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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 July 2014


Wine Bottles – Out of the Recycling Bin and Into the Garden
Stop! Don’t recycle those wine bottles, instead give them a second life in your garden.

Use wine bottles to create a colorful edge along a path or around a planting bed. Set the bottle, top-side down in the ground.  Individual bottles make great hose guides.
 
Or create colorful outdoor lighting. Remove the bottom of the bottle with a glasscutter. Place over LED bulbs. Strategically place individual wine bottle lights throughout the garden or use multiple bottles over a string of lights.
 
Put your glasscutter to work creating a planter. Remove a section from one side of the bottle. Lay the bottle on its side, secure in place, fill with soil and plant.
 
Or remove the top of the bottle. Invert and place in the bottom of the bottle. The original opening is now your drain hole and the bottom of the bottle is your saucer.
 
And of course you can always place them on a bottle tree.
 
A bit more information: Convert wine bottles into watering devices. Punch a small hole into the soil of your container garden. Fill the bottle with water, invert and place into the soil. Plant Nannies are hollow terra cotta spikes that can be set into the soil to hold the wine bottle in place.
 
For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
 
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Leaf Spot on Rudbeckia
Once thought to be the answer to low maintenance perennial gardens, Goldstrum Rudbeckia’s reputation has been tarnished by several leaf spot diseases.
 
A bacterial and several fungal leaf spot diseases cause purplish-black spots on the leaves of rudbeckia. Severe infestation can totally blacken the leaves and cause the plants to dieback a bit earlier in fall.  Fortunately most of the diseases are cosmetic and the plants will continue to flower and return each year.
 
Reduce the risk of this disease by providing adequate light and air circulation around the plants.  Use a soaker hose or watering wand to apply water directly to the soil when needed. 
 
In fall, remove and destroy all diseased plant parts.
 
If disease is a yearly problem, plant more resistant cultivars like Becky, Cherokee Sunset, Irish eyes, or Prairie Sun.
 
A bit more information:  Or keep the plants and hide the diseased leaves. Plant something slightly shorter in front of the Goldstrum Rudbeckia plants to mask the discolored leaves, but allow the flowers to show through.
 
For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
 
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Crown Rot Causing Sudden Wilting and Death on Ajuga (Bugleweed)
Sudden wilting, yellowing and death of ajuga, also known as bugleweed, means crown rot may have invaded the planting.

This fungal disease is most common in warm wet or humid weather. It first appears as sudden wilting and dieback in colder climates and yellowing and death of plants in warmer areas. The stems of infected plants turn brown or black and rot. 
 
This disease can be introduced into the garden on infected plants or soil or spread by tools and water. Since the disease is in the soil it is difficult to eradicate.
 
Remove and destroy infected plants and the surrounding soil immediately. Be sure to disinfect your tools with a one-part bleach and nine-part water solution during and after the process.
 
If the disease continues to spread or has destroyed much of the planting, it is time to start over in a new location with disease-free plants.
 
A bit more information:  Reduce the risk of crown rot to healthy plantings by thinning groundcover plantings every few years or before they become overcrowded. And avoid planting crown rot susceptible plants in the bed where the Ajuga died.  Consider amending the soil with compost, peatmoss or coir to improve drainage before planting.
 
For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
 
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Cool Splash Diervilla Shrub for Shady Gardens
Brighten up the shade with a Cool Splash Diervilla.
 
This cultivar of the southern bush honeysuckle was selected for its creamy to yellow leaf margins. The variegated leaves are topped by fragrant yellow flowers in midsummer. They help attract hummingbirds and butterflies to your garden.
 
Cool Splash is hardy in zones 4 to 8 and grows equally well in full sun or partial shade with moist well-drained soil. Once established, it is heat and drought tolerant.
 
This small-scale shrub suckers, forming a dense mass of cascading branches. It eventually reaches 2 to 3 feet tall and wide, making it suitable for small space gardens as well as mixed borders and shrub beds.  Use it to mask leggy stems or visually anchor taller trees and shrubs to the ground.
 
And don’t let the common name honeysuckle fool you. Though a member of the same family, this is not the invasive honeysuckle taking over our woodlands.
 
A bit more information: Combine Cool Splash with shade tolerant perennials. Hosta, astilbe, Brunnera, coral bells and ginger are just a few. For more shade tolerant shrubs watch my Shrubs Made for the Shade video.
 
For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
 
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Smart Irrigation Month – Planning a Watersense Irrigation System

Watering our landscapes properly can save water and improve our plants’ health. And if you decide to invest in an irrigation system make sure to get the best value and water savings by doing your homework first.
 
Look for systems that include EPA approved WaterSense irrigation controllers. These are like thermostats only they’re for your irrigation system, adjusting watering schedules based on weather and soil moisture instead of the calendar.
 
Select a system zoned to water plants at different rates. Established trees require less frequent watering than annuals. Use drip irrigation or low volume sprinklers in gardens to apply water slowly and right where it is needed.
 
And consult a certified Irrigation specialist that understands how irrigation works, the local environment and will help you comply with any building codes.
 
A bit more information: Your time invested in research before investing in an irrigation system can reduce water use, repair costs and plant replacement. Experts estimate we could reduce water use by 50% just by eliminating improper watering. If you already have a system, inspect it regularly. Check for and repair any leaks, clear clogs, adjust direction and repair damaged sprinkler heads. For more information visit these web sites:
http://www.irrigation.org/Certification/Certification_Splash.aspx   http://www.epa.gov/WaterSense/products/controltech.html
 
For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
 
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Grow Star and Heart Shaped Veggies
Add a little star power to your meals with the help of cookie cutters and veggie molds.
 
Cut cucumbers into ¼ inch thick round slices. Use a small heart shaped cookie cutter to remove the center of the rounds. Use these in salads, on sandwiches or relish plates. Save the outer ring. Slide two grape or cherry tomatoes onto a toothpick so they resemble a heart. Place them in the center of the outer ring of the cucumber and secure in place.
 
Or grow heart and star shaped fruit. Cover immature fruit with vegetable molds. Use twisty ties to hold the fruit filled mold onto the vine or support. Check the fruit regularly as some may be ready to harvest in as few as 5 to 7 days. Once the fruit has filled the mold and is fully colored, it is ready to harvest.
 
Creating heart and star shaped vegetables will dress up your meals and may encourage everyone to eat more veggies.
 
A bit more information: For more information on vegetable molds visit http://www.veggiemold.com.  And watch for postings on my Facebook page as I grow a few star powered vegetables of my own.
 
For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
 
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Less Mowing and Hand Trimming, Better for You and Your Landscape
Eliminate hand trimming around garden statues, playsets, narrow spaces and individual trees and shrubs. Invest a bit of time now to eliminate time spent on these tasks in the future.

Create mowing strips around raised beds and stonewalls to eliminate hand trimming. You can purchase and lay pavers and other edging materials or just remove a narrow strip of grass and cover with mulch. Run one set of your mower wheels on the mowing strip and cut the grass right up to the structure.
 
Connect individual trees and shrubs with mulch beds. The trees will benefit from the mulch and you will spend less time trimming around each plant. Plus the mulch bed protects the plants from weed whips and mowers that injure the plants as we try to cut the grass as close as possible.
 
And if this is too much mulch, try filling the area with perennials and groundcovers for added beauty and seasonal interest.
 
A bit more information: Mulching around trees also eliminates the frustration of surface roots. For more ideas watch Melinda’s Garden Moment video Dealing with Surface Roots http://www.melindamyers.com/Pasquesi-Landscape-Care/landscape-care/dealing-with-surface-roots.html
 
For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
 
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Taming Floppy, Leggy and Less-Than-Attractive Annuals
Break out the pruners and groom your unsightly annuals back to their original beauty.
 
Some annuals tend to develop long leggy stems with few flowers. Regular deadheading and removing the top few inches of the stem encourages more compact growth and continual flowering.  Don’t worry if your busy schedule allowed your plants to get out of hand. Just cut back the stems halfway.
 
Try staggering severe pruning to keep your garden looking good throughout the renewal process. Do this by pruning back only one third of the plants in a flowerbed or one third of the stems on individual plants at one time. Repeat each week. By the time you prune the last few stems the first group will be producing new flowers on more compact stems.
 
Reduce your workload next season by selecting annuals bred for long bloom and compact growth. You’ll have better-looking plants all season long with less work.
 
A bit more information: Regular grooming can help keep foliage plants like coleus looking their best. Remove the coleus flowers as soon as they form to prevent leggy growth. Prune back leggy plants as described to keep these beauties looking their best.
 
For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com

 
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Grow a Pickle in a Bottle
Add some mystery and fun to this season’s harvest by growing a pickle in a bottle.
 
Just like the ship in a bottle, finding a large cucumber in a clear bottle with a small opening will keep friends and relatives guessing.
 
Start by selecting a small immature cucumber. Leave it attached to the plant and slide it into a bottle. Leave your bottled cucumber tucked under plant leaves or create a little shade with cloth or newspaper to prevent it from overheating and rotting in the sun.
 
Check your cucumber regularly and watch it grow. Cut it off the vine just before it fills the bottle. Your cucumber in the bottle will only last a few days, but will provide lots of fun. Preserve it to extend the fun.  Boil 2 cups of vinegar mixed with 2 cups of hot water and 3 tablespoons of pickling salt. Cool and pour the mixture over the cucumber and seal the jar shut.
 
A bit more information: Add some more fun to the garden by scratching your name, design or a message into the rind of winter squash. Take a sharp object and lightly scratch your idea into, but not through the rind of an immature winter squash. As it grows, matures and hardens your message will become clearer. 
 
For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
 
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Upcycle Pool Noodles into the Garden
Don’t throw away those worn out or forgotten pool noodles. Put them to work in the garden.
 
Make a lengthwise cut halfway into the noodle. Then use it to top a chicken wire or hardware cloth fence or plant cage. It prevents cuts from sharp wires and adds a bit of color and whimsy to the garden.
 
Or bend and insert the noodle into a lawn bag to hold it open. Adding green debris for recycling will be much easier, especially when it’s a one person job.
 
Cover ½ inch PVC to create colorful structures in the garden.  Stand on end and securely anchor in the ground for a trellis. Or create colorful arches for added interest or fun for the smaller gardeners in the family.
 
Or cut the noodle to the desired length and cover with ribbon, flowers, pine cones or other materials to create a wreath for your front door, garden entrance or shed.
 
A bit more information: Create a raised bed with the help of old window well sections and noodles. Bolt two window wells together. Top with a noodle to protect you from the sharp edges. Set in place, fill with soil and plant.
 
For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
 
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Plan and Plant Now for a Bountiful Fall Harvest
Now is the time to plan and plant vegetables for a bountiful fall harvest.
 
Start by looking for vacant spaces in the vegetable garden that are left after harvesting lettuce, spinach and other early maturing crops. Expand your search to other plantable areas in flowerbeds and mixed borders.
 
Sow seeds of beans, cucumbers, carrots, beets and other short season vegetables. Simply count the number of days from planting to the date of the average first fall frost in your area. Then check the back of the seed packet for the number of days needed from planting until harvest. As long as you have enough time for the seeds to sprout, grow and produce before frost, they can be added to the garden.  Or extend the season with coldframes and floating row covers.
 
Those in frost-free areas can plant longer season crops that benefit from maturing during the cooler months of fall.
 
A bit more information: Wait for the soil to cool before planting lettuce and other vegetable seeds that require cooler temperatures to germinate. Or start the plants indoors and move them into the garden as transplants. Help keep the soil cool by mulching plantings with shredded leaves, evergreen needles or other organic mulch. For more ideas and information on late plantings watch my Melinda’s Garden Moment “Still Time to Plant” video or listen to the audio tip on this topic as well as the Grow a Bountiful Harvest All Season Long audio tip.
 
 
For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
 
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Celebration Maple

Add seasonal color and shade to your landscape with Celebration maple. This fast grower provides beauty with less maintenance.
 
Celebration maple is one of the freeman maple varieties. The freeman maple hybrids display the best qualities of each parent while minimizing their less desirable traits.  The red maple provides the better structure and fall color while the silver maple increases vigor and high pH tolerance.
 
Celebration is a more compact cultivar with good structure that is more resistant to wind, ice, snow, and storm damage.  The red flowers add a touch of subtle color to the spring landscape, while the red and yellow fall color end the season with a blaze.
 
This heat, drought and pollution tolerant tree is hardy in zones 4 to 8, and possibly 9, and grows 45 to 50 feet tall and 20 to 25 feet wide.
 
A bit more information: Celebration® Maple (Acer x freemanii ‘Celzam’) is virtually seedless, so you will have minimal seeds (also known as helicopters) to sweep off the sidewalk. And those that are grown on their own roots will not heave walks and drives.
 
For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
 
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Midseason Fertilization for Vegetable Gardens
Increase this season’s harvest with a midseason fertilization.
 
The amount and type of fertilizer needed is dependent on your soil, past fertilization practices and the type of plants you are growing.

A soil test is the best way to get the information needed to develop a fertilization program for your garden.  But until you have your soil tested, consider following these guidelines.
 
Select a low nitrogen slow release fertilizer like Milorganite to avoid damaging plants during hot dry summer weather.
 
Fertilize leafy vegetables when they are about half size.  Wait until the tomatoes and peppers start producing fruit before fertilizing them. 
 
Apply 1 pound of a low nitrogen fertilizer for every 100 square feet.  Sprinkle granular fertilizer along side or around the plants.  Gently rake it into the soil if needed. Liquid fertilizers are applied by a sprinkling can or garden hose.
 
A bit more information: Always read and follow label directions for the mixing rates and application methods for the fertilizer you select. And with proper care you will have plenty of produce for you, your family, friends and the hungry in your community. Contact Garden Writers Association’s “Plant a Row for the Hungry” program for information on donating extra produce to the hungry in your community. Call toll free 1-877-492-2727 or visit www.gardenwriters.org/.
 
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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