Friday, September 6, 2002        Edition: #2372
Sheet Featuring Bull!

Winnipeg writer/actress Nia Vardalos, who created THIS SUMMER’S sleeper hit movie “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” (the low budget film’s grossed over $80 million so far), will next write and co-star in the female buddy comedy “Connie & Carla Do LA” . . . “American Idol” creator and former Spice Girls manager Simon Fuller has signed both the show’s winner Kelly Clarkson and runner-up Justin Guarini to his management company 19 Productions . . . The 2nd season of “American Idol” is ready to roll early in 2003, with sharp-tongued Brit Simon Cowell already signed to a million-dollar deal and fellow judges Paula Abdul & Randy Jackson also expected to return . . . “Fortune” magazine’s new list of the 40 richest people under the age of 40 includes just 2 show biz celebs – #19 Tom Cruise (who made $251 million LAST YEAR) and #34 Jim Carrey (over $180 million) . . . A Brit TV producer is developing a reality show called “Sick Day”, where contestants living in the same house for 2 months try to get as many illnesses as possible – everything from lice to flu and VD to warts scores points – but fortunately a doctor will make sure none of them is life-threatening (this game already exists – it’s called living in Calcutta) . . . And Alanis Morissette says she’d like to have a family of either 1 girl or 6 boys and if it’s boys, hopefully one will be gay so she can support his feminine side (how lovely).

Robert De Niro & Frances McDormand star in the crime drama “City By the Sea”, the story of a homicide detective whose prime suspect is his own son . . . In the no-name teen thriller “Swimfan”, a high school senior with a promising swimming career has a one-night stand with the new crazy girl in town that leads to sinister consequences (it’s “Fatal Attraction”, only with zits).

An electronics engineer claims to have invented a bracelet that helps people find out if their partners really love them. The bracelet measures pulse rate and other parameters, then displays the information on the screen of a receiver. These figures can then be interpreted to determine whether the love is true. (Can’t you can get similar results with handcuffs?)

Fully 80% of college athletes are subjected to some kind of hazing when joining a varsity sports team according to researchers at New York’s Alfred University. 40% of the victims say the experience was ‘questionable or unacceptable’. These rituals included branding, sexual acts, bondage, confinement, beatings and abandonment. An anti-hazing Website reveals this shocking fact – someone has died from hazing every year since 1970. (Can’t you can get similar results with handcuffs?)

Scientists in Switzerland have developed a computerized kit that enables flat-pack furniture to tell buyers how to put it together. Each part in the pack is fitted with movement sensors that feed data into a battery-powered microchip. This means each part ‘knows’ where it is in relation to the others and can give the buyer running instructions. (But there will still be pieces missing, and the verbal instructions are in Swiss-German.)

In a report in the new issue of the “Journal of Semantics”, Temple University linguist Muffy Siegel claims ‘like’, the most popular crutch word for kids over the past decade or so, is actually very useful and can impart several different meanings. Among them –
• As a hedge when the speaker is not quite sure of the accuracy of a statement. (“He has, like, six sisters.”)
• As a substitute for ‘said’. (“So she’s like, ‘Your hairdo is cool!’ and I’m like, ‘I didn’t even brush it’.”)
• As a way to introduce an exaggeration. (“He’s, like, 150 years old.”)
• And most commonly as a ‘discourse particle’ similar to ‘um’, ‘well’ and ‘oh’, it provides filler while a speaker thinks of the right word. (“This guy goes whizzing by in, like….I don’t know, a Jag or a Bimmer or something.”)
Interestingly, Siegel’s research isn’t exclusive. There have been, like, at least 2 other studies of the word and she says it doesn’t matter what parents or English teachers say, ‘like’ is likely here to stay.

A Czech doctor says that by drinking beer every day men may keep their sex lives active. Dr Pavel Zemek of the Czech Center of Gerontology in Prague claims his research shows that moderate amounts of beer lessens arterial sclerosis, one of the causes of erectile dysfunction. The bottom line, he says, is 2 beers a day can help stave off impotence. (12 and you’ll be hung like a hamster.)

• THIS WEEK a 41-year-old weirdo dressed in a trenchcoat, a mask made of bandages, sunglasses & rubber gloves and wielding a Samurai sword burst into an Edmonton Jehovah’s Witness church and tried to rob the congregation. He was caught after a member called the cops on a cell phone and has been charged with several offences including – ‘wearing a disguise with intent’. (He faces 5 to 10 years – of visits from church members hawking “Watchtower”.)
• A recommendation by a committee of Canadian Senators that marijuana be legalized and its distribution regulated by the feds has drawn criticism from across the country as well as the US. (The Senators defend their position saying, “Now that cigarettes are close to 8 bucks we need something else to tax!”)
• The University of South Carolina is the latest to be investigated by the NCAA. One sign things may be out of kilter – one football player was spotted driving a $60,000 Cadillac Escalade just months after signing up to play!
• A 20-year-old former high school basketball player up on charges of possession in Santa Ana CA told the court he’d been smoking pot since age 10 because it made him play better, so the 42-year-old judge challenged him to game of one-on-one – and whupped his ass 10-3!
• An Austrian woman decided to help her 2 firefighter sons look like heroes and get to the scene first by lighting fires and then phoning her lads to report them. Her sons became a bit suspicious – after 9 CALLS IN 1 MONTH. (Swift boys, huh?)


1958 [44] Jeff Foxworthy, Atlanta GA, standup comedian (“Blue Collar Comedy Tour”, “You Might Be a Redneck”)

1963 [39] Mark Chesnutt, Beaumont TX, country singer (“She Was”, “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing”)

1964 [38] Rosie Perez, Brooklyn NY, movie actress (“It Could Happen To You”, “White Men Can’t Jump”)

1971 [31] Dolores O’Riordan, Ballybricken IRE, pop/rock singer (Cranberries-“Linger”)/greatest hits album “Stars: Best of 1992-2002″ is out SEPTEMBER 16th  FACTOID: The Cranberries were originally called ‘Cranberry-Saw-Us’ after the alleged last lyrics of the Beatles’ song “Strawberry Fields”

1945 [57] Jacques Lemaire, LaSalle QC, NHL head coach (1st coach of expansion team Minnesota Wild/1995 Stanley Cup champion New Jersey Devils)/Hall of Fame NHL player (Montréal Canadiens)

1951 [51] Julie Kavner, LA CA, TV actress (voice of Marge Simpson-“The Simpsons” since 1989)

1969 [33] Angie Everhart, Akron OH, sometime actress/model/professional tramp most notable for who she’s slept with, a long list that’s rumored to include Kevin Costner, Jack Nicholson, Prince Albert of Monaco, Sylvester Stallone (US Congress, the New England Patriots, Rotary Club International….)

1973 [29] Shannon Elizabeth (Fadal), Houston TX, movie actress (“American Pie 1 & 2″, “Scary Movie”)

[Jewish] Rosh Hashanah begins at sundown

TODAY “Country Music Week” begins in Calgary culminating in the annual the “CCMA Awards” MONDAY night. (Since when is a week 4 days?)
PHONER: 780-488-5891 (Aimee Hill, CCMA Publicity)

TODAY is “Read a Book Day”, one of the highlights of “International Literacy Week”. Another is “International Literacy Day” to be observed on SUNDAY. (Do illiterate people still get the full effect of Alphaghetti?)

TODAY is “National Do-It! Day”, aka “Fight Procrastination Day”, a backlash to YESTERDAY’S “Be Late For Something Day”.

TOMORROW is “Neither Rain Nor Snow Day”, commemorating the motto of the US Postal Service – “Neither rain nor snow nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds”. (Or is that ‘shooting off their rounds’?)

SATURDAY is the “75th Anniversary of Television”, commemorating TV’s first successful demonstration on September 7, 1927 when Philo T Farnsworth transmitted the image of a horizontal line across the room in his San Francisco lab. (Wow, the first reality show!)

SUNDAY is “National Grandparents’ Day”, honoring all family patriarchs and matriarchs. And it wasn’t even Hallmark’s idea! Get the special new “Grandparents’ Day Song” here –

Each year since 1971 White Thorn Lodge in Darlington PA has hosted the “Volleyball Super Bowl” on the weekend after Labor Day. What makes it interesting is – it’s NAKED volleyball! (“Look ma, no hands!”)
PHONER: 724-846-5984

SUNDAY is “World Pet Memorial Day”, devoted to the memory of beloved but deceased critters. Animal lovers are invited to participate in a worldwide ‘Pet Memorial Candlelight Ceremony’ by lighting candles at 7pm in all time zones.
PHONER: 618-637-2202 (Susan Duncan or Paul Aderholt, Pet Loss Research Center, St Louis MO)

5 YEARS AGO . . .
1997 Millions watch worldwide on TV as Elton John sings “Candle in the Wind” at Princess Diana’s funeral at Westminster Abbey in London

1910 [92] Regina (later Saskatchewan) Roughriders Football Club formed

1952 [50] Canada’s 1st television station, CBFT Montréal, begins broadcasting (2 days later, CBLT starts broadcasting in Toronto. 1st hockey telecast is November 1st and 1st Grey Cup on live TV is November 29.)  FACTOID: CBC-TV is celebrating it’s 50th with 26 hours of special programming, including SUNDAY’S “All-Star Comedy Homecoming” featuring “Red Green”, “SCTV” and “Kids In The Hall” alumni, the casts of “The Royal Canadian Air Farce” and “This Hour Has 22 Minutes” and Don Harron, who appeared on the very first broadcast 50 years ago as country cornpone ‘Charlie Farquharson’. There’s also a coast-to-coast exhibition of CBC memorabilia traveling Canada via train.

1977 [25] 1st Canadian highway signs go metric (confused Canadians begin driving 100 mph)

1927 [75] 1st Harlem Globetrotters team formed

1930 [72] 1st “Blondie” comic strip by Chic Young (it’s still going)

1959 [43] 1st ‘Barbie Doll’ sold by Mattel Toy Corporation

1987 [15] Saskatchewan’s Dave Ridgway kicks CFL-record 60-yard field goal

1995 [07] Baltimore scalpers get $1000 a ticket to watch Cal Ripkin Jr break Lou Gehrig’s MLB ‘consecutive game record’ by playing in his 2,131st game (Camden Yards crowd cheers for 22 minutes, 15 seconds)

2000 [02] ‘Largest gathering of world leaders’ in history as more than 150 attend the “UN Millennium Summit” in NYC

[Sat] Federal Lands Cleanup Day
[Sat] US Open Tennis Championship Women’s Final (someone named Williams should win)
[Sun] US Open Tennis Championship Men’s Final
[Mon] Canadian Country Music Awards (Calgary)
[Mon] Teddy Bear Day
[Mon] National Boss/Employee Exchange Day
This Week is – Childhood Injury Prevention Week (‘Careful or You’ll Poke Out an Eye Week’)
This Month is – National Bed Check Month (checked mine this morning – still married)


• Aries: Your stars are in conflict. For details, see “Entertainment Tonight”.
• Taurus: Several people, quite independently, will tell you moose jokes today or otherwise attempt to discuss moose with you. This is their subtle way of telling you that you’re having a bad hair day.
• Gemini: Excellent day to make odd hand gestures at people you don’t know.
• Cancer: This may be a good time to take up squid farming. Provided you can figure out what type of hat to wear, that is.
• Leo: You will find a biography of some famous dead person at a garage sale and buy it on a whim. It will change your life. You will soon take up bricklaying as a hobby.
• Virgo: Soon you will get into accounting, just for ‘the thrill of it’.
• Libra: Your next fortune cookie will say “See? We told you it taste like chicken!”
• Scorpio: You will build a better mousetrap but nobody will beat a path to your door. However, several people will beat a path to your refrigerator and make a sandwich.
• Sagittarius: You may be drinking a little too much coffee lately. That could explain why people are saying “What was THAT!?” in a verrrrry slow, deep voice every time you walk by.
• Capricorn: Another one of those excruciatingly boring meetings today. Try to liven things up by summoning one of the people back from the dead.
• Aquarius: You will be granted a religious experience of startling significance, similar to the accounts of statues of the Virgin Mary weeping. In this case, however, she will sneeze.
• Pisces: This is an excellent day to run a new metaphor up the flagpole and see if anyone salutes.

Two of the following are actual stories from women’s magazines, the other one a total fake. But which one?
GAME #1 –
• “Jerk Alert! Men to Avoid at All Costs!”
• “21 OTHER Signs That He’s Happy to See You” [FAKE]
• “Can You Really Tell a Man By His Shoes?”

GAME # 2 –
• “The Way He Wears His Pants Reveals His Personality!” [FAKE]
• “15 Ways to Spot a Potential Mate”
• “He’s My Cousin, Can We Marry?”

Today’s Question: Out of all the great things our country has invented, this is the single most widely used Canadian invention around-the-world.
Answer to Give Out Next Show: The zipper.

Insanity is hereditary. You get it from your children.

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