Friday, February 22, 2002        Edition: #2239
Dyslexics of the world, UNTIE!

TODAY is “Everybody Gets Out of Work or School Early to Watch Hockey Day” (or should be). It’s safe to say that nothing of any significance will be accomplished after 12pm MT THIS AFTERNOON when Canada takes on Belarus in the Olympic men’s hockey semi-final.
• Belarus gained its independence in 1991 but has retained closer ties to Russia than any of the other former Soviet republics.
• Has a population of about 10.5 million, an estimated 22% of which live below the poverty line.
• The capital is Minsk (1.8 million).
• The currency is the Belarusian Ruble – there are about 2000 of them to a $1 CDN.
• There are only 10,000 Internet users in the entire country.
• It’s a noted transshipment point for illegal drugs to and from Russia.
• It’s flag is Christmas colors, red & green, the reason their hockey uniforms are so ugly.
• There have been a handful of Belarus players in the NHL – but you couldn’t pronounce any of their names.
• There’s virtually no tourism in Belarus, so if you want to go there it’s always ‘low season’.
• In 1986, radioactive fallout from the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in Ukraine polluted nearly a quarter of Belarusian territory.
• Listen to the Belarusian national anthem in RealAudiio here (‘cause we sure as hell don’t wanna be hearing it on TV) –

TODAY Ike Turner, the loser ex-husband of Tina Turner who has a history of legal problems, appears on TV’s “Judge Joe Brown” suing a ‘friend’ in a controversy over stolen electric guitars . . . Buzz is 19-year-old country phenom LeAnn Rimes and dancer Dean Sheremet are getting married TOMORROW in Dallas, though no one seems to want to confirm it . . . SUNDAY the city of Liverpool has scheduled a tribute benefit concert to local-boy-made-good, the late George Harrison, with proceeds going to cancer charities (he would’ve turned 59 on MONDAY) . . . Rumors circulating on the Web that the new ‘Austin Powers’ film will now be called “License to Shag” are being denied by the producers (how about “Austin Powers: Flogging a Dead Horse”?) . . . And beware, Big Brother IS watching you! – Microsoft has admitted its Windows Media Player keeps track of every song, DVD and .mpeg downloaded by users.

In “Queen of the Damned”, based on the 3rd book in Anne Rice’s “Vampire Chronicles”, the vampire ‘Lestat’ becomes a rock star whose music wakes up the queen of all vampires, ‘Queen Akasha’, played by late R&B singer Aaliyah who died in a Bahamas plane crash last AUGUST (the opening was postponed – twice — not a good sign) . . . Kevin Costner plays ‘Dr. Joe Darrow’, a grieving physician who is contacted by his late wife through his patients near-death experiences in the thriller “Dragonfly” (critics say Costner spends the whole moive alternating his expressions between ‘bemused’ and ‘confused’) . . . Patrick Swayze stars in the drama “Green Dragon”, the story of Vietnamese refugees arriving in the US as the Vietnam war ends in 1975.

SUNDAY’S closing ceremony for the “2002 Winter Olympics” at Salt Lake’s Rice-Eccles Stadium includes performances by Christina Aguilera, Charlotte Church, Gloria Estefan, Harry Connick Jr, Bon Jovi & ‘N Sync, and appearances by former Olympic skaters Kurt Browning, Dorothy Hamill, Scott Hamilton, Katarina Witt & Kristi Yamaguchi. In carrying through the theme of these Olympics, ‘Light the Fire Within’, there will be fireworks spreading from the stadium throughout Salt Lake City, as well as an ultra-violet light production that will turn the stadium into a gigantic ‘black-light’ area.

The new Pfizer Pharmaceuticals ‘Global Study of Sexual Attitudes & Behaviors’ finds Brazil tops the list of countries where 40 to 80-year-olds have sex at least once a week, with an impressive 75% participation rate. Italy, France and Australia tie for 2nd at 69%. The USA ties the UK at 59%. Japan ranks last, where just 21% of so-called ‘mature citizens’ get physical weekly. Older Spaniards and Belgians topped the list of those claiming they had sex at least ONCE A DAY. (Canadians lead the list of those who’d made love in a canoe — while wearing in a snowmobile suit.)

A new home security system is being developed by a consortium of companies that includes hi-tech gadgets like the ‘smart doorbell’. When it rings the homeowner (who doesn’t even need to be home) is notified on a wireless device and can use a Webcam to see who’s there. The system will also turn on lights and air conditioning at set times, alert an absentee owner of strange sounds and accept voice instructions on what to do about them. (I’d buy one of these if the doorbell was connected to a trapdoor.)

• A teacher’s aide in Cadiz KY has been suspended for giving students heart-shaped Valentine’s Day treats LAST WEEK that turned out to be — cat food. There were no reports of illness. (Although several students washed up afterward — with their tongues.)
• Newly-released formerly classified WW2 documents show that British secret agents used ‘itching powder’ to fight the Nazis. (They also had a telescope they would make Nazis look through that would leave a black ring around their eyes, a buzzer that zapped them when they shook hands, and then there was that famous Hitler-whoopee cushion incident.)
• Researchers at Kinki University in Nara, Japan have announced they have successfully bred spinach genes into pigs, the first mammal-plant gene splice. They claim the resulting meat will be more healthy than normal pork. (Who cares? I just wish I had gone to ‘Kinki University’.)
• The Japanese space agency wants to build a traditional tea room aboard its section of the International Space Station. Senior staff at NASA are looking into the idea but say no final decision has been made. (Meantime, the Canadian space agency is looking at a Tim Horton’s – drive-thru.)
• Avant garde French artist Cho has an unusual street-beautification project in Paris — sticking little tri-color French flags into some of the many piles of dog poop on sidewalks — an estimated 5,800 TONS per year — and then painting artistic borders around them. (Hate to break it to you, pal but no matter how you dress it up – if it look like it and smells like it, it’s still sheet!)


1932 [70] Ted Kennedy, Brookline MA, US Senator (Massachusetts)

1959 [43] Kyle MacLachlan, Yakima WA, TV actor (Trey McDougal-“Sex and the City”)

1968 [34] Jeri Ryan (Zimmerman), Munich GER, TV actress (Ronnie Cooke-“Boston Public”)

1970 [32] Dominic Roussel, Hull QC, NHL goaltender (Edmonton Oilers)

1974 [28] Aaron Gavey, Sudbury ON, NHL center (Minnesota Wild)

1975 [27] Drew Barrymore, Culver City CA, movie actress (“Charlie’s Angels”, “Never Been Kissed”)/ex-Mrs Tom Green  NEXT FILMS: Co-stars with Ben Stiller in “Duplex” opening in AUGUST, has the title role in the remake of “Barbarella”, and re-teams with Cameron Diaz & Lucy Liu for the sequel “Charlie’s Angels 2”

    1939 [63] Peter Fonda, NYC, film actor (“Ulee’s Gold”, “Easy Rider”)/father of Bridget Fonda

1949 [53] Marc Garneau, Québec City QC, Canada’s first astronaut (Space Shuttle Mission 13)/now Executive Vice-President of the Canadian Space Agency

1952 [50] Brad Whitford, Winchester MA, rock guitarist (Aerosmith-“Jaded”, “I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing”)

1965 [37] Kristin Davis, Boulder CO, TV actress (Charlotte York MacDougal-“Sex & the City”)

THIS WEEKEND is “Second Honeymoon Weekend”. So . . . who ya taking?

TODAY is “Be Humble Day”. OK, but damn, it’s hard.

TODAY 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. Many will wear their uniforms to school TODAY (if you remind them).

TODAY-Sunday is the annual “Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous”, the so-called ‘Mardi-Gras in Mukluks’ in Whitehorse that includes a flour-packing contest and the unique ‘Mad Trapper Competition’.
PHONER: 867-667-2148

1998 [04] Czech Republic wins men’s hockey gold as Nagano Winter Olympics come to a close (Canada wins record 15 medals to place 5th in medal standings, ahead of the USA)
(USA finishes disappointing 6th in medal standings)

1630 [371] ‘Popcorn’ 1st introduced to English colonists in America as native Quadequine brings a bag over for dinner with the Pilgrims

1879 [123] 1st chain store, ‘Woolworth’s’, opens in Utica NY (chain closes in 1997)

1959 [43] 1st ‘Daytona 500′ auto race (won by Lee Petty, father of legendary racer Richard Petty and grandfather of driver Kyle Petty)

1976 [26] Joe Clark 1st becomes federal Progressive Conservative party leader (Canadians say, “Joe who?”)

[Sat] International Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day
[Sun] National Tortilla Chip Day
[Wed] 44th Grammy Awards
[Mar 31] Easter
Pay Your Bills Week
Responsible Pet Owner Month
Sweet Potato Month


“If you could blast a celebrity into space, who would it be?” (‘N Sync’s Lance Bass wants to be the first pop star in space, seeking approval to travel on a Russian rocket to the International Space Station in NOVEMBER. The bad news is – they’ll also bring him back.)

24-year-old University of British Columbia graduate student Arthur Louie has a Website that runs a pool on what songs Bob Dylan will sing in each concert. There are over 1,800 people from 54 countries who try to guess the set list for each concert on Dylan’s current tour, which ends SUNDAY. (Man, some people have a lot of time on their hands!)

Are the following statistical statements too HIGH or too LOW?
• Over 80% of National Hockey League players are Canadian. (HIGH. That was true 20 years ago, but on opening day THIS SEASON Canadians accounted for just 52.3% of NHL players. About a third are Europeans, and roughly 15% Americans.)
• Including Olympic host state Utah, there are 12 Rocky Mountain states in America. (HIGH. There are a total of 8 — Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Nevada, Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico and Utah.)
• There are 249 countries in the world. (HIGH. The exact number depends on who you talk to – the “World Almanac & Book of Facts” lists 192 independent countries, but only 189 members
belong to the United Nations.)
• Typically, a baby elephant weighs 800 pounds at birth. (HIGH. About 225 pounds.)
• 49 countries are participating in the “Salt Lake Winter Games”. (LOW. There are a total of 85 participants, though some, Hong Kong for instance, are not independent countries.)
• The average person spends 3 years of their life talking. (HIGH. Only 12 months, unless they’re in radio.)
• There are 48 medal events in the “2002 Winter Games”. (LOW. There are 78.)
• If ‘Barbie’ doll was life-size, her bust size would be 48. (HIGH. Her measurements would be 39-23-33. She would stand 7′-2″ tall.)

• You know what ‘psych!’ means.
• You know that another name for a keyboard is a ‘synthesizer’,
• You’ve actually heard of ‘Mr T’.
• You ever wore fluorescent, neon clothing.
• You could breakdance, or wish you could.
• You thought that Transformers were ‘more than meets the eye’.
• You can remember Michael Jackson when he was black.
• You owned an ATARI but wanted a Commodore 64.
• You know what leg warmers are and probably had a pair, or once wore bicycle shorts underneath a short skirt and felt stylish.
• You remember when ‘Happy Meals’ came in a box, not a paper bag.
• You hated ‘Scrappy Doo’.
• You remember the first time you went to a video store to rent a movie.

• Green Day — if you smoked pot and goofed off all day, you just had a ‘green day’.
• Oasis — the name of a sports center in Swindon UK.
• Chumbawamba – based on a band member’s dream. He didn’t know which door to use in a public washroom because the signs said ‘chumba’ and ‘wamba’ instead of ‘men’ and ‘women’.
• Dire Straits — describes the financial situation they were in when forming the band.
• Cranberries — the name started as Cranberries Saw Us, a play on ‘cranberry sauce’.
• Savage Garden – comes from an Anne Rice novel.

And now today’s weather straight from our Ouija board . . .


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