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Sideshow: A bizarre plot to kill Bieber

Justin Bieber inspires intense emotions. He's got his Beliebers, fans ready to die for him. And there are plenty of folks who hate on him regularly. But kill the guy?

Justin Bieber inspires intense emotions. He's got his Beliebers, fans ready to die for him. And there are plenty of folks who hate on him regularly. But kill the guy?

Dana Martin wanted to. At least until he changed his mind.

Martin, serving two life sentences in New Mexico for the rape and murder of a 15-year-old girl in 2000, last month blew the whistle on a conspiracy he hatched to assassinate Bieber.

It's a tale bizarre, baroque, and, yes, bathetic. According to New Mexico TV station KRQE, Martin developed a Taxi Driver-level obsession about the Canadian teen, which eventually drove the con to hire fellow inmate Mark Staake to kill Bieber and three others. Upon his release, Staake hired nephew Tanner Ruane as a helper and sped to Vermont, where he was tasked with strangling two of Martin's acquaintances, using a paisley tie Martin provided.

Staake was then to proceed to New York, where Bieber was set to play a Nov. 28 show at Madison Square Garden. Martin told him to kill Bieber's bodyguard, then castrate and kill the singer. Staake was arrested in Vermont before initiating the murder spree. Ruane made it all the way to New York before being nabbed. Police found a pair of pruning shears on him.

You can't make this stuff up.

Tyson readies haymaker for Philly

Mike Tyson's one-man stage show, Undisputed Truth, hulks into town at 7:30 p.m. May 2, 2013, at the Academy of Music, 240 S. Broad St. Tickets: $20-$75; VIP tickets $300-$500. Information: 215-893-1999,

'Lincoln' lands seven Globe nods

Speaking of heavyweights, Steven Spielberg is ascendant: The blockbustermeister's Civil War epic, Lincoln, on Thursday landed a leading seven Golden Globe nominations, including best drama, best director for Spielberg, and three acting nods for Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field, and Tommy Lee Jones.

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association (whoever they are) also gave best-drama noms to Ang Lee's extraordinary shipwreck-and-God epic, Life of Pi, Quentin Tarantino western Django Unchained, Kathryn Bigelow's real-life Osama bin Laden manhunt thriller Zero Dark Thirty, and another real-life spy-'n'-soldier yarn, Ben Affleck's Argo.

David O. Russell's Silver Linings Playbook, which stars Philly's Bradley Cooper and which was shot in the region, picked up a nod for best film, comedy or musical. It's joined by The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Victor Hugo musical Les Misérables, Moonrise Kingdom, and fishing love story Salmon Fishing in the Yemen.

Noms for best actor, drama, also went to Richard Gere (Arbitrage), John Hawkes (The Sessions), Joaquin Phoenix (The Master), and Denzel Washington (Flight).

Best actor in a comedy or musical nods went to Cooper, Jack Black (Bernie), Hugh Jackman (Les Misérables), Ewan McGregor (Salmon Fishing in the Yemen), and Bill Murray (Hyde Park on Hudson).

The usual suspects dominate the TV categories: Boardwalk Empire, Breaking Bad, Downton Abbey, Homeland, and The Newsroom for drama. And for comedy or musical, ya got The Big Bang Theory, Episodes, Girls, Modern Family, and Smash. See the full list at

Bradley Cooper: We made it in Philly

Bradley Cooper says Silver Linings Playbook's Philly roots make the Globes nominations it received so much sweeter. ""I hit the jackpot being able to work on this," he tells USA Today. "On a personal level, playing that character certainly took me places I'd never gone to before on film. . . . It's one of the best feelings as an actor to successfully explore something."

What's next for Coop? "I'm not opposed to doing Dancing With the Stars," he says.

Dude, did you see your own movie?

Who was 2012's Twitterest?

Justin Bieber's tweet, "RIP Avalanna. i love you," sent when a 6-year-old fan died from brain cancer, was retweeted more than 220,000 times, making it one of the top tweets of 2012. Other top tweeters include President Obama, whose "Four more years" message was retweeted 810,000 times. Speaking of Obama, Twitter traffic peaked on election night, with users sending 327,452 tweets per minute for a total of 31 mil tweets for the day.

12-12-12 = $50 million for Sandy aid

Wednesday night's 12-12-12 Sandy concert in New York, which featured Bruce Springsteen, the Rolling Stones and Eric Clapton, among many others, raised more than $50 million for hurricane relief efforts. It's a drop in the bucket: Sandy wrought an estimated $70 billion of damage and more than 100 deaths.

Walters: Is Chris Christie too heavy?

Of all the probing questions she could have posed, what did Barbara Walters ask New Jersey Gov. Christie on her Most Fascinating Person of 2012 TV special Wednesday night? Whether he isn't too obese to run for president.

"That's ridiculous," Christie said. "I mean, I don't know what the basis for that is. . . . I've done this job pretty well."

Ever sensitive to scandal, Babs picked the CIA-'n'-sex-scandal-hounded Gen. David Petraeus as her most fascinatingest.