Wednesday, March 15, 2006        Edition: #3239
Beware the Ides of Bull!

Paul Haggis, the Canadian-born writer-director of Oscar-winning “Crash”, is in final negotiations to produce & direct a feature film version of Richard A Clarke’s best-selling memoir, “Against All Enemies”, which follows the Bush administration’s response to al-Qaeda before and after 9/11 . . . Ice Cube has signed up to play wise-cracking high school teacher ‘Gabe Kotter’ in a feature film adaptation of vintage TV sitcom “Welcome Back, Kotter” (1975-79) , the show that launched John Travolta’s career (he played student ‘Vinnie Barbarino’) . . . Warner Home Video, which was to be first to release movies in the new hi-def HD-DVD format on MARCH 28th has announced the debut will be delayed a few weeks (while we save up to buy a new player) . . . Industry buzz has it that if “Today Show” host Katie Couric moves to CBS-TV to anchor the evening news, NBC-TV is likely to replace her with Meredith Vieira, currently the moderator of ABC-TV’s “The View” and host of “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” (whoa, we need a chart to follow this!) . . . “Desperate Housewives” actress Nicolette Sheridan has reportedly become secretly engaged to has-been singer Michael Bolton, and they plan to tie the knot ASAP (when a man loves a woman, how is he supposed to live without her?) . . . And Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs has another project in the works, executive-producing a reality TV contest called “Celebrity Cooking Showdown”, featuring celebs paired up with pro chefs (wow, has he gone milquetoast mainstream or what?).

• Beyoncé Knowles – TODAY she guests on the “Oprah Winfrey Show”.
• Josh Kelley – TODAY the “Almost Honest” singer is on the “Ellen DeGeneres Show”.
• Killers – They’ve petitioned a Las Vegas judge to toss out the $16-million breach-of-contract lawsuit from their former manager Braden Merrick, who claims the band was still under contract with him until NEXT YEAR. When it’s all said and done, a lot of lawyers will be richer.
• Missy Higgins – The 22-year-old “Scar” singer from Melbourne, Australia started singing in her early teens, lying about her age to get into local bars and play with her brother’s jazz combo.
• Shakira – She’s been asked to write the theme song for the upcoming movie version of Eric Schlosser’s best-seller “Fast Food Nation”, which will star Patricia Arquette, Ethan Hawke, Kris Kristofferson & Avril Lavigne.
• Tina Turner – This doesn’t seem like a very contemporary move, but the 66-year-old has reportedly been asked to record the title tune for the new ‘James Bond’ film “Casino Royale”. She previously did the theme for 1995’s “Goldeneye”.
• U2 – The 10 final concerts of the “Vertigo ‘06″ tour in Australia, New Zealand, Japan & Hawaii which were postponed LAST WEEK will be rescheduled for this NOVEMBER.

New terms leaking into the lingo …
• ‘Bi-Manual Mousing’ – A computer function whereby 2 mouse pointers are used to allow simultaneous right & left hand functions. ‘Two-fisted mousing’ also allows the user to frequently switch hands, thereby avoiding repetitive strain injury.
• ‘Idolspize’ – The loathing we feel for people who are gifted with superior beauty, character, talent & intelligence … especially if they’re also loyal, supportive, generous & kind. (“George Clooney was up for 3 Oscars, then didn’t make a big deal when he won one. Don’t you just idolspize him?”)
• ‘SadFabs’ – Women  in their 30s & 40s who are single and desperate for a baby. (“I’d go out with your friend, Jan, except she’s such a SadFab.”)

Industry experts at the just-completed “International Tourism Fair” in Berlin, Germany are convinced that space tours for both wealthy and average travelers may not be far off. A sampling of what’s out there …
• Several uber-rich types have already booked tickets on Richard Branson’s ‘Virgin Galactic Spaceship’ which is due for lift-off in 2010.
• A ‘Space Hotel’ being designed for use on the International Space Station is likely to be priced at circa $2 million per person per week for a tiny cabin.
• Flights that take passengers into orbit for a few hours could be a niche market within 25 years.
• Short suborbital flights, which would make it possible to experience a few weightless minutes, could be a reality within 15 years.
• European Space Tourist is already offering 4-day trips to the Cosmonaut Training Center at Star City, Russia that feature zero-gravity simulation flights. That’ll set you back 5,000 euros (about $7,000 CDN).

“He’s cashed plenty of checks … with our show making fun of Christians. [We] never heard a peep out of Isaac in any way until we did Scientology. He wants a different standard for religions other than his own, and to me, that is where intolerance and bigotry begin.”
– “South Park” co-creator Matt Stone on Isaac Hayes quitting the show due to its ridicule of the Church of Scientology. Hayes voiced the ‘Chef’ character for 9 years.

According to Brit experts, specific brain exercises can make you up to 40% more intelligent in just 7 days. Here’s part of the workout …
• Brush your teeth with the wrong hand.
• Take a shower with your eyes closed.
• Do the crossword or ‘Sudoku’ puzzle in the newspaper.
• Either cycle, walk or take the bus to work and vary the route.
• Select unfamiliar words from the dictionary and work them into conversations.
• Go to yoga, Pilates or a meditation class and talk to someone you don’t know.
• Memorize your shopping list.
• Eat oily fish for dinner often.
• Avoid caffeine and alcohol.
– “London Observer”

After a powerful cyclone, the northern region of Russia’s Maritime territory has been covered in – creamy pink snow. Local meteorologists say the natural phenomenon was caused by strong winds picking up sand and dust particles from neighboring Mongolia. The odd weather follows another anomaly in FEBRUARY, when Russia’s Far East island of Sakhalin experienced a yellow snowfall with a strong odor and oily texture, thought to be the result of environmental pollution from the petroleum industry. (Yech, another reason not to eat the yellow snow.)
– MosNews

It seemed a little far-fetched when it was part of a storyline on “CSI” but Belgian scientists have, in fact, been able to extract recordings from 5,000-year-old vases. How can this be? Well, it seems that the vase makers used long sticks to carve decorations on the clay vases as they were being made on rotating stones. These sticks picked up the minute vibrations in the air (caused by, say, conversations) and transformed them into grooves and bumps, much like what happens when you make a vinyl record. The Belgian scientists then analyzed the patterns and have extracted what’s believed to be the world’s oldest known recordings. Hear them here …
NET: (Click ‘Télécharger la vidéo’.)
– “Fortean Times”

When gentlemen in medieval Japan wished to seal an agreement, they urinated together, crisscrossing their streams. (Uh, it’s okay Sakamoto-san … we can just shake hands.)

If you’re frustrated with traffic this morning, be thankful you’re not this guy! 26-year-old UK motorist Kevin Nicolle was commuting on the A-1 highway in North Yorkshire when his BMW 318 suddenly began to accelerate on its own. With the accelerator jammed and his brakes failing he fought for control at speeds up to 135 mph, often careening onto the shoulder to avoid traffic. This continued for over 60 miles until he crashed into a traffic circle and came to a stop. Amazingly, he escaped unhurt. A spokesman for BMW claims it’s nothing more than a freak accident but the company will carry out a full investigation anyway. (This guy should be a stunt driver on the ‘Bond’ film!)
– BBC News

A Taiwanese travel company is marketing trips to southern Alberta, where the award-winning movie “Brokeback Mountain” was filmed. As an added incentive, Lion Travel Service is offering $200 discounts to gay couples who want to take the tour (what proof do you have to provide?). “Brokeback Mountain” won Oscars for ‘Best Director’, ‘Best Adapted Screenplay’ and ‘Best Original Score’. Although it was set in Wyoming, it was filmed in the area of Pincher Creek & Fort Macleod, Alberta. (Whose vague claim to fame is that it’s the gateway to Head Smashed-In Buffalo Jump.)
– CBC News


1941 [65] Mike Love, Baldwin Hills CA, oldies singer (Beach Boys-“Good Vibrations”, “California Girls”)/Brian Wilson’s cousin

1943 [63] David Cronenberg, Toronto ON, filmmaker (“A History of Violence”, “Crash” [1996])

1968 [38] Mark McGrath, Hartford CT, pop singer (w/Shania Twain-“Party for Two”, Sugar Ray-“Fly”)/TV anchor (“Extra!” since 2004)

1972 [34] Mark Hoppus, Ridgecrest CA, rock musician (now defunct Blink 182-“I Miss You”, “What’s My Age Again?”)

1975 [31] Darcy Tucker, Castor AB, NHL center (Toronto Maple Leafs)

1975 [31] Eva Longoria, Corpus Christi TX, TV actress (‘Gabrielle Solis’ on “Desperate Housewives” since 2004)

1975 [31] (William Adams Jr), LA CA, rapper/hip-hop musician (Black Eyed Peas-“My Humps”, “Where Is The Love?”)

1977 [29] Joe Hahn, Glendale CA, nu metal DJ (Linkin Park-“Numb”, “In the End”)

1981 [25] Young Buck (David Darnell Brown), Nashville TN, rapper (“Blood Hound”)/member of 50 Cent’s G Unit who was sentenced to 3 years probation for assaulting a man at the 2004 “Vibe Awards” … with a fork!

• “Absolutely Incredible Kid Day”, when we’re encouraged to tell our kids how great they are. Sounds corny, but it’s a helluva investment in the future.
• “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 Mars bar. There’s nothing unlucky about it – unless you’re name happens to be Caesar.
• “Melbourne 2006″, 18th Commonwealth Games, through March 26 in Melbourne, Australia.
• “True Confessions Day”, a good day to open up the ‘Morning Crew Confessional’ where anonymous callers shed their guilt by admitting their outrageous actions. You can even assign penance!

1956 [50] Colonel Tom Parker signs on as Elvis Presley’s manager for a hefty 25% of the action

1869 [137] Cincinnati Red Stockings become 1st ‘Pro Baseball Team’

1892 [114] 1st ‘Escalator’, the ‘Reno Inclined Elevator’ (next day, 1st user is strangled by long scarf)

1999 [07] 1st time Dow Jones Average tops 10,000-point threshold

1952 [54] ‘Greatest Precipitation in 24 Hours’ is set with 1869.9 mm (73.62 inches) falling at Cilaos, La Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean

[Thurs-Apr 3] March Madness NCAA Basketball Tournament
[Fri] St Patrick’s Day
[Sat] Forgive Mom & Dad Day
[Sun] Teenagers Day
[Mon] Spring arrives (1:26 pm EST)
This Week Is . . . Pulmonary Rehabilitation Week (“Clear!” ZAP!)
This Month Is . . . Humorists Are Artists Month (and this morning’s show is your masterpiece!)


A few words o’wisdom just in time for “St Paddy’s Day”! Read ‘em with a wee bit of an Irish brogue or find someone who can.
• You’ve got to do your own growing, no matter how tall your grandfather was.
• Where the tongue slips, it speaks the truth.
• Put silk on a goat, and it’s still a goat.
• Walk straight, my son … as the old crab said to the young crab.
• Time is a great storyteller.
• Even a small thorn causes festering.
• It is not a secret if it is known by 3 people.
• All the world would not make a racehorse of a donkey.
• The light heart lives long.
• A drink precedes a story.

One of the world’s weirdest golf tournaments, the 20th annual “Bering Sea Ice Golf Classic”, tees off SATURDAY in Nome, Alaska. Participants attempt to sink bright orange balls into flagged coffee cans sunk into the frozen sea on a 6-hole course. Par is 41. Entry fee includes golf balls, tees (old shotgun shells), snake bite remedies (small bottles of vodka) and an official certificate proving you survived.
PHONER: 907.443.5535/907.443.6624 (Nome Convention & Visitor Bureau)/907.443.5904 (Bering Sea Lion’s Club)

• You’ve visited Ireland & brought back a souvenir Bodhran [pronounced ‘BOW-rawn’]. What is it?
a. A 6-gallon jug of whiskey.
b. A traditional Irish sheepskin drum. [CORRECT]
c. A sack used to catch leprechauns.  

• What supposedly happens when you kiss the ‘Blarney Stone’ when visiting Ireland?
a. You’ll acquire the ‘Gift of the Gab’. [CORRECT]
b. You’ll acquire great riches in your life.
c. You’ll acquire oral herpes.

• In Ireland, what’s traditionally known as your ‘Companion for Life’?
a. Your spouse, as divorce wasn’t legal in Ireland until 1997.
b. Your shillelagh. [CORRECT. The durable walking sticks made of tough blackthorn rarely wear out.]
c. Your 6-gallon jug of Irish whiskey.
– Irish Tourist Board

Today’s Question: According to a Boston U study, you can cut your risk of cold and flu by 30% if you have THIS for breakfast.
Answer to Give Out Next Show: Peanut butter.

Time is a great teacher. Unfortunately it kills all its students.


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