Overnight Briefing & General Reality Check - May 22, 2014
May 22, 2014
What's the Buzz:
The relentless winter and late spring have set up Americans to hit the road hard this summer. New surveys from both the Automobile Association of America and the National Association of Convenience Stores are forecasting increases in summer travel and related consumer spending, and it all starts this weekend.
AAA Travel expects 36 million Americans will venture at least 50 miles from home this Memorial Day weekend, up 1.5 percent from last year, with 88 percent planning to drive to their long weekend getaway. The group says this year's prediction is almost three percent higher than the 10-year historical average and the second-highest since 2000.
The National Association of Convenience Stores survey predicts sales will be up at least eight percent to 10 percent over last summer's numbers. Convenience stores sell 80 percent of Americans' gas. (Kaye)
Idle gossip & unconfirmed rumors:
WILLOW SMITH's controversial bedroom photo with actor MOISES ARIAS has prompted an investigation by the Los Angeles Department of Children & Family Services.
TMZ wannabe RadarOnline claims the investigation was formally opened last week and, according to a source, "is being taken very seriously by the department."
In case you forgot, Willow, who's 13, caused a media frenzy earlier this month by posing in bed with Arias, who's 20 and was shirtless in the photo. Willow was fully clothed, and Arias is a family friend who's best friends with Willow's older brother, JADEN.
Parents WILL SMITH and JADA PINKETT SMITH denied there was anything inappropriate about the photo, and said Willow is mature enough to decide who she hangs out with. When confronted by TMZ ghouls on May 07, Jada told them, "Here's the deal. There was nothing sexual about that picture or that situation. You guys are projecting your trash onto it. You're acting like covert pedophiles and that's not cool." (video). Still, they've been extremely cooperative with officials, according to RadarOnline's source.
Editor's note: This it's either, "A girl is hanging out with her brother's friend and he's shirtless?" Or, "What type of loser 20-year-old hangs with a 13-year-old kid?
--Does CPS have the legal authority to stop Jaden from acting? (Maiman)
FYI: This "case" is being investigated by the same department where social workers struck in December 2013 citing high case loads and being unable to give adequate attention to their current cases. Yet, they're supposedly all over this one. Seems like a huge waste of resources by an already stressed system. But who cares? Publicity! (Maiman)
KIM KARDASHIAN wouldn't be Kim Kardashian if she didn't get some kind of ridiculous over-the-top facial right before her big ridiculous over-the-top wedding. Us Weekly says that before jetting off for Paris, Kim-K got herself a $550 dollar vegan stem cell facial (Stem cells: They're not just for curing cancer and scientific breakthroughs anymore!).
The stem cells in the anti-aging serum are extracted from a marine plant and is believed to firm and lift your skin. The results of the facial are supposed to last a week. (That's all? A week?) That's just long enough for Kim to say her "I Dos" to KANYE. (Bartha)
The Reel Deal:
How'd you like to be in the upcoming "Star Wars" movie?
Director J-J ABRAMS is offering fans a chance to appear in a cameo in the movie for a $10 contribution to "Star Wars: Force For Change." Disney and Lucasfilm are putting the charity together to find some creative solutions to some of the world's biggest problems.
For instance, the first campaign will go towards funding UNICEF's Innovation Labs and its programs aimed at helping the world's most vulnerable children. Disney has already committed $1 million to the project.
Here's what you do: go to the website Omaze.com/StarWars before July 18, fork over $10 and you're automatically entered for a chance to win the cameo in the movie.
Space, the Final Frontier:
Good, and/or terrifying news, depending on where you keep your tinfoil hat: scientists believe we'll be able to detect alien life forms within the next twenty years!
Senior astronomer SETH SHOSTAK told the House Science and Technology Committee, "At least a half-dozen other worlds (besides Earth) that might have life are in our solar system. The chances of finding it, I think, are good, and if that happens, it'll happen in the next 20 years, depending on the financing."
Ways scientists are trying to find extraterrestrial life include strategies like looking for radio waves and other wavelengths floating around space, and scanning nearby planets for the presence of oxygen.
Editor's note: Now, think about how screwed you are if aliens are listening to your morning show.
--A good quote from Bill Watterson, the guy who wrote and drew Calvin & Hobbes: "Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." (AB)
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