Thursday, May 13, 2004                              Edition: #2788
If You Can’t Dazzle Them with Brilliance, Baffle Them with Bull!

TONIGHT “Frasier” ends its 11-season run with a 1-hour retrospective followed by a final 1-hour episode appropriately entitled “Goodnight, Seattle” (Kelsey Grammar has been playing ‘Dr Frasier Winslow Crane’ for 20 years, first on “Cheers” from which the show was a spin-off) . . . TONIGHT on CBS-TV’s “Survivor: America’s Tribal Council”, a 2nd $1 million-prize will be awarded to the “All-Stars” contestant who received the most votes from viewers (would you bet against Rupert?) . . . “24″ actor Kiefer Sutherland has finally filed for divorce from 8-year wife Elizabeth Kelly Winn Sutherland – they’ve been separated since 1999! (coincidentally the last time he was sober) . . . NEXT YEAR Cleveland’s “Rock & Roll Hall of Fame” is planning to open a satellite museum in Phoenix AZ, that will stay there for at least 5 years and become permanent if it’s popular . . . The new Leonard Cohen video “Dance Me to the End of Love” features a cameo by “Kill Bill” director Quentin Tarantino – shirtless (just a warning) . . . And a popular TV soap opera in Colombia called “Ugly Betty” may be adapted to an English-language version (at last, a TV vehicle for Tori Spelling!).

• Dido – TONIGHT she begins a North American tour with a sold-out performance at the Banff Centre in Alberta.
• Jessica Simpson – TODAY she does TV talk show “On Air With Ryan Seacrest”.
• Jessica Simpson – She’ll kick off a summer tour JUNE 4 in New Orleans.
• Usher – TODAY he’s on the syndicated “Ellen DeGeneres Show”, then does ABC-TV’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live” TONIGHT.
• Gloria Estefan – She’s set to tour THIS SUMMER for the first time in 8 years, to promote her new album “Unwrapped”.
• Sam Roberts – His album “We Were Born In A Flame” will be released in the UK and US THIS SUMMER. He’ll headline a small UK club tour and play the odd US summer show in support.

Unknown 16-year-old Scottish-born actress Katie Leung has beaten out 4,000 other hopefuls to play the role of ‘Cho Chang’, ‘Harry Potter’s’ first girlfriend in “Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire” . . . Meantime, actor John Malkovich says it was his 2 young daughters who convinced him to take the role of evil ‘Lord Voldemort’ in the film . . . You’ll have to wait a bit longer to see Jennifer Lopez’s sweaty tango with Richard Gere in “Shall We Dance” as the film’s release has been postponed from JULY to OCTOBER, purportedly because test audiences wanted to ‘see more J-Lo’ (translation from Hollywoodese: the film’s a total mess and needs to be re-edited) . . . Brad Pitt & Keira Knightley will co-star in a re-working of the Jane Austen classic “Pride & Prejudice” (think Pitt can pull off a British accent?) . . . Shooting is scheduled to begin in JULY on a new live-action version of the ‘Pocahontas’ story with Colin Farrell playing ‘John Smith’ – but so far no leading lady has been signed (casting ideas anyone? Britney?).

A new survey finds the incidence of downloading music LAST MONTH was at its lowest point in Canada since 2000. The survey shows that 32% of Internet-connected adults downloaded at least one music file. That’s down from 47% in June 2002.
– Ipsos-Reid poll

A judge has told a wannabe bank robber in Dusseldorf, Germany to give it up because he lacks the talent. The 28-year-old loser arrived at a bank before it even opened one morning, then spent 3 hours loitering outside, building up the courage to go in. When he finally entered, he pulled his woolen cap down over his face but couldn’t see – because he’d cut the eye-holes in the wrong place! He then ripped off the cap in frustration – right in front of a security camera – before threatening a teller with a pistol-shaped lighter. She told him to leave, which he did – only to find the police waiting for him outside. (While laughing their asses off.)
– Ananova

Mothers Against Drunk Driving is up in arms over a promotion by the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning, and local cops aren’t too excited about it either. Hockey fans are being told during Eastern Conference playoff games that anyone who pays $100 toward 2004-05 season tickets is eligible for UNLIMITED FREE BEER during the game. About 25 of the 21,000 fans at Game 1 signed up. The team claims free taxi rides are provided to patrons who believe they’ve had too much to drink. (Has that ever actually happened?)
– AP

The remote town of Lynn Lake MB, located at the end of northern highway PR#391 1,058 km/635 mi northwest of Winnipeg, has long been without a bank. It closed shortly after area mines shut down. But now the CIBC has shut down the town’s only full-service bank machine. That leaves all of northwestern Manitoba without a bank branch or ATM. Residents now have 2 options for banking – an 8-hour round-trip on a rough road if they have a vehicle or a 3-day bus trip if they don’t. The closest bank is now 320 km/192 mi away in Thompson MB. (Actually locals aren’t that upset – whenever they tried to make a deposit on the ATM, the beaver pelts got all mangled.)
– CP

Singapore Airlines has just added a new wrinkle to it’s airliners – an on-board ‘corpse cupboard’ to store passengers who die during flights. Sounds gruesome but THIS WEEK the airline launched the ‘World’s Longest Non-Stop Commercial Flight’ from Singapore to Los Angeles. What does one do during an 18-hour flight in the rare occasion that a passenger passes away? It’s not always possible to find a row of seats where the deceased passenger can be placed (or desirable either!), so now the special compartment can be used for storage. (Now when you check in,  you’re given luggage tags and … a toe tag.)
– PA News

When it comes to packaging, Northern California wineries are thinking outside the box – and beyond the bottle. Following the lead of winemakers in Australia, Italy and New Zealand, a number of Napa Valley winemakers are set to package wine in a host of new ways. As well as screw-top bottles, California wines will soon be available in aluminum cans and Tetra Pak cartons like those used for milk. The new packaging is designed to appeal to a ‘younger, hipper crowd’. (What next – little plastic-wrapped straws stuck on the side?)
– “San Francisco Business Times”

Australia’s national treasurer Peter Costello says that 2 children per couple in a country of 20 million just isn’t adequate. So in THIS WEEK’s federal budget, he’s promised a $2,000 reward for every baby born after JUNE as part of a new 5-year ‘family package’. Costello says procreating is a couples’ patriotic duty and they should get on with it. (Aussies are griping they used to rely on getting screwed by the government – now they have to do it themselves.)
– Reuters

It’s no longer just a ‘women’s problem’ – eating disorders among men are growing. Leigh Cohn, co-author of the book “Making Weight”, says that while women are still more likely to have eating disorders, men can also suffer from bulimia, binge-eating and, to a lesser extent, anorexia. Such disorders now afflict about 2% of men vs about 5% of women, but the male sector seems to be increasing. Researchers think it may be due to the current ‘culture of muscularity’, the result of diet fixation and chiseled underwear models with 6-pack abs that are considered the ideal. (The only eating disorder at our house is getting Junior to leave enough food for everybody.)
– Newspaper Network

A cup of coffee first thing in the morning is an essential part of the daily routine for many, but a new Rush University Medical Center study suggests that it may be better to stretch out your daily dose by drinking smaller amounts throughout the day. It seems most of us are using caffeine the wrong way – drinking several cups of coffee in the morning. Frequent low doses of caffeine are much more effective in promoting alertness. Researchers warn however, that nothing can replace the restorative benefits of a good night’s sleep. (Yeah, I vaguely remember from like 8 years ago.)
– CBC News Online

A librarian in Pittsfield MA has uncovered a 215-year-old document that seems to be the earliest written reference to ‘baseball’. It’s a 1791 by-law to protect the windows of a local meeting house by prohibiting anyone from playing baseball within 80 yards of the building. The document has been authenticated by researchers at the Williamstown Art Conservation Center, which means the game was played decades before the legendary Abner Doubleday is said to have ‘invented’ it in 1839, and before Beachville, Ontario’s claim of the ‘first baseball game’ a year earlier. (In related news, cork was first discovered in 1792.)
– “Boston Globe”

• Garry Trainer from Auckland NZ has been named the ‘World Champion Worm Charmer’. He won the coveted title by convincing 51 worms to come to the surface of a one-meter-square section of field in 15 minutes. (Wanna hear my worm call? “Hey worm, c’mere!!!”)
• A group of 6 Brits and 1 Aussie have set a new world record for the ‘Highest Altitude Formal Dinner’. The team wore white ties & top hats and carried tables, chairs, silverware, floral centerpieces, a candelabra, plus food & wine for a 5-course meal – 22,000 feet up Tibet’s Lhakpa Ri.

Canadian baby boomers are losing their hearing faster than any previous generation, according to the Hearing Foundation of Canada. Why? People in their 50s were the first generation raised on rock music, gas-powered lawn mowers, traffic gridlock and other everyday noise.


1939 [65] Harvey Keitel, Brooklyn NY, tough-guy movie actor (“Pulp Fiction”, “The Piano”)  FACTOID: With 6 films coming out this year, he’s one of the hardest-working movie actors.

1950 [54] Stevie Wonder (Steveland Hardaway), Saginaw MI, oldies singer/songwriter with 16 Grammy Awards (“Sunshine of My Life”)/Rock & Roll Hall of Fame (1989)  FACTOID: He was first a drummer, beating out rhythm with spoons on pots and pans to songs on the radio.

1953 [51] Tom Cochrane, Lynn Lake MB, classic rock singer (“Life is a Highway”, “No Regrets”)/Canadian Music Hall of Fame (2003)

1964 [40] Tom Verica, Philadelphia PA, TV actor (‘Jack Pryor’ on “American Dreams” since 2002)

1965 [39] Lari White, Dunedin FL, country singer (“I’m No Stranger To The Rain”, “What A Woman Wants”)

1966 [38] Darius Rucker, Charleston SC, has-been pop singer (Hootie & the Blowfish-“Let Her Cry”, “Hold My Hand”)

1972 [32] Darryl Sydor, Edmonton AB, NHL defenceman (Tampa Bay Lightning)

TODAY is “Table Knife Appreciation Day”. Cardinal Richelieu is said to have invented the utensil on this date in 1639.

THIS WEEK the 23rd “Canada-Wide Science Fair” takes place in St John’s NL, displaying over 400 projects from students across the country at the Memorial University campus . So what’s the weirdest science on display?
PHONER: 866-341-0040

1966 [38] “The Monkees” debuts on TV (sort of an early version of “Nick & Jessica”)

1878 [126] ‘Vaseline’ 1st marketed (what’s the best thing you’ve ever used it for … er, maybe the SECOND-best thing?)

1959 [45] 1st ‘Hula Hoop’ patented by AK Melin (immediately becomes a HUGE fad)

[Fri] “Troy” open in movie theaters
[Sat] 129th Preakness Stakes
[Sun] Wear Purple For Peace Day
[Mon] Pack Rat Day
[Tues] International Museum Day
This Week Is . . . Hug An Elder Week
This Month Is . . . Date Your Mate Month

THIS WEEK is the 7th annual “International Online Romance Week”, encouraging singles to go online, and everyone to send e-mail love notes. But be careful! Here’s a few …
• Limit your search to your own geographical area. It makes life easier.
• Never lie – you’ll pay for it later. At the same time, recognize that many other people lie online.
• Consider any online relationship only an online friendship at first.
• Never give out personal information until your cyber-friend has earned your trust.
• Don’t wait too long before you talk on the phone. You’ll learn a lot from each other’s voice.
• Be sure to exchange photos and/or videos. When you meet for the first time, you should get to know each other, not be shocked.
• Get a background check done before meeting your new friend in person.
• When you meet for the first time, meet with a group at a public place, such as a restaurant.
• Never end an online relationship by dropping out of sight. The least you owe someone is a sensitive goodbye.
– “The Little Book of Online Romance” by Lorilyn Bailey.

Randy Nelson of Harvest, Alabama has created something for people who don’t have anything to say – ‘Meaningless Messages’ bumper stickers. They have slogans like: “Be A Machine, Not An Experiment”, “Never Forget, Penguins Can’t Fly”, “Falling Down Is Easier the Second Time” or how about “Walk Softly Until You Know Where the Ducks Are”?. Huh? Exactly. Soon his ‘Meaningless Messages’ will also be on T-shirts, coffee mugs, key chains, you name it.
PHONER: 256-797-7763

What’s the dumbest pet name anyone (partner, spouse, parent, sibling, etc) has ever called you?

Q: How many seconds are there in a year?
A: 12. January 2nd, February 2nd, March 2nd …

• I still miss my ex- … but my aim is improving.
• I saw this weird sign at the swimming pool: “Due to a water shortage, only lanes 1 and 4 will be open. Thank you.”

Today’s Question: 80% of men think THIS makes a woman look more attractive.
Answer to Give Out Next Show: Wearing eyeglasses.

Stupid is a boundless concept.


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