Saturday, December 17, 2011

Saturday morning coffee

Good morning, campers--happy Saturday morning to you! Are you plotting your attack today on the last full weekend of holiday shopping? Yeah, me neither...

Let's look at what's going on out there in the wild world of popular culture, consumer behavior and interesting "news."

- The final episode of Homeland airs on Showtime tomorrow night. The series is one of the best of the season, earning impressive ratings and critical acclaim. Claire Danes' performance as Carrie Mathison is Emmy-worthy stuff and Damian Lewis, as Sgt. Nicholas Brody, offers a simmering unease--is he really a terrorist or not? It will be interesting to see if Homeland delivers a knockout finale, or disappoints viewers, a la The Killing (AMC), which left its murder mystery unsolved in its final episode last spring.

- Attention, Baby Boomers, 2012 looks to be the music tour year for you. As previously reported, not only will acts like The Eagles and Bruce Springsteen tour next year, but look for The Rolling Stones to figure out what they plan to do to honor their 50th anniversary. Now, none other than The Beach Boys have announced that they will hit the road in support of a new studio album. The lineup will include original members Brian Wilson, Mike Love and Al Jardine, as well as early members Bruce Johnston and David Marks.

- Say it ain't so! Daniel Ruettiger, best known as Rudy from the 1993 inspirational movie by that name, is in trouble with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Ruettiger has been named as a key participant in a so-called pump-and-dump stock scheme that generated more than $11 million in supposedly illegal profits for Rudy Nutrition, a now defunct beverage company. The SEC contends that Ruettiger and 12 others made false and misleading statements about the company in news releases, SEC filings and promotional materials, in 2008, in a scheme to lure investors. Ruettiger agreed to pay over $380,000 to settle the SEC's charges without admitting or denying them. (Source: Wall Street Journal)

- A recent Pew poll indicates that fewer Americans are getting married. Social media reaction to the poll indicates that 38% are upset at the results, 36% theorize as to the cause, 22% remain optimistic about marriage, and 4% joke about the results. (Source: Netbase)

- The end-of-year "best" lists have begun as I've seen two different major media outlets publish their list of "best books of 2011." My top three would be The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach and Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson, plus the book I'm currently engrossed in--11/22/63 by Stephen King.

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