Today in History:
1813, the novel "Pride and Prejudice" by Jane Austen was first published in London, anonymously.
1915, the United States Coast Guard was created as President Woodrow Wilson signed a bill merging the Life-Saving Service and Revenue Cutter Service.
1986, the space shuttle Challenger exploded 73 seconds after liftoff from Cape Canaveral, killing all seven crew members, including schoolteacher Christa McAuliffe.
2011, The nation's largest cable TV company, Comcast Corp., took control of NBC Universal, capping a 13-month bid.
Actor Alan Alda (MASH) is 76.
Actress & Playmate Barbi Benton is 62.
Singer-songwriter (ASPCA SAD TV SPOT) Sarah McLachlan is 44.
Singer Joey Fatone of 'N Sync is 35.
Actor Elijah Wood (Wilfred & The Lord of the Rings) is 31.
Jon Patch - Host
Dr. Anne Lampru DVM, Animal Alternatives - Co Host
Bob Page - Executive Producer
Zach Budin - Network Producer
Special Guest Hour 1: Lisa Preston – Natural Healing For Cats, Dogs, Horses, And Other Animals (Book Give-aways)
San Diego penguins take to the skies... a lot!!!
For a couple of flightless birds, Pete and Penny Magellanic spend a good deal of time in the air.
If you’re on a Southwest Airlines flight somewhere, you might see the two penguins on their way to an ambassadorial gig for SeaWorld San Diego.
Most recently, the pair went to Denver for appearances at the airport, a skating rink and three morning television shows. The visits allowed a handler to talk up conservation and, yes, the delights that await tourists at SeaWorld.
Pete and Penny are frequent flyers: Miami, Vancouver, Boston and Chicago, among other destinations. Soon, the San Francisco Bay Area.
“They’re good travelers,” said a SeaWorld spokesman. “They have their own seats, in their own carriers, of course.”
There’s a ritual to a Pete and Penny flight. The Southwest pilot asks passengers if they’d like to meet the pair close up.
The reaction never varies. And soon Pete and Penny are waddling up and down the aisle.
NBC considers pulling stunt from upcoming Fear Factor episode claiming it's in bad taste.
"Fear Factor" producers' plans to serve fresh glasses of donkey semen to contestants on the next episode had NBC execs so concerned ... they gave serious thought to killing the stunt.
Sources involved in the production say the stomach-churning stunt was shot last summer -- but NBC honchos were having a tough time swallowing this one as the air date approached.
The challenge involved teams of twins drinking the full glass of donkey semen -- with a glass of urine thrown in for good measure. Contestants had to drain both glasses in order to move on to the next round.
Sources say NBC execs had multiple pow-wows in the months after the stunt was shot ... but eventually gave Fear Factor producers the thumbs up.
The episode airs this coming Monday -- and yes, we're told multiple contestants actually do (gulp) drink up.
Awww, we were just getting to know him! Uggie, the Jack Russell terrier who stars in Oscar-nominated film The Artist, has decided to retire. He's 10 and, well, he's had it with the red carpet demands....
Uggie's trainers, Omar Von Muller and Sarah Clifford, announced that the oh-so-cute canine is ready to say goodbye to show biz.
"Uggie's still enjoying it, but he's getting up there and he's slowing down a little," Clifford said. She says he can still do little jobs, like short films and TV commercials. But no more long feature film shoots.
"He's at the stage where he just says, 'I think I want to go and lay in the sun by the pool,'" she explains. He lives with Von Muller, who has a pool.
Not to worry, though. Uggie's brother Dash is training hard and will soon be ready for stardom.
Many people are hoping to see Uggie at the upcoming Oscars, although the awards specifically prohibit animals from being nominated.
Woman arrested for turning away man's service dog...
Sherriff Deputies in Grand Rapids Mi. say a restaurant worker will appear in court next month on charges she forced a Gulf War veteran to take his service dog out of the business.
The incident happened on November 4 at the Don Julio's Restaurant.
In the incident, Frank Eckl and his family were eating at the restaurant. Eckl suffers from a seizure disorder and his service dog, Spruce, alerts him to when a seizure is about to happen.
Other diners complained about the dog, so the manager told Eckl to leave Spruce in the lobby. Eckl and his family left the restaurant rather than meet the manager's demands.
On Friday, deputies announced they had arrested a 21-year-old Kentwood woman on charges of "refusing accommodations to persons with disabilities lead by dogs." If found guilty of the misdemeanor, the woman could face up to 90-days in jail.
Kent County deputies are not naming the woman until her first court appearance on February 8.
Don Julio's closed in December.
Cat in the Cockpit: Free-Roaming Feline Causes 4-Hour Flight Delay...
A curious cat led to a major flight delay for passengers of one Air Canada Flight from Halifax to Toronto. 10 year-old Ripples was put back in his carrier after going through airport security but his owner, Debbie Harris failed to realize that one of the latches on the carrier was improperly done.
As Harris got on the plane, the latch on Ripples carrier gave way and the cat ran through the aisles to first class where passengers tried and failed to catch him. Ripples then made his way to the cockpit, diving under the pilots feet into a small inaccessible wiring compartment.
Passengers were forced to leave the plane as technicians worked to take the compartment apart and free the cat. Ripples was extracted from the compartment and the flight took off for Toronto, more than four hours behind schedule.
Kellie Pickler Gives Up Cat Pickles for Her Allergic Husband...
She's made it through her first year of marriage to husband Kyle Jacobs, and Kellie Pickler is still feeling total newlywed bliss – almost.
Pickler was at the New York City unveiling of a cat sweater to benefit the ASPCA.
Pickler's cat, Pickles, had been with the singer since 2006, when she wrapped American Idol. Adopted him from an animal shelter in Tennessee. He was Kellie's best friend. They went everywhere together.
Pickler and Jacobs dated for four years, and when it came time to make it official, Pickler had to make a choice. Her husband is allergic to everything – she says he's, like, allergic to air. Unfortunately, Pickles the cat was shipped off to a home with a family in North Carolina.
But the newlywed knows she made the right choice. "Every time I look at my hand, I go, 'Good God.' What's behind this ring is such unconditional love, trust and respect. I see my husband every time I look at my ring. I'm a blessed woman – I have a good man."
As for her lost cat love, Pickler says she's living vicariously through friends with felines and helping to advocate for her favorite animal.
Kellie Pickler's new album, 100 Proof is out in stores this week. The Kitty Crooner Limited-Edition Sweater is available for pre-sale at the ASPCA web store.