Friday, January 18, 2002        Edition: #2214
The road to success is always under construction.

• “Ha! They couldn’t hit an elephant at this dist . . .”
• “Don’t bother unplugging it, it will just take a moment to fix.”
• “What happens if you touch these two wires tog . . .”
• “Don’t be silly, we won’t need reservations.”
• “It’s ALWAYS sunny there this time of the year.”
• “Don’t worry, it’s not loaded.”
• “They’d never be stupid enough to make HIM a manager.”
• “You can make it easy, that train isn’t coming fast.”
• “Gimme a match. I think my gas tank is empty.”
• “If you knew anything, you wouldn’t be a traffic cop.”
• “Say, who’s boss of this joint, anyhow?”

TONIGHT ABC journalist John Miller (famous for his interview with Osama Bin Laden and his reporting on former mob boss John Gotti) joins Barbara Walters as co-anchor of “20/20″, becoming her first partner since Hugh Downs retired back in 1999 (we’re betting it’s longer than that since she’s had a ‘partner’) . . . Harrison Ford & actress Minnie Driver, who’ve been dating since December, are expected to step out publicly for the first time at the “Golden Globe Awards” on SUNDAY (you do the math — he’s 59, she’s 31) . . . SUNDAY CBC-TV is airing the special “Wayne & Shuster: The First 100 Years” as a tribute to Frank Shuster, who died last weekend . . . Ellen DeGeneres has proposed and slipped an engagement ring on the finger of on-again/off-again girlfriend Alex Hedison, who’s reportedly agreed to take the ‘mother role’ (aww that’s sweet, pass me a hanky) . . . Boy band impresario Lou Perlman, the guy to blame for ‘N Sync and the Backstreet Boys, is now putting together real-life revivals of comic book bands “Josie & the Pussycats” and “The Archies” (a 1969 version had that year’s #1 song, “Sugar Sugar”) . . . Word is John Travolta is refusing to wear ordinary black T-shirts on the set of his new movie “Basic”, having Armani T-shirts supplied as a contract stipulation, which he will only wear ONCE . . . It’s all over – “The X-Files” will wind up with a series finale in MAY.

• The annual film awards presented by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association live SUNDAY on CTV and NBC-TV from the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills CA.
• “A Beautiful Mind” and “Moulin Rouge” lead nominations with 6 apiece.
• Nicole Kidman (“Moulin Rouge”/”The Others”) and Billy Bob Thornton (“The Man Who Wasn’t There”/”Bandits”) have 2 acting nominations each.
• Ben Affleck presents the ‘Cecil B DeMille Award’ to Harrison Ford for ‘outstanding contribution to the entertainment field’.

Cuba Gooding Jr plays a Miami dentist who inherits a team of Alaskan sled dogs in the Disney family comedy “Snow Dogs” (shot in Canmore, Banff and Alberta’s Kananaskis country), which the Miami-based Sled Dog Action Coalition is protesting, claiming it glamorizes the annual 1,150-mile Iditarod dog sled race that often leads to doggy deaths (the ‘Sled Dog Action Coalition’ is based in Florida — huh?) . . . And “Black Hawk Down” opens wide, the Ridley Scott-directed war drama about US military intervention in Somalia that’s getting lots of Oscar buzz.

Ontario Attorney-General David Young has asked for an investigation into how parts of the report on the Walkerton Water Inquiry due to be released NEXT TUESDAY have already been leaked to the media. (So let’s see – now we’re gonna have an inquiry into how an inquiry was released. This could lead to a ‘Commission’. Why don’t they just burn our money?)

A new survey of some 250 prime-time TV programs that aired in 2001 finds there has actually been a decrease in vulgar language on the tube. Researchers recorded an offensive word every 13 minutes on average, down from one every 11 minutes during the 1990 TV season. (Much of the decrease is due to so many stations cancelling the “Jerry Springer Show”.)

YESTERDAY fashion designer Giorgio Armani unveiled his new line of menswear that he says
is a salute to the working man. The creator of some of the world’s most expensive clothes claims he’s fed up with luxury and says, “I want to pay homage to the workers with their simplicity and straightforwardness.” The new line includes flat caps, military boots and donkey jackets. (Not to mention ‘crack pants’. Soon to be seen in fashionable manholes everywhere.)

• A 4-legged chicken in Saudi Arabia uses only its front 2 legs to walk, but all 4 to run. Poultry farm managers in Damman are sparing it because they think it’s a money-maker. They’ve already received an offer over 5 grand for the 40-day-old bird. (If you could breed these, they’d be really popular — everybody in the family gets a drumstick!)
• A court in southern Vietnam has jailed a Vietnamese woman for showing porn videos to customers in her Ho Chi Minh City COFFEE SHOP. (“Gimme 2 lumps and 2 humps.” In related news, Tim Horton’s will no longer be selling Long Johns.)
• The African country of Swaziland hasn’t had an execution in 19 years – but not because it didn’t want to. After a futile 4-year search for a new ‘hangman’, the country is now considering switching to lethal injections. The hangman job was posted worldwide but no qualified applicants could be found. (As women already know, any man claiming he’s hung is lying.)
• A plaque meant to honor actor James Earl JONES at a celebration of civil-rights leader Martin Luther King in Lauderhill FL TOMORROW was instead mistakenly emblazoned with the inscription “Thank you James Earl RAY for keeping the dream alive.” The plaque maker couldn’t have made a bigger goof — James Earl Ray was Martin Luther King’s assassin. (Oops!)

• Remember Clint Hallam, the world’s first hand-transplant recipient? He claimed his body rejected the hand so it was amputated at his own request last FEBRUARY. Now he’s asking the Lyons, France transplant team for ANOTHER hand, but the specialists say there’ll be no more ‘hand-outs’. They’re fed up with Hallam because he keeps disappearing and refusing necessary drug treatment. (If [your co-host’s] body ever rejected his hand, he’d have no sex life at all.)
• Australia’s Microsearch Foundation is about to start testing a ‘body welding technique’ which could replace stitches. It uses a laser to fuse two surfaces together and leaves less scarring than traditional stitching. The team which developed the technique hopes to use it to reattach severed nerves and limbs. (In related news, Clint Hallam just bought a plane ticket for Sydney.)
• A surgeon at Rhode Island Hospital in Providence RI operated on the WRONG SIDE of a man’s head after a CT scan was placed BACKWARDS on an X-ray viewing screen. Even though the surgeon drilled TWO HOLES in the wrong side of the skull, the patient has suffered no ill effects. (But he’s refusing a follow-up scan, saying he needs one like he needs another hole in the head.)


1955 [47] Kevin Costner, Lynwood CA, movie actor (“13 Days”, Oscar-“Dances With Wolves”) NEXT FILM: Plays a grieving doctor who is contacted by his late wife through his patients’ near-death experiences in “Dragonfly”, scheduled to open FEBRUARY 22

1961 [41] Mark Messier, Edmonton AB, NHL center (NYR, ex-Vancouver & Edmonton)/6 Stanley Cups

1969 [33] Jesse L Martin, VA, TV actor (Detective Ed Green-“Law & Order”)

1971 [31] Jonathan Davis, Bakersfield CA, rock singer (Korn-“ADIDAS”, “No Place to Hide”)

1934 [68] Lloyd Robertson, Stratford ON, CTV Chief News Anchor & Senior News Editor/former CBC “The National” anchor 1970-76/CAB Broadcast Hall of Fame-1998

1946 [56] Dolly Parton, Sevierville TN, movie actress (“Steel Magnolias”)/country singer/songwriter (“I Will Always Love You”)/amusement park owner (“Dollywood”)

1949 [53] Robert Palmer, Batley ENG, classic rock singer (“Addicted to Love”, “Big Time”)

1961 [41] Paul McCrane, Philadelphia PA, TV actor (Dr Robert ‘Rocket’ Romano-“ER”)

1971 [31] Shawn Wayans, NYC, one of the acting Wayans brothers (“Scary Movie I & II”)

1972 [30] Tyrone Wheatley, Inkster MI, NFL RB (Oakland Raiders, whose playoff game in New England is TOMORROW night)

TODAY is “Pooh Day”, honoring the 1882 birthday of “Winnie-the-Pooh” author AA Milne [D-1956] in London ENG.

TOMORROW is “Cut Yourself Some Slack Day”, a day to ‘do unto ourselves what we would have others do unto us’. Hey give yourself a break!

TOMORROW is “International Sing-Out Day”, a time to break out in song just like they do in all those goofy old musicals.

1996 [06] Lisa Marie Presley files for divorce from Michael Jackson (citing irreconcilable differences over stolen makeup)

2000 [02] 38-year-old actor Michael J Fox announces he’s leaving “Spin City” to fight Parkinson’s disease

1778 [224] 1st European to discover Hawaiian Islands (Captain James Cook names them the ‘Sandwich Islands’)

1886 [116] 1st ‘automobile’ is made (the next day, the first driver is given the finger)

1917 [85] ‘Income tax’ introduced in Canada as a ‘temporary measure’ to help war effort (hey guys, is that war over yet?)

1994 [08]1st ‘automatic breadmaker’ debuts at Chicago’s International Housewares Show

1997 [05] Norwegian Borge Ousland becomes 1st to cross Antarctica, all 1,675 miles, ALONE

[Sat] National Penguin Awareness Day (aka ‘Tuxedo Rental Day’)
[Sun] World Religion Day (aka ‘Let’s Start a New War Day’)
[Sun] Philately Day (you just can’t lick it!)
[Mon] National Hugging Day
[Mon] Squirrel Appreciation Day
[Mon] Martin Luther King Jr Day (USA)
[Tues] National Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day
[Tues] Rid the World of Fad Diets Day
[Wed] Weedless Wednesday
Printing Ink Week
National Soup Month
Hot Tea Month


Here’s one for ”Robbie Burns Day”, coming up JANUARY 25. Gordon Sinclair, owner of  Gordon’s Fine Meats in Calgary, has built a special launcher to propel HAGGIS across the Bow River to raise money for charity. How far will it travel? Will it be some kind of record? And – most importantly – how did this whacked out idea ever get hatched?
PHONER: 403-234-7060

Are the following measurements too short or too long?
• The average life expectancy for men at birth worldwide is now 70 years. (TOO LONG. It’s 64.6 years.)
• The famous ‘Hollywood’ sign, erected in 1923, measures 30 feet high. (TOO SHORT. The sign stands 50 feet tall, stretches 450 feet across, weighs 450,000 pounds.)
• The Trans-Canada Highway stretches 5,500 km across the country. (SHORT. The Trans-Canada Highway, using the Perth-Peterborough-Parry Sound route, measures 7,604 km, making it the longest national highway in the world.)
• NBA star Shaquille O’Neal’s shoe size is 19. (SHORT. It’s 24-EEE.)
• A crocodile can stick it’s tongue out 27 inches. (WAY TOO LONG. A crocodile cannot stick out its tongue.)
• A human can go without sleep for 30 days. (LONG. Just 10 days without sleep would be deadly to most people.)
• The world’s longest escalator measures 300 feet. (SHORT. The escalator in Ocean Park, Hong Kong has an overall length of 745 feet and a vertical rise of 377 feet.)
• Eyeglasses have been around for 250 years. (SHORT. Eyeglasses have been in existence since the 14th century, appearing in Italy and China at about the same time.)
• The average person spends 10 years of their life eating. (LONG. The average person spends 3-and-a-half years of their life eating.)

Q: Which is  Canada’s only officially bilingual province?
A: New Brunswick.

The true meaning of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not expect to sit.


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