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June 2012


Eugene Goostman, NBA Draft and Melo's Prank

Good morning!

A 13-year-old boy named Eugene Goostman is telling the world his story.   I reached out to him online this morning, where I learned he lives in a big Ukrainian city called Odessa with his family.   He has an older brother who calls himself "the artist" and a famous gynecologist for a father.   His mother hosts a television show for teens.  He also has a pet guinea pig.   And by now you are probably wondering why you should care about any of this.  Because Eugene is not a person, but a computer program.  


His artificial intelligence was good enough to win top prize at the Turing 100.  It's a competition to measure how often a machine's artificial intelligence can trick people into thinking it's human.  Eugene was developed by Vladimir Veselov of New Jersey who says he chose a robot with the mind of a 7th grader because "13 years old is too old to know everything and too young to know nothing."   You can chat with Eugene at http://www.princetonai.com/bot/bot.jsp.

Obamacare, health care reform, affordable care act, John Roberts, Supreme Court justices….   You name it, just about anything to do with the Supreme Court ruling on health care is still being heavily searched and discussed.   And while a lot of  it revolves around the issues of the decision, one popular item is a photograph called "Obama's Dewey defeats Truman Moment" - a Photoshop creation by Daily News photographer Gary He.   For those who missed the story, CNN and Fox initially and incorrectly reported that the court had struck down the individual mandate.

Kentucky's Anthony Davis, left, is congratulated by former teammate Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, right, (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)

NBA Draft is also a hot topic this morning.  The New Orleans Hornets made the anticipated top pick of Anthony Davis and Charlotte followed by taking Michael Kidd-Gilchrist.   It's the first time teammates were taken Nos. 1 and 2 in the NBA Draft.  Kentucky also tied a record with six players taken.

Mario Balotelli is a name being cheered by Italy soccer fans after a stunning 2-1 win over Germany, landing Italy an unexpected spot in the European Championship final.   Germany had no answer for Balotelli, who scored both goals in the win.   Italy will face defending champion Spain in Sunday's final.

Back to basketball, and Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony pulled off a prank to celebrate his new wax statue at Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum.  It's made for a viral video.


Packers Pro Bowl Linebacker AJ Hawk had some fun at the expense of "The Cable Guy" Bill Griffin at a charity golf outing in Warren, Ohio recently.


One time American Idol contestant Todrick Hall and a host of YouTube celebrities have a viral video parody called Beauty and the Beat, in which the classic tale is set in the ghetto.


Finally, ping pong tricks by 9-year-old Tom from Australia.


That's the trend!

Have a great weekend,




Tweets on Supreme Court health care ruling


Some of the most popular tweets regarding today’s Supreme Court ruling on health care from politicians, celebrities and citizens.

 Dave Rubin@RubinReport

Only in America would so many overweight, diabetic people with heart disease be upset that they're gonna have healthcare. #SCOTUS #Obamacare

Tarol Hunt@Thunt_Goblins

All those Americans coming to Canada because of #Obamacare are sure going to be mad when they see that we have free healthcare too.

John Fugelsang@JohnFugelsang

Mitt Romney will not rest until children can again be denied care for Pre-existing Conditions #fullrepeal #obamacare

Julie Borowski@JulieBorowski

Are cops going to be asking for our health insurance cards now? "License, registration and health insurance card, please." #ObamaCare

Walter Weldon@WallyWeldon

I'm moving to Canada, the United States is entirely too socialist.

Lucas Dargis@LucasDargis

The supreme court upheld Obama Care. That's it. I'm moving to Canada!


Individual mandate upheld, this fudging ridiculous. I'm marrying a Canadian n moving to Canada


To all the folks threatening to move to Canada because of #obamacare: I WILL BUY YOU A TANK OF GAS WHEN YOU GO.

Kirsten Gillibrand@SenGillibrand

V plsd #SCOTUS upheld #Obamacare. Middle class needs access to affordable care & deserve the impt benefits this law provides.

Justin Amash@repjustinamash

Pres. Obama & Democrats are responsible for one of the largest tax increases on Americans in history. #Obamacare

Michele Bachmann@TeamBachmann

I'm disappointed #SCOTUS thinks gov't knows better than people. I won't stop fighting #Obamacare until is full repeal. RT if you're with me.

Steve Place@steveplace

Fortunately, the CNN producer who was just fired will now have Healthcare under #ObamaCare.

Michelle Malkin@michellemalkin

Out: The #Obamacare mandate. In: The massive, regressive, oppressive #Obamacare TAX.




Colorado Wildfires, My Three Sons, and Not Back To The Future

Good morning!

It's one of the worst fire seasons ever in Colorado, making it the popular trend online this morning.

Three major fires are burning uncontrolled in the Rocky Mountain state, prompting mass evacuations in Colorado Springs and destroying hundreds of homes.  Intense heat and prolonged drought are helping to fuel the flames propelled by 60 mph winds, and experts are warning that the blazes could rage all summer.  Read more on ABCNews.com and see photos from Colorado here.

Health care is trending ahead of the Supreme Court decision later this morning.   Tweet your reaction using #HealthCareABC after the ruling.

My Three Sons is a popular search this morning after word that Don Grady has died.  Grady played one of television's most beloved big brothers, Robbie Douglas, in the long-running series.  The show starred Fred MacMurray as a widowed aeronautical engineer struggling to raise three older boys.   It was one of the longest running sitcoms of all-time with 380 episodes between 1960 and 1972.   Grady played the cool, handsome big brother.   After the show ended, Grady focused on a career in music, writing and composing.   He wrote the theme for The Phil Donahue Show and music for the Blake Edwards film Switch and for the Las Vegas show EFX.   Grady had been suffering from cancer.  He was 68.

David Beckham is a hot topic on Twitter after he failed to make the British soccer team for the London Olympics.  The former England captain made the coach's short list of 35, but he didn't make the 18-man roster.

Two All-Stars are trending for opposite reasons.   Andy Pettitte is trending because he got hit by a ball during Wednesday's win over Cleveland that fractured his ankle.  The Yankees pitcher will be out at least six weeks….  And Chase Utley is trending because the Phillies second baseman returned to the line-up for the first time this season.  Sidelined by aging knees, Utley hit a home run in his first at bat against the Pirates, but the Phillies still lost the game 11-7.


Google has officially announced it is rolling out a tablet next month.  The Nexus 7 will be similar in price and design to the Kindle, the company said, operating on its Android software.   Google follows Microsoft's announcement that it too is jumping into the tablet game.   The market for tablets is projected to double to more than 118-million units this year, and right now Apple owns the lion's share of the market.

Speaking of Apple, it was 5 years ago tomorrow that Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone to the world.   Since then, 250-million iPhones have been sold.  The iPhone generates $25 billion in revenue per quarter and $30-billion in profit per year.  That’s more profit than GE, Google,  Wal-Mart and Microsoft.   Thanks to the iPhone, other devices have gone or are headed the way of the 8-track tape:  Palm, Blackberry, anybody still own a Nokia?



And if you saw the photo from Back To The Future floating around on your Facebook feed yesterday and started looking for a DeLoreon, you were hoodwinked!   So was I, as some self-proclaimed Back To The Future geeks were quick to point out.   The date set in the DeLoreon was October 21, 2015.  Mark it in your calendars!  The Future Day is coming!

Lana Del Rey has a controversial new music video that is getting close to the million view mark on YouTube since its release yesterday.  National Anthem uses Super 8 footage and co-stars New York rapper A$AP Rocky as a John F. Kennedy-like icon.


A wedding party posing for photos on a dock has made quite a splash on YouTube with more than a million views now.


A Brooklyn filmmaker named Dean Paterson posted this video on Vimeo of people tripping on the subway stairs at the 36th Street Station

New York City Subway Stairs from Dean Peterson on Vimeo.


A week-old video is starting to get a lot of attention.  It shows human birth using an MRI.


A bird named Phillip apparently likes to dance to just one song.


And finally, Guinea Pig love.


That's the trend!

Have a great day,





Nora Ephron, Rainbow Oreo and Kite Surfing

Good morning!

The passing of Nora Ephron is creating a lot of buzz online this morning.  The native New Yorker went from journalist to one of the most important women in Hollywood as one of the first to write and direct her own films, including the classics "When Harry Met Sally" and "Sleepless in Seattle."  

(AP Photo/Charles Sykes, file)

Ephron was once married to journalist Carl Bernstein, who helped to break the Watergate story at the Washington Post in the 1970s.   Their relationship was tumultuous and she made a movie out of it called "Heartburn" in 1986.   She was the daughter of screenwriters, so perhaps it is not all that surprised that she ended up a Hollywood success story, but Ephron's journey actually began as an intern for John F. Kennedy.   She decided to pursue journalism after that experience, writing years later,  "After I was an intern for JFK, it was very clear to me that Washington was probably not a great place for women."  Ephron leaves us with more story.   It's a Broadway play called "Lucky Guy" about Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Mike McAlary.   It is expected to open on Broadway in 2013 with Tom Hanks as its star.  Nora Ephron was 71.

Colorado Springs is another trending topic this morning as a raging wildfire has forced frantic mandatory evacuations for more than 32,000 residents, including the Air Force Academy.  

(AP Photo/Gaylon Wampler)

The flames, which jumped firefighters' perimeter lines, have already destroyed an unknown number of homes.   Firefighters are having a difficult time as searing, record heat and a prolonged drought have fueled the flames.   Most of Colorado, Utah, Wyoming and Montana remain under red flag warnings, meaning extreme fire danger.

A picture of an Oreo cookie on Facebook has set off a fierce debate.   The picture shows an Oreo filled with six layers of frosting in the colors of a rainbow flag that symbolizes diversity in the gay community.  

Rainbow oreo

The picture is headlined "June 25 | Pride" and contains text reading "Proudly support love!"  As of this morning, the picture has been liked more than 215,000 times, has nearly 35,000 comments and has been shared 65,000 times.   As one might expect, the photo has drawn some criticism with comments such as "I'll do my business elsewhere" and "Sorry Oreo, my family and I can get our snack foods elsewhere."   But the positive comments outnumber the negative ones.   Kraft says the picture is recognition of Pride Month in the United States.

The most popular video on YouTube this morning is a Nike spot featuring an incredible dunk at LA Live.


A parody music video to promote farming is among the most popular.  It was created by employees of Peterson Farm and Livestock.


Tropical storm Debbie has been serious business for the state of Florida, but at least one person found a thrill in the storm by going kite surfing.   The surfer comes into view around :25 into the video, but keep watching until the end. 


And finally, a baby who has learned quickly to laugh at dad's bad jokes.


That's the trend!

Have a great day,








Alarm App, Jenny McCarthy and A Bear In The Garage

Good morning!

The new WABC Eyewitness News Alarm Clock app is a hot trend this morning.   Thanks to all the viewers who downloaded the app, it's one of the most popular apps on iTunes this morning, ranking as the third most popular free utility app for the iPhone and among the top 100 free apps available.  


If you have not downloaded it yet, check out more details at http://bit.ly/wabcalarm.  Thanks to all who downloaded and shared the app with their family and friends! 

Jenny McCarthy is a hot search after the actress, model and advocate made her 6th appearance on the cover of Playboy since 1993.   She's on the cover of the July/August issue wearing nothing but black knee-high tights and fingerless fishnet gloves.  


The 39-year-old appears in an eight-page photo spread on the inside, which McCarthy described to People magazine as "gorgeous and classy."

Another photo that people want to see is Katie Holmes and daughter Suri dressing alike.   Holmes and her 6-year-old daughter were caught on camera wearing matching outfits while strolling the streets of the City on Sunday, making the picture a popular tweet and search.

Ray Allen is a hot topic on Twitter thanks to rumors that the Boston Celtics forward wants to sign with the Miami Heat to capture one more NBA title before he retires…. Meanwhile, the NBA draft is starting to trend ahead of Thursday's draft.  Complete coverage on ESPN.com.

Happy birthday Ariana!   That's a popular tweet this morning as Ariana Grande celebrates her 19th birthday.   She made her Broadway debut at age 15 in the musical 13.   Grande currently stars as Cat Valentine on the Nick show Victorious.

President Obama has another viral video thanks to the Barack Dubs folks, this time singing Justin Bieber's Boyfriend.


A wedding video has gone viral.  In this case, the best man speech, which wasn't a speech but a a parody of the SNL/The Lonely Island hip hop song "I'm On A Boat."


This guy ended up going viral after he decided play with a lighter while pumping gas.   No one was seriously hurt.


And nothing like opening your garage door and finding a BEAR inside.


That's the trend!

Have a great day,







Debby, Lonesome George and Michael Jackson

Good morning!

Tropical Storm Debby is going nowhere fast and flooding parts of Florida in the process.  Heavy rains and isolated tornadoes have battered the crook of Florida's elbow.   People were urged to leave low-lying neighborhoods and high winds closed an interstate bridge that spans Tampa Bay and connects St.Petersburg to other areas.  Some streets in Tampa Bay were closed by flood waters and debris.   The storm is still 90 miles off the coast and forecasters predicted it could be days before Debby actually makes landfall because of its slow movement.

(AP Photo/Charles Darwin Foundation, Heidi Snell)

Lonesome George, a giant tortoise and the last of its kind, has died.   George was an icon for conservation on the Galapagos Islands.   He was thought to be 100 years old.  A Hungarian scientist discovered George on the Galapagos island of Pinta in 1972.  His subspecies (Chelonoidis nigra abingdoni) was already believed extinct.   For decades since, environmentalist tried to get the tortoise to reproduce with females from a similar subspecies, but to no avail.  

King of Pop Michael Jackson is being remembered on Twitter three years after his death.


#ObamaInTwoWords is a popular hastag on Twitter this morning.   The top tweets include:

@MikeBeas #obamaInTwoWords Accomplished nothing

@JCULLI #ObamaInTwoWords Two terms.

@RepubGirlProbz #ObamaInTwoWords Worst President

@WakaFlockaBSM #ObamaInTwoWords Second Term!!

 ‏@tinypinkwhales #ObamaInTwoWords get out.

@Wary12 #ObamaInTwoWords Supports People

@Little_Ms_Sassy #ObamaInTwoWords see yaaaa

@TheNewDeal #ObamaInTwoWords: The President 

@juleslalaland #ObamaInTwoWords Blame Bush

@techweenie #ObamaInTwoWords respected worldwide


Anne Hathaway's ex is talking to People magazine.  Raffaello Follieri completed his prison sentence for fraud recently and was deported back to Italy.  The 33-year-old says he was "very much in love with her."  They dated from 2004 to 2008, when Follieri got busted.  "We were talking about marriage," he said.   Hathaway is now engaged to actor turned jewelry entrepreneur Adam Shulman.

Two sports stories trending this morning.   First in a cage match in Atlantic City, Gray Maynard took a split decision victory over Clay Guida in the main event of the UFC.  Late in the second round, the UFC president tweeted, "I thought it was impossible for this fight to suck. I WAS WRONG!!!!!!"…. And in baseball, the long break-up of the Boston Red Sox continued with long-time Red Sox Kevin Youkilis was traded to the Chicago White Sox for a pitching prospect and a utility player.  Only DH David Ortiz remains from the curse-ending 2004 World Series team.  A half-dozen others remain from the 2007 champion team.

From YouTube, storm chasers caught a tornado in South Dakota hurling softball-sized hail.


And then we have cats fighting over a ladder!


Another popular video is an instructional video for cats:  How to walk your human.


And finally, Vincent Van Gogh's Starry Night using 7,000 dominoes.


That's the trend!

Have a great day,








Mike Miller, Tony Parker and Homeless Mo

Good morning!

You might think series MVP LeBron James would be the hot topic after the Miami Heat captured the NBA Championship, but that honor belongs to Mike Miller, a banged up 32-year-old veteran.    He scored 23 points in 23 minutes off the Miami bench, no turnovers and 5 rebounds in a performance that led ESPN to declare on Twitter, "Game 5: Also known as 'The Mike Miller Show.'" 

(AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

Miller has had any number of injuries, from his back to his wrist, that have limited his playing time and his overall productivity for the past two seasons.   In the season's final game, Miller became the perimeter threat needed when the Oklahoma City Thunder double-teamed James, who spoon fed Miller into a barrage of three-pointers that buried the Thunder.   The Heat won 121-106.

NBA star Tony Parker is trending after word that he is suing a club in SoHo for $20-million over the fight involving Chris Brown and members of hip-hop star Drake's entourage.   Parker, a guard for the San Antonio Spurs, says he suffered a scratched retina in the fight.

On the heels of the Muppets' big screen success last year, 20th Century Fox has picked up the movie rights to take us to Sesame Street.  Street writer Joey Mazzarino will pen the script, according to The Hollywood Reporter.   The educational series that has been a staple of PBS stations since 1969 has two previous big screen adventures:  Follow That Bird was released in 1985 and The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland.   No other details about the next adventure on Sesame Street were immediately released.

People are reminiscing on Twitter under the hashtag #WhenIWasAKid.  Among the top tweets, @teenswagster tweets "Apple and Blackberry were fruits."

An update on Karen Klein, the upstate New York school bus monitor bullied by students in a video that went viral…. The website set up to raise money to send her on a vacation has now raised nearly a half-million dollars.  The original goal was $5,000.

A guy named Homeless Mo has his first viral video.   Mo has been homeless on the streets of San Francisco for the past four years.  A man who befriended Mo has armed him with a flipcam, set him up with a YouTube channel, a Facebook page and a donations site.  He has only done a couple of interviews on Market Street in San Francisco, but the second video has already gone viral.  You can even send email to homelessmo@gmail.com.


Here's something you don't see every day.  Scottish ex-F1 driver David Coulthard caught a golf ball in a $200,000 Mercedes going at 180mph.  British pro golfer Jake Shepherd hit the drive that landed in the car on the second try about 300 yards from the tee - a new Guinness world record for the furthest golf shot caught in a moving car.


An anti-smoking campaign video in Thailand released last week has gone viral.  It's called Smoking Kid.


Cow caused quite a stir in Ireland when it wandered into a supply store. (adult language)


And a sea otter is getting a lot attention because it's swimming with paws over its eyes.  Apparently this is quite common with otters.   According to the poster, it is apparently "a comfortable position in which to keep their short paws out of the cold water."


Today's cover of Gotye's Somebody I Used To Know comes from a 5-year-old.


And that's the trend!

Have a great day,









Catching a golf ball in a $200,000 Mercedes at 180mph

Here's something you don't see every day.  Scottish ex-F1 driver David Coulthard caught a golf ball in a $200,000 Mercedes going at 180mph.  British pro golfer Jake Shepherd hit the drive that landed in the car on the second try about 300 yards from the tee - a new Guinness world record for the furthest golf shot caught in a moving car.



Why does a McDonald's burger look better in a photo?

Believe it or not, McDonald's answered this question in what is now a viral video on YouTube. 


The video was posted in response to a young customer who asked "Why does your food look different in advertising than what is in the store?"   The answer is a process called "food-styling," which is a essentially a Photoshop process involving technicians, photographers and executives.  The decision to lift the curtain on this trade secret is something of a surprise, but one that could also open the company to criticism that it is doctoring food to mislead customers.


Duluth, Lanai and Karen Klein

Good morning!

The city of Duluth, Minnesota is the hot search on Google this morning after torrential rains washed away roads, forced people from homes, killed zoo animals and destroyed homes and businesses. Some zoo animals, like the seal below, ended up in the streets!

(AP Photo/Ellie Burcar)

It is the result of the heaviest two-day rainfall in nearly 150 years and the worst flash floods in more than a century.   Don Ness, the mayor of Duluth, says the damage will easily run into the tens of millions of dollars.

Oracle's CEO Larry Ellison has a lot of money.   So much money that he is buying an island, or at least most of it.   Officials in Hawaii say Ellison is purchasing 98 percent of the pineapple island, Lanai.   The island, where 3200 people live, was once owned by the founder of Dole Foods.   While Ellison has not commented, he apparently is not making the purchase to live there.  The sellers say Ellison plans to make investments in the island to create jobs and stimulate tourism.  Ellison is the world's 6th richest billionaire, according to Forbes.

Alec Baldwin dropped his pants on national television.  Not surprising, he's the focus of a lot of the attention on Twitter this morning.

Comedian Jimmy Carr is a hot topic again on Twitter in the fallout from a Times of London report that he was the biggest beneficiary of a tax avoidance scheme.   Carr apologized in a series of Tweets.  "I now realise I’ve made a terrible error of judgement," he wrote.   More than 1,000 people allegedly participated in the scheme in which an individual resigns from their company and any salary they subsequently receive is paid to an offshore trust.  More than 168-million pounds a year has been sheltered from British taxes, according to the report.

Clive James, another name not all that familiar to American audiences, is also a hot topic on Twitter after excerpts of an upcoming radio interview appeared in the Daily Mirror.   James concedes that he has lost his battle with cancer and he is so sick that he is unlikely to return to his native Sydney in part because he is no longer allowed to fly.   The 72-year-old broadcaster has appeared in a variety of television shows over the years, including Clive James on Television.   He was diagnosed with leukemia in 2010.

Painter and sketch artist LeRoy Neiman, known for his handlebar mustache and his portrayals of athletes and celebrities, has died.  Neiman was the official painter of five Olympiads and a contributing artist at Playboy magazine for many years.  


(AP Photo/Las Vegas News Bureau)

In this photo, Neiman is seen sketching Cher in September, 1981 at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. Neiman was 91.

A disturbing video of a school monitor being bullied by some students in upstate New York has more than 1.5 million views on YouTube.    On the video, you can hear a stream of profanity, insults and outright threats directed at her.  Karen Klein, a grandmother of 8, did not report the incident, who does her best to ignore the verbal abuse.   One of the students on the bus posted the video on YouTube on Wednesday.  A Toronto nutritionist saw the video on Reddit and set up a website to raise money to send Klein on a vacation.  The site has raised more than $125,000 as of this morning.




A cover version of the Gotye's Somebody That I Used To Know has gone viral.  What makes this video different is it's solo guitar and a really impressive performance.


Check out the haboobs in Arizona.   "This thing is huge!"


Jimmy Kimmel's latest viral video, Lie Detective, now has more than 4 million views!


And finally, watch what happens when an upset little girl discovers that she is on camera.


That's the trend!

Have a great day,