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The KICKS Morning Drive With John Stevenson
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On-Air » The KICKS Morning Drive With John Stevenson » Blog

Feb. 16, 2017 8:17 am

Lady Antebellum unveiled the first round of nominees for this year?s Academy of Country Music Awards this morning.

Reigning ACM Entertainer of the Year Jason Aldean vies to keep his title against previous winners Luke Bryan and Carrie Underwood in 2017. Florida Georgia Line and Keith Urban both have a chance at their first win in the category.

Luke and Male Vocalist nominee Dierks Bentley will host the show Sunday, April 2, live from the new T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The rest of the nominations will be announced shortly.

Here's the first round nominations for the 52nd Annual ACM Awards:

Entertainer of the Year
Jason Aldean
Luke Bryan
Florida Georgia Line
Carrie Underwood
Keith Urban

Male Vocalist of the Year
Jason Aldean
Dierks Bentley
Thomas Rhett
Chris Stapleton
Keith Urban

Female Vocalist of the Year
Kelsea Ballerini
Miranda Lambert
Maren Morris
Kacey Musgraves
Carrie Underwood

Vocal Duo of the Year
Big & Rich
Brothers Osborne
Dan + Shay
Florida Georgia Line
Maddie & Tae

Vocal Group of the Year
Eli Young Band
Lady Antebellum
Little Big Town
Old Dominion
Rascal Flatts

America's Bacon Reserves Haven't Been This Low Since 1957!
Feb. 2, 2017 5:52 am

Our nation is in a crisis situation: First, you suffered through a Christmas without whipped cream. Now, you could be facing a bacon-less Super Bowl?unless you're willing to pay a premium for a crispy slice of heaven.

That's right, there may be a...I shudder to even think it..bacon shortage!

As of December, there were 17.8 million pounds of frozen pork belly, which is made into bacon, in US reserves, according to the Department of Agriculture. That might seem like a lot of bacon, but it's actually the lowest level since record-keeping began in January 1957.

As the Cincinnati Enquirer puts it, "there are literally not enough little piggies going to market." Pig farmers are actually "producing more pigs than ever," says Rich Deaton of the Ohio Pork Council, "yet our reserves are still depleting."

The Enquirer notes foreign buyers may be responsible; 26% of pork produced in the US is exported.

Apart from being amazed that a bacon reserve exists, consumers appear terrified by the prospect of a bacon shortage. But Deaton says the "pork industry will not run out of supply." Consumers should, however, expect to pay more for bacon at grocery stores. Prices have already spiked 20% last month. As for when we were most flush with frozen pork belly, that would be 1988, when there were 113.1 million pounds on hand.

IRS to Delay Tax Refunds in Attempt to Fight Fraud
Jan. 12, 2017 6:45 am

The IRS is delaying tax refunds for more than 40 million low-income families this year as the agency steps up efforts to fight identity theft and fraud. The delays will affect families claiming the earned income tax credit and the additional child tax credit. These tax breaks are geared to benefit the working poor, and many families claim both. "For most of these people it's the biggest check they are going to get all year," IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said in an interview with The Associated Press. "We are sensitive to that."
The tax filing season starts Jan. 23. But a new law requires the IRS to delay tax refunds for people claiming these credits until Feb. 15. Processing times will delay most of the refunds until the end of February, Koskinen said.
The delay is designed to give the agency more time to screen the returns for fraud. The IRS estimates that it issued $3.1 billion in fraudulent tax refunds to identity thieves in 2014. The year before, the agency says, it paid out $5.8 billion in fraudulent refunds. Over those two years, the IRS says it blocked nearly $47 billion in fraudulent refunds. The earned income tax credit is one of the federal government's largest anti-poverty programs. It has also been plagued by billions in improper payments each year, including overpayments, underpayments and fraud. The delayed refunds are part of a broader effort by the IRS to fight identity theft and fraud on refunds, which has mushroomed into a multibillion industry. Two years ago, the IRS started partnering with the major tax-preparation services and with state tax agencies to combat identity theft.
"All of the players in the industry are sharing information against the common enemy, which is organized crime," Cobb said. Koskinen said the agency is making progress. Last year, the number of people reporting to the IRS that their identities were stolen dropped by 50 percent, to 275,000 taxpayers, Kosinen said.
However, a new report by an agency watchdog says stepped up screening by the IRS is also delaying legitimate refunds, forcing taxpayers to spend weeks or months proving their identity to the tax agency. Last year, about 1.2 million legitimate refunds ? worth $9 billion ? were delayed an average of more than 30 days, according to a report released Tuesday by Nina E. Olson, the National Taxpayer Advocate. Olson runs an independent office within the IRS.

Koskinen said the IRS has had to get more aggressive in screening tax returns because the crooks have become increasingly sophisticated. "We're talking about international organized crime syndicates," Koskinen said.

So does this affect you? How do you feel about having your refund delayed?

And My Picks Are....
Nov. 2, 2016 6:35 am

It's country's biggest night! The 50th CMA's are tonight from Nashville. First off, we hope you're planning on joining us at Features in West Salem for our huge CMA party with WXOW News 19. You could win 2 VIP passes to Country Fest in Cadott next June. The party starts at 6pm, so get there early for a good seat!

Now on to the voting! Here are my picks for the winners in the 9 categories in our CMA Vote 2016 contest:

Entertainer Of The Year: Garth Brooks. He's had an incredible year, and you might say it's a sentimental favorite, but so be it!

Male Vocalist: Chris Stapleton. This guy can do no wrong.

Female Vocalist: Kelsea Ballerini. Taken country by storm, here's her reward.

Group Of The Year: Little Big Town. Stiff competition from Rascal Flatts and Old Dominion, but these guys are so well-loved in Nashville. If not them, then Old Dominion.

Duo Of The Year: How do you not give it to Florida Georgia Line? Maybe you give it to Joey + Rory out of respect for the loss of Joey Feek. Plus Dan + Shay have had a great year. This one I may be wrong on, we'll see.

New Artist: Kelsea Ballerini. All the nominees here have had a great year, and it's weird to see Cole Swindell in this category, but I just think Kelsea has created the most buzz.

Musical Event Of The Year: "You Are My Sunshine" - Morgan and Chris Stapleton. This is one of those categories that always has nominees in it that you've never heard of but made a big impact in Nashville. Chris Stapleton is just The Man these days, and he and his wife will take this one home.

Musician Of The Year: Most country music fans have no idea who these folks are, but they are the ones who really make the hits what they are. My choice: guitarist Brent Mason. As a musician myself, I'm just a huge fan.

Video Of The Year: Gotta give this one to Tim McGraw for "Humble and Kind". Awesome song, awesome video. He's a master.

OK, now it's your turn. Get over to our contest page and cast your vote. You could win 2 Reserved Seat passes to Country USA in Oshkosh next June! Here's the link.

Santa, Are You Paying Attention?
Sept. 2, 2016 5:57 am

The frost isn?t even on the pumpkin, or the turkey and dressing on the plate, but Wal-Mart is thinking about Christmas. The retail giant has already decided on its 25 most popular toys for this year?s Christmas season. It also expects big sales in cookware, video games and consoles, and makeup kits. They think the Sony PlayStatoin Virtual Reality Bundle will be one of the major sellers. So here they are, the Top 25 Toys:

#1: My Life As Food Truck ? Walmart exclusive
Num Noms Lip Gloss Truck
Pom Pom Wow Decoration Station
Doc McStuffins Hospital Care Cart
FurReal Friends Torch, My Blazin' Dragon
Little Live Pets Puppy
Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice Batcave ? Walmart exclusive
Barbie Rainbow Cove Princess Castle Playset
Fisher-Price Imaginext Bat Flight City
Fisher-Price Little People Sit 'n Stand Skyway
My Little Pony Explore Equestria Crystal Empire Castle
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Mega Lair Playset
Pie Face Showdown Game ? Walmart exclusive for a limited time
Razor Power Core E100 Electric Scooter ? Walmart exclusive
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Remote Control Skateboarding Mikey ? Walmart exclusive
Fisher-Price Imaginext Ultra T-Rex
Hot Wheels A.I. Racing Playset
Nerf N-Strike Elite HyperFire Blaster
Tyco Terra Climber Remote Control Vehicle
Vtech Go! Go! Smart Wheels Treasure Mountain Train Adventure
Disney Princess Carriage ? Walmart exclusive
Paw Patrol Zooming Marshall
Sky Viper Streaming Drone
Star Wars Electronic R2D2

And The Nominees Are......
Aug. 31, 2016 8:17 am

2016 Country Music Association Awards Nominees

Entertainer of the Year

Garth Brooks
Luke Bryan
Chris Stapleton
Carrie Underwood
Keith Urban

Album of the Year (Awarded to Artist and Producers)

Hero, Maren Morris
Mr. Misunderstood, Eric Church
Storyteller, Carrie Underwood
Black, Dierks Bentley
Ripcord, Keith Urban

Female Vocalist of the Year

Kelsea Ballerini
Miranda Lambert
Maren Morris
Kacey Musgraves
Carrie Underwood

Male Vocalist of the Year

Eric Church
Tim McGraw
Chris Stapleton
Dierks Bentley
Keith Urban

Vocal Group of the Year

Lady Antebellum
Little Big Town
Old Dominion
Rascal Flatts
Zac Brown Band

Song of the Year (Awarded to Songwriters)

?Die a Happy Man,? Thomas Rhett
?Humble and Kind,? Tim McGraw
?My Church,? Maren Morris
?Record Year,? Eric Church
?Burning House,? Cam

Vocal Duo of the Year

Brothers Osborne
Dan + Shay
Florida Georgia Line
Joey + Rory
Maddie & Tae

New Artist of the Year

Kelsea Ballerini
Brothers Osborne
Maren Morris
Old Dominion
Cole Swindell

Single of the Year (Awarded to Artist and Producer)

?Die a Happy Man,? Thomas Rhett
?Humble and Kind,? Tim McGraw
?My Church,? Maren Morris
?Nobody to Blame,? Chris Stapleton
?Record Year,? Eric Church

Musical Event of the Year

?Different for Girls,? Dierks Bentley feat. Elle King
?Home Alone Tonight,? Luke Bryan feat. Karen Fairchild
?The Fighter,? Keith Urban feat. Carrie Underwood
?Think of You,? Chris Young with Cassadee Pope
?You Are My Sunshine,? Morgane Stapleton with Chris Stapleton

Music Video of the Year (Awarded to Artist and Director)

?Fire Away,? Chris Stapleton
?Humble and Kind,? Tim McGraw
?Record Year,? Eric Church
?Somewhere on a Beach,? Dierks Bentley
?Burning House,? Cam

Colin Kaepernick: Which Side Are You On?
Aug. 29, 2016 6:09 am

San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick did not stand for the Star-Spangled Banner before the Niners - Packers game on Friday night. He told the NFL Network: ''I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color. To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder. This is not something that I am going to run by anybody. I am not looking for approval. I have to stand up for people that are oppressed. If they take football away, my endorsements from me ? I know that I stood up for what is right."

So what do you think? Certainly he has a right to his opinion, and his right to Freedom Of Speech says he can sit out the Anthem if he wants. Should we applaud his efforts to make a point, or criticize him for his lack of respect for the country that has given him so much? Drop me a line: john@kicks1063.com

Nashville To Return In January...But!
Aug. 25, 2016 6:43 am

It's official. CMT has officially set January 5, 2017 as the premiere date for Season 5 of the TV drama Nashville. Nashville will be broadcast and streamed on CMT, and also streamed on Hulu, which currently carries the show?s previous seasons. Returning cast members include Charles Esten, Sam Palladio, Jonathan Jackson, Clare Bowen, Lennon Stella, Maisy Stella, Chris Carmack, Hayden Panettiere and Connie Britton.

But get ready for a shocker, "Nashville" fans: Britton, who plays Rayna James may not return for Season 6, according to TVLine. She is now scheduled to be on only 10 of the 22 episodes of Season 5. Sources do not know how James? character will be written off the show. TVLine also reports that negotiations are ongoing as to the length of her participation in Season 5. Hayden Panettiere, who portrays Juliette Barnes, will be back for all 22 episodes of the new season. Her fate was left hanging at the end of Season 4 when she was in an airplane crash.

Tell you what, as a big fan of the show, I don't see how it could continue without Britton as Rayna.

Pearls Before Swine Indeed!
Aug. 23, 2016 5:59 am

A giant pearl, found by a fisherman in off the coast of Palawan Island, Phillippines, ten years ago, is in the process of being certified as the biggest natural pearl ever found. The fisherman, who had no idea what he had, kept the pearl in his home for 10 years ago. Recently the man?s home burned, and he took the pearl to the local tourism office in remote Puerto Princesca. They were able to verify that it had been found in a giant clam. The pearl measures one foot wide and just over two feet long. That is much larger than the world?s current largest pearl, the Pearl of Allah, which weighs 14 pounds and is worth 35 million dollars. It is on exhibition at Ripley?s Believe It Or Not! in New York City. The new find is estimated to be worth 100 million dollars, and weighs 74 pounds! Actually, I'd like to see the clam this beast came out of!

Can Anyone Explain This To Me?
July 27, 2016 6:01 am

In my job, I have to keep up on all the latest trends. That way I can talk with some authority on what's happening in the world of entertainment, politics, whatever. But for the love of God, can someone please explain this one to me!?!

James Holt and Jordan Parke are both huge Kim Kardashian fans, so much so that they have had their features altered to look like her. The pair live just miles apart in Manchester, England, and were featured in the news there after they had either lip fillers and/or surgery to change their appearance. Now a spat has broken out between Holt and Parke, and it has made its way to social media. It all started when Holt posted a copy of an article about him which also featured Jordan. Holt apparently was not happy with the comparison.Holt posted on Facebook, ?I?m happy for a two-page spread in America like anyone would be, obv. But why are they trying to make that Jordan relevant in the corner of my story. It?s so annoying and I?ve never had one procedure to look like Kim Kardashian.?

Parke?s answer: ?When someone hates you and you unknowingly pop up and steal the limelight #ByeBoo #OftenImitatedNeverDuplicated.?
Parke was the first of the two to have lip fillers to look more like Kardashian. He has also had cosmetic surgery, including a nose job, chin implants, cheek fillers and botox, according to ?The Mirror.? Holt also had lip fillers done a couple years later. Holt has since deleted his posts about the argument and has refused to talk about the spat between the two.

All I can say is "What?" And "Why". And is it just me, or does the guy on the left look like he's got a set of those wax lips we had when we were kids?

How Would You Rate La Crosse?
July 26, 2016 5:47 am

It could be a friendly hello, a warm smile or someone asking if they can help you, but it all makes for a nicer visit when you are in a strange city. ?Travel & Leisure? has chosen the 20 Friendliest Cities in America. In the latest America?s Favorite Places survey, readers ranked more than 400 cities and towns on 70 different features, from the best burgers and wine bars to festivals and free attractions for all ages. Survey voters also weighed in on the locals, ranking them for their apparent quirkiness, hotness, or charming geekiness.

The top 20 winners for hospitable locals tended to score well in user-friendly categories like affordability and walkability. These same places also tended to be smaller cities with gold stars for warm, sunny weather?an equation that would leave a lasting impression with anyone, local or visitor.

Here are the cities ranking Top 20, from 20 to number 1:

20) New Orleans, Louisiana
19) Albuquerque, New Mexico
18) Columbus, Ohio
17) Milwaukee, Wisconsin
16) Norfolk, Virginia
15) Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota
14) Memphis, Tennessee
13) Honolulu, Hawaii
12) Charleston, South Carolina
11) Savannah, Georgia
10) Indianapolis, Indiana
9) Kansas City, Missouri
8) Raleigh, North Carolina
7) Fort Worth, Texas
6) Buffalo, New York
5) Nashville, Tennessee
4) Knoxville, Tennessee
3) Madison, Wisconsin
2) Houston, Texas
1) San Antonio, Texas

Hot Enough For Ya?
July 21, 2016 6:14 am

The heatwave we're gonna have the next couple of days is hard on our bodies, our moods, and our electric bills. Don?t let the temperature get you down, though. These ten tips will help you keep cool even if it feels like the sun is out to get you.

10. Drink More Water: You know how important it is to stay hydrated all year round. When you?re sweating a lot, either because of exercise or the summer heat, drinking enough water becomes even more important. As the CDC suggests, think of your body like an air conditioner. As with other hydration myths, water isn?t your only option, but it?s free and easily accessible for most of us. Even if you have to trick yourself into drink more water and learn to love the taste of it, you?ll be much more comfortable if you keep refilling your water glass.

9. Keep Excessive Sweat at Bay:
For many of us, sweat-inducing humidity is the worst part of summer. Even if you don?t have excessive sweat issues, you can get the sweating under control with a few tricks, like applying antiperspirant at night so it works more effectively and wearing breathable clothing materials, such as cotton.

8. Make a DIY Air Conditioner:
Running the AC the entire summer gets expensive. You can make your own pseudo-air conditioner on the cheap with some basic materials, such as thestyrofoam-and-fan version shown above. Don?t like the look of that? There are several other DIY cooling options to try.

7. Optimize Your Fans:
Did you know that if you face your fan out, rather than in at night, your room will stay cooler and you might be able to sleep more comfortably? Day or night, you can use a temperature controller (or build one yourself) toautomatically turn the fan on or off based on the temperature and save your energy?literally. If you have a ceiling fan, run it counter-clockwise (the ?summer? higher-speed setting) for optimum cooling.

6. Keep Your Food Cool and Avoid Using the Oven:
Summer might be a great time to eat outdoors, but some foods and drinks aren?t that enjoyable when heated by the sun. You can make a zeer pot (aka evaporative cooler) for your food and drinks with just two containers or create ice blocks for your cooler using old milk cartons. When it?s too hot to cook, consider making cold soups, relying on electrical appliances like the versatile rice cooker, or try these ?no-cook? or ?oven-free? recipe ideas.

5. Exercise Comfortably, Even in the Heat:
Just because it?s hot out doesn?t mean you have to stop exercising. You can get used to exercising in the heat and use common sense strategies such as switching to water sports, avoiding the sun when it?s strongest, and exercising in short bursts. Pre-cooling techniques can also prevent you from overheating when you work out in hot weather.

4. Optimize Your Windows:
You might not need to run your air conditioner if you pay a little more attention to your windows in the summer. Close the windows and use insulated drapes to keep the sun out during the day and open them at night when the sun is down. You can also hang a damp towel in front of the window to cool the air flowing into your home and open opposing windows or windows on the top and bottom floors for maximum air flow.

3. Cool Your Car Down Quickly:
This Japanese trick will get your oven-like car closer to bearable temperature. Roll down one window and open and close the opposite door a few times to cool that car down.

2. Stay Cool While You Sleep: Summer heat is worst when you?re trying to get some shuteye, because a higher body temperature makes it harder to fall asleep. If you feel like an insomniac in summer, cool your head with a special pillow like the Chillow, sleep on top of a wet sheet (aka the ?Egyptian method?).

1. Know Your Body?s Best Cooling Points:
Finally, if you?re stuck in the heat and can?t find get to a cooler place, know your body?s best cooling points, e.g., your wrist and neck. By applying a ice cubes wrapped in a towel (or any other cold object) to these pulse points, you?ll cool down more quickly and effectively.

Reprinted from Lifehacker

105 MPH!?! Are You Kidding?
July 20, 2016 7:02 am

New York Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman has tied the mark for fastest recorded pitch in MLB history. Chapman's pitch in the ninth inning of the Yankees' win over the Orioles on Monday was recorded at 105.1 mph. "I duck down one step in the dugout when he is throwing," manager Joe Girardi said. Here's a look at the record-breaking pitch:

9 Things Men Hate Hearing From Their Wives
July 14, 2016 6:10 am

We men try, we really do! In the end, we're just men though, and we make mistakes. And usually we take criticism pretty well, but sometimes we can be pretty sensitive. With that in mind, I found a list if the 9 Things Men Hate Hearing From Their Wives.

1. ?Nevermind, I?ll just do it myself.?

Marriage pro tip: When you ask your spouse to call the plumber to fix the sink, give him a chance to do it. Rolling your eyes and saying, ?nevermind, I?ll do it myself? may result in you getting your sink fixed sooner, but it?s also likely to rub your spouse the wrong way.

2. ?You should have known.?

You?re setting yourself up for disappointment if you expect your hubby to decipher every last gesture and statement you make, said Ryan Howes, a clinical psychologist based in Pasadena, California. ?Women become upset when their husbands can?t read between the lines or read their minds but guys are notoriously poor mind readers,? he said. ?Wives will save themselves a lot of grief if they can come to accept this and just ask for what they want.?

3. ?Do you think she?s hot??

Do you really want to know your husband?s thoughts about an attractive woman? Probably not ? plus, you?re putting your spouse in an uncomfortable, no-win situation, said Kurt Smith, a therapist who specializes in counseling men. ?Most men have already identified the pretty women in the room; if he?s trying to respect you then he should be already trying not to look, so you pointing her out will only make him more self-conscious, uncomfortable and unsure of what to do to not upset you or hurt your feelings,? he said.

4. ?We need to talk.?

No four words strike fear into a married man?s heart quite like ?we need to talk.? Opt for something less ominous sounding the next time you bring up an issue, said Marcia Naomi Berger, a therapist and author of Marriage Meetings for Lasting Love: 30 Minutes a Week to the Relationship You?ve Always Wanted. ?The phrase ?we need to talk? is often a signal that the wife has complaints or criticism about the husband,? she said. ?He assumes he somehow failed you and withdraws, creating a disconnect, which is the exact opposite of what you were trying to accomplish.?

5. ?Man up.?

Seriously? There?s no right or wrong way to be a man. For your spouse?s sake, let your gender expectations go and try to have a civil conversation.

6. ?Pick up after yourself. I?m not your mother.?

There are better ways to encourage your spouse to put his dirty socks in the hamper than telling him you?re tired of feeling like his mom. ?Bringing up mom piles baggage onto what?s probably already a loaded situation,? Smith said. ?Many men are sensitive about their relationship with their mother, so suggesting he still wants or needs his mom is not a way to encourage him to change behavior you don?t like.?

7. ?You never, you should have, you ought to...?

Sorry, but chiding your spouse about how he never does the dishes (or takes out the trash or drives the kids to school) isn?t likely to inspire change, Berger said. ?Saying someone ?never? does something leaves no wiggle room for improvement ? it?s like casting a fault of his in stone,? she said. ?It?s much better to say, ?I?d appreciate it if you would empty the dishwasher tonight,? for example. And when he does, thank him and you can expect more help in the future.? 

8. ?You?ve put on a few pounds lately, huh??

Instead of pointing out changes in your spouse?s appearance, be supportive and tell him you?d love if he joined you at your cycle class sometime, said Becky Whetstone, a Little Rock, Arkansas-based therapist. ?Insinuating that his body is not like it once was will shrink his confidence ? and he?ll probably up his calorie intake just to spite you!?

9. ?You?re going out with the guys again??

Don?t look at Fantasy Football meet-ups and golf trips as threats to your marriage. It?s quite the opposite, actually; some time apart will likely do your relationship good, Howes said. ?Yes, sometimes a guy?s night is just an excuse to drink and fart but for many guys these are crucial times to connect, seek advice, get support and express some important emotions,? he said. ?Wives who feel threatened by this or forbid their husband from attending may be cutting off a vital support system.? The biggest bonus of guy time, according to Howes? ?There?s a good chance he?ll actually be a better husband if he can compare notes with other husbands and dads.?

10 Pokémon Go Hacks Everyone Needs to Know!
July 13, 2016 7:24 am

Do you wanna be the very best? Like no one ever was? Well, then you?ve come to the right place! It seems like everyone in the entire world is obsessed with Pokémania and for good reason: Pokémon Go is incredibly addictive and actually has us leaving our couches and braving the summer heat just to go outside and play. (Just don?t, uh, find any dead bodies as you play it.) While you?re out chasing down the Dratini of your dreams, you might as well play smart. If you?re ready to take your adventure to the next level, here are the best 10 tips and tricks to help you actually catch ?em all:

If when you first start the game you see Charmander, Squirtle, and Bulbasaur and think ?Eh! These aren?t for me,? then we?ve got a hot tip for you. Just. Walk. Away! They?ll pop up a few more times but if you keep avoiding them eventually a Pikachu will show up and you can choose him to start your adventure with. Pika pika!

If you throw a Poké Ball and miss your target, then act fast! When the ball is on the ground, you can tap the ball again before it vanishes to pick it back up and give it another toss. Never go without Poké Balls again.

Before you toss out a Pokéball, spin it around the screen in a little circle to charge it up. It?ll put a curve on it (making it harder to throw) but you?ll get an XP boost for your trouble.

While the AR effect is extremely cool, it does make catching Pokémon a little bit harder. If you toggle the ?AR? switch when facing off with a Pokémon, you can leave the AR mode off ? you?ll save battery life and have an easier time hitting your target.

Those green leaves rustling around you on the map aren?t just for decoration. They?ll show you where Pokémon are active so you can chase them down and catch ?em all!

If, like us, you?re swimming in Zubats, then go ahead and catch ?em all anyway. You?ll collect more Stardust and you can always trade in the weaker ones to Professor Willow for an extra Zubat (or whichever Pokémon you have duplicates of!) candy. Just tape the Poké Ball on the bottom of the screen, open the Pokémon menu, pick a duplicate Pokémon, scroll down, and select Transfer to send it out.

If you put your eggs into an Incubator and leave the screen open while your out and about, the app will record your walking distance and eventually hatch the egg for you! Just open the Pokémon menu, swipe over to the ?Eggs? section, select an egg, and tap ?Start Incubation.? What?s inside? You?ll have to wait and see?
This app chews power and all of this playing is going to drain your battery life quickly. To stay juiced, head to your phone setting and turn on Power Saving mode. This special mode will turn the screen off while the game is in your pocket so you can save on resources. Just be sure to keep your headphones in so you know when a Pokémon pops up Throwing an external battery into your bag while you?re out playing can?t hurt either.

When you?re looking at the map, tap the rectangle icon in the bottom right corner and to see what Pokémon are nearby. Those little footprints tell you how close or far a specific monster is (one foot = 100 meters, 2 feet = 200 meters, 3 feet = 300 meters), so let them guide you in the right direction!
If you?ve assigned a Pokémon to a gym, you?re eligible for free loot. Head into the shop screen and look for the shield icon in the top right corner for some extra goodies once a day.

--Couresty Of Teen Vogue

Why Mosquitoes Like You More Than Anyone Else
July 11, 2016 5:53 am

It happens all the time ?you go to a party and all night long you?re slapping at mosquitos, while all your friends say, ?Haven?t had one bite me all night.? There is a reason for this ? well actually there are several reasons that scientists believe this is true, but they don?t as yet have a true scientific explanation for it.

Blood Type? In a controlled setting, mosquitos latched on to people with Type O blood nearly twice as often as those with Type A blood. Did you know that about 85 percent of people secrete a chemical signal through their skin that indicates which blood type they have?

Carbon Dioxide? Mosquitos find their target by smelling the carbon dioxide in their breath. They can detect carbon dioxide from 164 feet away.

Exercise and Metabolism-- Mosquitoes can find victims through scents like lactic acid, uric acid, ammonia and other substances expelled via their seat. They are also attracted to people with higher body temperatures. Ankles and feet have more robust bacteria colonies.

Beer? One 12-ounce bottle of beer can make you more attractive to insets.

Pregnancy? In several studies, pregnant women are more attractive to mosquitos than others.

Color of Your Clothes? Stay away from colors that stand out if you want fewer mosquito bites.

Genetics? Underlying genetic factors can account for 85 percent of the variability between people and how they attract mosquitos. However, scientists haven?t quite figured those out yet.

Natural Repellants? Scientists are trying to figure out why mosquitos are naturally not attracted a small group of people so they can manufacture bug repellant based on those criteria.

Between Trump And Lice, It's A Tossup!
May 11, 2016 6:26 am

I don't know if this is just a slam about Donald trump or an indictment of politicians in general, but Public Polling Policy recently asked registered voters: "What do you have a higher opinion of ... Donald Trump or lice?" 54% of people said lice. 28% of people said Donald Trump! What!?! People think more of lice than Donald Trump? Yep, and not just that:

Donald Trump is more favorable than cockroaches (46% - 42%) and hemorrhoids (45% - 39%)

People have a higher opinion of Nickelback than Donald Trump (39% - 34%)

People have a higher opinion of used car salesmen than Donald Trump (47% - 
People have a higher opinion of traffic jams than Donald Trump (47% - 40%)

People have a higher opinion of root canals than Donald Trump (49% - 38%)

People have a higher opinion of jury duty than Donald Trump (57% - 35%)

His Side Of The Story
Apr. 18, 2016 6:02 am

When rumors surfaced last week that Zac Brown had been caught up in a drug bust in South Florida, Zac took to Facebook to clarify the situation. TMZ reports that Brown was at a hotel party in Palm Beach on April 8 when police came in and arrested some of the partygoers for possession of marijuana and cocaine.In a Facebook message posted on Friday (4/15), Zac confirmed that he was in the hotel room but says he had nothing to do with the people who were busted with drugs. Zac said in the message, "My dad always said nothing good ever happens when you stay out late. It?s a lesson I learned the hard way last week, being in the wrong place at the wrong time."

Brown said he'd only been in the hotel room for a short time when police officers arrived and arrested two people for possession of drugs. He also said that he didn't know those people and had no idea they had drugs on them. Zac also made it clear that he fully cooperated with the authorities and is not part of any ongoing police investigation. Brown went on to say, "Everyone is responsible for their actions, and I regret using poor judgment and putting myself in that position."

According to the gossip site, police raided the room after a man was arrested in car outside the hotel with 30 grams of cocaine. After he was busted, the man told police that he had come there with two women who were inside the hotel room.

So Who Is This Lily Person?
Apr. 13, 2016 5:57 am

You just can't turn on your television without seeing Lily chatting about AT&T, can you? You see her so much, it seems like she?s your next door neighbor. But what do you really know about her?
Lily?s real name is Milana Vayntrub and she is from the Republic of Uzbekistan. Milana?s family left their homeland because of religious persecution (they were Jewish in a country that was officially atheist) when she was two. It took a while, but the family finally made to the U.S. and settled in California. Milana began doing ads when she was five, and in 1995 had a guest spot on ?ER? at the age of eight. She is a high school drop out but not for the reason you might think. She wanted to fast track her schooling, so she dropped out of high school when she was a sophomore, got her GED and went to the University of San Diego, where she got a degree in communication.

She did comedy with the comedy trupe the Upright Citizen?s Brigagde, and was featured on a YouTUbe channel as one of the co-creators of ?Live Proude Girls.? She has also been on other television shows, including ?Key and Peele,? ?Californication? and ?Silicon Valley.?

Remembering her family?s past, she started the ?Can?t Do Nothing? movement, in order to get people to use social media to help crusade for the rights of refugees around the glove.

Fool Me Once....
Apr. 1, 2016 5:49 am

This is the day made for Brad Paisley, who is well known for pranking his fellow entertainers who go out on the road with him. April 1, or April Fools Day, has a long history but no one seems to know the exact time that it was established. There are various stories that go with it. For instance, some folks believe it is celebrated in honor of the trickery Mother Nature plays on mankind during this time of the year with the weird weather patterns. You know, hot today, need a coat tomorrow!

The earliest known reference to April Fool?s Day is in Chaucer?s 1392 Nun?s Priest?s Tale, but it is rather vague and maybe not even on the first of April. Others say it has to do with the reformation of the calendar by Pope Gregory and the Gregorian calendar. The New Year would take place in April, not January as we celebrate it now. It is thought that those who continued to celebrate the New Year on April 1 were called April Fish, and pranks would be played on them.

In 1776 Britain, there is solid reference to April foolishness in an article in ?Gentlemans Magazine.? There is reference to a custom of making fools of people on the first day of April, which apparently was the culmination of an eight-day feast and the beginning of a new year.

Whatever the origin, it?s a day to watch carefully everything that is said or done around you, as you may have to decide in a split second whether or not it is foolery or truth.

Do you have a great April Fools prank that you played on someone, or got pulled on you? Drop me a line: john@kicks1063.com

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