For those of you who still believe you will someday be able to retire, RETIREMENT PLANNING (10) makes sense. Financial planner David Ning offers some tips for fifty-somethings on avoiding problems in retirement, including things like not taking out a new 30-year-mortgage, watching out for debt, and investing cautiously. Looking for a savvy investment? One word, people: Eels.
They eat eel in China, don't they? At any rate, if you're thinking about retiring, you might want to avoid China, at least if you're planning on driving anywhere. With its enormous population and liberalizing attitudes toward private property, China has a growing number of car owners--and a correspondingly growing number of inexperienced drivers--which may partially account for the increasing number of accidents including a horrific BUS CRASH (9), that killed 20 people, including 18 kindergartners.
If there is a bright side to such a tragic story, it is that these children will be spared the spectacle of the new and improved WOODY WOODPECKER (8). The iconic cackler will receive a cinematic reboot by the same studio that brought you "Despicable Me." In the modern version, Woody will find himself imprisoned by the CDC after an outbreak of bird flu. Harrowing scenes of avian waterboarding are being scripted to give the character more "edge."
No word on whether TAYLOR LAUTNER (7) will appear in the Woodpecker extravaganza. If he does, though, I just hope, for his fans' sake, he takes his shirt off. Apparently, legions of tween girls, repressed housewives, and Jerry Sandusky are frustrated that the well-pectoraled werewolf appears shirtless only once in the latest "Twilight" movie.
The trendwatch certainly puts things in perspective. Clocking in at number 6 is JESSIE JAMES. She's a country singer who's trending because she's singing during halftime of tonight's Jets-Broncos game. The sad part of this is that the article pointing out this fact feels the need to clarify that Jessie James is NOT to be mistaken for her two famous namesakes: The guy who cheated on Sandra Bullock and, of course. . . "leggy British singer Jessie J."
I weep for our generation.
Because no Trendwatch would be complete without a bit of technology (except, of course, for all those previous trendwatches that didn't include a bit of technology), we present a story about 2013 FORD ESCAPE (5). In addition to being shiny, this model allows you to open the trunk by kicking the underside of the car. In the 2014 model year, Ford will introduce a feature whereby you can turn on the radio by tickling the windshield.
Thanksgiving is almost upon us, and with it will come the inevitable mishaps: an insufficient number of chairs for the dining room table; too many raisins in the stuffing (which, by the way, means ANY raisins in the stuffing); and, of course, an epidemic of third-degree burns suffered by those who improperly deep-fry their turkeys. Not to worry, though, WILLIAM SHATNER (3) is on the case! The venerable star of television, movies, and travel-website commercials has filmed a public service announcement warning people about the dangers of careless turkey-frying. Ah, Shatner! Is there anything he CAN'T do?
The "Desperate Housewives" sexpot is rumored to be dating Los Angeles Laker Matt Barnes. 'Cause her marriage to San Antonio Spur Tony Parker worked out so well, I guess. You think maybe she should start watching a different sport?
Of course, the rumors might not be true. Maybe the celebrity gossip mill is just hungry for a romance between a raven-haired beauty and an NBA baller, what with the whole Kardashian marriage implosion. And what's happening with Kim Kardashian you ask? (You know you did!) Well, if a group organizing a KARDASHIAN BOYCOTT (2) has its way, you may never know. The Facebook page calling for a boycott of this drain on the national attention span has over 113,000 "Likes."
Keeping up with the Kardashian, though, at least in terms of marital success is the number-one trendiest topic of this moment on the time-space continuum, RUBEN STUDDARD (1), who is getting a divorce. You may remember that Ruben Studdard won the second season of "American Idol." More likely, though, you remember the guy he beat, Clay Aiken. Poor guy just can't catch a break.