This Week In History… One Year Ago – Week of January 8, 2010. Pop Culture.

Week of January 8, 2010

Police have identified the body of a woman found in a burning trash bin in North Miami earlier this week. Playboy model Paula Sladewski, 26, went missing after traveling from California to go to the Lady Gaga concert at the Fontainbleau on New Year’s Eve with her boyfriend. Some time over the weekend, the couple got into an argument, according to the Miami New Times, and Sladewski, a native of Michigan, stormed off never to be seen alive again. The body was found on NE 130th just off Archer Road on Sunday in an empty bin.

College football- Alabama rules! That defense knocked Texas quarterback Colt McCoy out of the BCS title game early Thursday night, then made a big play to save the win late and restore glory to Bear Bryant’s football factory with a 37-21 victory for the Crimson Tide’s first national title since 1992. “We back,” said Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram, the offensive MVP.

Two men have been arrested in connection with the investigation of a bomb plot against New York City. FBI Special Agent Richard Kolko says Adis Medunjanin and Zarein Ahmedzay were arrested early Friday in New York. The FBI says the arrests were part of “an ongoing investigation.” The charges were not immediately detailed.

President Barack Obama on Saturday renewed his pitch for final congressional passage of a U.S. healthcare overhaul and promised Americans they will begin reaping the benefits soon after he signs a bill into law. As Obama’s fellow Democrats in the House of Representatives and the Senate struggle to merge their healthcare bills into one, the president used his weekly radio address to try to ease lingering public doubts over his top legislative priority. The president stepped back into the center of the healthcare debate after being preoccupied for much of his first week back from vacation in Hawaii with fallout over the attempted Christmas Day bombing of a U.S. airliner.
A man believed to have breached security to bid his girlfriend goodbye, triggering the shutdown of a busy Newark Airport terminal that led to snarled flights worldwide, was arrested in New Jersey and faces a trespassing charge and a fine of up to $500, punishment a senator says should be much harsher. Haisong Jiang, 28, of Piscataway was taken into custody at 7:30 p.m. Friday at his home, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey said. He was questioned at the airport by Port Authority police, who arrested him, and released shortly after midnight.

A powerful offshore earthquake rattled communities in far northern California, cutting power to thousands of customers, causing minor damage to homes and businesses and forcing many people to seek treatment for cuts and bruises from falling debris. The 6.5 magnitude temblor hit at about 4:27 p.m. PST Saturday and was centered in the Pacific about 22 miles west of Ferndale, but was felt as far south as Capitola in central California and as far north as central Oregon, the U.S. Geological Survey said. In Eureka, about 240 miles north of San Francisco, residents of an apartment building were evacuated, and an office building and two other commercial structures were declared unsafe for occupancy, according to Humboldt County spokesman Phil Smith-Hanes.

Prominent Democrats defended Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid after a new book revealed racial remarks he made about Barack Obama during the 2008 presidential campaign. In a private conversation reported in the book, Reid described Obama as a “light-skinned” African-American “with no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one.”

A nuclear physics professor who publicly backed Iranian opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi in the disputed June presidential election was killed Tuesday when a remote-controlled bomb rigged to a motorcycle blew up outside his home. State media identified the victim as Masoud Ali Mohammadi, 50, a professor at Tehran University, which has been at the center of recent protests by student opposition supporters. Before the election, pro-reform Web sites published Ali Mohammadi’s name among a list of 240 Tehran University teachers who supported Mousavi.
An earthquake hit the impoverished country of Haiti. A hospital and other buildings collapsed and people were screaming for help.
The earthquake had a magnitude of 7 and was centered about 10 miles west of the capital of Port-au-Prince, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. It was followed a short time later by two powerful aftershocks of magnitude 5.9 and 5.5. The death toll could be tens of thousands and beyond.

U.S. officials are laying out a massive military response to the Haiti earthquake, saying that ships, helicopters, transport planes and a 2,000-member Marine unit are either on the way or likely to begin moving soon. Gen. Douglas Fraser, head of U.S. Southern Command, said Wednesday that one of the U.S. Navy’s large amphibious ships will likely head to Haiti with a Marine expeditionary unit aboard. Fraser said other U.S. military forces are on alert, including a brigade, which includes about 3,500 troops.

Sarah Palin is joining Fox News where she’ll be a commentator.

Simon Cowell is leaving “American Idol” after this next season. He’s producing X-Factor” – a hit in Britain which is coming to Fox-TV – in which, he’ll also appear.

Mark McGwire finally came clean, admitting he used steroids when he broke Baseball’s Home run record in 1998. McGwire said in a statement sent to The Associated Press on Monday that he used steroids on and off for nearly a decade. “I wish I had never touched steroids,” McGwire said in a statement. “It was foolish and it was a mistake. I truly apologize. Looking back, I wish I had never played during the steroid era.”

Miley Cyrus is leaving “Hannah Montana” as enough episodes will be shot until her contract expires in 2011.

Jay Leno is back at 11:35p – but will Conan follow? Leno’s prime time show ends in early February. But wait, O’Brien says he’s rejecting NBC’s attempt to move “The Tonight Show” ” to a post-midnight slot to accommodate Jay Leno’s return to late-night. In a statement Tuesday, O’Brien says that NBC has given him a scant seven months to try to establish himself as host of “Tonight.”

Backstreet Boy AJ Mclean is making it official. McLean, 32, proposed to his girlfriend Rochelle Deanna Karidis while performing solo in Las Vegas.

The economic slump has prices for Super Bowl commercial time falling for only the second time in its history, but it is still the most expensive on television. TNS Media Intelligence saidthat 30-second commercials during next month’s Super Bowl on CBS are selling for between $2.5 million and $2.8 million. That’s a drop from last year, when ads averaged $3 million on NBC.

“American Idol” season 9 begins – with auditions in Boston. Victoria Beckham was this season’s first guest judge (Ellen Degeneres won’t appear until the Hollywood rounds). As always – Simon Cowell had the most quips.

R&B singer Teddy Pendergrass, who was one of the most electric and successful figures in music until a car crash 28 years ago left him in a wheelchair, has died of colon cancer. He was 59. Pendergrass died in suburban Philadelphia, where he had been hospitalized for months. The singer’s son, Teddy Pendergrass II, said his father underwent colon cancer surgery eight months ago and had “a difficult recovery.”

George Clooney is the latest celebrity to plead for help in raising funds for the Haitian earthquake relief effort — the actor will host a U.S. telethon later this month. The Up in the Air star has reportedly partnered with MTV to host the show next Friday. Clooney is urging his famous pals to appear on the telethon to aid in fundraising. The actor’s pal Brad Pitt and partner Angelina Jolie have already donated $1 million to Doctors Without Borders and Haitian singer Wyclef Jean has also urged support for earthquake survivors through his Yele Haiti charity. Stars including Ben Stiller, Jessica Alba, Shakira, Oprah Winfrey and Chris Martin have also called for people to lend their support to those left homeless after Tuesday’s disaster.

Hot hits this week –
Bad Romance – Lady Gaga
Tik Tok – Ke$ha
Replay – Iyaz
Empire of the State – Jay-Z and Alicia Keys
Sexy Chick – David Guetta and Akon
Down – Jay Sean fea. Lil’ Wayne
Fireflies – Owl City
Watcha Say – Jason Derulo
Party in the U.S.A. – Miley Cyrus
I Gotta Feeling – Black Eyed Peas
BedRock – Young Money fea. Lloyd
Do You Remember – Jean Sean fea. Sean Paul, Lil John
Meet Me Halfway – Black Eyed Peas
Paparazzi – Lady Gaga
You Belong With Me – Taylor Swift
Hard – Rihanna fea. Jeezy
3 – Britney Spears
Drop The World – Lil’ Wayne fea. Eminem
Forever – Drake fea. Lil’ Wayne Kanye West, Eminem
Need You Now – Lady Antebellum
Two Is Better Than One – Boys Like Girls fea. Taylor Swift
How Low – Ludacris
Sweet Dreams – Beyonce
Evacuate the Dance Floor – Cascada
Already Gone – Kelly Clarkson
Use Somebody – Kings of Leon
One Time – Justin Bieber
Hey, Soul Sister – Train

At the movies this week:
Avatar
Sherlock Holmes
Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Speakquel
Daybreakers
It’s Complicated
Leapyear
The Blind Side
Up In The Air
Youth In Revolt
The Princess And the Frog

Hot Pop Today – March 3 & This Week In 1997… Mr. Pop Culture Report

Hurt Hurting -  The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announces that “Hurt Locker” producer Nicolas Chartier will not be allowed to attend the March 7 awards show because of an e-mail that has been deemed in violation of the Academy’s campaigning standards. “Chartier had recently disseminated an e-mail to certain Academy voters and other film industry figures in which he solicited votes for his own picture and disparaged one of the other contending films,” the Academy said in a statement Tuesday evening.

Apple Doesn’t Google - Apple has filed a lawsuit against Google phone manufacturer HTC, claiming many of the company’s popular smartphones infringe on patents related to the iPhone. Apple alleges HTC violates as many as 20 patents, including multi-touch support, screen rotation and “unlocking a device by performing gestures on an unlock image.” “Apple is seeking treble damages for willful infringement, punitive damages, interest, and attorney’s fees in addition to a permanent injunction barring HTC from making, using, importing and selling devices that infringe on Apple’s patents.”

Let’s Go To Google, Kansas – Mayor Bill Benton of Topeka, Kansas, In a formal proclamation Monday, Bunten announced his city will be known as “Google” — Google, Kansas. Only for a month!  “It’s just fun. We’re having a good time of it,” he said of the unofficial name change, which will last through the end of March. “There’s a lot of good things that are going on in our city.”

Stern’s Latest Rant - Howard Stern, appearing on CBS’ “The Early Show,” called Jay Leno a “lapdog” and a “thief” who steals bits from him and David Letterman. “Jay Leno pushed Johnny Carson out of The Tonight Show.” Stern toned down the uncensored commentary for CBS, framing his loathing for Leno another way: “Just the mere mention of Jay Leno’s name makes me want to vomit.”  Leno, he said, is “the kind of showbiz animal that will not let go.” Stern said Leno should have walked when NBC decided to move him to 10 p.m. – the way Letterman did when the network picked Leno to take over “Tonight” instead of him. “Jay should’ve dusted himself off and gone to another network and beat [Conan].”

Speaking of Leno’s show – Appearing on the “Tonight” show – Sarah Palin poked fun at some of her favorite things including herself. Palin said the White House health care plan reminds her of acrobatic flips done by snowboard champion Shaun White. And she joked that it’s so cold in Alaska it’s “5 degrees below Congress’ approval rating.” Palin told Leno’s audience she planned to speak at a gun-rights convention: “Be there or else,” she warned them. She said Alaska is different from California. In Los Angeles, “when people have a frozen look on their face, I find out it’s Botox.” And she’s happy she’s not vice president. “I would not know what to do with all that free time,” she quipped.

Mr. Pop Archives – This Week In 1997…

The Dallas Morning news reports that Timothy J. McVeigh told his defense team that he alone drove the Ryder truck in the Oklahoma City bombing and decided on a daytime attack to ensure a “body count.”

Howard Stern is in Los Angeles for the premiere of “Private Parts.” He’ll do his radio show and reportedly, tickets to the premiere, which Stern will attend along with his radio crew – are going for $1000. He’ll also do the Tonight show on Friday night. He’s been plugging the movie for months on his radio show – to the extent that – some are just sick of the plugs. Howard can plug himself to death – for sure. But, the movie is getting decent reviews.

Brandy, LL Cool J and Gladys Knight host the 11th annual Soul Train Music Awards this week.

Don’t miss Tina Turner’s “Wild Dreams” tour.

The soundtrack for “Private Parts” starring Howard Stern is #1 this week.

Six month guessing game – The talk of the industry – seems to be the impending “coming out” episode of “Ellen” – in which Ellen tells us she’s a lesbian. The episode tapes this week and will air April 30.

Passing – David Doyle – Bosley on “Charlie’s Angels.” He was 67.

Top Movies This Week In 1997 –

The Empire Strikes Back

Donnie Brasco

Star Wars: Special edition

Booty Call

Absolute Power                                          

Dante’s Peak

Vegas Vacation

Fools Rush In

Marvin’s Room

Rosewood

Sarah Palin Kept Away From Comedian Fey On SNL

They might have been on the same live Saturday Night Live production, but clearly Sarah Palin and Tina Fey (Picture) were not meant for each other – in the live sense.

The Republican vice-presidential candidate, Sarah Palin, has made a much-anticipated appearance on NBC’s Live Saturday Night program with her chief mimic, Tina Fey.

Fey and Palin appeared together only fleetingly, to the disappointment of the Washington Post’s campaign diary, The Trail, which complained that she appeared as a “bystander” rather than a participant.

Palin was kept away from Fey, for all but a moment, and the producers also ensured she never met the show’s guest host, Josh Brolin, the star of Oliver Stone’s new movie about President Bush, W, according to the Trail.

Later in the show, Palin was seen dancing in her seat and waving her hands in the air to a rap song by Amy Poehler. The lyrics satirised both her and her home state of Alaska and featured a man in a moose suit and prancing Eskimos.

To some Huffington Post contributors it was the highlight of the show, even if it made Palin look like a “laughing stock.” “Sarah walked right into a den of thieves, her ego too large to back down,” said one post.

The New York Post loved her appearance.

The paper said she “raised the roof” on her SNL debut, “yukking it up with actor Alec Baldwin and executive producer Lorne Michaels as she watched dead-ringer Tina Fey lampoon her at a fake news conference”.

There was surprise on the blogs that Palin was up for going on the show. “I finally picked my jaw up off the floor and accepted the fact that this is what we do in America when times get tough,” said a blogger

Another blogger said Palin’s appearance showed her lack of judgement. “I hope this awful sight gets on YouTube and is shown everywhere, so people really see how dangerous someone like that with that lack of judgment is.”

A more typical response the TalkLeft blog – that Palin showed she could join in on the jokes at her own expense. “Can’t say she doesn’t have a sense of humour or is unwilling to laugh at herself,” said one.

What did you think of Palin’s appearance – was she a good sport or has she turned herself a laughing stock? Was it an error of judgement or has she boosted her ratings in the polls? Let us know what you think.

D-USA/Mr. Pop Culture