Wednesday, January 17, 2007        Edition: #3447
Another Sheetload of Bull!

Maybe this explains why they’re tinkering with a new game plan for “Lost” (ABC) – viewership is down 14% so far in this, it’s 3rd season . . . THIS WEEK DVD-by-mail service Netflix has unveiled its new ‘Watch Now’ service, allowing an ever increasing number of its subscribers to view movies & TV episodes online (a $17.99 monthly package gets you 18 hours of Internet viewing time) . . . THIS FALL celeb gossip website is coming to TV as “TMZ” (FOX) in both half-hour weekday and 1-hour weekend versions (cuz there’s just not enough gossip on TV) . . . THIS OCTOBER a 25-hour, 20-CD “New Testament Audio Bible” will be released, featuring some well-known actors providing voices, including Jim Caviezel (“The Passion of the Christ”), Richard Dreyfuss, Marisa Tomei, Lou Diamond Phillips, and Terrence Stamp – as the voice of God . . . Just days after the big announcement about David Beckham going Hollywood his 32-year-old wife Victoria is already house-hunting, leading an entourage of limos and SUVs full of security, real estate agents and hangers-on on a tour of some 35 lavish mansions that are for sale (so far, Lionel Richie’s multi-million-dollar villa-style home has been rejected – as too small) . . . Already a hit on the London stage (fastest-selling show in West End history), a new production of “Dirty Dancing”, based on the ’80s hit movie, will open this NOVEMBER at the Royal Alexandra theater in Toronto (previews begin OCTOBER 31st) . . . And actor Ben Affleck is looking to sell the $300,000 Bentley his ex-fiancée Jennifer Lopez bought him as a gift, and is currently shopping the land-yacht around to private collectors in order to avoid the publicity of a big auction (he’ll donate the proceeds to a Boston children’s hospital).

• Keith Urban – Australia’s “Herald Sun” newspaper is reporting that he’s planning a world tour that’s scheduled to begin Down Under this APRIL or MAY. Word is wife Nicole Kidman will be joining him. So much for backstage partying!
• KT Tunstall – TODAY the “Black Horse & the Cherry Tree” singer guests on the “Ellen DeGeneres Show” (syndicated/CityTV).
• Madonna – Looks like she now has a full-time spiritual advisor as Kabbalah big-wig Eitan Yardeni has been ordered to London to help oversee her personal and professional life.
• Toby Keith – New stats from the Nielsen ratings people show he was the most-played country artist on radio in 2006.
• Whitney Houston – The newly-single 43-year-old who’s currently working on a comeback album has been spotted dating R&B singer Ray J (brother of singer/actress Brandy), who’s  turning 26 TODAY … thereby making him just 17 years younger than Whitney.

• ‘Digital Dieting’ – Making use of digital retouching techniques to make the subject in a photo look younger and thinner. (“So far I’ve lost 30 lbs thanks to Photoshop.”)
• ‘Classical Clubbing’ – As concert hall audiences dwindle, young classical instrumentalists are moving their repertoire into bars and mashing it up with DJs. (“Dude, we’re hitting Crobar tonight to see Ofrah Harnoy jam with Tiesto.”)
• ‘Tech Nos’ – People who make a conscious decision to avoid today’s wired world as much as possible, using only the technology they feel they absolutely need. Some futurists predict that at some point, it’s going to become fashionable to be ‘disconnected’. (Especially in movie theaters.)

Experiments by an international team of researchers suggest that life may have begun on Earth after primitive organisms arrived aboard a meteorite gouged from Mars by a giant impact. The team of British, German & Russian scientists has discovered that lichen and bacterial spores are able to survive all but the most cataclysmic impacts, supporting a theory known as ‘lithopanspermia’, which suggests that life spread from one planet to another aboard lumps of rock that were knocked off the surface. (Ohmygawd, we may all be Martians!)
– “The Guardian”

TODAY the hands of the so-called ‘Doomsday Clock’ will be moved forward for the first time in 4 years because of worsening nuclear and climate threats. A spokesman for the “Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists” says that the world is getting closer to Armageddon. In 2002, the minute hand was moved back to 7 minutes to midnight. The new issue of the magazine, with the clock on its cover, will reveal what the new time is. The announcement will also be made at 9:30 am EST THIS MORNING at the group’s website. (The sky is falling! The sky is falling!)
– PA News

• In Romania, snowboarders have blocked traffic by staging a sit-down protest in front of the National Weather Institute in Bucharest to complain about … the lack of snow. The demonstration ended after meteorologists promised their beef would be passed on to ‘a higher authority’. Like much of Europe, Romanian ski resorts have been hit by a lack of snow and unseasonably high temperatures. The appeal may have had some effect, as snow is predicted for later THIS WEEK.
• In Vallejo CA, a 59-year-old man has been left with 2nd- and 3rd-degree burns across half his body after waking up to find his clothes on fire. The cause of the conflagration … a cellphone that spontaneously combusted in the front pocket of his pants! (Cool, can they make them all do this?)
• In Western Australia, farmers are fattening their Wagyu cattle, a breed originated in Japan that enjoys a reputation as the world’s best beef, by feeding them a diet of mixed grains and hay that is saturated with … Chestnut Grove 2004 Cabernet Merlot. The animals are given a liter a day for the last 60 days of their lives, which is said to give the meat a sweetness that raises the quality even further. (And saves you from deciding which wine should go with your steak.)
• In Singapore, a 17-year-old has been given 18 months’ probation and ordered to carry out 80 hours of community service after he admitted to the horrific crime of … linking up to his neighbor’s wireless router to access the Internet without permission. Seems he was lucky. Under Singaporean law, he could have been jailed up to 3 years and fined $6,500!
• In China, a Beijing couple has wed in a unique ceremony … on wheels. The bride once worked for the groom at his roller-skating rink, so they decide to marry in the midst of a roller skating parade circling their neighborhood. Wedding guests, also on skates, accompanied the couple while waving ribbons and colorful balloons. (Must have been a challenging honeymoon!)

50-year-old British explorer David Hempleman-Adams has set a new world record by climbing to an altitude of 9,906 meters (32,500 ft) in a hot-air balloon with an open wicker basket near Red Deer AB. That beats the previous record of 9,537 meters (31,290 ft) set in New Mexico 25 years ago. Hempleman-Adams is quite the adventurer; he’s also the first man in history to reach the geographic and magnetic North and South Poles, and to climb the highest peaks on all 7 continents.
– CP

New York-based research firm The Zandl Group interviews hundreds of teens each year to track trends. According to its most recent stats, nearly 50% of teens list ‘home’ as their favorite place to be, compared to less than 25% a decade ago. (They may still be saying when they’re 30.)
– “Seattle Times”


1939 [68] Maury Povich, Washington DC, TV talk show host (“The Maury Povich Show” since 1991)/Mr Connie Chung since 1984

1942 [65] Muhammad Ali, Louisville KY, 3-time heavyweight boxing champ with career record of 56-5 including 37 KOs and 19 successful title defenses for $69-million total earnings/Parkinson’s victim

1955 [52] Steve Earle, Hampton VA, alt-country singer (“Copperhead Road”, “Guitar Town”)

1962 [45] Jim Carrey, Newmarket ON, movie actor (“Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”, “Bruce Almighty”)

1969 [38] Naveen Andrews, London UK, TV actor (‘Sayid Jarrah’ on “Lost” since 2004)

1971 [36] Kid Rock (Robert James Ritchie), Romeo MI, country/rock singer (“Picture”)

1982 [25] Amanda Wilkinson, Belleville ON, country singer (The Wilkinsons-“Jimmy’s Got a Girlfriend”)/TV comedy-reality show actor (CMT’s “The Wilkinsons”)

• “Get to Know Your Customer Day”, a reminder about how important good customer service is for any business.
• “Judgment Day”, a day to look at yourself in the mirror and see how you’re doing on your New Year’s resolutions. Some dissenting folk somewhere have named this “Ditch New Years Resolutions Day”.
• “St Anthony Day”, honoring the patron saint of domestic animals. That’s why TODAY is also the annual “Blessing of the Animals” at the Cathedral in Mexico City, when chickens, cows and house pets decorated with flowers are on parade.

1995 [12] Shania Twain releases her first hit single, “Whose Bed Have Your Boots Been Under”

1795 [212] 1st ‘Curling Club’ organized, the Dudingston Curling Society in Edinburgh, Scotland (and the next day, the 1st skip suffers a hangover)

1996 [11] Ottawa Senators play 1st game in new 18,000-seat ‘Palladium’ (later known as ‘Corel Centre’ and now renamed ‘Scotiabank Place’)

1874 [133] 1st well-known Siamese twins Chang and Eng, who are joined at the chest, die at 63 (after years of touring with the PT Barnum Show, they retired to 2 farms in North Carolina, married 2 sisters and raised 2 families – ALTERNATING nights between farms!)

1995 [12] NFL’s Los Angeles Rams announce move to St Louis

[Thurs] Winnie the Pooh Day
[Thurs-Jan 28] 2007 Sundance Film Festival
[Fri] International Sing-Out Day
[Fri] Penguin Awareness Day
[Sat] Muharram (Islamic New Year)
[Sat] 18th Producers Guild of America Awards (Los Angeles)
[Sat] Philately Day
[Sun] Hugging Day
[Sun] Squirrel Appreciation Day
This Week Is … Non-Smoking Week in Canada
This Month Is … Personal Self-Defense Awareness Month


It’s a go! THIS JUNE 64-year-old Harrison Ford begins shooting another sequel to the action-adventure series. It’s yet to be named but we’re betting it won’t be called …
• “Indiana Jones & the Raiders of the AFC”
• “Indiana Jones & the Wheelchair Ramp”
• “Massachusetts Jones & the Lost Road Map”
• “Indiana Jones at the Altar of Metamucil”
• “Indiana Jones & the Curse of the Purloined Dentures”
• “Indiana Jones & the Nursing Home of Indiscretions”
• “Indiana Jones & the Nightly Dose of Geritol”
• “Indiana Jones & the Lost Continence”

• Alpha Mail – When your target visits the john, send an e-mail from his account to the entire company asking some obvious question like, “Who’s the leader of the Liberal party again?” The slew of responses will clog his in-box and knock him out of the running for that promotion.
• Chatty Chair – Snag a cheap teddy bear that makes noise when hugged and gut it for the touch-sensitive speaker. Then carefully insert the speaker under your mark’s chair cushion. When he/she sits down, “Hug me!” will coo from deep beneath his/her butt.
• Fly Boy – Cut up some fruit and place it in a cup near an open window. The produce will slowly attract fruit flies and become infested with their eggs. Place the maggot colony under the new intern’s desk, then stroll over and suggest he bathe.
• Gone Fishin’ – Line the inside of a coworker’s drawer with heavy-duty clear garbage bags before adding rocks, plants, water, and the obligatory treasure chest. Then drop in a pair of live goldfish, sit back, and watch your former friend find ‘Nemo’.
• Word Imperfect – When your co-nerd is away, sneak into the AutoCorrect function in Microsoft Word and replace common words (‘if’, ‘the’, ‘and’) with sassier phrases (‘righteous rack’, ‘man-spackle’, ‘bum chum’, etc). For once his memos will be the talk of the office.
– “Maxim Magazine”

I’m safe from identity theft: Nobody wants to be me.

Today’s Question: If you do THIS, chances are your common cold will last longer.
Answer to Give Out Next Show: Go see a doctor.

In times like these, it’s helpful to remember that there have always been times like these.

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