Wednesday, June 18, 2003        Edition: #2566
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TODAY Oprah Winfrey’s ‘book club’ returns to her TV gabfest, a sure shot in the arm to the publishing biz, but this time around she says she’ll focus on classic authors such as William Faulkner & Ernest Hemingway (yeah, that “Beowulf” book could be a hit) . . . TONIGHT Janet Jackson, Michael Jordan, Mary J Blige & Donald Trump are among those scheduled to attend rapper Jay-Z’s bash to open his new NYC nightclub, the ‘40/40′ lounge, where all guests will get a VIP gift bag worth thousands and someone will win a $10,000 trip to Barbados (in Barbados, that’ll buy you lunch … maybe) . . . TONIGHT in LA, the 4th annual “National Smooth Jazz Awards” will be handed out (gawd, that’s gotta be a really stimulating evening – everybody who attends gets a pillow & a blankie) . . . Christina Aguilera & Justin Timberlake’s “Stripped & Justified” tour is being forced to scale back from 60 cities to 45, and to ‘more intimate venues’ (in other words ‘smaller’) because promoters are struggling to sell tickets . . . Meantime, word is Justin Timberlake has met with gaming industry reps about using his digital image in an upcoming video game . . . Former Spice Girl Victoria Beckham’s 4-year-old son Brooklyn is getting private piano lessons – from Elton John (let’s hope he’s not also learning wardrobe) . . . Rumors are rampant Down Under that 35-year-old pop pixie Kylie Minogue is pregnant via French boyfriend Olivier Martinez . . . Julia Roberts is the latest celeb to have her head slapped onto the wrong body on the doctored cover of the new issue of “Redbook” magazine . . . “Sports Illustrated” is launching a contest to find an amateur model for its 40th anniversary ‘Swimsuit Issue’ in FEBRUARY . . . In the new issue of “Rolling Stone”, “American Idol” runner-up Clay Aiken reveals he’s not gay, has never been in love – and he bites his toenails (gee Clay, thanks for sharing).
• ‘SASHA’ – A new demographic group known as ‘Single, Attractive, Successful, Happy & Affluent’. (Sort of the snooty single version of ‘DINKS’ … ‘Double Income, No Kids’.)
• ‘Dental Spas’ – Upscale dental treatment centers that are becoming popular across the US. Their amenities can include massages, heated neck pillows, video games, scented nitrous oxide, and – here comes a cavity – freshly-baked cookies. (Yeah, but the drill still sounds like this [SFX].)
• ‘Codify’ – Consulting gurus have really latched onto this one. It’s simply one of those words that sounds important. Primarily, they ‘codify’ information when they arrange or systematize it. (“We’ll codify the key strategies for you so you can correctly target the 25-49 demo.”)

YESTERDAY NYC-based Deloitte Consulting launched new software called ‘Bullfighter’ that’s designed to make sense out of confusing corporate terminology like ‘repurposeable’, ‘value-added knowledge capital’ and ‘robust, leveragable mindshare’. The idea is to help those who write business documents to use clear language and those who have to read them to decipher jargon. Deloitte suggests there’s a link between poor business performance and progressively more obscure language. In other words, companies in trouble begin using fuzzy terminology on purpose to cover up the fact they’re failing.

Tokyo has replaced Hong Kong as the world’s most expensive city, according to the latest Mercer Business Cost of Living survey. Moscow is in 2nd place, followed by Osaka, Japan. Paraguay’s capital Asuncion has replaced Johannesburg as the least expensive city in the survey. NYC is the costliest in the USA, ranking 10th. Canada’s most expensive cities, Toronto and Vancouver, only rank 104th and 110th overall. Ottawa is the least expensive Canadian city, ranking 127th in the survey.

Highlights of a new ‘Kiss & Tell Survey’, conducted by Lever 2000 to determine the romantic connection between people and the movies –
• 45% of adults say they ‘want to get close’ to their partner or spouse while watching a movie.
• 67% of those polled have kissed a date while at a movie.
• Harrison Ford is rated the ‘Most Kissable Actor’, followed by Denzel Washington.
• Halle Berry is the ‘Most Kissable Actress’, followed by Julia Roberts.

Here’s further evidence of the softening of the male species. In a new poll of men, 76% say they see themselves as ‘easygoing’. 72% think they are ‘caring’ and ‘open-minded’. In contrast, just 10% describe themselves as ‘dominant’ and only 3% claim to be ‘studs’.

A new University of California study finds that men routinely ask for more money than women in salary negotiations. Why? It could have to do with self image. An accompanying poll finds that 85% of men say they know their worth, while 83% of women say they’re unsure. Furthermore, 70% of men say they think they’re entitled to earn more than others, while 71% of women think they only deserve to earn the same as everyone else.

The exclusive Phoenician Resort in Arizona is now offering – ‘no touch massage’. How’s that work? Inventor Leonie Rosenberg tells “Health” magazine she drizzles special oils on each of the 7 chakras, the main energy centers of the body according to Eastern medicine. She then places her hands above and below them while the client is asked to visualize a color and listen to a positive affirmation related to each chakra. (The client is then asked to close his eyes while she rifles through his pants pockets.)

• A Morgantown WV church youth group is raising money by asking residents to donate a few bucks for a chance to nominate people they’d most like to see – kiss a cow. (Local men are asking, “We only get to kiss?”)
• A London ENG groom has suffered huge embarrassment when pals at his bachelor party spiked his drink with Viagra – shortly before they entered a steam room at a spa. Pink-faced Andrew Merry quickly felt a ‘stirring’ and continually had to plunge himself into a cold bath to, uh, calm down. (On the way home he was pulled over for dangerous driving on a pogo stick.)
• A Brisbane, Australia homeless man in his mid-30s was dumped into a garbage compactor when a truck emptied the industrial dumpster he was sleeping in. Before hearing the man’s cries for help, the truck driver compacted the trash – twice. (The good news is, he’s much slimmer now.)
• A store has opened in Kilburn UK which only sells – ketchup. It seems that community is one of the largest consumers of the stuff, with the average household going through 4.4 kg (close to 10 lbs) per year. That fact led grocer Tammy Omoniabipi to fill her entire store with Heinz Ketchup – 9,432 bottles to be precise.
• A 13-year-old boy in New Delhi, India has begun producing winged beetles in his urine after mysteriously having the eggs hatch in his body. (Doctors are now examining his butt for monkeys.)


1942 [61] Sir Paul McCartney, Liverpool ENG, rock billionaire (Beatles-“Let it Be”, Wings-“Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey”) who’s expecting to become a dad again this fall/Rock & Roll Hall of Fame (1999)  FACTOID: His offer to headline the UK’s massive “Glastonbury Festival” later THIS MONTH has been turned down, in favor of Radiohead.

1942 [61] Roger Ebert, Urbana IL, syndicated TV/newspaper film critic (“Chicago Sun Times”)

1966 [37] Kurt Browning, Caroline AB, pro figure skater (former 4-time world champ, 1st quadruple jump at World Figure Skating Championships (1988), 1996 World Professional champ)

1971 [32] Nathan Morris, Philadelphia PA, pop/R&B singer (Boyz II Men-“I’ll Make Love to You”)

1976 [27] Blake Shelton, Ada OK, country singer (“Heavy Liftin’”, “Austin”)

TODAY is “National Splurge Day”, when we’re encouraged to go out and do something indulgent. (Don’t go overboard, because TOMORROW is ‘National Return Everything You Bought on Splurge Day’.)

TODAY is “International Picnic Day”, a favorite day for ants everywhere!

TODAY is also “International Panic Day”, a dreaded day for picnickers invaded by ants!

SATURDAY the 10th annual “World Toe Wrestling Championships” grapple at Ye Olde Royal Oak Inn in Wetton UK. The defending men’s & women’s champs are Alan ‘Nasty’ Nash & Karen ‘Kamikaze’ Davies. So how does one wrestle with one’s tootsies? And are there specific strategies to win?
PHONER: 01335-310287 (Brian Rowbotham)/01889-568102 (George Burgess)

1583 [420] 1st ‘life insurance policy’ is issued to one Richard Martin in London ENG (he’s still paying premiums!)

1816 [187] 1st “Thanksgiving Day” celebrated in Upper Canada (later moved to October when people complain, “It’s too darn hot to roast a turkey in June!”)

1878 [125] US Coast Guard 1st organized

1983 [20] 1st American woman in space (Sally Ride-7th Space Shuttle mission)

1980 [23] Mrs Shakuntala Devi mentally multiplies two 13-digit numbers in 28 seconds

1988 [15] 14 students at Hanover High School in New Hampshire set a world record by
leapfrogging for 189 hours, 49 minutes – almost 8 days – and covering 888.1 miles

1992 [11] Italian police arrest a man for stealing a total of 17,000 little bars of hotel soap

2000 [03] Tiger Woods sets PGA record by winning the “US Open” by 15 strokes

[Thurs] Garfield Day (25th birthday)
[Thurs] World Sauntering Day
[Fri] Take Your Dog to Work Day
[Fri] “The Hulk” opens in theaters
[Sat] 1st Day of Summer
[Sat] Vegan World Day
This Week Is . . . Hire a Student Week / Tennis Week (aka ‘Ow My Elbow Hurts Week’)
This Month Is . . . National Beef Steak Month


• The game of golf is 90% mental and 10% mental.
• No matter how bad you are playing, it is always possible to play worse.
• Hazards attract. Fairways repel.
• A ball you can see in the rough from 50 yards away is not yours.
• Golfers who claim they don’t cheat, also lie.
• The less skilled the player, the more likely he is to share his ideas about the golf swing.
• The shortest distance between any 2 points on a golf course is a straight line … that passes directly through the center of a very large tree.
• There are 2 kinds of bounces … unfair bounces, and bounces just the way you meant to play them.
• Every time a golfer makes a birdie, he must subsequently make 2 triple bogeys to restore the fundamental equilibrium of the universe.
• The little white ball won’t move till you hit it, and there’s nothing you can do after it’s gone.

Match the ad slogan to the company …
• “Bet You Can’t Eat Three!” [Twix, Shredded Wheat Cereal (CORRECT), or McCain’s Deep Dish Pizza?]
• “I Love What You Do For Me” [Toyota (CORRECT), Honda, or Viagra?]
• “The Document Company” [Hewlett-Packard, Xerox (CORRECT), or the Canadian Government?]
• “Tastes So Good Cats Ask for it by Name” [Nine Lives, Meow Mix (CORRECT), or Purina Mouse Bits?]
• “Hello Boys!” [Maidenform, Jockey, or Wonderbra (CORRECT)?]
• “Solutions for a Small Planet” [IBM (CORRECT), Apple, or Palm?]
• “Quality is Job 1″ [Oldsmobile, Ford (CORRECT), or Honda?]
• “Snap! Crackle! Pop!” [Kellogg’s Rice Krispies (CORRECT), Molson Canadian, or Pringles?]
• “Soup is Good Food” [Dinty Moore, Campbell’s (CORRECT), or Habitant?]
• “The Ultimate Driving Machine” [Toyota, BMW (CORRECT), or the Big Bertha golf club?]

The Web’s most traded music files LAST WEEK …
1. Metallica – “St Anger”
2. Ludacris – “Act A Fool”
3. 50 Cent – “21 Questions”
4. Evanescence – “Bring Me to Life”
5. Jewel – “Intuition”
Source: BigChampagne

Instant zingers by famous people are just a click away with the Internet ‘Insult-o-Matic’. Witness – “If ignorance is bliss, you must be orgasmic!” Or how ‘bout “I feel so miserable without you, it’s almost like having you here.”

Today’s Question: The average man does THIS 14 times a year, while the average woman does it 64 times in a year.
Answer to Give Out Tomorrow: Cry.

The trouble with life is the lack of cool background music.


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