Thursday, January 16, 2003        Edition: #2456
Here’s Sheet in Your Eye!

TODAY the “2003 Sundance Film Festival” opens with the movie “Levity”, starring Billy Bob Thornton as a convicted murderer seeking redemption after 19 years in prison . . . “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix”, the 5th book in the series, will be released on a SATURDAY (June 21), so ‘eager young fans won’t have to miss school to buy it’ . . . After reportedly being targeted as a kidnap candidate by Columbian drug gangs, Shakira has hired a body double to throw potential hitmen off her trail (there’s someone else who looks like THAT?) . . . Meantime, Mattel is set to launch the ‘Shakira Fashion Doll’ which will have her ‘trademark long blond mane and fashionista style’ . . . “American Idol” judge Simon Cowell has a deal with CBS-TV to create a reality show in which a single woman and 2 female friends travel across the country auditioning potential mates who will each get just 30 seconds to make an impression . . . While Pete Townshend’s “I was just doing some research” explanation may sound lame, he DID in fact post a 6-page anti-child porn essay called “A Different Bomb” on his Website a year ago (see it here – . . . “Joe Millionaire” has become such a hit it even topped the “American Music Awards” in TV ratings . . . The WB is developing a new version of the ‘70s TV game show “The Gong Show”, but original creator & host Chuck Barris will have nothing to do with it . . . Mariah Carey & “XXX” star Vin Diesel are apparently an item, spotted snuggling during a ski holiday in Aspen CO . . . And “NY Post” reports the juicy news that Britney Spears got sick in a bathroom stall at a Hollywood café the other night after the AMAs – just moments before she went outside to swap spit with her apparently on-again bf, Justin Timberlake (a few too many B-52s, Brit?).

George Clooney & director Steven Soderbergh will team up for a sequel to their Vegas heist pic to be called – what else? – “Ocean’s Twelve” . . . The 5th season of “The Sopranos” may be delayed by James Gandolfini’s plans to star with Ben Affleck in the comedy “Surviving Christmas” . . . Brad Pitt is being lined up to produce & star in a film based on the true story of the psychiatrist who treated the “Birdman of Alcatraz” . . . Nicole Kidman & Tom Cruise both auditioned for roles in the now-shooting “Cold Mountain” soon after their divorce, but Jude Law was given the male lead . . . Halle Berry & Penelope Cruz will play patients in an asylum for the criminally insane in the supernatural thriller “Gothika” . . . Bruce Willis will play an amnesiac who wakes up with a dead body in his hotel room in the crime drama “Me Again” . . . The Farelly Brothers comedy “Stuck On You” may star Matt Damon & Greg Kinnear as conjoined twins . . . Luke Wilson, Vince Vaughn & Will Ferrell play 30-year-olds who try to recapture their wild college days by setting up their own fraternity house in “Old School”.

Mobile phone ‘ring tones’ have quietly become one of the biggest money-makers in the music business. A new study by Informa Media Group finds that downloaded ring tones generated some $71 million in royalties in 2002, up 58% from the previous year. That means the overall market for ring tones has now reached as high as $1 billion annually. Observers say this may be the only upside for the music industry at the moment, thanks to declining CD sales.

• People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals are whining again, this time about TODAY’S launch of the Space Shuttle ‘Columbia’. On board is a large selection of insects to be used in various experiments suggested by school children worldwide. PETA claims the program is teaching students to be little ‘vivisectors’, conducting experiments on living beings. A PETA spokesperson says, “In a perfect world we wouldn’t send anyone into space who wasn’t a willing participant.” (Right. Get those bugs to sign a waiver!)
• Students at Fairway Middle School in Norfolk, England have been banned from throwing snowballs in the playground – unless they ask their target’s permission first. Pupils will be punished if they launch sneak attacks on classmates. (The children are also required to ask permission before poking out an eye with a stick.)
• 31-year-old Carl Whittaker of Brisbane, Australia has had his late father’s skin mounted in a framed display. His pop apparently requested that 4 tattoos on his back and arms be removed and preserved following his death, so the tats – including a large eagle entangled with a snake – now hang in the family dining room (ewww!). Whittaker says he hopes to pass the memento on to his young daughter. (Wow, thanks for the inheritance, dad.)

On really icy days, you might hear somebody say that it’s ‘too cold to snow’. And it can be. In order to snow, the atmosphere must contain moisture. In very cold temperatures (-10 F/-20 C or below) the air tends to contain little moisture, making snowfall extremely unlikely.

A new study of playgrounds across Canada by the group Environmental Defence Canada finds high levels of arsenic in the soil of many that feature wooden equipment. That may be because arsenic is used in the production of pressure-treated wood. In the worst case, the concentration of arsenic in the soil was 12 times higher than the recommended maximum. The group says a short-term solution might be to seal the wood and replace the sand under the structures. (Odds are falling OFF playground equipment is far more dangerous than kids eating arsenic-infected sand.)

On any given evening, only 48.9% of Americans sit down to dinners in which at least one of the dishes was ‘assembled’, a term that takes into account anything from a peanut butter-and-jelly sandwich to a homemade lemon meringue pie, according to market-research firm NPD Group. The majority of us are eating food that’s come already prepared, such as frozen dinners that only need to be re-heated.

A panel of music journalists has been commissioned by Britain’s “Q Magazine” to list the  ground-breaking songs that changed music and the world forever. Here’s their top 5 –
1. “That’s All Right” – Elvis Presley (obscure blues track he recorded in 1954 that launched his career and is regarded by some as marking the start of rock ‘n roll)
2. “I Wanna Hold Your Hand” – The Beatles (the hit that catapulted them to superstardom)
3. “God Save the Queen” – The Sex Pistols (quintessential punk recording)
4. “Rapper’s Delight” – Sugarhill Gang (1st rap recording)
5. “Smells Like Teen Spirit” – Nirvana (most important ‘alternative’ tune)

• According to Northwestern University geologist Seth Stein, earthquakes only kill about 10 people a year in the USA on average, about the same as rollerblades.
• Dogs & cats have cleaner mouths than humans according to a study in “Ladies’ Home Journal”. In fact, letting your kitty lap your face poses much less health risk than smooching your favorite person. (Odds are your spouse doesn’t have tuna breath, however.)


1947 [56] Dr Laura Schlessinger, Brooklyn NY, much maligned syndicated radio talk show host who is a ‘doctor’ only because she has a PhD in physiology/author (“The Ten Stupid Things Women Do to Mess Up Their Lives”, “Parenthood By Proxy: Don’t Have Them if You Won’t Raise Them”)

1948 [55] Cliff Thorburn, Victoria BC, former champion snooker player (1st non-British World Champion)

1948 [55] John Carpenter, Carthage NY, horror movie writer/producer/director (“Ghosts of Mars”, “Starman”, “Halloween”)

1959 [44] Sadé (Helen Folasade Adu), Ibadan NIG, pop/jazz singer (“By Your Side”, “Cherish the Day”)

1966 [37] Maxine Jones, Paterson NJ, pop/R&B singer (En Vogue-“Free Your Mind”, “Hold On”)

1974 [29] Kate Moss, Addiscomb ENG, fashion model famous for ‘waif look’ who was ‘discovered’ at JFK Airport in 1988

1979 [D-2001] Aaliyah (Haughton), Brooklyn NY, pop/R&B singer killed in plane crash (“Miss You”, “Rock The Boat”)/briefly R Kelly’s wife

TODAY is ”National Religious Freedom Day”. Most of us think others have the right to choose their own beliefs – as long as they match ours.

TODAY is “Work at Home with Your Spouse Day”, to encourage couples to make the most of their relationship and skills by starting a business together. What would be the biggest problem of working with your spouse?

TODAY is “Hot and Spicy Food International Day”, encouraging us to spice up our lives in order to add some zest to a winter’s day. A little Thai Sauce in your coffee anyone? What’s the absolute hottest thing you’ve ever put in your mouth?

1985 [18] ”Playboy” announces its 30-year tradition of stapling centerfolds into the magazine will be discontinued in favor of glue

1991 [12] ‘Gulf War’ begins at 6:45pm EST as US and 27 UN allies attack Iraq (1st televised war as CNN broadcasts “Desert Storm” live) Remember Canadian Arthur Kent, the ‘Scud Stud’?

1996 [07] Jamaican anti-drug police mistakenly fire on seaplane carrying Jimmy Buffett & U2’s Bono

1936 [67] 1st ‘photo-finish’ camera is used at Florida’s Hialeah Race Track  FACTOID: According to “Gambler’s Digest”, an estimated $1 million is lost at race tracks each year by people who lose or carelessly throw away winning tickets.

1939 [64] 1st appearance of ‘Superman’ in comics

1957 [46] 1st non-stop, around-the-world commercial airplane flight

1994 [09] 1st Western entertainer to perform in Vietnam since the end of the Vietnam War in 1975 as Canadian rocker Bryan Adams plays before 2,500 in Ho Chi Minh City

1988 [15] Tina Turner concert in Rio de Janiero BRA attracts single-act record 180,000 fans

[Fri] Get to Know Your Customer Day
[Sat] Nationwide ‘Don’t Attack Iraq’ protest scheduled
[Sun] AFC/NFC Championship Games
[Mon] Martin Luther King Jr Day
[Mon] Elementary School Teachers Day
This Week Is . . . National Bowling Week / Word Processing Transcriptionist Week
This Month Is . . . Eye Care Month / Hobby Month


Color consultant Pam Bell says a woman’s personality is revealed by her fingernail polish. For instance –
• Pink is the favorite of women with a romantic side who also make reliable friends.
• Red is worn by natural leaders with strong convictions who want to be noticed.
• Orange nails are for women who seek out trends and like big city life.
• Wild colors like blue & green indicate women with a rebellious streak
• French manicures are worn by those who want to appear groomed but also look like the ‘girl next door’.
• Those who wear no polish at all are self-sufficient but tend to commit themselves to too many projects.

• A guy who has a lot of games on his cell is young at heart and looking for fun.
• If a man’s phone has a decorative faceplate, it means he likes attention, he’s trendy and outgoing.
• A man with the very latest, hi-tech mobile phone may be vain, especially if he likes to show off his expensive toy.
• A guy with only a mobile phone and no home phone likes the fact that he’s never home and may have commitment issues.
• A man with one of those gigantic older cell phones is clueless when it comes to current fads, set in his ways and likely somewhat conservative.
(What about a guy who refuses to use a mobile phone? A headstrong, independent thinker?)
Source: “Cosmopolitan”

• What are ‘Botts dots’?
a) Hallucinations experienced by over-tired pilots.
b) Highway reflectors.
c) An early indicator of problem acne.
[B: They’re those little raised reflectors in the middle of some highways.]
• Mt Logan is Canada’s tallest, but what is Britain’s tallest mountain?
a) Mount Camilla
b) Hurley Peaks
c) Ben Nevis
[C: Ben Nevis, says the “Backpackers Ultimate Guide”.]

• What is the coldest city in North America?
a) Yellowknife NT
b) Thompson MB
c) Whitehorse YT
[A: Those are the 3 coldest – in order – according to “Top 10 of Everything”]

• According to “Canadian Social Trends”, Canadian women in their early 30s are now doing THIS more often than women in their early 20s.
a) Having babies.
b) Having body piercing.
c) Having implants.
[A: Hear that biological clock ticking? They’re having babies!]

• Which was used by ancient Egyptians as a contraceptive?
a) Cat whiskers.
b) Crocodile dung.
c) Sea water.
[B: Toronto’s ‘History of Contraception Museum’ lists crocodile dung as one of the first-known contraceptives, used by Egyptians as early as 2000 BC.]

• Which was the first pro football team to sport an insignia on their helmets?
a) Los Angeles Rams.
b) Philadelphia Eagles.
c) Washington Senators.
[A: The (then) Los Angeles Rams in 1950, who hand-painted yellow horns on their blue leather helmets.]

“Would you pay to be fed on an airplane?” (While many airlines have phased out food altogether, both Northwest Airlines & America West have begun SELLING in-flight meals that they claim are tastier and feature bigger portions than traditional airline food.)

Today’s Question: Women who have this feature have sex on average 2.9 times per week.
Answer to Give Out Next Show: An engagement ring.

It isn’t the whistle that moves the train.


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