Wednesday, September 11, 2002        Edition: #2375
Remember what you were doing a year ago today?

“Push, Nevada”, a new ABC-TV series created by Ben Affleck, will offer $1 million to whoever solves the show’s mystery (debuts next TUESDAY) . . . Meantime, Affleck & director Betty Thomas want to make a movie based on Peter Lefcourt’s 1992 novel about a gay Major League Baseball player, “The Dreyfus Affair: A Love Story”, but so far they’re striking out getting any studio backing . . . TV ratings for the 4-day “Miss Italy” pageant, one of the country’s most hallowed institutions, were down by some 2 million viewers as Italians lost interest in the contest because there were apparently too many wholesome girls and no sexy sirens (Italians say the girl-next-door type has ‘acqua e sapone’ – the soap-and-water look).

• A new Ipsos-Reid poll finds that 69% of Canadians now believe the US bears ‘some of the blame’ for the terrorist attacks due to its policies in the Middle East and in other areas of the world. Another 15% say the US bears ‘ALL of the responsibility’. Perhaps that’s why 61% of us also think Canada has done enough to support the US war on terrorism.
• It looks as if “American Idol” Kelly Clarkson WILL sing “The Star Spangled Banner” as part of a special commemoration at Washington DC’s Lincoln Memorial even though she offered to cancel due to criticism from those who think her appearance is merely another promotional opportunity.
• TONIGHT’S 2-hour “Concert For America” on NBC-TV will feature Enrique Iglesias, Alan Jackson, Aretha Franklin, India.arie & Placido Domingo among the many artists.
• United and American Airlines have both cancelled flights with similar itineraries to the planes that were hijacked on 9/11. Several European airlines have cancelled flights to the USA. Florida-based Spirit Airlines, however, is taking the opposite tack – offering travellers as many free flights as they want TODAY.
• According to a poll by Blue Flame Marketing, 25% of Americans plan on watching less than 1 hour of television TODAY.
• 11 movie directors from around-the-world (including Sean Penn) were given 11 minutes and 9 seconds to tell a story about the 9/11 attacks in the new film “11’09’01” set for worldwide release TODAY, including a screening at the Toronto International Film Festival.
• The Seattle Symphony & Chorale has recruited chorus groups to commemorate the 9/11 anniversary by performing Mozart’s “Requiem” worldwide at 8:46am in each time zone. More than 15,000 volunteers and musicians, representing 25 countries will participate in 180 performances.

• ‘Squeem’ – A mysterious or unknown substance, most likely in liquid or gel form. (“Ew, I think I just stepped in some squeem!”)
• ‘Chaney’ – Deceitful, deceptive, mischievous, manipulative or conniving. (“Jeff, you’re so chaney, you only want to give him a ride so you can borrow gas money off him.”)
• ‘Multi-Slacking’ – The act of performing multiple non-productive tasks at once, ie: the best multi-slackers can simultaneously talk on the phone, surf the Web and watch TV.

• A 18-year-old Belgian soccer goalkeeper has kicked a ball more than 100 feet – into the basket of a passing hot air balloon. Tom Janssens was taking part in practice at Veerle Sport Football Club in Laakdal when his coach bet him he couldn’t boot a ball as high as the balloon. The 2 female balloonists were kind enough to throw back the ball.
• A German extreme sports enthusiast is claiming a world record after cycling 2.6 miles – underwater. Wolfgang Kulov cycled at the bottom of the sea for 3 hours, 15 minutes. (Next he’ll try to break the record for ‘land swimming’.)

A British scientist claims worldwide obesity is now so prevalent that it represents an evolutionary shift in human body shape. Professor Andrew Prentice says we’re currently undergoing a major change similar to the one that occurred 2 centuries ago when Europeans shot up in height by 30 cm (12 ins) or more – except this time we’re expanding outwards. And far from being a reflection of more healthy living, as is getting taller, the new trend threatens to lead to chronic illness and reduced lifespan.

A high-tech dog collar called ‘Bowlingual’ is being promoted to pet owners in east Asia as a device that translates dog barks into human words. A Japanese language version of the technology will launch in Japan and Hong Kong later THIS MONTH, and the manufacturer eventually wants to add an English translation model. Want to know what your dog does while you’re away? ‘Bowlingual’ can record barking from a dog that has been left alone all day and analyze the sounds for the owner. (“Gimme something to eat! Oh geez, I gotta pee! “Will SOMEBODY gimme something to eat?” “I think I’ll hump the sofa!” Oh man, I gotta eat soon!”)

Warner Bros is about to make some of its movies, including recent titles like “Harry Potter & The Philosopher’s Stone”, available for download at the Website CinemaNow. The  video-on-demand service will run until the end of the year, then could be extended. The fee for newer films will be $3.99, older classics will cost $2.99. The licence to use the movie automatically expires after 24 hours, rendering the file useless unless the license is renewed. And before you rip up your video store membership card, consider this – the movie files are as large as 700 megabytes and can take as long as 2 hours to download even over high-speed broadband connections.

Municipal officials are furious after road workers near Somerset ENG apparently painted a white line on a highway – right over the furry back of some roadkill, a dead badger. (By the way, there’s no passing on the badger.)

The Halifax NS taxi association is trying to persuade regional council to support a new bylaw that would fine passengers $100 – for vomiting in the back of cabs. It would also empower drivers to collect a further $50 cleaning charge. Lawyers say the fines would violate the Charter of Rights of Freedoms. A local taxi driver has an even more compelling reason this idea just ain’t gonna fly – cabbies have enough trouble collecting fares, let alone fines.

A German psychologist claims women talk more than men because they know twice as many words. Constanze Fakih says women have a vocabulary of around 23,000 words but men recognize and use only about half that. She believes this is the reason women talk more, but men often do not understand them. (What the hell’s she talking about?)

Europe’s first school for witches and wizards has opened in Austria, offering a “Sorcerers’ Diploma” to graduates of a 6-semester course that includes instruction in potions and spells. The school’s director, Andreas Starchel who calls himself ‘Dakaneth’, says “Wizardry is very close to nature and is in no way a form of religion. The school’s aim is to pass on witches’ and wizards’ ancestral knowledge, which is gradually being forgotten.” (Quidditch try-outs begin Friday on the common.)

5. Software Engineer
4. Pharmacist
3. Medical Records Technician
2. Industrial Machine Repairer
1. Musical Instrument Repairer
Source: “Top Ten of Everything”


1940 [62] Brian DePalma, Newark NJ, movie director (“Mission Impossible”, The Untouchables”)  NEXT FILM: The crime thriller “Femme Fatale”, starring Antonio Banderas & Rebecca Romijn-Stamos, premiering SATURDAY at the Toronto Film Festival

1965 [37] Moby (Richard Melville Hall), NYC, techno/rock musician/producer (“South Side”, “Play”)  NOTE: His nickname is derived from his great-great granduncle Herman Melville, author of “Moby Dick”

1967 [35] Harry Connick Jr, New Orleans LA, jazz/pop singer (Grammys-“When Harry Met Sally”, “We Are in Love”)/film actor (“Hope Floats”, “Independence Day”)  NEXT FILM: The John Travolta thriller “Basic”, opening FEBRUARY 7

1977 [25] Jon Buckland, Mold WALES, rock guitarist (Coldplay-“In My Place”, “Yellow”)

1987 [15] Tyler Hoechlin, Corono CA, movie actor (Michael Sullivan Jr-“Road to Perdition”)

TODAY is “National Tricky Handshake Day”. (Remember they only count if you spit on your hand first.)

TODAY is “No News is Good News Day”, whose proponents claim if you don’t listen, read or watch any news for the day, you’ll feel better. (An annual observance from the ‘Head in the Sand Association’.)

TODAY is “Honey, I Want to Start My Own Business Day”. (Tomorrow is “Get a Grip, Dreamer! We Got a Whack of Bills to Pay Day”.)

1 YEAR AGO . . .
2001 At 8:46am EDT terrorists begin attack on NYC’s World Trade Center using hijacked commercial airliners

1875 [127] 1st newspaper ‘comic strip’ (“Professor Tigwissel’s Burglar Alarm” appears in “NY Daily”)

1946 [56] 1st ‘car-to-car phone conversation’ (and 1st idiot drivers weave all over the road)

1966 [36] “W5” premieres on CTV

[Thurs] Video Games Day
[Fri] Friday the 13th
[Fri] Defy Superstition Day
[Sat] Pregnant Women’s Day
[Sun] 2001 Terry Fox Run (
This Week is – International Children’s Week
This Month is – Baby Safety Month / Rub a Bald Head Month


• If you try to fail, and succeed, which have you done?
• Ever feel like your ship may have come in, but you were at the airport?
• If you think you’re indecisive how can you be sure?
• Are female moths called myths?
• Are part-time band leaders semi-conductors?
• Are you breaking the law if you drive past those road signs that say “Do Not Pass”?
• Are you telling the truth if you lie in bed?
• Before they invented drawing boards, what did they go back to?
• Isn’t a mistake evidence that at least someone tried?
• Aren’t the only people who really listen to an argument the neighbors?
• Are people getting more stupid or do we just notice it more as we age?

Q: You use them to make a living so you should know – how many vocal cords does a normal person have?
A: You actually have 4. One pair called ‘inferior vocal cords’ that are involved in giving you a voice. You also have another pair called ‘superior vocal cords’ that have no direct role in producing sound.
Source: “Totally Trivial”

“There are books of which the backs and covers are by far the best parts.” 
a) Charles Dickens
b) Stephen King
c) Anna Nicole Smith
ANSWER: Charles Dickens.

Today’s Question: 14% of men say they’ll probably do this THIS YEAR, if their wives let them.
Answer to Give Out Tomorrow: Replace all their VHS movies with DVDs.

Do not regret growing older. It is a privilege denied to many.

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