Who names a storm Nemo??? Believe it or not, The Weather Channel! They've decided that naming winter storms, much like the National Weather Service names hurricanes, will help raise awareness of impending dangers from winter weather. Other experts just think it's a marketing ploy. The NWS reiterated that they never have, nor never will, name winter storms. Why Nemo? The Weather Channel says that all of the names were pre-selected last November, and yes, it WAS inspired by the Disney film AND by Capt. Nemo of Jules Verne fame. This is the 14th named storm so far this season...the channel’s next names are Orko, Plato and Q. Oooh, Q! Maybe we should give away some 93Q prizes if we get to that last one!
BY THE WAY...
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that in anticipation of a major winter storm set to hit most parts of New York State today and tomorrow, the State Emergency Operations Center (EOC) will be activated at 12:00 PM Friday to monitor the storm and coordinate response efforts. Representatives from state agencies will be present at the State EOC to coordinate storm response efforts, including Office of Emergency Management, Department of Environmental Conservation, Office of Fire Prevention and Control, Office of General Services, Department of Health, Division of Military and Naval Affairs, Public Service Commission, National Grid, Division of State Police, Thruway Authority, Department of Transportation and the American Red Cross. The Governor advises drivers to take extra caution and only travel when necessary during the storm. Some of the most important tips for safe winter driving include:
• Never follow a snowplow too closely or attempt to pass one. Remember that the highway ahead of the plow is usually snow-covered;
• Adjust speed for road conditions and maintain a safe distance from other vehicles;
• Schedule extra time for winter travel and be patient during ice and snow removal operations;
• Assume that bridge surfaces are slippery, as they freeze more quickly than road surfaces;
• Watch for black ice, which can be difficult to see but makes conditions slippery when pavement temperatures are below freezing;
• Have a cell phone handy, if possible, but do not text while driving; distracted driving is illegal and becomes even more dangerous during storm events;
• Never venture from your vehicle if snowbound;
• Equip your car with emergency supplies including sand, shovel, flares, booster cables, rope, ice scraper, portable radio, flashlight, blankets and extra warm clothes;
• Inform a responsible person of your destination, intended route, and estimated time of arrival; and
• Keep calm and do not panic in case of a vehicle breakdown, accident, or if you become snowbound.
The Syracuse Police Department is reminding all city residents to follow parking regulations in preparation for the snow storm and subsequent snow removal operation. Residents are encouraged to use off street parking if available, and to follow all regulations, especially odd/even parking regulations if parking on the street. Illegally parked vehicles that are hindering snow removal operations may be ticketed and towed if necessary.
HAPPY NATIONAL GIRL SCOUT COOKIE DAY!
For the first time ever, it is National Girl Scout Cookie Day! Throughout the country, special events will be held to celebrate the Girl Scout Cookie, which has been the major fundraising campaign for the Girl Scouts for decades. Judi Knowlton of the Central New York Girl Scout Council. Cookie orders have already been taken and will be delivered by Feb. 15th. Booth sales will run through March 20th. If you want to locate the closest cookie booth sales near you, go to www.girlscoutcookies.org
GRAMMYS ON SUNDAY
Going into the 55th annual Grammy Awards this Sunday night, the only thing that's certain is uncertainty. Unlike last year, when Adele was nominated in every category and it was a foregone conclusion that she'd sweep them all, this year's potential winners are much less obvious.
This year, there are six different acts who've received six nods each --the band fun., rappers Jay-Z and Kanye West, R&B singer Frank Ocean, Dan Auerbach of alternative rockers The Black Keys and British folk rockers Mumford & Sons -- so the field is sort of wide open. That's why ABC News Radio turned to some experts to predict what they think will happen come Sunday night in the major Grammy categories.
Record of the Year
Yahoo! Music's Paul Grein [grine], a member of the Recording Academy’s Hall of Fame committee, says the choice is clear to him in this category. "The record to beat for Record of the Year is 'Somebody That I Used to Know,'" he tells ABC News Radio. "From the first time I heard it last spring, I thought that it just has the sound of a Grammy Record of the Year winner. It was the biggest hit of the year."
But People magazine's music critic Chuck Arnold disagrees: he's going with Taylor Swift's "We Are Never, Ever Getting Back Together" in that category. "[She] had a huge song. She's a big face at the Grammys. She's won a ton before and this is a song that crossed genres," he explains. "So, you know, you're gonna have the country block voting for this as well as the pop block."
Best New Artist
Grein says in this category, where the nominees include fun., Frank Ocean, country star Hunter Hayes, folk rock act The Lumineers and alternative rockers Alabama Shakes, he thinks one act has the edge, thanks to their chart success and their many nominations in the most prestigious Grammy categories.
"I think fun. is probably the frontrunner just by virtue of the fact that it's nominated in all four of the big four categories," Grein says, referring to Record, Song and Album of the Year and Best New Artist. "Frank Ocean's nominated for three of the four. It's between those two. But I think fun. just had such a huge year, they're probably the act to beat here."
And People's Chuck Arnold thinks that fun. is likely to be carting home armloads of Grammy statuettes on Sunday night. "They are nominated in all of the big four categories, and I think they have a really good shot at winning at least three of them," he predicts. "So, I think that they're probably the ones that have the best shot at taking home, say, three or four Grammys."
Album of the Year
One of the most critically-acclaimed albums of the year has been Frank Ocean's Channel Orange, but Yahoo!'s Grein says he's no longer convinced that it's the frontrunner for the Album of the Year category. "I initially, thought that Frank Ocean would have a good chance, and he has some chance, but his record sales haven't really kept pace with his critical acclaim," Grein predicts. "I think it'll be Mumford & Sons."
Arnold, however, thinks that Ocean will win simply because the other nominees in the category: fun., Mumford & Sons, The Black Keys and alt-rocker Jack White, are all rock-based performers. "Because of the rock votes possibly splitting on the other four nominees there, I really think he has a great shot at Album of the Year," predicts Arnold.
Best Pop Solo Performance
This is a competitive category, with Kelly Clarkson, Adele, Katy Perry, Rihanna and Carly Rae Jepsen all fighting it out for the win. Common sense would dictate that Adele, who's up for a live version of "Set Fire to the Rain," would win, because, well, she won everything last year and the Grammy voters love her. But Grein says that's no guarantee of future wins.
"Often, the year after you sweep, you don't win again because people think, 'Enough, Enough already. Let's wait 'til her next album,'" he points out, predicting, "I'm going to go with Kelly, even acknowledging how strong Adele is." Why? Grein says that "everybody loves Kelly," and everyone can relate to the message of empowerment of the song she's nominated for: "Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)."
Performances vs. Wins
The Grammys telecast will feature 19 different musical performances, and only a fraction of the actual awards being handed out on camera. That's because when it comes to the bottom line, performing on the show can guarantee an artist a better return than simply taking home a trophy.
"If you have a great performance, that'll probably do more to sell records than to win," says Grein. As an example, he cites Mumford & Sons, who were on the telecast a couple of years ago. They didn't win anything, but their sales skyrocketed afterwards thanks to their performance. "You know, the best combination is to both win and perform," says Grein. "But if you have to do one or the other, I'd say perform."
NEW IN THEATERS THIS WEEKEND
Here's a look at the new movies opening nationwide Friday:
* Identity Thief -- Jason Bateman is a Denver accounts rep who tracks down a Florida woman who stole his identity. He attempts to take her to Colorado so he can restore his credit rating. Melissa McCarthy plays the thief in this comedy, which also stars Jon Favreau, Amanda Peet, Tip "T.I." Harris, John Cho and Eric Stonestreet. Rated R.
* Side Effects -- Rooney Mara is a woman whose life goes haywire when she suffers unexpected side effects from a drug prescribed to her by a psychiatrist. Channing Tatum, Jude Law and Catherine Zeta-Jones also star in this Steven Soderbergh-directed thriller. Rated R.
MALARKEY FOR TODAY:
This very popular TV show debuted on this date back in 1974:
1) Little House on the Prairie
2) Rockford Files
3) **** Good Times