December 24, 2004

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Friday, December 24, 2004        Edition: #2938
‘Twas The Sheet Before Christmas …

Jennifer Lopez’s first short-term husband, Ojani Noa, is suing her for breach of contract, claiming he was been fired without just cause as manager of her Pasadena CA restaurant Madres – in 2002 (what, he just noticed?) . . . Here we go again – yet another Paris Hilton sex tape has surfaced, this one purportedly a 36-minute video featuring Paris and another woman known only as ‘Nicole’ – but NOT “Simple Life” co-star Nicole Ritchie (let’s just call it “Scary Movie 3″) . . . Former “Baywatch” babe Carmen Electra is heading back to the beach, signing up to play a trouble-making divorcée in 5 episodes of the 2nd season of “Summerland”, debuting NEXT MONTH . . . In a new “USA Today”/Gallup Poll asking which celebs are ‘naughty’ and which are ‘nice’, Tom Hanks & Oprah Winfrey are tied with 90% of the vote to top the ‘nice’ list, while Britney Spears is #1 on the naughty list with 67%; interestingly, Donald Trump was voted ‘nice’ by 47% and ‘naughty’ by 48% . . . David Letterman’s official Christmas card features a small box that supposedly contains ‘Complimentary Lickable Flu Vaccine’ under the slogan “Have a Safe & Healthy Holiday Season from the Centers for Disease Control and The Late Show” . . . Currently #1 on music charts in Germany – “Snappy, The Little Crocodile” (“Schnappi, Das Kleine Krokodil”) by 7-year-old singer/songwriter Little Joy Gruttmann (so take that, Destiny’s Child!).

• “The Aviator” (PG-13 Adventure Drama opens wide): Leonardo DiCaprio portrays eccentric billionaire Howard Hughes in this Martin Scorsese bio-pic depicting Hughes’ early years (the late 1920s to the mid-1940s) as a movie mogul and aviator. Supporting cast includes Cate Blanchett (as Katharine Hepburn), Kate Beckinsale (as Ava Gardner), Jude Law (as Errol Flynn) and Gwen Stefani in her screen debut (as Jean Harlow).
• “The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou” (R-Rated Comedy Adventure opens wide): With a plan to exact revenge on a mythical shark that killed his partner, oceanographer ‘Steve Zissou’ (Bill Murray) rallies a crew that includes his estranged wife (Angelica Huston), a journalist (Cate Blanchett), and a man who may or may not be his son (Owen Wilson).
• “Fat Albert” (PG Family Comedy): Produced and co-written by Bill Cosby (who also cameos), this new live-action incarnation of the animated TV series “Fat Albert & the Cosby Kids” (1972-1984) remains true to the spirit of the original series, delivering the simple message: believe in yourself.
• “Darkness” (R-Rated Horror): Anna Paquin stars as a teenage girl who moves into a remote countryside house with her family, only to discover that the gloomy new home has a horrifying past that threatens to destroy them all. A 2002 film by Spanish director Jaume Balagueró.

• Coldplay – Singer Chris Martin & actress-wife Gwyneth Paltrow are said to be so ‘besotted’ with their 7-month-old daughter, Apple, they’re already planning to have another baby.
• “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” on ABC-TV (co-hosted by Regis Philbin & Ashlee Simpson) will include appearances by Los Lonely Boys, Ciara, Earth Wind & Fire, Fabolous, Kenny G, Billy Idol, Big & Rich, and Simple Plan.
• Eminem – TOMORROW he’s on a rerun episode of NBC-TV’s “Saturday Night Live”.
• Mariah Carey – She’s giving close friends and family old-fashioned stockings as a holiday gift, but these are diamond-encrusted – to the tune of $28,500.
• Tupac – Even though he died in 1996, his new  Eminem-produced album “Loyal to the Game” has topped sales charts with 330,000 units in its first week.
• “Walt Disney World Christmas Day Parade” on ABC-TV TOMORROW features Mariah Carey, Ashanti and Wynonna Judd.

Highlights of a new holiday season activity poll by the Policy Exchange think-tank …
• Brits increase their alcohol consumption by 41% over the holiday season, more than any other nationality. Canadians and Germans tie for 2nd with a 36% increase.
• The odds of being killed by a drunk driver are highest in France.
• Americans lead in holiday season church attendance with 55% making at least one visit to a church, followed by Italians at 49%.
• Germany tops the world poll for unlawful killings at Christmas, although murders increase in every country. Only in Japan do break-ins & burglaries DECREASE during the holiday period.
 • 19% of Brits celebrate the holidays abroad, exiting the UK to vacation elsewhere in greater numbers than any other country. By comparison, only 4% of Americans travel abroad (mostly to Mexico, Canada and the UK).
• Worldwide suicide rates actually drop at Christmastime (contrary to popular belief), with Italy and Japan registering the greatest decrease.
– “The Guardian”

Shortly before his death LAST MONTH, a Swiss farmer made an unusual last request: save his 2 cows from the slaughterhouse and put them in – a retirement home. The family organized a church collection and donations poured in from local farmers. Now 8-year-old Maya and her 4-month-old calf Toni will be placed on a retirement farm by the group ‘Viva la Vacca’ (‘Long Live the Cow’). The animals will no longer have to ‘work’ for a living. (Although Maya’s already being measured up for soccer balls.)
– “Globe & Mail”

A new study by researchers at the University of Alberta & the University of Montréal finds there may be an advantage to dreams that occur for up to a week after memorable emotional events. As time goes by after the major event, dreams more often include problem resolution and positive emotions. This suggests that dreams help us work through personal difficulties. (Yeah whatever, I just wanna quit waking up in a sweat, worried sick that I went to work without pants … again.)
– The journal “Sleep”.

A UPS driver was on his way to deliver parts to Cheshire Medical Center in Keene, New Hampshire when his delivery van was involved in an accident during the first major snowstorm of the year. The driver was then taken to – you guessed it – Cheshire Medical Center by ambulance with a head injury, but the hospital couldn’t perform some of the tests he needed because one of its machines was down … awaiting the parts he’d been delivering! (Now that’s irony!)
– “Keene Sentinel”

On New Year’s Eve in Tokyo, 72-year-old conductor Hiroyuki Iwaki will lead the NHK Symphony Orchestra in a concert featuring all 9 Beethoven symphonies. ETA: 6 hours!

• “I have had time to think, time to write, time to exercise, time to not eat the bad food …”
– Prison inmate Martha Stewart in a Christmas message posted on her Website.
• “This whole thing’s kind of wack. I’m not sure any of (the songs) are that great.”
– Tommy Lee telling “Blender” magazine he’s less than excited about his participation in the upcoming Motley Crue 2-year reunion tour.
• “This is a new low for the FOX network. It’s hard to imagine a more callous kind of exploitation than the treatment of this most private moment as a crude entertainment.”
– David Youtz, president of Families With Children From China, denouncing the upcoming FOX-TV reality show “Who’s Your Daddy?” in which adopted children attempt to pick their real biological fathers from a group of imposters.


1964 [40] Mark Valley, Ogdensburg NY, TV actor (‘Brad Chase’ in the new David E Kelley ABC-TV series “Boston Legal”)

1971 [33] Ricky Martin, San Juan PR, washed-up pop singer (“La Vida Loca”)

1974 [30] Ryan Seacrest, Atlanta GA, TV host (“American Idol” since 2002, “On-Air with Ryan Seacrest” 2003-04)/radio personality (KIIS-FM Los Angeles, “American Top 40″)  QUESTION: Which is more annoying: when he drags out “After … the … break” or when he signs off “Seacrest …out!”?

Singer Jimmy Buffett (“Hey Good Lookin’”) is 58; Actress Sissy Spacek (“In the Bedroom”) is 55. Singer Annie Lennox (“Into the West”) is 50; Country singer Steve Wariner (“Two Teardrops”) is 50; Pop singer Dido (“White Flag”) is 33; Celebrity son Justin Trudeau is 33 and his brother Alexander (‘Sasha’) Trudeau is 31; Country singer Alecia Elliott (“If You Believe”) is 22.

Record producer & accused murderer Phil Spector is 64; “America’s Most Wanted” host John Walsh is 59; Drummer Lars Ulrich (Metallica) is 41; Actor Jared Leto (“Alexander”) is 33.

TODAY is “Christmas Eve”, a family gift-giving occasion in many countries.

TODAY is “National Egg Nog Day”, to which we say YEEEEE-HAWWWWW!!!!

TOMORROW is reputedly the 149th anniversary of the “First Game of Hockey”. Legend has it that teams from the Royal Canadian Rifles played at Kingston ON on Christmas Day, 1855 using field hockey sticks and a rubber lacrosse ball.

SUNDAY through January 1st is “Kwanzaa”, the African-American version of traditional African harvest festivals, celebrated in North America since 1966. ‘Kwanzaa’ means ‘first fruit’ in Swahili.

SUNDAY is “National Whiner’s Day”, dedicated to people who whine about unwanted Christmas gifts.

1990 [14] Tom Cruise weds Nicole Kidman, his co-star from “Days of Thunder” (lasts 11 years)

1818 [186] Melody to “Silent Night, Holy Night” composed by Franz Gruber as a favor to his friend Joseph Franz Mohr who had written the lyrics as a poem

1906 [98] 1st ‘music broadcast’ on radio (Canadian physicist Reginald Fessenden-Brant Rock MA)

[Sat] A’ Phabet Day (No ‘L’)
[Sun] Recyclable Packaging Day
[Sun] Awful Tie Day
[Sun] Boxing Day (Canada, UK, Commonwealth countries)
[Sun] St Stephen’s Day
[Mon] National Fruitcake Day
[Tues] Card Playing Day
This Week Is . . . Halcyon Days
This Month Is . . . Safe Toys & Gifts Month


Ranked by worldwide box office …
1. “Shrek 2″ ($886 million)
2. “Harry Potter & the Prisoner of Azkaban” ($790 million)
3. “Spider-Man 2″ ($784 million)
4. “The Passion of the Christ” ($610 million)
5. “The Day After Tomorrow” ($543 million)
– Box Office Mojo

According to online sales at …
1. “Mom”s Plan-It Calendar”
2. “West Highland White Terriers”
3. “Shania Twain”
4. “Dilbert by Scott Adams”
5. “Thomas Kinkade – Painter of Light”
6. “Clay Aiken”
7. “The OC Calendar”
8. “365 Cats Page-A-Day”
9. “Michael Phelps”
10. “Boston Red Sox”

• Two snowmen are standing in a field. One says to the other: “Funny, I can smell carrots, too.”
• It’s not true that, in a bid for good publicity, Michael Jackson’s legal team has announced that when he dies he’s agreed to have his remains melted down to make plastic toys. Too bad, then kids would be able to play with HIM for a change.

The week’s most requested music files online …
1. Usher – “My Boo”
2. Mario – “Let Me Love You”
3. Snoop Dogg – “Drop It Like It’s Hot”
4. Green Day – “American Idiot”
5. Ludacris – “Get Back”
– BigChampagne Online Music Measurement

Today’s Question: Fully 70% of all sales of THIS are rung up during the month of December.
Answer to Give Out Next Show: Gift wrap.

In just two days, tomorrow will be yesterday.

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