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Kidd & Elizabeth

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 August 2014


Summersweet (Clethra alnifolia) for Difficult Growing Conditions

Don’t let heavy shade or damp and clay soil stop you from gardening. Consider adding a Summersweet, Clethra alnifolia, to your landscape.

This North American native can be found growing in swampy woodlands, marshes, along stream banks and seashores. This suckering shrub has dense branching and grows 3 to 6 and occasionally 8 feet tall and 4 to 6 feet wide. It is hardy in zones 3 to 9.
 
The fragrant white flowers attract butterflies and bees, while brightening the landscape for 4 to 6 weeks in July and August. But the show doesn’t end there. The green leaves turn an attractive yellow in the fall. Plus, the tidy appearance makes it a nice addition to the winter landscape.
 
It grows best in full sun to part shade and moist to wet soil.
 
Use summersweet in rain gardens, shrub borders, narrow spaces and perennial gardens where its four-season beauty can be enjoyed.
 
A bit more information: This versatile shrub, also known as Sweet Pepperbush, is generally trouble-free. The cultivar Hummingbird is more compact, slow spreading and grows about 3 to 4 feet tall. Sugartina is even smaller at 30 inches with clear white flowers. Pink Spire has pink buds that open into pinkish white flowers.
 
For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
 
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Dragon and Damselflies – Nature’s Prehistoric Insect Hunters
Attract a few of nature’s prehistoric insect hunters, the dragonflies and damselflies, to your garden. You’ll enjoy their beauty, acrobatics and fewer insects thanks to their eating habits.

Dragonflies and damselflies eat mosquitoes, flies, gnats and other insects. A few strategic plantings and a water feature can help you attract them to your landscape.
 
If you have a nearby population of these beneficial insects, it will be easier to get a population started in your own yard.
 
Add a water feature with varying depths to provide a variety of plants these insects need to live and multiply. The immature nymphs live in the water. They need the habitat provided by plants growing in at least 2 feet of water. Plus, this depth protects them from predators like raccoons. The adults need reeds and other plants that grow in shallow water for laying their eggs.
 
A bit more information: Add a few shrubs around your water feature. These plants provide perches for the adults, giving them a great vantage point for hunting other insects. For more information on attracting these insects into your landscape, visit:

http://www.nwf.org/How-to-Help/Garden-for-Wildlife/Gardening-Tips/Attracting-Dragonflies.aspx
http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/arthropoda/uniramia/odonatoida.html
 
For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
 
 
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Late Season Bloom, Moisture Tolerant Turtlehead


Add some late season color to your garden with the versatile turtlehead perennial plant.
 
A close look at the flowers will reveal the source of its common name. The clasping petals look like a turtle’s head. The botanical name Chelone comes from Greek mythology. A nymph named Chelone insulted the gods and was turned into a turtle.
 
These North American natives typically grow along stream banks, in bogs or moist woods. You can find cultivated varieties such as Hot Lips and Black Ace at some garden centers and nurseries. Use turtleheads in rain gardens, moist areas and for added late summer through fall color.
 
The deer tend to leave these alone, but the butterflies find them attractive.
 
Plants grow in full sun to shade, moist soil and are hardy in zones 3 to 8 or 9, depending on the variety. Plants growing in shade may need some staking or strong upright neighboring plants for support.
 
A bit more information: Hot Lips turtlehead has rosey-pink flowers and dark green leaves that have a bronze tinge as they emerge in spring. Black Ace has a blackish tint to the leaves and white flowers. Click here for more information.
 
For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
 
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You Can Plant Cucumbers Next to Pumpkins
 
The old adage “don’t plant your cucumbers next to your pumpkins” is not true.  You can plant pumpkins next to other squash, melons and cucumbers.
 
When we purchase and plant a seed of one of these tasty vegetables; that seed grows into fruit we desire. If the bees carry pollen from one plant to another, cross-pollination can occur. This affects the seeds, not the fruit you’ll eat.
 
If you save the seed from these plants and use them in next year’s garden, you may be in for a surprise. The offspring might be a yellow and green acorn squash, yellow spotted zucchini or pumpkin with green warts.
 
And even if you didn’t save and plant seeds, you may find a few surprises in the compost pile or garden. Cross-pollinated fruit added to the compost pile or allowed to decompose in the garden leaves a few cross-pollinated seeds behind.
 
A bit more information: Cross pollination occurs within close members of this family. The female flower of the plant will only accept pollen from closely-related members. So a squash and cucumber cannot cross pollinate. But an acorn squash can cross with the more closely related zucchini or gourd.
 
For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
 
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Disease Resistant Major Wheeler Red Honeysuckle Vine
 
Add a spot of red to the garden and help bring in the hummingbirds.
 
Major Wheeler honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens ‘Major Wheeler’) is a cultivar of the North American native honeysuckle vine.  It has been called the best red by many growers and is resistant to powdery mildew. Gardeners and growers report clean, mildew-free leaves even when plants are overcrowded or growing in droughty conditions.
 
The red flowers appear in late spring and repeat throughout the summer. Remove the first set of blooms as they fade to increase the intensity of summer blooms.
 
Grow this twining vine up a trellis, over an arbor, on a fence or climbing over a rock wall.  The stems grow 3 to 8 feet long. And the plant is hardy in zones 4 to 8.
 
You’ll have the best results growing this plant in full sun and moist well-drained soil. It is heat and drought tolerant once established and will tolerate a bit of light shade.
 
A bit more information: Try growing this and other vines in a container. It is a great way to add vertical interest to your container garden or a colorful accent on a patio or deck.
 
For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
 
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Build a Bee House
 
Convert scrap lumber into homes for native bees to raise their young.
 
Native bees are important pollinators needed for plants to produce fruits, seeds and berries. Planting native flowers such as asters and beebalm and trees like lindens will provide food to help attract bees to your landscape and keep them healthy.  Providing housing will also help attract these visitors to your garden.
 
Drill holes into, but not through, any size block of untreated wood. The holes should be about 3 to 5 inches deep and 5/16th an inch in diameter for Mason bees.  Insert straws into each hole to make cleaning easier. Paper straws are good for nesting but glass or plastic reduce the risk of mold formation.
 
Mount the bee house on the south side of a fence or building. Keep your bees safe by eliminating the use of pesticides on or near the bee house. Better yet, use bee-safe insect control methods in your garden and landscape.
 
A bit more information: No construction skills? Don’t worry - you can use hollow stemmed grasses and reeds as the nesting cavities. Place these in a bucket or bundle them together to create a bee house.  Click here for more information on building bee houses.
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For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
 
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Blossom Drop and Fruit Rot on Vegetables
 
Don’t let blossom drop and fruit rot reduce this season’s harvest. A few adjustments in your garden care can help reduce the risk.
 
Many vegetables will drop their blossoms when temperatures and soil moisture fluctuate. Extreme heat and cold nights can cause peppers to drop their blossoms and tomatoes to stop producing. Use floating row covers to keep things warm on cool nights or during heat waves wait for cooler temperatures for the fruit to form.
 
Be sure to water thoroughly to encourage deep drought-tolerant roots.  Mulch with shredded leaves, evergreen needles or other organic matter to keeps roots cool and evenly moist.
 
Even soil moisture also insures the uptake of critical nutrients. A lack of calcium can cause blossom end rot on tomatoes and other fruit. Adjust your watering and mulching before reaching for the fertilizer.
 
A bit more information:  Products like Blossom Set will help with tomatoes, but not peppers. The fruit will be smaller, but at least you’ll have some. This will not work with peppers since they drop their blossoms during extremely hot or cold temperatures.
A few diseases can also cause fruit rot. Remove the squash blossoms as they wilt to reduce the risk of damage caused by these diseases.  And be sure to mulch the soil to reduce the risk of soil born diseases from infecting blossoms and developing fruit. Melon and Squash Cradles from Gardener’s Supply Company help elevate your fruit off the soil further reducing disease problems.
 
For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
 
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Controlling Ragweed, the Allergy Sufferers Nemesis

 
If you suffer from a runny nose, stuffed up sinuses and itchy or watery eyes, the culprit may be hiding under your shrubs, next to your flowers or along a nearby roadway.

Ragweed is the main cause of allergy and pollen asthma in North America and Central Europe. Common ragweed is an annual with ferny leaves that flowers in August and September. Giant ragweed has larger less dissected leaves and can reach heights of 8 feet. Mowing and removal not only eliminates the pollen, but also the 30,000 to 62,000 seeds that each plant can produce. Removing one plant means thousands less to weed next season.
 
Keep your lawn mown, gardens weeded and replant ragweed infested areas with native and ornamental plants suited to the growing conditions. Proper selection and soil preparation will help your desirable plants crowd out this weed.
 
A bit more information:  A single plant can release as much as one billion grains of pollen throughout one season. And that pollen can travel more than 400 miles. Enlist friends, families and neighbors in the cause. The more we control this pesky weed the better for us all.
For more information, click here.
 
For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
 
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Leaf Browning, Scorch, on Hostas and Other Shade Plants

 
Brown leaf edges are common on hostas and other shade lovers when the temperatures rise or the sun is too intense.

Brown leaf edges, known as scorch, occur when the plant loses more water than is available or faster than the plant is able to absorb. Reduce the risk of this problem by growing shade lovers like hostas in shady areas free of hot mid-day and afternoon sun.
 
Add organic matter to the soil to improve the water-holding ability of fast draining sandy soils. Water the plants thoroughly and often enough to keep the soil slightly moist.
 
Mulch the soil with shredded leaves, evergreen needles or other organic matter to keep the soil cool and evenly moist. Yes, I know, this also creates the perfect environment for slugs. If a slug problem develops, capture these slimy pests with beer in a shallow can.
 
A bit more information:  If slugs are a problem considering planting more slug-resistant hostas. These tend to have thicker leaves like the 2014 Hosta of the Year “Abiqua Drinking Gourd.” For more information, listen to my audio tip on Eco-friendly Slug and Snail Control.
 
For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
 
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Sneak Some Zucchini on Your Neighbor’s Porch Night

Once again it’s time to celebrate Sneak Some Zucchini on Your Neighbor’s Porch Night.  August 8th, National Zucchini Day, inspired Pennsylvania gardeners Tom and Ruth Roy to encourage gardeners to share their excess zucchini with neighbors.
 
If you’ve grown zucchini you know it can create an abundance of fruit. Harvesting when the fruit is 6 to 8 inches long gives the best flavor and keeps the plants producing.
So after you’ve enjoyed those first dozen or so zucchini on relish trays, stir-fried or in baked goods you may be looking for ways to “share” the harvest.
 
After friends and family refuse your offering of this tasty veggie you may decide to join the fun and leave a few zucchinis on your neighbor’s front porch. Just include a few recipes if you want to keep them as friends.
 
Or better yet, take your surplus vegetables, zucchini and all, to a nearby food pantry.
 
A bit more information: Many seniors and children benefit from the flavorful and nutritious surplus vegetables donated by generous gardeners. Visit Plant-a-Row for the Hungry’s web site at or call 1-877-492-2727 to find a food pantry near you.
 
For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
 
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Love-in-a-Mist Flower Growing Tips

 
Add a little love and beauty to your garden with Love-in-a-mist. The fine foliage, white, pink, blue or lavender flowers and attractive seedpods provide season-long beauty.
This annual grows best in full sun and moist well-drained fertile soil. The flowers float above the dill-like leaves on plants 15 to 24 inches tall and 12 inches wide.
Harvest a few of the long-lasting flowers to enjoy in a vase. Remove the foliage as it tends to wilt much more quickly than the blossoms. And harvest a few of the seedpods to use in crafts and dried arrangements. Pick when the purple or bronze stripes are visible on the balloon shaped pods. Hang in a warm shaded location to dry.
Love-in-a-mist is self-seeding. So once you have a plant growing and flowering in the garden, just leave a few seedpods on the plants, don’t disturb the soil and you’ll be rewarded with lots of new plants each year.
A bit more information: This plant is known botanically as Nigella damascena. It does not transplant well. So buy new seeds or collect seeds from existing plants when you want to start this plant in a new location in the landscape.
For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
 
 
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Joe-Pye Weed for you and the Butterflies to Enjoy

 
Add some bold beauty and butterfly appeal to your garden with Joe-Pye Weed.
 
This summer through fall blooming perennial is hardy in zones 3 to 9.  It grows best in full sun to part shade and moist fertile soil.  The leaves will scorch - form brown edges - if the soil is allowed to dry.  So be sure to mulch with shredded leaves, evergreen needles or other organic matter to keep the soil consistently moist throughout the season.
 
Joe Pye weed grows 5 to 7 feet tall and 3 to 4 feet wide. The leaves give off a hint of vanilla when crushed. The small purple or white flowers form large clusters known as panicles 12 to 18 inches across.
 
If this sounds too big for your landscape, don’t fret. Shorter varieties like Gateway at 4 to 6 feet tall and 3 to 5 feet wide and Little Joe at 3 to 4 feet tall and wide may work for you.
 
A bit more information: The Chicago Botanic Garden recently evaluated the various Joe-Pye weeds and their relatives. They looked at plants as short as 17 inches and as tall as 90. See the results of their comparative study by clicking here.
 
For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
 
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Celebrate National Watermelon Day with Proper Harvesting of Watermelon
Take a break and enjoy a refreshing slice of watermelon as you celebrate National Watermelon Day on August 3rd.
 
This tasty fruit is high in Vitamins A, B6, C and potassium. It contains even more lycopene than tomatoes - the red pigment thought to reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease and age related eye disorders.
 
Eat it fresh, blend it into a smoothie, create a cocktail, add it to a salad or pickle the rinds. And don’t forget to save the seeds for a seed-spitting contest.
 
If you grow your own watermelon, harvest it when fully mature. This is when the curly tendrils near the stem turn brown and dry, the side touching the ground turns from light green to yellowish-cream, the rind turns dull and is hard to penetrate with your thumb nail.
 
Or visit your local farmer’s market and buy a few to enjoy. Then plan on adding one to next year’s garden.
 
A bit more information: Watermelons can be grown in a pot or trained up a trellis to save space. Allow vines to crawl over the deck or patio to add greenery at ground level. Or train the vines up a trellis to save space. Support the fruit with a cloth sling to prevent it from breaking off the vine.
 
For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com

 
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"I Think She Lost Her Mind in the Hollywood Madness"
So, this is interesting. The other night, on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Miley Cyrus threw on a wig, big glasses and a business suit, and pretended to be a reporter from Australia. She grabbed a camera crew and went out onto Hollywood Boulevard to interview people about Miley Cyrus. It's actually pretty funny, and it ends the way you'd sort of expect a Miley Cyrus bit to end. Give it a look...  
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Knock Me Over With a Feather
When the Ashley Madison scandal broke, a lot of people looked to Noel Biderman, the company's CEO who co-founded the "cheating" site with his wife, for answers. In an interview that broke just this past weekend in which he was referred to as the King of Infidelity, he said that he and his wife did not practice the company motto: "Life is short. Have an affair." (The folks at Huffington Post Canada have the interview, and a video about it.) In a 2013 interview, Amanda Biderman had this to say about what would happen if Noel cheated on her: "I would be devastated if (Noel) did it to me. But I would not blame a website. Ashley Madison is not creating cheaters. It is servicing a need that is there, that exists. And unfortunately, it exists. It's sad.'' Well, guess whose emails got leaked as part of the data breach and have now been made public? And guess who's allegedly been having affairs? None other than the CEO himself. I wonder if Amanda has logged onto DivorceLawyer.com yet...?   Ashley Madison CEO's emails reveal he lied and had multiple affairs http://t.co/dkTim2w25U // guy creating cheating site cheats. surprised? — gavin richardson (@gavoweb) August 27, 2015
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No More Anchor Babies!
Anchor babies. It's a term that's been tossed around like a hot potato early in this presidential season, especially among the Republican candidates. It's the way they've been describing children born in this country to illegal immigrants. Constitutionally, that grants the children automatic US citizenship, providing an "anchor" to which the parents will cling in hopes of being allowed to stay here. Many Republicans say that has to stop, no matter what the Constitution says. Finally, the folks at Funny or Die have found a way to explain why that should happen. And not one moment too early...   America Under Attack: Anchor Babies from Funny Or Die
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The Most Unlikely Duet of All
Taylor Swift sold out five shows in Los Angeles. Throughout the run, she brought up a bunch of her friends to sing with her, to the delight of all in attendance. Folks like Selena Gomez, Justin Timberlake and Lisa Kudrow. Yes, Lisa Kudrow. She joined Taylor on stage to sing "Smelly Cat," a song she sang as Phoebe on Friends. Not only did Taylor know the song, so did the crowd. Check it out.
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"There's Been an Awakening"
The geekosphere erupted yesterday when the Disney folks released a teaser trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. It's all of 15 seconds, and available exclusively on Instagram. And it doesn't really show anything new, except for a guy holding a blue light saber, going up against the guy with the red Game of Thrones-style broadsword light saber. Which prompted all sorts of discussions and theories that will keep the Star Warriors busy until the next teaser trailer. Check it out.     There has been an awakening... #StarWars #TheForceAwakens A video posted by Star Wars (@starwars) on Aug 27, 2015 at 10:00am PDT
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Betty White's Next TV Gig
Betty White could well be the hottest actress on TV right now. She's done all sorts of guest spots on all sorts of shows, and she just wrapped up a six-season run of Hot in Cleveland on TV Land. Now, she'll be guest starring on Fox's long-running Bones as a squintern. Don't worry, I had to look it up too. Squintern is the word Booth (David Boreanaz) uses to describe the people who assist Doctor Brennan (Emily Deschanel) in the lab. The folks at TV Line report that Betty White will play Dr. Beth Mayer,  an accomplished, sharp as a tack squintern who is brought in to assist in a murder linked to fantasy football — which just happens to be one of her many areas of expertise. With a half century of work under her belt, Dr. Mayer is considered the world’s most experienced forensic anthropologist..." You'll have to wait until the end of October for Betty to make her appearance. And no, they won't be renaming the series Old Bones. That would be wrong. Meanwhile, here's the incredibly sappy promo Fox created for the show's upcoming season...  
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"Oh, I WILL Take This on the Plane"
Some people are silly, I guess. Like this woman who tried to get on board a flight at Beijing Capital International Airport with a $200 bottle of Remy Martin XO Excellence cognac. When the airport security folks told her she'd have to leave it behind, she did what any logical human would do She drank the entire bottle. And got so drunk - fall-down drunk, in fact - that she wasn't allowed to board the fight. I guess she showed them, huh?
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"See a Bus, Don't Move"
Deva Dalparto runs a web and YouTube site called MyLifeSuckers.com, dedicated to the moms of the world. But you don't have to be a mom, or even a parent, to enjoy the videos and blogs she posts. Her latest - just in time for Back to School Season - is "Bus, Don't Move," a parody of the 80s hit, "Bust a Move." It's pretty funny, and it also carries an important safety message to motorists: when you see a school bus, don't move.  
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Les Miserables = Less Miserable
You don't have to be a fan of Les Miserables - either the Broadway show or the movie - to appreciate this flash mob. The West Des Moines School District (in Iowa, of course) was holding its district-wide welcome to school meeting for teachers. And to put a little zest into the day, some teachers put together a teaching-oriented parody of one of the show's biggest ensemble pieces, "One Day More." At first, no one knew what was happening. But as more and more teachers stood up to sing their parts and join the others on stage, the rest of the audience really got into it. When it was done - and done quite well - the performers earned a standing ovation.  
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Ashley Madison, the TV Show?
One of the biggest data breaches going these days is the one involving AshleyMadison.com. That's the site where you can sign up and arrange an extra-marital affair if you're so inclined. Like they say, "Life is short. Have an affair." Now, a team of Hollywood producers has revealed they're working on a fictionalized show based on the website, about a single mom who launches the site as a way to make ends meet. Why now and why this, you wonder? “Anytime 30 million people are doing anything, it becomes worthy of a real discussion,” one of the producers told US Weekly. So, let's see if this ever makes it to air. The show is tentatively titled Thank You Ashley Madison. Meanwhile, the folks at Entertainment Tonight talked about what the breached data shows about the least- and most-faithful states in the USA. You might be surprised! 
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The End of SuM&Mer
I'm not in any hurry to get to fall, but apparently, the M&M people are. They just announced their newest flavor, and it has "fall" written all over it. New Pumpkin Spice Latte M&Ms, featuring the brown M&M on the packages wearing a scarf and holding a cup of latte. I'm sorry, it's too early. Take them back, M&M people! Just another month. That's all I ask. One. More. Month! Meanwhile,watch this hilariously awkward amateur food-tasting review about the new M&Ms posted to YouTube at the beginning of the week...  
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Space Oddity in Space
File this in your #TBT drawer: it's a video from a couple of years ago. I missed it, maybe you did too. Astronaut Chris Hadfield pulled a tour aboard the International Space Station in 2013. He was known as being media-savvy, steadily tweeting and doing other entertaining things. Like this little gem: performing David Bowie's "Space Oddity" in space. He tweaked the lyrics a bit - since space travel has changed a bit since Bowie recorded the song in 1969. The floating guitar and the floating singer really make this work. And Chris has a pretty decent voice.  
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Kim's Biggest Problem
The newly crowned queen of Instagram might have trouble in her kingdom. According to Star magazine - and you know they'd never lie! - Kim Kardashian has gained 65 pounds in her second pregnancy, and Kanye West is not at all happy about it. Kanye believes, according to the tabloid - and you know they'd never lie! - that Kim is gaining weight because she's using her pregnancy to binge on donuts and ice cream. And he wants her to lose the weight before she has the baby. If any of this is true, sounds like Kim's biggest problem is not the weight, but the maroon her got her pregnant.     RP: @carladibello GOOD MUSIC, GOOD TIMES! A photo posted by Kim Kardashian West (@kimkardashian) on Aug 23, 2015 at 10:30am PDT
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The $1.5 Million "Ooops!"
Before we go any further, let me just say, I feel bad for the kid, okay? And now, the story. A 12-year-old visiting a museum in Taipei, China tripped and fell. No big deal, except he used a painting worth $1.5 million to break his fall. And in the process, he managed to punch a hole in the painting. Watch the video. And tell me this kid's face isn't on a warning poster at museums around the world by now.  
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"Go Back to Univision"
When it comes to freedom of speech, it sounds like Donald Trump believes it applies only to him. Okay, so maybe that's a broad statement to be making based on one little incident, so you decide. The Donald's holding a press conference in Dubuque. A reporter from Univision - a Spanish-language television network aimed at America's Hispanic population - tried to ask a question. The Donald told him to sit down, as he hadn't been called. The reporter persisted, and it turned into a bit of a verbal tennis match, which involved The Donald telling the reporter to "go back to Univision." Then The Donald made a duck-lips face to his security team, and the reporter was removed. What do you think? Freedom of Donald Speech? Watch the video - decide for yourself.  
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No Sex in the City for Sarah Jessica Parker?
So, here's an interesting revelation. Originally, Sarah Jessica Parker did not want to play Carrie Bradshaw in Sex in the City. She reluctantly filmed the pilot and forgot about it. And when she found out the series had been picked up a few months later, she begged HBO to let her out of her contract. The story comes from a Broadway actor who recently spent some time doing a show with SJP and hubby Matthew Broderick in Massachusetts. HBO prevailed, as we know. But imagine if they hadn't. It's hard to picture anyone else playing that role. Of course, that's always difficult in retrospect. I don't think it would have been the same, do you? In case you've forgotten the show, here's a trailer for the first movie that the series spawned...  
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The Guy Who Got a Whole Lot of Things Right
I just stumbled on this trailer for what appears to be an epic documentary about Walt Disney. The folks at PBS are presenting Walt Disney as part of their American Experience series. They call it an unprecedented look at "the life and legacy of one of America’s most enduring and influential storytellers." Watch the trailer. It looks fascinating. And mark your calendars for the premiere on September 14 and 15.  
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Looks Like the Devil Went Down to Congress Instead
County music legend Charlie Daniels posted an open letter to the Congress of the United States yesterday. To say he's not a happy camper is a darned accurate statement. He writes about how the courage that our country's leaders have shown in the past, and bemoans what he sees as the loss of that courage... "The courageous politicians that once championed this nation have been replaced, for the most part, by a breed of milksop, politically correct, scared of their own shadow, pushover, pathetic excuses for public servants who are supposed to be representing a constituency of citizens who have to live with the circumstances of their timid folly." Not happy in any way. He thinks the members of Congress should just pack up and go home, as he doesn't hold them in high esteem. "You're no longer men, you're puppets, you're caricatures, jokes, a gaggle of fading prostitutes for sale to anybody who can do you a political favor." Charlie's got an awful lot to say. Check it out, if you like, on his Facebook page. You can even react to it, if you like.  
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So This is a Preview? Not in Your Wildest Dreams!
So Taylor Swift tweeted a 15-second preview of her newest tune, "Wildest Dreams," on Sunday. It shows a variety of shots of animals running or flying, Taylor getting up close and personal with a guy, a biplane flying into the sun, and a close-up of Taylor's eye. And that's it. Guess what it doesn't feature. Music. Shouldn't a teaser for a music video feature - oh, I don't know - music? Want to see the full version - perhaps with music included? Tune in to the Video Music Awards on August 30.   Wildest Dreams music video preview. Full video debuts VMA night. Get ready. #WildestDreamsMusicVideo pic.twitter.com/qfye9qMDW5 — Taylor Swift (@taylorswift13) August 24, 2015
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Welcome to the Legion of Honor
Three Americans were praised and awarded France's highest honor on Monday, as thanks for their actions in thwarting a gunman aboard the high-speed train from Amsterdam to Paris last Friday. France's president, Francois Hollande, awarded the Legion d'Honneur to the three - two of whom are servicemen - plus a British citizen who helped in the takedown. "We are giving you the highest distinction of the country to show you how much we appreciate what you did. So this Legion d'Honneur is representative of your courage and also your incredible act of humanity … to save those also on the train." Pretty amazing story...  
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We Had Karate Kid All Wrong!
Thirty-one years ago, The Karate Kid made a bit of a splash in the movie world. Since then, it's become something of a classic. But, according to this retrospective, we've had the whole movie wrong all along. Daniel (played by Ralph Macchio) is the villain here, not the victim. "Wax on wax off" will never be the same again...  
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"Cain't Nuthin' Happen to You!"
Over the weekend, a video surfaced showing former Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Chris Carter speaking to the 2014 NFL freshman class. Ordinarily, no big deal. Veteran passing on his knowledge to a bunch of rookies. Until... "Just in case y'all gonna decide not to do the right thing, if y'all got a crew, you got to have a fall guy in the crew." That's right. If you're new to the NFL and you're going to do something you shouldn't be doing, make sure you've got a hanger-on who'll be happy to say he did whatever it was so that you're off the hook. Wow. Just wow. Chris has apologized since the video hit. So far, the NFL says they don't condone that - but notice the logos on the walls behind Chris - and ESPN, where Chris works as a commentator, says it doesn't involve them. So he gets off, without even having a fall guy.  
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Meet the Creepy Meat Guy
So this is one of those weird stories. Residents of an apartment complex in Gastonia, North Carolina reported seeing a mysterious cloaked figure lurking in the area, possibly dropping raw meat near playgrounds. Police are investigating - so far, no clues. People are scared - and not just because he looks like the Emperor from the early Star Wars trilogy either. The computer-generated voice with this video makes it even creepier...  
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Hurry Up and Don't Panic?
Yesterday was not a good day for the global economy. The major stock markets took a major hit, thanks mostly to China's economic distress. So, why not take that as a sign of the financial apocalypse? That's what a former advisor to England's former prime minister did yesterday, offering three bits of advice to anyone biting what he was tweeting: Get hard cash in a safe place Stock up on bottled water, canned goods enough household essentials for a month Agree on a spot where you and your loved ones can meet in case phones and other bits of infrastructure break down This is what happens when you go to sleep watching Fear the Walking Dead and wake up to an instant 1100-point plunge on the Dow Jones. I love this reply to his third point... @DPMcBride So, is this happening in the next hour or so, or should I still get lunch? — Hank Single (@Hanksingle) August 24, 2015
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A Friendly Instagram War
Last week, Hugh Jackman posted a video to Instagram that started a war. A friendly little war. It showed Hugh imitating Jim Carrey. Specifically, Jim's "smokin'" line from The Mask...     #JimCarrey mate trying my best to do justice! Clearly, I should stay in my own lane. A video posted by Hugh Jackman (@thehughjackman) on Aug 17, 2015 at 8:12pm PDT It took only a couple of days for Jim to react, posting a picture of himself as Wolverine...   Nice move @RealHughJackman Now watch me make a meal out of your biggest role. ;^> pic.twitter.com/GUfHB2RR4L — Jim Carrey (@JimCarrey) August 20, 2015 This could escalate. Let's hope so!
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