December 12, 2001

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Wednesday, December 12, 2001        Edition: #2195
Here’s More Bull Roar!

• A lump of coal would be fine. It’s winter, he needs something to burn!
• The new Britney Spears CD. (For the same reason as above.)
• A case of industrial-strength air fresheners.
• New pair of running shoes — NOT the kind that light up with every step.
• A ‘Harry Potter’ invisibility cloak.

TODAY actress Ashley Judd & Scottish racing driver Dario Franchitti are tying the knot in a private wedding in Dornoch, Scotland’s Skibo Castle, same place Madonna & Guy Ritchie did the deed . . . “Frasier” co-star David Hyde Pierce has a new contract that will reportedly make him TV’s first ‘second banana’ to make $1 MILLION PER EPISODE and keep him on the show through Spring 2004 . . . Word is “Star Wars” stunner Natalie Portman (‘Queen Amidala’) is dating her co-star Hayden Christensen (‘Anakin Skywalker’), or maybe they’re just practising for their on-screen love affair in “Star Wars Episode II: Attack Of The Clones” (either way, she likes the kiss of Darth) . . . For her upcoming movie “Crossroads”, Britney Spears danced in a bedroom scene wearing only her undies, but that scene has now been axed and re-shot with her wearing a shirt (the most she’s worn in months) . . . Rumor has it the Backstreet Boys may be close to quitting, with an inside source saying the idea was openly discussed on their latest tour when morale was really low . . . And the Website claims “Survivor’s” 4th instalment will be called “Survivor: Marquesas” and filming began 2 weeks ago on Nuku Hiva, one of the 9 Marquesas Islands in French Polynesia (the big question is — will anyone really care by the time it airs?).

You’ve probably heard of the psychological syndrome called ‘SAD’ or ‘Seasonal Affective Disorder’, a form of depression many are thought to suffer during the doldrums of winter when there’s fewer daylight hours. Well now psychiatrist Richard Morriss of the University of Liverpool questions whether it really exists, and points out that the World Health Organization doesn’t recognize it as a distinct mental disorder. He suggests psychiatrists may have manufactured the diagnosis to explain away normal human misery. (Damn, another excuse to skip work down the drain!)

Australian scientists at Sydney University have made the Earth-shattering discovery that belly button lint mostly moves UP from the underwear rather than DOWN from the upper body! This suggests that tummy hairs work like little arms on a conveyor to move fibers of fabric broken away from clothing up the curve of the belly and into the navel. Over 5,000 test subjects were asked to shave their bellies for the life-altering study. In most cases, production of belly button lint completely stopped. Other shocking discoveries in the study —
• Overweight men produce more belly button lint than slim, hairless women.
• A pierced navel will not collect fluff because pierced navels tend to be exposed.

John Lennon is the favorite to win a national poll in the UK to find the greatest Briton of all time. He’s currently leading William Shakespeare, Isaac Newton, Winston Churchill, Charles Darwin, Captain Cook, Admiral Nelson, and Queen Elizabeth I. So far, some 10,000 have voted in the BBC poll, which closes New Year’s Eve. (Hey, what about Anne Robinson?)

Here’s an offshoot of the 9/11 attacks – a new survey finds Americans now consider themselves more religious. The nationwide poll by Princeton Survey Research Associates finds 78% now consider religion important to their lives, beating the previously highest figure of 69% way back in 1959. But compare it to the rate just last MARCH — 37%. (Some people find religion every morning they have a hangover. “Please God, make it go away and I’ll never drink again!”)

• A pub in Manchester, England is claiming to have the world’s smallest dance floor — just 3-feet-square. The pub DJ actually asks people to dance one at a time. (Which really puts a damper on ‘Single’s Night’.)
• A New Zealand police department is under investigation after losing $20,000 worth of cocaine. (The police chief said he has no idea what happened to the cocaine — in a speech that lasted over 11 hours.)
• An 82-year-old British woman who bought her first car in 1940 is still driving it 61 years
later. The car has clocked 162,000 miles so far. (The woman has even more miles on her. And even more amazing, the left turn signal has been on the entire time.)
• A Romanian woman has made herself an entire wardrobe using — her own hair. Ioana Cioanca has just finished a raincoat for the winter season. She says she intends to wear it over the brown blouse and skirt crocheted from the same material. She also has a vest, hat, shawl and even a purse, all made from her own hair. (And she’s planning to start her spring wardrobe as soon as she shaves her legs.)
• Gillette has unveiled a new cream that stops facial hair growth on women. (As soon as it’s approved, it will be available at your doctor, your pharmacy, and throughout Romania.)


1923 [78] Bob Barker, Darrington WA, ancient TV game show host (“The Price is Right”, since 1972)

1970 [31] Jennifer Connelly, Catskill Mountains NY, movie actress who’ll appear opposite Russell Crowe in “A Beautiful Mind”, opening DECEMBER 21, and play “The Hulk’s” main squeeze in Ang Lee’s bigscreen version of “The Incredible Hulk” coming in 2003

1977 [24] Bridget Hall, Springdale AR, model (“The 2001 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show”) who has appeared in over 200 fashion magazines and is on “Forbes” top 10 list of money-making clothes-horses

TODAY is one of Mexico’s major celebrations, “Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe”. The holiday has been observed since 1746 to honor the country’s patron saint, the ‘Dark Virgin of Guadalupe’ (and patron saint of Corona). An estimated 10 million visit her basilica in Mexico City annually.

TODAY is “Poinsettia Day”, honoring Dr Joel Roberts Poinsett (1799-1851), the American diplomat who introduced us to the Central American plant named for him in 1828. It’s now a favorite decoration during the holiday season. In fact, close to 60 million poinsettias are now grown in North America each year.

TODAY is “National Ding-a-Ling Day”, to remind us that ‘ding-a-lings’ are wonderful, friendly, loving and desirable. (But SOOOOOO dumb!)
• Why did the ding-a-ling think she was expecting twins? (She bought the 2-pack home pregnancy test kit and both tests came out positive!)
• Why do ding-a-lings write ‘TGIF’ on the bottom of their shoes? (‘Toes Goes In First’)
• Why do ding-a-lings wear shoulder pads? (To keep from bruising their ears.)
• How do ding-a-lings pierce their ears? (They put tacks in their shoulder pads.)

1 YEAR AGO . . .
2000 US Supreme Court rules recount of 2000 Presidential election ordered by Florida Supreme Court is unconstitutional (Al Gore concedes to George W Bush the next day)

2000 Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh abandons appeals and asks for his execution be set within 120 days

1899 [102] 1st ‘golf tee’ patented by George Grant of Boston (1st time he uses it, he loses it)

1946 [55] ‘Tide’ detergent 1st marketed

1976 [25] Last NFL team to go ‘winless’ for an entire season as Tampa Bay Buccaneers go 0-14 (already at 0-12, THIS YEAR’S Detroit Lions have a real shot at it — c’mon guys, you can’t do it!)

1981 [20] Wayne Gretzky scores NHL’s quickest 50 goals (just 39 games)

2000 [01] Texas Rangers sign SS Alex Rodriguez (‘A-Rod’) to record-breaking 10-year, $252 million contract, breaking MLB record and record for all pro team sports

[Thurs-Dec 17] World Scrabble Championship (Las Vegas)
[Fri] Halcyon Days (7 days before & after Winter Solstice)
[Sun] Barbie & Barney Backlash Day
[Sun] Tell Someone They’re Doing a Good Job Week
[Dec 21] 1st Day of Winter
National Drunk Drivers Awareness Week
Safe Toys and Gifts Month


We’re doing a seasonal crossword puzzle and are stuck on a couple of words. Perhaps you can help?
• A 5 letter word for FAT MAN ONLY SOME PEOPLE BELIEVE IN. [ANSWER: Santa. But we also would have accepted ‘Ralph Klein’.]
• A 14-letter TRADITIONAL HOLIDAY GREETING. [ANSWER: Merry Christmas. But we also would have accepted ‘What did you get me?’]
• A 6-letter word for ONE WHO STEALS CHRISTMAS. [ANSWER: Grinch. But we also would have accepted ‘mother-in-law’.]
• A 7-letter word for ONE OF THE CHRISTMAS SPIRITS. [ANSWER: Present. But we also would have accepted ‘Rum’.]

Q: About how many homes will Santa visit on Christmas Eve?
A: There are 2 billion children (under 18) in the world, but since Santa doesn’t appear to handle Muslim, Hindu, Jewish and Buddhist children, that reduces the workload to 15% of the total — 378 million, according to the Population Reference Bureau. At an average world census rate of 3.5 children per household, that’s 91.8 million homes. With 31 hours of Christmas to work with, thanks to the different time zones and the rotation of the Earth, this works out to 822.6 visits per second.

Q: Which sells more – artificial Christmas trees or real ones?
A: Artificial Christmas trees have out-sold real ones every year since 1991.

Dating is when you pretend you’re someone you’re not, to impress somebody you don’t even know.

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