Friday, December 2, 2005        Edition: #3172
Can You Believe This Sheet?

TODAY soap-actor-turned-singer Rick Springfield (1981 hit “Jessie’s Girl”) returns to ABC-TV’s “General Hospital” as ‘Dr Noah Drake’ (the same role he played 1981-83) . . . SATURDAY 20-year-old Greek shipping heiress Athina Onassis Roussel (one of the world‘s wealthiest women) is scheduled to wed her Brazilian playboy boyfriend, Alvaro ‘Doda’ Neto, in Sao Paolo, Brazil (not satisfied with a mere $600 million, he’s pushing her to go after the other half of her grandfather Aristotle Onassis’ estate that was put into a foundation) . . . SUNDAY the “Kennedy Center Honors” are handed out in Washington DC, with THIS YEAR’s lifetime achievement awards going to actors Robert Redford & Julie Harris, singers Tina Turner & Tony Bennett, and ballerina Suzanne Farrell . . . SUNDAY Jon Voight stars in the debut of CBS-TV’s “Pope John Paul II”, a big-budget, 4-hour mini-series that was made with the Vatican’s blessing and help from members of Opus Dei . . . The list of “10 Most Beautiful Stars” in the new “Teen People” magazine includes Lindsay Lohan (for continuously switching her look), Jennifer Aniston (best hair), Keira Knightley (cheekbones), Alicia Keys (brows), Hilary Duff (lashes), Jessica Simpson (smile), Jessica Alba (glow), Angelina Jolie (lips), and Rachel Bilson (eyes) . . . Actor Dan Aykroyd has announced he’s investing $1 million in Niagara Cellars Inc, which owns several wineries in the Ontario’s Niagara Peninsula (great, but why’d he have to call a press conference to tell us?) . . . Actor Kevin Costner is suing Ascendant Pictures, claiming it broke an ‘oral agreement’ to pay him $8 million to star in “Taming Ben Taylor”, a romantic comedy about a grouchy, divorced vineyard owner who refuses to sell out to the golf course next door (when you can’t get work anymore, you have to resort to suing movies that never got made) . . . And Brit tabloid “The Sun” claims a sneak peak at Tom Cruise & Katie Holmes’ wedding plans pins down the date for their star-studded nuptials as OCTOBER 21, 2006 (about a month before the divorce).

• Alicia Keys – She’s teamed with U2’s Bono to record the single “Don’t Give Up (Africa)”, with all proceeds from sales going to the charity Keep a Child Alive.
• 50 Cent – SATURDAY he kicks off a Canadian tour in Vancouver after successfully gaining access to the country despite his criminal record.
• James Blunt – TOMORROW he’s the musical guest on NBC-TV’s “Saturday Night Live”.
• Kelly Clarkson – The 23-year-old has been dating 24-year-old rocker Graham Colton, whose Graham Colton Band is the opening act on her “Behind These Hazel Eyes Tour”.
• Mariah Carey – Friends are saying she’ll wed music executive Mark Sudack in JUNE, 2006.
• Smash Mouth – TONIGHT they guest on the “Tonight Show With Jay Leno”.
• Trisha Yearwood – TONIGHT her CMT special, “Homecoming: Trisha Yearwood”, takes viewers back to her small-town roots in rural Georgia.
• White Stripes – TONIGHT they’re on “Late Night With Conan O’Brien “.

• “Aeon Flux” ( PG-13 Sci-Fi Adventure ): Charlize Theron plays a lycra-clad secret agent some 400 years in the future, when disease has wiped out the majority of Earth’s population except for one walled, protected city-state ruled by a congress of scientists. The story centers on an underground rebellion led by ‘The Handler’ (Frances McDormand).  Production was delayed for over a month while Theron recuperated from a neck injury she sustained while doing a complicated stunt. Theme music and more available here …
• “Transamerica” ( Limited Release R-Rated Dramedy ): “Desperate Housewives” star Felicity Huffman plays a pre-operative male-to-female transsexual who learns – just before final surgery to turn him into a her – that he fathered a son who’s now a teenage runaway hustling on the streets of NYC. Huffman says she spent an hour each morning before filming, pushing her voice down so she’d sound like a man who was trying to sound like a woman. Opens wide on DECEMBER 23rd. (Definition of a transvestite: A guy who likes to eat, drink and be Mary.)

A new study by Cornell University researchers suggests men and women turn to different ‘comfort foods’ – and for different reasons. Men are more likely to turn to soups, pasta and steaks as a reward when they’re feeling upbeat. Women, on the other hand, are more likely to pick foods high in fat and sugar, such as cake and/or ice cream, to ‘comfort’ feelings of guilt, loneliness and depression. (Because, sniff, he’s feeling ‘upbeat’ and I’m not.)

• Step back 5-to-8 feet and check the tree from several angles. Look for a densely branched tree with good shape, color, and fragrance. The trunk should be straight (or nearly so) and should not be visible through the foliage.
• Bend a branch slightly; it should bend easily and not crack or break. Another sign of a fresh tree is sticky sap on the trunk.
• Grab a handful of needles and pull gently. Few, if any, needles should come loose. Shake the tree and avoid a specimen that drops a lot of needles.
• Check the height to ensure you are getting what you pay for.
• Buy your tree from a reputable dealer or grower. Check to be certain the variety will thrive in your climate.
• In general, the younger a live tree, the better it will withstand the transplanting process.
• Look for a tree with a single, straight trunk, and a healthy appearance – good color, pleasing shape, and no evidence of browning or insect damage.
• Plan on keeping the tree indoors no more than 7 days.
– “Better Homes & Gardens”

People have historically linked the bohemian life of artists with promiscuity and a new British study says there’s no coincidence about it. Psychology researchers at Britain’s University of Newcastle upon Tyne and Open University have found that professional artists and poets have more sexual partners than those who do not indulge in these creative activities. However, researchers also say that artists and poets tend to suffer from high rates of depression. (Likely due to serial dumpings from partners who are only ‘star-sleeping’.)
– CBC Arts / “Scientific American”

Scientists from the UK’s University of Bristol may have discovered why some shorter children do worse at school than their taller counterparts. Researchers have found that children with lower levels of a height controlling hormone also seems to score lower IQs. The study is the first to make a link between the insulin-like growth hormone and intelligence. (The easiest way to refute this study – Terrell Owens.)
– ANI Science & Health

• A 15-year-old who stole a bus in Apeldoorn, the Netherlands and drove it 40 miles on a highway, then stole another for the return trip, pretended to be a regular bus driver picking up passengers and dropping them off without them becoming suspicious of his youthful looks. The kid was finally nabbed the next day – driving his 3rd stolen bus.
• Remember ‘Emily’, the stray cat from  Appleton, Wisconsin who disappeared 2 months ago and wound up traveling across the Atlantic to France in the cargo hold of a plane? YESTERDAY Continental Airlines (recognizing cheap publicity) supplied a free business class seat on a flight home (valued at $6,000), plus a human escort for the little puss.
• A 35-year-old Austrian man put his hands beneath a passing train so his fingers would be severed and he could collect on a $1-million insurance policy, prosecutors say. Nonsense, says his defense lawyer, who contends his client would never mutilate himself in such a fashion – ‘Stubby’ would use a power saw rather than risk death next to a speeding train.
• Dozens of passengers were evacuated into the rainy night at Philadelphia International Airport when a bag being checked for an American Airlines flight set off an alarm. Fire trucks and a bomb squad were called in, but the all-clear was sounded 2 hours later after the baggage turned out to contain – garlic paste.
• A Russian car thief really thought he was in the driver’s seat when he broke into a Nissan Primera and sped off. That’s until he realized the vehicle’s brakes were dead, and ended up zooming uncontrollably through a set of traffic lights in Moscow before crashing into another car.
Turns out the Nissan was about to go into a repair shop for new brake pads.

Researcher Max Deutschmann has analyzed recordings of close to 5,000 people apologizing at work and at home. A few highlights of what he’s found …
• On average, we apologize 4 or 5 times a day. (More if we’re married.)
• About 7 out of every 1,000 words we speak are involved in some way with apology. (That’s because the other 993 manage to offend someone.)
• Middle-class men apologize for breaches of etiquette such as not holding open a door. (“Oh pardon me … your arms paralyzed?”)
• Working-class men apologize for gaffes such as belching. (“Whoa! Surprised myself!”)
• Women apologize more in formal situations. (“I’m sorry, darling, but I hate your party dress.”)
• Young people are the most likely to use sarcastic apologies. (Yeah, like that’s a surprise.)
Why is it Canadians most often apologize by saying “I’m sorry” when that’s not what we mean at all?
– “Times of London”

“I really had my moments with the ugly gene.”
– Movie actress Jessica Alba, telling “Entertainment Weekly” she didn’t experience much ‘babeness’ during her awkward adolescence.

Goat meat imports to the United States jumped 140% over the last 7 years.

THIS WEEK Miami police have announced that they’ll stage ‘random shows of force’ at hotels, banks and other public places to keep terrorists guessing and remind the public to be vigilant. For example, the exercises might include surrounding a bank, checking the ID of everyone going in, and out and hand out pamphlets about terrorist threats. (Well, that ought to be a magnet for tourism, huh?)
– AP


1954 [51] Stone Phillips, Texas City TX, TV news magazine host (“Dateline: NBC” since 1992)

1968 [37] Lucy Liu, Queens NY, movie actress (“Kill Bill”, “Charlie’s Angels”)

1968 [37] Nate Mendel, Seattle WA, rock bassist (Foo Fighters-“DOA”, “Times Like These”)

1978 [27] Nelly Furtado, Victoria BC, pop singer (“Powerless”, Grammy Award-“I’m Like a Bird”)

1981 [24] Britney Spears, Kentwood, LA, pop singer (“Toxic”, “Baby One More Time”)/Mrs Kevin Federline/mommy to Sean Preston Federline

Rocker Ozzy Osbourne (Black Sabbath) is 57; Country bassist Paul Gregg (Restless Heart) is 51; TV actor Steven Culp (“Desperate Housewives”) is 50; Movie actress Daryl Hannah (“Kill Bill”) is 45; Movie actress Julianne Moore (“The Hours”) is 45; Movie actor Brendan Fraser (“The Mummy”) is 37; TV actress Holly Marie Combs (“Charmed”) is 32.

Lady Barbara Amiel (Mrs Conrad Black) is 65; Movie actor Jeff Bridges (“Seabiscuit”) is 56;
Country singer Brian Prout (Diamond Rio) is 50; Movie actress Marisa Tomei (“Anger Management”) is 41; Rapper/producer Jay-Z (Shawn Carter) is 36; Model Tyra Banks (“America’s Next Top Model”) is 32; Country singer Lila McCann (“Almost Over You”) is 24.

• “Extraordinary Work Team Recognition Day”, a day for the boss to pass out ‘attaboys’.
• “Fritters Day”, honoring the yummy treat made by frying up small cakes of dough in butter or oil.
• “Pan American Health Day”, saluting the Pan American Health Organization which works to improve health and living standards in all the countries of the Americas.
• “Play Basketball Day”, honoring the game invented in 1891 as a YMCA pastime that’s evolved into big biz where players get a bazillion bucks a bucket.

• “Coats for Kids Day”, a day to check your closets for unwanted outerwear and donate it to a local charity.
• “International Day of Disabled Persons”, sponsored by the United Nations.
• “Roof Over Your Head Day”, to draw attention to the plight of the homeless.
• “Vanier Cup”, the 2005 Canadian university football championship (Saskatchewan Huskies
vs Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks @ Hamilton)

• “Cookie Day”, celebrating the yummiest treat of all.
• “St Barbara’s Day”, when girls should place a cherry tree twig in a glass of water and if it blooms by Christmas Eve, they’ll marry in the new year.
• “Wear Brown Shoes Day”. To get the full effect, wear ‘em with something black.

1994 [11] ‘Hollywood Madame’ Heidi Fleiss is convicted of ‘pandering’  FACTOID: HBO has signed on to document her preparations for opening “Heidi’s Stud Farm” in Nevada, a bordello of men for women. An air-date hasn’t been set.

1949 [56] 1st recording of “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” released (Gene Autry)

1901 [104] 1st ‘Disposable Safety Razor’ patented (King Camp Gillette)

1982 [23] 1st permanent ‘Artificial Heart’ is implanted (in patient Barney Clark at the University of Utah)

1985 [20] Highest-rated “ABC Monday Night Football” telecast ever as Miami Dolphins beat Chicago Bears 38-24, snapping the Bears’ 12-game winning streak (Chicago’s only loss of the season, including the Super Bowl)

[Mon] International Volunteer Day
[Mon] Bathtub Party Day
[Tues] Day of Remembrance & Action on Violence Against Women
[Tues] St Nicholas Day
[Tues] Pawnbrokers Day
[Tues] 2005 Billboard Music Awards (Las Vegas)
[Wed] National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day
[Wed] Grammy Awards nominees announced
[Thurs] Bad Hair Day
This Week Is . . . Christmas Tree Week
This Month Is . . . Safe Toys & Gifts Month


5. Renee Zellweger ($10-to-15 million per film)
4. Drew Barrymore (up to $15 million)
3. Reese Witherspoon ($15 million+)
2. Nicole Kidman ($16-to-17 million)
1. Julia Roberts ($20 million)
– “Hollywood Reporter”

And a look at financial news this morning; the dollar is holding steady at 100 cents …

Joni Mitchell, Tragically Hip, Bruce Cockburn, Feist, Chantal Kreviazuk, Josh Groban, Our Lady Peace, Shawn Desman, “Canadian Idol” winner Melissa O’Neil & film director Cameron Crowe are among the artists who’ve created 2005 holiday greeting cards to help children affected by war through War Child Canada’s international humanitarian programs. This is the 3rd year for the project.

Today’s Question: 1 in 10 of us will buy THESE during the holiday rush. Unfortunately, we often end up with the wrong ones.
Answer to Give Out Next Show: Batteries.

Money can’t buy happiness, but it sure makes misery easier to live with.

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