Thursday, October 23, 2003        Edition: #2650
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Producer David Gest’s $10-million lawsuit against estranged wife Liza Minnelli claims the poor man now lives in ‘virtually constant, unrelenting pain’ that requires ‘11 prescription medications per day’, thanks to her alleged drunken beatings of him in London, Italy & NYC during their 16-month bizarre marriage (geez, she’s 7 years older and only 5′-4″ – what a wuss!) . . . 32-year-old Miami-based producer Terrence ‘T-Robb’ Robinson has filed a $200-million lawsuit against Beyonce Knowles, her father, and Destiny’s Child, alleging they stole his music for the hit song “Survivor” (funny it took him 2 years to notice) . . . 23-year-old Destiny’s Child member Michelle Williams will replace Toni Braxton in the lead role of Broadway production of “Aida” (think the group’s kaput?) . . . “Us” magazine reports “Friends” star Courteney Cox is pregnant with her first child, something she & hubby David Arquette have been working on for a long time (practise practise practise) . . . “American Idol” judge & producer Randy Jackson will offer tips on how to make it in the music biz in his upcoming book, predictably titled “What’s Up, Dawg?: How to Become a Recording Star” (in which he always drops names 3 times – “Mariah, Mariah, Mariah …”) . . . Actor Matt Damon has split with 2-year girlfriend Odessa Whitmire, Ben Affleck’s former personal assistant because they apparently rarely see each other (you know what they say – absence makes the hard go wander) . . . Word is popster Avril Lavigne hitchhiked a much-needed last-minute ride from LA to Toronto on a private Gulfstream jet, owned by “Girls Gone Wild” millionaire Joe Francis (aka ‘Slee-Z Boi’). . . And Pamela Anderson, who’s announced to the world that hepatitis C will probably kill her within a decade, has reportedly told former husband Tommy Lee & sometime boyfriend Kid Rock that if they want to be with her, they’ll just have to share (thanks to silicone, there’s lots to go round).

Jim Carrey will play the lead role in a bigscreen version of the TV classic “The Six Million Dollar Man”, which will be developed as an action comedy . . . “Lord of the Rings” star Elijah Wood will headline “Hooligans”, playing an expelled Harvard student who moves to London and gets caught up in English football hooliganism . . . Vin Diesel won’t be starring in any more “XXX” movies but after the success of “The Fast and the Furious” sequel, “2 Fast 2 Furious”, he now wants back in for the 3rd installment of the street-racing series . . . Mel Gibson has been forced to rename his controversial upcoming film “The Passion” because a studio holds rights to that title, so his religious epic scheduled to open in time for Easter will now be titled “The Passion of Christ” . . . A made-for-TV movie sequel to the 1984 Molly Ringwald comedy “Sixteen Candles” is in the works, picking up on the lives of the characters 16 years later in – you guessed it – “32 Candles” . . . Sandra Bullock will produce & star in a sequel to her 2000 hit comedy “Miss Congeniality” (likely because the last hit she was in was … “Miss Congeniality”).

Transcendental Meditation founder Maharishi Mahesh Yogi wants to build a vast network of ‘peace palaces’ in 3,000 cities, including a meditation headquarters in India that will house 40,000 followers. All he needs is followers to pony up $1 billion to get it done. Amoing them – quirky Hollywood director David Lynch, who’ll launch the peace drive TOMORROW morning at a press conference at NYC’s Plaza Hotel.

The city of Milwaukee WI has been paying a ‘condom retriever’ $460 a day to scoop used prophylactics out of Lake Michigan with a long-handled net ever since a fisherman spotted hundreds of used condoms in the city’s harbor. That job’s about to end, however, because the city has just okayed $2 million for a condom filtering system at its wastewater treatment plant.

A compendium of recent ‘discoveries’ –
• Scientists say … that sheep express fear by changing their voices. ‘Bioacoustics’ expert Mark Feinstein of Hampshire College in Amherst MA recorded sheep in Ireland and claims that stressed sheep alter the timbre of their vocalizations. (They’re screaming, “Put down that jar of Vaseline!”)
• Scientists say … that Brits not only have bad teeth, they have bad breath to match. A study of 1,000 UK residents found that fully 60% failed a sulfur emissions test. (Could it be all those English ‘delicacies’? Steak & kidney pie, mushy peas, that suet pudding they call spotted dick … urgh, excuse me while I fetch a bucket, old chap.)
• Scientists say … the mysterious disappearance of ships in the world’s oceans may be due to gigantic methane bubbles from the sea floor. Researchers at Australia’s Monash University claim they’ve successfully demonstrated how a giant bubble could swamp a ship. (And they’ve also managed to videotape a Blue Whale blushing.)

• A company in Warwickshire, England that ordered out for a stripper to entertain its execs is complaining about false advertising. The dancer that showed up weighed 280 lbs and cheerfully told them, “You’ll have to make do with me because all the other girls are dropping their kids off at school.”
• 33-year-old Norwegian entrepreneur Lena Skarning has secured a $7,500 business start-up grant from the government. The ‘business’? ‘Forest Witch Magic Consulting’. Yep, she’s just become Norway’s only state-backed witch … but had to promise not to use any harmful spells.
• 40-year-old Kirk Jones, the dopey daredevil who went over Niagara Falls MONDAY and lived, is reportedly planning to sell a videotape of the stunt. But before the unemployed shipping clerk from Canton MI can cash in, he’ll likely have to pony up a $7,500 fine. A 7-year-old boy wearing just a life jacket is the only other person to survive a header over the Canadian falls without special equipment. (“Sorry Kirk ol’ buddy, the tape jammed. Can you do it again?”)
• For a scientific study on sexual problems, volunteers in the Netherlands agreed to have sex while researchers scanned their brains. Participants had to keep their heads perfectly still while engaged in the act and were required to finish in 7 minutes. (Wow, how’d they make it last so long?)

25% of teens surveyed say they’ve helped their parents illegally download music off the Internet.


1925 [78] Johnny Carson, Corning IA, retired TV host (“The Tonight Show” 1962-92)

1942 [61] Michael Crichton (CRY-ten), Chicago IL, top-selling novelist (“Jurassic Park”, “Rising Sun”)/screenwriter (“Twister”)/TV series creator & executive producer (“ER”)

1954 [49] Ang Lee, Pingtung TAIWAN, movie director/producer (“The Hulk”, “Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon”, “Sense & Sensibility”)
1956 [47] Dwight Yoakam, Pikeville KY, country singer (“Fast As You”)/movie actor (“Hollywood Homicide”, “The Panic Room”, “Sling Blade”)

1959 [44] (Alfred Matthew) ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic, Lynwood CA, parody singer (“Another One Rides The Bus”, “Amish Paradise”)

1976 [27] Ryan Reynolds, Vancouver BC, movie actor (“Van Wilder”)former TV actor (“Two Guys & a Girl”)

1985 [18] Masiela Lusha, Tirana, Albania, TV actress (George’s teen daughter ‘Carmen’-“George Lopez”, the only non-Hispanic actor in the cast)

THIS WEEK the final commercial flights of British Airways Concorde are taking place (the final Air France flights already occurred MAY 31st.). British Airways sold one-way seats for the final week of Concorde service for $7,154 apiece. TODAY is the final London-NYC flight and TOMORROW morning the final 3-and-a-half hour NYC-London flight takes off from JFK, arriving at Heathrow 4pm local time. A Toledo OH man has paid over $60,000 for the last two seats on that flight, which were auctioned off for charity. Concorde facts –
•The world’s only supersonic passenger aircraft was jointly developed by Britain and France and entered commercial service in 1976.
• Its cruising speed is 1,350 mph, more than twice the speed of sound, at an altitude of up to 60,000 ft (over 11 miles).
• The crash of an Air France Concorde near Paris’ Charles de Gaulle Airport that killed 113 on July 25, 2000 essentially sealed the fate of the already economically unviable aircraft.

TODAY is “TV Talk Show Host Day”, to celebrate those ‘gifted with the personality and intellect to enable them to bring out the best in their guests’. Based on that, which current TV host is best? And which should get canned?

TODAY is “Canning Day”, honoring the 1752 birth of French chef/chemist Nicolas Appert, who came up with the concept of sealing perishable food in jars. For this, he is known as ‘the father of canning’, but he also came up with many other inventions, including the bouillon cube.

THIS WEEK is the 75th anniversary of the invention of bubble gum by 23-year-old accountant Walter Diemer in 1928. While fooling around in his spare time at the Fleer Chewing Gum Company in Philadelphia he mixed pink food coloring with a vat of gum, corn syrup & sugar, which was eventually marketed as ‘Dubble Bubble’. He admitted before his death 5 years ago that it was a fluke – he was trying to create something else. Worldwide bubble gum sales are now estimated to top $500 million per year. Sadly, Diemer never received a single penny in royalties for his invention.

10 YEARS AGO . . .
1993 Toronto Blue Jays win 2nd consecutive World Series, 4 games to 2 vs Philadelphia (Joe Carter becomes only the 2nd player to end a World Series with a home run)

1814 [189] 1st ‘cosmetic surgery’ performed

1930 [73] 1st ‘miniature golf tournament’, in Chattanooga TN (1st golfer swears at a windmill)

1945 [58] 1st ‘Slinky’ spring toy goes on sale

1977 [26] Wesley Paul runs the NYC Marathon in 3 hours 31 minutes, 48 minutes behind the winner – but 15 minutes faster than any other 8-YEAR-OLD has ever run it!

[Fri] United Nations Day
[Sat] Punk For A Day Day
[Sun] Mother-In-Law Day
[Sun] Daylight Saving Time ends (except in nonconformist Saskatchewan where it never started)
[Mon] Make a Difference Day
[This Week Is – Hug-A-Vending Machine Week (wow, some people are really hard up)
This Month Is – Dental Hygiene Month / Orthodontic Month (a result of failing to observe the former)

The UK’s Channel 4 TV has launched a search for people with personal hygiene problems for a new reality show. Viewers are invited to nominate friends or co-workers to get a complete makeover on “Too Posh To Wash”. Wow, this show really stinks, almost as much as these …
• “Who Wants to Marry My Owner?” – The show where your pet decides who you get to mate with.
• “Xtreme Prankster” – Hours & hours of video footage of Ashton Kutcher knocking on doors, then running away giggling maniacally.
• “UN Survivor” – Which nation will be the first voted off the Security Council?
• “Joe Celebrity” – Women fight over a guy they think is a celebrity, then find out he’s really just one of the ‘other’ Baldwin brothers.
• “Something’s Different About You” – Newlyweds are challenged to locate one another in a crowded dance club after both undergo heavy plastic surgery.
• “Straight Eye for the Queer Guy” – The ‘Fart 5′ teach a gay guy how to suck suds, inhale pizza, make rude bodily sounds and dress in high school T-shirts they’ve actually owned since high school.
• “The Big Clench” – Contestants compete to see who can wait the longest before using the john. Men compete singly while women participate in teams.

Burlington County NJ is erecting humorous anti-speeding signs such as “Free Speeding Tickets Ahead” and “Meet Our Judge – Exceed 25 mph”. So what’s your idea for a creative road sign? How about, “Hey You in the Cadillac, It’s 60 Not 20!”

If TODAY is your birthday, you were born on the final day of the zodiac sign Libra (The Scales). Here is your forecast in the stars … A tomato features in today’s cuisine. Sadly that’s going to be all your excitement for the day. It’s an excellent day to make strange mouth noises, particularly in a crowded elevator. Heed a warning from an old friend – Hawaiian shirts really do look dorky with a tie. Today everyone around you will make you severely annoyed. The important thing to remember is, in the long run, they’re all dead.

• I still miss my ex-wife … but my aim is getting better.
• I saw a sign that says, “If You Do Not Speak English, an Interpreter Will Be Provided”. Just who is this sign for? And how about “Guide Dogs for the Blind are Welcome”. Who would that be directed at … the dog?

Today’s Question: When THIS happens, only 12% of the time it’s to a man.
Answer to Give Out Tomorrow: Plastic surgery.

A hunch is creativity trying to tell you something.

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