Every afternoon join me for CLOCK WATCHER TRIVIA. At 4pm each day I give you a new question to ponder. If you are the first to correctly answer it, you can win! And it's great fun, as you wait for quitting time to roll around. Missed a question? Want to find out who won? You can get that here: 987theriver.com/pages/trivia.html
And don't forget THE DRIVE AT FIVE...an hour of commercial free music as you head home for the day, plus the traffic information you need.
She may not have a top-selling record out, or even be on a world tour, but Madonna is still the reigning Queen of Pop. In fact, Madge beat out Lady Gaga, Beyoncé and Taylor Swift as the highest-paid woman in music this year. According to Forbes, the 55-year-old earned an astounding $125 million over the last twelve months. She's sitting on top of her fortune no thanks to the tail end of her MDNA tour and a large cut of her Material Girl clothing line with Macy's.
... Gaga followed closely behind in the No. 2 spot. Mother Monster raked in a cool $80 million with the help of her ARTPOP album as well as her most recent world tour (despite the fact that it was cut short due to a hip injury).
... Taylor Swift landed in third place with a respectable $55 million while Jay Z's leading lady earned $53 million.
I never would have thought Madonna, who hasn't had a hit in years, could possibly make more than Lady Gaga...but there you go!
Pop star Lady Gaga is being praised for talking a young fan out of committing suicide. The singer reached out to the unidentified fan after seeing a post on Littlemonsters.com in which the fan appeared to be contemplating taking her own life. Gaga sent a message to the distraught follower and later posted: “We all love you. Nothing is worth taking your life. Just remember how sad I would be, how sad we would all be. We are connected through the music and that is powerful. You have more power than u think.” The fan later thanked her idol by writing back: “I love you so much…what you done for me yesterday was amazing. You saved me and my family and friends can thank you for that… I was suicidal and you saved me; you don’t understand how you have changed my life completely.”
What happens when you mix a group of bored, teenage boys, a challenging bet and a $50 budget?
For Austin Twede and Porter Harding, both 19 from Idaho Falls, Idaho, you wind up with a fully-functional 50-foot-long backyard roller coaster.
APPLE'S GIFT-GIVING APP NOW AVAILABLE IN THE U.S.
You can get some free digital items from Apple, and all you have to do is download an app. Apple has announced 12 days of free gifts will be available to those in the U.S. for the first time. If you download the 12 gifts of Christmas app from the app store you will get a free gift every day from December 26th to January 6th in the form of an app, book, song or film. Apple has run this promotion for the last couple of years outside of the U.S., and it's definitely worth the download as previous gifts have included episodes of Top Gear, tracks from One Direction, games from Sega and books from author Lee Child.
How did they miss the signs?! A man who was hired as a sign language interpreter at Nelson Mandela’s memorial service Tuesday was revealed to be a fake! According to the national director of the Deaf Federation of South Africa, the unidentified man “was moving his hands around but there was no meaning in what he used his hands for.” Essentially, he was signing gibberish. He also used no facial expression to convey the emotions of the world leaders who were speaking - a key element of sign language interpretation. Making matters even worse, this bogus interpreter was reportedly used at other African National Congress events! We gotta hand it to him – this guy has some nerve! Watch:
This guy may have been a fake, but this little girl isn't. She was signing Christmas songs at school:
CHRISTMAS CUSTOMS YOU PROBABLY DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT
There are so many traditions at Christmas, it’s hard to pick the craziest. As if we can talk — the idea of a morbidly obese riding a sleigh pulled by flying reindeer dropping gifts down every chimney in the world in one night.
Go Bananas With Christmas: In India, there’s an absence of fir trees or pine trees to decorate, so they make do with banana trees and mango trees instead. That means instead of Christmas pine trees lining up celebrating households, you’ll find brightly lit, well-decorated Christmas banana or mango trees on the streets. They even use the leaves of those trees to decorate their houses.
Toss Your Shoes and Get Hitched [Czech Republic, Slovakia]: If you don’t want to celebrate another Christmas single, then try this: stand with your back to the door and throw a shoe over your shoulders on Christmas day! If the shoe lands with the toe pointing to the door, congratulations, you’re going to get married soon.
Kentucky Fried Christmas [Japan]: No kidding -- just like how Christmas turkey is a must on Christmas, for the Japanese it’s the Colonel’s Chicken. Since the beginning of this marketing campaign four decades ago, KFC has been associated with Christmas in the minds of the Japanese for generations, a tradition passed on from parent to child in spite of its commercialized beginnings. More than 240,000 barrels of chicken will be sold during Christmas, five to ten times its normal monthly sales. "In Japan, Christmas equals KFC."
Christmas Cakes [Japan]: Another Christmas food associated with Japan is the Christmas cake. These sponge cakes with whipped cream, chocolate and strawberries on top are ordered months in advanced and are eaten on Christmas Eve. Any cake that is not sold after the 25th is unwanted. For the same reason, single Japanese women over the age of 25 used to be called Christmas Cakes.
A Christmas of Remembrance [Finland]: Families in Finland usually visit the graves of their ancestors and relatives on Christmas Eve to light candles in memory of the deceased. Even those who don’t have their kin’s graves nearby visit cemeteries to place candles in honor of their family members buried elsewhere. Food will also be left on tables and family members leave their beds to sleep on the floor to give the dead a nice meal and a place to rest when they visit.
Skating your Way to Christmas [Venezuela]: In the capital city, Caracas, before young children go to bed on Christmas Eve, they tie one end of a string to their big toe, leaving the other end outside their bedroom window. The fun part of the Christmas celebration is on the day of the "Early Morning Mass". Streets were closed off to cars until 8 a.m. for people to roller-skate to the service, and they customarily proceed to tug on any of the strings they see hanging.
Let the Goat Live Until Christmas [Sweden]: In 1966 a 13-meter tall goat figure made of straw was erected in the town square of Gavle. At the stroke of midnight, Christmas Eve, the goat went up in flames. But the town never stopped building it year after year, and vandals never stopped trying to burn the goat down. Just to be clear, the town doesn’t want the goat to be burned down; in fact, In 2001, an American tourist served time in jail and was fined for successfully doing so.
A Spidey Christmas [Ukraine]: Instead of glittering ornaments and tinsel, Ukrainian Christmas trees are covered with an artificial spiders and cobwebs. According to the local folklore, there was a poor woman who could not afford to decorate their Christmas tree. But the next morning, her children woke up to see the tree covered with webs and when the first light of Christmas morning touched the web threads, they turned into gold and silver and the family was never left for wanting again. Hence, it is believed that seeing a spider web on Christmas morning brings luck.
The Christmas Sauna [Finland]: Most Finnish families have their own sauna because it’s believed that a sauna ‘elf’ lives in there to protect it and to make sure people behave themselves. And every Christmas Eve, people would head to their sauna, strip to their toes, and enjoy a nice, good soak, naked. After sunset though, the place is for the spirits of dead ancestors.
In case you aren't getting enough Sound of Music over on NBC, ABC says it will air the original 1965 film starring Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer. The four-hour movie will air on Sunday, December 22.
... The movie won five Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Director. It also displaced Gone With the Wind as the highest grossing film of ever at the time, eventually netting $286 million internationally.
The NBC version of Carrie Underwood will be rebroadcast this Saturday night at 8pm.
There's an app that helps parents prove to their children that Santa is real. The Kringl app creates realistic video footage of a home visit by Santa with just a few clicks. It includes five pre-recorded scenes of Santa carrying out his usual home visit activities like eating cookies, drinking milk, and checking his list. Combined with footage of your home, the resulting video looks as if Santa really did visit and leave presents.
Kringl is available from the Apple store and Google Play.