Wednesday, December 19, 2001        Edition: #2200
Everyone Is Entitled To My Opinion

I’ll be cloned for Christmas,
There’ll be three of me;
One to work and one to shop,
And one just for parties.
Christmas Eve, I’m certain,
I won’t be alone;
I’ll be home for Christmas,
Or else I’ll send a clone!
(Thanks to DM Goldstein)

Have you heard? TODAY “The Fellowship of the Ring”, the first movie based on JRR Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings” trilogy, opens in theaters in some 16 countries around-the-world. “LOTR” facts –
• Stars Elijah Wood as ‘Frodo Baggins’, Ian McKellen as ‘Gandalf the Grey’ and Liv Tyler as ‘Lady Arwen’ aka ‘Evenstar’ (who learned to play someone 3,000-years-old by talking to her father).
• Was filmed simultaneously with the next 2 films in the trilogy — “The Two Towers” (opening December 18, 2002), and “The Return of the King” (coming in December 2003).
• The New Zealand town of Matamata where much of the filming was done has temporarily changed its name to ‘Hobbiton’. Local restaurants are selling ‘hobbit burgers’ and many retailers are dressing in “LOTR” costumes.
• When the 1st trailer was released on the Internet on April 7, 2000, it was downloaded 1.6 million times in the first 24 hours.
• When 8 of the stars reunited at the London premiere, they were ALL sporting new tattoos to commemorate the film.
• Speculation is “LOTR” may be an even bigger hit than “Harry Potter”, one reason being – “Lord of the Rings” was first published in 1954, meaning several generations have become fans.

Penelope Cruz says that whatever chemistry she and Tom Cruise had on the set of “Vanilla Sky” was because of director Cameron Crowe (she didn’t mention if the same was true in the bedroom) . . . Mick Jagger will appear on Matchbox Twenty’s upcoming 3rd album, returning a favor to Rob Thomas, who co-wrote and sang on Mick’s slow-selling solo CD “Goddess in the Doorway” . . . Over 1,100 fans have so far signed an online petition asking that “Lord of The Rings” director Peter Jackson take over from George Lucas as director of future “Star Wars” movies (seems there’s dissatisfaction with “Phantom Menace” and ”Attack Of The Clones”) . . . Chevy Chase is teaming up with his former ”Saturday Night Live” boss Lorne Michaels to create a movie update of the ’60s TV sitcom “My Three Sons”, with Chevy in the Fred MacMurray role as a widowed dad, but instead of 3 sons he tries to cope with raising 3 daughters (we give it 3 weeks in theaters).

• Former Toronto Blue Jay and newly-signed NY Mets 2nd base slugger Roberto Alomar has split up with longtime fiancée, French tennis star and former Montréaler, Mary Pierce. (Something to do with a ‘double play’?)
• Ellen DeGeneres and former “LA Firefighters” actress Alexandra Hedison are kaput as a couple, with insiders saying it’s due to disagreements over booze. Seems Hedison’s a recovering alcoholic and AA member, while Ellen’s a moderate drinker.
• And lest you think the Tom Green/Drew Barrymore split is a hoax like their half-dozen fake marriage announcements, the “Smoking Gun” Website has a posting of the actual divorce petition filed by Green in an LA court, citing — what else — irreconcilable differences. (One of them being – she has a career.)

An Indonesian maid cooked soup by boiling her underwear in toilet water believing it would put her employer under a spell. The employer, his mother, wife and son all ate the soup for 2 days without a clue how it had been made. It was only when he looked at footage from a security camera installed in the kitchen that he made the discovery. (Apparently it tasted a lot like American beer.)

A Norwegian man has unwittingly swallowed a gold ring that was hidden in his porridge by his girlfriend as a surprise proposal of marriage. (Should be some ceremony – “Will the groom please pass the ring . . .”)

A motorist and his car got stuck to an Italian road after a truck carrying glue crashed ahead of him. The car ground to a halt as gallons of extra-strength construction glue spread across the pavement. When the driver got out to investigate he also got stuck to the road. He spent most of the evening calling for help until rescuers arrived and dissolved the glue.

A University of West Virginia scientist says the price of diesel fuel can be drastically reduced if it’s blended with — chicken dung. Chemical engineering professor Al Stiller claims the manure can be liquefied, cooked and sterilized and then blended with fuel without significant loss in performance. He recommends a blend of 65% diesel and 35% poultry poop. (Damn, we’re on empty!” “No probs, I got a spare hen in the trunk.”)

A new University of Leicester study shows that people are far more likely to choose greeting cards designed by their own sex, even though they have no idea who had made the cards. (For instance, only a guy would pick a card that says, “If I get only one thing for Christmas, I hope it’s your sister.”)

• ‘Elvish’ – the language created by “Lord of the Rings” author JRR Tolkein for the inhabitants of Middle Earth which we’re likely to hear a lot of over the next couple of years. Tolkein was an accomplished linguist and language professor at Oxford University. ‘Elvish’ is said to combine elements of Gaelic and Celtic. (As opposed to “gimme a ‘nana and peanut butter samich” which is an expression in ‘Elvis’.)
• ‘J-Lo’ — now used as a slang term for ‘butt’, as in “I’ve got a huge J-Lo from eating all of those doughnuts.”
• ‘Pre-Natal Depression’ – according to a new Australian study, this is a newly-identified malady experienced by first-time dads-to-be. Seems they are more prone to put on weight and reach for the bottle during their partner’s pregnancy rather than after the baby is born. (That’s not ‘depression’, it’s freakin’ fear!)

“My feeling is until we catch bin Laden, which we will, we won’t know precisely where he was.”
– US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld


1965 [36] Jessica Steen, Toronto ON, movie actress (“Armageddon”) who’ll play ‘Coach Jessie Page’ in the comedy sequel “Slap Shot II: Breaking the Ice”, opening in 2002

1969 [32] Santana Dotson, New Orleans LA, NFL DT (Green Bay Packers)

1972 [29] Warren Sapp, Orlando FL, 300-lb NFL DT (Tampa Bay Buccaneers)

1972 [29] Alyssa Milano, Brooklyn NY, TV actress (Phoebe Halliwell-“Charmed”)

1974 [27] Jake ‘The Snake’ Plummer, Boise ID, NFL QB (Arizona Cardinals)

1980 [21] Marla Sokoloff, San Francisco CA, TV actress (Lucy Hatcher-“The Practice”)

Hey kids! TODAY is “National Clean Out Your Closet to Make Room for New Toys Day”!

THIS WEEK is “Tell Someone They’re Doing a Good Job Week”, when you’re encouraged to compliment someone’s work effort each day. And hey boss, toss in a Christmas bonus, would ya?

1997 [04] All-time movie box office champ “Titanic”, starring Leonardo Dicaprio & Kate Winslet, opens in theaters

1857 [144] 1st ‘bathroom tissue’ marketed (50 cents for 500 sheets — about the same as now)

1917 [84] 1st NHL games played (5,500 fans watch Montreal Canadiens beat Ottawa Senators 7-4, while 700 soldiers get in free to see Montreal Wanderers defeat Toronto Arenas 10-9)

1984 [17] Scotty Bowman becomes NHL’s all-time winningest coach (and he’s still adding to his record with Detroit Red Wings)

[Fri] 1st day of Winter
[Fri] Humbug Day
[Fri] Yule (Wicca/pagan)
[Dec 24] National Egg Nog Day
[Dec 26] National Whiners Day
[Dec 26-Jan 1] Kwanzaa
International Language Week
National Closed Caption TV Month


• Discover your hobbit name with this cool ‘Hobbit Name Generator’. (I was thrilled to find out mine is ‘Grigory Bracegirdle of Hardbottle’. Why not get hobbit names for the whole morning crew to use today?)
• NORAD (North American Aerospace Defense Command), which is responsible for air defence over Canada and the US, began tracking Santa for kids more than 40 years ago. Kids can monitor Santa’s progress at the NORAD Website beginning at 7am DECEMBER 24.

Are the following statements true or just a pile o’ bull doo?
• In the average home, the room where the greatest number of arguments occurs is the bedroom. [BS. The kitchen.]
• Instead of in Christmas stockings, Dutch children find holiday gifts tucked in shoes. [TRUTH. Wooden shoes called ‘sabots’.]
• During a lifetime, the average motorist spends about 1 month waiting for red lights to turn green. [BS. It’s closer to 6 months!]
• ‘Scrooge’s’ deceased business partner in Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” was named ‘Bob Marley’. [BS. That’d be ‘Jacob Marley’.]
• The town of Snowflake, Arizona got its name from 2 early settlers named Erastus Snow and William J Flake. [TRUTH]
• Hollywood’s nickname is the ‘Fruitcake Capital of the World’. [BS. That honor goes to the town of Claxton GA, where the famous ‘Claxton Fruitcakes’ are made, and then marketed worldwide as doorstops.]
• The state flower of Rhode Island is mistletoe. [TRUTH, however the state motto is NOT ‘Kiss off!’.]

A little girl is in line to see Santa. When it’s her turn, she climbs up on Santa’s lap. Santa asks, “What would you like Santa to bring you for Christmas?”. The girl replies, “I want a Barbie and an Action Man. “Santa looks at the little girl for a moment and says, “I thought Barbie comes with Ken.” “No,” says the little girl. “She comes with Action Man, she fakes it with Ken.”

There are all kind of famous people today that you’ve never heard of.

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