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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 September 2014


Vote for your Favorite Flower

There is still time to cast your vote for your favorite flower.

The American Garden Award program is your opportunity to vote for your favorite of several beautiful flowers bred for the home garden. Some of the most prestigious flower breeders have chosen their favorites to enter in the competition.
 
Celosia Arrabona Red is a plume type cockscomb and it was selected for its easy care, drought tolerance and long bloom.
 
Cuphea Sriracha Violet is heat tolerant and covered with unique violet blooms from spring through summer.
 
Illumination Flame Digiplexis is a foxglove hybrid with spikes of red-pink flowers with flaming orange throats.
 
Last but not least is Petunia Anguna radiant blue. This new hybrid has blue flowers with a white throat.
 
So visit www.Americangardenaward.com today and cast your vote.
 
A bit more information: The 2013 winner was Verbena ‘Lanai® Candy Cane’ with red and white striped blooms. Santa Cruz Sunset Begonia was the 2012 winner. This cascading begonia is perfect for hanging baskets, containers or mass plantings. This is the sixth year for this program. Check out information on previous winners and contestants at www.americangardenaward.com.
 
For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
 
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Prune Shrubs with a Purpose
Stop!  Don’t reach for those pruners without a plan in mind.
 
Prune shrubs to eliminate damaged or broken branches, control size or encourage more flowering, fruiting and improved bark color.
 
Remove damaged and diseased branches as soon as they are discovered. Disinfect tools between cuts with a 70% alcohol or 1 part bleach nine part water solution.
 
Pruning during the dormant season, when the leaves are off the plant, allows you to see the overall structure and make better pruning cuts.
 
Those in colder climates should avoid pruning evergreens in fall. Fall pruning exposes the once shaded foliage to the harsh winter environment.
 
Wait to prune spring flowering shrubs like lilac and forsythia until right after flowering. Spring blooming shrubs set their flowerbuds in early to mid summer. Pruning at other times eliminates the spring floral display.
 
A bit more information: Avoid pruning late in the growing season when you can stimulate late season growth. Make cuts at a slight angle above an outward facing bud or shorter branch. Remove a few of the older stems on suckering shrubs back to ground level.
 
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Long Blooming Digiplexis Flowers
Looking for something new and exciting in your garden? Consider growing a Digiplexis plant in your garden or container plantings.

This relatively new introduction is a hybrid between foxglove, Digitalis, and a tropical relative Isoplexis. The plant grows about 3 feet tall by 18 inches wide and blooms from mid spring through the end of summer.
 
The tubular flowers grow on spikes and are sterile, allowing all the plant energy to go into vigorous growth instead of forming seeds.
 
Digiplexis attracts the bees and butterflies and makes a great cut flower.
 
Like its one parent foxglove it contains the same toxins. These may cause a rash and can be harmful, even fatal, if eaten. So keep the plant and the water cut flowers were displayed in away from pets and children.
 
Grow it in full sun to light shade with moist well-drained soil.
 
A bit more information: Though the digiplexis is only hardy in zones 8 to 11 it makes a showy annual in other areas. In fact, it was selected as the 2012 Plant of the Year at the Chelsea Flower Show and received the 2013 Greenhouse Growers Award of Excellence.
 
For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
 
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Managing Boxelder Bugs
Black and orange bugs congregated on the sunny side of your house in fall are likely boxelder bugs. They are not harmful to plants and people, but certainly are annoying.

The immature bugs feed on ground level vegetation throughout the summer. The adults move to female boxelder trees, a type of maple, and occasionally to other maples and ash trees to eat and lay eggs. Their feeding does not harm the trees.
 
The problem usually occurs when the adults seek a warm sunny spot, usually the side of your home, to warm themselves in fall. As temperatures cool they often find their way indoors through cracks and crevices. Repair and fill any crevices to keep these insects out of the house. Manage high populations by vacuuming as they congregate or spray the side of your house with soapy water. Test the siding first to make sure the soapy solution will not change the color of your siding.
 
A bit more information: Removing the tree is not guaranteed to solve the problem. Adults can fly and may find their way to the sunny side of your home. Better to seal the house to keep them out or learn to live with these annoying pests.
 
For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
 
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Harvest and Enjoy Edamame (Soy)
Get the best flavor and nutritional value from your homegrown edamame, also known as edible soybeans, with proper harvesting and care.
 
Harvest soybeans when the pods are plump, green, rough, and hairy.  Check frequently and pick when the seeds are fully enlarged, but before they get hard and begin yellowing.  Waiting too long to harvest the seeds reduces the flavor and quality.  
 
Since the seed-filled pods usually ripen at the same time, you can pull up the whole plant and harvest the seeds from the pods, while sitting on a chair in the shade.
 
Use them cooked or uncooked as a snack or as a fiber rich ingredient with other vegetables and meat dishes. Many gardeners eat them right out of the pod like peanuts.
 
Boil or steam the pods for 4 to 5 minutes, cool under running water and pop the seeds out of the pods. Use immediately or freeze after cooking.
 
A bit more information: These nutritious legumes help promote overall health, reducing the risk of high cholesterol, diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure.  Plus, the high fiber in soy helps fight colon and some other cancers.
 
For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
 
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Add Color to the Fall Landscape with Asters
Add some color to your fall garden with Asters.
 
Brighten up your container gardens with a few of these fall beauties. Or create fall containers filled with asters, ornamental grasses and pansies.

Set them in a pretty pot on your front steps to welcome guests to your home. Or place on decks and tabletops as a seasonal centerpiece. Move them into the garden as they fade. Or add to the compost pile where they can eventually help improve your garden’s soil.
 
Use asters to replace fading annuals or fill in voids in your garden. They grow and flower best in full sun with well-drained soil.
 
Asters are hardy in zones 4 to 8, but can be grown as an annual anywhere they are sold. Leave the plants intact for winter to increase overwintering success. Northern gardeners often cover the plants with evergreen boughs or straw once the ground is frozen.
 
A bit more information: The plant taxonomists have been at it again. The plants we commonly call Aster have been reclassified and names for these new groups include Symphyotrichum, Ionactis, Eurybia, and Doellingeria.
 
For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
 
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Eco-friendly Crabgrass Control

 
Reduce crabgrass problems in your lawn and garden with a few basic lawn and garden care practices.
 
Crabgrass is an annual weed grass with a small fibrous root system. The wide grass blades lay flat on the ground. Each fall they release hundreds of seeds before dying.
 
Crabgrass thrives in hot dry weather. Reduce the problem in your lawn by mowing high and often.  The taller grass shades the soil, preventing many weed seeds from sprouting. Leave clippings on the lawn and fertilize at least once, preferably in the fall, to help your lawn grass outcompete the weeds.
 
Pull the plants in the garden before they set seed. This will reduce the number of weeds you’ll be fighting next year. Mulch the garden with shredded leaves, evergreen needles or other organic material. The mulch will help prevent many of the weed seeds, including the crabgrass, from sprouting. It also helps keep roots cool and moist.
 
A bit more information: If cultural control measures have failed, you may consider the organic pre-emergent crabgrass killer made from corn gluten meal.  Apply in spring about the time the forsythias are in bloom.  These chemicals prevent seed germination.  This means both the weed and good grass seeds will be affected.  Wait until late summer or fall to reseed or overseed treated lawns. And as always be sure to read and follow label directions carefully.
 
For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
 
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Starting Roses from Seed
Expand your garden and have a little fun by growing a few plants from the seeds of your favorite rose.
 
Collect the rose hips, those berry-like fruit on your roses, as soon as they are fully colored. Cut open the rose hip exposing the seeds. Soak the seeds 12 to 24 hours, drain and mix with equal parts of moistened sphagnum moss and vermiculite in a plastic bag. Seal the bag and place in the refrigerator for at least three months.
 
You can begin planting the seeds anytime after the chilling period is complete. Plant seeds in a container filled with a mixture of sphagnum moss and vermiculite. Keep the mixture warm and moist. Move to a sunny window or under artificial lights as soon as the seeds sprout. Then transplant seedlings, if needed, after they form two sets of true leaves.
 
Just remember seedlings may not look like the original plant.
 
 A bit more information:  You can also start new roses from cuttings. Take a 6 to 8 inch cutting from a healthy stem. Remove any flowers and buds. Dip in a rooting hormone and plant in a well-drained potting mix. You’ll have roots in about 3 weeks. Keep in mind you cannot propagate patented roses. These rights belong to the breeders that introduced the plant.
 
For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
 
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Fall Webworm
 
As you drive through your community in late summer or fall you may spot webby nests in the branches of apple, ash, birch, cherry, sycamore, walnut and willow. These are the home of the North American native fall webworm.
 
This pest attacks more than 100 species of deciduous, those that lose their leaves in winter, trees and shrubs. The pest is a green and yellow caterpillar that spins its nest near the ends of the branch. These worm-like insects eat the leaves on the branches near their webby nest.
 
Fortunately this is a cosmetic problem since it occurs late in the season and only a few branches are affected. Keep your plants healthy and they’ll be better able to tolerate the feeding. Several natural predators and parasitoids help keep the populations in check.
 
You can knock the nest out of the tree with a stick or a strong blast of water if desired.
 
A bit more information: An organic insecticide, Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), is effective against young caterpillars. Apply it to the leaves surrounding the webby nest early in the season. As the webworms eat the treated leaves they stop feeding and eventually die.
 
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Dividing Spring and Summer Blooming Perennials
Late summer through early fall is a great time to dig and divide overgrown spring and summer blooming perennials.
 
The soil is warm, air much cooler and the plants will have time to adjust to their new location before winter.
 
Dig and divide plants that have stopped blooming, flopped over, or have a dead center. Use a sharp spade shovel or garden fork to dig up the plant. Cut the clump into 2, 4 or more pieces. Remove the dead center and add it to the compost pile.
Some gardeners use two garden forks back to back to pry the clump apart. I prefer a sharp linoleum knife or drywall saw. Though some fleshy rooted plants like daylilies and willow amsonia may require a hatchet or machete.
 
You can replant one piece back in the original location after amending the soil with compost. Use other divisions in other areas or share with friends.
 
A bit more information: The old adage “Divide spring blooming perennials in fall, fall blooming perennials in spring and summer blooming perennials in spring or fall” is a good guideline. But experienced gardeners have all stretched these limits. Sometimes necessity and your schedule determine when you divide perennials. Proper post-transplant care will give your plants the best chance of survival no matter when you divide them.
 
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National Acorn Squash Day
Bake it, broil it, microwave it or stuff it– acorn squash that is. And if you didn’t grow your own, visit the Farmer’s Market and buy it.

Acorn squash is typically acorn shaped, dark green with longitudinal ridges. They are ripe when the fruit is a solid deep green and the rind is hard. Use a knife or pruners to remove the fruit from the vine. Leave an inch or two of stem attached to the fruit, if possible, for better storage longevity. And be sure to use any blemished or frost damaged fruit as soon as possible.
 
Store this and other winter squash in a cool, preferably 50 to 55 degree, dry location. Place the fruit in a single layer spread out to avoid fruit from touching. The better the air circulation the greater the storage longevity and less likely one rotten squash will affect its neighbors. If space is limited, don’t pile more than two high.
 
A bit more information:  September 7th is National Acorn Squash Day. This member of the squash family contains vitamins C, B6, A, thiamine and more. You’ll get the best nutritional value and flavor by harvesting it at its peak.
 
For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
 
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Bluestem Goldenrod
Add some bright yellow to your late summer and fall garden with Bluestem Goldenrod (Solidago caesia).
 
This plant is also known as wreath goldenrod and naturally grows in open woodlands and bluffs. It is hardy in zones 4 to 8 and is native to 32 states in the continental U.S. and 3 Canadian provinces.
 
Bluestem goldenrod grows about 18 to 36 inches tall and wide and works well in native gardens, woodland gardens, borders, meadows, cottage gardens and more. The cluster of bright yellow flowers occur along the stem and attract butterflies and other beneficial insects to your garden.
 
Grow the plant in full sun to part shade and well-drained soil. Bluestem goldenrod tolerates clay soil and once established, it is drought tolerant. This fall bloomer is basically pest-free and the deer tend to leave it be.
 
A bit more information: Fireworks goldenrod (Solidago rugosa ‘Fireworks’) is a popular ornamental cultivar. It is hardy in zones 4 to 8 and grows best in full sun with moist to wet, well-drained soil. The plume-like flowers that top this 2 ½ to 3 feet high plant resemble fireworks.

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Eco-friendly Control of Thrips
Poorly developed flowers, stunted plants and silvery streaks on leaves are indications thrips may be feeding on your plants.
 
These tiny insects have file-like mouthparts they use to puncture the outer surface of leaves, stems and flowers and suck out plant sap. They are very small and difficult to detect. Hold a white piece of paper under the plant and shake. Or remove the petals of damaged flowers, place in a sealed jar with 70% alcohol and shake the jar to dislodge and detect the pests.
 
Control is difficult and often not needed as the damage is discovered after the thrips have finished feeding.

Provide the proper growing conditions and care for your plants. Avoid excess nitrogen that promotes lush succulent growth these pests prefer. And remove spent flowers that tend to harbor the insects. Manage weeds in the garden and keep thrip-susceptible plants away from weedy areas where the pest populations tend to be high.
 
 
A bit more information: Beneficial insects like predatory thrips, green lacewings, minute pirate bugs and some parasitic wasps feed upon plant damaging thrips. Invite these good bugs into the garden by planting a diversity of plants and avoiding persistent pesticides. Visit the University of California IPM online for more details on this pest.


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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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