July 24, 2008

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Thursday, July 24, 2008      Edition: #3821
Never Accept a Generic – Ask For Pure “BS”!

“Sex & The City” star Sarah Jessica Parker has landed a new hour-long show on Bravo with the working title “American Artist”, described as a “Project Runway”-style competition set in the art world (painters get kicked off the canvas?) . . . 27-year-old movie actress Natalie Portman (“The Other Boleyn Girl“) is reportedly leaving her native NYC and moving to LA to be with her boyfriend, 27-year-old Venezuelan-American folk-rock singer-songwriter Devendra Banhart (his 2002 album was titled: “Oh Me Oh My … The Way the Day Goes By the Sun Is Setting Dogs Are Dreaming Lovesongs Of the Christmas Spirit”) . . . “The Hills” stars Heidi Montag & Spencer Pratt are planning a trip to Iraq to entertain US troops (haven’t those folks already suffered enough?) . . . A new San Diego State University study finds that fully 70% of all movie reviews are written by men (ever see a chick flick with 5 stars?) . . . Veteran actor Peter Coyote (“ET” and, more recently, “ET”) is suggesting that movie stars who earn millions for their screen roles ought to share the wealth with established character actors (yeah, that’ll be happening – “Here, have a mill”) . . . Paramount Studios has selected the movies “Clueless”, “Mean Girls”, and “Pretty in Pink” as the basis for new ‘casual video games’ aimed at the female market (apparently the 65-plus female market) . . . And NY Yankee star Alex Rodriguez has signed another big-league contract, joining the William Morris Agency in an attempt to ‘extend his brand beyond the baseball diamond’ (well he’s certainly been extending something – see below).

• “Comic-Con 2008“ – The 38th annual comics convention, through Sunday in San Diego CA.
The casts of TV shows “Heroes” and ”Battlestar Galactica” will be on hand, and the remodeled ‘KITT Attack Car’ from the upcoming “Knight Rider” TV makeover makes its debut. It’s a big event – LAST YEAR 125,000 fans, professionals, and exhibitors attended. (See BULL’S BITS.)
NET: http://www.comic-con.org/cci/
• “Last Comic Standing” (NBC/Global) – Hugh Hefner & his 3 girlfriends do a guest shot during a surprise a trip to the Playboy Mansion. Just 8 comics remain in the competition, including Toronto’s Sean Cullen.
• Sheryl Crow/James Blunt – Their co-headlining 25-city summer tour kicks off in Nashville TN.
• “So You Think You Can Dance” (FOX/CTV) – It’s down to 6 after tonight’s results show.
• “Tonight Show With Jay Leno” (NBC/A Channel) – “In Love With a Girl” singer Gavin DeGraw performs.

• Alan Jackson – The country star has now surpassed the 50-million mark in career album sales (since 1990). His 17th album, “Good Time”, was released earlier THIS YEAR.
• Amy Winehouse – Her parents were on hand to unveil a new waxwork model of her at Madame Tussauds museum in London. The figurine is said to be complete with trademark beehive and sailor tattoos. (Her loser hubby’s figure is locked up in the basement.)
• Foreigner – Mick Jones says the classic rock band’s new career retrospective, “No End in Sight: The Very Best of Foreigner”, is a signal that new material is on the way.
• Jessica Simpson – She’s christened her debut country album “Do You Know” and will release it SEPTEMBER 9th. It features current single “Come on Over”.
• Madonna – Some sleazy sales type is claiming he’s in possession of a steamy homemade video showing NY Yankee Alex Rodriguez getting a lot further than 3rd base with her. (No word on whether she rates him an ‘A-Rod’ or a ‘B’.)
• Neil Young – THIS FALL his long-in-the-works “Archive” series will begin to roll out with a 10-disc set of performances from 1963-72 . Contrary to previous reports, it will be available in standard CD and DVD configurations and not exclusively in Blu-ray.
• Nirvana – Courtney Love’s (former) business managers are suing her, claiming she screwed them out of their 5% cut from her $19,500,000 sell-off (or maybe sell out?) of a portion of the Nirvana publishing catalogue. (To save you the math, that’s a cool $975,000!)

A BS selection of movies in the making …
• “Capeshooters” – Director Bryan Singer (“X-Men”, “Superman Returns”) is set to produce this upcoming comic book adaptation about a pair of slackers who become paparazzi specializing in shooting covert videos of superheroes. The duo soon find themselves on the run after they stumble onto evidence that a revered superhero is actually a villain. No cast is yet attached.
• “Hercules: The Thracian Wars” – “Hancock” director Peter Berg is spearheading this fresh take on the story of the mythological Greek hero. It’s based on a 5-issue comic book series that debuted in MAY. The story will be character driven, about a hero who’s more man than god. No word so far on who gets to play the big guy.
• “A Nightmare on Elm Street” – A screenwriter is onboard to pen the relaunch of this long-running horror franchise. The original film was written & directed by Wes Craven in 1984. The new project will keep the high school setting and delve deeper into the psychology of nightmares and ‘Freddy Krueger’ himself. It’s hoped it will be ready for the 25th anniversary of the original movie in 2009.
• “The Seven Sins: The Tyrant Ascending” – A bigscreen adaptation of Jon Land’s thriller novel is in the works. The story centers on a Las Vegas casino owner, “Michael ‘The Tyrant’ Tiranno”, the adopted son of an Italian crime lord who is called upon to defend Sin City from terrorist attacks. The film is planned as the first in a series of ‘James Bond’-like adventure tales. Sounds like a juicy role Hollywood’s leading men will be battling for.

According to a new poll, 80% of us believe the days of ‘affordable air travel’ are over. An online survey by website Travelzoo.com asks what we’d be willing to put up with in order to get cheaper airfare. 41% say they’d give up use of an airplane’s restroom in return for a half-price ticket on a cross-country flight. And over 25% claim they’d be willing to stand up for the entire journey in order to save 50%. Of course, the questions are hypothetical. (Let’s hope the airlines don’t get any bright ideas!)
– “USA Today”

After a friend complained to Bob Porter of Pacific City OR about being too broke to travel, Porter furnished his apartment like a hotel as a joke. He hung ‘Do Not Disturb’ signs and even placed fresh soaps and towels in the bathroom. The idea was such a hit, it’s sparked a business. For 2 nights of the ‘faux-tel’ experience, Porter is charging up to $60. He buys items from real hotels and has now expanded to include room service (from a local restaurant), wake-up calls, and maid service. He’ll even plug in a stocked mini-fridge and hang pastel-toned paintings of the ocean on the walls. The toilet seat gets a paper sanitary seal and a Gideon Bible is placed in the nightstand drawer. (For an extra buck he’ll even put stains on the bedspread.)
– TheState.com

A 7-star hotel in Abu Dhabi is offering an ‘ultimate holiday experience’ for 2 priced at … $1 million. The week-long vacation features round-the-clock dedicated staff, including a private butler; private jet excursions to Iran to see carpet-making, to the Dead Sea for a mud treatment, and to Bahrain to go pear diving; plus luxury golf, and the complimentary gift of a shotgun. One observer suggests this conspicuous consumption by the mega-rich has turned into a sort of ‘trophy tourism’. (“Ah yes, that’s the gun I got while blowing enough money to feed an entire African nation over in ….”)
– “The Independent”

These aren’t ranked as either good or bad, but experts say they seem to be increasingly popular with parents rearing children …
• Better Food – No more chicken fingers & fries. Contemporary kids are being fed adult food, even exotics like sushi and rapini when they’re toddlers. Maybe they’ll be less picky eaters?
• Consultants – Affluent new parents overwhelmed by too much info are hiring on help such as ‘baby planners’, ‘lactation consultants’, ‘night nurses’, and ‘parenting coaches’.
• Dads Are Doing It – More men are taking longer parental leaves to care for young children. Stay-at-home and work-at-home dads are also on the rise.
• DIY Birthdays – Simpler celebrations might include regifted 2nd-hand books & toys, or charity donations in lieu of gifts. And – thank goodness! – goody bags for guests are out.
• Family Dinners – There’s a move afoot to recapture family time. Experts say eating together teaches good habits and encourages conversation. (Helps you remember names, too.)
• Going Green – Eco-conscious parents are now investing in bamboo crib sheets, organic baby food, and plain wooden playthings (thanks in part to recent recalls of lead-tainted toys).
• Hi-Tech – You can now drug-test kids online using a hank of hair. You can track your kid with GPS imbedded in cellphones or clothing. You can monitor online activity with special programs.
• Kid-Free Zones – There’s a backlash against kids going everywhere adults go. There are now ‘stroller-free’ coffee shops, restaurants, and boutiques. And rugrats may not be welcome at the next wedding you attend.
• Let Kids Be Kids – Forget the ‘helicopter hovering’. Research has shown the importance of letting young kids just play and allowing teens to take responsibility for their actions.
• Momoirs – Seems every woman now wants a mommy blog, so classes are being offered to teach women how to chronicle their every precious moment as a mother.
• Traditional Names – Forget US states (‘Dakota’), the four seasons (‘Summer’), and fruit (‘Apple’). Old-fashioned reliable names are back, ie: Ava, Grace, Jacob, and William. (And, oh yeah, they are being spelled properly … not in some goofy ‘creative’ way.)
– “Toronto Star”

Research involving male students at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands has found that their levels of testosterone increase to the same extent whether they talk to a young woman they find attractive or to one they consider a ‘plain Jane’. After 300 seconds alone in the same room as a woman they’d never met before the men’s levels of the hormone shot up by an average of 8% … whether or not they found her attractive. Researchers believe it may be an automatic and unconscious reaction that has evolved to prepare men for possible mating opportunities. (Let that be a lesson, guys … always bring along a paper bag when trawling.)
– “The Telegraph”

An Italian dietician claims to have calculated how many calories you burn while engaged in lovemaking. According to his ‘research’, it takes about 26 minutes of doing the nasty to burn off the calories in a slice of pizza; while 53 minutes of French kissing will make up for a burger & fries. He also says that removing a woman’s bra burns 8 calories if done with both hands, 18 if done with just one. For real go-getters, taking it off with your teeth will purportedly burn 87 calories. This humor website offers a more detailed (if totally inaccurate) breakdown …
NET: http://www.c4vct.com/kym/humor/csex.htm
– “Sun-Times”

Most lightning deaths happen during the Summer in late afternoon and evening when bolts are most likely to occur and people are more likely to be caught outdoors. You can use an AM radio to monitor lightning activity by tuning it to an unused frequency and listening for the static caused by a bolt. (See! AM radio remains important.)
– “Greensboro News & Record”


1964 [44] Barry Bonds, Riverside CA, Major League Baseball slugger (San Francisco Giants 1993-2007, Pittsburgh Pirates 1986-92)/records for ‘Season Home Runs’ (73 in 2001) & ‘Career Home Runs’ (762 through 2007)/still facing perjury & obstruction of justice charges for allegedly lying under oath regarding steroid use

1968 [40] Kristin Chenoweth, Broken Arrow OK, 4′-11” TV actress (‘Olive Snook’ in “Pushing Daisies” 2007, “The West Wing” 2005-06)/movie actress (“Running With Scissors”, “RV”)/Broadway actress (“ Wicked”)

1969 [39] Jennifer Lopez, Bronx NY, pop singer (“Get Right”, “If You Had My Love”)/movie actress (“Monster-in-Law”, “Out of Sight”)/Mrs Marc Anthony since 2004

1975 [33] Eric Szmanda, Milwaukee WI, TV actor (‘Greg Sanders’ on “CSI” since 2000)

1982 [26] Anna Paquin, Winnipeg MB [raised Wellington, New Zealand], film actress (“X-Men”, 1994 Academy Award-“The Piano”)/TV actress (“Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee”)

1998 [10] Bindi Irwin, Nambour, Australia, TV personality (“Bindi: The Jungle Girl”)/daughter of late “Crocodile Hunter”, Steve Irwin

• “Cousins Day”, to honor all cousins who are living and pay homage to those who aren’t. (Or, as it’s known in [co-host’s] family, ‘Spouses Day’.)

• “Tequila Day”, celebrating Mexico’s national booze that’s becoming increasingly popular in other drinks beside margaritas. But we still like it the old fashioned way – a little salt, a slice of lime and … hay carumba!

• “Virtual Love Day”, a day for those who have experienced the ‘excitement, joy, and sorrow’ of an online relationship. (… with a 400-lb truck driver who calls himself ‘HotMama24’.)

1978 [30] The movie “Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”, starring Peter Frampton and the Bee Gees, debuts in movie theaters and is promptly dubbed ‘worst rock movie ever made’

1982 [26] “Eye Of the Tiger” by Survivor, theme song of “Rocky III”, hits #1 on pop charts and stays 6 weeks

1938 [70] 1st ‘Instant Coffee’ is marketed (Nescafé)

1988 [20] ‘World’s Largest Ice Cream Sundae’ weighs in at 54,914 lbs or 24.9 metric tonnes in Edmonton AB (includes 44,689 lbs of ice cream, 9,688 lbs of syrup, and 537 lbs of topping)

1988 [20] 9-year-old Emma Houlston from Medicine Hat AB lands in Newfoundland to become youngest to fly across Canada

1991 [17] Joann Osterud sets ‘Inverted Flight’ record with upside down flight of 4 hours, 38 minutes (her face stays red for 4 weeks, 38 hours)

2005 [03] Lance Armstrong wins a record 7th consecutive Tour de France cycling race

[Fri] Maroon 5-Counting Crows tour begins (Virginia Beach VA)
[Fri] “Step Brothers”; “The X-Files: I Want to Believe” open in movie theaters
[Sat] Aunt & Uncle Day
[Sat] New England Country Music Festival (Foxborough MA)
[Sun] Parents Day
[Sun] Take Your Houseplants For a Walk Day
[Sun] 2008 Baseball Hall of Fame Induction (Cooperstown NY)
This Week Is … Make Someone Smile Week
This Month Is … Family Reunion Month

• The ‘Inappropriately Ogling the Lone Woman’ guy.
• The ‘Hoping that His Costume Will Make Him an Internet Meme’ guy.
• The ‘Blogging This to a Blog that Nobody Reads’ guy.
• The ‘Overestimated How Many Red Bulls He Could Drink’ guy.
• The ‘Thinks He Knows More than the Expert Panelists but Makes the Audience Groan with His Inane Questions’ guy.
• The ‘I’m Never Doing This Again for Him’ girl.
• Disappointed hookers.
– Adapted from BBSpot.com

After several months the charge for your new plasma TV still hasn’t show up on your credit card statement. Would you report the oversight?

Ever consider that this world just might be another planet’s hell?

Today’s Question: Stats show THIS is the type of person most likely to see a psychiatrist.
Answer to Give Out Next Show: A married woman.

If you’re finding nobody measures up, check your yardstick.

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