|August 2004 - Week 3|
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Sunday, August 22, 2004
· 'Exorcist' Begins Big With $18.2 Million. God vs. Satan cast out space creatures at the box office. Demon thriller "Exorcist: The Beginning" debuted as the No. 1 weekend movie with $18.2 million, displacing "Alien vs. Predator," which tumbled to No. 4 with $12.5 million, studio estimates showed Sunday.
· Locals fearful after beach killings. Authorities in this picturesque coastal town continued searching for clues Saturday in the shooting deaths of a young couple, and some residents said they feared for their own safety.
· 'The Scream' stolen from museum. Armed men stormed into an art museum Sunday, threatened staff at gunpoint and stole Edvard Munch's famous paintings "The Scream" and "Madonna" before the eyes of stunned museum-goers.
· Ex-hubby: She's hot for firemen. The Staten Island woman who claimed she was gang-raped at a Bronx firehouse is deeply troubled and can't keep her hands off firefighters and cops, her estranged husband said yesterday.
· Witness: Robert Blake Worried About Child. Robert Blake was afraid his wife-to-be would expose their child to a life of drugs and crime - so he plotted a year before her murder to gain custody, a private investigator testified.
· Ears where Jacko's nose comes from. Michael Jackson claims he had only two plastic surgeries but now a top doctor is revealing the singer went under the knife so many times that a piece of his ear had to be used to shore up his nose.
· Some Twists in Music Piracy Lawsuits. A woman in Milwaukee and her ex-boyfriend are under orders to pay thousands to the recording industry. A man in California refinanced his home to pay an $11,000 settlement. A year after it began, the industry's legal campaign against Internet music piracy is inching through the federal courts, producing some unexpected twists.
· 14 WTC search dogs dead. Fourteen search and rescue dogs have died since their exposure to toxic rubble from the Sept. 11 terrorist attack - including eight from cancer, according to a study by the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine.
· L.A. Cemetery Showing Movies at Mausoleum. Amid the mausoleums and headstones at Hollywood Forever Cemetery about 1,700 living guests have unfurled picnic blankets and set up beach chairs, erected makeshift coffee tables with flowers and candles, and unpacked dinners of sushi, fried chicken or pasta salad.
· Canadian man charged over Jackson death threat. A 26-year-old man from southwestern Ontario has been charged with uttering a death threat after the King of Pop, Michael Jackson, received a threatening email.
· False report of Swedish king's assassination on faked BBC website. Hoaxers imitated the BBC news website on the Internet, including a fake announcement that King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden had been assassinated in Athens while attending the Olympic Games.
Saturday, August 21, 2004
· Joe Piscopo for Governor? Comedian and New Jersey native Joe Piscopo says he's being urged to make a run for the Statehouse in the wake of Gov. James E. McGreevey's resignation and acknowledgment of a sex scandal.
· Hurricane Charley blamed for 25th Florida death. Eight days after Hurricane Charley cut its destructive path across southern and central Florida, the death toll rose to 25 and about 241,000 residents were still without power, emergency management officials said.
· Sex spree at Firehouse. A Bronx firehouse known as the Animal House was rocked yesterday by a stunning sex scandal that exploded after a Staten Island woman paid a booty call to her Bravest lover, authorities said. The 34-year-old woman ended up having sex early yesterday with as many as four on-duty firefighters in the firehouse, NYPD and FDNY sources said.
· Doctors might soon ask, "What's your sign?" Studies have shown that schizophrenia is more common among those born in late winter or early spring. Multiple sclerosis is associated with births in April, May and June. And epilepsy occurs more frequently in those with birthdays from December to March.
· Graphic Designer Fired After Heckling Bush. A man who heckled President Bush at a political rally was fired from his job at an advertising and design company. The graphic designer said he was told he'd embarrassed and offended a client who provided tickets to the event.
· Pot grower faces murder charges for firefighter deaths. A house blaze that killed two firefighters started in a tangle of wires and lamps that were installed to grow marijuana in a basement closet, authorities said.
· Assemblyman's letter calls for condom use in porn films. A state Assemblyman has sent a letter to the adult entertainment industry asking it to adopt safe-sex measures or face the possibility of a state law that would push performers to use condoms.
· Battle on Secret Evidence in Jackson Case. In a high-stakes drama of legal gamesmanship, prosecutors and defense lawyers in the Michael Jackson child molestation case are battling over still-secret evidence that might make or break the case against the pop star.
· Police: No motive found in beach killings. They were young adults from America's heartland with a passion for the outdoors, backpacking, sailing and camping when they could, working together as counselors at a Christian retreat and dreaming that they would someday open one of their own.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Pundit [pun·dit] n. 1. Somebody who expresses an opinion: somebody who acts as a critic or authority on a particular subject, especially in the media. "The election results threw the political pundits into confusion." 2. Somebody wise: somebody with knowledge and wisdom.
· Actor John Stamos Files for Divorce. "Full House" actor John Stamos has filed for divorce from "X-Men" actress Rebecca Romijn-Stamos. Stamos, 41, and Romijn, 31, met in 1994 at a Victoria's Secret fashion show where she was a model; they began dating two months later and married in September 1998. They have no children.
· Madonna and Kabbalah 'Is this the End.' Madonna is reportedly becoming disillusioned with The Kabbalah Centre, an insider has been reported as saying to the Star newspaper. The source is quoted as saying that Madonna is upset that they have apparently been marketing off of her.
· Shine off 'Star Wars' for Liam Neeson. The Star Wars franchise can no longer be taken seriously, according to one former Jedi master. "Ummm, well, they've kind of got silly now, haven't they?" actor Liam Neeson told The Toronto Sun yesterday while doing interviews for his latest film, the forthcoming ensemble romantic comedy Love Actually.
· My coffee is cold. Finished coffee concentrate drips from the brewing pitcher of a Toddy cold-brew system. The Toddy, now 40 years old, can also make tea and extracts far less acid from beans than drip coffee.
Friday, August 20, 2004
· 1,000 Google Millionaires Gather For Summer Picnic. The company raised $1.67 billion, and the first purchase will be hotdogs and hamburgers for the company's annual summer picnic today. It promises to be a happy event, especially since around 1,000 of the company's 2,300 employees are now millionaires.
· Wrongfully convicted man free after 40 years behind bars. A 76-year-old man who spent nearly every day of the last four decades in prison walked free after a judge found that deputies extracted his confession to a 1962 robbery by crushing his fingers between cell bars.
· World's 100 most powerful women. I don't mind how much my ministers talk," baroness Margaret Thatcher once said, "as long as they do what I say." The former British prime minister long ago defied the conventional wisdom that women can gain power only by studiously working behind the scenes to forge consensus. That's why she and 99 other leaders in politics, business and social causes have made it to the first FORBES ranking of the world's most powerful women.
· Kerry takes legal action against Vietnam critics. Kerry's campaign announced it had "filed a legal complaint against Swift Boat Veterans for Truth before the Federal Election Commission for violating the law with inaccurate ads that are illegally coordinated with the Bush-Cheney presidential campaign."
· Investigator to Take Stand in Blake Case. Months before the scheduled start of actor Robert Blake's murder trial, a former investigator has been called to the stand by prosecutors who want to make sure his testimony is heard before he dies.
· Jane has a secret. Longtime TV newswoman Jane Pauley has revealed the secret battle she fought against bipolar disorder, an illness with frightening mood swings. The former host of "Dateline NBC" says it got so bad that she checked herself into a New York hospital under an assumed name in the spring of 2001 - and spent three weeks there under close observation.
· Regis Breaks World Record for TV Hours. Regis Philbin has lived a lifetime on television. Logging 15,188 hours on the tube has yielded the talk show host fame, fortune, and now a place in the record books.
· New Jersey's Love Gov. Golan Cipel's alleged extortion demand for millions of dollars from New Jersey Gov. Jim McGreevey was backed up by a threat to release embarrassing tapes and photos of him, according to the New York Post.
· Metal Rubber holds scientific promise. Twist it, stretch it double, fry it to 200°C, douse it with jet fuel — the stuff survives. After the torment, it snaps like rubber back to its original shape, all the while conducting electricity like solid metal.
» Smart metals reverse-engineered from Roswell crash. Imagine seeing a bullet shot through a sheet of material, only to have the material instantly "heal" behind the bullet. Self-healing materials actually exist, and NASA-Langley scientists are working to unravel their secrets.
· Two campers found slain on California beach. A soon-to-be married couple reported missing when they didn't return to their jobs as camp counselors were found shot to death on a beach, apparently while they were sleeping.
· Kobe Defense: Don't Release Statements. Defense attorneys argued in a court filing that Kobe Bryant's statements to investigators after the basketball player was accused of rape last summer should be kept secret because it is not yet certain they will be used in his trial.
· John Kerry team member busted with hooker. Former Michigan Democratic Party chairman Melvin "Butch" Hollowell, who recently joined John Kerry's national legal team, faces a citation on accusations he solicited a prostitute, according to Detroit station WDIV-TV.
· Judge refused request to keep Oprah off jury. Oprah Winfrey said she was "stunned" to find she had been picked to sit on a Cook County murder trial. As it turns out, defense attorneys weren't keen on the idea either but couldn't persuade Judge James Linn to excuse her, according to transcripts obtained of closed-door discussions between Linn and the lawyers in the case.
» Oprah invites fellow jurors to come on her show. Oprah Winfrey, the queen of daytime television, may only have been paid $17.20 a day for her recent stint as a juror but she plans to cash in on the experience by featuring it on her show next week.
· For choosing mother over job, Florida worker is fired. When James Gesicki heard that Hurricane Charley was heading for Tampa Bay last week, he had one thing in mind: getting his 81-year-old mother who lived in a mandatory evacuation zone to safety. So last Thursday the 30-year Largo, Fla. public works employee told two of his supervisors he planned to bring his mother, Catherine, to his Spring Hill home. Fine, they said. But show up for work Friday - the day the hurricane was expected to hit - or lose your job. Gesicki, 61, and a year from retiring, chose to stay with his mother.Monday, he was fired.
· 'Shoe bomber' sues over prison conditions. "Shoe bomber" Richard Reid has sued U.S. prison authorities for imposing harsh conditions including isolation and a lack of access to Arabic language religious books.
· Crude Price Nears $50. Oil prices neared the $50-per-barrel threshold Friday after striking a fresh record levels amid heightened concern about supplies in strife-torn Iraq and doubts over how much extra crude could be pumped anytime soon.
· Jackson's lavish lifestyle on videotaped display. Michael Jackson's elegant home with its lavish playground for children was placed on display in a courtroom as defense attorneys showed a judge videotapes of a raid last year on the pop star's Neverland estate.
· New Machine Lets People Inhale Alcohol. A machine that combines alcohol and oxygen to create an inhalable alcoholic mist is set to debut in New York City this weekend, but Westchester County Executive Andrew Spano wants a local or state ban against it because he worries it will attract underage drinkers.
· Kentucky man finds baseball with Babe Ruth autograph. A northern Kentucky sports memorabilia collector has stumbled upon a valuable find - a baseball autographed by Babe Ruth. Rich Tiberi, 41, of Taylor Mill, bought a box of six unidentified, autographed baseballs for $250 at Plant Collectibles in Florence, Ky last month.
· Official on leave over Ten Commandments. A school superintendent who posted the Ten Commandments in a student cafeteria was put on leave without pay after saying he would not follow federal law on religious expression.
· Wife charged after van 'accidentally' runs over husband five times. Horrified, neighbors watched a 50-year-old man scream for mercy as his wife allegedly used her minivan to run him over five times in the parking lot of their apartment building, police and witnesses said yesterday.
· State takes action vs. side-door judge. A Queens judge has been slapped with formal disciplinary charges for sneaking a robbery suspect out of her courtroom so he could elude arrest, sources told the Daily News.
· Van Halen Hits Orioles with $2M Suit. Van Halen is suing the Baltimore Orioles for at least $2 million in damages, charging that the Major League Baseball team reneged on an offer for the band to play a concert Sept. 2 at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.
· 'Bullets Not Boobs' Campaign Launches. Be all that you can be - and no more. That's the message the owner of an adult video company wants to give women serving in the armed forces, where they can receive free breast augmentation, liposuction and other cosmetic surgery from surgeons honing their battlefield skills.
· UConn assistant arrested in prostitution sting. Clyde Vaughan, an assistant basketball coach at the University of Connecticut, was among more than a dozen people arrested Wednesday morning in a prostitution sting run by Hartford police. Vaughan, 42, was charged with patronizing a prostitute and interfering with police after authorities said he tried to pay an undercover officer $10 for oral sex.
· Couple finds cocaine in chair in Graham hotel room. For a brief time, the Best Western Inn here had a chair worth about $50,000. The chair in room 204 wasn't an antique. Instead, an Ohio couple who stayed in the room Saturday found 4.4 pounds of cocaine in the chair, police said.
· 'Fat Darrell' Named Best Sandwich. It started early one morning in 1997 after a night of partying, when Darrell Butler was a Rutgers University sophomore with little money and a craving for chicken fingers, mozzarella sticks and french fries.
Thursday, August 19, 2004
· Clerical error puts Kennedy on "no fly" list. The Senate Judiciary Committee has heard this morning from one of its own about some of the problems with airline "no fly" watch lists. Senator Ted Kennedy says it took three calls to Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge to get his name stricken from the list.
· Google Shares Surge Nearly 18 Percent. Shares of Google Inc. (GOOG) surged nearly 18 percent in their market debut Thursday, in the culmination of a unique and bumpy initial stock offering for the 6-year-old dot-com dreamed up in a college dorm room.
· Communion for Sick Girl Declared Invalid. An 8-year-old girl who suffers from a rare digestive disorder and cannot eat wheat has had her first Holy Communion declared invalid because the wafer contained no wheat, violating Roman Catholic doctrine.
· Professor says man still in love with gov. The mystery man who claims to be Golan Cipel's ex-lover said yesterday that not only is the handsome Israeli gay - he's also still in love with Gov. Jim McGreevey.
· N.Y. to Sell Wireless Cos. Lamppost Space. Further proof New York's real estate market is inflated: The city plans to sell space on top of lampposts to wireless phone companies for $21.6 million a year.
· Canadian Tutu Man Gets 5 Months For Olympic Plunge. A tutu-clad Canadian who jumped into the Olympic diving pool after a competition was convicted Wednesday of interrupting the games and sentenced to five months in jail.
· Winfrey, fellow jurors convict man of murder. A jury that included talk show host Oprah Winfrey convicted a man of murder Wednesday after a trial that turned into a media frenzy because of the billionaire in the jury box.
· Bullock Court Fight Begins With Builder. Miss Congeniality is waging a legal battle. Sandra Bullock was in Travis County court Wednesday in a dispute with the Austin developer she hired to build a luxury home that she says is defective.
· Senator’s secret love: Coed tells steamy tales of Kerry affair. A writer and former Harvard student said she had a steamy secret 20-month fling with Sen. John Kerry, who cooked for her, whispered to her in French and shared intimate nights with her in his Back Bay bachelor pad.
· Jennifer Lopez to Star on 'Will & Grace.' Jennifer Lopez will return to guest star on the season premiere of "Will & Grace." The singer-actress will continue in the role of herself in an episode to air Sept. 16 on NBC. In last season's finale, Lopez was recruited by Megan Mullally's character to sing at her Vegas marriage to another guest star, John Cleese.
· Norwegian team reprimanded for wearing birth-control patch. IOC reacts to the birth control patches Susanne Glesnes and Kathrine Maaseide have been using during the Olympics. Now the beach volleyball duo has to manage without.
· Celebrity Chefs AWOL In Vegas. The list of celebrity chefs who have opened restaurants in Las Vegas and don't live there is longer than a fillet knife: Wolfgang Puck, Thomas Keller, Stephen Hanson, Emeril Lagasse, Tom Colicchio, Charlie Palmer, Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Michael Mina, Nobu Matsuhisa and Hubert Keller.
· Kobe Bryant case has lesson for women. In a society where male athletes and entertainers attract throngs of women who are willing to do almost anything for them, and when these celebrities often treat these acolytes callously, young women need to remember what our mothers told us: If you follow some guy to his room, anything could happen.
· $1 billion worth of coins draws a crowd. A silver dollar insured for $10 million and nickels worth as much as $3 million each are among the $1 billion in coins on display at the American Numismatic Association's World's Fair of Money in Pittsburgh.
· Oklahoma judge accused of masturbating resigns. An Oklahoma judge facing removal over charges that he masturbated and used a device for enhancing erections under his robes during trials said on Wednesday he would retire from the bench - a move that will allow him to receive a full pension.
· Britney’s bluntness shocks interviewer. Britney Spears continues to prove that she’s not that innocent. The pop star startled a talk-show host when she told him about her oral habits. Simon Amstell of the U.K. show "Popworld" asked Spears what was the last thing she’d put in her mouth. Spears reportedly replied that it was a sex toy.
· Drunk Horse-And-Buggy Driver Causes Crash. Police in eastern Latvia were trying to determine Wednesday what charges to bring against a drunken horse-and-buggy driver who caused a drunken motorist to crash into a ditch, flipping his car.
· McDonald's Expands Offering of Deli-Style Sandwiches. McDonald's Corp. is expanding its test of five varieties of deli-style sandwiches and expects to have them in 400 of its U.S. restaurants by the end of the year.
· Would You Like Some Pot With That? The secret at one McDonald's wasn't just in the sauce. The manager at a McDonald's in Montgomery County, Pa., has pleaded guilty to selling pot along with Big Macs.
· 7 Tips For Finding Lost Dogs. A pet care expert has some advice for people who lose a dog. "Finding your beloved dog is difficult when you are under duress, but it is important to act quickly," says Charlotte Reed.
· Composer Elmer Bernstein dead at 82. Film composer Elmer Bernstein, who created a brawny, big-sky theme for “The Magnificent Seven,” nerve-jangling jazz for “The Man With The Golden Arm” and heart-rending grace notes for “To Kill a Mockingbird,” has died.
Wednesday, August 18, 2004
· Judge: 'Potential Development' for Peterson. The judge in Scott Peterson's double murder trial dismissed the jurors for the day Wednesday, saying, "There's been a potential development in this case."
· Google cuts price range. Google Inc., the Web search engine, slashed the price range Wednesday on its eagerly awaited initial public offering to between $85 and $95 per share from $108 to $135 per share - lowering the IPO value to $1.9 billion.
· Hurricane Charley death toll continues to rise due to stupidity. While 10s of thousands of Floridians are still without power, many are purchasing portable gasoline generators to power their homes. Unfortunately, they are firing them up inside and dying of carbon monoxide poisoning.
· Ex-teacher pleads guilty to raping student. With a surge of tears, a former middle school teacher from Chelmsford stood before a judge yesterday and admitted raping one of her students, a 12-year-old boy in her social studies class and homeroom.
· Patty Duke Gets Hollywood Fame Walk Star. An emotional Duke hugged her sons, actors Sean and Mackenzie Astin, at her star's unveiling Tuesday in front of Hollywood's landmark Roosevelt Hotel. It was a ceremony Sean Astin called "well-deserved and long overdue."
· New Mexico Posters Feature Arizona Cactus. The poster for the 2004 Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta features a cowboy on horseback, a colorful desert landscape and hot air balloons hovering above shrubs and saguaro cactuses. One problem: Saguaros don't grow in New Mexico. They're indigenous to the Sonoran desert of Arizona and Mexico.
· Pee Diddy flees luxury yacht after armed guards bust. Pee Diddy fled his luxury yacht when armed security guards burst on board after mistaking it for another cruiser. The millionaire rap star left the boat, moored off Mediterranean island Ibiza, and reportedly ran through the streets wearing nothing but a pair of American flag boxer shorts and a fur coat.
· Bear Drinks 36 Cans of Favorite Beer. When state Fish and Wildlife agents recently found a black bear passed out on the lawn of the Baker Lake Resort in Washington state, there were some clues scattered nearby - dozens of empty beer cans. And not just any cans. "He drank the Rainier and wouldn't drink the Busch beer," said Lisa Broxson, an employee at the resort.
· Florida lawsuits allege price gouging. Florida Attorney General Charlie Crist filed lawsuits Tuesday against two hotels he said engaged in price gouging and other unfair practices as people fled Hurricane Charley.
· New twist in NJ Governor scandal. The New Jersey gay sex scandal took an explosive new turn as a man claiming to be Golan Cipel's lover came forward and reported the affair to aides of Gov. Jim McGreevey, sources said yesterday. The mystery man, a college professor from northern Jersey, called the governor's office to assert he and Cipel had been romantically involved, sources said. If true, the new lover could blow apart Cipel's claims that he is straight.
· Hooters Hotel Heading To Las Vegas. The Hooters restaurant chain is gambling that customers would like a Hooters casino. So it's taking over the Hotel San Remo off the Strip in Las Vegas. In addition to having a Hooters restaurant, the casino will have 711 rooms and another restaurant - one from the chain owned by former Miami Dolphins star Dan Marino.
· Court Backs Beer-Lover's License Suspension. A judge ruled that the state of Pennsylvania can suspend the driver's license of a man who lost his driving privileges after his doctor reported to police that his patient told him he drank a six-pack of beer a day.
· Hilton Offers Reward for Lost Chihuaua. It's been a rough month for hotel heiress Paris Hilton. First, her Hollywood Hills home was burglarized and now her pet Chihuahua, Tinkerbell, has been missing for a week.
· Jackson attorney fined by judge. The judge in the Michael Jackson child molestation case fined one of the pop star's lawyers $1,000 Tuesday after he refused to back off a line of questioning the judge had told him was off-limits.
· Fortune Cookies Net Winning Mega Numbers. It pays to eat Chinese. Three Virginians who had fortune cookies for dessert at Chinese restaurants they visited used the numbers they received to win $175,000 each in the July 27 Mega Millions drawing.
· Industrialized world's population to decline by 2050. The United States is the biggest exception among industrialized countries, with its population expected to rise by 43 percent from 293 million now to 420 million at mid-century.
· Protest nice, get good price. Heckling Republicans during the GOP convention could pay off for protesters - as long as they do it peacefully. Offering more carrot than stick, Mayor Bloomberg announced that protesters who pledge to be nice can get discounts on everything from hotel rooms to zoo tickets.
· Cruise to Star in 'War of the Worlds.' "The War of the Worlds," the classic H.G. Wells science fiction novel that begins with those foreboding words of alien observation, will be updated by director Steven Spielberg, with Tom Cruise to star, Paramount Pictures and DreamWorks announced.
· Heir-strike 'kidnapper.' The former whiz-kid financial guru to real-estate tycoon Jim Weichert tried to kidnap the billionaire's son in a bizarre, eerie scheme involving a New Jersey cemetery, authorities said yesterday.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Extemporaneous [ex·tem·po·ra·ne·ous] adj. 1. Unrehearsed. Done or said without advance preparation or thought; impromptu: "An extemporaneous lecture." 2. Prepared in advance but delivered without notes or text: "An extemporaneous speech."
· Spray beats red-light cameras. Red-light cameras often use a strong flash to photograph the licence plate on cars as they pass by. Photoblocker reflects the flash back to the camera, resulting in an overexposed, unreadable picture.
· Md. Judge Acquits College Football Player. A judge, while acknowledging he believed a college football player was "guilty as sin," acquitted him of charges related to a run-in with police after a lawyer argued that a conviction could end the player's career.
· Could Marriage Cost Klum Her Contract? Super sultry supermodel Heidi Klum may be facing a contract conundrum. Klum’s mega-contract with lingerie giant Victoria's Secret reportedly demands that she not alter her highly marketable image, and according to British Vogue magazine, that includes becoming a married woman.
· 'Champ' on ropes. A California Superior Court judge is expected to rule today on whether Fox can launch its boxing skein "The Next Great Champ" on Sept. 10. DreamWorks TV and reality maven Mark Burnett -- the producers behind NBC's upcoming "The Contender" -- have asked the court to issue a temporary injunction blocking "Champ" from bowing, on grounds that Fox and "Champ" producers engaged in unlawful business practices.
· 'Goodfellas' Cast Reunites for Dinner. Ray Liotta, Paul Sorvino and real-life mob informant Henry Hill - whose gangland experiences inspired the story - showed up to gobble baked ziti, swap stories, sing some Italian opera and recall director Martin Scorsese's acclaimed mob movie. Many hadn't seen each other since they shot the movie 15 years ago.
· Deal may let ferry captain slide. The captain of the Staten Island ferry that crashed last fall has reached a cooperation deal with the feds that could result in the dismissal of the charge against him and no jail time, a source said early this morning.
· Phoenix: Epicenter of West Nile Epidemic. With triple-digit heat and nearly nonexistent rainfall, Phoenix seems an unlikely spot for this year's West Nile virus epicenter. Yet, federal health officials say Arizona is the only state where the mosquito-borne virus is an epidemic.
· Home Depot, USPS Target People Who Change Homes. The Home Depot is getting some help from the U.S. Postal Service in its effort to target people who change homes with a mailer. The company said Monday it has signed a three-year agreement with the Postal Service to advertise in its change-of-address form welcome packet.
Tuesday, August 17, 2004
· Cops use taser gun on Fla. storm victim. Officers in hurricane-ravaged Fort Myers used a Taser gun on a man allegedly trying to get by a police barrier to get home. The man had three children in the car with him. Many in the crowd felt for the man who hasn't seen his home in days.
· Another Bombshell at Jacko Hearing. The detective at the center of a pretrial hearing in the Michael Jackson molestation case has something in common with the pop singer's young accuser: They were both patients of the same psychologist, Jackson's lawyer alleged Tuesday.
· Olympic security in question after dive by man in tutu. Olympics organizers have increased security at all sports venues after an unidentified Canadian spectator plunged into a swimming pool during a diving competition. The man, bare-chested and sporting a blue tutu and clown shoes, dove off a diving board in an apparent stunt to promote an online casino.
· Spears calls off wedding. Pop beauty Britney Spears has called off her wedding to dancer Kevin Federline after a bitter argument, friends claim. The singer, 22, - who is reportedly marrying Federline, 26, later this month - had to be pulled off her fiance by her brother Bryan and mother Lynne, after the star furiously told him the engagement was off during a photo shoot for her new perfume Curious, reports Britain's Daily Sport newspaper.
· Some dirt on Naomi's former maid? The housekeeper who claimed Naomi Campbell slapped her has in turn been slapped by the Bronx D.A.'s office with a criminal complaint. The supermodel's estranged maid Millicent Burton, 44, has been accused of using a forged Social Security card to try to get a driver's license.
· Costco Begins Test Marketing Caskets. Costco Wholesale Corp., better known for bulk chicken and cases of soda, started test marketing caskets along side mattresses at a North Side Chicago store and one in suburban Oak Brook. Each of the six models from the Universal Casket Co., in colors including lilac and Neapolitan blue, is priced at $799.99, made of 18-gauge steel, considered medium weight for caskets, and can be delivered within 48 hours.
· Thieves plunder in Charley's aftermath. After the hurricane ended, the looting began. Among the first targets was the Charlotte Harbor Fire Department. Firefighters arrived early Saturday to find that their computers had been swiped in the night.
· NJ Governor's aide: 'I'm still gonna make some money.' Golan Cipel, the former McGreevey aide who has accused the governor of repeatedly sexually harassing him, boarded a plane at Kennedy Airport early yesterday morning. An airport employee who spoke with him briefly said Cipel complained of being caught in the sudden media glare. But "I'm still gonna make some money," Cipel, who was wearing jeans and a black shirt and was accompanied by a man who did not board, reportedly told the worker.
· Little Rock Considers Sweep of Homeless as Clinton Library Plans for Grand Opening. City officials want to eradicate 27 homeless camps, getting their occupants into shelters or out of town as Little Rock prepares for the high-profile opening of the Clinton Presidential Library.
· Cops Test Handheld Fingerprint Reader. Several Minnesota police departments are field testing a handheld device that scans a suspect's fingerprint and digitally checks it against Minnesota's criminal history and fingerprint database.
· "Isn't She a Little Young?" Billboards Unveiled. The giant black and white billboard chides young men as they motor along Interstate 95 through Virginia's capital: "Isn't she a little young?" the sign slyly asks. It continues: "Sex with a minor. Don't go there."
· Zeta-Jones Stalker Mentally Fit. A woman accused of stalking and threatening actress Catherine Zeta-Jones is mentally fit to stand trial, a court-appointed psychiatrist told the woman's attorney Monday. Dr. Kal Sharma examined Dawnette Knight, 33, in jail, where she is being held on $1 million bail.
· 'Mel's Passion' People's best. Mel Gibson's controversial "The Passion of the Christ" scored not only at the box office, but on newsstands, too. "Inside Mel's 'Passion,'" a March cover story, was People's biggest newsstand hit in the first six months this year, selling more than 1.7 million copies.
· Jacko prosecutor admits he made a mistake. Sneddon refused to acknowledge he even suspected a professional relationship between former Jackson attorney Mark Geragos and the investigator, Bradley Miller — even though the prosecutor acknowledged seeing a large file of letters that carried the names of both men, and admitted telling defense attorneys in July he knew Miller worked for Geragos but testified he retracted the statement the next day. "It was a mistake," he said.
· Florida battles hunger, heat as death toll rises to 19. As a massive cleanup effort swung into a fifth day, the death toll from Hurricane Charlie climbed to 19 early Tuesday as refugees from the storm coped with sporadic thunderstorms and sizzling August weather, a Florida emergency management official said.
· Israelis to barbecue outside hunger strikers' cells. Those clever Israelis are declaring psychological war on hunger-striking Palestinian prisoners today, saying it would barbecue meat outside their cells to try to break their spirit.
· Internet arrives via rickshaw in India. With only 12 computers and four Internet connections per 1,000 people, India has one of the world's lowest Internet usage rates and much of rural India remains oblivious to the sweep of technology. For 12-year-old Anju Sharma, hope for a better life arrives in her poor farming village three days a week on a bicycle rickshaw that carries a computer with a high-speed, wireless Internet connection.
· Rock-throwing kids anger 120,000 bees. Kids throwing rocks stirred up more trouble than they bargained for when they dislodged a swarm of bees from an enormous 500 pound hive built in the wall of a Southern California apartment building.
· America's top party schools named. State University of New York at Albany returned to No. 1 on the list of party schools, while Brigham Young University kept its title as top "stone-cold sober" school in an annual survey of American college life.
· RealNetworks slashes online music prices. For more than a year, Apple Computers Inc. enjoyed singular success selling songs exclusively to users of its iPod portable music player. Now, it’s got rival RealNetworks Inc. trying to lure iTunes customers away. On Monday, the company said it would temporarily slash its price for song downloads to 49 cents — 50 cents less than iTunes.
Monday, August 16, 2004
· DA in Jacko Case Goes on Trial. In an unusual twist of events in the Michael Jackson (search) case, the prosecutor trying to convict the pop superstar of child molestation went on trial himself today. The judge scolded D.A. Tom Sneddon for being combative and told him to stop arguing and start answering the questions being asked. "Mr. Sneddon, I'm going to ask you not to spar with the attorney," Superior Court Judge Rodney Melville said.
· Hacking in Court With Bulletproof Vest. Mark Hacking, charged with shooting his wife in the head and throwing her body into a trash bin, showed up in a heavily guarded courtroom Monday wearing a bulletproof vest.
· Peterson accuses Amber Frey of being involved in Laci's disappearance. In a taped telephone call, Amber Frey said "You know, Scott, when people find out, and they will, no one will think your behavior is innocent," Frey says. "I had nothing to do with this ... and I just, you know, I hope that you ... are not ... involved to any degree," Peterson replies.
» Scott's Biggest Lie. Of all the lies that Scott Peterson told Amber Frey, one of the biggest is telling her he was in Europe and explaining to her that Europeans work 10 hours a day. In reality, Europeans work 300 hours less each year than Americans. They barely manage to fill out a 35-hour work-week. Their short days are filled with mandatory breaks. Workers are guaranteed 6 weeks paid summer, in addition to two weeks of special holidays.
· Rapper Shyne to release new album from prison. Jailed rapper Shyne, who signed a $3 million record deal and recorded part of his new album while in prison, had his phone privileges revoked Monday and was barred from conducting in-person interviews as authorities investigate whether he may have violated prison rules in making about 100 phone calls.
· Trial Set for Courtney Love in Drug Case. A trial date has been set for Sept. 30 for Courtney Love, who faces two felony drug charges for illegal possession of painkillers. Love, 40, remains free on her own recognizance.
· Appeal on Kobe Accuser's Sex Life Denied. In another setback to the prosecution in the Kobe Bryant sexual assault case, the Colorado Supreme Court refused Monday to hear an appeal of a key ruling that allows the NBA star's attorneys to tell jurors about the accuser's sex life.
· N.Y. Candidate Seeks Springsteen Boycott. Upset with Bruce Springsteen's effort to oust President Bush from the White House, the New York Conservative Party's candidate for the U.S. Senate is launching a "Boycott the Boss" television commercial.
· Kobe in court today with trial status looming. Events of past 2 weeks suggest prosecutors could drop charges. Kobe Bryant has one more date in court before jury selection begins in his sexual assault trial. Some are wondering if it will be the last time he steps into a criminal courtroom.
· Bobby Fischer Appeals to Powell. Former world chess champion Bobby Fischer appealed to U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell on Monday to help him renounce U.S. citizenship as he announced plans to marry a leading Japanese chess official, his lawyer said
· John Kerry’s family traced back to royalty. Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry's mother Rosemary Forbes Kerry was a member of the affluent Forbes shipping family and a descendant of John Winthrop, who helped found Boston in 1630.
· Cops Target the Underage, Drinking or Not. Jennifer Gilligan says she wasn't drinking at the party and didn't know other underage people were. But when Naperville Police pulled up, the 20-year-old and more than a dozen others were ticketed, not for underage drinking, but for simply being at a party where their peers had alcohol.
· German cyclist won't be suspended for obscene gesture. Women's road cycling silver medalist Judith Arndt won't be suspended for making an obscene gesture as she crossed the finish line, the leader of the German Olympic delegation said Monday.
· John the Baptist Cave Found. Archaeologists said Monday they have found a cave where they believe John the Baptist anointed many of his disciples — a huge cistern with 28 steps leading to an underground pool of water.
· Lawyers reject guidelines on sex with clients. Lawyers attending the Canadian Bar Association's annual meeting were passionate Sunday in their rejection of proposed new rules and guidelines governing sexual relationships with clients.
· Scott may paint Amber scarlet. Scott Peterson's lawyer could decide to paint the accused wife-killer's lover as an unhinged woman who stalked him by phone, sources tell Newsweek magazine. Amber Frey, who taped her talks with Peterson and became the prosecution's star witness last week, might find the going a little tougher when defense attorney Mark Geragos begins asking the questions.
· Lori Hacking: A woman of 'class and style.' Hundreds of family members, friends and searchers attend the service to honor the Salt Lake City woman; Notably absent during the 90-minute program was any mention of Lori's husband, Mark Hacking, who has been charged with killing her and remains in jail in lieu of $1 million bail. But members of Mark Hacking's family did attend the memorial, and his father, Douglas Hacking, gave the opening prayer.
· Last U.S. defector in N. Korea likes 'living a simple life.' A British film crew says it has found the last American defector still living in North Korea - an Army private who crossed over to the Stalinist state in 1962 and says he is glad he did.
· Keanu Reeves 'set to marry Autumn Macintosh.' Keanu Reeves is reportedly set to marry old flame Autumn Macintosh. Friends claim the Hollywood actor proposed after rekindling his romance with Autumn, who he first dated in the early ‘90s.
· Sky-level gourmet dining. At an altitude of 39,000 feet, taste buds lose sensitivity. With a traveler's ability to taste 33 percent gone, airline meals must be more robustly seasoned on the ground and wines more aggressive on the palate.
· Round the world on two gallons. A hydrogen-powered car was hailed yesterday as the world’s greenest motor, which could circle the globe on the equivalent of two gallons of petrol. The wonder car — called the BOC Gh2ost — is powered by hydrogen, emits only water and uses less energy than a light bulb.
· Nike pulls 'insensitive' ad. The Nike ad shows a group of teenage tennis players trying to impress their young male coach, with each turning into tennis star Serena Williams. The ad was launched during the Olympic Games coverage on the weekend and comes just weeks after former tennis coach and Victorian teacher Gavin Hopper was jailed for sexually assaulting a former student.
· Hollywood Stars Turn Back the Clock. Not only do celebs like Holly Hunter, Patricia Heaton, Kim Basinger, Lori Loughlin and Sheryl Crow appear not to be aging, some say they actually look younger than they did years ago.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Cognitive [cog·ni·tive] adj. 1. Relating to the process of acquiring knowledge by the use of reasoning, intuition, or perception. 2. Having a basis in or reducible to empirical factual knowledge.
· A hearty toast to the queen of cooking. Her television debut in 1962 was one of the most liberating in the history of a usually tame medium. Julia Child was 50 years old and an uninhibited 6-foot-2, trilled commands in a headmistressy warble that sounded like Kate Hepburn after a pint of gin, played the kitchen like an ambidextrous tympanist and didn't care how she looked or sounded as long as her ungainly, unbounded joy caught on.
· Comcast porn to be wild. Don McFadden was channel surfing for the Red Sox game, but the Salem senior nearly fell off his chair when red hot sex popped up on his tube instead. Now red-faced Comcast Cable officials are vowing to get to the bottom of the salacious snafu that sent several minutes of hard core porn to countless homes Saturday afternoon on Comcast's 24-hour news and entertainment network.
· Author Gives Harry Potter Clues. "Harry Potter" novelist J.K. Rowling said Sunday her young hero would survive to the seventh book in her series about the young wizard, but refused to say whether he would reach adulthood.
· Reagan gives PETA an executive order: Back off. Nancy Reagan and PETA are battling it out over the image of her late husband. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals was planning to use Ronald Reagan’s picture in a campaign promoting vegetarianism as a way to prevent Alzheimer’s disease. “Win one for the Gipper” read the ad, which showed a smiling photo of the 40th president. “Animal fats DOUBLE your risk of Alzheimer’s.”
· Ex-Olympian Kills Wife, Himself. Police believe a former Olympic athlete killed his neurosurgeon wife before committing suicide by jumping from a 10th-story dormitory window, a source familiar with the investigation said Sunday.
· Report: Michael Jackson Not 'Manhandled.' The state attorney general's office has concluded that Michael Jackson was not "manhandled" by sheriff's deputies who took him into custody last year on child molestation charges.
» Jacko invites kids to ranch. A day before he'll be in court on his child-molestation case, Michael Jackson dropped by a South Los Angeles church yesterday and met with about 35 Sunday-school students.