Friday, May 3, 2002        Edition: #2289
Get the facts first — you can distort them later!

TODAY’S issue of “People” magazine features its 13th annual listing of the ‘50 Most Beautiful People in the World’, including cover girl Nicole Kidman, Alicia Keys, Oscar-winners Halle Berry & Denzel Washington, and “Star Wars” stars Hayden Christensen & Natalie Portman (howz come that hunky mechanic at the local garage or that hot waitress at Hooters never makes it?) . . . Meantime, Natalie Portman and “Spider-Man” Tobey Maguire have been named the ‘World’s Sexiest Vegetarians’ by PETA (is that a carrot in your pocket or . . .) . . . TONIGHT Paul McCartney is the one and only guest on “The Tonight Show”, the first time the show’s ever limited itself to a single star . . . TONIGHT Fox News TV anchor Greta Van Susteren’s date for the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner with President Bush is — Ozzy Osbourne (is this an episode of “The West Wing” or what?) . . . MTV’s “The Osbournes” has been closed-captioned for the hearing ‘non-impaired’ due to complaints people can’t understand what Ozzy’s mumbling — between the bleeps . . . The former LA home of Britney Spears & Justin Timberlake is up for sale (key selling point — the bedroom’s never been used!) . . . J-Lo says she’s bored with the nickname and wants to be referred to as Jennifer Lopez again once her next album comes out (whatever her highness wishes) . . . And ‘Tom-girl’ actress Penelope Cruz is planning to record a pop album to raise funds for her favorite charity and has reportedly approached several celebrity friends for help, including Sting.

Expectations are for $70-million or more in opening box office as Tobey Maguire stars in “Spider-Man” (the biggest comic book super-hero not yet showcased in a big-budget feature film), the story of mild-mannered ‘Peter Parker’ who gets bitten by a genetically-modified spider, then slings webs and fights crime (a real poisonous spider is used in the biting scene) . . . Stephen Dorff stars in “Deuces Wild”, a drama about a bloody 1950s gang war between the Deuces and the Vipers on the streets of Brooklyn (there’s no singing & prancing like in “West Side Story”) . . . The Woody Allen comedy “Hollywood Ending” with an ensemble cast that includes George Hamilton (he’s still kickin’?), Tea Leoni, Debra Messing, Treat Williams & Tiffani-Amber Thiessen, is the story of a movie director who temporarily loses his sight due to paranoia and ends up directing his comeback film blind.

A Santa Monica CA man has turned his divorce into a movie. Steven Dworman financed, wrote, directed and starred in the $1.5 million MUSICAL COMEDY about his breakup called “Divorce: The Musical”. (Anyone who’d spend $1-and-half mill on a dumb film no one’s ever going to wanna watch deserves to be dumped!)

Scientists at the State University of New York have developed remote-controlled ‘robo-rats’, real live rats that can be steered through tiny electrical probes implanted in their brains. Commands are transmitted from a computer to the rat’s brain via a little radio receiver strapped to its back (awww, a widdle wat backpack). Why bother? They may be used in bomb disposal or to help find buried disaster victims. (Not to mention office pranks next April Fool’s Day.)

YESTERDAY the world’s biggest, smelliest flower put on the performance of its life after bursting into rare blossom at London’s Kew Gardens. The 165-lb ‘titan arum’ unfurled its single stinky flower after beginning a dramatic growth spurt last week. The huge phallic yellow flower has now reached a height of almost 3 meters (10 ft) and opened to reveal its blood-red interior. The plant has also begun to give off its infamous pungent aroma, described as a mixture of — phew — rotting flesh and excrement. (Resembling [your co-hoist’s] cologne.)

According to a new study published by “Globe & Mail”, women who postpone having children until later in life earn at least 6% more income than women who interrupt their careers to have children early. The reasons are simple — women who delay having kids can work more hours, accommodate business travel, get more training, and take promotions. Women with children can’t be as flexible. (Yeah, but who wants to go to their kid’s kindergarten ‘Show & Tell’ as a retiree?)

A 225-lb woman has been crowned Thailand’s ‘Jumbo Queen’ at a pageant held at an elephant reserve. The contest aims to raise awareness of the dwindling number of elephants in Thailand by selecting a woman who best exhibits the elephant’s characteristics — grace, elegance and size. The 30-year-old beat more than 20 other finalists weighing between 180 and 375 lbs based on her talent — flamenco dancing. (San Francisco hasn’t felt earth tremors to equal this.)

A report in the “Chicago Tribune” says 50% of pets in America are now overweight. The reasons are the same as their owners – overeating and a lack of exercise. Even fish can be fat, the report says. Giving them exercise is as simple as getting them a larger tank with more room to swim around in. (Oh . . . guess I’ll quit trying that guppy on a leash thing.)

New Zealander Paul Goldsmythe was watching TV in his home when he received a phone call from police saying there were armed officers surrounding his house and he should come out with his hands up. But when he went outside, there was no one there. That’s when the police negotiator still on the phone realized he’d dialled the wrong number — the cops were actually surrounding a house a half-mile away.

A 35-year-old woman accused of having sex with a 14-year-old boy has been ordered by a
Montesano WA judge to pose nude. Huh? It’s for evidence photos sought by the prosecution for the charge of 3rd-degree rape. If the pics confirm the boy’s description of her physical characteristics, she’s screwed — again.

Most food-related traffic accidents happen in the morning and tend to involve spilling rather than eating. Here’s the most dangerous —
1. Hot Coffee
2. Hot Soup
3. Tacos
4. Chili-Covered Anything
5. Juicy Hamburgers
6. Barbecue
7. Fried Chicken
8. Jelly or Cream-Filled Doughnuts
9. Soft Drinks
10. Chocolate
Source: Hagerty Classic Insurance of Michigan


1933 [69] James Brown, Barnwell SC, soul/funk singer (“I Feel Good”)/’Hardest Working Man in Show Business’/’Godfather of Soul’/’Soul Brother Number One’

1946 [56] Greg Gumbel, New Orleans LA, CBS sportscaster/Bryant’s less obnoxious brother

1975 [27] Dule Hill, Orange NJ, TV actor (President Bartlet’s personal aide Charlie Young-“The West Wing”)

1959 [43] Randy Travis (Traywick), Marshville NC, country singer (“Forever & Ever Amen”)/movie actor (“The Rainmaker”)

1972 [30] Mike Dirnt, Berkeley CA, rock musician (Green Day-“Time of Your Life”)

1979 [23] Lance Bass, Laurel MS, pop singer (‘N Sync-“Girlfriend”)

[Ottawa-Gatineau] “Canadian Tulip Festival” begins
[World] “International Tuba Day”

TODAY is “World Press Freedom Day”, as declared by the UN. (Celebrating the right to shove a camera in someone’s face and chip their teeth with a mike, and to get into sports events with a free pass.)

TODAY is “Significant Other Day”, sort of an anniversary celebration for unwed couples. (Meaning, the male half will forget.)

TODAY is “International Telecommuting Day”, to encourage employers to develop programs for employees to work at home at least part of the time (aka ‘Work in Your Bathrobe Day’).

SATURDAY is “Weather Observers’ Day”, recognizing both pros and amateurs who follow the elements. (Yep, looks like we could get some rain.)

SUNDAY is the 7th annual “International Unmothers Day”, a day for women who’ve chosen NOT to bloat up like a blimp, NOT to wear goofy pants with a Lycra panel, and NOT to have stretch marks. A day to recognize that ‘a woman’s worth is not determined by motherhood alone’.

SUNDAY is “Cinco de Mayo”, a Mexican holiday commemorating the 1862 victory over French troops at the Battle of Puebla that is widely observed in the American Southwest. To celebrate, Rawhide Wild West Town in north Scottsdale AZ plans a ‘Running of the Bulls’, modelled after the famous annual celebration in Pamplona, Spain made famous by Ernest Hemingway. The controversial event will be run 8 times as part of the holiday weekend with 20 local bulls that tip the scales at a hefty 1,200 lbs — each.
PHONER: 800-527-1880/480-502-1880 (Phil Immordino)

2001 Colby loses to Tina in finale of “Survivor 2: The Australian Outback”

1934 [68] 1st ‘comic book’ published (“Famous Funnies”)

1971 [31] 1st ‘telephone answering machine’

[Sat] 128th Kentucky Derby (‘Harlan’s Holiday’ is the favorite)
[Sat] Relationship Renewal Day (you’ve got one more week to shape up!)
[Sat] Scrapbook Day
[Sun] National Cartoonist Day
[Mon] International No Diet Day
Antique Bottle Collecting Week (“Wow, a Red Cap Ale stubby….whad’ya mean it’s new?”)
Penfriends Week
Be Kind to Animals Month AND National Hamburger Month (strange, ain’t it?)
National Self-Discovery Month (but mom said I’d go blind!)


1. In what year did ‘Spider-Man’ start appearing in his own regular comic book series?
a) 1923
b) 1963
c) 1993
[1963. He debuted in “Amazing Fantasy” No. 15 in 1962, but didn’t have his own comic book, “The Amazing Spider-Man”, until March 1963.]

2. In May 1984, ‘Spider-Man’ changed his look for a short while. What did his new costume look like?
a) Yellow tights and tunic with white logo.
b) Black costume with white spider insignia.
c) Purple thong with pink pumps.
[He began wearing a black costume with white spider insignia in “Amazing Spider-Man” No. 252.]

3. Who was the first super-villain ‘Spider-Man’ encountered in the comics?
a) The Green Goblin
b) The Scorpion King
c) The Vulture
[‘The Vulture’, in “Amazing Spider-Man” No. 2]

4. In the 1980s animated TV series “Spider-Man & His Amazing Friends”, one friend was ‘Iceman’. Who was the other costumed partner?
a) Firestar
b) The Human Torch
c) Fartman

5. Which actor played ‘Spider-Man’/’Peter Parker’ in the 1970s live-action “Spider-Man” TV series?
a) Nicholas Hammond
b) Bill Bixby
c) Al Pacino
[Nicholas Hammond]

6. This secretary for the “Daily Bugle” was one of ‘Peter Parker’s’ first love interests.
a) Betty Ross
b) Betty Brant
c) Betty Crocker
[‘Betty Brant’.]

7. Who played ‘Spider-Man’ on PBS-TV’s “The Electric Company”?
a) Morgan Freeman
b) Danny Seagren
c) Fred Rogers
[It was Danny Seagren.]

8. In comics, a group of 6 of ‘Spider-Man’s’ greatest enemies is referred to collectively by what name?
a) The Spider-Hunters
b) The Sinister Six
c) The Progressive Conservatives
[The ‘Sinister Six’.]

9. Who was the wrestler ‘Peter Parker’ fought under a mask in “Amazing Fantasy” No. 15?
a) Crusher Blackwell
b) Crusher Hogan
c) Crusher Cojones
[‘Crusher Hogan’.]

Two of these are true, the other BS. But which?
1. The odds of a golfer getting a hole-in-one are 300,000 to 1.
2. The odds of a person being struck by a meteorite are 2 billion to one. (BS. It’s 10 TRILLION to one.)
3. The odds of flipping a coin heads-up 10 times in a row are 1,023 to 1.

Today’s Question: We all know women hate the old toilet seat problem, but what’s men’s #1 complaint about the bathroom?
Answer to Give Out Monday: They can’t get in.

Life is only understood backward, but must be lived forward.


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