1. In a special White House ceremony on Thursday, President Obama surprised V.P. Joe Biden by bestowing upon him America’s highest civilian honor. *** One million likes on Facebook?
2. In Russia, the Health Ministry is considering banning cigarettes entirely in that country. *** A spokesman said the move would result in improved health, longer lives and more money to spend on vodka.
3. Starbucks announced it is dropping “Evenings,” its pilot program with beer and wine. *** That’s good—they shouldn’t have been serving alcohol to pilots in the first place.
4. Last weekend a famous Sequoia tree in California that had its trunk hollowed out for a tunnel in the 1800’s was felled by a major storm. *** Al Gore is preparing to deliver the eulogy.
5. Last week Kim Kardashian revealed on Twitter that she has developed psoriasis. *** She is treating it by applying topical creams and putting her selfie camera on a low-res setting.
6. On this date in history: Jan 13, 1938 – The Church of England accepts the theory of evolution. *** And church leaders proclaimed that their doors are always open to anyone who can walk upright.
7. On this date in history: Jan 12, 1958 – The NCAA football rules committee adds the 2 point conversion option after touchdowns. *** Kicked balls still only get 1 point because kickers generally do lousy victory dances.
8. On this date in history: Jan 11, 2007 – J. K. Rowling finishes the 7th and final Harry Potter novel in room 552 of the Balmoral Hotel in Edinburgh. *** The book could have been a bit longer but she stopped writing as soon as the mini-bar ran out.
9. On this date in history: Jan 10, 1956 – Elvis records "Heartbreak Hotel." *** Back then it was a metaphoric place for jilted lovers; these days it’s a hotel that you check into and then find out it doesn’t have wi-fi.
10. On this date in history: Jan 9, 1959 – "Rawhide" with Clint Eastwood premieres on CBS TV. *** In those days his tagline was “Get off my ranch.”