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The Garden Mix




Nationally renowned garden expert Melinda Myers helps everyday gardeners find success and ease in the garden through her Melinda’s Garden Moments radio segments. Melinda shares “must have” tips that hold the key to gardening success, learned through her more than 30 years of horticulture experience. Listeners from across the country find her gardener friendly, practical approach to gardening both refreshing and informative! On this page, Melinda shares some more extensive garden tips, which expand on the information provided in her one-minute radio segments.

New tips are added throughout each month, providing timely step-by-step tips on what you need to do next in your garden! Visit Melinda’s website www.melindamyers.com for more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and answers to your questions.
Posts from December 2013


Create a Tool Cleaning Station
Make a resolution to keep your tools clean and ready for use by creating a tool cleaning station in your shed or garage. 

If it is easy and convenient you are more likely to do it. So set aside a small space where you can clean and care for tools.
 
You’ll need soap, access to water and a scrubby to remove dirt and grime from all your tools. Keep a jug of vinegar handy to help dissolve rust and mineral spirits to remove stubborn tree sap from pruners.
 
Include steel wool and wire brushes to help with soil and rust removal. Don’t forget the linseed oil for cleaning tools and lubricating oil for keeping tools working smoothly.
 
Buy needed sharpening tool and files and replacement blades for pruners with removable blades.
 
Make sure you have plenty of rags. And don’t forget safety glasses to protect your eyes from flying dirt and debris.
 
A bit more information: Reduce your workload by washing the dirt off tools after every use. Stop by the faucet and wash away the soil before stashing them in the shed or garage. And remove any plant debris wedged in the tools. This is a great place for disease organisms to linger and infest the garden with the next use. And always store tools inside to reduce rust and extend their life.
 
For more gardening tips, how-to garden videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com.
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December 23rd to January 1st Birth Tree the Apple
If you were born between December 23rd and January 1st your birth tree is the apple. It is said to represent scientific talents, charm and a carefree philosopher with imagination.

Give the gift of an apple tree or plant one in your own yard to honor a friend or loved one with this birth tree. You’ll need two trees or a nearby crabapple for pollination and fruit formation.
 
Look for disease resistant varieties. Consider dwarf apple trees that will fit the available space when mature and be much easier to harvest when it starts producing fruit.
 
Or consider a crabapple. These apple trees have smaller, less than 2” diameter, fruit. You’ll enjoy four seasons of interest while bringing in the birds for added color and motion in the landscape.
 
Look for disease resistant crabapples and those with persistent fruit for the greatest impact, fewer problems and less mess.
 
A bit more information: Look for these and other apple varieties listed as disease resistant. Liberty is a crisp and juicy dessert apple. Freedom was introduced in 1983, ripens a week before Delicious and is great for pies. Redfree is an early apple that has limited storage life, but is a good choice for home gardeners looking for an earlier producer.
 
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No Fruit on Holly – December’s Other Birth Flower
Holly is a popular plant in holiday displays, one of the birth flowers for December and a favorite evergreen in the landscape.

Holly as the birth flower symbolizes domestic happiness. In ancient times it was shared with friends and planted around homes to protect the occupants from lightening, poisoning and mischievous spirits.
 
But many gardeners complain their plants do not form the beautiful fruit they so desire. You need at least one male for every five female hollies for fruit to develop. Look for male plants listed as good pollinators for the female hollies you select. Some growers plant a male and female plant in the same container to insure you have both sexes. Only problem, if one plant dies, you must look at the flowers to determine which gender survived and which one needs replacing.
 
Make the needed changes and enjoy your holly, berries and all for seasons to come.
 
A bit more information:  Lack of maturity, late spring frost and poor growing conditions can also result in little or no fruit forming. Make sure to plant your holly in a sheltered location with moist well-drained soil. You may need to wait a few years for your plants to reach flowering and fruiting size. A close look at the flowers will reveal the difference. The male flower has a straight stem and a flower containing pin like structures called stamen. The female flower has a swollen base, almost vase like, in the center.
 
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Forcing December's Birth Flower – The Narcissus (Daffodil)
Celebrate December birthdays and have a bit of fun by forcing a few daffodil bulbs into bloom.
 
The daffodil, botanically known as Narcissus, is one of the birth flowers for December.  It symbolizes sweetness and the desire for your loved one to stay just the way they are.
 
All you need are a few daffodil bulbs, a container, and potting mix. If you don’t have any healthy left over bulbs go on-line. Many bulb companies are still selling spring flowering bulbs and some offer pre-cooled bulbs that are ready to bloom.
 
Place a layer of potting mix in the bottom of the container. Pack in as many bulbs as you can fit in the container for an impressive display. Cover the bulbs with potting mix and water. Then store the bulbs in the refrigerator or other 35 to 45 degree location. After 15 weeks, move the container to a cool bright location and water as needed.
 
A bit more information:  Add a little something extra. Once the bulbs are planted, sprinkle grass seed over the soil surface.  Lightly rake to insure seed-to-soil contact. Then water in.  The grass will remain dormant during the cold treatment and start growing once you bring the potted bulbs out of cold storage.
 
For more gardening tips, how-to garden videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com.
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Light up Outdoor Container Gardens
Light up your winter containers. Add some solar lights and accents to give your planters a bit more sparkle during the drab days of winter.

Use solar powered or battery operated optic lights, globes or lighted twigs as vertical accents, focal points or fillers in your outdoor containers. Just make sure whatever you choose is rated for outdoor use.
 
No containers, don’t worry you can quickly create a few. Just fill a weather-proof pot with potting mix or sand.  Purchase greens from your favorite garden center or trim a few from your landscape. Stick the cut end of the greens in the potting mix or sand to create an attractive display. Add some colorful berries, decorative twigs, ornaments and ribbon.
 
Then add some light to your winter containers with one of the many solar lights. Set your planter by the front entrance to welcome guests or on the balcony for you and your neighbors to enjoy.
 
A bit more information:  Change out the holiday adornments for more natural materials.  Adding ornamental grasses, more berries and decorative twigs collected from your landscape can keep your container looking fresh throughout the winter. And the solar accents will continue to welcome and impress evening visitors. Here are just a few of the many possibilities:
fiber optic solar lights or solar northern lights sphere.
 
For more gardening tips, how-to garden videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com.
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Evergreen ID - Look for an Evergreen Day (Dec. 19)
December 19th is National Look for an Evergreen Day. Don’t worry if you already have your holiday tree; take advantage of this unique holiday to get outside and look at the evergreens in your neighborhood.
 
As you walk through your neighborhood, nearby park or botanical garden try to identify some of the more common evergreens.  Evergreens with needles in bundles are a type of pine.
 
Spruce needles are short, usually stiff and individually attached to the stem. Remove a needle, with permission of course. Roll it between your fingers and feel the ridges.
 
Firs also have singular needles, but they are flat. Remove one of these needles and you will see a circular needle scar on the branch. The base of fir needles look like suction cups where they attach to the branch.
 
Now that you can identify more evergreens than most, if not all your friends and family, pass your ID skills along.
 
A bit more information: Hemlocks are a shade tolerant evergreen you may find in the landscape or natural spaces. They have short needles with 2 white stripes on the underside. For a closer look at identifying these evergreens watch my Melinda’s Garden Moment “Pine, Spruce or Fir, Their True Identity” video.
 
For more gardening tips, how-to garden videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com.
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Prevent Bud and Flower Drop on Christmas Cactus
The Christmas cactus is a favorite gift that often grows into a family heirloom. With proper care you can keep this holiday favorite flowering for 4 to 8 weeks.
 
Keep your flowering Christmas cactus in a cool bright location to extend its bloom time. Avoid drafts of hot and cold air, moisture stress and other changes in the environment. This can result in bud and flower drop.
 
Water the soil thoroughly and often enough to keep the soil slightly moist. This tropical plant may look like a succulent, but prefers a bit more water.
 
Fertilize with a dilute solution of flowering houseplant fertilizer once it has finished blooming. Then move it to a sunny window or under artificial lights with your other houseplants.
 
Rebloom your cactus by providing cooler temperatures, drier conditions and as some experts believe 14 hours of total darkness each night.  Start on October 1st for blooms next Christmas. 
 
A bit more information: The Thanksgiving and Easter Cacti look very similar to the Christmas cactus, though the bloom times vary.  For more information on identification and care of these plants - click here.
 
For more gardening tips, how-to garden videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com.
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Make Your Own Icy Luminaries
Fire and candles have long been used to guide and welcome travelers and guests. Give this tradition a twist by making your own icy luminaries this winter.
 
Use milk cartons, coffee cans, tins and buckets as a mold for your icy luminary.  You will also need a smaller container to create the space for the candle.
 
Fill the container with water. Add food coloring, glitter, berries or other decorations for a festive twist. Sink the smaller container in the water. Use stones to weight it down and keep it in place.
 
Set these in a spare refrigerator or outside in cold climates to freeze. Once frozen, and just prior to use, bring your luminary out of the cold and rinse with warm water to release it from the mold.  Remove the center container at the same time.
 
Place an outdoor light or votive candle inside the luminary and then set it outside to greet your guests. 
 
A bit more information: Sound like too much work? Consider purchasing a make-it-yourself kit like the Ice Globe Luminary Kit. All you do is add water to create your own family fun and holiday centerpiece or outdoor lighting.
 
For more gardening tips, how-to garden videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com.
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Dress Up the Table with Poinsettia - National Poinsettia Day (Dec. 12th)
Move those poinsettias out of their foil wrapper and onto your table for the holidays.

Use miniature poinsettias like Mini Star as a place setter. Some come in their own decorative pot or dress them up with a bit of festive tissue, wrapping paper or fabric and ribbon. Then send your guests home with their own mini poinsettia to enjoy throughout the holidays.
 
Or dress up each place setting with a cut poinsettia bloom. Simply cut the flowers off a potted poinsettia plant to the desired length. Sear the end over a flame and place it in a florist water pick. Tuck the bloom into a napkin, set it in a small bud vase or add a ribbon to dress it up.
 
Don’t have the heart to remove the flowers? Then place several potted poinsettias in the middle of the table. Cover the pots with greens. Then add some colorful pepper berries, cranberries, apples or ornaments.
 
A bit more information:  Use poinsettia flowers to add beauty to other holiday adornments. Individual cut blooms make great package adornments. Or use cut poinsettia flowers to create a centerpiece for the table. Combine with greens or display a single bloom in a decorative vase. Dress up your arrangement by adding some faux snow or filling the vase with cranberries, small ornaments or other colorful adornment.
 
For more gardening tips, how-to garden videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com.
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Holiday Tree for You and the Birds
Create a festive holiday tree outdoors for you and the birds to enjoy.
 
Dress up your evergreen trees or shrubs with strands of cranberries and popcorn. Add some orange slices for added color and food for the birds.
 
And keep small hands busy by making some birdseed ornaments.  Use cookie cutters to cut slices of bread into festive shapes. Punch a hole near the top. Then toast or allow the bread to dry.  Coat with peanut butter and sprinkle with birdseed. Run a colorful ribbon through the hole and hang it in the tree.
 
Or collect and decorate evergreen cones. Cover the scales of the cone with peanut butter or suet. Roll in birdseed.  Use colorful yarn to hang these from the tree.
 
Bird seed ornaments also make great gifts for gardeners and bird watchers. Wrap them in cellophane add a ribbon and you have a perfect gift. No dusting or batteries required.
 
A bit more information: Once the holidays are over, move your fresh cut Christmas tree outdoors. You’ll provide additional shelter for the birds and have another tree to decorate for you and the birds to enjoy. See my Family Fun Feeding the Birds video for more ideas.
 
For more gardening tips, how-to garden videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com.
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Growing Freesias Indoors
Add a bit of color and fragrance to the holidays with Freesias. The spikes of flowers come in a variety of colors from white to purple, yellow to red and even blue.

Check with your local garden center, favorite catalogue or order the corms on-line. Plant them in a well-drained potting mix with little or no perlite to avoid fluoride damage.
 
Set the corms pointed side up about one inch deep and 2 to 3 inches apart. Water thoroughly.
 
Precool the planted corms for 45 days at 55 degrees to encourage more compact growth. Move to a sunny location as soon as growth appears.
 
Grow in a cool, about 65 degrees, bright location. Keep the soil moist and fertilize with a dilute solution of flowering houseplant fertilizer.
 
Stake tall strappy leaves to prevent them from falling and keep your plant looking its best.
 
A bit more information:  Purchase ring stakes or make your own with bamboo stakes or twigs and twine to keep floppy leaves in check. Or set the plant in a tall container whose sides help support the leaves and flower stems.
 
For more gardening tips, how-to garden videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com.
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Create a Pest Management Calendar
Is your mailbox filling with next year’s calendars? Put them to use managing pests in the garden.
 
No, I’m not talking about smashing insects with the rolled up calendar. Instead, use them to develop a pest-monitoring calendar for next year.
 
Take a few minutes to review this year’s garden journal.  Look for notes on any pest problems you encountered. Make a note to watch for these pests in next year’s calendar. This helps with early detection; a key to successful control.
 
Consider adding notes about the weather and control measures you tried that were effective.  Try using preventative eco-friendly measures like barriers and traps to prevent problems. Covering your cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower before the cabbageworm moths are active allows you to prevent damage.
 
Setting out shallow cans of stale beer will help you minimize feeding damage by slugs and snails during wet weather.
 
A bit more information: No garden journal? This is a good opportunity to create one that includes your growing successes, failures as well as pest problems. Use a spiral notebook, three-ring binder or computer calendar or spreadsheet. Just make it easy and fun. That way you are sure to keep recording, referencing and putting your gardening experiences to work.
 
For more gardening tips, how-to garden videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com.
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Growing Sweet Potatoes Indoors
The pantry is full of fall favorites like squash, pumpkins and sweet potatoes. But busy schedules may find a few things growing in the back of the cupboard. Don’t discard those sweet potatoes that sprout in storage. Make it a fun gardening activity for the family.

Plant the sprouting sweet potato in a container of well-drained potting mix. Plant it with the growing point just below the soil surface or lay it on its side and cover with potting mix. Grow your new plant in a sunny window and water as needed. Sweet potatoes make a great indoor plant.
 
To see what goes on below ground, try growing your sweet potato in water.  Stick 3 or 4 toothpicks around the middle of the sweet potato.  Set the toothpicks on the lip of a water-filled glass.  Keep the water covering the bottom half of the sweet potato. Place it in a bright location out of direct sun for rooting.
 
A bit more information: Take a look at other kitchen scraps you can grow into houseplants. Plant the base of the celery used in your dressing or the top of your pineapple. It’s a great way to move the garden indoors and keep little hands busy during the holidays.
 
For more gardening tips, how-to garden videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com.
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Baby Makes Three
Jessica Biel is pregnant. At least, that's what the folks at RadarOnline.com are reporting. Jessica and her hubby, Justin Timberlake, are expecting a child in another seven months or so - the first for both of them. Like any good reporter, I had to find another source before reporting this news. And looky here - HipHollywood.com had the story six days earlier. So it's got to be true, right? I mean, if HipHollywood.com says so, and then RadarOnline.com says so without saying that HipHollywood.com said, so, then it's got to be true. That's the fourth law of journalism, I believe.  
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What Wine, What Candy?
It's an annual adult dilemma: what wine goes best with which candy? Fret no more - the folks at vivino.com have come up with the Ultimate Guide to Pairing Wine with Halloween Candy. Your prayers are now officially answered. Skittles, for instance, go with a dry white or a sweet white. Kit Kats go with sparkling wines or a medium red. A dessert wine goes with just about any sort of candy - which you'd expect. And poor little Sour Patch Kids - they pretty much go with nothing. Now we know what makes them sour...
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Mystery Solved, Sooner or Later
Investigators are pretty certain they've found a piece of Amelia Earhart's plane. The aviator disappeared over the Pacific Ocean about 77 years ago, while attempting to fly around the world. The aluminum aircraft component was found on an atoll called Nikumaroro, somewhere between Hawaii and Australia. Oh, and the debris from Amelia's twin-engine plane was found in 1991. Looks like they sent it to the We'll Get Around To It Eventually forensic laboratory.  
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Game of Thrones Grilling
George R.R. Martin, author of the books that spawned Game of Thrones, showed up on Late Night with Seth Myers the other day. On the couch with him, Amy Poehler, there to promote her own book - not quite as epic as George's, but still, a literary work. Amy showed how much she knows about GOT by quizzing George about who uttered certain lines of dialogue. The results are very, very funny.  
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Is It Mother's Day Already?
Someone needs to stop Snooki from procreating! Seriously. Check out the video she did for US Weekly. She talks about a lot of things, but key to the conversation is her new daughter, Giovanna. "Giovanna just turned one month yesterday," Snooki said. "All she does is eat and s--t and sleeps… she just lays there. I think once Giovanna starts to actually move and crawl and run around, that's when s--t's gonna hit the fan." Doctor Spock must be whirling in his grave...  
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I'm Sorry, What Are We Selling Again?
Miley Cyrus rolled out a new ad campaign, serving as the new spokesperson for MAC cosmetics Viva Glam line. Check out the ad, which was posted to Miley's Instagram yesterday. She's selling lipstick and lip gloss. Other than the brand name positioned in the center of the ad, do you see anything that says, "Hey, I'm selling lipstick and lip gloss" in that picture? I don't know - maybe the products get photoshopped in after the fact?     Every $ from the sales of my #VIVAGLAM will go to @MACAIDSFund to help those affected by HIV! πŸ’‹πŸ’‹πŸ’‹ Una foto publicada por Miley Cyrus (@mileycyrus) el Oct 10, 2014 at 1:45 PDT
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Nobody Puts Baby in a Corner
Terra and Drake nailed this Dirty Dancing routine and surprised their wedding guests.  You'll smile and even get a tear watching them dance.  What a beautiful couple!  iframe>div>
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Leave My Lips Alone!
Kylie Jenner - the youngest and hopefully the last of the Kardashian-Jenner clan - has declared that she wants the world to stop talking about her lips. A couple of weeks ago, there was all sorts of speculation out there on whether she'd had plastic surgery to make her lips look fuller and more luscious. Now, she wants people to "just talk about something new, at least." Here's a thought: maybe we don't talk about the Kardashians and Jenners at all. Wouldn't that be heavenly...? That's Kylie on the right, by the way. DON'T LOOK AT HER LIPS!     i love you A photo posted by Kylizzle (@kyliejenner) on Oct 10, 2014 at 5:28pm PDT
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Charades, or "Shahrodds"?
Ewan McGregor dropped by The Tonight Show the other night. And these days, no one can just drop in to The Tonight Show without participating in a bit of some sort. The chosen activity: a game of charades, Ewan versus Jimmy Fallon, with rocker Jeff Tweedy and basketball great Charles Barkley joining in the fun. And it is fun. Especially the British versus American banter. Check it out!  
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God is Not a Magician with a Magic Wand
Pope Francis, head of the Catholic Church, sort of set the Church on its ear this week, He declared in front of a gathering at the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, the Pope said that both evolution and the Big Bang Theory are real. That's the theory that substances collided in space eons ago, setting the universe in motion, not the TV series about the geeks and the blond. He said that God is "not a magician with a magic wand." Which sort of takes away the buzz for kids who grew up thinking Harry Potter was God...  
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Bazooka Swats Fly!
This could be the most bizarre story of the week - well, so far, anyway. A 75-year-old property owner in Marathon County, Wisconsin is at odds with the local government about the use of his land. The government says he's using the land for non-zoned purposes. They've demanded that he remove certain equipment, or pay a fine of $500 per day. The property owner disagrees strongly, and has refused to move the equipment in question. The dispute's been going on for a while, and with the bill rolling up toward the $100,000 mark, the county decided it was time to collect. So, send in the tax collector? Not so much. Send in two dozen police officers and an armored SWAT vehicle. Because the 75-year-old was deemed "argumentative." The sheriff's department offers no apology.“I’ve been involved in about five standoff situations where, as soon as the MARV showed up, the person gives up," said a representative, "saving time, money and increasing safety. People may not always understand why, but an armored vehicle is almost a necessity now.” Talk about overkill. Here's what the SWAT vehicle looks like - the video is from a few years ago, when the sheriff's department acquired it.  
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How to Get Yourself Hurt Very Badly
English pop star Robbie Williams shared videos of himself entertaining his wife in the delivery room at a hospital as they awaited the arrival of their second child. So, despite his wife Ayda being all smiles afterward, you can bet that Robbie will get some significant payback - and I'll bet very quickly. Here's what he did wrong, in no particular order: He took videos of his wife in labor. He posted videos of his wife in labor. He sang to his wife while she was in labor. One of the songs he sang, while she pushed very hard, was "Let It Go," from Frozen. Oh, yeah, he's gonna be hurtin' for certain!   "Frozen" RW x https://t.co/dmGhbqElHE — Robbie Williams (@robbiewilliams) October 27, 2014
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Space Race Gets Scary Again
We've gotten pretty complacent about launching rockets into space. Yesterday's launch of the Antares rocket from Wallops Island, Virginia changed that. The rocket, carrying supplies to replenish the International Space Station, exploded about six seconds after launch, just barely off the launch pad. Luckily, no one was hurt. The only injury was to the pride of the news photographers covering the event from a bunker well away from the event, but still close enough to be hit by the shockwave. Check out the video...  
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What Halloween Candy Are You?
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Is It Taunting, or Celebrating?
Supermodel Gisele Bundchen posted a photo to Instagram Sunday, after her husband, Tom Brady, and the New England Patriots, beat up on the Chicago Bears. Final score - 51 to 23. And here's Tom and Gisele, getting ready to head home after the victory, flashing a triumphant "51." Five fingers on his hand, one on hers. I suppose it all depends on whether you're a fan or not. If you are, celebration. If not - well, okay, it's still a celebration. Never mind.     So happy for my love!!! Go Pats!!! 51 points!!! πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘ A photo posted by Gisele Bündchen (@giseleofficial) on Oct 10, 2014 at 2:40pm PDT
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Proof of Life, Unfortunately Required
I've never quite understood the death hoax thing. Someone starts a rumor that a celebrity has passed away. A news organization grabs hold of the rumor and starts reporting it as fact. Then Facebook grabs hold of it, and boom, the celebrity is no more. It happened this weekend to Judd Nelson, the actor who made a splash with The Breakfast Club and... Well, The Breakfast Club. The internet had him dead and buried. So he had to send the Los Angeles Times "proof of life." A picture of himself, reading the Sunday Times. Funny how THAT's not making the rounds of the internet...   Judd Nelson didn't die last night. He sent us this photo to debunk the rumor. http://t.co/FrIUzW4VmV pic.twitter.com/OjuBPgnutt — Los Angeles Times (@latimes) October 26, 2014
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This Frozen Will Melt Your Heart
Okay, this might be the coolest thing a bunch of tough guys has ever done... Members of the Boston Bruins visited Boston's Children's Hospital, dressed as characters from Disney's Frozen. It's become a Halloween tradition for the team. Players dress in their own costumes, usually sharing a theme, and try  to bring a little fun into the lives of the patients at the hospital. Mission accomplished, boys! "Just here to put smiles on their faces" B's make annual Halloween visit to @BostonChildrens: http://t.co/kwOl8K477A pic.twitter.com/2GMidHp79a — Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) October 27, 2014
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A Fabulous Takedown
We can now have some faith in humanity. Check out the video, shot by passengers in line at the Dallas/Fort Worth airport recently. A very loud and obnoxious fellow started taunting a guy at the ticket counter, making homophobic remarks because the guy was wearing a pink shirt. Because that's a sign, of course, that someone is gay. The obnoxious guy started throwing punches - well, just one, and then the crowd swarmed around him and took him down. We can feel good, people!  
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The Little Zombie Mermaid
Just in time for Halloween, Traci Hines - aka YouTube's Hipster Mermaid - has put together a new horror ditty. Start with "Part of Your World" from The Little Mermaid. Toss in an ample helping of The Walking Dead. Et voila - Scariel, in "Part of Your Brain."  
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Why DO You Drive a Lincoln?
Matthew McConaughey's taped a series of "contemplative" commercials for the folks who make Lincoln automobiles. He's driving along, in deep thought, explaining all the reasons he drives a Lincoln MKC. This weekend, on Saturday Night Live, Jim Carrey took a swipe at Matthew's ads. Three swipes, to be exact. And he pulled off some dead-on impressions that were - uncharacteristically - NOT over the top. Which makes them even better. Check them out.  
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Tough Act to Follow, Indeed
Across The Pond, in the United Kingdom, folks rave about a variety show called Saturday Night Takeaway. There's been a lot of talk lately of bring a version of the show here to The States, and it looks like that's about to happen. Vulture.com reports that NBC has confirmed they'll be handling the show. “We have a natural affinity for this type of show. It’s in our DNA,” one NBC executive told the website. And here's the best part: Neil Patrick Harris is set to host! It's a match made in heaven - the uber-talented NPH hosting a good old-fashioned variety show that will likely originate out of New York. Doubt he's got the chops for it? Check out this opening number from the 2013 Tony Awards show. This. Will. Be. Epic!  
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50 Shades of Bland?
Things may not be so rosy with the production of 50 Shades of Grey. Insiders report that the sex scenes aren't passionate enough. Some say that Dakota Johnson, who plays Anastasia Steele, isn't coming off sexy enough. Some are saying there's a decided lack of chemistry between her and Jamie Dornan, her co-star. So they're heading back to bed. You know, to try to get it right. I wonder what the trailer will look like when they're done. This is what it looked like a month ago...  
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Whose Walk Is It Anyway?
Benedict Cumberbatch has made a name for himself starring in Sherlock Holmes on the BBC. Last week, on the BBC's Graham Norton Show, Benedict showed a decidedly different side. Comedian Miranda Hart was demonstrating the different walks she talks about in her act, when she got into her "ultimate walk" - that of a pop star. She imitated Beyonce's "Crazy in Love" walk, and then got Benedict to give it a shot. Check it out. Sort of a cross between a giraffe and an ostritch, but it's pretty good.  
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If It Ain't Your Move, It Ain't Your Move
Lamarr Houston, a defensive back for the Chicago Bears, sacked the Patriots' back-up quarterback, Jimmy Garoppolo, yesterday. The Bears were getting whalloped - down by 25 points at the time - so you can't really blame the guy for wanting to celebrate a little. But clearly, Lamarr didn't catch any of the video of Stephen Tulloch of the Detroit Lions, who celebrated a sack imitating Aaron Rodgers' "discount double check" move, and ended up with a self-infllicted season-ending knee injury. Because the same think happened with Lamarr. Sack, "discount double check," hit the knee wrong, boom. Probably done for the year. Lesson to be learned: if it's not your move, maybe you shouldn't be making it.  
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Into the Woods, Anyone?
The movie doesn't open for another two months, but already, there's a lot of buzz about Into the Woods. The Stephen Sondheim musical makes the leap from stage to screen on Christmas Day, and it's got some powerhouse names associated with it. Meryl Streep as The Witch and Johnny Depp as The Wolf, for starters. Add in Anna Kendrick as Cinderella, Chris Pine as Cinderella's prince and more, and they could have a winner on their hands. Check out the featurette that hit the internet over the weekend.  
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