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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 February 2014


Garden Conservancy Open Days Private Garden Tour
Get your tickets now for a peek into some of the most amazing private gardens in America. This one-of-a-kind private garden tour provides a great opportunity to gather ideas, exchange gardening secrets, and get inspired.

Known as Open Days, this private garden tour was started in 1995 by the Garden Conservancy.
Gardens are located in 21 states including the District of Columbia. There are more than 300 gardens featured and each region offers its own special variety of gardens.
 
All you need is a little time and a ticket to participate in the self-guided garden tours. A listing of the Open Days gardens and dates for each garden will be listed in the Open Days Directory, posted on the Garden Conservancy’s website or you can call 1-888-842-2442.
 
A bit more information: This program was started by the Garden Conservancy to create awareness and help support their mission of preserving America’s gardens. For more information on Open Days and the Garden Conservancy visit https://www.gardenconservancy.org
 
For more gardening tips, how-to garden videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com.
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Attractive Year Round Screening
How many evergreens do I need to screen the view of my neighbor’s house? This is a common question raised by gardeners across the country.

And even though arborvitae, junipers, and other evergreens provide great year round screening, consider creating something with more variety and seasonal interest. 
 
Start by determining exactly what views need to be screened. Evaluate the views from inside your house looking out. Then move outdoors and try standing and sitting in areas you want to create some privacy. Then consider your neighbors’ view looking into your home and garden. Several smaller strategically placed gardens can provide the needed screening or privacy.
 
Consider using ornamental grasses, perennials, and flowering shrubs along with the upright evergreens. Mixed borders are more interesting and much easier to maintain if a plant or two dies.
 
A bit more information:  Consider annual and perennial vines on decorative trellises and artwork for narrow spaces. These can provide quick screening as a short-term or long-term solution.
 
For more gardening tips, how-to garden videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com.
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Pine Needle Scale
White flecks on your mugo pine does not mean the house painter was careless. It’s more likely that your evergreen is infested with pine needle scale.

The white flecks you see are hard shells produced by the adult pine needle scale.
 
Timing is critical for successful control. Their hard shell protects the adults and overwintering eggs from predators, the environment and pesticides. Apply insecticidal soap, Neem, light weight horticulture oil or another eco-friendly insecticide labeled for controlling this pest when the immature shell-less scales are active. This coincides with the bloom time of vanhouette spirea, often called bridal wreath, or as the flower buds on common lilac begin to swell in the spring. Repeat when the Annabelle hydrangeas bloom in the summer.  As always read and follow label directions.
 
A bit more information: A healthy plant can tolerate small populations, but continued attacks by this insect can weaken and ruin the appearance of your pine. If you decide to treat, make two applications of an eco-friendly insecticide 7 to 10 days apart for both the spring and summer treatment. Or kill the overwintering eggs by applying lime sulphur in late winter when the plants are still dormant. Be careful as the lime sulfur can damage some plants and stain nearby surfaces.
 
For more gardening tips, how-to garden videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com.
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2014 Perennial Plant of the Year – Northwind Switchgrass
Make room in your landscape for Northwind Switchgrass the 2014 perennial plant of the year.
 
Roy Diblik of Northwind Perennial Farm selected this cultivar from seed he collected along railroad tracks in South Elgin, IL. He noticed the unique growth habit of one particular plant and began trialing, propagating and finally introducing Northwind Switchgrass in 1992.
 
It was the upright growth habit and wide steel blue leaves that caught his attention. The 5 feet tall switchgrass is a clump forming grass perfect as a screen, vertical accent or filler in mixed beds.
 
The plant is topped by fine-textured flowers that remind me of fireworks in late summer. The yellow flowers turn into beige seedheads and the plant has an attractive golden yellow fall color. This sturdy plant remains upright throughout the winter, providing great winter interest.
 
A bit more information: Northwind Switchgrass is hardy in zones 4 to 10. This fine textured beauty is a nice addition to natural, informal, and formal landscapes. It is seldom bothered by deer.
 
For more gardening tips, how-to garden videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com.
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Apple Tree Fails to Produce
No fruit and all leaves is a common complaint of gardeners new to growing apples.  Fortunately, with a little time and adjustments in care you will soon be rewarded with fruit.

Patience is the first step. The first few years after planting, your apple tree spends its energy on developing a healthy root system. This is good for the longevity and productivity of the plant.
 
You will need to start pruning young trees to develop a strong and productive structure.  Consider using the central or modified central leader system. You will have a single trunk with several large branches spiraling up the trunk.
 
Train 5 to 7 main branches for dwarf trees and 7 to 9 for standard size apple trees. Dwarf trees should start blooming and be allowed to develop fruit about 4 or 5 years, while standard trees take a bit longer, 6 or 7 years, after planting.
 
A bit more information:  Avoid excess pruning and over fertilization that promotes leaf and stem growth and discourages flowering and fruiting.
 
For more gardening tips, how-to garden videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com.
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A Perennial Valentine - Valentine Bleeding Heart
Looking for a unique Valentine’s Day gift for that special someone? Give a gift that brings joy and beauty year after year.

Bleeding Heart was originally brought to America as a Valentine’s Day gift. The new variety, Valentine, provides a twist on this long time favorite. The bright red flowers have white tips and dangle from deep red arching stems in late spring.
 
Keep the plants blooming into early summer with ample moisture and moderate temperatures. And don’t forget to cut a few flowers to enjoy indoors. These last for several weeks.
 
Give this plant room to grow. It forms a 24 to 36 inch mound. And don’t be surprised when the plant begins to fade in mid-summer. It’s normal and will return next spring. You may need to give your Valentine an IOU and deliver this present once the plants arrive at your favorite garden center.
 
A bit more information: The leaves on Valentine bleeding heart emerge with a tinge of purple and then turn green, providing a nice contrast to the blooms.
 
For more gardening tips, how-to garden videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com.
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Abe Lincoln Heirloom Tomato
Add a little fun and history to this year’s vegetable garden and grow some Abe Lincoln tomatoes.
 
This heirloom tomato was introduced in Illinois back in 1923 by the Buckbee Seed Company. Abe Lincoln is an indeterminate type tomato, meaning it continues to grow throughout the season until frost kills the plant or a gardener prunes off the growing tip.
 
This slicing tomato can be found on plant recommendation lists of Universities across the country. Abe Lincoln tomatoes have good disease resistance and produce medium size bright red tomatoes with a rich slightly acid flavor.
 
You may need to start your own plants from seed or find a local grower or hobbyist that specializes in heirloom vegetables. Start these and other tomato seeds indoors about 6 to 8 weeks before the outdoor night temperatures are hovering at 50 to 55 degrees.
 
A bit more information: With proper care you will be harvesting Abe Lincoln tomatoes in less than 80 days. Speed up the process by keeping the plants warm on chilly days and nights. Cover plantings with floating row covers like ReeMay, frost blanket or garden fabric. Try cloches or wall-o-waters to cover individual plants.
 
For more gardening tips, how-to garden videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com.
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Tree and Shrub Growth Rates
Now is a great time to plan for additions to your landscape. And as you scour the catalogues and read plant tags you will often see trees rated as fast, medium or slow growers.
 
These are average growth rates, but just like a plant’s mature size it can vary with local climate, growing conditions and the care you provide.  A slow growth rate means the plant usually grows 12 inches or less each year.  Medium growers add 13 to 24 inches each year, while fast growing trees grow 25 inches or more in one year. 
 
The American Conifer Society (ACS) has classified cone bearing plants by their size in any direction (height or spread) and growth rate.  They range from Miniature (M) conifers that grow less than 1 inch a year and reach less than 1 foot size at 10 years of age to large (L) conifers that grow more than 12 inches a year and are greater than 15 feet tall at ten years of age.
 
A bit more information: The other ACS growth rates and classifications include dwarf (D) conifers that grow more than 1 inch but less than 6 inches a year and reach sizes of 1 to 6 feet by 10 years of age.  Intermediate (I) conifers grow more than 6 and less than 12 inches a year and are more than 6 feet but less than 15 feet in size.  
 
For more gardening tips, how-to garden videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com.
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Birth Tree March 1 through 10 - Weeping Willow
The lovely and graceful weeping willow has long been a part of our landscapes. And, although it is the birth tree for those born between March 1st and 10th, think twice before planting this beauty in your backyard.
 
As birth trees go, the weeping willow represents beauty filled with a bit of melancholy. Individuals with this birth tree are also said to be tasteful, dreamers, restless and have good intuition.
 
Today the golden weeping willow is considered the standard and the one most of us know as weeping willow. This fast growing tree is hardy in zones 2 through 9, develops a stout trunk and is covered with long pendulous branches.  It is tolerant of moist to wet soils and is often found growing along ponds and streams.
 
This large tree is perfect for wet areas where other trees fail and where the leaf, stem and fluffy seedpod litter and aggressive roots are not a problem.
 
A bit more information: The golden weeping willow can grow 50 to 80 feet tall with a broad canopy. If your yard is too small or you don’t want the litter issue, visit this graceful beauty in a nearby park or natural setting.
 
For more gardening tips, how-to garden videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com.
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2014 Hosta of the Year - Abiqua Drinking Gourd
Hostas are a favorite of many gardeners. All the new introductions allow you to create a fresh look with an old time favorite.  But with so many choices it is helpful to have a bit of direction.
 
The American Hosta Growers wanted to help take the guess work out of hosta shopping. Each year, starting in 1996, they select an outstanding hosta variety that makes a good garden plant throughout the country, is readily available, and retails for about $15 a plant.  This year’s winner is Abiqua Drinking Gourd.
 
The large blue-green leaves are cupped and have an interesting seer sucker texture. These attractive thick leaves have good slug resistance.
 
White flowers top the plants in early summer, brightening the shade and providing nectar for the hummingbirds. Plants are hardy in zones 3 to 9 and grow 18 to 24 inches tall and 36 inches wide.
 
A bit more information: Consider adding a few or all of the past winners to the shady parts of your landscape. Use them as a groundcover or in combination with ferns, bugbane and other shade tolerant perennials. Visit the American Hosta Growers Association website for a list of and information about past winners.
 
For more gardening tips, how-to garden videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com.
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Poplar - Birth Tree Feb 4 to 8
Those with birthdays between February 4th and 8th have poplar as their birth tree. They’re said to be artistic, reliable partners, organized and know how to make life comfortable.

As a tree most poplars are fast growing and moisture loving. This group includes the quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides) best known for its leaves that flutter in the wind and turn a beautiful yellow in fall.
 
The cottonwood (Populus deltoides) is also a member of this family. It produces cottony seeds that cover the ground like snow in the summer. As a result many municipalities have banned this tree.
 
The Lombardy poplar was brought to North America with the colonists. This fast growing upright poplar was used for hedging and screening. Unfortunately, a deadly canker disease has limited its use.
 
So choose your poplar tree wisely or purchase your early February birthday friend an item made from poplar wood.
 
A bit more information: The quaking aspen is the most widely distributed tree in North America. The National Champion is located in Coronado National Forest in AZ. It was 130 feet tall and 36 feet wide when last measured.
 
For more gardening tips, how-to garden videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com.
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February Birth Flowers – Violet and Iris
If you were born in February you have two birth flowers, the violet and the iris.
 
Both are perfect flowers for this month filled with messages of love for Valentine’s Day. The violet is a symbol of love and fertility while the iris shares its name with the messenger of the Gods and Greek goddess of the rainbow, Iris.  And an appropriate name as the iris comes in a wide array of colors.
 
Most violets thrive in shade and moist soil. There are many varieties with purple, blue, white, cream, yellow or a combination of colored flowers. Select carefully as some are vigorous, escape the garden where planted and become a weed. 
 
Most iris prefer full sun and moist well-drained soils. Sizes vary from the short 4 inch crested iris to the 4 foot tall bearded iris. The Japanese iris requires abundant moisture during the growing season while the bearded iris must have adequate drainage.
 
A bit more information: Try growing crested iris (Iris cristata) as a seasonal groundcover. It is hardy in zones 3 to 9, grows 4 to 6 inches tall, and performs well in partial shade with well-drained soil.
 
For more gardening tips, how-to garden videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com.
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Will Ferrell Knocks a Cheerleader Off Her Feet
Not a headline you'd normally associate with Will Ferrell, right? Not to worry, it was all for a movie. Will was in New Orleans, taping a scene for his new movie, Daddy's Home, during half-time at a Pelicans/ Lakers game. A couple of guys in the audience were able to catch the action. The first is this great shot on Twitter of the second after the moment Will's basketball hit the cheerleader in the face... Will Ferrell knocks a #Pelicans cheerleader off her feet with a "drunken" throw while filming a scene at halftime. pic.twitter.com/AD8FMkX5ad — Michael DeMocker (@MichaelDeMocker) January 22, 2015 The second is this cell phone video of the whole scene, from the setup through Will's ejection from the building. It's a little shaky, but you get the idea...  
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The Show Must Go On, Unless...
Idina Menzel - better known to John Travolta as Adele Dazeem - will be taking a week off from her Broadway play, "If/Then." And the play will shut down while she's gone. Why? So she can prepare for her appearance at the Super Bowl to sing the National Anthem. She's probably not taking any chances, especially after she caught all sorts of flack for not being able to hit a high note during a live performance on New Year's Eve while singing her hit song from Frozen, "Let It Go." So rest, relax, warm up, and practice those high notes, Adele! #SB49 @SuperBowl @nfl pic.twitter.com/qf0me9wFqo — Idina Menzel (@idinamenzel) January 16, 2015
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"Do What We Need to Do, and Then, We Get to Live"
There's another big Sunday looming in your future. If you're a Walking Dead fan, that is. On February 8, a week after the Big Game, the dead and the living and some in between return for Season 5. In case you haven't seen it, here's the trailer... If you're a Deadniac, you've probably got a viewing party planned that will rival any Super Bowl party, ever!  
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Bad Lip Reading, NFL-Style
Here's a little bit of NFL coverage that has nothing to do with deflated balls. And isn't that refreshing? The folks at Bad Lip Reading have taken footage from the 2014/2015 season, and dubbed their own reads onto them. Flat out hilarious. Even more that WhereDidTheAirGoGate...  
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Breaking Bad, Airborne
A six-propeller drone aircraft crashed into a supermarket parking lot right on the Mexico-California this week. Okay, so accidents happen, right? This was no ordinary drone. It was a delivery drone. Still no big deal, right? I mean, Amazon's been talking about these things for months, years. This delivery drone was packed with six one-pound containers of methamphetamines. It's sort of like Walter White taking over the reins at Fed Ex...  
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East Versus West in Commercials Too
Another Super Bowl ad "leaked" onto the internet yesterday, this one for Carl's Jr, a fast food chain located mostly in the western part of the United States. So, the ad will be aired only in the western region of the US. It's a bit racy, with a model walking through a farmer's market, talking about how she likes to go au naturel. It's to promote Carl's new All-Natural Burger, and it's fairly clever in a photographic sense. But according to an article in USA Today, one marketing expert doesn't think it will do its job - selling hamburgers - especiall to a Super Bowl audience. "'It's like porn meets American Pastime,' says branding consultant Erika Napoletano. 'It makes NFL cheerleaders -- underpaid and underclothed -- look like nuns in comparison.'" You decide. If you live in the West, you can wait til next Sunday. If you live in the East, take a look now.  
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Maybe the NFL Should Check Its Instagrams
This may be one of the most untimely yet timely Instagram posts ever. On the day after the NFC and AFC Championships were decided, the National Football League posted a behind-the-scenes picture of some Super Bowl footballs in the process of assembly. Every one completely deflated. This as they investigated Deflategate - where it's now been determined that 11 of 12 balls used by the New England Patriots in their victory over the Indianapolis Colts were under-inflated. So the natural tagline to this picture is #noballsforseahawks?.     Behind the scenes: Making the Super Bowl XLIX footballs! #SB49 📷: Rick Osentoski/AP A photo posted by @nfl on Jan 20, 2015 at 4:46pm PST
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Oh Say Can You SNAP!
One of the funnier moments in Tuesday's State of the Union Address is when President Obama was talking about his agenda for the next two years. "I have no more campaigns to run," he said as a prelude to the discussion. That was greeted with some snickers and some laughter and some applause. The president turned to those making the noise, smirked, and said, "I know, cuz I won both of them." Okay, the State of the Union is meant to be a serious thing, but if a man's getting heckled, a man's got to do what a man's got to do. And Barack Obama did it perfectly. I can't wait to see him as one of the presenters at the Justin Bieber roast...  
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Red Velvet Oreos Are On the Way!
The snack-eating world is going a little ga-ga over a new addition to Nabisco's line of Oreos. Ladies and gentlemen, the Red Velvet Oreo will be available, on a limited basis, mind you, starting in February. Nabisco says it took about 18 months to get it right, but now it's ready to roll out. The folks at ABC News had some of their editors conduct a taste test, and the overwhelming opinion is that while the cookie is reminiscent of red velvet, it's still about as chocolatey as a regular Oreo. What's different is the cream cheese inspired filling - not exactly cream cheese, but creamier than the regular Oreo filling. Not an overwhelming endorsement, but you can bet they'll sell out anyway. Red Velvet Oreos are coming http://t.co/8A76iz0n8P Photo: @Oreo pic.twitter.com/Sy1wlp7tkM — USA TODAY Money (@USATODAYmoney) January 21, 2015
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Not Your Typical Victoria's Secret Ad
The Super Bowl ads are leaking early this year. This one's particularly timely, and will certainly lead to all sorts of Deflategate commentary too. Victoria's Secret models, suited up to play some football. And unlike other VS commercials before, the only skin to be seen here is behind the face masks. It's a reminder that Valentine's Day is just a couple of weeks after the Big Game, so "Don't Drop the Ball."  
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He Had a Dream... of Seeing Orcas
Rich German's a paddle boarder in Laguna Beach, California. He's been paddling his board in the Pacific for years, and he says he's witnessed a bunch of marine life. But he's always dreamed, he says, of seeing killer whales up close. Last week, his dream came true, and he posted a video to YouTube capturing his close encounter. The visit starts at about the 1:40 mark, but his explanation of the event is worth watching too...  
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Chikungunya Gonna Get Ya
Lindsay Lohan's got it. The Chikungunya virus, that is. It's carried by mosquitos, and apparently she picked it up on a recent trip to Bora Bora. The New York Daily News reports that she's now in a London hospital, being treated for the disease, which generally causes joint aches and high fever for about a week before going away. Sometimes, the aches can linger. Lindsay's been dealing with this for at least a few weeks now - she posted this picture and message to Instagram three weeks ago. No word on whether the mosquito survived the encounter, by the way.     Still with chikungunya but feeling better on and off @patrickaufdenkamp @oprah thank you for your call #beherenow A photo posted by Lindsay Lohan (@lindsaylohan) on Jan 2, 2015 at 8:09pm PST
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Shake It Officer
A patrol officer named Jeff Davis with the Dover Police Department in Delaware used his dashboard camera to tape himself lip synching to Taylor Swift's "Shake It Off." The department said it found the video while reviewing dashcam footage, and decided to release it, with apologies to Taylor. Turns out it was all staged, but still a lot of fun to watch. They're calling him the Diva Cop, but I think Shake It Officer is more appropriate... And guess who reTweeted the video? Taylor Swift, naturally. Which probably explains why the video is closing in on 20 million hits as this is written.   LOLOLOLOL THE SASS http://t.co/54BA9ZyhBD — Taylor Swift (@taylorswift13) January 18, 2015
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It's the Talk of the Sports World
Deflategate has taken over the sports world. Heck, it's taken over the entire world, it seems. It's on sports talk shows. It's on regular talk shows. It's the topic of the week around the water cooler. Everyone's talking about whether the New England Patriots purposefully let a little bit of air out of the footballs used in Sunday's AFC Championship game to make them easier to grip, throw and catch. The Indianapolis Colts complained, and the NFL is investigating. Some folks are taking it seriously. Others, not so much. In the not-so-much column, Rob Gronkowski, tight end for the Patriots, had this to say on Twitter. And it just made me laugh... Whoops lol pic.twitter.com/uLxN7A5cpq — Rob Gronkowski (@RobGronkowski) January 20, 2015
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Haven't All the Jokes Been Done Already?
Comedy Central made it official. They are planning to roast Justin Bieber early in March. No, really... It's something The Biebs says he's wanted for years. He's not even 21 years old. He hasn't even wanted to shave that long. But seriously, haven't all the jokes about him been done already? I Belieb so. I suppose the roasters could simply get up and read newspaper accounts of things he's done in the past. Because it's going to be impossible to make things up about the kid...   For years I have wanted Comedy Central to roast me. They said only if I provided them w/ more material so for a year now I have worked hard — Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) January 20, 2015 Finally after all that hard work for my 21st bday it's happening. Thanks @RyanSeacrest & @ComedyCentral for the announcement. Let's do it :) — Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) January 20, 2015
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A Comic Civil War is Coming
It seems like half the movies released in any given month are comic-based. Now there's word that Robert Downey Jr. has signed on to appear as Iron Man in Captain Amerca 3, and that could be the springboard to a new Civil War movie, which pits Iron Man against Captain America, and causes other superheroes to choose sides. Wasn't that sort of the idea behind one of the X-Men movies already? Or there's one coming up that pits Batman against Superman, right? Anyway, the folks at MoviePilot.com put together a series of animated memes that might give some insight on how the superheroic civil war might start. Have a chuckle...     (function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/en_US/all.js#xfbml=1"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs); }(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk')); Post by moviepilot.com.
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Drag Race Heard 'Round the World?
Okay, that might sound a little dramatic, but on Sunday, an electric-powered car beat a gas-powered car in a quarter-mile drag race. The Tesla P85D versus the Dodge Challenger Hellcat at Palm Beach International Raceway. The Tesla has 691 horsepower. The Hellcat has 707 horsepower, and is called by some the most powerful muscle car ever built. After this race, they might have to rewrite that ad copy, because the Hellcat got smoked. Now, you could blame it on the Hellcat's driver. Or maybe the Hellcat's tires weren't properly inflated. We'll ask the NFL to investigate that one...  
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Bubbleville versus Bubbaville
There's a new us-against-them philosophy out there, courtesy of former Arkansas governor and Fox News host, Mike Huckabee. He appeared on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart the other night to talk about his new book, "God, Guns, Grits and Gravy," among other things. Bubbleville, according to Mike, represents the big cities of New York, Washington and Hollywood. Bubbaville, I guess, is everywhere else. And that's where the real people are. Mike goes out of his way to criticize Beyonce as a good representative of what Bubbleville has to offer - and is downright disparaging to her in the interview. Check it out for yourself, as Jon takes the chance to bring Mike out the woodshed... And watch the TMZ clip after it. One of their reporters caught up with former president Jimmy Carter at an airport, and asked what he thought about Mike Huckabee's criticism of President Obama allowing his daughters to listen to Beyonce. Classic!   And here's the best aftershock. The folks at TMZ caught up with former president Jimmy Carter at an airport and asked his opinion of Mike Huckabee's criticism about President Obama allowing his daughters to listen to Beyonce's music...
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There Are Fans, and Then There Are FANS!
On Sunday, the Seattle Seahawks pulled off an amazing come-from-behind win to defeat the Green Bay Packers in overtime, sending the Packers home, and sending themselves to the Super Bowl. Naturally, the Seahawks celebrated winning the NFC title. Naturally, the Seahawks' fans celebrated as well. Some more than others. Like this unnamed gentleman, who was captured mid-field after the win. Clearly, he's a Seahawks fan. He's wearing his official Marshawn Lynch jersey, and he's holding his index finger aloft, in the traditional "We're Number One!" salute. After that, tradition veers off course. Sipping vehemently from a pink sports bottle. With his pants wrapped around his ankle. Perhaps he's saying that it will be warm in Glendale when the Seahawks play there in two weeks? But the lesson to take away from this one, boys and girls, is there's a fine line between deliriously happy and just plain delirious. And it has been crossed here...  
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Good Job Executing
Russell Westbrook, a point guard for the Oklahoma Thunder, had a career day over the weekend as his team beat the Golden State Warriors. Russell picked up a triple double with 17 points, 17 assists and 15 rebounds. Afterwards, reporters descended on him in the locker room, and it was clear that he wasn't in the mood to chat. His answer to every question involved the phrase "good job executing" in some shape. He even looked one reporter square in the eye and said, "I don't like you." Check it out. You've got to wonder how many professional athletes would like to do the same thing...  
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Liam Neeson's Guns Taken
Here's an interesting twist. Liam Neeson - the star of the Taken franchise, arguably one of the most violent group of films out there in recent memory - doesn't like guns. Specifically, he doesn't like the proliferation of guns in the United States, something he shared in a press interview to promote Taken 3. He talked about how gun ownership in the US amounted to roughly one gun per every American. He called it a disgrace, with a nasty adjective in front of it. All well and good, I guess, until the folks who provided the weapons for him to use in Taken 3 got wind of it. Para USA in North Carolina posted to Facebook late last week that they regret providing the guns now, in light of Liam's comments. They won't do it again, and they're asking others in the industry to boycott Liam's projects. Meanwhile, Taken 3's been at the top of the charts since being released a couple of weeks ago.
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Bieber's Kleins Targeted
Saturday Night Live's Kate McKinnon is making quite a name for herself as an impersonator. One of her best impressions is of Justin Bieber. And this week, she took a full-on shot at The Biebs with a dead-on parody of his Calvin Klein underwear ads.   And here's a sort of interesting post-script. The Biebs was impressed with the impression. @nbcsnl well played. Lol. — Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) January 18, 2015 The lampoonee praises the lampooners? Something not quite right there...
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Your 5-Year-Old Missed My Kid's Party - Here's Your Bill
This could perhaps be the most ridiculous story ever. Alex Nash is a 5-year-old living in Torpoint, England. He was invited to a friend's birthday party near Christmas, and at first agreed to go. Then, they realized that Alex would be visiting with his grandparents on that same day. They had no way to get in touch with the parents of the other child, so Alex simply didn't go to the party. So when the kids went back to school after the holidays, Alex came home with an invoice from the other kid's mom for about 16 pounds - roughly $24 - the cost of paying for Alex's attendance at the party. What a concept. If this works, then I've got to start sending invoices to all the kids who never showed up for my kids' parties. This could be a major windfall! Meanwhile, check out the story in the Plymouth Herald - especially the notes passed back and forth between the mothers. They start out civil, but turn into The Jerry Springer Show in a hurry.
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Now It's Deflategate
Seems like the New Enlgand Patriots can't win without some sort of controversy swirling around the victory. A week ago, Baltimore Ravens' head coach accused the Patriots of using illegal formations to win. They weren't illegal, but there you go. After this Sunday's defeat of the Indianapolis Colts - which sent the Patriots to the Super Bowl - there are reports that the Patriots are being investigated by the NFL for possibly deflating the game balls just enough to make them easier to grip, throw and catch. They're calling it Deflategate. As you can expect, the topic was trending on Twitter as #deflategate. Here's one of the cleaner posts we can share... I hear the @colts deliberately deflated their talent this past Sunday. I want the #NFL to investigate. #sorewinners #DeflateGate — Dana Jay Bein (@danajaybein) January 19, 2015   World News Videos | ABC World News
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The Moon is What?
QVC isn't necessarily known - okay, it's not known at all - for its scientific discussions. That didn't stop a QVC host arguing with a fashion designer about just what the moon is - a planet, a star, or something else entirely. It started with comparing a greenish frock to what the Earth looks like when you're "a bazillion miles away from the planet Moon" and goes downhilll from there. Check it out. The fun part of the clip starts at about the 7:20 mark...  
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