December 21, 2004

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Tuesday, December 21, 2004           Edition: #2935
Don’t You Just Love the Smell of BS in the Morning?

Courtney Love is planning to cover her mounting debts by telling all in an upcoming book, for which she’s expected to receive a $540,000 advance . . . ABC-TV Sports personality and former Pittsburgh Steelers all-star wide receiver Lynn Swann is considering running for governor of Pennsylvania as a Republican . . . Media mogul Rupert Murdoch (News Corp, FOX-TV) is set to buy a 20-room, 3-floor Fifth Avenue penthouse overlooking NYC’s Central Park for $44 million – in cash! . . .California author Brittney Ryan has published a new book about “Holly Claus”, the ass-kicking daughter of ‘Santa’, and plans (or perhaps threatens?) to write several more in the series . . . Actor Randy Quaid has been signed to play Elvis Presley’s manager Colonel Tom Parker and Rose McGowan is likely to play Ann-Margret  in the upcoming CBS-TV bio-pic “Elvis” (no title-role actor yet announced) . . . Now that Nicole Kidman has backed out, the producers of “The Producers” are desperately trying to entice Charlize Theron to replace her as ‘Ulla’ in the movie version of the Broadway smash . . . In a new VH-1 poll, “Ray: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack”, tops the list of ‘Most Wished for CDs’ this Christmas.

• Ashlee Simpson – She’ll kick off her first headlining tour in FEBRUARY, with 23 shows in total.
• Avril Lavigne – She was doused in pink paint for a video shoot in NYC LAST WEEK, forcing her to have her hair dyed back to its natural color.
• Brad Paisley – His “Mud on the Tires” album has been certified double platinum for shipments of 2 million copies by the RIAA.
• Britney Spears – She’s having a deluxe recording studio built in her new Malibu CA mansion, reportedly to help launch hubby Kevin Federline’s music career.
• The Calling – TONIGHT they’re on “Late Show With David Letterman”.
• Kenny Chesney – He sold more concert tickets in 2004 than anybody except Prince.
• Mick Jagger – He’s working with A&E to develop a new program entitled “Being”, a documentary series that profiles celebrities by following them through their normal routine for a few days.
• Shania Twain – Her combined concert grosses for 2003 and 2004 total $86 million, easily the top-grossing tour in history for a female country artist.
• Usher – Word is his romance with model Naomi Campbell is on the rocks, a pal confirming they aren’t seeing each other right now. Wonder whom got sick of whom?

• “The Manchurian Candidate” (Thriller – DVD): Denzel Washington stars in a remake of the 1962 film that starred Frank Sinatra. In this update, soldiers are kidnaped and brainwashed for sinister purposes during the Gulf War. Meryl Streep co-stars.
• “Shaun of the Dead” (Romantic Zombie Comedy – DVD/VHS): This Brit-com follows the adventures of an underachiever and his best mate as they cope with a zombie invasion of North London. Stars Simon Pegg, Kate Ashfield & Nick Frost.
• “De-Lovely” (Musical Bio – DVD): Kevin Kline has the title role in a lavish musical portrait of American composer Cole Porter, who’s legendary hits included “Anything Goes” and “Night and Day”. Co-stars Ashley Judd & Jonathan Pryce. Performances by Sheryl Crow, Diana Krall, Alanis Morissette, Natalie Cole, Robbie Williams & Elvis Costello.
• “Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid” (Horror Thriller – DVD): In this semi-sequel to 1997’s “Anaconda”, a group of scientists embarks on a treacherous journey in the jungles of Borneo seeking an extremely rare red orchid, the ‘blood orchid’, which may hold the key to longer life. Stars Johnny Messner, Morris Chestnut & Eugene Byrd.
• “King Arthur” (Action Adventure – DVD/VHS): This mud & blood version of the grand British myth purports to return the tale to its historical origins, a real-life, 5th-Century warrior. Clive Owen, Ioan Gruffudd & Keira Knightley star.
• “Surviving Christmas” (Comedy – DVD/VHS): Ben Affleck plays a poor little rich jerk who can’t face his family at Christmas, so he rents one to play the loving family of his idealized childhood holiday fantasy. James Gandolfini, Catherine O’Hara & Christina Applegate co-star.
• “Thunderbirds” (Action Fantasy – DVD/VHS): Live-action feature based on the hit 1960s British TV series. Set in the year 2065, this is the story of ex-astronaut and ‘USAF Colonel Jeff Tracy’ (Bill Paxton) and his 5 sons who form a rescue team called ‘International Rescue’ (nicknamed ‘The Thunderbirds’).

A little indulgence with fruitcake and stuffed turkey is fine for human beings during the holidays but can be life-threatening for household pets. Australian veterinarian Mark Lawrie warns that pet owners could find themselves with an emergency on their hands over Christmas if they feed their animals human treats. He warns that feeding fatty meats to cats and dogs can induce painful pancreatitis, chocolate can be toxic, and onions can cause red blood cells to burst. (In humans, all this excess just induces slumping on the sofa.)

A 1,200-piece collection of nativity scenes from 45 different countries has been assembled for display at the University of Dayton in Ohio. One creche has the Baby Jesus in blue jeans and a Western shirt, another has The Wise Men dressed as Indian chiefs offering corn to the baby. A German display shows a clown with brightly colored balloons and a snowman along with Santa Claus. An expert in the history of Christian art says often the figures in creches are shown as Western Europeans, simply because we simply don’t know what the real people looked like. (For a glimpse of a more authentic creche, check Madame Tussauds in London.)
– AP

A round-up of health & science news for 2004 finds that …
• Sunshine eases pain.
• Commuting makes you fat
• The Atkins Diet can lower fertility chances among women.
• Hot-tubs spread infection.
– “ The Week” magazine

• A renowned, 82-year-old Beijing physicist has stunned colleagues by popping the question to a 28-year-old student … who further surprised them by saying ‘yes’. Dr Chen Ning Yang, who won the Nobel Prize in 1957, says of his hottie bride-to-be, Wong Fan, “She has very good English and she is nice and not calculated. She is my last gift bestowed by God.”
• An Australian man whose car wouldn’t start got revenge – by attacking the vehicle with a sledgehammer. Witnesses to the bizarre scene called Adelaide cops, who expected to catch a vandal in the act. Instead, they found a sorry-looking auto with its windshield smashed and the doors and hood dented, and the owner sporting a look of grim satisfaction. No charges were laid.

• Only one-third of Canadians have bothered to get flu shots this year, according to a new Decima Research poll.
• A shortage of Christmas trees in Hawaii has raised prices to more than $200 each.

“Happy Holidays/My Very Best Wishes to You & Your Family/Martha Stewart/Alderson, West Virginia.”
– The holiday card sent out by WV prison inmate Martha Stewart, which features a tasteful red wreath on the front.


1937 [67] Jane Fonda, NYC, movie actress (Oscars-“Klute”, “Coming Home”)/ex-Mrs Ted Turner (1991-2001)  COMING UP: Co-stars with Jennifer Lopez in “Monster-in-Law” (2005), her first film in 15 years.

1948 [56] Samuel L Jackson, Washington DC, movie actor (“The Incredibles”, “Kill Bill: Vol 2″)  COMING UP: “Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith” (2005).

1955 [49] Jane Kaczmarek, Milwaukee WI, TV actress (‘Lois’, the mom on “Malcolm in the Middle” since 2000)/Mrs Bradley Whitford (“The West Wing’s” ‘Josh Lyman’) since 1992

1957 [47] Ray Romano, Queens NY, TV sitcom actor (2003 Emmy Award as ‘Ray Barone’ on “Everybody Loves Raymond” 1996-2005)

1965 [39] Andy Dick, Charleston SC, TV actor/comedian (“The Andy Dick Show”)

1966 [38] Kiefer Sutherland, London UK, TV actor (‘Jack Bauer’ on “24″ since 2001)/movie actor (“A Few Good Men”)/actor Donald Sutherland’s son/grandson of the “Greatest Canadian”, former Saskatchewan premier and 1st federal NDP leader Tommy Douglas

TODAY is “Winter Solstice”, the shortest day of the year (except in the southern hemisphere, where summer begins – surf’s up in Australia!). Winter officially arrives at 7:42 am EST. The solstice is celebrated in many ways …
• “National Flashlight Day” and “Look At The Bright Side Day” are tongue-in-cheek commemorations of the year’s longest night.
• In England it’s “Mumping Day”, traditionally when the poor go house-to-house begging for food.
• In the Wicca religion it’s “Yule”, marking the death of the Sun-God and his rebirth from the Earth Goddess (the origin of the ‘Yule Log’).
• A fast-growing modern observance is called the “Christmas Revels”, a theatrical celebration of the solstice with traditional dance, carols and plays that’s now celebrated in many cities.

TODAY is “Humbug Day”, when 12 ‘humbugs’ are allowed to be uttered in order to vent the frustrations of preparing for the holidays.

1937 [67] Disney’s full-length, animated feature film “Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs” premieres

1891 [113] Springfield MA YMCA instructor James Naismith invents ‘basketball’ using 18 players, a soccer ball and 2 peach baskets (born Almonte ON)

1913 [91] 1st ‘crossword puzzle’, printed in “New York World” (Arthur Wynne devises what he calls a ‘Word-cross’ for the Christmas edition, having no idea he would be starting a worldwide craze)

[Wed] “Meet the Fockers” opens in movie theaters
[Fri] Christmas Eve
[Fri] Egg Nog Day
[Fri] Christmas Day work holiday
[Sat] Christmas Day
[Sun] Whiner’s Day
[Dec 31] New Year’s Eve
[Dec 31] New Year’s Day work holiday
This Week Is . . . Halcyon Days
This Month Is . . . Stress-Free Family Holidays Month


1. Fresh fish
2. Lobster
3. Steak
4. Thai food
5. Chinese food
6. Ice cream
7. Pizza
8. Crab
9. Curry
10. Prawns
(Also making the top 50 … alligator, kangaroo, guinea pig, and haggis! Ask listeners for their opinions.)
– BBC poll

• In what country did the real St Nicholas live – Sweden, Latvia, or Turkey? [He was bishop of the Turkish town of Myra in the early 4th century.]
• Which country celebrates Christmas with fireworks – China, Taiwan or Brazil? [Brazil.]
• What country was “Good King Wenceslas” from – Scotland, Czechoslovakia, or Germany? [He was a 10th century duke who later became the patron saint of Czechoslovakia. He was not a king, however, but became famous for his good deeds.]
• In which country would it be bad etiquette to send red Christmas cards – New Zealand, Japan, or Cuba? [Japan, since funeral notices there are customarily printed in red.]
• In which country do kids anxiously await “Grandfather Frost”, who shows up with Christmas goodies on January 1st – Russia, Sweden, or Iceland? [Russia, where Santa is known as “D’yed Moroz.”]

1. Boston MA
2. Washington DC
3. San Francisco CA
4. Baltimore MD
5. New York NY-Northeastern NJ
– “ Sperling’s Best Places”

A new NYC restaurant called ‘Duvet’ features gourmet dining – in beds. The upscale eatery has 23 king-size beds and 7 private bedrooms. Shoes go in a drawer under the bed and slippers are provided. Waiters must bend down to change the sheets between customers. A 15-foot jellyfish tank offsets the boudoir decor.
PHONER: 212.989.2121

BS Q & A:
Q: You’re suffering from ‘taresthesia’. What the heck’s wrong with you?
A: Your foot’s asleep.

Hair styling for today’s program was provided by the wind.

Today’s Question: Surprisingly, 53% of women have never done THIS, even though it’s generally accepted on special occasions.
Answer to Give Out Next Show: Tasted champagne.

Winter is nature’s way of saying ‘up yours’.

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