Friday, February 21, 2003        Edition: #2482
Once Again the Proverbial Excrement Hits The Oscillating Air Device!

SUNDAY the annual “British Academy Film Awards” (BAFA) may provide insight into who’ll win at this year’s Oscars, as “Gangs Of New York” and “Chicago” lead nominations with 12 apiece . . . “The Life of David Gale” star Kevin Spacey will next star in and perhaps direct a film about the life of ‘60s pop singer Bobby Darin (as in “Mack the Knife”) which begins shooting in JUNE  . . . ‘Lifetime Achievement Grammy Award’ recipients Simon & Garfunkel are reportedly in talks about reuniting for a series of concerts (make sure the stages have ramps – they’re both 61!) . . .  “Dark Blue” star Kurt Russell & Goldie Hawn have relocated to Vancouver just so their 16-year-old son Wyatt can play hockey (oh to have money!) . . . Britney Spears has categorically denied ever snorting cocaine and is threatening court action over allegations made in “Star” magazine . . . “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” has set a DVD sales record – 4 million discs in its first 5 days . . . Fashion designer Dan MacMillan brings us the ironic news that Saddam Hussein wears the same shoes as – George W Bush . . . Oprah’s newest diet trick is reportedly using a tiny cocktail fork & a small cappuccino spoon to eat meals at home (now if she could just lose the satellite-dish bowl) . . . North Bay ON-based cartoonist Lynn Johnston says she’s getting ready to wrap up the popular comic strip “For Better or for Worse” because she wants to avoid dealing with production deadlines when she’s in her 60s (that gives her another 4 years) . . . J-Lo’s entourage at the recent “Berlin Film Festival” swelled to an amazing 20 people, including her hairdresser, color adviser, hairstylists, personal trainer, TWO eyebrow specialists, and her – life coach (hey, where was her personal butt wiper?).

In the comedy “Old School”, Will Ferrell steals the show as a newlywed who can’t let go of his
beer-chugging glory days as ‘Frank the Tank’, so when his wife boots him out he and pals Luke Wilson & Vince Vaughn set up an unofficial frat house near their old college campus . . .
Kevin Spacey stars in the crime drama “The Life of David Gale” as a professor who is falsely convicted of murdering a fellow anti-capital-punishment activist and winds up – on death row (isn’t it ironic?) . . . The cop drama “Dark Blue” stars Kurt Russell as a tough, fiery LAPD veteran who’s teamed with rookie partner Scott Speedman to lead the investigation of a racially motivated robbery-homicide in 1992 . . . The Ted Turner-funded Civil War film “Gods and Generals” (a prequel to 1993’s “Gettysburg”) tells the true story of many of the battles from the perspective of Confederate Generals Stonewall Jackson (Stephen Lang) & Robert E Lee (Robert Duvall).

• Live SUNDAY from Madison Square Garden, the first time in NYC since 1996.
• Avril Lavigne, Eminem, Nelly, Bruce Springsteen, Sheryl Crow, Ashanti & Norah Jones lead nominations with 5 apiece. There are nominations in 104 music categories!
• As well as Avril Lavigne, Canadians in the running include Nickelback’s Chad Kroeger (4 nominations), Remy Shand (4), Diana Krall (2), kd lang for best pop collaboration w/Tony Bennett, Michael J Fox for best spoken word album (his autobiography), and Canada’s perennial polka contestant Walter Ostanek & His Band.
• Performances include Norah Jones, Bruce Springsteen, Coldplay, Nelly w/Kelly Rowlands, and Faith Hill.
• What’s inside the Grammy gift bag? A Siemens SX56 Pocket PC mobile phone ($500), a Mattel ‘My Scene’ doll ($15) and a Crest Spin Brush ($8) are just a few of the treats in store
for performers and presenters.
• ‘Lifetime Achievement Awards’ go to ‘60s pop/folk icons Simon & Garfunkel, blues singer Etta James, romantic crooner Johnny Mathis, and posthumously to big-band leader Glenn Miller & salsa king Tito Puente. There’ll also be ‘Legend Awards’ for late BeeGees singer Maurice Gibb and Clash frontman Joe Strummer.

A brief look at recent scientific ‘discovers’ –
• Scientists say that people with bad breath are lacking – bacteria. Researchers at Boston’s Forsyth Institute say ‘good bacteria’ is needed to fight halitosis. So now they’re working to develop bacteria that’s genetically modified to create a sweeter smell. (Yeah? How come yogurt smells so gross?)
• Scientists say false memories can be easily implanted. Psychologist Elizabeth Loftus conducted experiments in which volunteers were shown a fake ad describing a visit to Disneyland where you can meet ‘Bugs Bunny’. Fully a third of them claimed they remember doing exactly that as a child – even though Bugs isn’t even a Disney character. The findings highlight the unreliability of memories retrieved later in life, even for something as serious as child abuse. (Or a guy scoring on his date last weekend.)

The US Federal Trade Commission is about to investigate the recent spike in gasoline prices. But Canadians are the ones really paying through the nose. Witness –
• In the USA, the price of a US gallon of gas is about $1.80 US. That works out to 3.785 litres for about $2.71 CDN. If we were able to buy gas at the American rate, we’d get a litre for 71 cents CDN – 9 cents cheaper!
• In Canada, 1 litre of gas if going for about 80 cents, that’s .2642 US gallons for the equivalent of 53 cents US. Therefore, if they were paying the Canadian rate, Americans would be paying $2 US per gallon – 20 cents more than the present price south of the border!

Astronomers have released the first Hubble Telescope photo of what is believed to be the coldest place in the universe. The ‘Boomerang Nebula’, 5,000 light years from Earth, was discovered in 1979 and named in 1980 because ground-based telescopes could only detect a crooked elongated shape. Its temperature is -272 degrees C, just 1 degree above ‘absolute zero’, -273.15 C. (The picture bears a striking resemblance to aerial photographs of Edmonton.)

• She may be the ultimate ‘woman with cats’. Police in Las Cruces, New Mexico have found 75 cats living in a woman’s home, and several not living – in her freezer.
• Authorities at Uplands Manor Primary School in Smethwick, England have ordered teachers to use green ink for correcting papers from now on because red ink is – too negative.
• THIS WEEK a pair of newlyweds temporarily shut down a section of I-75 near Land O’ Lakes FL after they were caught fighting in their pickup truck – naked.
• A couple from Hanover, Germany are suing a tour operator for about $4,000 because a hotel maid interrupted them while they were having sex in their room during a holiday in Cuba, even though they had a ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign on the door. (Even worse, the maid refused to join in!)


1946 [57] Alan Rickman, London ENG, movie actor (Professor Severus Snape-“Harry Potter” films, terrorist leader Hans Gruber-“Die Hard”)

1953 [50] William Petersen, Evanston IL, TV actor (Gil Grissom-“CSI: Crime Scene Investigation”)

1955 [48] Kelsey Grammar, St Thomas US Virgin Is, highest-paid TV actor (about $1.6 million per episode) who has won 3 Emmy Awards for “Frasier” since 1993/only actor nominated for the same character in 3 different TV shows (‘Frasier Crane’ in “Cheers”, “Frasier”, and a guest appearance on “Wings”)/Betty Ford Clinic alumnus

1958 [45] Mary Chapin Carpenter, Princeton NJ, country singer with 5 Grammy Awards (“He Thinks He’ll Keep Her”, “I Feel Lucky”)

1976 [27] Ryan Smyth, Banff AB, NHL forward (Edmonton Oilers, 2002 Canadian Olympic gold medal team)

1979 [24] Jennifer Love Hewitt, Waco TX, movie actress (“The Tuxedo”, “I [Still] Know What You Did Last Summer”)/sometime singer (“Bare Naked”)

1986 [17] Charlotte Church, Llandaff WALES, classical vocal phenom (“Voice of an Angel”)

1932 [71] Ted Kennedy, Brookline MA, US Senator since 1962 (Massachusetts)

1950 [53] Julie Walters, Birmingham UK, movie actress (Mrs Weasley-“Harry Potter” films)

1959 [44] Kyle MacLachlan, Yakima WA, TV actor (Trey MacDougal-“Sex and the City”)

1962 [41] Steve Irwin, Dandenong Ranges AUS, perpetually-excited TV host (“The Crocodile Hunter”)/pseudo-movie actor (“Crocodile Hunter: The Collision Course”)/naturalist (director of Queensland’s Australia Zoo)

1968 [35] Jeri Ryan (Zimmerman), Munich GER, TV actress (Ronnie Cooke-“Boston Public”)

1974 [29] Aaron Gavey, Sudbury ON, NHL center (Toronto Maple Leafs)

1975 [28] Drew Barrymore, Culver City CA, movie actress (“Charlie’s Angels”, “Never Been Kissed”)/ex-Mrs Tom Green  UPCOMING: “Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle” (JUNE 27)/“Barbarella” (2004)

TODAY is “Card Reading Day”, which either has something to do with tarot cards or getting around to reading all your Christmas cards so you can finally toss them out.

TODAY is “International Residence Hall Student Staff Recognition Day” (aka ‘Pay Back the Weasels Day’).

TODAY is UN “International Mother Language Day”. (Latin is a real mother.)

THIS WEEKEND is “Second Honeymoon Weekend”, set aside for all couples to spend quality time together away from ‘the grind and routine of their daily lives’. (And to get everything right that they messed up the first time. So … who ya taking?)

TOMORROW is “Be Humble Day”. (OK, but damn it’s hard!)

TOMORROW is “World Thinking Day”, an annual celebration of Boy Scouts/Girl Guides founders Lord & Lady Baden-Powell’s joint birthday. Scouts and Guides are encouraged to ‘think’ of good deeds.

1878 [125] 1st ‘telephone book’, published in New Haven CT, contains no numbers, just a listing of the 50 people who have phones (users call the operator and ask for a name)

1931 [72] ‘Alka Seltzer’ 1st introduced (the original ‘morning after’ pill)

1979 [24] This has to be the record for basketball futility – an Iowa high school girls’ basketball game remains scoreless for 4 quarters, then finally ends 4-2 in the FOURTH overtime

1983 [20] Donald Davis runs mile in record time of 6 minutes, 7 seconds – BACKWARDS!

[1 month from today] Spring begins (hurray!)
[Sat] Washington’s Birthday
[Sun] International Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day
[Mon] Tortilla Chip Day
[Wed] National For Pete’s Sake Day
[Wed] Canadian Music Week begins
[Thurs] International Polar Bear Day
[Thurs] Spay Day USA
This Week Is . . . National Engineers Week (let’s hear it for hard-hats & slide rules!)
This Month Is . . . World Understanding Month / Library Lover’s Month

• ‘Total Clutter Car’ – If your car is filled with debris of all kinds without any focus on a particular type, you are an independent, free-wheeling, non-conformist. You’re a likable rebel.
• ‘Mobile Museum’ – Pictures, bobbing-head dogs, fuzzy dice, baby shoes hanging from the rearview mirror, etc. You’re a sentimental person. You’re not afraid to show your feelings. You are faithful to your friends.
• ‘Rolling Tool Kit’ – If your car clutter is dominated by tools and handy items like string, tape and tire gauges, you’re a take-charge type of person and a natural leader. Life is something to be measured, no matter what emergency arises.
• ‘Recreational Rover’ – A car filled with fun items such as beach blankets, camping gear, basketballs and Frisbees means you are a person who sees life as a game. You are spontaneous and fun-loving.
• ‘Kiddie Car’ – When there’s evidence of children (melted crayons, toys, candy stuck to the seat) it means you are a homebody. You gladly put up with the clutter because you gain so much satisfaction from your involvement with your family.
• ‘The Bookmobile’ – If your car is jammed with old newspapers, magazines, file folders, letters  and books, you crave an understanding of life and people.
• ‘Clean Machine’ – If your car is utterly without clutter or decoration, you care deeply about what others think about you. You’re organized and conservative.

Q: To help you relax before making a speech, which should you do?
a) Have an extra Scotch.
b) Try to burp.
c) Try to yawn.
A: Try to yawn. It’s a physiological thing, according to “Knockout Presentations” by Diane DiResta.

Did you know that if you laid all the world’s politicians end-to-end around the globe, about 60% of them would drown?

Today’s Question: This is the #1 reason that you should cut a date with a guy short.
Answer to Give Out Next Show: He has a tan line on his ring finger.

Beauty is only skin deep, but ugly goes clean down to the bone.


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