Wednesday, December 03, 2003        Edition: #2679
Sheet For Brains!

Celine Dion has scrapped her Vegas shows TODAY and tomorrow in order to attend her father’s funeral Thursday in Montréal . . . TONIGHT hunky 38-year-old “Trading Spaces” carpenter Ty Pennington launches his own ABC-TV show, “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition”, in which he leads a crew in a revamp of a whole house (how long before they’re renovating entire towns?) . . . Word has it Sharon Stone is wreaking havoc on the Vancouver set of the new movie “Catwoman” with her diva-like behavior, ordering last-minute script rewrites and even walking off the set in the middle of a shot to make a phone call (why do you think it’s been so long since anyway hired her?) . . .  Comedienne Jessica Holmes, fresh from her cancelled sketch comedy series on CTV, is joining the cast of CBC’s “Royal Canadian Air Farce”, making the troupe a foursome once again (and lowering their average age to 80) . . . CBS-TV is seeking contestants for the 9th season of “Survivor”, filming NEXT SUMMER in an undisclosed location (the 8th season with players from the previous 7 games premieres FEBRUARY 1st after the Super Bowl) . . . Now that he’s squeezed several billion out of “The Lord Of The Rings”, director Peter Jackson says he would be interested in making a movie of JRR Tolkein’s other classic, “The Hobbit” . . . 22-year-old singer Alicia Keys says that among  the things she misses most about NYC are – the smell of warm urine and beer on the subway (not to mention getting frisked by muggers) . . . P Diddy is reportedly trying to buy up photos of him kissing a mystery blonde in an attempt to prevent girlfriend Kim Porter from finding out (oops, too late!) . . . Jack Osbourne is planning to spend Christmas aboard the Greenpeace flagship ‘Rainbow Warrior’, filming a documentary off Alaska for his new British show “Union Jack” (he actually got a job?) . . . Season one “American Idol” runner-up Justin Guarini has been dropped by RCA Records after disappointing album sales (surprised?) . . . Vatican officials have asked to see a preview of Mel Gibson’s controversial new movie “The Passion Of Christ” so they can make an informed judgment about the project – like Billy Graham already did . . . And Paris Hilton will be thrilled public attention has moved on to a new hot sex tape on the Web featuring former “Baywatch” babe & “Playboy” playmate Gena Lee Nolin – whose ex-husband (and video co-star) says, “I had absolutely nothing to do with this!” (ye protesteth too much, sir!).

About 10,000 Canada Post workers donate their time each year to answer Santa Claus letters from kids around-the-world. Last year, the postal elves received more than a million wish lists, 15,000 of them from Lithuania alone! The guy in the red suit’s address is: Santa Claus, North Pole, Canada H0H 0H0. And, of course, he’s also online …

• A new poll of over a hundred Canadian companies by Hewitt Associates shows that 80% plan to host holiday season staff parties THIS YEAR, but 68% will NOT hand out any type of holiday bonus whatsoever.
• A ban on drivers using hand-held mobile phones – even while stationary – went into effect across the UK as of December 1st . Offenders face fines as much as $1,700 if their case proceeds to  court.
• 3 South American scholars, led by Carlos Rapisardi, coordinator of ‘Queer Studies’ at Buenos Aires University, are preparing the first ‘Latin American Gay Dictionary’.
• McDonald’s is test-marketing a Starbucks-style ‘McCafe’ in California’s Silicon Valley.
• Wealth Watch research shows that 25% of parents polled say they expect to support their children into middle age … through their 30s and into their 40s.

This is the only time of the year when you hear guys discussing whether they’re real or fake and they’re referring to – Christmas trees. It seems the age-old seasonal custom of killing vegetation and dragging it into your house to shed all over the carpet is wearing thin – LAST YEAR a whopping 70% of us went with fake Christmas trees, up from 50% just over a decade ago.

A new poll by research firm Synovate comes to the unlikely conclusion that holding hands and cuddling are more important than sex to the average guy. 31% of respondents say ‘emotional intimacy’ is what men most want in a romantic relationship as compared to 23% who say sex is a man’s #1 priority. While both men and women rank ‘emotional intimacy’ first, far more women than men believe that sex is a guy’s top priority in a relationship.

Japan’s Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute International is looking for government funding of half-a-billion bucks a year for the next 30 years to complete its so-called ‘Atom Boy Project’, the development of a humanoid robot that will move and think like a  5-year-old child. (Much of the budget will be needed for cleaning up spilled milk, replacing pants with the knees ripped out, and buying expensive toy spin-offs from kids’ TV shows.)

No hard numbers for tattoo removals have been compiled yet, but medical professionals report more and more people have been coming in over the past year or two for laser treatments to rid themselves of tats. A spokesman for the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery says it’s likely because what seems like a really great idea at age 17 or 20 may not seem so great at age 30.

A new hi-tech ‘camera pill’ that’s loaded with technology similar to a digital camera is being used at the University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics to diagnose intestinal problems. The ‘M2A Capsule Endoscopy’ is about the size of a multi-vitamin and is swallowed with a sip of water. It takes pictures which are transmitted on a radio frequency so that doctors can view images captured during the trip through the small intestine. (Wasn’t this a really bad movie once?)

“The About Work Guide to Office Party Etiquette” advises you should remember that the annual office holiday party is still a business function and act accordingly. ‘YAPA’, an  Internet-based organization for young professionals, warns of the following common office party faux pas …
• Blowing off and not even going to an office party that is a ‘must-attend’ event. (You say you have nothing to wear? Next week they’ll give you a pink slip.)
• Forgetting the boss is watching. (You don’t remember table-dancing or attempting to get the boss’s husband to limbo? She will!)
• Inappropriate dress. (Skip the plunging neckline and heavy cologne — especially if you’re a guy.)
• Bringing up salary or other personal issues not appropriate at social events. (Or, for that matter, bringing up.)
• What was once called ‘hanky-panky’. (And is now called a ‘sexual harassment suit’.)
• And the biggest mistake at office parties? Drinking too much. The experts advise no more than 2 alcoholic beverages or, better yet, none at all. (Thereby making it feel like the longest 4 hours of your life.)

• 10% of pet owners polled say they’ll spend MORE THAN $50 on pet gifts this holiday season.
• ESPN notes that the combined record of the 5 highest-paid teams in the NFL is worse than the combined record of the 5 lowest-paid teams.


1948 [55] John ‘Ozzy’ Osbourne (‘The Great Ozz’, ‘The Wizard of Ozz’, ‘The Madman’, ‘The Godfather of Heavy Metal’), Birmingham ENG, unlikely TV star (“The Osbournes”) who THIS WEEK revealed that he was sexually molested as a child/heavy metal musician/bat geek (“Suicide Solution”, Black Sabbath-“Paranoid”)/husband of Sharon/father of Kelly, Jack & Aimee

1960 [43] Daryl Hannah, Chicago IL, movie actress (“Kill Bill: Volume 1 & 2″, “Splash”)/former girlfriend of Jackson Browne, JFK Jr, Val Kilmer … take a number please!

1960 [43] Julianne Moore, Fayetteville NC, movie actress (“The Hours”, “Hannibal”)

1965 [38] Steve Harris, Chicago IL, TV actor (‘Eugene Young’-“The Practice” since 1997)

1968 [35] Brendan Fraser, Indianapolis IN, movie actor (“Looney Tunes: Back in Action”, “The Mummy 1 & 2″)

1973 [30] Holly Marie Combs, San Diego CA, TV actress (‘Piper Halliwell-Wyatt’-“Charmed”)

TODAY is International Day of Disabled Persons, sponsored by the United Nations to promote understanding about disability issues.

TODAY is “Sir Rowland Hill Day” (1795-1840), honoring the man who’s credited with inventing the adhesive stamp. Shouldn’t stamp collectors get the day off or something?

TODAY is “National Roof Over Your Head Day”, to draw attention to the plight of the homeless.

TODAY is “Bathtub Party Day”, as designated by the wacky ‘Wellness Permission League’, a day to avoid a quick shower and relax in a luxurious long, hot bath to develop inner peace. You’re also encouraged to invite a few friends!

THIS MONTH is “National Drunk Driving Prevention Month”. Remember – friends don’t let friends take home ugly men (women).

1964 [39] 1st broadcast of the “Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer” TV special (wow, that claymation looks almost real, doesn’t it?)

1998 [05] “Shakespeare in Love” opens in movie theaters, making Gwyneth Paltrow a star

1621 [382] 1st ‘telescope’ invented by Galileo (next day his neighbors get mini-blinds)

1921 [82] Toronto Argonauts defeat Edmonton Eskimos 23-0 in 1st-ever East-West “Grey Cup” game

1931 [72] ‘Alka Seltzer’ 1st marketed (“Plop plop, fizz fizz, oh what a relief it is!”)

1949 [54] 1st ‘Hole-in-One Insurance’ offered, for golfers who get stuck buying a round after acing a hole (Lloyd’s of London)

1967 [36] 1st ‘human heart transplant’ performed by Dr Christiaan Barnard in Cape Town SA (wish he’d have given one to the boss!)

1984 [19] Oldest-known bridegroom (103-year-old Harry Stevens-WI)

[Thurs] Extraordinary Work Team Recognition Day
[Thurs] Wear Brown Shoes Day
[Fri] “The Last Samurai” opens in movie theaters
[Fri] International Volunteer Day
[Sat] St Nicholas Day
[Sat] Pawnbrokers Day
[Mon] Bad Hair Day
[Mon] Full Moon (aka Oak Moon, aka Birth Moon, aka Cold Moon)
This Week Is . . . Tolerance Week
This Month Is . . . Bingo’s Birthday Month


These are real products …
• The DNA Storage Kit – A $30 kit that allows you to swab your own cheeks and save the DNA for future generations.
• Cat Toilet Training Kit – For $99.95 this gadget will toilet train your cat within 2 weeks. It comes with a training video.
• Foldable Lamp – This lamp will fold and mold to any crevice you can think of.
• Liqueur & Underwear Ensemble – Galliano liqueurs is selling Christmas spirits with inspirational underwear.
• Human Bones – You can purchase a real human arm and a leg for $515 or a full skeleton for $2,000.
• The Bug-Zapping Wand – Combines tennis with killing bugs. Batteries not included.
• Portable Toilet Handle — Allows you to go to the bathroom without ever touching the toilet.

Are the following stories true or just a widely spread urban legend?
• Eating carrots is good for your eyes. [True]
• During daylight hours, you can see the stars from the bottom of a well. [True]
• Actress Lara Flynn Boyle has had 2 ribs removed to appear slimmer. [Myth]
• Penicillin kills bacteria. [Myth]
• Male mosquitoes don’t bite. [True]
• Susan Olsen, who played ‘Cindy’ on “The Brady Bunch”, died of a drug overdose. [Myth]
• Toads can give you warts. [Myth]
• Holding your breath can stop the hiccups. [True]
• Nike will give you a free pair of sneakers if you mail them your old worn-out pair. [Myth]
• Elephants are afraid of mice. [Myth]
Source: The new “Urban Myth” board game.

• It’s so great to find that one special person you want to annoy for the rest of your life.
• Last Christmas my sister gave me a lovely cloth calendar. It only took me 5 hours to sew on a doctor’s appointment.
• Take my advice … I’m not using it.

Today’s Question: New technology is allowing millions of THESE to be recycled and made into bullet-proof vests, among other products.
Answer to Give Out Next Show: Disposable diapers.

He who laughs last has not yet heard the bad news.

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