Thursday, January 24, 2008        Edition: #3696
Sheet Happens!

How long before some homophobic, right-wing, religious zealot credits actor Heath Ledger’s death to his participation in “Brokeback Mountain”? (you’re next, Jake!) . . . Ledger recently completed shooting his role as ‘The Joker’ in the next “Batman” movie installment, “The Dark Knight“ (will his death help or hurt interest in it?) . . . The striking Hollywood writers union has announced it will NOT picket the “Grammy Awards” (FEBRUARY 10th), meaning more stars are likely to attend but there’ll still be no script (great, none of those cheesy introductions!) . . . A rep for 23-year-old actress Scarlett Johansson says a published report claiming she’s engaged to 31-year-old Vancouver actor-boyfriend Ryan Reynolds is flat-out wrong (they’ve been dating 10 months since she split from actor Josh Hartnett & he from singer Alanis Morissette) . . . Comedian Kathy Griffin is spending another season on the “D-List” as Bravo has renewed the unscripted series for a 4th go-round premiering later THIS YEAR . . . “Details” magazine has named Kevin Federline its ‘Dad of the Year’ (snort!) . . . “Two & a Half Men” star Charlie Sheen has lost that legal fight against his ex-, Denise Richards, a judge ruling she CAN do a reality TV show with their 2 kids . . . And the Motion Picture Association of America has just admitted it made a ‘human error’ in a 2005 study that claimed fully 44% of the industry’s domestic losses come from the illegal downloading of movies by college students; it seems the correct figure is more like 15% (hey, give or take two-thirds … close enough when you’ve got your own agenda).

• Amy Winehouse – Britain’s Scotland Yard is said to be reviewing the video footage that recently surfaced showing her smoking something from a pipe. No charges have yet been filed.
• Beyoncé – It’s been confirmed the 26-year-old will duet with 68-year-old music icon Tina Turner at the “Grammy Awards”.
• Madonna – For the 2nd time in 2 months, rumors are flying she’s had some ‘work’ done after she was recently spotted in London attempting to cover up a black eye & bruised cheek with oversized sunglasses. Her spokesperson refuses to comment on her client’s ‘private life’.
• Ne-Yo – Word has it he’s ready to sue Beyoncé for reneging on a deal. He claims he organized the melody & vocal arrangement of her mega-hit “Irreplaceable” for free in return for her agreement to record a future duet with him. Now he wants a share of royalties.
• Tim McGraw – FEBRUARY 2nd he’ll headline the “Super Jam” concert in Scottsdale AZ on the eve of the “Super Bowl”. Also performing: Toby Keith, Eddie Montgomery (Montgomery Gentry), Steven Tyler (Aerosmith), and Paul Rodgers (Bad Company and Queen).
• Velvet Revolver – Slash says their next album will be done after a ‘quick turnaround’ unlike “Chinese Democracy”, the now legendary album his ex-Guns ‘N Roses’ bandmate Axl Rose has been working on for over a decade. The two haven’t spoken for even longer than that.

• “Chuck” (NBC) – For some inexplicable reason, the last 2 episodes are airing before and after an episode of “Celebrity Apprentice”. Maybe they thought it a fitting tribute to a show that loves its sandwiches?
• John Mayer – He’s a guest on “Late Night With Conan O’Brien” (NBC). Hey, ask him about Jessica … again.
• LeAnn Rimes – She releases the new single, “A Good Friend & a Glass of Wine”, which she describes as a ‘really fun girl anthem’.
• Natasha Bedingfield – THIS AFTERNOON the “Unwritten” singer does the “Ellen DeGeneres Show” (syndicated/CityTV).
• Ringo Starr – The ex-Beatle is on “Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson” (CBS), promoting his new album “Liverpool 8”. Earlier THIS WEEK he walked off the set of “Live With Regis & Kelly” when he was told he’d have to cut short his performance of the title song with “Eurythmics” alum Dave Stewart.
• “Ugly Betty” (ABC) – It’s a family affair on the last pre-strike episode. Gene Simmons guest stars as ‘Amanda’s potential father while Gabrielle Union is ‘Daniel’s love interest and, little does he know, ‘Wilhelmina’s sister.

A BS selection of movies in the making …
• “All Good Things” – Ryan Gosling (“Half Nelson“) & Kirsten Dunst (“Spider-Man”) are in final talks to star in this 1980s murder mystery about a member of a NYC real estate dynasty who falls in love with a girl from the wrong side of the tracks … until her disappearance, that is. Shooting is scheduled to get underway in APRIL.
• “Bush” – Having already made movies about John F Kennedy (“JFK”) & Richard Nixon (“Nixon”), director Oliver Stone is set to make  a ‘fair, true portrait’ of George W Bush that will focus on his relationship with his father, his heady youth, and his faith. Josh Brolin (“No Country For Old Men“) is attached to play Dubya from his early party years battling personal demons to his decision as Commander-In-Chief to invade Iraq. Shooting could start as early as APRIL.
• “Cadillac Records” – Oscar-winner Adrian Brody (“The Pianist”) & Jeffrey Wright (“Casino Royale”) will play Chess Records founder Leonard Chess & legendary bluesman Muddy Waters in a new musical drama about the Chicago blues explosion in the 1950s. It’s scheduled to hit screens late THIS YEAR.
• “Easy Virtue” – Hollywood actress Jessica Biel has signed to star in this British rom-com based on a 1920s Noel Coward play as an American divorcée who marries a young Brit while on vacation in France. Colin Firth & Kristin Scott Thomas co-star. Cameras are already rolling in and around London.
• “Me & Orson Welles” – Zac Efron (“High School Musical”, “Hairspray”) has signed on to star in the bigscreen adaptation of Robert Kaplow’s 1930s-era coming-of-age novel about a high schooler who stumbles into a theater rehearsal while wandering Manhattan and ends up with a bit part in a Shakespearean play under the tutelage of the legendary director of “Citizen Kane”.
Newcomer Christian McKay will play Welles.

Osteopaths are warning they’re seeing increasing numbers of adults suffering from neck and shoulder pains. What’s being called ‘Nintendo Wii Syndrome’ is apparently caused by parents attempting to compete with their kids in the game platform’s simulated sports games. It seems prolonged, over-enthusiastic waving of the remote control can have repercussions for older folk. (Best to stick with online euchre, fogies.)
– “Times of London”

• A group of teenage car thieves in Winnipeg has been charged with stealing a car and using it to attend a court-ordered counseling session intended to stop them … from stealing cars. The light-fingered foursome told cops it was simply too cold to walk. In fairness, local temps had plummeted to around -40 degrees. (The temperature at which exposed flesh shatters.)
• Astronauts at the International Space Station are getting ready to launch a paper plane some 250 miles above the Earth. It’s made of special heat-resistant paper and designed by engineers and origami masters (no, seriously) and should, they hope, survive re-entry, thereby inspiring new designs for larger craft. (Next week: man hit by paper plane sues astronauts.)
• Russian president Vladimir Putin has struck fear into the hearts of journalists by appointing  Vasily Shestakov to head up Moscow’s new National Information Center. Vasily, you see, was formerly employed as Putin’s … judo master. (Presumably he’ll be chopping access to the prez.)

Some of the world’s top residential detox facilities …
• Betty Ford Center (Rancho Mirage CA): One of the most famous rehabs was started in 1982. The renowned desert hideaway has been used by Johnny Cash, Stevie Nicks, and Keith Urban. Treatment will set you back $23,000 per month.
• Crossroads Center (Antigua): Founded by Eric Clapton beside the beautiful turquoise water of Willoughby Bay, the intimate 36-bed facility is rumored to have hosted Britney Spears (just before she shaved her head) and Whitney Houston. Cost: $19,500 a month.
• The Meadows (Wickenburg AZ): A former dude ranch that’s been frequented by Kate Moss, Ron Wood of the Rolling Stones, and Whitney Houston. Around $39,100 per month.
• Priory Hospital (Roehampton UK): London’s oldest psychiatric hospital is a stately white manor with a manicured lawn that’s hosted the likes of Pete Doherty (Babyshambles) and Justin Hawkins (The Darkness) at around $22,000 per month.
• Promises Malibu (Malibu CA): Luxury rooms with ocean views. The choice of Diana Ross, Robert Downey Jr, and Charlie Sheen. Cost: $49,000 per month.
• Wonderland Center (West Hollywood CA): 3 acres of rustic trails and lush foliage in the heart of LA. Lindsay Lohan and Mike Tyson have checked in at $35,000-and-up per month.
– “Blender Magazine”

Richard Holschen, a police officer in Alaska, has created a caffeinated lip balm which contains the same amount of caffeine as a slurp of coffee. He says he dreamed up the idea while trying to stay awake during long night shifts. The cop claims it is the fastest way to get caffeine into the body other than by injection because lips are very thin, so it absorbs quickly. (“New Blistex … now in Double Chocolaty Chip Frappuccino.”)
– “Social Studies”

The image of Brazil as a nation of tanned, toned beach-goers in impossibly small swimsuits could be a thing of the past, with the release of new stats stating that nearly half of all Brazilians are now overweight. That figure has swelled from 41% in just 3 years. (What’s that old song I keep humming … “The Whale from Ipanema”?)
– “The Telegraph”

Trying to cash in on millions of smokers, a Chinese company has designed a nifty little cellphone that looks exactly like a pack of cigarettes right down to the warning label on the outside. Interestingly, the phone can actually hold half a pack of cigarettes. Simply slide open the battery cover to retrieve a cancer dart. The gizmo comes in a $175-box set that includes the phone, a pack of Chonghwa cigarettes, and a lighter. (What if someone steals it thinking they’re just grabbing a few smokes?)
– “Curious Times”

A skin patch designed to reduce drivers’ risk of having a car accident is being tested by scientists at the University of Virginia. The patch, which contains the drug Ritalin, is supposed to improve the performance of teenage drivers by helping to calm them and improve their concentration. It provides a maximum dose between 10pm & 1am, the peak time for car accidents involving young people. The drug is normally used to treat ADHD in hyperactive youngsters. (Apparently doing drugs while driving is okay … as long as it’s prescription drugs.)
– “The Independent“

Electric cars were introduced in 1896. By 1900, almost 50% of all cars worldwide were electric. But within 20 years … the electric car had disappeared.

“Britney is in on it. She calls the paparazzi before she goes out. We know 15 minutes before she leaves the house. It’s all staged.”
– Photographer Alison Silva, telling the “NY Post” how Britney Spears manages the media.


1941 [67] Neil Diamond, Brooklyn NY, oldies singer (“Heartlight”, “Sweet Caroline”)

1941 [67] Aaron Neville, New Orleans LA, oldies singer (“It’s All Right”, “Tell It Like It Is)

1963 [45] Keech Rainwater, Plano TX, country musician (Lonestar-“Mr Mom”, “Tell Her”)

1974 [34] Ed Helms, Atlanta GA, TV actor (‘Andy Bernard’ on “The Office” since 2006)

1986 [22] Mischa Barton, London UK, TV actress (“The OC” 2003-06) arrested for DUI in West Hollywood DECEMBER 27th

• “Beer Can Appreciation Day”, observed on the anniversary of the 1st canned beer, marketed by Kruegar Brewing of Richmond VA on this day 73 years ago in 1935. Gee, what should we do to celebrate? Admire the bottom of a can … from the inside?

• “Direct Deposit Week”, which either has to do with having your pay directly deposited into your bank account … or making babies the ‘old fashioned way’.

• “Peanut Butter Day”, unless someone in the house is at risk of anaphylactic shock from an allergy. Originally called ‘nutmeal’, peanut butter has only been around for about 120 years but it’s a staple in 85% of homes and we eat about 3 lbs per person per year. If you have arachibutyrophobia, you’re afraid of peanut butter sticking to the roof of your mouth!

• “Women’s Healthy Weight Day”, a highlight of “Healthy Weight Week”, designed to fight the media portrayal of women as extremely thin, submissive, and self-absorbed in how they look.

1908 [100] 1st ‘Boy Scout’ troop organized by Sir Robert Baden-Powell in London UK, originally for youths to play ‘war-games’

1952 [56] Vincent Massey becomes the 1st Canadian-born Governor General of Canada

1999 [09] Golfer David Duval matches best round in PGA history – a 59 – to win the “Bob Hope Desert Classic” (the other ‘59ers’ in a competitive round are Chip Beck & Al Geiberger)

[Fri] Opposite Day
[Fri] 8th International Internet-Free Day
[Fri] Robbie Burns Day
[Fri] School Nurse Day
[Fri] Fun At Work Day
[Fri] “How She Move”; “Meet the Spartans”; “Rambo”; “Untraceable” open in movie theaters
[Sat] 2008 Miss America Pageant (TLC)
[Sat] 60th DGA (Directors’ Guild of America) Awards
[Sun] 14th SAG (Screen Actors’ Guild) Awards
This Week Is … Nurse Anesthetists Week (try saying that 3 times!)
This Month Is … Eye Care Month


• “Hey Chuck, unzip the bag on that one, he’s still kicking.”
• “Blink once for yes.”
• “I don’t know what it is, but hurry up and pack it in ice.”
• “Do you think he can hear us?”
• “Hold still, we’ve almost pried its jaws open.”

There’s an easy way to lose weight. Eat stuff you hate.

You run down the list while a crew member/phone caller/studio guest rates each item as simply ‘good’ or ‘bad’ …
• Winter vacations.
• Reading a newspaper on the Internet.
• Sleeping pills.
• Flu vaccinations.
• Online role-playing in ‘virtual worlds’.
• The NHL All-Star Game.
• Green vegetables.
• Ice fishing.
• Family dinners.
• Playing the stock market.

Today’s Question: A recent study reveals that when a conversation turns to THIS, the rational part of the brain shuts down.
Answer to Give Out Next Show: Politics.

Old age = you + 20 years.

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