More This Week In History. News, Pop Culture, Trends. A Complete Look At The Week Of February 8, 2011.

The Week Of February 8, 2011 In News, Pop Culture, Entertainment, Technology, Trends.

Compiled By GaryWest @ mrpopculture.com  and  www.mrpophistory.com

In The News –

President Barack Obama is calling for a six-year, $53 billion investment in high-speed rail, as he seeks to use infrastructure spending to jumpstart job creation. An initial $8 billion investment will be part of the budget plan Obama is set to release Monday. If Congress approves the plan, the money would go toward developing or improving trains that travel up to 250 miles per hour, and connecting existing rail lines to new projects. The White House wouldn’t say where the money for the rest of the program would come from, though it’s likely Obama would seek funding in future budgets or transportation bills.

A young leader of Egypt’s anti-government protesters, newly released from detention, joined a massive crowd of hundreds of thousands in Cairo’s Tahrir Square for the first time Tuesday, greeted by cheers, whistling and thunderous applause when he declared: “We will not abandon our demand and that is the departure of the regime.” Wael Ghonim, the 30-year-old Google Inc. marketing manager who was a key organizer of the online campaign that sparked the first protest on Jan. 25 to demand the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak. Straight from his release from 12 days of detention, Ghonim gave an emotionally charged television interview Monday night where he sobbed over those who have been killed in two weeks of clashes.

Employers posted fewer job openings in December, the second straight month of declines. That’s a sign hiring is still weak even as the economy is gaining strength. The Labor Department said Tuesday that employers advertised nearly 3.1 million jobs that month, a drop of almost 140,000 from November. That’s the lowest total since September.

Passing – J. Paul Getty III, the troubled grandson of one of the world’s richest men who lost an ear in a grisly kidnapping as a teenager and suffered a devastating stroke as a young man, has died. He was 54. His son, actor Balthazar Getty, confirmed that his father had died last Saturday at his Buckinghamshire estate northwest of London surrounded by his family. The cause of death was not disclosed, but Getty had been gravely ill for some time.

A second powerful blizzard in a week roared through parts of the nation’s midsection on Wednesday, bringing biting winds and dumping a foot of snow on areas still digging out from last week’s major storm.The storm that rolled into Oklahoma on Tuesday had dropped about a foot of snow by Wednesday morning in Bartlesville, about 50 miles north of Tulsa, and another 9 inches across the state line in Siloam Springs, Ark., said Michael Lacy, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Tulsa. He said strong winds created blizzard conditions that limited visibility and made travel hazardous. Heavy snow was reported in parts of Kansas and Texas.

A natural gas explosion rocked a downtown (Allentown, PA) neighborhood overnight, leveling two houses and spawning fires that burned for hours through an entire row of neighboring homes. One person was killed, and at least five others were unaccounted for Thursday.

President Barack Obama wants nearly all Americans to have access to speedy wireless services. He’s promoting that plan in a small city in Michigan that’s becoming a model for how the Internet can bring prosperity to far-flung places. Obama on Thursday heads to Marquette, Mich., a university and tourism town of 20,000 overlooking Lake Superior that cherishes both its geographical remoteness and technological savvy.

Egypt’s powerful military tried to defuse outrage over President Hosni Mubarak’s refusal to step down, assuring it would guarantee promised reforms. But hundreds of thousands only grew angrier, deluging squares in at least three major cities Friday and marching on presidential palaces and the state TV building, key symbols of the authoritarian regime. A day after handing most of his powers to his vice president, Mubarak flew to the Sinai resort of Sham el-Sheikh, some 250 miles away from the turmoil. He has a palace there where he often lives and works during the winter.

Fireworks burst over Tahrir Square and Egypt exploded with joy and tears of relief after pro-democracy protesters brought down President Hosni Mubarak with a momentous march on his palaces and state TV. Mubarak, who until the end seemed unable to grasp the depth of resentment over his three decades of authoritarian rule, finally resigned Friday and handed power to the military.

House Republicans called for cuts in hundreds of programs across the face of government Friday night in a $61 billion savings package toughened at the last minute at the demand of tea party-backed conservatives. From education to job training, the environment and nutrition, few domestic programs were left untouched — and some were eliminated — in the measure, which is expected to reach the floor for a vote next week.

More Egypt – The ruling military pledged Saturday (Feb.12) to eventually hand power to an elected civilian government and reassured allies that Egypt will abide by its peace treaty with Israel after the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak, as it outlined the first cautious steps in a promised transition to greater democracy.

A man accused of going on a bloody 28-hour rampage through New York City was expected to appear in court Sunday, a day after he was tackled on a subway train by police.Maksim Gelman, 23, was to be arraigned in Brooklyn Criminal Court in the deaths of four people, including his stepfather, a female acquaintance and her mother, and a complete stranger he ran over with a car, prosecutors said. The violent spree started just after 5 a.m. Friday, when police say Gelman snapped during an argument over the use of his mother’s Lexus sedan. His stepfather, Aleksandr Kuznetsov, intervened and was stabbed to death at their apartment in Brooklyn. Police found the 54-year-old’s body in his home. His mother was uninjured. Later that morning, Gelman turned up at the home of a 20-year-old acquaintance, Yelena Bulchenko, and stabbed to death her mother, 56-year-old Anna Bulchenko. When Yelena arrived home at about 4 p.m., she found her mother dead in a pool of blood and called 911. But Gelman was waiting for her there, chased her outside and stabbed her 11 times, authorities said.

Thousands of Algerians defied a government ban on protests and a massive deployment of riot police to march in the capital Saturday, demanding democratic reforms a day after similar protests toppled Egypt’s authoritarian leader. Heavily armed police tried to seal off Algiers, blocking streets, lining up along the march route and setting up barricades outside the city to try to stop busloads of demonstrators from reaching the capital.

Salvador Dali’s “Portrait de Paul Eluard” set a world record at Sotheby’s auction house in London Thursday when it was sold for more than 13 million pounds (21.6 million dollars, 15.8 million euros). An anonymous bidder paid 13.4 million pounds for the 1929 masterpiece, the most ever for a Surrealist work at auction, breaking a record set in London only last night for a Dali piece at auction.

Clothing prices are expected to rise about 10 percent in coming months, with the biggest increases coming in the second half of the year, said Burt Flickinger III president of Strategic Resource Group. Cotton has more than doubled in price over the past year, hitting all-time highs. The price of other synthetic fabrics has jumped roughly 50 percent as demand for alternatives and blends  has risen.

President Barack Obama sent Congress a $3.73 trillion budget Monday (Feb.14) that holds out the prospect of eventually bringing deficits under control through spending cuts and tax increases. But the fiscal blueprint largely ignores his own deficit commission’s view that the nation is imperiled unless huge entitlement programs like Social Security and Medicare are slashed. Obama called his new budget one of “tough choices and sacrifices,” but most of those cuts would be held off until after the next presidential election. Overall, Obama proposed trimming the deficits by $1.1 trillion over a decade. The administration is projecting that the deficit will hit an all-time high of $1.65 trillion this year and then drop sharply to $1.1 trillion

Sports –

Alexei Ramirex would love nothing more than to spend the rest of his career with the Chicago White Sox. Consider this a big step. The shortstop and the team finalized a new contract that adds $32.5 million over four years through 2015. Chicago exercised Ramirez’s $2.75 million option for 2011 in December. The agreement announced Thursday adds salaries of $5 million in 2012, $7 million in 2013, $9.5 million in 2014 and $10 million in 2015. The White Sox have a $10 million option for 2016 with a $1 million buyout.

After repeated clashes with star point guard Deron Williams, Jerry Sloan steps down immediately after 23 seasons leading the Utah Jazz.

Losing Streak Snapped – Nearly two months after it started innocently, the Cavaliers stopped their NBA-record skid at 26 games Friday night with a 126-119 win in overtime against the Los Angeles Clippers, who did all they could to extend Cleveland’s winter misery

Technology –

Goodbye Guitar Hero! – The company behind “Guitar Hero” said Wednesday (Feb. 9) that it is pulling the plug on one of the most influential video game titles of the new century. Activision Blizzard Inc., which also produces the “Call of Duty” series, is ending the “Guitar Hero” franchise after a run of more than five years. The move follows Viacom Inc.’s decision in November to sell its money-losing unit behind the “Rock Band” video games. Harmonix was sold to an investment firm for an undisclosed sum. Harmonix, incidentally, was behind the first “Guitar Hero” game. Game industry analysts have long lamented the “weakness in the music genre,” as they call it — that is, the inability of game makers to drum up demand for the products after an initial surge in popularity in the mid-2000s. Music games are often more expensive than your typical shoot-’em-up game because they require guitars, microphones and other musical equipment. While extra songs can be purchased for download, this hasn’t been enough to keep the games profitable.

Verizon and Apple stores across the country opened their doors at 7 a.m (Feb.10) local time to sell the iPhone 4, which for the first time is available on a U.S. wireless network not named AT&T). In contrast to the lines of thousands that turned out in June in June for the iPhone 4′s release, the Verizon iPhone got off to a quieter start. The line of waiting buyers held just eight people 15 minutes before it went on sale at Apple’s flagship New York City store near Central Park.

TouchTab Tablet Debuts (iPad competitor) – Hewlett-Packard showed the fruits of its acquisition of Palm on Wednesday. The technology giant demonstrated a new tablet device and two new smartphones, as well as disclosing plans to bring its webOS software to computers and printers. All three gadgets run a new version of webOS, the software that Palm began developing five years ago. HP is designing these products to work wirelessly together.

At a cell phone show in Barcelona – Alcatel-Lucent will be demonstrating its “LightRadio cube,” a cellular antenna about the size and shape of a Rubik’s cube, vastly smaller than the ironing-board-sized antennas that now decorate cell towers. The cube was developed at the famous Bell Labs in New Jersey, birthplace of many other inventions when it was AT&T’s research center. The small antennas are designed to make big cell towers go away. The cube, Sweldens said, can make the notion of a conventional cell tower “go away.” Alcatel-Lucent will start trials of the cube with carriers in September. The company hopes to make it commercially available next year. For cell phone companies, the benefits of dividing their networks into smaller “cells,” each one served by something like the cube antenna, go far beyond esthetics. Smaller cells mean vastly higher capacity for calls and data traffic. Instead of having all phones within a mile or two connect to the same cell tower, the traffic could be divided between several smaller cells, so there’s less competition for the cell tower’s attention.

Entertainment news –

$5 million! – Why did Simon Cowell and the producers of Fox’s The X Factor decide to offer contestants the biggest grand prize on television? To make everybody a little nervous, Cowell says. By putting up that kind of prize money, it’s a massive, massive risk. But it’s also an incredible incentive,” Cowell told reporters Monday of the decision to offer the winning X Factor act a $5 million recording contract. “I think it puts everybody, rightly, under an enormous amount of pressure. I didn’t want to go into this show without a feeling a certain amount of pressure, because with pressure, you’ve got to find a star.

Michael Moore has crunched the numbers and concluded he is owed millions of dollars more for his film “Fahrenheit 9/11.” The documentary filmmaker sued financiers Bob Weinstein and Harvey Weinstein in Los Angeles on Monday, claiming the brothers have used creative accounting to keep Moore from receiving more than $2.7 million for the 2004 documentary.

Lindsay Lohan arrives at the Los Angeles International Airport Superior Court on Wednesday (Feb. 9)  afternoon, where she is expected to enter her plea to a charge of felony grand theft over an alleged stolen necklace.

Update – Lindsay Lohan pleaded not guilty to felony grand theft at the Los Angeles International Airport Superior Court on Wednesday afternoon. The actress’ attorney, Shawn Chapman Holley, entered her plea of not guilty on the star’s behalf. The prosecutor in the case asked for $20,000 bail, and asked for her current probation (in connection with her 2007 DUI misdemeanor case) to be revoked and set bail for that incident, also in the amount of $20,000, which Judge Keith L. Schwartz approved. Following the hearing, Lohan posted bail and left the courthouse without being captured on camera.

Prince throws Kim Kardashian off-stage during a performance. Howard Stern didn’t like it at all. Apparently, the much-talked-about event got Stern so worked up that he resorted to calling Prince “f—– in the head,” “an arrogant a–hole” and, yes, “a scumbag” over the “humiliating” incident. “She doesn’t know what to do. Apparently she’s supposed to dance like a stripper for him and she just stood there not knowing what to do. He throws her off the stage because she can’t read f—— Prince’s mind. He’s a bull—- artist. I’m done with him.” Fortunately, co-host Robin Quivers offers a Kardashian reality check. “She shows up to things and leaves after 10 minutes after she’s put on camera,” she interjected.

Former figure skating champion Tonya Harding and her husband, Joseph Price, are expecting a son. The 40-year-old, best known for conspiring an attack on skating nemesis Nancy Kerrigan, said she is “super excited” about her first child. Harding later took up boxing and was also a regular commentator on truTV’s The Smoking Gun Presents: World Dumbest.

Charlie Sheen and Brook Mueller Divorce Settlement – state that the pair get joint custody of 1-year-old twins Bob and Max with Mueller scoring primary physical custody. As stipulated, “Under no circumstances shall the child support paid by Charlie for Bob and Max be less than the child support paid by Charlie to Denise Richards for Sam and Lola.” That sum would be $55,000 per month, amounting to a combined $110K in child support toward Richards and Mueller. As for Mueller, she waived her right to spousal support. But she does get a takeaway prize of $757,698.70 in addition to a $1 million share of the family home, valued at $6.4 million, that Sheen is keeping. Meanwhile, Mueller gets the Mercedes, their home in the Los Angeles neighborhood Los Feliz and $45,000 in moving expenses. Sheen gets their Four Seasons Club timeshare, which Mueller has permission to use one week out of each year.

Oscar-winning actress Elizabeth Taylor has been admitted to a Los Angeles hospital to treat congestive heart failure, the latest in a long history of serious medical problems. Taylor, 78, was admitted to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center earlier this week for what her publicist said on Friday was “an ongoing condition.”

Passing - Betty Garrett, a comedic actress who had good times and bad in Hollywood in a 65-year show biz career, has died. She was 91.

Music news –

She Messed Up – One of the biggest fumbles came before Super Bowl XLV — from Christina Aguilera’s performance of the national anthem. The Grammy winner, 30, botched the lyrics, mistakenly singing “what so proudly we watched, at the twilight’s last reaming” instead of “o’er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming.” The flub immediately caught the attention of viewers across the country and was a big topic on Twitter throughout the game.

Barbra Streisand has been tapped to perform at the 53rd annual Grammy Awards. Mike Jagger will make his first appearance as well. Also look for Arcade Fire, Eminem, Lady Antebellum, Lady gaga, Katy Perry, Miranda Lambert and Muse. Other performances include collaborations by Justin Bieber, Usher and Jaden Smith, Bruno Mars, Janelle Mone, B.o.B., Cee Lo Green and Wyneth Paltrow.

Some of music industry’s biggest names — including Paul Simon, Bette Midler, John Legend and Elton John are slated to present at the 2011 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on March 14 in NYC. The event will be televised on Fuse on Sunday, March 20 at 9 p.m. EST. Rod Zombie, The Doors’ John Densmore and Lloyd Price will also be on hand to induct this year’s honorees. The eight artists being inducted are Alice Cooper, Neil Diamond, Dr. John, Darlene Love, Tom Waits, Jac Holzman, Art Rupe and Leon Russell.

Dr. Dre and Eminem are reuniting: The duo plans to perform together at Sunday’s Grammy Awards. Dre, who’s nominated as a producer for Eminem’s’s album Recovery, hasn’t performed on live television in more than 10 years. The announcement comes on the heels of the rapper’s first studio album since 1999, Detox, set to drop this spring.

Good news for Carrie Underwood – she’s about to save a whole lot of money on international calls! Carrie’s professional hockey player hubby, Mike Fisher, was traded on Thursday from the Ottawa Senators to the Nashville Predators – nice and close to where Carrie currently lives in Tennessee!

Justin Bieber Seems To Be Everywhere – Now, Justin Bieber’s likeness gets place on the cover of MAD Magazine. From the latest Best Buy Super Bowl ad with Ozzy Osbourne to the film ” Justin Bieber: Never Say Never” to hit singles online, on the air and everywhere else, the so-called Beliebers have elevated the mop-topped Canadian to dizzying heights of stardom. Now, he’s about to come back to Earth: MAD magazine’s longtime public face, Alfred E. Neuman — with his big ears and goofy grin — sports a Bieberesque bowl of hair on the cover of the Feb. 16 issue. The headlines: Justin Bieber: “HIS STUPID HAIR!” “HIS DUMB BOOK!” “HIS TERRIBLE MOVIE!” “HIS AWFUL MUSIC!” Bieber has already been on the cover of Vanity Fair, certainly no easy accomplishment.

New single for the Lady – Lady Gaga has returned… and she’s “on the right track baby!” The singer has dropped her highly anticipated new single, “Born This Way,” which was co-produced by Gaga, Fernando Garibay and DJ White Shadow. The song, which sounds vaguely similar to Madonna’s “Express Yourself,” was previously described by Elton John as the “new gay anthem.”

Los Angeles – Stevie Wonder, Tony Bennett and a trio of “Glee” stars led Barbra Streisand on a musical journey through her nearly 50-year career. They joined Faith Hill, Barry Manilow and Seal in launching Grammy weekend by honoring the Oscar-winning singer and actress as MusiCares Person of the Year. Streisand, who turns 69 in April, was singled out for her musical achievements and philanthropic work.

Grammy Awards Held This Week – Some Winners:

Album Of The Year

The Suburbs — Arcade Fire

Record Of The Year

Need You Now — Lady Antebellum

Best Rap Album

Recovery — Eminem

Best New Artist

Esperanza Spalding

Song Of The Year

Need You Now — Dave Haywood, Josh Kear, Charles Kelley & Hillary Scott, songwriters (Lady Antebellum)

Best Country Album

Need You Now — Lady Antebellum

Best Pop Vocal Album

The Fame Monster — Lady Gaga

Best Rock Album

The Resistance — Muse

Best Pop Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocals

Hey, Soul Sister (Live) — Train

Best Female Country Vocal Performance

The House That Built Me — Miranda Lambert

Best Rap Song

Empire State Of Mind — Shawn Carter, Angela Hunte, Burt Keyes, Alicia Keys, Jane’t “Jnay” Sewell-Ulepic & Alexander Shuckburgh, songwriters (Sylvia Robinson, songwriter) (Jay-Z & Alicia Keys)

Best Rap Solo Performance

Not Afraid — Eminem

Best Rap Performance By A Duo Or Group

On To The Next One — Jay-Z & Swizz Beatz

Best Rap/Sung Collaboration

Empire State Of Mind” — Jay-Z & Alicia Keys

Top albums this week –

Pink Friday – Nicki Minaj

Musica + Alma + Sexo – Ricky Martin

Until We Have Faces – red

Doo-Wops & Hooligans – Bruno Mars

Kidz Bop 19 – Kidz Bop Kids

Loud – Rihanna

My Kinda Party – Jason Aldean

Greatest Hits… So Far!!! – P!nk

Speak Now – Taylor Swift

Recovery – Eminem

Barton Hollow – The Civil Wars

Sigh No More – Mumford & Sons

Teenage Dream – Katy Perry

Live Forever: September 23 – Bob Marley And the Wailers

Best Night Of My Life – Jamie Foxx

2011 Grammy Nominees – Various

Love Letter – R. Kelly

My World 2.0 – Justin Bieber

The King Is Dead – The Decemberists

The Beginning – The Black Eyed Peas

My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fame – Kanye West

Need You Now – Lady Antebellum

Brothers – The Black Keys

I Am Not A Human Being – Lil Wayne

Mission Bell – Amos Lee

Television News –

First Lady Michele Obama stops by the Regis and Kelly Show as part of her visit to New York marking the first anniversary of her Let’s Move! Campaign to fight childhood obesity.

Keith Olberman lands a show on Current TV.

Miley Cyrus to host “Saturday Night Live” on March 5!

Tuesday night television (TV Squad)

8 PM

ABC: ‘No Ordinary Family’
CBS: ‘NCIS’
NBC: ‘The Biggest Loser’
FOX: ‘Glee’
The CW: ‘One Tree Hill’
PBS: ‘Pioneers of Television’
MyTV: ‘Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?’ (two episodes)
HGTV: ‘My First Place’

8:30

Cooking Channel: ‘FoodCrafters’

9:00

ABC: ‘V’
CBS: ‘NCIS: Los Angeles’
FOX: ‘Raising Hope’
The CW: ‘Hellcats’
Lifetime: ‘Seriously Funny Kids’ (two episodes)
Food Network: ‘Cupcake Wars’
Travel Channel: ‘Bizarre Foods With Andrew Zimmern’
History Channel: ‘Only in America With Larry the Cable Guy’
BBC America: ‘Ramsay’s Best Restaurant’
Discovery: ‘Dirty Jobs’
TLC: ‘What Not To Wear’

9:30

FOX: ‘Traffic Light’ (series premiere)
Cooking Channel: ‘United Tastes of America’

10:00

ABC: ‘Detroit 1-8-7′
CBS: ‘The Good Wife’
NBC: ‘Parenthood’
TNT: ‘Southland’
USA: ‘White Collar’
FX: ‘Lights Out’
Lifetime: ‘One Born Every Minute’
Bravo: ‘The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills’
Comedy Central: ‘Tosh.0′
BBC America: ‘Cherry Goes Dating’
TLC: ‘Fabulous Cakes’
MTV: ‘Teen Mom 2′
Spike: ‘1000 Ways To Die’
WE: ‘A Stand-Up Mother’
BET: ‘The Game’

10:30

Comedy Central: ‘Onion SportsDome’
Spike: ‘Three Sheets’
BET: ‘Let’s Stay Together’

Late-Night Talk Shows

11:00

PBS: ‘Charlie Rose’: Bill Gates
TBS: ‘Conan’: Craig Ferguson, Kevin Hart and Red
Comedy Central: ‘The Daily Show’: T. Boone Pickens (repeat)
E!: ‘Chelsea Lately’: Minka Kelly
BET: ‘The Mo’Nique Show’: Tyler James Williams, Stephen Stafford, Khalil with Lil Twist

11:30

Comedy Central: ‘The Colbert Report’: Brian Greene (repeat)

11:35

ABC: ‘Nightline’: TBA
CBS: ‘The Late Show With David Letterman’: Adam Sandler, Chris Colfer, Ty Burrell and Gang of Four
NBC: ‘The Tonight Show’: Javier Bardem, Paula Abdul and Merle Haggard

Midnight

ABC: ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live’: Matthew Perry, Morena Baccarin and Pitbull
PBS: ‘Tavis Smiley’: Helena Bonham Carter and Hailee Steinfeld
TBS: ‘Lopez Tonight’: Channing Tatum, Margaret Cho and 50 Cent

12:35

CBS: ‘The Late, Late Show With Craig Ferguson’: Emily Blunt and Dr. Kara Cooney
NBC: ‘Late Night With Jimmy Fallon’: Kevin Nealon, Timothy Olyphant and Little Big Town

1:35

NBC: ‘Last Call With Carson Daly’: Thomas Lennon, Makeba Riddick and Jimmy Eat World

Top TV –

1. Super Bowl: Pittsburgh vs. Green Bay FOX
2. Super Bowl Post Game FOX
3. Glee” special FOX
4. American Idol, Wednesday FOX
5. NCIS CBS
6. American Idol, Thursday FOX
7. NCIS: Los Angeles CBS
8. The Mentalist CBS
9. CSI: Crime Scene Investigation CBS
10. The Big Bang Theory CBS
11. The Good Wife CBS
12. Blue Bloods CBS
13. Two and a Half Men CBS
14. Grey’s Anatomy ABC
15. Harry’s Law NBC
16. S— My Dad Says CBS
17. Bones FOX
18. The Bachelor ABC
19. Criminal Minds CBS
20. Super Bowl Great Commercials CBS

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

Mr. Pop Culture Report – November 24… Face Getting A Trademark… Don’t Mess With Sheen… Cowell Loves Tyler… American Pickers Returns… This Week In History…

Facebook has received a notice of allowance from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for the trademark on the word “face” when used in the context of online chat rooms or bulletin boards. Facebook filed for this trademark in December 2005. The notice of allowance does not mean that Facebook has been granted the trademark just yet, but it’s getting really close. In the next three months, Facebook must pay a fee and file a statement of use, at which time it must prove that it is actively using the mark to provide goods or services, and then get the approval of an attorney.

Charlie Sheen has countersued Capri Anderson, claiming that the adult-film actress tried to extort him for $1 million after their encounter in a New York hotel room. “This case involves a shakedown and extortion of the internationally known actor and celebrity Charlie Sheen … by an opportunist pornographic film star and publicity-hungry scam artist,” the lawsuit states.

Former “American Idol” judge Simon Cowell says he’s happy that Steven Tyler will take his place. Cowell says, “I always said it had to be someone who wasn’t better looking than me and they achieved it.” He poked fun at Tyler before collecting the Founders Awards at the International Emmy Awards in New York on Monday night. Cowell said the Aerosmith frontman seems like a nice guy, and Randy Jackson told him they were having a lot of fun.

Coming In December On History:

History presents all new episodes of “American Pickers.” Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz are once again searching the back roads, junkyards, and filled-to-the-brim barns in America for “rusty gold.” AMERICAN PICKERS, the #1 new cable series of 2010, returns for new episodes of its second season beginning Monday, December 6 at 9pm ET on HISTORY.

Traveling along with the duo, viewers will meet an assortment of American originals and watch as a patchwork of history unfolds – one treasure at a time. “We’re caretakers of treasures and the stories behind them,” says Mike.

Mr. Pop Culture Report – May 24

Paula Is Back – As Simon Cowell leaves the reality-show judge’s chair, his old foil, Paula Abdul, is coming back. CBS said Monday that Abdul will be a judge on “Got to Dance,” a competition expected to make it on the air sometime next season. She’ll also be an executive producer for the series, which is based on a successful competition that airs in Britain.

Rock singer Bret Michaels finally had a reason to celebrate on Sunday after a string of medical emergencies — winning the reality TV show “The Celebrity Apprentice.” The show’s host Donald Trump told Michaels he was “hired” in Sunday’s finale, winning $250,000 for his nominated charity, the American Diabetes Association. In second place was actress Holly Robinson Peete with $250,000 also to go to her chosen charity, her own HollyRod Foundation that supports families facing a serious illness.

Simon Cowell tells Oprah Winfrey he’s leaving “Idol” because, he’s bored… “After a while, you start to go on automatic pilot,” Cowell  “And there were too many times, Oprah, where I was sitting there bored, and I thought, ‘The end of the day, the audience doesn’t tune in to watch me being bored. They deserve more than that.’ But I can’t hide it when I’m bored. I just can’t fake it.”

Technology – “Tech Guy” Leo LePorte – who does a popular weekend radio show on the tech industry – is at war of sorts with Facebook – and has pulled his page. And lately – the social Internet giant has come under fire for how it operates and how it shares information. Now buffeted by those privacy snafus and the lingering fallout from a damning, years-old instant messaging thread, Facebook chief exec Mark Zuckerberg switched into full-on damage control Monday, confessing that the sprawling social network had “missed the mark” when it comes to its complex privacy controls — and pledging to do better. The company this week releases these bullet points – to set the record straight…

Here are the principles under which Facebook operates:

You have control over how your information is shared.

We do not share your personal information with people or services you don’t want.

We do not give advertisers access to your personal information.

We do not and never will sell any of your information to anyone.

We will always keep Facebook a free service for everyone.

Hot albums this week in 2010 –

My World 2.0 – Justin Bieber

Iron Man 2 – soundtrack

Need You Now – Lady Antebellum

Sea of Cowards – The Dead Weather

Live at the Troubadour – Carole King & James Taylor

Charice – Charice

Raymond V Raymond – Usher

The Oracle – Godsmack

Powerless Rise – As I Lay Dying

Court Yard Hounds – Court Yard Hounds

Mr. Pop Culture Report – March 24

Passing – TV actor Robert Culp who teamed with Robert Culp in the racially groundbreaking TV series I Spy and was Bob in the critically acclaimed sex comedy Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice, died Wednesday after collapsing outside his Hollywood home, his agent said. Culp was 79. The actor was a on series television during the 1960′s through the 1970′s and into the 1980′s. Check out his guest-starring “bad-guy” roles Columbo.

Simon Cowell Wears Bowersox – Simon Cowell no doubt – likes contender Crystal Bowersox. The  singer, who has thus far had a penchant for performing barefoot on a rug with her guitar, tackled a Janis Joplin standard – “Me & Bobby McGee”  — for an “American Idol” week made up of Billboard #1 hits, mentored by teen pop star Miley Cyrus. Cowell quipped, “You’re doing your own thing, you’re not sliding all over the stage, jumping into the crowd like we’ve seen before, gimmicky,” Simon said, referencing Tim Urban’s performance earlier in the night. “You’ve just took a song, nailed it and you’re only gimmick is a carpet.”

His Manager Needs A’Justin – NY – Scott “Scooter” Braun, manager for pop sensation Justin Bieber, awaits arraignment on charges of reckless endangerment and criminal nuisance. His lawyer said he will plead not guilty. His arrest stems from a planned appearance in November by the 16-year-old Bieber at Roosevelt Field Mall. When the crowd of 3,000 became unruly, Nassau County police canceled the event. But some fans refused to leave, crowding the narrow area outside the clothing store where Bieber was scheduled to sign autographs. Five people were taken to hospitals with minor injuries.

Mr. Pop Archives – One Year Ago – Week of March 22, 2009…

Bruce Willis and model/actress Emma Heming were officially married in a private civil ceremony today at a friend’s home in Beverly Hills.

Out in Los Angeles -  Ryan Seacrest announces the performance line-up for Wango Tango set for Saturday, May 9: Black Eyed Peas, Kelly Clarkson, Flo Rida, Lady Gaga, All American Rejects, Soulja Boy Tellum, Kevin Rudolf, Pitbull and Jamie Foxx. Ryan will host the show which is in association with KIIS-FM Los Angeles.

Former WABC Radio (NY) newsman George Weber was found murdered in his Brooklyn apartment after failing to report to work for two days, sources told The Post. Weber, who would have turned 48 today, was discovered half-naked in his bed shortly before 10 a.m. inside his apartment with his throat slashed and more than a dozen stab wounds to his neck.

Top Pop Culture Stories – February 24… Mr. Pop Culture Report

Bryant Is Back - Kobe Bryant returned to lineup after missing five games with an ankle injury and made a 3-pointer with 4.3 seconds left to lift the LA Lakers to 99-98 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies. Bryant led the Lakers with 32 points, including his team’s final nine points. His 3-pointer with 54 seconds left tied the game at 96-all. His game-winner came off an inbounds play 4 seconds after his layup attempt was blocked by Rudy Gay. (Fox)

Sex and the New Scent – “Sex and The City” fans can finally smell like Carrie Bradshaw! Sarah Jessica Parker debuts a new scent, SJP NYC, based on her beloved character. “I like the idea of creating a fragrance of everyone. I thought a lot about the idea of like when Carrie Bradshaw walks down a street,” said Ms. Parker.

De-Ready DeGeneres – Ellen DeGeneres gets a first taste of judging on a live “American Idol”  Tuesday night as the Top 12 girls got their first chance to compete for the public vote. Ellen and Simon served as bookends on the judges’ table, with Randy and Kara at center. Making a play on Cowell’s remarks about them not getting along – Ms. Degeneres remarked that “We had a little problem and I felt like it’s safer over here,” of her seat next to Randy. “The problem is, Simon wants me and he’s got a thing for me and I get it Simon. I get it, and it’s not going to happen.”

Fool’s Gold At the Winter Games – A bad call by his coach costs (Dutch) Sven Kramer a gold medal in speed skating. Far ahead of the crowd, he stopped to talk to his coach, but was sent back – in the wrong position – to the inner instead of the outer track – and was disqualified!! OOOCH!! (see video).

Mr. Pop Archives – This Week In 1996…

Television news – Temperamental Roseanne Arnold dumps three of her show’s writers for helping her ex – Tom on his upcoming movie.

“The Late Shift” – an HBO movie about the battle between Jay Leno and Dave Letterman – drew 2.3 million homes – airing on Saturday night this week. (

After four years – “Picket Fences” will end production, although CBS has not officially canceled the series. “Nash Bridges” starring Don Johnson will air in the spot vacated by Picket Fences on Friday night beginning March 29.

On Saturday Night Live this week – Elle Macpherson hosts with musical guest Sting.