President Obama closed out his Hawaii vacation by hanging out with Pearl Jam rocker Eddie Vedder on Saturday.
Obama took his daughters, Sasha and Malia, to visit with Vedder and his family in Kailua, not far from where the Obamas rented a vacation home. They spent less than half an hour with Vedder.
The White House describes Vedder as a friend of the Obamas. In 2012, the lead singer performed at a fundraiser for Obama's re-election campaign in Florida.
The Obamas returned to the White House on Sunday. This week, Obama will travel to Michigan, Arizona and Tennessee to draw a connection between actions his administration took early in his presidency and increasingly positive economic trends in sectors such as manufacturing and housing. On Tuesday, Obama will meet with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto at the White House.
Facebook CEO launches reading club
Mark Zuckerberg is attempting to add a little more "book" to Facebook. The Facebook founder and CEO announced on his page recently that he has vowed to read a book every other week in 2015, with an emphasis on learning about different beliefs and cultures. Zuckerberg created a "Year in Book" page and urged his friends to join him in the project. As of Sunday afternoon, it had more than 89,000 likes. The first book in his program, Moises Naim's "The End of Power," was out of stock Sunday on Amazon.com and had a sales ranking of No. 203. The book was first published in 2013.
Songster: The first star-studded film-award ceremony of the new year was literally something to sing about. While not an honoree himself, actor-producer Brad Pitt stole the spotlight with a singalong for a few moments Saturday night at the annual black-tie gala for the Palm Springs International Film Festival. Pitt attended the award ceremony to introduce actor David Oyelowo, who was honored with the Breakthrough Performance Award for his role in "Selma." In his introduction, Pitt led the audience in a singalong with lyrics spinning around Oyelowo's often-mispronounced last name. (It sounds like "oh-yellow-oh," by the way.)
Record Exec dies: A co-founder of Mercury Records and an innovator in the digital music industry has died. Irwin Steinberg was 94. Steinberg's publicist said Steinberg died Dec. 29 at his home in Brattleboro, Vt. After starting up Mercury Records and serving at its helm for several years, he became chairman and CEO of PolyGram Records, where he remained for more than 30 years.