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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 June 2014


Eco-friendly Control of Bean Beetles
Holes in the leaves of bean plants mean insects have moved in to share the harvest.  Don’t fret there are some easy ways to manage these pests.
Several insects can feed on bean plants and their pods. The bean leaf beetle, Mexican bean beetle and spotted cucumber beetle are the most common.
The bean beetle is ¼ inch long, yellow-green to red with four black dots on its back. High populations can devastate a planting. Cover plantings with floating row covers to keep the insects off. Firmly secure the edges to prevent the beetles from crawling underneath.
The Mexican bean beetle is a bit larger and can be yellow or coppery brown with 16 black dots. The immature stage, larvae, is orange or yellow, fuzzy and rather hump-backed. Remove and destroy any of the insects and their bright yellow eggs that you find.
A thorough clean up in the fall will reduce future problems.
A bit more information: The spotted cucumber beetle can also be found nibbling on your bean plants. It is long and narrow, yellowish green with black spots. Remove insects as found or use one of the more eco-friendly products like Neem, if needed.
For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
 
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Start New Perennials from Root Cuttings
Expand your perennial plant collection or share a family heirloom with friends and family. Root cuttings of butterfly weed, bleeding heart and oriental poppies to start new plants to share.
 
Take root cuttings of most fleshy rooted perennials in late winter or early spring before growth begins. Wait until after the bleeding heart has stopped flowering and oriental poppies go dormant to make these root cuttings.
 
Start by raking the soil away from the base of the plant so that several roots are exposed.
 
Use a sharp knife to remove several roots. Cover the remaining roots and water the plant.
 
Cut the roots into 2 to 3 inch segments. Lay them on a well-drained potting mix, moist sand or other rooting media. Cover the roots and keep the rooting media moist but not wet.
 
New growth should appear in several weeks.  Young plants can be moved into the garden or container in a sheltered location.
 
A bit more information:  Division is the easiest way to start new plants. Simply use a sharp spade to dig the plant and lift it out of the ground. Use a sharp linoleum knife, drywall saw or two  garden forks to cut the original plant into several small pieces.
 
For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com

 
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Medinilla for Indoor and Outdoor Gardens
Add a bit of the tropics to your patio or indoor garden with a Medinilla Plant.
 
This Philippine native is a relative newcomer to the North American garden scene. It produces exotic pink flowers several times a year. The colorful buds slowly open and expand into a spike covered with pink flowers and bracts.
 
Grow your plant in bright light indoors or indirect sunlight outside. Water thoroughly whenever the soil just starts to dry. You’ll water less often in the winter.
 
Pour off any excess water that collects in the saucer or use a gravel tray to elevate the pot above the water. This will save you time and improve the growing conditions by adding humidity around your plant. 
 
Only fertilize actively growing Medinilla plants. Use a dilute solution of a flowering plant fertilizer whenever your plant needs a nutrient boost.
 
Keep plants indoors when outside temperatures are below 54 degrees F (12 degrees C).
 
A bit more information: Remove faded flowers as your Medinilla finishes blooming. Fertilize regularly as the plant produces new growth. Once stems are at least 10 inches long you can start the reblooming process. Move your plant to a cooler location with temperatures about 64 degrees F (17 degrees C). Continue to provide bright light throughout the reblooming process.  Move back to its original location once the buds are at least 1 inch long. For more information visit http://www.medinilla.ca/plant-care.html
 
For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
 
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Eco-friendly Control of Asparagus Beetles
You wait all winter for your asparagus harvest and so do the common and spotted asparagus beetles.
 
These common pests of asparagus feed on the emerging stems causing browning, scarring and crooking of the stems.  Later in the season the larvae of the common asparagus beetle feed on the foliage.  Severe defoliation can weaken the plants.
 
Both beetles are about ¼ inch long and oval in shape. The common asparagus beetle is bluish black with cream-colored spots while the spotted asparagus beetle is reddish orange with black spots.
 
Start watching for these pests as soon as the asparagus peeks through the ground.  Remove and drop the beetles and their worm-like larvae into a container of soapy water.  Smash any of the eggs as soon as they are discovered.
 
Avoid chemicals as these also kill the parasitic wasp that helps control these pests. A little time controlling these insects means a bigger and better tasting harvest.
 
A bit more information: Control the weeds and you will also increase your harvest. Regular removal and mulching will keep annual weeds under control. Quackgrass and other perennial weeds require more persistence to remove these from the garden.
 
For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
 
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Cilantro
Add some flavor and potassium to your family meals with a bit of homegrown cilantro.
 
Plant transplants or sow seeds directly in the garden after the danger of frost has passed. Cilantro grows best in full sun, cool temperatures and well-drained soil. Gardeners in cooler climates can sow seeds every 3 to 4 weeks throughout the summer for continual harvest. Those with hotter summers will have the best results growing cilantro in the cooler temperatures of spring, fall and even winter in some areas.
 
Harvest the leaves back to the ground when they are at least 4 to 6 inches long. Only harvest a third of the plant to allow it to keep producing. After several harvests or as temperatures warm the plant will set seed. After the white flowers fade, green seeds appear and eventually turn brown. Harvest and use the seeds, they are the herb known as coriander, or allow them to drop to the ground and sprout new plants. 
 
A bit more information: The 2006 All American Selection Award Winner Delfino Cilantro has fine ferny foliage. It branches freely, producing more leaves to harvest and enjoy. Plus, it tends to form flowers and seeds later than other varieties.
 
For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
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Pick a Bit of Purslane for Your Salad
Put down the weeder and break out the harvest basket. The weed you are trying to kill may be a tasty addition to your salads and sandwiches.

Purslane is an aggressive annual weed that can be found anywhere from cultivated gardens to vacant patches of earth. It grows flat on the ground with thick succulent leaves similar to a jade plant. It spreads by stem pieces and seeds that can last for up to 40 years in the soil. You’ll see more of this weed during hot dry summers.
 
Harvest young plants and use the leaves fresh in salads and on sandwiches. Stir-fry, puree or steam the leaves and use it as a spinach substitute. Just don’t overcook as it gets a bit slimy.
 
Be sure to wash the plants before eating and only harvest plants growing in areas where pesticides, including weed killers, have not been used.
 
If you become a fan of purslane, consider purchasing the seed of varieties bred for better flavor.
 
A bit more information:  If you decide to control this weed, pull the plant before it goes to seed. Then mulch the soil with a one to two inch layer of shredded leaves or evergreen needles to help prevent the seeds from sprouting.
 
For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
 
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Plant Bee-Friendly Plants for National Pollinator Week (June 16-23)
Celebrate National Pollinator week June 16th to 23rd by adding a few new bee-friendly plants to your garden. Both our native bees and the honeybees are important to our gardens and food supply.
 
Borage is an annual herb that grows 24 to 36 inches tall and is topped with beautiful blue flowers. It can be used for seasoning meat, the flowers can be candied and the leaves are steeped to make tea.

Calendula also known as pot marigold thrives in full sun and cooler temperatures. The bees will enjoy the nectar and you can harvest the white, yellow or orange flowers for cooking in soups and stews.
 
Goldenrod is not the cause of hayfever, but is a favorite of bees and other beneficial insects. The bright yellow flowers combine nicely with asters for a beautiful fall display.
 
And put away the pesticides. These products can kill the good insects as effectively as the bad guys.
 
A bit more information: Further help the bees by providing the raw materials they need for nesting. Leave a few small brush piles, dried grasses, reeds and deadwood for the wild bees. Or invest in one of the bee houses or beneficial nesting boxes like those available at Gardener’s Supply.
 
For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
 
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Gift Ideas for Father’s Day

Looking for the perfect gift for dad? Consider the gift of time.
 
Help him enjoy gardening more or reduce time spent gardening, so he has more time to fish, golf or just relax under a shade tree.
 
Look for tools that make dad’s job easier and fun. Convert an old snow sled into a nifty plant sled. Add a longer secure rope so he can drag heavy items across the lawn.  Or maybe that old wagon can be painted and find a second life as a means of moving watering cans and bags of mulch around the landscape.
 
Buy a stand-alone tool caddy or one that wraps around a five gallon bucket. Fill it with a hand pruner, Dee Weeder, pair of gloves or any of those small gardening tools that seem to disappear when needed.
 
And add a garden journal where he can not only record his garden successes, but also his secrets to share.
 
And don’t forget to offer your time to help him with weeding, mowing or whatever garden chore he least enjoys.
 
A bit more information: Here are a few other projects that will help dad be organized and save time in the garden. Purchase a plastic container with a lid for all of his seeds. Organize seeds alphabetically, label with dividers and take inventory. This way he can store seeds in the fridge to maintain their viability, quickly find seeds he needs and reference the inventory when seed shopping at the garden center or from a catalogue.
 
For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
 
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Caring for Bromeliads

Looking for an easy indoor flowering plant? Try adding bromeliads to your collection.

These long blooming beauties require minimal care. Many bromeliads are epiphytes, naturally growing on trees and gathering nutrients and water from the environment, not by parasitizing the plants they live upon. You will find bromeliads at garden centers and florists mounted on boards, rocks or growing in well-drained potting or orchid mix.
 
Water the plants often enough to prevent the roots from drying out. Those bromeliads with a rosette of leaves that form a vase or tank absorb the water more efficiently through their leaves. So be sure to keep water in the leaf “tank” to keep these thriving.
 
Fertilize actively growing plants during the growing season with a dilute solution of flowering houseplant fertilizer. Once the flowers fade, the parent plant begins to decline. Don’t worry - new plants will soon appear.
 
A bit more information:  Divide and repot the young plants that form as the parent plant declines. Once these plants reach maturity they can be forced to flower. Place a piece of an apple and the plant in a sealed plastic bag for three days. Remove and wait for flowers to form.
 
For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
 
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Contrast Colors and Texture to Add Pizzazz to the Garden

Is your garden looking a bit drab? It’s time to liven things up with a few new plant combinations.  

Pair plants with opposite features to create a focal point and add a bit of pizazz to the landscape.
 
Start with color. Pairing plants with colors on the opposite side of the color wheel is sure to grab your attention. Blue salvia and yellow coreopsis, purple heliotrope and orange blackberry lily are just a few examples.
 
Look for opportunities to add some interesting textures. The fine leaves of ornamental grass are great against the bolder leaves of Canna. Or, mix Russian sage with your coneflowers.
 
And look for interesting and contrasting forms. Plant tall spiky speedwells next to round flowered zinnias or set a squatty round birdbath in front of a stand of tall hollyhocks.  These contrasting combinations emphasize each partner’s unique features.
 
A bit more information: The same design strategy works in the shade.  Combine the yellow daisy flowers of Leopard’s bane with the spiky blue flowers of Camassia. Or try mixing Japanese Forest grass (Hakonechloa) in front of a big blue leafed hosta
.
For more ideas on design strategies, click here.  
 
 
For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
 
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National Gardening Exercise Day
It’s National Gardening Exercise Day, so get out and workout in your garden today!
 
Whether you have a large landscape, small city lot or garden in containers, indoors or out, you will burn calories, lower your blood pressure and improve your mood through gardening.
 
Plus, you will be nurturing beautiful flowers for bouquets and fresh fruits and vegetables for your dinner table.
 
No garden? Then plant one. Consider planting a pot of your favorite grilling herbs to grow right next to the grill. Or plant a pot or patch of black and blue salvia, cuphea, also known as cigar plant, and fuchsias to bring hummingbirds to your garden.  And don’t overlook the benefit of growing tomatoes and peppers in a garden or container. They provide lots of vitamins and antioxidants – a perfect complement to your garden workout.
 
Make sure to follow a sensible routine, just like your workout at the gym.
 
A bit more information: Warm up with slow gentle motions. Then ramp up your garden workout with a few lunges as you weed. And be sure to finish gardening with some gentle stretches and slower movement.
 
For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
 
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Grow Your Own Chocolate – Chocolate Mint, That Is!
Add some chocolate to your diet and garden without adding all those calories.

Chocolate mint is an easy to grow plant with a strong minty fragrance and flavor topped off with a hint of chocolate. It makes the perfect garnish for desserts and as an ingredient in tea, ice cream, mojitos and anything chocolate.
 
Like most mints this is an aggressive plant. Grow it in a pot on your patio, deck or porch to keep it accessible and contained. Place your pot of mint in full sun or partial shade. It prefers cool moist soils, but as most gardeners have discovered, it tolerates a variety of conditions.
 
Harvest leaves and sprigs of your chocolate mint as needed throughout the season.  Don’t be timid - the more you harvest the more new stems and leaves will be produced. This fresh new growth has the best flavor.
 
Store sprigs of fresh mint in a glass of water or dry and wrap in plastic in the refrigerator.
 
A bit more information: Make larger harvests for drying and freezing just as the flowers begin to appear. You’ll get the greatest concentration of flavor. Larger harvests will not weaken the plant. Watch for fresh new growth and continue to harvest as needed.
 
For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
 
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Celebrate Rose Month – Eat Your Roses
The from-the-garden-to-the-table movement is not just about fruits and vegetables. Edible flowers like roses can provide beauty in a vase or on your dinner plate.
 
Rose petals are edible fresh in a salad, seeped in tea or cooked into jam and bakery.  The flavor varies with the variety and weather conditions, but you may taste a hint of strawberries or green apples when munching on a rose petal.
 
Harvest petals from recently opened flowers. Remove the individual petals and cut out the often bitter portion at the base. Spritz the petals with water to wash off bugs and dust. Pat dry then use fresh or dry for future use.
 
Make sure no pesticides have been applied to or near the plants and that they have not been exposed to roadside pollutants.
 
Leave some flowers on the plant to enjoy and develop into fruit that is decorative, edible and high in Vitamin C.
 
A bit more information: Harvest rose hips when they are fully colored, and better yet, after a light frost when they are sweetest. Use to make tea, candy, sauce, jams and jellies.
 
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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