Friday, March 13, 2009        Edition: #3974
Beware the Ides of Bull!

In his latest bout of hijinks, actor-turned-‘rapper’ Joaquin Phoenix has had to be restrained at a gig in Miami FL after he showed up 4 hours late, mumbled lyrics over back tracks, and then – launched himself at a heckler in the audience (brother-in-law Casey Affleck caught it all on film, presumably for some kind of mocumentary) . . . . Oscar-nominee Mickey Rourke is set for the role of Russian villain ‘Whiplash’ in the upcoming “Iron Man” movie sequel after producers finally ponied up the right amount (he turned down the initial offer of $250,000) . . . This week 24-year-old actress/singer Mandy Moore & 34-year-old singer Ryan Adams were quietly wed less than a month after announcing their engagement in a small ceremony in Savannah GA (proving you CAN stay out of the limelight if you want to) . . . Newly divorced actress Anne Heche & her former “Men In Trees” co-star James Tupper have welcomed a new son whom they’ve named – ‘Atlas’ (half-brother ‘Homer’ is jealous over the more normal name) . . . Fans of the canceled CBS-TV show “Jericho” have something to be happy about (sorta) as the show will be continued – as a comic book . . . “OK! Magazine” reports pouty 19-year-old actress Hayden Panettiere is refusing to on the set of “Heroes” (NBC) with 31-year-old co-star Milo Ventimiglia since breaking up with him (some say she’s trying to get him axed, which actually might be a favor) . . . And Bear Grylls, host of Discovery Channel’s “Man vs Wild”, doesn’t limit his adventures to sampling exotic delicacies like camel stomach juice, raw goat testicles and yak eyeballs, he also took it upon himself to personally deliver his new son, ‘Huckleberry’, aboard his houseboat (this guy takes ‘DIY’ to a whole new high).

• “Canadian Music Week” (Toronto) – Today’s activities include April Wine’s induction into the “Canadian Music Hall of Fame” and the “Canadian Radio Music Awards”. Saturday the “Indie Awards” are handed out.
• “The Hour” (CBC) – Tonight Rush is featured in a rerun show.
• “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon” (NBC) – Tonight country singer Trace Adkins (“Marry for Money”) is on.
• “Live With Regis & Kelly” (syndicated/CTV) – This morning Kelly Clarkson plugs her new album “All I Ever Wanted”.
• Michael Jackson – Tickets for his “This Is It!” residency at London’s 20,000-capacity O2 Arena officially go on sale to the public today. The original 10-date run has now been expanded to 45 shows running from this July until February 2010. If the shows sell out, more than $90 million will be generated from ticket sales alone.
• “Saturday Night Live” (NBC/Global) – “30 Rock” actor Tracy Morgan hosts; Kelly Clarkson (“My Life Would Suck Without You”) is the musical guest.
• “Sound Relief” (Sydney & Melbourne) – Saturday the twin benefit concerts will raise money for victims of Australian wildfires and floods. Among the artists performing: Bee Gees’ Barry Gibb, Coldplay, Jack Johnson, Kings Of Leon, and reunited Aussie band Midnight Oil (lead singer Peter Garrett is the country’s Environment, Heritage & Arts Minister).
• “South-by-Southwest Festival” (Austin TX) – Today one of the premiere annual arts festivals gets underway with focus on ‘Interactive New Media’ (through March 17th) and ‘Film’ (through March 21st). The ‘Music’ portion runs March 18th-22nd.
• “Tonight Show With Jay Leno“ (NBC/A Channel) – Tonight country veteran Randy Travis performs, promoting his new anthology, “I Told You So: The Ultimate Hits of Randy Travis”, out next Tuesday.

• Beyoncé – She claims in “LA Confidential” magazine that she’s never suffered a broken heart because her only relationship has been with her husband Jay-Z. (At least that’s what’s she’s telling him.)
• Chris Brown – He’s withdrawn from the “Kids’ Choice Awards” (Nickelodeon) after being charged with assault & making criminal threats. (The first smart move he’s made since!)
• Madonna – She and her ex-, Guy Ritchie, have reached a deal in their custody battle, finalizing an agreement which will see their children living in NYC with their mother. (Well that’s a compromise, isn’t it?)
• Prince – He’s set for a multi-night ‘residency’ on “Tonight Show With Jay Leno” (NBC) March 25th-27th. (This was an original idea when U2 did it on “Late Show With David Letterman”.)
• Taylor Swift – She was a surprise guest at the red carpet premiere for the Zac Efron film, “17 Again”, in Sydney, Australia on Wednesday. Then she concluded her Australian tour with a concert at the Sydney’s Factory Theater yesterday.


• “The Last House On the Left” ( R-Rated Horror Thriller ): After kidnapping and assaulting 2 young women, a gang led by a prison escapee unknowingly finds refuge at a vacation home belonging to one of the victims’ parents, who devise a gruesome revenge. No-name cast. A remake of producer Wes Craven’s 1972 film. Shot entirely in Cape Town, South Africa.
• “Miss March” ( R-Rated Comedy ): Zach Cregger & Trevor Moore, who honed their chops in NYC comedy troupe The Whitest Kids U’Know, co-direct and co-star as buddies who attempt to crash a party at the Playboy mansion so one of them can win back his former sweetheart, now one of the magazine’s hottest centerfolds. Co-stars Raquel Alessi.
• “Race to Witch Mountain” ( PG Disney Adventure ): Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson stars as a cab driver who picks up an unusual fare – a brother and sister with paranormal powers who are being pursued by a nefarious organization. Co-stars Carla Gugino & AnnaSophia Robb. A redo of Disney’s 1975 family film, set 30 years after the first movie.

An increasing number of consumers are opting for scary films and videogames in their leisure time, according to new research by Britain’s University of Kent. The findings suggest that the amount of fear consumers seek out and are comfortable with is increasing. 70% of 18-30 year-olds admit they enjoy being scared. Overall 83% of those surveyed say they have purposely induced fear through videogames, films, and books. Why? Professor Frank Furedi contends that for many of us the world is far too safe and predictable. And that’s why we seek out scary movies and games and read thrillers – to stimulate our senses and excite the imagination.


Financial columnist Jack Hough claims that renting is better than buying a house for the following reasons …
• Houses produce lousy returns over long time periods, while stocks produce good ones.
• House prices have further to fall.
• Many houses for sale today seem designed to waste money.
• Big houses are targets for future taxes.
• Neighborhoods are changing in unpredictable ways.


UK bedroom furniture manufacturer Feather & Black has created a divan bed that conceals … a safe. The company admits it began as a tongue-in-cheek product but now believes it will have wide appeal to careful people who want a safe place to store their valuables. The safe is large enough to secure a stack of bills, securities, or valuables such as jewelry. It features a sturdy lock and, when covered with bedding, is undetectable.
– “Daily Telegraph”

Results of the annual ‘Worldwide Cost of Living’ survey, based on the prices of over 160 items found in 140 cities, from a loaf of bread to a luxury car. The cities are ranked using New York City as the standard of 100.
5. Oslo, Norway (123)
4. Copenhagen, Denmark (124)
3. Paris, France (132)
2. Osaka/Kobe, Japan (145)
1. Tokyo, Japan (152)
London has dropped from 3rd to the 27th-most expensive city in the world, thanks to the sinking of the British pound. It’s now cheaper than NYC for the first time since 2002.
– “The Economist”


• A team of Bolivian bowlers has stormed the bowling world with their unusual 2-handed technique, winning medals and championships in Argentina and Brazil. Originally invented by Australian bowler Jason Belmonte, the 2-handed bowling technique involves inserting just 2 fingers into the holes while the thumb is left out. The other hand is used to cradle the ball and create extra spin upon release.
• In Southhampton, England rescue crews keep getting calls to help a tiny 2-ft, 4-in pony because its legs are so short passersby think it’s stuck in mud. The mini-mare’s stumpy legs are wildly out of proportion with its body so people assume she’s sinking. So far, 2 fire engines and a special lifting vehicle have been dispatched 4 times at a combined cost close to $10,000.
– “The Sun”
• 37-year-old homeless man Tim Edwards has roamed the streets of Houston TX for the past 5 years. Sean Dolan and his father Kevin saw an opportunity and ‘hired’ Tim to be a part of their new website ‘Pimp This Bum’, soliciting donations for him. Users can donate anything from food to a college education. According to the Dolans, all proceeds from the website go directly to Tim … so far, about $100 a day.


• Of the first 12 stocks listed in the Dow Jones Industrial Average in 1896, only General Electric is still doing business under the same name.
– Dow Jones FAQ
• The average net worth of the world’s billionaires aged 40 & under is $2.9-billion, down 30% from last year. The youngest billionaire is now Germany’s car-racing bachelor Prince Albert von Thurn und Taxis, who’s worth about $2.1-billion at the age of 25. His fortune dropped 10% as the financial downturn hit his family’s real estate and forestry holdings.
– “Forbes Magazine”


1950 [59] William H Macy, Miami FL, movie actor (“Wild Hogs”, “Fargo”)/Mr Felicity Huffman since 1997

1956 [53] Dana Delaney, NYC, TV actress (‘Katherine Mayfair’ on “Desperate Housewives” since 2007, “China Beach” 1988-91)

1960 [49] Adam Clayton, Chinnor UK, rock bassist (U2-“Get On Your Boots”, “Vertigo”)

1972 [37] Common (Lonnie Lynn Jr), Chicago IL, rapper (“Love of My Life”, “The Light”)/movie actor (“American Gangster”, “Smokin’ Aces”)

1985 [24] Emile Hirsch, Topanga CA, movie actor (“Milk“, “Into the Wild”)

Movie actor Michael Caine (“The Dark Knight”) is 76; Composer/producer Quincy Jones is 76; Comedian/actor Billy Crystal (“City Slickers”) is 61; Prince Albert II of Monaco is 51; TV actress Tamara Tunie (“Law & Order: SVU”) is 50; Country singer Kristian Bush (Sugarland) is 39.

Filmmaker David Cronenberg (“Eastern Promises”) is 66; Classic rock singer/TV personality Bret Michaels (Poison) is 46; Pop singer/TV personality Mark McGrath (Sugar Ray) is 41; TV actress Eva Longoria Parker (“Desperate Housewives”) is 34; Musician/producer (Black Eyed Peas) is 34; DJ Joe Hahn (Linkin Park) is 32.

• “Genealogy Day”, highlighting the study of ancestry and family histories. Got any deadwood in your family tree? Search your surname alphabetically here and find out …
• “Friday the 13th”, which superstition holds is either a day of extreme good luck or bad luck. On the Gregorian calendar, the day occurs at least once a year (we just had one in February; another’s coming in November). The fear of Friday the 13th is called ‘paraskavedekatriaphobia’.
• “Open an Umbrella Indoors Day”, when celebrants are encouraged to challenge the old superstition and note whether any bad luck befalls them. The superstition can be traced to the 11th century BC.

• “Maple Syrup Saturday”, a celebration of the running of the sap from which they make liquid gold. About 75% of the world’s supply of maple syrup is produced in the Canadian province of Québec.
• “Potato Chip Day”, honoring North America’s favorite snack food. It was invented by chef George Crum on this day in 1853 at a resort in Saratoga Springs NY after a diner complained the potato slices were too thick. As a joke, Crum sliced a new batch of spuds paper-thin, fried them in boiling oil and salted them. The fussy patron and his friends loved the ‘crunchy potato slices’ which soon became known as ‘Saratoga chips’.

• “Buzzard’s Day”, traditionally the day that the buzzards return to Hinckley OH, yet another sign of impending Spring.
• “Ides of March”, when Julius Caesar was assassinated in 44 BC. It’s also the tongue-in-cheek observance “National Brutus Day”, recognizing the fact that no matter where you work, there’s as much backstabbing, plotting, and intrigue as there was back in ancient Rome. The word ‘ides’ simply means ‘middle’, so we can have the Ides of May, the Ides of July, or even the Ides of a workday. There’s nothing unlucky about it … unless your name happens to be Caesar.


1894 [115] 1st professional ‘Striptease’, at the Divan Fayonau Music Hall in Paris, France


1961 [48] ‘Ken’ doll is 1st marketed by Mattel (‘Ken Carson’ is 2 years younger than long-time girlfriend ‘Barbara Millicent Roberts’ … ‘Barbie’ doll)

1993 [16] “Blizzard of ’93” brings 100-mph winds and 14-foot snowdrifts to East Coast of North America

[Mon] Everything You Do Is Right Day
[Mon] Freedom of Information Day
[Mon] Lips Appreciation Day
[Tues] St Patrick’s Day
[Tues] World Maritime Day
[Wed] Forgive Mom & Dad Day
This Week Is … Older Persons Employment Week
This Month Is … Professional Social Work Month


The League of Bald Headed Men, based in Australia, notes these advantages of having a chrome-dome …
• Women love a self-confident bald man. Anyone can be confident with a full head of hair.
• Bald men age better than most. No one can tell when they’re going grey.
• A bald head is generally a clean head. You know a bald man will never have nits.
• Bald men can drive with the window down and not worry about the ‘Young Einstein’ look.
• Bald men look mean even if they’re not.
– “Globe & Mail”

What’s the best flavored potato chip? Sea salt & malt vinegar? Steak & onion? Dill pickle? All-dressed?

Today’s Question: 70% of married couples say THIS is one thing they are still satisfied with about their wedding.
Answer to Give Out Next Show: Their ‘first song’.


If you don’t like the news, go out and make some.

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