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Friday 1.30.15
Morning Trivia: Who has been the head coach in the most Super Bowls?

Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said yesterday the referees will use hand signals to indicate clearly when normally eligible receivers check in the Super Bowl as ineligible, a technique the Patriots have used in the postseason. Carroll spoke about conversations he had with league officials after Seattle and New England reached the Super Bowl to get an understanding how those players would be identified. The practice, which is particularly confusing for defenders when an eligible receiver reports as ineligible to catch a pass. Carroll said the referees in the Super Bowl will have hand signals to clarify players' eligibility. A normally eligible receiver reporting ineligible will be identified by being pointed at and the referee waving his arms in front of his legs like for an incomplete pass. Carroll said, "I know the league is absolutely committed to getting that right and doing that well. The Patriots have brought that to the forefront because they've been using some stuff like that lately. We've been preparing for it every day because we don't want to be caught in mishandling on our end. It's really on us to see it. The officials do what they do but we still have to find it because it could happen like it did to the Colts. We're very much in tune with it. It's just been part of the preparation so it's not a big deal to us now. " Although Carroll said the signals were new, league officials said referees have been using the signals, including in the AFC championship game. Carroll also said the referees made a mistake in the AFC championship game, when a player reported in as a different status. The player remained in the game for the next play, his eligibility was unclear, and the Patriots scored a touchdown. He didn't specify, but Patriots lineman Nate Solder, caught a touchdown pass against the Colts. "The Colts got fooled on that play, on the next player reporting eligible it was a different player so it got confusing and they miss-covered the guy," Carroll said. "We don't want that to happen if we can help it, so we called in and asked about that."

Katy Perry says she text-messages with Russell Wilson and is rooting for Seattle in the Super Bowl. Perry said yesterday she asked Wilson what he eats to prepare for a big game. She was expecting him to answer with some healthy tips, but he instead suggested she eat cheeseburgers and pizza. At a press conference yesterday, Kay said, "I love the Seahawks because of Russell Wilson, so I think I’m gonna go for them on Sunday." Perry hinted at some surprises in Sunday’s halftime show. She said it will somehow involve lions and sharks, pledged that her entrance will be like nothing we’ve seen, and promised that the 100-plus million people watching the show Sunday will be shocked by a surprise female guest. At one point yesterday, someone asked Perry whether she had her eye on any of the football players this weekend. She replied, "I’m just here so I don’t get fined." The questioner followed up, saying she could introduce Perry to Marshawn Lynch. Katy repeated, "I’m just here so I don’t get fined."

A quarter of Americans believe that God personally controls who wins the Super Bowl. The survey (by Public Religion Research Institute and the Religion News Service) showed that 26 percent of Americans, and 27 percent of those who describe themselves as sports fans, believe God plays a role in determining which team wins a sporting event.

Hawks-Patriots. Sunday afternoon at 3:30 on NBC.

Birthdays: Actor Gene Hackman is 85; actress Vanessa Redgrave is 78; former Vice President Dick Cheney is 74; one of the lead singers for Jefferson Airplane and Jefferson Starship, Marty Balin is 73; drummer and singer Phil Collins is 64; Grace on Grace Under Fire, actress and comedian Brett Butler is 57; singer Jody Watley is 56; and actor Christian Bale is 41.

Today is National Inane Answering Machine Message 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 1957. Today is National Croissant Day. Today is National Yodel at Your Neighbors Day.

Calendar notes: On this date in 1968, Bobby Goldsboro recorded Honey. 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?"

Super Bowl Fun Number Facts courtesy of Wallethub

  • 3&4: Tom Brady is 3rd all-time in wins while Bill Belichick is 4th among coaches
  • 9-1 and 5-1: The Seahawks' and Patriots' respective records in games refereed by Bill Vinovich
  • Both teams were number one in their respective leagues
  • 40+ law enforcement agencies are being represented at the game
  • A 10-mile no-fly zone will be in effect
  • The average price of a Super Bowl 49 ticket is 4,833.25
  • The average ticket price from the past 5 Super Bowls is $2,830
  • Ticket prices dropped 18% when the Super Bowl teams were finalized
  • 171 million people will watch the Super Bowl
  • The Super Bowl is broadcast in 180 countries
  • NBC is planning to offer an 11-hour free live stream of the game online, including the halftime show for the first time
  • A 30-second Super Bowl commercial costs more than $4.5 million
  • The expected ad spending for this year's Super Bowl is $359 million
  • Some 25.7 million tweets are expected to be sent during the game
  • Richard Sherman's Twitter followers total 1.2 million -- that's the most among all players and coaches
  • 1.25 billion chicken wings are expected to be consumed on Sunday
  • Over 14 billion hamburgers are expected to be eaten
  • Survey says: 20% of Americans would miss the wedding of a close friend/family member to attend s Super Bowl featuring their favorite team
  • People will wager $115 million on the game
  • Vegas casinos are expected to see $18.9 million in profits

Trivia Answer: Don Shula has been head coach for a record six Super Bowls (SB3 with Baltimore; SB 6, 7, 8 ,12, and 19 with Miami). He's best known as coach of the Miami Dolphins, the team he led to two Super Bowl victories, and to the only perfect season in the history of the National Football League. Shula was named 1993 Sportsman of the Year by Sports Illustrated. He currently holds the NFL record for most career wins with 347. Shula only had two losing seasons in his 36-year career of coaching in the NFL. In his first Super Bowl, he set the record for the longest period to be shut out (not scoring until 3:19 remaining). At his next Super Bowl, he set the record for the lowest points scored by any team, with only one field goal. The following year, he coached a perfect season and broke his record of longest shutout, this time with him on the winning side (not giving up any points until 2:07 remaining).

Thursday 1.29.15
Morning Trivia: On this date in 1963, the first inductees into the Pro Football Hall of Fame were announced. That first year, there were 17 players enshrined. Can you name at least two of them?

ESPN reports the NFL may fine Marshawn Lynch for his appearance at Super Bowl Media Day on Tuesday — not for repeating "I'm just here so I don’t get fined" for five minutes, but for wearing his own Beast Mode gear. ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that sources tell ESPN that, after the Super Bowl, the league will review whether the hat Lynch wore during the event was permissible. If the league rules that Lynch used Media Day to promote a brand that was not approved by the league, he could face a significant fine. The NFL makes clear to players that they cannot wear brands that conflict with league partners on the field during games and during postgame interviews. That is extended to Super Bowl Media Day, where a record amount of cameras are on the players. Marshawn wore a Beast Mode hat while answering every question with, "I'm just here so I don’t get fined." Lynch just about broke the Internet with his Media Day appearance, wore a Beast Mode cap that retails for $33 on his website, BeastModeOnline.com. He also wore Beast Mode-branded sunglasses for the nearly 4.5 minutes -- apparently the minimum to not draw an NFL fine for not fulfilling his media duties. Lynch, however, wasn’t the only Seahawks player who wore Beast Mode gear at his Media Day podium Tuesday. Earl Thomas also sported Beast Mode shades, though the logo is far less conspicuous than it is on the hat. It’s unclear whether Thomas also might face a fine.The NFL is not too pleased with Lynch and his antics leading up to Super Bowl XLIX on Sunday in Glendale, Arizona. The league has also reportedly warned Lynch that the Seahawks will be penalized 15 yards if he grabs his crotch while celebrating a touchdown in the Super Bowl -- a now-signature move that has already netted him $31,050 in fines this postseason. And so it goes . . .

Birthdays: Actress Katharine Ross is 75; actress Claudine Longet is 73; he was Magnum P.I. now NYPD Commissioner Frank Reagan in Blue Bloods, actor Tom Selleck is 70; actress Ann Jillian is 65; talk-show host, network owner, and very rich person, Oprah Winfrey is 61; Olympic diver Greg Louganis is 55; he was James Martines on NYPD Blue, actor Nicholas Turturro is 53; actor Ed Burns is 47; Darlene on Rosanne, actress Sara Gilbert is 40; musician Jonny Lang is 34; and singer Adam Lambert is 33.

Today is Carnation Day. It's 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, the American League was organized in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with eight founding teams. In 1936, the first inductees into the Baseball Hall of Fame were announced. They include Ty Cobb, Walter Johnson, Babe Ruth, and Honus Wagner. In 1979, Emerson, Lake & Palmer disbanded. In 1990, Joseph Hazelwood, the former skipper of the Exxon Valdez, went on trial in Anchorage on charges that stemmed from America's worst oil spill. Hazelwood was later acquitted of all the major charges and was convicted of a misdemeanor. In 1995, the San Francisco 49ers became the first team in National Football League history to win five Super Bowl titles. The 49ers defeated the San Diego Chargers 49-26. In 1997, America Online agreed to give refunds to frustrated customers under threat of lawsuits across the country. Customers were unable to log on after AOL offered a flat $19.95-a-month rate. 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, Governor of Illinois 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 Grammy Awards are featuring a number of collaborative performances, including Lady Gaga with Tony Bennett and Adam Levine with Gwen Stefani. The Recording Academy also says that Annie Lennox is being paired with newcomer Hozier and Jessie J with Tom Jones. Meanwhile, Sam Smith, Ed Sheeran, and Pharrell are also taking the stage. Other performers include AC/DC, Madonna, Eric Church, Common, John Legend, Miranda Lambert and Usher. The 57th annual Grammy Awards air from the Staples Center on Sunday, February 8th, on CBS.

Almost all football fans know Tom Brady, Russell Wilson, Richard Sherman, Marshawn Lynch, and Rob Gronkowski. The New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks wouldn't be playing in the Super Bowl Sunday if it weren't for their superstars. But both teams got here with lesser-known players coming up big at key times. Jermaine Kearse caught that touchdown pass in overtime in Seattle's win over Green Bay in the NFC championship game. Julian Edelman threw a TD pass in New England's division-round win over Baltimore. There's Rob Ninkovich, Michael Bennett and several others. Often, surprise players are the stars in the Super Bowl. Just look at last year when Seahawks linebacker Malcolm Smith was the unlikely MVP in Seattle's win over Denver. Smith returned a Peyton Manning interception for a touchdown and recovered a fumble in a 43-8 rout. Now the former seventh-round pick hardly plays on defense. Seahawks receiver Doug Baldwin said yesterday, "That's the beauty of our team that anybody can have an MVP-type of day. That's what makes us special. I wouldn't be surprised if somebody nobody talks about is MVP."

The most likely score of Super Bowl XLIX, according to 50,000 computer simulations of Sunday’s big game? Seattle Seahawks 24, New England Patriots 20. Though the Patriots are still favored in Las Vegas by 1 point, the Predictalator — a computer system that analyzed myriad statistics and thereby simulated the Super Bowl 50,000 times — is expecting Seattle to win its second consecutive NFL championship. The Seahawks won in 57.3 percent of simulations.

Trivia Answer: The original 17 were Sammy Baugh, Bert Bell, Joe Carr, Earl (Dutch) Clark, Harold (Red) Grange, George Halas, Mel Hein, Wilbur (Pete) Henry, Robert (Cal) Hubbard, Don Hutson, Earl (Curly) Lambeau, Tim Mara, George Preston Marshall, John (Blood) McNally, Bronko Nagurski, Ernie Nevers, and Jim Thorpe.

Wednesday 1.28.15
Morning Trivia: The Space Shuttle Challenger disaster occurred on this date in 1986 when the NASA Space Shuttle orbiter Challenger broke apart 73 seconds into its flight, leading to the deaths of its seven crew members. Disintegration of the vehicle began after an O-ring seal in its right solid rocket booster failed at liftoff. Can you name at least two of the seven crew members?

After avoiding interviews the past two seasons, Marshawn Lynch has succumbed to holding a pair of press conferences. One was real and done to save money. The other was fake and done to make money. Both were entertaining. During Lynch's appearance yesterday at Super Bowl media day at Phoenix’s basketball arena downtown, he took questions for exactly four minutes, 51 seconds to avoid what reports said was a fine of up to $500,000 by the NFL for repeatedly failing to meet his league-mandated media obligations. Lynch accrued $100,000 in fines for not speaking to the media during the the previous two seasons. Wearing white stunner shades and a grey and lime-green flat-bill hat, Lynch responded to 29 questions with some variation of the phrase, "I’m here so I won’t get fined," before leaving his designated podium. As he exited the arena, fans chimed in with mostly cheers and some boos. Apparently satisfied that he showed, the Pro Football Writers Association of America won’t ask the league to fine him. The other interview was an ad by Skittles, in which Lynch holds a mock press conference from his favorite candymaker where he actually answers questions. Among the questions: "Would you ever want to hang out with a talking rainbow?" "If you could live on any planet after you retire from football, what planet would it be?" "On game day, if you could transport yourself to the field in any way, what would it be: jetpack or blimp?" "Do you prefer watching cat videos or dog videos online?" And so it goes.

It also came out yesterday that Richard Sherman and his girlfriend, Ashley, are expecting a baby boy. Buried at the bottom of Sherman’s column yesterday for Sports Illustrated's Monday Morning Quarterback site, he wrote that this week could be extra special for him and his family. Not only could he take home a second Super Bowl ring, he could soon take home a son. Sherman, by the way, is featured along with the rest of Seattle’s Legion of Boom on the cover of this week’s Sports Illustrated, in advance of the Super Bowl Sunday afternoon in Glendale, Arizona.

Birthdays: Actor Alan Alda is 79; Donna on Dallas, actress Susan Howard is 71; model and actress Barbi Benton is 65; singer-songwriter Sarah McLachlan is 47; a baseball player 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 38; singer Joey Fatone of ‘N Sync is 38; Backstreet Boy Nick Carter is 35; actor Elijah Wood is 34; Ariel Winter from Modern Family is 17; and today is Sesame Street's Ernie's Birthday.

It's National Blueberry Pancake Day. Today is National Kazoo Day. Today is also Fun at Work Day -- a day to have fun at work for once. Ideally, work should be fun. But normally, work is not intended to have fun. It's intended to get work done. You're a very lucky person, if you if you can get work done and have fun doing it.

Calendar notes: On this date in 1878, th first telephone switchboard was installed in New Haven, Connecticutt. In 1915, anact of the US Congress created the United States Coast Guard. In 1917, municipally owned streetcars took to the streets of San Francisco. In 1922, the National Football League franchise in Decatur, IL, transferred to Chicago. The team took the name Chicago Bears. 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.

Newcastle Ale is a small company and couldn't afford their own commercial on the Super Bowl so ... For its Band of Brands advertising campaign, Newcastle convinced 37 smallish brands to pool their marketing dollars together to collectively pay for a very expensive Super Bowl 49 ad.

Americans are feeling sweet about romance as Valentine’s Day approaches, with consumers expected to spend big this year on candy, jewelry, and flowers. The average person celebrating the holiday on February 14th (a Saturday this year) expects to spend $142.31 in the name of love, about $8 more than last year.

Representatives for the company behind American Idol have hit back at singer Phillip Phillips after he demanded a release from his contract. They insisti that they have "always acted" in his best interests. The season 11 Idol champ has filed suit against 19 Entertainment bosses, claiming he feels "manipulated" after being tied in to recording, management, and merchandising deals related to the TV show. He's asking a judge to waive his contractual obligations and grant him the freedom "to conduct my career in a way that I am comfortable with." 19 Entertainment executives have vowed to fight him all the way. A spokesperson for the media firm tells TMZ.com, "We have always acted in the best interest of Phillip. We will vigorously defend ourselves from any baseless claims to the contrary and from any attempt to interfere with our rights and relationships."

When Facebook and Instagram went down for a bit Tuesday night, some folks in California panicked ... and called 911.

Trivia Answer: The Challenger crew consisted of Christa McAuliffe who would have been the first teacher in space, Michael J. Smith, Dick Scobee, Ronald McNair, Ellison Onizuka, Gregory Jarvis, and Judith Resnik. On the night of the disaster, President Ronald Reagan had been scheduled to give his annual State of the Union address. He initially announced that the address would go on as scheduled, but then postponed the State of the Union address for a week and instead gave a national address on the Challenger disaster from the Oval Office of the White House. It was listed as one of the most significant speeches of the 20th century in a survey of 137 communication scholars. It finished with the following, which quoted from the poem High Flight by John Gillespie Magee, Jr. We will never forget them, nor the last time we saw them, this morning, as they prepared for their journey and waved goodbye and 'slipped the surly bonds of Earth' to 'touch the face of God.'

Tuesday 1.27.15
Morning Trivia: He was a mathematician, logician, Anglican deacon, and photographer. But we know him best as a writer. His birth name is Charles Dodgson but, again, we know him best by his pen name. On an outing with children who were friends of the family, on July 4th of 1862, Dodgson invented the outline of the story that eventually became his first and greatest commercial success. Having told the story and been begged by one of the children, Alice Liddell, to write it down, Dodgson eventually (after much delay) presented her with a handwritten, illustrated manuscript. What name do we know him as?

The NFL, which fined Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch $20,000 for his touchdown celebration in the NFC Championship, has removed a photo of said touchdown celebration from the league’s online store. The NFL pulled this photo collage from its online store after people noticed it includes a shot of Seahawks’ Marshawn Lynch grabbing his crotch in the NFC Championship. The NFL understandably drew criticism over the weekend after people noticed a photo of Lynch’s controversial celebration was included in a $150 collage of Seattle’s comeback victory January 18th over the Green Bay Packers. Critics said it was hypocritical of the league to sell the image after fining Lynch twice this season for the "obscene gesture."

Brandon Browner is telling his New England teammates not to hold back against Seattle's Richard Sherman and Earl Thomas.In an interview with ESPN, Browner talked about the toughness both Sherman and Thomas showed in the NFC championship game playing with injuries. Sherman suffered a sprained elbow, while Thomas suffered a separated shoulder. But Browner said he would also target those injuries. He said, "I'm going to tell my teammates go hit that elbow, or go hit that shoulder." Asked if he would tell his teammates that, Browner said, "Most definitely." Asked about Browner's comments, Seattle players didn't seem to take offense. Doug Baldwin said, "I would expect nothing less. This is the Super Bowl. What do you expect? I understand the fans want it to be classy, said publicly, and everything to be said politically correct, but that is the truth of the matter. We want this game just as much as they do and they want this game just as much as we do. I expect nothing less from Brandon Browner. We go after them in an aggressive fashion just as much as they are going to go after us."

The Super Bowl, at its most basic level, is a game that determines the NFL championship. It has become so much more since the first game was played in 1967. Super Bowl Sunday has become an unofficial holiday in the United States, a day when families and friends to gather to watch the game, the over-the-top commercials and big-name musical acts at halftime. The game and the two weeks of hype, parties and the annual Media Day leading up it have turned the Super Bowl into a spectacle along the lines of the Olympics or World Cup, a royal wedding or papal celebration, the Oscars or Grammys. Media Day today. Marshawn Lynch (apparently facing a $500,000 fine if he didn't particiate) was on hand. His segment lasted five minutes during which he uttered the phrase "I'm here so I don't get fined" 29 times.

In a season during which the NFL has seen more controversy than it could ever anticipate, it would not surprise anyone if the Super Bowl were decided by a replay challenge being upheld or overturned. So the NFL is making sure it has the best possible technology for those replays. This season, University of Phoenix Stadium became the first NFL venue illuminated with high output LED Lighting. Not only does such lighting dramatically reduce energy usage by more than 75 percent, but the Ephesus LED system provides much more light evenly distributed throughout the playing surface than ever before. For the Super Bowl, Ephesus Lighting engineers expect to provide nearly 20 percent more light than ever for an NFL game.

By the way, Dave Matthews is raising the 12th Man flag on the Space Needle Thursday morning at 9.

Goalkeeper Hope Solo faces the possibility of being left off the American roster for this year's Women's World Cup if she fails to complete tasks set for her by the US Soccer Federation, which may include alcohol counseling. The 33-year-old was suspended for 30 days last Wednesday for what the US Soccer Federation called "an incident that occurred during the current WNT training camp" in Carson, California. Asked whether she could be omitted from the team's World Cup roster, USSF President Sunil Gulati said yesterday: "Look, that's possible. We hope that's not the case. We hope she's making progress and joins the team. That's certainly the goal, hers and ours." Solo's husband, Jerramy Stevens, was driving a team vehicle when he was arrested last week on suspicion of driving under the influence, a person familiar with the details of the arrest told The Associated Press last week.

Birthdays: Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason is 71; dancer and actor Mikhail Baryshnikov is 67; Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts is 60; Mrs. Kensington in Austin Powers, actress Mimi Rogers is 59; former football player, now a sportscaster for NBC, Cris Collinsworth is 56; TV’s Keith Olbermann is also 56; and actress Bridget Fonda is 51.

Today is Thomas Crapper Day. He died on this date in 1910. 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 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. Today is Chocolate Cake Day. It's a chocolate lovers delight, and a day to eat cake. Why this a day to "bake your chocolate cake....and eat it, too!"

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 1968, Otis Redding's (Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay was released. The release came six weeks after he was killed in a plane crash. In 1971, 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 1981, at the White House, President Reagan greeted the 52 former American hostages released by Iran. In 1984 - Cindy Lauper released Time After Time. In 1991, Whitney Houston sang the Star Spangled Banner at Super Bowl XXV. 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. In 2010, Steve Jobs unveiled the Apple iPad.

Tom Petty has earned a writing credit on Sam Smith's mega-hit Stay With Me for its similarities to his song I Won't Back Down. Smith's representative said the publishers of Petty's hit contacted the publishers of Smith's song,. Smith and Stay With Me writers James Napier and William Phillips say they agree their song is similar to Petty's song, written with Jeff Lynne. In a statement they said, "Although the likeness was a complete coincidence, all involved came to an immediate and amicable agreement in which Tom Petty and Jeff Lynne are now credited as co-writers of Stay With Me along with Sam Smith, James Napier and William Phillips."

Ouch. If you follow such things, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 291.49 points today.

Americans will eat 4,000 tons of popcorn on Super Bowl Sunday.

Trivia Answer: He is Charles Dodgson who was born on this date in 1832. He is better known by his pen name, Lewis Carroll. That story that he eventually presented to Alice was entitled Alice's Adventures Under Ground. Dodgson later expanded the 15,500-word original to 27,500 words, most notably adding the episodes about the Cheshire Cat and the Mad Tea-Party. It was later published as Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (commonly shortened to Alice in Wonderland).

Monday 1.26.15
Morning Trivia: He's a retired Major League Baseball player, later a sportscaster, comedian, and actor. He was given the title of Mr. Baseball by talk show host Johnny Carson. Since 1971, he has served as a play-by-play announcer for Milwaukee Brewers radio broadcasts. Who is he?

Thousands of chanting Seahawks fans -- 12s -- turned out yesterday morning to see the Seahawks off to the Super Bowl. They started lining up before 6 o'clock yesterday morning. The team's buses rolled past the crowds of blue and green along a mile-long stretch of South 188th Street in SeaTac as the players headed for the airport. Players including Richard Sherman high-fived fans outside the Delta hangar or posed for pictures with airline employees.

Meanwhile, the New England Patriots were hoping to be on their way to the Super Bowl in Arizona before that major snowstorm slammed the Northeast. The team planned to leave Logan Airport in Boston about 12:30 today after a City Hall rally scheduled for 11 this morning. Light snow was expected at mid-day before intensifying tonight.

New England and parts of the Northeastern coast are bracing for a blizzard that could dump a foot of snow on the region continuing through Wednesday. The looming winter storm is "major, possibly historic," according to The Weather Channel, and could result in "crippling" conditions. Meteorologist Tom Moore says, "They're going to be talking about this one for a while." This afternoon came word that public transportation in New York is shutting down and only emergency vehicles are being allowed on the roads in 13 counties -- and on the streets of New York City -- as of 11 tonight. That word from New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. The governors of Connecticut and Massachusetts also put travel bans in place ahead of what officials say is a blizzard of historic proportions. New Jersey Transit said its last trains and buses will leave their points of origin at 8 o'clock tonight.

J.J. Watt danced, Jimmy Graham dunked, Odell Beckham Jr. dazzled. The Pro Bowl in the desert was all about having a good time. Few moved very fast, no one flattened a quarterback and there were no bone-jarring hits in the gentle, friendly version of football played Sunday. Team Irvin defeated Team Carter 32-28, but the score doesn't matter in the NFL's all-star game.

Birthdays: Singer Jean Knight -- remember Mr. Big Stuff? -- is 72; author and perennial presidential candidate Angela Davis is 71; drummer Corky Laing is 67; singer Lucinda Williams is 62; guitarist Eddie Van Halen is 60; comedian and talk show host Ellen DeGeneres is 57; The Great One, hockey’s Wayne Gretzky is 54; the other half of Wham!, guitarist Andrew Ridgeley is 52; and the Suleman octuplets (Octomom's kids) are 6.

Ernie Banks, the Chicago Cubs' famed slugger and eventual Hall of Famer, died Friday night. Banks made his MLB debut in 1953 and played 19 seasons, racking up 512 home runs and twice landing the league's MVP award. Despite his personal accomplishments, Banks played for a string of Cubs teams that finished below .500, and he never reached the postseason. Still, Banks was known for his sunny outlook; his catchphrase -- It's a great day for baseball. Let's play two. -- is written on his statue outside Wrigley Field. The Banks' family lawyer said yesterday that Ernie Banks died following a heart attack. Ernie Banks was 83.

Tonight is Wipeout Night in West Virginia, marking this night in 1960 when Burnsville wiped out Widen in basketball 173 to 43. Burnsville’s Danny Heater scored 135 points. Today is Dukes of Hazzard Day. The TV series premiered on this date in 1979, starring John Schneider and Tom Wopat as Bo and Luke and Catharine Bach as Cousin Daisy. Today is National Peanut Brittle Day. The average consumer will receive 26 emails a day in 2015 -- that’s over 9,000 emails over the course of a year. Many of the messages are ‘graymail’ -- newsletters or notifications that you may have registered for but may no longer be interested in. Clean Out Your Inbox week is underway. It runs through Saturday.

Calendar notes: On this date in 1784, in a letter to his daughter, Benjamin Franklin complained about the choice of the eagle as America's symbol, saying he preferred the turkey. In 1970, John Lennon wrote and recorded Instant Karma. In 1984, Michael Jackson was hospitalized with scalp burns after a spark ignited his hair during filming of a Pepsi TV commercial. In 1997, ZZ Top, James Brown and The Blues Brothers performed at the Super Bowl 31 halftime show. In 2003, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers won their first NFL championship, routing the Oakland Raiders 48-21 in Super Bowl 37. In 2005, confirmed by the US Senate, Condoleezza Rice was sworn in as secretary of state. In 2010, it was announced that James Cameron's movie Avatar had become the highest-grossing film worldwide.

American Sniper hit the mark with moviegoers again. The military drama starring Bradley Cooper as Navy SEAL marksman Chris Kyle topped the box office for a second weekend in a row with $64.4 million. American Sniper is up for six Academy Awards, including best picture and best actor for Cooper. The total haul for the film now stands at $200.1 million. The film, directed by Clint Eastwood, already broke box-office records when it expanded to wide release last weekend, easily surpassing Avatar to become the biggest January opening for a movie and immediately becoming the top grosser among best-picture Oscar nominees. In a distant second place was the saucy Universal thriller The Boy Next Door featuring Jennifer Lopez as a teacher who engages in an affair with a younger man played by Ryan Guzman. It debuted with $15 million. Rounding out the top five were Paddington at number three, The Wedding Ringer at number four, and Taken 3 at number five. The animated fantasy Strange Magic from Luscasfilm and Disney flopped in seventh place. Johnny Depp's Mortdecai tanked in ninth place.

The Seattle Seahawks plan to pay for the installation of 1,000 additional seats at CenturyLink Field for the 2015 season, according to a report by The Seattle Times. The seats would be added to the south end of the stadium, on the upper level next to the 12th Man flag. The expansion would bring the CLink’s capacity up to more than 69,500 and would cost an estimated $5 million to $6 million. That's pocket change for Paul Allen, isn't it?

A mountain-size asteroid is zooming past Earth today, marking the closest pass by such a large space rock until 2027. Asteroid 2004 BL86, which is about 1,800 feet wide, is coming within 745,000 miles of our planet today -- about threee times the distance between Earth and the moon. Most stargazers with a backyard telescope should be able to spot it tonight -- depending on cloud cover -- as it moves across the stars in the sky.

Trivia Answer: Bob Uecker who is 81 today. He signed a professional contract with his hometown Milwaukee Braves in 1956 and made his Major League Baseball debut as a catcher with the club in 1962. A below-average hitter, he finished with a career batting average of .200. He was generally considered to be a sound defensive player and committed very few errors in his Major League career as a catcher, completing his career with a fielding percentage of .981. However, in 1967, despite playing only 59 games, he led the league in passed balls and is still on the top 10 list for most passed balls in a season. At least a partial explanation is that he spent a good deal of the season catching knuckleballer Phil Niekro. He often joked that the best way to catch a knuckleball was to wait until it stopped rolling and pick it up. Perhaps the biggest highlight of Uecker's career was when he hit a home run off future Hall of Famer Sandy Koufax after which Uecker joked that he always thought that home run would keep Koufax from getting into the Hall of Fame. After retiring as a player, Uecker returned to Milwaukee. In 1971, he began calling play-by-play for the Milwaukee Brewers' radio broadcasts, a position he holds to this day. Known for his humor, particularly about his undistinguished playing career, Uecker actually became much better known after he retired from playing. He made some 100 guest appearances on Johnny Carson's Tonight Show, and appeared in a number of humorous commercials, most notably for Miller Lite beer, as one of the Miller Lite All-Stars. The National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association named Uecker as Wisconsin Sportscaster of the Year five times (1977, 1979, 1981, 1982, and 1987), and inducted him into its Hall of Fame in 2011. Uecker was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame in 2001. In 2003, he received the Ford C. Frick Award.

Friday 1.23.15
Morning Trivia: This musician started to play accordion when he was seven years old. He learned from watching The Lawrence Welk Show. When he mastered classical music and polka, his mother booked him at parties, clubs and on radio. While he continued his studies in classical accordion, he gained an interest in jazz and blues, after he heard a professor of music in Philadelphia play those styles on accordion. He went on to become most and best known as the longtime organ, glockenspiel, and accordion played for Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band. Who is he?

The two men most responsible for delivering wins for the New England Patriots both said yesterday that they have no explanation for how footballs used to reach the Super Bowl were under inflated by 2 pounds per square inch. Patriots quarterback Tom Brady said he has not been contacted by the NFL, even as league officials investigate whether the team cheated against the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC championship game. Brady said, "I don't know what happened," answering questions from reporters hours after Patriots coach Bill Belichick said he almost never thinks about football pressure and doesn't know what happened, either. While neither Belichick nor Brady took responsibility for the under inflated balls, neither absolved anyone besides themselves of potential wrongdoing. Under league rules, each team provides balls for use on offense. Referees approve the balls more than 2 hours before game time, then keep the balls until they're turned over to ball handlers provided by home teams just before kickoff. We'll see what we shall see. Next weekend is the game we're waiting for. Seahawks-Patriots, Sunday the 1st, 3:30 kick-off on NBC.

The Seahawks have been one of the best home teams in the NFL the past few years. Next Sunday, they'll be wearing the part. Seahawks owner Paul Allen Tweeted out that the team is wearing the home navy blue jersey for the big game.

Paul Allen, by the way, let us know that today is the final Blue Friday of the season.  Next Friday is Super Blue Friday.

You're invited to help give the Hawks a big 12th Man sendoff Sunday morning as the team makes its way to Sea-Tac Airport for its flight to Phoenix and Super Bowl XLIX. Police are be setting up approved viewing areas along South 188th Street between 46th Aveenue South and 28th Avenue South, according to the King County Sheriff's Office. Barricades are being staged along the route for fan safety and signs are directing fans to approved viewing areas. hose traveling in the area need to also be aware of road closures as the team buses make their journey. At 8:30 Sunday morning, the 188th Street and Orillia North/South exits are being closed from I-5 (Exit 152). The DOT says there's no stopping, exiting, or access to 188th from I-5. And both directions of South 188th Street from Military Road to International Boulevard are bing closed. At 9:15, both directions of International Boulevard and Eastbound South 188th Street are being closed.

Birthdays: Millie on The Andy Griffith Show and Mayberry RFD, actress Arlene Golonka is 79; Pointer Sister Anita Pointer is 67; MacGyver on MacGyver, actor Richard Dean Anderson is 65; from Cheap Trick, Robin Zander is 62; and from Beverly Hills 90210, actress Tiffani Thiessen is 41.

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 we're in the midst of National Handwriting Analysis Week which runs through Sunday. Today is Cold, Cold, Cold Day! The coldest temperature ever recorded in the United States was at Prospect Creek Camp, Alaska, on January 23rd of 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. And today is Measure Your Feet Day, a day to, well, measure your feet. At this point, we stop and ask ourselves...why? We pondered this question for a while. Then, we decided it was best not to even speculate.

Calendar notes: On this date in 1975, Barney Miller made his debut on ABC-TV. 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 1978, Terry Kath of the band Chicago died after accidentally shooting himself in the head with a pistol he didn't know was loaded. He was 32 years old. In 1983, The A-Team debuted on TV. In 1985, OJ 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 inducts 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, the situation comedy Friends filmed its final episode in front of an invitation-only audience. In 2005, former Tonight Show host Johnny Carson died at age 79.

While we're all fixated on football, the 17th annual Mariner Fanfest is this weekend at Safeco Field. You can get an autograph, ride the Safeco Field zip line, run around the bases, swing for the fences, tour the clubhouse, and more. Those scheduled to appear include Nelson Cruz, Charlie Furbush, J.A. Happ, Austin Jackson, James Paxton, Taijuan Walker, Tom Wilhelmsen, Mike Zunino, and more. It's both Saturday and Sunday from 11 til 4 each day. Tickets are just $10. Kids 14 and under are free.

Speaking of baseball, Ichiro has decided to play for the Miami Marlins. Ichiro and the team have agreed to a $2 million, one-year contract, pending a physical, a person with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press. The person spoke on condition of anonymity today because the contract with the 41-year-old outfielder has not been finalized.

Fairgoers are going to have more days to visit the Washington State Fair in Puyallup starting in 2016. The fair announced yesterday that it's opening Labor Day weekend starting next year, after a multi-year study of other large fairs indicated that extending the schedule would benefit participants, employees, and visitors. The annual September event is increasing from three weekends to four and closing every Tuesday, increasing the total number of fair days from 17 to 21. Fair officials say the midweek closures will likely ease vehicle traffic in the area, give vendors and exhibitors a chance to restock or change displays, and provide a day of rest, among other benefits. The so-called "dark days" are scheduled for Tuesdays since those are historically the fair’s slowest days. The date changes are the first since 1978, when the fair made the move from 9 to 17 days. It started as a three-day event in 1900.

I believe John Lennon called it instant karma. Police say a man suffered a fatal heart attack as he was robbing a grocery store in Maryland. A spokeswoman for the Harford County Sheriff's Office said police who responded to a call of an armed robbery at a supermarket Monday night in Edgewood, Maryland, found 52-year-old Wayne Clark lying face down on the floor inside the store. She said witnesses said Clark had tried to rob the store at gunpoint, and that deputies found a handgun under his body. Police tried to revive him, but he was later pronounced dead at a hospital.

Trivia Answer: Daniel Paul Federici who would have been 65 today. On November 21st of 2007, it was announced that Federici would take a leave of absence from Springsteen and the E Street Band's ongoing tour to pursue treatment for melanoma. Springsteen stated at the time: "Danny is one of the pillars of our sound and has played beside me as a great friend for more than 40 years. We all eagerly await his healthy and speedy return." Danny made his only return to the stage on March 20th of 2008, when he appeared for portions of a Springsteen and E Street Band performance at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. Danny died on April 17th of 2008 in New York having suffered for three years with melanoma.

Thursday 1.22.15
Morning Trivia: He was film and television actor, director, and frequent game show panelist. His career spanned more than three decades, including appearances on stage, in films, and on television series. He is known for his roles as Tim O'Hara on the CBS sitcom My Favorite Martian, Tom Corbett on the ABC comedy-drama series The Courtship of Eddie's Father, stage illusionist Anthony Blake in the NBC crime drama series The Magician, but is perhaps best known for his role as scientist Dr. David Banner on the CBS sci-fi drama series The Incredible Hulk. Who is he?

Richard Sherman says he will play in the Super Bowl despite suffering a painful injury to his left elbow in Sunday’s NFC Championship game. Sherman said yesterday that his elbow felt better that it had during the fourth quarter of the Hawks’ improbable comeback victory over the Green Bay Packers, reiterating that there was no danger he’d miss Seattle’s Super Bowl matchup versus the New England Patriots. Sherm said, "That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it." He said that he’d practice with a brace ahead of the Super Bowl, but didn’t know if he’d wear one during the game. While Sherman admitted that his "left stiff-arm might not be the greatest," he felt good enough to complete his essential duties. He said,, "If I had to slap my brother, I’d be able to do that." Another week and a half to go. Sunday, February 1st, in Glendale, Hawks and Patriots.

Speaking of the Patriots, add under inflated footballs to the list of incidents giving head coach Bill Belichick a reputation for guile and playing above the rules. Softer footballs wouldn't explain all of a rout that earned the New England Patriots a spot in the Super Bowl. But it's another example of Belichick's reputation of searching for edges and bending any rules until he gets caught. Vague injury reports. Spygate. Signing players with intel on opponents. And now, an open NFL investigation into whether the team cheated during its AFC championship win. Former All-Pro running back Jerome Bettis said on ESPN, "Because it's the Patriots and they have a history, that brings in a different issue. There's some type of culture there that's conducive to cheating and that's a problem." Belichick no longer gets the benefit of the doubt among fans and those in football circles, even those who think he's the best coach in the league. Earlier this month, Hall of Fame coach Don Shula called him Beli-cheat.

Marshawn Lynch reportedly is being fined $20,000 for a gesture made after that TD on Sunday.

Earlier today, coach Bill Belichik held a press conference. Over the course of that conference, he said "I've told you everything I know," and "I don't have an explanation for what happened." He said each of the quotes four times during the conference. At noon, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady had a press conference of his own. He said that he has not yet been contacted by the NFL about its investigation into underinflated footballs, adding, "I didn't alter the ball in any way." In a news conference that lasted just over 30 minutes, Brady detailed how he selected 24 footballs for referees to inspect before Sunday's AFC Championship Game against the Indianapolis Colts. "When I pick those footballs out, at that point, to me, they're perfect," he said. "I don't want anyone touching the balls after that. I don't want anyone rubbing them, putting any air in them, taking any air out. To me, those balls are perfect, and that's what I expect when I show up on the field." Meanwhile, Mark Brunell on ESPN said, "I did not believe what Tom had to say. Those balls were deflated. Somebody had to do it. I don't believe there's an equipment manager in the NFL that would, on his own initiative, deflate a ball without the starting QB's approval. That football is our livelihood. If you don't feel good about throwing that ball? Your success on the football field can suffer from that." Jerome Bettis said, "I'm so disappointed because I thought this was a perfect opportunity for Tom Brady to go and say 'You know what? I made a mistake. I blew it. It's on me. I'll take the blame here, and this will go away.' He didn't do that ... I'm disappointed in you Tom Brady." Brian Dawkins chimed in with, "This is unbelievable. For you not to know what you touch every play? The equipment manager is being thrown under the bus now. Now he's the guy. Now he's the one responsible. He took it upon himself to doctor up the balls when nobody else knew about it? That hard (to believe)."

Jeff Gordon says he's retiring as a full-time NASCAR driver after 2015 season.

Goalkeeper Hope Solo has been suspended from the US women's national soccer team for 30 days. US Soccer made the announcement last night. The organization did not explain what the punishment was for, but the decision came after Solo's husband, Jerramy Stevens, was arrested under suspicion of drunken driving. Solo was in the car, and both were allegedly belligerent toward police. Head coach Jill Ellis said only that Solo had "made a poor decision" that had a "negative impact" on the team.

Birthdays: Former Journey frontman Steve Perry is 66; DJ Jazzy Jeff is 50; actress Diane Lane is 50; Karen Arnold on The Wonder Years, actress Olivia d’Abo is 46; and singer, songwriter, and pretty good guitarist, Orianthi is 30.

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. In 1951, Fidel Castro was ejected from a Winter League baseball game after hitting a batter. He later gave up baseball for politics. In 1968. Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In debuted on NBC TV. 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 Intern ational Airport to London's Heathrow Airport. In 1973, the Supreme Court of the United States delivered its decision in Roe v. Wade, legalizing elective abortion in all fifty states. In 1983, Bjorn Borg retired from tennis. He had set a record by winning five consecutive Wimbledon championships. 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 1997. the US Senate confirmed Madeleine Albright as the first female secretary of state. In 2002, Kmart became the largest retailer in United States history to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Also in 2002, AOL Time Warner filed suit against Microsoft in federal court seeking damages for harm done to AOL's Netscape Internet Browser when Microsoft began giving away its competing browser.

One sings about being Happy, The other croons about being sad: Pharrell and Sam Smith are performing at the Grammys next month. The Recording Academy announced yesterday that Usher and Miranda Lambert are also taking the stage at the February 8th show in Los Angeles. Common and John Legend are performing their Golden Globe-winning, Oscar-nominated song, Glory, from the movie Selma. Smith, Pharrell, and Beyonce are the Grammy leaders with six nominations each. They'll battle Beck and Ed Sheeran for the top prize, album of the year. Previously announced performers include Madonna, AC/DC, Ariana Grande, Eric Church and Ed Sheeran. LL Cool J is hosting the 57th annual Grammy Awards, which are on CBS from the Staples Center.

How important is your security to you? Do you shut and lock your doors and windows every night before bed? Do you turn off your stove burners? Do you have a password locking your digital accounts, one preferably more complex than "password" or "123456″? If you answered yes to all three, excellent. Unfortunately, it seems some people still haven’t figured that last one. SplashData, an Internet security company, has released its latest findings on the most popular passwords on the Internet. It just so happens that "most popular" here also means "worst." Using data "compiled from more than 3.3 million leaked passwords during the year," SplashData had some interesting findings between 2013 and now. "123456″ and "password" still lead the pack. The top 25 passwords on the list only account for approximately 2.2 percent of all passwords exposed in 2014. In case Internet security is still not a big priority for you, here are some stats. Mary Meeker, Internet analyst for Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers, noted that more than 95% of networks had been compromised in some way in 2014. The Honeynet project, a research organization focused on Internet security, published a study that found that between April and December 2000, seven new servers using the Linux Red Hat operating system "were attacked within three days of connecting to the Internet." The fastest recorded attack on a new system took 15 minutes. That was in 2000. Fifteen years later, the need for Internet and computer security has only grown. Just ask Sony, or Microsoft, or these Russian hackers who stole over a billion Internet passwords last year. What we’re trying to say is, change your password. Not sure what to change it to? SplashData’s got some tips: Don’t use a favorite sport as your password – "baseball" and "football" are in top 10, and "hockey," "soccer" and "golfer" are in the top 100. Don’t use a favorite team either, as "yankees," "eagles," "steelers," "rangers," and "lakers" are all in the top 100. Don’t use your birthday or especially just your birth year — 1989, 1990, 1991, and 1992 are all in the top 100. While baby name books are popular for naming children, don’t use them as sources for picking passwords. Common names such as "michael," "jennifer," "thomas," "jordan," "hunter," "michelle," "charlie," "andrew," and "daniel" are all in the top 50.

Want a simple way to be happier? Every morning send a friend, family member or co-worker an email to say thanks for something. There’s tons of research showing that over time, this alone -- one silly email a day -- can make you happier.

Trivia Answer: Bill Bixby who was born on this date in 1934. His real name was Wilfred Bailey Everett Bixby III. Bixby took the role of young reporter Tim O'Hara in the 1963 CBS sitcom, My Favorite Martian, in which he co-starred with Ray Walston. But by 1966, high production costs forced the series to come to an end after 107 episodes. In 1969, Bixby starred in his second high-profile television role, as Tom Corbett in The Courtship of Eddie's Father, a comedy-drama on ABC. The series concerned a widowed father raising a young son, managing a major syndicated magazine while at the same time trying to re-establish himself on the dating scene. In 1973, Bixby starred in The Magician. The series was well liked, but it only lasted one season. He became a popular game show panelist, appearing mostly on Password and The Hollywood Squares. Although he initially declined the part of Dr. David Banner in The Incredible Hulk because of its comic book origins, on reading Kenneth Johnson's script for the pilot episode, he was persuaded to change his mind (and agreed to remain involved with the series for as long as Johnson was to be involved). Consequently, Bixby starred in the pilot movie called The Incredible Hulk, based loosely on the Stan Lee and Jack Kirby Marvel comic book characters. Its success (coupled with some theatrical releases of the film in Europe) convinced CBS to turn it into a weekly series, which began airing in the Spring of 1978. It became an international hit, seen in over 70 countries. The show made Bixby a pop icon of the late 1970s and 1980s. During the show's run, Bixby invited two of his long-time friends, Ray Walston and Brandon Cruz, to guest star with him in different episodes of the series. He finished his career by directing 30 episodes (in seasons two and three) of the NBC sitcom Blossom. In early 1993, after rumors began circulating about his health, Bixby went public with his illness, discussing his disease and the energy needed to keep him alive. As a result, he made several guest appearances on shows such as Entertainment Tonight, The Today Show, and Good Morning America, among many others. Bixby's cancer recurred and was diagnosed as terminal. On November 21, 1993, six days after his final assignment on Blossom, he died of complications. He was 59 years old.

Wednesday 1.21.15
Morning Trivia: He was born in Leverkusen, West Germany. He moved to the US his senior year of high school, attended Centralia High School down in Centralia, for one year, leading the Tigers to the state title in his senior year in 1981 by defeating the Timberline Blazers. He played college basketball at the University of Washington, where he was named to the All-Pac-10 Team and The Sporting News All-America Second Team. In college, he majored in International Business. Who is he?

Every now and then, you come across a story and think "really?" This is one of those. Wide receiver Percy Harvin, whom the Seattle Seahawks traded in October to the New York Jets after he reportedly caused problems in the locker room, will be paid at least $58,500 thanks to the Hawks’ appearance in the Super Bowl. Under the NFL’s salary rules, players on playoff teams are paid set amounts out of a league-wide pool instead of under their contracts, which define only regular-season pay. For instance, each player -- from the starting quarterback to the reserve punter -- makes $24,000 for his team’s appearance in a divisional playoff game. That goes for all players who spent eight or more weeks on the roster of a playoff team. Further rules give half-pay to players who spent three to seven weeks on an eventual playoff roster and are not currently signed to a team in the same conference. That qualifies Harvin, who spent five weeks with Seattle this season and is now with the AFC’s Jets, to receive money from the league-wide postseason salary pool, even though he is no longer a member of the NFC-champion Seahawks. Harvin should get $12,000 (half of $24,000) for Seattle’s divisional playoff win over the Carolina Panthers, plus $22,000 (half of $44,000) for the Seahawks’ wild victory over the Green Bay Packers in the NFC championship game. So he has already "earned" $34,000 this postseason thanks to the Hawks. For the Super Bowl this year, players on the winning team will each be paid $97,000; players on the losing team will get $49,000 apiece. Depending on what happens between the Seahawks and New England Patriots on February 1st, Harvin -- at half-pay -- would receive either $24,500 or $48,500 for Seattle’s appearance in the Big Game. With $34,000 already in the bank and a minimum Super Bowl take-home of $24,500, Harvin will get at least $58,500 out of the Seahawks’ second-straight run to the Super Bowl. If the Hawks repeat as world champions, Harvin’s total postseason payout will be $82,500. We do have to remember, though, that the team doesn’t pay playoff salaries; the league does.

Meanwhile, relive that magic Sunday afternoon by clicking here.

Sources within the NFL have determined the New England Patriots supplied under-inflated balls during Sunday's AFC championship game, according to a report from ESPN last night. A league source familiar with the investigation told ESPN that 11 of the 12 balls allotted to the Patriots were found to be under inflated by two pounds of air. Game balls are required be inflated between 12.5 and 13.5 pounds per square inch and weigh between 14 and 15 ounces. Despite the ESPN report, the NFL says its investigation is ongoing. Patriots quarterback Tom Brady said the investigation is the least of his worries. It's unclear what kind of punishment the team could face. On February 1st, the Patriots face the Seahawks in Super Bowl XLIX.

Birthdays: Golfer Jack Nicklaus is 75; tenor and conductor Plácido Domingo is 74; singer-songwriter-actor Mac Davis is 73; actress Jill Eikenberry is 68; former governor Gary Locke is 65; billionaire, philanthropist, investor, innovator, Microsoft co-founder and Seahawks owner Paul Allen is 62; actor Robby Benson is 59; actress Geena Davis is 59; NBA Hall of Famer Hakeem Olajuwon is 52; and Baby Spice, Spice Girl singer Emma Bunton, is 39.

Today is National Granola Bar Day. It's National Hugging Day. It’s Squirrel Appreciation Day.

Calendar notes: On this date in 1970, the Boeing 747 made its first commercial flight from New York to London for Pan American Airlines. 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 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 was cancelled altogether. Reagan was actually sworn in for his second time on 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.

VH1 Classic is airing 433 hours of Saturday Night Live. They're running a selection of episodes of SNL in reverse seasonal order over the course of 19 days this month and next in an effort to hitch on to interest in that program’s 40th anniversary celebration, slated to air during a three-hour special on NBC February 15th. The cable outlet said it would work its way from the show’s 39th season straight through to the first episode of Saturday Night Live, which was broadcast October 11th of 1975 and featured George Carlin as host. VH1 Classic is airing that episode on Sunday, February 15th leading up to the NBC special. The network won’t be able to broadcast every episode of the series. Some episodes are too difficult to clear again for rights to broadcast music or other intellectual-property elements. And the network had to cull the episodes it could show to fit the hours it had available. Special themed blocks will dot the 19-day schedule, giving viewers a deeper dive into the classic episodes featuring a particular host, skit or musical artist. VH1 Classic is running six episodes featuring Justin Timberlake on Saturday, January 31st, for example, and a long look at The Eddie Murphy Years on Wednesday, February 11th. The network is also running a marathon of the show’s retrospective specials by decade for at least 10 hours on Sunday, February 15th.

Birthday Frosting Filled Chips Ahoy were a nice start, but Nabisco’s been hiding a much more enticing cake cookie up its sleeve. Yesterday (Tuesday) they announced the launch of the Red Velvet Oreo, a red-tinged treat that’s got cream cheese-flavored stuffing in the middle. Rumors have been swirling about Red Velvet Oreos for months, but the brand just now confirmed them.

Sub-$2 gasoline is a reality in 28 States. The national average for regular-grade gasoline is $2.05 per gallon, down from $2.13 last week, $2.45 in mid-December, and $3.29 in January of 2014. According to AAA, we were at $2.28 yesterday here in Olympia. It is under $2 in Pasco, Kennewick, and Richland which came in at $1.97 yesterday. Spokane was at $1.82.

Trivia Answer: Detlef Schrempf who turns 52 today. Originally he was selected eighth overall by the Dallas Mavericks in the 1985 NBA Draft. He was the only player in the NBA in 1992-93 to finish in the top 25 in scoring (19.1 ppg), rebounding (9.5 rpg) and assists (6.0 apg). Following the 1992-93 NBA season, Schrempf was traded to the Seattle SuperSonics. On a Sonics team that also featured Gary Payton, Shawn Kemp, Sam Perkins, and Hersey Hawkins, Schrempf reached the NBA Finals in 1996, where they lost to Michael Jordan's Chicago Bulls in six games. Schrempf became the first (and one of only two, to date, along with Dirk Nowitzki) German-born NBA players to reach the NBA Finals. While with the Sonics, Schrempf played in his final two NBA All-Star games. Schrempf was released by the Sonics in 1999 and signed the same day by the Portland Trail Blazers, with whom he played until his retirement from professional basketball in 2001, playing in a total of 1,136 regular season games and 114 playoff games. Schrempf established the Detlef Schrempf Foundation in 1996 to benefit local charities. In January 2012, he won the Paul Allen Award for Citizenship (formerly the Seattle Sports Commission Sports Citizen of the Year) at the 77th annual Sports Star of the Year banquet in Seattle His foundation hosts the Detlef Schrempf Celebrity Golf Classic at McCormick Woods Golf Course in Port Orchard every summer and has raised about $10 million for children's charities in the Pacific Northwest. Schrempf is married to Mari Schrempf. They have two sons, Alex and Michael. Last we heard, Schrempf is Business Development Officer at Coldstream Capital, a wealth management firm in Seattle.

Tuesday 1.20.15
Morning Trivia: Astronaut Buzz Aldrin is celebrating his 86th birthday today. He was the second person to walk on the moon. Who was the first?

Tom Brady against ol' pal Richard Sherman -- remember You Mad Bro? -- and the rest of the best defense in the NFL. Russell Wilson against Darrelle Revis, former teammate Brandon Browner and whatever schemes Bill Belichick dreams up. Marshawn Lynch and LeGarrette Blount and their tough-to-tackle running styles. The occasional well-designed -- and well-executed -- trick play. There' a lot to look forward to when Wilson's Seattle Seahawks, the defending champions, take on Brady's New England Patriots, the dominant franchise of the 2000s, in the Super Bowl at Glendale, Arizona, on February 1st. Seattle can become the first team to win consecutive NFL championships since Brady, Belichick and Co. did it a decade ago. In nearly a half-century of Super Bowls -- the 49th is coming up -- there's never been this long a stretch without a repeat champion. On Super Sunday last year, the Seahawks beat Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos 43-8. After Seattle and New England won their conference title games at home Sunday, some Las Vegas sports books had the Seahawks -- heading to the franchise's third Super Bowl -- as 1-point favorites, while others made the game a pick 'em. New England reached its eighth Super Bowl, equaling the Dallas Cowboys and Pittsburgh Steelers for most in league history. It's the sixth time in the past 14 years the Patriots have made it this far; they won trophies after the 2001, 2003 and 2004 seasons. But they lost in their past two Super Bowl appearances, after the 2007 and 2011 seasons, both times against Eli Manning and the New York Giants. Neither of these teams looked all that good early in the season. The Seahawks started 3-3, making preseason talk of a dynasty seem silly; the Patriots began 2-2, and folks were saying Brady was washed up. So much for any of that. Seattle is now on an eight-game winning streak. New England, meanwhile, won 10 of 11 games until dropping its meaningless regular-season finale. New England's Bill Belichick owns a record 21 postseason wins. Seattle's Pete Carroll preceded Belichick as New England's coach, then was a national title-winning college coach at Southern California, before returning to the pros. Both come from defensive backgrounds. Neither is afraid to call a trick play. Punter Jon Ryan's touchdown pass on a fake field goal for Seattle's first points Sunday. One of Brady's three TD tosses against the Colts went to left tackle Nate Solder. Glendale Arizona February 1st. NBC has the coverage.

Birthdays: From Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In, comedic actor Arte Johnson is 86; astronaut Buzz Aldrin -- the second person to walk on the moon -- is 85; director David Lynch is 69; Kiss guitarist Paul Stanley is 63; comedian and TV host Bill Maher is 59; actor Lorenzo Lamas is 57; from The Office and from Seattle, actor Rainn Wilson is 49; singer Edwin McCain is 45; and Linkin Park drummer Rob Bourdon is 36.

Today is National Cheese Lover's Day. Did you know that the average American consumes about 31 pounds of cheese each year? That may seem like a lot, but for the average French person it’s 50 pounds. It's National Buttercrunch Day. Today is also Penguin Awareness Day. a great opportunity to learn about and appreciate one of the few natives of Antarctica. It's also a good time to wear black and white -- penguin colors.

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, Massachusetts 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 1982, Ozzy Osbourne bit the head off of a bat in Des Moines, Iowa, and was hospitalized to undertake a series of rabies shots. In 1985, the most-watched Super Bowl game in history was seen by an estimated 115.9 million people. The San Francisco 49ers defeated the Miami Dolphins, 38-16. Super Bowl XIX marked the first time that TV commercials sold for a million dollars a minute. In 2007, the first McDonald's drive-through opened in Beijing.

President Obama heads into his State of the Union address tonight with his approval ratings rising as the economy improves. A Washington Post-ABC News poll released yesterday puts Obama's approval rating at 50 percent, the highest level since spring 2013. His current standing is nine percentage points higher than in December and seven higher than in October, just before Republicans regained the majority in the Senate. It will be the first time Obama has faced a Congress fully controlled by Republicans. The president addresses the nation and a joint session of Congress tonight at 6 on CBS, ABC, NBC, FOX, and others.

More than 25 years after his death, it looks as if Liberace is headed back out on tour thanks to some technological help. The legendary performer is set to make his return to the stage sometime this year as a sort of hologram, with his unveiling taking place in Las Vegas.

Amazon announced yesterday that it will begin producing and buying films for streaming on its Prime Instant Video service. The movies will be available for Amazon customers a month or two after they are released in theaters -- down from a delay of up to a year for new films now. The move marks a big step deeper into original content production for the online retail giant.

The there was the delivery guy in Ann Arbor, Michigan, that received a tip of $2,000 last week when he delivered a single pizza to a conference of real estate agents. Agents from Keller Williams Realty had gathered for a regional conference, but decided to surprise the delivery guy, identified only as Rob, with a random act of kindness in the form of a massive tip. They all pitched in.

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. Apollo 11 fulfilled President John F. Kennedy's goal of reaching the moon before the Soviet Union by the end of the 1960s, which he had expressed during a 1961 mission statement before the United States Congress: "I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the Earth."

Monday 1.19.15
Morning Trivia: He's a comedian and impressionist, best known for his work on the Fox Network television series MADtv, and has been the in-house prognosticator for Fox NFL Sunday. In 2007 and 2008, he performed his impersonations on his own show, which aired on TBS. He’s known for his impressions of John Madden, Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, and Charles Barkley, amongst others. He has performed as many as 120 impressions. Who is he?

Wow. And that's an understatement, Wow, Russell Wilson hit Jermaine Kearse for a 35-yard touchdown 3:19 into overtime to lift the Seattle Seahawks to an improbable 28-22 victory over Green Bay in the NFC championship game. The Seahawks become the first defending champion to make the Super Bowl in 10 years. Outplayed much ofyesterday and plagued by five turnovers, the Seahawks trailed 16-7 with 2:09 remaining. That's when Wilson ran 1 yard for a TD. Seattle recovered an onside kick at the 50, and Marshawn Lynch sped and powered his way to a 24-yard TD run. Wilson's desperate 2-point conversion pass was hauled in by Luke Willson to make it 22-19. But Aaron Rodgers led the Packers to Mason Crosby's fifth field goal, from 48 yards with 14 seconds to go. Then came overtime and that's when Wilson and Kearse struck. Here's the stat of the morning from Sports Illustrated: Russell Wilson's passer rating in the first 55 minutes yesterday was 7.0. For the last 9 minutes, it was 158.3.

In the AFC Championship Game, Tom Brady and the New England Patriots blew out Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts, 45-7.

That sets up the Super Bowl where the NFC Champion Seahawks play the the AFC Champion New England Patriots on Sunday, February 1st, in Glendale, Arizona. No team has repeated as Super Bowl champions since the aforementioned New England Patriots back in 2003-04.

Birthdays: From the movie The Birds, actress Tippi Hedren is 85; actress Shelley Fabares is 71; singer/songwriter/actress Dolly Parton is 69; frontman for the band America, Dewey Bunnell is 63; actor and musician Desi Arnaz, Jr. is 62; Peg on Married With Children, Katey Sagal is 61; comedian and actor Paul Rodriguez is 60; tennis's Stefan Edberg is 49;actor Shawn Wayans is 44; and from Marcy Playground, John Wozniak is 44.

It's National Popcorn Day. Today is Little Ricky Day, marking the birth of Lucy and Ricky Ricardo’s TV son on I Love Lucy on this date in 1953. Today is Tin Can Day, marking the patent of a process for storing food in tin cans issued to Ezra Daggett and Thomas Kensett. Today is Women's Healthy weight Day, a day to honor women of all sizes, and confirm that beauty, talent, and love cannot be weighed. Today is Get to Know Your Customer Day. Today is Whisper I Love You Day.

Calendar notes: On this date in 1953, sixty-eight percent of all TV sets in the US were tuned to CBS-TV, as Lucy Ricardo, of I Love Lucy, gave birth to a baby boy. In 1955, a presidential news conference was filmed for television for the first time, with the permission of President Eisenhower. In 1978, the last US-made Volkswagen Beetle rolled off the assembly line. Twenty years later, the Beetle was back. In 1988, a statue of singer Janis Joplin was unveiled in her hometown, Port Arthur, Texas, on what would have been her 45th birthday. In 1989, on his last day in office, Ronald Reagan pardoned New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, who had been convicted of contributing illegally in 1972 to Richard Nixon's reelection campaign. In 1993, IBM announced a loss of $4.97 billion for 1992. It was the largest single-year loss in US corporate history. In 1993, Fleetwood Mac reunited for the Inaugural Ball of President-elect Bill Clinton. In 2013, in Scottsdale, Arizona, the original Batmobile for the TV series Batman sold at auction for $4.6 million. It was the first of six Batmobiles produced for the show.

Oscar-nominated war film American Sniper led US and Canadian box office charts over the weekend with a record-smashing $90.2 million in ticket sales. The film, which broke the record for a January weekend as well as for any drama opening ever, was directed by Clint Eastwood and stars Bradley Cooper. American Sniper virtually doubled industry expectations after widely expanding to some 3,500 screens from just a handful of theaters the day after scoring six Oscar nominations, including best picture and best actor for Cooper, who plays a Navy Seal sharpshooter. R-rated comedy The Wedding Ringer finished second with $21 million. Another new release, family film Paddington based on the series of classic children's books about a loveable bear, was third. Rounding out the top five, Liam Neeson thriller Taken 3 was 4th while civil rights drama and Oscar nominee Selma came in at number five.

On TV tonight, Joan Rivers on The Celebrity Apprentice. In one of her final TV appearances, the late Joan Rivers serves as a boardroom adviser in this new episode. The episode was filmed last summer, a few months before Joan’s death. See it tonight on NBC.

Trivia Answer: Frank Caliendo who turns 41 today. Last year, he put together a mockumentary about Richard Sherman which includes a killer impression of Jim Harbaugh.

Friday 1.16.15
Morning Trivia: This actor, singer, producer, and director has won two Academy Awards, three Golden Globe Awards, and one Emmy Award. He's been nominated for three BAFTA -- British Academy of Film and Television Arts -- Awards. His films include The Untouchables, Bull Durham, Field of Dreams, Dances with Wolves, JFK, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, The Bodyguard, Man of Steel, Waterworld, and The Postman. Who is he?

Are you ready for some football? Some things to know about the Green Bay Packers - Seattle Seahawks matchup Sunday. First, there's the Sherman factor: In the Packers' 36-16 loss at Seattle in the season opener, Aaron Rodgers never once threw at Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman. Despite the fact that coach Mike McCarthy said the Packers didn't intentionally avoid challenging one of the NFL's best cornerbacks, it sure looked that way. Rodgers said it came down to matchups. He finished that game with his second-lowest passer rating (81.5) of the season. The Packers gave up 123 yards rushing to DeMarco Murray in their 26-21 win over the Dallas Cowboys and looked more like the run defense that was ranked 32nd in the league halfway through the regular season than the group that was a top-10 unit over the last eight games. They might have to do better against Marshawn Lynch to have any chance in Seattle. In the season-opener, Lynch rushed for 110 yards on 20 carries and scored two touchdowns. In three career games against the Packers, Lynch has averaged just over 90 rushing yards per game. And interesting to note that if the Packers played in the NFC West, they might not even be in this position. They haven't been able to beat the Seahawks or San Francisco 49ers of late. When the Packers lost at Seattle in the NFL opener back on September 4th, it was their sixth straight loss to those two teams combined. The 49ers have ousted the Packers from the playoffs each of the past two seasons. So there you have it. Sunday at CenturyLink at noon on Fox. The AFC contest follows with the Indianapolis Colts and New England Patriots meeting up in Foxboro Sunday afternoon at 3:40 on CBS.

Birthdays: Country music's first blind superstar, singer Ronnie Milsap is 72; singer-songwriter Jim Stafford is 71; director John Carpenter -- he did Halloween -- is 67; actress, dancer, choreographer Debbie Allen -- probably best known for her work on the series Fame -- is 65; singer Sade is 56; and supermodel Kate Moss is 41.

After a long battle with bladder cancer, legendary record producer Kim Fowley has died, Throughout his career, Fowley stepped in and out of popular music's limelight. He made a name for himself in the early 1960s as a co-producer/co-publisher on a string of successful records, such as the top-charting novelty song "Alley Oop" and Paul Revere and the Raiders' instrumental "Like, Long Hair." He went on to work with acts including The Murmaids, Gene Vincent, KISS, Alice Cooper, Leon Russell and Kris Kristofferson. In 1975, Fowley helped form The Runaways -- the band that introduced Joan Jett to the rock world. Kim Fowley was 75.

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 1961, Mickey Mantle signed a contract that made him the highest paid baseball player in the American League at $75,000 for the 1961 season. 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 1976, the TV show Donny & Marie premiered on ABC-TV. 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.

Director James Cameron says that writing three Avatar sequels is such a complex job he's delaying the first new film a year and it now being released in late 2017. Cameron plans to film the highly-anticipated sequels at one time and then release the three films over consecutive years. The first had been due in late 2016, but he said the writing process had proved to be "very involved" and that the initial target date was probably too ambitious.

SyFy has announced that Ian Ziering and Tara Reid are returning for Sharknado 3. It is also confirmed the movie is being set in Washington DC.

Speaking of movies, the weekend has arrived. New in theaters: the R-rated Blackhat, the PG-rated Paddington, the R-rated The Wedding Ringer, and the much-anticipated and R-rated American Sniper.

Interesting to note: Russell Wilson against Super Bowl winning quarterbacks is undefeated -- he's 9-and-0. He's 2-and-0 versus Aaron Rodgers, 2-and-0 versus Drew Brees, 2-and-0 versus Eli Manning, 2-and-0 versus Payton Manning, and 1-and-o versus Tom Brady.

Bonnaroo announced its lineup this week, including Billy Joel, and Mumford & Sons. Set in Manchester, Tennessee, Bonnaroo runs from June 11th to the 14th, and features more than 125 bands. Tickets go on sale tomorrow.

I'm still trying to figure out if we put the cart in front of the horse here but a new study out says a simple way to have a happier marriage: touch while sleeping. In a study from the University of Herfordshire, 94% of couples who touched while sleeping said they were happier. For couples who are hands-off (and arms and legs and toes), only 68% are happy.

Trivia Answer: Kevin Michael Costner who turns 60 on Sunday. He was Eliot Ness in The Untouchables, Crash Davis in Bull Durham, Ray Kinsella in Field of Dreams, Lt. John J. Dunbar in Dances with Wolves, Jim Garrison in JFK, Robin Hood in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, Frank Farmer in The Bodyguard and Jonathan Kent in Man of Steel. Less well-liked were the science fiction-post-apocalyptic epics Waterworld in 1995 and The Postman in 97 which starred and was directed and produced by Costner.

Thursday 1.15.15

Morning Trivia: He was the lead vocalist, primary lyricist, and a founding member of a Southern rock band. He was the older brother of .38 Special's founder. He was born and raised in Jacksonville, Florida, and aspired to be many things before finding his love for music. Notably, he was interested in becoming a boxer and in playing professional baseball. He also tossed around the idea of becoming a stock-car racer. He formed the band that would make him famous in late summer 1964. The group's name was inspired by a gym teacher the boys had in high school, a gentleman who disapproved of students with long hair. Who is the guy and what is the band name?

Of the four quarterbacks still playing on championship weekend, Seattle's Russell Wilson is the outlier in terms of style. Tom Brady, Andrew Luck, and Aaron Rodgers all have their quarterbacking foundations built around being pocket passers first. Luck and Rodgers -- when healthy -- both bring an element of mobility, but it's not their forte. Wilson? Well, good luck defining the way he operates. Headed into Sunday's NFC championship game against Green Bay, Wilson's postseason achievements can't be disputed even if he doesn't fit any preconceived notions. After six playoff games -- five of them victories -- Wilson has the highest passer rating in NFL history with a minimum of 150 attempts. Wilson's mark of 109.6 is at the top. He's one of five players in league history with a playoff passer rating of 100 or above. The others are: Rodgers, Bart Starr, Kurt Warner, and Drew Brees. Last week saw Wilson at his finest. He needed just 22 pass attempts to throw for 268 yards and three touchdowns. He averaged more than 12 yards per pass attempt and threw two of the finest touch passes of his career. He dropped a 16-yard TD into the arms of Baldwin, letting go of the pass before Baldwin even made his break. Then in the second quarter, Wilson stayed in the pocket and tossed a deep ball to Jermaine Kearse for a 63-yard touchdown that gave the Seahawks a 14-7 lead. Wilson's performance against Carolina also countered a season where his best games were not at home. In the regular season, Wilson threw six touchdowns and six interceptions at home versus 14 TDs and one interception on the road. The three touchdown passes were a new playoff best and the 268 yards passing his second-best. Wilson's timing was crisp and his throws came in rhythm. There's also the matter of how Wilson plays when it matters most. He already owns 14 career comebacks in 54 regular-season and playoff games combined. Warren Moon says, "Whenever I talk to him, that's all he talks about, is living for those situations. I don't know if it all started back in high school or whatever but he just loves the big time of a game. He wants the ball in his hands. I think he would rather be behind sometimes and have the ball in his hands and be able to go down the field and win the football game. With this team it's not always like that, but he's had as many comebacks as anyone in the game the short time he's been in the game. He loves that. He loves those moments. Has he been successful on every one of them? No. Did Michael Jordan hit every game-winning shot? No. But he wins more of them than he loses and that's because he likes it and he lives for it." Sunday at noon, Hawks-Packers at the CLink.

Heisman trophy winner Marcus Mariota is giving up his final year of college eligibility and entering the 2015 NFL draft. The 6-4 junior from Hawaii made the announcement yesterday. Mariota led the Oregon Ducks to the national title game, where they were upset by underdogs Ohio State, 42-20. Mariota threw for a touchdown in every one of the 41 games he started at Oregon. Mariota thanked the school for "molding me as a person, player, and student-athlete," and his coach, Mark Helfrich, said Mariota would "be the standard by which others are judged."

Birthdays: Martin Luther King, Jr. would have been 86 today. MLK Day is Monday but today is his real birthday. Singer and dancer Charo is 64; actor and director Mario Van Peebles is 58; singer Lisa Lisa is 49; actor Chad Lowe is 47; New Orleans Saint quarterback Drew Brees 36;Pitbull is 34; and Seattle Seahawk Luke Willson is 25.

Today is Hat 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 Pentagon was dedicated as the world's largest office building just outside Washington, DC, in Arlington, VA. The structure covers 34 acres of land and has 17 miles of corridors. In 1967, the first Super Bowl was played in Los Angeles. The Green Bay Packers beat the Kansas City Chiefs 35-10. In 1974, Happy Days premiered on ABC-TV. In 1987, Paramount Home Video reported that it would place a commercial at the front of one of its video releases for the first time. It was a 30-second Diet Pepsi ad at the beginning of Top Gun. In 2001, Wikipedia, the 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.

The nominations for the 87th Academy Awards were announced this morning. The nominees for best picture are American Sniper, Boyhood, Birdman, The Imitation Game, The Theory of Everything, Selma, The Grand Budapest Hotel, and Whiplash. The Oscars ceremony takes place Sunday, February 22nd, at Hollywood's Dolby Theatre. Neil Patrick Harris is hosting.

Meanwhiie, the Razzies honor the worst in film. Their Worst Picture nominees? Kirk Cameron’s Saving Christmas; Left Behind; The Legend of Hercules; Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles; Transformers: Age of Extinction. The winners are being announced a day before the Oscars, on February 21st.

Only in America Jailed Virginia lawmaker Joseph D. Morrissey left his cell yesterday to take the oath of office a day after winning re-election, defeating two challengers. The Democrat-turned-independent is serving a six-month sentence related to his relationship with a 17-year-old former receptionist at his law firm. Morrissey will be spending the night in jail and, wearing an ankle bracelet, reporting to the state capitol by day on work release to serve in the House of Delegates -- a first.

Trivia Answer: Ronald Wayne Van Zant -- Ronnie Van Zant -- who was born on this date in 1948. The band? Lynyrd Skynyrd. Donnie Van Zant founded .38 Special. Johnnie Van Zant is the current lead vocalist for Lynyrd Skynyrd. Leonard Skinner, by the way, was the gym teacher. Lynyrd Skynyrd's biggest hit single was Sweet Home Alabama which came off the album Second Helping. Sweet Home Alabama was an answer song to Neil Young's Alabama and Southern Man. The common belief that Van Zant and Young were rivals is incorrect; they were actually fans of each other and considered collaborating on several occasions. On October 20th of 1977, a Convair 240 carrying the band between shows from Greenville, South Carolina to Baton Rouge, Louisiana crashed outside of Gillsburg, Mississippi. The passengers had been informed about problems and told to brace for impact. Ronnie and bandmates Steve Gaines, Cassie Gaines, assistant road manager Dean Kilpatrick, pilot Walter McCreary and co-pilot William Gray were all killed. Remaining band members survived, although all were seriously injured. Van Zant's younger brother, Johnny, took over as the new lead singer when the band reunited in 1987.

Wednesday 1.14.15
Morning Trivia: He and his long-time partner Bill Todman produced some of the longest-running game shows in US television history. The long list of productions includes Beat the Clock, Family Feud, Match Game, Password, Concentration, Tattletales, The Price Is Right, To Tell the Truth, I've Got a Secret, What's My Line?, and Card Sharks. Who is he?

Richard Sherman may have more to do this time against the Green Bay Packers. The Packers didn't throw in his direction when the teams met in the season opener in September, a 36-16 win for the Seahawks. The game plan for the rematch on Sunday in the NFC title game is still in flux. Still, the Green Bay offense seems better equipped this time around to face Sherman and Seattle's swarming defense. Green Bay tight end Andrew Quarless said this week. "I don't think anybody's intimidated. I mean he's a great player. Their secondary is definitely a great secondary. You've got to give them their respect. But you know the whole 'Legion of Boom' -- we'll see." More than four months have passed since that last meeting. Seattle has only improved defensively since September. But the Packers have had plenty of time, too, to get their act together. Running back Eddie Lacy's production has increased dramatically. Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb are one of the top receiving tandems in the league. The offensive line is providing solid blocking. And Aaron Rodgers has proven that he's better than most healthy quarterbacks in the league, even when slowed by a left calf injury. The 13-and-4 Green Bay Packers are at CenturyLink to face the 13-and-4 Seattle Seahawks Sunday at noon on Fox.

Former Seattle Mariners pitcher Jamie Moyer is set to become the latest inductee into the club's Hall of Fame. The Mariners announced yesterday that Moyer is being inducted on August 8th before Seattle plays the Texas Rangers. He'll become the second pitcher honored by the club, joining recent Baseball Hall of Fame inductee Randy Johnson. Moyer spent 11 seasons with Seattle and is the all-time leader in victories with 145. He also has the most innings pitched, starts, and quality starts in franchise history. Moyer was an All-Star in 2003 at the age of 40 and twice won at least 20 games for Seattle. Moyer was originally acquired by Seattle in July 1996 in a trade with Boston. Moyer concluded his career in 2012 at the age of 49 after making 10 starts for Colorado.

A municipal court judge yesterday dismissed all domestic violence charges against soccer star Hope Solo stemming from a June altercation at a family gathering in Kirkland. Solo had earlier filed a motion asking for the charges to be dismissed after witnesses for the prosecution refused multiple times to be interviewed or deposed by the defense despite numerous attempts and a court order, according to her attorney. The court filing also maintains that Solo was lawfully defending herself during the altercation when she was attacked by her much-larger 17-year-old nephew, who stands 6-feet-9-inches tall and weighs 280 pounds.

Birthdays: Singer Jack Jones -- he sang The Love Boat Theme -- is 77; actress Faye Dunaway is 74; singer and producer T-Bone Burnett is 67; actor Carl Weathers is 67; Queensryche frontman Geoff Tate is 56; Dennis Blunden on Head of the Class, actor Dan Schneider is 49; actress Emily Watson is 48; rapper and actor, LL Cool J is 47; actor Jason Bateman is 46; from Nirvana and Foo Fighters, Dave Grohl is 46; and from Kings of Leon, frontman Caleb Followill is 33.

Today is National Dress Up Your Pet Day, It’s also the C-Section’s birthday marking the first successful operation in 1794.

Calendar notes: On this day in 1943, Franklin D. Roosevelt becomes the first President of the United States to travel via airplane while in office when he travels from Miami, Florida to Morocco to meet with Winston Churchill. In1952 – NBC's morning news program Today debuts, with host Dave Garroway. In 1954, Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio were married. The marriage only lasted nine months. In 1957, the Wham-O Company developed the first frisbee. In 1966, David Jones changed his name to David Bowie to avoid confusion with Davy Jones from The Monkees. In 1973, the Miami Dolphins defeated the Washington Redskins in Super Bowl VII and became the first NFL team to go undefeated in a season. In 1973, Elvis Presley's concert Aloha from Hawaii is broadcast live via satellite, and sets a record as the most watched broadcast by an individual entertainer in television history. In 1978, the English punk 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. In 1993, David Letterman announced he was moving from NBC to CBS.

Katy Perry and John Mayer have reportedly rekindled their on/off relationship after nearly a year apart. The former couple split last February but were spotted together again at a restaurant in the Sunset Tower Hotel in California last Thursday, sparking rumors of a romantic reunion. A source tells the New York Post, "Katy Perry and John Mayer walked in together, arm in arm, and the whole room literally fell silent. The meal in public reportedly took place days after they attended a friend’s dinner in Los Angeles last weekend. Perry and Mayer initially began dating in 2012, following her divorce from Russell Brand. They split briefly in 2013, but revived their romance before calling off the relationship again last year.

Transformers: Age of Extinction is rolling out with the most nominations at this year's Golden Raspberry Awards. The action sequel starring Mark Wahlberg alongside morphing robots led all films yesterday with seven nominations, including worst picture, worst sequel, worst screenplay and worst screen combo. Transformers is also up for worst director for Michael Bay, worst supporting actress for Nicola Peltz, and worst supporting actor for Kelsey Grammer, who was also recognized for his supporting parts in The Expendables 3, 'Legends of Oz, and Think Like a Man Too. This year's other worst picture nominees are Kirk Cameron's Saving Christmas, Left Behind, The Legend of Hercules, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The Razzies announcement came ahead of tomorrow's Oscar nominations.

It seems everybody watched the College Football Championship. A ridiculously huge number of people watched Ohio State defeat Oregon in the college football national championship on Monday night. More than 33 million viewers tuned in during the game, making it the most-watched cablecast ever.

Trivia Answer: Mark Goodson who was born on this date in 1915. This has been a Mark Goodson-Bill Todman production. How many times have you heard that phrase? The company proved itself to be masterful at games, but not as successful when they tried other fields of television programs, including the anthology dramas The Web and The Richard Boone Show, a talk-variety show for famed insult comic Don Rickles -- and what was possibly the company's biggest failure, a sitcom entitled One Happy Family. In 1990, Goodson received the Emmy Award Lifetime Achievement Award for Daytime Television, which was presented to him by Betty White. Two years later, in 1992, Goodson earned induction into the Television Hall of Fame. Of the numerous shows Goodson produced in his lifetime, two are still on the air. The Price Is Right, which has run continuously, and Family Feud, which was canceled in 1995 but revived in its current form in 1999. Goodson died of pancreatic cancer in December of 1992.

Tuesday 1.13.15
Morning Trivia: He is a singer -- and the term is used loosely -- who gained fame in early 2004 as a result of his off-key audition performance of Ricky Martin's hit song She Bangs on the third season of American Idol. Who is he?

In the buildup to their playoff opener, the Seattle Seahawks never acknowledged the history of flameouts that followed Super Bowl champions that made the playoffs the following season. Then again, the entire second half of this season has been about the Seahawks putting history in the past and focusing on the present. Richard Sherman says, "Guys are playing selfless. There aren't any egos, there aren't any agendas, and guys just want to do whatever it takes to win, If that means making a tackle, then make the tackle; if that means catching the football, we're going to catch the football. Guys are playing for one another, they don't care about stats, nor do they care about anything else." Seattle used a bevy of big plays in its 31-17 win over Carolina on Saturday night in an NFC divisional playoff game, becoming the first defending Super Bowl champion to win a playoff game since New England in January 2006. The Seahawks used two of the longest scoring plays in franchise postseason history and a virtuoso passing performance from Russell Wilson to overwhelm the Panthers and advance to the NFC championship game for the second straight season. Seattle hosts Green Bay in the conference title game Sunday. Russell Wilson says, "It's going to be one of those for the ages. You look forward to that, and I definitely look forward to playing at home."

Enough said

The Packers, meanwhile, are getting a head start out here in the West to prepare for the NFC title game against the Hawks. Green Bay plans to leave for Seattle on Friday, one day ahead of when the team would usually fly out for Sunday road games. But then, this is no ordinary road game. The winner goes to the Super Bowl. Coach Mike McCarthy is hoping this trip to CenturyLink Field has a different outcome than the previous one in September — that 36-16 loss in the league opener to the Seahawks.

Ezekiel Elliott ran for four touchdowns, Cardale Jones accounted for two scores and Ohio State blew by Oregon 42-20 in the national championship game last night. By the way, the new college football playoff championship has now proven itself as cable's Super Bowl. College football's inaugural playoff championship game last night is now in the books as the highest-ratest cable television program of all time, drawing a staggering 18.5 overnight rating, according to Nielsen.

Birthdays: Comedian Rip Taylor is 81; Bull on Night Court, actor Richard Moll is 72; Yes guitarist Trevor Rabin is 61; Elaine from Seinfeld, actress Julia Louis-Dreyfuss is 54; from Gray’s Anatomy, actor Patrick Dempsey is 49; and actor Orlando Bloom is 38.

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 day in 1966, Elizabeth Montgomery’s character, Samantha, on Bewitched, had a baby. The baby's name was Tabitha. In 1978, The Police began recording their debut album. In 1979, the YMCA filed a lawsuit against the Village People over their song, YMCA. The suit was later dropped. 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 1998, NBC agreed to pay almost $13 million for each episode of the TV show E.R. It was the highest amount ever paid for a TV show. In 1998, ABC and ESPN negotiated to keep Monday Night Football for $1.15 billion a season. 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.

Coach John Fox and the Denver Broncos are parting ways following the team's latest playoff meltdown. Fox won the AFC West all four of his years in Denver, but each of those seasons ended in ugly fashion in the playoffs, culminating with Sunday's 24-13 loss to Indianapolis. Asked after the game about a pregame report that he could be available if the Broncos suffered a loss to the Colts, Fox didn't shoot it down, saying, "I don't make those decisions. I don't control that. My intentions are to be a Denver Bronco and have been since I got here." Neither Fox nor John Elway would say what was discussed yesterday when they met other than it was time to split up. Elway said in a statement, "It became clear that it was best for both the Denver Broncos and Coach Fox to move on and make this change." So, Fox is out after going 49-22 in Denver, including the playoffs, following a 73-71 record in nine years with the Carolina Panthers. Fox characterized his meeting with Elway as productive and honest and the two "mutually agreed that the timing was right for this decision." Word out this morning that Fox is interviewing for the coach's job in Chicago.

When Twin Peaks returns to TV, FBI agent Dale Cooper will be along for the ride.Kyle MacLachlan is reprising the role in Showtime's sequel to the 1990-91 ABC drama, according to the cable channel. Showtime President David Nevins employed a cameo appearance by MacLachlan to make the announcement to a Television Critics Association meeting. As Nevins spoke to reporters in a hotel ballroom, the actor walked up to him with a cup in hand. A smiling MacLachlan said, reviving a catchphrase of his character, said "I think you need a damn good cup of coffee," Twin Peaks, which eerily posed the question, "Who killed Laura Palmer?" was set in an offbeat Northwestern town. It had a small but devoted following, and some critics have called it ahead of its time and the subsequent era of daring shows. MacLachlan said, "I'm very excited to return to the strange and wonderful world of 'Twin Peaks." Adding, "May the forest be with you." Showtime has said the limited-run series, set in the present day, is going into production this year and airing in 2016. Original series creators and executive producers David Lynch and Mark Frost had been toying with revisiting Twin Peaks 25 years later, Nevins said. Nevins said he was "kinda begging them and hoping to pass muster" with Lynch, whose agreement to direct every episode of the limited-run series was seen as crucial by Showtime. Additional casting has yet to be announced.

Trivia Answer: We know him as William Hung. He turns 32 today. Originally from Sha Tin, Hong Kong, Hung moved to Camden, New Jersey in 1993 and ended up graduating from high school in Los Angeles. He was a student at University of California, Berkeley, and later dropped out to pursue his music career. He brought his own career as a musician to an end when in 2011 he accepted a job opportunity as a technical crime analyst, and decided to pursue law enforcement instead of music.

Monday 1.12.15
Morning Trivia: He was a professional boxer, Olympic gold medallist, and Undisputed World Heavyweight Champion, whose professional career lasted from 1965 to 1976, with a one-fight comeback in 1981. Who was he?

The NFL's Conference Championship weekend is now set. The Seattle Seahawks host the Green Bay Packers in the NFC championship showdown -- a rematch of this season's NFL opener. Aaron Rodgers threw for 316 yards and three touchdowns and the Packers rallied from an 8-point deficit to beat the Dallas Cowboys 26-21 yesterday and advance to the conference title game for the first time in four years. The Packers travel to Seattle Sunday to face the defending Super Bowl champions, who dominated Green Bay in a 36-16 win September 4th. Seattle advanced to the Conference Championship game by dispatching the Carolina Panthers on Saturday 31-17. The Seahawks, by the way, opened as seven-point favorites over the Pack in Las Vegas. On the AFC side of things Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts assured that there won't be a Seattle-Denver rematch in the Super Bowl. The Colts beat the Broncos yesterday 24-13. On Saturday, the New England Patriots edged the Baltimore Ravens 35-31.

A down note from the Hawks. They will be without their top pick from the 2014 draft after reports surfaced that wide receiver Paul Richardson suffered a season-ending knee injury in Saturday’s win over the Carolina Panthers. Word is that that Richardson tore his ACL against the Panthers.

So this coming Sunday, the Seahawks host the Green Bay Packers at noon on Fox in the NFC. For the AFC, the New England Patriots host the Indianapolis Colts at 3:40. The winners meet up in Super Bowl 49 on Sunday, February 1st in Glendale, Arizona on NBC.

NFC Championship tickets on sale tomorrow morning at 10.

A couple more NFL notes: A person familiar with the talks says Rex Ryan has agreed to coach the Buffalo Bills. Late this morning came word that the Broncos and head coach John Fox have parted ways following Denver's playoff loss.

It's the Bucks and the Ducks. Tonight, Ohio State and Oregon meet in a game that has never been played for a trophy that has never been raised. The winner tonight in North Texas can be called the truest champion in the history of major college football. The first College Football Playoff national championship game matches the second-seeded Oregon Ducks and fourth-seeded Ohio State Buckeyes at AT&T Stadium in Arlington. This is the ninth meeting between Oregon and Ohio State. The Buckeyes have won the previous eight. It's tonight at 5:30 on ESPN.

Today is National Pharmacist Day. Today is Batman Day, marking Batman’s TV debut on this date in 1966. The campy series starred Adam West as Bruce Wayne and Batman and Burt Ward is Dick Grayson and Robin. Some 120 episodes are still in syndication. Today is HAL's Birthday. According to Arthur C. Clarke's book and movie, 2001: A Space Odyssey, the HAL 9000 computer was brought to consciousness on January 12th of 1997 in Urbana, Illinois. HAL stands for a heuristically-programmed algorithmic computer. Today is Little League Girls Baseball Day. Girls were first allowed to play Little League baseball on this date in 1974. Ironically, today is Rejection Day, marking this date in 1915 when the US House rejected a proposal to grant women the right to vote. Today is Eat Crackers and Try To Whistle Day, just to see if it’s still as much fun as it was when you were a kid.

Calendar notes: On this date in 1943, the Office of Price Administration announced that standard frankfurters/hot dogs/wieners would be replaced by Victory Sausages. Can you say Freedom Fries? In 1959, Berry Gordy borrowed $800 to found the Motown record empire. In 1969, Led Zeppelin's debut album was released in the United States. In 1970, the Boeing 747 jetliner made its maiden voyage. In 1971, the first episode of All In The Family aired on CBS-TV, featuring the first toilet flush on network television. In 1985, after a record 24 weeks as the #1 album in the nation, Prince's Purple Rain was knocked off by Bruce Springsteen's Born In the USA. In 1991, Congress passed a resolution authorizing President Bush to use military power to force Iraq out of Kuwait. In 2006, the US Mint began shipping new 5-cent coins to the 12 regional Federal Reserve Banks. The coin has an image of Thomas Jefferson taken from a 1800 Rembrandt Peale portrait in which the president is looking forward. Since 1909, when presidents were first depicted on circulating coins, all presidents had been shown in profile.

Birthdays: From Sly and The Family Stone, trumpeter Cynthia Robinson is 69; actress Kirstie Alley is 64; political commentator Rush Limbaugh is 64; CNN correspondent Christiane Amanpour is 57; Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is 51; singer Rob Zombie is 50; model, activist and Paul McCartney’s ex, Heather Mills is 47; and Melanie Chisholm -- Sporty Spice -- is 41.

Filmgoers turned out for a third time to see Liam Neeson in his action movie franchise Taken, which led box office charts over the weekend with $40.4 million in ticket sales. Civil rights film Selma finished in second place with $11.2 million from Friday through Sunday as the awards contender expanded to more theaters. Disney's film version of the dark Broadway musical Into The Woods came in third with $9.8 million. In fourth place was The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies. And rounding out the Top Five was Unbroken, the story of Olympic runner and POW survivor Louis Zamperini.

The 105-day legislative session begins today here in Olympia.

The 17th Annual Seattle Mariners FanFest is coming up Saturday & Sunday January 24 & 25, from 11 to 4 each day. Admission is $10. Those 14-and-under get in free. Nelson Cruz, Charlie Furbush, Austin Jackson, James Paxton, Taijuan Walker, Tom Wilhelmsen, and Mike Zunino are all scheduled to be there.

Katy Perry is teaming with Lenny Kravitz for the Super Bowl Halftime. We knew Katy would be there but she said Saturday on NBC's Baltimore-New England telecast that Kravitz is joining her for the halftime show at the Sunday, February 1st game in Glendale, Arizona. Perry has dominated the Billboard charts since releasing her debut in 2008, including 10 No. 1 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. She's currently on her Prismatic World Tour. Kravitz has sold more than 38 million albums worldwide and has several Grammys to his credit.

Director Richard Linklater won best director and best dramatic film Golden Globe awards on Sunday for Boyhood, capping a big night for unconventional winners. Boyhood was produced by the low-profile IFC films. Amazon and Netflix, relative newcomers as content producers, also did well, with Amazon’s in-house studio snagging its first statuettes for Transparent, which won for best TV comedy series, while star Jeffrey Tambor won for best performance in a TV comedy. Kevin Spacey won best performance in a TV drama for his role as scheming politician Francis Underwood in House of Cards. Indie hero Wes Anderson's Grand Budapest Hotel won best comedy film.

Twenty years ago, Brittney Husbyn and Briggs Fussy walked down the aisle as flower girl and ring bearer at a Minnesota wedding. Then, in a college class, Brittney was sitting in front of Briggs when she looked back at him and said, "I think I was in a wedding with you like fifteen years ago or something." After five years of dating they are now married.

Trivia Answer: Joseph William Frazier -- Joe Frazier -- who was born on this date in 1944. He became the Undisputed Heavyweight Champion in 1970, and followed up by defeating Muhammad Ali by a unanimous decision in the highly anticipated Fight of the Century in 1971. Two years later Frazier lost his title when he was knocked out by George Foreman. Frazier's last world title challenge came in 1975, but he was beaten by Ali in their brutal rubber match. He retired in 1976 following a second loss to Foreman. He made a comeback in 1981, fighting just once, before retiring. The International Boxing Research Organization (IBRO) rates Frazier among the ten greatest heavyweights of all time. In 1999, The Ring ranked him the 8th greatest heavyweight. He is an inductee of both the International Boxing Hall of Fame and the World Boxing Hall of Fame. Some of the most memorable moments in the 1976 boxing-themed feature film, Rocky -- such as Rocky's carcass-punching scenes and Rocky running up the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, as part of his training regimen -- are taken from Frazier's real-life exploits, though he received no credit. Ironically, he does make a cameo appearance, promoting the fight between Rocky and Apollo. Frazier was diagnosed with liver cancer in late September 2011 and admitted to hospice care. He died in November of 2011.

Friday 1.9.15
Morning Trivia: He was the 37th President of the United States. He had previously served as a US representative and senator from California and as the 36th Vice President of the United States. He was the only president to resign from the office. Who was he?

An NFL source confirmed to ESPN yesterday that Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch has lost his appeal of a $100,000 fine for not talking to media. The league docked Lynch November 19th following several warnings, and fined him an additional $11,050 on Christmas Day for making for grabbing his crotch in the aftermath of a 79-yard touchdown run at Arizona. The NFL fined Lynch $50,000 for evading reporters this season and added a $50,000 fine from 2013 that was imposed -- but delayed -- on the condition that he speak to the media. Lynch has reluctantly cooperated with the media since the $100,000 fine was announced, but has given a series of one-word answers to every question, including "yeah," "thank you" and "maybe." After the regular-season finale against the St. Louis Rams, Lynch answered every question by responding "Why do y’all keeping doing this?" Lynch and the Seahawks are favored by 11 points over the Carolina Panthers in their NFC divisional playoff game tomorrow afternoon 5:15 at CenturyLink.

The rest of the weekend schedule: First up tomorrow afternoon at 1:35, the Baltimore Ravens and New England Patriots clash. Then Sunday starts with the Dallas Cowboys in Wisconsin to face the Green Bay Packers at 10:05, and the final game of the weekend has the Indianapolis Colts in the mile-high city taking on the Denver Broncos at 1:40.

Baseball is just around the corner. The Seattle Mariners announced yesterday that they're beginning spring training on February 21st. Pitchers and catchers report to the Peoria Sports Complex in Arizona that day. The rest of the club joins them four days later, on February 25th. 2015 is the most anticipated Mariners season in … well, in a long time. After falling one game short of the postseason in 2014, this offseason the M's signed last year’s home-run leader, Nelson Cruz, to bolster Seattle’s perennially toothless offense. He joins a Mariners roster now full of All-Stars including Felix Hernandez, Robinson Cano, Kyle Seager and Fernando Rodney. Spring training runs until just before the Mariners’ season opener April 6th against the Los Angeles Angels in Seattle. The M’s haven’t opened a season at Safeco Field since 2008.

As potential suitors -- reportedly including Seattle arena investor Chris Hansen -- prepare bids to buy the Atlanta Hawks, an NBA spokesman has reiterated that the team will not relocate. It can’t get much clearer. NBA spokesman Mike Bass told The Atlanta Journal Constitution: "The Atlanta Hawks are not moving to another market." That's bad news for Northwest basketball fans who hoped the Hawks could move to the Emerald City, where Hansen has plans to build a new arena if he can secure a new NBA franchise for the city. ESPN’s Bill Simmons reported Tuesday that Hansen and film producer Thomas Tull were planning separate offers for the Hawks, which were put up for sale this week, each with hopes to relocate the team to Seattle. But the NBA’s comment this week only strengthened the overwhelming expectation that the Hawks will not relocate.

Today is National Static Cling Day. It's Put The Toilet Seat Down Day. On this day 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.

Calendar notes: On this date in 1902, New York State introduced a bill to outlaw flirting in public. In 1935, actor 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 2007, Apple CEO Steve Jobs unveiled the first iPhone

Birthddays: Romance novelist Judith Krantz is 87; NFL great Bart Starr is 81; sports announcer Dick Enberg is 80; novelist Stuart Woods is 77; singer and songwriter Joan Baez is 74; guitarist Jimmy Page is 71; David Johansen who also works under the Buster Poindexter is 65; singer Crystal Gayle is 64; singer Dave Matthews is 48; and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge -- we used to know her as Kate Middleton -- Prince William’s wife is 33.

William E. Boeing Jr., a son of aerospace pioneer William Boeing Sr, the company's founder who championed and remained fascinated by flight throughout his life, has died. He died Wednesday night at his home in Seattle. Boeing Jr. did not work at his father's company; he pursued a career in commercial real estate. But he nevertheless witnessed how the airplane maker helped transform Seattle from a backwater frontier town to an aerospace hub in the early part of the 20th century, and he became a champion of the industry and aerospace education. In 1975, Boeing Jr. paid to move and restore Boeing's first factory -- a building on Seattle's Duwamish River known as the Red Barn, where his father began building floatplanes in 1916 and where he had fond boyhood memories. It was shipped two miles by barge to its current location at King County International Airport, where it became part of the museum. William E. Boeing, Jr. was 92.

Seven-time Grammy winner and gospel music legend Andrae Crouch died yesterday at a Los Angeles-area hospital. Crouch had been hospitalized at Northridge Hospital Medical Center since Saturday. While Crouch was well-known for his gospel work with his choir, the Disciples, he also produced and arranged songs for pop artists like Michael Jackson. No cause of death was given. Andrae Crouch was 72.

President Obama today is proposing offering two free years of community college to hardworking students. The America's College Promise could benefit an estimated nine million students nationwide. Tuition for full-time students at public two-year colleges runs around $3,800 per year, so the program could cost tens of billions of dollars over the next decade. First it has to get through the new Republican-controlled Congress, and House Speaker John Boehner's press secretary said without firm cost details Obama's pitch is "more like a talking point than a plan."

US stocks bounced back strong yesterday, with the Dow Jones Industrial average gaining 323 points. Added to a 213-point gain the day before, the surge erased all of the losses the big-stock index suffered in the first trading sessions of the year. Before the turnaround, the Dow had posted its worst three-day start to any year since 2008. The two-day rally put the Dow up 0.5 percent so far in 2015. Not a particularly good day on Wall Street today, however, as the Dow closed down about 170 points.

Game of Thrones, Veep, and Silicon Valley return to HBO on April 12. All three shows will span 10 episodes.

The weekend has arrived, and if you're not watching football, there are a couple of new movies out. They are the PG-13 rated Taken and the PG-13 rated Selma.

Trivia Answer: Richard Milhous Nixon who was born on this date in 1913. He was president from from 1969 to 1974. One word: Watergate. It was on November 17th of 1973, that during a televised question and answer session with the press, Nixon said, "People have got to know whether or not their President is a crook. Well, I'm not a crook." In light of his loss of political support and the near-certainty of impeachment, Nixon resigned the office of the presidency on August 9th of 1974, after addressing the nation on television the previous evening. The resignation speech was delivered from the Oval Office and was carried live on radio and television. Nixon stated that he was resigning for the good of the country and asked the nation to support the new president, Gerald Ford. Nixon went on to review the accomplishments of his presidency, especially in foreign policy. He defended his record as president. Nixon's resignation had not put an end to the desire among many to see him punished. The Ford White House considered a pardon of Nixon, though it would be unpopular in the country. Nixon, contacted by Ford emissaries, was initially reluctant to accept the pardon, but then agreed to do so. On September 8th of 1974, Ford granted Nixon a "full, free, and absolute pardon", which ended any possibility of an indictment.

Thursday 1.8.15
Morning Trivia: He was an impresario and rock concert promoter from the 1960s until his death in 1991 in a helicopter crash. In the early 1960s, he moved to San Francisco, and, in 1965, began to manage a theater troupe. He organized a benefit concert, then promoted several free concerts. This eventually turned into a profitable full-time career and he assembled a talented staff. He had a profound influence around the world, sponsoring the musical renaissance of the '60s from the epicenter, San Francisco. He made famous the Fillmore and Winterland Arena; these turned out to be a proving grounds for rock bands and acts of the San Francisco Bay area including the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, and Big Brother & the Holding Company with Janis Joplin. Who was he?

There's no place like home. Along with great quarterbacks who all own Super Bowl rings, the four NFL teams hosting playoff games this weekend have an extraordinary home-field edge. Seattle has the racket of CenturyLink, Green Bay the mystique of icy Lambeau. Denver's mile-high altitude and NASCAR offense benefit the Broncos. And the Patriots appreciate the biting winds and bitter cold of foreboding Foxborough, where that hoodie sure comes in handy. The four host teams are a combined 30-and-2 at home this season; each is at least a touchdown favorite in the divisional round.

The weekend schedule: Saturday afternoon at 1:35, the Baltimore Ravens and New England Patriots clash. Then Saturday night at 5:15, it's the Seattle Seahawks hosting the Carolina Panthers. Sunday starts with the Dallas Cowboys in Wisconsin to face the Green Bay Packers at 10:05, and the final game of the weekend has the Indianapolis Colts in the mile-high city taking on the Denver Broncos at 1:40.

NBC says that its in-game advertising for the Super Bowl is 95% sold out, with costs to advertisers of $4.4 million to $.4.5 million per 30-second ad. Fox TV charged $4 million last year.

By the way, Secretary of State Kim Wyman & Governor Jay Inslee are raising the 12th Man flag at the Capitol this afternoon at 3:30 and we are all invited.

Florida State's star quarterback, Heisman Trophy-winner Jameis Winston, has decided to skip his last two years of college eligibility and go pro in the 2015 NFL draft. "I reached this very difficult decision after careful consideration and long thought, realizing how difficult it would be to say goodbye to my family at Florida State," Winston wrote in a statement released by The Legacy Agency on ESPN. Winston, who fought a rape charge while in school, is expected to be among the first players drafted.

Birthdays: From F Troop, Larry Storch is 92; former US senator Slade Gorton is 87; radio and TV journalist Charles Osgood is 82; Elvis Presley would have been 80; game show host Bob Eubanks is 77; famed scientist Stephen Hawking is 73; David Bowie is 67; TV chef Wolfgang Puck is 66; from Loverboy, singer Mike Reno is 60; singer R. Kelly is 48; and former Mariner Mike Cameron is 42.

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 for the only time. In 1889, the tabulating machine was patented by Dr. Herman Hollerith. His firm, Tabulating Machine Company, later became International Business Machines Corporation (IBM). In 1982, the break up of AT&T: AT&T agreed to divest itself of twenty-two subdivisions. In 1987, the Dow Jones industrial average closed over the 2000 mark for the first time at 2,002.25. 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, was christened by her namesake's granddaughter, Queen Elizabeth II. In 2005, the rate for US First Class mail was raised to 39¢.

Robert Downey Jr. won big at the People's Choice Awards last night, taking home the trophies for Favorite Dramatic Movie Actor and Favorite Movie Actor for his work in The Judge and Iron Man. "This is perfect for me because I love people, I'm crazy about movies, and I prefer people who love my movies," Downey said. Other big winners were sitcom The Big Bang Theory, which won multiple honors, and 93-year-old comedy legend Betty White who won for Favorite TV Icon.

Amy Poehler has been named 2015 Woman of the Year by Harvard University's Hasty Pudding Theatricals. The group said yesterday Poehler's comedy "fits so well with the Pudding's own tradition of satire and social commentary." Poehler has a 2014 Golden Globe award and five Emmy nominations for her work on the NBC comedy series Parks and Recreation. She co-hosts the Globes telecast Sunday with Tina Fey on NBC. Hasty Pudding is the nation's oldest undergraduate drama troupe, dating to the late 18th century. Its annual awards go to performers who have made a lasting and impressive contribution. Poehler gets a parade and roast on the 29th. The man of the year is being announced later.

The dollar hit an 11-year high against rival currencies today as investors bet that the US economy would be stronger than rivals around the world in 2015. The rally came after a confident statement from the Federal Reserve raised hopes that the US central bank would raise interest rates for the first time in nearly a decade this summer as the economy improves. The Fed's moves come as the European Central Bank is expected to take bolder stimulus measures following the news that euro zone prices are falling.

Frederick County, Maryland, council member Kirby Delauter apologized yesterday for threatening to sue a local newspaper for using his name in print stories without his permission. The bluster made Delauter the butt of two days of non-stop jokes on blogs and social media. The newspaper he threatened, The Frederick News-Post, responded to the threat with an editorial using Delauter's names dozens of times. "I'm not afraid to admit when I'm wrong," Kirby Delauter said.

The premiere of Whitney was no family affair, but no one expected Whitney Houston's kin to attend. Director Angela Bassett said, "It was the family's choice and decision because of what they want to do and whatever their desires or their plans are, not to be involved in this one." Whitney is a new telefilm about the beloved entertainer's triumphant career, often troubled life, and tragic death. A slew of Huston's colleagues and friends did make the screening. It took place at the Paley Center for Media, just blocks from The Beverly Hilton hotel, where the 48-year-old Houston drowned in her guest room in February 2012. Guests who knew Houston included athlete-entrepreneur Magic Johnson, music producer David Foster and musicians Smokey Robinson and Sheila E. Bassett explained that relatives were invited, but declined, to participate in the Whitney project from the start. The film debuts on the 17th on the Lifetime cable network. Bassett said, "But they didn't have anything negative to say about it. You know, sometimes to be silent is the greatest gift."

Police in Manchester, England, released a photo of some funny money passed at a bar. The £20 note was accepted by a bartender even though it was made of stapled photocopies of the front and back of a real bill.

Trivia Answer: Bill Graham who was born on this date in 1931. The Fillmore trademark and franchise has defined music promotion in the United States for the last 50 years. Graham produced shows attracting elements of America's now legendary 1960s counterculture such as the Jefferson Airplane, Big Brother & the Holding Company, Country Joe and the Fish, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, the improv group the Committee, the Fugs, Allen Ginsberg, and, a particular favorite of Graham's, the Grateful Dead. His staff's amount of resourcefulness, success, popularity, and personal contacts with artists and fans alike was one reason Graham became the top rock concert promoter in the San Francisco Bay Area. Graham had a lifelong dream to be a character actor. He appeared in Apocalypse Now in a small role as a promoter. In 1990, he was cast as Charles "Lucky" Luciano in the film Bugsy. He also appears as a promoter in the 1991 Oliver Stone film, The Doors. He had a small part in Gardens of Stone as Don Brubaker, a hippie anti-war protester. Graham was killed in a helicopter crash west of Vallejo, California on October 25th of 1991, while returning home from a Huey Lewis and the News concert. Flying in severe weather, with rain and gusty winds, the aircraft flew off course and too low to the ground, and flew directly into a 223-foot high-voltage. The helicopter burst into flames on impact.

Wednesday 1.7.15
Morning 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?

One of the biggest keys for the Seahawks in Saturday's divisional round playoff game versus Carolina will be stopping a player who grew up right here in our neck of the woods. Panthers running back and Washington native Jonathan Stewart has become the focal point of the Carolina running game, averaging 104.8 yards per contest in their five-game winning streak that's taken them from 3-8-and-1 to within one win of an NFC championship game appearance. And he has no shortage of fans in the Hawks' organization. Coach Pete Carroll said yesterday, "He's a fantastic football player. I've always loved this kid, the way he runs. He's always been a guy who has a knack to just keep getting through tackles. He looks like he should go down -- lot of guys get tackled -- and he just keeps going." Stewart graduated from Timberline High School in 2005 as Washington's career high school rushing leader and the No. 1-ranked running back recruit in the nation. Despite attempts from Carroll to get him to USC, Stewart committed to Oregon, where he played alongside current Seahawks center Max Unger. After three standout seasons in Eugene, Stewart declared for the 2008 NFL Draft, where the Panthers selected him No. 13 overall. He's never been the true feature back with Carolina, splitting time with 2006 top pick DeAngelo Williams and struggling with injuries that limited him to just 15 games in 2012 and 2013, but his 809 yards this season are Stewart's most since a 1,133-yard season in 2009. And in Carolina's push for a playoff spot, Stewart has been the spark for an offense that broke the 300-yard mark through the air just once in 2014. The Seahawks know they'll have to key on him in Saturday's game. Coach Carroll said, "That's the first guy we talked about in the running game. We're talking about we have to get him on the ground, and it's going to take a really great effort of consistent team tackling to do that."

Raking in a near-record 97.3 percent of the vote, Randy Johnson (1989-09) overwhelmingly won election to the Baseball Hall of Fame Tuesday in his first time on the ballot, topping a 2015 class that also includes Pedro Martinez, John Smoltz and Craig Biggio. Another former Mariner, Edgar Martinez, again came up short, but experienced a slight uptick in support. Edgar, after whom the Designated Hitter Award is named, received 27 percent, a slight uptick over last year's 25.5. While Martinez needs much more support from the 549 voting members of the Baseball Writers Association of America to reach the required 75 percent necessary for induction, he got a boost from Pedro Martinez yesterday who said, "The one guy I hated to face was Edgar Martinez. It used to piss me off that I had to throw 13 pitches just to get the guy out." The 2016 ballot will include, for the first time, Ken Griffey Jr., who is expected to be inducted overwhelmingly.

Here we go again. Despite Atlanta's mayor's assertions that he will do everything to keep the Hawks in Georgia, a report out says that two potential suitors are planning to submit separate bids to buy the NBA franchise and move it to Seattle. ESPN's Bill Simmons reported yesterday that Sodo arena investor Chris Hansen and film producer Thomas Tull are planning separate offers for the Hawks, which were put up for sale this week. Each hopes to relocate the team to Seattle.

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, New York to London, United Kingdom. Thirty-one calls were made on the first day. In 1968, the cost of a US first class stamp was raised to 6 cents. 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: Writer and filmmaker -- most famous for The Exorcist -- William Peter Blatty is 87; publisher Jann Wenner -- he co-founded Rolling Stone magazine -- is 69; singer Kenny Loggins -- he was born in Everett -- he's 66; actor David Caruso is 59; journalist Katie Couric is 58; Go-Go's bassist Kathy Valentine is 56; actor Nicolas Cage is 51; John Ondrasik, known by his stage name Five for Fighting, is 50; and the original Blue Ranger on Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, actor David Yost is 46;

Cameron Diaz and Benji Madden from Good Charlotte and The Madden Brothers wed at their Los Angeles home Monday evening. Diaz enlisted her Charlie's Angels co-star Drew Barrymore as a bridesmaid, and her new sister-in-law Nicole Richie, who is married to Madden's twin brother Joel. News of Diaz and Madden's wedding plans broke early on Monday after sources leaked details about the couple's top secret and intimate rehearsal dinner on Sunday. Barrymore even held a bridal shower at her house for her close friend over the weekend, according to Entertainment Tonight. The newlyweds began dating early last summer.

A new survey reveals that nearly half of Americans didn't take a single day off in the summer of 2014. And 41% of Americans didn't take any vacation days at all in 2014.

On TV tonight, the season premier of American Idol. Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban, and Harry Connick, Jr. return as judges for the 14th season and Ryan Seacrest hosts. The auditions begin in Nashville. It's tonight at 8 on Fox. Then at 9 on CBS, it the People's Choice Awards 2015.

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. Last year, we were in the midst of a La Niña year. 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.

Tuesday 1.6.15
Morning Trivia: This actress was best known for her leading role as divorced mother Ann Romano on the television series One Day at a Time from 1975 to 1984. In her career, she was nominated for the Emmy, Tony, and Golden Globe Awards. Who was she?

The Seattle Seahawks are not only 11-point favorites to beat the Carolina Panthers in their NFC divisional playoff game Saturday, the Hawks are also big favorites to win Super Bowl XLIX, according to Las Vegas sports book Bovada. Bookies are confident the Seahawks will advance past the Panthers on Saturday; even the most conservative betting spreads favor Seattle by 10.5 points. And that's no surprise considering, A) the Panthers finished the regular season with a 7-8-1 losing record, B) the Hawks beat Carolina 13-9 earlier this season, and C) the Panthers didn't face much of an opponent in last Saturday's wild-card game, holding the Arizona Cardinals to a mere 78 yards of offense. That's an exceptionally impressive statistic for any defense against any NFL team, and the Panthers defense has improved in recent weeks, but Las Vegas isn't buying the idea of Carolina as a legitimate Super Bowl contender. The bookie gave the Seahawks 2-to-1 odds to bring home their second consecutive Vince Lombardi Trophy. The most likely matchup in the Super Bowl? At 9-to-4 odds, Seattle versus the New England Patriots.

Meanwhile, scientists from the University of Washington will again be monitoring ground movement around CenturyLink Field during this month's Seahawks playoff games. They'll be watching their seismic sensors for any more Beast Quakes as the Hawks take on the Panthers Saturday. And, if -- or really when -- the Seahawks advance to the NFC championship game, scientists from the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network will be monitoring that game January 18th at the CLink.

Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez and John Smoltz, a trio of star pitchers who dominated in an era of offense, were elected to baseball's Hall of Fame today along with Craig Biggio. It's the first time since 1955 writers selected four players in one year. The Big Unit, Martinez, and Smoltz easily earned induction on their first tries, and Biggio made it on the third attempt after falling two votes shy last year. Steroids-tainted stars Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa remained far from election. Ken Griffey Jr., Trevor Hoffman, and Billy Wagner are among the players eligible for the first time in next year's ballot.

Brian Agler is very familiar with how talented the Los Angeles Sparks are, having coached against them for so many years. Now he'll get a chance to lead them. Agler was announced as the new coach of the Sparks yesterday. The 56-year-old coach had been with the Seattle Storm since 2008 and guided the team to the WNBA championship in 2010.

Today is Bean Day. We don't know the origin of this day but most sources think we're supposed to celebrate beans today. I'd like to point out that actor Rowan Atkinson, aka Mr. Bean, has a birthday today and perhaps the creators of Bean Day had him in mind. 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. The Emmy Award-winning Saturday morning educational cartoon series and pop culture phenomenon is now the basis for one of the most fun musicals ever to hit the stage, Schoolhouse Rock Live! JR. is at the Washington Center for the Performing Arts March 16th through the 20th. 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 70th wedding anniversary today. They married when George was 20, Barbara was 19. Today is National Cuddle Up Day.

Calendar notes: On this date in 1759, George Washington and Martha Dandridge Custis were married. In 1952, Peanuts debuted in Sunday papers across the United States. In 1957, Elvis Presley made his last appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show in New York City. In 1976, Ted Turner purchased the Atlanta Braves for a reported $12-million. Also in 1976, the album, Frampton Comes Alive, was released in the US. 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 at 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.

Birthdays: Former Notre Dame football coach Lou Holtz is 78; Sting's wife, actress Trudie Styler is 61; perhaps best known as Mr. Bean, actor and comedian Rowan Atkinson is 60; football great turned sportscaster Howie Long is 55; and The Sheriff, former Mariner pitcher Norm Charlton is 52.

The city of Oregon, Ohio, has a new temporary name, making it clear where its allegiance lies heading into the biggest college football game of the season. Following a petition from two citizens, Mayor Michael Seferian issued a proclamation that his city will be known as "Oregon, Ohio Buckeyes on the Bay, City of Duck Hunters" lasting through next week's College Football Playoff National Championship. The No. 4 Buckeyes take on the No. 2 Ducks Monday night. The mayor qcted quickly to remove any possible doubt about its ties to the Oregon program, even going so far as to point out who technically had an official claim to the name first. The proclamation reads: "Whereas, the City of Oregon officially adopted its name in 1838 as Oregon Township which happens to be 21 years before the State of Oregon received its statehood in 1859. And The City of Oregon has been petitioned by residents of the city to make it clear that we are not associated with Oregon University Ducks Football."

The 2015 Seattle Mariners Caravan hits the road today. They stop here in the South Sound tomorrow. An autograph appearance is scheduled for tomorrow afternoon from 4:15 until 5:45 at the Norman Worthington Conference Center at Saint Martin's University in Lacey. Charlie Furbush, Stefen Romero, Dave Henderson & Rick Rizzs are all scheduled to be there.

Trivia Answer: Bonnie Franklin who was born on this date in 1944. Franklin was best known for her portrayal of Ann Romano on the television situation comedy One Day at a Time. She guest-starred on several television series, including The Man from U.N.C.L.E. and Hazel in a 1965 episode. She had a semi-regular role in the ABC series Gidget. She directed several episodes of the 1980s sitcom Charles in Charge. In 2011, she was reunited with her One Day at a Time costar Valerie Bertinelli on Hot in Cleveland, playing the mother of Bertinelli's character's boyfriend. In 2012, Franklin appeared in several episodes of the daytime drama The Young and the Restless. She was scheduled to appear in a one-woman play in April 2013, but withdrew because of illness. On September 24th of 2012, a family spokesman announced that Franklin had pancreatic cancer, and was undergoing treatment. Franklin died at the age of 69, on March 1st of 2013.

Monday 1.5.15
Morning Trivia: He was a professional football player, assistant coach, and head coach. His sole head coaching position was for the Pittsburgh Steelers from 1969 to 1991. When he retired after 23 years, only three other head coaches at that time in NFL history had longer tenures with one team. Who was he?

Eight went in and only four came out. The NFL Wild Card Weekend saw the Carolina Panthers eliminate the Arizona Cardinals on Saturday 27-16. Then the Baltimore Ravens dispatched the Pittsburgh Steelers 30-17. Yesterday's action saw the Indianapolis Colts dismiss the Cincinnati Bengals 26-10, and last night the Dallas Cowboys eliminated the Detroit Lions 24-20. That all sets up next weekends action -- the Divisional Playoff portion of the tournament -- where once again, eight go in but only four come out. On the AFC side, the Baltimore Ravens play the New England Patriots at Foxboro on Saturday afternoon, while the Indianapolis Colts play the Broncos in Denver Sunday afternoon. For the NFC, the Seahawks host the Carolina Panthers Saturday afternoon at 5:15, and the Green Bay Packers host the Dallas Cowboys Sunday morning at 10:05.

The town of Oregon, Ohio, says it will temporarily change its name ahead of next week's college football title game. The first ever College Football Playoff National Championship pits the Oregon Ducks against the Ohio State Buckeyes, which prompted two Oregon -- the suburb, not the state -- natives to petition the city council for a name change. Oregon City Administrator Michael Beazley told the Toledo Free Press the town hasn't settled on a new name yet, but that they're "going to do something" in the next few days.

The 2015 Seattle Mariners Caravan hits the road tomorrow. An autograph appearance is scheduled for Wednesday afternoon from 4:15 until 5:45 at the Norman Worthington Conference Center at Saint Martin's University in Lacey. Charlie Furbush, Stefen Romero, Dave Henderson & Rick Rizzs are all scheduled to be there.

Birthdays: Former Vice-President Walter Mondale is 87; actor Robert Duvall is 84; talk show host Charlie Rose is 73; actress Diane Keaton is 69; actor Ted Lange (Isaac the bartender on The Love Boat) is 67. actress Pamela Sue Martin is 62; musician Marilyn Manson is 46; actor Bradley Cooper is 40; and from Mad Men, actress January Jones is 37.

On Friday came word that the actress who won over TV viewers as Elly May Clampett on The Beverly Hillbillies, Donna Douglas, had died. Word is she died in her Louisiana home surrounded by friends and family. The cause of death was pancreatic cancer. Donna Douglas was 81. Also on Friday came word that Country Music Hall of Famer and the Grand Ole Opry's most beloved and diminutive ambassador, Little Jimmy Dickens had died at a Nashville area hospital. Jimmy Dickens was 94.

Then yesterday morning, a longtime anchor at ESPN, Stuart Scott, died. Among the features of the new ESPN studio in Bristol is a wall of catchphrases made famous by on-air talent over the years. An amazing nine of them belong to Stuart Scott -- from his signature "Boo-Yah!" to "As cool as the other side of the pillow" to "He must be the bus driver cuz he was takin' him to school." And he saved his best for his last year on the air. At the ESPYS on July 16th, shortly before his 49th birthday and following another round of cancer surgery, Stuart accepted the Jimmy V Award for Perseverance with strength, humor, grace and these eloquent words: "When you die, it does not mean that you lose to cancer. You beat cancer by how you live, why you live, and in the manner in which you live." Stuart Scott was 49.

Today is Blue Monday, said by some to be one of the most depressing days of the year. It's back to the grind after the holidays, we know the Christmas bills are coming, the weather sucks, and we're a long way away from another holiday weekend. Today is All My Children Day. The popular soap opera debuted on his date in 1970. One of the original characters was 15-year-old Erica Kane, played by actress Susan Lucci. Today is Review Your Wrestling Holds Day, a day to try to get someone to let you practice all the wrestling holds you learned as a child: the hammerlock, half-nelson, flying scissors.... Don't try the sleeper. Today is Turn Up the Heat Day. Today is National Whipped Cream Day.

Calendar notes: On this date in 1643, in the first legal divorce in the American colonies, Anne Clarke of the Massachusetts Bay Colony was granted a divorce from Denis Clarke. She accused her husband of adultery. In 1914, the Ford Motor Company announced that there would be a new daily minimum wage of $5 and an eight-hour workday. In 1933, construction of the Golden Gate Bridge began. In 1971, the New Jersey Reds defeated the Harlem Globetrotters 100-99, raising the Reds' career record against the Globetrotters to 1 win and 2,495 losses. It was the Globetrotters' first loss in nine years. In 1990, TV Guide gave its Phoney Baloney Award to the impostor who duped ABC's 20-20 by claiming to be Buckwheat from the Our Gang comedies. The real Buckwheat, Billy Thomas, died in 1980. In 1993, the state of Washington executed Westley Allan Dodd. It was America's first legal hanging since 1965. Dodd was an admitted child sex killer. In 1998, Sonny Bono, the 1960's pop star-turned-politician, was killed when he struck a tree while skiing in South Lake Tahoe, California. He was 62. In 2004, after 14 years of denials, Pete Rose admitted publicly he had bet on baseball games involving his own team.

The last of Peter Jackson's three Hobbit films rode to a third straight weekend atop US and Canadian box office charts, selling an estimated $21.9 million in tickets. Disney's film version of the dark Broadway musical Into The Woods claimed the No. 2 spot with $19.1 million, while the World War Two drama Unbroken, directed by Angelina Jolie, finished third with $18.4 million.

The season premier of The Bachelor is tonight Iowa farmer Chris Soules, from last season's Bachelorette, is the Season 19 Bachelor. For the first-time the premiere will be live and 15 of the women will be revealed. 15 more will come later, and by the end of the episode, 22 women will move on. It's coming up tonight on ABC.

By January 14th, many of our resolutions will be gone. If you're one of the 44% of people who made a New Year's resolution, don't feel bad if you're already stumbling. Experts that by January 14th over a third of resolution-makers will have quit.

Trivia Answer: Chuck Noll who was born on this date in 1932. In 1969 Noll took the helm of a franchise which had played in only one post-season game in its previous 36 years, a game it lost 21-0, and turned it into a perennial contender. As head coach, he won nine AFC Central Division championships, and he compiled a 209-156-1 record in all games, including a 16-8-0 post-season record. He had winning records in 15 of his final 20 seasons. His four Super Bowl victories remains more than any other head coach in NFL history. He was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1993, his first year of eligibility. Noll died of natural causes in his suburban Pittsburgh condo in June of last year, having suffered for years from Alzheimer's disease, a heart condition and back problems.

By the way, here's the current list of tenured coaches -- not necessarily with the same team:

10. Marty Schottenheimer - 21 years
9. Chuck Knox - 22 years
8-7-6. Dan Reeves, Chuck Noll, & Steve Owen - 23 years
5. Paul Brown - 25 years
4. Tom Landry - 29 years
3-2. Curly Lambeau & Don Shula - 33 years
1. George Halas - 40 years

Friday 1.2.15
Morning Trivia: He was born in New York, New York, but raised in Puerto Rico. As a Major League Baseball player, he spent his entire 18-year career with the Seattle Mariners. 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 in the NFL. The Cardinals and Panthers meet up tomorrow afternoon at 1:35 then the Ravens and Steelers meet at 5:15. Sunday, the Bengals and Colts square off at 10:05 and then the Lions and Cowboys meet at 1:40. A bye week for the Seahawks. They host the lowest winning seed from NFC Wild Card round -- the Cardinals, Panthers, or Lions -- on Saturday, January 10th.

The No. 2 Oregon Ducks smashed No. 3 Florida State's 29-game winning streak yesterday with a 59-20 Rose Bowl victory in the College Football Playoff semifinals. The game featured a rare matchup of the last two Heisman Trophy winners -- quarterbacks Marcus Mariota of Oregon and Jameis Winston of Florida State. In the other semifinal at the Sugar Bowl, No. 4 Ohio State upset No. 1 Alabama. Ohio State and Oregon play for the national championship in Arlington, Texas, on January 12th.

Meanwhile, the Washington Huskies finish the first season of the Petersen Era tonight when UW takes on the Oklahoma State Cowboys in the TicketCity Cactus Bowl from Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Arizona. The game is on ESPN with a kickoff tonight at 7:15.

Birthdays: Former TV evangelist Jim Bakker is 75; TV host Jack Hanna is 68; Gar – Mariner great Edgar Martinez -- is 52; Cuba Gooding Jr is 47.

Mario M. Cuomo, who forged extraordinary oratorical skills, a potent immigrant's story and an intellectual liberalism to win three terms as governor of New York, died yesterday in his Manhattan apartment. Cuomo had been hospitalized November 26th in New York City with a heart condition, but was released after several days in the hospital. Appearing frail, Cuomo had appeared with his son on Election Night at the Democrats' victory party in Manhattan. Andrew Cuomo lifted his father's hand triumphantly in the air to raucous applause from those in attendance, though the older man did not speak. Mario Cuomo was 82.

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. It's a day set aside to allow people to do just that. Be creative today. Use this day to try and test new ideas and concepts. 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 1935, Bruno Richard Hauptmann went on trial for the kidnap-murder of Charles Lindberghs baby. Hauptmann was found guilty and executed. 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 1971, in the US, a federally imposed ban on radio and television cigarette advertisements went into effect. 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 1983, the musical Annie closed on Broadway after 2,377 performances. 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.

French revelers burned 940 cars for New Year's ... and that's good news. It represents a 12% drop in the number of cars set aflame by celebrants ringing in the new year. This year's 940 is down from last year's 1,067.

The number of murders in New York City dropped to 328 in 2014, the fewest since police there began collecting reliable statistics in 1963. There were 335 murders in the city in 2013. The decline in the murder rate came as the city recorded drops in nearly all major types of crime. New York had a total of 105,428 major crimes citywide in 2013, down from 110,728 in 2013. Crime in New York City has been steadily dropping for two decades, while crime rates have fluctuated in other big cities, such as Los Angeles and Chicago.

General Motors announced three new recalls yesterday, a sign that a series of problems with ignition switches is continuing to give the automaker problems in the new year. The latest round of recalls involve 83,572 sport-utility vehicles and pickup trucks. The company says the defect -- an ignition lock actuator that doesn't meet specifications -- has not been linked to any crashes or injuries. GM recalled 2.5 million vehicles over other defects in 2014 after accidents that caused 42 deaths.

Oil prices today -- the first trading day of the new year -- fell to below $56 per barrel, the lowest level in more than five years. The decline came due to a continuing glut that has cut prices in half since June. The oversupply has come as Saudi Arabia, the top exporter, and other Persian Gulf countries have decided not to cut production despite rising US shale oil production. Some analysts are predicting prices will bounce up this year as major oil projects are canceled.

Guitarist Slash has filed for divorce from his wife of 13 years. Court documents filed in Los Angeles cite irreconcilable differences for Slash and Perla Hudson's split. Slash's real name is Saul Hudson. The former Guns N' Roses member and Perla were married in 2001, and he also filed for divorce in 2010, citing irreconcilable differences. The couple have two sons, 10-year-old Cash and 12-year-old London. According to the documents the couple separated June 15th.

Trivia Answer: Edgar Martínez who turns 52 today. 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.