Bob's Stuff

I'm Bob and this is my Stuff.
by Bob posted Feb 26 2015 4:55AM

The Ratings Rundown: 2 Series Finales, 2 Series Premieres, and the Oscars

The "Oscars" were the most-watched show of the week with 37.3 million viewers. Another 23.8 million watched the Oscars' red carpet special . . . and 7.6 million people tuned in for the post-Grammy special "Stevie Wonder: Songs in the Key of Life".

Meanwhile, the new Matthew Perry version of "The Odd Couple" premiered with 13.6 million viewers . . . the series finale of "Two and a Half Men" attracted 13.5 million viewers . . . and the series finale of "The Mentalist" had 10.1 million.

It's worth noting that 6.2 million people watched "Gotham" to see Cameron Monaghan from "Shameless" play the Joker . . . with SPOT-ON impersonations of both Jack Nicholson and Heath Ledger.

Elsewhere, the 14th season finale of "Celebrity Apprentice" held onto 6.1 million viewers . . . the new hidden camera show "Repeat After Me" premiered with 4.4 million viewers . . . and "Vikings" returned for its third season with 2.8 million.

Here are last week's Top 10 shows:

1. "The Academy Awards", ABC, 37.3 million viewers

2. "The Oscars Red Carpet Special", ABC, 23.8 million viewers

3. "NCIS", CBS, 18.1 million viewers.

4. "The Big Bang Theory", CBS, 17.5 million viewers.

5. "NCIS: New Orleans", CBS, 14.7 million viewers.

6. "The Odd Couple" series premiere, CBS, 13.6 million viewers.

7. The "Two and a Half Men" series finale, CBS, 13.5 million viewers.

8. "The Walking Dead", AMC, 13.4 million viewers.

9. "Empire", Fox, 13 million viewers.

10. "Blue Bloods", CBS, 11.6 million viewers.

(And for anyone who's staying on top of "American Idol" . . . Wednesday's episode had 10.7 million viewers, and Thursday's show had just under 9 million . . . pretty much what it pulled in last week.)

Primetime Total Viewers for the week ending February 22, 2015:



Rank Shows R=Repeat S=Special P=Premiere Net # Viewers (Live+SD) (000)
1 OSCARS, THE-02/22/2015 S ABC 37257
2 LIVE FROM THE RED CARPET3-02/22/2015 S ABC 23815
3 NCIS-02/17/2015 CBS 18058
4 Big Bang Theory, THE-02/19/2015 CBS 17489
5 LIVE FROM THE RED CARPET2-02/22/2015 S ABC 16927
6 NCIS: NEW ORLEANS-02/17/2015 CBS 14703
7 ODD COUPLE, THE-02/19/2015 P CBS 13573
8 Two and a Half Men-02/19/2015 CBS 13515
9 EMPIRE-02/18/2015 FOX 13019
10 LIVE FROM THE RED CARPET1-02/22/2015 S ABC 12940
11 Blue Bloods-02/20/2015 CBS 11604
12 American Idol-WEDNESDAY-02/18/2015 FOX 10699
13 Hawaii Five-0-02/20/2015 CBS 10655
14 Mentalist, THE-02/18/2015 CBS 10101
15 SCANDAL-02/19/2015 ABC 9624
16 MIKE & MOLLY-02/16/2015 CBS 9315
17 Person Of Interest-02/17/2015 CBS 9171
18 American Idol-THURSDAY-02/19/2015 FOX 8981
19 BACHELOR, THE-02/16/2015 ABC 8969
20 HOW TO GET AWAY W/MURDER-02/19/2015 ABC 8856
21 Modern Family-02/18/2015 ABC 8800
22 2 Broke Girls-02/16/2015 CBS 8741
23 Castle-02/16/2015 ABC 8469
24 Shark Tank-02/20/2015 ABC 8434
25 Elementary-02/19/2015 CBS 8215

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Nielsen TV Ratings: ©2015 The Nielsen Company. All Rights Reserved. All numbers are live viewing plus same day DVR viewin

The Walking Dead February 16 2015
The Walking Dead topped cable viewership for the week ending February 22, 2015 with 13.438million viewers. Talking Dead came in second with 4.859 million viewers.

Rank Shows Net Day Time Viewers Live+SD (000)
1 Walking Dead AMC Sun 09:00P-10:01P 13438
2 TALKING DEAD AMC Sun 10:01P-11:00P 4859
3 ALASKAN BUSH PEOPLE DISC Fri 10:00P-11:00P 4551
4 Gold Rush DISC Fri 09:00P-10:00P 4374
5 WWE Entertainment USA Mon 08:00P-09:00P 4138
6 COLLEGE BKBL REG SSN L ESPN Wed 08:59P-11:43P 4136
7 WWE Entertainment USA Mon 09:00P-10:00P 4026
8 WWE Entertainment USA Mon 10:00P-11:10P 3828
9 RIZZOLI & ISLES TNT Tue 09:00P-10:00P 3580
10 19 Kids and Counting TLC Tue 09:00P-10:01P 3328
11 LRC 15 ACADEMY AWARD PT2 EN Sun 07:30P-08:30P 3313
12 LRC 15 ACADEMY AWARDS PT1 EN Sun 05:30P-07:30P 3261
13 BETTER CALL SAUL AMC Mon 10:00P-11:04P 3233
14 HAVES AND THE HAVE NOTS OWN Tue 09:00P-10:00P 3228
15 WRECK-IT RALPH DSNY Mon 06:30P-08:20P 3150
16 THE OREILLY FACTOR FOXN Thu 08:00P-09:00P 3056
17 NASCAR SPRINT CUP RACIN L FS1 Thu 07:00P-10:35P 3018
18 THE OREILLY FACTOR FOXN Wed 08:00P-09:00P 3013
19 THE OREILLY FACTOR FOXN Tue 08:00P-09:00P 3012
20 THE OREILLY FACTOR FOXN Mon 08:00P-09:00P 2967
21 Big Bang Theory, THE TBSC Wed 10:00P-10:30P 2948
22 NASCAR XFINITY SERIES L FS1 Sat 03:30P-06:28P 2944
23 Family Guy ADSM Mon 11:30P-12:00A 2917
24 SpongeBob NICK Sat 10:30A-11:00A 2906
25 Big Bang Theory, THE TBSC Tue 09:30P-10:00P 2839
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Nielsen Ratings Data: ©2015 The Nielsen Company. All Rights Reserved. All ratings above Live+SD (live viewing plus same day DVR viewing)-

by Bob posted Feb 24 2015 4:37AM

Craft beers are more popular than ever, yet the most popular beers in America are dominating the beer war at the cash register. It doesn't take a nerdy data scientist to observe the war for refrigerator shelf space at your local grocery store. And as an industry, beer is MASSIVE: Foodbeast notes that annual sales for beer over around $100 billion (!!!) in America, with only about 15% of that going towards the craft beer industry.

So what are the most popular brands, according to sales and math? According to this infograph of the most popular beers in America by VinePair's Joshua Malin, Bud Light reigns as King of the Beers, with its $5.9 billion in sales nearly two times its closest competitor, Coors Light, with $2.3 billion sales. VinePair puts it in perspective of just how HUGE Bud Light is by itself, independent of all the other Anheuser-Busch/InBev brands, including Bud Light Lime, Bud Light Platnium, and all those delicious Lime-Straw-A-Rita drinks:

"Bud Light's U.S. sales alone would lodge it firmly within the Fortune 500."

Damn. That's a lot of $$$.

Here's the chart of most popular beers in America.

top-beers-american

Filed Under :
Topics : Business_Finance
by Bob posted Feb 24 2015 4:34AM

Ice cream makers are constantly trying to outdo one another by coming up with new and intriguing flavors. So it figures it was only a matter of time before someone came up with this cool and creepy concept guaranteed to make kids' face light up, literally: glow-in-the-dark ice cream. Say what? Sounds dangerous, right?

The Melbourne, Australia-based frosty treat purveyor 196 Below introduced ice cream made with liquid nitrogen, which is said to result in a creamier texture. Now, the company has spiked it with "UV-reactive liquid colouring," adding a neon hue to its redskin raspberry, pine lime, and mango passionfruit flavors.

Though Australia's version of the Food & Drug Administration has deemed it safe for consumption, can we really trust this nuclear looking stuff? And from the very same people who approved vegemite.

But, seriously, think about how much fun this would be on a summer night. No need for glow sticks! You can just picture the kids sitting on the lawn waiting to see if their little tummies light up like fireflies, and later, their poop. Ick!

It's fun to think about but, really, should be consuming food that could easily double as a flashlight? I suppose a little can't hurt, but as an adult it could be tough to get past the idea of putting something glowing in your mouth. Luckily, since it's only available Down Under right now, we don't have to weigh in on this bright idea right away.

neon colors

Filed Under :
Location : Melbourne
by Bob posted Feb 20 2015 4:14AM
The only thing that's weird about this business is that no one thought of it sooner.

There's a new toy company called Cuddle Clones that will make you a stuffed animal replica of your PET. You send them some photos and information, and they send you back a stuffed animal that looks as similar to your pet as possible.

They do dogs, cats, rabbits, birds, pigs, horses . . . you name it. And based on the photos we've seen, they're actually pretty accurate.

You can do it to get a stuffed version of a pet that's still alive . . . maybe to take on vacation, or send to college with your emotionally-stilted child.

Or you can do it to get a stuffed version of a DEAD pet . . . which is creepy, but still way less creepy than going to a taxidermist.

You can order yours at CuddleClones.com. It starts at $199 for dogs and cats, and they've already got so many orders that people who get in now will probably have to wait until July to get their stuffed animals.

Here are some photos of ones they've done.......














(Buzzfeed)

Filed Under :
Topics : Human Interest
by Bob posted Feb 20 2015 4:10AM
Maybe we should all move to Alaska . . . I was just thinking this winter wasn't cold enough.

Gallup and Healthways just released their annual Well-Being Index . . . it's basically a ranking of the happiest states in the country.

The study gives each state a score based on five factors: How much people like what they do each day . . . their strong social relationships . . . their financial security . . . pride in their communities and how safe they feel . . . and their physical health.

The ten happiest states are: Alaska . . . Hawaii . . . South Dakota . . . Wyoming . . . Montana . . . Colorado . . . Nebraska . . . Utah . . . New Mexico . . . and Texas.

On the other end of the scale, West Virginia was the most miserable state for the sixth year in a row . . . and Kentucky was second-most miserable for ITS sixth year in a row.

The 10 unhappiest states are: West Virginia . . . Kentucky . . . Indiana . . . Ohio . . . Mississippi . . . Alabama . . . Tennessee . . . Arkansas . . . Michigan . . . and Missouri.


(Business Insider)

by Bob posted Feb 19 2015 4:35AM

Ratings for the NBA All-Star Weekend, "The Bachelor", "The Slap", and "SNL's 40th Anniversary" Special

The "Saturday Night Live: 40th Anniversary Special" was the most-watched show of the week with 23.1 million viewers. Meanwhile, "The Slap" premiered with 5.1 million viewers on NBC . . . the first season finale of "Constantine" had 3.3 million viewers . . . and the seventh season finale of "Duck Dynasty" had 2.5 million.

Over on "The Bachelor", just under 9 million for this Monday's episode where Jade told Chris about being in "Playboy" . . . 8.7 million saw last Monday's episode featuring Big & Rich . . . 6 million watched Carly freak out about Britt acting fake on Sunday's episode . . . and another 5.7 million caught the "Chris Tells All" special.

As for the NBA All-Star weekend, 6.1 million people caught TNT's "NBA All-Star Saturday Night" . . . 6 million tuned in for the actual "NBA All-Star Game" on Sunday . . . and 1.8 million watched the "NBA All-Star Celebrity Game" on Friday.

Here are last week's Top 10 shows:

1. "SNL's 40th Anniversary Special", NBC, 23.1 million viewers

2. "NCIS", CBS, 18.8 million viewers.

3. "NCIS: New Orleans", CBS, 16.2 million viewers.

4. "The Walking Dead", AMC, 12.3 million viewers.

5. "Empire", Fox, 12 million viewers.

6. "Scorpion", CBS, 11.9 million viewers.

7. "Blue Bloods", CBS, 11.5 million viewers.

8. "The Big Bang Theory", CBS, 11.4 million viewers.

9. "SNL 40th: Red Carpet", NBC, 11.3 million viewers.

10. Wednesday's "American Idol", Fox, 10.7 million. Thursday's "Idol" had 9.6 million.


Primetime Total Viewers for the week ending February 15, 2015:

Rank Shows R=Repeat S=Special P=Premiere Net Viewers (Live +SD) (000)
1 SNL:40TH ANNIVERSARY-02/15 S NBC 23136
2 NCIS-02/10 CBS 18766
3 NCIS: NEW ORLEANS-02/10 CBS 16193
4 EMPIRE-02/11 FOX 11963
5 SCORPION-02/09 CBS 11858
6 Blue Bloods-02/13 CBS 11458
7 Big Bang Theory, THE-02/12 R CBS 11352
8 SNL:40TH RED CARPET-02/15 S NBC 11320
9 American Idol-WEDNESDAY-02/11 FOX 10663
10 60 Minutes-02/15 CBS 10460
11 NCIS: LOS ANGELES-02/09 CBS 10352
12 MOM-02/12 CBS 10224
13 Criminal Minds-02/11 CBS 9892
14 Hawaii Five-0-02/13 CBS 9807
15 Modern Family-02/11 ABC 9769
16 American Idol-THURSDAY-02/12 FOX 9624
17 Person Of Interest-02/10 CBS 9530
18 Two and a Half Men-02/12 CBS 9332
19 SCANDAL-02/12 ABC 9323
20 MIKE & MOLLY-02/09 CBS 9319
21 2 Broke Girls-02/09 CBS 9126
22 Mentalist, THE-02/11 CBS 9099
23 BACHELOR, THE-02/09 ABC 8705
24 Undercover Boss-02/13 CBS 8530
25 HOW TO GET AWAY W/MURDER-02/12 ABC 8445

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Nielsen TV Ratings: ©2015 The Nielsen Company. All Rights Reserved. All numbers are live viewing plus same day DVR viewing.

The Walking Dead February 16 2015
The Walking Dead topped cable viewership for the week ending February 15, 2015 with 12.267 million viewers. NBA All Star Saturday Night came in second with 6.881 million viewers.
Rank Shows Net Day Time Viewers Live +SD (000)
1 Walking Dead AMC Sun 09:00P-10:01P 12267
2 NBA ALLSTAR SAT NIGHT TNT Sat 08:00P-11:05P 6082
3 2015 NBA ALL STAR GAME TNT Sun 08:42P-11:22P 5956
4 TALKING DEAD AMC Sun 10:01P-11:00P 5069
5 Gold Rush DISC Fri 09:00P-10:00P 4654
6 BAD HAIR DAY DSNY Fri 08:00P-09:44P 3967
7 ALASKAN BUSH PEOPLE DISC Fri 10:00P-11:00P 3806
8 WWE Entertainment USA Mon 08:00P-09:00P 3786
9 WWE Entertainment USA Mon 09:00P-10:00P 3670
10 WWE Entertainment USA Mon 10:00P-11:08P 3518
11 BETTER CALL SAUL AMC Mon 10:00P-11:03P 3418
12 HAVES AND THE HAVE NOTS OWN Tue 09:00P-10:00P 3416
13 NBA ALLSTAR TIP OFF TNT Sun 07:00P-08:42P 3134
14 THE OREILLY FACTOR FOXN Mon 08:00P-09:00P 3111
15 Big Bang Theory SPCL, THE TBSC Sat 10:30P-11:00P 3086
16 HALL ORIGINAL MOVIE HALL Sat 08:00P-10:00P 3027
17 THE OREILLY FACTOR FOXN Wed 08:00P-09:00P 2986
18 THE OREILLY FACTOR FOXN Tue 08:00P-09:00P 2947
19 THE OREILLY FACTOR FOXN Thu 08:00P-09:00P 2933
20 BAD HAIR DAY DSNY Sat 10:30A-12:15P 2871
21 TOY STORY 3 DSNY Thu 08:00P-09:50P 2858
22 Family Guy ADSM Wed 11:00P-11:30P 2857
23 REAL HOUSEWIVES ATLANTA BRAV Sun 08:00P-09:00P 2853
24 Big Bang Theory SPCL, THE TBSC Sat 10:00P-10:30P 2813
25 FX MOVIE PRIME FX Sat 05:00P-08:00P 2793
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Nielsen Ratings Data: ©2015 The Nielsen Company. All Rights Reserved. All ratings above Live+SD (live viewing plus same day DVR viewing)-

Filed Under :
by Bob posted Feb 19 2015 4:28AM

Little Caesars Is Introducing Bacon-Wrapped Pizza

Just when you think our society has reached peak bacon levels . . . BAM! Someone finds a new way to bacon up our food.

Little Caesars just announced their brand new BACON-WRAPPED PIZZA.

It's a deep-dish pizza, and the bacon kind of wraps around the pizza crust along the sides. It's thick-cut bacon, and they say it takes three-and-a-half FEET of bacon to wrap the entire pizza.

Each pizza is eight slices, and each slice including the bacon is 450 calories.

They're going to start selling it on Monday, and it'll be around through late April. Unless it's a hit . . . then you might see bacon-wrapped pizza FOREVER. Or at least until it kills us all.

(Time)

Filed Under :
by Bob posted Feb 18 2015 4:06AM
OK...at the Bonenfant household we're one of "THOSE" people. Yes, we ask guests to take their shoes off when visiting inside. Check out this story:

Do you annoy your friends by making them take their shoes off when they come over? Well here are five reasons you're NOT crazy for doing it.

1. It's cleaner, obviously. Which is the main reason people do it. The less dirt you track in, the less you have to clean.

2. It ruins your carpet. And that's even if your shoes AREN'T dirty. Walking on a carpet in shoes messes it up faster than walking in socks or bare feet.

3. Shoes are covered in bacteria. A recent study at the University of Arizona found TONS bacteria on people's shoes, including E. coli and meningitis.

4. They're also covered in toxins, like pesticides and herbicides. Especially if you've been in a garden. But even if you just walked across someone's yard.

5. It's better for your feet. For most people, walking around without shoes makes your arches stronger.

And it can also relieve stress, because taking your shoes off when you get home subconsciously tells you it's time to relax.
Filed Under :
Location : Arizona
by Bob posted Feb 17 2015 4:40AM

These are six of the world's deadliest foods, and where to get them.

1. Sannakji (live baby octopus) will kill you

No doubt you've witnessed celebrated TV personality-chef Anthony Bourdain and David Chang (of Momofuku fame) savour still-squirming baby octopus on-screen. An authentic Korean delicacy, San Nak Ji isn't for the faint hearted. Fun fact: live octopus are highly conscious that they're about to be eaten and will often use their suction pads to latch on your throat as a defense mechanism - that's why some diners who don't chew properly before swallowing can choke to death. If you can get past the fear, a sesame-oil inflected Sannakji is sweet, slimy and wholly rewarding.

How you'll die from Sannakji
Asphyxiation. While Adult octopus are often cut up and served, baby octopus are served whole, which increases your chance of choking.

Where to eat Sannakji in the UK
Due to a high number of food-poisoning cases, Sannakji is banned in the Britain. However, you might be able to order it off the menu at select restaurants at New Malden (London's Koreatown).

2. Fugu (pufferfish) will kill you

Deadlier than cyanide, yet sweeter and more delicate than any white-fish you've tasted, Fugu is a thrill-seeking epicurean's dream, and so poisonous that the highly-prized fish can only be prepared by chefs who carry a license to cook it - it has, after all, claimed the lives of 23 Japanese diners since 2000. Chefs in Japan reportedly spend at least three years learning how to prepare the dish, and only 1 in 3 pass the test. Not that successful chefs have had a bulletproof record. In 2011, a two-Michelin-starred chef in Tokyo specializing in fugu poisoned a diner and had his license revoked. If you can stomach a round of Russian Roulette, then you'll find that Fugu is surprisingly versatile, often served raw, as sashimi, grilled, fried, smoked or lightly simmered in hot-pot or porridge.

How you'll die from Fugu
Each blowfish contains enough of the poison tetrodotoxin to kill 30 adults.

Where to eat Fugu in the UK
It's banned across the EU, but Fugu is available to private diners as part of the highly secretive Fugu Supper Club, which serves a £250 six-course fugu menu.

3. Blood Clams will kill you

A delicacy to serious thrill-seeking Shanghainese diners, blood clams are so named because they're parboiled quickly, for 20 seconds, in order to retain their sweet brininess and an excessive amount of blood. The result? A breeding ground of viruses and bacteria like Hepatitis A and E, typhoid and dysentery. Only serious foodies take great risks which rarely pay off. Last year alone, blood clams infected 300,000 and killed 31 diners despite being outlawed in China (any guilty distributor is fined ten times their salary). The good news? Slightly fresher blood clams are legally served raw in Dave Pasternack's restaurant, Esca, in New York City, and in food emporium Eataly.

How you'll die from blood clams
Diners will have a 15 per cent chance of contracting hepatitis. Far less sexy than choking to death, but nobody should ever look forward to a hepatitis ordeal.

Where to eat blood clams in the UK
You won't find any blood clams anywhere in Britain (at least legally). Your best best is a six-hour flight to sample the sweet bivalve at Pasternack's restaurant in New York.

4. Cassava will kill you

Also known as Brazilian arrowroot and similar to Yucca, Cassava is slightly sweet tapioca-like root, rich in carbohydrates and highly lethal if not cooked properly. Cassava is often soft-boiled to accompany meats, in stews; deep-fried to replace starch like potatoes or ground into flour for cakes and pastries.

How you'll die from Cassava
Each kilogram of Cassava root contains 20 mg of cyanide, which is enough to permanently knock-out a cow. Otherwise, in smaller amounts, Cassava can cause konzo, a paralytic disease in humans.

Where to eat Cassava in the UK
Galpao and Floridita, both renowned Brazilian restaurants, serve Cassava fries.

5. Rhubarb will kill you

Ever wonder why you've only tried the ruby-coloured stalks? That's because rhubarb's leaves contain oxalic acid, which is lethal in high doses. Soldiers during the WWI era learnt this the hard way when they foraged rhubarb leaves for salads.

How you'll die from Rhubarb
Oxalic acid is extremely destructive to your respiratory tract if inhaled, and will destroy tissues when ingested. Coughing, wheezing and spasm will eventually lead to pulmonary edema.

Where to eat Rhubarb in the UK
All major supermarkets. Just make sure you don't buy it with leaves attached. The Ritz serves a sublime vanilla yogurt parfait with rhubarb and ginger (£15).

6. Cherries will kill you

Life will come to an end if you accidentally chew on a cherry stone. A single pit contains 0.17 grams of lethal cyanide, which is much higher than the 0.10 gram threshold that the average human can ingest without keeling over. The good news is that cherry stones are not easy to chew and swallowing it whole won't affect you in any way. The bad? Cyanide is also present in the seeds of apricots, apples and peaches.

How you'll die from cherries
Dizziness, headache, nausea will complicate into convulsions, and finally cause loss of consciousness and respiratory failure.

Where to find cherries in the UK
Virtually everywhere; for a stone-free cherry dessert, consider the cherry-pie at Harrods' Food Market.

by Bob posted Feb 17 2015 4:12AM
We know we're supposed to live life with no regrets . . . and in case you forget, someone will post an inspirational quote about it on Facebook. But come on . . . having no regrets is IMPOSSIBLE.

A new survey found the average woman has FIVE major regrets in her life. Here are the 10 most common things women regret . . .

1. Not trying hard enough in school.

2. Not losing weight on a diet.

3. Choosing the wrong career path.

4. Not buying a house earlier.

5. Fooling around with someone you shouldn't have.

6. Not being spontaneous enough.

7. Not being a good enough friend.

8. Not being a better daughter.

9. Not traveling before starting a family.

10. Not having children.

(FemaleFirst)

by Bob posted Feb 13 2015 4:27AM

57-year-old Aliona Russo went to a fancy restaurant in New York City called Villagio's last August, and ordered a piece of fish. It cost $42. For that price, there'd BETTER be something special about it . . . and Aliona says there was.

When she bit into it . . . the HOOK used to catch it was still inside.

It was between two and three inches . . . and Aliona says it cut her mouth. She also says it's caused her psychological damage and made her afraid to eat fish . . . which WAS her favorite food.

So now she's SUING the restaurant. She didn't give a specific amount of money in the lawsuit, so she may be leaving it up to a jury to decide.

But one of the owners of the restaurant says the lawsuit is GARBAGE. He says their fish are all caught with NETS, so the woman must've put the hook in the fish herself.

He also says right after Aliona allegedly bit the hook, her husband told the manager at the restaurant they wouldn't sue . . . for $50,000.


(Bob: "Smells kinda fishy to me.....")

(New York Daily News)

Filed Under :
Location : New York City
People : Aliona Russo
by Bob posted Feb 13 2015 4:14AM

written by Sam Greenspan

Valentine's Day is a very survey-able holiday.

Around this time of year, surveys flood out about Valentine's Day. After all, it's difficult ("aggravating," as one might put it) to figure out what you should do, how much you should spend and what gift you should get. But there's a problem with all the surveys: They never come up with the same answers. Shouldn't they? You're going to tell me ebates.com, Georgetown University and Omaha Steaks don't know how to find a truly representative sample?

I thought it would be fun to aggregate the results and see what we could learn from that. Well not "fun" in the most traditional sense of the word. "Fun" in the way that, I don't know, buying a new pack of mints is fun.

I've did three of my own meta studies using the results of 19 [updated: 20] surveys here (although not all asked the same questions). Let's have a look...


Valentine's Day spending: Men versus women

Source Men avg. spend Women avg. spend Spread
American Express $296 $213 $83
National Retail Federation $190.53 $96.58 $93.95
Rakuten $104 $45 $59
RetailMeNot $213 $85 $128
Georgetown Institute for Consumer Research $116.26 $77.75 $38.51
Offers.com $61 $47 $14
Hugs and Disses $137 $86 $51
eHarmony (UK) $107.27 $60.25 $47.02
Averages $153.13 $88.82 $64.31

Conclusions:
  1. In all eight surveys, men outspend women, by anywhere from $14 to $128.
  2. Believe it or not, AmEx surveyed people who like to spend a lot of money and Offers.com surveyed people who don't.
  3. The standard deviation for what men spend is about $71, so spending less than $82 or more than $224 takes you more than one standard deviation from the mean and may make it seem like you under/over spent.
  4. The standard deviation for what women spend is about $50, so spending less than $38 or more than $138 may make it seem like you under/over spent.
  5. Based on these eight surveys, the average human -- gender blind -- spends $120.98.
  6. Basically, just do whatever.

Most and least purchased items

Almost every survey includes a question on what gift people want the most (or are most likely to buy), and what gift people want the least (or are least likely to buy). I pulled both results...

Source Most wanted / purchased Least wanted / purchased
American Express Dinner / flowers (tie) A night at a friend's house
National Retail Federation Candy Clothing
Rakuten Chocolates Quality time together (ha!)
RetailMeNot Dinner Electronics
Georgetown Institute for Consumer Research Chocolates Something homemade
Offers.com Vacation Jewelry
Hugs and Disses A night out N/A
eHarmony (UK) Dinner A card
It's Just Lunch Flowers Lingerie
What's Your Price? Gift card Something homemade / teddy bear / chocolates (tie)
WP Diamonds A night out Something extravagant
Daymon Worldwide Dinner N/A
Walmart Canada Candy Flowers
LoveSales.com Dinner Hot air balloon trip
ebates.com A night out Donation to charity in your name
Brad's Deals Dinner Something homemade
Cardlytics Flowers Spa trip
Harris Interactive Candy Day off parenting duties

Conclusions:
  1. For the most wanted/purchased gift, dinner or a night out came in first in 8.5 of the 18 surveys... candy or chocolates came in first five times... and flowers came in first 2.5 times. Those seem like the smartest bets.
  2. Least wanted/purchased did not quite have that consensus. Something homemade is the only gift that appears more than once, with 2.33 votes. Virtually every other gift made the list at least once.
  3. Every Cosmo-type publication will tell you lingerie is the worst gift to buy, but only one in 17 surveys came to that conclusion.
  4. I am torn between my favorite picks for worst gift: Quality time together or a donation to charity in your name.
  5. Don't believe the hype from the Liberal Media over at LoveSales.com. If you get someone a hot air balloon ride for Valentine's Day, they'll love it. In fact, I believe that once happened in an episode of Full House.

Self-serving surveys

And finally, my picks for the most transparently self-serving results in this year's batch of surveys.

Source Survey result Self-servingness
American Express 54% say worst thing that can happen on a date is a credit card being declined. AmEx cards have no limit!
Rakuten 38% of people most want to shop online after a bad breakup. Rakuten is (apparently) a huge online shopping destination!
RetailMeNot Only 12% of people would be upset if a date used a coupon -- making it a far lesser offense than being rude to a server (70%), drinking too much alcohol (60%) or flirting with the server (59%). RetailMeNot is a leading coupon website!
eHarmony (UK) SIngles are most interested in signing up for online dating in January and February. eHarmony is an online dating site!
Daymon Worldwide 72% of people will buy stuff from a store where they also buy groceries. Daymon Worldwide works with retail brands in grocery stores!
Brad's Deals Only 37% say using a coupon on a first date shows you're cheap. (They probably should've gone with RetailMeNot's numbers.) Brad's Deals curates all the best coupons!
BeFrugal.com 97% of people would not be disappointed if they knew a Valentine's gift was purchased at a discount. BeFrugal.com is a coupon and cash back site!
Omaha Steaks 43% of Americans say steak is the top food to show your love on Valentine's Day -- tied with wine. Also, 90% of people want to be surprised and have dinner at home this Valentine's Day. Omaha Steaks sells steaks! To serve at home!

And finally, shout out to the one survey that had an un-self-serving result. That WP Diamonds one I mentioned earlier, where the least-wanted gift was "something extravagant." Like, ya know, diamonds.

Filed Under :
People : Sam Greenspan
by Bob posted Feb 13 2015 4:03AM
Judy joins us every Monday and Friday mornings on The Morning Show around 6:35 as Judy talks about local goings on. Missed it? It'll be up on our wbsite her under Bob's Interviews on right hand side!
Filed Under :
Topics : Human Interest
People : Judy Steffes
by Bob posted Feb 11 2015 4:24AM

Ratings for "The Walking Dead", Grammys, Three Premieres, and Two Finales

"The Grammy Awards" topped last week's ratings with just under 25 million viewers . . . and "The Walking Dead" returned from its devastating midseason break with 15.6 million.

Meanwhile, a few new shows started last week. The ABC sitcom "Fresh Off the Boat" premiered with 7.9 million viewers . . . "Better Call Saul" premiered on AMC with 6.9 million viewers . . . and the NBC spy drama "Allegiance" had 5 million.

The series finale of MTV's "Snooki & Jwoww" had a million viewers . . . the series finale of "Red Band Society" had 1.9 million on Fox . . . and the final appearance of JOAN RIVERS on "Celebrity Apprentice" was seen by 7 million people.

Here are last week's Top 10 shows:

1. "The Grammys", CBS, 24.8 million viewers.

2. "NCIS", CBS, 18.6 million viewers.

3. "The Big Bang Theory", CBS, 17.1 million viewers.

4. "NCIS: New Orleans", CBS, 16.5 million viewers.

5. "The Walking Dead", AMC, 15.6 million viewers.

6. "Mom", CBS, 11.7 million viewers.

7. "Empire", Fox, 11.5 million viewers.

8. "Blue Bloods", CBS, 11.3 million viewers.

9. Wednesday's "American Idol", Fox, 11.2 million viewers . . . and Thursday's episode had 9.7 million viewers.

10. "Criminal Minds", CBS, 10.5 million viewers.


Primetime Total Viewers for the week ending February 8, 2015:

Shows R=Repeat S=Special P=Premiere Net # Viewers (Live+SD) (000)
GRAMMY AWARDS-02/08/2015 S CBS 24824
NCIS-02/03/2015 CBS 18643
Big Bang Theory, THE-02/05/2015 CBS 17090
NCIS: NEW ORLEANS-02/03/2015 CBS 16516
MOM-02/05/2015 CBS 11651
EMPIRE-02/04/2015 FOX 11471
Blue Bloods-02/06/2015 CBS 11320
American Idol-WEDNESDAY-02/04/2015 FOX 11209
Criminal Minds-02/04/2015 CBS 10478
BLACKLIST-02/05/2015 P NBC 10111
Hawaii Five-0-02/06/2015 CBS 10075
MIKE & MOLLY-02/02/2015 CBS 9866
Modern Family-02/04/2015 ABC 9866
NCIS: LOS ANGELES-02/02/2015 CBS 9784
60 Minutes-02/08/2015 CBS 9675
American Idol-THURSDAY-02/05/2015 FOX 9650
SCANDAL-02/05/2015 ABC 9582
Two and a Half Men-02/05/2015 CBS 9387
2 Broke Girls-02/02/2015 CBS 9307
Person Of Interest-02/03/2015 CBS 9282
Mentalist, THE-02/04/2015 CBS 8971
BACHELOR, THE-02/02/2015 ABC 8454
SCORPION-02/02/2015 R CBS 8414
HOW TO GET AWAY W/MURDER-02/05/2015 ABC 8344
MIDDLE, THE-02/04/2015 ABC 8261

-
Nielsen TV Ratings: ©2015 The Nielsen Company. All Rights Reserved. All numbers are live viewing plus same day DVR viewing.


e1af8d14-e4a9-28a9-f13d-510f04a6d285_twd_507_gp_0723_0114-1
The Walking Dead topped cable viewership for the week ending February 1, 2015 with 15.643 million viewers. Better Call Saul came in second with 6.881 million viewers.
Rank Shows Net Day Time Viewers Live+SD (000)
1 Walking Dead AMC Sun 09:00P-10:00P 15643
2 BETTER CALL SAUL AMC Sun 10:00P-11:13P 6881
3 Walking Dead MARATHON AMC Sun 08:00P-09:00P 5144
4 Gold Rush DISC Fri 09:00P-10:00P 4632
5 WWE Entertainment USA Mon 08:00P-09:00P 4466
6 WWE Entertainment USA Mon 09:00P-10:00P 4403
7 WWE Entertainment USA Mon 10:00P-11:13P 4008
8 ALASKAN BUSH PEOPLE DISC Fri 10:00P-11:00P 3885
9 COLLEGE BKBL REG SSN L ESPN Sat 09:02P-11:11P 3267
10 NCIS USA Sun 07:00P-08:00P 3259
11 THE OREILLY FACTOR FOXN Thu 08:00P-09:00P 3200
12 THE OREILLY FACTOR FOXN Fri 08:00P-09:00P 3159
13 Big Bang Theory, THE TBSC Wed 10:00P-10:30P 3100
14 Big Bang Theory, THE TBSC Tue 09:30P-10:00P 3088
15 THE OREILLY FACTOR FOXN Mon 08:00P-09:00P 3084
16 THE OREILLY FACTOR FOXN Wed 08:00P-09:00P 3049
17 Big Bang Theory, THE TBSC Sat 10:00P-10:30P 2988
18 NCIS USA Sun 05:00P-06:00P 2981
19 Big Bang Theory, THE TBSC Wed 10:30P-11:00P 2957
20 FX MOVIE PRIME FX Sun 08:00P-11:00P 2946
21 Big Bang Theory, THE TBSC Sat 10:30P-11:00P 2918
22 HAVES AND THE HAVE NOTS OWN Tue 09:00P-10:00P 2891
23 BIG BANG THEORY, THE TBSC Tue 09:00P-09:30P 2878
24 BIG BANG THEORY, THE TBSC Wed 09:30P-10:00P 2850
25 TALKING DEAD AMC Sun 11:13P-12:15A 2846
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Nielsen Ratings Data: ©2015 The Nielsen Company. All Rights Reserved. All ratings above Live+SD (live viewing plus same day DVR viewing)-

by Bob posted Feb 10 2015 4:18AM

The long-anticipated return of Brett Favre to Lambeau Field will take place during the 2015 season.

On Monday, Favre announced on his official website that he will return as a guest of the Green Bay Packers next season for a jersey retirement ceremony.

"I'm pleased to announce that I will be returning to Green Bay, Wisconsin in 2015 for induction into the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame and retirement of my jersey," Favre wrote. "It was a tremendous honor to play 16 years for the Green Bay Packers. Now to have my name placed among others such as Starr, Hornung, Kramer, Taylor, Lambeau, Nitschke, Lombardi, Davis, White and Hutson is a special honor that I share with all of my teammates and coaches, and that would not have been possible but for the foresight of Ron Wolf, the greatest GM In the history of the NFL.

"I'm truly looking forward to celebrating and sharing this special moment with all of the great fans of the Green Bay Packers."

Favre was scheduled to return to Lambeau back in October for the Packers' game against the Chicago Bears, but the ceremony was postponed due to health issues Packers legend Bart Starr was experiencing.

We knew this was coming eventually. Despite concerns about the way Packers fans would react to Favre coming back, there's no chance the boos outweigh the cheers. Favre spent 16 seasons in Green Bay, won a Super Bowl there and is one of the best quarterbacks in Packers history. He deserves to be honored
Filed Under :
Topics : Sports
Location : Green BayTitletownWisconsin
by Bob posted Feb 10 2015 4:07AM
Here are five things you're probably not cleaning enough . . .

1. Your phone. You touch it up to 150 times a day. And a recent study that tested more than 50 phones found 7,000 different types of bacteria on them. So you should be wiping yours down every single DAY.

2. Your sheets. Millions of dead skin cells end up in the fabric, and attract dust mites. So you should wash them once a week.

You should also wash your pillows every three months . . . not just the cases. Most pillows are machine washable. And you should vacuum or steam clean your mattress every six months.

3. Bras. They come in contact with a LOT of sweat. So you're supposed to hand-wash them in the sink every two or three times you wear them.

4. Kitchen towels. You should only use them ONCE before washing them again. Last year, a study found E. coli on 25% of kitchen towels. And they're the dirtiest thing in most people's kitchens.

5. Your purse. You should wipe down the outside AND inside with antibacterial wipes once a week. Because everything you put in there comes in contact with bacteria.

(Daily Mail)

by Bob posted Feb 5 2015 4:38AM
We live in a snowy climate where frozen car door locks and snowed-in tires are the norm, so we've got good reason to dread icy winter mornings. (It's hard enough getting out bed, much less mustering the courage to go out and start your car.) Here are 19 ways to make sure you spend less time scraping away at your car windows and more time enjoying your hot coffee during your wintry morning commute.

9 Hacks for Snow and Ice on Your Windshield and Mirrors:

1. Leave your windshield wipers up overnight so they won't become stuck to your windshield. Prevent snow and ice buildup on the wiper blades by covering them with a sock.

2. Create a mixture of 3 parts vinegar to 1 part water and spray it on your car windows to prevent ice from building up. You still might have to brush off any snow that falls, but this will save you the time of scraping away at icy windows.

3. If ice has formed on your windows, use a dry cloth and rubbing alcohol to melt it faster.

4. Use an old area rug to cover your windshield completely. Tuck it under your wiper blades overnight and remove in the morning. Throw it in the trunk when not in use.

5. Misplaced your ice scraper? Try using a hard spatula or credit card instead. Just avoid anything metal, as it can damage the finish of your window.

6. Cover your side mirrors with freezer-sized ziplock bags sealed up as far as they'll go. In the morning, remove them and relish your already-clear mirrors!

7. Park your car facing east overnight. When the sun rises in the morning, it can help clear away some of the snow and ice, making your morning routine less stressful and rushed.

8. Spray your shovel with nonstick cooking spray so the snow will slide off easier.

9. Grab your broom to sweep away light snow, instead of wasting energy with that useless little brush on the other end of your windshield scraper.

4 Ways to Keep Locks and Car Doors from Freezing

1. Apply hand sanitizer to your lock or key to unfreeze them.

2. Use a lighter to heat your key and gently push it into your car lock.

3. Spray your keys with WD-40 and use it in your locks to keep ice from forming.

4. Coat the rubber strip of your car doors with cooking spray. This will keep ice from forming and make it easy to pry open doors.

2 Tricks for Keeping Your Windshield Clear:

1. Fill a sock with kitty litter and leave it in your car. This will help absorb moisture and prevent fog from clouding your windows. Bonus: It can help remove odors, too!

2. Use shaving cream to clean the inside of your windows and prevent fog moisture from building up. Simply spray and wipe away with a clean, dry cloth.

4 Winter Hacks for Car Tires

1. Test your tires before braving snowy roads by sticking a penny in several grooves of your tire tread. If you can see still see the top of Lincoln's head, your tires are worn and should be replaced.

2. If your tires get stuck in the snow, a few sprinkles of kitty litter can help them gain traction.

3. You can also clear a path for your tires and get them out of slush by using flattened cardboard boxes (keep a few stashed in your trunk).

4. Store a few old socks in your glove compartment. Slip them over your shoes to give yourself better traction if you have to push your car out of the snow. Bonus: They're great to have on hand if you need to wipe away frost from your windows.

Filed Under :
Location : Lincoln
by Bob posted Feb 5 2015 4:18AM
Every state has the basic fast food chains . . . McDonald's, Burger King, Subway, Taco Bell. But there's SO much more to American fast food than that.

The website Thrillist.com just ranked all 50 states by their fast food, based on things like the number of chains that started there . . . the number of different chains with locations there . . . and the quality of the chains that have locations there.

Texas came in first . . . several mid-sized chains started there, like Whataburger and Schlotzsky's. They also draw in a ton of other regional chains, like In-N-Out Burger and Culver's.

California came in second, thanks to SO many chains starting there, including McDonald's, Taco Bell, Jack in the Box, In-N-Out, A&W, Hot Dog on a Stick, and Wienerschnitzel.

The rest of the top 10 are: Alabama . . . Ohio . . . Georgia . . . Kentucky . . . Louisiana . . . Colorado . . . Michigan . . . and Oklahoma.

Vermont came in last . . . just below Alaska and Maine.

Fast food is about as American as apple pie (from McDonald's, of course). Seriously, recent Pew Research Center data showed that 50 million Americans are served fast food every day. And since we spend a damn good chunk of our time here at Thrillist writing about and tasting fast food, we began to wonder which states do it best, and which leave much to be desired when looking for quick eats.

To find out, we ranked every state by the fast-food options available there, concentrating on a variety of factors, including:
1) the big chains (Burger King, KFC, etc.) that began there
2) the regional ones (Whataburger, Culver's) that also originated there
3) the cool, little chains just in that state
4) the variety of choices and presence of enviable franchises
5) the deliciousness and uniqueness of their options in general

We also created a set of criteria to determine which places were fair game: there had to be counter service, food had to generally take between 1-8 minutes to prepare, and there had to be at least three locations for a place to be considered a chain. Also, no pizza. Stop calling pizza fast food, even if it's hot and/or ready. Clearly this ranking is based on science, math, technology, and hard facts (and maybe our extremely correct opinions), but hey, if you disagree or think we missed something, throw down in the comments. It'll give us something to eat next time we visit.

50. Vermont

In 2011, Bo Muller-Moore, a Vermont folk artist who made his own "Eat More Kale" T-shirts was sued by Chick-fil-A because they said his slogan was too similar to theirs. Muller-Moore fought the legal action, and the public outcry caused even the governor of Vermont to launch a "Team Kale" movement to help Bo with his legal fees, and warn fast-food companies about messing with VT's "buy local" movement. All of which is to say: Vermont is basically the antonym of a fast-food mecca. If only Al's French Frys in Burlington had a few more locations.
Notable fact: Vermont regularly wins all the "healthiest state" awards.

49. Alaska

Poor Alaska. It's not its fault franchises are too weak to handle its crazy-cold temps, but alas, they are, which means the fast-food landscape is pretty damn desolate. But hey: reindeer sausage!
Notable fact: This state is legitimately home to some of McDonald's best employees.

48. Maine

It's too cold in the winter to come up with your own fast-food chains. And -- despite Mickey D's infamous McLobster in the '90s -- lobster meat doesn't seem like the best fast-food move. (NOTE: Oh be quiet, Red Lobster, you're fast-casual!)
Notable fact: They have 25 Tim Hortons?

Jennifer Bui

47. Montana

Montana's beef country, but its fast-food legacy is pretty limited to being the namesake of Arby's Big Montana. Also, there are a lot of Arby's in Montana.
Notable fact: Helena marks the Westernmost place where you can get Hardee's before it's magically transformed into Carl's Jr.

46. Rhode Island

Does Del's Frozen Lemonade stand count as fast food?
Notable fact: Coming up with a notable fact for Rhode Island is very hard... the Talking Heads are from there, though, and David Byrne often sings about fast food.

45. New Hampshire

In doing research for this story, we came across a comment on a blog in which a man named "Derek" from Southern New Hampshire discusses how he loves regional fast-food chains but can't get any good ones in NH, so he drove six hours to Delaware to get a Thickburger at Hardee's. And 14 hours to Ohio to go to Jack in the Box. And though I'm not sure why anyone would travel six hours to Delaware to do anything besides go to that weird pizza place with the swirled sauce, the point is this: the Granite State's chain game is subpar.
Notable fact: Dick and "Mac" McDonald, the brothers who opened the original McDonald's in 1940, grew up and are both buried in Manchester, New Hampshire.

44. South Dakota

It's not that South Dakotans don't love fast food. It's just that nobody wants to drive eight hours for a cheap burger, so if you're not in a place like Sioux Falls or Rapid, your drive-thru options are limited to whatever's in town. Or in whatever town is nearest.
Notable fact: There are approximately 3.65 million heads of cattle in South Dakota -- or about 4.3 cows per resident.

43. Delaware

Delaware might be the First State to, umm, rattle the Constitution or something -- but not in fast food. Two pluses: the tiny state has given the country Wings To Go, which has expanded to 10+ states, and the Thanksgiving sandwich-making folks at Capriotti's. And despite being such a small state, they still found room to host Southern chains like Chick-fil-A and Sonic.
Notable fact: Capriotti's has expanded to 14 other states (and DC).

42. Oregon

Oregon's pretty fast-food starved (sorry, TacoTime, but we sometimes forget who you are). Even its precious Burgerville is Washington-based. Plus, with the notoriously slow speed of service in Oregon, even getting a McDonald's cheeseburger can be a 15-minute affair (on a slow day).
Notable fact: Hipsters in Portland started planning road trips late last year when In-N-Out announced it might open a location in 2015... five hours South of Stumptown.

41. North Dakota

There's a ton of fast food in NoDak -- especially now that an oil boom is drawing hungry black-gold-collar workers -- but aside from Burger Time (which is not an arcade game), there aren't really any notable chains the state calls its own. Still, in Grand Forks, there's The Kegs, which is on the National Historic Registry.
Notable fact: Since the fracking boom, fast-food demand has grown so much that some McDonald's are starting people at $14/hour, plus a signing bonus.

40. Washington

Washington's so conscious, even its most notable fast-food chain, Burgerville, is local-centric... and like post-recession Seattleites, a huge number of Burgervilles are now located in Oregon. There're still drive-ins like Enzell's, Muchas Gracias, and Zip's, but much of Washington's too granola for fast food.
Notable fact: Vancouver-based Burgerville was one of the first fast-food joints to focus on local, seasonal ingredients.

39. Wyoming

Cheyenne-based Taco John's might have become a sensation with its loose take on Mexican, but Wyoming's not exactly known for its fast food, though there are some Midwestern tourists who would probably kill for a Whopper while watching Old Faithful blow its load. Think about it, National Parks Service.
Notable fact: Taco John's coined the term "West Mex," which is like Tex-Mex, but with more meat and fried potatoes.
Jennifer Bui

38. Connecticut

Connecticut rises above most of New England on the basis of two Bridgeport legends: 1) Duchess, which is one of the only fast-food places I know of where you can order veal Parm, and 2) the original location of Pete's Super Submarines, aka Pete's Subs, aka Subway, and the $5 Footlong. But once you get out of Bridgeport (take the ferry!), you're left with the usual suspects. Unfortunately none of which are Stephen Baldwin.
Notable fact: Subway's original name, Pete's Submarines, was dropped because people thought it sounded like "pizza marines."

37. Mississippi

Despite letting their fast-food cash flow like frying oil, Mississippi has a huge dearth of their own chains. Holding down the solo honor is Bumpers Drive-In of America, which looks like it was plucked off Route 66 (that's obviously the name of their double cheeseburger, which you should order), and then multiplied throughout the Magnolia State, carhops included. Besides that, there are at least 26 (!) national chains, so we hope you like McDonald's.
Notable fact: According to Health mag, Mississippians spend 62% (!) of their dining-out budget on fast food.

36. West Virginia

West Virginia is a pretty bleak place; after all, it's earned the bottom spot in the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index for five years running. We can safely say, however, that this lack of well-being is not due to a lack of fast-food options (they actually might have too many). They've got all the major players (17 Chick-fil-As!! 7 Five Guys!!), plus a bunch of Long John Silver's and Captain D's for all their fast fried-fish needs. But, most importantly, they've got Tudor's Biscuit World, a West VA-born chain that bakes up fresh biscuits and makes them into a slew of different delicious sandwiches, along with breakfast platters and more.
Notable fact: Tudor's Biscuit World originated in Charleston, West VA in 1980.

35. Iowa

You can't fathom how many Arby's exist in Iowa. Though it started in Ohio, Iowa has its fair share of people practicing "meat craft." Also, Arby's website still uses MapQuest, but enough about Arby's, let's focus on the rest of Iowa's fast-food game. They've got some of the great Midwest chains (Culver's! Steak 'n Shake!) but their claim to fame is Maid-Rite, a loose-meat sandwich chain that specializes in un-sloppy Sloppy Joes. And, well, that's about it.
Notable fact: An assistant football coach at University of Iowa left his 200k a year job last year to open a Culver's franchise. This is a real thing that happened.

34. Indiana

Contrary to popular belief, Indiana has more than just popcorn (not that we weren't okay with just having popcorn). On top of a ton of national big-hitters, they boast Lee's Famous Chicken, which, though it was technically founded in Ohio, was the product of Colonel Sanders' nephew, who grew up in Indiana. So, really, it basically started here.
Notable fact: Lee Cummings, the founder of Lee's Famous Chicken, was related to KFC's head honcho, and much of his inspiration came from cooking in his Indiana home.

33. Arkansas

Clintons and Walmarts are probably Arkansas' most famous exports, but it could soon be chicken tenders. With state after state (four and counting) opening up more Slim Chickens locations than ever, they're poised to break out. And with local mini-chains like Mexican Chiquitos, Andy's, and David's Burgers -- not to mention a full complement of Taco Buenos and Sonics -- Arkansas has a lot on their plate (boom!).
Notable fact: Slim Chickens' first location was in Fayetteville.
Jennifer Bui

32. Maryland

Maryland's got a wealth of crab shacks and restos, but unfortunately that didn't quite carry over to their fast-food scene. They do have a few solid spots for quick eats though, like their very own Hip Hop Fish & Chicken, which has multiple locations serving a menu of golden-fried… fish and chicken. And hey, they've also got Southern darling Bojangles, the Asian-American Noodles & Company, wing winners A&D Buffalo's, Fatburger, and a single outpost of crazy-good chain Cook-Out. You're alright, Maryland. You're alright.
Notable fact: Hip Hop Fish & Chicken started here, and now they've got 12 locations.

31. New Mexico

There are around 75 Blake's Lotaburgers in and around New Mexico. They have delicious cheeseburgers with green chile. And you can also get a green chile cheeseburger at Whataburger. But seeing how Whataburger didn't start in New Mexico, you might already be able to tell that I'm running out of other options.
Notable fact: Blake's Lotaburger has its own construction business so they can build their franchises in-house.

30. South Carolina

SC doesn't have a ton going for it besides the rather difficult task of explaining what the hell a ButterBurger is to the rest of the comparatively Culver's-less South, and it's just two cities stuck with that duty. If Sean Brock wanted to franchise out a shrimp and grits quick-service spot, however, it would probably do really well.
Notable fact: Former Hootie/current country star Darius Rucker, an SC native, followed up the 16-time platinum success of Cracked Rear View by dressing up as a psychedelic cowboy and singing in a Burger King commercial.

29. Massachusetts

Though the tagline states that America runs on Dunkin', Massachusetts really, really, really runs on the donut shop founded in 1950 in Quincy. But alas! Bay Staters never tire of eating donuts, and so they also get credit for the small upstart, Honey Dew Donuts, which opened in 1973 in Mansfield, and now has 145 stores itself. Boston Market -- when it was known as Boston Chicken -- also started in Newton, and then we get into various pizza places that don't count (sorry Papa Gino's!). But still -- two donut shops and a chicken joint -- not too shabby, small New England state.
Notable fact: Dunkin', surprisingly, isn't the only donut shop to have started here.

28. Idaho

Fast food needs Idaho (and Idaho has a lot of chains, including Chick-fil-A, which is rare for the region). Along with basically all the potatoes, it's also home to the largest barrel-cheese factory. What's barrel cheese? It's the basis for processed cheese. AKA nacho cheese, American cheese, Velveeta, you name it. Which is to say: no Idaho, no cheese fries. And we can't have that.
Notable fact: Idaho produces approximately 14.2 billion pounds of potatoes a year... 4.6 billion more than its closest competitor, Washington.

27. Minnesota

Do you like gyros? Well, Dino's Gyros can take care of you in six locations. But after that chain, Minnesota gets shaky. After all, you can't call D'Amico & Sons takeout Italian fast food. Nor can you include Green Mill's deep-dish pizza. So back to my original question: do you like gyros?
Notable fact: Austin, MN is home of the Spam museum, a monument to the canned meat that has nothing to do with Nigerian princes who want to give you money.

26. Pennsylvania

PA has plenty of variety in their fast-food offerings, including branches of Shake Shack, Church's Chicken, and Potbelly. But sandwiches are what the state does well (winning basketball teams? Not so much.), so it's no surprise Tony Luke's Philly cheesesteaks are being eaten all over the place these days, including FL and CA. There's also locally grown mini-chains across the state that highlight Pennsylvanians cravings for something other than hoagies, like Brighton Hot Dog Shoppe, Neato Burrito, and Roburritos.
Notable fact: Tony Luke's has opened a location as far away as Bahrain.
Jennifer Bui

25. Hawaii

Contrary to what you may think, there are a few sweet independent fast-food chains that can look disapprovingly at the standard fast-food fare and tell them "you flew here, we grew here." Zippy's is the most iconic, with 24 locations and a sprawling menu that feels random to outsiders (chili, oxtail soup, chicken katsu, sushi, lunch plate specials, pastries) but totally makes sense. But it's L&L Hawaiian Barbecue, which does the traditional plate lunch (rice, macaroni salad, and a hot dish like BBQ beef or Kalua pork), that has expanded the farthest, with nearly 200 locations now all over the US, plus New Zealand, Japan, and AMERICAN SAMOA.
Notable fact: The Zippy's chain sells over 110 tons of their original-recipe chili each month.

24. Nebraska

Though Nebraska lacks variety in fast-food restaurants imported from other states (Raising Cane's is a pleasant and unlikely exception), they make up for it with joints like the Lincoln-product (0) Comments
by Bob posted Feb 5 2015 4:05AM

Owning a kangaroo is a commitment, but owning five of them along with sheep, goats, emu, seven white tail deer, horses, ducks, geese, chickens, a dog and peacocks is a labor of love.

It's a commitment that Diana Moyer, who lives near Columbus on a 70-acre farm, loves every second of, especially with her kangaroos. She has owned seven kangaroos over eight years.

"They are one of the most loving, trustworthy animals that I have ever had," she said.

Moyer recently was asked to leave a Beaver Dam McDonald's after a customer complained that the baby Kangaroo — which is eight-months-old and named Jimmy — was not appropriate or safe to have in the restaurant.

She said she has been visiting the McDonald's at 840 Park Ave. for three months with Jimmy and no one has ever complained. In fact, she said she takes Jimmy everywhere, including her church — Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Beaver Dam — and to the east side of Madison. Recently she and Jimmy drove to Eastgate Cinema in Madison to watch Taken 3.

"I wish the person in McDonald's would have just come and talked to me instead," she said.

According to Moyer, Jimmy is quite popular. She said when she takes him out in public people ask to pet Jimmy and they have a lot of questions.

She describes Jimmy as a support or therapy animal. According to her, a support animal is similar to a service animal, but a support animal does not have a specific task. She didn't want to go into detail, but she said she is disabled and visits a doctor in Madison who approved of the use of a support/therapy animal. She declined to share the doctor's name.

Jimmy is the youngest of her current five kangaroos. There are also Perry, 2, Anna, 3, Ruby, 5, and Charles, 7. Ruby and Charles are the mother and father of Perry and Anna.

Moyer transported the kangaroos to Wisconsin after purchasing them from a livestock market called Lolli Bros. in Missouri. She purchased her kangaroos as babies and said a female kangaroo costs $1,000 and a male kangaroo costs $2,000. The Lolli Bros. website lists "alternative livestock" such as elk, llamas, camels, zebra, bison and many other animals.

According to Moyer, kangaroos can live for 20 years in captivity and they usually stop growing when they are 5 years old.

Moyer has been training and caring for all of her kangaroos as well as the rest of the animals for the 23 years she has lived on the farm. She lives with her mother and her husband, Larry. She said Larry helps a lot too and loves doing it.

She said Terry Crandall, who went by the name "Spiderman" helped feed and care for the animals for more than seven years until he passed away in October.

Moyer's farm is licensed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to house all of her animals. She paid $200 for the license and then her farm was inspected to make sure it was suitable for kangaroos, as well as the other animals.

"They mostly [inspect] the health," she said. "The animals need to be taken care of right."

Because of the white tail deer she owns, she works with the Department of Natural Resources as well to keep her farm up-to-par.

She added that USDA inspectors can arrive without notice and perform an inspection, but she hasn't seen them in awhile.

"I haven't seen them in five years," she said. "They could show up tomorrow. It's just one of those things."

She's confident she would pass an inspection if they were to arrive today.

The kangaroos need to have a six-foot high fences that are three feet apart. Currently the kangaroos live in a barn to stay warm.

Keeping the kangaroos fed is a costly endeavor. Moyer said the milk is imported from Australia and sent to Colorado. It costs her $200 a month for milk and the food is made in Missouri. She usually orders three bags and treats, which costs about $150 a month.

"They love sweet potatoes, too," she said.

The price per month varies, as the kangaroos will go on "eating sprees" that rack up costs.

Moyer said she rarely receives negative responses about her kangaroos or other animals.

But, why kangaroos? Well, Moyer said, "it just happened." And after owning and caring for animals for more than 27 years she said she doesn't want to give it up and hopes to own more in the future.


brueter@capitalnewspapers.com

Staff Reporter

by Bob posted Feb 4 2015 3:52AM

"Super Bowl 49" pulled in a record-breaking 114 million viewers, the post-game show had 72.5 million, and "The Blacklist" held onto 25.7 million viewers in the coveted post-game slot. Another 10.8 million people tuned in for "The Super Bowl's Greatest Commercials" special that aired earlier in the week, and the Seth Meyers hosted "NFL Honors" had 4.7 million.

Meanwhile, the series finale of "Parenthood" had 5.5 million viewers . . . the season finale of "The Biggest Loser" had 5.4 million . . . and the FX spy show "The Americans" returned for its third season with 1.9 million viewers.

Primetime Total Viewers for the week ending February 1, 2015:

Rank Shows R=Repeat S=Special P=Premiere Net Viewers (Live +SD) (000)
1 SUPER BOWL GAME XLIX-02/01/2015 S NBC 114442
2 SUPER BOWL POST-02/01/2015 S NBC 72512
3 BLACKLIST-02/01/2015 P NBC 25724
4 Big Bang Theory, THE-01/29/2015 CBS 17248
5 NCIS-01/27/2015 R CBS 12889
6 Blue Bloods-01/30/2015 CBS 11873
7 MOM-01/29/2015 CBS 11777
8 NCIS: NEW ORLEANS ENCORE-01/27/2015 RP CBS 11721
9 EMPIRE-01/28/2015 FOX 11355
10 American Idol-WEDNESDAY-01/28/2015 FOX 11284
11 SUPER BOWL GREAT COMMRCLS-01/26/2015 S CBS 10833
12 Criminal Minds-01/28/2015 CBS 10703
13 Hawaii Five-0-01/30/2015 CBS 10498
14 SCANDAL-01/29/2015 ABC 10476
15 CSI SPECIAL-01/27/2015 S CBS 10377
16 Two and a Half Men-01/29/2015 CBS 9707
17 American Idol-THURSDAY-01/29/2015 FOX 9366
18 HOW TO GET AWAY W/MURDER-01/29/2015 ABC 9183
19 Mentalist, THE-01/28/2015 CBS 9167
20 GREY'S ANATOMY-01/29/2015 ABC 8714
21 SCORPION-01/26/2015 R CBS 8554
22 STALKER-01/28/2015 CBS 8344
23 Undercover Boss-01/30/2015 CBS 8132
24 BACHELOR, THE-01/26/2015 ABC 7952
25 Shark Tank-01/30/2015 ABC 7934

-
Nielsen TV Ratings: ©2015 The Nielsen Company. All Rights Reserved. All numbers are live viewing plus same day DVR viewing.

Filed Under :
Location : HawaiiNew Orleans
by Bob posted Feb 3 2015 4:12AM

The New England Patriots defeated the Seattle Seahawks 28-24 Sunday night, making Super Bowl XLIX an instant classic. Both teams were tremendously impressive throughout the contest; however, Seattle's play-calling blunder on New England's 1-yard line with 26 seconds remaining that resulted in an interception overshadowed all other headlines.

Rather than utilizing the nearly unstoppable Marshawn Lynch—who carried 24 times for 102 yards and a touchdown—out of the backfield, the Seahawks opted to run a pick play and hit Ricardo Lockette on a slant. Cornerback Malcolm Butler got a great jump on the throw, and his pick resulted in New England hoisting the Lombardi Trophy yet again.

So, while the Patriots celebrate their big win, it's time for us to look way ahead and figure out which teams are most likely to represent their respective conferences in next year's Super Bowl 50. Here's a look at the current odds for every team to win the next edition of the NFL's championship game, followed by a prediction for the contest's ultimate participants.

Early Odds to Win Super Bowl 50
Team Odds
Seattle Seahawks 5-1
New England Patriots 6-1
Green Bay Packers 7-1
Denver Broncos 8-1
Dallas Cowboys 12-1
Philadelphia Eagles 16-1
Indianapolis Colts 16-1
Detroit Lions 25-1
New Orleans Saints 25-1
St. Louis Rams 25-1
San Francisco 49ers 25-1
Arizona Cardinals 25-1
Pittsburgh Steelers 25-1
Baltimore Ravens 25-1
Cincinnati Bengals 25-1
Houston Texans 30-1
San Diego Chargers 30-1
Kansas City Chiefs 30-1
New York Giants 30-1
Carolina Panthers 30-1
Atlanta Falcons 30-1
Miami Dolphins 30-1
Chicago Bears 50-1
Minnesota Vikings 50-1
Buffalo Bills 50-1
Cleveland Browns 50-1
Washington Redskins 100-1
New York Jets 100-1
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 200-1
Tennessee Titans 300-1
Jacksonville Jaguars 300-1
Oakland Raiders 300-1

Pro Football Talk

All Super Bowl 50 odds courtesy of Pro Football Talk.

Super Bowl 50 Date and Location

Date: Sunday, Feb. 7, 2016

Location: Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California

Host Team: San Francisco 49ers

Super Bowl 50 Picks

AFC: New England Patriots

Sure, at first glance, this pick seems like a major cop-out. After all, it's easy to pick the reigning Super Bowl champions to return the following season. However, there are plenty of supporting reasons for this selection.

We should all be able to agree the Patriots are, in fact, the NFL's best team right now. Not only did they win the big game, but they played a dominant brand of football throughout most of the regular season, decimating some of the league's best teams in all phases of the game.

During the regular season, New England played a total of five playoff teams. The Patriots went 4-1 in those games, winning by a combined score of 183-93. Continuing that trend in the postseason, New England forged a brilliant comeback win against the Baltimore Ravens before manhandling the Indianapolis Colts en route to a Super Bowl win.

So, here's the scary thing: The way things look right now, the Patriots stand to get even better by next season.

According to Spotrac.com, New England has a total of nine players set to hit the free-agent market in 2015. The highest-profile player on the list is safety Devin McCourty, and while the Patriots would love to have him back, they must also prioritize striking a new deal with cornerback Darrelle Revis. Luckily, they'll be able to do just that.

Quarterback Tom Brady has already restructured his contract to give the team an additional $24 million in cap space for the coming season, making things much easier for New England to keep its key free agents in the fold. Once those players are re-signed, the team can then focus on further improving its roster via other free-agent options and the draft.

NFC: Green Bay Packers

While the Seahawks were arguably the NFC's best team this past season, they were certainly given a run for their money against the Packers. However, that isn't the reason Green Bay is being selected over Seattle as the NFC's Super Bowl 50 representative.

The Seahawks have lots of work to do to keep their team intact going forward. According to Spotrac.com, they have a bevy of players set to hit the open market, including Byron Maxwell, James Carpenter, Kevin Williams, Malcolm Smith, Jermaine Kearse, O'Brien Schofield and others. We could be looking at a very different squad once the 2015 season rolls around.

As for the Packers, they'll have a bit of work to do in re-signing Randall Cobb; however, even if the receiver opts to leave for more money, the team has a very talented player in Davante Adams waiting in the wings to complement All-Pro Jordy Nelson. Also, should Green Bay lose Cobb, the team will suddenly find it easier to keep the likes of Tramon Williams and Bryan Bulaga in the fold.

So, it certainly appears as though the Packers won't be taking an enormous hit in free agency. That, of course, means we could actually see an improved version of this team once the dust settles following the free-agency period and draft.

That's not a good sign for the rest of the NFC, as Aaron Rodgers, the NFL's MVP, is coming off one of his best statistical seasons, completing 65.6 percent of his passes for 4,381 yards and 38 touchdowns against five interceptions for a passer rating of 112.2. The fact that he didn't toss a single pick at Lambeau Field in 2014 was also remarkable.

So, here's the question still lingering in the minds of many NFL fans: Just how far could this team have gone with a healthy Rodgers in the playoffs?

Yes, injuries are a part of the NFL, and they always will be; however, it's difficult to think the NFC Championship Game against Seattle wouldn't have turned out differently if Green Bay's prolific signal-caller was 100 percent.

A Super Bowl 50 pitting the high-octane Patriots against the dangerous Packers? Yes, please.

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