Wednesday, October 15, 2003                         Edition: #2644
Sweet Sheet!

It’s been announced the UK’s Prince William will live in Africa for 2 years after completing university, working with endangered species (by eradicating them with a spear?) . . . Word has it Justin Timberlake may portray Elton John in his mid-20s in an upcoming biopic, while 2 other actors will play Elton at other stages of his life (casting ideas, anyone? Jack Black?) . . . MTV’s latest reality series “Rich Girls” will follow 2 wealthy young women who dash around NYC – shopping (honest kids, MTV used to play music videos) . . . Governator-elect Arnold Schwarzenegger has forked out a reported $960,000 for a pair of robots which can be  programmed to help out around the house, making drinks, walking the dogs (or groping starlets when daddy’s busy working) . . . Cameron Diaz’s dog growls viciously at her boyfriend Justin Timberlake whenever he’s around (wasn’t this in “There’s Something About Mary”?) . . .  That noted wordsmith Pamela Anderson has a publishing deal for 2 novels, “Above the Waist” and “Below the Belt”, which will be ghost-written (by someone who can actually spell) . . . Latest Hollywood couple rumor – 30-year-old “2 Fast 2 Furious” star Paul Walker & 22-year-old former “Dark Angel” babe Jessica Alba . . . And currently touring Aerosmith singer Steve Tyler says he’s on a strict salmon diet so he can ‘sing and kick ass’ and not look ‘stupid and fat on-stage’ (well … not fat anyway).

In a rare Wednesday opening, Clint Eastwood’s critically-acclaimed drama “Mystic River” expands to wide release. It’s the story of 3 childhood friends (Sean Penn, Tim Robbins, Kevin Bacon) who are reunited when one of them loses a daughter. Many are saying this film’s an Oscar-contender, and one of the best of the year.

New terms leaking into our lingo –
• ‘Metrosexual’ – A stylin’ straight guy who’s into fashion and beauty products and isn’t afraid to admit it. The term was originally invented for Brit soccer player David Beckham.
• ‘Duppie’ (‘Depressed Urban Professional’) – Someone who’s way overeducated and way underemployed. (“Hey Pudge, check out the new guy on the fry machine. He’s got a PhD in Philosophy!”)
• ‘Dub’ – A new type of music remix invented by Jamaican musicians. Recordings are stripped down to bare bones bass & drum, then other instruments and echoing voices floated into and out of the mix.

NEXT MONTH McFarlane Toys is releasing an action figure of the late Jimi Hendrix, recently named ‘Greatest Guitarist of All-Time’ by “Rolling Stone” magazine. The release comes 37 years after the formation of the Jimi Hendrix Experience (1966) and just in time for what would have been his 61st birthday, NOVEMBER 27th. The 6-inch figure comes with a replica of Hendrix’s signature 6-string Stratocaster guitar. The price is expected to be $12 to $15, with special box sets at $20. (Syringe and tourniquet extra.)

TODAY the youth-oriented clothing outlet Yorn Store in Lisbon, Portugal plans to give away clothes to anyone who – shops naked. Participants will undress inside the store, then be given a towel to cover themselves while they wait outside. When the signal is given, they’ll then drop their towels and storm back in starkers to select one complete outfit free-of-charge.

THIS WEEK a 54-year-old German man is due in court after teaching his black mongrel sheepdog ‘Adolf’ to raise its right paw in a Hitler-style salute when the master shouts ‘Sieg Heil’! The fool made the mistake of having his pooch perform the stunt in front of a pair of cops. Court officials say the dog will NOT be called to the stand as a witness.

Researchers at Britain’s University of Surrey say they have found a link between people’s preference for mornings or evenings and a gene called ‘Period 3′. The gene is one of those involved in regulating the body’s internal clock and comes in two versions – a short one and a long one. The study finds that ‘morning people’ are more likely to have a long version of Period 3, while ‘night hawks’ are more likely to have a short one.

Indiana University is now offering a course on – reality TV. So far, 22 students have enrolled in the freshman seminar called ‘The (Sur)Real World of Reality TV’. The course promises new insight into the international phenomenon of reality television from historical, legal, ethical, psychological, sociological and economic perspectives. (Wow, and we thought Art Appreciation was a bird course!)

Scientists at Buffalo University Medical School say that dope-smoking men are hurting their chances of becoming fathers because marijuana harms sperm. It seems drug-addled sperm suffers burn-out before reaching the female egg and is therefore often incapable of fertilization. The study also shows that regular cannabis users also produce significantly less semen than men who do not take the drug.

Dr Panayiotis Zavos, who claims to be on the brink of creating the first cloned human baby (we’ve heard that before), says he wants to bring the procedure to childless couples as an affordable alternative to in vitro fertilization. Zavos claims he’s already created the most advanced human clone in the world, an embryo being stored at a secret lab in the Middle East, and is only weeks away from implanting it in the womb of a surrogate mother. If the technique becomes established, he says, the total bill for a clone will eventually be about $150,000.

A new poll by the Institute of Grocery Distribution finds that teens know which foods are good for them but often don’t eat properly because … they’re too lazy. Among other findings –
• 40% of teens surveyed don’t eat breakfast.
• More than half eat junk food or fatty snacks rather than a school lunch.
• Almost half eat at a fast food restaurant at least once a week.
• 40% do not know how to use a microwave oven.
• Among those who eat fruit, laziness puts them off any fruit that requires peeling.


1942 [61] Penny Marshall, Bronx NY, movie director (“Riding in Cars with Boys”, “The Preacher’s Wife”, “A League of Their Own”)/former TV actress (“Laverne & Shirley” 1976-83)

1959 [44] Emeril Lagasse, Fall River MA, TV chef born to a Portuguese mother and a French-Canadian father (appears about 27 times a day on the Food Network-“Essence of Emeril”, “Emeril Live”)/restaurateur (owns restaurants in New Orleans, Las Vegas, Orlando)  QUOTE: “Bam!”

1959 [44] Sarah Ferguson (‘Fergie’), London UK, Duchess of York/Prince Andrew’s ex-/Weight Watchers spokesperson/sometime newspaper columnist

1970 [33] Eric Benét (Jordan), Milwaukee WI, R&B singer (“Spend My Life With You”)/the philandering Mr Halle Berry since 2001, now estranged

1975 [28] Ginuwine (Elgin Baylor Lumpkin), Washington DC, R&B/hip-hop singer (“In Those Jeans”, “So Anxious”)

TODAY is “National Grouch Day”, a day to be grumpy, ungrateful and cantankerous, and a day to allow grouches everywhere time to spout off. Except in Austria – where the advertising industry has just launched a campaign against grumbling on billboards and TV ads. They say too many Austrians are pessimistic and always complaining about the economy. It’s hoped the campaign will inspire creativity, effectiveness and innovation.

TODAY is “World Poetry Day”, a good day to sample some ‘modern poetry’ by reading the inane lyrics to a hit song over a mushy violin background track. You can find dumb lyrics on CD liner notes or online here –

TODAY is “My Mom is a Student Day”, when kids are to show support for moms who’ve gone back to school by giving gifts of school supplies. (They should also ask mom at least 27 times if she’s finished her homework.)

1968 [35] Réné Levesque is elected 1st leader of ‘Parti Québecois’, dedicated to bringing about Québec’s independence

1981 [22] 1st ‘wave’ created in an American sports stadium by professional cheerleader George Henderson, aka ‘Krazy George’, at Oakland Coliseum

1997 [06] 1st ‘land-based vehicle to break the sound barrier’ as British Royal Air Force pilot Andy Green drives a jet-powered car in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert faster than the speed of sound (a 2-way average speed of 763.035 mph or Mach 1.02)

1991 [12] ‘Tallest sand castle’ ever recorded (19.5 feet)

1993 [10] ‘Largest cookie’ measures 1,001 square feet and includes 3 million chocolate chips (Arcadia CA)

[Thurs] School Librarian Day
[Fri] Gaudy Day
[Sat] Persons Day (Canada)
[Sat] Sweetest Day
[Sun] Sunday School Teacher Appreciation Day
[Sun] National Bosses Day
[Mon] Gemini Awards
This Week Is . . . Teen Read Week
This Month Is . . . National Pasta Month


Q: What’s the actual anatomical name for your ‘funny bone’?
A: Trick question. The funny thing is, the funny bone isn’t a bone at all, it’s a nerve – the ‘ulnar nerve’, which extends down the arm, across the elbow, and into the hand.
Source: American Association of Orthopedic Surgeons

Q: What’s the most common name found in nursery rhymes?
A: ‘Jack’. (As in ‘be nimble’, ‘Sprat’, ‘and Jill’, etc.)
Source: “Trivia World”

“If you could have any one ‘super power’ to use, which would you pick?”

• They called it golf because all the other 4-letter words were taken.
• I quit flying years ago. I don’t want to die with tourists.

Today’s Question: What 55% of us secretly really want for our birthdays is THIS.
Answer to Give Out Tomorrow: To go out for dinner.

Speeches are like babies … easy to conceive but hard to deliver.

TODAY is the 50th anniversary of the 1st TV weather report (1953). Why is it people think weather forecasts are always wrong? Why do they hear broadcasters do the weather and immediately think “They’re just making it up!”? There are several reasons –
1. Most people are not familiar with weather terms and make blanket assumptions from forecasts. This includes broadcasters, who tend to re-word forecasts and make generalizations that simply are not correct.
2. It’s not an exact science – forecasts are constantly in a state of flux and become more accurate the closer they are to the forecast period. In fact, NO ONE can predict day-to-day weather changes for more than a week into the future.

• ‘Partly cloudy’ does NOT mean part of the day will be cloudy, it means part of the sky will be covered by clouds. Here are some cloudiness terms and what they mean –
‘Cloudy’: 90-100% cloud cover.
‘Mostly cloudy’: 70-80% cloud cover.
‘Partly cloudy’ or ‘Partly sunny’: 30-60% cloud cover.
‘Mostly clear’ or ‘Mostly sunny’: 10-30% cloud cover.
‘Clear’ or ‘Sunny’: 0-10% cloud cover.
• The Probability of Precipitation is the odds of ANY ONE PLACE in the forecast area getting wet. So if the POP is only 30% but you get hard rain for a few hours, the forecast isn’t wrong – you just happen to be in the small part of the forecast area that got rain.
• And when it comes to rain, ‘scattered showers’ does NOT mean it’s going to rain on and off throughout the day. ‘Scattered’ means 30-50% of the forecast area will likely get wet. ‘Isolated showers’ means 10-20% of the forecast area is likely to get precipitation.
• Terms used to describe the character of the precipitation – 
‘Brief’: short, abrupt showers.
‘Frequent’: persistent short intervals of precipitation.
‘Occasional’: precipitation occurring at irregular or infrequent intervals.
‘Periods of’: a series of episodes of precipitation.
‘Intermittent’: precipitation starting and stopping at intervals, not continuous.

So, by all means, put the forecast into terms a layman can understand, but make sure you’re not changing the MEANING of what the forecast says. Otherwise, listeners will be calling you and telling you you’re full of bull – and they should be!

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