Wednesday, May 21, 2003                      Edition: #2546
Get Sheet-Faced Every Morning!

TONIGHT is the “American Idol” season finale on FOX-TV, when either Clay Aiken or Ruben Studdard will be named the top singer of the 70,000 who auditioned (in a new poll, 56% pick Clay, 44% Roooo-ben) . . . TONIGHT NBC-TV celebrates the 300th episode of “Law & Order” with a 3-hour special including 2 new episodes and the show’s original pilot . . . British transsexual Jake Miller is telling anyone who’ll listen that “Matrix Reloaded” director Larry
Wachowski has been a cross-dresser for years . . . A member of Justin Timberlake’s entourage says being around him is like a ticket guaranteeing girls, because Justin spends most of his time turning women down . . . Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl says he’s developed a food fetish for strong cheeses and among his favorites is one from England called ‘Stinking Bishop’ . . . Paul McCartney is paying $7,500 to fly a traumatized chimpanzee named ‘Toto’ back home to Africa after it was smuggled out to perform in Chile, where it was forced to smoke & drink alcohol as part of a circus act . . . Avril Lavigne’s cover version of Bob Dylan’s “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” has so far generated over $100,000 to help clean up unexploded grenades in Iraqi schools and buy textbooks.
• TONIGHT on CBS live from Las Vegas, hosted by Reba McEntire.
• Toby Keith leads nominations with 8, followed by Alan Jackson with 6, and Kenny Chesney and Trick Pony with 5 each.
• The Dixie Chicks will perform “Truth # 2” live via satellite from their hometown of Austin TX.
• George Strait (50 #1 hits) receives a Lifetime Achievement Award.

• ‘Horked’ – Broken, confused or trashed. Generally describes software or hardware that no longer works. (“Better route your stuff downstairs, that printer is horked!”)
• ‘Whistle Tips’ – A muffler attachment that makes a speeding car emit an ear-splitting screech. A ‘suction tip’ is also available that makes a loud ‘hisss’ sound. (‘Cause your 300 dB sound system with sub-woofer just doesn’t annoy the neighborhood enough.)
• ‘Dormwear’ – A fashion trend that began in colleges in which pajama bottoms are matched up with a T-shirt and worn with flip-flops or fuzzy slippers. Now clothing retailers are getting into the act, selling ensembles. (Around here we call it ‘studio wear’.)
• ‘We’re Up’ – What you say when it’s time to leave. (“Hey we’re up! Back tomorrow morning.”)

Two Israeli computer experts have developed an algorithm that they claim can determine whether the author of a text is male or female. It seems men tend to use words describing and quantifying things. They also use the words ‘the’ and ‘and’ more frequently. Women, on the other hand, are more likely to use words indicating the relationship between writer and reader. Females are also more likely to use certain negative words such as ‘not’, ‘wouldn’t’, ‘couldn’t’, and ‘shouldn’t’. Does the system work? The creators say it’s proven correct 5 times out of 6. (This would be useful in a chat room – is ‘LusciousLips’ really female?)

It’s estimated over 10,000 medical visits annually are caused by – children wearing heavy backpacks. Not only can overweight packs cause back pain, the daily stress of carrying a pack on one shoulder can alter posture and gait. In a recent study, researchers found that a third of students had never had their packs checked by parents and less than 5% had ever had their backpacks weighed. Easing the problem is simple – backpacks should be worn on both shoulders and contain only necessary items. A backpack should weigh less than 10-15% of a student’s body weight. (Get parents to list items as they take them out of their kid’s pack – “lunch from last year, condoms, deflated soccer ball, bong, anvil …”)

A poll of more than 2,000 women asks, “Which of the following spontaneous gestures is the most romantic?”
• Hidden Note (41%)
• Bouquet of Flowers (28%)
• Surprise Date (10%)
• Greeting Card (7%)
• Jewelry (6%)
• Surprise Phone Call (6%)
• Chocolate (1%)
Source: “Mens Health”

• A sick exhibit at the Trapholt Art Museum in Kolding, Denmark featured goldfish in blenders which patrons, if they wanted, could turn on. One person did and 2 goldfish died. That spurred animal-rights activists to demand the museum’s director be jailed for cruelty. But a court has just ruled the fish were killed instantly and humanely. (And are now much easier to spread on toast.)
• A 35-year-old karaoke singer in a Manila, Phillipines bar has been shot dead after he refused to stop singing. (Alright, justice!)
• A 26-year-old Australian man and 26-year-old German woman have been found guilty of French kissing in public in Dubai. They’ve been given a 6-month suspended sentence on condition they do not re-offend. While Dubai is the most permissive of the United Arab Emirates, public display of ‘sexuality’ is forbidden. (As well as mooning the Emir.)
• “Newsweek” reports that US interrogators in Iraq are using repetition of music to break prisoners and get them to talk. Among the most effective – thrash metal tunes and children’s songs. (Which have brought many a parent to tears.)

• Fingernails grow about 4 times faster than toenails.
• Humans blink over 10 million times a year.
• It’s impossible to sneeze with your eyes open.


1941 [62] Bobby Cox, Tulsa OK, MLB baseball manager (Atlanta Braves 1978-81 and 1990-present)

1952 [51] Dave Wannstedt, Pittsburgh PA, NFL head coach (Miami Dolphins)

1957 [46] Judge Reinhold, Wilmington DE, movie actor (“The Santa Clause 2″, “Beverly Hills Cop”, “Fast Times at Ridgemont High“)

1974 [29] Fairuza Balk, Point Reyes CA, movie actress (“Almost Famous”, “The Waterboy”)

1987 [16] Ashlie Brillault, Paradise Valley CA, movie actress (Kate Sanders-“The Lizzie McGuire Movie”)/TV actress (Kate Sanders-“Lizzie McGuire”)

1991 [12] Sarah Ramos, LA CA, TV actress (Patty Pryor-“American Dreams”)

TODAY is “International Wait Staff Day”, set aside for restaurant managers and patrons to show appreciation for the efforts of servers. What percentage is the proper tip these days?

TODAY is “Turn Beauty Inside Out Day”, a day to remember that inner beauty is more important than outer beauty. (Established by the ‘Association of the Terminally Saccharine’.)

TODAY is “National Memo Day”, a day for office workers who are tired of memos from bosses’ to post their own. The ultimate act is to post a memo complaining about too many memos. (Then clean out your desk and go home.)

1898 [105] Prototype of a Czech-built car is 1st vehicle with a ‘bumper’, but on the test run it falls off and is not replaced

1914 [89] ‘Greyhound Bus Co’ begins operating (Minnesota)

1956 [47] 1st airborne ‘hydrogen bomb’ is detonated at Bikini Atoll in the Pacific (not long afterward, the 1st ‘bikini’ bathing suit explodes onto the fashion scene)

1998 [05] Frank & Shirley Capaci of Streamwood IL announce they have the winning Powerball ticket worth an astounding $195 MILLION

[Thurs] Buy-A-Musical-Instrument Day
[Fri] World Turtle Day
[Sat] Brothers Day
[Sun] Indianapolis 500
[May 29] Bob Hope’s 100th birthday
[May 30] Solar Eclipse
This Week Is . . . Safe Boating Week / Running & Fitness Week
This Month Is . . . Philatelic Exhibition Month (can’t you get arrested for that?)


• Aries – A good day to learn patience. Spend some time playing fetch with a turtle.
• Taurus – Things aren’t going as well as they should for you. The best thing to do is find someone else to blame and move on.
• Gemini – Have you ever considered adopting a new life as a wilderness person, living in the vast mountains and forests, hewing an existence from nature? Nope, me neither.
• Cancer – People admire you and respect your opinions. Which is dumb because you are so misinformed and dense. Best to continue hiding.
• Leo – You will be struck by an odd thought today. Fortunately it will be only a glancing blow and will do little damage.
• Virgo – Today you will watch something like a hawk. Basically, you do that by having unblinking beady little eyes and a brain the size of a peanut.
• Libra – If you continue to hum popular songs just slightly off key the people around you will change in appearance. You’ll be able to see the veins in their neck, for one thing.
• Scorpio – You will be driven into a panic today by the thought that you will live to see music by Oingo Boingo referred to as ‘classic rock’.
• Sagittarius – Money will come from an unexpected source. If you put it in a mesh bag and run it through the washer you’ll get most of the smell out.
• Capricorn – Excellent day to fly a kite shaped like a life-sized pterodactyl. Try to get it to hover just outside someone’s office window.
• Aquarius – You will snidely snicker at someone today but that’s not going to make you many friends. Instead you should cheerfully chuckle.
• Pisces – Today you will be snug as a bug in a rug … or maybe smug as a thug on a drug. Hard to say for sure.

TONIGHT Alex Trebek hosts the 15th annual “National Geography Bee” final in Washington DC. Let’s see how you do –
• How much of Earth’s surface is permanently frozen – 2%, 8% or 20%? [About 20% is under permafrost, meaning it’s temperature has been below freezing for over 2 years.]
• Due to this country’s ‘S’ shape, the sun actually rises on the Pacific Coast and sets on the Atlantic Coast. [Panama.]
• This single river provides 23% of the world’s fresh water. [The Amazon.]
• What’s the capital of Paraguay? [Asuncion]
• This US state has absolutely no natural lakes. [Maryland]
Sources: “Weird Fact of the Day”/“Rand McNally World Atlas”

Phone caller picks their favorite as you rhyme off the choices rapid fire –
• Apples or oranges?
• Mariah or Christina?
• Porsche or Hummer?
• Green beans or lima beans?
• “CSI” or “ER”?
• Steak or salad?
• Keanu or Clooney?
• Blueberries or strawberries?
• Sens or Devils?
• Nicole or Halle?
• “X2″ or “Matrix 2″?

• “What’s the sexiest thing a woman can wear?” (A “Men’s Health” poll finds sexy lingerie topping the list, followed by ‘my shirt’, and high heels with a summer dress. Also cited: an apron – with nothing else, a man’s tie, and brand-new white athletic socks.)
• “What are the qualities that make a man a man?” (“Glamour” magazine reports that 95% of males polled say being a man means enjoying a look at attractive women. A majority also believe that a man should have a strong sex drive, be interested in sports, and concerned about personal appearance.)

• I didn’t fight my way to the top of the food chain to be a vegetarian.
• You talk about bad luck … she got run over by the Welcome Wagon.
• An Englishman is a man who lives on an island in the North Sea governed by Scotsmen.
• Sex is not the answer. Sex is the question. ‘Yes’ is the answer.

Today’s Question: It doesn’t have to be the real thing because even if you fake THIS, it will probably make you feel better.
Answer to Give Out Tomorrow: A smile.

Age isn’t important unless you’re a cheese.


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