January 18, 2005

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Tuesday, January 18, 2005        Edition: #2950
Bully For You!

THIS AFTERNOON George W Bush’s 2nd inauguration festivities kick off in Washington DC with a ‘Saluting Those Who Serve’ event featuring Gloria Estefan, Lee Greenwood & John Michael Montgomery . . . TONIGHT “American Idol” winner Ruben Studdard, Jo-Jo, Hilary Duff & 3 Doors Down headline a concert hosted by the Bush twins . . . TONIGHT the 4th season of “American Idol” has its 2-hour premiere on FOX-TV (CTV in Canada) with highlights of auditions by over 100,000 wannabe stars in Cleveland, St Louis, New Orleans, Orlando, Las Vegas, San Francisco & Washington DC (celeb panelists Gene Simmons, LL Cool J, Brandy & Kenny Loggins join the judges during auditions instead of in later performance episodes) . . . Just in time for the upcoming movie release (JULY 29th), 50-year-old former “Dukes of Hazzard” TV star Catherine Bach is launching a line of ‘Daisy Duke Shorts’ (if she’s intending to model them, they better come in ‘plus sizes’!) . . . “Playboy” magazine is now offering photo galleries of nude and non-nude models that can be viewed on digital media players such as iPod . . . The Judd sisters, actress Ashley & country singer Wynonna, are featured on the cover of the FEBRUARY issue of “Ladies Home Journal” . . . Trash-talker Jerry Springer is set to host a daily politically-oriented radio talk show on WCKY-AM in Cincinnati, where he once served as mayor (unfortunately he’ll also continue his TV show) . . . Universal theme parks will soon feature an audience-participation show based on NBC-TV’s “Fear Factor” (great idea, eat a whole mess of maggots – then go on a roller coaster!) . . . And picture this – Ashley Olsen is being accused of trashing a suite at the Beverly Hills Hotel during a recent drunken rampage (apparently she lost it when her sister kept calling her ‘Fatty’).

• Blink-182 – Drummer Travis Barker and his wife will star in the upcoming MTV reality show “Meet the Barkers”.
• Killers – LAST WEEK a flight during their Australian tour shook them up so badly they now refuse to fly and have hired a tour bus instead.
• Madonna – The animated film version of her book “The English Roses” will feature Britney Spears voicing the character ‘Binah’ and a soundtrack that includes David Bowie & Snoop Dogg.
• Martina McBride – English prof Ron DePeter at Salem College in Winston Salem NC is teaching a course to young women entitled ‘Happy Girl/Broken Wing: Martina McBride as Text’ that analyzes how her songs and videos convey the full range of the female experience.
• Queen – This MAY, their first concert tour in 19 years will include 6 arena venues in the UK.
• Sara Evans – She’s been named to 4th annual ‘National Celebrity Cabinet’ to promote the American Red Cross.
• SheDAISY – Proceeds from the ‘Come Home Soon’ bracelets sold on their Website will be donated to the American Red Cross. Over 15,000 have already sold.

• “Friday Night Lights” (Action Drama – DVD/VHS): Billy Bob Thornton stars as a high school football coach in the true-life story of the 1988 Permian Panthers of Odessa, Texas. Tim McGraw makes his movie acting debut playing the abusive father of a football player. The DVD includes deleted scenes and a segment entitled ‘Tim McGraw: Off the Stage’.
• “Cellular” (Crime Thriller – DVD): Kim Basinger plays a resourceful kidnaped mom and Chris Evans the slacker she calls at random for help. The catch? She doesn’t know where she is, and his cellphone battery may go dead at any moment. William H Macy & Jason Statham co-star.
• “Catwoman” (Action Fantasy – DVD): Halle Berry stars in this critically-trashed movie adaptation of the comic book superhero who’s a shy, sensitive artist by day and a sleek and stealthy crime-fighter by night. Benjamin Bratt plays the detective who’s fascinated by both her personas; Sharon Stone plays the ‘bad guy’. 43 cats were trained for the film and Berry ended up adopting one of them, an orange & white tabby named ‘Play Dough’. Partially shot in Vancouver and Winnipeg.
• “The Forgotten” (Sci-Fi Thriller): Julianne Moore plays a mother who is stunned when both her husband and her psychiatrist insist the 9-year-old son she’s grieving over never even existed. She embarks on a mission to prove both her son’s existence and her own sanity. Nicole Kidman was originally attached to star.
• And Disney collectors may be interested in a 2-pack of direct-to-video sequels to “Aladdin” – “The Return of Jafar” and “Aladdin & The King Of Thieves”.

A new poll on the occupations of TV characters finds that 40% of men pick the sportswriter job of ‘Ray Barone’ (Ray Romano) on “Everybody Loves Raymond” as the ‘Most Desirable on TV’. Only 15% pick plastic surgery as practised by ‘Christian Troy’ (Julian McMahon) on “Nip/Tuck”. Women are almost evenly split between interior designer gig of ‘Grace Adler’ (Debra Messing) on “Will & Grace” (24%) and the job of spy ‘Sydney Bristow’ (Jennifer Garner) on “Alias” (23%). (What do you think’s the worst job on TV?)
– Yahoo! Hot Jobs

19-year-old heiress Athina Onassis-Roussel, is said to be moving to Greece to lay claim to her full share of grandpa Aristotle Onassis’s fortune. Athina, the only child of the late Christina Onassis’ marriage to Frenchman Thierry Roussel, received $1 billion when she turned 18 in 2003, but the Onassis Foundation trustees have insisted she must learn Greek before she can claim another $2 billion she has coming. Athina reportedly fought the decision at first but has now decided not only to move to Athens but to compete for Greece in show-jumping at the Olympics. Speculation is she’ll eventually get her revenge – when she turns 21, she’ll become the foundation president and will likely fire the trustees who made her life difficult. (Don’t be jealous of the ‘richest girl in the world’ – she’s got fat thighs.)
– “London Telegraph”

Spanish company Polyphonic HMI has developed software it claims can accurately predict the chances of a music track becoming a hit. ‘Hit Song Science’ (or ‘HSS’) isolates and analyzes some 20 aspects of song construction, including melody, harmony, chord progression, beat, tempo and pitch and identifies recurrent patterns in a song, before matching it up against a database of 30 years of “Billboard” hit singles. The program then accords the song a score on a scale from 1-10. Does it work? When run through the system, 95% of hit songs from the past 50 years are high scorers. But hi-tech hit-picking doesn’t come cheap – submitting a single tune will set you back a little over 5-grand. (You could accomplish the same thing by hiring a panel of 14-year-olds for a case of beer.)
– “The Guardian”

• A dentist in Littleton CO has found the source of his patient’s toothache – a 4-inch nail the construction worker had unknowingly embedded in his skull 6 days earlier! (Now if they could just find that missing 2-by-4 he was sitting on last week …)
• It’s unlikely management consultant William Fried will be asked back to a Palo Alto middle school to speak on ‘Career Day’ again. Seems more than a few are upset he advised 8th-grade girls that exotic dancing can pay $250,000 or more per year – depending on bust size. (Parents are steamed he forgot to mention the extra income generated from lap-dancing.)
• Police are investigating a food-tampering incident at a Binghamton NY-area high school. It appears that someone kept a piece of sheep’s brain from anatomy class and placed it in the school cafeteria’s salad dressing. (Many said it was a big improvement!)
• The mayor of Prague, Czech Republic has found out tourist complaints about overcharging taxi drivers are well-founded after he donned sunglasses, a fake goatee and a mustache, then posed as a tourist and hailed a cab. The fare for a 2-mile ride – $34! (“And where’s the freakin’ tip, you tightwad?”)
• After stealing a truck the driver had momentarily left with the motor running in Vancouver WA, a 26-year-old highjacker took a couple swigs from a cup he thought contained soda, only to discover it was actually – the driver’s tobacco spit! Choking, he pulled over to dial 911 for help and was busted by the cops. (Hmm, must have been the lumps.)
• Thanks to endless red tape, 45-year-old Romanian Constantin Putica [POOT-ick-uh] says he’s given up changing his last name, even though people constantly laugh at it. You see, in Romanian his last name means – ‘little prick’. (Don’t feel bad, dude. Better to have the name than BE one!)

• The average person who stops smoking requires one hour less sleep each night.
• More than 30,000 Iraqi-Canadians are eligible to vote in Iraq’s JANUARY 30th election – but they’ll have to cast their ballot in either Ottawa, Calgary or Toronto.

“It irritates me that I’m seen as this pretty face. Pretty people aren’t as accepted as other people. It comes with all these stigmas. It’s like, ‘She’s pretty and thin, so she’s got to have problems. She must be anorexic or depressed or bitchy’.”  – 18-year-old “OC” star Mischa Barton whining about the traumas of being beautiful. (Apparently, it’s a real bitch being sexy as hell.)


1955 [50] Kevin Costner, Lynwood CA, movie actor (“Open Range”, Oscar-“Dances With Wolves”)

1961 [44] Mark Messier, Edmonton AB, NHL center 1979-2004 (NY Rangers, Vancouver Canucks, Edmonton Oilers)/6 Stanley Cups/15-time NHL All-Star/future Hockey Hall of Famer

1969 [36] Jesse L Martin, Blue Ridge Mountains VA, TV actor (‘Detective Ed Green’ on “Law & Order” since 1999)

1971 [34] Jonathan Davis, Bakersfield CA, rock singer (Korn-“Did My Time”, “Here to Stay”)

TODAY is “Pooh Day”, honoring the birthday of “Winnie-the-Pooh” author AA Milne [1882-1956] in London UK.

TOMORROW is “Cut Yourself Some Slack Day”, a day to ‘do unto ourselves what we would have others do unto us’. Hey give yourself a break!

TOMORROW is “International Sing-Out Day”, a time to break out in song just like they do in all those goofy old musicals.

2000 [05] 38-year-old TV actor Michael J Fox announces he’s leaving “Spin City” to fight Parkinson’s disease

1996 [09] Lisa Marie Presley files for divorce from Michael Jackson

1917 [88] ‘Income Tax’ introduced in Canada as a temporary measure to help war effort

1994 [11] 1st ‘automatic breadmaker’ debuts at Chicago’s International Housewares Show

1997 [08] Norwegian Borge Ousland crosses Antarctica, all 1,675 miles – alone! (But how do we really know?)

[Wed] Weedless Wednesday
[Thurs] 2nd Inauguration of President George W Bush
[Thurs-Jan 30] 2005 Sundance Film Festival
[Fri] Squirrel Appreciation Day
[Fri] Eid-ul-Adha or Feast of Sacrifice (Islam)
[Sat] Answer Your Cat’s Question Day
[Sat] Rid the World of Fad Diets Day
This Week Is . . . Let Men Be Our Heroes Week
This Month Is . . . Celebration of Life Month


With Dubya’s 2nd Inauguration Week under way in Washington, it’s as good a time as any to learn how to speak ‘Texas Twang’ (aka ‘Texas English’ or ‘TXE’). Here’s today’s vocabulary, students ….
‘Croker Sack’ … Burlap Sack
‘Snake Feeder’ or ‘Mosquito Hawk’ … Dragonfly
‘Snap Beans’ … Green Beans
‘Light Bread’ … White Bread
‘Flitter’ … Pancake
‘Ahma Fixin’ To’ … I Will Do It If I Get Around to It
‘Corn Dodgers’ … Hush Puppies
‘Pulleybone’ … Wishbone
‘Polecat’ … Skunk
‘Cold Drink’ … Soda Pop
‘Tank’ … Pond
‘Dinner on the Ground’ … Potluck Dinner
– “Chicago Tribune”

Are the following measurements too short or too long?
• The 1,340-foot-long wall that gave NYC’s Wall Street its name was just 3-feet-high. [TOO SHORT. It was 12-feet-high when  erected in 1653 by Dutch colonist for protection.]
• The nautical measurement of a ‘fathom’ is equal to 100 feet. [TOO LONG. A fathom is 6 feet.]
• A Tim Horton’s Boston Cream doughnut measures 6 cms in diameter. [TOO SHORT. More like 9 cms.]
• The world’s longest stairway has a total of 4,239 steps. [TOO SHORT. The service stairway for the Niesenbahn Funicular Railway near Spiez, Switzerland climbs to a height of 5,476 feet with 11,674 steps.]
• In order to officially qualify as a ‘skyscraper’, a building must be higher than 1,000 feet or 300 meters. [TOO LONG. A skyscraper is ‘sny habitable building over 500 feet or 150 meters’.]
• Kangaroos don’t sleep much – only about 5 hours per day. [TOO LONG. Some kangaroos sleep as little as 20 minutes a day.]
• A fully-loaded supertanker traveling at normal speed requires at least 5 minutes to stop. [TOO SHORT. It will take at least 20 minutes to come to a full stop.]

Today’s Question: Your chances of having a heart attack double if you do THIS for a living.
Answer to Give Out Next Show: Drive a cab.

Flattery is the sincerest form of lying.

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