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Tuesday 2.9.16
Morning Trivia: It was on this date in 1997 that The Simpsons became the longest-running prime-time animated TV series. It broke the previous record for a prime-time animated TV series of six seasons which was held by what program?

When Marshawn Lynch was brought to Seattle early in the 2010 season, he was acquired because the Seahawks desperately needed a running back. What he ended up providing was an attitude and style that became the foundation for bringing the first Super Bowl title to the Pacific Northwest. And for that, Lynch will forever hold a special place with the Seahawks. He may have been more of a headache off the field than anyone let on during his time in Seattle, but he'll ultimately be lauded as the running back that got the Seahawks to a place they had never been before. Without saying a word -- big surprise there -- Lynch drew a lot of attention during the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl on Sunday night with a single post on social media. Just a picture, green cleats hanging from a power or telephone line, and a peace sign emoji. It was his way of saying goodbye from football, a decision that his agent Doug Hendrickson confirmed to The Associated Press yesterday saying Lynch intends to retire. The mercurial running back who enjoyed avoiding media attention away from the field as much as he thrived under the spotlight with the ball in his hands is stepping away just before his 30th birthday. Lynch steps aside after nine seasons in the league. Six of those in Seattle, where he played in the postseason five times. He's second all-time in Seattle history in rushing touchdowns and fourth in yards rushing. He tied for the NFL lead in rushing touchdowns in 2013 and 2014 and is No. 8 all-time in total yards rushing during the postseason. He was an All-Pro, a Pro Bowl selection and perhaps the most revered Seahawks player in the opinion of their fans. Along with what Lynch provided on the field came his peculiarities when he wasn't carrying the ball. His contract disputes. His avoidance of the media. His memorable performances during two Super Bowl weeks that became as much of a topic as the game itself. And this season, ruling himself out of Seattle's NFC wild-card game at Minnesota just minutes before the team left for the airport. There was almost certainly going to be a separation between Lynch and the Seahawks after the 2015 season because of financial and evolutionary reasons. Seattle was always going to become Russell Wilson's team moving forward -- the nature of a quarterback with a long-term contract agreement -- and Wilson's performance this season showed the evolution was in process. But Lynch's final season should not diminish his meaning to what Seattle has become. Said Wilson at the end of the season, "He's a guy that's been a great leader in terms of his physical nature on the football field and his approach to the game. He has a cool, calming presence out there. He's one of the greatest running backs to play."

Birthdays: Journalist Roger Mudd is 88; singer/songwriter Carole King is 74; actor Joe Pesci is 73; actress Mia Farrow is 71; actress Judith Light is 67; singer Travis Tritt -- he played the Washington Center a couple of weeks ago -- he's 53; and baseball's Vladimir Guerrero 41.

It's Mardi Gras -- Fat Tuesday. Fat Tuesday is the day before Ash Wednesday. It is also known as Mardi Gras Day or Shrove Day. It is a day when people eat all they want of everything and anything they want as tomorrow is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of a long fasting period for Christians. In addition to fasting, Christians also give up something special that they enjoy. So, Fat Tuesday is a celebration and the opportunity to enjoy that favorite food or snack that you give up for the long Lenten season. Today is National Toothache Day and St. Apollonia's Day, honoring the patron saint of dentists and people with toothaches. Today is Read in the Bathtub Day, I’m thinking we may re-think this one with the advent of e-books. Today is Fish Protection Day. The U.S. Fish Protection Office, the forerunner of the Fish & Wildlife Service, was established on February 9, 1871. Today is National Bagels and Lox Day. Today is Random Acts of Kindness Week. Just a reminder, Sunday is Valentine’s Day.

Calendar notes: On this date in 1825, the US House of Representatives elected John Quincy Adams president after no candidate won a majority of electoral votes. In 1870, the United States Weather Bureau was authorized by Congress. The bureau is officially known as the National Weather Service (NWS). In 1964, in their first live American TV appearance, The Beatles drew 73.7-million viewers to The Ed Sullivan Show. They were paid $2,400 to sing All My Loving, Till There Was You, She Loves You, I Saw Her Standing There, and I Want To Hold Your Hand. In 1969, the Boeing 747 flew its inaugural flight. In 1987, twenty years after the first woman was admitted to the New York Stock Exchange, the Exchange Luncheon Club decided to install a ladies rest room. For 20 years the ladies had to walk downstairs to find a ladies room. In 1989, wtnesses at a New Jersey hearing on the deregulation of professional wrestling testified that the sport was a fake.

Setting television viewership records with the Super Bowl has become almost routine, but this year's average of 111.9 million viewers for Denver's victory over Carolina is down from the past two years. That makes Sunday's game the third most-watched event in US television history, according to the Nielsen company. Last year's down-to-the-wire contest between New England and Seattle keeps the record with 114.4 million viewers. The Super Bowl had seemed to know no ceiling in popularity, setting viewership records in six of seven years until this one. CBS, the nation's most-watched network, had pushed the event hard the past few months, playing up the historical nature of the 50th Super Bowl game. But Denver's 24-10 victory wasn't a sizzler, with defenses dominating the marquee quarterback matchup between Peyton Manning and reigning NFL MVP Cam Newton. Even more than television, social media reflected far less engagement in the game than there was last year, when the result was decided on a last-minute, goal-line interception. Twitter said that there were 16.9 million tweets about the game, sharply down from last year's 25.1 million. Facebook reported that there were 200 million posts, comments or "likes," down from 265 million last year. This year, 60 million people took to Facebook to converse about the game, while last year it was 65 million.

President Obama is set to make a special in-studio appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show on Friday. The announcement was sent out through Ellen's Twitter account. The taped appearance will be the first time a sitting president appears in studio on the show. Obama was last interviewed in 2014 by Ellen DeGeneres in a two-way camera interview from the White House, where he promoted enrollment in the Affordable Care Act and joked about how DeGeneres broke his retweet record. But his 2007 appearance on the show as he was campaigning for president was arguably the most playful -- as he entered the studio dancing to Beyonce's Crazy in Love. His wife, first lady Michelle Obama, followed up with a dance-filled performance of Bruno Mars' Uptown Funk in March of last year to highlight her Let's Move fitness campaign.

Here's your number for the day: 23.5. That's how many gallons of coffee that's consumed annually by the average person.

Trivia Answer: The Flintstones. It was an animated, prime-time television sitcom that aired from September 30th of 1960 to April 1st of 1966, on ABC. The show was produced by Hanna-Barbera and fancifully depicted the lives of a working-class Stone Age man, his family, and his next-door neighbor and best friend. The Flintstones was the most financially successful network animated franchise for three decades, until The Simpsons debuted. In 2013, TV Guide ranked The Flintstones the second Greatest TV Cartoon of All Time -- second to The Simpsons).

Monday 2.8.16
Morning Trivia: This actor, voice artist, and comedian, was best known for his role as Arnold Jackson on Diff'rent Strokes. He was also noted for his small stature as an adult. He was described in the 1980s as "one of television's most promising stars." Who was he?

If this was Peyton Manning’s final ride into the sunset, it was a bumpy one. The quarterback fell off the Broncos a couple of times and settled for field goals on three drives. Lucky for him, great things happened when he walked to the sideline, as the Denver defense scored a touchdown and largely shut down Carolina’s Cam Newton in a 24-10 win at Super Bowl 50 last night at Levi's Stadium. Manning got his second Super Bowl win, the first quarterback in NFL history to win two with different teams. And though the future Hall of Famer, who is expected to retire, can’t do at 39 what he once could, he did enough just not getting in his defense’s way. Denver linebacker Von Miller, the game’s Most Valuable Player, had 2½ sacks, and was responsible for both of their touchdowns. His last sack, in the fourth quarter, came when he knocked the ball out of Newton's hand and iced the game. Three plays later, Cal alum C.J. Anderson plowed into the end zone from 2 yards out. The Orange Rush, led by Miller and DeMarcus Ware, got pressure on Newton early and often, and finished with seven sacks. Midway through the first quarter, the league’s Most Valuable Player didn’t see Miller coming, and was sacked and stripped of the ball at the 4-yard line. The ball rolled into the end zone and was recovered by Denver defensive end Malik Jackson for a touchdown and 10-0 lead. Later, in the closing minutes, Newton got up screaming at the officials after he was hit by Derek Wolfe. He looked just like Tom Brady in the AFC Championship Game, his confidence and swagger ripped away by the league’s top defense.

The Beast Mode era appears to be coming to an end. Citing sources, ESPN's Adam Schefter tweeted yesterday morning that Marshawn Lynch plans to retire. Then during the 4th quarter of the Super Bowl, Lynch tweeted a picture of his cleats hanging on a power line indicating that he's hanging it up. Lynch has been a crucial piece of the Seahawks' recent success that included a championship amid back-to-back Super Bowl appearances in the 2013 and 2014 seasons. His nickname Beast Mode came from his ferocious style of play where it always seemed to take more than one person to bring him down. According to ProFootball Focus, Lynch lead the league in both number of runs gaining 10+ yards after initial contact and number of runs getting at least 3 yards after contact. But perhaps his most memorable run that epitomized was Lynch was all about was against the New Orleans Saints in the 2009 NFC Wild Card game. This touchdown run made the 12s at (then) Qwest Field go so crazy the cheering and stadium shaking registered on local seismographs, thus anointing the run as Beast Quake. But Lynch missed nine regular season games in an injury-marred 2015 campaign. After undergoing abdominal surgery November 25th and missing the final seven games of the regular season, he returned in time to play in the Seahawks' season-ending NFC divisional round loss to the Carolina Panthers. He ended the season with just 417 rushing yards and three touchdowns on the season, by far the lowest totals in his tenure with the team. And last month, Seahawks general manager John Schnieder told local sports radio stations he believed Lynch was going to retire. The 29-year-old running back is signed through 2017 and due $11.5 million next season. But Seattle would save $6.5 million against next year's salary cap if Lynch retires.

Birthdays: He wrote the music for Star Wars amongst other things, composer John Williams is 84; former ABC News anchor Ted Koppel is 76; actor Nick Nolte is 75; comedian Robert Klein is 74; actress Mary Steenburgen is 63; author John Grisham is 61; from Motley Crue, singer Vince Neil is 55; and actor Seth Green is 42.

Dan Hicks, an American singer and songwriter whose offbeat mix of folk, jazz, pop, country and blues earned him critical acclaim over a 40-year career, has died. In the 1960s, Hicks founded a band, Dan Hicks and the Hot Licks. The band earned praise for its eclectic sound drawn from several musical genres. The band's final album, Last Train to Hicksville, landed Hicks on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine in 1973, though the group broke up right at the peak of its popularity. Hicks would go on to a long solo career. Dan Hicks was 74.

Today is Laugh and Get Rich Day, a day to recognize laughter's power to help workers be more effective, remember things better, and not change jobs as often. It's National Potato Lover's Day. It’s National Kite Flying Day -- still trying to figure out how it landed in the middle of winter. The Boy Scouts were founded on this date in 1910. And today being the second Monday in February is Clean Out Your Computer Day. A day to logically review, and delete old files and programs. Somewhere along the way, a (most likely) computer geek or service person, created this day as an opportunity for us to remember to cleanup and delete old and unused files.

Calendar notes: On this date in 1922, President Warren Harding had the first radio installed in the White House. In 1960, Congress opened an investigation into widespread charges of payola that disc jockeys were being paid to play certain records. The accused included deejays Alan Freed and Dick Clark. Clark came through the scandal unscathed, but Freed never worked in radio again. In 1968, the film Planet of the Apes, starring Charleton Heston, Roddy McDowell, and Kim Hunter, opened throughout the US. In 1985, The Dukes of Hazzard ended its 6-1/2 year run on CBS television. In 2000, a man allegedly tricked Little Rock police into immediately searching for his stolen car by telling them that his daughter was asleep in the back seat. Police found the car in less than two hours. But the 30-year-old man was charged with a felony for filing a false police report. Police said he had no daughter. In 2006, Kelly Clarkson won two Grammys. The awards were for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance for Since U Been Gone and Best Pop Vocal Album for Breakaway. She was the first American Idol participant to win a grammy. She also performed Because of You at the show. In 2010, MTV dropped the Music Television moniker from its logo.

Hollywood fumbled the ball during a quiet Super Bowl weekend at the multiplexes as new releases such as Hail, Caesar! and Pride and Prejudice and Zombies failed to make much noise. For the second weekend in a row, Kung Fu Panda 3 easily topped box office charts. The animated sequel added $21 million to its $69 million domestic haul. The film is playing particularly well in China. Hail, Caesar!, a sendup of the Hollywood studio system from the Coen brothers, fared best among the new entrants, though that’s grading on a generous curve. It picked up a mediocre $11.4 million for a second place finish. Coming in third was The Revenant. Star Wars: The Force Awakens finished in fourth increasing its domestic haul to $905.9 million. It is the first film in history to reach that figure and also became the third movie ever to hit $2 billion globally. Rounding out the top five was the new Nicholas Sparks adaptation, The Choice.

Think a beer or a glass of wine at the CLink or Safeco is expensive? Football fans at the Super Bowl had to pay $13 for a beer, $7 for a bottle of water and $25 for wine by the glass. Food? There was $20 lobster mac and cheese, $15 popcorn, an $11 jumbo hot dog, and a slice of pizza for $10.

Trivia Answer: Gary Coleman who was born on this date in 1968. After a successful childhood acting career -- Diff'rent Strokes ran from 1978 to 1986 -- and while best known for Diff'rent Strokes, Coleman had appeared earlier on television, on The Jeffersons as Raymond, George Jefferson's nephew, and on Good Times as Penny's friend Gary. He also appeared in a 1977 pilot for a revival of The Little Rascals. Coleman struggled financially later in life. In 1989, he successfully sued his parents and business adviser over misappropriation of his assets, only to declare bankruptcy a decade later. On May 28th of 2010, Coleman died of epidural hematoma at age 42.

Friday 2.5.16
Morning Trivia: The Super Bowl is coming up this weekend, so we'll delve into Super Bowl Trivia this morning. Who are the only two players to win back-to-back Super Bowl MVP awards?

It's just about that time when football and non-football fans alike join forces to watch the most popular sporting event of the year: the Super Bowl. Nearly 189 million Americans are expected to tune into Super Bowl 50 between the Denver Broncos and the Carolina Panthers Sunday. We won't argue about what's really the best part of the game -- the plays, half-time show, or commercials -- but most of us would agree that game-day grub is a key part of the experience. Stocking up on the essentials -- chips, wings, hoagies, dips, and beer -- is a game-day tradition in and of itself. Are you one of the 43.3 million Americans planning to throw a Super Bowl party? If not, you will likely be one of the 70 million attending one. Nearly 8.7 million new TVs are being bought leading up to the game. The Nielsen Company polled 2,000 Americans who were at least 21 years old about their drinking habits on Super Bowl Sunday. No shocker here: 53 percent said they'll consume beer during the game. There are some wine drinkers -- 27 percent -- and 24 percent of respondents are choosing hard liquor/spirits. A small percentage will be drinking hard cider (8 percent) while 12 percent prefer flavored malt beverages. The Super Bowl is akin to Thanksgiving -- diets are put on pause, calories are forgotten (or ignored) and few individuals will be keeping track of how many potato chips and chicken wings they're popping into their mouths.

  • 48 million Americans order takeout or have food delivered to their doorstep.
  • 12 million Americans watch the game at a bar or restaurant.
  • Domino's expects to sell 12 million slices of pizza this Sunday -- five times more than a typical Sunday.
  • We'll devour 1.3 billion chicken wings during the game -- a 3 percent increase from 2015
  • The California Avocado Commission expects 139.4 million pounds of avocados will be consumed on Sunday

Super Bowl 50 is being broadcast on CBS with Jim Nantz and Phil Simms in the booth. Coverage begins on CBS at 8 Sunday morning. Kickoff is at 3:30 Sunday afternoon. The game is also being streamed live on Lady Gaga is doing the anthem and Coldplay performs at halftime, joined by Beyoncé.

Birthdays: Hammerin' Hank, Baseball Hall of Famer Hank Aaron is 82; football great Roger Staubach is 74; race car driver Darrell Waltrip is 69; actor-comedian-director Christopher Guest is 68; actress Jennifer Jason Leigh is 54; musician, writer, Seahawk fan, Seattleite Duff McKagan is 52; and singer Bobby Brown is 47.

Maurice White, the founder of Earth, Wind & Fire, has died in Los Angeles, according to a band spokesman. White died at his home Wednesday night from natural causes. White had been battling Parkinson's disease since 1994. Earth, Wind & Fire was founded by White, a session drummer, in 1969 after he moved from Chicago to Los Angeles. The Grammy-winning band fused together rhythm and blues, gospel, funk, soul and African sounds, and enjoyed numerous hits, including Shining Star, Boogie Wonderland, and  September. While White stopped touring with the band in 1994 due to health issues, he remained active in the songwriting and production of the group's music. Earth, Wind & Fire was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000. Maurice White was 74.

Today is National Weatherperson's Day. It’s Peter Pan Day -- the movie was released on this date in 1953. Today marks the sale of the first Wiffle Ball. The ball was invented by David N. Mullany at his home in Fairfield, Connecticut in 1953 when he designed a ball that curved easily for his 12-year-old son. It was named when his son and his friends would refer to a strikeout as a whiff.

Calendar notes: On this date in 1919, Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks, and DW Griffith launched United Artists. In 1971, astronauts landed on the moon in the Apollo 14 mission. In 1976, the 1976 swine flu outbreak began at Fort Dix, New Jersey. In 1986, Prince released the song Kiss. In 1988, Manuel Noriega was indicted on drug smuggling and money laundering charges. In 2001, Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman announced their separation.

Six degrees of separation? It apparently is a smaller number. Facebook ran the numbers and concluded that we are all much closer than the traditional six degrees of separation. The social media giant released a report yesterday announcing each person in the world is separated from every other by an average of three and a half other people.

Gmail said this week that it now has more than 1 billion monthly active users.

Trivia Answer: Green Bay Packers quarterback Bart Starr won the MVP award at the first two Super Bowls in 1967 and 1968. Then Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Terry Bradshaw won back to back in Super Bowls 13 and 14 in 1979 and 1980. Joe Montana of the San Francisco 49ers and Tom Brady of the New England Patriots are the only players to have won three Super Bowl MVP awards. Three others -- Bart Starr, Terry Bradshaw, and Eli Manning -- have won the award twice. Starr and Bradshaw are the only ones to have won it in back-to-back years.

Thursday 2.4.16
Morning Trivia: The Pittsburgh Steelers have the most Super Bowl victories, winning the big game six times. The Dallas Cowboys and San Francisco 49ers have each won five. However, there are four active NFL franchises which have not even appeared in the Super Bowl. Which teams are they?

It all began in 1967. As legend goes, Oscar Riedener, vice president and design director at Tiffany & Co., sat down for lunch with NFL Commissioner Pete Rozzelle in New York City. That day, the two men started a collaboration that would last 50 years and one that would create the most coveted trophy in sports history: the Vince Lombardi trophy. Victoria Reynolds is the group director of business sales at Tiffany. She says the process of making the Super Bowl trophy has not changed from the turn of the century. The American jeweler’s silversmiths in Rhode Island hand solder heavy sheet silver, spinning, chasing, and polishing the metal to create the 22-inch, 7 pound trophy. The whole process takes four months. The trophy, which is hollow, features a regulation-size football in kicking position on top. A new trophy is made each year though the design has remained the same. After the Super Bowl winner is determined, the confetti is cleaned up and the fans go home, the trophy is returned to Tiffany to be engraved -- and scrubbed clean. Reynolds said. "We have never gotten a trophy back that does not have champagne on it." The Super Bowl winner, date of the championship game, and final score are engraved on the trophy. Some teams prefer to keep the engraving simple; others ask Tiffany to include all the players’ names. The trophy was named after Vince Lombardi in 1970. Lombardi, the revered football coach for the Green Bay Packers, led his players to victories in the first two Super Bowls. Tiffany has also been commissioned to design and make Super Bowl championship rings for several teams including the Seattle Seahawks, the New Orleans Saints, and the New York Giants. Right now, football fans can get their photos taken with the Lombardi trophy at the NFL Experience in San Francisco’s Moscone Convention Center. The trophy will be moved to Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara on Sunday, where guards will watch over it before it's presented to its new owners. It'll be either the Carolina Panthers or the Denver Broncos.

Birthdays: Sgt. Charles Enright on McMillan & Wife, actor John Schuck is 76; former Vice President Dan Quayle is 69; he was born Vincent Damon Furnier but we know him as Alice Cooper, he’s 68; former NFL star Lawernce Taylor – LT -- is 57; singer-songwriter Clint Black is 54; boxer Oscar De La Hoya is 43; the bassist for Jimmy Eat World, Rick Burch is 41; singer Natalie Imbruglia is 41; and singer Gavin DeGraw is 39.

Today is National Thank a Mailman Day. It's Create a Vacuum Day. My research has failed to find factual information relating to this day. What was found is that it is celebrated on February 4th. Due to the lack of information, just let your imagination lead you on how to celebrate Create A Vacuum Day. Today is Gumby's Birthday.

Calendar notes: On this date in 1789, George Washington was unanimously elected as the first President of the United States by the US Electoral College. In 1932, the first Winter Olympics were held in the United States at Lake Placid, New York. In 1941, the United Service Organization (USO) was created to entertain American troops. In 1974, the Symbionese Liberation Army kidnapped Patty Hearst in Berkeley, California. In 1976, Fleetwood Mac's single Rhiannon was released. In 1983, Karen Carpenter died from heartbeat irregularities brought on by chemical imbalances associated with anorexia nervosa. In 1996, Rob Pilatus, formerly of Milli-Vanilli, was hospitalized when he was hit over the head with a baseball bat in Hollywood. Pilatus was attempting to steal a car. The owner was the person who hit him. In 1997, a civil jury in California found OJ Simpson liable in the death of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman. Goldman's parents were awarded $8.5 million in compensatory damages. In 2004, Facebook was founded by Mark Zuckerberg.

Talk about bad timing. Technical difficulties have hit the Internal Revenue Service as people across the country are trying to file their 2015 taxes. The agency said yesterday it experienced a hardware failure that brought down some of its tax processing systems, including the one that enables people to file their returns electronically. The IRS said it was trying to fix the problems but warned some of the systems were likely to remain down until late today. IRS Commissioner John Koskinen told a Senate panel in February last year that the IRS isn't exactly at the cutting edge of tech. Thanks to persistent budget cuts, the agency's efforts to modernize its technologies have been held up. He says they are "running applications we were running when John F. Kennedy was president." During yesterday's technology headache, the agency's website was available, but it said some services -- such as "Where's My Refund" -- were not. The IRS said it does not anticipate major tax refund disruption.

Trivia Answer: The Cleveland Browns, the Detroit Lions, the Jacksonville Jaguars, and the Houston Texans. Previous teams (before moves or name changes): the Houston Oilers, the Tennessee Oilers, the St. Louis Cardinals, and the Phoenix Cardinals. The Lions are the only NFC team yet to play in a Super Bowl and is the only non-expansion team to have yet to appear in a Super Bowl.

Wednesday 2.3.16
Morning Trivia: He was a painter and illustrator. His works enjoy a broad popular appeal in the United States for their reflection of American culture. He's most famous for the cover illustrations of everyday life scenarios he created for The Saturday Evening Post magazine for more than four decades. Who is he?

Not a fan of the Broncos or Panthers? You're probably already looking ahead to next season. So is ESPN which has assessed every team's odds to win Super Bowl (51) LI. The teams with the best odds are the AFC East's New England Patriots, the AFC North's Pittsburgh Steelers, and the NFC West's Seattle Seahawks -- all with 8 to 1 odds. ESPN writes that it makes sense that the Seahawks are tied for the best odds in the league. Russell Wilson is only 27 years old and coming off the best season of his career. The Seahawks return the core of their defense, a unit that led the NFL in fewest points allowed for the fourth consecutive year. They need to get some things figured out with 17 unrestricted free agents and along the offensive line, but Pete Carroll's group is in position to compete for a championship next season. Next on the list, the NFC South's Carolina Panthers with 10 to 1 odds of returning to the show, and another entry from the NFC West, the Arizona Cardinals also with 10 to 1 odds.

This weekend, the Carolina Panthers are favored by 5-and-a-half points to beat the Denver Broncos. Super Bowl 50 Sunday afternoon on CBS.

Birthdays: Comedian Shelley Berman is 91; football’s Fran Tarkenton 76; Gwyneth Paltrow's mom, actress Blythe Danner is 72; football's Bob Griese 71; from The Kinks, Dave Davies is 69; and actress Morgan Fairchild is 66.

Today is National Girls & Women in Sports Day. It's National Carrot Cake Day. Today is Endangered Species Day. President Richard Nixon signed the Endangered Species Act into law on this date in 1973.

Calendar notes: On this date in 1959, the music died as marked by Don McLean’s classic song American Pie. On February 3rd of 1959, singers Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and J.P. Big Bopper Richardson died in a plane crash near Clear Lake, Iowa. Holly was 22, Valens 17; and Richardson 28. In 1973, the No. 1 Billboard Pop Hit was Crocodile Rock, by Elton John. The single was the Elton's first No. 1 song in the United States. In 1987, fearing possible violence, the University of California at San Diego cancelled a planned Beastie Boys concert. In 1991, Sinead O'Connor announced that she wouldn't accept any Grammy Awards or attend the ceremony because the show reflects what she called "false and destructive materialistic values." In 1995, Air Force Lt. Colonel Eileen Collins became the first woman to pilot the space shuttle Discovery. In 2008, the New York Giants beat the heavily favored and previously undefeated 18-and-0 New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII, 17–14, in one of the greatest upsets in sports history.

Donald Trump went Twitter-silent following the Iowa caucus Monday night. He finally broke his silence yesterday afternoon, finally sharing his thoughts on the results with his more than 5 million followers. Trump wrote, "My experience in Iowa was a great one. I started out with all of the experts saying I couldn't do well there and ended up in 2nd place." Trump explained to his fans that because he was told he would not do well in the state, he "spent very little there," noting he spent a fraction of what the two men who polled nearest to him did. He continued, "The media has not covered my long-shot great finish in Iowa fairly. Brought in record voters and got second highest vote total in history." While many have reveled in Trump's loss -- most notably Ted Cruz, the man who defeated him -- he does have a point about turnout, according to one expert. Dr. Jeanne Zaino, professor of campaign management at New York University said, "He did get more votes than past caucus winners. What that tells us, " she said. "is he didn't necessarily lose."

This morning, The Donald was back on Twitter slamming Senator Cruz's Iowa caucus win, alleging voter fraud and requesting a new election. He tweeted, "Ted Cruz didn't win Iowa, he stole it. That is why all of the polls were so wrong and why he got far more votes than anticipated. Bad!" According to Trump, misinformation provided by staffers within the Cruz campaign instructed voters that fellow presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson was leaving the race, and voters should move to Cruz. Cruz has since apologized to Carson for the misinformation. Trump also called out an email the Cruz campaign sent to voters claiming they had committed a "voter violation," and to rectify it by voting for Cruz.

Meanwhile, the field is thinning. Rick Santorum and Rand Paul both ended their presidential bids today.

Okay, an interesting choice. Lady Gaga is set to sing the national anthem at the Super Bowl on Sunday. The NFL told The Associated Press yesterday that Gaga is singing The Star-Spangled Banner at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara. Academy Award winning actress Marlee Matlin is performing in American Sign Language during the anthem. Gaga's upcoming performance during the Super Bowl is another notch in her belt: She won a Golden Globe for her role in American Horror Story: Hotel last month and she's nominated for best original song at the Academy Awards on February 28th with Til It Happens to You, the song she wrote with Diane Warren for the sexual assault documentary, The Hunting Ground. The song is also nominated for a Grammy at the February 15th awards show, where Gaga is paying tribute to David Bowie with a performance. Last year, Gaga wowed audiences at the Oscars when she paid tribute to The Sound of Music with a show-stopping performance. She won her sixth Grammy for her collaborative jazz album with Tony Bennett, and she was named woman of the year by Billboard.

On TV tonight, Madoff. Richard Dreyfuss stars in this new 2- part miniseries as Bernie Madoff and birthday girl Blythe Danner plays his wife, Ruth. It’s inspired by ABC News Chief Investigative Correspondent Brian Ross’s reporting from his book The Madoff Chronicles. It's on tonight on ABC.

Trivia Answer: Norman Rockwell who was born on this date in 1894. Among the best-known of Rockwell's works are the Willie Gillis series, Rosie the Riveter, The Problem We All Live With, Saying Grace, and the Four Freedoms series. He is also noted for his 64-year relationship with the Boy Scouts of America, producing covers for their publication Boys' Life, calendars, and other illustrations. Rockwell died November 8th of 1978, of emphysema, at the age of 84 in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. Then-First Lady Rosalynn Carter attended his funeral.

Tuesday 2.2.16
Morning Trivia: Farrah Fawcett was born on this date in 1947. Sadly, she passed away in 2009. She achieved major stardom when she was cast in the ABC series Charlie's Angels. Can you name the three original angels and the actress who portrayed each?

It’s almost time for Super Bowl Sunday, that glorious day of the year in which excessive overeating and screaming at your TV are totally socially acceptable. Sunday afternoon at 3:30 at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California. Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers (15-and-1 in the regular season) take on Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos who were 12-and-4. Both teams were the top seeds in their respective conferences going into the playoffs. Super Bowl 50 is being broadcast on CBS with Jim Nantz and Phil Simms in the booth. Coverage begins on CBS at 8 Sunday morning. The game is also being streamed live on The Panthers are favored by 4.5 points with the over/under set at 45 points. Coldplay performs at halftime, joined by Beyoncé. The cost of a 30-second advertisement is $5 million. And it's estimated that we Americans will eat 1.3 billion, or 162.5 million pounds, of wings on Super Bowl Sunday.

Birthdays: Smothers Brother, Tom Smothers is 79; the Nash from Crosby, Stills and, Graham Nash is 74; model and actress Christie Brinkley is 62; and singer Shakira is 39.

Today is Groundhog Day. Legend says, if the groundhog comes out today and sees his shadow, it means six more weeks of winter. The most famous groundhog is Punxsutawney Phil of Pennsylvania. Phil's people say the furry rodent failed to see his shadow this morning meaning means he's predicted an early spring. Today is also Hedgehog Day, the ancient Roman tradition that inspired groundhog Day in the US and Canada. If the Roman hedgehog came out at night and saw his shadow in the moonlight, it meant six more weeks of winter. It's National Tater Tot Day.

Calendar notes: On this date in 1876, the National Baseball League was formed, with teams in Boston, Chicago, Cincinnati, New York, Philadelphia, St. Louis, Louisville, and Hartford. In 1936, the five charter members of the new Baseball Hall of Fame were announced at Cooperstown, New York. Of 226 ballots cast, Ty Cobb received 222 votes, Babe Ruth 215, Honus Wagner 215, Christy Matthewson 205, and Walter Johnson 189. At least 170 votes were required for induction. In 1959, Buddy Holly performed for the last time. At the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa, he played drums for Ritchie Valens, the Big Bopper, and Dion. In 1971, Idi Amin assumed power in Uganda after a coup. In 1973, NBC-TV debuted Midnight Special. In 1993, then-First lady Hillary Clinton banned smoking in the White House. Also in 1993, Willie Nelson and the IRS settled their longstanding tax feud. The US government kept $3.6 million in assets it had already seized and Nelson would have to pay $5.4 million of the $13.1 million balance. In 1998, President Bill Clinton introduced the first US balanced budget in 30 years.

Texas Senator Ted Cruz swept to victory in Iowa's Republican caucuses last night, overcoming billionaire Donald Trump and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio. Among Democrats, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders were deadlocked in a tight race. Meantime, Mike Huckabee announced he is suspending his campaign following Iowa. And Martin O'Malley ends 2016 campaign. And on we go.

It wasn't just you. Virtually all investors lost money during the atrocious month of January. Over 93% of investors were in the red last month, according to data by Openfolio, an app that allows people to see how their investment portfolios stack up with others. Deep fears about the crash in oil prices and turbulence in China took hold of the stock market in January. The Dow lost 5.5% of its value, the index's deepest monthly drop since the market freakout in August. But the typical investor fared even worse, losing 6.3% of his or her portfolio in January, according to Openfolio. To add insult to injury, just before lunch today, the Dow was down nearly 300 points.

The handlers of Pennsylvania's most famous groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, say the furry rodent has failed to see his shadow, meaning means he's predicted an early spring. Members of the top hat-wearing Inner Circle announced the forecast at sunrise, just before 7:30 this morning back there -- 4:30 our time. A German legend has it that if a furry rodent sees his shadow on February 2nd, winter will last another six weeks. If not, spring comes early. In reality, Phil's prediction is decided ahead of time by the group on Gobbler's Knob. The tiny hill is located just outside the town for which he's named about 65 miles northeast of Pittsburgh. Records going back to 1887 show Phil has now predicted more winter 102 times while forecasting an early spring just 18 times. There are no records for the remaining years.

On TV tonight: The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story. This 10-episode series is based on the book The Run of His Life: The People v. O.J. Simpson. Produced by Ryan Murphy (Glee and American Horror Story), Cuba Gooding Jr. stars as Simpson and the story begins as the LAPD is set to question Simpson about the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman. Over the 10 episodes, the show examines the chaotic behind-the-scenes dealings and maneuvering on both sides of the court. It's tonight on FX.

Trivia Answer: The originals were: Farrah Fawcett as Jill Munroe, Kate Jackson as Sabrina Duncan, and Jaclyn Smith as Kelly Garrett. Later additions were: Cheryl Ladd as Kris Munroe (Jill's little sister), Shelley Hack as Tiffany Welles, and Tanya Roberts as Julie Rogers. David Doyle played John Bosley, and John Forsythe provided the voice of Charlie Townsend.

Monday 2.1.16

Morning Trivia: This musician and composer was influenced by singers such as Marvin Gaye and Smokey Robinson. He started singing in doo-wop and R&B groups as a teenager in his hometown of Buffalo, New York. After entering the Navy to avoid being drafted, he deserted to Toronto, where he formed the rock and R&B band, The Mynah Birds. His tenure with the group was interrupted after he was discovered recording with the group in Motown in 1966. Surrendering to military authorities, he served a one-year prison term. Upon his release, he moved to California to resume his duties with The Mynah Birds, although the group eventually split. This guy began a series of rock bands in California and worked with Motown under the assumed name Ricky Matthews as a songwriter. In 1977, he signed a contract as a recording artist, releasing his debut, Come Get It!, in April 1978. The album sold over two million copies and launched his career into the mainstream as a funk and soul artist. His most popular album, 1981's Street Songs, launched him into superstardom thanks to a couple of hit singles. Who is he?

Russell Wilson threw three first-half touchdown passes to lead Team Irvin to a 49-27 victory over Team Rice in the Pro Bowl yesterday. The Seattle Seahawks star, who was the first player picked in the all-star game's draft, led scoring drives on three of Team Irvin's first four possessions at Aloha Stadium. He threw touchdown passes of 14 and 2 yards to Atlanta Falcons teammates Julio Jones and Devonta Freeman, respectively, in the opening quarter. Early in the second quarter, Wilson connected with Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley for a 10-yard score. Minnesota's Teddy Bridgewater and Tampa Bay's Jameis Winston each added two TD passes for Team Irvin. Four other Seahawks players appeared in the Pro Bowl: Richard Sherman made 2 tackles and carried the ball once for -22 yard loss, Michael Bennett made a sack and also recorded a carry for 7 yards, Bobby Wagner led Team Rice with 9 tackles, including the tackle on Sherman's lone rush attempt of the game, and Tyler Lockett returned one punt for 24 yards and caught a pass for 10 yards. Former University of Washington star Marcus Peters played for Team Rice, and registered two pass deflections, an interception, and a 36 yard return. Bothell High School product Johnny Hekker was the punter for Team Rice. He had a punt for 42 yards, and the former Cougars quarterback also completed the 10 yard pass to Lockett on a fake punt. Seahawks’ Russell Wilson named offensive MVP, Michael Bennett named defensive MVP.

Now on to the Super Bowl coming up on Sunday.

Birthdays: The Don from Phil & Don, Don Everly of the Everly Brothers is 79; former Saturday Night Live cast member Garrett Morris is also 79; Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers guitarist Mike Campbell is 66; Will Robinson on Lost in Space, actor Billy Mumy is 62; Elvis’s daughter Lisa Marie Presley is 48; actor, comedian, director, writer and producer Pauly Shore is 48; Weezer drummer Patrick Wilson is 47; Dexter on Dexter, actor Michael C. Hall is 45; he’s a member of OutKast, rapper Big Boi is 41; mixed martial artist and actress Ronda Rousey is 29; and from One Direction, Harry Styles is 22.

February is National Weddings Month. Most engagements take place between Christmas and Valentine's Day, and most future brides start serious planning in February for summer weddings. February birthstone: amethyst. February flower: violet or primrose. February is American Heart Month, National Black History Month, Bake for Family Fun Month, Bird Feeding Month, Care About Your Indoor Air Month, Children's Dental Health Month, Grapefruit Month, Humpback Whale Awareness Month, Creative Romance Month, National Laugh Friendly Month, Library Lovers Month, Mend a Broken Heart Month, Pet Dental Health Month, Pull Your Sofa Off the Wall Month, Spooky Old Broads Month, Youth Leadership Month, Women's Heart Month, and in Illinois, it’s Return Shopping Carts to the Supermarket Month.

Today is Tupperware Sculpting Day, a day to heat up at least one old Tupperware bowl or glass and sculpt it into something new and exciting. Today is Spunky Old Broads Day, a day for celebration for spunky ladies over 50. Today is Working Naked Day, dedicated to those who work at home. Today is National Freedom Day honoring the signing by Abraham Lincoln of a joint House and Senate resolution that later became the 13th Amendment outlawing slavery on February 1, 1865. Today is Robinson Crusoe Day, a day to be adventurous and self-reliant. The holiday memorializes the rescue of a real life Scottish sailor who was the inspiration for Daniel Defoe's classic novel. This is Solo Diners Eat Out Week. It runs through the 7th.

Calendar notes: On this date in 1920, Canada's Royal North West Mounted Police changed their name to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police -- the Mounties were created. The organization was commissioned in 1873. In 1949, RCA Victor introduced the 45, a smaller record with a larger hole than the long-play 33-and-a-third disc introduced earlier by Columbia Records. In 1964, the governor of Indiana declared the Kingsmen's hit Louie Louie was pornographic. He asked the state's radio stations not to play it. In 1982, Late Night with David Letterman premiered on NBC. In 1985, Glenn Frey appeared on an episode of Miami Vice on NBC. In 1994, Jeff Gillooly pled guilty in Portland, Oregon. for his role in the attack on figure skater Nancy Kerrigan. Gillooly, Tonya Harding's ex-husband, struck a plea bargain under which he confessed to racketeering charges in exchange for testimony implicating Harding. In 2004, during the Super Bowl halftime show, in what was termed a wardrobe malfunction, singer Janet Jackson's breast was exposed, resulting in a $550,000 fine against CBS' parent company, Viacom.

Kung Fu Panda 3 showed plenty of power at the box office with a solid opening weekend of $41 million as the durable family franchise dominated moviegoing. The Revenant slipped to second place. The record-shattering space epic Star Wars: The Force Awakens, in its seventh weekend, placed third. Disney's Coast Guard rescue adventure, The Finest Hours, came in fourth. Ride Along 2 rounded out the top five.

Tonight's Iowa caucuses kick off the 2016 presidential nominating contests, marking a new phase in a tumultuous election that has exposed Americans' deep frustration with the other Washington and given rise to candidates few expected to challenge for their party's nomination when they first entered the race. The game is afoot.

Sunday is Popcorn Day. Eight million pounds of popcorn are consumed on Super Bowl Sunday.

Trivia Answer: Rick James who was born on this date in 1948 as James Ambrose Johnson, Jr. Those hit singles? Give It to Me Baby and Super Freak. Super Freak becoming his signature song for the rest of his life, and the basis of MC Hammer's biggest hit, U Can't Touch This. Due to his success, James was often called the king of punk funk, for his mix of funk, soul and underground-inspired rock music. James died in August of 2004 from heart failure, at the age of 56.