Wednesday, February 14, 2007        Edition: #3467
Happy Valentine’s Day, For Sheet’s Sake!

TONIGHT in London, the UK’s “2007 Brit Awards” for music are handed out, highlighted by  performances by Take That, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and the Killers; and an ‘Outstanding Contribution to Music Award’ presented to Oasis by Ringo Starr (pop newcomer Lily Allen leads nominations with 4) . . . A precise copy of the sword Johnny Depp uses in the “Pirates of the Caribbean” movies has been unveiled at NYC’s “Toy Fair”, a cutlass from Master Replicas that will set wannabe swashbucklers back $250 when it hits the market THIS SUMMER (about the same time as “Pirates of the Caribbean: At Worlds End”) . . . The advocacy group Human Rights First claims the recent increase in torture scenes on prime-time TV shows is influencing the way real-life interrogations are conducted (oh, do they get “24” down at Gitmo?) . . . “American Idol” exec producer Nigel Lythgoe says the show is now being edited to make Paula Abdul appear less loopy because many viewers have become convinced she’s either sauced or doped, even though she’s vigorously denied being either (so it’s a lobotomy then?) . . . Former “OC” star Mischa Barton has split with  Whitestarr rocker Cisco Adler after a year-and-a-half relationship, some saying she was steamed over the naked pic of him found amongst that infamous online collection of Paris Hilton’s belongings . . .The death of Anna Nicole Smith boosted ratings for all cable news networks, CNN in particular experiencing a 63% jump over a year ago (no wonder they seem to be trying to make it into a series) . . . And now a 5th potential papa to the late Anna Nicole Smith’s 5-month-old baby girl Dannielynn has surfaced – her bodyguard Alex Denk, who claims it’s a definite possibility because they had a 2-year secret relationship (that leaves Ryan Seacrest as the only guy left who hasn’t boinked her).

• Clay Aiken – TONIGHT he guests on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” (ABC).
• Clint Black – TODAY he & wife Lisa Hartman Black sing the duet “When I Said I Do” on a Valentine’s Day-themed “Dr Phil” show (syndicated/CTV).
• Coldplay – TONIGHT they kick off a multi-country Latin American tour in Santiago, Chile. They’ll unveil a batch of new songs earmarked for their 4th studio album, due later in ‘07.
• Keith Urban – THIS MORNING he appears on “Canada AM” (CTV).
• KT Tunstall – TONIGHT she’s on “Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson” (CBS).
• Lionel Richie – TODAY he does the “Ellen DeGeneres Show” (syndicated/CityTV).
• Mariah Carey – Less than impressed with the tight budget on her new movie project, “Tennessee”, that provides only for economy class travel for the cast, she reportedly bought up every seat in the cabin … and flew alone.
• Norah Jones – TONIGHT she performs on “Late Show With David Letterman” (CBS).
• Robbie Williams – His rep has confirmed the Brit pop superstar entered an unnamed US rehab facility on his 33rd birthday to battle an addiction to prescription drugs. At last, he’s figured out how to promote himself in America!
• Rod Stewart – Currently performing a string of sell-out shows in New York, he’s rented a private plane to fly back & forth to the UK after each so he can look after 1-year-old son Alastair while fiancée Penny Lancaster recovers from a back operation.

• “Music & Lyrics” ( PG-13 Romantic Comedy ): Hugh Grant plays a washed-up singer who’s given a tight deadline to compose a hit for the latest teen sensation. Drew Barrymore co-stars as the eccentric younger woman who helps him out, thanks to her flair with words.Guess what? An unexpected romance develops.
• “Tyler Perry’s Daddy’s Little Girls” ( PG-13 Romantic Comedy ): In writer/director Perry’s follow-up to “Diary of a Mad Black Woman” and “Madea’s Family Reunion”, a single father (Idris Elba) who loses custody of his 3 young daughters to his ex- enlists the help of an attractive, hard-nosed attorney (Gabrielle Union). Guess what? Another unexpected romance develops.

A new survey of more than 1,000 office workers has found that the ideal time to use creative abilities is 10:30 am. In the Cornwall Enterprise study, 20% of respondents picked the time period of between 9 am and noon as the best to perform creative endeavors. The agency suggests workers take a 15-minute ‘innovation window’ during this mid-morning period when outside disturbances such as co-workers, email and phone calls are limited. (Around here we call it nap time.)
– “The Sun”

Men can drastically reduce the risk of heart attack by having … a daily siesta. A 6-year Greek study which investigates the medical history of some 24,000 men finds that those who take a 30-minute break 3 times per week have a 37% lower risk of heart-related death. Experts conclude that napping helps them relax, therefore reducing stress levels. (This is terrible news … we gotta cut back to 3 times a week?)
– “Men’s Health”

• The new Lexus LS460 is said to be the most automated car currently on the market. The vehicle uses a mini-cam to feed a fisheye distortion of a selected parking space onto a color monitor. Then, if all the correct buttons have been hit, it steers itself into the space.
– “The Observer”
• It’s not yet on the market but Carnegie Mellon University’s robotic Chevrolet Tahoe drives without human help in urban areas with surprising skill. The so-called ‘Boss’ takes curves smoothly, stops on its own, and proceeds through intersections without incident, even when other vehicles cut in front of it. Best of all, there’s no road rage!
– “Pittsburgh Post-Gazette”

For those who have a penchant for adventure and want to try out something new this Valentine’s Day, a new website is offering a hook-up … with a convict. Many of the real life prisoners on the ‘Hot Prison Pals’ site are up for release in the near future and could potentially become that special someone. Your pal may send you love letters, poems, even a marriage proposal. The unique idea was masterminded by NYC pop artist Sam Wagner. Check out the really scary photos here …

The new ‘Teraflop’ computer chip that’s no bigger than a fingernail has been unveiled by Intel. It features 80 processing cores and can make more than a trillion calculations per second (‘teraflops’). Just 11 years ago, that would have required a machine with 10,000 chips inside. It’s expected the Teraflop may be used for such sophisticated applications as artificial intelligence, instant video communication, photo-realistic games, and real-time speech recognition. (All this time we thought a Teraflop had something to do with movies featuring Tara Reid.)
– “Wired”

New terms leaking into the lingo …
• ‘Moobs’ [short for ‘Man Boobs’] – According to one theory, the increase in the incidence of ‘man breasts’ (technically called ‘gynaeomastia’) may be caused by female hormones in tap water. Whatever the cause, the phenomenon is fueling a near-doubling of the number of guys seeking liposuction.
• ‘Precrimination’ – Assigning blame in advance of an expected outcome. In other words, deciding whose at fault for a catastrophe before it even happens. For example, many Republicans in the US are already looking for scapegoats in advance of the 2008 election.
• ‘SoBe’ [pronounced ‘SOH-bee’] – The  acronym for Miami’s South Beach, the chic and trendy area where clubs and outdoor cafes are concentrated. Not to be confused with Sobey’s.

A NYC judge has ordered a couple in the middle of a messy divorce to divide their 3-story home in half with a wall. The husband has also had to have an extra staircase built so he won’t have to climb through a 2nd-floor window from his neighbor’s balcony to get in. Divorce lawyer Stanley Heisler says that, with soaring real estate costs, it isn’t all that unusual for divorcing couples to refuse to move out of the matrimonial home (as in the movie “The Break-Up”), but the idea of dividing a house in half may be a first. (You can bet someone’s already working on the screenplay.)
– “Los Angeles Times”

A new study by Australia’s University of Western Sydney finds that fashion models have poorer mental health, and lower life satisfaction and psychological fulfilment than people in other careers. Despite being icons of beauty, those in the glamor profession are less satisfied and more isolated than their peers working in ordinary office jobs. Psychologist Jane Ussher says the results prove that women should stop striving for so-called physical perfection, because even those that have it aren’t happy. (So go ahead and eat that box of chocolates today!)

• There are as many tigers being kept as pets as there are living in the wild.
– “Harper’s”
• There are nearly 18,000 bowling-related injuries annually.
– “AARP the Magazine”
• The 2nd person to successfully go over Niagara Falls in a barrel died 14 years later after slipping on an orange peel.
– “Mental Floss”
• Quality beers should be served at 55 degrees F (13 C) in a room-temperature glass.
– “Imbibe”
• Elvis Presley, Judy Garland, Doors frontman Jim Morrison, actress Vivian Leigh, and Russian empress Catherine the Great all died in the bathroom.
– “The Sun”


1948 [59] Pat O’Brien, Sioux Falls SD, TV entertainment magazine host (“The Insider” since 2004)

1948 [59] (Raymond) Teller, Philadelphia PA, Las Vegas magician (the shorter, less obnoxious one from Penn & Teller) who legally reduced his name to one word

1972 [35] Rob Thomas, Landstuhl Military Base, Germany, pop singer (“Ever the Same”, “Lonely No More”, 3 Grammy Awards w/Santana-“Smooth”, Matchbox 20-“Push”, “3 AM”)

• “Ferris Wheel Day”, celebrating the 1859 birth of George Washington Gale Ferris, the Galesburg IL engineer who invented the ‘Ferris wheel’ for the 1893 “Chicago World’s Exposition”. The original wheel measured 250 ft in diameter and could carry 1,440 passengers.

• “Great Energy Efficiency Day”, the 4th annual sponsored by the Alliance to Save Energy to promote energy efficiency worldwide for a healthier economy, cleaner environment, and greater energy security. According to ASE, the average home wastes so much energy, it’s the equivalent of having a 3-foot hole in an exterior wall. The advocacy group advises that there are lots of quick fixes, including resetting your thermostat and turning off unused electronics.

• “Have-A-Heart Day”, when vegetarians encourage you to quit eating animals. So go kill a carrot today!

• “Valentine’s Day”, the most widely celebrated unofficial holiday. Other interesting facts …
– The Catholic Church recognizes at least 3 different saints named Valentine, all of whom were martyred, one for performing secret weddings for young lovers. Pope Gelasius declared February 14th “St Valentine’s Day” around 498 AD, in part to replace the ancient Roman fertility festival “Lupercalia”.
– About 1 billion Valentine cards are exchanged, making it the 3rd largest card-sending occasion after Christmas and Father’s Day. The total spent on Valentines accounts for about 20% of the greeting card market. It’s also the 4th-biggest flower-selling occasion.
– On “Valentines Day” it is customary in Japan for women to give chocolates to men (husbands, male family members and co-workers), but they expect a payback. On MARCH 14th, known as “White Day” in Japan, those who got chocolates as Valentines are expected to return the favor.
– About 3% of pet owners will give Valentine’s Day gifts to their pets.
– According to an old tradition, if a woman sees a robin flying overhead on Valentine’s Day, it means she’ll marry a sailor. If she sees a sparrow, she’ll wed a poor man and be very happy. If she sees a goldfinch, she’ll wed a millionaire. If she sees a pigeon, she’ll be washing her blouse.
– Teachers receive the most Valentine’s Day cards, followed by school children, mothers, wives, and then, sweethearts.

1984 [23] Elton John marries Renata Blauel in Sydney, Australia (the next day he’s nominated for a ‘Best Actor’ Oscar)

1996 [11] Prince weds Mayte Garcia in a “Valentine’s Day” ceremony in Minneapolis MN

2000 [07] After keeping his remains in a cardboard box for years, Blessed John Duns Scotus Church in Glasgow, Scotland puts the bones of St Valentine on display (other European churches also claim to have some of the relics … they should get together and build a complete saint!)

1415 [592] ‘Oldest Known Valentine’ is sent by the Duke of Orleans to his French wife while he’s imprisoned in the Tower of London (still on display in a British museum)

1975 [32] ABA’s San Diego Conquistadors beat NJ Nets 176-166 to set record for ‘Most  Points Scored in a Pro Basketball Game’ … 342!

1979 [28] ‘Oldest Caged Guinea Pig’ dies at age 14 years, 10 months (‘Snowball’, Bingham UK)

[Thurs] Do a Grouch a Favor Day
[Fri] Second Honeymoon Weekend
[Sat] Chinese New Year
[Sat] East Coast Music Awards (Halifax)
[Mon] President’s Day (USA)
[Mon] Family Day (Alberta)
[Mon] Rose Monday
[Mon] Bun Day
This Week Is … Celebration of Love Week
This Month Is … Cat Health Month


• “They Say There’s Someone For Everyone But My Guess Is They Weren’t Talking About You”
• “Our Love Is Like This Rose … It Will Dry Up and Wilt Within a Week”
• “Did You Know Venus Was Both Cupid’s Mother and Lover? Just Throwing It Out There. – Love, Mom”
• “My Love For You Burns Deep Within Me. No Wait, That’s Just Acid Reflux”
• “As the Sun Sets Each Day, My Fears of Seeing You Naked Fade Away.”
• “Nothing Says Be Mine Like Our Suicide Pact”
• “I Already Killed Some Helpless Flowers For You … What More Do You Want From Me?”
• “Don’t Worry … It’s Not Contagious”

Inside every older person is a younger person wondering, “What happened?”

Should you legally be protected from bad odors infiltrating your home? (Tenants of a NYC condo building are seeking a court order to stop smells from a newly-opened Subway restaurant from stinking up the joint.)

Today’s Question: Studies show WEDNESDAY is the best day of the week for THIS.
Answer to Give Out Next Show: A first date.

People who live in stone houses shouldn’t throw glasses.

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