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Yup, This is Torture

Let me preface this by saying that in general, I find torture to be a bad thing.

So when it comes to reports of the CIA's torture methods in the mid-2000's, there's not a lot to joke about.

However, one form of torture was kind of interesting - it was called Music Torture.

They would play certain songs over and over again to push detainees to the brink or to deny them sleep.

Sort of like being trapped in an elevator for hours with the same Muzak song on an endless loop.

The "playlist" was recently released, and I've got to agree, there are some songs on here that when heard repeatedly can drive a subject toward the edge.

A select few:
  • the theme song to Barney & Friends. You know, "I love you, you love me..."? Yeah, that one nearly destroyed my sanity when my kids were young.
  • the jingle from the Meow Mix commercial, where you have to follow along with the meowing cat.
  • "Stayin' Alive" by the Bee Gees, the theme to Saturday Night Fever.
  • Christina Aguilera's "Dirrty."
  • Neil Diamond's "America."
  • Prince's "Raspberry Beret."
  • Don MacLean's "American Pie."
Metallica and AC/DC made the list, as did Eminem and Tupac, but no country artists.

And this one cracked me up. A chapter from an Audiobook called "Feel This," read by Ben Stiller and Janeane Garofalo.

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Keeping the Spirit

He's played Jean Luc Picard in Star Trek: The Next Generation.

He's played Charles Xavier in the X-Men movies.

He's an accomplished Broadway actor and master of Shakespearean drama.

Yet here, Patrick Stewart is reduced to sitting underneath - that is, wearing - a singing dancing Christmas stocking cap.

His wife posted the video on Christmas Eve.

You'll still get a chuckle out of his "how did I get roped into this?" reaction to the whole thing...

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Finders Keepers, Right?

This ranks right up there with the funniest stories of December.

A security van in Hong Kong spilled about $5 million in new banknotes onto a highway on Christmas Eve.

That caused a massive scramble to clean up the roadway - aka, pick up the money.

About $3 million was recovered. Another $2 million remains out there.

Officials are asking for the public's help in returning what's currently lost.

These same officials still believe in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny.
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Johnny Depp - the New Peter Sellers!

Johnny Depp's latest film, Into The Woods, opened on Christmas Day to pretty good reviews. He plays The Wolf.

The PR machine is already revved up for his next movie, Mortdecai, which opens in another four weeks or so.

In it, Johnny plays an English art dealer / spy, with a silly British accent and even more silly handlebar moustache.

Watch the clip.

Johnny reminds me a lot of Peter Sellers as Inspector Clouseau in The Pink Panther movies.

How about you?

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Global Warming Caused by Squirrels!

Hang on, world.

Scientists have found the major contributors to global warming, and they are rodents.

Arctic ground squirrels, to be precise.

Here's the problem. They burrow deep beneath the Tundra, which allows more of the Tundra to thaw in the summer, which releases a lot of previously captured carbon into the atmosphere.

Greenhouse gases, and that contributes to global warming. Read more of the story here, if you like.

All this work you've been doing to reduce your carbon footprint, and some pesky burrowing squirrels are undoing it all.
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And the Most Annoying Celebrity of 2014 Was...

We tabulated a lot of votes in our poll for Most Annoying Celebrity of 2014.

And the top two - not an award anyone was kicking and screaming to win, of course - are separated by a mere two percentage points, with each of them taking over a third of the vote each.

So, here are the top three, in reverse order:

Number Three - Taylor Swift (15%)

I don't think she'll be too upset at not winning.

I'm sure she'll be able to shake it off.

Number Two - Mama June (34%)

The head of the Honey Boo Boo clan was holding her own at the top spot for a couple of weeks during the survey.

Which is pretty impressive in a messed-up sort of way, especially when you see that it took a village to set her down a peg.

Number One - Any Kardashian (36%)

The real surprise here isn't that they won - it's that they didn't have a larger margin of victory.

We're talking all of them combined - Kim, Khloe, Kourtney, Rob, Chris Jenner, Bruce Jenner, plus the two Jenner girls.

And they managed only a two-point victory.

I'm sure all three of our winners will be back in contention in as the Most Annoying Celebrity of 2015 as well.

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People : Bruce JennerChris JennerTaylor Swift


Yes, Virginia, Eggnog Can Be Dangerous

A guy in Utah recently won the Eggnog Chugging Contest at a work holiday party.

He managed to down a quart in 12 seconds - shaving a full 10 seconds off the previous record.

His prize: a $50 gift certificate to a steak house.

Plus, three days in the hospital, including one in the Intensive Care Unit.

Looks like he managed to pour some of the eggnog down his windpipe, and it ended up in his lungs, causing pneumonia.

He says it took him a full week to recover.

Enjoy that steak, buddy. Remember - small bites, and be careful how you swallow!

More ABC News Videos | ABC World News
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Why Isn't This Terrier Terrified?

This is one of the oddest videos I've seen this holiday season.

It's called "Dog on a Roomba."

The dog is a Boston Terrier, dressed in a Santa coat and hat with some silver ribbon hanging from his neck

The Roomba is a robot floor cleaning device. It will cover your floor from wall to wall - when it hits an obstacle, it heads in another direction.

So here's this poor dog, riding the Roomba - to the tune of "Mamacita, Donde Esta Santa Claus" - in what looks more like a hostage tape than entertainment.

I've got to wonder what's up with this dog. I've got a terrier, and I've got to tell you, my terrier would be trying to eat the Roomba.

Not a chance she'd take a ride around the room and let me tape it.

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This is Just Wrong

A circus in Brescia in the northern part of Italy had its "pandas" seized by the local environmental police recently.

Turns out they weren't pandas at all. They were chow chows painted to look like pandas.

And the circus owners were charging kids for the privilege of taking pictures with the pandas.

RIght now, the owners are charged with animal cruelty, but will probably face charges for obtaining money under false pretenses.

Someone should paint them up to look like pandas and stick them in a zoo for a couple of weeks.

(The picture below comes from an Italian news feed, which explains why you may find some of the words unusual. I know I did.)
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Christmas Truce Marks 100-Year Anniversary

One hundred years ago yesterday marked a momentous occasion at the height of World War I.

German and British forces engaged in trench warfare along Europe's Western Front called an unofficial truce on Christmas Day, 1914.

It last only briefly - in some spots, just for Christmas Day - in others, for the week between Christmas and New Years.

But for that brief period, fighting stopped, and enemies socialized - exchanging season's greetings, sharing pictures of their loved ones, and in some cases, even playing games like soccer.

Not to trivialize it, but a group called the Four Guardsmen used this truce as the backdrop for their 1967 Christmas classic known as "Snoopy's Christmas."

The Peanuts character fantasized about being a World War I flying ace, in constant battle with the notorious (and historically real) Red Baron.

This is a fan-video, but listening to the song knowing that there's some real history behind it is a little chilling...

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