Blogs Archives

The Daily Dish – Friday, August 7

Are Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Garner Hollywood’s next “It” couple?
The two were spotted by TMZ photographers together on a beach in Malibu, California, along with a little girl who looked to be Bradley’s daughter.
Both of them have split from their partners relatively recently, and they were rumored to be hooking up back when they co-starred on the old action show Alias.

Alyssa Milano may have had the coronavirus after all.
She wrote on Instagram yesterday (Wednesday) that she’s tested positive for antibodies — even though she tested negative for COVID-19 three times in the spring.
Alyssa adds that “our testing system is flawed” and says she plans to donate plasma to help others suffering from the disease.

When it rains it pours. People are coming out of the woodwork to pile on embattled talk show host Ellen DeGeneres. The latest is a man who claims she bullied him when he was only 11 years old by calling him “fat” and “stupid.” Not only that, she “took pleasure” in his distress.
Ben Gravolet claims that Ellen worked for his mother’s recruitment agency when she was about 20. He recalls, (quote) “I would dread going to [my mom’s] office to see her after school or on a day if I was sick and Ellen was there. She would criticize my weight. I would try to do homework in the office, she’d call me stupid, she’d call me fat. She would criticize my clothes.”
The worst thing about it, Gravolet says, was that he was just a kid. (quote) “I was just a boy and this was a grown woman who took pleasure in seeing me become visibly upset. I don’t think there’s any excuse for it. I was a defenseless kid. What could I have told her back?” (Daily Mail)

And Cameron Diaz recently told Goop.com creator and actor Gwyneth Paltrow why she decided to quit Hollywood.
In an interview that was part of In Goop Health: The Sessions, the onetime Charile’s Angels star said, (quote) “I just decided that I wanted different things out of my life. I had gone so hard for so long, working, making films, and it’s such a grind. When you’re making a movie — it’s a perfect excuse — they own you. You’re there for 12 hours a day for months on end and you have no time for anything else.”
Cameron decided to give up film-making in 2014, around the same time she started dating Good Charlotte guitarist Benji Madden. The couple tied the knot in 2015 and now have a seven-month-old daughter, Raddix. (Perez Hilton)

Coffee Talk from Honor Credit Union – Friday, August 7

The President issued a pair of executive orders late Thursday night to shut down the popular Chinese social media platforms TikTok and WeChat within 45 days, over national security concerns.
Since the order doesn’t take effect for 45 days, the door is still open for Microsoft to acquire the popular app. The two companies have reportedly been in talks in recent days.
The President has accused TikTok and WeChat of allowing the Chinese government to collect information on Americans. (The New York Times)

If there is a college football season, the Clemson Tigers are the favorite to win the championship.
The Tigers top USA Today‘s Amway Coaches Poll, taking the number-one spot on 38 of 65 ballots. They return quarterback Trevor Lawrence and a bevy of playmakers around him. Ohio State is at number-two, Alabama at number-three, Georgia at number-four and defending champs LSU at number-five.
As for local favorites, Notre Dame comes in at Number 10, Michigan at 15, and Michigan State failed to make the top 25.

Nintendo is reporting a 428% increase in profits thanks to a gaming boom. Their big hit Animal Crossing: New Horizons has quickly become a favorite of gamers who find themselves home more than normal. While plenty of people are setting jigsaw puzzles and binge-watching TV shows, plenty are also passing the time with Animal Crossing – and other games, of course. (NBC News)

And…Back in the Middle Ages, in the days of the Plague, the Tuscan region of Italy had something called “wine windows.” They were tiny wooden hatches carved into building’s concrete walls where merchants could safely pass wine and other spirits to residents. People just knocked on the small windows and their bottles were filled. Well, thanks to COVID-19, these windows last used in the Middle Ages are back in Italy. According to the Wine Window Association, “During this time, some enterprising Florentine Wine Window owners have turned back the clock and are using their Wine Windows to dispense glasses of wine, cups of coffee, drinks, sandwiches and ice cream — all germ-free, contactless!” (NY Post)

Music News – Friday, August 7

Lady Gaga just flashed a sign that something big is on the way — a video for her Elton John duet “Sine From Above.”
She shared a snippet from the visual, showing her decked out in futuristic Chromatica gear and writhing to the beat. Elton isn’t seen in the short clip, but he might turn up in the full-length video.
Elton and Gaga have appeared together on numerous occasions and even recorded “Hello, Hello” for the  2011 film Gnomeo & Juliet — a song that never made it to the movie soundtrack.

Selena Gomez used her Animal Crossing villager to talk about what’s going on in the real Selena’s musical life — including a possible collaboration with Taylor Swift.
The villager made a guest appearance on the Animal Talking with Gary Whitta livestream show yesterday (Wednesday), and shared that Selena had begun work on the follow-up to Rare. She went on to discuss her ideas of a duet to add to the project. “I’ve always dreamt of doing a song with Taylor. We both wanted to do that. I’ve known her for 13 or 14 years now [and] It just feels like we’re family… We’ve talked about it for sure.”

Justin Bieber gave his Instagram followers a different kind of candid photo session on Wednesday — taking them behind the scenes at the ceremony where he and his wife Hailey were baptized.
Justin shared a series of photos of the baptism without explaining exactly when it took place. The images show him holding hands with Hailey as a pastor from their Hillsong church submerges them in a lake. The caption reads, “This was one of most special moments of my life. Confessing our love and trust in Jesus publicly with our friends and family.”
The couple actually met for the first time, clear back in 2009, at a Hillsong service.

Happy Headline from United Federal Credit Union – Thursday, August 6

15-year-old Lorenzo Liberti of Lakewood Ranch, Florida, has been making the most of his summer vacation — by carving wooden American flags to raise money for homeless veterans.
He actually started this project eight months ago, working day and night in his garage to carve pinewood into amazing pieces of art that he sells and donates to help people in need.
But since COVID-19, Lorenzo changed his mission just a bit, turning his attention to honoring medical workers across the country.
It seems Lorenzo isn’t going to quit carving anytime soon, explaining that the day he stops working “is a day that a hero could be forgotten.” (WTSP-TV)

The Daily Dish – Thursday, August 6

The oldest daughter of Kim Kardashian and Kanye West has been described as the “ultimate daddy’s girl.” North West, who turned 7 years old earlier this summer, informed her parents she would prefer to live with Kanye in Wyoming.
An insider supposedly told In Touch Weekly, (quote) “North knows that mommy and daddy are going through things. She shocked Kim by proclaiming she wants to go live with her dad.” (In Touch)
TMZ reports the family is on a retreat in a remote location. The marriage hit the skids last year. Kim has spent weeks trying to convince Kanye to seek professional help for his mental health. He’s tweeted and deleted how he’s tried for a long time to divorce Kim. She’s been trying to hold it all together and this retreat looks to be a last-ditch effort to save the marriage. (TMZ)

An FBI spokesperson explained the reason behind Wednesday’s raid of the home of YouTube personality Jake Paul. They said, (quote) “The FBI is investigating allegations of criminal acts surrounding the incident at Scottsdale Fashion Square in May 2020.”
Federal agents seized several weapons from Jake Paul’s home. One of the large guns was propped against the 23-year-old’s backyard hot tub.
Also on Wednesday, the Scottsdale police got out of the way of federal agents. The Arizona cops dropped misdemeanor charges of trespassing at Fashion Square and unlawful assembly against Jake Paul and a pair of his Team 10 cronies, including former manager Arman Izadi. Federal agents served a search warrant on Izadi’s Las Vegas home. Wednesday morning, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police, SWAT and FBI agents were on the scene. (ABC News, Los Angeles)

A competitor on American Ninja Warrior has been arrested on child-sex charges.
Last season’s champion, Drew Dreschel, was picked up by federal agents this morning (Thursday) in Florida. He’s accused of soliciting sex with a then-15-year-old in 2015. He’s been charged with manufacture of child pornography, enticement of a minor to travel for illicit sexual conduct, travel with the intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct with a minor and use of interstate commerce to entice a minor.
Dreschel made a court appearance in Florida before being moved to New Jersey, where he met the girl. He allegedly had sex with her at his gym in Connecticut not long after that meeting. He faces up to life in prison.
NBC has severed ties with Dreschel, saying it was “shocked and disturbed” to hear of the allegations. (USA TodayTMZ)

Seems the split between Brian Austin Green and Megan Fox was not as amicable as initially thought.
On Wednesday, he trolled Megan for posting a shirtless photo of her new boyfriendMachine Gun Kelly. She captioned the social media post with the message, (quote) “Achingly Beautiful Boy…My heart is yours.”
Brain Austin Green repeated those words in a tweet with a slight tweak: “Achingly beautiful boys…… My heart is yours” with a photo of his four sons. The three youngest with Megan Fox.
She’s reportedly abandoned the family to quarantine with Machine Gun Kelly. (People)

A reboot of the classic adult-oriented cartoon Ren and Stimpy is in the works at Comedy Central.

Sony is working on a sequel reboot of the ’80s sitcom Who’s the Boss. Original stars Tony Danza and Alyssa Milano are on board.

Coffee Talk from Honor Credit Union – Thursday, August 6

The Good News Network says Darrin and Giselle Williams, of Arvada, Colorado, restored a 100 year -old sewing machine so they could make coronavirus masks for those in need. The 1922 singer Model 66 is powered by a foot pedal and belonged to Giselle’s great-great-grandmother. Giselle decided to make masks after the coronavirus torpedoed her hair styling business. Darrin has known how to sew since he was a little boy because his grandmother was a seamstress

The NY Post says the coronavirus has caused a new hygiene problem called Mask Mouth. Dentists say people, who wear coronavirus masks on a constant basis are suffering from sour breath, receding gum lines and tooth decay. Bacteria is building up in people’s mouths behind the mask.

Dr Anthony Fauci tells Reuters that he thinks a coronavirus vaccine will be available next year. “We are likely going to have maybe tens of million of doses in the early part of [next] year. But as we get into 2021, the manufacturers tell us that they will have hundreds of millions and likely a billion doses by the end of 2021. I’m cautiously optimistic, though you can never guarantee things with a vaccine. I hope and feel it’s possible that by the time we get through 2021 and go around for another cycle, that we’ll have this under control. Do I think we’re going to have a much, much better control one full year from this winter? I think so.”

NBC says a Virginia Beach, Virginia man recently won the lottery 25 times. Raymond Harrington bought 25 tickets and played the Pick 4 using the combination 4-6-4-0. He won the game’s top prize of $5,000 on each of his tickets for a grand total of $125,000. The chances of winning the Pick-4 are 1 in 10,000. Harrington plans to use his winnings to help his sons pay for college.

The News Tribune says a Waffle House manager from Trussville, Alabama recently outsmarted a thief. The thief broke into the restaurant and stole its safe. The Waffle House manager told cops that he emptied the safe because of several other Waffle House burglaries in the area.

Music News – Thursday, August 6

Miley Cyrus says her comeback album is ready to roll — and she promises that this time, she means it.
The unpredictable singer, who’d teased a release late last year, hit up Twitter Wednesday to reveal that her seventh album will be called She Is Miley Cyrus — and gave fans a taste of one track, “Midnight Sky.” The tune has a serious disco vibe — which Miley underscored with a selfie video of herself dancing to it and showing off a platinum blonde shag haircut.
She Is Miley Cyrus will follow her 2019 EP Miley Cyrus Is Coming.

Shawn Mendes just debuted a new charitable effort, and it comes with strings attached — six of them, to be exact.
The Canadian crooner is rolling out a collaboration with Fender Guitars — the Shawn Mendes Foundation Musicmaster, a floral-embossed take on the company’s classic 1965 instrument. Shawn personally helped design the guitar, which is intended as an introductory six-string for beginners. It will retail for $749, with part of the proceeds going to the foundation.
The Shawn Mendes Foundation’s mission is to “inspire the youth of today — to learn about causes that they are passionate about, and help empower them to use the voice they have to bring change to the world by taking action and giving back.”

Happy Headline from United Federal Credit Union – Wednesday, August 5

Suzan Brito of Pawtucket, Rhode Island, wanted to celebrate the 93rd birthday of her father, George, but realized it would be difficult to throw him a big bash.
So, she organized a parade for George, allowing friends and family to honor him for his long life, as well as his service in the Navy during World War II.
Family members, friends and neighbors cruised in front of his house in their cars — many of them decorated with colorful signs and balloons — letting George know how much they appreciated him. (WJAR-TV)

The Daily Dish – Wednesday, August 5

It really does sound like Kanye West and Kim Kardashian are making a last-ditch effort to save their marriage.
You probably heard that Kanye was seen shepherding the family onto a private jet this week. According to TMZ, he and Kim and the kids are holed up on a private island with the emphasis on private. Apparently there’s no way for paparazzi to get near them — the estate they’re on is described as a “fortress.”
Unsurprisingly, there’s no word on how the reconciliation talks are going.

August started pretty rough for Stranger Things star Millie Bobby Brown. Her boyfriend left Millie and then her dog died.
Millie revealed at the start of the year that she was dating British rugby player Joseph Robinson. However, they had to split. Their careers were pulling them apart. He competes in London while Millie has obligations in Los Angeles. They’ve deleted photos of one another at Instagram.

Comedian Tiffany Haddish finally confirmed she’s dating Common. Though, it’s been clear for months the two were an item. This week, she called it “the best relationship I’ve ever been in.”
She declared her love for Common when she joined Steve-O‘s Wild Ride! podcast. Haddish said, (quote) “I’ve lost 20 pounds since I’ve been in this relationship. I feel more confident in me. Knowing that I got somebody that cares about me. I love him.”
The couple got together before the pandemic. Then chose to quarantine together. Haddish played coy for months and refused to directly answer questions about the relationship. (New York Post)

Brandy hints that a Moesha reboot might be in the works. She says she’s “in discussions with the right people to make it happen.”

And, Chip and Joanna Gaines have confirmed that Fixer Upper is headed back to TV in 2021 and is not going away. The show will re-premiere on their own Magnolia Network, which will premiere later this year replacing the DIY network on cable.

Coffee Talk from Honor Credit Union – Wednesday, August 5

Trending this morning:
  • The Beirut explosion: Photos and videos of the blast that left dozens dead and thousands injured are making the rounds on social media
  • The new Twilight book is trending. Midnight Sun will told from the perspective of Edward Cullen.

Yes, I know it’s August, but, The holidays are coming … Lifetime has announced it will feature its first same-sex relationship at the center of one of their “It’s a Wonderful Lifetime” holiday movies. The movie is titled The Christmas Set Up. “We are thrilled to continue our legacy of creating a holiday destination that is welcoming to all at Lifetime,” said Amy Winter, EVP and head of programming at Lifetime and LMN. (GMA)

There have been plenty of stories about people having a tough time wearing masks these days — and Dr. Anthony Fauci is taking things to a new level by suggesting that we wear goggles to prevent catching the coronavirus through our eyes. (MarketWatch)

Want to be smarter? Hang out with smarter people. Seems you really are who you spend time with. A new study has found that students do better in school if their friends are also good students.

Music News – Wednesday, August 5

Selena Gomez will offer her fans a Rare treat next month — when she finally rolls out her long-awaited Rare Beauty line.
Selena, who’s been teasing the products for months, hit up Instagram Tuesday to reveal that the line will hit Sephora and RareBeauty.com on September 3rd. She told her 180 million followers, “I’ve had so much fun creating everything and can’t wait for y’all to try it all …I hope you love it as much as I do!”
Selena has already pledged a portion of the proceeds to the Rare Impact Fund, which will help individuals in underprivileged communities get access to mental health services and support.

Ellen DeGeneres is getting hit with accusations from all directions, but Katy Perry says she’s got the host’s back.
Katy hit up Twitter Tuesday to show her support in the midst of the scandal that’s threatening to derail Ellen’s show. She wrote, “I know I can’t speak for anyone else’s experience besides my own, but I want to acknowledge that I have only ever had positive takeaways from my time with Ellen. I think we all have witnessed the light and continual fight for equality that she has brought to the world through her platform for decades.”
The last few weeks have seen Ellen hit by questions about sexual misconduct and harassment, racism, intimidation and unjust termination on her watch.

The Daily Dish – Tuesday, August 4

The mansion owned by convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein is for sale.
The seven-story estate on New York’s Upper East Side is going for $88 million. That’s before the fumigation and remodeling begins on its 40 rooms.
Epstein’s former home is the most expensive piece of property for sale in the Big Apple. Considering its staggering price tag and disgusting background, it could sit on the market for months.
Epstein purchased the property from Victoria’s Secret CEO Leslie Wexner. Their sketchy relationship allowed Epstein to prey on teenage models with dreams of striking a contract with Victoria’s Secret. Epstein’s estate established a compensation fund for victims. A portion of the mansion’s sale will go to that fund. (Tatler)

The Bachelorette season with Clare Crawley came to stunning conclusion. In her second week of taping, she asked to quit rather than string along a bunch of guys.
That’s because Clare fell deeply in love with Dale Moss, who received the “first impression rose.” They are engaged.
Producers then made an emergency call to Bachelor in Paradise alum Tayshia Adams, who has stepped in to replace Clare as The Bachelorette. Additional men were asked to arrive to the COVID-free La Quinta Resort in the California desert. The Bachelorette will re-start once the new arrivals test negative following a two-week quarantine.
ABC intends to feature both Bachelorettes, Clare’s abrupt engagement followed by Tayshia’s journey, when the show airs this fall on Tuesdays. (E! News)

Ellen DeGeneres held on Monday a conference call with her staffers. Bottom line: “The show will go on.”
There was an acknowledgment that many of the recent accusations are true. So Ellen and the executive team intend to improve their behavior. As one staff member said, (quote) “The producers ultimately said you still have a job here. You will all get paid. Ellen is not giving up and the show will go on.” (Us Weekly)
Ellen’s wife, Portia de Rossi, publicly supported her on social media with the hashtag #IStandByEllen.
Before the weekend, Ellen was privately singing a different tune. Unnamed insiders claimed that Ellen had thoughts of quitting rather than endure a protracted investigation. She would face scrutiny and every one of her actions would be judged. According to one source, who spoke on Friday, (quote) “Ellen felt she can’t go on. The only way to recover her personal brand from this is to shut down the show.”  (Daily Mail)
A second insider echoed those sentiments, (quote) “The show feels done. It’s going to be very hard to turn this around.” (Us Weekly)

Coffee Talk from Honor Credit Union – Tuesday, August 4

The coronavirus has killed denim.
Women are not reaching to jeans for comfort. These days, during the pandemic, they’re more likely to spend their time in yoga leggings, pajamas and basketball shorts.
Levi’s revenue cratered and they’ve laid off 15 percent of their workforce. The Lucky, Hudson Jeans and True Religion brands filed for bankruptcy. A retail analyst said, (quote) “People just aren’t wearing jeans right now. Casual is really what’s winning right now. Active wear is becoming more acceptable.”
Stores like Lululemon and Athleta have watched their stock rise. WalMart reported that nobody is buying pants. The so-called Zoom Shirt is the only apparel that sells. (The Washington Post)

A pool party turned out to be anything but a party for a New Jersey homeowner who tried to make some money on a hot summer day by turning his backyard pool into a public pool.
Town officials received complaints from neighbors who reported seeing groups of kids arriving at the house and paying to swim in the pool. Code enforcement officers paid a visit and witnessed two buses drop off 85 kids at the house to go for a swim. The homeowner, who was not identified, was issued two summonses for failure to obtain a permit and for renting a swimming pool. Authorities say there is still an ongoing investigation. (Newsweek)

The pandemic threw our exercise routines out of whack. Three fitness experts have suggestions on how to kick-start a workout habit.
Jillian Michaels believes it’s important to start with a clean slate. Wipe away the memory of indulging in desserts or choosing Netflix over an exercise class. She says it’s impossible to be perfect. Focus on how today you can improve your fitness. Do the best you can but never beat yourself up if it’s less than what you did the previous day. Setbacks are part of the fitness journey.
Conditioning coach Gunnar Peterson suggests short intervals of different exercises to keep a workout interesting. For example, walk up and down stairs for four minutes, followed by jumping rope for four minutes, then squats and crunches and push-ups for four. Repeat a second round of three minutes each. Then reduce the intervals for a third round to just two minutes.
Fitness coach Allison Fahrenbach says her secret is “replacing instead of erasing” bad eating habits. Rather than snack on chips, she will crunch on healthy foods like fresh fruits. Swap her afternoon soft drink with sparkling water. Therefore, replacing is not as traumatic as erasing bad habits. (The Wall Street Journal)

Music News – Tuesday, August 4

Taylor Swift made history on the Billboard charts. She became the first artist ever to debut an album (Folklore) and single (“Cardigan”) at number-one in the same week.
Folklore tops the Billboard 200, while “Cardigan” was streamed 34 million times and leads all tracks on the Billboard Hot 100. She also debuted “Shake It Off” at number-one. Taylor is among eight artists to have multiple tracks debut at the top of the charts.
Folklore is the best-selling album in its first week since Taylor’s previous album release, Lover. (Billboard)

Kanye West was spotted over the weekend boarding a private jet in Wyoming with his son Saint West.
There is speculation that Kanye and the fam were jetting off to a private vacation to try and spend some quality time together and get back on the same page. According to various reports, he’s been holed up at his Wyoming ranch for anywhere from a few weeks to as much as a year. TMZ reports that this was the only time the West family has seen each other lately outside of birthdays and holidays.
Apparently the couple came up with the idea of taking a trip together last week, when Kim Kardashian flew out to the ranch to try and help Kanye manage his mental health. There is no shortage of reports that things are rocky in the relationship, with both parties thinking about divorce.

Happy Headline from United Federal Credit Union – Monday, August 3

A pair of sisters, who had not seen one another for 53 years, were reunited thanks to the coronavirus.
Doris Crippen and Bev Boro had searched for each other for years. It just happened that they reconnected at a Nebraska rehabilitation center. Bev worked the floor that day at Dunklau Gardens dispensing medications. Doris was a resident recovering from a COVID-19 infection.
Bev recalled their coincidental reunion, (quote) “When I saw Doris’s name on the patient board, I was so nervous. My heart was racing.”
They have the same father, Wendall Huffman, who was married three times and had 10 children. Doris at age 73 is the oldest while Bev is the youngest. She entered the foster care system and eventually adopted.
Looking back, Doris believes catching the coronavirus was a “blessing. I am the happiest person in the world. I cannot believe I finally found my sister.” (The Washington Post)

The Daily Dish – Monday, August 3

If Ellen DeGeneres leaves daytime TV, her replacement could be late night talk show host James Corden.
There’s a few hurdles before that might happen. Her team says she’s not going anywhere. Ellen is under contract through 2022 and so is James Corden with CBS.
A source claimed, (quote) “Replacing Ellen was always going to be a tough challenge, but he is a natural fit and easy transition. James would freshen daytime and build a new afternoon era.”
James Corden was seen by insiders as a possible successor even before Ellen’s scandal broke wide open. Then WarnerMedia launched an investigation into an alleged “toxic workplace.” (The Sun, UK)

Three weeks ago, Jessica Biel secretly delivered a baby boy. She and Justin Timberlake also have a 5-year-old son, Silas.
Friday afternoon, R&B singer Brian McKnight confirmed the story. Yet, the parents have not publicly introduced the new family member. The singers have collaborated throughout the years. McKnight told the celebrity bloggers at Hollywood Life, (quote) “He just had a new baby. I think that’s going to be really inspiring for him. He’ll have some new music based on that, I’m sure.” (Hollywood Life)
Two weeks ago, the Daily Mail reported the rumor via a friend of Jessica Biel’s mother. The family has quarantined in Big Sky, Montana where Jessica delivered their son. (Daily Mail)

Fans of the original Scream movies, listen up. Courteney Cox will reprise her role as reporter Gale Weathers in the re-launch of the Scream franchise. David Arquette will be back, too.

Film and TV fans are mourning the loss of Wilford Brimley over the weekend.
The legendary actor — who was also well known for his work in raising awareness about diabetes — was 85. He passed at a hospital in Utah on Saturday morning.
Brimley was probably best known for his roles in Cocoon and The Natural. He got his start in John Wayne‘s classic True Grit and had a recurring role on The Waltons.
Later in life, he became the spokesperson for Quaker Oats. Many will remember him as an advocate for diabetes awareness and spokesman for insulin maker Liberty Medical Supply.
Wilford Brimley is survived by his wife Beverly and three sons. (USA TodayTMZ)

... [Read Full Story]

Coffee Talk from Honor Credit Union – Monday, August 3

Bill Gates might be the man who saves TikTok in the U.S. The company said Sunday that it’s continuing talks to buy the popular video app in the U.S. and has even had talks with the President, who has threatened to shut down TikTok.
Microsoft said in a statement, “Microsoft fully appreciates the importance of addressing the President’s concerns. It is committed to acquiring TikTok subject to a complete security review and providing proper economic benefits to the United States, including the United States Treasury.”
Trump and other administration officials have been threatening a U.S. ban of TikTok, which is owned by a Chinese company, due to concerns over security and possible data mining. (The Hill)

It was a rough weekend for Major League Baseball as a bunch of games were postponed because players on different teams tested positive for COVID-19. But, Commissioner Rob Manfred vows that the league will keep playing this season — and hopes to make up the missed games with seven-inning double-headers.

Workout alert: According to a new study, weightlifting helps keep you from getting sick. Researchers found that added muscle mass revs up the immune system, which helps the body do a better job of fighting infections. (Inverse)

It can feel unnatural to quarantine. Keeping socially distant is difficult. The surge of new coronavirus cases is proof enough.
A study six years ago showed how much we are social creatures. Hundreds of test subjects were forced to sit alone with only their thoughts for 15 minutes. Most couldn’t tolerate the solitude.
When given the opportunity to end the experiment early, a quarter of the women and two-thirds of the men pulled the trigger and gave themselves an electric shock.
One of the researchers said, (quote) “When people spend time inside their heads, they’re markedly less happy. I think our mind is built to engage in the world. When we don’t give it anything to focus on, it’s kind of hard to know what to do.” (Science magazine)
My suggestion is to communicate often, digitally, with people you know and love.

Music News – Monday, August 3

The father of Britney Spears defended the conservatorship, which has made every major decision for the singer since 2008.
Jamie Spears stepped aside as the conservator due to a health crisis. His colon ruptured two years ago. Britney has a temporary conservator through August 22nd, when the family meets with a Los Angeles judge to determine how much longer she will have a conservator.
Jamie Spears called the #FreeBritney movement “a joke.” He told the New York Post, (quote) “All these conspiracy theorists don’t know anything. The world don’t have a clue. It’s up to the court of California to decide what’s best for my daughter. It’s no one else’s business. It’s private.”
The #FreeBritney crowd is concerned for her well-being and believes she’s being held against her will. They say she is not allowed to vote, drive or spend her money without permission. All her communications are closely “monitored.”  (New York Post)

Selena Gomez returned to Instagram on Thursday to apologize for ghosting her 180 million followers over the past few months.
She dropped a minute-long video in which she said that she’d been doing fine, but added, “I just think at the beginning of this year with everything going on, it felt a little insensitive to post things that may be joyful or celebratory. It was really hard for me.”But the time off has been productive. “I’ve taken the time to learn, truly learn about what’s going on, and I continue to make that my priority. I love you guys and I miss you, and there’s so many exciting things coming up that I can’t wait to share with all of you.”

Happy Headline from United Federal Credit Union – Friday, July 31

Members of the Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Office in Utah recently rescued a dehydrated man — and his 120-pound dog — and got them both to the bottom of a mountain safely.
The hiker and his dog, Leo, were hiking on Mount Olympus in hot weather when Leo began showing signs of dehydration on their hike.
The man tried to keep Leo cool and gave him water, but Leo wasn’t responding. The poor dog was done hiking.
So the man called for help.
Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue teams went up the mountain and worked their magic. They brought water for the man — and rescue equipment to carry the dog down the trail.
Arrangements were made with a local vet to see Leo as soon as he was off the mountain.
While it was a difficult adventure for everyone involved, the search and rescue team said that Leo seemed happy to get the help he needed and to finally be off the mountain. (KTSU-TV)

The Daily Dish – Friday, July 31

Today’s the day — Beyonce’s Black Is King is now streaming on Disney Plus.
A teaser for the new movie inspired by The Lion King features Beyonce’s daughter, eight-year-old Blue Ivy. The film is described as being a “celebration of Black excellence and culture.”

Matthew McConaughey is about to make his debut as an author.
The Oscar-winner has announced his first book, a memoir called Greenlights.
McConaughey says it was inspired by his lifelong habit of writing in a journal. In a statement, he describes Greenlights as “an album, a record, a story of my life so far.” He adds, “This is 50 years of my sights and seens, felts and figured-outs, cools and shamefuls. Graces, truths, and beauties of brutality. Getting away withs, getting caughts, and getting wets while trying to dance between the raindrops.”
Greenlights, which the star says is his “love letter to life,” publishes on October 20th.

We’ve been talking recently this week about Kim Kardashian visiting Kanye at their Wyoming ranch. But apparently, Kanye living in Wyoming without Kim isn’t anything new. Sources say the two have been living separate lives for some time.
An insider tells Us Weekly, “Kanye has been in Wyoming for the last year. Kim goes about once every five weeks and brings the kids. When together, things are fine between them but they haven’t been spending time together because he moved his life completely to Wyoming and that’s not where their life is, their family is, their kids are in school or the larger family is.”

Bryan Cranston revealed in a two-minute Instagram video that he had contracted COVID-19 and has recovered. He said, “I wanted to announce that I had COVID-19 a little while ago. Very lucky, very mild symptoms. So I thought maybe there’s something I can do, so I started a program [at UCLA Blood and Platelet Center] so hopefully the plasma donation can help some other people.”

Ellen DeGeneres has broken her silence on those allegations of a “toxic” workplace at her long-running talk show.
In a memo to staff, the host wrote that she will “correct” issues raised about behind-the-scenes goings-on of the show. She wrote, “As we’ve grown exponentially, I’ve not been able to stay on top of everything and relied on others to do their jobs as they knew I’d want them done. Clearly some didn’t. That will now change and I’m committed to ensuring this does not happen again.”
One of the changes includes firing the show’s executive producer, Ed Glavin.
The memo comes after staffers made allegations of both racism and intimidation. Earlier this week, it was reported that WarnerMedia hired a firm to investigate the show. (The Hollywood Reporter)

Furry Friends Friday with “Pixey” – July 31

Pixey is a black and white young female cat looking for a forever home through Animal Aid of Southwestern Michigan. She is spayed and up to date on shots. Pixey came to Animal Aid as a tiny kitten with an infected wound. With time and lots of care, she has fully recovered and grown into a loving, sweet cat. As a kitten, she earned the name of Evil Demon Kitty due to her chewing through thin electrical cords. Little teeth severed keyboard cables and TV antenna boosters. This behavior finally stopped at about six months. She probably learned by getting some light shocks. Pixey though quiet and not destructive anymore, is very precocious. No high bookcase ledge, no window sill, no kitchen cupboard goes unexplored by this spirited young cat. Playful and loving, she is good with other cats and dogs, a little hesitant around children. If interested in adding some adventure to your life, please call Becky at 269-926-4279 for more information.... [Read Full Story]