January 25, 2002

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Friday, January 25, 2002        Edition: #2219
I’m out of my mind, but feel free to leave a message.

TODAY is the annual “Fun At Work Day”, because experts say when we enjoy our work, we are more productive. So here’s a few suggestions on . . .
• Find out where your boss shops and buy exactly the same outfits. Always wear them one day after your boss does. (Especially effective if your boss is a different gender.)
• Every time someone asks you to do something, ask them if they want fries with that.
• Include a piece of your kid’s artwork as a cover page for all reports you write.
• When answering your phone, talk in a fake British accent.
• Make up nicknames for all your co-workers and refer to them only by these names. (“That’s a good point, Sparky.”)
• Take a picture of your boss, have it framed and display it prominently on your desk.
• Leave the photocopy machine set to reduce 200%, extra dark, 17-inch paper, 99 copies.
• Send e-mail to the rest of the company telling them EXACTLY what you’re doing. (“If anyone needs me, I’ll be in the bathroom.”)
• Pretend your computer mouse is a CB radio mike. Talk to it.

TODAY the “Down From the Mountain” tour featuring many of the artists from the “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” soundtrack (the quadruple-platinum CMA ‘Album of the Year’) kicks off in Lexington KY . . . SUNDAY the hit London production of “The Graduate”, starring Kathleen Turner, Jason Biggs & Alicia Silverstone, begins a 32-performance pre-Broadway run at Toronto’s Canon Theatre . . . Britney Spears, once rumored to have a crush on Britain’s hunky 19-year-old Prince William, tells a Brit TV interviewer he once blew off a scheduled date with her – to go fox hunting (you moron Wills, this fox was hunting YOU!) . . .  Word is Mariah Carey is on the verge of signing a recording deal with Arista Records whom she turned down LAST YEAR because they wouldn’t give her ‘full artistic control’, a demand that seems to have gone by the wayside (what’s that old saying — beggars can’t be bitchers?) . . . Whitney Houston, who signed with Arista last year for $100 million, reportedly ‘went ballistic’ when she heard the rumor and had her people call the company to complain (cool, cat fight!!!) . . . Inspired by the wildly successful, 8-million-selling Beatles compilation disc “1″, RCA Records is planning to release a CD with 30 chart-topping Elvis hits as part of a marketing campaign to reach 15 to 24-year-olds . . . Actress Lorraine Bracco, the shrink on “The Sopranos”, has filed for divorce from actor Edward James Olmos, whom she married in 1994 . . . And a ‘Harry Potter’ spoof film may be in the works, based on Michael Gerber’s book “Barry Trotter & The Unauthorized Parody”, about a 22-year-old who is too lazy to leave his wizarding school.

Guy Pearce stars in the latest version of the swashbuckling period adventure “The Count of Monte Cristo” . . . The no-name spoof comedy “Kung Pow: Enter the Fist” lampoons the martial arts movie genre . . . Richard Gere stars in the sci-fi thriller “The Mothman Prophecies” as a reporter investigating a series of strange events in a small West Virginia town . . . The 1950s romance “A Walk to Remember” stars Mandy Moore & Shane West . . . And “I Am Sam” opens wide, the critically-acclaimed drama starring Sean Penn as a mentally-disabled father trying to gain custody of his daughter with the help of lawyer Michelle Pfeiffer (the role that’s made Penn a favorite for the ‘Best Actor’ Oscar).

Sleep scientists say counting sheep won’t help you drop off any quicker. They recommend imagining a relaxing waterfall instead. Oxford University researchers made their findings by testing different techniques on volunteer insomniacs. One group conjured up a tranquil and relaxing scene while another was asked to think of a distraction like counting sheep. Those picturing a relaxing scene fell asleep an average of 20 minutes earlier than on nights they didn’t try the technique. The sheep-counters took slightly longer than normal.

Principle Solutions Inc has developed what it calls a ‘TV Guardian Foul Language Filter’ that detects profanity and ‘other offensive phrases’ on a variety of media and automatically mutes them. The easily-offended will be thrilled to know the new technology will soon be available not only on TVs, but DVD players, VCRs and home-theater systems. We had something like this when I was a kid — it was called parents. (Create your own censor system by replacing offensive words in a movie clip with silly euphemisms like ‘doo-doo’, ‘nookie’, ‘dag nab it’, ‘poo-poo’, etc.)

NASA has begun work on building the world’s best map. Shuttle missions have been using a new radar system to gather information on world topography. The super map will be used in earthquake studies, flood control, urban planning and aircraft safety systems. (As soon as they figure out how to fold the damn thing.)

A growing number of hotels are putting out the welcome mat for pets, according to “Travel Weekly”. Many now offer amenities like special pet menus, toys, personalized biscuits and  dog-walking services. They should treat humans so well! (Try calling a local hotel to see what services they’re offering for your pet — a pot-bellied pig.)

Johns Hopkins University researchers asked expectant moms to predict the gender of their unborn babies and record whether they were basing their predictions on folklore, a feeling, a dream, or the way they were carrying the baby. 71% of those who based their predictions on a feeling or a dream were correct. Astoundingly, those who based the prediction solely on a dream were 100% accurate!

New research at Queen’s University in Kingston ON shows that fathers-to-be experience hormone changes during their wife’s pregnancy, just as the expectant mothers do. The study finds that average testosterone levels are significantly lower in expectant fathers and soon-to-be dads are more likely to have detectable amounts of estrogen, the female sex hormone. (Is this like empathy pregnancy?)

Here’s a job you might like — there’s a thriving profession in Japan called ‘wakaresaseya’ which literally means ‘breaker-uppers’. These are specialists in destroying relationships for people who are too timid to do it themselves. For a fee, a wakaresaseya will dump your boyfriend for you, get rid of a mistress, or ax a longtime employee. Rather than direct confrontation, it’s often accomplished with elaborate schemes to trap culprits into making the decision to split themselves. Seems to work — wakaresaseya companies claim 95% success rates. (Now there’s a service that could become a regular bit for your show!)

Michigan watchdog group Michigan Lawsuit Abuse has selected the winners of its 5th annual ‘Wacky Warning Label’ competition. They include –
• A CD player with the warning: “Do not use the Ultradisc2000 as a projectile in a catapult.”
• A label on a manufactured fireplace log which warns, “Caution — Risk of Fire.”
• A box of birthday candles that cautions: “Do not use soft wax as ear plugs or for any other function that involves insertion into a body cavity.”
• A 35mm camera with the warning: “When operating the selector dial with your eye to the viewfinder, care should be taken not to put your finger in your eye accidentally.”


1962 [40] Chris Chelios, Chicago IL, NHL defenceman (Detroit Red Wings)

1981 [21] Alicia Keys, NYC, R&B singer (“A Woman’s Worth”, “Fallin”)

2001 [01] Rene Charles Angelil, West Palm Beach FL, rich boy who’ll never work a day in his life/son of Celine Dion & husband-manager Rene Angelil

1925 [77] Paul Newman, Cleveland OH, movie actor (Oscar-“Color of Money”)/auto racer/food mogul (“Newman’s Own”)  NEXT FILM: He’ll appear with Tom Hanks in the drama “Road to Perdition”, opening in JULY

1942 [60] Scott Glenn, Pittsburgh PA, movie actor (“The Shipping News”, “Training Day”)

1955 [47] Eddie Van Halen, Nijmegen NETH, Grammy Award-winning, plastic-hipped, classic rock guitarist (Van Halen-“Panama”, “Jump”)

1958 [44] Ellen Degeneres, New Orleans LA, comedian/TV actress (Ellen Richmond-“The Ellen Show”, Ellen Morgan-“Ellen” [1994-98])/split with partner Anne Heche in 2000 after 3.5- year relationship and is now ‘engaged’ to Alexandra Hedison

1961 [41] Wayne Gretzky, Brantford ON, executive director of Canadian Olympic hockey/NHL Phoenix Coyotes co-owner & GM-without-portfolio/Hockey Hall of Fame player/”Hockey News” ‘All Time Best NHL Player’/9-time NHL MVP

1959 [43] Cris Collinsworth, Dayton OH, FOX-TV sports analyst (“NFL Sunday”)/ex-NFL WR (Cincinnati Bengals)

1961 [41] Margo Timmins, Toronto ON, pop singer (Cowboy Junkies-“Misguided Angel”)

1964 [38] Bridget Fonda, LA CA, film actress (“Kiss of the Dragon”, “Monkeybone”)

1968 [34] Tracy Lawrence, Atlanta TX, country singer (“Lessons Learned”, “Sticks And Stones”)

TODAY is “Robbie Burns Day”, party time for Scots everywhere! It honors Scotland’s national poet who was born January 25, 1759 and whose most famous composition was “Auld Lang Syne”. A traditional ‘Burns Supper’ includes cock-a-leekie soup (fowl, leeks and herbs), haggis (minced sheep’s heart, lungs and liver mixed with oatmeal), neeps and tatties (mashed turnip and potatoes). The meal is then washed down with Scotch whisky toasts.

According to the ‘International Thomas Crapper Society’, SUNDAY is “Thomas Crapper Day”, in honor of the man who invented the toilet flush mechanism, on the anniversary of his death in 1910. Thomas Crapper & Co became engineers by appointment to the ‘throne’ of England.

1858  [144] Mendelssohn’s “Wedding March” 1st played at wedding of Queen Victoria’s daughter (“Here comes the bride, short fat and wide . . .”)

1924 [78] 1st ‘Winter Olympic Games’ open, in Chamonix FRA (after IOC officials are bribed with bathtub gin and horseless carriages)

1945 [57] 1st city to add fluoride to its drinking water (Grand Rapids MI)

1949 [53] 1st ‘Emmy Awards’ for TV (the ‘Emmy’ statuette of a winged woman holding an atom was designed by television engineer Louis McManus using his wife as a model. It was originally called the ‘Immy’, a term commonly used for the early image orthicon camera. The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences later changed it to ‘Emmy’ because it was thought more appropriate for a female symbol.)

[Mon] National Kazoo Day
[Mon] Clash Day
[Mon] Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day
[Tues] Free Thinker’s Day
[Tues] National Corn Chip Day
Creative Frugality Week
Hunt for Happiness Week
Clean Up Your Computer Month
Reaching Your Potential Month


1. Drew Carey
2. Regis Philbin
3. Oprah Winfrey
4. David Letterman
5. Ray Romano
6. Jay Leno
7. Bill O’Reilly
8. Kelsey Grammar
9. Katie Couric
10. Rosie O’Donnell
(Source: Harris poll)

• Find your inner Gordie with the ‘Hockey Name Generator’.
NET: http://www.maximonline.com/sports/hockey_name
• Drop your boring regular name and find your cool ‘Wu Name’ using a “Wu Tang Name Generator”. Here’s a pair to pick from . . .
NET: http://blazonry.com/scripting/wuname.php
NET: http://www.recordstore.com/cgi-bin/wuname/wuname.pl
• Halle Berry plays bad-girl ‘Jinx’ in the now-shooting 20th ‘James Bond’ movie. How do they come up with these names? Maybe they use the “Bond Girl Name Generator”. Plug in your name or listeners’ names and you’ll come up with cool ‘Bond girl’ names like ‘Uda Kister’, ‘Eezy Aspye’, ‘Body Sinmotion’, and ‘Zoe Didder’. (Note: This site was down for maintenance so we couldn’t check it. Hopefully you’ll have better luck.)
NET: http://www.dvd.com/stories/play/bondgirls

Q: 50 years ago TODAY in 1952, the first-ever Canadian-born Governor-General was appointed.  Who was it –  Fay Vincent, Vincent Massey, or Massey Ferguson?
A: Vincent Massey.

Q: What’s the only country in the world with a solid, single-colored flag — the all-green flag of Libya, the all-red flag of China, or the all-white flag of France?
A: Libya’s is solid green. (Did they hold a design contest?)

Q: What was the first of HJ Heinz’s famous ‘57 varieties’ — ketchup, horseradish, or mustard?
A: Horseradish, first marketed in 1869.

Doing a job RIGHT the first time gets the job done. Doing the job WRONG fourteen times gives you job security.

Refer a friend to BS and get a FREE MONTH!


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