Tuesday, February 3, 2009        Edition: #3951
Here’s More Bull Roar!

“American Idol” creator Simon Fuller is shopping a new TV show concept based on the long-running series of “NOW That’s What I Call Music” compilation CDs, which would center around top musicians performing their hits (he could call it “American Bandstand”) . . . ReliaStar Life Insurance Co & lawyers for Heath Ledger’s 3-year-old daughter Matilda Rose have reached an out-of-court settlement over the $10-million claim the company was reluctant to process, contending his death might have been suicide (no details have been revealed but you can bet the tight-fisted bastards managed to cheap out on the full amount) . . . Actor Tom Cruise has arrived in Brazil to promote his WW2-era movie “Valkyrie” (coincidentally, many of the characters from the movie now live there) . . . Italian writer Adriana Pichini has filed a lawsuit against the makers of “The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button”, accusing them of stealing an idea that she copyrighted in 1994 (uh lady, F Scott Fitzgerald wrote the short story in 1921) . . . Actor Robert De Niro’s upscale restaurant chain Nobu is close to settling a $2.5-million lawsuit on behalf of workers who claim they were forced to share tips with management and weren’t paid overtime (the reported $3,300 per person average pay-out will cost far less than having lawyers to go to court) . . . Former Spice Girl Melanie Brown has ended her legal battle with actor Eddie Murphy over her 2-year-old daughter Angel Iris, the paternity-tested papa apparently parting with an undisclosed amount of cash in order to secure visitation rights . . . And Britney Spears will reportedly cancel her entire upcoming tour if K-Fed’s lawyers continue to block an agreement allowing her to take their kids on-the-road by keeping homes in 3 different places from which mom would commute back-and-forth to concerts (this war plan sounds more complicated than the surge in Iraq!).


• “American Idol” (FOX/CTV) – Contestants compete under the brutal pressure of the Hollywood round in hope of becoming a semifinalist.
• “Ellen DeGeneres Show” (syndicated/A Channel) – Pink (“So What”) performs.
• “Late Night With Conan O’Brien” (NBC/A Channel) – Zac Brown Band (“Chicken Fried”) is the musical guest.
• “Scrubs” (ABC) – Two new episodes actually air back-to-back. Can you tell it’s sweeps month?
• “Tonight Show With Jay Leno” (NBC/A Channel) – Sara Bareilles (“Love Song”) is on.

• AC/DC – They’re offering full refunds for unused tickets after their recent gig in Tulsa OK when severe Winter weather caused a state of emergency and many fans were unable to attend. (Seems there are some good guys in the music biz after all!)
• Coldplay – They’ve begun recording without frontman Chris Martin. The temporarily separate effort is a suggestion of producer Brian Eno who thinks the upcoming album might be better if Martin gives the band some creative space in the early going.
• Madonna – She’s been given permission by a custody judge to move her sons to NYC. In unrelated news, Alex Rodriguez’s divorce has been finalized.
• Paul McCartney – He’s reportedly scrapped plans for a 2009 world tour because he couldn’t stand being away from his 5-year-old daughter Beatrice. Aww!
• Rick Astley – The 1980s pop singer is considering a movie musical based around his string of hits that included “Never Gonna Give You Up” and “Together Forever”. The odds of this happening may be better than they seem … his wife is a movie producer.
• Taylor Swift – She’s slashed ticket prices for her upcoming tour in order ‘to help fans cope with the world’s struggling economy’. (BS translation: In order to sell tickets.)
• Toby Keith – He’s launching a clothing line, ‘TK Steelman’, on February 18th at his I Love This Bar & Grill in Las Vegas. The duds are aimed at men 25-54. White T-shirts and track pants?
• Velvet Revolver – Bassist Duff McKagan has signed on to write a financial column for “Playboy”. Don’t laugh, after the original Guns ‘N Roses split up, McKagan went to business school in Seattle. Didn’t graduate … but he went.


• “Bottle Shock” ( Drama ): Alan Rickman & Bill Pullman star in this story of the early days of California winemaking and the now infamous, blind Paris wine-tasting of 1976 that has come to be known as ‘Judgment of Paris’. It’s sort of a “Sideways: The Prequel“.
• “Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist” ( Romantic Comedy ): Michael Cera (“Juno”) & Kat Dennings (“The House Bunny”) star in this quirky story about a dude in a gay punk band who’s insecure about seeing his ex-GF, so he asks a complete stranger to pose as his new squeeze for a few minutes.
• “The Secret Life of Bees” ( Adventure):  Dakota Fanning & Jennifer Hudson star as a 14-year-old girl and the only parental figure she’s ever known, who together flee an abusive household and travel to the fictional town of ‘Tiburon’. There they are taken in by an eccentric trio of beekeeping sisters, played by Queen Latifah, Alicia Keys, and Sophie Okonedo.
• “Sex Drive” ( Comedy ): In this teen road movie, a high school senior (Josh Zuckerman) drives cross-country with his best friends to hook up with a babe he met online (Langley BC’s Amanda Crew). The trek is complicated by all manner of woes … car trouble, a stint in the slammer, and a buggy tow from an Amish farmer (Seth Green).
• “Zack & Miri Make a Porno” ( Romantic Comedy ): Seth Rogen (“Knocked Up”) & Elizabeth Banks (“W”) play long-time platonic friends who look to solve their cash-flow problem by starring in their own adult film. Predictably, as the cameras roll they discover they may have more feelings for each other than they previously thought. Directed by Kevin Smith (“Clerks”).
• Also released today: “The Alec Guinness 5-Film Collection”; “Friday the 13th, Part 3, 3-D: Deluxe Edition”; “The Natalie Wood Collection”; “The Peter Sellers 5-Film Collection”; and “TCM Greatest Classic Films Collection: Best Picture Winners”.

• In Derby UK, a hospital has taken the bizarre step of asking for …. an exorcism. Several patients and staff members claim to have seen a male figure cloaked in black darting between rooms and even through walls, especially in areas near the morgue. The hospital’s chaplain has been asked to seek approval from the Bishop of Derby to carry out the exorcism.
– “The Telegraph”
• In Dubai UAE, an Indian national who works for a development company has been fined circa $2,700 for … cross-dressing. The man was arrested in the Mall of the Emirates wearing what police describe as ‘a glittering outfit’ that included bra, mascara, perfume, and wig. His defense? He was rehearsing for a small role in a Bollywood movie when he received an urgent phone call and had to rush out.
– “Gulf News”
• In Sussex, England, octogenarian Audrey Horncastle has an unusual hobby … knitting woollen breasts. She passes them on to her daughter, a community nurse, to help teach new moms how to breastfeed. So far the 84-year-old has churned out more than 100 breasts in 3 years.
– Ananova News Service

Just how popular and social someone is may be rooted in their genes, according to researchers from the University of California San Diego & Harvard Medical School. Their joint study of twins has found that the social network of identical twins is more similar than that of fraternal twins, leading to the conclusion that the preference of friends is rooted strongly in genetics. The researchers believe that we evolve into certain social positions and who our friends are and how popular we are has more to do with heredity than choice. (Isn’t popularity more about what’s in your jeans?)
– AllHeadlineNews.com

• ‘Apocalypse Friendly Shoes’ – Tom Delonge, former guitarist for Blink-182, has announced his clothing company Macbeth will be releasing this innovative footwear to coincide with the 2012 apocalypse that some say is predicted by the ancient Mayan calender. Delonge promises that, while your body will be destroyed, your shoes will survive and remain looking spiffy. The Mayan calendar runs out on December 21, 2012 which alarmists contend prophesies the end of the world. (On the other hand, it could just mean they ran out of space.)
NET: http://macbeth.com
– PunkNews.org
• ‘Natural Wood Pre-Chewed Pencils’ – Why would anyone pay close to a buck for a pencil that looks like someone’s been gnawing on it in a fit of nerves? According to ‘Concentrate’, the educational design company behind the idea, the pre-chewed surface makes pupils reluctant to put the pencils in their mouths, thereby encouraging them to ‘focus on the challenges at hand’. (Or maybe the spit running down their hand.)
NET: http://tinyurl.com/declrd
– “The Guardian”
• ‘iNap’ – Worried about falling asleep on a commuter train or bus and missing your stop? Thanks to this ingenious iPhone application, the phone’s built-in GPS device will track your location and cue the ‘iNap’ alarm to go off as you’re nearing your chosen destination. (Unfortunately by then someone will have ripped off your phone while you were snoring.)
– “Globe & Mail”


In order to study the relationship between odd names and juvenile delinquency, researchers at Pennsylvania’s Shippensburg University have created the ‘Popularity Name Index’ that ranks given names by how common they are. The most popular name, ‘Michael’, has a PNI of 100 while the much rarer ‘Malcolm’ rates only a 1. The study cautions that young people with unpopular names may be more inclined toward crime because of the different treatment they receive from peers, which makes it more difficult for them to form relationships. (Right, ever heard of a vicious gang led by a guy named ‘Malcolm’?)


• February is the month in which a college couple is least likely to break up. (At least until after the formal.)
• Months that begin on a Sunday (like this one) will always have a ‘Friday the 13th’.
– GreatFacts.com


1956 [53] Nathan Lane, Jersey City NJ, Broadway actor (“The Producers”, “Guys & Dolls”)/movie actor (“Swing Vote”, “The Birdcage”)

1965 [44] Maura Tierney, Boston MA, TV actress (‘Dr Abby Lockhart’ on “ER” 2000-08)/movie actress (“Baby Mama”, “Semi-Pro”)

1976 [33] Isla [‘EYE-luh’] Fisher, Muscat, Oman, movie actress (“Definitely, Maybe”, “Wedding Crashers”)/comedian Sacha Baron Cohen’s baby mama-fiancée

1982 [27] Jessica Harp, Kansas City MO, country singer (“Boy Like Me”, The Wreckers-“Leave the Pieces”)

1990 [19] Sean Kingston (Kisean Anderson), Miami FL, reggae/pop singer/rapper (“Beautiful Girls”, “Take You There”)

• “Risshun”, the “Setsubun” (season starting) festival before Spring in Japan, when the male head of the household throws roasted soybeans either out the door or at a member of the family wearing a mask, while others chant ‘Demons out! Luck in!’. We aren’t making this up.

• “Thank a Letter Carrier Day”. Yeah, thanks for the bills, dude.

2000 [09] WWE mastermind Vince McMahon unveils his latest creation – a new pro football league called the ‘XFL’ which opens a year later on this date, then folds after a single season (it’s one lasting contribution to pro football … the remote-controlled overhead camera)


1959 [50] ‘The Day the Music Died’ as rock ‘n roll singers Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and The Big Bopper are killed in a plane crash near Clear Lake IA

1979 [30] “YMCA” by the Village People peaks at #2 on the pop singles chart


1881 [128] 1st use of the word ‘Jumbo’ as circus entrepreneur PT Barnum names his new 6-ton elephant

1984 [25] World’s 1st baby conceived by ‘Embryo Transplant’, in Long Beach CA (“Here, let me carry that for you …”)

1947 [62] North America’s ‘Coldest Recorded Temperature’, -63 C (-81.4 F) at Snag, Yukon Territory

[Wed] “All Access Grammy Special” (CBS)
[Thurs] Weatherman’s Day
[Fri] Pay-a-Compliment Day
[Fri] Wear Red Day (Women’s Heart Health Day)
[Sat] 61st Writers Guild Awards (LA/NYC)
[Sat] Dump Your Significant Jerk Day
[Sun] 51st Grammy Awards
This Week Is … Patient Recognition Week
This Month Is … Celebration of Chocolate Month


A selection of real ads excerpted from the book “A Collection of Personal Ads From Alternative Newspapers” …
• “Bitter unsuccessful middle-aged loser wallowing in an unending sea of inert, drooping loneliness looking for 24-year-old needy leech-like hanger-on to abuse with dull stories.”
• “I am spitting kitty. Ftt Fttttt. I am angry bear. Grrrrr. I am large watermelon seed stuck in your nose. Zermmm. I am small biting spider in your underwear. Yub yub yub. No mimes.”
• “Three-toed mango peeler searching for wicked lesbian infielder. Like screaming and marking territory with urine? Let’s make banana enchiladas together in my bathtub. You bring the salsa.”
• “Angry, simple-minded, balding, partially blind ex-circus flipper boy with a passion for covering lovers in sour cream and gravy seeks exotic, heavily tattooed piercing fanatic, preferably hairy for whippings and fashion consulting. No freaks.”
• “I like eating mayonnaise and peanut butter sandwiches in the rain, and licking strangers on the subway; you eat beets raw, have climbed Kilimanjaro, and sweat freely and often. Must wear size 5 shoes.”
• “Timber! Falling downward is the lumber of my love. You grind your axe of passion into my endangered headlands. Don’t make me into a bureau. I want to be lots and lots of toothpicks.”
• “Small lumpy squid monkey seeks healthy woman with no identifying scars, any age. Must have all limbs. Recommend appreciation of high-pitched, screeching noises. Must like being bored and lonely. Must not touch the squids … EVER.”
(Just in case you were considering trying a blind date.)
– “Da Humorist”

• Whyzit cats do it doggy style? Shouldn’t they have a style of their own?
• Whyzit nature puts all of the brilliant brains inside ugly heads?
• Whyzit the ‘Batman’ doesn’t sleep upside down?
• Whyzit there’s no king in the United Kingdom?
• Whyzit they post ‘Falling Rock’ signs? Is it for cars that have boulder shields?
• Whyzit ‘the world is our oyster’? What if oysters make you gag?


Of course I’m afraid of flying … there’s more planes in the ocean than ships in the sky.

Today’s Question: More than half of women in a “Women’s Day“ magazine poll say that THIS is what they want for Valentine’s Day.
Answer to Give Out Next Show: A love letter.


Nationalism … another fatal disease.

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