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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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Enjoy Your Flight to Middle Earth
Air New Zealand gets an A+ for ingenuity with its new air safety video. It uses characters and actual actors from the Lord of the Rings movies - all filmed in New Zealand - to go through the in-flight safety speech normally done live by flight attendants. Elijah Wood - Frodo Baggins from all three films - appears in the video and sums it up. Just before Peter Jackson, the director of the films, wraps it up. Check it out... It's even better if you're an LOTR fan - or a Hobbit.  
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What Happens in Atlantic City Should Have Stayed in Atlantic City
Tom Bergeron hosted the Miss America Pageant once. Just once. He revealed in a recent interview with HuffPostLive that he wasn't asked back because of an "incident." The "incident" - which wasn't his fault, he says - involved getting a shoulder massage from one of the contestants. He told her that was a good massage - and she promised a "body massage" if she won. No big deal - until he told the story on a talk show afterwards. And just like that, his phone wasn't ringing. Turns out that HuffPostLive wasn't the first to get the story. Tom told it over a year ago for the Archive of American Television.  
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Curses, Hydra, Foiled Again!
A trailer for the 2015 film, Avengers: Age of Ultron "leaked" a little early this week. It was supposed to hit at the beginning of next week - Tuesday, to be precise, during an episode of Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., but instead, somehow found its way to the Internet about six days early. Oops...   The folks at Marvel Entertainment took it all in stride, and blamed it all on Hydra. Hydra's the terrorist organization for which many of the bad guys in the Marvelverse work - so why not?   Dammit, Hydra. — Marvel Entertainment (@Marvel) October 22, 2014
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Zach, Brad & 2 Ferns
Zach Galifianakis could be the most underrated fake talk-show host since Jiminy Glick. He’s had some pretty interesting guests on his show, Between Two Ferns, not the least of whom was Barack Obama. His most recent guest – who looks more like a hostage in this one – is Brad Pitt, there ostensibly to promote his new movie, Fury. Or Furry, if you’re Zach. Check it out. Pretty funny stuff.   Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis: Brad Pitt from Zach Galifianakis
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Bye Bye Honey
It's hard to believe that Here Comes Honey Boo Boo has made stars out of Mama June and her clan. It's even harder to believe the things that Mama June does. Now, TMZ is reporting that TLC has cancelled the show because Mama June is dating a registered sex offender. The guy was put away ten years ago for child molestation. And here's the worst part - Mama June was dating the guy when it happened, and she knew his victim too.  
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Put Some Pittsburgh in Your Mouth - in a Few Days
Primanti Brothers is a legendary sandwich shop in Pittsburgh. The business started as a vending cart in the 1930s. The founder stuffed all his best ingredients into one sandwich so blue-collar workers could carry everything in one hand. That was then. Now, Primanti Brothers has announced they’ll be delivering their sandwiches nationwide. Thanks to a partnership with a new gourmet delivery startup, people can go on-line and order a Primanti’s party pack. You get a loaf of fresh Italian bread, your choice of pastrami or capicola, provolone, hand-cut French fries, coleslaw, hot sauce, two tomatoes and a Primanti’s T-shirt. The T-shirt is not edible. At least, I don’t think it is. Price tag: $109. No word on the delivery time, but if you order it this morning, you will not have it for lunch today. Unless you live in Pittsburgh, and then you’re more likely to do pick-up.     (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 Goldbely.
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Whose Fault Is It Anyway?
Monica Lewinsky, one-half of the scandal that almost brought down the Clinton administration, spoke over the weekend at the Forbes Magazine 30 Under 30 Summit. As an introduction, she recapped the story of her affair with Bill Clinton. She was fresh out of college and "more than averagely romantic," as she tells it. "I fell in love with my boss – in a 22-year-old sort of way." When the story broke, "within 24 hours, I became a public figure." All thanks to the Internet and the Drudge Report. "I was patient zero," she said, "the first person to have their reputation completely destroyed worldwide via the Internet." The entire speech can be found below. It's about 25 minutes long - but interesting in a historical sort of way...  
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Lady Batman?
At first, it reads like one of those hoax articles. But then when you realize that the person they're writing about is Lady Gaga, it makes you go, "Hmmm..." The folks at ComicBook.com are reporting that Gaga boughtbought a Malibu mansion recently. One accessory unit that came with the $23 million price tag was what The New York Daily News is calling a "Batcave." Said Batcave can only be accessed by an underground tunnel, and it features a bowling alley, arcade games, a home theater and an 800-bottle wine cellar. If Gaga gets tired of it, she can always lease it out as a frat house.  
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Chestnuts Roasting Barista-Style
It's the most wonderful time for a new coffee. At least, that's what Starbucks would have you believe. Get ready for Chestnut Praline Latte. The perfect beverage to wash down those holiday meals, don't you think? It's Starbucks first holiday drink in five years, and industry experts think it's the chain's answer to the Pumpkin Spice Latte at Dunkin' Donuts. Starbucks told the folks at Fox News that their drink is "inspired by the time-honored holiday tradition of warm roasted chestnuts… with freshly steamed milk and flavors of caramelized chestnuts and spices." You can add whipped cream and praline sprinkles, if you wish. If you're salivating, grab a napkin or a bib. The drink won't be available nationwide until November 21.  
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About Face for Renee
Renee Zellweger caused a stir over the weekend when she showed up at a Hollywood function looking different. Yup. She doesn’t look the way she used to look, so that got some tongues wagging. Yesterday, Renee told PEOPLE magazine she’s glad that people think she looks different. “I'm living a different, happy, more fulfilling life, and I'm thrilled that perhaps it shows," she told the magazine. She thinks the whole thing is silly, and good for her. “Perhaps I look different. Who doesn't as they get older?” And for the record, she’s starting to look a little bit like Glenn Close – which is not necessarily a bad thing.  
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Annoying Then, Annoying Now
Yes, I know, it's hard to believe, but Kim Kardashian was just about as annoying 20 years ago as she is now. Thanks to Entertainment Tonight, we all get to witness just how annoying, on the video they unearthed from ther eighth-grade graduation. "My name's Kim Kardashian, I'm the dopest on the ropest person in this class," she says on the video. "I'm dope on the rope, and you should learn my vocabulary." One of her classmates says, "Define 'dope,' Kim." And she responds, "Kim is dope." This is one of those times when jokes simply write themselves...  
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Bizarrely Funny
Shia Labeouf has had more than his share of troubles in the past several months. And now, Rob Cantor - a singer and songwriter - has penned a tune in tribute to Shia. Well, not really a tribute. More an extremely weird and bizarrely funny performance piece - featuring Rob, a couple of choruses, a troupe of dancers and what may be a partial philharmonic orchestra. Check it out - it's perfect for Halloween. And make sure you stay until the very end for an unexpected surprise.  
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Excuse Me, Sister, Like a What?
Sister Cristina, the Italian nun who won her nation's version of American Idol, has released a new single. It's a cover - well, sort of - of Madonna's 1984 hit song, "Like a Virgin." Yes, folks, a nun, singing "Like a Virgin." Sister Cristina said in an interview with an Italian newspaper that her idea to cover the song is not meant to be "provocative or scandalous." She says if you simply read the song's lyrics - and pay no attention to Madonna's interpretation - it's really a song about "love's ability to renew a person and rescue them from the past." I guess covering "Like a Prayer" would have been expected, huh?  
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The "Horror" of Modern Celebrity Culture
It's been 21 years since since legendary singer and songwriter Billy Joel has had a hit. And according to an interview in The New Yorker, that's been on purpose. He says he really dislikes the "horror of celebrity," and he's really uncomfortable with the demands it places on folks like him.  In fact, he said that all the scrutiny and second-guessing made him feel like "there was a proctoscope up my butt." Um, ouch! Seems like that would make it very difficult to sit down at a piano too.
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The Super Scientific Way
Leave it to Ellen Degeneres to get into the sports prediction business. On her show yesterday, she brought in two representatives of the two teams involved in the World Series, the San Francisco Giants and the Kansas City Royals. Okay, truthfully, it was two guys in baseball pants and hats from the two teams - the wardrobe budget appears to have run out when it came to buying the guys jerseys. But no one in the audience seemed to mind. In fact, the super scientific predictor was to send the two guys into the audience - the predicted winner would be the dancer who collected the most money in his shorts. Yes. No need to read it again - it's what happened. So hang onto this to see how good Ellen's process is...  
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Do It or Get Off the Pot!
In a new interview with GQ magazine, film star Matthew McConaughey shared the romantic story of how he decided to marry his now-wife, Camila Alves. According to him, it took her grabbing the bull by the horns, and saying, "C’mon, Big Boy, Mr. Easygoing-We’ll- Get-to-It-When-We-Get-to-It. Either s**t or get off the pot." While Matthew didn't mention it in the interview, his wife will undoubtedly be releasing her new line of matrimonial greeting cards any time now - as soon as she gets off the pot.
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Being Married to Dennis Rodman "The Worst"?
 In a recent appearance on Oprah Winfrey's Where Are They Now?, actress Carmen Electra opened up about her short marriage with the NBA's Dennis Rodman. Yes, the same guy who thinks he can solve the world's problems by playing basketball in North Korea was once married to Carmen. And as described by Carmen, it was "the worst." In her and his defense, she also said when it was good, it was "amazing." She says she remembers thinking, immediately after the wedding, "Oh God, what did we do? What did we just do?" Not a good start, no matter how you look at it...  
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Believe It? Or Not?
In Back to the Future II, Marty McFly made a quick escape on a Hoverboard - a floating skateboard that existed in the future. Remember the scene?   Well now, thanks to a company called ..., you can have a hoverboard all your own - for the miniscule setback price of $10,000. It's part of a Kickstarter project, trying to raise $250,000. If you'd like a working prototype, it's yours for $10K. A couple of things you need to know. The device can float only three centimeters off the ground, it cannot be steered, and it will only float over very special non-ferrous surfaces, like copper and aluminum. But it none of that bothers you and you have the cash burning a hole in your pocket, go for it!  
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You're Goin' Down!
Chelsea Handler is well-known for just letting fly whatever comes to mind. Some folks would suggest that her thoughts are often formed in her oral cavity instead of her cranium. The other night on Late Night with Conan O'Brien, she was working toward something when she asked Conan and his co-host, Andy Richter, whether they liked the ocean. Andy said he did - and Chelsea fumbled her way into an ill-defined and -conceived fat joke. Andy handled it perfectly, and his response put Chelsea in her place. Check it out.  
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Your Name is Neil Diamond...
Neil Diamond's kicking off a new concernt tour, and he's started on the talk show circuit. He popped into The Tonight Show to chat with Jimmy Fallon about his legendary career - he's a member of both the Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, you know. But the conversation turned to his name. "Neil Diamond" is his real name, but early on in the business, he thought about changing it. Listen to the conversation for the full story. Then play it again, but mute the video, and tell me if this guy isn't looking a little bit like Sean Connery these days.  
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Slogans Can Hurt
Ellen Degeneres is all over the Red Bull class action lawsuit. You'll recall that the makers of the energy drink settled their case recently, offering a $13 million payout to consumers who may have been duped into believing that Red Bull gives you wings. On yesterday's Ellen, viewers got to meet a man who believes most slogans, and is suing everyone from Nike to Exxon to Ellen herself. Check it out.  
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Who Thought This Was a Good Idea?
There's a company that sells giant stuffed plush versions of various microbial organisms - among them, the Ebola virus, which they call "the T. Rex of microbes." And guess what? With so much talk about Ebola these days - and by "talk," I mean "panic" - the entire stock of Ebola toys has sold out. That includes the small Ebola doll ($9.95), the gigantic Ebola doll ($29.95) and the Ebola Petri Dish ($14.95). Yup, that's exactly what we want our kids playing with these days, isn't it? The video below was made about three years ago - but check it out anyway.  
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Kooking with Kardashian?
Kris Jenner - aka Mama Kardashian - showed up on The Today Show yesterday, hawking her new kookbook. Because when you think of kuisine, your mind instantly goes to "Kardashian," am I right? In her defense, she says she's been feeding her khildren since she had Kourtney when Kris was just 22. "They give you a baby, you've gotta feed it." If that doesn't get her some sort of Mom of the Year award - well, it will just be a travesty.   Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy
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Man on a Leash?
Jada Pinkett Smith showed up to audition for the role of Fish Mooney on Fox’s Gotham with a man on a leash. Her character is a shady club owner in Gotham who has relationships with a lot of underworld characters – and maybe a less than honorable relationship with some of Gotham’s finest as well. Last weekend, she told folks at the PaleyFest that she wanted to show the producers that she understood her character. So instead of talking about Fish Mooney, she decided to show them. She showed up in a short wig and a long flowing gown with a shirtless man on a leash. She says she went “method.” The dude on the leash went “canine,” I guess. She also has a strong presence on Twitter, keeping in touch with her fans by tweeting.   Happy #FishMooney Monday Gotham is off the hook 2night. One of my favorite episodes. I'll tweeting 2night at 8 pm EDT pic.twitter.com/JBw4EPeHBp — Jada Pinkett Smith (@jadapsmith) October 13, 2014
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Breaking Bad Action
A mom in Florida has started a petition to get the Toys ‘R’ Us chain to take Breaking Bad action figures off their shelves. The mom doesn’t like the message that the figures send, saying that kids mimic what their action figures do. The Walter White doll, for instance, comes complete with bags of cash and methamphetamine. The mom admits that she liked the series – even found it riveting – but she wants the figures out of Toys ‘R’ Us Bryan Cranston, who played Walter in the series, had an interesting take on the whole thing, with a fun tweet yesterday.   "Florida mom petitions against Toys 'R Us over Breaking Bad action figures." I'm so mad, I'm burning my Florida Mom action figure in protest — Bryan Cranston (@BryanCranston) October 20, 2014
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