Week Of August 15, 2011 In Pop Culture History With Videos. In News, Pop Culture, Entertainment, Tech News & More.

Week In Review – August 15, 2011

Compiled By Gary West @ www.mrpopculture.com


In The News –

Bomb blasts ripped through more than a dozen Iraqi cities Monday morning, killing 56 people — most of them in the southern city of Kut — in a wave of violence that shattered what had been a relatively peaceful holy month of Ramadan. The violence struck from the northern city of Kirkuk to the capital of Baghdad to the southern Shiite cities of Najaf, Kut and Karbala, and emphasized the persistent ability of insurgents to wreak havoc at a time when Iraqi officials are weighing whether they are able to protect the country without the assistance of American troops.

The leaders of France and Germany meet for high-pressure talks on Tuesday to discuss what further measures they can take to shore up investor confidence in the euro zone following a dramatic market sell-off last week. President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel are under pressure to show financial markets they are in agreement on doing more to shore up the embattled currency union — or risk watching the euro zone unravel. The two leaders could discuss obliging all euro zone countries to pass national laws on deficit limits and the idea of a permanent euro zone spokesperson or coordinator, a source close to the talks told Reuters.

Barack Obama hit the road Monday for his three-day Midwestern bus tour toting an array of political baggage: a downgraded national credit rating, a faltering economy, a stretch of wild market vicissitudes, an approval rating that by one measure has slumped to a historical low of 39%.

A parasite known as the “brain-eating amoeba” has claimed its second young American victim this month. Christian Strickland, a 9-year-old from Henrico County in Virginia contracted an infection after visiting a fishing camp in his state. He died of meningitis on August 5. This week, health department officials confirmed that the deadly amoeba–officially known as “Naegleria fowleri”–was to blame. “Sadly, we have had a Naegleria infection in Virginia this summer,” Dr. Keri Hall of the Virginia Department of Health, told the press. “It’s important that people be aware of . . . safe swimming messages.” Earlier this month, Courtney Nash died to the brain-eating amoeba after diving off a dock into the St. John’s River at her grandmother’s house in Florida.

Tampa police arrested an expelled student after thwarting what they called a “catastrophic” plot to set off a bomb at his former high school next week, authorities said Wednesday.  Police Chief Jane Castor said Jared Cano (Mr Pop Video), 17, had threatened to plant a device at Freedom High School in north Tampa and discharge it on the first day of school Tuesday. He was arrested Tuesday night after someone tipped off police about the plot.

Gunmen killed seven people in southern Israel on Thursday in attacks along the Egyptian border and Israel responded with an air strike in the Gaza Strip that killed six Palestinians, including the leaders of a group it blamed for the violence. The series of assaults on a desert road north of Israel’s Red Sea resort of Eilat drew Israeli accusations that Egypt’s new rulers were losing their grip on the porous frontier.

More signs of economic weakness triggered a global sell-off in stocks Thursday. The Dow Jones industrial average fell more than 400 points in a return to the wild swings in the market last week. In the United States, there were reports that more people joined the unemployment line last week than a week earlier, gasoline prices contributed to higher inflation and manufacturing slowed in the mid-Atlantic.

Syrian forces shot dead 20 protesters on Friday despite a pledge by President Bashar al-Assad that a crackdown was over, activists said as thousands marched across Syria, spurred on by U.S. and European calls for him to step down.

A suicide bomber struck a mosque in a Pakistani tribal region during Friday prayers, officials said, killing at least 40 people and wounding 85 others in the deadliest attack in the country in recent weeks. The attack came during the holy month of Ramadan, a time of fasting, sharing and heightened community spirit for Muslims.

(Mr Pop Video) Burger King Corp. on Friday said it is retiring “The King” mascot, a man with an oversized plastic head and creepy smile who in recent years has been shown in ads peeping into people’s windows and popping up next to them in bed. The move is an effort by the struggling fast food chain to boost slumping sales by focusing its marketing on the freshness of its food rather than the funny-factor of its ads. It’s rolling out a new campaign on Saturday sans The King to tout its fresh ingredients and new products like its California Whopper, which has guacamole.

A chartered Boeing 737 plane crashed Saturday afternoon in Canada’s Arctic region, killing 12 people, police said. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police said the plane went down near the hamlet of Resolute Bay in the Arctic territory of Nunavut. The First Air charter flight was traveling from Yellowknife in the Northwest Territories to Resolute Bay, and was scheduled to continue on to Grise Fiord on Ellesmere Island.

People freed in Tripoli – Muammar Gaddafi was a hunted man  as loyal remnants of his forces made a last-ditch stand in the capital and world leaders embraced the fractious Libyan rebels as new masters of the oil-rich North African state.

Nearly 48 hours after a pincer thrust on Tripoli by the irregular rebel armies, launched in tandem with an uprising in the city, Gaddafi’s tanks and sharpshooters appeared to hold only small areas, including his Bab al-Aziziya headquarters. Civilians, who mobbed the streets late on Sunday to cheer the end of dictatorship, stayed indoors as gunfire crackled. Gaddafi’s prime minister showed up in Tunisia. State television went off the air and rebels said they had seized its transmitters. More Libyan embassies abroad hoisted the rebel flag.

A wingwalker at an air show near Detroit fell to his death on Sunday, after he tried to transfer from an aircraft to a helicopter and plunged about 200 feet to the ground, officials said. The death of wingwalker Todd Green comes one day after an aerobatic flyer crashed and died at a Kansas City, Missouri, air show and a British Royal Air Force “Red Arrows” pilot crashed and died at an air festival on the coast of England.

Tech news –

Google Inc will buy phone hardware maker Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc for $12.5 billion to bolster adoption of its Android mobile software and compete with smartphone rival Apple Inc. In its biggest deal to date, Google said it would pay $40 per share in cash, a 63 percent premium to Motorola Mobility’s Friday closing price on the New York Stock Exchange. “What it says is that Google wants to provide a total experience that’s hardware and software (like Apple),” said BGC Partners analyst Colin Gillis.

Hewlett-Packard is taking a hatchet to its business and doing some radical restructuring. The company said Thursday that it is looking to spin off its industry-leading but struggling personal computer business. HP also killed off the TouchPad tablet it launched last month, as well as its webOS smartphone line.

Prince Harry, 27, will be spending time in the Golden State plus Arizona for a series of Apache helicopter training courses. The exact locations and dates of the “spare heir’s” visit have yet to be disclosed. Called “Exercise Crimson Eagle,” the California and Arizona training features “environmental training, live firing and tactical exercises,” the rep explains.

Despite a promising start last year, Conan O’Brien’s TBS talk show has steadily lost viewers — and TBS is investing heavily to stop the slide. TBS’s great red hope is tanking. A new Wall Street Journal report on the network’s late-night talk show, Conan, details just how big an investment its hiring of host Conan O’Brien has been — and just how poorly that investment has paid off this past year. And TBS’s “Conan O’Brien experiment” is about to get even more expensive.

(Mr. Pop Video) Kim Kardashian Marries – Kim Kardashian finally took her walk down the aisle on Saturday and married Kris Humphries with a reported 440 guests in attendance. Escorted by stepfather Bruce Jenner, the bride proceeded down the aisle in a strapless Vera Wang wedding dress, witnessed by her expansive reality show family, including Kris Jenner, bridesmaids Kendall and Kylie Jenner, and Kim’s matron and maid of honor, Khloe and Kourtney Kardashian, with their men.

Lil Wayne said  he is recovering after gashing his head at a St. Louis-area skateboard park. The 28-year-old rapper whose real name is Dwayne Michael Carter Jr. was in suburban St. Louis Sunday for a performance at the outdoor Verizon Amphitheatre. KTVI-TV reported that Lil Wayne, accompanied by a large entourage, showed up Sunday at DePaul Health Center’s emergency room. Hospital spokeswoman Jamie Newell said she could not confirm Lil Wayne was at the hospital, citing privacy laws. But Lil Wayne wrote about it on his Twitter account. “The Lou was good but I busted my … head at the sk8park! 9stitches! Gnarly gash over my left eye! Luv the people,” he wrote.

Hot hits this week in 2011:

Party Rock Anthem – LMFAO fea. Lauren Bennet & GoonRock

Super Bass – Nicki Minaj

(Mr Pop Video) Moves Like A Jagger – Maroon 5 fea. Christina Aguilera

Lighters – Bad meets Evil fea. Bruno Mars

Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.) – Katy Perry

Give Me Everything – Pitbull fea. Ne-Yo, Afrojack & Nayer

Pumped Up Kicks – Foster The Peole

I Wanna Go – Britney Spears

Good Life – OneRepublic

How To Love – Lil Wayne

Tonight Tonight – Hot Chelle Rae

Headlines – Drake

Rolling In The Deep – Adele

The Edge of Glory – Lady Gaga

If I Die Young – The Band Perry

I’m On One – DJ Khaled fea. Drake, Rick Ross & Lil Wayne

Stereo Hearts – Gym Class Heroes fea. Adam Levine

Best Thing I Never Had – Beyonce

Remind Me – Brad Paisley With Carrie Underwood

Dirt Road Anthem – Jason Aldean

Knee Deep – Zac Brown Band fea. Jimmy Buffett

Motivation – Kelly Rowland fea. Lil Wayne

Just A Kiss – Lady Antebellum

You Make Me Feel – Cobra Starship fea. Sabi

Cheers (Drink To That) – Rihanna

Just A Kiss – Lady Antebellum

Top TV –

1. America’s Got Talent” (Tuesday) NBC
2. NCIS CBS
3. America’s Got Talent” (Wednesday) NBC
4. 60 Minutes CBS
5. NCIS: Los Angeles CBS
6. Big Brother 13″ (Sunday) CBS
7. Big Brother 13″ (Wednesday) CBS
8. CSI: Crime Scene Investigation CBS
9. Big Brother 13″ (Thursday) CBS
10. CMA Music Festival ABC
11. Bachelor Pad ABC
12. Hell’s Kitchen” (Monday) FOX
13. Dateline NBC” NBC
14. The Big Bang Theory CBS
15. Hell’s Kitchen” (Tuesday) FOX
16. The Mentalist” (Tuesday) CBS
17. Wipeout” (Tuesday) ABC
18. Flashpoint” CBS CBS
19. So You Think You Can Dance” (Thursday) FOX
20. Master Chef” (Tuesday) FOX

At the movies –

The Help

Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Spy Kids: All the Time In The World (1st week $12 million)

Conan the Barbarian (1st week $10 million)

Fright Night

The Smurfs

Final Destination 5

30 Minutes or Less

One Day

Crazy, Stupid Love

Best Of Bachman, Turner Overdrive (Best Of B.T.O.). When Was It Originally Released? Pop Culture Music History.

Mr. Pop Culture -

Canada gave us some terrific music  – and BTO was right up there with the best of them

If you grew up in the 1970′s and listened to top-40 or album oriented radio – you loved Bachman, Turner Overdrive – with Randy Bachman and company. Their rock music was catchy and infectuous with hits such as “Takin’ Care Of Business,” “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet” and “Let It Ride.” Simply great stuff. I loved these guys and we couldn’t wait for their greatest hits to be released.

It finally came as Mercury records released “The Best Of BTO (So Far)” back in August of 1976. If you don’t have it, get it. Or download their hits. Don’t forget “Hey You” and “Roll On Down The Highway.”

BTW – The last single for BTO was from that same time – summer of 1976 with “Gimmie Your Money Please.” Not a big charter – but – just in case you wanted to know.

Gary West – www.mrpopculture.com

Allan Sniffen Interview. He’s Founder Of The New York Radio Message Board And Internet Radio Station “Rewound Radio” – Playing What “Oldies” Stations Use To Play.

Internet Mavericks.

An Interview With Allan Sniffen Of “Rewound Radio” – Playing What “Oldies” Stations Use To Play.

Conducted By Gary West @ www.mrpopculture.com and  www.mrpophistory.com


Mr. Pop – Allan, you have quite an Internet history, dating back to 1996.

Allan – Yes, that’s when I began a website dedicated to the most popular top-40 radio station of all time, WABC, New York. The inspiration came from another website dedicated to top-40 legend CKLW, Detroit. I was inspired by what I saw and thought, “if CKLW, why not WABC?”

Mr. Pop – And the rest is pop history. You followed that with a site dedicated to rival WMCA, then began a message board dedicated to radio, particularly, New York radio.

Allan – That’s correct. And I now have sites dedicated to New York stations WOR-FM/99X, plus a New York broadcasting history and separately, a music message board.

Mr. Pop – All inspired by postings from the original NY radio message board.

Allan – That’s correct. Posters came from radio, the industry, the media and beyond.

Mr. Pop – All of these online products come directly from you. You even host your own server, which you maintain and administer. Plus, this is not your day job. It must be a ton of work.

Allan – Hopefully, I’ve gotten a little better at it.

Mr. Pop – You’ve brought a whole lot of people together. It’s been amazing to watch. Now, you’ve added an Internet radio station. That’s a whole different dynamic. What was your inspiration?

Allan – It was a consequence of what I saw happening to “oldies” radio.

Mr. Pop – So, “Rewound Radio” is in the true of spirit of a top-40 oldies station playing the hits of the 1950’s into the 1970’s?

Allan – Yes – and a lot of that has disappeared with the advent of adding 1980’s music. Oldies radio is now called, for the most part, “Classic Hits.” I don’t think that 1980’s music fits well with preceding decades.

Mr. Pop – What exactly has happened to the rock-n-roll oldies station of say, 1985?

Allan – They dropped way-back on the 1950’s, cut back on the 1960’s, increased the 1970’s and put the 1980’s in. You put a 1980’s hit next to a 1960’s hit – and it doesn’t sound right. You can debate good, bad or otherwise. I don’t see the 1980’s music as having the right sound. I understand why they’re doing it – demographics and advertising, but – I’m not a fan. I wanted to create an alternative for those who felt the same say.

Mr. Pop – How many songs in the “Rewound Radio” 1950’s-1970’s rotation?

Allan – About 2500 songs.

Mr. Pop – That’s quite a bit. I remember oldies stations playing as little as 600 to 700 songs in their format. Do you rotate them in and out?

Allan – I’ve added more than I’ve taken out.  For example, I don’t play as many summer songs in the winter and winter songs in the summer. Also, I’m trying to get the greatest amount of time before repeating any given song, while keeping the format familiar.  That doesn’t sound as easy as you think. For example, you can play a bunch of esoteric songs – familiar to some, but not to others. One of the things about the oldies format is… it has to sound familiar.

Mr. Pop –  So, how often does the average song repeat?

Allan – I have one music category that rotates about every 3 ½ days – and that would be music from the Beatles, Stones, Motown – the most familiar.

Mr. Pop – The main library.

Allan – Yes, then I have a music category which rotates through 5 ½ to 6 days. The thing about Internet radio is – it’s a TSL format.

Mr. Pop – TSL for time spent listening, where you should keep the listener longer.

Allan – That’s correct. You don’t have a lot of people coming and going. What you do have is people turning it on, and leaving it on. When you have a TSL format, you can’t repeat too much. With broadcast radio – there’s more available listeners. Not so for Internet radio, so you have to keep them longer.

Mr. Pop – For anybody considering starting an Internet station, what do they have to do?

Allan – First off, there’s the copyright fees. I pay about $1,500 a year and that comes with a whole lot of paper work.  That would go up once you start selling advertising. Paper-wise, the second year wasn’t so bad, because all the research was behind me.

Mr. Pop – Does it take any kind of tech savvy to set-up an Internet radio station?

Allan – Only if you’re going to stream it out with your own equipment. That’s what I’m doing. I have my Shoutcast server – which then sends out my programming to the Internet. So yes, if you do it that way, you’ll need to know a little about Unix and server-side language.

Mr. Pop – What if you’re not into that?

Allan – You can use a service such as “Live365.” They take care of it, but you pay them.

Mr. Pop – What do you use to rotate the music?

Allan – I use something called “Station Playlist.” It plays the music, the jingles, does the crossfading and the audio processing.

Mr. Pop – Nice! There’s nothing worse than hearing something suddenly go louder or softer. Audio processing is important.

Allan – Oh yes – you really need that because mp3’s can be all over the place.

Mr. Pop – So, “Station Playlist” lets you set up your music rotation?

Allan – Yes, it has a programming component called “creator” and that’s where you set up your music categories; where you want the jingles to play and so on.

Mr. Pop – The jingles sound fantastic. They must be the great work  of Jonathan Wolfert at JAM in Dallas.

Allan – He did me a terrific favor and gets full credit. I didn’t suggest anything to him and of course, the jingles really add to the sound of “Rewound Radio.”

Mr. Pop – Any oldies radio listener would love “Rewound Radio” and of course, anybody can visit the New York Radio Message Board and its associated boards, any time. Thanks Allan for your time today.

This Week In History… A Complete Look At The Week Of January 8, 2011.

From The www.mrpopculture and www.mrpophistory week-by-week sites. A complete look at the week of January 8, 2011 in news, trends and pop culture…

Week of January 8, 2011

TUCSON, Ariz. – Rep. Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona was shot in the head Saturday when an assailant opened fire outside a grocery store during a meeting with constituents, killing at least five people and wounding several others in a rampage that rattled the nation. Giffords was among at least 10 people wounded, and the hospital said her outlook was “optimistic” and that she was responding to commands from doctors despite having a bullet go through her head. The hospital said a 9-year-old child was among the dead, and a U.S. Marshal said a federal judge was also fatally shot in the attack.

Mexico’s drug violence -, 27 people killed in less than a day, including 14 men whose bodies were found with their heads chopped off at a shopping center. Acapulco has seen fierce turf wars between drug gangs, and the bloodshed is scaring some vacationers away even though little of the violence happens in tourist areas. The 14 headless bodies, and a 15th intact corpse, were found by police on a street outside a shopping center accompanied by written warnings from a drug cartel, authorities said.

Doctors said Monday that Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ brain remains swollen, but the pressure isn’t increasing — a good sign for the congresswoman’s recovery. Neurosurgeon Dr. Michael Lemole of Tucson’s University Medical Center said Giffords’ condition two days after surgery for a gunshot wound to the head remains stable. He said that swelling from such an injury typically peaks around the third day, so doctors “can breathe a collective sigh of relief” after that.

A 22-year-old man described as a social outcast with wild beliefs steeped in mistrust faces a federal court hearing Monday on charges he tried to assassinate Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in a Tucson shooting rampage that left six people dead. A military official in Washington said Jared Loughner was rejected from the Army in 2008 because he failed a drug test. The official spoke Monday on condition of anonymity because privacy laws prevent the military from disclosing such information about an individual’s application.

President Barack Obama has presided over a national moment of silence for severely injured Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and the people who were killed during an assassination attempt against her. On the White House South Lawn, Obama was joined by first lady Michelle Obama and White House staff members on a cold morning. The moment was marked at the U.S. Capitol and elsewhere around a nation still coming to grips with the tragedy.

For weeks, the flooding in eastern Australia has been a slow-motion disaster, with drenching rain devastating wide swaths of farmland and small towns. Now, rivers are rising in Brisbane, the country’s third-largest city, forcing people to flee both suburbs and skyscrapers.

Flooding that has unfolded since late November across the waterlogged state of Queensland turned suddenly violent Monday, with a cloudburst sending a raging torrent down the Lockyer Valley west of Brisbane. Hundreds had to be rescued by helicopter Tuesday.

Democratic Illinois lawmakers beat a looming deadline and approved a 66 percent income tax increase in a desperate bid to end the state’s crippling budget crisis. Legislative leaders rushed early Wednesday to pass the politically risky plan before a new General Assembly was sworn in at noon, taking a slice out of the Democratic majority and removing lame-duck lawmakers willing to support the tax before leaving office.

The second major snow storm of the winter season pelted the Northeast with about 8 inches of snow on Wednesday, snarling traffic and canceling flights, but it was not enough to suspend school in New York City. The National Weather Service reported snow on the ground in 49 of the 50 states — only Florida was spared — and much of the South was still battling icy conditions that made roads dangerous and led to several traffic deaths.

A Las Vegas judge has spared senior ACORN executive Amy Adele Busefink jail time for her role in a notorious voter fraud conspiracy. Judge Donald Mosley sentenced Busefink to two years imprisonment but suspended the jail time provided that she abides by the terms of her probation. She was also fined a total of $4,000 and ordered to perform 100 hours of community service. Prosecutors had argued for a fine of just $1,000. Voter fraud, sometimes called electoral fraud, is a blanket term encompassing a host of election-related improprieties.

Brazil’s Worst-Ever disaster – Summer rains sent tons of red mud and torrents of water rushing down mountainsides in towns outside Rio, enveloping homes of rich and poor alike and killing at least 500 people. Some survivors clung to trees to escape the water and landslides. Rescuers used heavy machinery, shovels and bare hands to dig through debris in a search for survivors Wednesday. It was not immediately clear how many people were rescued. At least 50 remained missing, and officials feared that figure would rise.

TUCSON, Ariz. – President Obama exhorted Americans to refrain from partisan bickering and urged the country to embrace the idealistic vision of democracy held by 9-year-old Christina Taylor Green, the youngest Arizona shooting victim and an aspiring politician who is set to be buried Thursday in the first of half-a-dozen funerals. Speaking to an arena audience of about 14,000 and even more in a nearby football stadium and at homes across the country, Obama drew on themes of unity, patriotism and heroism as he tried to help the nation make sense of a tragedy that unfolded as citizens were exercising their most basic of rights, meeting with their congresswoman.

Steven Vego heard a pop in the rear of his Southern California home and went outside to investigate. His son and wife followed in what turned out to be a tragic decision. The three were electrocuted Friday, one after the other as the wife and son attempted rescues, each coming in contact with a 12,000-volt power line that had fallen over in their backyard, authorities said. San Bernardino firefighters arrived to find the three bodies, but it was too dangerous to free them, fire spokesman Jason Serrano said. A utility company finally cut the power.

Serving as California governor cost Arnold Schwarzenegger at least $200 million, the bodybuilding star turned actor and politician told a newspaper in his native Austria, insisting ‘it was more than worth it.” Counting expenses and lost income from acting in Hollywood films, “in all it is probably more than $200 million,” he told Krone when asked how much his two terms in Sacramento had cost.

Sports – Auburn’s first BCS Championship and the second college football national championship in school history came down to a simple twist of fate. Michael Dyer’s spinning, twisting recovery from an apparent tackle produced a game-changing 37-yard run late in the fourth quarter, and then he made an almost identical play to give the Tigers the ball inside the 1-yard line and set up Wes Bynum’s 19-yard field goal as time expired, giving Auburn a thrilling 22-19 victory over Oregon in the BCS Championship Game on Monday at University of Phoenix Stadium.

NFL Hall of Famer Lawrence Taylor avoided jail on Thursday by pleading guilty to two misdemeanor charges stemming from his May arrest on rape and prostitution charges. The former New York Giants great will serve six years probation as part of the agreement, which saw him plead guilty to sexual misconduct and patronizing a prostitute. He will have to register as a sex offender. In court, Taylor admitted to having sex with a prostitute who ended up being a 16-year-old runaway. “She told me she was 19,” he said.

Technology –

Motorola Mobility’s Xoom tablet computer powered by new “Honeycomb” software from Google was crowned the best gadget at the giant Consumer Electronics Show (CES) on Saturday. Along with being declared the top creation at the dazzling gadget extravaganza, Xoom was also honored as the best of the scores of tablets introduced here as fresh competitors in a market dominated by Apple IPads.

Verizon Wireless, the top U.S. mobile provider, plans on Tuesday to unveil a version of the Apple iPhone for its service and will kick off sales of the device a few weeks later, a source told Reuters. Verizon Wireless will offer the iPhone to its customers under its existing wireless service price plans, said the source, who asked not to be named as the plan has not yet been announced.

News Corp’s MySpace is laying off nearly half its staff, setting the stage for a sale of the former Internet social networking leader as is it refocuses as an entertainment site. The restructuring affects about 500 employees, or 47 percent of the company, and comes after weeks of speculation on technology blogs about the cuts.

iPad will soon have a Paper feature to be announced by Steve Jobs and Rupert Murdoch. The two men will make the announcement later this month. Jobs and Murdoch will appear together at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, at a launch event, rumoured to be scheduled for January 19. Murdoch has called his iPad newspaper his “number one most exciting project” in recent months, with the paper set to have a core full-time editorial staff based out of offices in New York and Los Angeles.

The child-abduction alert system used by law enforcement, broadcasters and transportation departments is now available on Facebook. AMBER Alerts have previously been available to many users via their local law enforcement Facebook pages. But now, Facebook users can receive the announcements directly from state AMBER Alert pages, by choosing which state’s alerts they want to see. The District of Columbia and the U.S. Territories also each have an alert page.

Verizon Wireless said it will begin selling Apple’s iPhone early next month, ending AT&T’s four-year run as the phone’s exclusive carrier. ” Existing Verizon customers will be able to pre-order the phone beginning Feb. 3. The phone will launch in Apple and Verizon stores online on Feb. 10, according to Verizon Wireless CEO Dan Mead. Verizon customers eligible for “new every two” upgrades will be able to use those upgrade credits toward an iPhone.

New Facebook Profiles…  Starting (January 13) all accounts will be upgraded to the new profile. The new Facebook profiles feature a revamped interface, as well as easy access to photos of the user. The profiles also offer more details about work and education information, while letting users put friends into distinct categories, list various interests, and fill out a nifty new “about me” user summary.

Computer history for $400? An IBM computer won the practice round on popular TV quiz show Jeopardy! against two top contestants, showing artificial intelligence has come a long way in simulating how humans think. “We have created a computer system which has the ability to understand natural human language, which is a very difficult thing for a computer to do,” said John Kelly, the director of IBM Research. The emotion was left to the audience as Watson, the contestant, beat out two of Jeopardy’s most winningest champions, Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter, by $1,000.  The machine, named Watson after legendary International Business Machines Machines president Thomas Watson, is a showcase of the company’s computing expertise and research in advanced science.

Entertainment news –

Kim, Khloe and Kourtney Kardashian have been sued for $75 million in debit card damages — and they didn’t even slap down the plastic themselves. The sisters, along with mom Kris Jenner, are being sued by The Revenue Resource Group for breach of contract after they pulled out of promotional duties stemming from the launch of their branded prepaid debit card.

Another Awards Show! – MTV Comedy Central have announced The Comedy Awards, an event honoring the industry’s top writers, directors, actors and stand-up comedians.

“This historic, one-night-only celebration will honor [those] who provided the laugh track to our lives this past year: the pioneers who pushed boundaries; the TV shows that we rushed home for; the movies that are etched into our collective pop-culture memory; the stand-up comedians and the viral videos that make us laugh every day.”

Oscar-winning actor Michael Douglas, who revealed in August that he had throat cancer, said on Monday that his tumor is gone and chances are good he has beaten cancer. In an interview with U.S. morning news and talk show “Today,” Douglas told co-host Matt Lauer, “I feel good, relieved.

The Ohio homeless man whose smooth broadcaster voice made him an Internet sensation was questioned by police after he and his daughter got into a heated argument at a hotel during a trip to Hollywood to appear on “Dr. Phil” and “Entertainment Tonight.” “I don’t know how loud they were,” Officer Catherine Massey said, but the argument around 9 p.m. Monday at the Renaissance Hollywood Hotel & Spa led to a disturbance report. “It was minor. Both parties were angry but there were no signs of visible abuse,” Massey said Tuesday. She said Ted Williams and his daughter “were brought in, calmed down, talked to and released” and she did not know the nature of the argument.

Pop singer Shakira and her boyfriend of almost 11 years, Antonio de la Rue, have split, the singer announced on her blog. “Since August 2010, we made a mutual decision to take time apart from our romantic relationship. Throughout this time we have continued to work together hand in hand, have remained close and have kept the details absolutely private until now,” she wrote.

Dr Drew gets a daytime TV talker – with a new daily, half-hour CW show. The program — slated to air next fall — will focus on people dealing with conflicts in their lives, including relationship and addiction issues. Pinsky and a panel of experts — ranging from celebrities to people in the medical field — will attempt to help the show’s guests with their problems.

Justin Bieber (16) will return to CSI for an upcoming episode, CBS announced Tuesday.  Bieber will reprise the role of Jason McCann, a troubled boy whose brother was killed in the Season 11 premiere. Jason returns when he calls Nick (George Eads)) to alert him that he’s in imminent danger.

Conan O’Brien says he got a phone call from David Letterman over the holidays. The CBS host wanted to make sure a year of late-night TV turmoil hadn’t created a rift between them. O’Brien told reporters Wednesday that he and Letterman have “always been good. I said he didn’t owe me a phone call, but I appreciated it.” O’Brien wouldn’t be so receptive to a call from Jay Leno, who preceded and replaced him as “Tonight” show host. He says the reason is no mystery, noting, “We all know the story.”

Passing – David Nelson, who starred on his parents’ popular television show “The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet,” has died, a family spokesman said. He was 74. Nelson, who was battling complications of colon cancer, died Tuesday at his Los Angeles home, said family spokesman and longtime Hollywood publicist Dale Olson.

Actor Peter Fonda was part of a real-life mystery on Hollywood’s famed Sunset Boulevard on Wednesday. The Oscar-nominated actor (brother to Jane and son of the late Henry Fonda), 70, discovered a dead body inside a car parked on the famed street. Fonda found the deceased driver slumped over in the front seat and called 911.

Ted Williams, the 53-year-old former homeless man with the golden voice, is heading to rehab after having a one-on-one with Dr. Phil, the psychologist said in a statement. “If Ted is ever going to get better, he’s got to be honest with himself and admit he’s addicted to drugs and alcohol,” the statement said. Williams taped segments with his family members that will air Wednesday and Thursday. During the discussion, he admitted to drinking — an addiction he suffered in the past. The Brooklyn native began drinking and using drugs in 1996 and as a result, he lost his radio job and his home. Earlier this week, he said he’s been sober for two years.

King’s Speech” Golden Globe nominee Colin Firth now has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The British actor unveiled his sidewalk shrine Thursday in front of the Pig ‘N Whistle pub on Hollywood Boulevard. It’s the 2,429th star dedicated on the avenue of dreams.

Mark Harmon is America’s favorite TV star, according to a recent Harris Poll. Years after he played on St. Elsewhere and Chicago Hope, the 59-year-old NCIS star jumped seven spots from last year to beat out the reigning No. 1, Oprah Winfrey (who now ties at No. 2 with House’s Hugh Laurie).Of the 2,331 adults polled, more men said Harmon is their favorite, while women said Winfrey.

Paris Hilton’s life will be on display in a new Oxygen TV reality TV series. The cable channel said Thursday that “The World According to Paris” will debut this spring. An Oxygen executive described the series as “for real,” detailing the “highs” of the socialite turning 30 and her relationships.

Passing – John Dye, best known as the angel of death Andrew on “Touched By An Angel,” has died. He was 47. star Jesse Eisenberg will host the final Saturday Night Live of January, NBC announced Friday.

Music Passing – Trish Keenan, the lead singer of the British electronic pop music group Broadcast, has died, according to her record label. She was 42. She died from complications with pneumonia after battling the illness for two weeks in intensive care.

Following in the footsteps of Jennifer Lopez and Beyonce, Gwen Stefani has announced that she will be the next face of cosmetics giant L’Oreal Paris. “I can’t believe I get to be one of the L’Oreal Paris girls,” said the singer. “I love playing dress up, on stage or shooting videos, it’s always been one of my favorite parts of being in a band. And to get to work with such a modern, talented group of people is really exciting.”

Saturday Night Live – Jesse Eisenberg (The Social Network),who’s nominated for a Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild award for his portrayal of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, will host the Jan. 29 episode. He will be joined by musical guest Nicki Minaj.

Top Albums This Week In 2011:

Speak Now – Taylor Swift

Tron: Legacy Soundtrack

Pink Friday – Nicki Minaj

Doo-Wops & Hooligans – Bruno Mars

Loud – Rihanna

Recovery – Eminem

My Beautiful Dark Twisted Father – Kanye West

Sigh No More – Mumford & Sons

My Kinda Party – Jason Aldean

Teenage Dream – Katy Perry

Country Strong Soundtrack

A Merry Little Christmas – Lady Antebellum

Love Letter – R. Kelly

The Beginning – The Black Eyed Peas

Brothers – The Black Keys

Born Free – Kid Rock

Need You Know – Lady Antebellum

Best Night Of My Life – Jamie Foxx

No Mercy – T.J.

Greatest Hits So Far!!! – P!nk

Glee, The Music: Season Two

Calling All Hearts – Keyshia Cole

Michael – Michael Jackson

No Boys Allowed – Keri Hilson

I Am Not A Human Being – Lil Wayne

Lungs – Florence + The Machine

At the movies –

True Grit

Little Fockers

Season of the Witch (1st week $10.6 million)

TRON: Legacy

Black Swan

Country Strong

The Fighter

Yogi Bear

The King’s Speech

Tangled

The Chronicles of Narmia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

Gulliver’s Travels

Top TV Shows –

1. NFL Playoff Game 2: Jets at Indianapolis NBC
2. NFL Playoff Bridge (between Games 1 and 2) NBC
3. NFL Playoff Prekick (Game 2) NBC
4. NFL Wildcard Post-Game (Sunday) FOX
5. Two and a Half Men CBS
6. The Mentalist CBS
7. CSI: Crime Scene Investigation CBS
8. The Big Bang Theory CBS
9. Desperate Housewives ABC
10. The Simpsons FOX
11. Mike & Molly CBS
12. CSI: Miami CBS
13. Modern Family ABC
14. Undercover Boss CBS
15. Wipeout ABC
16. Grey’s Anatomy ABC
17. Hawaii Five-O CBS
18. (Bleep) My Dad Says CBS
19. Law & Order: SVU NBC
20. 60 Minutes

This Week In History as compiled by Gary West of www.mrpopculture.com and www.mrpophistory.com.

Mr. Pop Culture Report – New Facebook Profiles Begin… Another “Awards” Ceremony – The Media Already Has A Ton Of Them… Dr Phil Is Capitalizing On That (Once) Homeless Radio Announcer… Top Albums This Week In Pop History… This Radio Talent Doesn’t Dig The Ted Williams Hoopla… Oh, And – There Are Now (Two) Ted Williams’ In Pop Culture History. Remember The Other One?

The Game Is On As New Facebook Profiles… Starting (January 13) all accounts will be upgraded to the new profile. The new Facebook profiles feature a revamped interface, as well as easy access to photos of the user. The profiles also offer more details about work and education information, while letting users put friends into distinct categories, list various interests, and fill out a nifty new “about me” user summary.

Another Awards Show! – MTV Comedy Central have announced The Comedy Awards, an event honoring the industry’s top writers, directors, actors and stand-up comedians. “This historic, one-night-only celebration will honor [those] who provided the laugh track to our lives this past year: the pioneers who pushed boundaries; the TV shows that we rushed home for; the movies that are etched into our collective pop-culture memory; the stand-up comedians and the viral videos that make us laugh every day.”

Ted Williams, the 53-year-old former homeless man with the golden voice, is heading to rehab after having a one-on-one with Dr. Phil, the psychologist said in a statement. “If Ted is ever going to get better, he’s got to be honest with himself and admit he’s addicted to drugs and alcohol,” the statement said. Williams taped segments with his family members that will air Wednesday and Thursday. During the discussion, he admitted to drinking — an addiction he suffered in the past. The Brooklyn native began drinking and using drugs in 1996 and as a result, he lost his radio job and his home. Earlier this week, he said he’s been sober for two years.

Top Albums This Week In 2011:

Speak Now – Taylor Swift

Tron: Legacy Soundtrack

Pink Friday – Nicki Minaj

Doo-Wops & Hooligans – Bruno Mars

Loud – Rihanna

Recovery – Eminem

Dan Ingram, legendary NY Voice Over and DJ,  Doesn’t Dig The Ted Williams Stuff… A letter to the Ken Levine Blog:

I feel used and conned by all the sob-sister P.R. crap about the poor scab VO guy who is selling his rather resonant voice because he’s an ex junkie and an ex lush. I know at least fifty thoroughly qualified VO men and women who have never been hooked on drugs or anything else who are having difficulty making a living wage doing VO work as honorable Union members. They all know from their endeavors how fickle, thoughtless and downright cruel the VO business can be. I know that I do, especially lately.

I wish him success when he hits the bricks like the rest of us. And success under a Union contract.

In solidarity,
Dan Ingram

Speaking of Ted Williams, here’s a picture of the other one – the baseball legend!

Gary West – www.mrpopculture.com  or if you prefer   www.mrpophistory.com

Mr. Pop Culture Report – Let’s Review Last Week… December 15-21 2010. The World’s Largest And Best This Week In Review Place.

From the Mr. Pop Culture database – the largest of its kind:

Week of December 15-21 2010 – The week in news, pop culture, trends…

Police investigating a possible serial killer have determined that four decomposed bodies found recently along a remote New York beach are all women. The four bodies were systematically dumped, perhaps over a period of 18 months or longer, along a desolate, wind-swept stretch of highway that on sunny summer days transports thousands to the white sands of Jones Beach, police said.

LAS VEGAS — Waving a gun, a motorcycle helmet-wearing bandit ordered wide-eyed gamblers and dealers back from a Bellagio craps table, and quickly stashed at least $1.5 million in casino chips into a bag. As he fled, casino security had a choice: Let the armed robber escape, or get into a dangerous shootout.In the end, the bandit casually jogged out of the posh resort — every step captured by surveillance cameras, and broadcast later around the world. He disappeared into the neon light of the Las Vegas Strip.

India – Firefighters searched a gutted garment factory  for more possible victims of a devastating fire that trapped workers and forced some to jump to their deaths. At least 29 fatalities were reported. No more bodies were immediately found, said Nilufar Yasmine, a fire department official.

Consumer prices increased slightly last month as food and energy costs ticked up, but there was little sign of widespread inflation. The Consumer Price Index rose 0.1 percent in November, less than the previous month’s rise of 0.2 percent, the Labor Department said Wednesday. In the past year, prices have moved up only 1.1 percent.

Two suicide bombers blew themselves up near a mosque in southeastern Iran on Wednesday, killing at least 39 people, including a newborn baby, at a Shiite mourning ceremony, state media reported. The attack, which also injured 90 people, took place outside the Imam Hussein Mosque in the port city of Chahbahar, near the border with Pakistan, the official IRNA news agency said.

Oops!  Mr. Pop Photo – Mick Jagger From 1964 Wearing A WMCA (radio) ) Goodguy Sweatshirt. Now back to the week of December 15-21, 2010…

For the second time this year the House voted to dismantle the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, giving the Senate a final shot in the waning days of this Congress at changing a law requiring thousands of uniformed gays to hide their sexual identity. The strong 250-175 House vote Wednesday propels the issue to the Senate, where supporters of repeal say they have the votes but perhaps not the time to get the bill to the floor. It could be the last chance for some time to legislatively end the 1993 law that forbids recruiters from asking about sexual orientation and troops from acknowledging that they are gay.

In a reach across party lines the Senate overwhelmingly passed sweeping legislation Wednesday to prevent a Jan. 1 income tax increase for millions and renew jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed. The 81-19 roll call cleared the way for a suspenseful vote in the House on Thursday, where rebellious liberals announced plans to try and stiffen an estate tax provision they oppose as too generous to the rich.

President Barack Obama told war-weary Americans on Thursday that enough progress was being made in Afghanistan to begin withdrawing U.S. troops in July, even as he faces growing doubts about his war strategy. Obama, under pressure to show results after criticizing his predecessor George W. Bush for neglecting the war, insisted that U.S.-led forces were scoring gains against the Taliban and al Qaeda but warned they were fragile and reversible.

Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been named Time’s “Person of the Year” for 2010, joining the ranks of winners that include heads of state and rock stars as the person the magazine believes most influenced events of the past year. At 26, Zuckerberg is the youngest “Person of the Year” since the first one chosen, Charles Lindbergh; he was 25 when he was named in 1927, Time said Wednesday. Zuckerberg beat out Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II by just two weeks: She was 26 when she was named in 1952.

The founder of WikiLeaks said Friday he fears that the United States is preparing to indict him, but insisted that the secret-spilling site would continue its work despite what he claims is a dirty tricks campaign. Assange spoke from snowbound Ellingham Hall, a supporter’s 10-bedroom country mansion where he is confined on bail as he fights Sweden’s attempt to extradite him on allegations of rape and molestation.

President Barack Obama signed into law a huge, holiday-season tax bill extending cuts for all Americans on Friday, saluting a new spirit of political compromise as Republicans applauded and liberals seethed. The benefits range from tax cuts for millionaires and the middle class to longer-term help for the jobless.

The U.N. Security Council met in emergency session Sunday amid rising tensions on the Korean Peninsula and a North Korean warning of a “catastrophe” if South Korea goes ahead with a live-fire drill. Russia called for the meeting, and Moscow wants the U.N.’s most powerful body to adopt a statement calling on North Korea and South Korea “to exercise maximum restraint” and urging immediate diplomatic efforts to reduce tensions.

Pakistan’s top spy agency denied Saturday that it helped unmask the CIA’s station chief in Islamabad, dismissing speculation it was retaliating for a U.S. lawsuit linking the Pakistani intelligence chief to the 2008 attacks in Mumbai, India.

The latest in a series of powerful storm systems is bearing down on California, pelting mountain areas with heavy rain, snow and high winds, prompting evacuations and leaving thousands without power. Virtually the entire state has been affected by the storms.

An explosive device was found Tuesday under a subway-car seat in Rome and bomb-disposal experts were examining whether it was an attempted Christmas season terror attack, officials said. The ANSA news agency said the device was in a package that had wires, pipes and explosive powder.

There have been growing concerns in Europe about holiday season attacks following a suicide bombing in Sweden and official fears of an assault on a European city modeled on the deadly shooting spree in Mumbai, India.

Moon eclipse – The 3 1/2 hour celestial spectacle was visible from North and Central America where skies were clear. Portions of Europe and Asia only caught part of the show.

Secrets about Apple Inc.’s iPhone were among insider trading tips that led to the arrests Thursday of three employees at public companies and a sales executive at a California expert-networking firm, authorities said as they boosted to six the number of arrests in a wide-ranging Wall Street insider trading probe.

Steve Jobs action figures that got so much press last month has sold online for $2,500. The SJ Action Figure, you may recall, was hand-painted doll that sold for $99 until Apple) complained to M.I.C Gadget — its Chinese manufacturer — that the toy constituted an unauthorized use of a person’s name or likeness and threatened to sue under California Civil Code Section 3344. Only 300 were made.

Nielsen Study – In the U.S., 33% of young mobile users have smartphones. Italy had the highest smartphone penetration among youth (47%), and India had the lowest (10%). One surprise: Most young U.S. smartphone users (55%) are female. In every other country studied, most young smartphone users are male.

The Obama administration on Thursday unveiled a proposed new framework for protecting consumers’ privacy online. The plan centers around a “Privacy Bill of Rights” that would encourage better transparency about data collection online, according to the Commerce Department’s report on its policy recommendations. It would promote “informed consent” for consumers through simple notices that clearly state what personal information will be collected and what will be done with it.

New York Gov. David Paterson contradicted his staff, the Yankees and common sense when he falsely claimed he always intended to pay for five tickets to the first game of the 2009 World Series at Yankee Stadium, a state commission said in assessing him a $62,125 fine.

In a report from The Environmental Working Group  indicats that millions of Americans are regularly drinking hexavalent chromium, made famous in the film “Erin Brockovich” as a carcinogen, through their tap water. The group tested water from 35 U.S. cities and found that samples from 31 cities contained hexavalent chromium. The highest concentrations were found in Norman, Okla.; Honolulu; and Riverside, Calif. The substance had been a widely used industrial chemical for decades and has evidently leached into the groundwater in many areas.

Federal regulators adopted new rules Tuesday to keep the companies that control the Internet’s pipelines from restricting what their customers do online or blocking competing services, including online calling applications and Web video. The vote by the Federal Communications Commission was 3-2 and quickly came under attack from the commission’s two Republicans, who said the rules would discourage investments in broadband. Prominent Republicans in Congress vowed to work to overturn them.

Republican-leaning states will gain at least a half dozen House seats thanks to the 2010 census, which found the nation’s population growing more slowly than in past decades but still shifting to the South and West. The Census Bureau announced Tuesday that the nation’s population on April 1 was 308,745,538, up from 281.4 million a decade ago. The growth rate for the past decade was 9.7 percent, the lowest since the Great Depression. The nation’s population grew by 13.2 percent from 1990 to 2000. Michigan was the only state to lose population during the past decade. Nevada, with a 35 percent increase, was the fastest-growing state.

The State Department is ordering most of its personnel to leave Ivory Coast because of what officials are calling a deteriorating political and security situation and growing anti-Western sentiment. A disputed presidential election has led to deadly violence in Ivory Coast and threats of international sanctions if President Laurent Gbagbo refuses to relinquish power.

Sports – The Yankees Wanted Him – But the Phillies Got Him Instead! The The Philadelphia Phillies agreed to terms late Monday night with Cliff Lee, the prized left-hander who pitched for them in the 2009 World Series, according to a baseball executive told of the deal. The executive was granted anonymity so he could speak freely about a contract that was not completed.  The contract is believed to be for five years and $120 million (or $24 million a year) with a vesting option for a sixth year based on innings pitched. The baseball executive said the Yankees initially offered Lee six years for $138 million (or $23 million a year), then extended the offer to seven years at $148 million.

Entertainment news –

Passing – Director, writer and producer Blake Edwards, who made more than 40 films including the classic “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” and the “Pink Panther” comedies, has died from complications of pneumonia at age 88. A spokesman for his wife, Julie Andrews, said Edwards died Wednesday night at St. John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, California, with Andrews and immediate family members by his side.

Vince and wife Kyla Weber welcomed daughter Locklyn Kyla Vaughn into their family on Saturday in Chicago, a rep for the “Wedding Crashers” star has confirmed.

While the top two searches of the year went to the oil spill debacle in the Gulf of Mexico and the World Cup in South Africa, Miley Cyrus earned the honors of the Year’s Most Searched Person on Yahoo! Miley was a fixture on the cyber scene this past year, with the ending of her long-running Disney show, “Hannah Montana,” her on-again off-again relationship with now ex-boyfriend Liam Hemsworth, her provocative dance moves in an Adam Shankman video, her parents’ highly-publicized split and the most recent video leak of her holding a bong smoking what was reported to be the herb Salvia. Following Miley on the list of most searched celebrities was reality queen,Kim Kardashian. The “Keeping Up With The Kardashians” star was quite busy in 2010, earning her a spot at the top of The Daily Beast’s “Highest Paid Reality TV Stars” list. On Yahoo!’s Most Searched list, she was #4 overall.

At 88-years-old, actress Betty White had a year that would have been remarkable at any age. For her influence on entertainment and culture in 2010, AP members voted her Entertainer of the Year.

Music  news -Singer-songwriter Neil Diamond the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame next year, he announced on his website. “Any club that has Chuck Berry and Little Richard and The Everly Brothers is a club that I want to be a part of,” the 69-year-old “Sweet Caroline” singer said in a statement. “I think it’s great. I’m happy that they recognized me and my work.” Artists are eligible for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 25 years after the release of their first single or album, although Diamond began recording in the 1960s.

Garth Brook’s offer to perform a benefit concert for Tennessee flood  Victims has become nine sold-out concerts beginning on Thursday night, and the music star said he was overwhelmed by the response. Brooks, the all-time best-selling star in country music, will raise at least $4 million for the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee for the nine concerts over six days. Merchandise sales could raise another $1 million. Brooks announced in October that he would do one show in Nashville to benefit the foundation. When tickets went on sale November 3, he sold out nine shows in four hours.

Troubled rapper DMX was sentenced to one year in prison by an Arizona judge on Thursday after admitting he violated his probation by drinking alcohol, court officials said. The rapper, whose real name is Earl Simmons, was on probation for attempted aggravated assault and using a fake name to avoid paying a $7,500 hospital bill.

Arizona Superior Court Commissioner Christine Mulleneaux said DMX would receive credit for 113 days already served in prison while he awaiting trial.

It’s a sad day for Parisian “little monsters” after Lady Gaga’s concert in Paris has been canceled due to complications arising from a severe storm. The princess of pop took to Twitter early Sunday morning to vent her frustration, Tweeting, “All 28 of my trucks for the Monsterball [tour] were detained by the French government going on over 26 hrs, 2 of my employees were arrested trying to get into Paris so we could perform.

Kanye West has been named MTV’s Man of the Year.
The rapper won the honor for his “compelling” comeback story after starting the year as a villain, thanks to his infamous mic-swipe from Taylor Swift, and ending it as a “hero.”

After a self-imposed hiatus, West started his comeback in May, releasing “Power.” Two months later, he joined Twitter, unleashing infinitely entertaining stream of consciousness in 140-character bursts. By the fall, he wowed fans with his performances on the MTV VIdeo Music Awards and Saturday Night Live; directed a short film, Runaway; released his album, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy; made amends with George W.Bush  – but in a tiff with Matt Lauer.

Shania Twain and Nestle business executive Frederic Thiebaud are engaged. He’s her ex-best friend’s former husband!

Television news –

Larry King’s Last CNN SHow – More than 2.2 million tuned in to watch King’s final CNN show on Thursday night. That may not sound like a huge number, but it was up more than 100% compared to the previous night. King even beat Fox News Channel’s Sean Hannity, the perennial 9 p.m. cable news, for total tune-in. Hannity was watched by 2.1 million. But Hannity did beat King among news’ target demographic of 25-54 year olds (543,000 vs. 530,000).

Passing – Steve Landesberg – best known as Detective Sgt. Arthur Dietrich on the long-running 1970s cop comedy “Barney Miller.” He was 65.

The much-touted “Sing Off” finale finale didn’t exactly reach fortissimo, but it helped NBC win the night with its 2.7 ratings among 18-to-49-year-olds. The two-hour show averaged 8 million-plus viewers, but was down 18 percent in the demo from the previous Monday. The premiere of Perfect Couples, which followed it at 10/9c, attracted just a 1.9 in 18-49.

At the movies this week in 2010 –

TRON: Legacy (1st week $44.026 million)

Yogi Bear (1st week $16.411 million)

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

The Fighter

Tangled

The Tourist

Black Swan

How Do You Know (1st week $7.484 million)

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – part 1

Unstoppable

Burlesque

Due Date

Love & Other Drugs

Hit Hits This Week –

Firework – Katy Perry

Raise Your Glass – P!nk

Grenade – Bruno Mars

We R Who We R – Ke$ha

Only Girl (in the World) – Rihanna

The Time (Dirty Bit) – The Black Eyed Peas

Just Tthe Way Your Are – Bruno Mars

Bottoms Up – Trey Songz fea. Nicki Minaj

Just a Dream – Nelly

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

Black and Yello – Wiz Khalifa

Dynamite  Taio Cruz

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

No Hands – Waka Flocka Flame fea. Roscoe & Wal

That’s All She Wrote – T.J. fea. Eminem

Stereo Love – Edward Maya & Vika Jigulina

Teenage Dream – Katy Perry

Please Don’t Go – Mike Posner

Animal  – Neon Trees

F**k You ( Forget You) – Cee Lo Green

Secrets – One Republic

Coming  Home – Diddy – Dirty Money fea. Skylar Grey

Top Video Games –

Wii Sports

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm (PC)

Wii Sports Resort

New Super Mario Bros. Wii

Kinect  Adventures (X360)

Call of Duty: Black Ops (X360, PS3)

Just Dance Wii

Mario Kart DS

Donkey Kong Country Returns Wii

Top TV  -

NFL Football: Philadelphia at Dallas NBC
2. Sunday Night NFL Pre-Kick NBC
3. 60 Minutes CBS
4. Criminal Minds CBS
5. Two and a Half Men CBS
6. The Mentalist CBS
7. Barbara Walters Special ABC
8. CSI: Crime Scene Investigation CBS
9. Barbara Walters Presents: The 10 Most Fascinating People ABC
10. Survivor: Nicaragua CBS
11. Amazing Race 17 CBS
12. The Big Bang Theory CBS
13. Football Night in America NBC
14. NCIS CBS
15. Desperate Housewives ABC
16. Undercover Boss CBS
17. Modern Family ABC
18. Glee FOX
19. Mike & Molly CBS
20. The Defenders CBS

Hip Wednesday Night TV (Dec. 15) (TV Squad)

8:00 to 9:00
CBS: ‘Survivor: Nicaragua’
FOX: ‘Human Target’
NBC: ‘The Sing-Off’ — (120 minutes)
PBS: ‘Christmas With the Mormon Tabernacle Choir’ — Featuring guests Natalie Cole and David McCullough
ABC Family: ‘Disney Prep & Landing’
DIY: ‘Cool Tools’ — Two episodes
G4: ‘American Ninja Warrior’
NatGeo: ‘Lockdown’
TLC: ‘My Skin is Killing Me’
VH1: ‘Let’s Spend the Night Together: Confessions of Rock’s Greatest Groupies’

The rest of the schedule and the late night talk shows after the jump.

9:00 to 10:00
CBS: ‘Criminal Minds’
FOX: ‘Hell’s Kitchen’**
PBS: ‘Paris: The Luminous Years’ — (120 minutes)
A&E: ‘Dog the Bounty Hunter’ — 9:30 start
BBC America: ‘I’d Do Anything’ — (120 minutes)
CNBC: ‘Behind the Counter: The Untold Story of Franchising’
Discovery: ‘MythBusters’
DisneyXD: ‘Naruto: Shippuden’
DIY: ’10 Grand in Your Hand’
G4: ‘American Ninja Warrior’
History: ‘Third Reich: The Fall’ — (120 minutes)
ID: ‘The Will: Family Secrets Revealed’
NatGeo: ‘Border Wars’
Science Channel: ‘Oddities’
TLC: ‘Untold Stories of the E.R.’
Travel: ‘Man v. Food: Carnivore Chronicles’
Showtime: ‘Inside the NFL’
USA: ‘Psych’

10:00 to 11:00
CBS: ‘The Defenders’
A&E: ‘Storage Wars’ — Two episodes
Bio: ‘Biography’ — Former husband to Sandra Bullock, Jesse James
Bravo: ‘Top Chef: All-Stars’
Cooking Channel: ‘Bitchin’ Kitchen’
DIY: ‘Holiday Wrap-Up’ and ‘Disaster House’
E!: ‘E! Investigates’ — The real-life military wives
G4: ‘American Ninja Warrior’
HBO: ’24/7 Penguins/Capitals: Road to the NHL Winter Classic’
ID: ‘Hookers: Saved on the Strip’
MTV: ‘Challenge: Cutthroat’**
NatGeo: ‘Wild Justice’
NatGeo WILD: ‘Python vs. Gator’
Spike: ’1000 Ways to Die’ and ‘MANswers’
TBS: ‘Tyler Perry’s Meet the Browns’ — Two episodes
TLC: ‘The Boy With Bloody Tears’
Travel: ‘Pasta Paradise’
truTV: ‘Full Throttle Saloon’
USA: ‘Psych’


11:00
‘Charlie Rose’ (PBS): TBA, though the cast and director of ‘Blue Valentine’ may appear since they were pushed back last night due to a tribute to the late Richard Holbrooke
‘Watch What Happens: Live’ (Bravo): Phaedra Parks and Atlanta housewife Apollo Nida
‘The Mo’Nique Show’ (BET): Shante Broadus; Aldis Hodge; Anjela Johnson; Anoop Desai, LPA
‘The Daily Show’ (Comedy Central): Paul Rudd
‘Chelsea Lately’ (E!): Ciara
‘Conan’ (TBS): Amy Adams; Roger Waters; performance by Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeroes

11:30
‘Late Show With David Letterman’ (CBS): Matt Damon; performance by Florence & the Machine
‘The Tonight Show’ (NBC): Jason Segel; ‘Top Gear’ hosts Adam Ferrara, Tanner Foust and Rutledge Wood
‘The Colbert Report’ (Comedy Central): Laird Hamilton

Midnight
‘Jimmy Kimmel Live’ (ABC): Jeff Bridges; performance by Diddy
‘Tavis Smiley’ (PBS): Kevin Spacey; Amy Adams
‘Lopez Tonight’ (TBS): Mila Kunis; Dr. Drew Pinsky; Chrisette Michele

12:30
‘The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson’ (CBS): Seth Green; magician Jamy Ian Swiss; performance by Ruth Gerson
‘Late Night With Jimmy Fallon’ (NBC): Paul Rudd; Jon Lovitz; performance by Aloe Blacc

1:30
‘Last Call With Carson Daly’ (NBC): Adam Carolla; actor Casey Pieretti; performance by School of Seven Bells

Hip Saturday Night TV (Dec 18)  (TV Squad)

8:00 to 9:00
ABC: ‘I Want a Dog For Christmas, Charlie Brown!’
FOX: ‘Cops’
Disney Channel: ‘Fish Hooks’ — 8:30 start
Univision: ‘Sabado Gigante’ — (180 minutes)
CNN: ‘A Soldier’s Story’
Discovery: ‘Ten Commandments of the Mafia’
Food Network: ‘A McConaughey and Fieri Feast’
Hallmark Channel: ‘Battle of the Bulbs’ — (120 minutes) Daniel Stern and Matt Fewer star as feuding neighbors who compete in the annual Christmas lighting contest
HGTV: ‘Color Splash’
History: ‘The Naturalized’ — (120 minutes)
Style: ‘How Do I Look?’**

9:00 to 10:00
FOX: ‘America’s Most Wanted’
NBC: ‘WWE Tribute to the Troops’
Bio: ‘Celebrity Ghost Stories’
CNBC: ‘The Suze Orman Show’
Discovery: ‘I (Almost) Got Away With It’
Disney Channel: ‘Fish Hooks’ — Two episodes
DIY: ‘Renovation Realities’
ESPN: ‘New Orleans Bowl’ — Ohio vs. Troy
Food Network: ‘Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives’
Style: ‘Lucky’s 10 Biggest Obsessions Ever’
We: ‘Downsized’

10:00 to 11:00
Animal Planet: ‘Pit Bulls and Parolees’
BBC America: ‘The Graham Norton Show’ — Barry Manilow; Katherine Jenkins; KT Tunstall
CNBC: ‘Til Debt Do Us Part’
Cooking Channel: ‘Two Fat Ladies’ — Two episodes
Discovery: ‘I Shouldn’t Be Alive’
HBO: ‘Ricky Gervais: Out of England 2 – The Stand-Up Special’
MSNBC: ‘Lockup: Raw’
Style: ‘The Dish Salutes 2010′s Craziest Moments’
We: ‘Downsized’**

‘Saturday Night Live’ — Host Jeff Bridges with musical guests Eminem and Lil Wayne

Mr. Pop Culture Report – December 9… Will Chrome Be Gold For Google?… Mr. Pop Reports The Assassination of John Lennon…

The first laptops powered by Google Inc’s Chrome operating system will reach store shelves months later than expected and miss the holiday shopping season as the Internet company fixes software issues. The Web-centric computers, intended as an incursion into territory dominated for years by Microsoft Corp and Apple Inc, will ship around the middle of 2011.

Mr. Pop chronicles John Lennon’s death... Let’s go back to the week of December 8, 1980… Hard to believe John Lennon’s been gone 30 years:

Beatle  John Lennon is slain in front of the Dakota apartment building he and Yoko called home. The suspect is Mark David Chapman, who was photographed getting an autograph from John Lennon by Paul Goresh, who talked to Chapman earlierin the evening. He said a guy named Mark, spoke with a Southern accent and said he was from Hawaii by way of Atlanta. “He said he spent the last three days trying to see Lennon and get an autograph on Lennon‟s new album.” When Lennon and his wife emerged from the building, mark approached with the album said Goresh. “He timidly held it in front of him. Lennon took it and signed “‟John Lennon‟ across the cover.”
Police say Lennon and his wife arrived at 10:50pm in a limousine from a recording studio and had just stepped out of the car when the gunman approached them. “Mr. Lennon” the man said, drawing a .38 caliber handgun from under his coat. Chapman then opened fire without waiting for an answer. Lennon was struck in the chest, back and
shoulder and staggered from the sidewalk into a small vestibule of the apartment used by the doorman. “Do you
know what you just did?” said the doorman to Chapman? “I just shot john Lennon,” the gunman responded throwing down his gun. The first policeman arrived and made the decision to take Lennon directly to the hospital without
waiting for an ambulance. Lennon was rushed to Roosevelt Hospital, less than a mile away. Doctors pronounced him dead at the hospital.
Next day – Ringo Starr and his wife Barbara Bach slipped into the Dakota building to see Yoko. They broke off a vacation to fly into the United States after hearing of the murder. Paul McCartney – quoted leaving his Sussex, England farmhouse after learning of Lennon‟s murder – “I can‟t take it at the moment. He is going to be missed by the whole world.”
In New York, President-elect Ronald Reagan, asked about the Lennon shooting said “we have to find an answer” to violence in the nation‟s streets, but that handgun control legislation is not the answer. Asked if there is any solution to such killings, Reagan said, “Well if there is, it should be done, but I think the overall picture of violence in our streets has to be treated.” He called the murder of John Lennon “a great tragedy… just further evidence of something we‟ve got to stop.”
Despite the murder of her husband, Yoko Ono still believes in the philosophy of peace: This is not a time for hate or disillusionment.” She said of the even – “it was so sudden… so sudden. We had planned to go out to eat after leaving the recording studio but we decided to go straight home instead. We were talking to the entrance of the building when I heard the shot. I didn’t realize at first John had been hit. He kept walking, then he fell and I saw the blood.”
Continued Yoko Ono - “The future is still ours to make. The 80‟s will blossom if only people accept peace and love in their hearts. It would just ad to the tragedy if people turned away from the message in John‟s music.”
John Lennon is cremated and his ashes are privately unturned sources close to Lennon‟s family said the action was taken to avoid any of the mass public adulation that has marked the grave of Elvis Presley in Memphis.
Yoko Ono says she has explained the killing to their 5-year-old son Sean: “I told Sean what happened. I showed him the picture of his father on the cover of the paper and explained the situation.” “I took Sean to the spot where John lay after he was shot. Sean wanted to know why the person shot John if he liked John. I explained the he was probably a confused person.‟
The lawyer for Mark David Chapman is replaced after he reportedly received death threats an after he told the court the defense had become „an albatross” in terms of the time it was taking from his other clients. Mark David Chapman is secretly moved from a psychiatric hospital to an island jail in the East River.
And Now The Following Week – December 15, 1980 As Reported At www.mrpophistory.com:
Sunday – More than 100,000 pack hillsides and valleys in Central Park during John Lennon commemorative services. A smaller crowd gathered outside the Dakota, the apartment house where Lennon lived and was shot.
Yoko Ono asks fans “to pray for John’s soul” for 10 minutes on Sunday. She thanked the millions of fans
and friends who paid tribute to Lennon in a worldwide outpouring of tears and silent prayer. She said she
saw her husband “smiling in the sky.”
Radio Comes Through -The stations to listen to in New York were WNEW-FM and WPLJ-FM for John Lennon. WNEW-FM prepared the selections for the Sunday Central Park gathering and they included classical selections and
Beatle songs. WNEW-FM went commercial-free for 12 hours after the murder was reported to the media. Lennon Tribute recordings. WABC -AM also went into John Lennon mode with Beatles music and veteran DJ Dan Ingram talked about WABC’s days when the Beatles first came to NY in 1964. All-news 1010WINS featured a story on how the Beatles were a part of WINS and Murray the K – back when they played top-40 music.
John Lennon Tributes Begin –
Since Lennon’s death, four tributes of the slain Beatle have been recorded. The first one, on Shelby Singleton’s Sun Label, was written, recorded and shipped within 48 hours of the murder. Three of the four songs came from Nashville. The fourth, “We won’t say Goodbye, John,” was recorded in Los Angeles. Here they are:

“John” – Baxter, Baxter & Baxter“John Would Agree” – Contains Beatles-flavored tracks – by Bob Farnsworth, “Elegy For the Walrus” – Sid Bradley. Another – “We Won’t say Goodbye – Iren Koste

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 – November 18… Puff The Magic Diddy (drinks by the sea), Keith Urban Goes Urban… Paul McCartney Is Sirius About This Concert… Bill Nye The Unconscious Guy… A Note From HBO.

He’s Puff The Magic Diddy – Advertising Age names Ciroc vodkas one of America’s hottest brands — and Brand Manager/CMO Sean “Diddy” Combs loves it. “This is a huge honor for us to be included in this illustrious list,” “It shows that Ciroc Ultra Premium Vodka is a brand America loves and hard work pays off!” “Made in France, Croc vodka … is one of the first vodkas made from fine French grapes, mauzac blanc and ugni blanc, and it is distilled five times,” says the magazine. “But what really sets this brand apart are its street credentials.”

Keith Urban Is Back – Country music star Keith Urban is used to seeing screaming fans — just not necessarily meeting them up close at the train station. Urban promoted his new album, “Get Closer,” in stops at New York’s Penn Station and 30th Street Station in Philadelphia on Tuesday. The CD is now getting into fans’ hands and looks to land #1 on the country album charts in a week or two.

Beatles Now On iTunes – Users can buy the Fab Four’s remastered studio albums, collections and a digital box set. Looks like “Abbey Road” is the top seller – at least for now.  While Beatles fans celebrate the addition of the band’s catalog to iTunes, Paul McCartney will help Sirius XM Radio ring in a milestone of its own next month. McCartney will play New York’s Apollo Theater for the first time on December 13, in an invitation-only event for listeners of the satellite radio service as it approaches 20 million subscribers. The concert will be broadcast live on six different Sirius XM channels. The company also announced the launch of “Paul McCartney’s ‘s Band on the Run Radio,” a commerical-free music channel showcasing McCartney’s catalog that will run 24/7 from November 29 to December 26. The channel coincides with the reissue earlier this month of “Band on the Run,” McCartney’s 1973 album with Wings.

The host of the Emmy-winning 1990s TV show Bill Nye the Science Guy, 54, collapsed mid-sentence in front of hundreds of audience members during a speaking engagement at the University of Southern California. About 10 seconds after his fall, “he popped back up with much gusto and asked everybody how long he was out for and went on with a story about how a similar thing happened to him that morning,” an audience member said.

Check out HBO’s upcoming documentary called PUBLIC SPEAKING, directed by Oscar winner Martin Scorsese and produced by Emmy - and Peabody-winning documentary producer Graydon Carter, about legendary New York writer Fran Lebowitz. PUBLIC SPEAKING premieres Monday, November 22nd on HBO. Directed in the style of Scorsese’s early documentaries “Italian American” and “American Boy,” PUBLIC SPEAKING showcases Lebowitz’s worldview and experiences.  Spotlighting her trademark humor, the film weaves together extemporaneous monologues with archival footage. We have key art, stills, trailer and clips from the film for you. http://www.hbo.com/documentaries/public-speaking It’s Mr. Pop Culture recommended!

Mr Pop Culture Report – November 9… (Exclusive) Midday Personality Radio Is Still Alive And Well And Thrives At WCBS-FM. The Personality Is Bob Shannon – Who Never Seems To Have A Bad Day On The Air.

Mr. Pop – Bob, a pleasure talking to one of the best NYC radio personalities. For those who don’t know WCBS-FM, what’s the station playing?

Bob Shannon – The station use to be “oldies” and began back in the early 1970’s playing mostly 1950’s hits. With the years, the station adjusted – and today, we play the hits of 1980’s, the ‘70’s, some 60’s and very little, if any of the 1950’s.

Mr. Pop – And that was inevitable. As the population gets older, stations such as WCBS-FM and, as another example, K-Earth in Los Angeles, have adjusted the hit music they play as they move forward in time.

Bob Shannon – That’s correct. It’s all about reaching the age groups advertisers love – 25-54. A few years ago, so-called “oldies” stations went away and along came “classic hits” which added more of the 1980’s.

Mr. Pop – Bob, what about mixing the 1980’s with the other two decades, mostly 1970’s? It seems to me, it’s not as easy.

Bob Shannon – That’s correct. It is more difficult. The key is picking the right songs; the common denominator songs.

Mr. Pop – Not to sound cliché, but you began in radio back when top-40 AM stations had their music audience grip. Back when DJ’s talked more. A time when there were hardly music sweeps. It was play the song, perhaps a jingle… then DJ talk into a commercial – DJ talk, perhaps another jingle and into a record and the DJ talked over that intro. Then repeated. There were no so-called commercial sets either. You had to be on top of your game. Now, here it is – and you’ve survived in this crazy business.

Bob Shannon – I guess I’ve adapted to each change and each era. Today, I’m a mix of all of it. Having done a variety of approaches, I would say it’s not, “today vs. before.” I think it’s, “today incorporating the best of before.”

Mr. Pop – Well said. And technology now lets us listen to stations such as WCBS-FM almost anywhere.

Bob Shannon – That’s correct. A great example of that is an e-mail I received from somebody listening on a lake in Europe.

Mr. Pop – There’s talk now that radio, as we know it, is on its way out. I don’t believe it. Do you?

Bob Shannon – There’s always going to be a place for it. Especially if it offers what it does best – immediacy and a local feel.

Mr. Pop – Bob, it’s apparent to me that you have a lot of fans. I know you no longer do a website – so how do you keep in touch – or let listeners know what’s on your mind?

Bob Shannon – They can go to the WCBS-FM website www.wcbsfm.radio.com and find my blog. It’s a great way to stay connected. And, I have a terrific audience.

Mr. Pop – Has the new method of ratings – the PPM audio method, affected how you do your show? What do you think of the technology?

Bob Shannon – Well, it’s like anything new. Some believe it to be more accurate then the older diary method because it’s in real time. Others say no, because it measures what you’re hearing – and it’s not necessarily from your radio. Again, as I said before, you just have to adapt and keep an open mind.

Mr. Pop – And so far from what the ratings tell us, your show and the station are doing just fine under the new technology. One final question: Do you plan a sequel to your groundbreaking “Behind the Hits” book of the 1980’s?

Bob Shannon – Probably not. My book partner and I decided that so much artist and story information is available on the Internet – that it just wouldn’t make sense.

Mr. Pop – The book is fascinating and it’s hard to believe it was before all of this. Thanks Bob for your time today!