Friday, February 24, 2006        Edition: #3226
Another Sheetload of Bull!

TODAY Richard Gere undergoes public humiliation in order to accept the ‘Man of the Year’ award from Harvard University’s student drama club Hasty Pudding Theatricals . . . TONIGHT MTV’s 4th annual “TRL Awards” will feature appearances by Mariah Carey, Madonna, Kanye West, Bono & a performance by Chris Brown . . . SATURDAY & Sunday “Canadian Idol” takes auditions at The Centre in Vancouver for the Performing Arts . . . SUNDAY speciality channel NBA-TV will air a special ‘silent game’ between the Orlando Magic & the Houston Rockets with no sound except SFX & the arena’s PA announcer (why didn’t they do this during the Olympics and spare us the endless hyper chatter from ‘expert’ analysts?) . . . SUNDAY’s closing ceremonies for the “2006 Winter Olympics” will feature Carnival & circus themes, a performance by Andrea Bocelli, as well as the official passing of the Olympic flag from Torino to Vancouver . . . SUNDAY Elton John’s musical “Billy Elliot” leads nominees for the 30th “Laurence Olivier Awards” for London stage productions, with a total of 9 nominations . . . Word is Kiefer Sutherland has signed to star in a series of 3 movies based on his hit TV series “24”, to begin shooting in 2007  . . . It seems “American Idol 5″ competitor Becky O’Donohue & her twin sister Jessie have a bit of a history in show biz, previously appearing on “Fear Factor” and in a revealing photo-shoot for “Maxim” magazine . . . On Simon Cowell’s plate THIS YEAR – ABC-TV’s search-for-entrepreneurs show “American Inventor”; FOX-TV’s “Duets”, which pairs professional singers with celebs; and he’s unveiling a new talent show in the UK called “The Gong Show”, based on the quirky Chuck Barris creation that ran on NBC-TV 1976-1980 (for a high school drop-out, Simon seems to be doing all right) . . . And “Paramount’s Great America” theme park near Santa Clara CA is set to unveil “Survivor: The Ride”, supposedly the ‘world’s first reality coaster’, which will feature tribal music, 40-foot tall torches, and tropical landscaping reflecting the “Survivor” TV show’s various locales (will riders vote on who gets kicked off?).

• Bow Wow – TONIGHT he’s on ABC-TV’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live”.
• Celine Dion – TODAY she’s on daytime TV talk show “The View”.
• Dolly Parton – TONIGHT she does “The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson”.
• Jewel – SUNDAY she headlines the  pre-race concert at the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series “Auto Club 500″ at California Speedway in Fontana CA.
• The Killers – Former manager Braden Merrick has filed a lawsuit against the band and their lawyer, seeking $16 million for what he calls ‘breach of contract’.
• Ne-Yo – TONIGHT he’s on “Late Show With David Letterman”.
• REM – Michael Stipe will headline the “Bring ‘Em Home Now” anti-war concert in NYC on MARCH 20th. Rufus Wainwright & Public Enemy’s Chuck D are also on the bill.

• “Doogal” ( G-Rated Animated Family Adventure ): When the evil sorcerer ‘Zeebad’ (voiced by Jon Stewart) escapes from an ancient prison, he vows to exact revenge by deep-freezing Earth forever. Determined to save the world, a team of 4 unlikely heroes led by the candy-loving mutt ‘Doogal’ (Daniel Tay) band together to foil the plot. Also features the voices of Jimmy Fallon, William H Macy & Whoopi Goldberg among others.
• “Madea’s Family Reunion” ( PG-13 Dramedy ) Tyler Perry directs & stars as a pistol-packing grandma who must deal with her love-troubled nieces and a runaway that’s placed under her care just as she’s attempting to plan a family reunion. Co-stars Blair Underwood & Lynn Whitfield. A follow-up to “Diary of a Mad Black Woman”.
• “Running Scared” ( R-Rated Crime Thriller ): A ‘hot’ snub-nosed .38 pistol brings together a mob flunky (Paul Walker), his young kid (Cameron Bright), a Russian gangster (Cameron Bright) and a cop who should be dead (Chazz Palminteri) … all in a single night.

Half of US presidents from 1789 to 1974 suffered from a mental illness at some point in life.

• Women with prostates! An all-female team of Australian scientists has achieved a breakthrough for men – creating the first ‘man-made’ prostate. The team from Melbourne’s Monash Institute of Medical Research used embryonic stem cells to grow a human prostate … in a mouse.
• Do chickens have teeth? Apparently yes! Researchers from the UK’s University of Manchester have recently managed to induce teeth growth in normal chickens by activating genes that have lain dormant for over 80 million years.
• Where there’s poop, there’s gas! The city of San Francisco will soon begin a pilot program with the goal of converting the 7,000 tons of doggy doo produced each year by its canine population into methane. The natural gas can then be used to generate electricity.

“Rhino Horn Stockpile Management”, “Ancient Starch Research” and “People Who Don’t Know They’re Dead: How They Attach Themselves To Unsuspecting Bystanders And What To Do About It” are just a few of the genuine, not-a-word-of-lie publications nominated for THIS YEAR’s “Bookseller/Diagram Prize” for ‘Oddest Book Title Of The Year’. Past titles of distinction include “Bombproof Your Horse”, “Living With Crazy Buttocks”, and “Greek Rural Postmen And Their Cancellation Numbers”.
– “GQ”

It’s an epidemic? In that case, let’s make money! Bottled water that’s said to prevent bird flu has gone on sale at a Czech supermarket chain. The water called ‘Fromin Aktium’ comes in orange, lemon & grapefruit flavors and is made by Aquamat. The Czech company claims the drink offers ‘prevention against all viral-type infections, therefore against bird flu’ as well. However, it admits the water will be withdrawn from the market if the label claiming its anti-bird flu effectiveness is banned. (Apparently ‘Fromin Aktium’ is a Czech expression meaning ‘fraud’.)
– Agence France-Presse

Hong Kong’s Aquaria Mall is offering a unique new service which will create a tattoo with the words, patterns or logos, using a laser … on your fish. The company, which sells exotic fish that are dye-tattooed with Chinese New Year wishes or sayings such as ‘I love you’,  now offers the opportunity to have your pet fish custom-tattooed with the words of your choice. The special ‘low intensity laser’ leaves a permanent mark but purportedly does not cause fish any pain. (How can you tell … would they scream?)
– “Fortean Times”

• More than half of drivers surveyed who have GPS-equipped vehicles admit to punching info into their satellite nav systems while driving. 1 in 4 also say they take their eyes off the road in order to read their device’s on-screen maps. Fortunately, the next generation of navigation system may be able to warn the driver about pedestrians and even steer around them automatically. (These things can really interfere … with your cell-phone conversations.)
– “New Scientist”
• UK company Voice Skins offers celeb sound-alikes as the optional voice for satellite navigation systems. The most popular so far is ‘Ozzy Osbourne’, available in 2 versions – with swearwords or bleeped (“Turn around, a—hole!”). Other voices available include Clint Eastwood … and Queen Elizabeth. (“Philip and I believe that you have missed your opportunity to exit the motorway …”)
– Ananova News

A Colombian woman has given birth to a 15-lb (6.8-kg) baby in Madrid, Spain. The 38-year-old mother & her new daughter (named ‘Aggghhhh Santa Maria Oh My Gaaaawwwwd’) are both doing fine. That’s heavy … but certainly not the heaviest. The ‘Heaviest Baby on Record‘ was born to Canadian Anna Bates in Seville OH on January 19, 1879 – a jumbo lad that weighed in at a whopping 23 lb-12 oz (10.8 kg). Of course, there was a reason for that … mom was 7 ft-5.5 ins tall!
– Yahoo! News / “Guinness Book of World Records”


1931 [75] Dominic Chianese, Bronx NY, TV actor (‘Uncle Junior’ on “The Sopranos” since 1999)

1951 [55] Helen Shaver, St Thomas ON, movie actress (“The Craft”, “The Color of Money”)

1951 [55] Debra Jo Rupp, Glendale CA, TV actress (‘Kitty’ on “That ’70s Show” 1998-2006)

1955 [51] Steve Jobs, San Francisco CA, Disney Board of Directors member after recent $7.4-billion sale of Pixar Animation Studios (“Finding Nemo”)/Apple Computer CEO & co-founder with Steve Wozniak (1977)

1956 [50] Paula Zahn, Omaha NE, CNN TV anchor (“Paula Zahn Now” since 2003)

1958 [48] Sammy Kershaw, Kaplan LA, country singer (“Third Rate Romance”, “Cadillac Style”)

Movie actress Tea Leoni (“Fun With Dick & Jane”) is 40; Stand-up comedian Carrot Top is 39; Movie actor Sean Astin (“Lord of the Rings”) is 35; TV actor Justin Berfield (“Malcolm in the Middle”) is 20; Twin movie actors James & Oliver Phelps (“Harry Potter”) are 20.

Rock & roll pioneer Fats Domino (“Blueberry Hill”) is 78; Pop singer Michael Bolton (“How Am I Supposed to Live Without You”) is 53; Pop singer Erykah Badu  (“Bag Lady”) is 35.

• “Flag Day” in Mexico (“El Día de la Bandera”), celebrating ‘La Bandera Mexicana’ created in 1821 when the country gained independence.
• “Tortilla Chip Day”. Well, that certainly makes planning tonight’s dinner a lot easier, doesn’t it?
• “Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous Festival”, the 42nd annual in Whitehorse YT, celebrating the anniversary of the 1897-98 Klondike Gold Rush with a hairy leg contest, an air show, a road hockey tournament and – of course – lots and lots of can-can dancing.

• “Don’t Utter a Word Day”, because the world is made up of talkers and listeners … and the listeners need a rest.
• “Life Is Just a Bowl of Cherries Day”. Does that make the next day the pits?
• “Lumberjack Day”, honoring a tough job that’s become a popular sport … ‘logging games’.

• “For Pete’s Sake Day”, which asks the pressing question, ‘Just who the hell is Pete, anyway, and why would we do anything for his sake?’
• “Levi Strauss’ Birthday” (1829-1902), who created the first Levi’s blue jeans for California’s gold miners in 1850. Without him many of us wouldn’t have a wardrobe.
• “Pistachio Day”, apparently honoring people with pink dye all over their lips.

THIS WEEK is “National Read Me Week”, a week to wear readable clothing. What’s the best T-shirt slogan you’ve seen lately? How about …
• “Practice Safe Food – Use Condiments!”
• “Heck Is Where People Go Who Don’t Believe in Gosh”
• “Our Lady of Perpetual Mood Swings”
• “I’m in Shape – Round Is a Shape”
• “I’m a Natural Blonde – Speak Slowly”

1998 [08] Sir Elton John is knighted by Queen Elizabeth II

1914 [92] Clarence Crane invents “Life Savers”, what he calls ‘a hole encased in candy’

1988 [18] Luciano Pavarotti receives 165 curtain calls lasting a total of 1 hour, 7 minutes after an opera performance in Berlin, Germany

[Mon] Rose Monday
[Mon] Bun Day
[Mon] International Polar Bear Day
[Mon] “East Coast Music Awards” (Charlottetown PEI)
[Tues] Mardi Gras / Pancake Day
[Tues] International Floral Design Day
[Tues] Spay Day USA
[Tues] Tooth Fairy Day
[Wed] Ash Wednesday / Lent begins
[Wed] 2005 RRSP deadline
[Wed-Mar 4] Canadian Music Week 2006 (Toronto)
This Week Is . . . International Friendship Week
This Month Is . . . Canned Food Month


TV ratings were way down for the “Winter Olympics” in Torino. Here are a few suggested ‘winter games’ that would be guaranteed to rekindle interest next time around in Vancouver …
• Freestyle Windshield Scraping
• Swedish Sauna Marathon
• Four-Man Skinny Dipping in an Icy Lake
• Quadrathlon: Skiing, Shooting, Drinking, Singing.
• Synchronized Snowman-Building
• Polar Bear Pursuit
• Men’s Single-Dagger Reindeer Slaughter
• Yellow Snow Eating Contest
• Snow Angel-ing
• Inebriated Giant Slalom (oh wait a sec … Bode Miller already did that.)
– BBSpot

Want to sneak away for a dirty weekend? Now there’s a Website that provides cheaters with cover stories. The ‘Standard Alibi Package’ includes an invitation to a fake conference, seminar, or training weekend sent to your address, along with a false hotel booking confirmation. And that’s just the beginning of the various building blocks offered to help construct your lie. For a little over $250, you can get ‘the works’.

Compared to advance expectations, who turned out to be the biggest dud at the Olympics? Okay, besides the hockey team. How about Francois Bourque, Erik Guay, Jeremy Wotherspoon, or the USA’s oh-for-Torino Bode Miller?
Bode Miller, Michelle Kwan, Apolo Anton Ohno, Chad Hedrick, Lindsey Jacobellis?

Today’s Question: 60% of us have either done THIS or allowed another to do it inside our car.
Answer to Give Out Next Show: Eat.

A conscience is what hurts when all your other parts feel so good.

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