Thursday, January 31, 2002        Edition: #2223
Today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday.

• If olive oil comes from olives, what is baby oil made from?
• Is politics just the entertainment branch of industry?
• Do people agree to appear on TV talk shows because they enjoy being in the slimelight?
• Is an ‘economist’ someone who is good with numbers but lacks the personality to be an ‘accountant’?
• Is the main reason for business conventions to demonstrate how many people a company can operate without?
• Are people more violently opposed to fur than leather because it’s easier to harass rich women than motorcycle gangs?
• If geneticists manage to insert chicken genes into a zebra will they get a 4-legged chicken with it’s own bar code?

MUSHY STORY #1 — Jennifer Aniston has kept her maiden name since marrying Brad Pitt 18 months ago, but it seems that’s about to change as an LA artist reports she’s just ordered 250 new note cards embossed with the name ‘Jennifer Pitt’ . . . MUSHY STORY #2 — Meantime, sources say Brad was so shaken by Jennifer’s JANUARY 15 car accident that he’s refused to allow her to drive since, insisting a chauffeur drive her at all times . . . Best-selling author Stephen King, whose “Rose Red” miniseries SUNDAY & MONDAY was the top-rated TV movie of the season, tells the “LA Times” that after he finishes a few projects currently in the works, he’s ending his writing career (getting run over by a van will do that) . . . As “BS” predicted YESTERDAY, FOX-TV has put its oddball game show “The Chamber” ‘on hiatus’ for the time being (meaning, we’ll likely never see it again) . . . Here’s an odd pair — Pink has recorded a duet with Aerosmith’s Steve Tyler called “M!ssundaztood” for her next album . . . And “Sex & the City” star Kim Cattrall (pride of Vancouver) has just released a FULLY illustrated book called “Satisfaction: The Art of the Female Orgasm” because, quote, ”I come from a history of women not knowing themselves, not being fulfilled sexually, like my mother” (mom must be so proud).

“Legally Blonde” star Reese Witherspoon will get the biggest payday of her career — $8 million — to star in an as-yet-untitled drama about a professional tennis player . . . Martin Scorsese will re-team with “Gangs of New York” star Leonardo DiCaprio to direct a biopic on the late Howard Hughes . . . Steven Spielberg & Tom Cruise, who just finished shooting “Minority Report”, will reunite for the World War II drama “Ghost Soldiers” . . . “Diary of a Young London Physician”, writer-director David Mamet’s take on “Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde”, is likely to star Jude Law & Penélope Cruz . . . And not only is he coming back in “T-3″, it looks like Arnold Schwarzenegger will reprise his role as ‘Conan the Barbarian’ in “King Conan”, a 3rd film in the caveman series.

Commuters on London’s subway system may soon be getting fit on the way to work. Gert Halbgebauer of Vienna’s medical university has designed a special ‘commuter fitness program’ that involves exercise posters placed in 450 subway cars. The exercise program uses 8 basic movements that include raising and lowering the knees from a sitting position and, for commuters who are standing, holding on to a support pole and bending the knees while maintaining a straight back. Halbgebauer says the exercises are designed not to annoy other commuters. (Just to make you look like a total idiot.)

• The MSRP for the new ‘Air Jordan XVII’ basketball shoes is — $320! For that, you get a silver metallic case, a CD-ROM on how they’re made, and, oh yeah — the shoes. (Mike must be saving up for his alimony.)
• The new ‘DR4E’ (‘Diamonds Roll For Ever’) golf driver has actual diamonds ground onto its tungsten carbide metal head to create a 1.5-inch ‘sweet spot’ on the club face. Why? Not for looks. It’s Brit manufacturer claims it will out-drives all others. And at $1,500 — costs about twice as much as all others, too.

You might not want to try to grab for that brass ring at the carousel in Runanga, New Guinea. Riders don’t perch on pretty, painted wooden horses, they sit on — human skeletons. And there’s no lilting calliope music either. A local band bangs drums and trills shrill war cries.

Britain’s Prince Charles has won a coveted prize for his contribution to the environment. He is being given the ‘Euronatur’ award for his long-time support of nature preservation. (This is the best name they could come up with — Euronatur?)

A decade ago, eccentric dowager Margaret Prendish died and left her mansion and $14 MILLION FORTUNE to her pet poodle, Joyeaux Chien de Montpelier. Nowadays, caretakers cater to the dog’s every whim. She’s bathed and groomed every day, walked once every hour, and, according to the will, only served food that ‘delights her palate’. Her personal chef cooks up a filet mignon every day. But somewhat like humans, since she landed in the money Joy’s gotten kinda nasty and bitten several people who care for her. “It’s turned her from a regular pussycat to a nasty beast,” says one of her guardians.

The makers of M&M’s want the world to decide on yet another new color. The Mars Co is deciding whether to add purple, pink or aqua M&M’s to the mix by AUGUST. By the way, purple was the 2nd choice of the 10 MILLION PEOPLE who voted to have blue replace tan in 1995. (Wow! That’s a better turn-out than some elections!)

• Barista (coffee bar attendant) Ettore Diana served up a 1.5 kiloliter (330-gallon) cappuccino TUESDAY in Verona, Italy, setting what he claims is a world record. Some 500 liters of espresso coffee and 1,000 liters of frothy milk were poured into a giant 2.25-meter (7.5 ft) high cup during the day, with the help of 160 people and dozens of espresso machines. He’s already made the “Guinness Book of Records” for the largest cuppa tea and largest cocktail.
• Brother Giovanni Battista Orsenigo, a dentist in Rome, Italy, saved all the teeth he extracted from his patients from 1868-1904. In 1903, the teeth in his collection were counted and the final tally was anything but bite-size — more than 2 million! Brother Giovanni pulled an average of 185 teeth per day. (And you thought your dentist was scary!)
• Dr Hugh Hicks of Baltimore owns about 60,000 light bulbs, the largest collection in the world. No, he’s not afraid of the dark. He just likes lights. Hugh has one of the world’s largest — a 4-ft-tall bulb that can only glow in 30-second spurts — and the world’s smallest, a pinpoint light that’s used to inspect missiles.
PHONER: 410-752-8586 (Mount Vernon Museum of Incandescent Lighting)

1 in 16 women in a new poll commissioned by Organics admit that they have taken a ‘sick day’ off work because they were having a — bad hair day.

A group of formerly unemployed actors in NYC is now offering home delivery — of Shakespeare. ‘Shakespeare Delivery’ offers ‘menu items’ starting at $50 that include a ‘Medley of Justice’ for lawyers, packages to cheer up unrequited lovers and performances for weddings. You can also get sonnets and soliloquies as — ‘side orders’.
PHONER: 212-714-5461 (Timothy Levitch)

• An inventive farmer in Poppel, Belgium rigged up a system that had his milking machine automatically call his mobile phone if it malfunctioned, but he made one small mistake — he programmed in the wrong phone number. For 2 whole weeks, a woman in nearby Ravels kept receiving ‘moo-sance’ phone calls at all hours — from a cow. The phone company eventually traced the problem and says it’s now corrected. (I haven’t had a call from a cow since I had my number unlisted and didn’t tell the ex.)
• A cigarette company in Taiwan is now adding natural herbal extracts to its tobacco in order to produce cigarettes that have ‘health benefits’. (Isn’t that sort of like a gun company making sterilized bullets?)
• A Russian inventor says his unique cigarette with 2 red lines painted on it can improve the chances of someone quitting. His filterless cigarettes are divided into 3 parts indicating ‘least dangerous zone’ at the lit end, a ‘danger zone’ in the middle and finally a ‘risk zone’. He says smokers who want to give up can regulate themselves by stubbing out at the level they want.
“St Petersburg Times” reports Vyacheslav Zakharov’s idea was turned down by some of the biggest tobacco companies in the world but is now being used by the Russian Army. (It’s a big hit with firing squads.)


1963 [39] John Dye, Amory MS, TV actor (Andrew-“Touched By An Angel”)

1971 [31] Minnie Driver, London ENG, movie actress (“Return to Me”, “Good Will Hunting”) who last OCTOBER called off her marriage to Josh Brolin reportedly due to interference from his step-mother, Barbra Streisand  NEXT FILM: Has the lead role in the upcoming crime thriller “Owning Mahowny”

1973 [29] Portia DeRossi, Melbourne AUS, TV actress (Nelle Porter-“Ally McBeal”) who is ‘engaged’ to Francesca Gregorini, a singer/songwriter and stepdaughter of Ringo Starr

1981 [21] Justin Timberlake, Memphis TN, pop singer (‘N Sync-“Gone”, “Pop”)/future Mr Britney Spears?

TODAY is “Inspire Your Heart With Art Day”. (If you’re admitted to the ER today, instead of defibrilator paddles, they’ll be strapping a Renoir on your chest.)

TODAY is “Child Labor Day”, highlighting the problem of Third World children forced into the workforce. Canadian Craig Kielburger of Thornhill ON began an organization called ‘Free The Children’, dedicated to the elimination of child labor and exploitation of children, when he was just 12-years-old. Since then he’s become an unofficial roving ambassador for the cause.

SATURDAY is “Groundhog Day”, a tradition since 1887. If the little rodent sees his shadow, we’ll have 6 more weeks of winter. As you may remember, Canada’s prognosticator ‘Wiarton Willie’ kicked the bucket just before his big day a few years back. He’s been replaced by a new groundhog, who has a backup hog just in case history repeats itself. After all, having a  hog in hand generates big bucks for the town. (Willie was asked on January 23rd to make a
Super Bowl prediction by Team Radio. He picked the St Louis Rams.)
PHONERS: 519-534-1400/519-534-5492

SATURDAY is “Groundhog Day”, a tradition since 1887. If the little rodent sees his shadow, we’ll have 6 more weeks of winter. ‘Punxsutawney Phil’ is the original forecaster and most famous hog. How much money does this li’l hog generate for the community?
PHONERS: 814-938-2555 (Punxsutawney Historical Society)/814-938-7700 (Chamber of Commerce)

1928 [74] ‘Scotch Tape’ 1st marketed by 3M (In 1921, a banjo playing inventor went to work for
the Minnesota Mining & Manufacturing Company. 4 years later, Richard Drew walked out of his lab carrying the first roll of ‘Scotch tape’. In 1930, he also created cellophane tape. Without this guy, we’d still be wrapping up our gifts with rope. Way to go, Dick!)

1956 [46] 1st ‘twist-off bottle top’ (and 1st bleeding hand caused by ‘twist-off bottle top’)

1990 [12] 1st McDonalds in Russia opens in Moscow (world’s largest with 900 seats, operated by McDonald’s of Canada)

[Fri] Women’s Heart Day
[Sun] Super Bowl XXVI (New Orleans)
[Sun] National Men’s Grooming Day
Catholic Schools Week
National Lose Weight & Feel Great Month
Christian/Jewish Humor Month (someone once said “A good religion is one which has a sense of humor about itself.”)


Q: You know “the knee bone’s connected to the thigh bone, and the hip bone’s connected to the backbone”. But in humans, what bone is the ‘hyoid’ bone connected to?
A: None. The hyoid bone is the only one in your body not linked to another bone. It hangs out between your jaw and your voice box and gives your tongue much needed support.

Q: Every breath you take, all 24 of these move. What?
A: Your 24 ribs move every time you breathe — which is about 5 million times a year.

Q: What’s the largest bone in the human male’s body?
A: Same as the human female – the femur in your thigh. It can grow to be almost 2-ft-long in very tall people.

• “What’s the one thing in your house you’d hate to have stolen?” (A new poll finds 25% most fear having keepsakes stolen, 10% worry over keys and the hassle of changing all their locks, 9% would least like to lose their TVs, and just 1% worry about jewelry being taken.)
• “How old will you be (or were you) when your age surpasses your waist size?” (Add ‘em up and find the average.)

Confession is good for the soul, but bad for the career.



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