ON THIS DAY
On this date in 1864, U.S. General Sherman sent a telegram to President Lincoln, saying that he was giving him Savannah, Georgia, as a Christmas present.
On this date in 1882, Ed Johnson turn on the first electric Christmas lights.
Heather Donahue, who starred in "The Blair Witch Project" a few years back, turns 35.
Robin Gibb of the Bee Gee's turns the big 6-0 today.
Beaver's mom, Barbara Billingsly, turns 87 today.
First Full Day Of Winter -- The National Energy Commission says to winterize your home this winter make sure you check for air leaks, check your insulation & weather stripping and don't forget to check your heating system. That's great for most of the country, but what about those warmer climates like Southern California and Florida?
- Make sure you have enough SPF-30 handy for those "brrrr" 75 degree sunny days.
- A supply of clean, long sleeve t-shirts for those chilly winter days.
- Keep your lawnmower sharpened... that "dead, dormant" lawn will still need to be mowed twice a month.
- Fuzzy head covers to keep your driver and 3-wood warm during those frigid 65-degree days on the golf course.
- Charcoal, cold beers and blue & gold board shorts to wear at those NFL tailgate parties.
- Ladies, you may have to drop the hem an inch or so on your mini-skirts to stay warmer at those outdoor happy hours.
- Make sure your strappy sandals straps are at least 3/8" wide. You'll need the extra "warm" toe-coverage when partying on Saturday nights, and those 5-inch stilettos may need to come down to 4-inches... with the occasional sprinkle you won't want to slip and fall on those treacherous sidewalks.
- And most importantly... try to locate the extra sheet for your bed to keep "toasty warm" at night.
THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW
- University of Alabama researchers say that the nation's autism rate has gone up by 60% over the past four years. So what's going on?
- It's not what you eat or drink or even how often you exercise that can determine how long you live. HealthDay News reports that happy and outgoing people, who also know how to manage stress, may live longer than the rest of us.
- LeAnn Rimes husband has filed for divorce from the singer after 8 years.
- Shane Sparks -- a judge on the MTV show "America's Best Dance Crew" and a choreographer on "So You Think You Can Dance" -- has been arrested in Los Angeles and charged with felony child molestation.
- According to a recent study, cell phones harbor more bacteria than toilet seats.
- Screenwriter Dan O'Bannon has died. He gave us "Alien" and "Total Recall," among others.
- The Austrian company that was organizing a global Michael Jackson tribute in London is being dissolved and will not be able to put on a show.
- Taylor Swift was voted the AP "Entertainer of the Year."
- Anticipating watching a funny video can reduce stress hormones by up to 70%.
- Kate Hudson likes to throw parties. Her big holiday event was last Friday and while there were lots of famous guests, no A-Rod.
When a survey asked men which of several activities, like swimming with sharks, they find scariest, one quarter of them picked proposing marriage. Men's Health broke down how men deal with engagement:
- Age the average guy gets married: 27
- Where he'll first meet her: High school or college
- How long he'll wait to propose: 3 or more years
- Amount jewelers say the average guy should spend on an engagement ring: $5,173
- What he'll spend: $2,982
- Number of men who'd buy a cubic zirconia ring if they could get away with it: 1 in 11
- Percentage of men who get down on one knee to propose: 72
- Percentage who ask her father's permission first: 4
- 15% of women were surprised when their boyfriend proposed
- On average, 81 women are proposed to on the Jumbotron at Yankee Stadium during the season.
- 35% of women are horrified by the prospect of being proposed to via the Jumbotron.
Bad bosses can break a man's heart literally says a new study. Researchers followed thousands of employees over 10 years and discovered that men were 25% more likely to have a heart attack if they worked for a boss they considered abusive, incompetent or both. The scientists, from Sweden's Karolinska Institute, could not reach the same conclusion about women because the women in the study didn't have enough heart attacks to make their data valid. "but our findings provide clear support for an association between managers' leadership and employee stress and health," says lead researcher Ann Nyberg. After reviewing the study, Duke University's Dr. Redford Williams explains: "It's clear that poor leadership is bad for employees' health. Stress at work like a bad boss can arouse the body's fight-flight response, increasing blood pressure, inflammation, blood glucose levels, even making platelets stickier and more likely to clot." (National Examiner)
Here are the best films of the year according to Entertainment Weekly writer Owen Gleiberman:
- "Up in the Air"
- "Inglorious Bastards"
- "Precious: Based on the Novel "Push" by Sapphire
- "I Love You, Man"
- "Food, Inc."
- "(500) Days of Summer"
- "Fantastic Mr. Fox"
- "The Girlfriend Experience"
- "The Hurt Locker"
Here are the worst films of the year:
- "The Men Who Stare at Goats"
- "Bride Wars"
- "The Box"
- "Tony Manero"
- "The Last House on the Left"
How you use the brains that God gave you depends on whether you believe He gave them to you in the first place. Two studies led by Assistant Psychology Professor Michael Inzlicht at the University of Toronto show that folks who believe in the Almighty tend to feel less anxiety and stress than those who don't. Study participants were hooked up with electrodes that detected activity in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) a part of the brain that responds to anxiety. The test was designed to promote a certain amount of stress and anxiety in the subjects. The results showed considerable less activity during the test in the brains of believers than the atheists. In other words, the stronger the belief in God, the lower the stress levels in the subjects' brains. (Sun)
Sex is great, but dinner's the real winner at forging human relationships. Harvard University anthropologist Richard Wrangham confirms that the way to a man's heart is through his stomach, adding that the advice also applies to the man's mate and their children because humans are "cooking apes." The bonds of love that we create while sitting down together for a hot cooked meal are what truly separate us from the apes, says Wrangham, author of Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human. "Cooking changed our bodies," says Wrangham, "our brains, our use of time, and our social lives." (National Examiner)