Friday, October 31, 2003        Edition: #2656
Monthly Planning Calendar in Today’s BS!

TONIGHT Cher finally ends her long-running “Living Proof” farewell tour in Toronto, the same city where she kicked it off in June 2002 (this 200th show is disco-themed, with scheduled guest appearances by the Village People, Thelma Houston & Sister Sledge) . . . TOMORROW the case of missing Toronto 9-year-old, Cecilia Zhang, is featured on “America’s Most Wanted” . . .  SUNDAY P Diddy will run in the “New York City Marathon”, attempting to raise $1 million for 3 children-focused groups (apparently none of which are in Honduras) . . . Former Eurythmics singer Annie Lennox will perform the theme song for “The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King”, the final movie chapter of Tolkien’s trilogy (“Here comes the elves again …”) . . . Word is actress Liz Hurley’s romance with Indian millionaire Arun Nayar is on the verge of crumbling because he’s struggling to cope with his family’s disapproval and his ongoing divorce battle (hey Hugh Grant, get ready for another late night phone call) . . . Michael Jackson is being accused of diverting money from sales of his ‘charity single’ “What More Can I Give?” to an organization called the Hollywood Education & Literacy Project (HELP), a group associated with the Church of Scientology (no big deal – sales so far have topped 10 bucks) . . . Actress Halle Berry is a tad creeped out that a burglar broke into her LA home just 2 weeks after she moved in and rifled through her wardrobe – including her underwear drawer (that’s shocking, she HAS underwear?) . . . Now it’s really getting serious – actress Nicole Kidman & rocker Lenny Kravitz have reportedly toured a 5-story, 21-room NYC townhouse on 4 separate occasions, with a view to putting in an offer against the list price – $21 MILLION.

• “The Human Stain” (Drama): 65-year-old Oscar-winner Anthony Hopkins plays a classics professor falsely accused of making a racist remark in his classroom. He rebounds after beginning a sexually-charged relationship with a much-younger cleaning woman, played by 36-year-old Nicole Kidman. Hopkins says the sex scenes were difficult to shoot because he’s painfully self-conscious. (Especially when he has to keep demanding, “Who’s your grand-daddy?”)
• “Brother Bear” (Animated Adventure): Joaquin Phoenix provides the voice of a young Native-American whose older brother is killed by a bear. During his attempt to avenge the death by killing the beast, the Great Spirits transform him into the thing he detests most – a bear. Tonight’s the night for scary movies, so this Disney family fare actually opens TOMORROW.
• “Alien: The Director’s Cut” (Sci-Fi Horror): Nearly 25 years after its debut (1979), Ridley Scott’s original space-monster movie is being re-released, with additional scenes and a tune-up to the effects and soundtrack. Sigourney Weaver stars as ‘Ripley’ in the film that spawned 4 sequels. (Remember – ‘In Space No One Can Hear You Scream’ … or wet your pants.)
• “Die, Mommie, Die” (Horror): An ex-pop singer (cross-dresser Charles Busch), kills her much-hated husband (Philip Baker Hall) to be with her young lover, an out-of-work actor (appropriately Jason Priestly). Her daughter (Natasha Lyonne) plots revenge. (Wow … does this one come with a road map?)

In THIS WEEK’S “New England Journal of Medicine”, Dr Howard Bennett of George Washington University Medical Center warns about what he calls ‘Hogwart’s Headache’ – long-term pain caused by the physical stress of relentlessly plowing through the latest JK Rowling epic, the 870-page “Harry Potter & the Order of the Phoenix”. The doc claims he’s seen 3 cases among young readers aged 8-to-10, all of whom experienced a dull headache for 2 or 3 days. (And because the book weighs several pounds, they were all suffering from hernias too.)

• Louis Miller of Sydney, Australia sued a beer company after he purportedly suffered permanent wrist injury while struggling to open a beer bottle. He testified that when he held the bottle with one hand and twisted the top with the other, searing pain shot through his wrist that left him screaming. The judge dismissed the case after hearing expert testimony on the torque needed to twist off a bottle cap. (Next the guy’ll sue a tobacco company, claiming he threw his back out lifting a match.)
• A 39-year-old burglar has been arrested in Muncie IN after police found his name-imprinted dentures at the scene. Seems they fell out when he stumbled over something in the dark but was forced to flee before he could find them. (This loser could get a job in National Crime Prevention Council’s ‘Help Take A Bite Out Of Crime’ ads.)
• It wasn’t a good morning for an Elgin IL woman who walked into her kitchen to make breakfast … and found a 250-lb corpse slumped over her sink. Cops say a hefty burglar was apparently trying to squeeze through the kitchen window when he got stuck around his chest. Unable to breathe, he passed out over the sink … and died. (Ever since she cleaned up, her electric garbage disposal’s been jammed.)
• A 27-year-old man in China’s Henan province has been charged with poisoning a drinking-water reservoir, hospitalizing at least 42 people. Seems the sales rep was attempting to boost sales of – water purifiers. (He was just following ‘Sales Rule #1′ – create a problem, then offer a solution.)

Using an MRI to monitor brain activity, Dr Giacomo Rizzolatti of Italy’s University of Parma has discovered the brain responds the same way whether we actually experience something disgusting or just see another person reacting. For instance, we experience the same brain activity watching someone smell a bad odor as by smelling it ourselves. Researchers say the same may be true of other emotional reactions. (To verify this theory, we’re putting co-host in an adjoining studio with a breakfast burrito and we’re going to watch through the window when [sports guy] comes in.)

• Most people carve pumpkins on Halloween. TODAY Bruce Bradford is going to shoot one out of a cannon as he attempts to defend his title of ‘World’s Best Pumpkin Hurler’ by trying to blast a punkin’ more than 4,594 ft, his record set LAST YEAR at the weird contest in Sussex County DE. (Get hit by one of these babies and you’ll know you been Punk’d!)
• THIS WEEK British adventurers Ranulph Fiennes & Mike Stroud are attempting to run 7 marathons on 7 continents in 7 days. They’ve already completed runs in Antarctica (Falkland Islands … sort of a cheat), South America (Chile), Australia (Sydney), Asia (Singapore, where Stroud was forced to stop for medical assistance). TODAY they’re due to run in Europe (London), TOMORROW in Africa (Cairo), and SUNDAY in North America (NYC).

In a recent motel chain survey, just 5% of respondents say they’ve ever used the free shower cap provided in motel rooms. Of those, only 21% used it for its intended purpose. Almost a third say they’ve taken one home to wear … while painting.
• The demand for goat meat in the USA has outstripped the supply since 1992.

“It’s really weird. I like being here [in London] for some reason, I don’t know if it’s because my grandmother used to live here a long time ago or something like that.” – Britney Spears on why she’s house-hunting in England.


1931 [72] Dan Rather, Wharton TX, $7-million-a-year TV anchor (“CBS Evening News” since 1981, “60 Minutes II”) who’s successor may be Canadian-born senior White House correspondent John Roberts (former MuchMusic VJ) or “60 Minutes II” correspondent Scott Pelley

1950 [53] Jane Pauley, Indianapolis IN, recently ‘retired’ TV anchor (“Dateline: NBC” 1992-2003) who began her NBC-TV career as a 25-year-old “Today” show anchor/Mrs Gary Trudeau (“Doonesbury”) since 1980

1961 [42] Larry Mullen Jr, Dublin IRE, rock drummer (U2-“Walk On”, “Beautiful Day”)  FACTOID: U2 will release the live DVD “U2 Go Home” in NOVEMBER, recorded at a 2001 concert in Ireland.

1963 [40] Rob Schneider, San Francisco CA, movie actor (“Mr Deeds”, “Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo”)/former TV comic (“Saturday Night Live” 1990-94)  COMING UP: The sequel “Deuce Bigalow: Electric Gigolo” in 2004.

1967 [36] Adam Schlesinger, Montclair NJ, rock musician (Fountains of Wayne-“Stacy’s Mom”)  FACTOID: The band was named after a store in Wayne NJ.

1968 [35] Antonio Davis, Oakland CA, NBA forward (Toronto Raptors)

1942 [61] Larry Flynt, Salyersville KY, sleazy magazine publisher (“Hustler”)/failed California gubernatorial candidate

1962 [41] Anthony Kiedes, Grand Rapids MI, rock singer (Red Hot Chili Peppers-“Can’t Stop”, “Under the Bridge”)

1969 [34] Tie Domi, Windsor ON, NHL tough-guy winger (Toronto Maple Leafs)

1972 [31] Jenny McCarthy. Chicago IL, sometime movie actress (“Scary Movie 3″, “Scream 3″)/”Playboy” ‘Playmate of the Year’ (1994)

TODAY is “Halloween”, a tradition in Canada, the USA, the UK, Ireland, Australia and the Philippines. In recent years, the celebration has spread to other countries around-the-world.
• The observance originated with 5th century BC Celtic Druids who believed that on October 31st, all persons who had died in the previous year assembled to choose the body of a person or animal they would inhabit for the next 12 months.
• After the 9th century AD, the day became known as “All Hallows’ Eve” or “Halloween” since it was the night before “All Saints’ Day”.
• The Irish brought the Halloween custom to North America in the 1840s. Of the countries that celebrate Halloween, only in Ireland is it considered a national holiday.
TRICKS: Witches’ pranks were replaced by kids’ ‘tricks’ in the 1800’s on “Mischief Night”.
COSTUMES: Ancient Druids began the tradition of ‘guisers’ (disguisers) by blackening their faces with ash from bonfires, then roaming around demanding money or food.
TREATS: May have come from Medieval England when people made rounds on “All Souls Day” asking for ‘soulcakes’. Later evolved into a form of bribery in order to avoid pranks.
JACK-O’-LANTERN: In ancient Ireland the first jack-o’-lanterns were made of turnips, beets or hollowed-out potatoes to represent a lost soul carrying a coal from hell.
BOBBING-FOR-APPLES: Scottish ritual for young people to determine future spouses. A name was stuck to each apple.

TODAY is “International UNICEF Day”, observed on October 31st since 1967, the reason many trick or treaters collect donations in UNICEF coin boxes.

TODAY is “National Magic Day,” traditionally a day for magicians to meet, celebrated on the anniversary of Harry Houdini’s death October 31st, 1926 – 77 years ago TODAY. Every year, spiritualists hold a seance on Halloween to try and contact the late magician. So far, the line’s been busy!

TODAY is “Increase Your Psychic Powers Day”. Did you sense we were going to say that?

TOMORROW is “All Hallows” or “All Saints’ Day” (begun in 835 AD), a Roman Catholic ‘Holy Day of Obligation’ (aren’t they all?). It’s a national holiday in the Philippines when families gather to honor the dead – sometimes getting out of control. Filipino police are cracking down on drunkenness and gambling in graveyards.

TOMORROW is “Dia de los Muertos” (“Day of the Dead”) in Mexico. Actually the observance covers 2 days – TOMORROW, “All Saints Day”, is set aside for remembrance of deceased infants and children (‘angelitos’). SUNDAY, “All Soul’s Day”, is for those who died as adults. For a memorial observance it’s pretty festive, with colorful adornments, lively reunions at family burial plots, fireworks & special food. Departed souls are remembered with ‘Dead Men’s Bread’, decorated with sugar skulls.

0834 [1169] 1st ‘All Hallows Eve’, established by Pope Gregory IV to honor saints

Magician Harry Houdini died on Halloween,1926 of gangrene & peritonitis caused by a burst appendix from being punched in the stomach. 10 years ago TODAY (1993), movie director Federico Fellini died at age 73 and actor River Phoenix died at age 23. 19 years ago TODAY (1984), Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was assassinated by her own security guards.

1987 [16] ‘Longest singles tennis’ match lasts 80 hours, 21 minutes in Coventry ENG (“Geez, I can’t believe it’s deuce AGAIN!”)

[Nov 1] Plan Your Epitaph Day / All Saints’ Day (All Hallow’s Day) / Sadie Hawkins Day / Family Literacy Day
[Nov 2] Deviled Egg Day / All Soul’s Day / NYC Marathon
[Nov 3] National Sandwich Day / Housewives’ Day / Cliché Day
[Nov 5] “The Matrix Revolutions” opens simultaneously worldwide / 37th CMA Awards / Saskatchewan election / Take Our Kids to Work Day / Guy Fawkes Day (UK)
[Nov 5-9] Canadian Finals Rodeo (Edmonton)
[Nov 6] Saxophone Day / Halfway Point of Autumn / National Men Make Dinner Day
[Nov 7] Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards (Ottawa) / World Community Day
[Nov 8] Lunar Eclipse / Dunce Day / Cook Something Bold & Pungent Day / Parents As Teachers Day
[Nov 9] Beaver Moon (Full Moon in November)
[Nov 10] Johnny Cash Tribute Concert (Nashville TN)
[Nov 11] Remembrance Day
[Nov 14] Operating Room Nurse Day / “Master & Commander: Far Side of the World” opens
[Nov 15 ] Clean Out Your Refrigerator Day / Pack Your Mom’s Lunch Day
[Nov 16 ] 91st Grey Cup (Regina) / Button Day / 31st American Music Awards
[Nov 17 ] Take A Hike Day / Homemade Bread Day / National Farm Joke Day
[Nov 18] Married To A Scorpio Support Day
[Nov 19 ] Have A Bad Day Day / World Toilet Day
[Nov 20] / Absurdity Day / Name Your PC Day / Universal Children’s Day / National Child Day in Canada
[Nov 21 ] World Hello Day / False Confessions Day / “Dr Seuss’ Cat in the Hat” opens
[Nov 22 ] Start Your Own Country Day / Vanier Cup (Toronto) / Stop the Violence Day
[Nov 23] Solar Eclipse (Australia/NZ)
[Nov 24] Eid al-Fitr begins at sunset (Islam)
[Nov 25 ] Shopping Reminder Day / International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against
[Nov 27 ] Pins & Needles Day / Thanksgiving Day (USA)
[Nov 28] Buy Nothing Day / Sinkie Day
[Nov 29] AIDS Awareness Concert (Capetown SA) / Square Dance Day / Electronic Greetings Day
[Nov 30] International Computer Security Day / Stay Home Because You Are Well Day
[Dec 1] “Lord Of The Rings: Return Of The King” world premiere (Wellington NZ) / World Aids Day
[Dec 3] International Day of Disabled Persons
[Dec 4] Extraordinary Work Team Recognition Day
[Dec 10] 2003 Billboard Music Awards


• It’s Halloween, or as Marilyn Manson calls it … Friday.
• Halloween, the one time of the year when trick-or-treaters are asked the same question Michael Jackson gets asked each day … “What are you supposed to be?”
• The first plastic surgery clinic for pets has opened. I took my French poodle there and let me tell you … 8 fake boobs ain’t cheap!
• The speed of travel these days is amazing. In just 5 hours you can get from [your town] … to the airport.

Contestant gets 60 seconds to answer 5 questions about breakfast. The answers begin with the letters B-I-N-G-O …
• It’s soft before you toast it, crispy after. [Bread]
• It’s the best part of a Pop Tart. [Icing]
• It’s the company that invented Shredded Wheat cereal. [Nabisco]
• It’s the only truly purple preserve. [Grape Jelly.]
• It’s what Quaker is famous for. [Oats]

Today’s Question: About 20% of us have never, ever done THIS.
Answer to Give Out Next Show: Floss.

A grandmother is someone who pretends she doesn’t know who you are on Halloween.

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