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Headlines: Getting Up to Speed

Friday, July 13 ** Final Edition

Reporting this morning from just off New Jersey Turnpike Exit 4... you gotta problem with that???!
   FYI: This will be the final day of the Ross Brittain Report. If you have not received a Username and Password for a new service from United Stations Radio Networks please contact Stefan Jones at or call 212-536-3647.
   Today: It's Friday the 13th!!! Run for your lives!!! Special section in Holidaze.
   Power politics: PRESIDENT TRUMP continues his visit to England. He'll be in Russia to meet with VLADIMIR PUTIN on Monday.
   Politics as usual: TRUMP says he doesn't want to go to London if they have a 20-foot tall inflatable baby bearing his face they plan to fly.
   Internet: The website was sold yesterday to the founder of The Bleacher Report.
   Business: That Build-a-Bear one-day Pay Your Age Day sale was TOO successful yesterday.
   Watercooler: LeBRON JAMES is making lots of nice new friends in Hollywood.
   Hype: Both Mega-Millions and Powerball prizes over $100 million this weekend.
   People: DWAYNE JOHNSON tells the NY Post he's the "sexiest man alive!"
   Broadway: "West Side Story" is heading back to Broadway.
   Fashion: Things you should know before you get your first body piercing.
   Crime: Porn star STORMY DANIELS had charges dropped against her after being arrested.
   Stupidity: Underwear is NOT a disguise when robbing a store.
   Television: "Game of Thrones" leads all shows with 22 Emmy nominations yesterday.
   Hollywood: "Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation" expected to top the weekend box office.
   Music: rapper MAC MILLER is ready to release a new album.
   Old School: PAUL SIMON will release his 14th solo album.
   Boonies: UFO PHIL wants to build a replica of an Egyptian Pyramid behind the Hollywood Sign.
   Dumbass: Northern California fire started by a farmer who improperly installed an electric fence.
   Tennis: Men's semifinals at Wimbeldon today.
   Running of the Bulls: One person gored in this morning's running.
   Hot list: Top-10 cartoon characters for next week's Comic Con.
   Rocket Science: There's a solar eclipse today... but we can't see it in North America.
   Health: The CDC sez half of adults in the United States are trying to lose weight.
   --Plus-- more of the trash you've come to expect!


Friday the 13th: 
This is the second of two Friday the 13ths this year. The ideas that Friday and the number 13 were each unlucky goes back as far as Norse mythology and the Christian Bible. But the idea of "Friday the 13th" having a special kind of power first took hold in the popular culture back in 1907. That's when author THOMAS WILLIAM LAWSON released a book by the same name. The story was about an unscrupulous broker taking advantage of superstition to game the stock market. But it wasn't until 1980 when the slasher movie classic, "Friday the 13th," was released (see below).
   Phone starter: Admit it, what superstitions do you believe in? Is there anything you simply will not do just because today is Friday the 13th? (Bartha)

Fear of 13 is triskaidekaphobia, but fear of Friday the 13th is called paraskavedekatriaphobia as well as frigga-triskaidekaphobia. Others might call the fear "stupid."

   The earliest known documented reference in English to Friday the 13th occurs in an 1869 biography of Italian composer, GIOACHINO ROSSINI, of "William Tell Overture" fame (among other things): "[Rossini] was surrounded to the last by admiring and affectionate friends; and if it be true that, like so many other Italians, he regarded Friday as an unlucky day, and thirteen as an unlucky number, it is remarkable that on Friday, the 13th of November, he died."

   The biographer was a British journalist named HENRY SUTHERLAND EDWARDS, and wouldn't have known that 13 wasn't and still isn't considered an unlucky number in Italy (see below). In Britain, maybe; Italy, nope. Must've been a member of the liberal media, makin' up stuff again.

Fun Facts about Friday-the-13th:
   --Thirteen has always had a tainted history, but some believe Friday the 13th was spun from the Christian story about the last supper attended by 13 people: Christ and his 12 disciples. He was crucified the next day, a Friday --or so the story goes.
   --Interestingly, 13 is considered good luck in Italy, home of the Roman Catholic church, which separated from the rest of Christianity due to conflicting political and theological disagreements. Friday also is considered sacred by both Norse traditions and Muslims, both which are considered enemies to Christianity.

   --Many hotels and office buildings have no 13th floor and many hospitals have no room 13. And next time you're at the airport, see if you can find Gate 13. Not often.
   --Some famous leaders who were triskaidekaphobic include NAPOLEON, HERBERT HOOVER and FRANKLIN ROOSEVELT. FDR refused to travel on the 13th day of any month and would never host 13 guests at a meal.

   --Speaking of 13 dinner guests, in Paris, superstitious diners can hire what's called a quatorzieme, or professional 14th guest.
   --13 comes right after 12, which numerologists consider to be a complete number: 12 months in a year, 12 signs of the zodiac, 12 gods of Olympus, 12 labors of Hercules, 12 tribes of Israel, 12 apostles of Jesus, 12 days of Christmas and 12 eggs in a dozen. Why there aren't 12 days in a week, no one can say.

   --Past methods of execution involve the number 13: 13 steps leading to the gallows; 13 knots in a hangman's noose, and; 13 feet from which the guillotine blade falls. And the names of several infamous killers contain 13 letters: JACK the RIPPER, JOHN WAYNE GACY, CHARLES MANSON, JEFFREY DAHMER and THEODORE (TED) BUNDY. SON of SAM? Not invited.
   --It's believed that triskaidekaphobia costs nearly a billion dollars annually in employee absenteeism, cancelled trips and reduced commerce.

Friday the 13th movies: 
So far, there have been an even dozen "Friday the 13th" movies (and yes, the next one would be the thirteenth "Friday the 13th" movie, but let's not get ahead of ourselves, here). Since 1980, the ongoing saga of hockey-masked serial killer Jason Voorhees has also given us multiple novellas and comic books. It also made Friday the 13th the pop culture phenomenon it is today. The movies include:
   --"Friday the 13th" (1980) The original. Jason Voorhees, who drowned as a boy at Camp Crystal Lake due to the negligence of the camp staff, comes back wearing a hockey mask and commits a series of mass murders.
   --"Friday the 13th Part 2" (1981)
   --"Friday the 13th Part III" (1982)
   --"Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter" (1984)
   --"Friday the 13th: A New Beginning" (1985)
   --"Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives" (1986)
   --"Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood" (1988)
   --"Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan" (1989)
   --"Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday" (1993) Yeah. It wasn't.
   --"Jason X" (2001)
   --"Freddy vs. Jason" (2003). A crossover film featuring Freddy Krueger from the "Nightmare on Elm Street" franchise.
   --"Friday the 13th" (2009) A remake of the original.
   All together, the "Friday the 13th" films have made $382-million dollars at the US box office, as well as another $82 million worldwide. There's yet still another "Friday the 13th" movie, although it's been delayed several times, and is now scheduled to open on Oct 13, which means it will be the first Friday the 13th movie to actually open on a Friday the 13th October.

   --And then there's the Top 10 "Friday the 13th" Deaths, from the "Lover Sandwich" to the face smashed so hard into an RV wall that it leaves an indent, which you can read about or watch in dueling YouTube versions of Jason Vorhees' best 10 murders. And there's a Mental Floss page detailing 17 Bloody Facts about the various movies. The internet; what CAN'T it do?

Rejected ways to die in a Friday the 13th movie:
   --Become the head of the Republican Party
   --Pop rocks and soda
   --Really, really, really big paper cut
   --Beaten to death with chair by a hillbilly on "Jerry Springer"
   --Assassinated by John Wilkes Booth
   --Drowned by a shamwow
   --Running with scissors
   --Heart attack after being surprised by wife Hillary
   --Old age