Tuesday, March 11, 2008        Edition: #3729
Don’t Take Any Sheet, Unless It’s Pure Bull!

BS SHOW BIZ BUZZ:
A 4th film in the ‘Jason Bourne’ series has already been announced but star Matt Damon says there is a lot of work to do before he’ll sign on for it, like developing an outstanding script . . . Part of his new-found reluctance may be his expanding family – the 37-year-old ‘Sexiest Man Alive’ (at least according to “People” magazine) is expecting a 2nd child with wife Luciana, adding to their brood of a 2-year-old daughter & a 9-year-old girl from Luciana’s previous marriage . . . Acting couple Ben Affleck & Jennifer Garner have reportedly forked out $22 million on a colonial-style mansion in Bel Air CA, a property that boasts 7 bedrooms & 12 bathrooms (why would you ever need 5 extras?) . . . 18-year-old ‘Harry Potter’ star Daniel Radcliffe has just spent $4.4 million on a luxury NYC apartment, his 2nd property purchase in Manhattan in the past couple months (it’s good to be the Wiz!) . . . Actor Johnny Depp has his sights set on playing eccentric Spanish artist Salvador Dali in a bio-film, so he’s now staging open auditions for screenwriters to tell the story of the late surrealist icon (he’s also looking for a jeweler who can make droopy watches) . . . Paramount Pictures has become the 1st major movie studio to make thousands of film clips available for use online, launching its ‘VooZoo’ application on Facebook.com . . . A computer using ‘Latent Semantic Indexing’ has crunched numbers and found that the most popular words in the titles of films that win lots of awards are ‘war’; ‘country’; ‘love’; ‘mother’; and ‘happy’ (watch, Will Ferrell will make a film called “Have a Happy War, Love Mother”) . . . And a pair of mega-rich Michael Jackson fans, Newcastle UK real estate moguls Liam Collins (29) & David Bone (26), have reportedly launched a multi-million-dollar bid to buy Neverland Ranch, which the ‘King of Debt’ will lose if he fails to pay off $24 million-worth of debt  by MARCH 19th (the idea is to save the fallen star from bankruptcy … while also cashing in on the lucrative California real estate market).

BS MUSIC NOTES:
• Janet Jackson – She’s back on a roll with a #1 album (“Discipline”), a worldwide tour scheduled for later THIS YEAR, and a book about her weight issues that she’s co-writing with her nutritionist, David Allen. A title & publication details are expected to be announced soon.
• Nelly Furtado – She’s been named Canada’s first “Earth Hour” ambassador and will perform a ‘carbon-neutral‘ free concert in Toronto MARCH 29th as cities around-the-world turn off their lights to raise awareness about climate change. Canada is leading the way with 50 cities and 1,000 businesses signed up so far, according to organizer World Wildlife Fund of Canada.
• Nickelback – In a new “Playboy” magazine interview, 33-year-old frontman Chad Kroeger admits he used to subsidize his income by selling cannabis & magic mushrooms back home in Hanna, Alberta before the band hit it big. Is that a smart admission when you’re soon going to court to face a DUI charge?
• Paula Abdul – She has a track on Randy Jackson’s collaboration album out TODAY (see below) and now she’s threatening to release her 1st new album since 1995′s “Head Over Heels”. The project will include remixes of her best-known hits, plus some new material.
• Peter Gabriel – He’s an investor in the new ad-supported ‘We7′ download site that will offer free music from Sony-BMG’s back catalogue of 250,000 tracks. It’ll be free … and legal!
• Radiohead – They’re rumored to be headlining this year’s “Lollapalooza Festival” at Chicago’s Grant Park AUGUST 1st-3rd. Nine Inch Nails are also said to be part of the lineup although there’s been no official announcement as yet.

TODAY’S SHOW BIZ SKED:
• “American Idol” (FOX/CTV) – The 12 finalists compete in a 2-hour special.
• “Gene Simmons Family Jewels” (A&E) – Aging KISS rocker Gene Simmons and his unconventional family are back for the debut of the 3rd season of their real-life series. The premiere features back-to-back episodes.
• “Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson” (CBS) – Country star Dierks Bentley (“Trying to Stop Your Leaving”) is the musical guest.
• “Late Show With David Letterman” (CBS) – Snoop Dogg performs material from his CD “Ego Trippin’”.
• “Randy Jackson’s Music Club, Vol 1” – So check it out, check it out … the “American Idol” judge has managed to pull together various artists to produce this 12-track collection that’s obviously designed to be the first in a series. Among those participating: Paula Abdul (“Dance Like There’s No Tomorrow”), Mariah Carey, Joss Stone, Travis Tritt, Jason Mraz, and former “Idol” finalists Elliott Yamin & Katharine McPhee. I don’t know, I don’t know, man … it’s just aw ‘ight for me. Keepin’ it real, just keepin’ it real.

TODAY’S VIDEO RELEASES:
• “August Rush” ( Drama ): Freddie Highmore stars as a young musical genius who goes on a mission to find the freewheeling parents (Jonathan Rhys Meyers & Keri Russel) who abandoned him at birth. He’s aided by the man who raised him (Robin Williams, whose performance is reportedly inspired by U2′s Bono).
• “Bee Movie” ( Animated Family ): Jerry Seinfeld co-wrote & stars as the voice of recent bee college grad ‘Barry B Benson’ who befriends a female human (Renée Zellweger) after she saves his life. But when he finds out humans eat lots of honey, he decides to sue them for stealing from bees. Other voices include Matthew Broderick, Chris Rock, and – appropriately – Sting.
• “Dan in Real Life” ( Romantic Comedy ): Steve Carell plays a recently widowed  advice columnist and single dad who’s anxious to get back into the dating game. Unfortunately, the first woman he falls for is his brother’s girlfriend. Co-stars Juliette Binoche (“Chocolat”), Dane Cook (“Employee of the Month”), John Mahoney (“Frasier” 1993-2004).
• “Hitman” ( Action Thriller ): Based on the video-game series, a professional assassin for hire known as ‘Agent 47′ (Timothy Olyphant) must find out who’s behind a political conspiracy before he’s tracked down and killed. Co-stars Dougray Scott. Shot in Bulgaria, England, Russia, South Africa, and Turkey. The entire project took less than 6 months.   
• “Nancy Drew” ( Crime Mystery ): Emma Roberts stars in this latest bigscreen adaptation of the teen detective books. While accompanying her father (Tate Donovan) on a trip to LA, she happens upon clues that could solve the mystery behind a movie star’s death. Comparatively unknown 16-year-old actress Emma likely got the role in what looks to be a potential sequel series thanks in part to her famous aunt … Julia Roberts.
• “No Country For Old Men” ( Crime Thriller ): Josh Brolin plays the lucky guy who stumbles upon a suitcase containing $2 million at the site of drug deal-gone-bad in West Texas. Javier Bardem plays the sociopathic hired gun who relentlessly tracks him to recover the cash. Co-stars Tommy Lee Jones & Woody Harrelson. Winner of 4 Academy Awards including ‘Best Picture’, ‘Best Directing’ (Coen Bros), ‘Best Adapted Screenplay’, and ‘Best Supporting Actor’ (Bardem).
• “Sleuth” ( Psychological Drama ): Michael Caine plays an aging writer who loves games of trickery and deceit. He confronts the struggling young actor (Jude Law) who has stolen away his wife and engages him in a battle of wits. Based on a 2-man play that spawned a 1972 film in which Caine played the younger role opposite the late Sir Laurence Olivier. Directed by Kenneth Branagh.
• Also released TODAY: “Comedy Central’s Lil’ Bush: Resident of the United States – Season 1”; “Love American Style: Season 1, Volume 2“ (TV); “The Mod Squad: The 1st Season, Volume 2“ (TV); and “Tom & Jerry Tales: Volume 4“ (Cartoon).

NEW DEADLY SINS:
Traditionally, the ‘7 Deadly Sins’ are pride, envy, gluttony, lust, sloth, greed, and anger. These days, those aren’t so much serious transgressions as a typical Saturday night out. Which is perhaps why the Vatican has published an updated list of more modern sins, including drug abuse, genetic manipulation, morally debatable experiments, environmental pollution, social inequalities & injustice, causing poverty, and accumulating excessive wealth. (What would you add? Graffiti? Tailgating? Telemarketing?)
– “Times of London”

NEW BS GIZMOS & GADGETS:
• Shintaro Tsuji isn’t joking when he says he wants to make his company’s bestselling character, ‘Hello Kitty’, a brand name that rivals Gucci or Hermes. In a move to expand its clientele beyond its core market of young women, Japan’s Sanrio Corp has recently introduced a line of products for men that includes black & white ‘Hello Kitty’ underwear and T-shirts. (No condoms?)
– “Japan Times”
• The new hi-tech T-5000 camera, the brainchild of a company called ThruVision, can see through people’s clothing and detect hidden weapons at distances up to 80 feet. The gizmo uses ‘passive imaging technology’ to identify objects by the natural electromagnetic rays that they emit. It could be used to enhance security in airports, shopping malls and sporting events. (Peeping Toms will be disappointed to learn the device does NOT reveal anatomical details.)
– Reuters
• A 4-year project is underway in Britain to teach language to … a little humanoid robot. The ‘toddlerbot’ called iCub, is the same size as a 3-year-old and is able to crawl, sit up, feel, see, and hear. It’s hoped that, within a year, the first humanoid robot capable of developing language skills will have evolved. (Just wait for the ‘terrible twos’!)
– “Daily Telegraph”

SURPRISE! EMAIL HINDERS PRODUCTIVITY:
A new study by Parnassus Group suggests that email is a ‘broken business tool’. Far from improving the ability to work, it now costs the average worker up to 2 hours a day to wade through spam and junk-mail. And it’s only going to get worse – worldwide email traffic is expected to top 374 billion messages-a-day by 2011. Many firms now hold ‘no email days’ to encourage employees to use the phone or – heaven forbid – actually talk to the person at the adjacent desk. (What did people do all day before they had computers on their desks?)
– PA News

TOO STUPID FOR US TO MAKE UP:
• A Dutch student has cracked the puzzle of how to stay in bed all day and earn a living. 22-year-old Yde Van Deutekon is selling advertising on his website, which features nothing more than a webcam shot of him … lying around in bed. He says sleeping is the only thing he’s any good at and it’s all he wants to do. His first 21 days in bed fetched him 450,000 hits on the site, generating $7,000 in advertising revenue.
NET: http://sleepingrich.com/
• Because there’s no more room in the town’s overcrowded cemetery, the mayor of the small French village of Sarpourenx has banned residents … from dying. From now on, all persons not having a plot in the cemetery are forbidden from dying in the parish. The proclamation also warns that … ‘offenders will be severely punished’.
• A Chinese entrepreneur has started up a service to help couples … break up.  For those too spineless to end a relationship face-to-face, the service promises to convey the pertinent information clearly and to convince the party being dumped to move on. The fee is 124.70 yuan (around $20), not much to avoid major emotional upheaval.

BS AMAZING FACT:
• Merely listening to someone on a cellphone reduces by 37% the amount of brain activity associated with driving. (For a lot of idiots on the road … that cuts it down to nil.)
– Carnegie Mellon University

AND WE QUOTE:
“I did get my balls done though, I got them unwrinkled. It’s the new thing in Hollywood … ball ironing.”
– Movie star George Clooney in “Esquire” magazine, denying he’s had cosmetic surgery … in an unusual way.

BS CHRONOMETER 03.11.08

TODAY’S CELEBIRTHDAYS . . .
1931 [77] Rupert Murdoch, Melbourne, Australia, media magnate (FOX-TV, NewsCorp)

1965 [43] Wallace Langham, Ft Worth TX, TV actor (lab tech ‘David Hodges’ on “CSI” since 2003)

1968 [40] Lisa Loeb, Bethesda MD, has-been pop singer (“I Do”, “Stay”)

1971 [37] Johnny Knoxville (Phillip John Clapp), Knoxville TN, movie actor (“Dukes of Hazzard”, “Jackass: The Movie”)/TV personality (“Jackass” 2000-02)

1974 [34] Jon Dalton (‘Jonny Fairplay’), Danville VA, infamous reality show contestant (”Survivor: Micronesia” 2008, “Survivor: Pearl Islands” 2003)

1979 [29] Benji & Joel Madden, Waldorf MD, twin brother pop/rock musicians (Good Charlotte-“Girls &  Boys”, “Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous”)/Paris Hilton’s latest boyfriend & Nicole Richie’s baby-daddy respectively

BS REASONS TO PARTY . . .
• “Johnny Appleseed Day”, celebrated on the anniversary of his death. His real name was John Chapman when he was born in Massachusetts in 1774. He was a serious nurseryman who set out orchards in the wilderness of the Midwest. He then gave or sold trees to pioneers.

• “Organize Your Home Office Day”, observed annually on the 2nd TUESDAY in MARCH. So shovel off your desk, buy some new slippers, and map out the shortest route to the fridge!

• “Romeo & Juliet’s Wedding Day”. According to Shakespeare, the all-time champion lovers did the deed on this date in 1302. It’s their 706th anniversary!

• Worship of Tools Day” (aka “Tool Appreciation Day”), celebrating men’s inexplicable fascination with high-priced gizmos. What tool have you bought then never used?

THIS DAY IN SHOW BIZ . . .
1989 [19] 1st episode of “Cops” on FOX-TV (“Whatcha gonna do bad boy bad boy …”)

1997 [11] The ashes of “Star Trek” creator Gene Roddenberry are launched into space

TODAY’S MUSIC EVENTS . . .
1968 [40] Otis Redding posthumously receives a Gold Record for the landmark single, “Sittin’ On the Dock of the Bay”

1993 [15] Elvis Presley is officially declared dead (again) by San Francisco Municipal Court Judge George T Choppelas 16 years after he died (and constant rumors that he’s still alive)

1997 [11] Paul McCartney is knighted by Queen Elizabeth II to become ‘Sir Paul’

TODAY’S FIRST . . .
105 [1903] 1st ‘paper’ invented by Ts’ai Lun in China, using bamboo, mulberry, fish nets and rags

1935 [73] Canada’s central bank, the ‘Bank of Canada’ is established “to regulate credit and currency in the best interests of the economic life of the nation”

1986 [22] NFL adopts ‘Instant Replay Rule’ allowing refs to review videotape of plays when calls are in question (thereby adding another hour to the average game)

AND REMEMBER . . .
[Wed] Middle Name Pride Day
[Thurs] Ear Muff Day
[Thurs] Good Samaritan Day
[Thurs] Open an Umbrella Indoors Day
[Fri] World Pi Day
[Sat] Ides of March
[Sat] Buzzard’s Day
[Sat] Maple Syrup Saturday
[Sat-Sun] “Canadian Idol” auditions (Montréal)
This Week Is … Art Week
This Month Is … Play the Recorder Month (just not in the house, ‘kay?)

BULL’S BITS

BS ‘BUST MY BLUFF’:
You and your co-host take turns giving an answer to a question. Your contestant must then decide which of you is bluffing and which is telling the truth …
• Why is their no ‘U’ after the ‘Q’ in the Australian airline named Qantas?
a. The name is an acronym for the original long name of the airline … Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services. [CORRECT]
b. The word ‘qantas’ refers to a sea bird in an ancient Aboriginal myth. It continuously flew from one end of the continent to the other, seeking to find its lost mate. The airline adopted the name because it was the first Aussie airline to fly from sea-to-sea.
• Why does water coming out of a tap appear cloudy at first?
a. No matter how new your plumbing system is, microscopic bits of sediment collect in the pipes which are ejected by the pressure of a tap being turned on.
b. The cloudiness is nothing but air bubbles that form in the water due to rapid movement. As the bubbles pop, the cloudiness clears up. [CORRECT]

BS RANDOM JOKE:
The only thing most people do better than anyone else is read their own handwriting.

BS WATER COOLER QUESTION:
Today’s Question: A recent poll asked adults to complete this sentence – “My life would be so much easier if there was a drive-through …”. THIS was the #1 answer.
Answer to Give Out Next Show: Daycare.

BS DEEP THOUGHT:
Life shouldn’t be printed on dollar-bills.


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