- “Learn About Composting Day”, a great excuse to go green and help the environment.
• “Mint Julep Day”, celebrating the delicious and refreshing Summer cocktail made with bourbon whiskey, mint, water, and sugar. Sounds best if you order one using a Southern accent.
• “World No-Tobacco Day”, as declared by the UN’s World Health Organization to encourage people to kick their butts.
ON THIS DATE………
1942, Bing Crosby recorded “White Christmas”
1953, Mt. Everest was scaled for the first time
2003  Legendary entertainer Bob Hope celebrates his 100th birthday (dies a couple months later on July 27th)
2005  23-year-old Danica Patrick becomes the 1st female driver to take the lead in the fabled Indianapolis 500 auto race (eventually finishes 4th)
2009  The Disney/Pixar animated movie “Up” premieres in movie theaters (racks up 5 Academy Award nominations)
Basketball player – Carmelo Anthony (31)
Lisa “Facts of Life” Whelchel (52)
Combat Veteran Gave Brantley Gilbert His Purple Heart
BRANTLEY GILBERT went on a two-day motorcycle ride last week that he’ll never forget. It was with a group of combat veterans on a trip organized by Harley-Davidson and the Wounded Warrior Project.
Brantley says he and the soldiers became fast friends, quote, “We started out as a random group of guys early Friday morning, and by the middle of the afternoon, we were shooting around like old buddies.
“It was an honor to spend the weekend with these fellas . . . hearing their stories and getting a look into their lives.”
It was so special that one of the veterans gave Brantley his Purple Heart.
Brantley was pretty moved and he returned the favor as best he could. Quote, “I gave him the rosary I wear every day to show that he’s not alone in the journey. It was unreal to watch him give me something that was so important to him. They’re really fighting the good fight, even at home, and I try to help every little bit I can. I’m grateful to have the opportunity to know them.”
Four Years After Being Paralyzed, a College Football Player Walked Across the Stage
23-year-old Chris Norton was on the football team at Luther College in northeastern Iowa four-and-a-half years ago. But he fractured two vertebrae while making a tackle and was paralyzed from the neck down.
His doctors said he only had about a 3% chance of regaining any movement. So he spent the next year doing intense physical therapy.
Dealing with all that AND going to college at the same time sounds just about impossible. But somehow Chris managed to stay in school, and graduated on Sunday.
And the crowd at his commencement gave him a standing ovation . . . when he WALKED across the stage to get his degree.
He needed some help from his girlfriend, Emily. But he stood up out of his wheelchair . . . took about 15 steps . . . shook hands with the staff . . . and accepted his diploma.
Chris says he had to ramp up his therapy sessions over the past year to get ready for it, and he had a lot of help from Emily. And actually, she isn’t his girlfriend anymore . . . she’s his fiancée. They got engaged the night before his graduation.
- “America’s Got Talent” (NBC/CityTV) – Tonight variety acts of all ages audition in hope of making it to the next round. Rerun.
- Gumball 3000 Sports Car Rally (Las Vegas NV) – The annual international race that began in Stockholm, Sweden last Sunday wraps up in Vegas Saturday. Participants include Afrojack; sorta actors David Hasselhoff and Dolph Lundgren (“The Expendables”); Tommy Lee (Motley Crue); and pro skateboarder Tony Hawk. DJs Deadmau5 and Diplo; and rappers Bun B and Eve perform as part of a 2-day end-of-race concert celebration tonight & tomorrow.
- “Halt & Catch Fire” (AMC) – Sunday the 2nd season debut of the drama set in the ‘Silicon Prairie’ of Texas during the 1980s personal-computer boom.
TODAY’S MOVIE OPENINGS:
• “Aloha” ( PG-13 Romantic Comedy ): Bradley Cooper stars as a military contractor who returns to a former work site in Honolulu HI, where he reconnects with a former flame (played by Rachel McAdams), but then simultaneously falls for an Air Force watchdog (Emma Stone). Directed by Cameron Crowe (“Almost Famous”).
• “Results” ( R-Rated Comedy ): The lives of two totally mismatched personal trainers at the ‘Power 4 Life’ gym are upended by the bizarre actions of a new, wealthy client. Stars Guy Pearce (“Iron Man 3″), Cobie Smulders (“How I Met Your Mother”), Kevin Corrigan, Giovanni Ribisi. Described as witty and light-hearted but also complex story-telling.
- “San Andreas” ( PG-13 Action Thriller ): Dwayne Johnson stars as a rescue-chopper pilot who makes a dangerous journey across California in the aftermath of a massive earthquake in order to save his estranged daughter. Along the way he helps rescue many, many others. Co-stars Carla Gugino, Alexandra Daddario.
– The Scripps National Spelling Bee ended in a tie last year, which hadn’t happened for 52 years. But yesterday, it happened again! 13-year-old Vanya Shivashankar and 14-year-old GokulVenkatachalam were co-champions.
(Vanya’s final word was “scherenschnitte.” It means scissor cuts in German, and is the art of paper cutting design. Gokul’s final word was “nunatak.” It means a hill or mountain that has been completely encircled by a glacier. Here are Vanya and Gokul spelling their final words, with Vanya talking first.
Halifax cabbie gets parking fine after helping senior
A Halifax cab driver has been fined $25 after getting out of his vehicle to help a senior citizen get into his cab.
Cab driver Frank Lewis pulled over in front of Park Lane Mall. His fare, 88-year-old Jean Brown, was sitting on her walker, waiting.
“The parking attendant was standing about three or four feet away from her and he saw me coming,” Lewis said. “But, it seemed like he had intentions, y’know? He never said a word … He stood there, and I saw him take out his little electronic writer and he started scribbling.”
Lewis had pulled up near, but not directly, at the mall’s taxi stand. He said Brown “could hardly stand, and was looking very helplessly with her walker.”
He got out of his cab, helped Brown into the front seat, and loaded her walker into the trunk. Before he could pull away, the officer slipped a ticket on his windshield and explained cars weren’t allowed to stop there between the hours of 4-6 p.m.
“I knew he was gonna give me a ticket, but I know I was gonna pick her up. I wasn’t going to be intimidated.” Brown, who has severe arthritis in her hip, said the parking attendant could just as easily have told her to wait a little closer to the taxi stand. Instead, she said, he clearly chose to ticket the first car that he saw breaking the rules. “He didn’t say anything and he didn’t warn the driver,” she said. “He was just writing the ticket out. And it happened so quickly.”
Lewis has already begun filling out the paperwork to appeal the ticket. He now has to wait two weeks to hear back from the municipality. If he goes to court, he says he will fight for what he believes is the right thing.
“This is a handicapped lady, this is a senior citizen. And how can [the attendant] do something like that?…He should be helping her get in the car instead of writing the ticket.”
Smiling in Pictures Makes You Look Two Years Younger
You probably haven’t wanted to look OLDER in a photo since you got a fake ID when you were a teenager. Now, you’re ALL ABOUT looking younger . . . and here’s the best way to pull it off.
All you have to do is . . . SMILE. That’s it. Just smile.
A new study found that when people smiled in photos, people thought they were an average of two years younger than they actually were. And some people looked up to FOUR years younger.
And when people looked sad or angry in pictures, they looked an average of one year OLDER than they really are.
Neutral expressions didn’t add or subtract any years.
“Bachelor” Couple Chris Soules and Whitney Bischoff Are Going Through Their Inevitable Break-Up
We have some HEARTBREAKING news to share with you today: The most recent “Bachelor” CHRIS SOULES and the winner of his love WHITNEY BISCHOFF are calling it quits.
Their rep says, quote, “They part with nothing but respect and admiration for one another, and will continue to be supportive friends.
“They wish to thank everyone who has supported them through this journey.” The journey lasted about six months. He proposed to her at the end of last year . . . and the show aired in March.
Of course, this was TOTALLY INEVITABLE.
Only ONE of the 19 couples who cemented their love on “The Bachelor” is still together. “Bachelorette” couples have fared a little better . . . three out of 10 are currently married.
For what it’s worth, Chris and Whitney were spotted eating together in Chicago yesterday. So despite the split, they apparently still get hungry at the same time.