Friday, November 16, 2001        Edition: #2177
The Sorcerer’s Bull

THERE’S SOMETHING ABOUT HARRY:
You might have heard the film phenom “Harry Potter & the Sorcerer’s Stone” opens TODAY. Some quick facts . . .
• Many theaters offered special screenings at midnight for fans who wanted to be first in line to see the flick.
• You’ll get your money’s worth time-wise – it runs 143 minutes!
• It’s opening on an unprecedented 7,000-plus screens (some reports say 8,200), a big chunk of the 40,000 screens in just over 7,000 theaters in the US & Canada. Previous record for widest release — 3,715 screens for “Shrek” at its peak.
• It’s anticipated it will have at least have the biggest opening of any non-holiday release, surpassing the $68.5 million record opening of THIS SUMMER’S hit “Planet of the Apes”. ”The Lost World: Jurassic Park” holds the record for a holiday weekend opening — $90.1 million. To beat the all-time total box office generated by “Titanic”, it would need to pass $600 million domestically and $1.8 billion worldwide.
• ‘Potter’ author JK Rowling’s fortune is now estimated to be over $90 million US. (Wonder how much that will be bumped by her cut from the movie?)
• Classic quote from ‘Harry Potter’ actor Daniel Radcliffe — “Being told I’d got the part was one of the most defining moments of my LIFE.” (He’s all of 12.)
• In the UK the book and movie are known as “Harry Potter & the Philosopher’s Stone”. Some marketing wizard had the brainwave of renaming it for the North American market (‘philosophy’ being way beyond our grasp) and some of the language and spelling in the book was also ‘Americanized’. That may not be the first time that’s happened, but it seems kind of dumb. Guess it could have been dumber — witness these . . .
BS REJECTED TITLES FOR THE US VERSION:
• “Harry Potter & the Decline of Literacy”
• “Harry Potter & the Action Figure You Must Buy Right Now”
• “Harry Potter & the Little Kid Who Died From Not Seeing This Movie”
• “Harriet Potter & the Gender-Altering Surgery”
• “Harry Potter & the Absolutely Unnecessary, Stupid, Pathetic, Stretched Out Way Too Long Title”
• “Harry Potter & the Incredibly Painful Wizard Wedgie”
• ”Harry Potter & the Wizard’s Flaccid Staff”
• “Harry Potter & the Spinning Grave of Tolkien”
• “Harry Potter & the Over-Hyped Children’s Author”

OTHER SHOW BIZ BUZZ:
TODAY’S issue of “People” magazine names its ‘Sexiest Man Alive’ for 2001 — Pierce Brosnan who claims “I have not had any plastic surgery in any shape or form, no implants, and my hair is not dyed” (yeah, but you ARE 48 — the reason the next ‘Bond’ movie is ”The Spy Who Loved Me On The Third Try, Then Rolled Over and Slept All Afternoon”) . . . The owner couldn’t sell it on the Web, so TOMORROW Madonna’s childhood home in Rochester Hills MI goes under the gavel in a good old fashioned auction (with some of her early wardrobe, like her training cones) . . . SUNDAY “Britney Spears: Live From Las Vegas” airs on HBO (and free on Armed Forces radio and TV) from the MGM Grand (”USA Today” reviewer Elysa Gardner says in her new tour, Britney appears in “painted-on pants and halter top, certain of her physical image but uncertain of most everything else”. Meow!) . . . Word is preggers Elizabeth Hurley has dumped her expected child’s pop, Steve Bing, after he announced he was ‘not pleased’ at becoming a dad and she’s taken refuge with old pal Hugh Grant — again . . . Thanks to computer technology, kung-fu legend Bruce Lee is being resurrected 28 years after he died to star in the new movie “Dragon Warrior”, the first time a DEAD actor has been recreated for a major film role (who else should we bring back — Marilyn Monroe? James Dean? Linda Lovelace?) . . . And because you REALLY need to know, DECEMBER’S “Esquire” magazine will reveal that George Clooney’s pet name for his, er, manhood is ‘Waldo’ (as in ‘Where’s . . .?’), but what’s really interesting is that Julia Roberts, who was part of the same interview, already knew that! (hmmm).

THE SIZE OF A CELL:
Bell Labs has developed a transistor as tiny as a molecule that will allow cell phones to become even smaller. (Smaller cell phones? Soon they’ll need ‘choking hazard’ labels on them!)

WEIRD WORLD OF BS:
• German police are hunting a thief who breaks into people’s houses — to cook. Seems he busts in, makes himself dinner, then washes everything up, leaving clean plates but an empty fridge. Police in the Strasbourg area believe he may have struck as many as 200 times! (They’re warning residents to be on the lookout for a hefty guy in a white uniform yelling “Bam!”)
• Liz & Mark Potter of Abernant, Wales have decided to name their newborn son ‘Harry’, claiming he’ll either love his name a lot or hate it totally when he grows up. (To be safe, they’ve already begun putting away money for his therapy. My pop sure didn’t like it when he was named for a movie character — ‘Alfalfa’.)

THE BULL SHEET 11.16.01

TODAY’S CELEBIRTHDAYS . . .
1958 [43] Marg Helgenberger, North Bend NE, TV actress (Catherine Willows-“CSI”)/movie actress (“Erin Brockovich”)

1964 [37] Diana Krall, Nanaimo BC, jazz singer/pianist (Grammy-“When I Look In Your Eyes”)

1977 [24] Oksana Baiul, Dnipropetrovsk UKR, pro figure skater (1994 Olympic gold) hoping to regain amateur skating status & compete in 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City

1979 [22] Trevor Penick, CA, manufactured pop star from “Making the Band” (O-Town-“Liquid Dreams”, “All or Nothing”)

SATURDAY’S BIRTHDAYS . . .
1938 [63] Gordon Lightfoot, Orillia ON, Canadian icon/pop/folk singer (“Sundown”, “Wreck of Edmund Fitzgerald”)

1942 [59] Martin Scorsese, Queens NY, film director (“Casino”, “GoodFellas”, “Taxi Driver”) NEXT FILM: “Gangs of New York”, starring Leonardo DiCaprio & Cameron Diaz, now scheduled to open SPRING 2002

1943 [58] Lauren Hutton, Charleston SC, movie actress/model who suffered a concussion, broken wrist & fractured sternum during celebrity motorcycle ride in Las Vegas a year ago

1944 [57] Danny DeVito, Neptune NJ, 5′-1″ movie actor (“Heist”, “LA Confidential”, “Get Shorty”)/movie producer (“Erin Brockovich”, “Out of Sight”)  NEXT FILM: Directs & co-stars in the Robin Williams comedy “Death to Smoochy”, opening MARCH 2002

1944 [57] Lorne Michaels (Lipowitz), Toronto ON, TV producer (“Saturday Night Live” since 1975, “Late Night With Conan O’Brien”, “The Kids in the Hall”)/movie producer (“Wayne’s World”)

BS REASONS TO PARTY . . .
[UN] “International Day for Tolerance”

TODAY 1,000 soldiers from 3rd Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry (aka ‘the Patricias’) at CFB Edmonton are scheduled to head out for Afghanistan where their duties will include providing humanitarian assistance. (Since Kabul was liberated, the Afghans have been partying like it’s 1499.)

TOMORROW the 16th annual “Adopt-a-Turkey” program launches in Orland CA, sponsored by ‘Farm Sanctuary’, a non-profit organization that implores us to ‘save a life this holiday season by adopting a turkey instead of eating one’. The meat-abhorring adherents to the cause believe we should stuff ourselves at Thanksgiving, not birds. Veggie celebs taking part in the project include Alicia Silverstone, Rue McClanahan, Linda Blair and Kevin Nealon.
NET: http://www.farmsanctuary.org/campaign/c_turkey2001.htm

THIS WEEKEND is the annual “Elephant Round-Up” in Surin,  the ‘elephant capital’ of Thailand. Highlights include a mock battle featuring smoke, swords, and more than 100 mighty elephants and dozens of costumed warlords, and special elephant competitions in strength, skill, and obedience. There’s also a party for 200 elephants that will include a 60-ton buffet. (Man, you oughta see the sneeze-guards!)

TOMORROW is “Homemade Bread Day”, when we’re all encouraged to bake a loaf from scratch. (A good day to get a bun in the oven.)

TOMORROW is “Take A Hike Day”, which is either a day to enjoy the outdoors or to get out of someone’s face.

Skywatchers say THIS WEEK’S “Leonid Meteor Shower” may be the best shooting star show in 35 years, but be prepared to go sleepless to see it. Leonids cannot be seen in the evening, they’re best observed before dawn and will peak in the early morning hours SUNDAY (EST). No special equipment is required, just your naked eyeballs. This Website includes a chart showing the best viewing time in your part of the world (Australia gets the best show — up to 8,000 shooting stars per hour!).
NET: http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/astronomy/leonids_2001.html

TODAY’S MUSIC EVENTS . . .
1999 [02] Aging rocker Eddie Van Halen undergoes hip-replacement surgery

TODAY’S FIRSTS . . .
1963 [38] 1st ‘touch-tone telephone’ is introduced (one of the defining events separating ‘Boomers’ from ‘GenXers’

1970 [31] 1st Canadian recording artist to receive an RIAA ‘gold record’ (Anne Murray for “Snowbird”)

1998 [03] 1st MLB pitcher to win 5 ‘Cy Young Awards’ (Roger Clemens-Toronto Blue Jays)

TODAY’S RECORDS . . .
1981 [20] Most-watched daytime TV soap opera episode as ‘Luke’ marries ‘Laura’ on “General Hospital”

AND REMEMBER . . .
[Sat] Ramadan begins (the fasting month for Muslims)
[Sun] Mickey Mouse Day (celebrating his debut in 1928)
[Mon] Have A Bad Day Day (for people tired of hearing ‘Have a Good Day’)
[Tues] Name Your PC Day
[Wed] World Hello Day
[Thurs] US Thanksgiving Day (are you ready for some football?)
Shallow Persons Awareness Week
International Creative Child & Adult Month

BULL’S BITS . . .
BS DEAD OR ALIVE?

Are the following comedians stiffs or still kickin’?
• Victor Borge (died 12/23/2000)
• Bob Hope (barely alive at 98 – some say he’s actually 100)
• Cheech Marin of “Cheech & Chong” (alive and 55)
• Tommy Chong of “Cheech & Chong” (alive and 63)
• Buddy Hackett (alive and 77)
• Gallagher (alive and 54)
• Don Rickles (alive and 75)
• Señor Wences (died 4/20/1999)
• David Brenner (alive and 56)
• Sam Kinison (died 4/10/1992)
• Rich Little (alive and 62)
• Yakov Smirnoff (alive and 50)
• Red Skelton (died 9/17/1997)
• Rip Taylor (alive and 67)
• Henny Youngman (died 2/24/1998)
(Source: whosaliveandwhosdead.com)

BS TAG LINE:
My eyes are so sore from eye-strain THIS MORNING! I watched the “Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show” on TV LAST NIGHT.


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