Wednesday, October 23, 2002        Edition: #2405
We’ve Got Our Sheet Together!

Word has it Michael Jackson’s been skulking around Las Vegas checking out other performers’ shows and may be preparing to launch his own Vegas stage spectacular (could be true – he needs the bucks!) . . . Singer Marc Anthony & wife Dayanara Torres are back together 3 months after separating (how appropriate that his latest CD is called “Mended”) . . . Disney is planning to transform its still-running stage version of “Beauty & the Beast” (based on the only animated film to be nominated for a ‘Best Picture’ Oscar) into a live-action movie musical (screen to stage to screen – has this been done before?) . . . While the “Friends” cast has said publicly the current season is the show’s last, reports say they’ve privately agreed to yet another season, scaled back to just 13 episodes, that would pay them $1.3 million a show – a 30% raise . . . Harrison Ford is said to be regularly working out and DIETING with his emaciated girlfriend Calista Flockart (his new nickname will be ’Stickman’) . . . And picture this – an upcoming movie sequel to “The Wizard of Oz” will reportedly be called “Surrender Dorothy” and star Drew Barrymore.

• ‘Phase 2′ – Office jargon for a mythical place to send new and unwelcome ideas without offending the contributor. (“Good one, Williams! That’s a great idea for Phase 2.”)
• ‘Crowded Nest Syndrome’ – The increasing trend of young adults living at home with their parents. About 41% of Canadians aged 20-29 now live in their parental home.
• ‘Wack’ – Strange, goofy, unusual. (“That’s so wack. That’s wack as hell.”)
• ‘SpongeBob SquarePants’ – An unlikely YTV cartoon hero, he’s a kitchen sponge who has become the biggest star in kids TV and is now said to be a favorite among the gay community.
• ‘Double-Click’ – Borrowed from computer jargon to mean ‘focus in on’ or ‘evaluate in depth’. (“Let’s start with your employment history, then double click on what you’ve been doing most recently.”)

New figures from StatsCan show that so-called ‘traditional families’ – married couples with children – now account for only about 70% of Canadian families, down 13% from 20 years ago. Meantime, the number of unmarried couples living together has more than doubled from 6% to almost 14%. Single-parent families account for about 16% and same-sex relationships represent less than 1%. (And cross-dressing, common law, transgender hermaphrodites account for a little under .000438114%.)

Researchers at Italy’s University of Milan have successfully mixed swine sperm with the DNA of a human gene, then used the modified sperm to fertilize pig eggs. So what’s the point? The eggs can then be implanted into sows to produce litters of pigs that carry the human gene and thus be used to grow organs for humans. (Isn’t it comforting to know your future liver transplant will be living for the meantime in an old sow covered in crap by the name of Bessie?)

An avante garde composer in Argentina has recorded a symphony from city sounds. To make his “Interventions 99/02″, Nicolas Varchausky surreptitiously recorded conversations of people in elevators and other city sounds including police walkie-talkies. The new CD was launched when Varchausky played it at full volume from a tower in Buenos Aires. (Hey if he bugged a public washroom he could have created a new Christina Aguilera album.)

David Ropeik of the Harvard Center for Risk Analysis has co-authored a new book called “Risk: A Practical Guide for Deciding What’s Really Safe & What’s Really Dangerous in the World Around You”. He claims the way we respond to risk has more to do with feelings than facts. For instance –
• We are programmed to fear for our children much more than for ourselves. (The reason you make your kid put on a coat when you’re the one that’s cold.)
• We dread new, unexplored or unpredictable threats, such as terrorism, water contamination, radiation or the West Nile virus. (The very thought of them makes you wanna light up a smoke, doesn’t it?)
• We fear the risks that can kill us in horror-movie fashion, such as being eaten by a shark. (Thanks to “Jaws”, but there’s never been a movie called “Fat!”)
• We can become obsessed about perils that are constantly paraded before us in the news. (Sniper, Saddam, terrorism, anthrax, etc)
Source: “Globe & Mail”

Who needs a job when you’ve got loads of spare parts to sell? According to “Maxim” magazine, sperm sells for up to $50 a pop (though it first requires a 3-month evaluation), hair goes for $5 an ounce (an average ponytail can fetch $35), healthy human plasma is worth $15 to $20 a liter, and a kidney can fetch up to 10 grand but you’d have to sell it where it’s legal – Iraq, Turkey or China. (Listen, I’ve got all these toenail clippings I’ve been saving up. Would like a  DNA lab be interested? No?)

Just in time for All Hallows Eve, a California bar has come up with the a new cocktail called the ‘Halloweenie-tini’. You can make your own with a shot of vodka and another of Grand Marnier mixed with lime juice and cranberry juice. Don’t forget to serve it with 3 candy corns at the bottom of the glass. (You’ll be acting like a zombie in no time.)

Both Ford and GM are set to unveil vehicles fitted with computers that will read out sports scores and stock market quotes as well as give directions. A dashboard Internet connection will recognize voice commands that will also enable drivers to listen to e-mail. (Because driving while talking on the phone just isn’t enough distraction. We need multi-tasking!)

More and more workplaces are monitoring employee e-mail, some using software that keys in on specific words and phrases. So here are a few tips on how to better protect your e-mail privacy at the office –
• Never use your boss’s name in an e-mail.
• Intersperse sensitive words with dashes.
• Don’t put the letters ‘CV’ in e-mails.
• Don’t log on to job-search Websites.
• Use text-message vocabulary – as in “Sk8er Boi”.
• Use the number ‘4′ instead of ‘A’ and zero instead of ‘O’.
• If you must log on to a sex Website, use your boss’s computer.
Source: “London Observer”

Shoemakers in Marikina, Philippines have made what they hope will be declared the ‘World’s Largest Pair of Shoes’. At 18 feet long and 7 feet wide they’re big enough to fit 30 people inside. They cost about $13,000 to make. (Shaquile O’Neal may be interested.)

10. George Clooney
9. Vin Diesel
8. Hugh Jackman
7. Rick Fox
6. Enrique Iglesias
5. Ewan McGregor
4. Brad Pitt
3. Colin Farrell
2. Ben Affleck
1. Benjamin Bratt
Source: E!’s new 2002 “Rank” list

• As many as half of all Americans who live to age 65 will get skin cancer at some point.
• Medical and pharmaceutical errors kill up to 98,000 hospital patients each year in America.


1925 [77] Johnny Carson, Corning IA, retired TV host (“The Tonight Show” 1962-92)

1942 [60] Michael Crichton (CRY-ten), Chicago IL, top-selling novelist (“Jurassic Park”, “Rising Sun”)/screenwriter (“Twister”)/TV series creator & exec producer (“ER”)

1954 [48] Ang Lee, Pingtung TAIWAN, movie director/producer (“Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon”, “Sense & Sensibility”)  NEXT FILM: Writer, producer and director of “The Hulk”, due in JUNE, 2003
1956 [46] Dwight Yoakam, Pikeville KY, country singer (“Fast As You”)/movie actor (“The Panic Room”, “Sling Blade”)

1959 [43] (Alfred Matthew) Weird Al Yankovic, Lynwood CA, parody singer (“Another One Rides The Bus”, “Amish Paradise”)

1962 [40] Doug Flutie, Manchester MD, pint-sized pro football QB (San Diego Padres)/3 Grey Cups & 6 CFL MVP Awards-Toronto Argos, Calgary Stampeders, BC Lions)

1976 [26] Ryan Reynolds, Vancouver BC, movie actor (“Van Wilder”)former TV actor (“Two Guys and a Girl”)

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.

1993 [09] 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 [188] 1st ‘cosmetic surgery’ performed

1930 [72] 1st ‘miniature golf tournament’, in Chattanooga TN (1st golfer swears at a windmill)

1945 [57] 1st ‘Slinky’ spring toy goes on sale

1977 [25] 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!

[Thurs] United Nations Day (isn’t that an oxymoron?)
[Thurs] National Bologna Day (as usual, BS will be full of it)
[Fri] Frankenstein Friday
[Sun] Mother-In-Law Day (see above)
[Sun] Daylight Saving Time ends (except in nonconformist Saskatchewan)
[Mon] National Chocolate Day (isn’t every day?)
[Mon] Plush Animal Lover’s 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)


• If so many people are unhappy with their jobs why are they in such a hurry to get there every
• Can you use an ‘occasional table’ on a daily basis?
• Are nudist camps clothed for the winter?
• Doesn’t expecting the unexpected make the unexpected expected?
• Since half of what we know today will be obsolete in 5 years wouldn’t it be nice to know which half?
• Is PETA more violently opposed to fur than leather because it’s safer to harass rich women than bikers?
• Just what is it about going to the bathroom that makes your telephone ring?
• Before electric lighting did they have acoustic lighting?

• What highway has ‘Mile Zero’ in Dawson Creek BC? [The Alaska Highway.]
• What did actress Helen Hunt hand Canadian Nestor Burtnyk in March, 1997 for his pioneering work in computer animation? [An Academy Award.]
• What’s Manitoba’s 2nd-largest city? [Brandon.]
• What are sometimes referred to as ‘Newfoundland Speed Bumps’? [Moose.]
• How cold is it when the thermometer reads the same in Fahrenheit and Celsius – 0, -20, or -40? [-40.]
Source for all: “Trivial Pursuit: 20th Anniversary Edition [Canadian Version]”

“What they say” and [What they mean.]
• “Your enquiry is being looked into.” [We haven’t read your letter.]
• “We will look into the problem.” [Give it a couple of weeks and we hope you’ll forget about the whole thing.]
• “We are aware of the situation.” [We have lost your file.]
• “The matter is under consideration.” [We’ve never heard of it.]
• “The matter is under urgent consideration.” [We are looking for your file in the trash.]

• Simply plug in a first and last name and automatically get a wise guy name at the ‘Sopranos Mob Name Generator’.
• Pick the country you wanna invade and how your wanna do it and the ‘Military Codename Generator’ will give your plan a spiffy Pentagon-style handle to flog to the media.
• Coming out is so much more fun if you take on a new identity, isn’t it? Thank goodness for the handy ‘Lesbian Name Generator’!

Today’s Question: 40% of us say we keep this in our vehicle at all times – just in case.
Answer to Give Out Tomorrow: Toilet paper.

Never test the depth of the water with both feet.

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