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Published: Thursday, 1/1/2009

Grateful Dead reuniting for 19-date tour

"...as human beings we are capable of making sense of situations based on the thinnest slice of experience."

Malcolm Gladwell, author of Blink and The Tipping Point.

RAISING THE DEAD: For the first time in a long time the surviving members of the Grateful Dead are planning a

tour. Word is that they'll play 19 shows, although the itinerary hasn't been nailed down. The group includes Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, Bill Kreutzmann and Mickey Hart. They will be joined on tour by the guitarist Warren Haynes and the keyboard player Jeff Chimenti. (RL)

KILLER BEES: What better way to ring in the New Year than celebrate the end of our existence? Hollywood has never seemed to run out of ways in which to kill humanity, be it man-made, weather-made, space-made, or even alien-made. The 1970s was the best decade for those kinds of so-bad-they're-good disaster films, and my favorite worst of the worse is Irwin Allen's The Swarm. Released in 1978 during the height of killer bee hysteria, this tale of nature's wrath gone awry features a swarm of deadly Africanized bees that sweep through the southwest, killing thousands in their stinging wake. The Swarm features an all-star cast, including Michael Caine who, as entomologist Dr. Bradford Crane, delivers the classically bad line: "We've been fighting a losing battle against the insects for 15 years. But I never thought I'd see the final face-off in my lifetime. And I never dreamed it would turn out to be the bees. They've always been our friend." (RL)

WHAT A BUNCH OF GARBAGE: Cram a million people into Times Square, give them noise-makers and dump a bunch of confetti on them and what do you get? Lots of garbage. (RL)

LET THIS BE A WARNING: Note to selves, do not drive too fast and do not run stop signs. Actor Matt Dillon was allegedly driving a rented Chevy 106 mph in Vermont, which is only 40-odd miles over the speed limit. And former NBA player Charles Barkley was arrested for driving while intoxicated after he ran a stop sign in Scottsdale, Ariz. By all accounts, both of them behaved themselves while police booked them. (RL)

HAPPY NERDS YEAR!: It's kind of a theme, we admit, but we mean it in an affectionate way. Start with a rundown of all the inventors who died in 2008, including the guy who fit Spaghetti-O's in a can and the man who invented the wet suit. Then you have this dude, who put together a fascinating "computer" that is thousands of years old. And lest you think we've lost our sense of humor in 2009, here's some video of someone falling on his face. (RL)

DOMINOES KEEP FALLING: The latest big-name person to get sucked down into the Bernard Madoff investment scam is Kevin Bacon. You've got to bet he wished he had about 20 degrees of separation from that guy. (RL)

HAPPY BIRTHDAY: Ultra-reclusive Catcher in the Rye author J.D. Salinger celebrates his 90th birthday on New Year's day, but no one is going to know exactly how because he's been in hiding for 40-odd years. Something tells us there won't be a big party. (RL)

WAIT A SECOND!!!!: When you go to ring in the New Year tonight with a toast or a kiss, take an extra second to clink your glasses and pucker up. Through one of those tears in the fabric or the space-time continuum -- or maybe it has something to do with the earth's rotation -- 2008 gets an extra second. (RL)

CELEBRITIES ARE NOT LIKE US: So word on the gossip line is that Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony are splitting up and we feel bad about that. But then you read that supposedly they're going to announce it after his Valentine's Day show at Madison Square Garden and after they perform a duet together. Call us traditional, but that's just weird. (RL)

WOMEN, CAUGHT IN THE WEB: Increasingly Web sites are cropping up devoted solely to women as advertisers and Internet sites scramble to stay relevant to folks who are online a lot. And, who spend money. (RL)

THE STARS CAME OUT: Here's a great recipe for an end-of-the-year box office bonanza: Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett, Tom Cruise, Jennifer Aniston, and Adam Sandler. Put them in a bunch of films and people will flock to the theaters to get out of the house and check out the movies. (RL)

ARE THEY OR AREN'T THEY?: Injured New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and super model Gisele Bundche could be married, but maybe not. The Internet was buzzing with stories of them preparing to tie the knot, but family members say not so fast. Could be that it's hard to get down on one knee to propose when you're rehabbing from a football injury. (RL)

Rod Lockwood


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