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Friday 12.19.14
Today's Trivia: It's Beatles Trivia this week as we give away tickets to Rain at the Washington Center for the Performing Arts in Downtown Olympia. What were The Beatles' middle names?

The Seahawks yesterday announced they have signed K.J. Wright to a four-year contract extension, keeping the outside linebacker in Seattle through the 2018 season. NFL.com reported the contact is worth $27 million over those four years. Speaking at Seahawks headquarters yesterday, Wright said the team exceeded the salary number he'd had in mind. In a statement, coach Pete Carroll said, "K.J. is the epitome of a team guy. We are excited to reward a player of his caliber for all the hard work he has put in over the years to become an important piece of our defense." The 25-year-old Wright is leading the Seahawks with 96 combined tackles in his fourth year with the team. He has started all 14 games mostly at weakside linebacker but also filling in at middle linebacker while Bobby Wagner recovered from a turf toe injury and has started 54 of his 58 regular-season games with the Hawks.

Then in the middle of the morning today came reports that the Hawks have signed pass-rushing specialist Cliff Avril to a four-year contract extension worth $28.5 million.

Never has a team as good as 11-3 been such big underdogs at home -- by 9.5 points. But that's where the Arizona Cardinals are for this weekend's NFC West showdown against the Seattle Seahawks. That's what OddsShark said yesterday. The Seahawks, trailing the Cardinals by one game in the NFC West, opened Monday in Vegas as 7.5-point favorites when they take the field Sunday at University of Phoenix Stadium. Now, three days before kickoff, sports books are favoring Seattle by anywhere from 7.5 to 9.5 points. We'll find out Sunday night. Kick off at 5:30 on NBC.

A stellar matchup on Thursday Night Football last night. Two 2-and-12 teams squared off. The Tennessee Titans and the Jacksonville Jaguars. In the end, the Jags won for the second time in four weeks thanks to a rejuvenated offense that had been mostly stagnant for four-plus games. Playing the Titans surely aided the effort. Tennessee lost its ninth consecutive game and moved a step closer to securing the No. 1 pick in the draft.

Birthdays: Actress Cicely Tyson is 81; from Earth, Wind & Fire, singer Maurice White is 73; he was Venus Flytrap on WKRP in Cincinnati, actor Tim Reid is 70; actor Robert Urich is 56; Bobby on The Brady Bunch, actor Mike Lookinland is 54; actress Jennifer Beals is 51; actress Alyssa Milano is 42; and actor Jake Gyllenhaal is 34.

Here's a toughie around here. Today is Look for an Evergreen Day. To many people, only a fresh cut real tree will do for Christmas. The scent of fresh pine helps to capture the feel of the holidays. Nothing looks more real than a real tree, each one with it's own character and appearance. There is no shortage of types of Christmas trees. Generally classified as firs, spruces, and pines, the most popular varieties have changed over the years. If you haven't selected a tree yet, it's certainly getting late. As we researched this day, we questioned the timing. By the 19th of December, most people have found and put up their Christmas tree. So if you are still treeless, this special day could be the day to do so. Today is Oatmeal Muffin Day. Today is Greetings from Space Day. On this date in 1958, President Dwight Eisenhower broadcast history's first Christmas greeting from outer space, a message transmitted from the US satellite Atlas, expressing America's wish for "peace and goodwill toward men everywhere." Today is E-Mail Santa Claus Just in Case He Didn't Get Your Letter Day.

Calendar notes: On this date in 1843, Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol was first published in England. In 1922, 24-year-old Theresa Vaughn was tried for bigamy in England. In five years she had accumulated ... 62 husbands. In 1974, guitarist Ron Wood joined The Rolling Stones. In 1980, the film 9-to-5 starring Dolly Parton opened. In 1995, two bandits tried to rob Z's Sports Tap bar in Chicago where a police retirement party was underway. The 100 off-duty police officers arrested the suspects at the scene without a fight. In 1987, Paul Simon, the musician, and Paul Simon, the former presidential candidate, both hosted NBC's Saturday Night Live. In 2001, Dick Clark filed a 10-million dollar lawsuit against Recording Academy president Michael Greene. The charge was that Greene would bar artists who appeared on Clark's American Music Awards from performing on the Grammy Awards. In 2001, research by the Reno Gazette-Journal in Nevada determined the most effective way to get rid of a fruitcake is to drive over it with an SUV or kick it like a football. Dropping a fruitcake from the roof of a two-story building or shooting it with a submachine gun was not effective at all.

Retailers don't call the last Saturday before Christmas super for no reason. More than a third (36%) of shoppers polled plan to be out shopping tomorrow -- on Super Saturday.

Isn't it terrible? You fight for parking, you fight the crowds, stand in line, and pay an outrageous price just to give a present to someone who then says, "You didn't have to do that."

President Barack Obama today said that Sony Pictures Entertainment "made a mistake" in shelving a satirical film about a plot to assassinate North Korea's leader. He declared the United States would respond "in a place and manner and time that we choose" to a hack attack on Sony that the FBI blamed on the communist government. Speaking of Sony executives, Obama said at a year-end news conference, "I wish they had spoken to me first. We cannot have a society in which some dictatorship someplace can start imposing censorship."

The good news: Mark Wahlberg will be back for Transformers 5. The bad news: There's going to be a Transformers 5. Wahlberg says he's committed to "a couple more" Transformers films. The next is expected to be in theaters in 2016.

In theaters this weekend, the much anticipated The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (PG-13). Also this weekend, Annie (PG), Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb (PG), and Wild (R).

Trivia Answer: It's almost a trick question. It turns out that George and Ringo didn't have middle names. John's middle name was Winston, although he later changed it to Ono. Paul's middle name was, well, Paul -- his full name was James Paul McCartney.

Thursday 12.18.14
Today's Trivia: It's Beatles Trivia this week as we give away tickets to Rain at the Washington Center for the Performing Arts in Downtown Olympia. What was the No. 1 song on Billboard's charts on February 1st of 1964, a week before The Beatles appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show?

At some point every week, Pete Carroll will describe the upcoming opponent as a "championship opportunity." Every week. Without fail. No matter the quality of the competition or the setting of the game. The end goal is that when a big game arrives like last February's Super Bowl, or Sunday's NFC West showdown with Arizona it's handled in the same way as any other week. Carroll said yesterday, "We're not going into this game thinking we're unfamiliar with it or it's going to be something we don't know how to handle or what's up. We don't feel like that at all. That comes from years of experience and being through it and a bunch of young guys now that they're pretty well experienced at the timing of these kinds of games." Clearly what Carroll has implemented has worked. For the fourth time in Carroll's five seasons with Seattle, the Seahawks are in contention for a division title going into the final weeks of the regular season. But after being in control of home-field advantage and the No. 1 seed for most of last season, this Week 16 showdown with Arizona is significant. A win by the Cardinals gives them the NFC West title and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs, needing just two wins to play in the Super Bowl on their home field. For the Seahawks, a victory wouldn't guarantee a playoff spot unless they get some help earlier in the day. But it would potentially leave Seattle needing just a home victory over St. Louis in Week 17 to clinch the division title and home-field advantage. Two wins would give Seattle the No. 1 seed in the NFC as long as it doesn't finish in a tie at 12-4 with Dallas, in which case the Cowboys would hold the tiebreaker. Seattle would win any two-way tiebreakers with Detroit, Green Bay or Arizona and all three-way tiebreakers go in favor of the Seahawks. Why is that important for Seattle? Over the past three seasons, playoffs included, the Seahawks are 23-2 at home and have outscored opponents by an average of 14 points per game. Sunday night at 5:30. Seahawks-Cardinals in Phoenix.

Citing a pattern of behavior and off-field issues, San Francisco 49ers general manager Trent Baalke informed defensive lineman Ray McDonald yesterday that he was released amid a sexual assault investigation by San Jose police. Baalke spoke with McDonald and his agent by phone around 11:30 yesterday morning to let them know the defender is "terminated" Baalke said, "After the recent allegations concerning Ray McDonald, we as an organization notified him and his agent that he will be terminated, released immediately, effective immediately. While this organization has a strong belief in due process and has demonstrated that over time, Ray's demonstrated a pattern of poor decision-making that has led to multiple distractions to this organization and this football team that really can no longer be tolerated."

Birthdays: Rolling Stone guitarist Keith Richards is 71; director Steven Spielberg is 68; movie critic Leonard Maltin is 64; Cars guitarist Elliot Easton is 61; actor Ray Liotta is 60; comedian Ron White is 58; actor Brad Pitt is 51; wrestler Stone Cold Steve Austin is 50; actress Katie Holmes is 36; and singer Christina Aguilera is 34.

Today is Let's See What We Find In the Fridge Day, a day to be brave and eat something from way back in the refrigerator. Today is National Wear a Plunger on Your Head Day. Today is National Bake Cookies Day. Today is National Roast Suckling Pig Day.

Calendar notes: On this date in 1898, a new automobile speed record was set ... at 39 mph. In 1975, Rod Stewart announced in London that he was leaving The Faces to launch a solo career. In 1976, Wonder Woman debuted on ABC-TV. Lynda Carter was Wonder Woman; Lyle Waggoner was Major Steve Trevor. Wonder Woman had appeared in comic books since 1941. She possessed the beauty of Aphrodite, the wisdom of Athena, the strength of Hercules, the speed of Mercury. In 1984, Madonna's Like a Virgin topped the Billboard pop chart. It was Madonna's first number-one hit. In 1985, box office receipts made Beverly Hills Cop the top film of the year. Back to the Future was #2; Rambo: First Blood, Part 2 was #3. In 1997, comedian Chris Farley was found dead in his Chicago apartment. He was 33 years old. In 2001, in Seattle, Gary Ridgeway pleaded innocent to the charge of murder for four of the Green River serial killings. He had been arrested on November 30th of that year. In 2009, James Cameron's movie Avatar was released in the United States. On January 26th, the movie became the highest-grossing film worldwide.

Wow. The Dow Jones Industrial average closed up over 400 points today.

TV tonight, People Magazine Awards. This two hour special includes a performance from Maroon 5. Celebrities scheduled to appear include Jennifer Aniston, Kevin Hart, Kate Hudson, Michael Keaton and Jennifer Lopez. It's tonight on NBC.

Under the threat of terrorist attacks from hackers and with the nation's largest multiplex chains pulling the film from its screens, Sony Pictures Entertainment took the unprecedented step of canceling the December 25th release of the The Interview. The cancellation, announced yesterday, was a startling blow to the Hollywood studio that has been shaken by hacker leaks and intimidations over the last several weeks by an anonymous group calling itself Guardians of Peace. A US official said yesterday that federal investigators have now connected the Sony hacking to North Korea and are expected to make an announcement in the near future -- perhaps as early as today. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the official was not authorized to openly discuss an ongoing criminal case. Sony said it was cancelling The Interview release "in light of the decision by the majority of our exhibitors not to show the film." The studio said it respected and shared in the exhibitors' concerns. We are deeply saddened at this brazen effort to suppress the distribution of a movie, and in the process do damage to our company, our employees, and the American public. We stand by our filmmakers and their right to free expression and are extremely disappointed by this outcome."

Seventy-five years after it's theatrical release, the Civil War epic Gone with the Wind has been voted America's favorite movie. The results of a Harris Poll show the Star Wars series is No. 2, followed by Titanic, The Godfather and The Lord of the Rings trilogy.

Then there's the college student in England who didn't have enough money for cab fair and was offered help by a homeless man. Dominique Harrison-Bentzen said she would spend 24 hours on the streets with the man, named Robbie, in an effort to raise money to get him out of the cold. Well it worked she raised nearly $33,000.

Trivia Answer: I Want to Hold Your Hand

Wednesday 12.17.14
Today's Trivia: It's Beatles Trivia this week as we give away tickets to Rain at the Washington Center for the Performing Arts in Downtown Olympia. What item was stolen from Ringo while he was in New York for The Beatles first concert there in August of 1964? Was it his passport, his St. Christopher medal, his drumsticks, or autographed photo of Ed Sullivan?

The Seattle Seahawks are creeping closer to the top of the league in this week's NFL power rankings following their Week 15 win over the San Francisco 49ers. The Hawks came in at No. 2 in the AP Pro32 poll released yesterday, moving up one spot from last week. They are the top-ranked team in the NFC, trailing only the New England Patriots. The Denver Broncos follow Seattle at No. 3 with last week's top team, the Green Bay Packers, coming in at No. 4. The Arizona Cardinals -- who sit one game ahead of the Seahawks at 11-and-3 take on the Hawks on Sunday with the NFC West on the line -- round out the top five. ESPN's Power Panel has the same five teams topping their poll, but in a slightly different order, with the Broncos just ahead of Seattle in the No. 2 slot. CBS Sports put Seattle just behind the Patriots at No. 2. Finally, the NFL.com put the Hawks at No. 3 behind AFC powers New England and Denver.

By the way, the Hawks face a fierce Arizona Cardinals defense Sunday, but they'll do so with some question marks along a much maligned offensive line. Left tackle Russell Okung will likely miss the game, Coach Pete Carroll said he's got a bruised lung, With Okung out, Alvin Bailey will likely start at left tackle, The Seahawks could get a boost with the return of center Max Unger, who could re-enter the Seattle lineup for the first time since suffering injuries to his knee and ankle at Kansas City in Week 11. His availability for the Arizona game is seemingly going to go right down to the wire. The Hawks and Cardinals coming up Sunday night at 5:30.

Birthdays: Political commentator and journalist Chris Matthews is 69; actor and comedian Eugene Levy is 68; singer Paul Rodgers is 65; he was Ernie Douglas on My Three Sons, actor Barry Livingston is 61; director and producer Peter Farrelly is 58; and from R.E.M., bassist Mike Mills is 56.

Norman Bridwell, a soft-spoken illustrator whose impromptu story about a girl and her puppy marked the unlikely birth of the supersized franchise Clifford the Big Red Dog, has died. Bridwell, who lived for decades in a house with a bright red door on Martha's Vineyard off Cape Cod in Massachusetts, died at Martha's Vineyard Hospital, where he had been for about three weeks after a fall at home. Starting in 1963 with "Clifford, the Big Red Dog," Bridwell wrote and illustrated more than 40 Clifford books, from Clifford and the Grouchy Neighbors to Clifford Goes to Hollywood. More than 120 million copies have sold worldwide, along with cartoons, a feature film, a musical, stuffed animals, key chains, posters and stickers. Images of Clifford have appeared everywhere from museums to the White House. Norman Bridwell was 86.

Today is the original Clean Air Day, marking the 1967 passage of the US Clean Air Act, a sweeping set of laws to protect the nation from air pollution. It was the first law to place pollution controls on the auto industry. Today is Simpsons Day. The animated cartoon family debuted as a weekly sitcom on December 17th, 1989. Today is National Maple Syrup Day which provides us with the opportunity to enjoy and appreciate this delicious American treat. This sweet and unique flavor originated in America.

Calendar notes: On this date in 1969, the US Air Force closed its Project Blue Book by concluding that there was no evidence of extraterrestrial spaceships behind thousands of UFO sightings. Also in 1969, an estimated 50 million viewers watched singer Tiny Tim marry Miss Vicky on The 'Tonight Show. They tiptoed through stuff together until 1977. Tim collapsed during a benefit in Minneapolis in November 1996 and never regained consciousness. In 1975, Lynette 'Squeakie' Fromme was sentenced in a Sacramento, California, federal court to life in prison for her attempt on the life of President Ford. In 1979, Stan Barrett broke the sound barrier, reaching 739.6 miles an hour on land at Edwards Air Force Base, California. His rocket vehicle was powered by a 48-thousand horsepower engine and a sidewinder missile. In 1993, Fox Television outbid CBS for the rights to televise games of the National Football Conference. In 1994, Bon Jovi guitarist Richie Sambora married actress Heather Locklear. In 1999, when an autograph hunter handed Keith Richards a guitar to sign outside New York's Russian Tea Room, the Rolling Stone walked off with the instrument. The victim opted not to press charges, reasoning, "It's Keith, man." In 2003, a bank robber in Tularosa, New Mexico, lost a bid to overturn his conviction by arguing the stupidity of the crime proved he was too drunk to be responsible. The defendant argued his attempt to rob the same bank teller who moments before had refused to cash his check was stupid enough to show he was inebriated. A compelling argument, but the court didn't buy it.

Thank you to everybody that entered the 94.5 Roxy Rockin' Toy Box contest. Congratulations to those that won Toy Boxes. See the winners at 945roxy.com. The winner of the $945 is being announced this afternoon during the Drive@5.

A federal jury yesterday rejected an antitrust lawsuit accusing Apple of using a 2006 update to iTunes software to give itself a monopoly over digital music sales. The eight-member jury unanimously found that Apple had tweaked the software to make legitimate improvements to iPods sold from 2006 to 2009. Competitors who filed the class-action suit complained that the changes let users play songs purchased in the iTunes stores or downloaded from CDs, but not those sold by rival stores and services.

Federal workers are increasingly dismayed by what they see as weak leadership across government. A recent survey finds employees' job satisfaction at its lowest point since Congress required the first workplace appraisal 11 years ago. Despite continued positive feedback at some agencies and improving morale at others, just 56.9 percent of employees are happy with their jobs and would recommend their agencies as places to work.

Trivia Answer: It was his St. Christopher medal. It was torn from his neck by Angie McGowan, a 16-year-old fan. After Ringo made pleas for it during radio interviews, McGowan returned it, and met Ringo in the process.

Tuesday 12.16.14
Today's Trivia: It's Beatles Trivia this week as we give away tickets to Rain at the Washington Center for the Performing Arts in Downtown Olympia. How much did a front-row ticket to The Beatles first concert in America cost? $4, $6, $8.50, or $12.50?

I'm still trying to figure out why they do this. Remember a couple of weeks ago when the Seahawks weren't the recipients of a pass interference call ... and they should've been? Later the NFL said they blew the call. So? It doesn't change anything. Now, yesterday morning, the NFL admitted that officials blew a key call in the Seahawks' 17-7 victory over the rival San Francisco 49ers. NFL head of officiating Dean Blandino said on an appearance on NFL Network that referee Ed Hochuli erred in calling roughing-the-passer penalty against 49ers linebacker Nick Moody early in the fourth quarter of Sunday's game. On the play, Moody rushed Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson, hitting him high just after Wilson threw the ball incomplete to receiver Paul Richardson on third-and-5 from the San Francisco 15-yard line. Hochuli -- who was standing behind Wilson at a seemingly bad angle to make the call -- threw the flag against the second-year linebacker, which gave the Hawks a first-and-goal at the Niners' 7-yard line. Wilson tossed a 10-yard touchdown pass to Richardson two plays later that extended the Seahawks' lead to 17-7. Hochuli explained his decision to throw the crucial flag to reporters after the game. He said, "I felt that (Moody) hit the quarterback in the chest with the hairline, and that's a foul unless he has his face completely up and would hit if face-on with the facemask. It's a foul, and that's why I called it." But Blandino said yesterday that replays didn't support Hochuli's decision. He said, "It's close, but when you look at it on tape, Moody's head is up, he hits with more the side or the facemask to the body of the quarterback. So in our review, with the ability to look at it in slow motion, it is not a foul." Pete Carroll didn't apologize yesterday morning for a controversial call, or for the two other controversial personal-foul penalties against San Francisco safety Eric Reid. Coach said, "I thought it was a pretty regular game of calling penalties on your opponent, and we actually felt the benefit of those couple calls. We rarely feel that." Carroll acknowledged the gravity of the flag against Moody. He said, "That was a big call. There were a couple big ones. There always are."

Jim Harbaugh welcomes a sit-down with the 49ers CEO and with the team's general manager to discuss the future - his future - after a season that will end in two weeks without a playoff berth for the first time during his four-year tenure. Harbaugh said yesterday that no meeting is scheduled and wouldn't say whether he should be the one to initiate it. He said, "I'm always available to talk to the owner and general manager, of course." Harbaugh's comments came a day after the Niners were eliminated from playoff contention with that 17-7 loss at Seattle. He added, "Everybody's been head down, everybody's been focused on the season - players, coaches, front office. That's been our approach." There's an uncomfortable vibe around team headquarters given the uncertain future of Harbaugh, who has one season remaining on the $25 million, five-year contract he signed in January 2011. Especially with two remaining home games at Levi's Stadium, where the 49ers have hardly established much of a home-field advantage.

Monday Night Football last night: Drew Brees threw for 375 yards and three touchdowns, and the New Orleans Saints beat the Chicago Bears 31-15 to grab the NFC South lead. The Saints are now 6-and-8 moved into first place. The Bears dropped to 5-and-9.

Birthdays: Journalist Lesley Stahl is 73; writer and producer Steven Bochco is 71; from ABBA, frontman Benny Anderson is 68; ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons is 65; and football's William 'The Refrigerator' Perry is 52.

Chocolaholics rejoice. Today is National Chocolate Covered Anything Day. Today, we get to enjoy our beloved chocolate by covering something...just about anything... in a generous amount of chocolate. Pour, spread, or drizzle chocolate over cakes, cupcakes, pies, pancakes or waffles, nuts, raisins, even ants (yes, some people actually eat chocolate covered ants!). Happy National Chocolate Covered Anything Day. Today is Barbie and Barney Backlash Day, the one day each year when Mom & Dad can tell the kids that Barbie and Barney don't exist. Today is Underdog Day, saluting the underdogs, the unsung heroes, the #2 folks who contribute so much to the #1 people we hear about. Today is Stupid Toy Day.

Calendar notes: On this date in 1773, nearly 350 chests of tea were dumped into Boston Harbor off of British ships by Colonial patriots. The patriots were disguised as Indians. The act was to protest taxation without representation and the monopoly the government granted to the East India Company. In 1966, the Jimi Hendrix single Hey Joe was released in the UK. In 1971, Don McLean's eight-minute-plus version of American Pie was released. In 1972, the Miami Dolphins became the first NFL team to go unbeaten and untied in a 14-game regular season. The Dolphins went on to defeat the Washington Redskins in Super Bowl VII. In 1973, OJ Simpson became the first NFL back to rush 2,000 yards in a season. In 1977, the film Saturday Night Fever opened in the US. In 1980, Colonel Harland Sanders died at 90. He founded Kentucky Fried Chicken at age 66, and sold it four years later for $2-million. In 1993, MTV aired Nirvana's New York Unplugged performance. In 2000, President-elect George W. Bush selected Colin Powell to be the first African-American secretary of state. Powell was sworn in January 20th of 2001. In 2004, Britain's highest court ruled the government could not detain foreign suspects indefinitely without trial. In 2005, Jessica Simpson filed for divorce from husband Nick Lachey, citing irreconcilable differences. In 2006, a nervous grandmother mistakenly put her 1-month-old grandson through an X-ray machine at Los Angeles International Airport. A startled security worker noticed the shape of a child on the monitor and immediately pulled him out. Doctors at a local hospital said he did not receive a dangerous dose of radiation.

On TV tonight: Elf: Buddy's Christmas Musical. It's a new animated special is based on the popular film Elf and the hit Broadway show Elf: The Musical. Jim Parsons from The Big Bang Theory stars as Buddy. The voice cast also includes Mark Hamill, Ed Asner, Jay Leno, Matt Lauer, and Gilbert Gottfried. It's tonight on NBC.

American Idol is getting trimmed to one night a week. Ryan Seacrest has confirmed that the show will air performances and results in a single night once the season gets into its Top 10. Seacrest said, "There won't be a 'wait 'til tomorrow night, There won't be a 'Coming up, coming up, coming up.' We are going to put it all into one format in one night. So that will be exciting." Last season, Idol slashed its results show down to 30 minutes to air on Thursday nights, after the performances were shown on Wednesdays. The new format mimics ABC's Dancing with the Stars, which switched to a single-show format earlier this year. American Idol kicks off Season 14 in about three weeks on Wednesday, January 7th

Paris' famous and gargantuan Louvre Museum is slated to undergo an overhaul to make it less likely for visitors to get lost.

According to a recent study, as many as one in three Americans hate holiday shopping so much that they would rather have root canal procedure than have to shop.

What do you get the person who has everything this Christmas? A box of nothing. A company called You Need Nothing is selling boxes containing nothing. You get your choice of a white or black box. All proceeds will go to the charity Oxfam. The cheapest Box of Nothing sells for about $40.

Trivia Answer: Believe it or not, a front-row seat was only $4.00.

Monday 12.15.14
Today's Trivia: It's Beatles Trivia this week as we give away tickets to Rain at the Washington Center for the Performing Arts in Downtown Olympia. The Beatles received $10,000 for performing three times on The Ed Sullivan Show. The first song they performed live for an American audience was All My Loving which they performed on The Ed Sullivan Show on February 9th of 1964. Who sent a congratulatory telegram to The Beatles before that first performance?

The 49ers are out of the playoffs. In fact, the NFC playoffs could be routed through the Pacific Northwest again. Not a happy prospect for the rest of the conference. Marshawn Lynch rushed for 91 yards and a touchdown, Russell Wilson threw a touchdown pass to rookie Paul Richardson, and Seattle kept up its chase for a division title and No. 1 seed with a 17-7 win over San Francisco yesterday. It gives the Hawks 10 wins. After a sluggish, sloppy first half filled with penalties and missed assignments, Seattle awoke in the final 30 minutes behind the running of Lynch and a defense that shut out the 49ers, holding them to 67 yards. Colin Kaepernick was sacked six times and the 49ers didn't run a play past the Seattle 38 in the second half. The loss and Detroit's win eliminated San Francisco from making the postseason. It's the first time in Jim Harbaugh's four seasons the 49ers won't be playing in January, and will only heighten questions about Harbaugh's future with the club. By the way, 34 regular season wins by Russell Wilson in his first three years surpasses Dan Marino and Matt Ryan for most in the NFL . . . with 2 games to play. The Hawks are down to the final two regular season games. They are at Arizona against the Cardinals Sunday night at 5:30, and then home with the St. Louis Rams on the 28th.

What a season for Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota. He had 38 passing touchdowns, 14 rushing touchdowns, only threw 2 interceptions, and totaled a school record 4,452 total yards. He completed the year becoming the first player in Oregon history to win the Heisman Trophy. The announcement came Saturday night. He won with a near-record share of the vote. Mariota was widely expected to win in a landslide, and he claimed 90.92 percent of the possible points, trailing only Ohio State QB Troy Smith's 91.63 percent in 2006.

Birthdays: Actor and comedian Tim Conway is 81; from The Supremes, singer Cindy Birdsong is 75; from The Dave Clark Five, drummer Dave Clark is 72; drummer and percussionist Carmine Appice is 68; actor Don Johnson is 65;and The Dave Matthews Band's lead guitarist Tim Reynolds is 57.

Today is Trivial Pursuit Day, honoring Canadians Chris Haney and Scott Abbott, who created the game on this date in 1979. Today is National Lemon Cupcake Day. Today is Bill of Rights Day. The first 10 amendments to the US constitution became effective when Virginia ratified on this date in 1791. Today is Cat Herders Day, for people who say their job, or their life, is like trying to herd cats. Today is Coonskin Cap Day, marking the debut of Davy Crockett on TV's Disneyland on this date in 1954. Within weeks, millions of kids were wearing coonskin caps (though the real Davy, himself, never wore one).

Calendar notes: On this date in 1854, in Philadelphia, the first street cleaning machine was put into use. In 1877, Thomas Edison patented the phonograph. In 1939, Gone With the Wind, produced by David O. Selznick and based on the novel by Margaret Mitchell, premiered at Loew's Grand Theater in Atlanta. The movie starred Vivien Leigh and Clark Gable. In 1941, singer Lena Horne recorded her classic Stormy Weather for Victor Records. In 1944, a small plane carrying band leader Glenn Miller disappeared on a flight from England to Paris. Forty years later a British bomber crew admitted they had accidentally dropped bombs onto Miller's plane over the English Channel. In 1950, a 221-foot Douglas fir, the tallest cut Christmas tree on record, was hoisted at the Northgate Shopping Center in Seattle. In 1966, Walt Disney died in Los Angeles at the age of 65. In 1996, Boeing announced plans to pay $13.3 billion to acquire rival aircraft manufacturer McDonnell Douglas Corp. In 1997, the San Francisco 49ers retired Joe Montana's number 16 during halftime of a game against the Denver Broncos. In 2000, New York Senator-elect Hillary Rodham Clinton agreed to accept an $8 million book deal with Simon & Schuster. The book was to be about her eight years in the White House. The advance was the highest ever to be paid to a member of Congress.

Authorities say the Sydney hostage situation ended late this morning our time. A flurry of loud bangs erupted as a swarm of heavily armed police stormed that downtown Sydney cafe where a gunman had been holding an unknown number of people hostage for more than 16 hours. After the police moved in, one weeping woman was helped out by the officers and at least two other people were wheeled out on stretchers. The dramatic scene unfolded shortly after the gunman was identified by local media as Iranian-born Man Haron Monis, who is facing charges including sexual assault and accessory to murder in separate cases. Monis has long been on officials' radar. Last year, he was sentenced to 300 hours of community service for writing offensive letters to families of soldiers killed in Afghanistan. He was later charged with being an accessory to the murder of his ex-wife. Earlier this year, he was charged with the sexual assault of a woman in 2002. He has been out on bail on the charges.

Exodus: Gods and Kings, an action-filled epic starring Christian Bale as Biblical leader Moses, marched to the top of US and Canadian movie charts over the weekend, collecting $24.5 million in ticket sales. The multitudes of moviegoers for Exodus knocked The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 to second place. Penguins of Madagascar finished in the No. 3 spot, while Chris Rock's comedy Top Five grabbed fourth place. Fifth place went to Walt Disney's Big Hero 6.

Los Angeles Laker Kobe Bryant passed Michael Jordan to move into third place on the NBA's all-time scoring list last night. The 36-year-old Bryant entered the game against the Minnesota Timberwolves needing just nine points to push ahead of Jordan, the former Chicago Bulls superstar, who scored 32,292 points over 15 seasons. Bryant, who has been in the basketball league for 19 years, finished the game with 26 points, pushing his career total to 32,310. He now trails only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (38,387) and Karl Malone (36,928).

They won't be able to count for a few years, but when the time comes, they'll be able to practice using their unique birthdays. Two babies were born Saturday at 10:11 a.m. If you follow the American style of writing dates, that means their birthdays appear in sequential order: 10:11 on 12/13/14. Victoria Marie Jones came in at 5 pounds and 10 ounces and just in time for the parents -- both Navy veterans -- to catch the annual Army-Navy football game. At the same time, Hazel Grace Zimmerman was born in Ohio's Cleveland Clinic. She weighed in at 7 pounds and 14 ounces. It's rare. It's orderly. And when it comes to remembering an anniversary date, it's as easy as 12/13/14. Saturday December 13th, 2014, represented the last sequential calendar date for at least 20 years -- the next coming on January 2nd of 2034 (1/2/34) and another 89 years if your're waiting for January 2nd of 2103 (1/2/3). If a person has a heart set on commemorating the next 12/13/14, make sure that heart can stand another 100 years on earth to make it to December 13th of 2114. A sequence comes sooner for math nerds with pi. The day is mere months away on March 14th (Get it? 3.1415?)

Trivia Answer: Elvis Presley in a telegram also signed by his manager Colonel Tom Parker.

Friday 12.12.14
Today's Trivia: This former television game show host is best known for hosting The Price Is Right from 1972 to 2007, making it the longest-running daytime game show in North American television history. Before that he hosted Truth or Consequences from 1956 to 1974. Who is he?

Mother Nature saved her best (punch) for last. While two storms this week brought copious amounts of rain, some strong winds to parts of the Northwest, and temperatures typically found in May or June, this finale of the stormy trio left more of a lasting mark. Several locations reported gusts over 60 mph with Whidbey Island Naval Air Station reporting a peak gust of 69 miles an hour. Everett reached 62 miles an hour while Tacoma hit 58. It was a little wooly wasn't it? Shelton had a peak gust of 43. There was a gust of 55 miles an hour recorded at the Olympia airport a little before 6:00 last night. A few school disruptions this morning because they had no power. Those included Bush Middle School, LP Brown, and Yelm Community Schools. Things are much calmer and mellower today.

If you follow the news, you know it's almost a foregone conclusion that this will be Jim Harbaugh's last season as head coach of the San Francisco 49ers. Things aren't going well for him in the Bay Area. The rumors started months ago but boiled over when the Seattle Seahawks feasted on the Niners on Thanksgiving night, walloping Harbaugh's team 19-3 in Santa Clara. The 49ers' shocking loss Sunday to the Oakland Raiders was just the icing on the cake for those Hawks fans who revel in Harbaugh's hardships. By the way, in the four years that Harbaugh has coached in San Francisco, the Niners and Hawks have split eight games 4-4. Who will come out on top Sunday? The game kicks off at 1:25 Sunday afternoon. Fox has the coverage.

Thursday Night Football last night, the Cardinals win again. They beat the Rams 12-6. Interesting to note: it's the first NFL game without a touchdown in two years.

Birthdays: Singer Connie Francis is 76; Whitney Houston's cousin, singer Dionne Warwick is 74; from The Allman Brothers Band, guirarist Dickey Betts is 71; actress and former gymnast. Cathy Rigby is 62; and singer-perciussionist Sheila E. as in Escovedo is 57.

Today is Ugly Christmas Sweater Day. Wear it with pride. Today is Poinsettia Day, marking the 1799 birth of Dr. Joel Poinsett, who brought the poinsettia plant north from Mexico. He was a US congressman and Secretary of War. Today is Gingerbread House Day. Today is National Ambrosia Day. Today is National Ding-A-Ling Day, always on Frank Sinatra's birthday.

Calendar notes: On this date in 1800, Washington, DC, was established as the capital of the United States. In 1899, the US Patent Office issued a patent to George F. Grant of Boston for his invention of the golf tee. Before that, golfers placed the ball on a small mound of dirt, called a tee. In 1901, Guglielmo Marconi sent out and received the very first radio signal. In 1917, in Nebraska, Father Edward J. Flanagan founds Boys Town as a farm village for wayward boys. In 1957, DJ Al Priddy was fired from a Portland, Oregon radio station because he played Elvis Presley's rendition of White Christmas on the air. The station had banned Presley's interpretations of Christmas carols because they believed that such a sexually charged performer had no business recording religious music. In 1997, the US Justice Department ordered Microsoft to sell its Internet browser separately from its Windows operating system to prevent it from building a monopoly of web access programs. In 2000, a divided Supreme Court reversed a state court decision for recounts in Florida's contested election, transforming George W. Bush into the president-elect. Also in 2000, a team of developmental pediatricians in Canada released a report declaring Winnie the Pooh and his friends belonged in a child development clinic. The doctors said Pooh was obsessive-compulsive, Eeyore was chronically depressed, Piglet needed medication, Roo was a juvenile delinquent in-the-making, and Christopher Robin had gender issues. They even speculated Christopher Robin might be to blame for Pooh being a Bear of Very Little Brain, saying he may suffer from Shaken Bear Syndrome because of years of Christopher dragging Pooh down the stairs on the back of his head. And also in 2000, the Texas Rangers signed Alex Rodriguez to a record breaking 10-year, $252 million contract. The contract amount broke all major league baseball records and all professional sports records. In 2002, the Boring Institute of America declared Ozzy Osbourne the most boring celebrity of the year.

Oil prices continued their decline this week with the American benchmark crude oil price falling below $60 per barrel for the first time in more than five years. Oil prices have dropped by more than 40 percent since early June, contributing to a sharp decline in gasoline prices. The US average gas price fell to $2.62 per gallon of regular-grade fuel yesterday, roughly 64 cents lower than a year ago. OPEC decided last month not to cut production despite a global oil glut. Today's AAA national average is down another couple of cents at 2.60 a gallon. Here in Olympia, it's $2.90. A year ago it was $3.32.

More than 90 percent of American teenagers are chronically sleep-deprived, according to a report published in the journal Preventing Chronic Disease. Just 6 to 7 percent of girls and 8 to 9 percent of boys interviewed by the researchers between 2007 and 2013 got the recommended nine or more hours per night, and 95 percent of high school seniors got far less. The lack of sleep raises the teens' risk of diabetes, hurts school performance, and raises the likelihood they will be in a car wreck.

The Justice Department said yesterday that Native American tribes have the authority to allow marijuana sales and cultivation on their reservations, even in states where the drug is illegal. In theory, the decision could pave the way for legal pot sales in nearly every state, although many tribes have already come out against marijuana legalization on their lands. Any reservations allowing the drug would still have to follow federal rules tightly regulating the sales, including prohibiting sales to minors.

David Letterman says his last goodbye as the host of the Late Show on Wednesday, May 20th of 2015. The final episode ends a 22-year reign at CBS and a 32-year career as a late night talk show host. The time spent on air also gives him the honor of being the longest running talk show host on television.

Researchers at Harvard University say they have identified two chemical compounds that could replace bad fat cells in the human body with healthy fat-burning cells, in what may be the first step toward the development of an effective medical treatment which could even take the form of a pill to help control weight gain.

A couple of new movies for the weekend: Exodus: Gods and Kings (PG-13) and Top Five (R).

Trivia Answer: Robert William Barker -- Bob Barker -- who turns 91 today. He was born here in Washington. He was born in Darrington, but spent most of his youth on the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota. Barker has been a long-time supporter of animal rights, and of animal-rights activism, including groups such as the United Activists for Animal Rights and the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. In 2007, Barker retired from hosting The Price Is Right after celebrating his 50-year career on television. In 1994, former model Dian Parkinson filed a lawsuit against Barker alleging sexual harassment following a three-year affair while working on The Price Is Right. Parkinson, who alleged that she was extorted by threats of firing, later dropped her lawsuit, claiming the stress from the ordeal was damaging her health. In 1995, model Holly Hallstrom exited Price and later filed suit against Barker for wrongful termination and malicious persecution claiming Barker had launched a media attack against her, allegedly stating that she was disruptive to the working atmosphere of Price. Barker dropped his case, while Hallstrom did not, finally ending in settlement in 2005. Following their testimonies in Barker's failed lawsuit against Hallstrom, models Janice Pennington and Kathleen Bradley were fired, and later received out-of-court financial settlements. Director Paul Alter was removed from the show in 2000. Production assistants Sherrill Paris and Sharon Friem, who were also dismissed at the same time, each sued Barker for wrongful termination, as well as sexual harassment and sex discrimination. Both women ultimately received financial settlements.

Thursday 12.11.14
Today's Trivia: He's a former stockbroker, investment advisor, and financier. He's been convicted of fraud. He's the former non-executive chairman of the NASDAQ stock market, and the admitted operator of a Ponzi scheme that is considered to be the largest financial fraud in US history. Who is he?

Unexpectedly cheerful and far more chatty than is the norm, Colin Kaepernick insisted he takes every part of his job seriously and is working at giving more thoughtful public responses even after poor performances. Scrutinized locally and nationally for his terse, short answers along with bad play in recent weeks -- word counts, anyone? -- the quarterback took a different approach during his weekly Wednesday media session in the locker room at Levi's Stadium. Kaepernick said he received some guidance about public speaking. He said, "I think there's a different way to go about things. Obviously, it's something that I take my job very seriously. When I go out there and compete and I don't do well, it's something I'm very hard on myself about. It's something that I have to approach others differently with when I'm in those situations." Kaepernick added, "Yeah, I think there is a happy medium. It's something that obviously I'm working on and try to help you guys do your jobs as well." Kaepernick and the 49ers must win out to have a chance of returning to the playoffs for a fourth straight year under coach Jim Harbaugh. They return to Seattle Sunday just 11 months after losing the NFC title game to the eventual Super Bowl champs, and just 17 days after a 19-3 defeat by their rival on Thanksgiving night.

Birthdays: Anita in West Side Story, actress Rita Moreno is 83; the frontman for Bread, singer David Gates is 74; Abby Sumner on Knots Landing, actress Donna Mills is 74; US Secretary of State John Kerry is 71; little miss Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree, singer Brenda Lee is 70; actress Lynda Day George is 70; actress Teri Garr is 67; and Motley Crue bassist Nikki Sixx is 56.

Today is National Noodle Ring Day -- a December day that kids young and old have been impatiently awaiting......yeah, right. What would cooking be like without the noodle ring? We shudder to think about it. We are certainly relieved that the Noodle Ring exists, so we can cook them in one recipe after another. And, doesn't it make sense that we honor the Noodle Ring with its own very special day!?

Calendar notes: On this date in 1769, Edward Beran of London patented venetian blinds. In 1946, the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) was established by the UN General Assembly. The fund provides relief to children in countries devastated by war. In 1951, Joe DiMaggio of the New York Yankees announced his retirement from major league baseball. DiMaggio only played for the Yankees over his 13-year career. In 1957, Jerry Lee Lewis married Myra Gale Brown in Hernando, Mississippi. There were quite a few things that made this wedding special. First, Myra is the daughter of his bass player Jay. Secondly, she was Jerry Lee's cousin. Thirdly, she was 13-years-old. And fourth, Jerry was still married to his second wife Jane Mitcham. Against the odds, this union lasted 13 years. In 1968, The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus, featuring The Rolling Stones, Jethro Tull, The Who, Taj Mahal, Marianne Faithfull, and The Dirty Mac with Yoko Ono, was filmed in Wembley, London. In 1972, Apollo 17 became the sixth and last Apollo mission to land on the Moon. In 1976, Bob Seger released his album Night Moves. Also In 1976. at a Kiss concert in Florida, Ace Frehley accidentally touched a short-circuited light bulb and was electrocuted. An unconscious Frehley was taken off the stage ... then wheeled back on ten minutes later to complete the concert. In 1981, Muhammad Ali fought his last fight. He lost his 61st fight to Trevor Berbick. In 2002, Guns N' Roses comeback tour was cancelled.

Got a note from our friends at the National Weather Service regarding a pretty cool site to watch today's storm. Check it out at http://earth.nullschool.net/#current/wind/surface/level/overlay=total_precipitable_water/orthographic=-125.89,32.48,1024

It seems a bit weird -- normally when you think of setting all time heat records, the sun is shining, clouds are sparse to non-existent, and Frappuccinos are a top seller. Not so this December. With a downright tropical pattern in place this week already providing some warmth and a mega warm front pushing through the region yesterday, temperatures got an added boost to levels never before seen in December, despite a thick overcast, drenching rains, and wind gusts reaching 40 to 50 mph. Seattle reached a temperature of 66 degrees late yesterday morning, smashing the all-time record for warmest December day, which was 64 degrees set in 1993. Bellingham also hit 66, breaking their all-time record of 63. Some spots got even a little warmer, with Renton reporting 67 degrees and Seattle's Boeing Field reaching all the way to 68 degrees. Here in Olympia, it made it to 64 degrees and there was a gust of 43 mph. Tacoma made it to 65 with a 39 mph gust.

Grays Harbor Community Hospital says a woman gave birth this month a baby weighing nearly 15 pounds. The Aberdeen hospital says the average newborn weighs about 7 pounds at birth. Yessica Ortiz Delgado delivered a boy named Francisco Leon Ortiz who weighed 14 pounds and 11 ounces. Delgado's two other children were about 12 pounds each at birth but the mother didn't expect her newest to be so large. Both mother and son are doing well.

Maroon 5 spent their weekend gatecrashing several wedding receptions across Los Angeles to give newlyweds an unforgettable impromptu performance. The band surprised couples on their big day by showing up to their party without notice to take to the stage, and the entire ambush was captured on camera as part of the band's upcoming music video. Frontman Adam Levine tells Access Hollywood, ""We crashed multiple weddings, actually. It was really surreal. It was so much more amazing than we originally thought it would be, because we literally showed up and played songs for these guys. "They (newlyweds) were surprised. I'm just glad they're good memories." Levine is a newlywed himself after tying the knot in July.

Instagram announced yesterday the photo-sharing social network has reached more than 300 million monthly users, surpassing the number of Twitter users for the first time. The company jumped from 200 million monthly users to 300 million in about nine months. Meanwhile, Twitter had about 284 million active monthly users as of the end of October.

Trivia Answer: Bernard Lawrence Madoff -- Bernie Madoff. Madoff founded the Wall Street firm Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC in 1960, and was its chairman until his arrest on this date in 2008. The firm was one of the top market maker businesses on Wall Street, which bypassed "specialist" firms by directly executing orders over the counter from retail brokers. He employed at the firm his brother Peter, as Senior Managing Director and Chief Compliance Officer; Peter's daughter Shana Madoff, as the firm's rules and compliance officer and attorney; and his sons Andrew and Mark. Peter has since been sentenced to 10 years in prison and Mark committed suicide by hanging exactly two years after his father's arrest. Andrew died of lymphoma on September 3rd this year. Bernie Madoff suffered a heart attack in December last year, and reportedly suffers from end-stage renal disease. According to CBS New York and other news sources, Madoff claimed in an email to CNBC in January this year that he has kidney cancer.

Wednesday 12.10.14
Today's Trivia: This is a novel by Mark Twain, first published in England on this date in December of 1884 and here in the United States in February of 1885. Commonly named among the Great American Novels, the work is among the first in major American literature to be written in the vernacular. The book is noted for its colorful description of people and places along the Mississippi River. Satirizing a Southern antebellum society that had ceased to exist about twenty years before the work was published, the novel is an often scathing look at entrenched attitudes, particularly racism. What book are we talking about?

Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers hung on to the NFL's top spot after a closer-than-expected win against the Atlanta Falcons. The Packers received nine of 12 first-place votes this week in the AP Pro32 power rankings, which are decided by a media panel that regularly covers the league. The New England Patriots earned two first-place votes and remained No. 2 after their 23-14 win over the San Diego Chargers on Sunday night. With tiebreakers against the other AFC division leaders, the Patriots are in a strong position to grab the top seed in the AFC. The can clinch the AFC East again with a victory at home over the Miami Dolphins on Sunday. The Seattle Seahawks grabbed the other first-place vote and moved up from No. 5 to No. 3 after a 24-12 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles. The Denver Broncos and the Eagles each dropped one spot to No. 4 and No. 5, Seahawks-Niners Sunday afternoon at 1:00 at the CLink.

Panthers quarterback Cam Newton suffered fractures to his lower back in a two-car crash yesterday morning. He spent the night in the hospital, according to a team spokesman. Newton was in fair condition, had no other internal injuries and would not need surgery, team spokesman Charlie Dayton said during a news conference outside a Charlotte hospital. It was unclear if Newton would be able to practice or play Sunday against the Buccaneers. Dayton said Newton had two transverse process fractures in his lower back, which is the same description of an injury that Dallas quarterback Tony Romo has and has been playing through it.

Birthdays: Robin Thicke's mom, actress and singer Gloria Loring is 68; from The Partridge Family and later LA Law, acrress Susan Dey is 62; former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich is 58.musician Paul Hardcastle is 57; actress Nia Peeples is 53; and drummer Meg White of The White Stripes is 40.

Mary Ann Mobley, actress and former Miss America, has died in Beverly Hills after a long battle with breast cancer. Mobley was a native of Mississippi. She was crowned Miss America in 1959. After studying acting with Lee Strasberg, she appeared on a 1963 episode of Aaron Spelling's Burke's Law, which led to a breakout role opposite Elvis Presley in Girl Happy in 1965. She and Elvis also starred in Harum Scarum later that same year. In addition to her film career, Mobley appeared on several television shows, including Perry Mason, Fantasy Island, The Partridge Family, and Diff'rent Strokes. She was also a recurring panelist on game show Match Game. Actor Gary Collins and Mobley were married in 1967 after meeting on the set of Three on a Couch. They had one daughter. Collins died in 2012. Mary Ann Mobley was 75

Today is Human Rights Day. Created by the United Nations, it promotes awareness of the importance of Human Rights issues around the world. Today is Do Something Wild and Crazy with Velveeta Day. Today is Chief Red Cloud Day, marking the Sioux leader's death at Pine Ridge, South Dakota, on this date in 1909. A courageous defender of Indian rights, he was the son of Lone Man and Walks As She Thinks.

Calendar notes: On this date in 1851, American librarian Melvil Dewey was born. He created the Dewey Decimal Classification system. In 1868, the first traffic lights were installed, outside the Palace of Westminster in London. Resembling railway signals, they used semaphore arms and were illuminated at night by red and green gas lamps. In 1901, the first Nobel prizes were awarded. In 1953, the first Playboy magazine went on sale featuring the famous calendar shot of Marilyn Monroe. There was no date on the issue. Hugh Hefner published the first magazine with an investment of $7,600. In 1958, the first passenger jet flight took place in the US as a National Airlines Boeing 707 flew 111 passengers from New York to Miami in about two and a-half hours. In 1963, six-year-old Donny Osmond made his singing debut on The Andy Williams Show. In 1981, the New England Journal of Medicine reported a new rare and fatal disease that had killed 95 people, mostly homosexual men. The disease later would be called AIDS. In 1991, Alan Freed was posthumously awarded a Hollywood Walk of Fame Star. He's credited with coining the phrase Rock & Roll. In 1992, Senator Bob Packwood of Oregon apologized for making sexual advances to female employees. He said it was "plain wrong," but he refused to resign. In 1996, South Africa's President Mandela signed into law a new democratic constitution, completing the country's transition from white-minority rule to a non-racial democracy. In 2010 - Bob Dylan's handwritten lyrics for his song The Times They Are a-Changin sold at auction for $422,500.

We're in the midst of round two of a scheduled three-rounder. The first storm rolled through Monday and yesterday. After a brief break late yesterday, a second, more potent storm rolled in. It has brought a second round of heavy rains on par with Storm Number 1 so that we may be talking 10 to 15 inches of rain in some mountain spots between the two storms, exacerbating any flooding already started by Monday night's storm. Enough rain has fallen that the risk of landslides becomes high across Western Washington. Southeast wind gusts have potential to be as strong with this storm in the same spots as Monday night's storm -- mainly coast and Northwest Interior, with gusts again that could reach 60-65 mph there -- perhaps 70 on the coast. High Wind Warnings are now in effect there. But again this storm is aligned as such that the main Puget Sound region gets some protection from the Olympic Mountains There are High Wind Warning through this afternoon for the coast and Northwest Interior for southeast wind gusts has high as 60 to 65 mph, 70 mph on the coast. There is an elevated landslide risk for Western Washington Perhaps an even bigger windstorm tomorrow? The third storm isn't as wet as its older brothers but forecast models still indicate it will pack much more of a significant punch of wind, that could bring widespread power outages and other wind-related damage. Some forecast models indicate an intense area of low pressure will form off the coast of northern California and deepen as it moves north along the Oregon coast, then turning into Southwestern Washington and perhaps right up the I-5 corridor over Seattle. With the more northerly than easterly track of the storm in this scenario, it could pull up a wall of intense wind behind it as it essentially drives north up the freeway. So this storm bears watching. This scenario would bring extremely strong winds to the Northern Oregon/Southern Washington Coast and Southwestern Washington. Of particular note is for residents in Pacific and Grays Harbor County -- winds could reach over 75 mph in gusts there if the stronger scenarios pan out. Thus, High Wind Watches are in effect for all of Western Washington with potential gusts of 65 mph over much of the lowlands, and perhaps as high as 75 mph along the coast, northwest interior and mountain tops. Other forecast models still have been weaker with the storm and a slight jaunt to the west or, especially, the east could lessen the danger somewhat so there is still some uncertainty here, but some of the scenarios painted right now would portend significant winds in the region so be on guard and start planning now. Peak wind times in the Puget Sound area are tomorrow afternoon and early evening -- say 1:00 to 8:00 -- with late afternoon featuring the highest wind gusts. Once this third storm passes, we calm down for the weekend.

Could be an interesting day Saturday here in Olympia. Extreme anti-government figures, and veterans of an armed standoff with federal officers in Nevada, are headlining a Saturday gun rally here in the Capital City. Titled I Will Not Comply and keyed to defiance of voter-passed Initiative 594.The rally is slated for 11 Saturday morning at the State Capitol. The crowd is set to hear from Ammon Bundy. He is the son of Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy who has for years refused to pay grazing fees, now totaling $1 million, for grazing his cattle on Bureau of Land Management land in Nevada. Armed defenders of Bundy confronted law officers in April, after a federal judge said Bundy's cattle could be taken if they continued to graze on BLM lands.

They risked and persisted, sacrificed and saved. Editor Nancy Gibbs says The Ebola Fighters are TIME's choice for Person of the Year 2014.

David Letterman is retiring from late-night television on Wednesday, May 20th. The Late Show host's production company Worldwide Pants announced the news, with CBS President and CEO Leslie Moonves praising Letterman's "remarkable legacy of achievement and creative brilliance [which] will never be forgotten."

Trivia Answer: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. It is told in the first person by Huckleberry "Huck" Finn, a friend of Tom Sawyer and narrator of two other Twain novels (Tom Sawyer Abroad and Tom Sawyer, Detective). It's a sequel to The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. Perennially popular with readers, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn has also been the continued object of study by serious literary critics since its publication. It was criticized upon release because of its coarse language and became even more controversial in the 20th century because of its perceived use of racial stereotypes and because of its frequent use of racial slurs, despite strong arguments that the protagonist, and the tenor of the book, is anti-racist.

Tuesday 12.9.14
Today's Trivia: He was player for the Chicago Bears. He was drafted in 1965. He's widely regarded as one of the best and most durable linebackers of all time. He was selected to eight Pro Bowls and was all-league six times. In his rookie season, he led the Bears in tackles, interceptions, forced fumbles, and fumble recoveries, and regularly led the team in these categories throughout his career. He was one of the most feared players of his era and even appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated in 1970 with the caption The Most Feared Man in the Game. He was forced to retire after multiple knee injuries in 1973. He became a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1979. He played nine seasons in the NFL for the Chicago Bears. Billed at 6' 3'' and 245 pounds, he was one of the most feared and intimidating linebackers of his time. Who is he?

The run of stout defense started with slowing down Arizona, followed by the handcuffing of San Francisco on Thanksgiving night. But the best defensive performance of Pete Carroll's tenure came Sunday when Seattle ground Philadelphia's high-speed act to a halt that kept the Seahawks in the thick of the NFC West race. Shutting down Philadelphia and holding the Eagles to 139 total yards was the cap to a three-week run of defense by Seattle the NFL has not seen since 2011. It's returned Seattle to the top of the NFL in total defense and has the Seahawks statically almost equal with last season's Super Bowl winning unit. The Seahawks are giving up 274.5 yards per game this season. They allowed 273.6 per game last season. Seattle has allowed 507 total yards in the past three games. According to STATS, Inc., it's the fourth-fewest yards allowed over a three-game span by any NFL team since 2006. The Seahawks held Arizona to 204 total yards, the 49ers to 164 and the Eagles to 139. The Seahawks have a chance this week hosting San Francisco to be the first team since the 2011 Texans to have three straight games holding opponents to under 200 total yards. Kickoff is Sunday afternoon at 1:00 at CenturyLink.

Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton has two fractures in his lower back following a two-car accident today near the team's stadium. The injury suffered by Newton is the same back injury that Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo suffered earlier this season. Romo missed one game this season for the injury, however no timetable was given for how long Newton will be out, if at all.

For the first time since 2011, the University of Washington men's basketball team is ranked in the Top 25. The Huskies sit at No. 17 in the AP Top 25 and USA Today Coaches Poll. Washington is currently 7-0 after beating No. 13 San Diego State 49-36 on Sunday. The Huskies were last ranked for 11 weeks during the 2010-2011 season. Washington returns to action with one game this week. They face Eastern Washington on Sunday afternoon at 5:00 at Alaska Airlines Arena.

Birthdays: Actor Kirk Douglas is 98; Tom Bradford on Eight Is Enough, actor Dick Van Patten is 86; actor and writer Buck Henry is 84; actor Beau Bridges is 73; Chicago Bear great Dick Butkus is 72; singer and songwriter Joan Armatrading is 64; actor John Malkovich is 61; singer Donny Osmond is 57; actress Felicity Huffman is 52; Bob Dylan's boy, singer and guitarist Jakob Dylan is 45; and from Green Day, drummer Tre Cool is 42.

Ken Weatherwax, best known for playing Pugsley on the 1964 series The Addams Family, has died. According to his family, he suffered a heart attack at his home in California. After the beloved series was canceled in 1966, Weatherwax went on to voice the same Pugsley character in the 1970s series and and even played Pugsley Sr. in a TV movie. Although he eventually transitioned to work behind the camera as a grip and set builder, he still made appearances at fan conventions. Ken Weatherwax was 59.

Today is National Pastry Day. Did you know that pastries have been around since 2600 BC? The Egyptians made doughnut-like pastries out of crude flour and honey, and then dipped them in wine. Make a trip to your favorite local bakery and pick up your favorite kind of pastry in honor of National Pastry Day. Today is Christmas Card Day. It honors Sir Henry Cole of England who created the first commercial Christmas Card in 1843.

Calendar notes: On this date in 1907, the first Christmas Seals went on sale at the Post Office in Wilmington, Delaware. Funds from the sale went to fight tuberculosis. In 1956, at Sun Records in Memphis a quartet of Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, and Jerry Lee Lewis recorded Big Boss Man, Blueberry Hill, Peace in the Valley, That Old Rugged Cross, Isle of Golden Dreams, and I Won't Have to Cross Jordan Alone. In 1960, Sperry Rand Corporation unveiled a new computer, known as Univac 1107. In 1972, Elton John's Crocodile Rock was released. In 1978, Soul Man, John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd's version, was released under the name, The Blues Brothers. In 1992, Britain's Prince Charles and Princess Diana announced their separation. Another separation in 1992 as Bill Wyman left the Rolling Stones after over 30 years with the group. In 2002, United Airlines filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy after losing $4 billion in the previos two years. It was the sixth largest bankruptcy filing. In 2002, when Madison police tallied up their donated teddy bears to console children at crime and accident scenes, they realized 2,000 of the 3,000 bears were paid for with donations from the Fox Lake Correctional Institution. Inmates had donated $626, enough to purchase 2,000 surplus bears with the help of a Wisconsin marketing company.

They say good things come in threes, but we're not sure everyone is eagerly on board with a trifecta of storms rolling through the region this week bringing heavy rains, strong winds, and areas of river flooding. Storm Number 1 is past us now. The first storm was more of a rain maker than a wind maker -- although they had some serious gusts in the Bellingham area this morning. A Flood Watch is in effect for all mountain-fed rivers in Mason, Lewis, Grays Harbor, Pierce, Clallam, Jefferson, Skagit, Whatcom, Kitsap, and Snohomish Counties. A Flood Warning is in effect for the Skokomish River for potential major flooding. Storm Number 2 is scheduled to arrive tonight and continue through tomorrow. After a brief break in the rain this afternoon and evening, a second, more potent storm comes rolling in. This will bring a second round of heavy rains on par with Storm Number 1, exacerbating any flooding already started. With more rain on the horizon, the risk of landslides becomes high across Western Washington. Southeast wind gusts have the potential to be a little stronger with this storm in the same spots as Storm No. 1 -- mainly coast and Northwest Interior, only gusts could reach 60-65 mph there. But again this storm is aligned as such that the main Puget Sound region gets some protection from the Olympic Mountains -- still a windy night though, just not warning levels expected as of now. Storm Number 3 is scheduled to be here Thursday. This third storm isn't as wet as its older brothers but could pack much more of a significant punch of wind. Some forecast models indicate an intense area of low pressure will form off the coast of northern California and deepen as it moves north along the Oregon coast, then turning into Southwestern Washington and perhaps right up the I-5 corridor over Seattle. With the more northerly than easterly track of the storm in this scenario, it could pull up a wall of intense wind behind it as it essentially drives north up the freeway. So this storm bears watching. Other forecast models have been weaker with the storm and a slight jaunt to the west or, especially, the east could lessen the danger somewhat so there is still some uncertainty here, but some of the scenarios painted right now would portend significant winds in the region so be on guard and start planning now. There are no advisories up yet because it's too early but High Wind Watches could be needed for this storm by late tonight or tomorrow. Once this third storm passes, we calm down for the weekend.

Wow. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reinder -- the animated adventure featuring Burl Ives -- is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. You can catch the show on TV tonight. It's on CBS at 8:00.

Trivia Answer: Richard Marvin Butkus -- Dick Butkus -- who turns 72 today. Since his career as a player, Butkus has become a well known celebrity endorser, broadcaster, and actor. He has appeared in films such as The Longest Yard, Necessary Roughness, Any Given Sunday, and Johnny Dangerously. He's also made countless appearances in television programs.

Monday 12.8.14
Today's Trivia: He was an actor and martial artist, best known for his leading role as a warrior monk, Kwai Chang Caine, in the 1970s television series Kung Fu. Who was he?

Russell Wilson made enough plays while Seattle's top-ranked defense shut down Chip Kelly's offense. Wilson threw two touchdown passes, ran for another score, and the Seattle Seahawks stifled Philadelphia in a 24-14 victory over the Eagles yesterday. Wilson had 263 yards passing and ran for 48 to help the Seahawks win their third straight game. The defending Super Bowl champions have victories over NFC West-leading Arizona, San Francisco, and Philadelphia in the last three weeks. Richard Sherman and Co. held the Eagles to 139 total yards, the fewest under Kelly, both professionally and collegiately. Pete Carroll was the winner in his first NFL matchup against Kelly. In the coaches' only other meeting, Kelly's Oregon Ducks beat Carroll and USC 47-20 in October of 2009. Coming up Sunday afternoon, the Hawks host the San Francisco 49ers. Speaking of the Niners, they lost to Oakland yesterday, 24-13.

Ohio State is joining join Alabama, Oregon, and Florida State in the inaugural College Football Playoff. The No. 1 Crimson Tide faces the No. 4 Buckeyes in the Allstate Sugar Bowl, and the second-seeded Ducks face the third-seeded Seminoles in the Rose Bowl presented by Northwestern Mutual, both coming up on New Year's Day. The semifinal winners meet in the College Football Playoff National Championship Presented By AT&T on January 12th.

The University of Washington football team is set to play Oklahoma State in the Cactus Bowl at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Arizona at 7:15 the evening of January 2nd. It's on ESPN. Washington is playing in a bowl game for the fifth straight season and the 35th time ever.

Birthdays: A virtuoso flute player from Belfast, Sir James Galway is 75; she was just in town for the Olympia Film Festival, cult actress Mary Woronov is 71; from The Allman Brothers, Gregg Allman is 67; actress Kim Basinger is 61; Def Leppard guitarist Phil Collen is 57; author and political commentator Ann Coulter is 53. actress Teri Hatcher is 50; singer Sinead O'Connor is 48; singer-songwriter Ingrid Michaelson is 35; San Diego Charger quarterback Philip Rivers is 33; and rapper-singer-songwriter Nicki Minaj is 32.

Today is National Brownie Day, celebrating chocolatey, chewy brownies. Today is Take it in the Ear Day. Take it in the Ear Day is a bizarre day of unknown origin. Research has found absolutely no documentation about the origin and, we have not uncovered any information around the meaning or purpose of this day. Yet, references to this day abound. In any event, Happy Take it in the Ear Day.

Calendar notes: On this date in 1941, the United States entered World War II when it declared war against Japan. The act came one day after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. In 1952, on the show I Love Lucy, a pregnancy was acknowledged in a TV show for the first time. In 1980, John Lennon was murdered by Mark David Chapman in front of The Dakota in New York City. The announcement coming on Monday Night Football. In 1993, President Clinton signed into law the North American Free Trade Agreement. In 1995, Courtney Love was interviewed by Barbara Walters for ABC's 10 Most Fascinating People of 1995. During the interview Love told Walters that she wished she had done "eight thousand million things" differently to prevent husband Kurt Cobain's death. In 2003, in England, Ozzy Osbourne was injured in an all-terrain vehicle accident. His injuries included a fractured left collarbone, eight fractured ribs and stable fracture to one of the vertebrae in his neck.

A slow post-Thanksgiving weekend at the box office. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1, starring Jennifer Lawrence as the young archer who rallies the downtrodden citizens of a dystopian society, collected $21.6 million to lead the box office charts for a third consecutive weekend. Penguins of Madagascar was second with $11.1 million. Horrible Bosses 2, starring Jason Bateman was third.

Up to 1,000 extra American troops will remain in Afghanistan into next year, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced Saturday, bringing the total number of troops to be left in the country to 10,800. Hagel announced the decision during a visit to Afghanistan, saying it was necessitated by a long delay in finalizing a security agreement with the new Afghan government. In late November, the Afghan parliament approved a security pact with the U.S. and NATO to keep troops in the country beyond the original 2014 withdrawal deadline.

NASA's New Horizons probe flickered to life on Saturday in preparation for a highly-anticipated study of Pluto and its surrounding celestial neighbors. Launched in January 2006, the probe hibernated for 1,873 days of its 3-billion-mile journey. New Horizons begins observing Pluto in January, and is flying as close as 7,700 miles from its surface.

Sam Smith, Beyonce, Pharrell Williams led artists with six Grammy nominations each, including nods for the top prize of Album of the Year, the Recording Academy said Friday. Smith's In the Lonely Hour, Beyonce's self-titled album, and Pharrell's Girl joined rocker Beck's Morning Phase and British singer Ed Sheeran's X in the Album of the Year category.The 22-year-old Smith picked up nods in the three top Grammy categories including Record of the Year and Song of the Year for his song Stay with Me. He follows in the heels of fellow British soul-pop singer Adele, who won all six of her Grammy nominations in 2013 including the top three awards. Smith is a contender for the coveted Best New Artist, alongside Australian rapper Iggy Azalea, British pop-rockers Bastille, country singer Brandy Clark and California sister trio Haim. Record of the Year nominees include Taylor Swift's Shake It Off, Meghan Trainor's All About That Bass, Iggy Azalea and Charli XCX's Fancy, and Sia's Chandelier. Song of the Year also includes Swift's Shake it Off, Trainor's All About That Bass, and Sia's Chandelier, alongside Hozier's Take Me to the Church. Pharrell earned Grammy nominations for his own album Girl and his production work on Sheeran's X and Beyonce's self-titled record. Beyonce became the most-nominated artist in Grammy history with 52 nominations. Her self-titled album, released without fanfare last December, is one of this year's biggest-selling records with two million US copies sold. Swift's 1989 album, which has sold more than two million US copies since October, did not land any nominations, but its song Shake It Off picked up three nods. The soundtrack from Disney's Oscar-winning film Frozen, the year's top-selling album with more than 3.5 million US copies sold, scored nominations in the categories for music written for visual media. The Recording Academy comprises music industry professionals who select Grammy contenders from music released between October 1st of 2013 and September 30th of 2014. In an effort to draw younger viewers to the annual Grammys ceremony in Los Angeles coming up on February 8th, the Recording Academy chose to announce the nominees in 82 of its 83 categories throughout Friday morning on its Twitter feed.

It's a timeless rite of passage practiced by every proud puppy owner deciding on a name for a new pet. In fact, that's often the very first thing to do after bringing home a furry pup (second only perhaps to making a mad dash for a paper towel to clean up after his first act). But which names are the most popular? vetstreet.com has pored through its expansive database of 969,517 dogs born since January 1st to determine the top puppy names of 2014. Here are the top 10 male puppy names of 2014:

  1. Max - has been number one for the last nine years.
  2. Charlie
  3. Rocky
  4. Buddy
  5. Cooper
  6. Duke
  7. Bear
  8. Zeus
  9. Bentley
  10. Toby

Here are the top female puppy names of 2014:

  1. Bella
  2. Daisy
  3. Lucy
  4. Sadie
  5. Molly
  6. Lola
  7. Sophie
  8. Zoey
  9. Luna
  10. Chloe

On TV tonight, the season premier of The Great Christmas Light Fight. Back for a second season, each episode features four families who decorate the heck out of their homes hoping to win $50,000. It's at 8:00 tonight on ABC.

Trivia Answer: David Carradine, who was born on this date in 1936. He was a member of a productive acting family that began with his father, John Carradine. His acting career, which included major and minor roles on stage, television and cinema, spanned over four decades. A prolific "B" movie actor, he appeared in more than 100 feature films and was nominated four times for a Golden Globe Award. The last nomination was for his title role in Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill. For three seasons, David Carradine starred as a half-Chinese, half-Caucasian monk, Kwai Chang Caine, on the ABC TV series Kung Fu -- from 1972 to 1975 -- and was nominated for an Emmy and a Golden Globe Award for the role. The show, which took place in the Old West, helped to popularize the martial arts and Eastern philosophy in the west, and immortalized the character of Kwai Chang Caine, also referred to as Grasshopper, in popular culture. Carradine knew nothing of the practice of kung fu at the time he was cast in the role of Kwai Chang Caine, instead he relied on his experience as a dancer for the part. He also had experience in sword fighting, boxing, and street fighting on which to draw. It was not until after the series was canceled that Carradine began to study martial arts. On June 4th of 2009, David Carradine was found dead in his room at a hotel in central Bangkok, Thailand. The cause of death became widely accepted as "accidental asphyxiation".

Friday 12.5.14
Today's Trivia: He was a multiple Academy Award-winning film producer, director, screenwriter, voice actor, animator, entrepreneur and philanthropist. He's famous for his influence in the field of entertainment during the twentieth century. As the co-founder -- along with his brother -- of a production company, he became one of the best-known motion picture producers in the world. He and his staff created a number of the world's most famous fictional characters. He received fifty-nine Academy Award nominations and won twenty-six Oscars, including a record four in one year, and thus holds the record for the individual with the most awards and the most nominations. He also won seven Emmy Awards. Who is he?

After losing Brandon Mebane for the year and allowing 190 yards rushing to the Kansas City Chiefs three weeks ago, the Seattle Seahawks defense looked like it may be unable to recapture its dominant form from last season. Consecutive 19-3 victories over the Arizona Cardinals and San Francisco 49ers have quieted those concerns as the Seahawks have allowed just one touchdown in their last 10 quarters of play. Seattle held Arizona to just 204 yards of offense and the 49ers to just 164 total yards. The return of safety Kam Chancellor and linebacker Bobby Wagner to the lineup has solidified the unit with just 64 rushing yards allowed in each of the last two games. The defensive resurgence will be tested this week against the fast-paced offensive attack of the Philadelphia Eagles. Philadelphia enters the game ranked fourth in total offense and sixth in rushing. LeSean McCoy and Darren Sproles will present a challenge for Seattle's run defense. Sunday afternoon at 1:25, Hawks and Eagles in Philadelphia.

Had things come together last season, Nelson Cruz's introduction with the Seattle Mariners would have taken place a year ago. Seattle pursued Cruz last year but when it didn't work out. He went on to lead the majors in home runs playing on a one-year deal in Baltimore. As this offseason arrived, the Mariners were quick to try to find a deal that would work for both sides. Seattle landed the right-handed power bat that was a priority this offseason by signing Cruz to a four-year contract yesterday. The deal is reportedly worth $58 million after Cruz played last season on an $8 million deal with Baltimore. Cruz parlayed that one-year contract into a long deal with the Mariners after hitting 40 homers and driving in 108 runs for the Orioles. Cruz served a 50-game suspension in 2013 for violations of the major league drug agreement in relation to the sport's Biogenesis investigation. He again referred yesterday to making a mistake taking banned substances and said he's moved on from the suspension. He'll likely hit behind fellow Dominican star Robinson Cano, who will be starting the second season of a $240 million, 10-year contract, and will also reunite with Dominican teammate Fernando Rodney, the Mariners' closer.

The Seattle Sounders have signed coach Sigi Schmid to a multi-year contract coming off the best season in franchise history. Seattle general manager Adrian Hanauer announced the new contract yesterday. Schmid joined Seattle before its inaugural 2009 season and has led the team to three US Open Cup titles and this year's Supporters' Shield as the best team in the regular season. Schmid won MLS Cup titles with Los Angeles in 2002 and Columbus in 2008. The Supporters' Shield title with Seattle was the third time leading a team to that honor.

Birthdays: Singer Richard Wayne Penniman, better known as Little Richard, is 82; from Loggins and Messina, musician Jim Messina is 67; actress Morgan Brittany is 63; from The Goo Goo Dolls, John Rzeznik is 49; comedian Margaret Cho is 46; and Malcolm on Malcolm in the Middle, actor Frankie Muniz is 29.

Today is Boycott Day, the 58th anniversary of the city bus boycott in Birmingham by residents protesting the arrest on December 1st of seamstress Rosa Parks. Today is Bathtub Party Day. Have a personal Bathtub Party -- draw yourself a tub full of warm water, add a few bath oil beads, and voila. Today is also Repeal Day. It commemorates the repeal of the 18th Amendment on this date in 1933. Once more, Americans were free to buy, sell, and consume alcoholic beverages. I'll drink to that.

Calendar notes: On this date in 1782, the first native US president, Martin Van Buren, was born in Kinderhook, New York. In 1945, the so-called Lost Squadron disappeared. The five US Navy Avenger bombers carrying 14 Navy flyers began a training mission at the Ft. Lauderdale Naval Air Station. They were never heard from again. In 1968, Graham Nash quit the Hollies. Three days later, he announced the formation of Crosby, Stills and Nash. In 1992, the Denver Post quoted a Department of Energy memo showing that a vital safety system at the Rocky Flats nuclear weapons plant required 43 workers to change a light bulb. In 1994, republicans chose Newt Gingrich to be the first GOP speaker of the House in four decades. In 2002, actor Richard Gere won the Plain English Campaign's Foot in Mouth award in Britain for the year's most baffling celebrity quote. Gere won the award after telling a Sunday newspaper: "I know who I am. No one else knows who I am. If I was a giraffe and somebody said I was a snake, I'd think 'No, actually I am a giraffe."

Axl Rose has become the latest celebrity death hoax victim after reports of his passing spread online. A report from a fake website hit the Internet this week with a headline reading, "Sources: Guns N' Roses Frontman Axl Rose Found Dead in West Hollywood Home at Age 52." The false report suggested Rose was found dead on Tuesday afternoon in his West Hollywood home, and listed a made-up quote from a police spokesperson. However, the story is the work of a prankster, and there is no truth to it, according to GossipCop.com. Rose commented on the hoax by saying, "If I'm dead do I still have to pay taxes?"

Sophia, my dear, you can continue to wear that crown. For the fifth year in a row you're holding onto the throne in BabyCenter's newly released list of top baby names for 2014. Jackson reigns as king for the second year in a row on the boy's list. The online parenting and pregnancy destination compiled over 406,000 baby names and combined those that sound the same but have different spellings (such as Sophia and Sofia) to create a true measure of popularity. Many of last year's top-10 darlings are still favorites this year. Here's a complete look at the top-10 lists for both girls and boys.

Girls

Boys

  1. Sophia

  2. Emma

  3. Olivia

  4. Ava

  5. Isabella

  6. Mia

  7. Zoe

  8. Lily

  9. Emily

  10. Madelyn

  1. Jackson

  2. Aiden

  3. Liam

  4. Lucas

  5. Noah

  6. Mason

  7. Ethan

  8. Caden

  9. Jacob

  10. Logan

Courtney Love was frozen out of a planned new Kurt Cobain biopic after director Brett Morgen refused to give her editorial control of the project. Morgen, who is working on the film with Cobain and Love's daughter Frances Bean, admits he decided not to give Courtney control over Montage of Heck, because she's featured in the documentary. He tells The Hollywood Reporter, "At a certain point, I started working more closely with Frances Bean, and we agreed that because Courtney was a subject in the film, it would be best if she wasn't given editorial control." Love initially brought the film idea to Morgen in 2007 after he impressed her with his 2002 Robert Evans biopic, The Kid Stays in the Picture, and she gave him access to her personal archives. Morgen tells the publication Love has not seen his film, which is scheduled to premiere at the Sundance festival next month, adding, "I'm not sure she's intending to."

Amazon accidentally sent a huge haul of free goodies to Robert Quinn, a 22-year old student in Kent, England. A week ago he started receiving everything from a Samsung 3D TV and a Galaxy tablet to a leaf blower and a baby buggy. In total he has received 46 items worth $4,700 and Amazon says he can keep it all.

Trivia Answer: Walter Elias Disney who was born on this date in 1901. He died of lung cancer on December 15th of 1966.

Thursday 12.4.14
Today's Trivia: Following her work on As The World Turns, she came to prominence as a supporting cast member on The Cosby Show spinoff A Different World in 1987. After appearing in a few films, her breakthrough came in 1992 with the comedy My Cousin Vinny, for which she won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. Who is she?

Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman earned NFC Defensive Player of the Week honors after harassing San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick in a 19-3 win on Thanksgiving. The two-time All-Pro cornerback intercepted Kaepernick twice, once in the first quarter and again in the fourth quarter. Sherman also swatted two passes and made two tackles. He now has three picks this season, tied for fourth-most in the NFL. Sherman has now been named the NFC Defensive Player of the Week four times in his illustrious career and is the only player to win the award in each of the last three seasons.

Pete Carroll never lost much when he was at Southern Cal. And on those rare occasions when the Trojans lost, they were competitive. In his first 110 games at USC, Carroll never suffered a loss by more than 11 points. But on Halloween night 2009, in the 111th game of Carroll's tenure, the Trojans were handed a 27-point beating by Chip Kelly and Oregon. If not for USC's equally eye-popping blowout loss to Stanford later that season, that loss to Kelly would have been Carroll's worst setback as a collegiate coach. No wonder Carroll has so much admiration for Kelly's different and successful approach as a head coach -- first at Oregon and now in Philadelphia -- with the Seahawks traveling to face the Eagles on Sunday. Carroll and Kelly, along with San Francisco's Jim Harbaugh, are the most recent examples of coaches making the leap from college to having immediate success in the NFL. Harbaugh reached the NFC championship game three straight years; Kelly won the NFC East in his first season; and Carroll has a Super Bowl ring.

The Toronto Blue Jays hope they found their starting left fielder in Michael Saunders, while the Seattle Mariners hope J.A. Happ will be another left-hander for their strong starting rotation. The Mariners sent Saunders to the Blue Jays yesterday in exchange for Happ, with the trade filling needs for both clubs. The Mariners were hoping to add another arm for their pitching staff while the Blue Jays got a potential replacement for free agent Melky Cabrera in their outfield.

Birthdays: Game show host Wink Martindale is 81; best known as Jethro on The Beverly Hillbillies, actor-producer-director Max Baer, Jr. is 77; from The Byrds, singer and bassist Chris Hillman is 70; actor Jeff Bridges is 65; singer Dionne Farris is 46; rapper Jay-Z is 45; and model Tyra Banks is 41.

Today is Wear Brown Shoes Day. Today is Santa's List Day. Santa and a few of his top elves tell us that they strive to make the first draft of Santa's Naughty and Nice lists by today. Then, they review and adjust it, all the way to Christmas eve. Today is Saint Barbara's Day. Traditionally, a young girl places a twig from a cherry tree in a glass of water today. If it blooms by Christmas Eve, she is certain to marry next year.

Calendar notes: On this date in 1956, Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis and Johnny Cash recorded together (The Million Dollar Quartet). The session would not be released for 25 years. In 1987, Madonna filed for divorce from Sean Penn. She changed her mind later in the month, then filed again the following January. In 1988, Roy Orbison gave his final concert in Akron, OH. He died two days later. In 1991, Associated Press correspondent Terry Anderson, the longest held of the Western hostages in Lebanon, was released after nearly seven years in captivity. In 1992, in an effort to prevent hearing loss among its fans, Megadeth distributed 13,000 pairs of earplugs at its concert in San Francisco. In 1997, the National Basketball Association suspended Latrell Sprewell of the Golden State Warriors for one year for choking and threatening to kill his coach, P.J. Carlesimo. In 2006, cats, dogs, even a pig showed up when the Late Show with David Letterman held auditions for stupid pet tricks at Minnesota's Mall of America. Among some 40 pets were a potbellied pig who could bowl, a hand-shaking cat and a border collie that fetched itself by grabbing its tail in its mouth and bringing itself to its owner.

Jimmy Fallon has become a father for the second time. The Tonight Show host and his film producer wife Nancy welcomed another daughter yesterday morning. A statement released by the couple's representative to People.com reads, "Frances Cole Fallon officially entered the world at 8:45 am on December 3." Their new addition joins big sister, Winnie Rose, 1. The couple opted to keep their baby joy to themselves until their new daughter, Frances Cole, made her official debut. Both Fallon babies were born via surrogate. The baby news came just hours after Fallon was named Entertainment Weekly magazine's Entertainer of the Year.

A Google search for "train" brings up a link to the closest Amtrak station, but chances are that's not what an eight-year-old is searching for. Kids are probably more interested in Thomas the Tank Engine than the most up-to-date commuting schedule. That may be why Google is working on new, kid-friendly versions of some of its services. They could be new versions of search, Chrome and YouTube, according to a report by USA Today, but the company would not say definitively what products it is working on or when they would launch. Google will make them safe for children 12 years old and younger and give parents tools to oversee their kids' actions. That's what Google's Pavni Diwanj told USA Today. She said the company expects some controversy over the change, but that kids are already using Google's non-kid-friendly technology A Google spokesperson declined to comment further, but confirmed that the USA Today report was accurate.

And then there are the two young brothers from southeastern Wisconsin. They're hoping they haven't landed on Santa's naughty list after police showed up at their doorstep. The boys, aged 3 and 6, thought the best way to get in touch with the North Pole was by phone. And for youngsters of that age, their Christmas lists could be considered an emergency. So, the brothers used their Dad's cellphone to place a 911 call, hoping to be connected with the North Pole and the big guy himself. That call brought police to their home where officers gave the boys some advice. If you want to talk to Santa, do it in person.

Peter Pan is on NBC tonight. Allison Williams (Brian Williams' daughter -- Brian Williams from the NBC Nightly News), Christopher Walken and Minnie Driver star in this musical that is being performed live tonight at 8:00 on NBC.

Singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran is the year's most streamed artist on Spotify, while Eminem tops the list in the United States. Spotify announced its top streaming artists, albums and songs of 2014 on Wednesday. Pharrell's ubiquitous "Happy" was the most streamed song of the year globally. Sheeran racked up more than 860 million listens on Spotify. His latest album, "x," is the most streamed album worldwide with 430 million streams. Katy Perry and Coldplay were the most streamed female and group around the world.

Trivia Answer: Marisa Tomei who turns 50 today. Appearing in many films over the past fifteen years, her most commercially successful films to date are What Women Want in 2000, Anger Management in 2003, and Wild Hogs in 2007. She received Academy Award nominations for her performances in In the Bedroom in 2001 and The Wrestler in 2008. In an interview, Lady Gaga said if they make a movie about her -- Gaga -- she would want Tomei to portray her. Marisa responded saying, "I was thrilled when I heard. I love her. I love her music. And she's a smart businesswoman. So I was so touched, really. I think it's incredible that she likes my work and that she'd think of me."

Wednesday 12.3.14
Today's Trivia: After making her screen debut in 1978, this actress starred in a number of Hollywood films throughout the 1980s, notably Blade Runner, Splash, Wall Street, and Roxanne and in 2003 appeared in Kill Bill. Who is she?

After their dominant road victory against the San Francisco 49ers last week, the Seattle Seahawks have climbed back into the top five in two NFL Power Rankings and remained in the top 10 in two others. The Seahawks jumped two slots, from seventh place to fifth, in The Associated Press' rankings released yesteday. Seattle leaped over the NFC West-leading Arizona Cardinals, whom the Hawks beat two weeks ago and who fell three spots to seventh after losing to the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday. ESPN ranked the Seahawks likewise, moving them up two slots to fifth place. Like the AP, ESPN pushed the 49ers down three rankings to 12th place, and also dropped the Cardinals three slots to seventh. In both rankings, Seattle's next opponent -- the Philadelphia Eagles -- sat one place ahead of the Hawks at No. 4. NFL.com, which ranked Seattle ninth last week, advanced the Hawks three spots to No. 6 in this week's rankings. Meanwhile, the Eagles rose two slots to No. 4, and the Cardinals and 49ers slid to seventh and 14th. Finally, CBS Sports was not so kind to the Seahawks, merely holding Seattle at No. 8 despite the Thanksgiving victory over the rival 49ers. CBS's Pete Prisco, meanwhile, moved the Eagles up one spot after they beat the Dallas Cowboys 33-10 earlier on Turkey Day. Seahawks-Eagles, Sunday afternoon at 1:25.

The Mariners have made it official, announcing that Kyle Seager has signed a 7-year contract extension with an option for an eighth year. The team doesn't give out the monetary details of contracts but a source said the total contract is worth $100 million dollars. Seager was in Seattle yesterday to take an extensive physical, which he passed. The two sides reached an agreement early last week but Seager stayed with his family to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday before heading to Seattle to finalize the deal. The Mariners are holding a press conference this afternoon at 2:00 at Safeco Field.

Birthdays: Singer, actress, and game-show panelist Jaye P. Morgan is 82; Black Sabbath's Ozzy Osbourne is 66; singer, guitarist, and a founding member of 38 Special, Don Barnes is 62; actress Julianne Moore is 54; actor Brendan Fraser is 46; she was Piper on Charmed, actress Holly Marie Combs is 41; and musician Daniel Bedingfield is 35.

Saxophonist Bobby Keys, a lifelong rock 'n' roller who toured with Buddy Holly, played on recordings by John Lennon and laid down one of the all-time blowout solos on the Rolling Stones' Brown Sugar, has died. Michael Webb, who played keyboard with Keys, said Keys died yesterday at his home in Franklin, Tennessee, after a lengthy illness. Keys had been on tour with the Stones earlier this year before his health prevented him from performing. In a statement, The Stones said, "The Rolling Stones are devastated by the loss of their very dear friend and legendary saxophone player, Bobby Keys. Bobby made a unique musical contribution to the band since the 1960s. He will be greatly missed." Bobby Keys was 70.

Today is Mommy Dearest Day, marking this date in 1978 when the novel Mommy Dearest made the best-seller list. Today is Alka-Seltzer Day, marking its introduction by the Dr. Miles Medical Company of Elkhart, Indiana, on December 3rd of 1931. Its origin was traced to the newsroom of The Elkhart Truth, where reporters mixed aspirin with bicarbonate of soda to ward off winter colds. A Miles chemist added citric acid for taste. Today is National Roof Over Your Head Day. It's a day of appreciation for the things we have, starting with the roof over our heads.

Calendar notes: On this date in 1929, the Ford Motor Company raised the pay of its employees 40 percent despite the collapse of the US stock market. Ford wages went from $5 to $7 a day. In 1947, the Tennessee Williams play A Streetcar Named Desire opened on Broadway starring Jessica Tandy as Blanche and Marlon Brando as Stanley. In 1966, in his first varsity game at UCLA, center Lew Alcindor scored 56 points. As Kareem Abdul-Jabbar he became one of basketball's greatest players. In 1979, at Cincinnati's Riverfront Coliseum, 11 Who fans were trampled to death in the rush to gain admittance for general (unreserved) seats to the band's concert. In 1991, 26 Soviet sailors got passes to tour Gulfport, Mississippi. The first place they asked to see was WalMart. In 1999, the World Trade Organization (WTO) concluded a four-day meeting in Seattle without setting an agenda for a new round of trade talks. The meeting was met with fierce protests by various groups. In 2003, a man who stole a red Salvation Army kettle was knocked down by a car as he tried to get away. Police said as the man pretended to make a donation in Tucson, he grabbed the kettle, containing about $70. Seconds later he was hit by a car and arrested at the scene. The police investigator called it "poetic justice." In 2007, winter storms caused the Chehalis River to flood many cities in Lewis County, and close a 20-mile portion of Interstate 5 for several days. At least eight deaths and billions of dollars in damages are blamed on the floods.

A noble fir tree cut from an Olympia tree farm has arrived at the state Capitol. The state holiday tree was installed Monday in the Capitol Rotunda and staff started the process of decorating it with more 5,000 LED lights and nearly 200 decorations, including stuffed characters from the Disney movie Frozen. A public tree-lighting ceremony takes place Friday night at 6:00. When the tree is taken down on December 30th, the stuffed animals are being wrapped and given to patients at Seattle Children's Hospital.

AC/DC drummer Phil Rudd has pleaded not guilty to possessing drugs and making a threat to kill. The rock veteran entered the pleas via his lawyer in New Zealand yesterday following his high-profile arrest last month. Rudd was excused from appearing at the court in person. His lawyer formally entered not guilty pleas to charges of threatening to kill and possessing methamphetamine and cannabis. Rudd is due to stand trial next year. He was originally charged with attempting to procure the murder of two men but that was dropped due to lack of evidence.

Move over, Kim Kardashian. But not too far over. Yahoo has released its Top Searches for 2014. And, yes, Kardashian is on the list. Again. But she doesn't top it. Ebola does. Followed by Minecraft. Of the Top 10, six are celebrities. New to list and taking the No. 3 spot is pop cutie Ariana Grande. No. 4 is Jennifer Lawrence. It was her first time in the Top 10. In addition to her huge popularity with the Hunger Games franchise, she also gained a lot of attention by being part of the hacked nude photo scandal earlier this year. No. 5 goes to Big Bang Theory star Kaley Cuoco, thanks to her marriage to Ryan Sweeting, her new contract and her haircut. Kim K. took the No. 6 spot. No. 7: Frozen. Even though Miley Cyrus' twerkfest was so 2013, she still made the list this year, taking the No. 8 place. Why? Internet death hoaxes. A rumor spread in July that she had overdosed. And another in November. No. 9: iPhone6. No. 10: Jennifer Aniston has a loyal following since Friends, but this is the first time she's been in Yahoo's Top 10. Why did she make it? Two movies, Cake and Horrible Bosses 2, helped. But mostly it was the constant speculation that she's pregnant. Fans also like following her engagement to Justin Theroux.

The 82nd annual tree-lighting celebration at Rockefeller Center features performances by Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett, Cyndi Lauper, Idina Menzel, Pentatonix, LeAnn Rimes and Trisha Yearwood. Matt Lauer, Al Roker, Savannah Guthrie and Natalie Morales host. It's tonight at 8:00 on NBC.

Trivia Answer: Daryl Christine Hannah who turns 54 today. Of her most recent roles, the most memorable is that of the one-eyed assassin in Kill Bill. Hannah has never married. She had a long-term relationship with singer Jackson Browne from 1982 through 1992. After Browne, she had a relationship with John F. Kennedy, Jr. and was romantically linked with actor Val Kilmer. Most recently, Hannah has been linked to Neil Young.

Tuesday 12.2.14
Today's Trivia: This stage, television, and film actor played the title character on the situation comedy My Favorite Martian. He was Judge Henry Bone on the drama series Picket Fences. He also was Mr. Hand in Fast Times at Ridgemont High. Who is he?

During a long weekend of rest, the Seattle Seahawks got the help they needed to take control of their own fate in the NFC West race. And to top it off, coach Pete Carroll added a lighthearted quip at the expense of the rival 49ers. Following the Seahawks' dominating 19-3 win over San Francisco on Thanksgiving, 49ers CEO Jed York tweeted an apology to fans saying, "This performance wasn't acceptable." When asked what his reaction would be if Seattle owner Paul Allen ever tweeted a similar message after a game, Carroll grinned. He said, "Our owner would never do that." Carroll added, "I would never comment on that." The atmosphere around the Seahawks has changed in a short time. When Seattle returned from its 24-20 loss at Kansas City in Week 11, the Seahawks were 6-4, three games out of first place in the NFC West and about to begin a rugged five-day stretch facing division foes Arizona and San Francisco. They were on the cusp of falling out of the division race and potentially the playoff picture. Two weeks later, the Seahawks are in playoff position and, more importantly, control their own destiny in the division thanks to Arizona's loss on Sunday at Atlanta. If Seattle wins its final four games -- beginning Sunday at Philadelphia -- it wins the division.

The Seattle Mariners may have found the right-handed bat they were sorely lacking last season by reportedly agreeing to terms with free agent outfielder Nelson Cruz. A Dominican newspaper first reported the news yesterday citing sources close to negotiations who placed the deal at four years and about $57 million, with a possible fifth-year option. Multiple sources have since confirmed the agreement, which would be finalized following a physical exam. In Seattle, Cruz would likely slide in between second baseman Robinson Cano -- who lobbied hard for Cruz to join the M's last offseason -- and rising-star third baseman Kyle Seager in a Mariners lineup dominated by left-handed hitters. The 34-year-old Cruz reportedly came close to striking a deal with Seattle last winter before ownership got cold feet and backed out. The three-time All-Star subsequently signed with the Baltimore Orioles, where he led the MLB with 40 home runs. The move to acquire Cruz comes a week after the M's reportedly locked up one of their most important position players to a long-term extension, agreeing to terms with Seager on a seven-year, $100 million contract deal. Neither the club nor Cruz's representatives have yet confirmed the deal.

Birthdays: Known for playing Wonder Woman before Lynda Carter, actress Cathy Lee Crosby is 70; Bulldog on Frasier, actor Dan Butler is 60; TV newsman Stone Phillips 60; Def Leppard bassist Rick Savage is 54; actress Lucy Liu is 46; tennis pro Monica Seles 41; singer Nelly Furtado is 36; Britney Spears is 33. and Green Bay Packer quarterback Aaron Rodgers is 31.

Today is Enron Day. The once high-flying Houston energy company filed for bankruptcy on this date in 2001. Today is Safety Razor Day. King Gillette patented the first razor with disposable blades on this date in 1901. And today is National Fritters Day, Aren't we lucky that this this special day has finally arrived!? Before you can begin to celebrate this very important day, you need to know what a "fritter" is. Many people don't, making it all the more fun to eat your first fritter today. A fritter is a fried cake or dough with fruit or meats inside. Don't fritter this day away without eating at least one fritter.

Calendar notes: On this date in 1949, Gene Autry hit the charts with Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. The song had evolved from a 1939 Montgomery Ward Christmas catalog featuring a red-nosed reindeer. in 1969, on NBC's I Dream of Jeannie, genie Jeannie married her master, Captain Tony Nelson. Barbara Eden played Jeannie, Larry Hagman was Captain Nelson. The show ran six years. Also in 1969, the Boeing 747 jumbo jet got its first public preview as 191 people flew from Seattle to New York City. Most of the passengers were reporters and photographers. In 1970, the United States Environmental Protection Agency began operations. In 1982, doctors at the University of Utah implanted a permanent artificial heart in the chest of retired dentist Barney Clark. He lived 112 days with the device. The operation was the first of its kind. In 1983, MTV aired Michael Jackson's Thriller video for the first time. In 1998, Microsoft chairman Bill Gates donated $100 million to help immunize children in developing countries. In 2003, the US Supreme Court ruled that after knocking, police don't have to wait longer than 20 seconds before breaking into the home of a drug suspect. In 2005, the US Transportation Security Administration decided to allow passengers to carry scissors and some tools on planes.

Today is Giving Tuesday, created to help the giving season get started, reminding people that there is more to holidays than consumerism and commercialization.

The cost of six geese-a-laying spiked considerably this year, while most of the items in the carol The Twelve Days of Christmas, saw little to no increase, according to the 31st annual PNC Wealth Management Christmas Price Index. A set of gifts in each verse of the song would set you back $27,673 in stores, an increase of less than $300 -- or 1 percent -- from last year. But shoppers turning to the Internet would see a bigger bump of about 8 percent over last year's online prices, bringing the set of gifts in each verse to $42,959. Buyers looking to purchase all the items each time they were mentioned in the song -- 364 that is -- would spend $116,273, a modest 1.4 percent increase from a year ago. Here is a look at the full set of prices from PNC Wealth Management:

  • Partridge, $20; last year: $15
  • Pear tree, $188; last year: $184
  • Two turtle doves, $125; last year: same
  • Three French hens, $181; last year: $165
  • Four calling birds (canaries), $600; last year: same
  • Five gold rings, $750; last year: same
  • Six geese-a-laying, $360; last year: $210
  • Seven swans a-swimming, $7,000; last year: same
  • Eight maids a-milking, $58; last year: same
  • Nine ladies dancing (per performance), $7,553; last year: same
  • 10 lords a-leaping (per performance), $5,348; last year: $5,243
  • 11 pipers piping (per performance), $2,635; last year: same
  • 12 drummers drumming (per performance), $2,855; last year: same

Creed frontman Scott Stapp's wife is seeking a divorce from her estranged husband. Jaclyn Stapp filed for divorce from the 41-year-old singer and asked a judge in Palm Beach County, Florida, last month to have her husband admitted to a substance abuse facility. She said her husband has been using several drugs and threatened to kill himself and harm his family. She said he left their home in early October."It is a very painful and personal matter for the family," said Jason Brodie, Jaclyn Stapp's attorney. "Jaclyn loves Scott very much. It is now apparent the seriousness of Scott's health. Jaclyn has taken all the necessary steps to help him. She previously arranged for the appropriate treatment and will continue to try and help him. Her primary concern remains the best interest of their children. Jaclyn asks for privacy for her and her children during this difficult time." The couple married eight years ago and has three children. Stapp has been posting rambling online videos on Facebook over the past week saying he's broke. He denied he's taking drugs or alcohol and said he is "as sober as can be." "When you can't get any help from law enforcement, your federal government or even local attorneys, what options am I left with except to make public statements like this, and put it out on the Internet and hope that someone's going to realize that the rumors that have been spread about me are lies," he said in one video. The videos were later deleted and a statement posted Friday said Stapp is "going to step back and let God control everything from here on." "I should have continued to do that before I allowed my hurt, frustration and emotions take control and post those videos," the statement said. Creed last toured together in 2012. The band was one of the most successful rock acts of the 1990s, selling more than 40 million albums. Creed won the Grammy for best rock song for With Arms Wide Open in 2001.

Realtor.com looked at the most common real-estate agent names in the US. They broke it down by state. The most popular real-estate agent names in New York are Michael and Mary. In Illinois the top male and female agent names are John and Mary. Here in Washington, the top names are John and Linda.

Trivia Answer: Ray Walston who was born on this date in 1914. He made his Broadway debut in a 1945 production of Hamlet. He had a successful movie career in Damn Yankees!, and then South Pacific in 1958, through Paint Your Wagon in 1969. He is also featured in the 1973 Best-Picture-Winner The Sting. He guest starred on numerous television programs, and then went on to some of his greatest success on the small screen. He starred as the Martian, alias Uncle Martin, on My Favorite Martian from 1963 to 1966 co-starring with Bill Bixby. Although Martian had somewhat typecast him and he had difficulty finding more serious roles after the show's cancellation, he managed to return to beloved character actor status in television of the 1970s and 1980s, appearing as a guest star in numerous shows, such as The Wild Wild West, Love, American Style, The Rookies, Mission: Impossible, Ellery Queen, The Six Million Dollar Man, Little House on the Prairie, and The Incredible Hulk with Bill Bixby (in which he played Jasper the Magician in an episode called My Favorite Magician), among many others. From 1980 to 1992, Walston starred in fourteen movies, including 1982's Fast Times at Ridgemont High (as well as its 1986 television adaptation) as Mr. Hand. In a 1999 interview, Walston said he was happy and relieved that when he walks down the street, young fans shout at him "Mr. Hand" because he had finally torn away from his Martian role. Eventually he landed the role of Judge Bone on Picket Fences, which began production in 1992. The judge was originally a recurring role on the show, but Walston proved to be so popular that he was given a starring role the following year. Walston was Emmy-nominated three times for Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series for his work on Picket Fences, winning twice, in 1995 and 1996. Walston died at the age of 86 on New Year's Day, 2001 in Beverly Hills after a 6-year battle with lupus.

Monday 12.1.14
Today's Trivia: He is widely regarded as one of the most important and influential stand-up comedians of his era: Jerry Seinfeld called him "The Picasso of our profession"; Bob Newhart called him "the seminal comedian of the last 50 years.". Bill Cosby reportedly once said, he "drew the line between comedy and tragedy as thin as one could possibly paint it." He won an Emmy Award in 1973, and five Grammy Awards -- in 1974, 1975, 1976, 1981, and 1982. In 1974, he also won two American Academy of Humor awards and the Writers Guild of America Award. The first ever Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize for American Humor was presented to him in 1998. He's listed at Number 1 on Comedy Central's list of all-time greatest stand-up comedians. Who is he?

The 2014 season could be Marshawn Lynch's last in Seattle, but not for the reasons you're thinking. According to a report from NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, Lynch is mulling the idea of retiring from football at the close of his eighth NFL season. Rapoport wrote yesterday, "According to sources with direct knowledge of Lynch's thinking, the 28-year-old is weighing the possibility of retiring after this year, saying goodbye to football on his owns terms, He'd leave the football world confused and wanting more, though that's what he often does." This isn't the first time news has leaked about the star running back contemplating retirement, but while Lynch is widely assumed to be unhappy with his contract status with Seattle, health concerns may be at the top of Lynch's list of reasons for potentially walking away from the game, according to Rapoport.

By the fourth quarter, Martin Stadium had mostly emptied and the applause that came when Luke Falk found Dom Williams on a 35-yard touchdown was simply because Washington State would not be shut out. Otherwise, the Apple Cup was a forgettable night for the Cougars. The 107th meeting between the rivals was the coldest on record with a temperature of 19 degrees for the 7:30 kickoff Saturday night. The final: Washington 31, Washington State 13.

The Seattle Sounders defeated the LA Galaxy 2-1 in front of 46,758 at CenturyLink Field last night but failed to move on to the MLS Cup Finals due to the league's new away-goal tiebreaker rule, falling short in their attempt to become the first MLS team to win the US Open Cup, the Supporters' Shield and the MLS Cup in the same season. Going into the game, the Sounders knew they had to dig themselves out of a hole following the Galaxy's 1-0 victory in the series' first leg in Los Angeles on Nov. 23. If Seattle posted a 1-0 result, the series would be decided by 30 minutes of extra time and then a penalty shootout, if necessary. But if Los Angeles scored a goal, the Sounders would move on only by winning with a goal differential of two or more.

A big baseball note this afternoon. Word is the M's are set to sign outfielder Nelson Cruz to 4-year deal. The AP is reporting that the Mariners are on the verge of landing the right-handed slugger they were seeking for the middle of their batting order. Free agent slugger Nelson Cruz and Seattle are nearing agreement on a contract, two people with knowledge of the deal told The Associated Press today. The Seattle has not commented. Cruz led the major leagues with 40 home runs last season and had 108 RBIs for Baltimore, which signed him to an $8 million, one-year deal. He served a 50-game suspension in 2013 for violations of the major league drug agreement in relation to the sport's Biogenesis investigation. He would likely will bat behind fellow Dominican star Robinson Cano, who will be starting the second season of a $240 million, 10-year contract.

Birthdays: Actor and director Woody Allen is 79; golfer Lee Trevino is 75; Blue Oyster Cult frontman Eric Bloom is 70; from The Doors, drummer John Densmore is 70; The Devine Miss M, Bette Midler is 69; singer Gilbert O'Sullivan is 68; actor Treat Williams is 63; Lucy on Dallas, actress Charlene Tilton is 56; Subway spokesman Jared Fogle is 37; and singer -songwriter Matt Kearney is 36.

Today is Eat a Red Apple Day. Apples are delicious. Apples are nutritious. That's a great combination. Today is World Aids Awareness Day. National Stress-Free Family Holidays Month begins today, sponsored by Parenting Without Pressure. Really? Cookie Cutter Week begins today. Today is Rosa Parks Day, the anniversary of her arrest in Montgomery, Alabama, when she refused to give up her seat and move to the rear of a city bus. Ms. Parks died in 2009. The annual Chia Pet Hunting Season begins today.

Calendar notes: On this date in 1891, Canadian YMCA trainer James Naismith nailed two peach baskets on opposite ends of the Spring College gym in Massachusetts and instructed his students to toss soccer balls into them -- the birth of basketball. In 1913, the first drive-in automobile service station opened, in Pittsburgh, PA. In 1953, atarlet/model Marilyn Monroe was featured as the nude centerfold in the first issue of Playboy magazine. In 1959, twelve countries, including the US and the USSR, signed a treaty that set aside Antarctica as a scientific preserve, which would be free from military activity. In 1969, the US government held its first draft lottery since World War II. In 1992, in New York, Amy Fisher was sentenced to 5-to-15 years in prison for shooting and wounding Mary Ann Buttafuoco. Within a year there were three TV movies about the case. In 1997, Kenny G set a record when he held a note on his saxophone for 45 minutes and 47 seconds. In 2004, Tom Brokaw signed off for the last time as anchor of the NBC Nightly News. He was succeeded by Brian Williams.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1, the third film in the action series starring Jennifer Lawrence, collected $56.9 million to hold off advances by animated films Penguins of Madagascar and Big Hero 6 and claim victory at the holiday weekend box office. Penguins of Madagascar, the fourth in the series of Madagascar films, waddled into second place on its opening weekend. Walt Disney's Big Hero 6, the box office champion three weeks ago, was third. Rounding out the weekend's top five, director Christopher Nolan's space adventure Interstellar starring Matthew McConaughey finished fourth. The new Jason Bateman-Jennifer Aniston film Horrible Bosses 2 was fifth. The Thanksgiving box office haul of $230 million for Wednesday through Sunday fell far short of the record-setting figures a year ago, when moviegoers flocked to theaters for films including the second Hunger Games installment, spending $293.7 million on all releases combined.

Today is Cyber Monday. It turns out however, that fewer US workers are planning to shop for the holidays online during work hours this year. In 2013, more than half (54 percent) of workers said they were using at least some work time to knock items off their list, but this year that number dropped to 47 percent, the lowest rate in about six years.

It was only a matter of time, right? Idina Menzel, one of the stars of Frozen, says that a sequel to the Disney movie is on the way. When asked about the rumors of a second movie and confirmed reports of a stage musical, she said, "They're all in the works," The Broadway veteran won't star in the stage version, but she says she hopes to be asked to voice Elsa again for the sequel. "Not the stage show - I don't know what will happen with that - but the movie, hopefully," she said. "We'll see. I'm just going along for the ride."

Trivia Answer: Richard Franklin Lennox Thomas Pryor who was born on this date in 1940. Pryor suffered a mild heart attack in November 1977. He was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1986. By the early 1990s, he was confined to using a wheelchair as well as a motor powered scooter for the remainder of his life to get around when his multiple sclerosis began to take its toll on his body. In 1990, Pryor suffered a second and more severe heart attack and underwent triple heart bypass surgery. On December 10th of 2005, nine days after his birthday, Pryor suffered a heart attack in Encino, California. He was taken to a local hospital after his wife's attempts to resuscitate him failed. He was pronounced dead at 7:58 in the morning. He was 65 years old. His widow Jennifer was quoted as saying, "At the end, there was a smile on his face."