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Friday 1.31.14
Today's Trivia: He was the original guitarist and a founding member of the group Chicago. He died in early 1978 eight days before his 32nd birthday. The cause of death was an unintentional self-inflicted gunshot wound. Who was he?

A Utah ape that has correctly picked the Super Bowl winner for six straight years predicted yesterday that the Seattle Seahawks will be the next NFL champion. Eli the ape ran into an enclosure yesterday morning and swiftly knocked down a papier-mache helmet bearing the Seahawks logo, signaling his pick, said Erica Hansen of Hogle Zoo in Salt Lake City. She said, "He made his pick without any hesitation." That could mean bad news for Broncos fans. The 13-year-old primate hasn't been wrong since 2006.

Sunday can't get here soon enough, eh?  Broncos vs.Seahawks.  Number one offense vs. number one defense. It doesn't get any better than this.  Kick off Sunday afternoon at 3:25.

Not only was it Media Week for the players. It was also for the performers. Bruno Mars spoke to reporters ahead of his Super Bowl Sunday halftime show. Bruno is performing with the Red Hot Chili Peppers. The stage, which is usually in the center of the field, will, instead, be rolled out from behind the Denver Broncos bench at halftime. Bruno says that he has at least one surprise in store for the show.

Birthdays: Actress Carol Channing is 93; baseball Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan is 67; Harry Wayne Casey a-k-a KC of KC & The Sunshine Band is 63; Sex Pistols frontman Johnny Rotten is 58; actress Kelly Lynch is 55; actress Minnie Driver is 44; and Justin Timberlake is 33.

Today begins the Chinese New Year. It's the Year of the Horse. Today is Backward Day, a day to do everything backward. Today is Inspire Your Heart With the Arts Day. Tonight is Play An Old Game You Haven't Played in Years Night. Maybe Yahztee, Scrabble, Monopoly, or Canasta. Today is Scotch Tape Day, marking the birth of the sticky stuff to 3M Company's Richard Drew on this date in 1928. It's Eat Brussel Sprouts Day. Today is Hell is Freezing Over Day -- on this day we're encouraged to to pull out those old lists of things we said we were going to do when hell freezes over.

Calendar notes: On this date in 1949, the first TV daytime soap opera, These Are My Children, was telecast from NBC in Chicago. The show's creator, Irna Phillips, would later produce As the World Turns and The Guiding Light. In 1961, a chimpanzee named Ham became the first US animal sent into space. Ham traveled 158 miles above the Earth in the Mercury-Redstone-2 space capsule. In 1990, McDonald's opened its first fast-food restaurant in the Soviet Union in Moscow. In 1999, the Denver Broncos repeated as NFL champions, defeating the Atlanta Falcons 34-19 in Super Bowl 33. In 2010, Avatar became the first film to gross over $2 billion worldwide.

The delay to the start of tax season 2014 is officially over. Today, January 31st, marks the first day the IRS will start processing 2013 tax returns. Today also starts a two-month countdown to the close of health care marketplaces.

If you take a lunchtime run, walk, or stroll, you'll return to work feeling less stressed if you exercise in a park. Finnish researchers found that even short-term visits to nature areas have positive effects on perceived stress relief.

A new study suggests better access to stairs in office buildings -- and signs reminding people to use them -- might encourage workers to get more exercise.

Your number of the day today is 95. That's the percentage of people who have a fact or bit of information about themselves that they don't reveal to anyone.

Trivia Answer: Terry Kath who was born in this date in 1946. About 5 o'clock in the afternoon of January 23rd of 1978, after a party at a roadie and band technician's home in Woodland Hills in Los Angeles, Kath took an unloaded .38 revolver and put it to his head, pulling the trigger several times on the empty chambers. Kth had been warned several times to be careful. Kath then picked up a semiautomatic 9 mm pistol and, leaning back in a chair, said, "Don't worry, it's not loaded". After showing the empty magazine, Kath replaced the magazine in the gun, put the gun to his temple, and pulled the trigger. There was a bullet in the chamber, and he died instantly. It was the week before his 32nd birthday.

Thursday 1.30.14
Today's Trivia: This album was released on this date in 1971 on Ode Records. It's one of the best-selling albums of all-time, with over 25 million copies sold worldwide Here in the States, it's been certified diamond by the RIAA with more than 10 million copies sold. It received four Grammy Awards in 1972, including Album of the Year. The lead single from the album was number 1 on the Billboard 100 for five weeks. In 2003, the album was ranked number 36 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. What is the album?

New York City has turned Times Square into Super Bowl Boulevard. Laughter and shrieks echoed through Times Square yesterday as bundled-up football fans slid down a gleaming toboggan run, the centerpiece of a Super Bowl-themed outdoor street fair that has invaded the city's busiest thoroughfare. Hundreds of people watched as the shiny silver Vince Lombardi Trophy made its debut in a glass case, where it will remain until it is awarded to the winner of Sunday's game between the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks. Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio joined the crowd for the unveiling of giant lighted Roman numerals XLVIII. The mayor said, "As a big football fan and even bigger fan of the Big Apple I could not be more thrilled at what's happening with Super Bowl Boulevard." Cuomo said, "This Super Bowl Boulevard is symbolic of the way New York has opened its heart to all the fans." Organizers expect more than a million people to visit the boulevard between now and Sunday.

Meanwhile, Marshawn Lynch got his usual Wednesday off as the Seahawks began their final series of practices for Sunday's Super Bowl. Lynch was the only Seattle player not to participate as the Seahawks practiced indoors at the New York Giants team facility. Lynch has been typically given Wednesday's off for much of the season. Coach Pete Carroll said, "Everybody's fine. This is the day we rest Marshawn. Wednesday is always a rest day for him. We've been doing that for years, and it's always worked out great. We're in great shape. We're just as fortunate as can be to be in this kind of shape this late in the year." Seattle opened the doors to the Giants' facility during practice in an attempt to simulate the temperature the Seahawks are likely to see Sunday against Denver. The indoor temperature dropped to 36 degrees, close to the projected temperature on Sunday. Carroll said the team only plans to practice outside the next few days if they need to. He was pleased with the footing in the Giants' facility.

Sunday afternoon at 3:25.

Birthdays: Actor Gene Hackman is 84; actress Vanessa Redgrave is 77; former Vice President Dick Cheney is 73; one of the lead singers for Jefferson Airplane and Jefferson Starship, Marty Balin is 72; drummer and singer Phil Collins is 63; Grace on Grace Under Fire, actress and comedian Brett Butler is 56; and actor Christian Bale is 40.

Today is National Inane Answering Machine Message Day. Today is National Flirt A Little Bit Day. Today is Yogi Bear Day, marking debut of the Yogi Bear Show on this date in 1958. Yogi had first appeared as a cartoon extra on Huckleberry Hound in October of 19'57. Today is National Write to Congress Day. Today is National Croissant Day. Today is National Yodel at Your Neighbors Day.

Calendar notes: On this date in 1994, the Dallas Cowboys repeated as NFL champions by defeating the Buffalo Bills, 30-13, in Super Bowl 28. It was the fourth straight Super Bowl loss for the Bills. In 1996, Kevin Eubanks became official leader of The Tonight Show Band. In 2003, President Bush put allies on notice that diplomacy would give way to a decision on war with Iraq in "weeks, not months." World leaders and congressional critics urged patience and demanded proof of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction. In 2007, Alexa Rodriguez decided she'd had enough of the gridlock and made her appearance in parents Magin Rodriguez and Wendy Neba's 4Runner. Alexa was the second baby born that week to moms stuck on I-5 near Seattle, and the 4th during January. Three arrived on I-5 and one in a restaurant parking lot. State troopers reported all moms and babies were doing well. A WSP spokesman simply attributed it to coincidence saying, "Who wants to have their baby in their car on the freeway?"

A White House petition to get Justin Bieber deported to Canada has collected more than 100,000 digital signatures. The We The People petition calls for "the dangerous, reckless, destructive, and drug abusing, Justin Bieber deported and his green card revoked" following his arrest last week for street racing while under the influence of alcohol. The petition states: "He is not only threatening the safety of our people but he is also a terrible influence on our nations youth. We the people would like to remove Justin Bieber from our society."  Having passed the 100,000 signature threshold, the petition has guaranteed an official response from the Obama administration

And Justin's legal troubles just keep mounting Fresh off that DUI charge in Miami Beach, he turned himself in at a police station in his native Canada last night to face an assault charge. The case stems from an alleged confrontation Bieber had with a limo driver a month ago.

NBC has given a pilot order to a remake of the movie The Money Pit. The 1986 film starred Tom Hanks and Shelley Long. It was a remake of the 1948 film Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House.

Their is no bigger TV audience than the Super Bowl's, which is why movie companies are willing to shell out big bucks to promote movies that cost many millions to make. Some of the movie ads you'll see Sunday: Need for Speed; Captain America 2: Winter Soldier; Muppets Most Wanted; Noah; Transformers 4: Age of Extinction; Robocop and Amazing Spider-Man 2.

There is no bigger TV audience than the Super Bowl's, which is why movie companies are willing to shell out big bucks to promote movies that cost many millions to make. Some of the movie ads you'll see Sunday: Need for Speed; Captain America 2: Winter Soldier; Muppets Most Wanted; Noah; Transformers 4: Age of Extinction; Robocop and Amazing Spider-Man 2.

Turn on your TV during prime time and you'll inevitably see a load of celebrity faces, ranging from Oscar winners to "Wasn't that the guy in that show we watched that one time?" Attaching a star to a brand is something that advertisers have been doing for many decades. But science says that people just don't care, and that it may have a negative impact on the brand the celebrity is pushing.

Valentine's Day is just over two weeks away. Forget the boring flowers, jewelry, or fancy dinner -- what she really wants is glow in the dark solar system underwear. The manufacturer says the underwear is "fun and cute" and can "make an average day a little special." On the glow in the dark solar system underwear you'll see planets, moons, shooting-stars, asteroids, and swirling star clusters.

Trivia Answer: Tapestry from singer-songwriter Carole King. The lead single featured It's Too Late backed with I Feel The Earth Move. Carole, by the way, was on this year's Grammy show with Sara Barellis. Tapestry was No. 1 on the Billboard 200 for 15 consecutive weeks, and held the record for most weeks at No. 1 by a female solo artist for over 40 years until surpassed by Adele's 21. Tapestry still holds the record for most consecutive weeks at No. 1 by a female solo artist. The album has been listed on the Billboard 200 for over 300 weeks between 1971 and 2011, the longest by a female solo artist.

Wednesday 1.29.14
Today's Trivia: This singer, songwriter, and stage actor was born in Indianapolis but raised in San Diego. He began performing in amateur theatrical productions in childhood, a path he pursued into adulthood, appearing in professional productions in the US and abroad. He became prominent after appearing on the eighth season of American Idol. Although he was runner-up, he launched a music career with the release of the studio album For Your Entertainment in 2009. The album debuted at number three on the Billboard 200, sold 198,000 copies in the US in its first week, and produced a top 10 single. Who is he?

It was Media Day yesterday ramping up to the Super Bowl. Seattle Seahawk Richard Sherman was downright charming. No surprise to the Twelves but the national media seemed a bit taken aback. Meanwhile Sherm's teammate, Marshawn Lynch continued in Least Mode for the media. Marshawn showed up at media day … barely. He wasn't given a podium, and spoke to the media for six minutes and 20 seconds before retreating to a back wall at the Prudential Center. Lynch ignored the media from that point on except for granting the NFL Network a brief interview, when he repeatedly said that media day "ain't my thing." Lynch told the NFL Network, "No need to talk about it. Was raised like that. ... Game time, though, I'll be there."

Skittles candy has been getting quite a bit of publicity over the years from Seattle Seahawks Marshawn Lynch, whose professed love for the candy is well known. It's common to see Skittles rain down from the stands at CenturyLink field when Lynch scores a touchdown. Now Skittles is making the relationship a bit more formal by signing Lynch to an endorsement deal. And to celebrate the deal and the Seahawks' trip to the Super Bowl, Skittles is producing a limited edition "Seattle Mix" full of just blue and green candies that are being auctioned off to three lucky fans. The proceeds go to Lynch's charity, the Fam 1st Family Foundation. A few other bags of the Seattle Mix Skittles are being given away during surprise events across Seattle. ESPN reports the endorsement deal will pay Lynch an undisclosed amount and Skittles is donating $10,000 to Lynch's charity for every touchdown he scores in the Super Bowl.

The last time a championship banner in one of the major sports flew over the Northwest was back in 1979 when the Super Sonics won the NBA Championship. Not a player on the Seahawks roster was born yet at that time.

Birthdays: Magnum P.I., actor Tom Selleck is 69; from The Ramones, drummer Tommy Ramone is 62; talk-show host, network owner, and very rich person, Oprah Winfrey is 60; Olympic diver Greg Louganis is 54; James Martines on NYPD Blue, actor Nicholas Turturro is 52; actor Ed Burns is 46; Darlene on Rosanne, actress Sara Gilbert is 39; and musician Jonny Lang is 33.

It's Carnation Day. Today is National Puzzle Day. It's Free Thinkers Day. It's National Cornchip Day.

Calendar notes: On this date in 1845, The Raven was published in the New York Evening Mirror, the first publication with the name of the author, Edgar Allan Poe. In 1900, baseball's American League was organized in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with 8 founding teams. In 1936, the first inductees into the Baseball Hall of Fame were announced. They included Ty Cobb, Walter Johnson, Babe Ruth, and Honus Wagner. In 2002, in his State of the Union Address, President George W. Bush described "regimes that sponsor terror" as an Axis of Evil, in which he included Iraq, Iran and North Korea. In 2009, Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich was convicted of several corruption charges, including the alleged solicitation of personal benefit in exchange for an appointment to the United States Senate as a replacement for then-US president-elect Barack Obama.

The South was hit by a "once in a decade" mix of snow and ice yesterday. Louisiana, Georgia, and South Carolina declared emergencies, and airlines canceled 3,400 flights. More flights were canceled in advance today, after temperatures hit 10 to 20 degrees below normal. The Arctic blast is part of a front that has also put parts of the Northeast and northern plains under warnings for dangerous wind chills. Snow -- at least snow showers -- are in our forecast for the first part of next week. We'll see.

Motley Crue is hanging up its guitars for good. The band plans to say goodbye with 72 concerts in the United States and Canada before retiring. The rockers made the announcement at a news conference yesterday in Hollywood. Alice Cooper is touring with the group. Tickets go on sale Friday. Vince Neil said, "We want to go out with the four founding members of Motley Crue and go out on top." Added guitarist Nikki Sixx, "We want to leave a legacy. We want to have some dignity." When's the last time you saw "Motley Crue" and the word "dignity" in the same paragraph? The band members have signed a legal agreement promising not to perform as Motley Crue after 2015. The boys are at the White River Amphitheater In Auburn on Sunday, July 27th.

How much would you pay for toast at a cafe? Apparently, in San Francisco, the market rate for "artisanal toast" is $3 to $4 a slice. It's the latest food craze in San Francisco.

The Girl Scouts of America are rolling out their first gluten-free cookie in 20 select markets: the Chocolate Chip Shortbread. GSA's website says the cookie "is made with real chocolate chips and real butter" and that it "contains no artificial flavors, no artificial colors, no high fructose corn syrup, no palm oil and no hydrogenated oils." If the cookies perform well in the select locations, they may go national next cookie season.

This new food items is pretty self-explanatory. Drunkin Donuts are what they say on the box -- alcohol-infused desserts that taste like your favorite party cocktails. Every shipment is baked to order, which means you don't have to worry about your amaretto macaroon brownie arriving stale.

In Weymouth, Massachusetts, a thief entered a restaurant and snuck out with a safe. Security camera video shows the thief just carrying it out all by himself. The safe weighed 250 pounds.

The world's first burrito kiosk, the Burrito Box, is up and running in a couple of locations in Los Angeles. There are five different burritos you can order from the kiosk at a cost of $3. Once you make your choice, you pay by credit card, sit through a quick video ad while your burrito heats up, and then pick up your order from the slot.

Southern California restaurant chain Slater's 50/50 is testing the Turducken Burger -- essentially an entire Thanksgiving meal condensed into a single burger. The three main components that contribute to its namesake are turkey, duck, and chicken. More specifically, a half turkey-half chicken patty, and a fried duck egg. The burger behemoth comes topped with bacon-infused country gravy with sweet cranberries.

London, England, residents will soon have a place to buy black roses -- and only black roses. The Think Ink florist will only be in business for a day -- Valentine's Day. The black roses are created by placing dark red roses in vases filled with ink instead of water. The one-day black roses shop is a PR stunt by Kraken Rum. Each bouquet comes with a miniature bottle of the rum.

Trivia Answer: Adam Lambert who is 32 today. The song Whataya Want from Me -- co-written by Pink -- reached the top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Tuesday 1.28.14
Today's Trivia: He is an actor, director, and screenwriter. For his role on the television series M*A*S*H, he was nominated for 21 Emmy Awards. He won five. He is also a six-time Golden Globe Award winner. Who is he?

Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll seemed a little stunned when told he was the clear winner in ESPN.com's NFL Nation Confidential question: "Which head coach would you most like to play for?" He also quickly saw an advantage to it. "I'm surprised by that," said Carroll, who received 23 percent of the votes in an anonymous survey. "But, hey, free agency is a big deal to us. Maybe that can help us down the road." NFL Nation reporters surveyed more than 320 players on a wide range of questions over a six-week period in November and December. Carroll was the most popular coaching choice with 72 votes. Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin finished second with 44 votes (14 percent). Carroll is seen as the ultimate players' coach, but some might say he won the vote because he's viewed as being soft on players. But he's in the Super Bowl.

If oddsmakers in Vegas are right, the Seahawks are set to lose on Sunday. Bookmaker Jimmy Vaccaro says the Broncos are favored by 2.5 points to win the Super Bowl. But the 12th man predicts a different outcome -- and Seahawks fans are stepping up with cash. Vacarro expects a record-breaking amount wagered this week, with plenty of opportunities. Vaccaro says, "Naturally Richard Sherman is in the news now, and if you want to send somebody down here we'll give you two-to-one on your money if he has an interception." Vaccaro says bettors are also wagering on Russell Wilson's total rushing and passing yardage compared to Peyton Manning. Meanwhile, Las Vegas bookmaker Bovada.com is doing its best to keep things interesting. Bovada is taking bets on everything: Length of the national anthem; temperature at kickoff; number of times Denver quarterback Peyton Manning yells "Omaha!" at the line of scrimmage. It's still early in the week, and the oddsmakers say things should pick up dramatically on Friday, with 90 percent of bets placed between then and kickoff. That kickoff is Sunday afternoon at 3:25 our time.

Birthdays: Singer-songwriter Sarah McLachlan is 46; from NSYNC, singer Joey Fatone is 37; baseball first baseman in the Majors since 2001, he's played for the Milwaukee Brewers, Arizona Diamondbacks, Toronto Blue Jays, Pittsburgh Pirates, Atlanta Braves and New York Yankees, Lyle Overbay from Centralia is 37; Backstreet Boy Nick Carter is 34; actor Elijah Wood is 33; Ariel Winter from Modern Family is 16; and today is Sesame Street's Ernie's Birthday

American troubadour, folk music singer, and activist Pete Seeger died lsat night at a hospital in New York after being hospitalized for six days. Seeger gained fame as a member of The Weavers, the quartet formed in 1948 and had hits such as Goodnight Irene. He continued performing and recording for six decades afterward and was still an activist as recently as October 2011 when he marched in New York City as part of the Occupy Wall Street protests. Pete Seeger was 94.

It's National Blueberry Pancake Day. Today is Daisy Day. It's Pop Art Day. Today is National Kazoo Day. Today's Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day -- Charlie's Angels star Farrah Fawcett appeared on the cover of the July 1997 issue of Playboy magazine wrapped in Bubble Wrap.

Calendar notes: On this date in 1915, an act of Congress created the United States Coast Guard. In 1917, municipally owned streetcars took to the streets of San Francisco. In 1958, the Lego company patented the design of its Lego bricks, still compatible with bricks produced today. In 1985, supergroup USA for Africa (United Support of Artists for Africa) recorded the hit single We Are the World, to help raise funds for Ethiopian famine relief. In 1986, the Space Shuttle Challenger broke apart after liftoff killing all seven astronauts on board.

Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr led a star-studded rendition of the classic Beatles song Hey Jude in Los Angeles last night as they commemorated 50 years since the Beatles first appeared on US television. In a rare joint appearance singing Beatles numbers, McCartney and Starr were flanked on stage by artists including Stevie Wonder, Alicia Keys and Keith Urban to celebrate the night in 1964 when The Beatles were watched by 73 million Americans on the Ed Sullivan Show. In a concert being filmed for The Night That Changed America: A Grammy Salute to The Beatles, McCartney and Starr paid special tribute to their former band members, John Lennon and George Harrison. Lennon was shot and killed in 1980. Harrison died of cancer in 2001. The Beatles, wearing black suits and mop top hair, appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show on February 9th of 1964, to screaming crowds in what became a seminal moment for the British band, and US television. Nearly 50 percent of American households with televisions tuned in. Technicians on the Ed Sullivan set 50 years ago were broadcast at Monday night's tribute explaining that the "crowd shot" was born that night in 1964. The teenage audience was so hysterical that a camera was devoted entirely to their reaction, a television first. McCartney, playing guitar, and Starr on drums, brought Monday night's tribute to a rousing close both with Hey Jude and another classic Beatles song, With a Little Help from My Friends. They were watched by Lennon's widow, Yoko Ono, Harrison's widow, Olivia. In a three hour tribute before they appeared, a series of artists performed Beatles numbers The Eurythmics -- Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart -- reunited to perform The Fool on the Hill, and Katy Perry sang a version of Yesterday. Oscar-winning actors Tom Hanks, Jeff Bridges and Sean Penn were among a Hollywood crowd which danced along to the music. Even the backing musicians last night were not anonymous journeymen: they included The Eagles' Joe Walsh and singer-songwriter Peter Frampton. The 50th anniversary tribute airs on CBS on February 9th.

Jay Leno isn't going away -- but despite all the speculation about where he might land after The Tonight Show with Jay Leno ends on February 6th, he's still keeping us guessing. Leno spent most of his 21 years on The Tonight Show as TV's most-watched late-night host. He says, "You can't really do something like this again because if you're not No. 1, you'll get 'Oh, Jay sucks, he's not No. 1.' And once you do this, you don't really want to do The Tonight Show Lite." With two weeks left before his final show, Leno sat down with TV Guide for an exit interview of sorts. Of course, he made a similar round of chats in 2009, when he left the show the first time. He says, "I'll see you when I get fired from my next job." But this time, he says, "It feels right. You get to a certain age and you're the old guy. For me to be talking about rap music and things, that seems a bit silly. Plus, Jimmy [Fallon] is 24 years younger than I am. When I see him doing duets with Justin Timberlake and things like that, I can't do that. That's not what I do."

President Obama presents the State of the Union tonight at 6:00 out here in the west.

Smartphones used for solving business problems at night can result in a hangover. Research (Michigan State University) shows using a smartphone to cram in more work at night results in less work the next day. The reason is simple: They keep us mentally engaged late into the evening, they make it hard to detach from work so we can relax and fall asleep.

Trivia Answer: Alan Alda who turns 78 today. He's best known for his role as Hawkeye Pierce on M*A*S*H. During his run on M*A*S*H, he took part in writing 19 episodes, including the finale, and directed 32. When he won his first Emmy Award for writing, he was so happy he performed a cartwheel before running up to the stage to accept the award. He was also the first person to win Emmy Awards for acting, writing, and directing for the same series. Alda also directed the show's 1983 2½ hour series finale Goodbye, Farewell and Amen which remains the single most-watched episode of any TV series. Alda is the only series regular to appear in all 251 episodes of the program.

Monday 1.27.14
Today's Trivia: This American author is best known for a 1951 novel, as well as his reclusive nature. He made headlines around the globe in June of 2009, after filing a lawsuit against another writer for copyright infringement resulting from that writer's use of one of this author's characters from that 1951 novel. Who is he?

The countdown is underway. Thousands of Twelves lined the streets to bid farewell and wish good luck to the Seattle Seahawks yesterday morning as they left team headquarters in Redmond on their way to the airport and their flight back east. The Super Bowl and a meeting with the Denver Broncos awaits.

A week before kickoff, on the day the Seahawks and Broncos arrived in the frozen Big Apple, yesterday brought a bit of a thaw. Temps at MetLife Stadium actually reached the low 20s. Thus the NFL's slogan for the upcoming Super Bowl: Best Served Cold. It's the first Super Bowl ever played outdoors in a cold-weather city. There's snow on the ground, frost in the air, and plenty of forecasts for what might be ahead Sunday.

Birthdays: Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason is 70; dancer and actor Mikhail Baryshnikov is 66; Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts is 59; Mrs. Kensington in Austin Powers, actress Mimi Rogers is 58; TV's Keith Olbermann is 55; and actress Bridget Fonda is 50.

Today is Thomas Crapper Day. Thomas was a plumber who founded Thomas Crapper & Co. in London. Contrary to widespread misconceptions, Crapper did not invent the flush toilet. He did, however, do much to increase the popularity of the toilet, and developed some important related inventions. Today is Listen to Classical Music During Lunch Day. Today is National Preschool Fitness Day. Today is Laverne & Shirley Day, marking the debut of the sitcom on this date in 1976. A spin-off from Happy Days, the show starred Penny Marshall and Cindy Williams.

Calendar notes: On this date in 1880, American inventor Thomas Alva Edison of Menlo Park, New Jersey, patented the incandescent electric lamp. In 1956, RCA released its first record by Elvis Presley. Heartbreak Hotel hit #1 on both the pop and country charts and reached #5 on the R&B charts. In 1971, British musician David Bowie arrived in America for the first time. He did not perform, but received lots of publicity in Texas and Louisiana for wearing dresses. In 2001, actress Beverley D'Angelo gave birth to twin girls, making actor Al Pacino a father again at age 60. In 2003 , the first selections for the National Recording Registry were announced by the Library of Congress. There were 50 selections overall including the Military Band doing Stars and Stripes Forever, Abbot and Costello's Who's on First, Kate Smith's God Bless America, Orson Welle's The War of The Worlds, and Bing Crosby's White Christmas. In 2006, Western Union discontinued its Telegram and Commercial Messaging services.

Two unconventional acts, French electronic music DJs Daft Punk and New Zealand teen Lorde, took home the top Grammy awards last night. In a first for the Grammys or any big US awards show, thirty-three couples, both same-sex and straight, were married by singer Queen Latifah, to the Macklemore & Ryan Lewis gay rights anthem, Same Love. Madonna emerged in a white suit and cowboy hat to conclude the singing ceremony with Open Your Heart. The music industry's glamorous gathering also saw the two surviving Beatles, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, come together for a rare joint performance coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the British group's breakthrough on American television. Daft Punk scored the double win of album of the year for Random Access Memories, and record of the year with the summer hit Get Lucky. The 17-year-old Lorde won the Grammy for song of the year with her breakout hit Royals, sharing the award for songwriters with Joel Little. They triumphed over the writers behind Katy Perry's Roar and Bruno Mars' Locked Out of Heaven, among others. The Recording Academy also anointed Seattle-based rapper-producer newcomers Macklemore & Ryan Lewis with the Grammy for best new artist and three other awards in rap categories.

The buddy cop comedy Ride Along starring Kevin Hart and Ice Cube, raced to the top of the weekend box office charts for the second week in a row, collecting $21.2 million in ticket sales. The Afghanistan war tale Lone Survivor took the No. 2 spot. The animated film The Nut Job, was third. Disney's long-running animated hit Frozen claimed the No. 4 spot, and Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit rounded out the top five. In a week in which the top three films mirrored last week's results, I, Frankenstein, an action film in which Victor Frankenstein's creation is reimagined as a hero battling gargoyles, was the only major new release. It opened in sixth place.

If you're a guy in need of a morning kick and coffee isn't your thing, Stan Andes has come up with a caffeinated shaving cream to give you an energy boost. Andes worked together with a chemist to infuse caffeine in his shaving cream, which is absorbed into the skin when in use. He has also stated that caffeine will help "reduce redness and keep the skin feeling healthy." The energy boost comes five minutes after the product is applied.

They look like normal waffles. But Wired Waffles pack a secret ingredient to help you get a jump start on your day. Each 2½ ounce waffle packs 200mg of caffeine, meaning that a breakfast of two waffles will pack more punch than a grande coffee from Starbucks. You can order them online.

President Obama gives his State of the Union address tomorrow night.

Postage went up yesterday. The cost of a first-class postage stamp is now 49 cents -- three cents more than before. You know, they say the world is getting smaller yet postal rates keep going up

Trivia Answer: J.D. Salinger -- Jerome David Salinger. The 1951 novel was The Catcher in the Rye. The original success of The Catcher in the Rye led to public attention and scrutiny and Salinger became reclusive, publishing new work less frequently. His last published work, a novella entitled Hapworth 16, 1924, appeared in The New Yorker on June 19th of 1965. He gave his last interview in 1980. Salinger died of natural causes four years ago today at his home in New Hampshire at the age of 91. Salinger emerged, at least in the pages of court documents, to try to stop a novel that presents Holden Caulfield, the disaffected teen hero of his classic The Catcher in the Rye, as an old man. The J.D. Salinger estate settled the lawsuit against Swedish publisher and author Fredrik Colting. The estate had sued the author over his Catcher in the Rye sequel, 60 Years Later -- Coming Through the Rye. Reportedly Colting cannot include Coming Through the Rye as part of the book title. In addition, the author cannot refer to Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye, or his legal battles in the book.

Friday 1.24.14
Today's Trivia: He was a comedian, actor, and musician. He's best known as one of the original cast members of Saturday Night Live. He was known for his brash, energetic style, and raunchy humor. He died in 1982 after overdosing on a mixture of cocaine and heroin. He was posthumously honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, in 2004. Who is he?

By now, everyone has seen the video of Richard Sherman loudly proclaiming his status as the "best corner in the game" and calling the 49ers' Michael Crabtree a "sorry receiver" as stunned Fox Sports sideline reporter Erin Andrews watches. Andrews' facial expressions and overall reaction to the bombastic cornerback were talked about almost as much as Sherman himself. Now, in her own interview with Elle Magazine, Andrews discusses the Sherman interview. She says, "It was awesome because I've done so many interviews that are just so cliché and so rehearsed and the same old same old where you feel like you're sleepwalking. This is one where I was like, 'What is happening right now?' I've never been a part of something like that, and obviously that's why everyone nationally is talking about it." Later in the interview, Andrews even says that Sherman is one of her favorite players. She says, "I actually really like Richard Sherman a lot. He's probably one of my favorite football players. The guy is so smart and he's got an unbelievable story. That was just pure, raw emotion." Erin's Twitter account told much the same story, as she posted several pictures with Sherman yesterday morning after taping a segment for next week's Super Bowl coverage. One week to go. Can you stand it?

The Seattle Mariners are inducting former manager Lou Piniella into the team Hall of Fame on August 9th. Piniella becomes the eighth member inducted. The team inducted Ken Griffey Jr. last season. Piniella was Seattle's manger from 1993-2002. He led Seattle to its first division title in 1995 when the Mariners rallied late in the season to win the AL West. Piniella was also in charge in 2001 when Seattle matched the major league record with 116 wins in the regular season.

Another Mariner note: Jack Zduriencik does not see the Seattle Mariners making another splash signing before the start of spring training after an offseason of big moves highlighted by the signing of second baseman Robinson Cano. What he would like to acquire is another veteran pitcher to add to a starting rotation that has a pair of aces at the top and then a handful of promising prospects behind them without much major league experience. Jack said, "I don't suspect we'll make a major move but we hopefully will do a couple of things that will be tweaks that help the club certainly for this year." How the rotation gets filled out will be one of the major questions when Seattle reports for spring training in the middle of February. Pitchers and catchers hit the field February 13th and the first full squad workout is February 18th. Seattle has the top of its rotation settled with Felix Hernandez and Hisashi Iwkuama forming a formidable combo. But the bridge between that pair and some of the youngsters Seattle would like to see take the final spots in the rotation is the question. Asked if he was comfortable with how his rotation sits, Zduriencik said, "not tremendously."

The Ms are holding their FanFest this weekend. It's 11:00 til 4:00 tomorrow and Sunday at Safeco Field. You can get an autograph or two, run around the bases, tour the clubhouse, and more. Scheduled to appear are Robinson Cano, Taijuan Walker, Brad Miller, Mike Zunino, Corey Hart, Dan Wilson, and more.

Birthdays: Singer Ray Stevens is 75; singer-songwriter Neil Diamond is 73; singer Aaron Neville is 73; comedian Yakov Smirnoff is 63; a founding member of the band Squeeze, keyboardist Jools Holland is 56; actress Nastassja Kinski is 52; and gymnast Mary Lou Retton is 46;

Today is Social Sipping and Nibbling Rehearsal Day, a time to practice cutting a piece of cake with a plastic fork on a paper plate while holding a cup of punch, a napkin, and some mints. Memorize something clever to say if you drop it all on the carpet. Today is Global Belly Laugh Day, a day to celebrate the great gift of laughter. At 1:24 this afternoon (local time) smile, throw your arms in the air, and laugh out loud. Today is National Compliment Day. Compliment at least five people today. Today is National Peanut Butter Day.

Calendar notes: On this date in 1952, the NFL New York Yankees turned up in Texas as the Dallas Texans, to become history's worst pro football team. They were run out of Dallas after only four games and had to play eight games on the road, finishing 1-and-11. In 1955: Major-league baseball announced that during the new season the rule requiring a pitcher to deliver the ball within 20 seconds after he received it would be strictly enforced. It's still the rule, but is never enforced. In 1962, Brian Epstein signed to manage the Beatles, swapping their leather jackets for matching suits and a smarter stage show. In 2003, the new Department of Homeland Security officially opened as its director, Tom Ridge, was sworn in.

I hadn't planned on retiring anytime soon anyway. After losing nearly 200 points yesterday, today the Dow plunged 318 points -- the worst drop since last June, as investors fear slower global growth.

Imagine Dragons, Daft Punk and P!nk & Nate Ruess are all performing at the 56th annual Grammy Awards this weekend. It marks Daft Punk's first television performance since the Grammy Awards in 2008 and also marks the first time P!nk and Nate Ruess are teaming up for a televised performance. The Grammy Awards are being hosted by LL Cool J and air on CBS Sunday night.

NBC has announced its next musical event -- Peter Pan Live. The network announced that its follow-up to last December's surprise smash The Sound of Music Live will be an adaptation of James M. Barrie's high-flying classic.

The Olympics begin next month on NBC.

Live Another Day, Fox's mini-revival of 24, has yet to start filming but Fox announced that it's premiering May 5th. The show still takes place over a 24-hour day even though it's 12 episodes.

There's a new leader on SplashData's annual worst passwords list and it's not a tough one to guess. The most common, and therefore worst, password of 2013 was "123456." "Password" fell to number two for the first time since SplashData started tracking passwords on the Internet. Rounding out the top five are "12345678," "qwerty," and "abc123."

Trivia Answer: John Adam Belushi who would have been 65 today. During his career he had a close personal and artistic partnership with fellow SNL comedian and author Dan Aykroyd. He and Dan co-created and co-starred as The Blues Brothers. John is the older brother of Jim Belushi. On March 5th of 1982, Belushi was found dead at the age of 33 in his room at the Chateau Marmont on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood, California. The cause of death was a speedball; the combined injection of cocaine and heroin. On the night of his death, he was visited separately by friends Robin Williams and Robert De Niro, each of whom left the premises, leaving Belushi in the company of assorted others, including Catherine Evelyn Smith. His death was investigated by forensic pathologist Dr. Ryan Norris among others, and while the findings were disputed, it was officially ruled a drug-related accident. Two months later, Catherine Evelyn Smith admitted in an interview with the National Enquirer that she had been with Belushi the night of his death and had given him the fatal speedball shot. After the appearance of the article "I Killed Belushi" in the Enquirer edition of June 29th of 1982, the case was reopened. Smith was extradited from Toronto, Ontario, arrested and charged with first-degree murder. A plea bargain reduced the charge to involuntary manslaughter, and she served 15 months in prison. By the way, The Official Blues Brothers Revue is at the Washington Center this weekend. The show is produced by John Belushi's Estate and Dan Aykroyd. It's Sunday night at 7:30.

Thursday 1.23.14
Today's Trivia: He was a fitness, exercise, and nutritional expert and motivational speaker who is sometimes called "the godfather of fitness" and the "first fitness superhero." He described himself as being a "sugarholic" and a "junk food junkie" until he was 15. He also had behavioral problems, but "turned his life around" after listening to a public lecture by Paul Bragg, a well-known nutrition speaker. During his career, he came to believe that the country's overall health depended on the health of its population, writing that "physical culture and nutrition -- is the salvation of America." Decades before health and fitness began being promoted by celebrities like Jane Fonda and Richard Simmons, he was already widely recognized for publicly preaching the health benefits of regular exercise and a good diet. He published numerous books on fitness and hosted a fitness television show between 1953 and 1985. As early as 1936, at age 21, he opened one of the nation's first fitness gyms in Oakland, California, which became a prototype for dozens of similar gyms using his name. He invented a number of exercise machines, including leg-extension and pulley devices. Besides producing his own series of videos, he coached the elderly and disabled not to forgo exercise, believing it would enable them to enhance their strength. Who was he?

The NFL and personnel at MetLife Stadium had a Super Bowl pop quiz on snow removal less than two weeks before the title game between the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks. The league and stadium officials decided to use a winter storm that dumped a foot or more of snow in the New York City metropolitan area Tuesday as somewhat of a dress rehearsal to see how quickly they could clean the 80,000-seat facility that will hold the first outdoor Super Bowl in cold weather. NFL executive vice president Eric Grubman said yesterday an 18-hour time limit was set for removing the snow from the stadium, surrounding parking lots and access roads in the Meadowlands sports complex, where the game is being played February 2nd. Grubman refused to speculate whether the storm that snarled roads, closed schools and had states of emergency in New Jersey, New York City, and some surrounding areas would have caused the Super Bowl to be postponed. He said that would be a decision made by state authorities. He did say, however, that the league has several contingency plans for the game, including moving it up to Friday or Saturday, pushing it back to Monday or adjusting the scheduled start on Sunday to deal with the weather. The game is scheduled to start at 3:25 our time that Sunday afternoon.

Birthdays: Pointer Sister Anita Pointer is 66; MacGyver on MacGyver, actor Richard Dean Anderson is 64; from Cheap Trick, Robin Zander is 61; and from Beverly Hills 90210, actress Tiffani Thiessen is 40.

Today is National Pie Day. Today is National Handwriting Day, always on the birth date of John Hancock, flamboyant signer of the Declaration of Independence. Which means National Handwriting Analysis Week begins today. Today is Cold, Cold, Cold Day! The coldest temperature ever recorded in the United States was at Prospect Creek Camp, Alaska, in 1971: a record 79.8 degrees below zero Fahrenheit. Today is Snowplow Mailbox Hockey Day, time for snowplow drivers everywhere to see how many rural mailboxes they can knock over. Clean out Your Inbox Week begins today.

Calendar notes: On this date in 1977, the most watched TV program in history began on ABC-TV. It was a mini-series based on the Alex Haley novel Roots. In 1985, O.J. Simpson became the first Heisman Trophy winner to be elected to pro football's Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. In 1986, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inducted its first members: Little Richard, Chuck Berry, James Brown, Ray Charles, Fats Domino, the Everly Brothers, Buddy Holly, Jerry Lee Lewis and Elvis Presley. In 2004, Friends filmed its final episode in front of an invitation-only audience. In 2005, former Tonight Show host Johnny Carson died at age 79.

Say it ain't so! The Grammy Award-winning husband and wife pop duo Captain & Tennille are divorcing after nearly 39 years of marriage. An Arizona court clerk confirmed it yesterday. Daryl Dragon, 71, and Toni Tennille, 73, who had a string of hits in the mid-to-late 1970s and have sold more than 23 million albums, filed the papers in Prescott, Arizona, on January 16th, the court clerk said. The couple, who have no children, released their first album in 1974 and were married on Valentine's Day in 1975. They scored the biggest chart hit that year with Love Will Keep Us Together.

And then comes word that Justin Bieber was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence and drag racing this morning. We're now being told that Justin had allegedly consumed alcohol and marijuana and resisted arrest. The arrest comes days after sheriff's deputies in Los Angeles County, California, used a felony search warrant to raid Bieber's mansion as they investigated his alleged involvement in a January 9th egg attack on his neighbor's house.

Amy Lee from Evanescence is pregnant. The 32-year-old announced the news on Twitter over the weekend. She wrote, "Ok I can't keep it a secret anymore – I've been working on a very special new project for 2014 – A BABY! Josh and I are expecting! I'm so happy!" The baby will be the first child for Lee and her therapist husband Josh Hartzler. The couple got married in 2007.

Last week, it was Fox's turn to shine. Rebounding from a fourth-place finish the previous week, Fox rode football and "American Idol" to the top of the prime-time ratings, according to Nielsen. Fox's coverage of the NFC championship game between the Seattle Seahawks and the San Francisco 49ers drew a hefty 56 million viewers to take the top slot for the week, followed by the game's overtime show, which attracted more than 30 million viewers. The Wednesday season premiere of "American Idol," seen by 15 million viewers, placed fifth for the week, followed right behind by the Thursday "Idol" edition, with more than 13 million viewers. Overall for the week, Fox won with an average of 17.2 million viewers. Runner-up CBS had 8.4 million, followed by ABC with 5.2 million and NBC with 4.6 million.

The Yankees talked frugality, then reverted to their high-spending ways. New York capped an offseason spending spree by agreeing yesterday to a $155 million, seven-year contract with prized Japanese pitcher Masahiro Tanaka. Following just the second season in 19 years that didn't include a playoff appearance, the Yankees flexed their economic might and committed $438 million to four free agents. Tanaka joined catcher Brian McCann and outfielders Jacoby Ellsbury and Carlos Beltran on a revamped roster missing long-time All-Stars Mariano Rivera, Andy Pettitte and Robinson Cano. And in addition to the deal with the 25-year-old right-hander, the Yankees must pay a $20 million posting fee to Tanaka's Japanese club. The combined $175 million over seven years matches what the Seattle Mariners gave to their ace Felix Hernandez before the start of the 2013 season.

Trivia Answer: Francois Henri LaLanne -- Jack LaLanne -- who died on this date three years ago. LaLanne also gained recognition for his success as a bodybuilder, as well as for his prodigious feats of strength. Arnold Schwarzenegger once stated, "That Jack LaLanne's an animal!," after LaLanne, at 54, beat a 21-year-old Schwarzenegger "badly" in an informal contest. On the occasion of LaLanne's death, Schwarzenegger credited LaLanne for being "an apostle for fitness" by inspiring "billions all over the world to live healthier lives," and, as governor of California, had earlier placed him on his Governor's Council on Physical Fitness. LaLanne died of respiratory failure due to pneumonia at his home on January 23, 2011. He was 96. According to his family, he had been sick for a week, but refused to see a doctor. They added that he had been performing his daily workout routine the day before his death.

A timeline of LaLanne's feats as reported on Jack's website. These accounts are not necessarily entirely accurate descriptions of what LaLanne actually did as occasionally there would be a difference between the website account and objective reporting of the same event (as in the 1974 Alcatraz Island to Fisherman's Wharf swim shown below).

  • 1954 (age 40): swam the entire length (8,981 ft/1.7 mi) of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, under water, with 140 pounds (64 kg; 10 st) of air tanks and other equipment strapped to his body; a world record.
  • 1955 (age 41): swam from Alcatraz Island to Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco while handcuffed. When interviewed afterwards he was quoted as saying that the worst thing about the ordeal was being handcuffed, which significantly reduced his chance to do a jumping jack.
  • 1956 (age 42): set what was claimed as a world record of 1,033 push-ups in 23 minutes on You Asked For It, a television program hosted by Art Baker.
  • 1957 (age 43): swam the Golden Gate channel while towing a 2,500-pound cabin cruiser. The swift ocean currents turned this one-mile swim into a swimming distance of 6.5 miles
  • 1958 (age 44): maneuvered a paddleboard nonstop from Farallon Islands to the San Francisco shore. The 30-mile trip took 9.5 hours.
  • 1959 (age 45): did 1,000 jumping jacks and 1,000 chin-ups in 1 hour, 22 minutes, to promote The Jack LaLanne Show going nationwide. LaLanne said this was the most difficult of his stunts, but only because the skin on his hands started ripping off during the chin-ups. He felt he couldn't stop because it would be seen as a public failure.
  • 1974 (age 60): For the second time, he swam from Alcatraz Island to Fisherman's Wharf. Again, he was handcuffed, but this time he was also shackled and towed a 1,000-pound boat. At least that's according to his website. However, according to an account of this event published the day after it occurred in the Los Angeles Times, written by Philip Hager, a Times staff writer, LaLanne was neither handcuffed nor shackled if each of those terms has the unconventional meaning of "tightly binding the wrists or ankles together with a pair of metal fasteners" although that's not how handcuffs or shackles work. Hager says that LaLanne "had his hands and feet bound with cords that allowed minimal freedom". But "minimal" clearly did not mean "no" freedom, since elsewhere in the article Hager describes LaLanne's method of propulsion through the water as "half-breast-stroke, half-dog paddle" which is how you swim with your hands tied.
  • 1975 (age 61): Repeating his performance of 21 years earlier, he again swam the entire length of the Golden Gate Bridge, underwater and handcuffed, but this time he was shackled and towed a 1,000-pound boat.
  • 1976 (age 62): To commemorate the "Spirit of '76", United States Bicentennial, he swam one mile in Long Beach Harbor. He was handcuffed and shackled, and he towed 13 boats (representing the 13 original colonies) containing 76 people.
  • 1979 (age 65): towed 65 boats in Lake Ashinoko, near Tokyo, Japan. He was handcuffed and shackled, and the boats were filled with 6,500 pounds of Louisiana Pacific wood pulp.
  • 1980 (age 66): towed 10 boats in North Miami, Florida. The boats carried 77 people, and he towed them for over one mile in less than one hour.
  • 1984 (age 70): handcuffed, shackled, and fighting strong winds and currents, he towed 70 rowboats, one with several guests, from the Queen's Way Bridge in the Long Beach Harbor to the Queen Mary, 1 mile.
Wednesday 1.22.14
Today's Trivia: She's best known for her role as the possessed child in the 1973 film The Exorcist, for which she was nominated for an Academy Award and two Golden Globes, winning one. Who is she?

A swirling snowstorm clobbered parts of the mid-Atlantic and the urban Northeast yesterday, grounding thousands of flights, closing government offices in the nation's capital and making a mess of the evening commute. The storm stretched 1,000 miles between Kentucky and Massachusetts but hit especially hard along the heavily populated Interstate 95 corridor between Philadelphia and Boston, creating perilous rides home for millions of motorists. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says 15 inches of snow had fallen in Philadelphia. There was about 15 inches in New Jersey. The snow came down harder and faster than many people expected. Forecasters said some places could get 1 to 2 inches an hour, with wind gusts up to 50 mph. A blizzard warning was posted for parts of Massachusetts, including Cape Cod.

Roger Goodell once had his beer freeze while watching a game in Chicago, so sitting outside at the Super Bowl shouldn't be too much of a burden for the NFL commissioner. But what if -- and it's a very real possibility -- the stadium is blanketed in the kind of blizzard-like conditions that wreaked havoc across the Northeast yesterday? What if the NFL doesn't get lucky and score a chilly yet tolerable Super Bowl evening at the Meadowlands? Even worse, what if snow, sleet, ice or any combination in the first outdoor cold weather Super Bowl determines who wins the big game? Could happen, and Goodell and other NFL officials won't be the only ones poring over weather forecasts leading up to February 2nd. Oddsmakers in Las Vegas are keeping a close eye on it, too, as a possible factor in whether the Denver Broncos can cover what is now a 2½-point spread against the Seattle Seahawks. Jimmy Vaccaro runs the sports book at the South Point hotel. He says, "Probably the most important guy being interviewed next week will be Al Roker." That's not necessarily a bad thing, especially if the forecast doesn't include wind and snow or sleet. Goodell has embraced the idea of cold, though he had little choice in the matter after NFL owners decided to reward the owners of the Jets and Giants for getting a new stadium by giving them a Super Bowl. Goodell will sit outside for the misery that could accompany the usual mastery of a Super Bowl. If all goes according to plan, he'll hand out the Lombardi trophy to the best team in the land, and everyone will go home happy. But some who are in the business of making the point spread for the game believe that if something like yesterday's storm hits the day of the game it could tilt the game in favor a team that relies more on power football and defense rather than finesse. And in this Super Bowl, that would be the Seahawks

Richard Sherman is a hit with baseball Hall of Famer Hank Aaron. The former major league home run king tweeted his support for the Seahawks' cornerback, who has received criticism for his rant against San Francisco receiver Michael Crabtree following Seattle's victory over the 49ers in Sunday's NFC championship game. In a tweet yesterday, Aaron told Sherman to "hang in there & keep playing as well as you did Sunday. Excellent job -- you have my support." Sherman thanked Aaron in a tweet, saying "your support is greatly appreciated and very humbling." Most of the talk about Sherm since Sunday has been negative, and a few have said that Sherman's words were enough to make people pull for the Denver Broncos in the Super Bowl. But Sherman turns out to be one popular fellow. His jersey is now a top-10 seller, reports ESPN from information provided by NFLShop.com. Quarterback Russell Wilson and running back Marshawn Lynch also make the top 10. In order: 1) Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning. 2) Russell Wilson 3) 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick 4) Patriots quarterback Tom Brady 5) Saints quarterback Drew Brees 6) Marshawn Lynch 7) vikings running back Adrian Peterson 8) Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers 9) Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill 10) Richard Sherman. No Seahawks player has ever finished the season in the top 10 since the league began collecting data for its best-selling jerseys in 2001.

Birthdays: Former Journey frontman Steve Perry is 65; DJ Jazzy Jeff is 49; actress Diane Lane is 49; and Karen Arnold on The Wonder Years, actress Olivia d'Abo is 45.

Today is Celebration of Life Day. It's National Polka Dot Day. It's Answer Your Cat's Question Day. Today is National Blonde Brownie Day. What's a blonde brownie, you ask? Well, to make blonde brownies, light brown sugar is used in the recipe in place of dark brown chocolate.

Calendar notes: On this date in 1946, the Central Intelligence Group, forerunner of the Central Intelligence Agency, was created. In 1947, KTLA, the first commercial television station west of the Mississippi River, began operation in Hollywood, California. In 1970, the Boeing 747, the world's first "jumbo jet", entered commercial service for launch customer Pan American Airways with its maiden voyage from John F. Kennedy International Airport to London Heathrow Airport. In 1973, the Supreme Court delivered its decision in Roe v. Wade, legalizing elective abortion in all fifty states. In 1984, the Apple Macintosh, the first consumer computer to popularize the computer mouse and the graphical user interface, was introduced during Super Bowl XVIII with its famous 1984 television commercial. In 2002, Kmart became the largest retailer in United States history to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

The Seattle Mariners announced yesterday they will screen all fans with metal detectors as they enter Safeco Field, starting with this year's season opener on April 8th against the Los Angeles Angels. Mariners spokeswoman Rebecca Hale said the new security measure complies with Major League Baseball's mandate that all teams implement a screening program by the start of the 2015 season. Hale said fans at Safeco Field will pass through walk-through magnetometers while their tickets are being scanned. Devices are being installed at all public entrances. Those who do not wish to pass through a metal detector have the option of being checked with a hand-held device. Metal detectors are being installed at Safeco Field's Left Field Gate this week and will be operational for FanFest this Saturday and Sunday.

They say if you got it, flaunt it, and that's exactly what Katy Perry is doing on the cover of GQ magazine. Katy poses in a daring one-piece bathing suit for the magazine's February issue, and discusses a variety of topics including losing her virginity at 16 to plastic surgery to her relationship with John Mayer. Perry holds nothing back in the revealing interview.

After months of security concerns surrounding the Sochi Olympics, the US is sending several warships and aircraft to Russia as a contingency plan for American athletes and officials.

After a house in Dora, Alabama, was TP'ed, the homeowner tried to remove the toilet paper from the tree by setting the paper on fire. The fire then spread to the lawn ... then completely burned down the house.

If there are no stupid questions, then what kind of questions do stupid people ask? Do they get smart just in time to ask questions?

Trivia Answer: Linda Denise Blair who turns 55 today. She began her career as a six-year-old child model. She was selected from a field of 600 applicants for her most notable role as Regan in The Exorcist. The role earned her a Golden Globe and People's Choice Award for Best Supporting Actress as well as an Academy Award nomination. She reprised her role in the sequel, Exorcist II: The Heretic in 1977. Towards the end of the 1970s, Blair encountered trouble with law enforcement authorities as she was arrested and charged with drug possession and conspiracy to sell drugs. She plead guilty to a reduced charge of conspiracy to possess cocaine, in exchange for 3 years probation and a $5000 fine. Blair was also required to make at least 12 major public appearances to tell young people about the dangers of drug abuse. Though she tried to act in subsequent films, Blair found it hard to restart her screen career and landed low grade films. As she herself said in an interview, her career "went down faster than the Titanic". Blair's career took a new turn in the 1980s, as she starred in a number of successful low-budget horror and exploitation films, including Hell Night (1981), Chained Heat (1983) and Savage Streets (1984). Blair has since worked in numerous films, including the Exorcist spoof, Repossessed (1990), and a cameo role in Scream (1996). In 1997, she appeared in a Broadway revival of Grease. Blair has become an animal rights activist and humanitarian, working with PETA, Feed The Children, Variety, the Children's Charity and other organizations. Blair also devotes time to her non-profit organization, the Linda Blair WorldHeart Foundation, which works to rescue abused, neglected and mistreated animals. She is a vegan, and has co-authored the book Going Vegan.

Tuesday 1.21.14
Today's Trivia: He's an investor and philanthropist, best known as a co-founder of Microsoft. As of March 2013, he was estimated to be the 53rd-richest person in the world, with an estimated wealth of $15 billion. Who is he?

The NFL conference title games' television viewership was up big from last season. The Broncos' 26-16 win over New England for the AFC championship averaged 51.3 million viewers Sunday on CBS. That's up 22 percent from the early game a year ago between San Francisco and Atlanta. The Seahawks' 23-17 victory over the 49ers in the NFC averaged 55.9 million viewers on Fox, up 17 percent from Ravens-Patriots in the late window in 2013. CBS said that Denver's win had the second-highest rating for the AFC game in 17 years.

The Seahawks are adding an almost-new weapon for the Super Bowl: Percy Harvin. Coach Pete Carroll said yesterday, "He'll be ready — he's fine." Harvin missed Sunday's game against the 49ers after a concussion a week earlier against New Orleans. He didn't pass the NFL's concussion protocol and was held out. Since two weeks separate the conference title game and the Super Bowl, Harvin has extra time to recover. At his press conference yesterday, Carroll said Harvin will be examined again and "there is an expectation" that he'll be available for the February 2nd game, but the first step is being cleared for practice tomorrow.

Attending the Super Bowl is obviously not a cheap endeavor, with resale tickets routinely being sold for thousands upon thousands of dollars every year. The game this year, however, is set to be the most statistically expensive Super Bowl in history, according to recent analysis. The median price for a ticket to this year's Super Bowl is a whopping $3,298, with an overall average price of $3,721, according to SeatGeek. Last year, the median price for the Big Game was $2,870 with an average price of $3,342. Based on the current transactions on SeatGeek, the reseller said it hasn't seen a ticket sell for under $2,000. So far, the most expensive ticket sold was $10,000 for a lower-level seat on the 50-yard line, SeatGeek said. While Super Bowl tickets are generally purchased well in advance, as of Sunday night there were around 12,000 tickets for sale through secondary markets. That's about 15 percent of the capacity of MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., where the game is being held February 2nd. As game day approaches, data from past years' games suggest that prices will decline. Last year, average ticket prices declined 55 percent from the day after the conference championships to the Super Bowl itself, according to SeatGeek. Experts say a nyone legitimately trying to land a second-hand ticket would be wise to wait until closer to the actual game, when prices will likely drop.

Just in time for your Super Bowl party, candy-bean behemoth Jelly Belly is introducing two ridiculous new flavors: Draft Beer and Chocolate Covered Tabasco.

Today is International Hot & Spicy Food Day. It's also National Granola Bar Day. How about a hot and spicy granola bar for breakfast? Today is National Hugging Day. It's Squirrel Appreciation Day. It's Women's Healthy Weight Day.

Calendar notes; On this date in 1977, President Jimmy Carter pardoned nearly all American Vietnam War draft evaders, some of whom had emigrated to Canada. In 1981, production of the iconic DeLorean DMC-12 sports car began in Dunmurry, Northern Ireland. In 1985, the inauguration of President Ronald Reagan to a second term, already postponed a day because January 20th fell on a Sunday, became the second inauguration in history moved indoors because of freezing temperatures and high winds. The parade is cancelled altogether. Reagan was actually sworn in for his second time on Sunday, January 20th, in a private ceremony at the White House. In 1997, Newt Gingrich became the first leader of the United States House of Representatives to be internally disciplined for ethical misconduct.

Jay Leno is closing out his 22-year run as host of NBC's The Tonight Show with a nod to the future and to the past. His heir apparent, Jimmy Fallon, kicks off Leno's final week with a guest appearance on February 3rd. Fallon is taking over the gig after hosting NBC's Late Night since 2009. Leno's final night, February 6th, features Billy Crystal, who was Leno's first guest in May of 1992 when he succeeded Johnny Carson. Garth Brooks is also set to appear. Other guests for Leno's last week include Betty White, Matthew McConaughey, Sandra Bullock, Lyle Lovett and NBA Hall of Famer Charles Barkley. Fallon starts his run on February 17th during the second week of the network's Olympics coverage. As a result, the Tonight Show is airing at midnight following the nightly games coverage from Sochi, Russia. On February 24th, the show reverts to its regular 11:35 slot.

Birthdays: Golfer Jack Nicklaus is 74; singer-songwriter Billy Ocean is 64; the voice of Beast in Beauty & The Beast, actor Robby Benson is 58; actress Geena Davis is 58; NBA Hall of Famer Hakeem Olajuwon is 51; and Baby Spice, Spice Girl singer Emma Bunton, is 38.

If you haven't yet started preparing for a potential breakdown of society, don't worry -- the Wolfram Survival Cabinet gives even the laziest among us a one-step way to go from woefully unprepared to ready for anything. The cabinet has over 170 items carefully selected to keep you safe and alive should all heck break loose. Price? A cool $14,500.

Well all know that Americans don't eat their fruits and veggies, but data from the USDA lets us count the ways. According to figures that compare actual grocery spending with what the government recommends over an eight-year period, we're buying a fraction of green vegetables, legumes and whole fruits than what's suggested. Instead, we buy way more juice, frozen dinners and candy.

Imagine Dragons, Daft Punk and P!nk & Nate Ruess are performing at the 56th annual Grammy Awards this month. It marks Daft Punk's first television performance since the Grammy Awards in 2008 and also marks the first time P!nk and Nate Ruess are teaming up for a televised performance. The Grammy Awards are being hosted by LL Cool J and air live on CBS on January 26th.

Here's what the Internet taught me yesterday. The sentence "Are you as bored as I am?" can be read backwards and still makes sense.

Trivia Answer: Paul Gardner Allen who turns 61 today. He, along with Bill Gates, founded Microsoft. Allen purchased the NBAs' Portland Trail Blazers 1988. He purchased the NFL's Seattle Seahawks in 1997. He raised the 12th Man Flag this past Sunday. Allen is also part of the ownership team of Major League Soccer's Seattle Sounders FC. Although he attended Washington State University and has given money to its music school, Allen has donated more money to the University of Washington.

Monday 1.20.14
Today's Trivia: Astronaut Buzz Aldrin is celebrating his 84th birthday today. He was the second person to walk on the moon. Who was the first?

The Seattle Seahawks are taking their game-changing defense -- and the 12th Man -- to the Big Apple for the Super Bowl. Seattle's top-ranked defense forced three fourth-quarter turnovers, and Russell Wilson threw a 35-yard touchdown pass on fourth down for the winning points in a 23-17 victory over the San Francisco 49ers for the NFC title yesterday. Moments after Richard Sherman tipped Colin Kaepernick's pass to teammate Malcolm Smith for the clinching interception, the All-Pro cornerback jumped into the stands behind the end zone, saluting the Seahawks' raucous fans. With 12th Man flags waving everywhere, and Frank Sinatra's New York, New York blaring over the loudspeakers, CenturyLink Field rocked like never before. Sherman said, "That's as sweet as it gets."

Earlier in the day, the Denver Broncos advanced to the Super Bowl after defeating the New England Patriots 26-16 in the AFC Championship game.

Seattle meets Denver for the NFL title in two weeks in the New Jersey Meadowlands. It's the first trip to the big game for the Seahawks since they lost to Pittsburgh after the 2005 season. The conference champs -- AFC and NFC -- both had the best records in the league this year, the first time the top seeds have gotten to the Super Bowl since the 2010 game. The Seahawks and Broncos square off Sunday, February 2nd, in New Jersey's MetLife Stadium.

Oddsmakers had trouble picking the favorite in what figures to be one of the most evenly matched -- and heavily bet -- Super Bowls ever. Bettors knew who they wanted, though, putting early money on Denver and making the Broncos a slight favorite to beat the Seattle Seahawks in most of this city's legal betting parlors. Denver was favored by 1 point at several books in the early betting, while others had the Broncos as high as a 3-point pick. The move to the Broncos came after some books had initially made the Seahawks as much as a 2-point pick in the game.

Folks online are already pointing out that the only two states in the union where marijuana is legal are facing each other in the Super Bowl.

Birthdays: Astronaut Buzz Aldrin -- the second person to walk on the moon is 84; director David Lynch is 68; Kiss guitarist Paul Stanley is 62; comedian and TV host Bill Maher is 56; actor Lorenzo Lamas is 56; from The Office, Rainn Wilson is 48; singer Edwin McCain is 44; and Linkin Park drummer Rob Bourdon is 35.

Today is National Cheese Lover's Day. It's National Buttercrunch Day. Today is Learn to Ski Day. It's MLK Day. At 35, Martin Luther King Jr. became the youngest person to win the Nobel Peace prize. He was assassinated on April 4, 1968 while making a speech from the balcony of his hotel room in Memphis, Tennessee. His birthday became a National Holiday by an act of Congress in 1983.

Calendar notes: On this date in 1885, the roller coaster was patented by La Marcus Thompson of, where else, Coney Island, NY. His coaster was 450 feet long with the highest drop being 30 feet. In 1892, the first organized basketball game was played by students at the Springfield, MA YMCA Training School. In 1920, the American Civil Liberties Union was founded. In 1981, twenty minutes after Ronald Reagan was inaugurated as US President, Iran released 52 American hostages. In 2007, the first McDonald's drive-through opened in Beijing.

Ride Along, a buddy cop comedy starring Kevin Hart and Ice Cube, collected $41.2 million in ticket sales to win the weekend box office race, leaving another new release, political thriller Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, in the dust. Last week's box office winner, the Afghanistan war tale Lone Survivor, was second. The Nut Job, the first animated release from Open Road Films, claimed third place. Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit took the No. 4 spot. Rounding out the top five, Disney's animated hit Frozen.

Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s daughter, Bernice, urged people around the world to honor the slain civil rights leader's memory and mark his 85th birthday by making today a "no shots fired" day. She said in an era of frighteningly frequent school shootings and increasingly violent films and video games make the federal holiday honoring her father an important time to renew his legacy. She said, "Dr. King's philosophy of non-violence is more relevant, I believe, than it was 10 years ago."

The National Weather Service is warning Northwest residents about stagnant air throughout the region. Forecasters said light winds and a ridge of high pressure is leaving pollution trapped near the ground and degrading air quality. Officials said the problems could linger until Friday. The weather service says those with respiratory problems should consider limiting their outdoor activity.

Trivia Answer: Neil Armstrong -- the Commander of the Apollo 11 mission was the first to step on the moon. Aldrin was the Lunar Module Pilot on the same mission. On July 20th of 1969, Armstrong and Aldrin landed in the Sea of Tranquility and on July 21st became the first humans to walk on the Moon. Their landing craft, Eagle, spent 21 hours and 31 minutes on the lunar surface while Command Module Pilot Michael Collins orbited above in the command ship, Columbia. The three astronauts returned to Earth with 47.5 pounds of lunar rocks and landed in the Pacific Ocean on July 24th. They left behind a plaque that said "Here Men From The Planet Earth First Set Foot Upon the Moon, July 1969 A.D. We Came in Peace For All Mankind." They also left behind a memorial bag containing a gold replica of an olive branch as a traditional symbol of peace and a silicon message disk. The disk carries the goodwill statements by Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon and messages from leaders of 73 countries around the world.

Friday 1.17.14
Today's Trivia: She was born and grew up on the South Side of Chicago. She graduated from Princeton University and Harvard Law School. After completing her formal education, she returned to Chicago and accepted a position with a law firm, where she met her future husband. Subsequently, she worked as part of the staff of Chicago mayor Richard M. Daley, and for the University of Chicago Medical Center. Who is she?

Packers-Bears. Steelers-Browns. Cowboys vs. anybody in the NFC East. Those are long-standing NFL rivalries. Add to them 49ers-Seahawks, with a history of nastiness emanating from the college ranks for their coaches, and a hefty animosity built up in annual doubleheaders in their division. Now they meet for a spot in the Super Bowl. Are those hard feelings for real? San Francisco receiver Anquan Boldin says, "I think so, but it'll always be that way when you have two good teams in the same division. You play each other a couple times a year and if you're good enough, possibly three times a year. It was the same way when I was in Baltimore playing against Pittsburgh. You respect each other as foes, but there is really a dislike." One of these teams will emerge Sunday from ear-splitting CenturyLink Field headed for New Jersey to play for the sport's biggest prize. The other will carry into the offseason even more loathing for this opponent. Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman, who will find himself lined up often against Boldin in the NFC championship game, says, "There is no love lost; there is no love found. It's going to be intense. It's going to be physical. I don't know if there are going to be handshakes after this one."

Meanwhile, ticket sellers for Sunday's game between the Seahawks and 49ers are not only asking for more than $600 a seat, they're getting it. Connor Gregoire is with New York reseller Seatgeek.com. He says outside of the Super Bowl, "it's actually the most expensive NFL game in two years," He says tickets for the game at the CLink are averaging more than $660 each. That price reflects actual sales, not wishful thinking. He says that average price reflects tickets that have been sold, rather than the asking price. "Tickets that are listed for tens of thousands of dollars but aren't selling are not factored in to that average ticket price." Seatgeek.com and other sites including the official NFL Ticket Exchange offer less expensive seats, but not much less. Gregoire says, "Even to just get in the nosebleeds at CenturyLink Field, it's going to cost you almost $400 per ticket."

The Seahawks and 49ers mix it up Sunday afternoon at 3:30. First though, the AFC picks a champ when the Broncos host the New England Patriots at noon Sunday

You'd think the wife of legendary San Francisco quarterback Joe Montana would choose a 49er to partner with for her newest jewelry project. Nope. Just a few days before the NFC title game between the Seahawks and Niners, Jennifer Montana has released a Beast Mode necklace. Indeed, Jennifer Montana has partnered with Seattle's Marshawn Lynch on her latest project. The Beast Mode necklace, now on sale for $124, is fashioned like a key and is printed with the words "Beast Mode" and Lynch's jersey number, 24. The rest of her jewelry collections, by the way, are named after her children. According to the Jennifer Montana Design website, 80 percent of proceeds from the necklace are going to Lynch's charity, Fam 1st Family Foundation, and the Montana family's charity, the Four Rings Foundation. You can't help but wonder if the 49ers Faithful are feeling a little abandoned just before their team's showdown with the Hawks on Sunday. Joe Montana did, however, say this week that he expects the 49ers to win.

In my email this morning:

Q: How does a 49ers fan change a light bulb?
A: They don't. They just talk about how good the old one was!

Birthdays: Actress Betty White is 92; actor James Earl Jones is 83; talk show host Maury Povich is 75; boxing legend Muhammad Ali is 72; singer Paul Young is 58; actor and comedian Steve Harvey is 57; from The Bangles, singer Susanna Hoffs is 55; actor Jim Carrey is 52; Kid Rock is 43; actress Zooey Deschanel is 34.

The Professor on Gilligan's Island, Russell Johnson, has died. His agent says Johnson died yesterday morning at his home here in Washington State of natural causes. He lived on Bainbridge Island. Johnson was a busy but little-known character actor when he was cast in the slapstick 1960s comedy about seven people marooned on an uncharted Pacific island. His character, high school science teacher Roy Hinkley, built generators and other gadgets out of scraps of junk found on the island. Johnson later joked that the one thing The Professor never figured out how to do was to fix the leaky boat so the group could get back to civilization. During its three-season run on CBS, critics lambasted the show. But after its 1967 cancellation, it found generations of new fans in reruns and reunion movies. Russell Johnson -- The Professor -- was 89.

Today is Ditch New Years Resolutions Day. Today is Make Your All-Time Top Ten Favorite TV Characters List. Go ahead. Will you include Lucy, Fonzie, Barney, Latka, Reverend Jim, Kramer, Boss Hogg, Corky, Gomer, Georgette, Meathead, Bart, or Homer? Today is Kid Inventors Day, honoring the 500,000 kids and teens who invent gadget and games each year to make our lives easier and more fun. Today is Judgment Day, a day to see how you measure up, a day to look in the mirror. Today is Rid the World of Fad Diets and Gimmicks Day. Today is National Professional Boxer's Day, always on the birthday of Muhammad Ali.

Calendar notes: On this date in 1972, Bellvie Street in Memphis was renamed Elvis Presley Boulevard. All the new street signs immediately disappeared. In 1983, Ham, the chimpanzee, died at age 26. He was America's first space pioneer and a member of the Space Hall of Fame. In 1984, the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that using a home video recorder to tape movies and TV shows for non-commercial purposes did not violate federal copyright law. In 1994, Donny Osmond and the Partridge Family's Danny Bonaduce fought in a charity boxing match in Chicago. Bonaduce won a split decision.

Baseball's replay age has dawned, thanks to yesterday's unanimous approval by owners of what commissioner Bud Selig called "historic" expansion of replay to correct missed calls. The new system goes into effect this season. It gives managers most of the power to trigger reviews, by providing them with one challenge per game, along with a second potential challenge if their first is upheld. Only after a manager has used up all of his challenges, and only from the seventh inning on, would umpires be authorized to initiate a review on their own. For the first time, calls at first base, at the plate and on the bases will be reviewable. There will be limited exceptions, including the fabled "neighborhood play" at second base. MLB executive Tony La Russa, one of the architects of the new system, estimated that almost 90 percent of all potential calls are now reviewable. Seattle Mariner pitchers and catchers report for Spring Training on February 12th. Seattle Mariners FanFest coming up at Safeco Field next weekend, Saturday and Sunday, the 25th and 26th.

In theaters this weekend: Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (PG-13), The Nut Job (PG), Ride Along (PG-13), Devil's Due (R). After landing a Best Picture nomination Thursday, Warner Bros is sending Gravity back to IMAX 3D screens at the end of the month on January 31st.

Plenty of parents wind up having their babies fairly close together in age -- but one mom in the UK is getting way more than she bargained for after conceiving triplets four weeks after giving birth to her first child. Because Sarah and Benn Ward had a tough time getting pregnant with their son, Freddie, they decided to go ahead and start trying for another baby shortly after his birth, thinking it would take some time again. Well, a mere four weeks after Sarah delivered, she turned up preggo. With three babies.

Tips For Jesus, the anonymous diner famous for leaving huge tips in the name of Jesus, has stuck again, this time in a San Francisco. The tipper struck at a high-end Japanese restaurant, this time leaving a $3,000 tip on a $147 bill. This isn't the first time the big tipper has struck a restaurant. The Tips For Jesus Instagram profile has been live since early September. Those running the profile made their first post on September 8th of 2013, which was an image of a Jesus figure with thumbs up. The caption read, "Here we go..." and from there the anonymous tipper has made his or her way around the country, leaving outrageously generous tips for their servers.

Trivia Answer: First Lady Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama who turns 50 today. She's the mother of two daughters, Malia and Sasha, and is the sister of Craig Robinson, the men's basketball coach at Oregon State University. At first, Michelle had reservations about her husband's presidential campaign due to fears about a possible negative effect on their daughters. She says that she negotiated an agreement in which her husband gave up smoking in exchange for her support of his decision to run for president. Michelle has been compared to Jacqueline Kennedy due to her sense of style, and to Barbara Bush for her discipline and decorum.

Thursday 1.16.14
Today's Trivia: He's a comedian, musician, and singer-songwriter, prominent in the 1970s. He's self-taught on guitar, fiddle, piano, banjo, organ and harmonica. In high school, he played in a band along with friends Kent LaVoie (aka Lobo) and Gram Parsons, later of the Byrds. His first charted hit was as song called Swamp Witch which barely cracked the Top 40 in July of 1973. By early 1974 he had charted his biggest hit, Spiders and Snakes, which peaked at #3 on the American charts that March. Who is he?

The mayors of Seattle and San Francisco, both Washington natives, have agreed to a friendly wager on the outcome of Sunday's 49ers-Seahawks NFC Championship playoff game, including chocolate and ice cream. It must be tough for San Francisco Mayor Edwin M. Lee to be betting against his hometown team. Seattle Mayor Ed Murray said, "I'm glad San Francisco voters were smart enough to choose a Seattle native as their mayor." Lee said his mom, 3 brothers and 2 sisters are all still in the Seattle area. "I'm the black sheep of the family, so to speak -- I'm the only one that's left," Lee said. "You know I'll be wearing my red and gold uniform down here." And with that Lee backed up his 49ers with the following bet: If the 49ers lose, he will send Mitchell's Ice Cream, Poco Dolce Chocolates and Lefty O'Doul's original 1958 Bloody Mary mix. Murray countered: "Thank you. They'll need it after the celebration." Murray had also offered ear plugs for 49ers players. In the unlikely event of a Seahawks loss, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray would send Molly Moon's Ice Cream and Theo Chocolate. In addition, the losing mayor will assist the winning mayor in raising $10,000 for a food bank or meal program in the winning city and the losing mayor will send a food donation to the winning city's food bank. "It was always going to come down to this -- the two best teams in the NFC battling for a chance to play in the Super Bowl," Lee said. "We wouldn't have wanted it any other way. When the Niners raise that Lombardi Trophy in New York City next month, they will do so knowing that they'd made the trip up to Seattle and triumphed over their rivals from the North." Not to be outdone, Murray countered, "We have every confidence in our team going into Sunday's game. We know too, that the 12th Man will boost our players and make it very tough for our division rival 49ers to get in a win in Seattle. We can't say this enough -- bring your earplugs." Bets on the table, the mayors got back to the trash talk. Referring to the credit card mailing address needed to buy Seahawks tickets for the championship game, Mayor Lee said, "I wish we could get a few more tickets." Murray responded, "Well I understand the Seahawks didn't want to have your fans crying on TV." As the Seahawks host the 49ers this weekend, both mayors and teams are urging all fans to treat each other with respect. Kick off is coming up at 3:30 Sunday afternoon.

Meanwhile, there's some new decor at Safeco Field this week:

Walk into any Starbucks store in the state tomorrow wearing Seahawks colors, and you could walk out with a tall coffee for just 12 cents. Starbucks said yesterday that the promotion is being offered at more than 400 Starbucks across Washington as part of the Seahawks' weekly Blue Friday celebration. This week's Blue Friday is extra-special, of course, as the Hawks prepare to battle the 49ers in the NFC Championship Game on Sunday at CenturyLink Field. Customers must be wearing Seahawks colors -- blue and green, for those who live under a rock -- to take advantage of the promotion. Starbucks employees will be setting an example.

Birthdays: Country music's first blind superstar, singer Ronnie Milsap is 71; director John Carpenter is 66; actress and dancer Debbie Allen is 64; singer Sade is 55; and supermodel Kate Moss is 40

Today is Hot and Spicy Food Day. Today is Appreciate a Dragon Day, celebrating fictional dragons as memorable characters. Today is Civil Service Day. On this date in 1883, the Pendleton Act created the federal civil service system and the US Civil Service Commission. Today is Religious Freedom Day and, for the non-religious, it's National Fig Newton Day. Today is National Nothing Day, a day to not celebrate anything.

Calendar notes: On this date in 1920, the US outlawed alcohol and went dry, a year after states ratified the 18th Amendment. Fourteen years of prohibition followed. In 1957, the Cavern Club opened in Liverpool. Originally a jazz club, it became famous as the first home of the Beatles. In 1973, Bonanza, a top western TV show, aired its final episode after 14 seasons on NBC. It starred Lorne Greene, Michael Landon, Dan Blocker, Pernell Roberts, and Victor Sen Yung. In 1987, red M&Ms returned for the first time in 11 years after being banned because the original red dye used in the candy had caused cancer in laboratory rats. In 1991, boxer George Foreman's wife Joan gave birth to yet another George, George the 5th. The couple already had three sons: George the 2nd, George the 3rd, and George the 4th. Dad is George the 1st.

The Oscar nominations were announced this morning. Best picture nominations are American Hustle, Captain Phillips, Dallas Buyers Club, Gravity, Her, Nebraska, Philomena, 12 Years a Slave, and The Wolf of Wall Street. The nominees for best actor are Christian Bale (American Hustle), Bruce Dern (Nebraska), Leonardo DiCaprio (The Wolf of Wall Street), Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave), and Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club). The nominees for best actress are Amy Adams (American Hustle), Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine), Sandra Bullock (Gravity), Judi Dench (Philomena), and Meryl Streep (August: Osage County). The 86th Academy Awards air March 2nd from Hollywood's Dolby Theatre. The show's on ABC.

American Idol returned last night to post its lowest premiere rating ever. The 13th season of Fox's veteran reality series delivered 15 million viewers and a 4.6 adults 18-49 rating, down 23 percent from last year -- even though new judge Harry Connick Jr. is getting glowing reviews from critics and fans. More American Idol tonight as auditions continue in Austin and San Francisco.

Late-night host Jay Leno, News Corp founder Rupert Murdoch and actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus are three of the new inductees into the Television Academy Hall of Fame. They will join Ray Dolby, David E. Kelley and Brandon Stoddard at a dinner to be held in March where they will be officially bestowed TV's highest honor. Academy chairman Bruce Rosenthal said in a statement, "The six individuals being inducted into the Hall of Fame have all made a profound impact on the landscape of television, leaving their own mark within our industry and with audiences around the world."

I love me some studies: A new study conducted by the Center for Responsive Politics shows that for the first time, more than half those in the House and Senate are millionaires. In the House, the study found that Democrats on average were wealthier than Republicans. In the Senate, the opposite was true. According to another survey, Vermont residents use the snooze function on their alarm clocks more than residents in any other state. Next up are people in South Carolina, Arkansas, Georgia and Indiana. Yet another new survey shows one in five pet owners would sacrifice a 30-day supply of pet cuddles for the sake of their smartphone. Using data from the Centers From Disease Control, Fargo has been named America's drunkest city.

Trivia Answer: James Wayne Stafford -- Jim Stafford -- who turns 70 today. He continued to have moderate chart success through most of 1975. Popular as they were, many of Stafford's songs had a tendency to test the boundaries of censorship. My Girl Bill in 1974: The first two verses of this song suggest two men nervously considering a homosexual relationship, but the final verse tells of a girl who has clearly made her choice between the two men, with the victor ending by saying "You're gonna have to find another, 'cause she's my girl, Bill." I Got Stoned And I Missed It in 1975: A man who spends a little too much time smoking marijuana (referred to in this song as having a taste) and consequently missing important things, including someone on a nearby street corner giving out $100 bills. Wildwood Weed in 1974: This twangy country-fied song dealt with two farming brothers accidentally stumbling upon a patch of marijuana plants (referred to in the song as Wildwood Flowers/Weeds). A government man comes by later and destroys the remaining ones. (but the brothers have a sack of seeds, evidently to plant more). In the late 1970s, Stafford was married briefly to singer-songwriter Bobbie Gentry and they have a son, Tyler. Stafford was also married to Ann Britt Stafford for 24 years and co-owned the Jim Stafford Theatre in Branson, Missouri until December 2013. Stafford now resides in Florida.

Wednesday 1.15.14
Today's Trivia: This quarterback played college football for Purdue University, and was chosen by the San Diego Chargers with the first pick in the second round of the 2001 NFL Draft. He left college as one of the most-decorated players in Purdue and Big Ten history, establishing 2 NCAA records, 13 Big Ten Conference records and 19 Purdue University records. He remains the Big Ten Conference record-holder in virtually every passing category, including completions (1,026), yards (11,792) and touchdowns (90). He started his professional career with the Chargers, earning the starting job in 2002 and making the Pro Bowl in 2004. After injuring his shoulder at the end of the 2005 season, he signed with the New Orleans Saints. Who is he?

Mike Holmgren is now one of the intruders. After so many seasons of trying to insulate his teams from the noise on the outside and shield players from nosey media, he now finds himself on the other side. He may be a coach with Hall of Fame credentials, but he's simply a fan, observer and part-time member of the media when it comes to Sunday's NFC championship game between Seattle and San Francisco, two franchises he knows quite well. Holmgren says, "It is different. Very different. I'm going to enjoy it. I'm going to enjoy every moment of it. When you're in it, you would like to say you're enjoying it but you're nervous about everything. It's exciting and that's what you coach for and all of that, but it's a different perspective for me and I'm looking forward to the excitement of it all, I must admit, now, when I was coaching, maybe because I never got out of the building very much during the week, you're aware of the fans and the excitement in the city but now you're really aware." Holmgren knows something about playing in the postseason. In six seasons as an assistant coach in San Francisco and 17 overall seasons as a head coach in Green Bay (seven) and Seattle (10), Holmgren coached seven times in NFC championship games, winning five. And while his ties to the Bay Area are strong, from growing up in San Francisco and working as a high school coach in the area to serving as an assistant for the 49ers, Holmgren said he's firmly in the corner of the Seahawks going into Sunday's game. He says, "Well, I'm pulling for the Seahawks but I'm happy the 49ers are in because I think they are the two best teams and that's the best game. A couple of my colleagues at the radio station, I'm going to have to talk them off the ledge this week but I think it's the best game and the teams know each other. There's a lot of good stories from this game. It's a good week." Holmgren still has connections in the Seahawks building with many of the staff and a couple of players that have remained on Pete Carroll's roster. He's had a chance to attend practices on occasion and developed a relationship with a few new players, including All-Pro cornerback Richard Sherman. "When I watched him play in the beginning, I didn't know him, and I didn't like some of the things he did, quite honestly. Great football player, but all that other stuff," Holmgren said. "Then I was over there and had a sandwich with him, had lunch with him one day and I got a chance to meet him, talk to him. I'm one of his biggest fans, he's a great kid." Now 65, Holmgren finds the setting when he attends a Seahawks practice a little odd compared to the way he ran things, between the music blaring and players sometimes dancing. But he has great respect for what Carroll has accomplished in rebuilding the Seahawks and getting them to this point. "It looks like they have more fun at practice than my teams did, quite honestly," Holmgren said. "I go to practice and the music is going, they're jumping around, they're dancing, they just do stuff. I thought if I ever saw that happening they're not concentrating on what I want them to concentrate on."

Fox Sports has a few weather-related tricks up its sleeve for next month's Super Bowl telecast, and the network plans to test them out before the February 2nd game that will be the first Super Bowl played in a cold-weather climate. Fox is using this weekend's game in Seattle between the San Francisco 49ers and the Seahawks to test an infrared camera that shows how players' body temperatures change throughout the game. Eric Shanks is Fox Sports chief operating officer and executive producer. He says, "I don't know what story that tells, but it might make for some pretty cool pictures." He said another unspecified device will show how wind affects a quarterback or kicker. Shanks said the network is having ore high-tech 4K cameras than ever before to zoom in for what he called "that definitive angle." The network is touting the game as "the coldest and boldest Super Bowl ever" in its advertising. Shanks said the pre-game timing will be altered slightly because of the temperature so people aren't on the field standing around too long waiting for the players to come out. "We have spent a lot of time with the league going over contingency plans not unlike what we do for this weekend in Seattle," Shanks said, noting three NFL games on Fox this season were delayed because of weather. Forecasting company AccuWeather said Monday the game-day temperature will be 35 degrees with a chance of snow showers. However, Shanks downplayed the cold factor. He says, "It's not like football isn't played in the cold. We were just in Green Bay. The NFL shouldn't be apologizing for a cold-weather Super Bowl. If this goes off well, I think we should give another Super Bowl to a cold-weather city. How great would it be to have a Super Bowl in Green Bay?" Fox is building a three-story studio in Times Square to host its game-week programming, even though the game itself is being played in nearby East Rutherford, N.J.

Fox Sports posted this video to YouTube yesterday: 

Only two games this weekend, but it's still a big football weekend. Sunday, Patriots-Broncos at noon followed by Seahawks-49ers at 3:30.

Birthdays: Martin Luther King, Jr. would have been 85 today. MLK Day is Monday but today is his real birthday. Singer and dancer Charo is 63; actor and director Mario Van Peebles is 57; singer Lisa Lisa is 47; actor Chad Lowe is 46; and Pitbull is 33.

Today is Hat Day. It's World Religion Day. Today is National Humanitarian Day. It's Elementary School Teacher Day. Today is National Fresh Squeezed Juice Day.

Calendar notes: On this date in 1889, the Coca-Cola Company, then known as the Pemberton Medicine Company, was originally incorporated in Atlanta, Georgia. In 1892, James Naismith published the rules of basketball. In 1943, the world's largest office building, The Pentagon, was dedicated in Arlington, Virginia. In 1967, the first Super Bowl was played in Los Angeles, California. The Green Bay Packers defeated the Kansas City Chiefs 35-10. In 2001, Wikipedia, a free content encyclopedia, went online. In 2009, US Airways Flight 1549 made an emergency landing in the Hudson River shortly after takeoff from LaGuardia Airport in New York, New York. All passengers and crew members survived. The incident became known as the Miracle on the Hudson.

A US appeals court has ruled that unless the Supreme Court takes a different point of view, Internet service providers could start charging differently, depending on what websites customers access. Verizon won its challenge to the Federal Communication Commission's "net neutrality" rules. The FCC had barred broadband providers from providing different speeds, or even blocking, different sites. The court eventually said the FCC regulations were an overreach of the governing body's powers, especially considering how the FCC had classified Internet providers. The worry is that Verizon might slow access to a site like Amazon, Netflix, or Google, while speeding up access to its own video, shopping, or search services. Or, perhaps, Internet customers would have to pay extra to get better speeds at those other sites. Verizon has argued that because it built its network, it has the right to manage its costs and services as it pleases. "The D.C. Circuit's decision is alarming for all Internet users," says Harvey Anderson, SVP of legal affairs for Mozilla. "Thanks to a legal technicality, essential protections for user choice and online innovation are gone." The concern wasn't limited to those with broad commercial interests. Barbara Stripling, president of the American Library Association said she was extremely disappointed. "Now that the Internet has become the primary mechanism for delivering information, services and applications to the general public, it is especially important that commercial Internet Service Providers are not able to control or manipulate the content of these communications."

Not everything at the Consumer Electronics Show has to do with TVs, game systems, and futuristic cars. Also unveiled at CES in Las Vegas was the Chefjet 3D Printer, which prints 3D edible sweets that look like works of art. The printable materials come in a range of flavors -- like chocolate, sour apple, and mint. But the price of a machine that makes over-the-top artistic sweets will start at $5,000.

Ford unveiled its C-MAX Solar Energi vehicle this week at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The car's roof is covered in solar panels that boost the impact of the sun's rays by a factor of eight.

For those whose grilling skills are on the weak side there's now a voice-activated grill. Lynx Smart Grill automatically cooks foods based on user commands. And it tells you when flip your meats. But the price tag is a hefty $7,000.

Researchers at the University of Texas Arlington have developed a micro-windmill that could help recharge phone batteries. The device is about 1.8 mm at its widest point and the windmills are so small, you would be able to fit ten of them on a single grain of rice. How would these work? The researchers say that hundreds of the windmills could be embedded in a sleeve for a phone. Holding the phone up on a windy day or waving the phone around would generate the electricity needed to help charge its battery.

American Idol is back tonight. Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban and Harry Connick, Jr. are the judges for the new season and Ryan Seacrest returns as host. The season begins as it always does, with the auditions. First up in this 2-hour edition are the cities of Austin and Boston. The premiere continues tomorrow night.

Trivia Answer:  Russell Wilson's idol -- Drew Brees who turns 35 today. Once he signed with New Orleans, he met almost immediate success, earning seven trips to the Pro Bowl and leading the Saints to their first Super Bowl. He was the NFL's Comeback Player of the Year in 2004, the Offensive Player of the Year in 2008 and 2011, and the MVP of Super Bowl 44 -- XLIV. Sports Illustrated named Brees as its 2010 Sportsman of the Year.In Week 12 this year, Brees passed Warren Moon for 5th place on the career passing yards list. It gave him 49,566 total passing yards. During Week 14, Brees became the fastest player ever to join the 50,000-yard club. He did it in 183 games, passing the 50,000 milestone during a 31-13 Saints win over the Carolina Panthers on December 8th. Brees also extended his NFL-record to a 6th straight season of at least 30 touchdown passes/4,000 passing yards, in addition to his NFL-record 8th straight 4,000-yard season. The Saints finished with an 11-and-5 record, defeated the Philadelphia Eagles in the Wild Card round, but lost to the Seattle Seahawks in the Divisionals.

Tuesday 1.14.14
Today's Trivia: He was a radio and television writer. He was most notable for his weekly broadcast that was part of the CBS News program 60 Minutes from 1978 to 2011. His final regular appearance on 60 Minutes aired October 2nd of 2011. He died one month later, on November 4th of 2011, at the age of 92. Who was he?

As excited as the Northwest is -- and to some extent, the football nation -- over the NFC championship game, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll will see your excitement and raise it. Carroll said yesterday, "Hours of sleep are short, but we're kicking into it. It is a blast -- in the playoffs, playing at home, and having 60 minutes between now and the Super Bowl. It's a thrill to be in this setting." Give credit to Carroll for avoiding the usual coach-mumble about just another game. He knows the last 12 months in Renton and Santa Clara, CA., the 49ers' headquarters, have been a power grind to get to Sunday's moment between the two best teams in the NFC. He said, "The fact that we have this familiarity makes it a really cool match-up. We'll all be deep into it. It's one everyone likes to see, (the 49ers) don't mind it, we don't mind it one bit, either. From early in the year, these were the teams people were talking about. There's no better match-up you could find in the NFC." Each rematch prompts a more intense focus. The teams split the regular-season games, each winning at home, Seattle 29-3 and San Francisco 19-17. Given the pre-eminence on both teams of the defenses, another low-scoring game is foreseen, which suits Carroll just fine. As it did against the Saints Saturday. The Seahawks won 23-15 with only 277 yards of offense and quarterback Russell Wilson completing only 9 of 18 passes for a career low 103 yards. Carroll pointed out, however, that in the Week 2 win over the Niners, the Seahawks had only 290 yards of offense and Wilson was 8 for 19 for 118 yards, yet they won by 26. By the way, regardig the status of Percy Harvin. We won't know until tomorrow or Thursday as he works through the NFL protocol for concussions. Sunday afternoon at the Clink.

For fans in Seattle and San Francisco, Sunday's NFC championship game is the natural conclusion to a monumental season for the two NFC West rivals. Widely considered the best teams in the conference heading into the season, the Seahawks and 49ers played to form, winning 13 and 12 regular-season games, respectively, and splitting their season series, with each squad holding serve at home. But away from the West Coast, the clash of the titans may be a harder pill to swallow, according to USA Today. In a piece published Sunday, Chris Chase breaks down reasons why fans outside the Bay Area and Pacific Northwest hate the Hawks and Niners, as well as why they shouldn't. Here are some of the highlights: Why should fans dislike San Francisco head coach Jim Harbaugh? Jim Harbaugh is a hothead. He whines to refs. He keeps that Sharpie around his neck like a doofus. He's loud, brash and has no postgame decorum. He wears turtlenecks tucked into pleated khakis. If Johnny from The Karate Kid were an NFL coach, he'd be Jim Harbaugh. How about Pete Carroll? Why to dislike him: He whoops it up like he's coaching JV football. Why to like him: He whoops it up like he's coaching JV football. And why should NFL fans embrace the 12th Man? If you lived in Seattle, you'd be a Seahawks fan too and you'd want nothing more than to be at CenturyLink Field next Sunday night, screaming at the top of your lungs in hopes of getting the 49ers to false start. The stadium acoustics help, but the fans are quite loud on their own. They deserve the hype.

Peyton Manning can't stop shouting about Nebraska's largest city. The Denver Broncos quarterback used the word "Omaha" loudly and often during Sunday's National League Football playoff victory over the San Diego Chargers. According to an NFL.com video montage, Manning barked "Omaha" before the ball was snapped 44 times during the game. The reason for the word choice, if there is one, is known only to Manning and the Broncos. But it provided some unexpected publicity for the city of 427,000, perhaps best known as the home of both billionaire Warren Buffett and the Fortune 500 insurance company Mutual of Omaha (sponsor of the old TV show "Wild Kingdom"). Omaha, in fact, was a trending topic on Twitter during the game, and the Greater Omaha Convention and Visitors Bureau jumped aboard, tweeting: "We certainly appreciate all the love from Peyton Manning :)"

Birthdays: Actress Faye Dunaway is 73; ainger and producer T-Bone Burnett is 66; actor Carl Weathers is 66; Queensryche frontman Geoff Tate is 55; Dennis Blunden on Head of the Class, actor Dan Schneider is 48; actress Emily Watson is 47; rapper and actor LL Cool J is 46; actor Jason Bateman is 45; from Nirvana and Foo Fighters, musician Dave Grohl is 45; and from Kings of Leon, frontman Caleb Followill is 32

Today is Penguin Awareness Day. National Dress Up Your Pet Day, Bald Eagle Appreciation Day. It's also the C-Section's birthday marking the first successful operation in 1794.

Calendar notes: On this date in 1943, Franklin D. Roosevelt became the first President of the United States to travel via airplane while in office when he traveled from Miami to Morocco to meet with Winston Churchill. In 1952, NBC's morning news program Today debuted, with host Dave Garroway. In 1957, the Wham-O Company developed the first frisbee. In 1973, Elvis Presley's concert Aloha from Hawaii was broadcast live via satellite, and set a record as the most watched broadcast by an individual entertainer in television history. In 1978, the English rock band Sex Pistols broke up amidst their US tour. In 1988, the US Supreme Court ruled that public school officials can censor student newspapers.

Alex Rodriguez sued Major League Baseball and its players' union yesterday, seeking to overturn a season-long suspension imposed by an arbitrator who ruled there was "clear and convincing evidence" he used three banned substances and twice tried to obstruct the sport's drug investigation. As part of the lawsuit filed in federal court in Manhattan, the New York Yankees third baseman made public Saturday's 33-page decision by arbitrator Fredric Horowitz, who shortened a penalty originally set at 211 games last August by baseball Commissioner Bud Selig for violations of the sport's drug agreement and labor contract. Horowitz, who technically chaired a three-man panel that included a representative of MLB and the union, trimmed the penalty to 162 games, plus all postseason games in 2014. Horowitz wrote, "While this length of suspension may be unprecedented for a MLB player, so is the misconduct he committed," Rodriguez in his suit claimed the Major League Baseball Players Association "completely abdicated its responsibility to Mr. Rodriguez to protect his rights" and "this inaction by MLBPA created a climate in which MLB felt free to trample" on Rodriguez's confidentiality rights. Rodriguez asked for the court to find MLB violated its agreements with the union, that the union breached its duty to represent him and to throw out Horowitz's decision.

The Eurythmics are reuniting in Los Angeles later this month for a performance celebrating the 50th anniversary of The Beatles' appearance on the "Ed Sullivan Show." Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart last toured together in 2000. They're playing songs by The Beatles in the January 27th concert organized by the Recording Academy, which hands out the annual Grammy Awards. They are sharing the stage with Alicia Keys, John Legend, and Maroon 5 in the concert that's being broadcast on CBS on February 9th. "The Night that Changed America: A Grammy Salute to The Beatles" pays homage to the Fab Four's February 1964 performances on the "Ed Sullivan Show," which is credited with launching rock music's so-called British Invasion.

Here's another reason to drink coffee. That morning cup of java or lunchtime soda might serve a purpose beyond giving you a jolt of energy. According to a new study by researchers at Johns Hopkins University, caffeine enhances memory.

Trivia Answer:  Andrew Aitken Rooney -- Andy Rooney -- who was born on this date in 1919. Rooney's end-of-show segment on 60 Minutes, A Few Minutes with Andy Rooney (originally Three Minutes or So With Andy Rooney), began in 1978, as a summer replacement for the debate segment Point/Counterpoint. Andy's segment proved popular enough with viewers that beginning in the fall of 1978, it was seen in alternate weeks with the debate segment. At the end of the 1978–1979 season, Point/Counterpoint was dropped altogether. Despite being best known for his television presence on 60 Minutes, Rooney always considered himself a writer who incidentally appeared on television behind his famous walnut table, which he made himself. Rooney was hospitalized on October 25, 2011, after developing postoperative complications from an undisclosed surgery, and died on November 4, 2011, at the age of 92, less than five weeks after his last appearance on 60 Minutes.

Monday 1.13.14
Today's Trivia: If all the US state capitals were listed in alphabetical order, the first and last on the list would be capitals of bordering states. Can you name the cities or the states?

And then there were four. Over the weekend, the Seahawks eliminated the New Orleans Saints, the New England Patriots did away with the Indianapolis Colts, the San Francisco 49ers dispatched the Carolina Panthers, and the Denver Broncos did away with the San Diego Chargers. So now it's on to the Conference Championships. The AFC crowns a champion Sunday at noon when the Broncos and Patriots clash. The NFC determines a winner as the Seahawks host the 49ers Sunday afternoon at 3:30. It marks the first time the Seahawks & 49ers have ever met in NFLPlayoffs. Then two weeks later, those two winners meet in the Super Bowl.

Seahawks fans had little chance to secure one of a handful of tickets to the NFC championship game before they sold out on Ticketmaster this morning. But 49ers fans had even less of a chance. The ticket outlet says the Seahawks would not allow seats to be sold to anyone with a California billing address. Jacqueline Peterson is with Ticketmaster. She says, "Some teams choose to 'geo-locate, that is, make the tickets available to fans within a certain area." Peterson says Ticketmaster sold NFC championship tickets only to fans with billing addresses in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Alaska, Hawaii, and the Canadian provinces of BC and Alberta. Peterson says the policy ensures that local fans have the best opportunity to get the tickets. But 49ers fans weren't too happy about being shut out, judging by some of the comments on SFGate.com. Here's a sample:

"So much for "sportsmanship" and fair play. Obviously Seattle's decision makers need to go to drastic measures to get an edge in next Sunday's game."

"I think this means that Seattle is not used to a prime-time matchup; this just makes them look like amateurs."

"Seattle the ultimate San Francisco wannabee, Seattle should change its name to Cowardice Washington, nothing further."

"Damn Seahawks are scared........They want to gather as much of their fans as possible so they can feel safe, Get over it Seattle......Were coming for you Seasocks....Niners are going for another NFC Championship......Should be an epic game."

"The Seahawks apparently realized that their own fan base is just not strong enough to fill their own stadiums without some drastic measure.."

Of course, the policy won't stop 49er fans from attending the game at CenturyLink Field. Plenty of tickets will change hands via the usual online resellers including the official NFL Ticket Exchange. As of noon today, prices on the exchange ranged from $390 to $7,334.

Editor's note:  The Denver Broncos did the exact same thing. Tickets were available at all Ticketmaster locations by calling or by visiting ticketmaster.com. Tickets, however, were available only to those with a billing address in the Rocky Mountain states, including Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming, Nebraska, Montana, South Dakota and Western Kansas.

Well, well. We meet again. Peyton Manning vs. Tom Brady in the AFC championship game. The 49ers vs. the Seahawks in the NFC title bout. It'll be a Sunday of rivalry showdowns next weekend, with familiar foes a win away from the Super Bowl. The Broncos opened as 6½-point favorites for the game at Denver. In the NFC, the 49ers and Seahawks are all set to play for the NFC championship in the latest chapter in one of the NFL's budding -- and bitter -- rivalries. The Seahawks opened as 3-point favorites for the game at Seattle.

Bruno Mars is being joined by the Red Hot Chili Peppers at this year's Super Bowl halftime show on February 2nd on Fox. The announcement came during Fox's broadcast of the Seahawks-Saints game. It's not clear whether or not the Chili Peppers are replacing Bruno's usual band or play alongside them.

Birthdays: Comedian Rip Taylor is 79; Bull on Night Court, actor Richard Moll is 71; Yes guitarist Trevor Rabin is 60; Elaine from Seinfeld, actress Julia Louis-Dreyfuss is 53; from Gray's Anatomy, actor Patrick Dempsey is 48; and actor Orlando Bloom is 37.

Today is Radio Day, marking the first public radio broadcast on this date in 1910 when tube inventor Lee DeForest broadcast the voices of Metropolitan Opera stars to several receivers in New York City. Today is Blame Someone Else Day. Today is New Year's Day, according to the old Julian Calendar. It's still observed in Belarus, Ukraine, and some communities in Russia. Today is National Peach Melba Day. Today is Make Your Dreams Come True Day.

Calendar notes: On this date in 1981, 11-year-old Donna Griffiths of Pershore, England, caught a cold and started sneezing. She sneezed about every 30 seconds until September 16th of 1983, 978 days later. It's the world sneezing record. In 1987, the Supreme Court ruled that states could require employers to grant unpaid leaves of absence to pregnant women. In 1999, Michael Jordan, regarded by many as the greatest basketball player ever, announced his retirement. He had led the Chicago Bulls to six NBA championships.

Lone Survivor -- the true story of a failed US Navy SEALS mission to capture or kill a Taliban leader in Afghanistan -- collected $38.5 million in US and Canadian ticket sales, topping the movie box office charts for the weekend. Frozen, a Walt Disney Co animated film and last week's box office winner, was second. The Wolf of Wall Street, a tale of greed starring Leonardo DiCaprio, was third. The Legend of Hercules was just behind in fourth place. American Hustle place fifth, and he Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, after leading the domestic box office during the last three weeks of 2013, was sixth.

Alex Rodriguez should be suspended for the 2014 season and postseason. That was the word from an independent arbitrator on Saturday. Fredric Horowitz, who heard Rodriguez's appeal of Major League Baseball's 211-game suspension, upheld most of the punishment handed down by the league. According to USA Today, Horowitz reduced that suspension to 162 games but that still means that Rodriguez would miss the entire 2014 season and also lose $25 million in salary. The suspension -- which was given to Rodriguez after MLB said he used numerous performance-enhancing substances and then tried to "cover-up" his use by obstructing baseball's investigation -- has the potential of ending the 40-year-old's career. In a statement, Rodriguez said he would appeal the suspension in a federal court. "Horowitz deliberated for seven weeks following the conclusion of hearings in which MLB accused Rodriguez of using drugs such as testosterone and human growth hormone and then attempting to obstruct MLB's investigation. Rodriguez did not testify in the hearings, which witnesses described as often loud and rancorous. Near the end, Rodriguez stormed from a hearing in protest of Horowitz's decision not to require Commissioner Bud Selig to testify. MLB suspended Rodriguez and 13 others last summer after the league's months-long investigation into Biogenesis of America, The league suspended 12 players for 50 games each. MLB hit Rodriguez the hardest, at 211 games, the longest non-lifetime ban in league history. Then late this morning came word that Alex Rodriguez has sued Major League Baseball, and the players' union to overturn his season-long suspension. And so it goes.

Trivia Answer: Albany, New York and Trenton, New Jersey.

Friday 1.10.14
Today's Trivia: He was an entertainer of stage and screen, best known for his portrayal of the Scarecrow and Kansas farmworker Hunk in The Wizard of Oz. Who was he?

It's everywhere! Today is Seahawks Blue Friday.

Pete Carroll told Percy Harvin that the Seattle Seahawks were considering placing him on injured reserve to open up a roster spot ahead of the postseason. Harvin's response: "Coach I'm ready to play ball." That conversation less than two weeks ago was the start of a return that took another significant step on yesterday when Carroll announced Harvin would play tomorrow.

A big weekend in the NFL. Eight teams go in. Only four will be around come Monday. The Seahawks -- and Percy Harvin -- get things started hosting the New Orleans Saints at the Clink tomorrow afternoon at 1:35. Then at 5:35 tomorrow, the Indianapolis Colts are at New England to face the Patriots. Sunday starts with the San Francisco 49ers at Carolina against the Panthers at 10:05. The final game of the weekend is at 1:40 Sunday as the San Diego Chargers are in Denver to face the Broncos.

Earthquake trackers are ready for the Seahawks' re-match with New Orleans tomorrow at CenturyLink Field. Pacific Northwest Seismic Network's Bill Steele says that it has installed two more seismometers for the game — one on CenturyLink Field and one in the stands. Response after a Marshawn Lynch touchdown three years ago against the Saints registered on a seismometer in Seattle and became known as the beastquake. Steele says scientists hope to learn how seismic waves travel through the area, but he admits it's as much about fun as science.

The Sea Hawkers booster club has organized fan rallies around the Pacific Northwest to kick off the Seahawks' divisional-round against the Saints. If you're looking to get a head-start on tomorrow's playoff game, look no further than these Sea Hawkers fan rallies tonight starting at 6:00 at 12 -- see what they did there? -- locations around the Pacific Northwest. Expect raffles, giveaways, and a surprise or two at each location, so grab your green and blue garb. Here in the South Sound hed to the River's Edge in Tumwater.

Today is National Cut Your Energy Costs Day. It's Houseplant Appreciation Day. Today is Woman's Suffrage Day, marking introduction of the Susan B. Anthony Amendment into the US Senate on this date in 1878. The amendment was signed into law 42 years later. Today is National Peculiar People Day. Today is Bittersweet Chocolate Day. Today is National Sturdy Flat-Heeled Shoes Appreciation Day.

Calendar notes: On this date in 1917, Buffalo Bill Cody died in Denver at age 70. Some 25,000 viewed the body, and the Colorado National Guard marched in the funeral procession. In 1955, both the star, Jane Russell, and the audience showed up for the Silver Springs, Florida, premiere of the film Underwater in swim suits, scuba tanks, and swim fins for the first (and probably only) movie ever to debut underwater. In 1990, the San Jose, California, library displayed a 30-foot banner which was supposed to say "Welcome" in 27 languages. It didn't. In 26 languages it said "welcome," and in native Filipino it said "circumcision." They took the sign down.

Birthdays: Frank's boy, Frank Sinatra, Jr. is 70; Rod Stewart is 69; from Steely Dan, singer and keyboardist Donald Fagen is 66; former boxer George Foreman is 65; Pat Benatar is 61; singer Shawn Colvin is 58; Mary J. Blige is 43; from 3 Doors Down, guitarist Matt Roberts is 36

Trivia Answer: Ray Bolger who was born on this date in 1904. He died in January of 1987. In 1939, Bolger's M-G-M contract stipulated that he would play any part the studio chose; however, he was unhappy when he was cast as the Tin Man in The Wizard of Oz. The Scarecrow part had already been assigned to another lean and limber dancing studio contract player, Buddy Ebsen. In time, the roles were switched. While Bolger was pleased with his new role as the Scarecrow, Ebsen was struck ill by the powdered aluminum make-up used to complete the Tinman costume. The powdered aluminum badly coated Ebsen's lungs, leaving him near death. Ebsen's illness paved the way for the Tinman role to be filled by Jack Haley. Whenever asked as to whether he received any residuals from telecasts of the 1939 classic, Bolger would reply: "No, just immortality. I'll settle for that."

Thursday 1.9.14
Today's Trivia: This retired basketball player was the shortest player ever to play in the NBA. He's 5-feet 3-inches tall. He played point guard for four teams during his 14-season career in the National Basketball Association. Best known for his time with the Charlotte Hornets, he also played for the Washington Bullets, the Golden State Warriors, and the Toronto Raptors, and later served as head coach of the now-defunct WNBA team Charlotte Sting. Who is he?

Governor Jay Inslee was joined by former Seahawks offensive tackle Walter Jones in raising a 12th Man flag outside the Capitol yesterday afternoon. The Hawks face the New Orleans Saints on Saturday in the second round of the NFC playoffs, and Inslee issued a proclamation yesterday honoring the 13-and-3 team and calling for tomorrow to be called "Seahawks Blue Friday." About 200 fans and state workers wearing Seahawks jerseys gathered in a steady rain on the Capitol steps for the event. Inslee and Lt. Gov. Brad Owen were presented with sample Seahawk license plates bearing their names before the flag was raised. Jones, who played for the Seahawks from 1997-2009, handled the final turns on the crank to raise the flag as Inslee tossed a football to Blitz, the Seahawks mascot.

By the way, the Seahawks' Marshawn Lynch says he won his appeal for that $50,000 NFL fine. Lynch announced via his Facebook page that he successfully appealed his league-mandated $50,000 fine, and that money fans raised in his support would be matched and donated to charity: On Sunday, the NFL assessed the $50,000 fine against Lynch for failing to speak to the media, claiming they'd been unaware that he hadn't met throughout the season. The league's policy is to make all of its players available to reporters after games and at least once throughout the week, but Lynch failed to speak with reporters until a brief session last Friday. Hawks fans quickly rose to Lynch's defense, creating a website to crowd source funds to pay the fine for him. Now, it appears Lynch will match the total raised on the site and donate it to charity. Late yesterday afternoon, the NFL announced that Lynch has not won his appeal, but will not be assessed the fine if he complies with media policies throughout the playoffs. If he does not comply, he'll be fined the full $50,000 plus additional penalties.

Birthdays: Sports announcer Dick Enberg is 79; singer and songwriter Joan Baez is 73; guitarist Jimmy Page is 70; singer Dave Matthews is 47; Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge -- we used to know her as Kate Middleton -- Prince William's wife -- is 32.

A couple of other royal notes: Kate's 30-year-old sister, Pippa Middleton plans to follows in Kate's footsteps this year. According to Us Weekly, Pippa is set to marry boyfriend Nico Jackson, a 36-year-old banker. Jackson proposed during a trip to India last month at a five-star resort near the famous Taj Mahal. Prince William, meanwhile, plans to attend Cambridge this spring for a course in agricultural management. His critics, however, say that he shouldn't be allowed to attend the prestigious university because his grades were too low.

Today is National Clean Off Your Desk Day. Today is National Static Cling Day. Today is National Stuffed Animal Laundry Day.

Calendar notes: On this date in 1902, New York State introduced a bill to outlaw flirting in public. In 1935, Bob Denver was born. The mailman and high school teacher became Maynard G. Krebs, the first television beatnik on The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, and the star of Gilligan's Island, one of TV's most popular shows. He died in 2005. In 1959, CBS-TV premiered Rawhide, starring newcomer Clint Eastwood as Rowdy Yates. In 1993, responding to a sensor alarm, Mission Control at Cape Canaveral scolded space shuttle Endeavor astronauts to please remember and put the toilet seat down. In 2007, Apple CEO Steve Jobs unveiled the first IPhone

Sandra Bullock swept the 40th People's Choice awards lsat night with four wins, cementing her status as a favorite among the fan-selected winners. Justin Timberlake dominated the music categories with three wins. Bullock picked up three awards for favorite movie actress, dramatic movie actress and comedy movie actress for her roles in Gravity and in female buddy-comedy The Heat. She also won favorite movie duo alongside her Gravity co-star George Clooney, while the film won favorite drama movie. Timberlake, who returned to the musical spotlight in 2013 with the two-part release of The 20/20 Experience after more than five years away to focus on his acting, picked up three awards including favorite album. Timberlake also won favorite male artist and favorite R&B artist, but was beaten in the favorite pop artist category by Britney Spears, who won her first People's Choice award in her career spanning 15 years. Robert Downey Jr. was named favorite action movie star for his leading role in Iron Man 3, which also won favorite movie and action movie. Adam Sandler won favorite comedic actor for the fourth consecutive time, this year for Grown Ups 2. The People's Choice winners are chosen by fans, who can vote online across 58 categories spanning film, TV and music. This year, more than 700 million votes were cast, organizers said. The ceremony kicked off Hollywood's annual awards season that culminates with the Academy Awards on March 2nd. Kaley Cuoco won her first People's Choice award for favorite comedy TV actress for her role as the ditzy Penny in CBS sitcom The Big Bang Theory. Chris Colfer won favorite comedic TV actor for a second year running, for his role as Kurt Hummel in Fox's Glee. The Big Bang Theory won favorite network TV comedy for a third time, while fellow CBS show The Good Wife was named favorite network TV drama. Ellen DeGeneres won favorite daytime TV host for The Ellen DeGeneres Show, picking up a record 14th People's Choice award. Satirist Stephen Colbert picked up favorite late night talk show host for Comedy Central's The Colbert Report. Oscar-winning actress and singer Jennifer Hudson was awarded favorite humanitarian for her charity work with her Julian D. King Gift Foundation, in memory of her late nephew.

Imagine if you could mute your TV just by putting a finger to your lips, and turn on off appliances by pointing at them. You can, thanks to a company called PointGrab. PointGrab's AirTouch system works kind of like Microsoft's Xbox Kinect, but you don't need special hardware. In fact, AirTouch works with even a basic webcam. It was unveiled at CES this week. Also at the Consumer Electronics Show down in Las Vegas, Dish Network unveiled the latest additions to its Hopper DVR line. The newest model has 8 tuners, which means you can record 8 shows at once.

Injuries have been reported across the country this week resulting when people toss pots and pans of boiling water into the air to see if it will freeze.

Former Seattle Mariners designated hitter Edgar Martinez will not a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame's class of 2014 after he came up short in the voting by the Baseball Writers' Association of America, whose results were released yesterday. Former Atlanta Braves pitchers Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine and Chicago White Sox first-baseman Frank Thomas were all elected in their first year of eligibility. They join former managers Bobby Cox, Tony La Russa and Joe Torre -- elected last month by the Expansion Era Committee -- for induction this summer in Cooperstown. Election to the hall this year required 75 percent of the 569 votes cast, and Martinez received only 25.2 percent, which ranks 13th among all eligible players. He will remain on the ballot next year, however, after receiving more than the required 5 percent to stay on. Despite Martinez's long odds, Mariner fans figure to have reason to be optimistic in the next several of years, with former M's pitcher Randy Johnson eligible for election next year and Ken Griffey Jr. in 2016.

Trivia Answer: Tyrone Curtis Bogues -- Muggsy Bogues -- who is 49 today. He's the current head coach of the United Faith Christian Academy boys' basketball team. Despite his height, Bogues managed to block 39 shots throughout his NBA span including one on Patrick Ewing. That happened on April 14th of 1993 in the first quarter when Ewing was pulling the ball back to go up for the shot and Bogues stripped him of the ball. He was credited with the block though.

Wednesday 1.8.14
Today's Trivia: He's a former professional baseball player. He played for the Chicago White Sox, Cincinnati Reds, Seattle Mariners, New York Mets, San Diego Padres, Milwaukee Brewers, Boston Red Sox, and Florida Marlins. While with the Mariners, he became the 13th player to ever hit four home runs in one MLB game. Who is he?

Seahawks fans are helping to "feed the beast" after the NFL fined Marshawn Lynch $50,000. The league levied the fine after learning the star running back had refused to speak to the media during the regular season. Outraged fans calling themselves 12th Man for Marshawn Lynch launched a fundraiser on the crowd-funding web site gofundme.com, asking other fans to help pay off Lynch's fine. The effort has raised nearly $15,000 from more than 600 fans in one day. Lynch makes $7 million a year, according to ESPN. Marshawn acknowledged the fan effort on his Facebook page, writing, "Thank you to the 12s for tryin to help out. I will match the money raised and send it to a charity." Hawks-Saints at CenturyLink Saturday afternoon. Kick-off is at 1:35. Fox television has the coverage.

Oh, we have to watch Beastquake one more time.

Governor Jay Inslee and Lt. Governor Brad Owen join Seahawks fans as the 12th Man flag is raised in the flag circle on the Capitol campus this afternoon at 2:15. The lieutenant governor encourages all Hawks fans to attend and support the team as they go into the playoffs. Team mascot Blitz and the Seagals cheerleading squad are on hand, too. Wear your colors.

Birthdays: From F Troop, Larry Storch is 91; former US senator Slade Gorton is 86; radio and TV journalist Charles Osgood is 81; Elvis Presley would have been 70; game show host Bob Eubanks is 76; famed scientist Stephen Hawking is 72; David Bowie is 67; TV chef Wolfgang Puck is 66; and singer R. Kelly is 47.

Today is National Man Watcher's Day. It's Show and Tell At Work Day. Today is Argyle Day. It's Bubble Bath Day. It's Midwife's Day.

Calendar notes: On this date in 1790, George Washington delivered the first State of the Union address in New York, New York. In 1835, the United States national debt was 0. It's the only time that's ever happened. In 1982, AT&T agreed to divest itself of twenty-two subdivisions. In 2002, President George W. Bush signed into law the No Child Left Behind Act. In 2004, the RMS Queen Mary 2, the largest passenger ship ever built, is christened by her namesake's granddaughter, Queen Elizabeth II.

The 2014 Seattle Mariners Caravan landed in Lacey today. They were at Horizons Elementary School for an assembly earlier. From 4:15 to 5:45, the Caravan is at the Worthington Center, at Saint Martin's University. Scheduled to appear are pitchers Danny Farquhar and Charlie Furbush, broadcaster Dave Sims, and the Mariner Moose.

Gar was passed over again. Edgar Martinez's name wasn't on the list of inductees to the Baseball Hall of Fame announced today. The names on the list? Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, and Frank Thomas.

Here's the upside of the polar vortex. A man in Kentucky escaped from prison ... then turned around and turned himself back in. He said it was too cold on the outside.

As advertisers spend hundreds of millions of dollars for a few seconds of commercial time during this year's Super Bowl, a new study reveals the vast majority of those ads are not actually effective. The study by Communicus followed individual consumers' purchase behaviors over a period of time both before and after viewing ads during the 2013 Super Bowl and revealed that most the ads -- even if they generated a significant amount of media and internet buzz -- didn't actually change those consumers' buying habits.

Playoff parties may have one fewer dip option this year. Kraft Foods says some customers may not be able to find Velveeta cheese over the next few weeks. A representative for the company didn't give any reasons for the apparent shortage, saying only that they happen from time to time given the "nature of manufacturing." She noted that the lack of availability is more noticeable because of the seasonal demand during the NFL playoffs. She says it should be a short-term situation and that Kraft hasn't yet heard from any customers who are having problem finding the products. She did not say whether the company experienced a similar shortage last year.

Robin Thicke scored one of the biggest hits of 2013 with Blurred Lines, which topped the Billboard Hot 100 for the majority of the summer and sold over 6.3-million copies since its release. Thicke is nominated for three Grammy Awards including Best Pop Duo/Group Performance and Record of the Year for Blurred Lines.

Alan Mulally is staying at Ford. The CEO was rumored to be in the running to become Microsoft's next leader. He told The Associated Press yesterday that he won't leave the automaker before the end of 2014. In an interview he said, "I would like to end the Microsoft speculation because I have no other plans to do anything other than serve Ford." Over the last few months, there have been numerous reports that Mulally was on the short list of candidates to replace Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. Mulally was trained as an aeronautical engineer. He spent 36 years at Boeing -- and was president of the company's commercial airplane division -- before Ford lured him to the struggling automaker in 2006. He is widely credited with returning the company to profitability and changing the culture.

Trivia Answer: Mike Cameron who turns 41 today. Along with three other players he was traded to the Seattle Mariners for Ken Griffey, Jr. before the 2000 season. Cameron tied a major league record on May 2nd of 2002 when he hit four home runs in one game. In his fifth at bat, he hit one to the warning track, just missing what would have been a record setting fifth home run. He was also an All-Star in 2001 and won Gold Gloves in 2001, 2003, and 2006. Cameron announced his retirement in February of 2012. He then signed a one-day contract with Seattle on April 14th of 2012, to officially retire as a Mariner before throwing out the ceremonial first pitch at the Mariners' home opener that same day. By the way, pitchers and catchers report on February 12th for Spring Training.

Tuesday 1.7.14
Today's Trivia: What meteorological phenomenon causes a warm current of water to appear every three to seven years in the eastern Pacific Ocean, causing unusual weather conditions all over the world?

Florida State beat Auburn 34-31 last night to win the BCS college football national championship, its first title since the 1999 season. Florida State scored with 13 seconds left on a 2-yard touchdown pass to Kelvin Benjamin. The game was the last for the BCS -- the Bowl Championship Series. College football's top tier decide its champion with a four-team playoff beginning next season.

Before Pete Carroll turns his full attention to Seattle's playoff opponent, he'll make sure the Seahawks aren't expecting another easy win against New Orleans like in Week 13. Carroll said yesterday, "We learned and gained information in the game as they did, but we start all over again and start from scratch. We take a look at what happened since we played them. But I think it would be a mistake to try and call it because of what has happened in the past. We don't care about that." Carroll and the Seahawks face New Orleans on Saturday in the second round of the playoffs less than six weeks after Seattle routed the Saints 34-7 in early December. That win proved significant for Seattle in wrapping up home-field advantage in the NFC and dropping New Orleans in a wild-card position and on the road throughout the playoffs. But for all Seattle did in turning that first meeting into a blowout, Carroll wants a new attitude by game time on Saturday. "I think it's common knowledge and human nature that you would like to think it's going to be the same, but we know better than that. We need to respect this opportunity for what it is. It's a great championship matchup for us, and they're going to come loaded up and give us a great football game." Kick-off at CenturyLink is at 1:35 Saturday afternoon. Fox television has the coverage.

Resale tickets for this Saturday's divisional matchup between the New Orleans Saints and the Seahawks in Seattle are the most expensive of NFL playoffs so far, according to SeatGeek. The average price for a seat at Saturday's game was $416, according to the online ticket reseller yesterday morning, with the least expensive seats -- in the corner of the upper deck at CenturyLink Field -- listed for a cool $203. Club seats at the 50-yard line? They've gone for more than $2,000 apiece on SeatGeek. First-hand tickets to Saturday's game sold out in less than 30 minutes when the Seahawks offered them last Tuesday. The only way to get a seat now is to buy a ticket on the secondary market. And people are snatching them up. Saturday's game in Seattle is the most in-demand divisional playoff since SeatGeek started tracking prices in 2009. CLink seats are more expensive than tickets to the Patriots-Colts ($195 average), Panthers-49ers ($276 average) and even Broncos-Chargers ($355 average) playoff games this weekend. Meanwhile, there's insane demand for tickets to the potential NFC Championship game in Seattle the following weekend. The average price for those still-nonexistent seats? A whopping $810.

I got a call asking, "Isn't that what we used to call scalping?" Well, I looked it up and this is from Wikipedia:

Ticket resale (also known as ticket scalping or ticket touting) is the act of reselling tickets for admission to events. Tickets are bought from licensed sellers and are then sold for a price determined by the individual or company in possession of the tickets. Tickets sold through secondary sources may be sold for less or more than their face value depending on demand, which itself tends to vary as the event date approaches. When the supply of tickets for a given event available through authorized ticket sellers is depleted, the event is considered "sold out", generally increasing the market value for any tickets on offer through secondary sellers. Ticket resale is more common in sporting events and music events.

It is controversial whether tickets are goods which can be privately resold. Some parties argue that the money paid to the organisers is actually paid for the service of attending the event, which a buyer cannot resell because the buyer does not have the service to sell. Other parties argue that tickets are paid for by consumers and should be transferable just like any other good. Typically private resale will contravene the original conditions of sale, but it's legally questionable whether the original conditions of sale are even enforceable.

In the United States, ticket resale on the premises of the event (including adjacent parking lots that are officially part of the facility) may be prohibited by law, although these laws vary from state to state and the majority of US states do not have laws in place to limit the value placed on the resale amount of event tickets or where and how these tickets should be sold. Ticket resellers may conduct business on nearby sidewalks, or advertise through newspaper ads or ticket brokers. Some US states and venues encourage a designated area for resellers to stand in, on, or near the premises, while other states and venues prohibit ticket resale altogether. Resale laws, policies and practices are generally decided, practiced and governed at the local or even venue level in the US and such laws and or interpretations are not currently generalized at a national level.

Another issue in the United States is that since ticketing laws vary state to state, many ticket resellers use a loophole and sell their tickets outside of the state of an event. Therefore, a ticket reseller who is reselling tickets to an event at New York's Madison Square Garden is not subject to New York State's markup laws as long as the sale takes place outside of New York.

Today is Old Rock Day. Dig out some Airplane, some Stones, some Hendrix. Actually, Old Rock Day is an opportunity to enjoy and appreciate old rocks and fossils. Perhaps you can start a rock collection. You can go out on a field trip in search of old fossils or, you can just play with old rocks. Today is Fruitcake Toss Day, your opportunity to finally throw away the old fruitcake. The holidays are over, it's time to bring in the new, and toss out the old. Today is I'm Not Going To Take It Anymore Day. It's also Organize Your Home Day -- clean out those closets.

Calendar notes: On this date in 1927, the first transatlantic telephone service was established -- from New York to London. In 1980, President Jimmy Carter authorized legislation giving $1.5 billion in loans to bail out the Chrysler Corporation. In 1990, the interior of the Leaning Tower of Pisa was closed to the public for safety reasons.

Birthdays: Singer Kenny Loggins -- born in Everett -- is 66; actor David Caruso is 58; journalist Katie Couric is 57; Go-Go's bassist Kathy Valentine is 55; actor Nicolas Cage is 50; the original Blue Ranger on Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, actor David Yost is 45;

The 2014 Seattle Mariners Caravan lands in Lacey tomorrow for an elementary school assembly, and later in the day holds a free public autograph session at Saint Martin's University. The D.R.E.A.M. Team assembly for students at Horizons Elementary School is first on the agenda for the Lacey appearances from 12:45-1:15. The second stop is from 4:15-5:45 at the Worthington Center, at Saint Martin's University. The caravan makes a Tenino from 12:35-1:05, at Parkside Elementary School Scheduled to appear are pitchers Danny Farquhar and Charlie Furbush, broadcaster Dave Sims, and the Mariner Moose.

The "polar vortex" bringing sub-zero temperatures to much of the US has disrupted air travel across the country, with 4,000 flights canceled yesterday as the blast of arctic air spread from the Midwest to the East. JetBlue suspended operations entirely at Boston's Logan Airport, New York's JFK and LaGuardia airports, and New Jersey's Newark Airport for 17 hours, with plans to reopen today.

The Eurythmics are reuniting in Los Angeles later this month for a performance celebrating the 50th anniversary of The Beatles' appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show, organizers said yesterday. Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart last toured together in 2000.  They're playing songs by The Beatles in the January 27th concert organized by the Recording Academy , which hands out the annual Grammy Awards. They're sharing the stage with Alicia Keys, John Legend, and Maroon 5 in the concert that's being broadcast on CBS on February 9th.  The Night that Changed America: A Grammy Salute to The Beatles pays homage to the Fab Four's February 1964 performances on the Ed Sullivan Show, which is credited with launching rock music's British Invasion.

England 's Prince William is attending Cambridge this spring for a course in agricultural management, but his critics say that he shouldn't be allowed to attend the prestigious university because his grades were too low.

In Weymouth , Massachusetts , a thief entered a restaurant and snuck out with a safe. Security camera video shows the thief just carrying it out all by himself. The safe weighed 250 pounds.

Trivia Answer: El Niño. Every three to seven years, a warm current of water known as El Niño appears in the eastern Pacific Ocean, causing unusual weather conditions all over the world as jet streams, storm tracks, and monsoons are shifted from their normal patterns. La Niña is sometimes informally called "anti-El Niño." It's the opposite of El Niño and its effects are often the reverse of those of El Niño. During a period of La Niña, the sea surface temperature across the equatorial Eastern Central Pacific Ocean will be lower than normal by 3 to 5 degrees Celsius. In the United States, an episode of La Niña is defined as a period of at least 5 months of La Niña conditions. The name La Niña originates from Spanish, meaning "the girl", analogous to El Niño meaning "the boy".

Monday 1.6.14
Today's Trivia: She is best known for her leading role in the television series One Day at a Time from 1975 to 1984. She was nominated for the Emmy, Tony and Golden Globe Awards. Who was she?

In the NFL, we're down to the elite eight -- four in the NFC and four in the AFC. The NFC has the Seahawks, 49ers, Panthers, and Saints. The AFC has the Broncos, Chargers, Colts, and Patriots. The Seahawks are hosting the New Orleans Saints in the NFL's divisional playoffs Saturday. The Saints defeated the Philadelphia Eagles 26-24 on a last-second field goal this past Saturday. The Seahawks have already beaten the Saints at CenturyLink Field this season. The teams met in a highly anticipated Monday Night Football game December 2nd, and Seattle dispatched New Orleans in a 34-7 beatdown on national television. Kickoff for Saturday's playoff game between the Hawks and Saints is scheduled for 1:35. The game is being televised on Fox. Also Saturday, kick-off at 5:15, the Colts and Patriots meet. Then on Sunday, at 10:05, the 49ers and Panthers match up, followed at 1:40 by the Broncos and Chargers.

Marshawn Lynch has been fined by the NFL for violating the league's media policy. Marshawn was fined $50,000 for not talking to the media, that is, until Friday when he met briefly with reporters. Lynch spoke for less than 90 seconds, and his longest answer was 24 words. NFL players are required by the NFL to be available to the media "following every game, and regularly during the practice week as required under league rules and their contracts." Their policy states: "Cooperation with the news media is essential to the continuing popularity and financial prosperity of our game and its players. This is an important part of your job, especially in these challenging times when everyone in the NFL must do more to promote our game."

Birthdays: Former Notre Dame football coach Lou Holtz is 77; Sting's wife, actress Trudie Styler is 60; perhaps best known as Mr. Bean, actor and comedian Rowan Atkinson is 59; football great turned sportscaster Howie Long is 54; The Sheriff, former Mariner pitcher Norm Charlton is 51; TV host Julie Chen is 44

Phil Everly, who with his brother Don formed an influential harmony duo that touched the hearts and sparked the imaginations of rock 'n' roll singers for decades, including the Beatles and Bob Dylan, died Friday. Everly died of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease at a Burbank hospital. Phil and Don Everly helped draw the blueprint of rock 'n' roll in the late 1950s and 1960s with a high harmony that captured the yearning and angst of a nation of teenage baby boomers looking for a way to express themselves beyond the simple platitudes of the pop music of the day. The Beatles, early in their career, once referred to themselves as "the English Everly Brothers." And Bob Dylan once said, "We owe these guys everything. They started it all." The Everlys' hit records included the then-titilating Wake Up Little Susie and the universally identifiable Bye Bye Love, Phil Every was 74.

Today is National Smith Day, marking the birth of Captain John Smith in 1580, but honoring everyone named Smith, including the 2.4-million North American Smiths. Today is Schoolhouse Rock Day. In 1973, the animated lesson series Schoolhouse Rock premiered on ABC-TV. Today is Wheel of Fortune Day, marking the debut of The Wheel, hosted by Chuck Woolery, on this date in 1975. Pat Sajak became host in 1981, assisted by Vanna White. Former President George H.W. Bush and Barbara celebrate their 67th wedding anniversary today. They married when George was 20, Barbara was 19. Today is National Cuddle Up Day.

Calendar notes: On this date iin 1976, Ted Turner purchased the Atlanta Braves for a reported $12-million. In 1989, Madonna and Sean Penn announced they were getting a divorce. In 1994, figure skater Nancy Kerrigan was clubbed on the right leg by an assailant in Detroit. Four men, including the ex-husband of Kerrigan's rival, Tonya Harding, were sentenced to prison for the attack. In 2003, a 20-ounce hamburger debuted New York City's Old Homestead restaurant, the first burger ever on the menu at the 135-year-old steakhouse. At $41, it was the most expensive hamburger in the city. It came with fries.

The polar vortex -- a tunnel of cold air funneling from the North Pole to the US -- descended today into much of the US pummeling parts of the country with a dangerous cold that could break decades-old records with wind chill warnings stretching from Montana to Alabama. For a big chunk of the Midwest, the subzero temperatures were moving in behind another winter wallop: more than a foot of snow and high winds that made traveling treacherous. Officials closed schools in cities including Chicago, St. Louis, and Milwaukee and warned residents to stay indoors and avoid the frigid cold altogether. The forecast is extreme: 32 below zero in Fargo, N.D.; minus 21 in Madison, Wis.; and 15 below in Minneapolis, Indianapolis and Chicago. Wind chills -- what it feels like outside when high winds are factored into the temperature -- could drop into the minus 50s and 60s. From The Weather Channel, the map below shows temps at lunch time today.

 

Meanwhile, while the polar vortex settles in the Midwest, Walt Disney's animated fairy tale Frozen took hold of first place on movie charts in the United States and Canada for the first weekend of 2014, knocking three-time champion The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug down to the No.3 spot. Second place went to new horror movie Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones, a spinoff from the hit low-budget Paranormal Activity franchise. Rounding out the charts, director Martin Scorsese's The Wolf of Wall Street, starring Leonardo DiCaprio in the biographical story of a drug-snorting Wall Street scam artist, took the No. 4 spot. Fifth place went to 1970s crime caper American Hustle. The critically praised film stars Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence in a story loosely based on a real-life corruption scandal involving US politicians.

A source claims Apple is likely to launch the next iPhone in May and it sports a larger screen.

No drugs or alcohol were found in the bodies of Fast & Furious actor Paul Walker and his friend after the fiery car crash that killed them in November. That word from a coroner's report released on Friday. Both Walker and his friend tested negative for alcohol. Drugs including cocaine, opiates and marijuana were not detected. The report included an early account of the accident from the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department, dated December 1st -- the day after the crash -- saying the Porsche Carrera GT was traveling at "an unsafe speed, approximately 100+ mph." But a sheriff's spokeswoman said the investigation into the accident has not been completed and there was no definitive finding on the car's speed.

Trivia Answer: Bonnie Franklin who was born on this date in 1944. She was best known for her portrayal of divorced mother Ann Romano on the television sitcom One Day at a Time. In September of 2012, a family spokesman announced that Franklin had pancreatic cancer, and was undergoing treatment. Bonnie died at the age of 69, on March 1st of last year.

Friday 1.3.14
Today's Trivia: This actor is best known for his roles in 9 to 5, WarGames, You've Got Mail, Sworn to Silence, The Beverly Hillbillies, and as the voice of Principal Peter Prickly in Recess and Recess: School's Out. Who is he?

A storm featuring snow, stiff winds, and punishing cold pushed into the Northeast yesterday, extending Christmas break for some students while posing the first test for New York's new mayor and perhaps the last challenge for Boston's outgoing one. The National Weather Service said 21 inches of snow had fallen in Boxford, just north of Boston, by last night. Some schools in New England and New York closed well ahead of the snow, while cities mobilized plows and salt spreaders, and state offices sent workers home early. Some major highways were ordered shut down overnight. US airlines canceled more than 2,300 flights nationwide yesterday in advance of the storm.

Meanwhile, while the Seattle Seahawks sit at home this weekend, the San Francisco 49ers have to travel to Green Bay for their Wild Card game match-up Sunday afternoon. Traveling to Green Bay in January is always likely to be a chilly proposition, but with a massive and near-record arctic outbreak in the forecast, it's set to be a brutally cold game, even by Green Bay standards. One forecast model is forecasting game time temperatures at Lambeau Field Sunday afternoon and evening of -10 to -13F -- with a 16 mph wind on top of that. Put the two together and that's a wind chill of -37 degrees. The forecasters at the National Weather Service office in Green Bay are going a little bit warmer with their forecasts, starting with a game time temperature around zero and dropping to -5 by the end with wind chills in the -17 to -24 degree range. Either way, good luck with that, San Francisco. By the way, early forecasts for the Seahawks game on the 11th have it around 40 degrees -- a 77 degree warm-up from Green Bay's expected wind chill temp. Tomorrow afternoon at 1:35, in the AFC, the Chiefs and Colts match up. Then at 5:10, in the NFC, the Saints and Eagles square off. Sunday begins with the AFC game featuring the Chargers and Bengals. Kick-off at 10:05. Then at 1:40, in the NFC, it's the Packers hosting the 49ers.

It was last April that Trey Anastasio, lead singer and guitarist for the jam band Phish, suggested that the Seahawks use his band's song Wilson as a chant at CenturyLink Field. Now, after eight home games in the 2013 regular season, it seems the idea has caught on. This week, the NFL Network aired a long feature by NFL Films on the development and popularity of the Russell Wilson chant suggested by Phish.

Birthdays: Hockey legend Bobby Hull is 75; singer and guitarist Stephen Stills is 69; actress Victoria Principal is 64; actor Mel Gibson is 58; quarterback Eli Manning 33.

Today is National Chocolate Covered Cherry Day. Today is Tom Sawyer's cat's birthday. Today is Apple Day, marking incorporation of Apple Computer on this date in 1977. Today is Drinking Straw Day. Marvin Stone of Washington, DC, patented the paraffin-covered paper drinking straw on this date in 1888. Today is National Write to Congress Day, to tell them how best to represent us during the coming year.

Calendar notes: On this date in 1938, the March of Dimes campaign to fight polio was organized. In 1973, CBS sold the New York Yankees to a syndicate headed by George Steinbrenner for $10 million. In 1983, Michael Jackson's Thriller album was released. It would top the LP chart for 37 weeks and become the best selling album of all time. In 1987, Aretha Franklin became the first woman to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In 1997, Bryant Gumbel signed off for the last time as host of NBC's Today show. In 2000, the final new daily Peanuts comic strip by Charles Schulz ran in 2,600 newspapers.

Facing No. 1 Arizona was going to be difficult enough for Washington State at full strength. With the Cougars missing two starters, the result was the team's worst offensive showing in 76 years. The Wildcats stifled the Cougars 60-25 in their Pac-12 opener last night. It was Washington State's lowest-scoring game since the Cougars scored 25 points at Idaho on Jan. 15, 1938.

Mars One, a Dutch endeavor to put people on the planet of Mars, has narrowed its list of applicants down to about 1,000. More than 200,000 people applied for the project, which hopes to establish a permanent human colony on Mars by 2025. A series of rigorous tests will help wittle down the list to the 24 who will eventually make the trip.

Rob Ford, the Toronto mayor who admitted to smoking crack, has filed the paperwork to run for re-election. Ford has been stripped of most of his power, but told reporters he was going to run on his record. "You're going to see action like you've never seen before," he promised. The city's municipal election is scheduled for Oct. 27.

With an eye on Amazon's competitive pricing, Netflix is testing a cheaper subscription service. The company is considering a $6.99 option that will allow customers to stream videos on one screen at a time. Netflix currently has a deal that will allow subscribers to watch on two screens at a time for $7.99

Trivia Answer: Dabney Coleman who turns 82 today. Coleman is a character actor who has a wide range, with over 60 films to his credit. He is often typecast as a comic relief villain, the smarmy, devious foil to the main character. Coleman's fate in these types of roles was cemented with roles such as that of Franklin Hart, Jr. in 1980's Nine to Five, a sexist boss whose murder is fantasized about by his office employees (Jane Fonda, Dolly Parton and Lily Tomlin). He also worked on the TV series Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman where he played Fernwood's mayor, Merle Jeeter. He played military computer scientist John McKittrick in WarGames in 1983. In 1987 he received an Emmy award for his role in the TV Movie Sworn to Silence.

Thursday 1.2.14
Today's Trivia: He was born in New York, New York, but raised in Puerto Rico. As a Major League Baseball player, he along with Ted Williams, Babe Ruth, Stan Musial, Rogers Hornsby, Lou Gehrig, and Manny Ramirez are the only players in history with 300 home runs, 500 doubles, a career batting average higher than .300, a career on-base percentage higher than .400 and a career slugging percentage higher than .500. Who is he?

Wild Card weekend coming up in the NFL. The Seahawks find out who they'll host next weekend. On Saturday the 11th, they'll host either New Orleans, San Francisco, or Green Bay – the lowest remaining seed affer this weekend. Saturday afternoon at 1:35, in the AFC, the Chiefs and Colts match up. Then at 5:10, in the NFC, the Saints and Eagles square off. Sunday begins with the AFC game featuring the Chargers and Bengals. Kick-off at 10:05. Then at 1:40, in the NFC, the Packers host the 49ers.

Birthdays: Former TV evangelist Jim Bakker is 74; TV host Jack Hanna is 67; and Cuba Gooding Jr is 45.

Today is National Cream Puff Day. Today is No-Fault Divorce Day. The first no-fault divorce law became effective in California on this date in 1971. Today is National Run It Up the Flag Pole and See If Anybody Salutes It Day. Today is National Motivation and Inspiration Day. Some Day We'll Laugh About This Week begins today. Today is Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy Day. The Andrews Sisters recorded the song in Los Angeles on this date in 1941.

Calendar notes: On this date in 1910, the first junior high school in America opened in Berkeley, California. In 1936, Burma Shave erected roadside signs throughout the US promising, "Free! Free! A Trip to Mars For 900 Empty Jars." Arliss French collected 900 jars and demanded the free trip. He finally settled when Burma Shave supplied a space suit and flew him to Mars (Moers), Germany, a small town near Dusseldorf. In 1965, the New York Jets signed University of Alabama quarterback Joe Namath for a reported $400,000. In 1974, President Richard Nixon signed a bill requiring states to limit highway speeds to 55 mph or lose federal highway funds. In 1980, after 25 years as host of the Miss America Pageant, Bert Parks was fired. In 1993, New York police revealed that a "thriving" gun rental business had been operating in a Brooklyn housing project. Rental price for a 9mm pistol was $20.00 a night, or $100 if the gun was used to shoot someone. In 2004, a third US cowherd was quarantined near Yakima for fears of spreading mad cow disease.

Investors had something to celebrate in 2013, the best year for stocks since 1997. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed out the year at an all-time high of 16,576.66 while the Nasdaq composite gained 38.3 percent in 2013. Standard and Poor's 500 was up 29.6 percent and closed at 1,848.36. The Dow, meantime, was down 135 points today.

According to Forbes, some Hollywood A-listers are just not worth the pretty penny. The magazine has named their picks for the top 10 Most Overpaid Actors of 2013, and some picks might be surprising. Topping the list is none other than funny man Adam Sandler for his two recent box-office bombs, That's My Boy and Jack and Jill. Others on the list include Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon, Denzel Washington, Ryan Reynolds and Steve Carell, to name a few. The list was compiled based on how much, on average, each star's last three films earned at the box office per dollar of their pay.

Avatar director James Cameron has confirmed that the next three Avatar films are being made in New Zealand. According to the New Zealand Herald, Cameron says he plans to complete all three movies throughout a span of one year. His aim is to release the second movie on Christmas 2016, and the following two in late 2017 and late 2018. Avatar won three Academy Awards and is the highest-grossing film in history, with earnings at nearly 2.8-billion dollars.

Trivia Answer: Edgar Martínez who turns 51 today. He spent his entire 18-year career with the Seattle Mariners. He retired from baseball at the end of the 2004 season. Gar now lives in Bellevue, with his wife Holli and their three children: Alex, Tessa, and Jacqueline. He runs Branded Solutions by Edgar Martínez, a byproduct of his family's embroidery business, in Redmond.

Wednesday 1.1.14