Tuesday, March 17, 2009        Edition: #3976
Top O’ The Bull To You!

23-year-old former “OC” actress Mischa Barton has announced she’s abandoning her quest for a role in the upcoming remake of TV series “Melrose Place” (CW) in order to star as a struggling model in “Beautiful Life”, a new pilot being developed by Ashton Kutcher (BS translation: They said ‘no’) . . . 38-year-old actor Jamie Kennedy has confirmed he’s dating his 30-year-old “Ghost Whisperer” co-star Jennifer Love Hewitt, 3 months after she called off her engagement to actor Ross McCall (you could do so much better, Jen!) . . . . PETA’s tongue-in-cheek plan to use a vial of actor George Clooney’s sweat to make a Clooney-flavored tofu called ‘CloFu’ have been thwarted by Clooney’s response: “As a mammal, I’m offended” . . . 1988 cult film “Heathers”, a dark comedy about a teen couple who kill classmates and disguise the deaths as suicides, is being made into a stage musical and Kristen Bell (“Heroes”/ex-“Veronica Mars”) may get the role originated by Winona Ryder . . . Final tallies show the weekend “Sound Relief” concerts in Sydney & Melbourne raised $3.3 million for Australian bushfire relief, despite soggy conditions (maybe the rain was even more helpful?) . . . TV production company Granada America wants to make well-known country songs into a series of 1-hour TV dramas (which would make the best stories?) . . . “Two & a Half Men” star Charlie Sheen & wife Brooke Mueller have just welcomed twin boys, named ‘Max’ & ‘Bob’ (from a wacky Hollywood baby-naming perspective – what a disappointment!) . . . And it looks like on-and-off Hollywood acting couple Drew Barrymore & Justin Long are on again, the duo spotted on several recent dates in LA according to “Life & Style” (he’s likely just seeking publicity for “Alvin & The Chipmunks: The Squeakquel”).


• “American Idol” (FOX/CTV) – Tonight it’s a 2-hour performance episode. The show goes country this week, featuring mentor Randy Travis and performances by Brad Paisley and former “American Idol” winner Carrie Underwood.
• “Dancing With the Stars” (ABC) – The 2 celebrities receiving the lowest vote tallies compete in a dance-off to see who goes home. This season’s debut show scored its highest ratings ever with viewership topping 23 million.
• Kelly Clarkson – She releases her 4th album, “All I Ever Wanted”, highlighted by her current hit “My Life Would Suck Without You”.
• “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon” (NBC/A Channel) – Brit duo the Ting Tings perform.
• “Twilight: Director’s Notebook” – Today “Twilight” director Catherine Hardwicke has her notes & scrapbook from the first film in the franchise published, shortly after discovering she’s axed from the sequel, “New Moon”.

• Britney Spear – Her new boyfriend might be 37-year-old Jason Trawick, a William Morris agent who also represents Taylor Swift & Paris Hilton. The pair have known each other over 5 years but have now reportedly been getting romantic. For the record, her camp is denying that she’s dating her agent.
• Green Day – Their entire back catalogue is set to be released on 12-inch vinyl, just in time for the 2nd annual “Record Store Day” on Saturday, April 18th.
• Kid Rock – He claims he’s ‘on fire’ in the recording studio, which has led him to scuttle plans to tour this Spring in order to finish work on his follow-up to 2007’s double-platinum album “Rock N Roll Jesus”.
• Lost Trailers – The “How ‘Bout You Don’t” country band originally called themselves Ryder Stokes (after founders Ryder Lee & Stokes Nielson) but after they had 3 trailers loaded with equipment stolen, they changed to their present name. How apt!
• Michael Jackson – His 50-show residency at London’s O2 arena sold out about 5 hours after tickets went on sale. Now comes the problem of insuring the gigs, said to be evaluated at over $400 million. Concert promoter AEG may have to ‘self-insure’ at least part of the package.
• Nelly Furtado – She’s launching her own label, Nelstar, in cooperation with Canadian indie group Last Gang Labels. The first act signed to the new label is Toronto electro-pop quartet Fritz Helder & the Phantoms.
• Rihanna – TMZ says Revlon has hired polling firm Harris Interactive to screen her latest mascara ad for people and ask if they know who she is, have heard recent news about her, and have any opinion on whether she is still ‘an appropriate spokesperson’. (There’s something vaguely weird about her pitching ‘Cover Girl’ cosmetics after having her face beaten, no?)
• Sara Evans – The platinum-selling country star has turned novelist, signing a 4-book deal with publisher Thomas Nelson. Her debut novel is due to be published later this year.

• “Elegy” ( Drama ): Ben Kingsley plays a middle-aged college professor who becomes enamored with a stunning young student (Penelope Cruz), but his persistent advances only serve to drive her away. Then, 2 years later, she returns to his life with an urgent, desperate request that changes everything. Co-stars Dennis Hopper & Deborah Harry (Blondie).
• “Punisher: War Zone” ( Crime Thriller ): In this sequel to the 2004 film, Ray Stevenson (‘Titus’ on HBO’s “Rome”) takes over the role of former FBI agent ‘Frank Castle’, who arrives in NYC to take on underworld bosses. Co-stars Dominic West & Julie Benz. Music by Rob Zombie. Shot in Montréal & area. Also comes in a ‘2-Disc Special Edition’.
• Also released today: “A Pup Named Scooby-Doo: Complete 2nd, 3rd & 4th Seasons” (animation); “Degrassi: The Next Generation – Season 7“ (TV); “JAG: The 8th Season” (TV); and “The Zeta Project: The Complete 1st Season” (TV).
NOTE: The week’s biggest release, “Twilight”, has a special release date this Saturday.


Scientists have begun an international initiative called the Frozen Ark Project which will create a vast DNA and tissue bank of animals which face the possibility of extinction. Priority is being given to animals which are already extinct in the wild and those which face extinction within the next 5 years. Eventually it’s hoped the genetic material of 1,130 species of mammals (24%) and 1,183 species of birds (12%) will be stored. The scientists who presented the project to the UN Environmental Program predict future biologists will find many uses for the DNA bank but most likely it will be used to create clones of species which die out. (Which species should we let go? Platypus? Pit Bull? The Irish?)
NET: http://frozenark.org
– “Curious Times”

A new University of British Columbia study has found that the color red is the most effective at enhancing our attention to detail, while the color blue is best at boosting our ability to think creatively. Researchers tracked over 600 people as they performed cognitive tasks on computer screens that were either red, blue, or white. Results show that red boosted performance on detail-oriented tasks such as memory retrieval and proofreading up to 31% more than blue. But for brainstorming and other creative tasks, blue prompted participants to produce twice as much creative output as compared to red screens. (Unfortunately, most of us work on a plain old white screen.)
– “Science”

• This month the 35th annual “National Odor-Eaters Rotten Sneaker Contest” is being staged in Montpelier VT. Regional winners compete for a $2,500 grand prize for the stinkiest shoes. The contest was founded in 1975 as a sporting goods store promotion.
NET: http://www.odor-eaters.com/rsc.shtml
– BoysLife.org
• In Annapolis MD the local maritime museum holds its annual sock-burning party each Spring. Sailing enthusiasts burn their worn-out socks and pledge to go sockless until next Winter. Then they put on their boat shoes to go sailing. The 7th annual “Burning Of the Socks” is this Friday.
NET: http://www.amaritime.org
– “Washington Post”

Ever wonder why some people can eat anything they want and never gain weight? Scientists at the University of California, San Francisco think it may be the absence of a ‘fat enzyme’. Known as ‘MGAT2′, the enzyme determines whether dietary fat is used to generate energy or is stored under the skin around the waist. The discovery of its role could be the key to preventing obesity. In experiments, researchers found that mice missing the gene for MGAT2 were able to feast on a high fat diet without becoming overweight. (You can bet that getting hold of some MGAT2 is somehow gonna cost us.)
– Telegraph.co.uk


Self-conscious about your weight?  Think twice before sitting on a bench in a bus shelter in Amsterdam. Many of the Dutch capital’s transit shelters have been fitted with scales that show waiting commuters their correct weight and whether they should start losing some extra flab. The program is an initiative of Netherlands-based health club chain Fitness First. (What if 3 people are sitting on the bench?)
– Softpedia.com

• “It’s not that I don’t like pants. I just choose not to wear them some days. I think no pants is sexy. I love the naked human body. I was working in strip clubs when I was 18.”
– “Just Dance” hitmaker Lady GaGa on why she dresses the way she does, as reported by Worldwide Entertainment News Network.
• “People think people like me are overpaid and over-nourished, and they’re not wrong. What they’re missing is, how does a songwriter get paid?”
– U2’s Bono, telling “USA Today” why he’s against free music downloading.


1951 [58] Kurt Russell, Springfield MA, movie actor (“Grindhouse”, “Escape From LA”)/actress Goldie Hawn’s partner since 1983/actress Kate Hudson’s stepfather

1955 [54] Gary Sinise, Blue Island IL, TV actor (‘Detective Mac Taylor’ on “CSI: NY” since 2004)/movie actor (“Forrest Gump”)

1964 [45] Rob Lowe, Charlottesville VA, TV actor (“Brothers & Sisters” since 2006, “West Wing” 1999-2003)/movie actor (“Austin Powers 1-3”)

1967 [42] Billy Corgan, Chicago IL, rock singer/guitarist (Smashing Pumpkins-“Tarantula”, “1979”)


• “Clean Your Closet Day”. After all, would once-a-year kill ya? Sort it by: junk, charity donations, giveaways to family & friends, and stuff that’s too small to wear anymore.

• “St Patrick’s Day”, the Irish national holiday that began as a ‘solemn religious observance’ to honor St Patrick (389-461 AD), patron saint of Ireland. Some fast facts …
– It’s been an Irish holiday for 1,500 years, first celebrated in Canada in 1765 in Québec City. The first US celebrations were in Boston by the ‘Charitable Irish Society’ in 1737 and at NYC’s Crown & Thistle Tavern in 1756.
– The world’s largest “St Patrick’s Parade” is in NYC where over a million spectators & 100,000 participants are expected. A tradition since 1762, the 2-mile parade lasts about 6 hours.
– Since 1965, the Chicago River has been dyed green for the “Chicago St Patrick’s Parade”, an idea conceived when a plumber was observed using green dye to trace leaks from a building.
– Green is associated with “St Patrick’s Day” because it’s the color of Spring, Ireland, and the shamrock.

• “Submarine Day”, a tribute to the sandwich also known as a hoagie or a hero. (See BULL’S BITS.)

• “World Maritime Day”, honoring the tradition of seafaring. So to all the ships at sea … here’s to ya, maties! Argh!


2008 [01] New York State Governor Eliot Spitzer officially resigns after a scandal involving $1,000-an-hour call girl Ashley Dupré (a career-ender for him, a career booster for her)

1987 [22] At a UK benefit, Princess Diana compliments Boy George on his fashionable choice of attire … black tights and a white dress

1845 [164] Stephen Perry of London UK patents the ‘Elastic Band’ (next day, the 1st schoolboy gets one flicked in the eye)

1996 [13] Montréal Canadien’s play 1st game in new ‘Molson Centre’ (now Bell Centre)

1908 [101] ‘Fastest Heavyweight Title Fight’ as Canadian Tommy Burns K-Os Jem Roche in just 88 seconds for the world championship


[Wed] Forgive Mom & Dad Day
[Thurs] Poultry Day
[Fri] 1st Day of Spring
[Fri] Agriculture Day
[Fri] Proposal Day
This Week Is … Agriculture Week
This Month Is … Poison Prevention Awareness Month


It’s “Submarine Day”. Here’s what the sub ingredients you choose reveal about your personality, according to a psychologist hired by the Subway fast-food chain …
• Mayonnaise – You are family-oriented with strong nesting instincts. (In other words, too fat for the single life.)
• Roast Beef – You tend to link love with sex. (That’s why you’re on the ‘meat market’.)
• Tuna – You are an ambitious go-getter who is constantly seeking promotion. (Ya little stinker.)
• Turkey – The choice of stable people who like job security. (Like that turkey boss you have.)
• Fish – The choice of true romantics. (Yeah, there’s just nothing more romantic than taking your date for a Filet o’ Fish at McDonald’s.)
(Others they missed – Ham, the choice of lousy comedians; Pickle, for people who take chances and incur difficulty; Pork, the choice of politicians.)

Prosecutors in Los Angeles are pursuing a 6-month prison term for that blogger who pleaded guilty to uploading pre-release Guns N’ Roses tracks. Too tough or too lenient?


The ‘Internet Archive’ contains over 200,000 digital recordings ranging from alternative news programs to music concerts (6,500 from the Grateful Dead alone) to vintage radio shows. What a resource! And most of it is free.
NET: http://www.archive.org


Just in time for “St Paddy’s Day”, a lesson in Irish colloquialisms …
• “Peelin’ the potato”
• “Mowin’ the clover”
• “Watching the soda bread rise”
• “Getting shille-laid”
• “Cleaning the bagpipes”
• “Flying Aer Lingus”
• “O’Humping”


If I had my life to live over again, I’d make the same mistakes sooner.


Today’s Question: 83% of people who celebrate today will have THIS in common.
Answer to Give Out Next Show: They’ll be wearing something green.


If you’re lucky enough to be Irish, it’s all the luck you need.

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