Wednesday, December 18, 2002        Edition: #2445
Don’t Take Any Sheet, Unless It’s Pure Bull!

BS SHOW BIZ BUZZ:
TODAY is the 5th anniversary of comic actor Chris Farley’s death from an overdose . . . The movie “Drumline” may be the year’s biggest surprise hit, scoring the highest rating ever in the 23-year history of CinemaScore, the company that conducts exit polls of moviegoers . . . Word is Russell Crowe is wildly superstitious and thinks March is a bad luck month for a wedding, so he & fiancee Danielle Spencer will tie the knot in APRIL (the man’s truly barmy!) . . . “Playboy” is getting into the video game biz with its 1st game due in 2004 (to be compatible with both XXX-box and Sony Play-With-Yourself Station 2) . . . Jennifer Aniston has reportedly turned down a $300,000 per episode raise to stay on “Friends” another season, deciding instead its time to start a family with Brad Pitt . . . Gay magazine “The Advocate” has chosen Justin Timberlake as the ‘Coolest STRAIGHT Person of 2002′ (are we sure?) . . . Catherine Zeta-Jones & Renee Zellweger have recorded a single called “I Move On” from their upcoming film musical “Chicago” (opening CHRISTMAS DAY) . . . Liza Minnelli & hubby David Gest are suing VH1 for $23 million for NOT airing a planned reality show about them (thanks VH1 – it’s money well spent!).

TODAY’S MOVIE OPENING:
“Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers” is so anticipated, it opened at MIDNIGHT in many cities. The 2nd installment of the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy is loaded with heroes and villains, massed armies at war and forests full of walking, talking trees, plus a mutant creature named ‘Gollum’ that many say steals the show. Some facts –
• ‘Gollum’ is a computer-generated ‘CGI’ character, but director Peter Jackson wanted it to be performer-oriented so actor Andy Serkis, the voice of ‘Gollum’, played the role in what’s called a ‘motion capture suit’ enabling the animation to follow his natural body movements.
• Following the 9/11 attacks on NYC’s ‘Twin Towers’, re-naming this movie something other than “The Two Towers” was briefly considered.
• The Orc battle cries for the Helm’s Deep battle sequence were provided by some 25,000 New Zealand cricket fans who screamed war chants spelled out on the cricket stadium’s giant screen.
• The film runs 179 minutes, a minute shy of 3 hours. (Heaven for Tolkein fans, hell for the rest of us.)
• Director Peter Jackson is currently working on a rough cut of the final film in the “Lord Of The Rings” trilogy, “The Return of the King”. He says it makes him cry much more than the first two. (Why? Is this one 4 hours?)

NEW JARGON:
• ‘Santa Rampage’ – Also known as ‘Santacon’ or ‘Santanarchy’. It started in San Francisco in 1994 when a group of pranksters called the Cacophony Society all dressed up as Santa Claus and toured area bars. The stunt has spread to other cities with hundreds of Santas (both male & female) touring watering holes en masse each December. (Sort of a ‘seasonal swarming’.)
• ‘I-mail’ – E-mail to supervisors, peers and/or subordinates that extols the achievements of the sender for completing a given task. So-named because it usually makes excessive use of the pronoun ‘I’.
• ‘Hiptop’ – A multifunction wireless device that’s part cellphone, camera, game console, Internet browser, PDA, etc, which is spawning its own culture known as the ‘Hiptop Nation’. The hiptop of choice right now is apparently the T-mobile Sidekick.
• ‘Corporate DNA’ – A company’s values, personality and methods of operation that get passed along to new employees. Corporate DNA is altered slightly each time a new person is hired and can change dramatically when the CEO is replaced.

PAINFUL SEX:
Even though women cope with menstrual cramps and childbirth, studies show that they are actually more sensitive to pain than men. So why is that? Researchers at the University of California in San Francisco led by Canadian neuroscientist Allan Basbaum may have found a biological explanation. Males appear to have a natural pain-control system that females don’t have, enabled by a protein called GIRK2. The researchers say the discovery could lead to painkillers tailored for each gender. (We already have that – women have Midol, men have beer.)

CALLING IN ‘THE BIRD’:
A company in Sweden has begun a service that allows drivers to get the phone number of other drivers simply by recording their license plate numbers. (That way if the driver who cuts you off doesn’t see your hand gesture, you can call up later and politely describe it to him.)

WHAT’S IN A NAME:
Here are the most the most popular baby names for 2002, according to research conducted by BabyNames.com –
1. Madison*
2. Ethan
3. Bailey*
4. Caleb
5. Hannah
6. Alexis
7. Aiden*
8. Jordan*
9. Chloe
10. Mackenzie*
Notice anything unusual? Observers say there are two big trends developing – 4 of the top 10 (with asterisks) are unisex names. Girls, in particular, are being given more non-gender-specific names or names traditionally used for males. It may be an attempt by today’s mothers to empower their daughters. The old rule of thumb is, girls do fine with a traditionally male name but to give a boy a feminine-sounding name is to sentence him to a lifetime of teasing. The other major trend is that parents are also seeking a unique name. The #1 reason for NOT choosing a name is now over-popularity. So say goodbye to old favorites like ‘Michael’ and ‘Jennifer’. (The downside of this kind of thinking – today’s names will sound ‘old-fashioned’ in a few years, while common names like ‘John’ and ‘Robert’ are eternal.)

CLAP HAPPY:
There’s a mushrooming new career field in Thailand – professional clapping. Housewives and students are flocking to studios for jobs as clappers and cheerers on daytime TV shows. They can earn 100 baht per day, a little over $2, for ‘spontaneously’ clapping, cheering and screaming at comedians’ jokes or soap opera and pop stars. It’s not easy though – pro clappers are required to respond at the same time. So why don’t producers just use laugh tracks? Canned laughter is out of fashion in Thai TV. (Smart! Is there anything more annoying than a laugh track? If you have to be cued when something is funny – it likely isn’t.)

THE BULL SHEET 12.18.2K2

TODAY’S CELEBIRTHDAYS . . .
1943 [59] Keith Richards, Dartford ENG, Rolling Stones guitarist (“Start Me Up”, “Satisfaction”) who looks 99 and is currently with the band on the “Licks” tour/Rock & Roll Hall of Fame (1989)

1946 [56] Steven Spielberg, Cincinnati OH, film director/producer (“Minority Report”, Oscars-“Saving Private Ryan”, “Schindler’s List”)/movie mogul (DreamWorks)  NEXT FILM: Directs Tom Hanks & Leo DiCaprio in the crime drama “Catch Me If You Can” opening CHRISTMAS DAY.

1955 [47] Ray Liotta, Newark NJ, movie actor (“John Q”, “Hannibal”, GoodFellas”)

1963 [39] Brad Pitt, Shawnee OK, movie actor (“Ocean’s 11″, “Fight Club”)/Mr Jennifer Aniston  UP NEXT: Plays a game show contestant in George Clooney’s directorial debut, “Confessions of a Dangerous Mind”, opening CHRISTMAS DAY.

1964 [38] ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin (Williams), Austin TX, former pro wrestler (4-time WWF champ) sentenced in NOVEMBER to 1 year probation, fined $1000, and ordered to attend domestic violence counseling for hitting his wife

1978 [24] Katie Holmes, Toledo OH, TV actress (Joey Potter-“Dawson’s Creek” since 1998)

1980 [22] Christina Aguilera, Staten Island NY, 5′-2″ pop singer (“Beautiful”, “Genie in a Bottle”)

BS REASONS TO PARTY . . .
TODAY is “Oatmeal Muffin Day”. (“Here [co-host], put this muffin in your mouth!”)

TODAY is also “National Roast Suckling Pig Day”. (“Here [co-host], put this apple in your mouth!”)

TODAY is also “Let’s See What We Find In the Fridge Day”, a day to be brave and eat something from the back of the refrigerator. (Ask listeners for their grossest discoveries.)

THIS WEEK in ancient Rome was “Saturnalia”, the festival honoring Saturn the planter god, which was marked with these lasting traditions – the exchange of gifts, illumination of lights and the closing of businesses. Early Christian church leaders scheduled “Christmas” at this time of year partly to counteract this popular pagan celebration.

TODAY’S MUSIC EVENTS . . .
1892 [110] 1st performance of Tchaikovsky’s holiday season favorite “Nutcracker Suite” (St Petersburg, Russia)

1999 [03] Christina Aguilera releases hit single “What A Girl Wants” on her 19th birthday

TODAY’S RECORD . . .
1993 [09] World’s largest hotel opens (5,000-room MGM Grand in Las Vegas)

AND REMEMBER . . .
[Fri] Underdog Day
[Sat] Humbug Day
[Sat] Look at the Bright Side Day
[Sun] First Day of Winter
[Tues] National Egg Nog Day
This Week Is . . . International Language Week
This Month Is . . . Closed Captioned TV Month

BULL’S BITS . . .
YOUR FEET TELL YOUR FORTUNE:

According to the book “The Art of Finding Yourself Through Your Feet” by Karin Riedler, the lines on your feet can predict your lifespan, your love life and how you can make money. Simply match your foot to the description (a really fun studio experiment!) –
• Classic Foot – Your foot is crisscrossed with deep vertical, horizontal and/or diagonal lines. There’s big money for you in providing services and in manufacturing but you need to overcome conservative tendencies and gamble to make your fortune. You have the opposite problem when it comes to love. You constantly lose your head and lead with your heart. Your foot lines indicate a life span of 83 to 85 years.
• Blank Foot – Your foot has no lines or only 1 line in any direction. This type of foot predicts you will live to between 65 and 68 years. You tend to fall in love too easily. You can find your fortune by using your instincts to succeed in real estate, child care, teaching or general investments.
• Minimal Foot – You have at least 2 lines but not more than 5 that may be going all directions. You must fight your tendency to be a loner. Love will succeed only if you open up and trust others. You can look forward to living between the ages 78 and 81. Your foot lines indicate that wealth can be yours through artistic projects, crafts, agriculture or sales.
• Grid Foot – You have a jumble of more than 5 shallow lines, crisscrossing horizontally, vertically and diagonally. If you guard against possessiveness, you could have a perfect love. Your foot lines indicate a life expectancy of between 64 and 67 years. You would be good at establishing your own business. Focus on cosmetics, beauty or health care.
• Vertical Foot – You have a number of deep lines on your foot, ALL of them are vertical. In love, look for a partner who unleashes your inner desires but provides stability. Travel, invention, gambling and sales offer you your route to riches. Your life will be between 71 and 74 years.
• Diagonal Foot – You have mostly deep diagonal lines on your foot. Your health is good but you are prone to circulatory problems. Expect to live to between 69 and 72 years. Your fear of romantic commitment must be overcome if you expect to find true love. You’ll find your fortune in sales or by starting your own business.
• Horizontal Foot – You have deep clear lines on your foot and they are ALL horizontal. Expect to live to between 65 and 70 years in good health marred only by a tendency to get more than your share of colds and flu. You’re a winner at love and will probably marry once for life. You love the limelight and can find your fortune in RADIO, television or politics.

BS WEB GOODIE:
• Just in time for “Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers” – discover your hobbit name with this cool ‘Hobbit Name Generator’. (Da Bull is apparently ‘Grigory Bracegirdle of Hardbottle’. Why not get hobbit names for the whole morning crew to use today?)
NET: http://www.chriswetherell.com/hobbit/default.asp
• Bob Rivers is offering a free download of his latest comedy album, “White Trash Christmas”, including those holiday favorites “Osama Got Run Over By a Reindeer”, “What If Eminem Did Jingle Bells” and “Aquaclaus”.
NET: http://www.bobrivers.com/ [use search box to find “White Trash Christmas”]

BS QUICK-PICK HOLIDAY SEASON TRIVIA:
Q: This kids’ treat is celebrating its 100th anniversary, originally packaged for Christmas 1902 in a little box with a string handle so it could be hung from a Christmas tree.
a) Candy cane.
b) Animal crackers.
c) Cod liver oil.
A: Animal crackers.

Q: Who invented the custom of decorating trees?
a) The Germans.
b) The Romans.
c) The International Order of Foresters.
A: The custom of decorating trees dates back to the ancient Romans, who adorned them with tiny metal shards during the winter festival ‘Saturnalia’. It went on to become a German Christmas custom and Prince Albert, husband of Queen Victoria of England, is credited
with introducing the Christmas tree to English homes in 1841.

Q: What’s the best thing to feed your Christmas tree?
a) Aspirin
b) Jack Daniel’s
c) Try water, stupid!
A: According to University of Illinois horticulturist Ron Wolford, an expert in the care of Christmas trees, plain water beats ASA, Jack Daniel’s or packaged additives in keeping needles from shedding.

Q: In Tchaikovsky’s holiday ballet “The Nutcracker”, who is the nutcracker’s main enemy?
a) The King of the Mice.
b) The toy soldiers.
c) Mr Peanut.
A: It’s the King of the Mice.

BS WATER COOLER QUESTION:
Today’s Question: One quarter of women would never get involved with this kind of guy.
Answer to Give Out Next Show: One who is younger than they are.

BS DEEP THOUGHTS:
• I can’t keep up with all this Christmas mail. Just today I got a ‘dear resident’, a ‘to occupant’, 3 ‘valued customers’ and a ‘final notice’.
• You want to give somebody a gift that keeps on giving? Give them a taxpayer!


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