Friday, Dec. 7, is the 342d day of 2012. There are 24 days left in the year.
Today’s birthdays: Actor Eli Wallach is 97. Linguist and political philosopher Noam Chomsky is 84. Actress Ellen Burstyn is 80. Senator Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) is 75. Journalist Carole Simpson is 72. Baseball Hall of Famer Johnny Bench is 65. Singer-songwriter Tom Waits is 63. Senator Susan M. Collins (R-Maine) is 60. Basketball Hall of Famer Larry Bird is 56. Singer/celebrity judge Sara Bareilles (‘‘The Sing-off”) is 33.