Overnight Briefing & General Reality Check - Jun 25, 2012
June 25, 2012
Auto World /Gas Guzzlin' Update:
After having faced the fears of $5 a gallon, there's good news at the gas pumps: The average price of a gallon of regular is now $3.47 nationally and could fall to $3 or less by the fall. It's already averaging $3.06 a gallon in South Carolina.
This year's high in April was $3.94 and thanks to energy speculators, many worried that $5 a gallon might become a reality. Oil prices are down ($78 a barrel), production is up, oil inventories are at a 21-year high, and slowing growth in China --these are all contributing factors.
Gas prices have now fallen for 11 straight weeks. Barring supply disruptions caused by the hurricane season or instability in the Middle East, the downward trend is likely to continue, especially after the summer driving season ends.
Bad news for germophobes: The nastiest thing in your hotel room is… the light switch. Sorry, were you planning to read in bed?
A new study finds that light and lamp switches are among the dirtiest things found in hotel rooms, with TV remote controls also rank near the top of the most-contaminated list.
Of course, your remote at home may not be any cleaner, but in a hotel room, "there's a stranger factor" at work, and since hotel rooms don't have to be "ready for surgery," there's a creep factor involved. In fact, bacteria levels in hotel rooms were found to be as much as 10 times higher than the levels allowed in hospitals. Researchers also found high levels of contamination on the mops and sponges contained in maids' cleaning carts, meaning bacteria is likely being transferred from room to room.
But, good news! Headboards, curtain rods (no big surprise), and bathroom door handles (surprise!) had much lower levels of bacteria. (Maiman)
Not-so-good numbers for the debut of that "Jersey Shore" spin-off starring NICOLE "Snooki" POLIZZI and JENNI "JWOWW" FARLEY.
Overnight Nielsen ratings gave "Snooki & JWOWW" 2.4 million viewers --which is about a third of the audience that tuned in for "Jersey Shore's" season premiere.
Deadline.com says that may be a sign that all the spin-off shows are diluting the franchise.
Meanwhile, NICOLE "Snooki" POLIZZI may be shopping for some flats this week after taking a spill off a pair of platform sandals. Us Weekly spotted the guidette going down for the count, but --luckily --the reality "star" wasn't hurt. Snooki told the glossy back in March that she planned to wear heels throughout her pregnancy because she's "24, not 50."
Editor's note: Women carrying a little bundle of joy should probably say buh-bye to their Manolos for a few months. Although stars like BEYONCE and JESSICA SIMPSON can rock sky-high shoes in a "delicate condition," don't forget they're also surrounded by a legion of bodyguards ready to catch them if they head south. (Lee)
MAXWELL has canceled his upcoming U.S. tour. His doctors told him to rest and undergo treatment for vocal swelling and hemorrhaging. Maxwell had six concerts scheduled for Los Angeles, Atlanta and Newark, New Jersey in July and August. His new album, "Blacksummers' Night," will be out later this year. (Marino)
A new musical about MICHAEL JACKSON won't actually be about him. The Gatecrashergossip column in the New York Daily News says MARK LAMICA, who used to work for Michael's former manager, the late FRANK DILEO, has put together a show called "The Man," and it will be based on Frank's relationship with The King of Pop. But, there will be no mention of Michael directly so Mark doesn't have to get permission from the Jackson estate. (Marino)
When an 18-month-old Chicago girl mysteriously lost her finger, parents suspected their pit bull.
But, the NY Post says the dog is now off the hook. After taking the kid to a hospital, it became clear her wounds weren't from a dog bite. It turns out the girl had placed her hand into the family's aquarium. You guessed it --dad owned a piranha. On a hunch, the father grabbed the fish, cut it open, and found the finger inside. Docs were working to reattach the digit. (Still)
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