Tuesday, September 11, 2001        Edition: #2129
Warning! The following program may be distracting. Listen only as directed.

SEPTEMBER is “Humor in Business Month.” So here’s some “Laughter Tips for the Workplace” courtesy of professional ‘laughter therapist’, Enda Junkins LMSW-ACP, BCD . . .
• Laugh for 5 minutes in your car on the way to work.
• Develop a ritualized, playful way of turning on your computer.
• Give your projects comical names like ‘Quasimoto’ or ‘Thumper’.
• Have mindless toys on your desk and take short breaks to play with them.
• Wear a funny hat to express or change your attitude.
• Use cartoons to help with communication.
• Laugh with your co-workers for a few minutes for no real reason at all.
• Wear light-hearted, temporary tattoos that help you cope.
• Under your clothes, wear a T-shirt with a saying that lightens you up.
• Incorporate elements of a game into your work, for example giving yourself a prize for completing a project.
• Wear funny underwear to counteract a serious day or meeting.
NET: http://www.laughtertherapy.com

OTHER BS WAYS TO CREATE LEVITY AT THE OFFICE:

• Organize an ‘armpit orchestra’ to play “Hail to the Chief” when the boss arrives.
• Fill out phone messages using only Roman numerals.
• Start a nasty rumor and see if you recognize it when it comes back to you.
• To signal the end of a conversation, clamp your hands over your ears and grimace.
• Always walk sideways to the photocopier.
• Teach the boss your procedure for making ‘Butt Xeroxes’.
• While riding an elevator, gasp dramatically every time the doors open.

BS CELEB BUZZ:
TONIGHT Christina Aguilera & Jimmy Smits host the 2nd annual “Latin Grammy Awards” in Los Angeles, with Marc Anthony and Destiny’s Child set to perform (and a few thousand Cuban exiles set to protest) . . . TODAY the pen that Britains’ King Edward VIII used to sign his 1936 ‘Instrument of Abdication’ in order to marry American divorcee Wallis Simpson goes under the gavel at Bonham & Brooks auction house (the pen he dipped in non-royal ink) . . . An entertainment insurance underwriter says reality TV shows may be cheaper to make but they can cost a whole lot more to insure than scripted shows (ie: did you see those contestants bungy jumping on “Amazing Race”?) . . . Elton John will do a guest appearance on “Ally McBeal” as a return favor to Robert Downey Jr who appears in Elton’s upcoming video “I Want Love”, due SEPTEMBER 24 (Elton as a love interest for ‘The Biscuit’?) . . . J-Lo was reportedly so tired of people snickering about her dating a ‘dancer’, she’s promoted fiancé Cris Judd to the title of ‘choreographer’ (he still calls her ‘boss’) . . . Word is Bob Dylan is relying on friends to supply anecdotes from his past for his autobiography – because he can’t remember anything (hope he’s not dictating to a typist — “I was born a shnavula morful . . .”) . . . Both Justin Chambers (“The Musketeer”) and Mark Wahlberg (“Rock Star”) are former underwear models . . . And word’s out that Michael Jackson got dizzy, fainted and was carried off in an ambulance from a weekend party following his tribute concert (sources say he looked gaunt, pale and pasty-faced, you know — normal).

TODAY’S DVD & VHS RELEASES:
Johnny Depp & Penélope Cruz in “Blow”, the story of George Jung who established the US cocaine market in the ‘70s (most critics agreed — it ‘blows’) . . .”61*”, the Billy Crystal-directed made-for-TV baseball drama about the 1961 race between Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle to break Babe Ruth’s single-season home run record (the asterisk appeared in record books to note that the season was 8 games longer than when the Bambino set the mark) . . . Pierce Brosnan took a break from ‘007′ to appear in the spy thriller “The Tailor of Panama”, based on the John LeCarre best-seller . . . And Tolkein freaks who just can’t wait for the upcoming “Lord of the Rings” trilogy may be interested in the new DVD release of Ralph Bakshi’s 1978 animated version.

GOOFY GROUPS:
Here are some strange but real organizations that you might want to leave off of your résumé . . .
• ‘The Institute of Totally Useless Skills’
• ‘The International Association of Sand Castle Builders’
• ‘National Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Mushrooms’
• ‘Cookie Cutter Collectors Club’
• ‘International Correspondence Of Corkscrew Addicts’

HAPPY GENES:
A 40-country study published in “Psychological Science” suggests there’s a genetic link to happiness. Your overall contentment is more likely determined by inherited traits than your situation in life. (For instance, if you inherited a billion bucks . . .)

STORE STUDIES:
A new business study co-authored at the University of Cincinnati and Georgia State University finds a retail store’s background music should counteract its pace — slow music in busy stores, fast tunes in empty ones. Why? Crowded stores that play fast songs can give the impression of being overcrowded and may make their customers feel rushed. Stores where business is slow need up-tempo music to give customers a more lively impression. (Ah! So that’s why they’re playing salsa at the funeral home.)

FONT OF KNOWLEDGE:
According to psychologist Aric Sigman, the size and style of a computer typeface used in an e-mail or printed letter can tell its reader more about the writer’s personality than the words in the message. ‘Courier’ fonts are used by old hack journalists, older administrative staff, and secretaries who harbor latent nostalgia for the bygone era of typewriters and carbon paper. Styles like ‘Times New Roman’ show a compromise between old and new, conjuring up images of trustworthiness that made them favourites of lawyers and traditional businesses. ‘Sans Serif’ styles such as ‘Arial’ and ‘Modern’ are classed as sensible but dull. If you want to come across as funky and fashion-conscious, you should use a new-style font such as ‘Georgia’.

WEIRD WORLD OF BS:
• A federal court in California has ruled a prison inmate has the right to conceive a child by mailing his semen to his wife. (I guess it wouldn’t be the first time a kid was conceived after a visit from the mailman.)
• A university in France is offering a credit course in ‘professional letter-writing’ because today’s generation is accustomed to writing only brief e-mails and text messages. (This term’s assignment is to construct an excruciatingly detailed ‘family letter’ in time for Christmas.)
• A Dutch bank has agreed to allow prostitutes to open corporate bank accounts. (That ought to make standing in line a lot more interesting!)

THE BULL SHEET 09.11.01

TODAY’S CELEBRITY BIRTHDAYS . . .
1940 [61] Brian DePalma, Newark NJ, movie director (“Mission Impossible”, The Untouchables”) NEXT FILM: The crime thriller “Femme Fatale”, starring Antonio Banderas & Rebecca Romijn-Stamos, due in JANUARY

1965 [36] Moby (Richard Melville Hall), NYC, techno/rock musician/producer (2001 MTV Male Video Music Award-“South Side”, featuring Gwen Stefani)/every track of his ‘99 album “Play” was used in either a TV commercial or a movie soundtrack  NOTE: Nickname derived from great-great granduncle Herman Melville, author of “Moby Dick”

1967 [34] 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: Co-stars with Sarah Jessica Parker in the romantic comedy “Life Without Dick”

1975 [26] Brad Fischetti, NYC, pop singer (LFO- “Every Other Time”, “Summer Girls”)

BS REASONS TO PARTY . . .
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 “9-1-1 Day”, saluting the direct-dial emergency system. (In the UK it’s 9-9-9. In Australia it’s 0-0-0, aka the ‘forget-it-I’m-already-dead-because-I-still-have-a-rotary-phone system’.)

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

ON THIS DAY . . .
1999 [02] “Wall Street Journal” reports Bayer Corp will quit putting a wad of cotton in bottles of aspirin (don’t you hate it when you have a splitting headache and you have to go through a cardboard box, plastic safety ring, childproof cap, Styrofoam seal and wad of cotton BEFORE you get to an actual pain killer?)

TODAY’S FIRSTS . . .
1875 [126] 1st newspaper ‘comic strip’ (“Professor Tigwissel’s Burglar Alarm” appears in “NY Daily”)

1946 [55] 1st ‘car-to-car phone conversation’ (and 1st idiot drivers weaving all over the road)

1966 [35] “W5″ premieres on CTV

1996 [05] 1st recording by a major artist released exclusively on Internet (David Bowie-”Telling Lies”)

AND REMEMBER . . .
[Wed] Video Games Day
[Wed] National Pet Memorial Day
[Sun] 2001 Terry Fox Run (http://www.terryfoxrun.org)
[Sun] Prime-Time Emmy Awards
National Housekeepers Week (aka ‘Learn Spanish from the Help Week’)
Internet Safety Month (remember, always practise safe surfing)

BULL’S BITS . . .
YOU KNOW YOU’RE FLYING AIR TRANSAT WHEN . . .

• The only floatation device is the Ivory soap in the restroom.
• Special offer: Bring a gallon of jet fuel — Get a free upgrade!
• Your tray table won’t stay up, but it’s okay because your lunch won’t stay down.
• Seat-back pocket contains brochure outlining special ‘Out-of-Court Settlements’.
• Security involves a male flight attendant personally sniffing your luggage.
• The flight will be delayed ‘Absolutely’.
• Pilot assures you, “We never make the same mistake three times.”

BS PHONE STARTERS:
• “Which movie star would you like to be cloned?” (In a Blockbuster Video survey, Brad Pitt  was the film star most would like to clone, followed by Arnold Schwarzenegger and Mel Gibson. Jennifer Lopez was the top female in the poll at #4, followed by Catherine Zeta Jones. Britney Spears was 10th, Tom Cruise 11th, while his ex- Nicole Kidman came 18th.)
• “What’s the perfect song for the ‘last dance’ of the night?” (A new poll in the UK picks Robbie Williams’ “Angels” as the perfect choice for the last dance of the night in clubs, ahead of Chris de Burgh’s classic “Lady in Red”, and – no BS — Engelbert Humperdinck’s old chestnut “The Last Waltz”.)

BS PLAY YOUR APPLIANCES GAME:
Phone contestants compete to play as many different household appliances as they can in 60 seconds. Most different noises wins.

BS BEAT THE TOASTER:
Before the toaster pops in 15 seconds (SFX), name 5 . . .
• Things you buy in a can.
• Reasons for turning up to work naked.
• Reasons to get fired from a job.
• Excuses for taking a sick day.
• Celebrities who’ve been in re-hab.
• Elizabeth Taylor’s husbands.

BS TAG LINE: The National Short-Sleeved Shirt Association says: ‘Support your right to bare arms!’


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