Thursday, March 20, 2003        Edition: #2501
A Bull in Hand Is A Sheetload!

Former “West Wing” star Rob Lowe is set for the lead role in a 4-hour mini-series of Stephen King’s horror thriller “Salem’s Lot” which begins shooting in Australia NEXT MONTH . . . Tobey Maguire could pull out of the “Spider-Man” sequel, due to begin shooting NEXT MONTH, because of a bad back and word has it co-star Kirsten Dunst’s real-life boyfriend Jake Gyllenhaal may fill in (why doesn’t Tobey try stretching out his back by hanging upside down?) . . . Word has it cash-strapped Michael Jackson may be looking to move to the Palm Beach area because Florida law does not allow real estate to be taken away in court judgements . . . Meantime, it seems former best buds Michael Jackson & Elizabeth Taylor have had a falling out after Michael summoned her to Neverland, but when she arrived he wasn’t even there . . . During his Australia tour, Ja Rule won a $50,000 jackpot in a Melbourne casino and then celebrated by handing out autographs on – $50 bills! . . . In its 75 years the Academy Awards show has never been canceled, but organizers now say SUNDAY’s version will be toned down . . . Academy Award ‘Best Actress’ nominee Renee Zellweger reveals that she’s attended so many pre-Oscar functions, she’s worn nearly 40 dresses in the past 3 weeks (she’s pulled things on and off so often, her entire body is chapped).

Jennifer Lopez will play a ballroom dancing teacher who agrees to instruct working-class guy Richard Gere in an upcoming remake of a top-grossing Japanese flick, “Shall We Dance?” . . . Word on the “Bridget Jones’ Diary” sequel is it will go into production by the end of the summer, but cast-mates Renee Zellweger, Hugh Grant & Colin Firth are all reportedly waiting for a finished script before they sign on . . . Jennifer Love Hewitt is in talks to star in a bigscreen version of the vintage TV series “21 Jump Street”, with original star Johnny Depp already set for a cameo . . . In “Man on Fire”, Denzel Washington will play an ex-soldier living in Mexico who is persuaded by old friend Christopher Walken to protect a child at risk of kidnap . . . It looks like “Bringing Down the House” star Queen Latifah’s next will be the romantic comedy “Just Wright”, playing a physiotherapist who develops a relationship with her patient – an all-star basketball player recovering from a career-threatening injury.

The official gift baskets for the “75th Academy Awards” that go to nominees, presenters and performers are full of $22,000-worth of goodies, including a $2,200 reclining chair, a $1,580 watch, a $660 teeth-whitening session and a $440 handbag. But high-profile nominees, mostly actors and directors, will also receive dozens of EXTRA gifts from companies anxious to get their products in celebrity hands. For instance, both Motorola and Sprint are giving out new camera phones, and Victoria’s Secret is customizing a ‘good luck charm’ bra & panty set with the initials of each actress nominee. There’s also a queen-sized bed, a safari trip in Kenya, and Dream Couture shampoo & conditioner from Brit stylist Charles Worthington, which contains the extract of Chardonnay grapes & oh-so-expensive Perigord black truffles.

A new study from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston finds that seniors who drink moderately are less likely to suffer dementia than teetotalers. ‘Moderate drinking’ is defined as 1 to 6 alcoholic drinks – per week. The researchers warn that those who drink too much add to their risk of mental deterioration. (Like forgetting where they were last night and the name of that fine looking octogenarian in room 24.)

Major League Baseball has nixed the season-opening series between the Seattle Mariners and Oakland As scheduled for NEXT WEEK in Japan due to war worries. (Commissioner Bud Selig is apparently unaware that the Middle East and Far East are thousands of miles apart.)

“National Geographic” reports that California Institute of Technology scientists have developed a new data transfer protocol for the Internet that’s over 150,000 times faster than a modem and close to 6,000 times speedier than high-speed connections. That’s fast enough to download a full-length DVD movie in less than 5 seconds. It’s called – what else? – ‘FAST’, standing for Fast Active Scalable Transmission. (That’s also the answer to when your neighborhood video store will be going out of business – FAST!)

Japan’s Seiko Epson Corp will unveil a robot that weighs less than half an ounce at NEXT MONTH’s “Robodex 2003″ exhibition in Yokohama. The tiny Monsieur II-P microbot is fitted with miniature motors that allows it to dance around on 2 wheels. A squadron of the microbots will perform a synchronized dancing demonstration at the show. (Oh well then, guess it’s a worthwhile invention after all.)

How’d you like this job? Australian scientists are trying to work out why kangaroos don’t break wind as often as sheep and cattle. Government scientists are investigating microbes in kangaroos’ stomachs to see if they can identify the bacteria that prevents the production of methane. If successful, the move could reduce the greenhouse gas emissions from livestock. (In related news, my new co-host starting next week is named Skippy.)

How long can the average pro athlete expect to maintain a career? Depends on the sport –
• Bowling – 17 years.
• Bullfighting – 10 years.
• Basketball/Baseball – 4.5 years.
• Football – 3.5 years.
Source: “Men’s Health”

• You can keep rabbits from feasting on your spring garden by sprinkling it with hair clippings. Seems bunnies can scent the human from the hair and are frightened away. (Yup, hares are afraid of hairs.)
• If you’re lost in the woods and starving, you might want to try chewing on your shoes. Leather has enough nutritional value to keep you going for a little while. (Would that make you a sole survivor?)


1928 [D-2/27/03] Fred Rogers, Latrobe PA, TV personality (“Mr Rogers Neighborhood” 1967-2001)

1939 [64] Brian Mulroney, Baie Comeau QC, much vilified Prime Minister of Canada 1984-93/father of CTV & talktv’s Ben Mulroney

1945 [58] Pat Riley, Rome NY, NBA head coach/president with 16 divisional championships, 8 conference championships and 4 NBA championships (Miami Heat, ex-LA Lakers, ex-NY Knicks)/the guy who coined the phrase ‘three-peat’, meaning 3 championships in-a-row

1948 [55] Bobby Orr, Parry Sound ON, hockey player agent/Hall of Fame NHL defenceman (Boston Bruins)/2nd-greatest hockey player of all-time?

1950 [53] William Hurt, Washington DC, movie actor (Oscar-“Kiss of the Spiderwoman”, “Broadcast News”, “The Big Chill”)

1957 [46] Spike Lee, movie director/producer/actor (“Malcolm X”, “Do the Right Thing”)  UP NEXT: He’s producing the bigscreen version of the hit Broadway musical “Rent”, coming in 2004.

1958 [45] Holly Hunter, Conyers GA, movie actress (“O Brother Where Art Thou?”, Oscar-“The Piano”, “The Firm”)

1964 [39] Tracy Chapman, Cleveland OH, pop/folk singer (“Give Me One Reason”, “Fast Car”)

1969 [34] Big Bird, large-footed, ochre-colored, 8′-2″ oversized fowl Muppet (“Sesame Street”)  FACTOID: Caroll Spinney provides the voice and puppetry, holding the 4-and-a-half pound head up with his right arm.

1970 [33] Michael Rapaport, NYC, TV actor (Danny Hanson-“Boston Public)

1976 [27] Chester Bennington, Phoenix AZ, rock singer (Linkin Park-“In the End”, ”One Step Closer”)

TONIGHT Spring officially arrives in the Northern Hemisphere with the vernal equinox at 8pm EST. According to a University of Munich study, warmer spring weather is coming earlier and cooler autumn temps arriving later, extending the growing season by at least 10 days since 1960.

TODAY is “Proposal Day”, when both men & women are encouraged to pop the big question.

TODAY at Lake Superior State University in Sault Sainte Marie MI, the 32nd annual “Snowman Burning” takes place with a celebration that includes the reading of poetry and doggerel heralding the end of winter, followed by the effigy burning of a snowman (and lots of heavy duty toasting).

TODAY is “Extraterrestrial Abductions Day”, honoring all wackos who claim they’ve been kidnapped by aliens.

TONIGHT the “2003 NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship Tournament” begins. Popularly known as “March Madness”, teams will be eliminated until the ‘Final Four’ compete APRIL 5-7 in New Orleans. At least we hope so – the NCAA considered postponing the tournament due to the war, but has since announced it will go as scheduled.

1897 [106] 1st known ‘intercollegiate basketball game’ (Yale 32, Penn 10)

1954 [49] 1st ‘newspaper vending machine’ (Columbia PA)

1964 [39] 1st edition of TV game show “Jeopardy!”, with Art Fleming as host (Alex Trebek now hosts the revival that began in 1984)

1980 [23] 1st ‘sighting’ of Elvis reported, despite his widely rumored 1977 death (Butte, Montana)

1999 [04] Hot air balloon piloted by Brian Jones of England and Bertrand Piccard of Switzerland completes ‘1st nonstop around-the-world flight’

[Fri] International Astrology Day / Sign of Aries (the Ram) begins
[Fri] Single Parents Day
[Fri] World Poetry Day
[Fri] World Day for Elimination of Racial Discrimination
[Sat] 23rd Razzie Awards
[Sat] International Goof Off Day
[Sat] National Sing Out Day
[Sun] 75th Academy Awards
[Sun] World Meteorological Day
This Week Is . . . National Bubble Week (the beginning of ‘Bubble-Blowing Season’!) / National Clutter Awareness Week
This Month Is . . . Music In Our Schools Month (now there’s a cause worth championing!) / Furniture Refinishing Month

• Everywhere you look, adorable baby potholes!
• More than usual, people are mating in the streets.
• Your slothful neighbor finally returns your snowblower.
• Melting snow reveals entire country is covered in dog turds.
• Your furnace repairman calls to say he can finally make it over next week.
• Screams of women experiencing ‘bathing suit shock’ heard throughout the mall.
• Edmontonians get their summer-weight, seersucker parkas out of storage.
• For the 36th March in-a-row, Leaf fans hope, “Maybe THIS is the year.”
• Saddam Hussein orders the flowers to bloom.
• Montréal Expos mathematically eliminated from pennant race.

Mystery writer Vicki Cameron of Oxford Station ON has co-authored 2 new books of 15 short stories based on the board game ‘Clue’. To create “Clue Mysteries” she used detailed ‘biographies’ of the ‘Clue’ characters supplied by game-maker Hasbro. Did you know that ‘Miss Scarlet’ is ‘Mrs Peacock’s’ daughter? Or that ‘Mr Green’ calls himself a ‘Reverend’ but is really a con-man?
PHONER: 800-345-5359/215-567-5080 (arrange through Running Press)

Q: Who’s taller – ‘Oscar’ or ‘Barbie’?
A: ‘Oscar’ statuettes measure 13.5 inches high, while ‘Barbie’ is an inch shorter.
Source: Oscar manufacturer RS Owens & Co.

Q: Which of the following classic films failed to win a ‘Best Picture Oscar’ – “Citizen Kane”, “Grapes of Wrath”, “Network”, “LA Confidential”.
A: Hard to believe, but NONE of them won ‘Best Picture’.
Source: “Reader’s Digest”

“If money were no object, what would be your absolute dream car?” (According to a new survey of young drivers, the top ‘dream cars’ are, in order, the Hummer, Lincoln Navigator, Bentley, BMW and Mercedes Benz.)

Today’s Question: An office poll finds that 48% of Canadian women have done this out of pure
Answer to Give Out Next Show: Kicked a photocopy machine.

Intuition is reason in a hurry.

Printer Friendly Version