a nice parting gift. Forget the gold watch. Why not just give the man an Oscar? That's the question confronting members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences as they decide whether to reward Daniel Day-Lewis for his latest performance -- as Reynolds Woodcock, a fastidious, 1950s London fashion designer who's drawn into a complicated battle of wills with a young woman, played by Vicky Krieps, in Paul Thomas Anderson's Phantom Thread. That's because, in a surprise announcement made in June, a rep for the 60-year-old actor said that his latest performance also will be his final one, that he's retiring from acting. Normally, that would trigger one of the Academy's time-honored traditions: the Career Capper Nomination, but given other factors in this year's best actor race, that sort of nomination might not be automatic. Certainly, the situation is unusual. While there are such other actors as Sean Connery and Gene Hackman who have drifted away from the profession and effectively settled into retirement -- Connery's last starring role was in 2003's The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, and Hackman's was in 2004's Welcome to Mooseport -- neither announced a pending retirement. So usually, the Career Capper has gone to a performer who has died -- James Dean and Spencer Tracy earned posthumous Oscar nominations, and Peter Finch and Heath Ledger scored Oscar wins, the latter in the supporting category. And, when Henry Fonda was named best actor for On Golden Pond in 1982, it was pretty clear that the film would be his last since he was ailing and in fact had less than five months to live. Often, though, the Career Capper goes to an actor who simply has had a lengthy body of work and is perceived as not having gotten his due. Paul Newman had six acting nominations and an honorary Oscar when, at age 62, he won the best actor trophy for 1986's The Color of Money, a performance most agree was not his most memorable. But Day-Lewis won't be able to play the "he's due" card since he already has more best actor trophies than anyone else -- having earned five nominations, he's won for 1989's My Left Foot, 2007's There Will Be Blood (his previous collaboration with Anderson) and 2012's Lincoln. If any actor is to benefit from the "he's due" scenario this year, it's Gary Oldman for Darkest Hour, since, at 59, he has notched just one nomination, for 2011's Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. Day-Lewis also is facing a couple of almost equally celebrated contenders in Tom Hanks (The Post), whose resume includes five nominations and two wins, and Denzel Washington (Roman J. Israel, Esq.), with seven acting nominations and two wins (one each in the supporting and best actor categories). Plus, there are a number of newcomers nipping at the heels of the veterans, most prominently Call Me by Your Name's Timothee Chalamet, who already has been hailed as best actor by critics groups in New York and Los Angeles. The biggest challenge Day-Lewis faces, though, is that he hasn't really explained his decision. When one of his reps first broke the news, it was described as "a private decision, and neither he nor his representatives will make any further comment on this subject." In a recent interview with W magazine to promote Focus Features' Dec. 25 release of Phantom Thread, Day-Lewis admitted he hadn't "figured it out" himself, saying only that while making the film, he was "overwhelmed by a sense of sadness," adding: "All my life, I've mouthed off about how I should stop acting, and I don't know why it was different this time, but the impulse to quit took root in me, and that became a compulsion. It was something I had to do." As respected as Day-Lewis is, that may not play with some members of the actors' branch, for whom retiring from performing is one luxury, as much psychic as economic, that they can't imagine. And there's also the nagging question of whether he'll one day have a change of heart. Asked about Day-Lewis' plans during a Q&A following an early screening of their film, Anderson replied simply, "I would hope that he will reconsider." (Hollywood Reporter)

TV

Harry Styles Fills in for James Corden as Host of The Late Late Show. Harry Styles filled in as host of The Late Late Show on Tuesday after James Corden headed to the hospital for the birth of his third child. The "Sign of the Times" singer informed viewers that Corden and his wife Julia Carey welcomed their new baby girl half an hour before the show's taping and that he had already met the newest family member. "She looks a lot like James," he said, "mainly because James looks like a giant baby." In fact, Styles got the call to substitute for Corden only hours before. "I sat at home two hours ago -- in this suit obviously -- and I got the call that Jules was going into labor," he said. "So James naturally called the funniest guy he knew, and he wasn't around. So, I'm filling in." While fulfilling his hosting duties, Styles covered everything from U.S. politics to dogs wearing sunglasses. He even poked fun at his recent Carpool Karaoke appearance with Corden in which they share a smooch. "I'd like to take an opportunity to announce that we will also be having a baby," Styles quipped. Corden announced Styles would be substituting for him on Twitter along with the birth of this child. "Today we welcomed a beautiful baby daughter into the world," Corden wrote. "Both she and her mother are doing great. We can't stop smiling. Thank you Harry for stepping in to host the show at 2 and a half hours notice! x x x." Corden and his wife already have two children: a six-year-old son named Max and a three-year-old daughter named Carey. (Eonline)

From The Office to the kitchen, Angela Kinsey and Rainn Wilson were back together and cooking up a storm. The on-screen husband and wife reunited for a segment on Kinsey and her real-life husband Josh Snyder's YouTube cooking show "Baking with Josh and Ange." While whipping up vegan avocado brownies, Wilson joked: "I just want to say for the record that I hate cooking. It's a lot of work for something you consume and poop out a few hours later." The actor told Kinsey and Snyder, who is a professional baker, that he only became s vegan recently but plans to stick to the plant-based diet. "I tried just for a month to go vegan to just see what it would be like. First week kind of sucked and then after that I really enjoyed it," he said. "I actually had more energy and slept better. Occasionally... there was some cheese popcorn the other night and I had some. Or if I went to a sushi bar, I'll have like a piece of fish. I supplement my diet with cheese popcorn and occasional pieces of fish." Kinsey and Wilson also reflected on their time playing Angela and Dwight on the hit NBC show, and recalled their favorite scenes to film together. "I have so many favorite scenes," Wilson said. "I loved dancing at our wedding when I lifted you up and your feet were off the ground. That was really awesome. I loved meeting in the warehouse when I was like pretty much naked in the little place where we would have coitus." Kinsey meanwhile, "loved all the secret meetings in the break room when we wouldn't look at each other." The TV couple slipped right back into their characters when Wilson put the entire brownie whisk in his mouth, causing Kinsey to squirm in disgust. (People)

A Netflix executive has been fired for comments he made in connection with the streaming service's investigation of rape claims against actor Danny Masterson. Andy Yeatman, previously Netflix's director of kids and family content, reportedly told a woman earlier this month that Netflix did not believe the allegations of sexual assault from multiple women against Masterson, a former star of the Netflix comedy "The Ranch." The encounter between Yeatman and an unidentified woman was reported in detail earlier this month by the Huffington Post. Yeatman reportedly was coaching a youth soccer game in Los Angeles on a weekend when he was approached by a woman he didn't know who asked him about the Masterson situation. Masterson was fired from the show on Dec. 5 amid the outcry over Netflix's inaction despite the multiple assault allegations. After a brief discussion, the woman told Yeatman she was one of four Masterson accusers whose complaints have sparked an investigation by Los Angeles County authorities. Netflix in a statement issued earlier this month called Yeatman's comments "careless" and "uninformed" but it also noted that Yeatman had no involvement with "The Ranch" or Netflix's investigation. "Mr. Yeatman is no longer employed at Netflix," a company spokeswoman said Tuesday evening. Yeatman had been Netflix's longtime head of kidvid programming. He spoke about the streaming service's ambitious expansion plans in October during a keynote address at the Mipcom convention in Cannes. Yeatman joined Netflix in 2011 from Disney. Yeatman could not immediately be reached for comment. (Page Six)

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Interstate 19 at Ajo Way to close Friday night for bridge deck pours

Traffic will detour across bridge ramps; drivers should use alternate routes to avoid delays

The Arizona Department of Transportation is scheduled to pour bridge decks at Interstate 19 and Ajo Way overnight Friday, Dec. 15. Drivers should use alternate routes and allow extra travel time while the following restrictions are in place from 10 p.m. on Friday to noon on Saturday, Dec. 16:
I-19 will be closed in both directions overnight at State Route 86/Ajo Way. Traffic will be detoured onto bridge ramps to get through the restricted area.
SR 86 (Ajo Way) will be closed in both directions at I-19 (milepost 172 to milepost 173.)
Eastbound Ajo Way will be closed at 16th Avenue.
Business access to Santa Cruz Plaza and residential access to Rose Estates East will be maintained.
Westbound Ajo Way will be closed at the Santa Cruz River Bridge and there will be no access to I-19. Residential access to Rose Estates West will be maintained. Motorists are advised to use Silverlake Avenue/ 29th Avenue or Irvington Road as alternates.
The Interstate 10 westbound ramp at milepost 260 (connecting ramp to southbound I-19) will be closed.

During these restrictions, motorists can use the 22nd Street exit off Interstate 10 or the Irvington Road exit off I-19.

Work is occurring in conjunction with the improvement project at Interstate 19 and Ajo Way.

For more information please visit the project website.

Schedules are subject to change based on weather and other unforeseen factors. For more information, please call the ADOT Project Information Line at 855.712.8530 or email Projects@azdot.gov. For real-time highway conditions statewide, visit ADOT’s Traveler Information Site at www.az511.gov, follow ADOT on Twitter (@ArizonaDOT) or call 511, except while driving.

The Fight Against Food Trucks

FASCINATING FACTS ABOUT CHRISTMAS

Did you know that royalties from Bing Crosby's recording of "Silent Night" and Adeste Fidelis all go to charities? Here are some other fascinating facts about Christmas you may not have known:

  • The word "carol" comes from a Greek word meaning to dance and to play the flute. 
  • America's first Christmas carol was written and sung in the language of the Huron Indians. Called Jesus Is Born, it was composed by Father Brebeuf, a French missionary to the Indians, in 1630. 
  • Alabama was the first state to grant legal recognition to Christmas in 1836. By 1890, all states and territories acknowledged the holiday, including the District of Columbia. 
  • It was illegal to celebrate Christmas Day in the Massachusetts colony from 1659 until 1681. 
  • The first true Christmas cards written by St. Francis of Assisi and his followers int he 13th century. The idea was to tell biblical stories in song in order to reach more people. 
  • The first Christmas card as we know it was sent in 1843. The greeting: "A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you." 
  • There are at least two towns named Santa Claus in the U.S.A. in Indiana and Idaho. 
  • There's a Christmas Island in the Indian Ocean and a Christmas Island in the Pacific's Gilbert Island. 
  • The first department store Santa Claus in the nation was James Edgar of Brockton, MA. As owner of the Edgar's Store in Boston in 1890, he donned the Santa costume himself to begin the tradition.

ARE YOU ON THE HOLIDAY PARTY A-LIST?

It's the season for holiday parties, and experts say your demeanor at a bash reveals clues to your personality. Discover why you are or aren't on the invitation list by answering the following questions:

You think the perfect house warming gift is:
  • A plant. 
  • A humorous welcome mat. 
  • Gossip about all the neighbors. 

Your idea of a great party is:
  • A small group of dinner guests. 
  • A rip roaring get together. 
  • One where all you have to do is show up. 

When the music starts, you:
  • Chat with the shy person in the corner. 
  • Kick up your heels on the dance floor. 
  • May do a partial striptease if you've had enough to drink. 


Your favorite party outfit is:
  • Low key and feminine. 
  • Something in a vivid color. 
  • Whatever will draw the most attention. 

Analysis:

Mostly "a" -- You're an outgoing person who takes the time to talk to everyone in the room. Your obvious interest in what others have to say makes you a winner.

Mostly "b" -- You're a bright light who can turn the dreariest party into a blast. Your clever conversation and sense of humor make you a welcome addition to any gathering.

Mostly "c" -- You're so self-obsessed that you rarely take the feelings or desires of others into account. So don't be surprised if you're all alone in your pursuit of the limelight.

Mostly "d" -- We don't think you were paying too much attention.

YOU GONNA FINISH THAT?

Your eating patterns tell others plenty about your personality, according to Dr. Russell Haley. Here's what you eat reveals about you:

Meat & Potatoes
These are "solid citizens," resistant to change.

Junk Food Eaters
They eat as though they are still teenagers. This is a family-oriented group - their lives center around their children.

Diet-Conscious Eaters
They count calories and avoid foods high in cholesterol, sugar, fat and salt. This group is strong-willed, frugal and willing to give up immediate pleasures for long-term security.

Naturalists
These are highly idealistic people and believe they can improve life for everyone with their constructive criticism.

GUILTY GREEN BEHAVIORS

Of all the "un-green" things that Americans could feel guilty about -- from not recycling to forgetting to bring reusable bags to the store -- we feel the most guilt about wasting food, according to a national survey called Eco Pulse from the Shelton Group. "This is an issue that gets right to the core of who we are as Americans. We were all taught to waste not, want not, and trained that wasting food equals being a bad person," said Suzanne Shelton, founder and CEO of Shelton Group. "Yet the average household throws out 470 pounds of food every year, making it the largest component in our nation's landfills. So I'm afraid we have plenty to feel guilty about."

Our top 10 guilty green behaviors are:
  • Wasting food: 39% 
  • Leaving the lights on after leaving a room: 27% 
  • Wasting water: 27% 
  • Not unplugging chargers/electronics when not in use: 22% 
  • Not recycling things: 21% 
  • Forgetting to bring reusable bags to the store: 20% 
  • Letting the water run while brushing teeth, washing dishes, etc.: 20% 
  • Not buying CFLs or LEDs: 9% 
  • Not sticking to an energy-efficient thermostat setting: 7% 
  • Using chemical lawn or plant fertilizers: 6% 
Food waste in America has grown 50% since 1974 and accounts for more than one quarter of the total fresh water used and roughly 300 million barrels of oil a year. In fact, Americans waste about 27% of food available for consumption, costing the average family of four roughly $600 a year.

I'M HUMBLE -- HONEST!

Employers have long known that employees who have integrity are also top performers. Now there is a related personality trait that is a unique predictor of outstanding job performance: honesty-humility. In fact, the more honest and humble employees are, the higher their job performance, as rated by the employees' supervisors, according to researchers from Baylor University in Waco, TX. The five big personality traits are:

Neuroticism
A tendency to experience unpleasant emotions, such as anxiety, anger or depression.

Extroversion
Energy and the tendency to seek stimulation and the company of others.

Agreeableness
A tendency to be compassionate and cooperative rather than suspicious and antagonistic towards others.

Conscientiousness
A tendency to show self-discipline, act dutifully and aim for achievement.

Openness to experience
Appreciation for art, emotion, adventure and unusual ideas; imaginative and curious.

Those who self-reported more honesty and humility were scored significantly higher by their supervisors for their job performance. The researchers defined honesty and humility as those who exhibit high levels of fairness, greed-avoidance, sincerity and modesty.

TOP 10 THINGS YOU SHOULD NEVER SAY TO HER

Askmen.com says there are some instances when you are better off either shutting up or telling a little white lie -- or risk spending the night on the couch.
  1. Man, you look so much like your mom! 
  2. I would have invited you, but you're no fun. 
  3. Anything related to marriage or children. 
  4. Would have, could have, should have. 
  5. You don't need another pair of shoes. 
  6. Any story about your private life. 
  7. Come on, a few little cramps never hurt anybody. 
  8. What's the big deal? You have another birthday next year. 
  9. Are you sure the dress shrunk? 
  10. That's not the way my ex did it.

HOW TO MANAGE THE NARCISSIST IN YOUR LIFE

(Health) There's bound to be at least one in your clan. Here's what you can do to protect yourself:

Resist arguing
To narcissists, everything is a competition, and they're committed to winning at all costs. "Remember that they're usually driven by an unconscious sense of inferiority," says Joseph Burgo, Ph.D., author of The Narcissist You Know. It's best to listen politely, then tactfully excuse yourself.

Play the opposite role
Narcissists love to gossip and put others down. "It's their way of making themselves bigger and better than everyone else," says marriage and family therapist Karly McBride, Ph. D., author of Will I Ever Be Good Enough? Healing the Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers. When that happens, simply pay the target a compliment. You might say, "Oh, she's always been a great friend to me." End scene.

When attacked, try not to react
If your hypercritical aunt nails you with a backhanded compliment or an outright insult, don't get upset. Instead, shrug your shoulders and say, "Interesting." Translation: "I'm not taking the bait."

Set your boundaries
There is one time you should stand up to a narcissist: when you're subjected to a bunch of unsolicited advice about, say, your career, love life, or diet. "Most people feel like this takes their power away, so I don't think you should put up with it," says McBride. Say something like "I understand that's what you'd do, but I have my own way of handling my own life."

WHAT HIS TYPE SAYS ABOUT HIM

(Cosmopolitan) Pay attention the next time your man or a hot stranger checks you out. The first place his eyes land reveals key information about his personality, according tot he latest scientific findings:

Breasts
He is sexually adventurous. New research found that men who were most attracted to knockers were also most open to casual hookups. But experts say that does not men he is a dog it just shows he does not judge when it comes to sex.

Behind
He has an alpha-male streak. Your backside is one of the most primal body parts just check out how the rest of the animal kingdom mates. So when a guy is most turned on by a woman's behind, he is subconsciously tapping into those primitive instincts.

Legs
He loves a powerful woman. The muscles here are super strong so when a guy is drawn to them, it is a sign that he especially values a woman who is determined and independent.

Face
He is expressive. Since facial expressions are one of the main ways you convey thoughts and emotions, a dude who looks here first is likely the communicative type and is trying to get a quick read on your personality.

MY BIGGEST REGRETS

When Americans think of their biggest regrets, the number one misgiving is romance -- be it the dead-end relationship that continued far too long or the wonderful lover who got away. HealthDay News reports that researchers at Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign surveyed adults about their life's regrets, specifically things they wished they had done differently. They were asked to describe in detail one particular decision they deeply regretted. The top six regrets involved these topics:
  • Romance: 18 percent 
  • Family: 16 percent 
  • Education: 13 percent 
  • Career: 12 percent 
  • Finance: 10 percent 
  • Parenting: 9 percent 

The biggest regret for women: When it comes to relationship regrets about romance or family, women are far more likely to harbor misgivings for their actions -- specifically 44 percent for women, compared with 19 percent for men. The biggest regret for men: Men are more likely to have regrets about work or education -- specifically 34 percent for men, compared with 26 percent for women.

YOUR WATER BOTTLE IS DISGUSTING

You know that water bottle you proudly carry everywhere? Kudos to you for remembering to hydrate, but, um, you might as well be toting around a little toilet. Sorry to be the bearer of repulsive news, but it's true. Treadmillreviews.net swabbed the lids of a dozen reusable water bottles used by athletes, then sent the samples to a lab. The disturbing find: The average water bottle contains nearly 314,000 CFU (colony-forming units) of bacteria. To put that in perspective, the average pet toy has just under 3,000 CFU. If it makes you feel any better, your toothbrush holder is home to even more germs -- nearly 332,000. Surprisingly, the type of water bottle had an effect on the number of bacteria it harbored. Ones with a slide-top were by far the worst offenders, with close to a million microscopic creepy-crawly things. Squeeze-tops and screw-tops hovered between 159,000–161,000 CFU. And the best and "cleanest" choice was the straw-top. Here are a few suggestions:

1. Go for a straw-top bottle
Less convenient when you run? Big, bulky, and sort of dorky? Yes. But far less germy.

2. Choose stainless steel over plastic
Won't that make long runs fun? (Hard no.) But stainless steel is naturally antibacterial. And easier to clean (more on that below!).

3. Keep your stash o' bottles clean.
Hand wash plastic -- a lot. A brush will get all those nooks and crannies which are fine on English muffins but nasty hideouts for bacteria everywhere else.

OPIOID CRISIS

(Men's Health) Drug overdoses are the number on killer of Americans under age 50. And nearly two out of three victims are men. Here's the numbers from the CDC, U.S. National Archives and Records Administration, SAMHSA, NIDA, and National Center for Health Statistics:

  • 64,000-Drug overdose fatalities in the U.S. in 2016 
  • 58,220-Total U.S. casualties in Vietnam Conflict, between 1954-1975 
  • On any given day in America: 3,900 people use prescription Opioids for non-medical reasons. 580 start using Heroin and 91 people die from an Opioid-related overdose. 
  • Total U.S. drug overdose deaths in 2015 were 52,404. 32,957 were men. 
  • Total U.S. Opioid-related deaths in 2015 were 33,091. 21,671 were men.

SELF-CARE MOVES WITH HEALTH BENEFITS

(Health) These feel good practices not only improve your mood but also have big body payoffs.

Aromatherapy
Sniffing certain essential oils, like citrus, may help lift your mood and decrease anxiety, studies suggest. Another trick: Inhaling the steam from a few drops of eucalyptus oil boiled in water may help open airways if you're congested from a cold.

Yoga
Even basic, gentle, restorative yoga can help reduce inflammation in the body. What's more, the mind-body movement may help strengthen memory and slow cognitive decline, a UCKA study found.

Massage
Regular rubdowns have been shown in a number of studies to relieve headache pain, ease anxiety, and even assist with stress and pain-related insomnia.

A hot bath
Kicking back in a warm tub for 20 minutes can help relax your muscles and mind. You can also add 2 cups of Epsom salt (find it at the drugstore), which may help ease muscle tension and pain. Epsom salt is made of magnesium sulfate; the thinking is that it gets absorbed through your skin. This hasn't been definitively proved, but it's safe to try.

WEIRD NEWS

6-Year-Old YouTuber Makes $11 Million!

Ryan is a 6-yar-old boy who likes playing with toys. What makes him different from other 6-year-old boys is that he was just listed as one of Forbes' highest-earning YouTube celebrities. Thanks to his family's Ryan Toys Review channel on the video-sharing site, Ryan brought in about $11 million in pretax income this year simply by opening toys and other products and reviewing them online. This monetized mastery of the "unboxing" phenomenon - what the Verge has described as "a blend of innocent childhood antics and relentless, often overwhelming consumerism" - places Ryan's channel in the No. 8 slot on the Forbes list and definitely the youngest person on the list. Ryan's parents posted his first video in March 2015 after the YouTube-obsessed preschooler wanted to know why he couldn't dish on toys online like other kids. In July of that year, the family experienced its first viral video: Ryan opening a "giant egg surprise" with more than 100 Cars-branded toys. The channel has exploded since, now with over 10 million subscribers and more than 16 million views. His parents say they mainly film on the weekends so it doesn't interfere with their son's schooling and that they pay for all of the toys Ryan reviews. Their channel's "About" section says most of the toys they review end up going to charity. (Forbes)

Social Media is Evil?

Social media was supposed to bring everyone closer together, but a former Facebook exec fears it's doing the exact opposite. Chamath Palihapitiya, the former Facebook VP of user growth said, "I feel tremendous guilt," during an appearance in November at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, in a speech just now being widely shared. He added, "I think we have created tools that are ripping apart the social fabric of how society works." Palihapitiya railed against the "short-term, dopamine-driven feedback loops" where people spend their hours vying for "hearts, likes, thumbs-up," and he blamed "bad actors" for manipulating online information. There is "no civil discourse, no cooperation," simply "misinformation [and] mistruth." He confessed he now rarely uses the network he helped grow and posted just a handful of times over the past seven years. He says, "It's created huge tension with my friends, huge tensions in my social circles." Palihapitiya isn't completely sure how to take back control of Facebook, which he still said "overwhelmingly does positive good in the world," so he just tries to manage what he can. He did say he doesn't really use social media and doesn't' allow his kids to either. His suggestion for others after this "soul searching"? Take a "hard break" from social media. "If you feed the beast, the beast will destroy you." (New York Post)

Dennis Rodman Knows What North Korea Wants

Dennis Rodman claims to know what North Korean leader Kim Jong Un wants from the United States-but says he'll only tell is Donald Trump. In Beijing after what he called "a great week of humanitarian work in Guam and Tokyo," Rodman told reporters he still has hopes of brokering a peace between Trump and the man he calls "The Marshal." Rodman says, "I've been trying to tell Donald since day one, "Come talk to me, man ... I'll tell you what the Marshal wants more than anything. It's not even that much.'" While Rodman is coyly staying mum, it's possible the answer is a basketball game. While speaking in Beijing, Rodman said he hopes to put on an exhibition game between North Korea and the US territory of Guam. But Rodman won't be going back to North Korea anytime soon. The US enacted a ban on all travel to the country in September. (Guardian)

Daredevil Idiot Dies Idiotically

Wu Yongning was best known for posting insane videos of himself at the top of tall buildings scaled without safety devices. Then in November the Chinese daredevil suddenly went radio silent and fans wondered what had happened. Now we know. Wu hasn't been posting because he's dead-after falling 62 stories from a building in Changsha during one of his stunts. The South China Morning Post describes the 26-year-old's life-ending act as somewhat selfless, saying Wu was undertaking the "roof topping" challenge in hopes of winning $15,000 in prize money in order to pay for his sick mother's medical treatment, and also to fund a wedding with a woman that his step-uncle says he planned to propose to after the challenge was complete. And the big takeaway here: Don't try this at home. (BBC)

And The Word for 2017 Is..

And the Merriam-Webster word of the year for 2017 is "feminism." Yes, it's been a big year for the word. In 2017, folks searching for the word feminism increased 70% over 2016 on Merriam-Webster.com and spiked several times after key events. There was the Women's March on Washington in January, along with sister demonstrations around the globe. The "Me Too" movement rose out of Harvey Weinstein's dust, and other "silence breakers" brought down rich and famous men of the media, politics, and entertainment worlds. While the definition has changed over the years, today, Merriam-Webster defines feminism as the "theory of the political, economic and social equality of the sexes" and "organized activities on behalf of women's rights and interests." (Newser)

Don't Mess Around with The President's Social Security Number

Louisiana private investigator Jordan Hamlett pleaded has pleaded guilty to misusing Donald Trump's Social Security number in repeated attempts to access the president's federal tax information before his election last year. Hamlett, 32, is now facing a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Authorities have said Hamlett failed in his attempts to get Trump's tax information through a US Department of Education financial aid website. A court document accompanying Hamlett's plea agreement says he used Trump's Social Security number and other personal information to open an online application for federal student aid on Sept. 13, 2016. Defense attorney Michael Fiser had argued Hamlett didn't have any "intent to deceive" and simply tried "out of sheer curiosity" to discover whether Trump's tax information could be accessed through the government website. Trump has refused to release his tax returns, bucking an American tradition honored by every president since Jimmy Carter. (Newser)

What the What?

In Florida, Hillsborough County deputies arrested 45-year-old James Steadman who apparently doesn't know the difference between a men's room and a Steak 'n Shake. According to deputies, Steadman was sitting in a booth inside a Steak 'n Shake in Tampa around 11:40 p.m. when he suddenly stood up, unzipped his pants, exposed his genitals and began urinating on the floor in the dining area of the restaurant. When he was finished, he went back to sleep in the booth. Approximately 30 customers witnessed the incident. HCSO says that Steadman created a health hazard and was endangering the safety of the other customers. He was arrested and charged with indecent exposure. (WKTR)

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