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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 May 2014


Grow a Pizza Garden
Add a little fun and flavor to your landscape this summer with a pizza garden. You can grow almost all the ingredients, except of course the cheese, sausage and anchovies, in your vegetable garden, amongst your flowers, or even in containers. And add to the fun by planting the ingredients in the shape of a pizza pie or just a slice.

You’ll want a Roma tomato or two for the sauce and as one of your toppings. Include a few green peppers, hot ones if you like a little heat, onions and any of your other favorite vegetable toppings.
 
Don’t forget the herbs. The low growing perennial oregano and upright basil are flavorful additions.
 
Add some red leaf lettuce for the pizza sauce color and to make a side salad to serve with your homegrown pizza.  And don’t forget the cheese. Consider planting yellow marigolds around the edge of your pizza garden to give it that cheesy look.
 
A bit more information: You can also grow your pizza garden in containers. A low, wide washtub with drainage holes filled with dwarf vegetable plants would work great. Or use individual pots of vegetables grouped together to form your pizza or set within existing plantings.
 
For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
 
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Learn About Composting Day
May 29th is National Learn About Composting Day. Celebrate by starting your first or adding an additional compost pile to your landscape.
 
And don’t let a lack of space stop you. My friend Ellen composts in pots on the rooftop of her Manhattan condominium. She saves time hauling plant debris out and compost in by converting her garden debris into compost one pot at a time. It’s good for her garden, the environment and her busy schedule.
 
Keep it simple and you will do it. Place plant waste in a heap and let it decompose. It’s as simple as that. The more carefully you build the pile, turn and monitor, the faster you’ll have compost.
 
The key to success is only composting insect- and disease-free plant waste. No perennial weeds or annual weeds gone to seed and no meat, fat or dairy products that attract rodents.
 
A bit more information: Fancy bins help keep the pile contained and dress up the process. They can also help with keeping multiple piles of compost decomposing quickly. A three-bin composter allows you to collect material in one bin. Then create a compost pile with layers of green (high nitrogen) and brown (high carbon materials) in the second bin.  Once this pile reaches peak temperatures and begins to cool, it is turned over into the third bin. The process is repeated until composting is complete.
 
For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
 
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From the Faucet to the Garden – Water for the Garden
No matter where you live we are all concerned about our precious resource – water. And whether you live in an apartment or you garden a large plot of ground – you can make a difference one bucket at a time.

Think of all the water that goes down the drain as we wait for our bath water to warm. Stick a 5 gallon bucket under the faucet to capture that fresh clean water. Remove when the water has reached the desired temperature.
 
Then, head out to the garden. Use this water for containers and moisture-loving plants. I know - it’s not the prettiest bathroom accessory, but with a bit of convincing and training you can get your family to help in the cause.
 
And don’t forget about the water dripping from your air conditioner or dehumidifier. This is great for outdoor gardens, containers and houseplants, especially those like spider plants, Ti and dracaenas that don’t like the chemicals in treated water.
 
A bit more information: Many communities are allowing gray water, water that’s collected from showers, washing machines and kitchen sinks, for use on ornamental landscapes.  Check with your local municipalities on related regulations before installing a gray water collection system.
A bit more information: Plant in clusters whenever possible. Groupings of several pollinator favorites are more attractive than single plants. But if space is limited you can still bring them in with a container planting or small space garden. For more information, click here.
 
For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
 
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Plant a Pollinator Garden
Give nature and your garden a helping hand this season by planting a pollinator garden.

Over 75% of the world’s flowering plants depend on bees and other pollinators to form seeds and fruit, that we eat, use for medicine and most importantly for the plants to reproduce.
 
Increase the number of pollinators visiting your garden by planting a variety of plants so you have flowers all season long. Include a variety of colors and shapes to attract a wide variety of pollinators. You’ll also enjoy the variety and long bloom your pollinator garden provides.
 
Use native plants suited to the growing conditions whenever possible. You’ll attract more pollinators and provide food for many of their offspring.
 
And skip the pesticides that can harm the very insects you are trying to attract. Use the pluck, drop and stomp method or wait for lady beetles, praying mantis, and nature’s other predators to take care of garden pests.
 
A bit more information: Plant in clusters whenever possible. Groupings of several pollinator favorites are more attractive than single plants. But if space is limited you can still bring them in with a container planting or small space garden. For more information, click here.
 
For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
 
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Simple Combination Attracts Goldfinches

 
What do cosmos and lettuce have in common? You can start them both from seed directly in the garden for you and the goldfinches to enjoy.

Sally Roth a frequent contributor to Birds and Blooms magazine shared this great combination.  One summer her lettuce had gone to seed. She soon discovered the goldfinches feasting on the seed.
 
This inspired the cosmos and lettuce combination that keeps her garden looking good and the goldfinches happy. She plants lettuce and cosmos together in her garden. She harvests the outer leaves of lettuce throughout the spring. As the cosmos grows it shades the lettuce, extending her harvest.
 
Once the heat of summer arrives and the lettuce bolts (or sets seed), the tall cosmos masks the view. The finches feed on the lettuce seeds and butterflies visit the cosmos. Once the cosmos sets seed the finches return for a late season feast.
 
A bit more information: Look for other unexpected bird and butterfly-attracting plants. You just may be surprised how many of these plants are already growing in your garden. For more bird and butterfly gardening tips and ideas from me visit http://www.birdsandblooms.com/melinda-myers/
 
For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
 
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Time Vegetable Plantings for Greater Success
 
It’s all in the timing and that goes for planting vegetables.
 
The unusually cold winter, late spring as well as seasonal and long-term droughts have gardeners everywhere a bit anxious. One key to gardening success is timing your planting based on weather not the calendar.

Cool season crops can tolerate cool air and soil. The flavor is better and you’ll use less water if these are harvested before the heat of summer.
 
Warm season crops need warm soil and air to thrive. Waiting for the right temperature results in less transplant shock and faster seed germination. Beans and corn planted in cool soil are slow to germinate and more susceptible to root maggot.  Tomatoes and peppers planted too early can be stunted and your harvest delayed.
 
Use planting guides from your local extension service, along with the local weather forecasts and a soil thermometer to keep you on track when it comes to planting.
 
A bit more information:  Provide a bit of shade to extend the harvest of cool season crops. Gardeners in heat and drought stressed areas need to get their plantings in as soon as possible so the harvest can occur before the extreme temperatures of summer increase water use.
 
For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
 
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A Low Maintenance Perennial Garden
 
You can have a beautiful garden and still have time to relax and enjoy it.
 
Roy Diblik just released his new book The Know - that’s KNOW Maintenance Perennial Garden. The idea is to group plants of similar needs and assertiveness into communities. This is the basis of any attractive low maintenance garden. But he pushes the limits of our imagination and creates unexpected and attractive combinations.
 
In fact, he provides sample combinations and the grids for planting. Find one that meets your needs and repeat to fill the space available.
 
He also provides low maintenance tips. Roy recommends using a long handled Dutch hoe. You’ll be able to weed in an upright position, reducing back stress and time spent weeding. Spring cleanup of larger perennial gardens is reduced to several passes with the mulching mower. The plant debris is left in place to improve the soil – just like in nature.
 
A bit more information:  Roy developed this method from years of growing, tending and designing gardens. He has created these durable gardens at private homes and public gardens like the Art Institute of Chicago or his Northwind Perennial Farm in Burlington WI.
 
For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
 
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Preventing Floppy Growth on Sedum Autumn Joy
 
Tired of floppy sedums? A little grooming and the right location can improve their appearance and decrease your workload.

Sedums, including the ever popular Autumn Joy, prefer full sun and well-drained soil. They tend to flop when grown in the shade and overly moist soil.
 
Move your plant to a sunny location with good drainage if needed. Add organic matter to heavy clay soil to improve drainage and increase your growing success.
 
Avoid high nitrogen fast release fertilizers that promote lush succulent growth more likely to flop. Use a low nitrogen slow release fertilizer, like Milorganite, if your plants need a nutrient boost.
 
If the plants still flop, it’s time to get out the pruners. Prune plants back halfway when they are 8 inches tall. Or pinch out the growing tips. This encourages more compact growth. The flowers will be smaller, but you’ll have more of them to enjoy.
 
A bit more information:  Early season pruning is a useful technique for encouraging more compact sturdier growth on many late season perennials. Russian sage, coneflower, asters and mums are just a few.
 
 
For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
 
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Growing Vegetables During Drought

 
Don’t let seasonal or long-term drought stop you from gardening. A few changes in your gardening habits can help you conserve water while growing fresh produce in your backyard.
 
Grow just what you need and will use. You’ll waste less produce and water growing vegetables that never get harvested and eaten.
 
Be sure to plant in blocks or wide rows. Leave just enough space for vegetables to reach their full size.  The plants will shade the bare soil, helping to conserve moisture. And you will harvest more from less space.
 
Improve your soil and you’ll use less water. Add organic matter to increase the water holding ability in fast draining soils and improve drainage in heavy clay soils.
 
And use an organic mulch like shredded leaves or evergreen needles to conserve water, suppress weeds and improve the soil as they decompose.
 
Grow drought tolerant vegetables like amaranth, eggplant, chard, rhubarb, and asparagus. Look for varieties listed as drought tolerant.
 
A bit more information:  Position your garden in a sunny, but sheltered location.  Reducing wind flowing over the plants will reduce moisture lost through transpiration (evaporation of water from the upper parts of plants). And that means less water needed. For more information on drought tolerant plants click here.
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Managing Self-seeding Perennials
Self-seeding perennials can be considered a gift or curse.  Put these plants to work for you in your garden.
 
Self-seeding perennials like blackberry lily, phlox, columbine, hellebore and purple coneflower are notorious self-seeders. Keep this in mind when adding these plants to your garden.
 
Otherwise, allow their seedlings to develop into large masses for an informal look when space allows. Dig and divide when they outgrow their location.
 
Or use seedlings to fill in bare areas and to start new planting beds. Trade extras with friends or donate them to community groups or gardeners on a budget.
 
Still too many? Then deadhead heavy seeders to prevent them from setting seed and propagating more plants than you need.
 
And always eliminate invasive plants, those self-seeders that jump the bounds of the garden and take over nearby natural areas.
 
A bit more information: Those with limited time or an aversion to thinning may want to avoid these plants. Look for sterile cultivars of your favorite flower or those marketed to be less prolific.
 
For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
 
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Garden Workout
May is National Physical Fitness and Sports Month. And though gardening is not considered an Olympic sport, it is a great way to burn calories, increase strength and flexibility while creating a beautiful garden.

Start with gentle back stretches or light activities before digging, hauling and other more intense gardening activities. Once you get started gardening, alternate intense activities like digging with lighter activities like weeding. Mix up your gardening tasks to vary the muscle groups used. Prune a while, then plant, dig and rake.
 
Then take a break. Rest your muscles, admire your work and reassess what needs to be done next.  And be sure to drink some water and stay hydrated throughout your gardening workout.
 
Practice good posture and deep breathing as you garden. Keep your back straight and use your core muscles to extend your gardening time and avoid sore muscles. Invest in ergonomic tools for more pain-free gardening.
 
A bit more information:  Don’t let a bad back and sore knees stop you from gardening. Try raised beds or green walls for easier access. Invest in a garden bench, kneeler or other garden accessories that help ease the strain on painful joints.
 
For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
 
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Chemical-free Quackgrass Control
It seems to be everywhere – your garden, lawn and cracks in the sidewalk.  Quackgrass is that aggressive perennial grass that can quickly take over lawns and gardens.

Quackgrass spreads by a long white root-like rhizome.  Every piece of that rhizome that breaks off and lands in the soil can start a new plant. This makes control difficult. Cultivation with a hoe or tiller breaks up the rhizome resulting in more plants.
 
Twice monthly cultivation for at least one, preferably two, growing seasons can control this weed. You must be diligent or you will end up with more not less quackgrass.
 
Solarization is also an option. Remove your desirable plants. Check for and remove any quackgrass that may have infiltrated these plants. Edge the bed and cover with clear plastic for 6 to 8 weeks during the hottest part of the growing season. This is usually enough to cook the quackgrass and other weeds.
 
A bit more information:  Some of the new eco-friendly products use plant or soap based products to burn the tops of this and other plants. Unfortunately it will not kill the roots and rhizomes. Repeated use can eventually starve and kill the plant. But you must be more persistent than this weed. I find this strategy is fairly effective for controlling quack and other weeds in my walks and pavers.
 
For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
 
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Gardening on a Budget
Walking into a garden center filled with beautiful new varieties of plants is a temptation many gardeners succumb to. You can include some of the cool new plants in your landscape even when your plant budget is limited or you are trying to make it go further.

Add a few of the cool, usually pricier new plants to a container filled with less expensive favorites.  Or dig and divide some overgrown perennials. Use those with great foliage as fillers.
 
Shop with friends! It’s often cheaper to buy plants by the flat.  Buy in quantity and share the plants and the cost.
 
Start with smaller size plants or seeds. Perennials in quart size pots, trees and shrubs in gallon containers are cheaper. Just provide space for this small transplant to reach its full size.  Fill in the voids with annuals started from seeds. You’ll not only save money but, have fun watching the plants grow and fill in the space over time.
 
A bit more information:  Starting plants from seeds directly in the garden is not only economical, but can increase your selection. Just make sure the seeds you select will have enough time to grow and flower or fruit during your growing season.
 
For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
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Robin Williams, Back on the Silver Screen
We knew it was coming. When Robin Williams passed away earlier this year, he left behind a handful of completed film projects. One of them was Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb. It's due out on Christmas Day, and features Robin reprising his role as Teddy Roosevelt. Check out the trailer for a little glimpse of Robin. One of this lines is oddly prophetic. "I think it's safe to say that we're in a bit of trouble."  
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How Much for That Lion in the Window?
On Monday, the costume that Bert Lahr wore as the Cowardly Lion in the 1939 classic film, The Wizard of Oz, went up for auction. It was part of a group of memorabilia offered for sale at Bonhams auction house - "TCM Presents: There's No Place Like Hollywood." Other items up for sale included Sam's piano from Casablanca, a gown worn by Marilyn Monroe, and Clark Gable's jacket from Gone With the Wind. As you sit and maybe watch The Wizard of Oz over the holidays, think about this. That outfit worn by the King of the Forest just sold for $3 million.
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Barack & Meryl, Sitting in a Tree?
On Monday afternoon, President Obama presented the Presidential Medal of Freedom - the nation's highest civilian honor to singer Stevie Wonder, TV journalist Tom Brokaw, and Ethel Kennedy, wife of the late Robert F. Kennedy. Oh, and he gave one to his girlfriend too. That would be Meryl Streep, the actress. “I love Meryl Streep,” the president said in front of all assembled "Her husband knows I love her. Michelle knows I love her. There's nothing either of them can do about it.” No real scandal there. Just a nice bit of affection. Oh, and he poked a little fun at his love too - pointing out that she sang Abba - "which, you know, that's something."  
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Vader Versus Batman - Who Wins?
Stumbled on this one while doing a little surfing today. What happens when you pit the Dark Knight against the Dark Sith Lord? An epic battle, for sure. Check out this very well-done bit of fantasy lore, pitting Robin's best bud, Batman, against Luke and Leia's papa, Dark Vader.  
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Sew Watt, Its Juss a Tipo!
Maybe it's time for the signmakers in Los Angeles to invest in SpellCheck - or maybe just a proofreader. Earlier this month, a sign sub-contractor installed a new highway marker on the northbound side of the 710 Freeway. The sign marked the exit for Olympic Boulevard. Except it said "Olimpic" Boulevard instead. It took someone at CalTrans a full day to recognize the problem. A few days later, it was covered up with a black tarpaulin. And it will be replaced by the sub-contractor at no charge to the city. Except for the cost of the embarrassment of having hung in there in the first place.   OOPS: Exit sign on 710 Freeway misspells Olympic Blvd as 'Olimpic' http://t.co/SjXYEUjVgU Pic by @shelbygrad pic.twitter.com/koDffd2usV — Kimi Yoshino (@kyoshino) November 25, 2014
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"Something Chases You, Run!"
It's the first "genetically-modified hybrid." With those ominous words, we welcome you to Jurassic World. It's 23 years later, and the interactive park envisioned by Richard Attenborough's character in the original Jurassic Park movies is up and running. It's a hybrid between Disney World, Sea World and Busch Gardens, featuring real live dinosaurs - plus a new concoction, cooked up by the scientists. That would be the "genetically-modified hybrid," and of course, it will run amok. Check out the trailer for the film - the film will be released in June of 2015. What do you think? Exciting and new - or just a rehash of the originals?  
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Hit the Mark, or Miss By a Mile?
Critics are saying this skit from last weekend's Saturday Night Live marks a return of the show's political comedy chops. They resurrected the old ABC show, Schoolhouse Rock, and tossed in President Obama's recent executive order concerning immigration, and presented a tutorial on how things work on Capitol Hill. What do you think: does it Hit the Mark, or Miss By a Mile. (I fall in the latter category, but I'm interested to see what other people think.)   Oh, and by the way - if you want to read how the skit is entirely wrong on the fact side anyway, check out this article by ThinkProgress.  
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Black Sea Devil Captured
Researchers from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute announced a fascinating find over the weekend - a video of the rare deep-sea anglerfish, also known as the Black Sea Devil. The film was shot off the coast of Monterey, California, about 1900 feet below the surface. The scientists were very excited, as they believe it's the first video of this species, "alive and at depth." The narration is a little dry, and the fish is not pretty. Still, it is fascinating...   Want some chuckles, though? Check out this little video, called "True Facts About the Angler Fish," produced by the same institute.  
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Forget the Hail Mary - This One's the Rosary!
Okay, sportscasters are given to hyperbole. That I'll grant you. But they may be on to something with the touchdown catch Odell Beckham Jr made on Sunday for the New York Giants against the Dallas Cowboys. One sportcaster calls it, "Impossible!" And watching it in slow-mo, he and everyone else might just be right. And the more amazing part, after the game, Odell told Bob Costas that he and some of his teammates practice catches like that all the time.  Your browser does not support iframes.
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Did She Diss Em or Not?
Some writers are saying that Iggy Azalea dissed Eminem on Sunday at the American Music Awards. She picked up the award both for best rap artist and for best rap/hip-hop album for The New Classic, her debut album. In her acceptance speech, she said, "It means so much that I can stand here against Eminem and Drake and come out with this. It's amazing." Watch and listen...   Some believe that was a shot at Eminem, who definitely took a shot at Iggy in his new song, Vegas, with a lyric that said, "Put that sh*t away, Iggy." But she responded on Twitter after the song was released. And it really does sound like she's just letting sleeping dogs and Eminems lie...   im bored of the old men threatening young women as entertainment trend and much more interested in the young women getting $ trend. zzzz — IGGY AZALEA (@IGGYAZALEA) November 20, 2014
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Cuddle Up to Me - Professionally, Of Course
Some would call Samantha Hess's business an overnight success - but you can't stay overnight. Samantha runs a shop in Portland, Oregon called Cuddle Up to Me - and it's a professional cuddle shop. Stay with me now. For $60, a customer can get sixty minutes of hugging, or as it's been described, "the level of human contact that we want or need in order to be our optimal selves." Sure, it sounds like a front for something, but Samantha says it's a great idea, one that came to her when she really needed a hug. "I was at a place where I thought paying someone to hug me and not have ulterior motives sounded like a great idea," she told an interviewer from The Independent. "I decided why can't this be a thing that we can easily and safely reach for?" It's all on the up-and-up. Everyone stays dressed, hugs and hand-holding are the only items on the menu, and the show is open Monday through Saturday. By the way, Samantha's been at it for a year or so. But all of a sudden, the media are getting hold of the story, and it's gone viral.   What's going on here? If you said professional cuddling… then you are correct. Only on the #RidicuList pic.twitter.com/F2Yq6LPHUB — Anderson Cooper 360° (@AC360) November 18, 2014
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The Newest Shirt Style - Graffiti!
Frankie J. Grande, the half-brother of Ariana Grande, showed up at last night's American Music Awards in a rather interesting outfit. Skin-tight baby pink skinny jeans - check! Black high tops - check! Puff of pink in his hair - check! And a stop at the local Sherwin Williams to have his shirt and bow tie painted on - check, check and check! After the show, he jumped into a Maytag washing machine and was cleaned up in no time.
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Cutest Picture of the Year?
This might not be the cutest picture of the year, but it sure is a contender. Gisele Bundchen posted this one all over social media yesterday afternoon, as her husband, Tom Brady, led the New England Patriots to a 34 - 9 victory over the Detroit Lions. It's Tom and Gisele's daughter, Vivian, wearing one of daddy's jerseys, watching the game. Mega Cute to the 12th power, easily.     Go daddy go!!! #gopats ❤️💙 Vai papai vai! A photo posted by Gisele Bündchen (@giseleofficial) on Nov 11, 2014 at 10:57am PST
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Celebrity Mean Tweets Are Back!
Jimmy Kimmel's Mean Tweets series just keeps getting better and better. Sure, it's sad that there are so many haters out there, and there's probably something sub-conscious here that encourages the haters to hate more, but... The reactions of some of these celebrities to the nasty things tweeted about them is simply classic. Case in point on this newest installment: John Stamos's reaction to a tweet about his "gross" belly button.  
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Katy Razzes Paparazzi
Katy Perry's fed up with paparazzi, especially the guys who were hounding her every step this weekend in Australia. She's in Sydney on her Prismatic World Tour, and all she wanted was a little quiet time on the beach. Not too much to ask, right? Except for the "perverted and disgusting" paparazzi, salivating at the prospect of a shot of Katy in her bikini that could be sold to the highest tabloid bidder. Katy took to Twitter to fire a cannon in their direction.   pic.twitter.com/rm7kL37Bj2 — KATY PERRY (@katyperry) November 22, 2014 She even posted some pictures of the offenders.   THESE ARE A FEW OF THE STALKERS: pic.twitter.com/1JtHSIVuqc — KATY PERRY (@katyperry) November 22, 2014
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Poohphobia Plagues Poland
At first glance, this story reads like something the folks at The Onion would make up. But as you read on and look at the source, it looks like it's a legitimate story. There's a town in Poland called Tuszyn that's looking for a mascot for its new playground. But the town officials categorically rejected Winnie the Pooh.Why? They say the cartoon bear is "inappropriately dressed" and his sexuality is "dubious." You have to read the story. It's laugh out loud funny - and sad, all at the same time. (And if it turns out this ISN'T real - nicely played, whoever pulled this off!)  
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Celebrities Stuck in Traffic
Comedian impressionist Lauren O'Brien posted a video last week of fourteen celebrities stuck in traffic. Of course, she's playing all fourteen, and some of them are pretty good! Decide for yourself - which will be your favorite? For me, it's a toss up between Kristen Stewart and Sofia Vergara....  
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Music Video or Underwear Ad?
Beyonce released a video for her new single, "7/11," over the weekend. They're calling it homemade - it looks like it could have been shot on a cell phone, all around Queen Bey's house, featuring cameos by Baby Blue Ivy and maybe even Hubby Zee. It's energetic, but seems to go out of its way to feature undergarments - on Beyonce and on her dancers. If the Fruit of the Loom people are on the ball, I'm smelling a Super Bowl commercial here...  
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O, Canada, Thank You
The other night, in Toronto, the hometown Maple Leafs played the Nashville Predators. As is custom, both the Canadian and American national anthems were performed. In the middle of the American song, the singer's microphone cut out - and the crowd took over, singing the song loud and proud to the very end. Thank you, Canadians! I can't help but wonder if we could do the same thing for them. Time to brush up on "O, Canada," I guess.  
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Just Face It, This is Funny
You don't have to be a soccer fan, or even understand the sport, to appreciate the fun in this video. It's so well done - a series of penalty kicks will decide the outcome of this "match" between Yale and North Carolina. Watch the action as the incomparable Scott Sterling keeps his goal that hardest way possible. And make sure you pay attention to the announcers - the British accents and expressions really help sell the bit!  
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A Realistically Proportioned Fashion Doll
There's been a lot of pushback recently against the unrealistic proportions of Barbie dolls. Except for those women who slave away to look like human Barbies, real women simply don't look like that. So how would a "realistically proportioned fashion doll" fare in today's toy market? Toy designer Nikolay Lamm aims to find out, with Lammily, a doll based on the proportions of the average 19-year-old woman. To add to the realism, Lammily comes with stick-on tattoos, cellulite, stretch marks, scars and more. Check out the video of a bunch of school kids getting to meet Lammily and compare her to a normal Barbie doll. It's pretty interesting...  
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One Winner Means Lots of Losers
On Jimmy Kimmel Live the other night, Jimmy got to break the news that Chris Hemsworth is People magazine's Sexiest Man Alive in 2014. So, he's the winner. Which means, every other man on the planet is the loser. Like Jason Bateman, who thought he'd been invited to appear on Kimmel's show because he was going to get the award. To make him feel better, Jimmy let Jason read his acceptance speech, which he'd prepared in anticipation of winning the award. (For the record, Jason's an underrated comic actor...)  
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Spielberg? Or Squirrel?
This one's a commercial just waiting to happen. Someone left his GoPro camera on the ground near a tree. A curious squirrel approached and decided he must have the GoPro - or, he mistook it for a shiny nut. Either way, the squirrel nabbed the camera and scooted up a tree with it. The footage is pretty amazing, even when the squirrel drops it to the ground. Could be the rodent version of Stephen Spielberg here...  
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Even Worse Than Misfit, These Toys Are Bad
A consumer advocacy group called WATCH - World Against Toys Causing Harm - this week issued its list of the Ten Worst Toys of 2014. The worst, according to WATCH, is the Air Storm Firetek Bow, which can shoot arrows up to 145 feet. There's also the Catapencil, an actual pencil with a slingshot at the top - surefire classroom fun right there. A Battle Hammer designed for three-year-olds - the ones who think they're Thor, I guess. The SWAT Electric Machine Gun was in the middle of the list. Surprising, really, when you consider the manufacturer's warning that it could be mistaken for the real thing by law enforcement personnel. You can check out the full list in this article in The Daily Mail. And check out the video of the press conference...  
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"America Loves You"
Give Jay Leno a hand. He recently visited Afghanistan, performing for the troops in a USO show. He came home wanting to do more. So he and the folks at The Today Show selected an active service member who was also a wounded warrior, and gave him a joy ride to remember. Check out the video as Jay drove Corporal Ethan Laberge on the back roads around Fort Campbell, Kentucky in a brand-new 2015 Dodge HRT Hellcat - the muscle car of muscle cars. And at the end of the ride... You just have to watch it for yourself. And grab a hankie.   Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy
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