***DAILY DOSE OF WEIRD NEWS! (As an ONAIRprep subscriber, you can gain access to all of the work parts for the Daily Dose of Weird News, allowing you to edit for length and content – and also receive a custom tag specifically for your station or show which you can have updated at any time… ABSOLUTELY FREE! IT’S PART OF YOUR SUBSCRIPTION! Email me to get more information, FTP access and your free customized tag!)
WELCOME TO THE SHOW!
I have a great show prepared for you today. In fact, it’s such a terrific show — I think I’ve changed my mind. Instead of giving it to you today, I’m going to save it until I know for sure the boss is listening.
BIBLE VERSE OF THE DAY
The Lord says, “Even to your old age and gray hairs, I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you. –Isaiah 46:4
A wicked man puts up a bold front, but an upright man gives thought to his ways. — Proverbs 21:29
HEARTLIGHT DAILY VERSE, PRAYER & THOUGHT
Do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. — Hebrews 10:35-36
Thought: There are some tough times that go with living. They’re inescapable. That’s when our confidence in the Lord’s salvation and our relationship with him get tested! It is one thing to sing “it is well with my soul” at the end of a peel the paint worship service, but it is quite another to be able to sing it when they auction your house off at the courthouse steps, you are told you have a long-term debilitating illness, or you lose a child to death. Faith can’t take a holiday when we travel through the suburbs of hell or we’ll never find our way out. So don’t throw it away. Persevere! Keep putting one step in front of the other trusting that God will give you the strength for the next step. No matter how hard it is at the moment, don’t give up to despair. Be like Job or Jeremiah who both argued and complained to God, but never let go of God. Don’t quit. Christ is coming, for you with grace or in glory once and for all, is just around the bend.
“BIRTHDAY VERSE” OF THE DAY (The chapter and verse correspond to the month and day!)
1 Corinthians 9:25 NIV = Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.
TODAY IS MONDAY – SEPTEMBER 25, 2017
(NOTE: Some holidays may be duplicated due to various calendars reporting conflicting dates)
WEIRD, WACKY, STRANGE, ZANY, ODD, BIZARRE, QUIRKY, UNUSUAL HOLIDAYS!
THERE ARE ONLY 90 SHOPPING DAYS UNTIL CHRISTMAS.
Today is BABA WAWA DAY, marking the birth of TV’s Barbara Walters. She got the “Baba Wawa” nickname from comic Gilda Radner’s classic character on “Saturday Night Live.”
Today is NATIONAL ONE-HIT WONDERS DAY, honoring all those rock singers and groups that had just one hit record. ***Also good for DJ’s who’ve only told one good joke in their career.
Today is NATIONAL COMIC BOOK DAY. ***It’s the Adventures of Radio Man – battling enemies like the evil Dead Air, and Splice!
TODAY IS ALSO…
COMING UP NEXT (Just a list, we are not endorsing the holidays posted below. Find more holidays and link to their websites at BrownieLocks.com)
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 26
Compliance Officer Day
Johnny Appleseed Day
National Dumpling Day
National Voter Registration Day
Shamu the Whale Day
Situational Awareness Day
World Contraception Day
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 27
Ancestor Appreciation Day
Banned Websites Awareness Day
Crush A Can Day
National Women’s Health & Fitness Day
National Woman Road Warrior Day
World Tourism Day
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 28
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 29
Ask A Stupid Question Day
Hug A Vegetarian Day
International Coffee Day
Mutation Day (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)
National Attend Your Grandchild’s Birth Day
National Gay Men HIV AIDS Awareness Day
Save The Koala Day
Support Purple for Platelets Day
Vegan Baking Day
World Heart Day
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 30
Fall Astronomy Day
Family Health and Fitness Day USA
International Translation Day
National Ghost Hunting Day
National Public Lands Day
National Mulled Cider Day
Nickelodeon’s Worldwide Day of Play
Save Your Photos Day
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 01
CD Player Day
Change A Light Day
Country Inn Bed & Breakfast Day
Fire Pup Day
International Coffee Day
International Day of Older Persons
International African Diaspora Day
International Blessings of The Fishing Fleet Day
International Music Day
Model T Day
National Book It! Day
National Lace Day
National Walk Your Dog Day
Vegan Baking Day
World Vegetarian Day
World Communion Day
MONDAY, OCTOBER 02
Child Health Day
Day of Unity
Guardian Angels Day
International Day of Non-violence
National Custodial Workers Day
Peanuts (Cartoon) Day
Phileas Fogg’s Wager Day
World Day of Architecture
World Day of Bullying Prevention / Blue Shirt Day
World Farm Animals Day
World Habitat Day
ON THIS DAY
1493: Christopher Columbus left Spain with 17 ships on his second voyage to the New World.
1933: “The Tom Mix Ralston Straightshooters” debuted on NBC Radio, at first three times a week, then five. During the ‘30s and ‘40s, it was the #1 late afternoon program. Mix, a film star and former Texas Ranger, never appeared on the radio show.
1946: The Brooklyn Dodgers beat the Chicago Cubs 2-0 when the game had to be called after 5 innings because of gnats, swarms of gnats in Ebbets Field, so many gnats fans couldn’t see the field and players couldn’t play.
1954: In his only appearance at the Grand Ole Opry, Elvis sang “Blue Moon of Kentucky.” Talent coordinator John Denny told him to go back to truck driving. ***Less shaking there, I guess.
1956: Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis broke up as a comedy team. They had begun performing together on the same day in 1946.
1965: At age 34, Willie Mays became the oldest major league player to hit 50 home runs in a season. Ten years earlier, he had been the youngest player to accomplish the same feat.
1975: Billy Petty sold his prize turkey at a Pasadena, Texas, rodeo for $1,600, the highest price ever paid for a turkey.
1978: Sports Illustrated’s Melissa Ludtke filed suit to gain access for women reporters to major-league baseball locker rooms after games. She won. ***The players in the locker room lost… their dignity.
1979: The musical “Evita” opened on Broadway.
1981: Sandra Day O’Connor became the first woman on the U.S. Supreme Court, the 102nd justice to take the oath.
1984: Deepak Lele arrived in New York City to become the first person to cross the United States on a unicycle. He pedaled 3,963 miles from Los Angeles in three months and 19 days.
1990: Macon, Georgia, honored hometown boy Richard Penniman by naming a new street Little Richard Boulevard.
1995: Circuit Judge Joseph Wilson in Columbia, South Carolina, refused to allow attorney Heather Smith to enter a plea for her client because the female lawyer was wearing pants. The hearing was postponed.
1995: Ross Perot announced formation of the Independence Party.
1996: Turner Ranches announced that CNN’s Ted Turner had purchased a 578-thousand-acre ranch in New Mexico, increasing Turner’s total New Mexico holdings to 1,796 square miles. That’s roughly 1.5% of the state.
2003: The U.S. House gave the Federal Trade Commission explicit authority to create a national “do not call” directory.
TODAY IN CHRISTIAN HISTORY
1534: Pope Clement VII dies. An unpopular pope, Clement failed to halt Luther’s reformation or to implement his own reforms in the Catholic church. Henry VIII asked Clement VII to annul his marriage with Catherine of Aragon. The pope’s reluctance led to Henry VIII’s break from Catholicism.
1555: The Peace ofAugsburg is signed after the defeat of Emperor Charles V’s forces by Protestant princes in Germany (1552). The official recognition of the Lutheran church in Germany, the agreement signified the dissolution of both political unity in Germany and the medieval unity of Christendom.
1789: Congress amends The U.S. Constitution to prohibit establishment of a state church or governmental interference with the free exercise of religion.
1872: Peter Cartwright, an indefatigable Methodist circuit rider, dies at age 97. Though he was characterized as rough, uneducated, and eccentric, his drive and physical stamina enabled him to preach throughout midwestern frontiers for 70 years.
actress (Zorro, Entrapment) Catherine Zeta-Jones 48
actor-rapper (“Fresh Prince of Bel-Air”, Men in Black, Independence Day, I-Robot) Will Smith 49 (audio clip)
actress (“Melrose Place”, “Spin City”) Heather Locklear 56 (audio clip)
actor (Luke Skywalker from the original three Star Wars movies, voice of the Joker in the “Batman” animated series) Mark Hamill 65
actor (married to Catherine Zeta-Jones, son to Kirk Douglas, Falling Down, Jewel of the Nile) Michael Douglas 73
journalist (“The View”) Barbara Walters 86
(Music Artist Birthdays From SongFacts.com)
1683 : Jean-Philippe Rameau
1932 : Glenn Gould
1933 : Eric Darling (The Weavers, The Tarries, The Rooftop Singers)
1936 : Roosevelt “Booba” Barnes
1943 : Gary Jules Alexander (The Association)
1945 : Onnie McIntyre (Average White Band)
1950 : Zucchero
1968 : Will Smith
1985 : Diana Ortiz (Dream)
SECRETS OF THE UNIVERSE (Answering questions that have plagued mankind for minutes!)
Who invented the refrigerator, and when did it first become available to consumers?
Scottish scientist William Cullen, in 1748, discovered that the liquid ethyl ether, allowed to evaporate in a partial vacuum, cooled its surroundings. Americans in the early 19th century substituted the rapid expansion of a gas for the evaporation of a liquid as the coolant. With the widespread availability of electricity at the beginning of the 20th century, the time was ripe for the debut of the household appliance that we know. It arrived in 1913. Now grab me a cold Pepsi, will ya? (Source: PANATI’S BROWSER’S BOOK OF BEGINNINGS by Charles Panati)
(None on weekends. Want a customizable version with your specific station tag, FREE? Email me for more information! )
NEW NEWS KICKERS…
(Not posted on weekends and U.S. holidays.)
Blondes not only have more fun, they also have more moxie, more pluck, more backbone and more spunk, says a recent study. In short, fair haired females outshine both redheads and brunettes when it comes to aggressiveness and self-confidence, reports lead researcher Aaron Sell of the University of California. Researchers studied 156 American codes to find links between self-confidence and aggression. They found that women who sported blond manes were consistently the queens of the female jungle. And it didn’t matter if they came by their blondness naturally or by a bottle. ***So if you want to be the king of your own castle, don’t marry Goldilocks.
Young drivers believe it’s dangerous to talk and to text on smartphones while they’re driving, but they’re doing it anyway, according to a study from Consumer Reports. The magazine found that, of those young drivers surveyed, almost all said they considered texting, accessing the Internet, or using smartphone apps while driving to be dangerous, with 80 percent saying it was “very dangerous.” Some 63 percent said talking on a handheld phone behind the wheel was dangerous. Yet their self-reported behavior revealed that almost half of them talked on a cellphone while driving during the past month, nearly 30 percent texted, 8 percent operated smartphone apps and 7 percent used social media or e-mail. ***Because, as we all know, before the age of 25, you’re immortal.
Folks do not start out as sourpusses, they get grumpy as they age. A recent study reveals that grumpiness begins at age 52 and mushrooms as people get older. The least cranky humans are the babies, who laugh an average of 300 times a day. But by the time they have grown into teenagers, the chuckles have plummeted to just six daily. Folks over 60 laugh a sulky 2 and a half times every 24 hours. And it is no wonder the older men are usually portrayed as grouches because guys tend to be a lot crabbier than gals. ***So be warned… I am about to turn (49) years old and right on the cusp of getting crabby – so enjoy me while you can, you young whippersnappers!
The Dust in Your Home Could Be Causing You to Gain Weight. According to a new study, dust could be the real culprit for your weight gain. Duke University conducted a study and learned that dust creates a chemical that alters your hormones and tells your body to start building-up fat. Their researchers found that even the tiniest amounts of dust can trigger your weight gain. ***I don’t care of this is true or not, I’m claiming it. Now where are my Ho-Ho’s?
A study says sleeping less than seven hours a night can make people fatter. ***And that’s what I’m blaming it on, so shut up.
A Pennsylvania high school golfer got two holes-in-one in the same round. The achievement came during a nine-hole practice round Monday. ***The holes-in-one were on the Clown Mouth hole, and the one with the turning windmill.
NEWS KICKER EVERGREENS…
(Not posted on weekends and U.S. holidays.)
The same researchers that discovered men do poorly on tests after interacting with a woman have also discovered that men have trouble with completing tasks after just hearing a woman’s name. Researchers believe the mental energy involved in thinking sexy thoughts slows down other brain functions. ***The key is keeping out the sexy thoughts – so you can use a woman’s name so long as that name is Rosie O’Donnell.
Eat fiber and live longer. That’s the conclusion from the largest study yet on fiber and longevity. Fiber fights heart disease and certain cancers, and protects us from lung ailments like pneumonia and the flu. If you’re like most Americans, you probably are not eating enough fiber. On average, we eat only about 15 grams a day, but the recommended daily amount is 25 grams for women and 38 grams for men. ***Upside of eating fiber – you live longer. Downside – you spend that extra amount of life in the bathroom.
Only a 10 percent chance of showers today, but a 70 percent chance of flu next month. That’s the kind of forecasting health scientists are trying to move toward, as they increasingly include weather data in their attempts to predict disease outbreaks. In one recent study, two scientists reported they could predict — more than seven weeks in advance — when flu season was going to peak in New York City. Theirs was just the latest in a growing wave of computer models that factor in rainfall, temperature, or other weather conditions to forecast disease. Health officials are excited by this kind of work and the idea that it could be used to fine-tune vaccination campaigns or other disease prevention efforts. At the same time, experts note that outbreaks are influenced as much, or more, by human behavior and other factors as by the weather. ***So when they report a high pressure system moving in, they might simply be referring to the pressure of the flu-shot needle in your arm.
Can losing your cool be good for you? According to a German study, people who express their anger live two years longer, on average, than those who bottle up their rage. After analyzing 6,000 patients, researchers found that those who internalized their angry feelings ran the risk of an elevated pulse, high blood pressure, and other serious ailments. Dr. Janet Taylor, a psychiatrist who specializes in stress management, says “It’s really how to express appropriate anger,” she said. “And people who keep it in, the hostility … people who get depressed … certainly have a higher risk for having cardiovascular disease, like heart attacks and even sudden death.” ***My wife is going to outlive me by decades.
There’s a real psychological condition that makes Instagram users feel they’re not attractive. ***I found a solution. I uninstalled Instagram.
AS THE JUNGLE TURNS
(Not updated on weekends and U.S. holidays.)
CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD MONDAY’S EPISODE
OPEN: And now, FancyMonkey.com, (Show Name), and (Station Call Letters) bring you As the Jungle Turns! Last time, Racquet the Skunk’s niece, Rita, was depressed because she didn’t know how to do her accelerated math homework. Fortunately, Uncle Racquet was there to help… well, sort of. Actually Racquet ended up doing all of Rita’s homework FOR her. The next afternoon, Gruffy Bear again dropped off Rita after school…
CLOSE: Oh yeah, like you didn’t see THAT one coming… right? That’s twice now that Racquet has done Rita’s homework for her. Hopefully he’ll realize that what’s happening soon… at least before they get to long division! Tune in next time as our story continues, on As the Jungle Turns!
***You may simulcast “As the Jungle Turns” on the Internet stream of your live broadcast only. Any other Internet use of “As the Jungle Turns” in whole or part including podcasting of your live broadcast is a violation of copyright law. Thank you for your cooperation on this vitally important issue. If you have any questions, please e-mail us and ask about “Jungle Jam & Friends the Radio Show” usage.
MOMENT OF DUH
I think that I shall never see a poem as lovely as a… hey, who stole my tree?
Botanists in West Sussex, England were given the task of protecting one of Britain’s rarest trees, a southern beech (Nothofagus gunnil). They are today’s Moment of Duh because … someone stole it. The tree was being monitored to see the interaction between its root and the soil and will probably die because of damage caused to the roots and lack of the care needed to make it grow. If caught, the thieves will be charged with, among other things, leaving the scene of a crime. ***MARLAR: So… it took a bunch of university trained botanists to come up with the concept of saving an endangered tree by watching it grow, and telling us that if someone digs it up and doesn’t take water it, it will die.
TOP 10 AMUSING SIGNS
10. Sign on an airport runway: All baggage carts must yield to oncoming planes.
9. Sign at the Pavlov Institute: Knock: Please don’t ring bell.
8. Sign in a 1 hour eyeglass store: 20/20 in 60 Minutes.
7. Saying on a T-shirt: My daughter and my money both go to college.
6. Bumper-sticker: Pharmacists are indispensable.
5. Sign in a dentist’s office: Patient parking only. All others will be painfully extracted.
4. Sign on a parking space at a garden nursery: Reserved for plant manager.
3. Boyfriend wanted: No experience necessary. Will train.
2. Sign on a closed store: This store is guarded by a very mean dog 3 nights a week. You guess which nights.
1. Sign on a hearing aid shop: Trust us. Over 5000 ears of experience.
THE FILES OF LAW & DISORDER
Sometimes you’re just not physically qualified to commit a crime.
FILE #: In Romania, an unidentified man got into an argument with some of his friends and, to prove to them that he could do it, he stole a car. He smashed the window, used a screwdriver to start the ignition and drove off down a busy road. Unfortunately, he only made it about a half a mile before crashing into a tree. He told the cops he crashed because he didn’t know the way home. I think there might have been another problem. You see, the reason his friends didn’t think he could pull off the crime is because our guy is legally blind.
FILE #2: In Nashville, the court hearing for 19-year-old Denza D. McGee got underway. Denza was accused of fatally shooting a man. During the hearing, Denza’s buddy 23-year-old Gerald Cunningham showed up to give moral support. However, the sole witness who was in court to identify Denza said she also recognized Mr. Cunningham as his partner in the shooting so Mr. Cunningham was immediately pulled out of the gallery and arrested.
FILE #3: From Longview, Washington comes the story of Edmund Arnold who robbed a bank, then walked over to the convenience store nearby. He bought himself a drink, went outside and sat down on a park bench to enjoy it. Unfortunately, the park was across the street from the police station. An officer looking out the window spotted him and noticed that he fit the description of the robber. The officer walked across the street and arrested him.
STRANGE LAW: In North Dakota it is illegal to lie down and fall asleep with your shoes on.
THIS IS YOUR BRAIN ON DRUGS
“This Is Your Brain On Drugs” is about people doing dumb things under the influence, but addiction is no laughing matter. If you or someone you know needs help, there’s a toll free number you can call 1-800-438-0380. That’s the Addiction Hope and Help Line at 1-800-438-0380.
A recent study suggests that adolescents who regularly smoke marijuana run a risk of damaging a portion of the brain associated with language development. Brain scans revealed microscopic abnormalities in a region of the brain that controls higher aspects of language. ***Do you think this is why pot smokers call each other dude?
In an effort to teach people not to leave valuable items in their cars, British police officers will be wandering the streets looking for stuff to steal. If you don’t have your doors locked, the cops will take your stuff. Because they’re cops, they’ll also be kind enough to leave a note explaining what happened, but the point is to teach people to be more responsible. “The message to car owners is: ‘Help us to help you,'” said Richmond Police Chief Inspector Duncan Slade in a statement. ***PHONER: What do you think… good idea, or is this going to backfire?
BIBLE BRAIN BUSTER!
QUESTION: To help Moses, God poured out His Spirit on how many elders of Israel?
ANSWER: Seventy (Numbers 11:16-17)
QUESTION: What was unique about US President James Buchanan’s First Lady, Harriet Lane?
ANSWER: She wasn’t his wife. James Buchanan was the only president of the United States never to marry. During his term in office, his niece Harriet Lane played the role of the First Lady.
TRUE OR FALSE
Pay attention! If our next player doesn’t answer all ten T/F questions correctly we start all over from question #1! First person to answer question #10 correctly is our winner!
1. Assuming Rudolph was in front, there are over 40,000 ways to arrange the other eight reindeer. (True)
2. The fingerprints of koala bears are virtually indistinguishable from those of humans, so much so that they could be confused at a crime scene. (True)
3. Shakespeare was 46 when the King James Version of the Bible was written. In Psalms 46, the 46th word from the first word is shake and the 46th word from the last word is spear. (True)
4. Bulls are attracted to the color red. (False, they’re actually color blind and chase those red capes of the matadors only due to the motion, not the color)
5. People who have night jobs weigh less on average than people with day jobs. (False – they weigh more)
6. During the first year puppies grow 100 times faster than human infants do. (False – but they do grow 10 times faster)
7. Only about one third of the episodes of “Gilligan’s Island” are actually about the castaways getting off the island. (True)
8. Without food coloring Coca-Cola would be clear. (False – actually it would be green)
9. Nobody has any idea where Mozart is buried. (True)
10. 3000 puppies are born in the U.S. every hour. (False – actually 3000 puppies will be born in the time it takes to say 3000 puppies! That’s about 3,000 puppies per SECOND!)
TABLOID MATCH GAME
You have to match the blank in the tabloid headline with the word or phrase that has been removed!
“Deputy Arrests __________ For DUI!” (HIS OWN WIFE)
In Elko, Nevada, 11-year police veteran Charlotte Moore was charged with DUI after her hubby Mike pulled her over. According to one report, she allegedly drove off before she could be given a breathalyzer test so Mike pulled her over again and called for backup. Mrs. Moore is now on paid administrative leave. Wonder how Mike’s doing trying to keep the peace at home!
THE WAY TOO EARLY IN THE MORNING TO UNDERSTAND THE PUNCHLINE EVEN AFTER TWO CUPS OF COFFEE JOKE OF THE DAY
It’s the day before Christmas and Darth says to Luke “I know what you’re getting me. I felt your presents”.
A woman called up the fire department and said, “Look, I’ve just had a new rock garden built and I’ve just planted some new roses, and…”
The fireman said, “Where’s the fire?”
She said, “I’ve just spent a lot of money having my lawn mowed and my hedges clipped. Some of my new plants are very expensive…”
He said, “Look, lady, you don’t want the fire department, you want a flower shop.”
She said, “No, I don’t. The house next door is on fire, and I don’t want you clumsy fireman stamping all over my garden when you come over.”
After church on Sunday morning, a young boy suddenly announced to his mother, “Mom, I’ve decided I’m going to be a minister when I grow up.”
“That’s okay with us,” the mother said, “But what made you decide to be a minister?”
“Well,” the boy replied, “I’ll have to go to church on Sunday anyway, and I figure it will be more fun to stand up and yell than to sit still and listen.”
A research study shows eating too much red meat may produce just as much cancer as smoking. ***So beware the dangers of second-hand cheeseburgers…
Some airlines now plan to start selling advertising space on their air-sickness barf bags. ***Finally, the perfect medium for advertising Michael Moore movies.
LEAVE OUT THE CUSS WORDS
The teacher asked one of her students what his father thought of his report card. “Shall I leave out the cuss-words?” He asked.
“Yes, of course.”
“Well, he didn’t say nothing.”
IT MUST BE TRUE BECAUSE I HEARD IT ON THE RADIO!
You think your job stinks? Try this one. Researchers at a Canadian university have recruited six people to sniff pig manure.
…the scientists at the University of Alberta are trying to find out how close pig barns should be built to where humans reside (how about as far as possible?!). The manure-sniffers meet three times a week for the two hour sessions and are paid $10 an hour. They were chosen after a passing a test to show they could smell properly. Another university will be conducted test to see how far away you want to be from people who spent the last two hours sniffing manure.
In a related story, the “Ham” is anything but “Heavenly” in Stuart, Florida these days as 2 pig farmers and a Florida Golf Resort are going to court against one another. Why? The Golf Resort is suing the owners of a neighboring pig farm for disrupting their multi-million dollar investment by playing loud country music to their pigs. That, along with the fact that the smell of the swine is “unreasonable and disturbs Florida Club Golfers and its homeowners from the use of the property”, according to an attorney for the Florida Club. ***MARLAR: What I don’t understand is that the pig farmers were there first – but the Florida Club built the resort anyway! Did they think the pig smells would be removed along with the trees?
ELMO AND THE POWER OF LOVE
How the popular Sesame Street character makes the world a better place–by his best friend and puppeteer.
By Kevin Clash with Gary Brozek
When I tell folks what I do for a living (“What’dya mean you’re Elmo? You’re a forty-five-year-old six-foot African American male with a deep voice, get outta here”), after they regain their composure, they ask me to explain Elmo’s popularity. Elmo is instantly recognizable in nearly every country in the world. He knows heads of state, A-list celebrities, world-class athletes, Oscar winners, Tony winners, Grammy winners, spelling-bee winners, and lots of babies. If Elmo had a cell phone, it would never stop ringing. Why is this little fur-and-foam bundle of energy such a phenomenon?
I have a one-word answer: love. Elmo connects with children and adults on the purest and most fundamental level, and that is the human desire to love and be loved. It’s as simple as that.
He may not look like it, but that Elmo’s a love machine.
When parents tell me, “My child lives for Elmo,” I tell them that Elmo lives because of their child’s love for him. I don’t just mean that Elmo is alive in their child’s imagination, though that is certainly a part of it. That child and Elmo aren’t just experiencing love; they’re creating more of it to go around, and in doing so they make the world a better place.
It works like this: Elmo feeds off the love he receives from kids, from the adult characters on the show, and from his fellow Muppets. He doesn’t just take that love in as a fuel and use it up. Instead, he drinks it in and gives it right back in spades. He’s a kind of love-energy power station, and the more love he takes in, the more love he produces for the rest of the world. The more love he produces, the more love he receives, and the cycle completes itself over and over again. Talk about a renewable resource!
I first saw this powerful cycle in action shortly after Elmo debuted and was gaining in popularity in the mid-1980s, when I did an appearance with him at a school in the Bronx. A group of preschoolers were gathered in the library, all of them bundles of fidgeting energy with their legs swinging like metronomes. As soon as Elmo said, “Hello, everybody! Elmo loves you!” it was like a floodgate had opened, and Elmo and I were awash in a surge of little children. I could almost feel an electric charge in the room, as their shouts of “I love you, Elmo!” reverberated off the cinder-block walls. Elmo laughed and opened his arms wide and tried to scoop up all the love and hug it to his chest, all the while repeating “Elmo loves you, too.”
That may have been the first time in my adult life when I finally comprehended the ancient notion that what you put out in the universe comes back to you. Since that day, I’ve learned to try to put as much Elmo and Kevin love out into the world as I can, knowing that it will have a very positive ripple effect. Elmo and the children taught me that one. Somewhere along the road to adulthood, we seem to forget this little secret about the power of love, but it’s worth remembering.
When children tell Elmo that they love him, they all have different styles of expressing their emotion. Some of the more demonstrative kids throw their arms around his neck, snuggle their faces against his, and with an eyes-closed, sigh-heaving, hand-me-my-Tony-Award gesture that projects to the very last row of the theater’s balcony, they proclaim their undying devotion to Elmo in prose as purple as Telly Monster. “Oh, Elmo, I love you more than chocolate ice cream! More than I love the new baby! Please come and live in my house forever!”
Older kids are a little more matter-of-fact, as if they’ve been married for twenty years and they’re picking up their keys and their bag and heading out the door with an affectionate but perfunctory “Love you.” Still others are more shy and reserved, like the bashful and nervous teen letting his or her feelings be known to their crush for the first time. I often wonder how these children will express their love as adults and how many of them will remain demonstrative and unembarrassed, or if they’ll naturally pull back into more conservative styles as they grow older. It would be ridiculous if we all greeted each other the way the more enthusiastic kids greet Elmo — imagine how long it would take to get that first cup of coffee at the office with all the morning greetings in full swing! — but still, doesn’t imagining a love-filled world like that put a smile on your face?
Children approach Elmo differently depending on their age, but they also are inevitably influenced by the kinds of physical demonstrations of affection they receive at home. Elmo wants to reach all kids, and sometimes he can be like that overly enthusiastic puppy who finds everything in the world so fresh and new and wonderful that he can’t contain himself. Just as kids may squeal in delight when they first see a puppy and then retreat in leg-hugging, face-shielding fear when the puppy starts to jump on them, Elmo can evoke the same response. Over time, I’ve learned to think quickly on my feet, to gauge the kinds of responses I’m getting from a child and either tone down or amp up Elmo’s enthusiasm level accordingly. I constantly have to remind myself that even though they’ve seen Elmo countless times on television, they’re meeting him face-to-face for the very first time.
The funny thing is, no two kids are alike. I’ve seen the quiet ones respond with smiles and giggles that escalate to a full-on Elmo love attack — the eardrum-piercing, vibrating, arms-wide, hugging and squeezing and kissing frontal assault. Other shy kids need a little bit of time to warm up to Elmo and his “de-monster-ative” displays of affection. But in the end, they all come around.
DRIVE TIME DEVOTIONAL
“My people have been lost sheep. Their shepherds have led them astray; They have turned them away on the mountains. They have gone from mountain to hill; They have forgotten their resting place” –Jeremiah 50:6
It is interesting to watch people. Have you ever sat in the mall and just watched? There are those who know where they are going and what they are looking for. These folk are moving along at a near run heading to their destination. Then there are those who are just not in a big hurry. What ever the reason, they are wandering the halls looking right and left to see what they can see in the windows. When they enter a store, they float from department to department looking this way and that. On occasion they find something and buy it, but it is the experience of shopping they enjoy the most.
Another group of individuals also inhabit the malls. These are folk that have no idea where they are, what they are looking for, or where to find it. They are the “Lost Mall Walkers.” If you find yourself behind one of these individuals, you may be trapped in the slow lane for many feet.
While this latter group is interesting in the mall, they are dangerous on the streets. These are the drivers who turn right from the left turn lane. They never use turn signals. They wander from lane to lane drifting in the direction they happen to be looking at the moment. You never know what they are going to do. It is impossible to predict the outcome of an encounter with them. They cause more accidents – and never seem to be involved in one themselves. They honestly believe they are GOOD DRIVERS!
There is something that is even more dangerous than a lost driver. The lost Christian! A lost Christian is the one who floats from church to church looking for the perfect preacher/teacher. They are not concerned about doctrine – they are interested in how they feel. If a preacher makes them feel good, they stick around for a while. If someone offends their tender sensibilities, they storm off to the next congregation.
The danger of this is that they never go quietly. They are the first to criticize, and the last to tithe. They offer no hesitation to tell everyone within shouting distance how crude and insensitive the folk at ABC Church are. What’s more, in doing so, they often keep people from finding the love and mercy they so desperately need.
Should you know people like this, watch out when you pass them! But, even more importantly, do what you can to love them. It could be that you will be the one who helps them find their way to the foot of the cross.
Kids don’t jump on the bed, because you never know where you are going to land!
An eight-year-old boy from Germany is fortunate to be alive after jumping on his bed and bouncing out a second floor window! Alexander and his sister Jennifer were supposed to be sleeping when they decided to have a jumping contest on his twin bed. Alexander bounced a little too much and went flying out the window. Fortunately, the youngster landed in a bush outside his grandparents’ house and despite a 15-feet fall escaped with only minor back injuries.
LIFE… LIVE IT
THE TEN COMMANDMENTS OF FACEBOOK
1. Thou shall not post or tag friends on embarrassing or incriminating photos. This is what yearbooks or scrapbooks are for — things that exist on dusty shelves for a select few to enjoy and mock — not the internet, where potential employers and lovers can be scared away.
2. Thou shall not post photo or video updates of thy children’s potty training.
Just don’t. It’s gross, embarrassing, and demeaning to the kids.
3. Thou shall not use Facebook to converse with thine own significant other.
Say what you need to say in person, over the phone, on IM, or email. No one else cares or needs to follow your conversation or relationship drama/boasting.
4. Thou shall not endlessly self-promote. A link to an article, TV appearance, or a newspaper mention every once in a blue moon is fine. A daily reminder that you need votes for the “Mad Men” walk-on part competition is just obnoxious.
5. Thou shall not propose, ask someone out, or dump anyone via wall messages or status updates. What. Is. Wrong with people?
6. Thou shall not IM anyone you haven’t spoken to in over a decade. Once, I was browsing on Facebook and got an IM from someone I hadn’t spoken to since high school. “How’s it going?” he said, “What’s new?” What’s new? Since 1987? Um, well, I got my driver’s license, for one thing. Don’t put people in a position where they have to: a) quickly sum up the last decade of their lives in four or five sentences, and b) act like they care about your life.
7. Thou shall not stalk exes and/or ex’s new loves. Not only is it damaging to your own well-being, it’s, like, kinda psycho. So, just don’t. Go for a jog or join a book club or something.
8. Thou shall not use Facebook as a diet and workout diary. Seriously, no one cares if you ate a salad for dinner last night and ran 3.1 miles before work this morning. Who are you trying to impress? Plus, go eat a muffin.
9. Thou shall not “spoil” TV shows in one’s status update. Rudeness!
10. Thou shall post clear, updated photos of thyself. Why else do you think people from your past are friending you in the first place?!
JUST FOR FUN
SCENT OF A CHILD
A couple from the UK have named all three of their children after perfumes.
Parents Danny and Dominique Regan have an eight-year old son Klein, 13-month old daughter Angel and new-born baby girl Dior. The couple insists they didn’t realize the connection until recently. Danny found it funny since they indeed have Calvin Klein and Christian Dior perfume on hand and apparently his mother’s favorite scent is Angel. ***MARLAR: It’s a good thing they discovered this early… they were about to add two more names to the list – “Old Spice” and “Leather!”
SIGNS YOU’RE A BACKSLIDER
The last three worship services you’ve attended have all been on Christmas Eve.
The last time you read the Bible there were only three Gospels.
The last 3,243 prayers you’ve made all ended with the phrase, “and bless this food to our body’s use.”
The last time the offering was passed you seriously considered “borrowing” a few bucks.
The bumper sticker on your car says, “I’m a Christian, but I’m NOT honking for anyone!”
The last time you were at a Church potluck, casseroles and jellied salads hadn’t yet been invented.
MORE SHOW PREP STUFF…
MILK IT FOR ALL IT’S WORTH
A dairy trade association says the term “soy milk” is misleading and the makers of soy-based drinks ought to stop using it. The Arlington, Va.-based National Milk Producers Federation is calling on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to restrict use of the word milk saying federal regulations limit the term to the stuff that comes from dairy cows. The dairy group’s initiative caught the American Soybean Association by surprise. ASA spokesman Bob Callanan wonders whether the dairy group would seek similar restrictions on such products as goat’s milk, and coconut milk. ***MARLAR: Hmm, I guess that means milk of magnesia is gone too!
OTHER STUFF I WANT TO CRAM INTO TODAY’S PREP
(Not posted on weekends and U.S. holidays.)
Not getting enough sleep could have your reaching for cheesy puffs! University of Chicago researchers discovered the logging fewer than five hours of sleep per night produces higher levels of endocannabinoid a lipid that makes starchy and sweet foods more pleasurable to eat. Trouble snoozing? Another study found that eating high-fiber whole foods like beans can improve sleep quality, since they do not contain slumber disrupting sugar and saturated fat. (Women’s Health)
Are your eyes dry, itchy and red? While dry eyes can be caused by aging, medication or the environment, too much screen time might also be to blame. So many people are suffering from computer-related dry eyes caused by staring at their computer — or tablet or smartphone — for long periods of time that doctors have given it a name: computer vision syndrome. And the symptoms are disturbingly similar to chronic eye disease. A team of Japanese researchers studied the problem by testing the tears taken from a group of office workers who looked at screens about eight hours a day. They found there was a considerable increase in a protein that is found in the mucus layer that keeps the eyes moist. Why is a screen to blame? When we stare at a screen for an extended period of time, we blink less. That causes watery, itchy and red eyes, as well as soreness in the eyelids.
Take regular breaks from your computer, tablet and smartphone about every 15 or 20 minutes.
When you take a screen break, look out a window. This will not only increase your blink rate, but also retrain your eyes to focus on something far away.
Use over-the-counter or prescription eye drops. Keep a bottle on your desk at work.
Whether you love it or hate it, the mentally-stimulating job you have now may help your mind stay sharp long after you retire. “Use it or lose it” applies to your brain, too. That’s the word from researchers at Colorado State University, who have determined that people who hold jobs in middle age that require problem solving, planning and information analysis are more likely to retain a clear memory and keen reasoning abilities after retirement and well into old age, reports HealthDay News. Those who had jobs with greater mental demands, such as lawyers, financial analysts, teachers, physicians and project managers, were more likely to have better memories before they retired and a far slower decline in memory after retirement, compared with people who had jobs that were less mentally stimulating, such as those who performed repetitive work without variety or complexity. ***I’m in biiiiig trouble.
Want to get your kids and even yourself to eat more veggies? It could be as easy as coming up with a cool name for the dish. According to psychology researchers at Stanford, people are more likely to chow down on vegetables if they have an “indulgent” name, like “sizzlin’ beans” as opposed to plain old “beans.” Diners are “motivated by taste,” but labels affect “how tasty and filling we think food will be,” says study author Bradley Turnwald. Researchers spent 45 days serving up veggies in a university cafeteria. Some dishes got a basic label like “carrots.” Others got a label like “twisted citrus-glazed carrots” – but they were the exact same dishes. Those with the fancier and more engaging names were by far the best sellers, with 25% more people choosing them than veggies with a basic label. (BBC)
If your weekend schedule is too clear, you risk spending it on the couch. Make a list of three to five activities you enjoy so you do not default to the tube out of boredom. Then make a list of friends you have not seen in a while. “You fall into traps when you do not plan, and you end up seeing the same three people all the time,” said Julie Morgenstern, author of “Time Management from the Inside Out.” “If you sit down and work things out by listing the people you want to stay in touch with and the activities you like to do, you will have fun instead of resorting to the same old habits.” ***Then again, I’m a lay-on-the-couch-for-12-days-straight kind of person. But that’s just me.
(Feel-good stories! Only posted as new stories come available. Not posted on weekends and U.S. holidays.)
It might be a bride’s worst nightmare: on the eve of her wedding day, something goes wrong – like the carefully prepared hand-made wedding cake falling apart in the trunk of a car.
This is exactly what happened to Millie and Matt Maltby when they were on their way to their wedding venue in Brixham, England earlier this month. The couple had driven to the Berry Head Hotel from Lincoln only to find that the beautiful 3-tiered cake that Millie had painstakingly prepared for the occasion had fallen to pieces in the trunk of the car. As fate would have it, Clare Vaz of Patty’s Piece of Cake bakery was delivering cupcakes to the hotel at the same time that everyone was worrying over the damaged wedding cake. Vaz then got to repairing the cake using the surviving segments of Millie’s original creation. “With time against me, I just didn’t have time to bake cool and decorate a new middle tier, so thankfully, I had a dummy cake which I used to create the new middle tier,” Vaz wrote on Facebook. “The top tier (a delicious smelling lemon cake) thankfully I could save. So I stripped it back down, crumb-coated, and re-covered it in white.” The next day, Vaz had the cake – which was an almost identical recreation of the original – back to the hotel in time for the wedding… without ever meeting the bride and groom. Read the full story and see pictures at https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/stranger-spends-hours-brilliantly-fixing-wedding-cake-destroyed-time-big-day/
(Only posted as stories come available. Not posted on weekends and U.S. holidays.)
AND I LEAVE YOU WITH THIS THOUGHT
“Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint.” –Mark Twain
THE TICKET Movie Reviews with MARIE ASNER
Marie Asner has been reviewing films for over 35 years. Her outlets include radio, print and Internet. For more in-depth movie reviews of the following films, visit www.Tollbooth.org. Ratings from 1 (Low) to 5 (High).
SEPTEMBER 22, 2017…
Kingsmen: The Golden Circle—Yes, a sequel to the 2015 movie, “Kingsmen: The Secret Service,” that introduced us to the spies with weapons that are tongue-in-cheek to James Bond. In the first film, a young man, Eggsy (Taron Egerton) was selected to be a Kingsman, of Great Britain, and taught by Harry (Colin Firth.) Now, there are the Statesman (guess what country) and they are Halle Berry, Channing Tatum and Jeff Bridges. Every spy group needs a villain and I present Julianne Moore as “Poppy,” who sits in the middle of a jungle complete with a main street straight out of the 1950’s. Of course, she wants to reign supreme with a certain product and everyone is out to stop her. Among the specialized weapons are a deadly lasso and a mechanical dog that attacks on command. Guess German Shepherds wanted too much money. All of this is under the direction of Matthew Vaughn, who also directed the first film. “Kingsmen: The Secret Service” was average at the box office, but enough to have this second film, so fans, here you are. “Kingsmen: The Golden Circle” is rated PG 13. Rating of 2 for fans.
Battle Of The Sexes—Go back in time for this one, back to 1973 and a tennis match between a man, Bobby Riggs (played by Steve Carell) and a woman, Billie Jean King (Emma Stone) to prove who was the stronger, and hence, the winner of this match. This was the BIG MATCH of its time with 90 million viewers. The story actually centers on their private lives, with Riggs the older one. Also in the cast are Sarah Silverman and Elisabeth Shue. “Battle Of The Sexes” is rated PG 13. Rating of 2 for fans who remember this tennis match.
The LEGO Ninjago Movie—Yes, LEGO fans, another movie is here. This time, Lloyd (voice of Dave Franco) is out to protect Ninjago City against a warlord named Garmandon (voice of Justin Theroux). Guess what…the warlord is also Lloyd’s father. Also in the cast of voices is Jackie Chan. “The LEGO Ninjago Movie” is rated PG. Rating of 2 for fans and you know who you are.
Stronger—Jake Gyllenhaal takes on the role of Jeff Bauman, who lost both legs from the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013. This is a story of courage, hardship, and building a new life when you world has crumbled around you. Tatiana Maslany (“Orphan Black”) plays his girlfriend. “Stronger” is rated R. Rating of 3.
Victoria and Abdul—Can anyone who is the monarch of a nation have a private life? Actually, yes, and this film details the true story of a friendship between Great Britain’s Queen Victoria (played by Dame Judi Dench) and a representative from India, Abdul, who is a Muslim, and played by Ali Fazal. The young man introduced Queen Victoria to a new freedom in her life such as tasting new food, Being also knows as the Empress of India, Victoria was surprised to know what she did not know about India, and set about, with Abdul’s help, to learn about the country she ruled. This included eating different food and actually laughing and enjoying herself as she neared the end of her reign. Judi Dench also had a somewhat controversial role in “Mrs. Brown” (great soundtrack there) in which it was hinted she liked the man who took care of the royal horses. Being a monarch is a lonely place to be, and friendships are hard to come by, when you rule in a world of everyone asking for favors from you. “Victoria and Abdul” gives us a glimpse into a break in protocol, and is rated PG 13. Rating of 3 for fans.
SEPTEMBER 29, 2017…
American Made has Tom Cruise as the real life double spy, Barry Seal.
Flatliners stars Ellen Page as one of a group of medical students who try to cross over into death and come back. The first film, years ago, starred Kiefer Sutherland.
Mark Felt – The Man Who Brought Down The White House has Liam Neeson in the title role.
Our Souls At Night stars Robert Redford and Jane Fonda in a special romance.
Woodshock has Kirsten Dunst as a woman experimenting with drugs.
‘Til Death Due Us Part stars Taye Diggs in a film about a controlling marriage.
Lucky (opening in select cities) has Harry Dean Stanton as an atheist.
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Darren Marlar credits all non-original material to the author whenever possible. All other material is original, used with permission, or author unknown. We welcome all comments, questions, and suggestions. Darren can be reached via his website at www.DarrenMarlar.com.