Wednesday, September 4, 2002        Edition: #2370
Sheeters Always Prosper!

TONIGHT the “American Idol” 2-hour finalé airs live from Hollywood’s new Kodak Theater on FOX-TV, and whether it’s Kelly Clarkson who wins (likely) or Jason Guarini (not so), they’re guaranteed to have a song recorded and released within 2 weeks, an album 2 months afterward (CTV picked up the rights to last night & tonight’s final shows) . . . 55-year-old Liza Minnelli & 48-year-old husband David Gest are adopting a 3-year-old girl named Serena (likely as a prop for their upcoming “Osbournes”-style reality show) . . . Word is Anthony Edwards has been offered $10 million to reprise his deceased ‘Dr Greene’ character on “ER” in dream sequences, all of them to be filmed in a single day – and he said NO (this guy has more scruples than brains) . . . ‘James Bond’ actor Pierce Brosnan says in a new “Biography” that as a shy 16-year-old he felt confused about his sexuality and thought he was gay, but it turned out he wasn’t (he discovered while watching ‘Pussy Galore’) . . . “Scooby-Doo” co-stars Sarah Michelle Gellar & Freddie Prinze Jr have quietly wed at a Pacific cliff-top resort in Mexico . . . If you believe the buzz, Jennifer Lopez may soon be getting married to Ben Affleck . . . “Batman: The Musical” is coming to Broadway, to be directed by “Batman”-the-movie director Tim Burton (wonder what the show-stopping song will be?) . . . At a shade under $200 million, “Signs” has become the highest-grossing movie of Mel Gibson’s career . . . And 60-year-old Harrison Ford says he’d like to make a movie with his girlfriend, 37-year-old Calista Flockhart although nothing’s been lined up so far (how ‘bout a remake of “Lolita”?).

• ‘Alligator’ – A person who makes allegations. (“There have been allegations made and we need to find out who the alligator is.”)
• ‘Interpartum Depression’ – You’ve heard of ‘postpartum depression’, the post-birth downtime experienced by about 10% of new mothers. Now a new study published in the “British Journal of Medicine” indicates that depression may be a bigger factor ‘interpartum’ (during pregnancy) or ‘antepartum’ (before pregnancy). (Not to mention ‘considerpartum’.)
• ‘Gank’ – To steal. (“Dude, you ganked my lighter. Give it up!)
• ‘Smess’ – To send an SMS (Short Message Service) with one’s cellular phone. (“I smessed Brian yesterday, but he hasn’t answered me yet.”)

• US professional bridge player Disa Eythorsdottir has been stripped of her silver medal at the “World Open Bridge Championships” in Montréal – for refusing to take a drug test. The World Bridge Federation is campaigning to have the game become an Olympic sport, so since 2000 random testing has been done based on the International Olympic Committee’s list of banned substances. (What drug could possibly enhance bridge playing – steroids? No-Doz?)
• YESTERDAY McDonald’s announced that it’s cutting the amount of fat in its french fries by nearly half by using a lower fat cooking oil. The taste will not be altered it says. (In fact, it may be enhanced as actual potatoes begin to be used in the production of fries.)
• A new study from NFO WorldGroup shows the number of millionaire households in the USA is down 11% from a year ago to a total of 3.3 million. A ‘millionaire household’ is one with a million bucks or more in investable assets, not counting the house. (By contrast, the ‘investable assets’ of the average home in Zimbabwe is 2 snails and a bag of rocks.)
• A Taiwanese man has injured his penis – while trying to lift a 16-kg (35-lb) weight with it. Doctors say 48-year-old Mr Hsueh tore tissues in his scrotum by ‘overloading’ his penis. They spent 30 minutes stitching up the tissues before putting him under observation. (It’s the ol’ clean and jerk injury!)

A new study claims stretching before or after exercise doesn’t necessarily prevent muscle soreness or reduce risk of injury. Australian researchers reviewed 7 separate studies on the effect of stretching on exercised muscle. They found stretching before or after exercise reduces soreness by less than 2% – too small to even make it worthwhile. (Wow, if I cut warm-up time from my exercise regimen, I’ll be able to complete my whole routine in um, zero seconds.)

Researchers at England’s University of Northumbria have concluded that chewing gum has a positive effect on cognitive tasks such as thinking and memory. Peppermint or spearmint, it doesn’t make a difference. The key, researchers say, is the repetitive chewing motion. (Well yes, when people are talking to you while chewing gum and making all those snapping noises, isn’t your immediate thought ‘Wow are they ever smart’?)

Highlights of a new Garnier Opinion Poll –
• For a mistress, 37% of men say their ideal would be blonde, followed by 22% redhead, 13% brunette, and 6% light brown hair.
• For a wife, 30% of men say they’d prefer a brunette, 27% light-brown, 15% blonde, and 7% redhead.
• 26% of men think blonde women make the best lovers, 22% say redheads, 20% light brown hair, and 10% brunette.
• 31% of men think brunette women earn the most, while 26% say blondes, 11% brown haired women, and 9% redheads.

What’s the most headache-prone profession? A study by the makers of pain reliever Excedrin say that honor goes to accountants. About half of all accountants suffer headaches during the work week, compared to 42% of truck drivers and 38% of construction workers. At the opposite end of the scale, only 20% of homemakers say they suffer headaches while working.

‘Bullying’ has taken over from ‘pay’ as the top complaint of workers, according to a new survey by “Employment Review”. ‘Harassment’ and ‘problems related to discipline’ also show up ahead of salary disputes in the list of typical complaints.

Here’s a good argument starter – what’s the best sports movie ever made? Here are the top 5, according to an ESPN poll –
5. The 1977 hockey comedy “Slap Shot”, starring Paul Newman.
4. The 1986 basketball drama “Hoosiers”, starring Gene Hackman.
3. The 1980 biofilm “Raging Bull”, starring Robert De Niro as middleweight boxing champ Jake La Motta.
2. Sylvester Stallone’s 1976 boxing film “Rocky”.
1. “Bull Durham”, the 1988 movie about minor league baseball that starred Kevin Costner, Tim Robbins & Susan Sarandon.

1918 [84] Paul Harvey, Tulsa OK, syndicated radio commentator (“The R-R-R-R-Rest of the Story” since 1976)/largest one-man radio network, consisting of over 1200 radio stations

1957 [45] Khandi Alexander, NYC, TV actress (Alexx Woods-“CSI: Miami”, the “CSI” spin-off starring David Caruso that debuts THIS FALL)

1960 [42] Damon Wayans, NYC, TV actor (Michael Kyle-“My Wife and Kids”)/movie actor (“Bamboozled”, “Major Payne”)/Shawn, Marlon, Keenen & Kim’s brother  NEXT MOVIE: Co-stars with Lisa Kudrow in the rap comedy “Marci X” as ‘Dr Snatchcatcher’, coming in 2003.

1968 [34] Mike Piazza, Norristown PA, All-Star MLB catcher (signed a 7-year, $91-million contract with the New York Mets in 1999)

1980 [22] Dan Miller, Twinsberg OH, pop singer (O-Town-“All or Nothing”, “Liquid Dreams”)

1981 [21] Beyoncé Knowles, Houston TX, pop singer (Destiny’s Child-“Survivor”, “Say My Name”)/movie actress (‘Foxxy Cleopatra‘-“Austin Powers in Goldmember”)

TODAY is “International Newspaper Carrier Day”, celebrating the anniversary of the 1st recorded ‘news boy’, 10 year-old Barney Flaherty, who began hawking the “New York Sun” 169 years ago in 1833. Where’s the most unusual place you’ve found your paper after it was ‘delivered’?

TODAY is the 221th birthday of Los Angeles, founded in 1781 by 44 Spanish settlers in the Bahia de las Fumas (Valley of Smokes). Its original name was ‘El Pueblo de Nuestra Senora La Reina de Los Angeles de Porciuncula’, which makes ‘LA’ the world’s most abbreviated nickname for a city.

Pumpkin enthusiasts from all over the world are flocking to Ludwigsburg, Germany for a huge exhibition. “Cleopatra’s Mysterious World of Pumpkins” features some 650,000 pumpkins of all shapes, sizes and colors on display at a local baroque castle. The highlight is a 45-ft-high pumpkin pyramid. 420,000 visited the exhibition last year. THIS YEAR’S show runs through November 3.

TOMORROW is “Be Late For Something Day”, sponsored by ‘The Procrastinators Club’. Its purpose is to let people know that procrastination is not a bad thing. In fact, if you put things off long enough – you won’t have to do them at all! The Procrastinators Club has about 15,000 members worldwide. In the spirit of their philosophy, perhaps next week is a good time to call. By the way, opponents of these lackadaisical louts have declared FRIDAY “Do It! – Fight Procrastination Day”.
PHONER: 215-947-4567 (Les Waas-Huntingdon Valley PA)

1885 [117] 1st ‘cafeteria’ opens (The Exchange Buffet in NYC)

1953 [49] 1st MLB team to win 5 consecutive championships (NY Yankees)

1950 [52] DM Hodgson of St Ann Bay NS catches record 997-lb tuna

1972 [30] USA swimmer Mark Spitz wins record 7th gold medal in single Olympic games

1983 [19] Scott Michael Pellaton sets ‘barefoot waterski speed record’ at 119.36 mph

[Thurs] Toronto International Film Festival begins
[Thurs] NFL Season opens
[Thurs] Canadian Open Golf Championship begins (Markham ON)
[Sun] Grandparents Day
[Sun] Pet Memorial Day
[Mon] Canadian Country Music Awards (Calgary)
This Week is – National Financial Services Week
This Month is – Attention Deficit Disorder Month


1. Russell Crowe
2. Bruce Willis
3. Jackie Chan
4. Michelle Yeoh
5. Wesley Snipes
Source: E! Entertainment ranking

• 1 second – The length of a healthy person’s heartbeat.
• 1 minute – The time it takes the average person to speak 150 words or read 250 words.
• 1 century – The anticipated lifespan of a CD.
Source: “Scientific American”

Q: Your spouse sends you to the store to pick up some ‘drupes’. What the heck should you buy?
a) Bolts
b) Fruit
c) Swag Curtains
A: Drupes are single-pitted fruit such as plums, apricots, peaches, cherries, almonds & olives.

Q: You have adopted a pet mosquito. What should you feed it as a regular diet?
a) Blood
b) Nectar
c) Purina Mosquito Chow
A: The main food of mosquitoes is actually nectar from flowers. Only female mosquitoes take human blood, and only when they need protein to help them lay their eggs.

“What’s the most unusual school cheer you’ve ever heard?” (A favorite at the preppy University of Western Ontario is “Harass them, harass them, make them relinquish the ball!”, at geek college MIT – “That’s all right, that’s OK, you’re going to work for us some day!”, and at snooty Yale University – “2, 4, 6, 8! We can count to 8!”.)

Today’s Question: 41% of parents have given one of these to their children.
Answer to Give Out Tomorrow: A nickname. (Mine was ‘Hey You!’)

Life’s a tough proposition, and the first hundred years are the hardest.

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