Monday, May 18, 2009        Edition: #4020
Bully For You!


• Actress Brooke Shields is set to take legal action against a journalist who allegedly checked her 75-year-old mother Teri Shields, who suffers from dementia, out of a New Jersey nursing home in a bid to interview her for a tabloid story. The elder Shields was found unharmed at a restaurant next door to an assisted living center in Old Tappan talking to a freelance reporter. (We have another candidate for sleazeball of the year!)
• 44-year-old “America’s Next Top Model” judge Paulina Porizkova says she has been canned from the hit CW show – on her birthday, no less – and is now looking for work. (“Slightly used aging model seeks employment with no heavy lifting, not even a microphone, please …”)
• TV personality Simon Cowell has reportedly swapped his security staff for ex-British Army commandos after becoming concerned about his safety. Word has it he decided to step up security after finding a tracking device under his car last year and also noticing people loitering around his LA home. The team of highly trained military experts will shadow their new boss and also plan maneuvers in case of emergency. Cowell is currently shooting “American Idol” in LA and “Britain’s Got Talent” in London simultaneously. (No wonder he can afford his own army.)
– “The Sun”
• A Hollywood Hills CA neighbor of Paris Hilton is offering to pay her landlord an extra $5,000-a-month in rent as long as Hilton & her boyfriend, Doug Reinhardt (“The Hills”), are evicted. The irate resident is apparently sick of disturbances since Hilton moved onto the property earlier this month. Cops have already been called in on noise complaints at least twice.
• In a surprise announcement, ABC-TV has confirmed its medical comedy “Scrubs” is returning for a 9th season. Lead actor Zach Braff was expected to leave the show, causing it to be canceled. However, Braff is coming back, albeit for just 6 episodes, as the emphasis shifts to other characters. (One reason for the reprieve: “Scrubs” is the 8th-most-watched program on the Internet, likely to become an increasingly important factor for TV shows.)
– “Hollywood Reporter”
• Anthony Hopkins is teaming up with director Ridley Scott to bring his infamous villain ‘Hannibal Lecter’ back to the bigscreen. He’ll play the cannibalistic serial killer for a 4th time in another sequel to 1991’s “The Silence Of the Lambs”, for which he won an Oscar. Hopkins also appeared in 2001’s “Hannibal” & the 2002 prequel “Red Dragon”. Actress Cate Blanchett is being tipped to take over the role of ‘Clarice Starling’ after Jodie Foster turned down the chance to reprise her role. A rep for movie studio Universal promises the script for the new film is ‘really, really good’. (But can Hopkins still scare you at age 71?)

• “The Bachelorette” (ABC) – The season premiere introduces Jillian Harris, a 29-year-old restaurant interior designer, who’s trying to find the love of her life. (Or at least trashy fame.)
• Cannes Film Festival – Today a fundraising ‘Hollywood Dominoes’ game for the AIDS charity Global Fund is hosted by U2’s Bono, actress Penelope Cruz, and director Pedro Almodovar. Others participating include actors Ashton Kutcher, Charlize Theron, and Demi Moore.
• “Dancing With the Stars” (ABC) – The finalists participate in the last performance show of season 8.
• “Jimmy Kimmel Live” (ABC) – Scottish rock band Franz Ferdinand performs in a rerun show.
• “Tonight Show With Jay Leno” (NBC) – Reunited rock band Blink 182 is the musical guest. They’re planning a 48-show Summer tour with Fall Out Boy, Weezer, Panic At the Disco, Taking Back Sunday, and All-American Rejects. It kicks off in Las Vegas July 24th.


• Aerosmith – During their tour this Summer, fans in many areas will be able to participate in a custom-made lottery game offering chances at backstage passes, front-row seats, and cash prizes. The games are based on “Dream On” and other songs from the Aerosmith catalogue.
• Britney Spears – According to recently filed court papers listing her spending in 2008, she blew out more than $3 million on legal fees, $625,000 in alimony & family support, about $450,000 on security, $285,000 on mortgage repayments, $105,000 on rent, and $50,000 on home repairs. Another million went to ‘miscellaneous’.
• Michael Jackson – A newspaper report claims he’s suffering from skin cancer, which may explain his trademark face mask. He’s been spotted making regular visits to a dermatologist in Beverly Hills CA and showed up at LA’s Cedars-Sinai Medical Center last month.
• New Kids On the Block – On Sunday Jordan Knight celebrated his birthday at sea aboard the “Imagination” fan cruise from Miami FL to the Bahamas and back. Knight turned 39.
• Taylor Swift – She’ll be profiled in a special 1-hour edition of “Dateline: NBC” airing May 31st. Shot over a period of 3 months, the program follows the creation & launch of her “Fearless Tour”.
• U2 – Their latest single, “Magnificent”, may be their biggest flop in 2 decades, failing to even make the top 40 in the UK. It’s their worst-performing single since “God’s Country” in 1987.

Researchers in Argentina say bee production worldwide is increasing, despite a collapse in the number of hives in the USA & Europe. In fact, the global stock of domesticated honeybees has increased about 45% over the past 50 years. Marcelo Aizen of National University of Comahue says the increase is being driven by a greater demand for honey from the mushrooming world population. (So much for the doomsayers warning of a lack of bees to pollinate crops.)


Old bank buildings can accommodate all kinds of new activities. In the South Bronx NY and in Chicago IL, for example, they have been reborn as funeral homes, stores, and community centers. In Detroit MI, many are now churches. And in beautiful downtown Newark NJ, former banks have become … crack dens and homeless shelters. (In a few remaining cities, they’re actually used to house money.)

A BS compendium of recent ‘discoveries’ …
• Scientists say … About 75% of newly-emerging diseases are coming from wildlife, according to the Bloomberg School of Public Health.
• Scientists say … Office workers who wear jeans on the job burn an additional 25 calories a day. A study by the American Council on Exercise shows physical activity during the workday increases by 8% when casual clothing is worn.
• Scientists say … Men who don’t shave every day are 70% more likely to suffer a stroke than daily shavers, according to a Bristol University study.
• Scientists say … The old saying that ‘opposites attract’ is total BS. A University of Iowa study has found the happiest couples seem to be the ones who share the same personality traits.


A 6-year long, $12-million study of New Zealand wines has discovered that one of the core aromas of the most popular wines is … the smell of cat pee. Wine connoisseur Sue Blackmore says it’s nothing to fret over; the feline urine bouquet appears only in minuscule amounts, measured in parts per billion. And the bottom line is, it serves to make the wine more complex and interesting. (We highly recommend the 2004 ‘Waipara Valley Puss Piss’.)

One reason tourists head to the Netherlands is the fact that cannabis use is legal. Many visitors pop across the Dutch border for a few hours just to score dope. But now 8 Dutch cities are set to introduce a membership card for soft drug users in an attempt to fight ‘drug tourism’. The card, dubbed the ‘Grasspass’, allows wannabe users a maximum of 3 grams of soft drugs. People will have to register to get a pass, a bit of bureaucratic paperwork it’s hoped will discourage drug day-trippers. (“I don’t have a special card to show you, man …. I smoked it.”)
– “Globe & Mail”


According to University of North Carolina professor Christopher Ruhm, death rates consistently decline during recessions and rise during boom times. Ruhm has found that for every 1% rise in unemployment, the death rate falls by about 0.5%. The exact reasons are unclear but it’s suspected that during lean years people spend less money on fattening foods, alcohol, and tobacco. Deaths from car accidents also drop during higher unemployment because fewer people are commuting; industrial accidents drop due to layoffs; and even infant deaths drop, presumably because less industrial output decreases air pollution. (Long live the recession!)
– “Oregon Live”


• As well as causing all sorts of health problems, being overweight can significantly reduce a dog’s quality of life and cut its life expectancy by as much as 2 years.
– “The Guardian”
• For the first time in history, the higher up the economic ladder you go, the more likely you are going to have an extremely long work-week. That’s according to sociologist Dalton Conley, author of the book “Elsewhere, USA”.


“Sean Penn is a friend and colleague. The reports that we are romantically involved are completely untrue. I normally do not respond to rumors about my private life, however, this repeatedly fabricated story has forced me to do so.”
– Actress Natalie Portman on TV’s “Extra”, unburdening all of us of an ugly mental picture.


1952 [57] George Strait, Poteet TX, country singer (“River of Love”, “It Just Comes Natural”)/most #1 hits of any country artist (57 and counting)

1955 [54] Chow Yun-Fat (Yun-Fat Chow), Hong Kong, China, movie actor (“Bulletproof Monk”, “Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon”)

1970 [39] Tina Fey, Upper Darby PA, TV producer/actress (“30 Rock” since 2006)/TV writer (“Saturday Night Live” 1997-2006)/screenwriter (“Mean Girls”)/winner of 5 Emmys, 3 Golden Globes, and 2 SAG Awards

1975 [34] Jack Johnson, Oahu HI, pop singer/songwriter (“If I Had Eyes”, “Upside Down”)

• “International Museum Day”, established in 1977 by the International Council of Museums to draw attention to the world’s museums, no matter how large, small or strange. Here’s our ranking of 10 truly odd ones …
10. Museum of Bad Art (Boston MA)
9. Exotic World Exotic Dancing Museum (Helendale CA)
8. Sulabh International Museum of Toilets (New Delhi, India)
7. Museum of Menstruation & Women’s Health (Hyattsville MD)
6. Museum of Condoms (Condom, France)
5. National Museum of Funeral History (Houston TX)
4. Squished Penny Museum (Washington DC)
3. The Amsterdam Tattoo Museum (The Netherlands)
2. International UFO Museum & Research Center (Roswell NM)
1. The Museum of Dirt (Boston MA)

• “No Dirty Dishes Day”, if nothing else a convenient excuse to eat 3 meals in a restaurant.

• “Send an Electronic Greeting Card Day”, because nothing says ‘Oops, I forgot!’ better than a cheesy freebie greeting delivered via email.

• “Victoria Day”, a truly Canadian holiday begun in 1845 as a celebration of national unity. It commemorates the birth of Queen Victoria on May 24, 1819, who became Britain’s longest-reigning monarch (1837-1901), and presided over Canada’s nationhood.

• “Visit Your Relatives Day”, a day to renew relationships with seldom-seen relatives. Um, maybe there’s a reason they are seldom seen?


1927 [82] Silent movie actress Norma Talmadge begins a tradition by preserving her hand prints and signature in cement at Grauman’s Chinese Theater in Hollywood (legend has it that it only occurs because she accidentally tumbles into wet cement)


1999 [10] Backstreet Boys release “Millennium” album (1.13 million copies sell the first week)

1986 [23] Chung Kwung Ying performs 2,750 ‘Hand-Stand Push-Ups’

2004 [05] Arizona Diamondbacks’ 40-year-old lefty Randy Johnson becomes ‘Oldest MLB Pitcher to Throw a Perfect Game’, beating Atlanta Braves 2-0

[Tues] Boys Club Day
[Wed] Eliza Doolittle Day
[Wed] Weights & Measures Day
[Wed] Employee Health & Fitness Day
[Thurs] Wait Staff Day
[Thurs] “Terminator Salvation” opens in movie theaters

Backyard Games Week / Dog Bite Prevention Week / Emergency Medical Services Week / Effectiveness Week / Medical Transcription Week / New Friends, Old Friends Week / Safe Boating Week / Work at Home Moms Week / World Trade Week


• In Utah, if you collect rainwater to water your garden without first applying for ‘water rights’, then technically you’re breaking the law.
• In 1980, the Wyoming legislature banned the photographing of rabbits from January through April without written permission.
• In Ukraine & Romania, it is against the law to drive a dirty car.
• Impotence is legal grounds for divorce in 24 American states.
• In Gibraltar, use of full headlights is prohibited … even in the dark. Only ‘dipped headlights’ may be used.
• In 13 US states, you can’t publicly insult food unless you have clinical documentation that it’s contaminated.
• Under the ‘Dogs Fouling of Land Act’, pet owners in England & Wales are exempt from having to clean up after their dogs on any road that has a speed limit of 40 mph or higher.
• In Germany, motorists can be issued with a ticket for using abusive language or making derogatory signs. It’s the ‘finger fine’!

What weird food item does your pet love? (A recent survey finds that about 20% of pet owners feed their pets ‘people food’ on a daily basis … one reason our pets are porky.)


The Swine Flu also created a bit of a panic back in the 1970s. Here are a few vintage PSAs from the era that are quite humorous in hindsight …

A good day is when you wake up without a chalk outline around your body.

Today’s Question: Nearly 160 million work days are lost each year in America because of THIS.
Answer to Give Out Next Show: Headaches. (“Today Show”)

The best way to convince a fool that he’s wrong is to let him have his own way.

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