Wednesday, August 9, 2006        Edition: #3340
Good Morning, Sheetheads!

TONIGHT the winner of the latest season of “Last Comic Standing” (NBC/CH) is announced (bet on hilarious spastic Josh Blue, who suffers from MS) . . . TONIGHT Comedy Central reruns a “South Park” episode called “The Passion of the Jew”, which mercilessly lampoons Mel Gibson and at one point implies that he’s an anti-Semite (interestingly, the episode is from back in 2004) . . . Ralph Shapiro, the prosecutor who filed DUI charges against Mel Gibson has been taken off the case and replaced, a move the Malibu CA District Attorney’s Office claims is not unusual (but some wacko will turn it into a conspiracy theory anyway) . . . Meanwhile, Mel Gibson’s production company is planning to battle ABC-TV if it refuses to proceed with a planned miniseries that deals in part with the Holocaust, or if it engages another production company to take on the project . . . The ongoing fight between Tori Spelling & her mom isn’t over yet – word is Candy is cutting Tori out of 2 planned TV tributes to her late husband and Tori’s dad, producer Aaron Spelling (extremely rich people sniping at one another – how endearing) . . . 80 year-old “Playboy” founder Hugh Hefner is dismissing reports that he suffered a mini-stroke on the weekend, claiming he left a lingerie party early only because one of his girlfriends had a cold (a cold ‘what’ he failed to mention) . . . TV’s “Emmy Awards” (to be handed out AUGUST 27th) have lost some credibility by nominating 73-year-old Ellen Burstyn for ‘Best Supporting Actress’ based on her 15 seconds of work in the HBO movie “Mrs Harris” (her character, ‘Ex-Lover #3’, has just 3 sentences of dialogue in a flashback sequence) . . . And “American Idol 6” will be accompanied by a simultaneous songwriting competition for both pros & amateurs, with the winner’s song performed by the show’s 2 finalists (couldn’t possibly suck any worse than the material previously ‘chosen’ for winners – remember “My Destiny”? – of course you don’t).

• Breaking Benjamin – The title of their new album “Phobia” was inspired by frontman Ben Burnley’s own fears. Among them: flying, high speeds, heights, and darkness. “You name it, I’ve got it,” he admits.
• Daniel Powter – TODAY he guests on the “Early Show” (CBS). If he sings “Bad Day” yet again, a lot of TV screens are gonna get broken.
• Dixie Chicks – They’ve cancelled 14 shows on their  “Accidents & Accusations” tour due to slow ticket sales, mostly in the South and Midwest. Several Canadian cities have been added to take the place of the US shows.
• Duran Duran – The Brit classic rockers are the first band to create their own virtual universe inside ‘Second Life’, a user-controlled, online digital playground. Fans can arrange virtual concerts as well as help develop a futuristic utopia on a 3-D fantasy island. First though, someone’s gonna need to explain to 15-year-olds who the hell Duran Duran is.
• Franz Ferdinand –  Frontman Alex Kapranos says they’ll only release new material on singles in the future. Why? He thinks it will boost their creativity and lead to better songwriting.
• Janet Jackson – After shedding 60 lbs, she appears on the current cover of “Vibe” magazine wearing only a skimpy bikini bottom and a shell necklace. She says she won’t  stop posing for sexy photos until she’s 80. Eww!
• Jewel – TONIGHT she’s a guest on “Last Call With Carson Daly” (NBC).
• Rascal Flatts – TONIGHT they perform on “Jimmy Kimmel Love” (ABC).
• U2 – Bono has bought up a chunk of “Forbes” magazine. His Elevation Partners private equity group has paid a reported $300 million for a 40% share of the publishing company.

“World Trade Center” ( PG-13 Historical Drama ): Nicolas Cage & Michael Pena (the Latino locksmith Sandra Bullock didn’t trust in “Crash”) star in Oliver Stone’s film about NYC Port Authority police officers who become trapped in the rubble during the rescue efforts at the World Trade Center on 9/11. Based on the true story of John McLoughlin and William Jimeno, 2 of the last survivors extracted from Ground Zero. Sound bites of them telling their own story here …

A new survey by management consulting firm Accenture suggests that consumers are increasingly dumping companies who use automated telephone ‘help-lines’, often infuriatingly referred to as ‘customer service’ lines. Researchers have found that the average time it takes for a caller to speak to a human on such lines is 6 minutes, 24 seconds. Fully 82% of those polled say they’ve experienced frustration with long waits for customer service. 60% say they’ve switched companies because of it. Just 10% consider help-lines helpful. Among the worst offenders: banks, ISPs, airlines and TV service providers. (How many times can you listen to the recording “Your call is very important to us …” before banging your head on the desk?)
– “The Sun”

New terms leaking into the lingo …
• ‘Drama Pricing’ (aka ‘Energy Pricing’) – Real estate-speak for listing a home at a price that undercuts those of similar homes, in the hopes of attracting more interest and making a faster sale. Currently happening in markets with a glut of properties for sale.
• ‘Menaissance’ – The return of the macho, carnivorous, beer-swilling, sexist male. Considered a backlash against the sensitive, fashion-conscious ‘metrosexual’ man.
• ‘Menoporsche’ – Male menopause. Symptoms include crankiness, a lack of energy, and an overpowering urge to purchase a prohibitively expensive sports car.

Search engine Google is set to begin cautioning users about websites that may damage their computers. A warning will pop up if users click onto a page known to contain viruses or spyware which steals personal data. While the pop-up will advise Internet users to click off the site, it will not prevent them from logging on if they decide they still want to. The move is part of the ‘Stop Badware Coalition’, which aims to prevent people entering the 6% of websites thought to be harmful to computers.
– “GQ”

A statistical breakdown of the 25 million golfers in the US & Canada finds their average score is 91.9 and they play an average of 72 rounds per year. Other highlights …
• 72% make bets on the golf course.
• 59% have improved their lie when nobody was looking.
• 37% would like to trade places with Tiger Woods, but 45% would even trade places with the 200th ranked player on the PGA Tour.
• 16% have broken a club in anger and 43% have thrown a club in anger at least once.
• 14% have snuck onto a course without paying.
• 8% have had intimate relations on a golf course.
• 3% of golfers spend more than $10,000 per year on golf.
– “Golf Magazine”

New research shows that jogging in urban areas on high-pollution days can cause short-term lung damage. One little run could be roughly equivalent to inhaling 20 cigarettes. (We knew jogging was bad for you! After all, have you ever seen a jogger smiling?)

A new ‘State of the Net’ survey estimates that consumers have lost more than $8 billion over the last 2 years to viruses, spyware and various other online schemes. That includes $630 million lost in e-mail scams. In the same time period, we’ve also spent at least $7.8 billion for computer repairs, parts, and replacements to correct problems caused by viruses and spyware.
The research suggest consumers face a 1-in-3 chance of becoming a ‘cybervictim’.
– “Consumer Reports”

If you believe the ancient Eastern principles of ‘Siang Mien’ or face reading, you can find out the deepest truths about your mind and spirit just by looking in the mirror. For instance, a face that is slightly longer than wide is an indication that the person is strong-willed and has an aggressive nature. Large ears mean generosity. Having a narrow nose means you possess trail-blazing ability. And people with voluptuous lips have hedonistic tendencies. (If the lips are plumped up with collagen, do they fake hedonistic tendencies? Let’s ask Pam …)
– Reuters

Breastfed babies cope better with stress later on in life than bottle-fed babies do.

“The continued decrease in [movie theater] attendance is not because of piracy, video games, or the Internet, it’s because the movies aren’t very good anymore.”
– Filmmaker Michael Moore (“Fahrenheit 9/11″), for once speaking the unvarnished truth.


1957 [49] Melanie Griffith, NYC, movie actress (“Working Girl”)/Mrs Antonio Banderas since 1996/divorced actor Don Johnson … twice

1963 [43] Whitney Houston, East Orange NJ, pop singer (“Heartbreak Hotel”)/movie actress (“The Bodyguard”)/TV reality show co-star (“Being Bobby Brown”)/Mrs Bobby Brown since 1992

1968 [38] Eric Bana, Melbourne, Australia, movie actor (“Munich”, “Troy”)

1970 [36] Arion Salazar, Oakland CA, alt-rock musician (Third Eye Blind-“Jumper”)

• “Art Appreciation Day”. Any parent will tell ya the best and most important art is the stuff hanging on the fridge.

• “Book Lovers Day”. Any reader will tell ya no matter where you are, you’re never alone … as long as you have a book.

• “Full Moon”, known as the ‘Sturgeon Moon’.

• “Hand Holding Day”. If he wasn’t talked into it by his partner, would a guy ever hold hands?

• “International Day of Indigenous People”, as declared by the UN. But is there really such a thing? Weren’t all people originally wanderers?

• “National Underwear Day”, the 4th annual dedicated to the belief that underwear deserves a lot more recognition than it gets. We’re encouraged to participate by taking our underwear out of the dresser drawer and into the streets.

• “US Scrabble Open Championship” final, in Phoenix AZ.

1930 [76] ‘Betty Boop’ makes her debut in the cartoon short “Dizzy Dishes” and many are scandalized by her risque attitude and trademark mini-skirt & garter (notice how she appears on hundreds of cheapo products these days?)

1944 [62] ‘Smokey Bear’ (not Smokey THE Bear) is introduced by the US Forest Service (original name: ‘Hot Foot Teddy’)  QUOTE: “Remember, only YOU can prevent forest fires!”

1955 [51] 1st “Guinness Book of World Records” is published (back when the record for most people in a phone booth was … 1)

1974 [32] 1st (and only) US President to resign (Richard Nixon)

1930 [76] Canadian sprinter Percy Williams sets world record in 100-meter dash at 10.33 seconds

1988 [18] NHL’s Edmonton Oilers trade Wayne Gretzky to LA Kings for then-record $15 million, 2 players and 3 first-round draft picks

1999 [07] 5 grand slams are hit, most in a single day in 129 years of Major League Baseball

[Thurs] S’mores Day
[Thurs] Spoil Your Dog Day
[Thurs-Sun] Edmonton Folk Fest
[Fri] Daughters Day
[Sat] International Youth Day
[Sat] Truck Drivers Day
[Sat] 24th Golden Boot Awards (LA CA)
[Sun-Aug 18] AIDS 2006 World Conference (Toronto)
This Week Is … Fraud Awareness Week
This Month Is … Children’s Eye Health & Safety Month


Much of the Northern Hemisphere has been experiencing a major heat wave over the past few weeks. How hot is it?
• You can only use 2 fingers to ride your bike.
• Ice Cube has legally changed his name to ‘Wet Spot’.
• You’ve learned that a seat belt makes a pretty good branding iron.
• You shave 10 minutes off the morning commute by cooking breakfast on your dashboard.
• At the mall, the best parking space is determined by shade instead of distance.
• Kids are using asphalt instead of Play-doh.
• Fire hydrants are actually thanking dogs.
• Death toll climbs each time some idiot asks, “Hot enough for ya?”
• Hot water now comes out of both taps.
• You’ve been sweating like Richard Hatch waiting in line for the prison shower.

I’ve discovered the fundamental principle of gardening: The life of a plant varies inversely with its price, and directly with its ugliness.

• What’s the most revolting thing you have ever eaten?
• In what unusual way have you lost or destroyed a cellphone?
• Who apologizes more – men or women? (According to “Ladies’ Home Journal”, women say they’re sorry far more than men, but often use it as an expression of sympathy rather than apology.)
• THIS WEEK is “Bargain Hunting Week”. What’s the absolute best deal you’ve ever found?

Today’s Question: When you do THIS, you do it on average for 20 minutes.
Answer to Give Out Next Show: Shop in a grocery store.

If at first you don’t succeed, you’re doing about average.

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