This Week In History – Week Of January 1, 2011 – First Week Of The Year – A Complete Review.

This Week In History – Week of January 1, 2011 – From

The police investigation into a New Year’s church bombing that killed 21 people is focusing on a local group of Islamic hard-liners inspired by al-Qaida, Egyptian security officials said Sunday. The suicide attack in the Mediterranean port city of Alexandria struck Coptic Christian worshippers as they were leaving midnight Mass Saturday about 30 minutes into the new year and also wounded about 100. Dozens returned to pray Sunday in the blood-spattered Saints Church, many of them sobbing, screaming in anger and slapping themselves in grief.

After a holiday season of relentless rain in Southern California, the 122nd Rose Parade was bathed Saturday in abundant sunshine.  Clear blue skies and chilly temperatures greeted hundreds of thousands of spectators who lined Colorado Boulevard to gawk at the New Year’s Day showcase of flowery floats, marching bands and equestrians.

First, New Year’s Eve fireworks were blamed in central Arkansas for making thousands of blackbirds confused, crashing into homes, cars and each other. Then 300 miles to the south in Louisiana, power lines likely killed about 450 birds, littering a highway near Baton Rouge. It’s almost certainly a coincidence the events happened within days of each other, Louisiana’s state wildlife veterinarian Jim LaCour said Tuesday. “I haven’t found anything to link the two at this point.”

Videos just coming to light show the crew of a Navy aircraft carrier got an eyeful on shipboard TV: Gay slurs, suggestive shower scenes and mimicked masturbation in clips made not by some sailor run amok but by the ship’s second-most powerful officer. The Navy said Sunday it will investigate the “clearly inappropriate” videos shown through the nuclear-powered ship’s closed-circuit television system as part of an onboard movie night. The star of the videos, made in 2006 and 2007, is Capt. Owen Honors, who now commands the USS Enterprise but was its executive officer — the second in command — when the videos were made.

Democrat Jerry Brown was sworn in Monday as California’s 39th governor, returning to the office he left 28 years ago but inheriting a much different and more troubled state than the one he led then.

A Rasmussen  survey finds says that only 21% of Likely U.S. Voters want the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to regulate the Internet as it does radio and television. Fifty-four percent (54%) are opposed to such regulation, and 25% are not sure.

The survey was conducted shortly after the FCC decided on a party line vote to impose so-called “net neutrality” regulations on the Internet world. Republicans and unaffiliated voters overwhelmingly oppose FCC regulation of the Internet, while Democrats are more evenly divided. Those who use the Internet most are most opposed to FCC regulations.

Ending a two-week vacation, President Barack Obama is appealing to newly-empowered Republicans to resist jockeying for the White House in 2012 and work with him to get the economy growing and the jobless back to work. Facing anything but a political soft landing after his holiday stay in Hawaii, Obama told reporters en route to the capital Tuesday that he understands Republicans, who recaptured the House in last fall’s elections, “are going to play to their base for a certain period of time.”

Sales of General Motors cars and trucks rose 6.3 percent last year as a strong lineup of new models helped the company make a comeback from its 2009 bankruptcy. GM sold 2.2 million cars and trucks in 2010, nearly 131,000 more than the prior year, even though it got rid of four brands to focus on Chevrolet, Buick, Cadillac and GMC.

A Texas man had his conviction overturned Tuesday for a rape and robbery he didn’t commit after serving 30 years in prison, more time than any other inmate subsequently exonerated by DNA evidence in his state. Cornelius Dupree Jr., 51, was formally cleared of the aggravated robbery with a deadly weapon conviction that had kept him behind bars from December 1979 until July of 2010. He served 30 years of his 75-year sentence before making parole in July. About a week later, DNA test results came back proving his innocence.

It’s official: Robert Gibbs is leaving his post as White House press secretary. Gibbs, one of President Obama’s most seasoned and trusted advisers, says that he will leave the podium in early February to lend outside assistance to the president’s re-election campaign. He broke the news to this staff at a meeting earlier this morning.

A new Congress convenes in Washington with prayer events, real and ceremonial swearing-in ceremonies and a formal transfer of the speaker’s gavel from Nancy Pelosi to John Boehner, reflecting the change in party control over the House. The day will be a stream of pomp and pageantry along with hopeful, optimistic speeches about the future of the country and the decency and diligence of the American people

North Korea called Wednesday for “unconditional and early” talks with rival South Korea to put an end to months of tensions. Seoul quickly dismissed the offer as insincere and said it’s waiting for an apology for two deadly attacks blamed on Pyongyang.

After a nationwide frenzy for a life-changing chance to win a $380 million Mega Millions jackpot, the two winning tickets were sold in small Pacific Northwest towns just 125 miles apart. Shoppers at a Safeway supermarket in Ephrata spent Wednesday wondering who bought one of the winners at the store 130 miles east of Seattle, in the middle of Washington’s potato country. A stream of people were checking their tickets at the video department where lottery tickets are sold, then turning away disappointed.

Amazing – All done on the Internet – In Ohio – homeless out of work announcer Ted Williams – get’s spotted on a street corner. He has a golden voice and demonstrates that on the video. A day later – he’s a guest over WNCI-FM Columbus and gets job offers – one from the Cleveland Cavaliers!

The nation’s economy added 103,000 jobs in December and the unemployment rate dropped to 9.4 percent last month, its lowest level in 19 months. But the job growth fell short of expectations based on a strengthening economy. And the drop in unemployment was partly because people stopped looking for work.

Sports –

Orange Bowl administrators, determined to make this week’s matchup between No. 5 Stanford and No. 12 Virginia Tech less entertaining, have decided to bar Stanford’s irreverent band from performing at halftime. The move comes after the band announced its show was entitled: “Recent Events in the Pro Sports World in Miami.” Apparently bowl officials were concerned that the band might mock LeBron James and hurt his feelings.

The United States plans to send 1,400 additional combat Marines to Afghanistan to try to hold on to recent but fragile security gains, only months before a planned U.S. drawdown, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday. Violence is at its worst in Afghanistan with record casualties on all sides of the conflict and with the insurgency spreading out of traditional strongholds in the south and east into once-peaceful areas in the north and west.

Technology –

The first portable devices announced for Verizon Wireless’ new, high-speed wireless data network are a smart phone and a tablet from Motorola, both designed to take advantage of network’s speed with cameras for videoconferencing. More devices for Verizon’s “4G” network, which went live for laptop modems in December, are expected to be announced Thursday by the CEO of Verizon Communications Inc. at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

For the moment, Verizon has the fastest wireless network in the country, and it’s hoping to capitalize on it by selling data-hungry tablets and smart phones. There are unconfirmed reports that Verizon will also get to sell version of the iPhone, breaking AT&T Inc.’s

Last year, Electronic Arts made the golfing great share the cover of his bestselling game with Northern Irish rookie Rory McIlroy for the first time ever. This year, following the controversy away from the green and lackluster play on it, Woods has been dropped from the cover of the March 29th release of “Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12: The Masters” on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Wii.

Entertainment news –

Passing – Oscar-nominated British actor Pete Postlethwaite, described by director Steven Spielberg as “the best actor in the world,” has died at age 64 after a long battle with cancer. A gritty and powerful actor, Postlethwaite was nominated for an Oscar for his role in the 1993 film “In The Name Of The Father.”

Country singer Shania Twain and businessman Frederic Thiebaud tied the knot Saturday in a New Year’s Day wedding in Puerto Rico. A message on Twain’s website says the couple were wed in Rincon with 40 close family and friends in attendance. Twain and Thiebaud announced their engagement last month.

An hour into a rapidly-deteriorating concert at the Congress Theater Saturday night, Chuck Berry slumped over an accompanist’s keyboard before being helped offstage. The 84-year-old rock and roll legend and a backing band of three Chicago musicians attempted to resume the show for a packed house about 15 minutes later, but Berry almost immediately was taken off again to be checked by paramedics who had been called to the scene.

Passing – 1970’s hitmaker Gerry Rafferty. He is best known for the 1978 song Baker Street but also had a huge hit in 1972 with Stuck in the Middle With You with his band Stealers Wheel.

Britney Spears reveals her album’s first single, “Hold It Against Me,” would officially be released next Tuesday, January 11.

Television news –

Bill O’Reilly will interview President Obama in a special set to air before the NFL championship. Black Eyed Peas will perform on the half-time show! The Fox News Channel host will interview Obama for sister network, Fox, as part of the network’s pregame coverage. This will be O’Reilly’s first time interviewing Obama since he was elected. Super Bowl XLV will air Sunday, Feb. 6 on Fox.

Oprah Winfrey says she’s “grateful that we weren’t embarrassed” during the much-anticipated first weekend that her new OWN network was on the air. For a network started from scratch, OWN delivered some impressive sampling on its Jan. 1 debut. At one point Saturday night, OWN was the third-ranked cable network behind ESPN and USA in the ratings. The challenge will be turning the curious into regular viewers. “I am grateful that the first phase of what we wanted to happen actually happened,” Winfrey told reporters on Thursday. “I’m grateful that we weren’t embarrassed. I’m grateful that people came.” Winfrey called her network’s programming “mind food” and said the intention is to bring positive energy into the homes of people who watch it.

Calif. – Piers Morgan says he’s spoiling for a prime-time fight with CNN’s rivals — and he’ll throw the first punch with Oprah Winfrey. Winfrey, who is promoting her new OWN cable network, will be the first interview subject when “Piers Morgan Tonight” launches on Jan. 17. The former British tabloid editor said Thursday he interviewed Winfrey for that debut this week in California. Morgan replaces Larry King, whose interview show ended after 25 years last month. He joins CNN at a low ebb, after a year in which Fox News Channel and MSNBC beat the original cable news network in the prime-time ratings.

MTV’s biggest premiere as a whopping 8.4 million people tuned in to the Season 3 premiere of “Jersey Shore,” which followed the gang back to Seaside Heights, N.J. Season 2, which was filmed in Miami, debuted in July to 5.3 million viewers.

Ted Williams, the 53-year-old homeless man with a “voice of gold,” has had an overwhelming week: After being plucked off the streets, he reunited with his mom after 10 years and has been fielding numerous job offers. A panhandler from Ohio, Williams became an Internet sensation earlier this week after the Columbus Dispatch posted a video of him. He has since appeared on NBC’s Today Wednesday and then again Thursday after he was reunited with his mom, Julia Williams. In the last week, the Brooklyn-born man has recorded a commercial for Kraft, voiced an MSNBC promo and is even being pursued by the Cleveland Cavaliers to do announcing work.

Hot Hits This Week –

Firework – Katy Perry

We R Who We R – Ke$ha

What’s My Name? – Rihanna fea. Drake

Raise Your Glass – P!nk

The Time (Dirty Bit) – The Black Eyed Peas

Tonight (I’m Lovin’ You) – enrique Iglesias fea. Ludacris $ DJ Frank E

Black and Yellow – Wiz Khalifa

Just A Dream – Nelly

Just The Way You Are – Bruno Mars

Only Girl (In The World) – Rihanna

Bottoms Up – Trey Songz fea. Nicki Minaj

Like a G6 – Far’ East Movement fea. Cataracs & Dev

Dynamite – Taio Cruz

DJ Got Us Fallin’ In Love – Usher fea. Pitbull

No Hands – Waka Flocka Flame fea. Roscoe Dash & Wal

6 Foot 7 Foot  Lil Wayne fea. Cory Gunz

Teenage Dream – Katy Perry

Please Don’t Go – Mike Posner

Yeah 3X – Chris Brown

Stereo Love – Edward Maya & Vika Jigulina

F**k You (Forget You) – Ce Lo Green

Animal – Neon Trees

Coming Home – Diddy – Dirty Money fea. Skylar Grey

Hip Monday Night TV (TV Squad)

8:00 to 9:00
ABC: ‘The Bachelor’* — (120 minutes)
CBS: ‘How I Met Your Mother’ and ‘Rules of Engagement’
PBS: ‘Antiques Road Show’* — 15th season premiere
ABC Family: ‘Pretty Little Liars’*
Cartoon Network: ‘Adventure Time,’ ‘Regular Show’ and ‘Robotomy’
ESPN: ‘Orange Bowl’ — 8:30 start for Stanford and Virginia Tech
OWN: ‘Enough Already! With Peter Walsh’
truTV: ‘Bait Car’ — 8:30 start
9:00 to 10:00
CBS: ‘Two and a Half Men’ and ‘Mike & Molly’
PBS: ‘American Experience’* — (90 minutes)
A&E: ‘Intervention’
ABC Family: ‘Greek’*
Discovery: ‘American Chopper: Senior vs. Junior: A Crew Divided’
Food Network: ‘Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives’*
Lifetime: ‘The Craiglist Killer’ — (120 minutes)
Oxygen: ‘The Bad Girls Club’
TLC: ‘Cake Boss: Next Great Baker’
TNT: ‘The Closer’**
Travel: ‘Dining With Death’
USA: ‘WWE Monday Night RAW’ — (120 minutes)
VH1: ‘My Big Friggin’ Wedding’

10:00 to 11:00
ABC: ‘Castle’
CBS: ‘Hawaii Five-O’
A&E: ‘Hoarders’
Bravo: ‘Tabatha’s Salon Takeover’
Food Network: ‘The Best Thing I Ever Ate’
HGTV: ‘Cash and Cari’
ID: Disappeared’*
MTV: ‘True Life’
NatGeo WILD: ‘Swamp Men’
OWN: ‘In the Bedroom With Dr. Laura Berman’*
Science Channel: ‘How the Universe Works’
TLC: ‘The Opener’*
TNT: ‘Men of a Certain Age’
truTV: ‘All Worked Up’ — Two episodes
VH1: ‘Mario Lopez: Saved by the Baby’

11:00 to Midnight
Lifetime: ‘Craiglist Killer: The Phillip Markoff Story’
MTV: ‘Vice Guide to Everything’ — Two episodes

Unless otherwise noted, everyone is back with new episodes. But, if you’re not interested in live chat, IFC is airing reruns of ‘The Larry Sanders Show’ Monday to Thrusday nights at 11PM.

‘Charlie Rose’ (PBS): TBA
‘The Mo’Nique Show’ (BET): TBA
‘The Daily Show’ (Comedy Central): TBA
‘Chelsea Lately’ (E!): TBA
‘Conan’ (TBS): Zach Levi; performance by Christina Aguilera (repeat)

‘Late Show With David Letterman’ (CBS): Paul Abdul
‘The Tonight Show’ (NBC): Ron Howard; Nicole ”Snooki” Polizzi
‘The Colbert Report’ (Comedy Central): TBA

‘Jimmy Kimmel Live’ (ABC): Patricia Heaton; reality-TV personality Brad Womack; performance by Josh Groban
‘Tavis Smiley’ (PBS): Robert Duvall
‘Lopez Tonight’ (TBS): Janet Jackson; performance by Rooney (repeat)

‘The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson’ (CBS): Lisa Kudrow; actor Matt Braunger
‘Late Night With Jimmy Fallon’ (NBC): Gwyneth Paltrow; animal handler Jeff Musial; performance by Best Coast

‘Last Call With Carson Daly’ (NBC): Johnny Knoxville; composer Nathan Barr; performance by OFF! (repeat)

At the movies –

Little Fockers

True Grit

TRON: Legacy

Yogi Bear

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Deawn Treader


The Fighter

Gulliver’s Travels

Black Swan

The King’s Speech

The Tourist

How Do You Know

Mr. Pop Culture Remembers – The Week of December 23, 2001. Nine Years Ago. This Week In News and Pop History.

Militant group Hamas announces that it is suspended its campaign of suicide bombings and mortar attacks against Israelis.

A man on an airliner with 197 people on board is wrestled into submission as he tried to light an explosive in his shoe. The FBI says there is no link between Al Qaeda and Richard Reid, a British citizen. His shoe was drilled with holes fitted with a wire and contained a flammable substance.

A helicopter being used by state wildlife authorities to relocate moose clipped a steel cable and crashed into a frozen reservoir near Salt Lake City and three are dead.

Rudolph W. Giuliani bids farewell as mayor of New York. “My strength and energy comes entirely from the people of the city of New York.”

Donald Rumsfeld says the Pentagon is readying the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay to hold captured Al Qaeda and Taliban prisoners.

A videotape broadcast by Al Jazeera television showing Osama bin Laden raises questions about whether he had been killed in U.S. bombings. “Our terrorism is benign. It seeks to make the unjust stop making injustice. It seeks to make America stop its support for Israel which kills our people.”

A group of New York City firefighters and police officers all affected by the Sept. 11 attacks, deliver tons of donated food and supplies to Afghan orphans.

A week before filing for bankruptcy protection, energy giant Enron Corp donated $10,000 to the Democratic party committee that helps Senate candidates, campaign finance reports show.

President Bush said in a Christmas message that Americans were thinking of families who lost loved ones, both in the Sept. 11 attacks and on the battlefield in Afghanistan. “America grieves with you,” said Bush in a holiday message heard on radio.

The government says family members of some of the nearly 3,000 World Trade Center victims will get an average payment of $1.6 million and each family will receive $250,000 for pain and suffering.

Airport security agents across the country begin implementing a new federal order to check for weapons in the shoes of travelers.

Boston – A federal judge orders Richard C. Reid – suspected of trying to detonate explosives aboard a Paris-to-Miami flight held without bail.

Army General Tommy Franks gives holiday cheer to those aboard the USS Roosevelt. He’s the commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan.

North American movie/box office revenue grew in 2001 – and it’ll be a record year – at about $8.3 billion!

A Days Inn hotel on Long Island that overcharges stranded travelers for rooms after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks has agreed to pay a $9,5000 penalty. The hotel in Hicksville raised rates for some rooms from a posted rate of $139 to $399 a night.

After barely escaping from the 87th floor of the World Trade Center’s north tower on Sept. 11 – Adam Mayblum poured out his heart in an e-mail sent to family and friends. That e-mail has gotten around and so far, about 1,000 strangers from around the world have responded to his story.

Rudolph Giuliani is Time Magazine’s “Person of the Year” for his leadership after the Sept. 11 attacks.

Sports – Tennis star Jennifer Capriati wins the Associated Press female athlete of the year. Barry Bonds gets the male athlete of the year award.

Russian figure skater Kira Ivanova is found dead in her Moscow apartment. She was covered with knife wounds.

Pfizer Inc agrees to settle a lawsuit over the diabetes drug Rezulin after a jury awarded $43 million to a Teas woman who said it destroyed her liver.

In Peru – at least 80 people died and 200 were injured in a fire sparked by an explosion in a fireworks store in a historic district in Lima.

Workers begin a third attempt to destroy residual anthrax spores in the heating and ventilation system of the hart Senate Office Building in Washington DC.

President Bush says it’s just a mater of time before the U.S. captures Osama bin Laden.

The editors of Mad magazine who describe themselves as “America’s foremost experts in stupidity” – give their “The Dumbest People, Evens and Things of 2001” to Jerry Falwell.

Speaking from Texas, President Bush speaks to ease tensions between India and Pakistan. He told President Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan to take new steps to eliminate extremism in his country.

Murders in Oregon as authorities have discovered a 5-year-old boy, his sister (3), mom and a two-year-old in Newport. Wanted – the father/husband Christian Longo – a convicted check forger.

Adolfo Rodriquez, the interim president of Argentina, resigns, citing party infighting.

Sports –
NHL – Atlanta’s Ray Ferraro scores his 400th goal.

Technology –
Yahoo has agreed to acquire – the nation’s second biggest online job search site. Price is $436 million.

XM satellite radio says it will meet analysts’ estimates for 20,000 to 30,000 subscribers. The stock is at $10.58.

Microsoft Corp. says it will buy a stake ($500 million) in Korea Telecom Corp – a top provider of high-speed Internet connections in S. Korea.

Music news –
Looking back this year, Mariah Carey’s “Glitter” – her first album under her new 4-album ($80 million) EMI deal was considered a flop, selling only 2 million c opies worldwide. EMI says it has a $10 million loss! Other disappointments came from R.E.M., Macy Gray and Shelby Lynne.

A judge awards the Sugar Hill Gang $3 million in their suit against Snapple and TBS because a video of “Rapper’s Delight” was used in a 1998 ad for the Goodwill games without permission.

N Sync did $86.8 million in concert business this past year and album sales of $53.3 million – the hottest act in pop for the year!

Country music singer Deana Carter is arrested and charged with drunk driving in Nashville.

Entertainment news –
Passing – Foster Brooks (89) – best known for his drunken act.

Top TV –
CSI – 23.67
Everybody Loves Raymond – 22.20
Survivor: Africa – 19.60
Monday Night Football – 19.58
Yes, Dear – 17.29
King of Queens – 16.50
Law & Order – 15.04
Friends – 14.69
60 Minutes – 14.53
JAG – 14.18
Judging Amy – 14.08
NYPD Blue – 13.76
The Ellen Show – 13.01
Law & Order: SVU – 12.81
ER – 12.60
The West Wing – 12.57
The Guardian – 12.51
Family Law – 11.81

Television news –
It’s back after a 10-year hiatus – WPIX-TV (Channel 11) presents its “Yule Log” on Christmas morning. It’s simply firewood burning in a fireplace with background Christmas music. Some 611,000 tuned in between 8a and 10a Christmas morning. The channel 11 tradition began back in 1966, but on Christmas Eve.

Wednesday night – CBS broadcasts the Kennedy Center honors, recognizing Jack Nicholson, Van Cliburn, Julie Andrews, Luciana Pavarotti and Quincy Jones.

“Emeril” – in which chief Emeril Lagasse was trying his luck at becoming a sitcom star – is canceled by NBC. Oh well!

New Year’s Eve television –
CBS – King of Queens, Yes, Dear, Everybody Loves Raymond, The Ellen Show, 48 Hours, David Letterman, Craig Kilborn.
NBC – Weakest Link, Third Watch, Crossing Jordan, Jay Leno, Conan O’Brien
ABC – ABC 2002, Dick Clark’s Prime Time New Year’s Rockin’ Eve 2002, Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve 2002
Fox – Boston Public, Ally McBeal, Billboard’s Rock ‘n Roll New Year’s Eve
PBS – Crucible of the Millennium
WB – 7th Heaven, Raising dad
MTV – MTV 2001: 50 to 1, New Year’s Eve 2002

Dick Clark’s Prime Time New Year’s Rockin’ Eve 2002 – Aerosmith, Elton John, Destiny’s Child, Dave Matthews Band, Kool and the Gang, Barry Manilow

Billboard’s Rock ‘n Roll New Year’s Eve – ‘N Sync, Britney Spears, Tim McGraw, Incubus, No Doubt, Shaggy, Alicia Keys, Eve, Destiny’s Child.

Jay Leno – Bill Maher, Blue Man Group, Chris Isaak

Craig Kilborn – Merv Griffin, Green Day

This Week In Pop And News History – Week of December 22, 2006. Five Years Ago.

Christmas Eve – Rome – Pope Benedict XVI ushers in Christmas at midnight mass, saying that the image of the baby Jesus born in a manger should remind everyone of the plight of poor, abused and neglected children.

Iraq – Four U.S. troops die during insurgent attacks…In Samawah – nine are dead after clashes with police…The execution of Saddam Hussein will come within 30 days – so says an appeals court… Saddam Hussein is put to death by hanging. He declined to wear a hood. His last utterance was the word, “Muqtada.”… After the execution – 78 die in area unrest.

Disarmament talks with defiant North Korea take a recess without any progress.

Just back from Iraq – Defense Secretary Robert Gates meets with President Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and others at Camp David. Looks like he’ll recommend more troops in the area.

No isolation – Shiites in Iraq say they want extremists in the national government, that the country should govern itself with the help of anti-U.S. firebrand Muqtada Sadr.

The U.N Security Council votes to impose sanctions on Iran – to curtail their nuclear program.

At least 260 people are killed when a gasoline pipeline ruptured by thieves, exploded into an inferno as neighborhood residents scavenged the spurting fuel.

New York State Comptroller Alan Hevesi resigns and pleads guilty to a felony for using a state employee as his wife’s chauffeur.

Mogadishu – Somalia’s beleaguered capital – falls to Ethiopian and Somalian government troops.

In Durham, NC – the DA abruptly dropped rape charges against three Duke University lacrosse players. They still face kidnapping and sexual offensive charges.

Indonesia rushed tents, food and other emergency aid to flood-ravaged parts of Sumatra and the U.N. pledged $2 million to help survivors.

Nevada Gov.-elect Jim Gibbons will not be prosecuted on allegations that he assaulted a cocktail waitress in a parking garage three weeks before the election.

Passing – Gerald R. Ford – the 38th president of the United States. He was 93. Memorials will be observed in Palm Desert, continue in Washington and continue to Grand Rapids where he’ll be buried.

Technology –
Microsoft Windows Vista – the newest operating system – and one the company says is the most secure ever – has a flaw that might let hackers gain full control of vulnerable computers. Microsoft says though – that a hacker must already have access to the vulnerable computer in order to execute an attack.

Bad trend – It’s called “Ghost Riding the Whip” where a driver gets out of his car and dances around and on top of the vehicle – while its moving. Ghost rider is of course, the absence of a driver and “the whip” is urban hip-hop speak for “your car.” It was introduced to the mainstream by rapper E-40 with his “Tell Me When To Go” video and lyrics (how to lyrics that is). If you YouTube ghost riding – you get all kinds of videos.

The stock market closed out a great year – its best since 2003 as the Dow gained 16% for the year. The Nasdaq was up 9.5% as were other important indexes.

Sports –
Long game – The NY Knicks outlast the Detroit Pistons in three overtimes. Final – 151-145. The Knicks’ Richard Hamilton had a career-high of 51 points.

Radio news –
Danny Bonaduce is set to join Adam Corolla on his morning West Coast radio show.

Entertainment news –
The American Film Institute (AFI) proclaims Clint Eastwood a national treasure. Also – AFI called the emergence of YouTube as “the awakening of an age when the audience is both producer and distributor.”

Since she debuted on “The View” in September, Rosie O’Donnell has stirred the pot. She accused Kelly Ripa of homophobia and said that Oprah and Gayle King were typical of gay relationships – among others. But the show’s ratings are up – about 3.3 million per show – up 13%.

But wait – this week – Rosie blasts Donald Trump about the near-firing of Miss USA – Tara Connor, because of her underage drinking. O’Donnell said the twice-divorced Trump had no right to be a “moral compass” for Connor. Trump fired back saying such things as: “She (O’Donnell) is a very, very unattractive woman who really is a bully.”

Head to head – Both Carson Daly and Ryan Seacrest will be back for their second New Year’s specials (duels). Both cite Dick Clark as a huge influence – but Daly says he has his own producing ideas.

Relaunching – Britney Spears will usher in the New Year in Las Vegas at Caesars Palace. She’ll be toasting from a $100,000 bottle of Champagne. Is this her comeback?

New Year’s – Jessica Alba, Hilary and Haylie Duff will co-host the DKNY Jeans party at the Setal Hotel in Miami.

Spotted – Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt were in Panama City – spotted at a souvenir shop.

An AP-AOL poll places Oprah Winfrey as the best celebrity role model for 2006. The worst was Britney Spears. Second worst – Paris Hilton.

Music news –
James Brown’s lawyer says the late soul singer and his partner were not legally married and that she was locked out of his South Carolina home for estate legal reasons. Brown’s partner, backup singer Tomi Rae Hynie – was already married to a Texas man in 2001 when she married Brown, making the marriage null.

Irish rocker Bono will receive an honorary knighthood from the British ambassador to Ireland, David Reddaway – on New Year’s Day.

Michael Jackson sues his former accountants claiming they withdrew $2.5 million a year from his bank accounts and did not pay his bills.

Police are called to the Paul McCartney estate where his estranged wife, Heather, reported the theft of oil paintings. They were valued at almost $20 million and included a Renoir and a Picasso.

Television news –
Passing – Frank Stanton – pioneering TV executive and a major force behind the success of CBS in its early TV years. He was 98.

TBS presents “Funniest Commercials of the Year” with Kevin Nealon.

Christmas Day – Regis Philbin and Kelly Ripa return to host the Walt Disney World Christmas Day Parade. Look for performances by Beyonce, Andrea Bocelli and cast members from “High School Musical.”

On “Saturday Night Live” – Jack Black hosts with musical guest Neil Young. The following Saturday – Matthew Fox with musical guest Tenacious D.

“The Knights of Prosperity” debuts this week on ABC – and the plot centers on a group of guys robbing Mick Jagger – to burglarize Jagger’s fictional $52 million Central Park West apartment.

New Year’s Eve television -
ABC – “Dick Clark’s Primetime New Year’s Rock Eve 2007” – into “Rockin New Year’s Eve 2007.” With Dick and Ryan Seacrest. Performers include Christina Aguilera, Fergie, Natasha Bedingfield, Meat Loaf, Rihanna, Rascal Flatts and KT Tunstall.

NBC – New Year’s Eve with Carson Daly. Featured – Panic! at the Disco and more!

Fox – New Year’s Eve ’06. Featured – Daughtrey and Toni Braxton.

MTV – MTV Goes Gold: New Year’s Eve 2007.

At the movies –
Night at the Museum
The Pursuit of Happyness
Rocky Balboa
The Good Shepherd
Charlotte’s Web
We Are Marshall
The Holiday
Happy Feet

Mr. Pop Culture Report – May 26

Amazing Stat – According to a study funded by UK-based Sheila’s Wheels insurance company, the average woman wears 1,000 pounds worth of clothes and accessories per day—or, according to today’s exchange, about $1,440. The study says the typical outfit consists of a top worth about $30, skirt $44, coat $90, shoes $70, handbag $150, jewelry worth more than $500 and watch about $110. The study also included estimates for underwear, tights and knitwear.

Tops in NASCAR  -

Denny Hamlin

Kyle Busch

Jimmie Johnson

Kevin Harvick

Kurt Busch

Matt Kenseth

Jeff Burton

Jeff Gordon

Britney is Tops On Twitter – Over the weekend, the official Britney Spears Twitter account passed actor Ashton Kutcher’s feed as the most popular on the microblogging site. Both are closing in on a whopping 5 million followers – Britney had about 4,946,000 as of late Monday morning, compared to Kutcher’s 4,942,000. Her new place in the top spot comes despite the fact that Britney’s feed, in contrast to Kutcher’s ultra-personal musings, is largely filled by posts from her manager, Adam Leber, and other staffers.

Television Passing – Art Linkletter, who hosted the popular TV shows “People Are Funny” ” and “House Party” in the 1950s and 1960s, has died. He was 97. His son-in-law Art Hershey says Linkletter died Wednesday at his home in the Bel-Air section of Los Angeles. “Art Linkletter’s House Party,” one of television’s longest-running variety shows, debuted on radio in 1944 and was seen on CBS-TV from 1952 to 1969. Linkletter collected sayings from the children into “Kids Say The Darndest Things,” and it sold in the millions. The book “70 Years of Best Sellers 1895-1965″ ranked “Kids Say the Darndest Things” as the 15th top seller among nonfiction books in that period.

Mr. Pop Culture Report – May 5

Summer Burger King/McDonalds wars – Many Mickey D’s locations are planning a summer drink promotion where customers can get any sized soft drinks or a 32-ounce sweet tea for just $1. Now the King has counter-punched, with a plan to sell medium-sized Icees in Coke flavor or Fanta Cherry flavor for just $1. The promotion starts May 24 and runs until June 20.

A recording of Britney Spears (pictured) singing Lady Gaga’s hit track Telephone has been proved to be authentic after it was leaked on the internet. Music producer Rodney ‘Darkchild’ Jenkins has now confirmed that the track is real.

Harry Connick Jr. mentored “Frank Sinatra” night on “American Idol.”

Debra Winger has signed on as a regular cast member on HBO’s “In Treatment”’ She’ll play one of Dr. Paul Weston’s (Gabriel Byrne) patients when the show returns for its highly anticipated third season later this year.

Mr. Pop Culture Update – March 5… Mr. Pop Culture Report

Ice Ice Baby – ABC will feature a skating version of “Dancing with the Stars.” The as-yet-untitled series will follow a similar format to that of Dancing, which is also produced by BBC Worldwide. Taking a cue from Dancing‘s first season, the spin-off will start off small, pairing six celebrities with six pros. The show is based on Strictly Ice Dancing, a 2004 Christmas special of Strictly Come Dancing, the British Dancing equivalent.

John Lennon In New Commercial – A new Citroen commercial that’s airing on U.K. television features old footage of John Lennon.In the ad — made for Citroen’s new “anti-retro” DS-3 model — Lennon is shown criticizing people who rehash the past in their own work. “Once a thing’s been done it’s been done, so while this nostalgia — I mean for the ’60s and ’70s, you know, looking backwards for inspiration, copying the past — how’s that rock ‘n’ roll?” Lennon says. “Do something of your own. Start something new, you know? Live your lives now. Know what I mean?”

Martha’s Reality – Martha Stewart is reteaming with producer Mark Burnett for the new reality series Help Me, Martha! The show will follow Stewart, 68, and a cast of other home and lifestyle experts as they help ordinary individuals tackle difficult tasks at home and in the workplace, such as redecorating a home and organizing last-minute events.

Lip’s Aren’t Syncing – Ke$Sha who sang with Britney Spears on “Leather And Lace,” is calling out the pop princess for lip-syncing. “I don’t think that’s fair at all for people who are going to see the show. I think if you are going to be a singer, you should sing. If you are going to be a dancer, you should dance. If you are going to do a combination of the two, you should make it very clear when you are singing and very clear when you are dancing. I would never do that to my fans,” Ke$ha  told Scotland’s Daily Record.

Music passing – Ron Banks, whose silky falsetto helped give the Dramatics one of the most enduring careers in R&B, has died at home in Detroit. He was 58. Banks died possibly of a massive heart attack, said Billy Wilson, president of the Motown Alumni Association. The group had their biggest hits during the early 1970′s with such favorites as “In the Rain,” and “What You See Is What You Get.”

Mr. Pop Archives – This Week In 2009 –

Rock band U2 is getting official recognition for its stint this week on David Letterman’s show. Mayor Michael Bloomberg is temporarily renaming part of West 53rd Street in New York City as “U2 Way” on Tuesday of this week, the day the group’s latest CD is being released. The band is performing an unprecedented five consecutive times this week on the Letterman show over CBS.

New Orleans – Britney Spears kicks off her world tour — her first concert tour in five years.

Jimmy Fallon debuts as host of NBC’s “Late Night.”

Top movies this week in 2009

Tyler Perry’s Madea Goes To Jail

Slumdog Millionaire

Jonas Brothers 3D Concert Experience


He’s Just Not Into You


Paul Bart: Mall Cop

Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li


Confessions of a Shopaholic

Gran Torino

The Reader

Mr. Pop Culture Report

Week ending August 21…

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