Friday, December 8, 2000                                   Edition:  #1950

Genetic researchers at North Carolina State University say they’ve developed the ‘perfect Christmas tree’ which will be available in about 10 years. So here’s a look at ….
BS FEATURES OF THE PERFECT TREE:
• Comes pre-wired.
• No matter how hard you bang it on the wall, no needles fall off.
• Needs water about as often as your pet cactus.
• Has a straight trunk so the star isn’t pointing at the window.
• Stands 6 feet tall, weighs 2 pounds, costs $4.

BS SHOW BIZ BUZZ:
TODAY Eminem is scheduled to appear in Michigan court to face assault and concealed weapons charges (could be mayhem when the bailiff says “Please state your name”) . . . TODAY at a charity auction in West Virginia organized by former “Gilligan’s Island” star Bob Denver, mementos from the ‘60s sitcom like the denim shorts worn by ‘Mary Ann’ will be up for grabs (so to speak) . . . SUNDAY, Toronto native Morley Safer marks 30 YEARS as a correspondent on “60 Minutes” . . . It’s official — in accordance with local wedding procedure, Madonna and Guy Ritchie’s ‘banns of marriage’ were posted at the Dornoch, Scotland registrar’s office WEDNESDAY . . . Because he can’t do it and Whoopi won’t, Billy Crystal is recommending Jim Carrey as next MARCH’s “Academy Awards” MC (but then again, he could just be talking out of his ass).

TODAY’S MOVIE OPENINGS:
The board game “Dungeons and Dragons” has cult status worldwide — any reason to expect the movie version won’t? (directed by Toronto’s Courtney Solomon) . . . “Proof of Life”, the movie that made co-stars Meg Ryan and Russell Crowe front-page tabloid news, apparently contained a love scene that was  soo hot, it had to be toned down (oh yeah, she plays a woman who falls for the professional negotiator she hired to get her kidnapped husband back) . . . In the action adventure “Vertical Limit”, Chris O’Donnell plays a climber who must rescue his sister on top of K2, the world’s 2nd-highest mountain.

ONLY IN CANADA:
• The Grain Services Union is accusing Winnipeg-based Agricore of spying on its activities. It says a man found hiding under a blanket shooting video of the union’s annual picnic last summer claimed he was ‘filming squirrels’, and an investigator’s attempt to secretly tape a union meeting 2 weeks ago was foiled when his recorder was found on a serving cart. (It’s unknown how long Agricore intends to keep Inspector Clouseau on its payroll.)
• The question ‘will that be paper or plastic?’ has whole new meaning in Canadian stores. A new poll done for Interac finds that bank cards are now MORE popular than money. 42% of Canadians now use debit cards most often, compared to 35% using cash. (True story — the ‘cash only’ line at the grocery store this week was empty while all the others were lined up!)
• According to a new Solutions Research Group poll, use of the free Internet music site Napster has increased from 1.8 million Canadian users to 2.8 million over the past 6 months. (The researchers attribute much of the increase to the fact most Canadians would be far too embarrassed to actually be seen carrying the new Guess Who CD out of a store.)

THE BULL SHEET 12.08.00

TODAY’S CELEBRITY BIRTHDAYS . . .
1953     [47] Kim Basinger, Athens GA, movie star (“LA Confidential”)/Mrs Alec Baldwin
1964    [36] Teri Hatcher, Sunnyvale CA, movie actress (“Tomorrow Never Dies”)
1967    [33] Jeff George, Indianapolis IN, much-traveled NFL QB (Washington Redskins)
1968    [32] Mike Mussina, Williamsport PA, NY Yankees new $88.5 million pitcher

SATURDAY’S BIRTHDAYS . . .
1934    [66] Judi Dench, York ENG, film actress (‘M’-“World is Not Enough”, “Shakespeare in Love”)
1953    [47] John Malkovich, Christopher IL, movie actor (“The Messenger”, “Being John Malkovich”)
1969    [31] Jakob Dylan, NYC, rock singer (The Wallflowers-“One Headlight”)/Bob Dylan’s son
1972    [28] Tre Cool (Frank Edwin Wright III), CA, rock musician (Green Day-“Time of Your Life”)
1973    [27] Tony Batista. Puerta Plata DR, MLB infielder (Toronto Blue Jays)

TODAY’S OBSERVANCES . . .
TODAY marks the 20th anniversary (1980) of the assassination of John Lennon by Mark David Chapman on the sidewalk outside NYC’s Dakota apartment building. There’ll be candlelight vigils worldwide, many to coincide with the 11:23pm time of his death.

ON THIS DAY IN THE ’90S . . .
1993    [07] Canada, US & Mexico sign NAFTA free trade agreement (PEI potatoes aren’t included)

TODAY’S FIRSTS . . .
1869    [131] Timothy Eaton opens 1st ‘Eaton’s’ store, in Toronto (if he knew Sears was now running his stores he’d be rolling over in his grave)
1987    [13] 1st NHL goaltender to score a goal (Ron Hextall-Philadelphia Flyers vs Boston Bruins)

TODAY’S RECORDS . . .
1990    [10] World’s largest pizza measures 122 ft, 8 in long and 11,816 sq ft (Norwood, South Africa)

AND REMEMBER . . .
[Sun] Festival For The Souls Of Dead Whales

BULL’S BITS . . .
2000 CHRISTMAS PRICE INDEX ($US):

• One Partridge in a Pear Tree — $113
• Two Turtle Doves – $50
• Three French Hens — $15
• Four Calling Birds — $280
• Five Gold Rings — $250
• Six Geese-a-Laying — $150
• Seven Swans-a-Swimming — $3500
• Eight Maids-a- Milking — $41.20
• Nine Ladies Dancing — $3932.72
• Ten Lords-a-Leaping — $3660.80
• Eleven Pipers Piping — $1544.40
• Twelve Drummers Drumming — $1,673.10
Total Christmas Price Index — $15,210.22, up 1.8% from ‘99 ($23,103.14 if you buy it all online)
PHONER: 412-768-5770 (Rebekah McCahan, PNC Bank of Pittsburgh)

BS TAG LINE: If you look like your passport picture, you probably need the trip.


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