Wednesday, January 25, 2006        Edition: #3204
If the Sheet Fits, Buy It!

TONIGHT Academy Award-winning actor Russell Crowe fronts his new band The Ordinary Fear of God in a nationally-televised concert on the lawn of Australia’s Parliament House in Canberra, kicking off the annual “Australia Day” celebrations (tomorrow, commemorating the landing of the First Fleet in Sydney Cove in 1788) . . . Popular “Survivor All-Stars” competitor Rupert Boneham gets $10,000 to appear as a guest speaker, something he did 200 times in 2005 (for the math-challenged, that’s $2 million!) . . . WWE star and “Dancing with the Stars 2″ contestant Stacy Keibler has a dance background, including a gig as one of the original cheerleaders for the NFL’s Baltimore Ravens . . . Donald Trump has filed a $5-billion lawsuit over allegedly defamatory statements in the Timothy O’Brien book, “TrumpNation: The Art of Being the Donald” (part of the ‘art’ is apparently suing) . . . Mary-Kate & Ashley Olsen are set to unleash 2 new clothing collections, ‘Boho Fever’ and ‘To Dye For’ (because you can just never have too much money) . . . Model Kate Moss is reportedly on the brink of signing a $1.75-million deal to speak frankly about her life & the fashion biz in an autobiography, to be published by Brit mogul Richard Branson’s Virgin Books (she’s snorted her way to new heights of popularity) . . . And 39-year-old Janet Jackson is desperately trying to lose more than 40 lbs she’s put on in recent months (reportedly ballooning to 200 lbs at times) by hiring a personal trainer and going on a strict diet of salads, fruit & bottled water (these days a ‘wardrobe malfunction’ for her would involve splitting out her pants).

• Ashlee Simpson – She was once the youngest student ever accepted at the School Of American Ballet but dropped out to concentrate on her singing career. Now she’s planning to don her tutu again after setting up a small ballet studio in her Hollywood home.
• Bob Dylan – TONIGHT the stage musical “The Times They Are A-Changing” premieres at the Old Globe Theater in San Diego CA, featuring many of his classic tunes.
• Coldplay – TONIGHT the 2nd leg of their “Twisted Logic” tour opens in Seattle WA, then moves to GM Place in Vancouver Thursday & Friday. Fiona Apple (TONIGHT-March 5) and former Verve frontman Richard Ashcroft (March 20-April 6) will split time as the support acts. Coldplay has also agreed to appear at the “Juno Awards” APRIL 2nd in Halifax.
• Good Charlotte – Joel Madden is set to star in the thriller movie, “Valley of the Damned”, which starts shooting THIS SPRING.
• Jamie Foxx – TONIGHT on his first TV special, “Jamie Foxx: Unpredictable” on NBC-TV, he welcomes guests Mary J Blige, Stevie Wonder & Snoop Dogg.
• Nickel Creek – TONIGHT they perform on the “Tonight Show With Jay Leno”.
• Sarah McLachlan – TODAY she guests on the “Ellen DeGeneres Show”.
• Yellowcard – TONIGHT they appear on “Late Night With Conan O’Brien”.

There’s a useful German word, ‘schadenfreude’ (pronounced ‘SHOD-den-froy-da’), that’s used to describe ‘the pleasure derived from the misfortune of others’. In a new study, scientists at University College London say men seem to derive more pleasure from it than women. Both show empathy toward someone suffering pain if it’s someone they like, and women have a similar response even if the sufferer is someone they dislike. Men, however, get a surge in the reward areas of the brain when someone they dislike suffers pain. (The very basis of NHL enjoyment.)
– Reuters

New terms leaking into the lingo …
• ‘Anti-anti-American’ – Someone who is hostile to people or ideas that are critical of the United States. (“New Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper not only embraces many US ideals, he seems to be an anti-anti-American.”)
• ‘Brokeback’ – Used as an adjective to describe something gay-related. (“That man-purse is likely really useful but it’s kind of brokeback.”)
• ‘Double Nester’ – Thanks to cheap airfares, flexible work schedules and technology such as cellphones, BlackBerrys and the Internet, a growing number of people are shuttling between 2 or more homes, blurring the age-old distinction between the primary and the vacation home. (“Check to see if WT is in the city or at his country house … he’s a double nester.”)
• ‘Emoticonography’ – The art of making symbols from inventive keyboard combinations has progressed far beyond the smiley-face stage. There’s now an entire code book of them, “The Pleasures of the Text”, which also lists common texting acronyms and abbreviations, ie: CWOT (complete waste of time) and DLTBBB (don’t let the bedbugs bite).

Widespread media reports have given rise to much misinformation and confusion around the issue of identity theft. Many people believe that banking or buying online increases the risk, for example, though the chances of fraud are far greater of having your ID stolen in the real world. LAST YEAR just 12% of identity fraud cases occurred because the victim was active online, while 63% happened as the result of in-person contact, according to a survey by Javelin Strategy & Research. (For example, imagine how many eyes have access to your credit card when you toss it on top of a restaurant bill for processing.)

According to new data from the Institute of Food Technologists ….
• Coffee is now the #1 consumed breakfast food with fully 53% of us beginning the day with a cup. That’s why quick-service restaurants are now bringing gourmet brands to their menus.
• 30% of restaurant-chain chefs expect ‘comfort foods’, such as meatloaf, macaroni & cheese or pot roast, to become increasingly popular.
• 40% of restaurant-chain chefs think ‘portion size’ will become an important new major trend in how patrons make menu decisions.
• ‘No-fat’ and ‘low-fat’ foods have slimmed down to single-digit growth but are still a $32-billion segment of the food industry. That’s more than twice the size of the organic foods category.
• Vegetable consumption has fallen by 2% but fresh fruit is rebounding after 14 years in decline. Fresh fruit is now the #1 snack of kids aged 2-to-12.
– “Food Technology”

American consumers are now the biggest spenders on the planet, spending more each week than the annual gross domestic product of the entire country of Finland. A great deal of, if not most, US consumer spending is driven by desire, not need. Most households don’t need 2 homes, 3 vehicles and 4 TVs. Those wants are created by the advertising and marketing industry, which would implode if all it did was serve the basic human needs of sensible consumers. (The iPod is a great example. First you get everyone to buy one, then create the desire for all kinds of accessories – a docking cradle, external speakers, carrying cases, etc.)
– “Advertising Age”

Worldwide music sales fell by 2% LAST YEAR, despite soaring digital downloads.

In her latest book, “The Future of Men”, JWT Advertising VP Marian Salzman predicts that most men of the future will likely wed at least 2 or 3 times in their lives. She claims we’re moving into an age where ‘serial monogamy’ is going to be more and more acceptable and there’ll no longer be a big taboo over a ‘starter marriage’ that fails. (Just oodles and oodles of really screwed up kids.)
– “Social Studies”

Chewing gum takes 5 years to biodegrade.
– “London Observer”

Women value a sense of humor in a boyfriend, while men couldn’t care less if their partners make them laugh. At least that’s the conclusion of a new study on the role humor plays in mate selection. Psychologists Sigal Balshine of Hamilton’s McMaster University & Eric Bressler of Westfield State College in Massachusetts tested over 200 college students and found that women typically are more interested in being with a funny guy than a ‘Gloomy Gus’, while a woman’s sense of humor doesn’t seem to make any difference to a man. (Who just wants to know if she puts out.)
– “McMaster Daily News”

“Change-of-address for Roland Jacob. My new address is the Rehalp Cemetery, plot #4276. I look forward to your visit.”
– The death notice of a real joker, recenlty published in the Swiss newspaper “Tages-Anzeiger”.

A compound in licorice root seems to help prevent cavities, according to UCLA dental researchers. Studies show that an extract from the plant root used to make licorice candy and other products contains at least 2 compounds that appear to inhibit a major cause of dental decay. (And is there anything more attractive than blackened teeth?)
– ANI Health & Science


1966 [40] Mike Burch, country musician (River Road-“Nickajack”)

1974 [32] Matt Odmark, Greenville IL, Christian rock musician (Jars of Clay-“Flood”)

1981 [25] Alicia Keys (Cook), NYC, pop/R&B singer (“Unbreakable”)/movie actress (co-stars in the upcoming Ben Affleck crime comedy “Smokin’ Aces”)

2001 [05] Rene Charles Angelil, West Palm Beach FL, rich boy who’ll never work a day in his life/test-tube-created son of singer Celine Dion & husband-manager Rene Angelil

• “International Internet-Free Day”, the 6th annual recognition of our need for contact with the ‘real world’. The idea is, for one day, to set aside time for a ‘real’ chat, write some ‘real’ mail, look things up in a ‘real’ book, etc. Who would have thought this would be a problem 15 years ago? What would you miss most about not going online for a day?

• “Opposite Day”, a day to do everything backwards (ie: eat left-handed) as a fun way to get out of your tedious, day-in, day-out, lackluster, humdrum, milquetoast, run-of-the-mill rut.

• “Robbie Burns Day”, party time for Scots everywhere! It honors Scotland’s national poet who was born January 25, 1759 and whose most famous composition was “Auld Lang Syne”. A traditional ‘Burns Supper’ includes cock-a-leekie soup (fowl, leeks and herbs), haggis (minced sheep’s heart, lungs and liver mixed with oatmeal), neeps and tatties (mashed turnip and potatoes). The meal is then washed down with Scotch whisky toasts.

• “School Nurse Day”, an annual observance on the 4th Wednesday of January honoring that wonderful person who supplies painkillers when you have a headache and ‘excuse slips’ when you want to skip classes.

1949 [57] 1st “Emmy Awards” for television (“Pantomime Quiz Time” wins ‘Best TV Show’)

1994 [12] Michael Jackson settles child abuse civil suit for a reported $10 million (the first one)

1858 [148] Mendelssohn’s “Wedding March” 1st played at the wedding of Queen Victoria’s daughter (“Here comes the bride, short, fat and wide …”)

1924 [82] 1st “Winter Olympic Games” open in Chamonix, France

[Thurs] Australia Day
[Fri] Fun At Work Day
[Fri] Punch the Clock Day
[Fri] Thomas Crapper Day
[Sat] 58th Directors Guild of America Awards
[Sat] Kazoo Day
[Sun] Chinese New Year (Year of the Dog)
[Mon] Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day
This Week Is . . . Canadian Skiing & Snowboarding Week Take Back Your Time Week
This Month Is . . . Crime Stoppers Month


And their anticipated release dates …
10. “Indiana Jones 4″ – 2007
9. “Batman Begins” sequel (untitled) – 2008
8. “Rambo 4″ – 2006
7. “Old School 2″ – 2007
6. “Rocky Balboa” – 2007
5. “Wedding Crashers 2″ – 2007
4. “X-Men 3″ – May 26, 2006
3. “Spider-Man 3″ – May 4, 2007
2. “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest” – July 7, 2006
1. “Superman Returns” – June 30, 2006

• Which is more important – your accomplishments or your character?
• If you had to include the use of one type of food in your next romantic tryst, what would it be?

Are the following statements true or just a steaming load of crap?
• Aardvarks can hear ants stomping their feet. [TRUE. The aardvark has such a well-developed sense of hearing, it can detect and locate distant ants on a nighttime march.]
• Whispering is easier on your vocal chords than shouting. [BS]
• Coca-Cola is so acidic, police frequently use it to clean blood off highways and sidewalks. [BS]
• In many countries, salt has been used as money. [TRUE. Until recently, salt bars were the standard currency of Ethiopia and cakes of salt, stamped to show their value, could be used as money in countries as far flung as Tibet and Borneo.]
• Voluptuous movie star Marilyn Monroe wore a size 16 dress. [BS]
• Heroin was once a brand name. [TRUE, for a type of morphine marketed by Bayer Corp.]
– “Disney Adventures” / “Totally Trivial” / “Urban Myth”

My high school was so tough that we had our own coroner.

Today’s Question: 8 out of 10 of us who have THIS never use it.
Answer to Give Out Next Show: Home exercise equipment.

Ideas won’t work unless you do.


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