Tuesday, December 19, 2006        Edition: #3433
Just 6 More Sleeps Till Xmas, Kids!

TODAY’s scheduled “Premium VIP Party” for Michael Jackson in Tokyo, Japan at which 1,600 fans paying 400,000 yen (about $3,400) apiece would be allowed to meet him and be photographed has been postponed until MARCH 8th, purportedly so more ‘platinum tickets’ can be offered (translation: more suckers rounded up) . . . TONIGHT in San Diego CA, the hoofing celebs from “Dancing With the Stars” (ABC) hit the road with a 38-city tour featuring Drew Lachey, Harry Hamlin, Joey Lawrence, Joey McIntyre, Lisa Rinna and Jerry Springer, plus their professional dancer partners of course (these tickets should come with a bag of cheesies) . . . Simon Cowell has just signed the biggest-ever TV deal in UK history, a $39-million package to produce 3 more seasons of the “American Idol”-style singing competition “The X Factor” for the ITV network (and the rich get richer) . . . Not to be out-earned, Oprah Winfrey is working on 2 new reality shows for ABC-TV, “The Big Give”, featuring 10 people competing for the chance to realize their dreams by helping others; and “Your Money or Your Life”, featuring families in crisis (hmm, maybe that’s a little too ‘real’?) . . .  Creepy singer/actress Liza Minnelli just got even creepier – observers say she now seems to be sporting eyebrows that have been permanently tattooed on (no wonder she always looks surprised) . . . Nice work if you can get it – Britain’s BBC is paying Radio 1 morning personality Chris Moyles a $29 royalty each time he plays one of the jingles he’s written, and since Moyles controls how often they are played, he determines how much he makes in royalties – circa $150,000 on top of his $1.2 million salary THIS YEAR (are they hiring over there?) . . . And poor actress Lindsay Lohan has e-mailed friends to inform them she’s been practising so hard for her role as a pole-dancing stripper in her next film “I Know Who Killed Me” that she’s now a ‘walking black-and-blue mark’ with bruising in areas she didn’t know was possible (thank goodness there are those willing to sacrifice themselves for art).

• The Arcade Fire – They’ve unveiled “Intervention”, the first track from their hotly anticipated new album, “Neon Bible” (due in MARCH or APRIL), via – of all things – telephone.
PHONER: 1.866.636.6242 ext 7777.
• Bee Gees – Former frontman Barry Gibb is restoring the lakefront house in Hendersonville TN that belonged to the late Johnny Cash. Gibb says he’ll use it as a 2nd home where he’ll go to create. Hard to believe, but he’s planning to make a country album. Quote: “I am a country artist, always have been a country artist.” Oh, so “Stayin’ Alive” was meant to be a line dance?
• Beyoncé – TONIGHT she guests on “Late Show With David Letterman” (CBS).
• Jennifer Hudson – TONIGHT the “Dreamgirls” star and former “American Idol” finalist performs on the “Tonight Show With Jay Leno” (NBC/A Channel).
• Justin Timberlake – The Recording Academy has launched a contest in which unsigned acts can audition for the chance to perform with him at the “Grammy Awards” FEBRUARY 11th.
NET: http://music.yahoo.com/mygrammymoment/
• Nirvana – According to the new book, “Nirvana: The Biography”, Kurt Cobain started divorce proceedings against wife Courtney Love shortly before his suicide. Author Everett True, an old friend of Cobain’s, claims the duo had a nasty fight, which resulted in Kurt calling in his lawyer.
• +44 (pronounced ‘Plus 44′): TONIGHT they perform on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” (ABC).
• New music on CD TODAY: Bow Wow’s “The Price of Fame”; Nas’ “Hip Hop Is Dead”; and Trick Daddy’s “Back By Thug Demand”.

• “All the King’s Men” ( Period Drama ): Sean Penn stars in the latest bigscreen adaptation of the classic Robert Penn Warren novel about populist politician ‘Willie Stark’, inspired by the life of Louisiana governor Huey P Long. Set in the 1930s Deep South, the supporting actors seem wildly miscast: Britain’s Jude Law, Anthony Hopkins & Kate Winslet, and Jersey native James Gandolfini.
• “Invincible” ( Sports Drama ): Mark Wahlberg stars in the true story of Vince Papale, a part-time bartender and avid NFL fan who beat staggering odds in an open football tryout to earn a walk-on role with his favorite team. Greg Kinnear co-stars as former Philadelphia Eagles coach Dick Vermeil.
• “Lady in the Water” ( Mystery Thriller ): Paul Giamatti (“Cinderella Man”, Sideways”) plays an apartment building superintendent who rescues what he thinks is a young woman from the pool he maintains. Eventually he discovers she’s actually a character from a bedtime story trying to make the journey back to her home. Directed by M Night Shyamalan (“The Sixth Sense”).
• “Little Miss Sunshine” ( Comedy ): An oddball family so burdened with quirks, neuroses and problems they can barely make it through a day becomes determined to get a 7-year-old daughter into the finals of a beauty pageant. In order to get to California, they take a cross-country trip in their VW bus. The ensemble cast includes Steve Carell, Greg Kinnear, and Alan Arkin.
• “My Super Ex-Girlfriend” ( Action Comedy ): Uma Thurman stars as an overly possessive superhero who unleashes her super-powered wrath in a mission to humiliate and torment the boyfriend who had the nerve to break up with her (Luke Wilson). Co-stars Rainn Wilson (“The Office”).
• “A Scanner Darkly” ( Animated Sci-Fi Thriller ): Keanu Reeves plays an undercover narc in a not-too-distant future Los Angeles where there’s a surge of drug abuse involving a new ultra-addictive substance simply called ‘D’. Co-stars Robert Downey Jr, Woody Harrelson and Winona Ryder. The animation was accomplished via the process of ‘Rotoscoping’, whereby the film was first shot in live-action, then the footage was painted over stylistically.
• “The Wicker Man” ( Mystery Thriller ): Nicolas Cage plays a sheriff investigating the disappearance of a young girl from a small island who discovers there’s a larger mystery to solve among the island’s secretive, neo-pagan community. A remake of the 1973 British horror thriller of the same name. Shot mostly in Greater Vancouver.
• Also on DVD TODAY: “Jet Li’s Fearless”; Paris Hilton in “National Lampoon’s Pledge This!”; “The Simpsons: The Complete 9th Season”, also available in the ‘Collectible Lisa Head Pack’; and the Spike Lee hurricane documentary “When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in 4 Acts”.

New smog-eating cement is now being tested in Europe after builders discovered that a material containing titanium dioxide actually absorbs pollutants from car exhaust and heating emissions. Several construction companies are now developing ‘smog-eating’ building products and the new substances will soon be tested in the buildings, city squares and highways of Europe and Japan. (Great, now can they make an apartment building where the hallways don’t stink?)
– “International Herald Tribune”

The TV moments most DVR owners chose to record, according to new TiVo stats …
5. Faith Hill’s reaction to Carrie Underwood’s win at the “CMA Awards” (ABC).
4. ‘Sara’ and ‘Grissom’ becoming a couple on “CSI”.
3. Oprah Winfrey’s humiliation of author James Frey in which she accused him of betraying readers with his book “A Million Little Pieces” (syndicated).
2. Mel Gibson’s interview with Diane Sawyer about his DUI arrest on “Good Morning America” (ABC).
1. Katie Couric’s last day on the “Today Show” (NBC).
– ContactMusic.com

Experts warn thatr buying ‘gourmet treats’ for your pet may be a waste of money. An investigation by “Urban Animal” magazine has found many are made from useless chunks of meat that humans would never eat and are sold at outrageous prices. For instance, a packet of 3 pig ears weighing 50 grams sells for $5.49; that’s over $100 per kilo ($46/lb). Pig snouts sell for $3.15 for a 15-gram pack, which works out to $210 per kilo ($96/lb). And dried fish treats for cats cost about $33 per kilo ($15/lb), which means you would actually save money by feeding your cat fresh king prawns! (What’s the proper wine to serve with pig snout?)
– SMH.com.au

A leading psychologist believes that humans have stopped getting smarter. James Flynn of the University of Otago in New Zealand argues that if the relatively recent rise in IQ scores actually meant we were smarter, it would also mean our grandparents were a bit slow and our great-grandparents were complete idiots, which was clearly not the case. Flynn instead believes the increase in intelligence scores over the past century is the result of environmental and social changes that have given us the opportunity to exercise the kinds of skills that IQ tests measure. (Putting the square block in the square hole.)
– “GQ”

A statistical breakdown of life by the numbers …
• 66% of dog owners say they would be willing to work longer hours if they were allowed to bring the pooch to work.
• 25% of children who are treated for strep throat with penicillin or amoxicillin end up back in the doctor’s office within 3 weeks.
• 21% of us say we’re regularly bored out of our minds.
• 19% of men wouldn’t mind being stupid if they had a perfect body.
• 13% of men admit that they have tried a bra on.
• 8% of us say we’d allow a reality TV show to film us ‘having relations’.

A new study published in the “British Medical Journal” says that intelligent children are more likely to become vegetarians. A Southampton University team has found that those who become vegetarians by the age of 30 have 5 more IQ points than average at the age of 10. Researchers say that may explain why people with higher IQs are healthier, as a vegetarian diet is linked to lower heart disease and obesity rates. (People who choose to eat tofu are smarter?)
– “Fortean Times”

• Women are 4 times more likely to shoplift than men.
• The longest kiss on record lasted 130 hours, 2 minutes.
• 2006 has been the warmest year in Britain since records were first kept in 1659.


1963 [43] Jennifer Beals, Chicago IL, TV actress (‘Bette Porter’ on “The L Word” since 2004)/movie actress (“Flashdance”)

1972 [34] Alyssa Milano, Brooklyn NY, TV actress (‘Phoebe Halliwell’ on “Charmed” since 1998)

1974 [32] Jake Plummer, Boise ID, NFL quarterback (Denver Broncos)

1980 [26] Jake Gyllenhaal, LA CA, movie actor (“Brokeback Mountain”, “Jarhead”)

• “E-Mail Santa Claus Just in Case He Didn’t Get Your Letter Day”. It’s also “National Clean Out Your Closet to Make Room for New Toys Day”!

• “International Language Week” to promote the international language ‘Esperanto’, invented by Dr LL Zamenhof in 1887 to solve the world’s language barrier … but it never really caught on. You can learn to speak a few words in Esperantese here (the word ‘fek’ is particularly useful) …
NET: http://www.notam02.no/~hcholm/altlang/ht/Esperanto.html
PHONER: 800.377.3726 (Esperanto League for North America)

1997 [09] All-time movie box office champ “Titanic”, starring Leonardo Dicaprio & Kate Winslet, opens in theaters (eventually grosses over $1.8 billion worldwide)

2001 [05] “Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring” opens in theaters (#11 all-time, grossing more than $871 million worldwide)

1857 [149] 1st ‘Bathroom Tissue’ marketed (50 cents for 500 sheets – about the same as now)

1863 [143] British inventor Frederick Walton patents the floor-covering ‘Linoleum’ (its use peaks in 1940, and vintage pieces are now collectible)

1917 [89] 1st ‘National Hockey League’ games played (5,500 fans watch Montréal Canadiens beat Ottawa Senators 7-4, while 700 soldiers get in free to see Montréal Wanderers defeat Toronto Arenas 10-9)

1970 [36] 1st ‘Disposable Razors’ go on the market (and 1st wife borrows her husband’s to shave her legs)

1922 [84] 24-year-old Theresa Vaughn is tried for bigamy in England after it’s found she has accumulated 62 husbands … in only 5 years!

[Wed] “Rocky Balboa” opens in theaters
[Thurs] Humbug Day
[Thurs] Look at the Bright Side Day
[Fri] Solstice Synchronized Global Orgasm for World Peace
[Fri] Winter begins (7:22 pm EST)
[Sun] Egg Nog Day
[Mon] “Dreamgirls”; “Black Christmas” open in movie theaters
This Week Is … Tell Someone They’re Doing a Good Job Week   
This Month Is … Drunk & Drugged Driving Prevention Month


10. Beer … improves cardiovascular function.
9. Anger … moderate bursts of it are an excellent stress reliever.
8. Coffee … offers various health benefits and a good source of antioxidants.
7. LSD … helps prevent relapses in recovering alcoholics.
6. Sunlight … excellent anti-depressant with various other health benefits.
5. Maggots … prevent infections and stimulate healing of serious wounds.
4. Marijuana … can delay the onset of Alzheimer’s.
3. Red wine … potent anti-cancer and artery-protecting benefits.
2. Chocolate … packed with antioxidants and also wards off dementia.
1. Sex … reduces stress, lowers cholesterol, and improves circulation throughout the body.
– LiveScience.com

You’ve likely heard that our current image of chubby old Santa Claus was invented by the Coca-Cola Co. But did you know …
• Using a friend as a real-life model, a Swedish artist conceived the heavy-set, white-bearded man in the red suit with white trim for a Coke ad campaign during the Depression.
• The suit colors were chosen to match Coke’s corporate logo.
• The name ‘Santa Claus’ originates from the Dutch name for Saint Nicholas, ‘Sinterklaas’.

• Is Las Vegas so crowded because nobody has enough money left to leave?
• If a rottweiler starts to hump your leg, should you fake an orgasm?
• Should you ever lend money to a friend for plastic surgery?
• If you don’t pay your alimony, can your ex- repossess you?
• Where do the songs go on the radio when you turn it off?
• Can vegetarians eat fruit?

What is the most beautiful human-made object?

Today’s Question: You’ll find more germs in THESE than you will in your bathroom.
Answer to Give Out Next Show: Your old running shoes.

In the pasture of life, don’t be a cow pie.

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