|September 2004 - Week 2|
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Tuesday, September 14, 2004
· Direct hit by Ivan The Terrible in New Orleans could mean a modern Atlantis. The director of Louisiana State University's Hurricane Public Health Center said that with much of the city laying as low as 9 feet below sea level, a direct hit by hurricane Ivan could "have people floating in the treetops among a sea of polluted stew."
Computer models show a hurricane of a Category 3 (wind speeds of around 120 mph) hitting New Orleans would put the city under about 20 feet of water - higher than the roofs of many homes.
· Prosecution's tab for Bryant case nears $400,000. Nearly $75,000 for expert witnesses and travel. More than $78,000 for investigators. And more than $35,000 for a broadcast news clipping service. Prosecutors in the Kobe Bryant case spent $397,508 from July 15, 2003, through Aug. 31, the day before they dismissed the felony sexual assault charge against the NBA star at the alleged victim's request.
· 'Growing Pains' Actress Gold Arrested. Former "Growing Pains" actress Tracey Gold was arrested after her sport utility vehicle flipped on a highway, injuring her husband and two of their three children, police said. Tracey Gold Marshall, 35, was booked for investigation of felony drunken driving. Gold played daughter Carol Seaver during the seven-year run of "Growing Pains," which ended production in 1992.
· Criminalist: No Blood Found on Laci's Clothes. No blood was found on any of the tattered clothing from Laci Peterson's remains, a prosecution witness testified Tuesday at Scott Peterson's double-murder trial.
· 'Sopranos' Likely to Whack 'West Wing' at Emmys. "The Sopranos" — which still hasn't won the award for Best Drama five years after its world-stopping debut — is seen as a virtual shoo-in for Sunday night's Emmy award.
· Man With Bible Jumps Into Lions' Den. A 21-year-old man waving a Bible jumped into a lions' den at an Australian zoo Tuesday and asked stunned onlookers if they wanted him to pet the animals during their feeding time. A short time later, zoo workers were able to get the man out of the den without injury. He's now resting comfortably in a psychiatric hospital.
· Female fan bloodied by pitched chair. Texas reliever Frank Francisco threw a chair into the right field box seats, hitting two spectators in the head, as Oakland A's fans taunted the visitors after a two-out, top-of-the-ninth homer tied the game. One of the fans, an unidentified woman, was bloodied and her nose was broken.
» Update: Pitcher Arrested After Oakland Brawl. Texas reliever Frank Francisco was arrested Tuesday morning on a charge of aggravated battery after he threw a chair into the right-field box seats and hit two spectators in the head during Monday night's loss to the Oakland Athletics.
· Jerry Lewis Says He's Pain Free. Comedian Jerry Lewis was once in so much pain that he regularly contemplated suicide. A "pain pacemaker" implanted in 2002 now enables him to trigger electronic impulses through his spine to his brain that eliminate the pain. "It's like a mini vibrator," quipped Lewis, 78, at a news conference at the U.S. Capitol promoting federal research for the treatment of pain. "It's also my garage opener," he added.
· Britney's Mom Upset With Media's Image Of Daughter. Britney Spears' mother has had enough with the media trying to paint her daughter as trashy. Lynne Spears writes on her daughter's Web site she's come across numerous photos trying to paint her daughter that way.
· Traffic Charges Dismissed Against Givens. Charges have been dismissed against actress Robin Givens after three police officers failed to show up for her traffic court trial for running over an elderly pedestrian's leg.
· Palace Security Reviewed After Batman Protest. Security measures at Buckingham Palace need improving, a minister said Tuesday, a day after a protester dressed as Batman slipped past police and scaled the royal residence's facade.
· Expert: GPS problems on Peterson's cars. Satellite navigation devices used to track Scott Peterson's car after his wife's disappearance sometimes developed glitches, once indicating he was driving 30,000 mph, an expert in the technology acknowledged Monday at Peterson's murder trial.
· It's hard to find the terrorists, when baggage screeners are busy ripping you off. They're supposed to be protecting the public from terrorists. But investigators say a federal baggage screener was lining his pockets with jewelry. The screener was busted in a sting that recovered a stash of laptop computers, watches, and other merchandise - all stolen authorities say, by Transportation Security Administration workers.
· Update: Oprah a driving force. Oprah Winfrey stunned her audience and the nation yesterday with what is believed to be the largest mass giveaway ever on TV: All 276 people in her studio left with a brand-new car! Each car was worth $28,000 retail - meaning the total of the big giveaway was $7.7 million.
· "Brilliant marketing move by GM."
GM officials said they knew they needed to do something special to break through the advertising clutter and make potential customers aware of its new nameplate. "We couldn't think of anybody bigger than Oprah," said Mary Kubitskey, advertising manager for Pontiac. "There's a lot of clutter out there right now. We had to find a way to break though." Art Spinella, president of CNW Marketing Research Inc. in Bandon, Ore., said GM's move was so brilliant that he was struck that other automakers hadn't thought of it before. "It's a marketing stunt, but it was a good one," he said. "It's something nobody has really done before."
· California loses first female firefighter to wildfire. A member of an elite helicopter wildfire crew has become the first female firefighter from the California Department of Forestry to die in the line of duty, state officials said Monday.
· Alcohol boosts artery recovery. Drinking a moderate amount of alcohol can boost the recovery of patients who have had surgery to open blocked arteries, a study has revealed. Researchers followed 225 men who had a balloon angioplasty, also known as percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA), to open up their blocked arteries.
· 'Benefactor' gives till it hurts. Dallas Mavericks owner and self-made billionaire Mark Cuban, is all over the place with his new show, Benefactor. He watches everything from a hidden vantage point, like the Wicked Witch in "The Wizard of Oz." He swoops down on the 16 contestants and orders them to do anything and everything he wishes. All the while, he's looking for what he perceives as weaknesses, and picking the contestants off as though they were frightened, greedy gazelles.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Oxymoron [ox·y·mo·ron] n.pl. 1. A phrase in which two words of contradictory meaning are used together for special effect, for example, “wise fool” or “to make haste slowly.”
· Democrats More Likely To Steal Hotel Towels Than Republicans. According to research by the advertising firm Margeotes Fertitta and Partners, 35 percent of people who admit to heisting linens from hotels are Democrats, compared to only 26 percent who are Republicans. Other differences between the parties include: Democrats say they enjoy their sex lives more than Republicans, 33 percent to 24 percent; and 58 percent of people who never speak to their parents are Democrats, while only 16 percent are Republicans.
· Child Molester Granted Unconditional Release. A serial child molester who was the first graduate of a California treatment program for violent sexual predators was granted unconditional release Monday, despite disagreement among experts over whether he is ready to be free.
· Lost nuclear bomb possibly found. Government experts are investigating a claim that an unarmed nuclear bomb, lost off the Georgia coast at the height of the Cold War, might have been found, an Air Force spokesman said Monday.
Monday, September 13, 2004
· No daughters at Tiger Woods' father-son luncheon. PGA superstar Tiger Woods is speaking at a luncheon at Detroit Country Day School on Monday, but not without some controversy. Some female high school students are upset because they will not be allowed to attend the annual father-son event.
· Plan to Evict Bees Sets Home on Fire. Firefighters had to be called after a plan to evict a swarm of bees went up in smoke. Residents used gasoline to start a fire in hopes of smoking out a hive of bees from under their home when the house caught on fire. "It wasn't a very good plan," Battalion Chief Virgil Powell said.
· Shatner, Stone Receive Early Emmy Honors. Sharon Stone and William Shatner were among the winners at the creative arts Emmy Awards, which preceded next week's main ceremony. The creative arts awards, held Sunday night, recognized technical and other achievements for the 2003-04 season.
· A steak fit for a king. At $100 for a 16-ounce porterhouse steak, you might think Wagyu beef would be a hard sell. Many people who desire the tenderness of Japanese Kobe steak - sometimes priced at $500 a pound - consider American Wagyu beef a bargain.
· 18th governor gets a rigged letter. Letters rigged to ignite when opened and bound for the governor's offices in Virginia and West Virginia were intercepted Monday, officials said. Governor's offices in at least 16 other states got similar letters last week.
· Sony nabs MGM for $5B, source says. Sony Corp. has reportedly reached an agreement to buy film studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. in a deal worth about $5 billion, just hours after rival Time Warner Inc. dropped out of the bidding.
· Geraldo sues his housing development. Geraldo Rivera is suing the co-op board of the housing development he lives in, alleging members wrongly kept a $10,000 deposit on one of his properties and prevented him from buying another.
· Exonerated man denied aid. A Florida man who was freed after serving 22 years for a rape he didn't commit walked out of jail with a few possessions in a plastic bag, and nothing else. Wilton A. Dedge, 42, didn't get the $100 that Florida gives even its most vicious ex-cons when he was released last month. He didn't get the counseling or job referrals or temporary housing the state offers paroled murderers and rapists. He didn't even get a bus ticket home. [The state probably figured they would just wait for the $millions they'll have to give him later after he sues them].
· Oprah Winfrey certainly knows how to kick off a new season. Talk show host Oprah Winfrey celebrated the premiere of her 19th season Monday by surprising each of her 276 audience members with a new car. "We're calling this our wildest dream season, because this year on the Oprah show, no dream is too wild, no surprise too impossible to pull off," Winfrey said. "Everybody gets a car! Everybody gets a car! Everybody gets a car!" Winfrey yelled as she jumped up and down on the stage.
· Batman protest at Buckingham Palace. A 'Fathers 4 Justice' campaigner dressed as Batman has launched a protest on the 2nd-story main balcony in front of Buckingham Palace. Jason Hatch, 33, managed to breach armed royal guards to unfurl a banner which read: "Fighting for your right to see your kids."
· Court Rules for Moussaoui. Terrorism suspect Zacarias Moussaoui may submit written questions to people held in U.S. custody as enemy combatants to bolster his argument that he wasn't involved in the Sept. 11 attacks, a federal appeals court ruled Monday.
· R. Kelly Concert Concerns Lawmakers. Some Washington lawmakers aren't happy about the fact that R. Kelly was asked to perform at a benefit concert for the Congressional Black Caucus. They expressed concern that his appearance would be controversial since he is currently charged with 14 counts of child pornography - charges stemming from a videotape that allegedly shows him having sex with an underage girl.
· Blogs No Web Of Wealth. If you think those Web journals of opinions and obsessions are a way to get rich, consider Jeff Soyer, a self-described "gay gun nut" in Vermont. Soyer, who runs the journal Alphecca.com, pleaded for donations last month alongside an image of a tip jar topped by gun-toting cartoon character Yosemite Sam. "Ten bucks buys a box of bullets or feeds my cats for a week," he wrote on the blog. Days passed and he received nothing. "By next week this domain could belong to a porno site," he subsequently posted.
More firepower available for your next duck hunt. The 10-year federal ban on assault weapons expired today, meaning firearms like AK-47s, Uzis and TEC-9s are once again legally available — a development that has critics upset and gun owners pleased. The 1994 ban, signed by President Clinton, outlawed 19 types of military-style assault weapons.
· Lawsuit claims car breathalyzer not safe. A lawsuit filed in Pennsylvania claims a dashboard device intended to stop people from driving drunk can actually be a safety hazard. The suit was filed by a two-time drunken driving convict who passed out and crashed his car while blowing into an ignition interlock, a small machine that measures alcohol on the breath and won't allow a car to start if the driver has been drinking.
· 2003 Crime Rate Steady at 30-Year Low. The nation's crime rate last year held steady at the lowest levels since the government began surveying crime victims in 1973, the Justice Department reported yesterday.
· 'Idol' creator sues Cowell. The creator of U.K. talent show "Pop Idol" and its U.S. spinoff "American Idol" is suing his former collaborators, including Simon Cowell, claiming that their new project is a rip-off of the global "Idol" format.
· Peterson Testimony to Focus on GPS Evidence. Prosecutors in Scott Peterson's murder trial are nearing the end of their case as they move into what is expected to be lengthy testimony about the former fertilizer salesman's movements in the days after his pregnant wife vanished.
· 'Chicago' lyricist Fred Ebb dies at 76. Fred Ebb, who wrote the lyrics for such hit Broadway musicals as "Chicago" and "Cabaret" as well as the big-city anthem "New York, New York," has died of a heart attack.
· Ivan Changes Course. People who evacuated the Florida Keys were told they could go back Monday as 160-mph Hurricane Ivan appeared to spare them a direct hit and instead took aim at the Panhandle, where residents weren't taking any chances ahead of the killer storm.
· Calls Jacko 'the Devil.' "Michael Jackson is the Devil in God's clothes." That's how the boy who accused Michael Jackson of sexual abuse in 1993 still describes the King of Pop, his uncle Ray Chandler told the Daily News yesterday.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Assiduous [as·sid·u·ous] adj. 1. Constant in application or attention; diligent: "An assiduous worker who strove for perfection." 2. Unceasing; persistent: "Assiduous cancer research."
· $1.3 million for New York studio. So you have $1.3 million to spend and you're looking for a place to live. Maybe a charming brownstone or a Victorian mini-mansion? Or maybe a studio apartment with an alley view? That's right: A super-trendy West Village apartment building is selling three 700-square-foot studios for about $1.3 million each.
· Pass Gas In Copy Room If You Want Promotion. If you want to move up in the corporate world, don't pack your own lunch but do pass gas in the copy room. That's the advice from authors Brad Embree and Jared Shapiro, who wrote the book, "Going Corporate: Moving Up Without Screwing Up."
· Seductresses lose curves, study finds. These days, sirens such as Beyonce and J-Lo might pack a little too much back to win the Miss America pageant. Marilyn Monroe might be considered too curvy to appear as a Playboy centerfold today. A pair of researchers at Meredith College have the numbers to prove that America's ideal female body is a silhouette that has morphed from curvaceous to cigar-shaped in the past half-century. The study suggests that America's obsession with thinness didn't begin in the 1950s, as others have concluded. It likely started much earlier, in the 1920s or '30s.
· Sears Launches Venture for Online Sales. Sears, Roebuck and Co., which has successfully sold its tools and appliances on the Web, is counting on having the same magic with bedspreads and sweaters, thanks to expertise gained by its purchase of Lands' End Inc.
· Monster truck goes to market. International, the heavy-truck company, thinks buyers are pining for even bigger trucks than today's hefty sport-utility vehicles and full-size pickups, and this week it begins marketing the world's largest production pickup. Called CXT, for commercial extreme truck, it dwarfs the beefy Hummer H2 sport-utility pickup and even could call the hulking H1 military version "junior." The CXT is 2 feet taller, 4½ feet longer, twice as heavy and totes more than five times the cargo weight of H2. "You can put the Hummer in back and take it with you," quips Nick Matich, vice president at International Truck and Engine.
· More Money Woes For Love. For the second time this year, the managers of a Manhattan condominium have filed a lien against Courtney Love, claiming that the troubled rock star has again failed to come up with monthly maintenance payments on her swanky Soho apartment.
· Array of Innovations at Mobile Tech Show. As co-stars of an elite, wireless-oriented tech show they were improbable indeed: A weed whacker, a blender and a boombox. Their decibel assault at this year's 6th annual DEMOmobile show was the perfect foil for its most celebrated product, a noise-canceling cell phone headset called Jawbone.
Sunday, September 12, 2004
· US Airways Files for Bankruptcy. As expected, US Airways Group Inc., the nation's seventh-largest airline, filed for bankruptcy protection Sunday for the second time in two years. The company's president vowed to continue restructuring the airline into a low-cost carrier during the bankruptcy process.
· Assault weapons ban to expire Monday. Ten years after it was born out of the carnage of three California mass shootings, the federal assault weapons ban is fading out of existence Monday. While manufacturers look for a boom in business as people buy up previously banned weapons like AK-47s, Uzis and TEC-9s, police chiefs warn of an upsurge in crime.
· Obesity Trends Among U.S. Adults. An obesity epidemic within the U.S. population is portrayed that in 1991, only 4 of 45 participating states had obesity prevalence rates of 15 to 19 percent and none had prevalence greater than 20 percent. By the year 2000, all of the 50 states except Colorado had prevalences of 15 percent or greater, with 22 of the 50 states having obesity prevalence as high as 20 percent or more.
· Catholic church hiding pervert priests in Rome. Some Roman Catholic religious orders have been sheltering priests in Rome despite claims that the men sexually abused minors, according to The Dallas Morning News. Of the seven accused priests the newspaper located, one has been indicted in Arizona, but refuses to return to face the charges. Two others had admitted to abuse years ago, but now face additional claims.
· Fla. Officials Optimistic on Dodging Ivan The Terrible. Streets, bars, hotels and shops in this normally bustling island resort town were mostly empty Sunday, even as officials in the Florida Keys said they were "cautiously optimistic" Hurricane Ivan might spare the island chain its worst punishment.
· Happy Days To Return. Days is set to return for a one-off special later this year. The two hour reunion Happy Days 30, which will feature original cast members including Henry Winkler and Ron Howard, is being filmed to mark the 30th anniversary of the program's first episode in 1974.
· Update: What is the truth behind the Bush memo? While speculation continues to swirl around the authenticity of the president's National Guard documents, we wanted to find out if it was even possible to create a memo with the 'th' and other elements of the memo, with the typewriters that were available in the early 1970s.
· U.S. says N. Korea blast unlikely to have been nuclear. A huge explosion rocked North Korea three days ago but U.S. and South Korean officials said on Sunday it was unlikely to have been a nuclear weapons test despite a report the blast produced a mushroom cloud. The New York Times reported in its Sunday editions the Bush administration had received recent intelligence reports that some experts believed could indicate North Korea was preparing to conduct its first nuclear weapons test explosion. But in Washington, U.S. officials said there was no definitive explanation yet, although the blast did not appear to be nuclear.
· Howard Lutnick's Second Life. Days after September 11, Cantor Fitzgerald's notoriously hard-edged CEO wept and promised a new mission: to take care of the families of his 657 dead employees. Then he stopped their payroll. It was weeks before he was prepared to make good on his promise. Was it a mistake? He still says no.
· Driver Didn't Realize Boy Fell From Bus. A middle school student fell out of a school bus earlier this week - but investigators don't know if he jumped, fell or was pushed. Police and school officials said a bus driver apparently wasn't aware that an Old Court Middle School student had fallen out the rear emergency door of a bus on Tuesday - because the kids on the bus were so rowdy.
· TSA to refund passengers’ baggage claims. The Transportation Security Administration said Friday that it will pay an average of $110 each to 15,000 airline passengers who claim their possessions were lost, stolen or damaged when their bags were screened for bombs and weapons.
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· Bobby Fischer claims he was 'kidnapped' by Japanese government. Incarcerated chess genius Bobby Fischer has claimed from his immigration bureau detention cell that he was "kidnapped" by the Japanese government. "I am a kidnap victim of the Japanese government and they have kidnapped me at the behest of a corrupt, criminal U.S. regime," Fischer said.
· Shaq raps and blasts Kobe, Ben Wallace. The way Shaquille O’Neal sees it, he soars higher than Kobe Bryant, and he’s got A rap-crap song to back it up. And the Miami Heat center isn’t crazy about Detroit Pistons center Ben Wallace or the rapper Skillz, either.
· A cabbie ripping off a blind woman? The New York Daily News - with the aid of a blind activist - tested the integrity of 10 cabbies, checking whether they would take advantage of her disability and rip her off with overcharges. Nine passed with flying colors. Only one driver left RoseMarie McCaffery, an advocate for the visually impaired, empty-handed. He kept a $20 bill for a $3.30 cab ride, failing to give her change.
· Mob guy in a 'woo and sue.' A 35-year-old Long Island woman thought she was dating a dashing telecommunications executive who lives in Trump Tower — until she found out he was also a former mob associate who's spent years in the slammer. Now that she's dumped her boyfriend, he's suing her for $392,000 — every penny he says he ever spent on her — plus interest.
· 42 high schoolers caught drinking at teacher's home. Dozens of high school students cited for underage drinking when police busted a post-football game bash at a teacher's home have pleaded no contest.
Saturday, September 11, 2004
· Actor O.L. Duke Killed in N.Y. Car Crash. Actor O.L. Duke, who appeared with Denzel Washington in the movies "Malcolm X,""Antwone Fisher" and "Out of Time," was killed in a car accident Friday, police and relatives said. He was 51.
· Alleged Cheerleading Coach Impostor Caught. A man who was fixated on a former cheerleader for 13 years was arrested after he allegedly entered a high school locker room and claimed he was a cheerleading coach, police said Friday.
· New York Man Arrested After Leaving Small Tip. A New York City man accused of leaving an inadequate tip at a restaurant was arrested, fingerprinted and photographed for a mug shot. Humberto A. Taveras, 41, faces a misdemeanor charge of theft of services after he and his fellow diners argued with Soprano's Italian and American Grill managers over the legality of requiring an 18 percent tip for large parties.
· FAO Schwarz: Pricey toys for rich kids. So this holiday season, the children of the well-off will get to play in high style with their $15,000 toy Mercedes or their $12,000 tree house - all courtesy of the legendary, and formerly bankrupt, FAO Schwarz.
· Families Hold Memorial for 9/11 Victims. On the third anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, dignitaries, community leaders and relatives of victims stood at ground zero and gave voice to the names of the dead. Last year, the children of victims took up that task.
» Pain still fresh for 9/11 kin. The first year they were numb. The second they gathered enough strength to pull what was left of their families together. Now it's the third anniversary and the anguish of life forever without their husbands and wives, fathers and mothers, children and grandchildren has become painfully real.
» Mint Warns Consumers on Trade Center Coin. The U.S. Mint advised consumers Friday that a widely advertised coin commemorating the World Trade Center is not a genuine U.S. coin. National Collectors Mint Inc. has been marketing the "2004 'Freedom Tower' Silver Dollar," which it claims has been created using silver from Ground Zero, the site where the World Trade Center towers fell Sept. 11, 2001.
» Nobody's raising cash for memorial. Eight months after the World Trade Center memorial design was unveiled, Gov. Pataki and Mayor Bloomberg have yet to find a prominent person willing to lead the foundation that's raising the money to build it.
· WTC owner sues Saudi. The agency that owns the World Trade Center site says it intends to hold Saudi Arabia and nearly 100 other defendants liable for the September 11 terrorist attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people and destroyed the complex.
· Letourneau, former student meet every day. A man who had two children in the 1990s with his former sixth-grade teacher said the two have been meeting daily since her release from prison last month and would like to marry.
· Nevada Inmates Asked About Rigged Letters. Federal and state investigators questioned Nevada prison inmates Friday after at least 15 governors received letters rigged to catch fire when the envelope was opened.
· Playmate Charged With Assault in Bar Fight. Playboy magazine's Playmate of the Year, who is dating Cleveland Browns quarterback Jeff Garcia, has been charged with assault over a bar fight with his ex-girlfriend.
· Son of Ex South Korean president stabs himself. The son of former South Korean president Kim Young-Sam stabbed himself in the abdomen while undergoing questioning on corruption charges, prosecutors said today.
· Jamaica appears spared direct hit by Ivan. Hurricane Ivan roiled waves two stories high and tore up power lines, trees and roofs as it grew to fearsome strength, but the eye of the storm was passing just south of Jamaica early Saturday and was unlikely to make an expected direct hit, meteorologists said.
» Fla. Man May Try To Reduce Ivan's Strength. A South Florida businessman says he's going to try to reduce the strength of Hurricane Ivan by flying a Boeing 747 into the edge of the hurricane and dumping thousands of pounds of an absorbent material into the storm. Peter Cordani of Jupiter plans to try to knock the storm down by one or two categories by dropping tons of powder that absorbs 3,000 to 4,000 times its weight.
· Robert De Niro Defends His Mafia Roles. Robert De Niro dismissed accusations that his Mafia roles have smeared the image of Italian-Americans, arguing that he plays realistic characters including many who could not be construed as stereotypes.
Friday, September 10, 2004
· Pataki among governors receiving booby-trapped letters. New York Gov. George Pataki is among a number of governors who have received letters this week that may be booby-trapped, a spokesman said Friday.
· Judge Nixes Internet Child Porn Law in Pa. A federal judge threw out on Friday a Pennsylvania law requiring Internet service providers to block Web sites containing child pornography, saying the tools to do so also cause "massive suppression" of constitutionally protected speech.
· Genesis data 'retrieved intact.' Experts said on Friday they hoped the mission to gather solar wind particles could still be largely successful. "We should be able to meet many, if not all, of our primary science goals," said physicist Roger Wiens of the Los Alamos National Laboratory. Wednesday's crash-landing in Utah has been blamed on a faulty battery.
· Baby thrown from car during chase. A man sought in a domestic abuse case led police on a chase Thursday and at one point slowed down and threw a baby in a child restraint seat out of the car before speeding away.
· New Home Depot in Manhattan offers concierge. Home Depot's first Manhattan store, which opens to the public today, will have a doorman for help in hailing cabs and a concierge to offer information and schedule appointments with designers.
· Suspect jumps bail, winds up in sticky situation. An Omaha man who jumped bail in Iowa was delivered to the Harrison County Jail - beaten and wrapped in duct tape - by the woman who originally posted his bail, authorities said.
· Stalker 'kept an autographed book.' The woman accused of stalking and threatening to kill Catherine Zeta-Jones kept a book autographed by the Oscar-winning actress and her husband Michael Douglas, a Los Angeles court heard.
· Cosby Criticizes 'Cell-Phone Parenting.' Bill Cosby is again taking aim at parents he feels do a poor job of raising kids. The entertainer says too many parents "manage their kids' lives by cell phone." He called on parents, teachers and others in authority improve the lives of black children.
· Romano Looks Beyond 'Raymond.' Ray Romano could return to series television once "Everybody Loves Raymond" wraps its nine-season run next May. "Would I do something on cable, maybe a half-hour, single-camera thing? That appeals to me," Romano said. "Something funny, maybe dark, a little more uncensored."
· Merv Griffin Discusses 'Jeopardy' Streak. Wherever he goes these days, Merv Griffin gets asked the same question: What is Ken Jennings really like? Griffin, who created "Jeopardy" in 1963 and wrote its brief, unforgettable theme song, has not met the mild-mannered software engineer from Salt Lake City who has become a celebrity as the game show's richest champion. But he'd like to.
· Noah Wyle to hang up his stethoscope. Noah Wyle, the last continuous on-air link to the NBC medical drama “ER’s” freshman season in 1994, seems headed for the doctor’s retirement home. Wyle, who plays Dr. John Carter, said that he plans to leave the show at the end of this season.
· Cleveland blood bank offers beer vouchers to donors. Are you hesitant to donate blood? How about a "pint for a pint"? Cleveland's transit authority is handing out vouchers for a pint of any beverage, including beer, in exchange for a pint of blood.
· Pee Diddy Talks About Child Support Lawsuit. The baby mama drama just won't stop for Pee Diddy. The mogul also known as Sean Combs says he's hurt that the mother of his first child has gone to court to increase his child support payments, claiming that "it's ridiculous to think any of my kids would want for anything."
· Man Finds Child Porn On 'New' Computer. A Seattle man says he found child pornography on a new Compaq Presario he purchased at Sam's Club in north Seattle for his 13-year-old daughter. The man returned the computer to Sam's Club and found out the computer wasn't new but was refurbished. "They swore [the technician] always goes through it," the man said. "He didn't go through this one."
· Film deal for Hawaii Five-O. The 70s cop show Hawaii Five-O is to be turned into a movie. The popular show ran from 1968 to 1980, and was the longest running police show until overtaken recently by Law and Order. After years of negotiations with various Hollywood studios, George Litto (who was the agent of the series' creator, the late Leonard Freeman) has sold the rights to Warner Brothers.
· Democrat plans 'girlie man' Schwarzenegger doll. California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger called Democrats "girlie men" during a recent budget battle. Now, a Democratic lobbyist wants to turn him into one in the form of a bobblehead doll in a hot pink dress and matching pumps.
· Chicago Mayor outlines elaborate camera network for city. From a hi-tech command center, Chicago plans to monitor a vast security network. Thousands of surveillance cameras will be linked - and authorities will be alerted to crimes and terrorist acts.
· Engineer Builds Robot That Walks on Water. It could be called a mechanical miracle - a robot that walks on water. With inspiration from nature and some help from research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a research team led by Carnegie Mellon engineering assistant professor Metin Sitti has built a tiny robot that can walk on water, much like insects known as water skimmers, water skaters, pond skaters or Jesus bugs.
· Online Advertising Market: $9.1 Billion In 2004. The U.S. market for online advertising will reach $9.1 billion in 2004. The previous high-water mark was $8.1 billion back in 2000 during the dot-com boom.
· Boy Genius Swindled Dozens. 15-year-old boy described by police as totally amazing is now in custody, accused of scamming dozens of credit card and bank customers out of tens of thousands of dollars.
· Clinton trolling hospital halls after surgery. Three days after undergoing quadruple coronary artery bypass surgery, former President Bill Clinton was up and walking Thursday at New York-Presbyterian Hospital, his office said in a written statement.
· GOP riled by CNN hosts advising the Kerry campaign. The Bush campaign has questioned the integrity of CNN by their allowing James Carville and Paul Begala to continue as commentators despite their role as advisers to the Kerry campaign.
· Dog walker discovers a penny worth a fortune. A routine walk with his dog turned into a profitable excursion for one man in London, who discovered a 1,200-year-old gold penny during the stroll that experts have valued at as much as $250,000 or more.
· Guitar pioneer Ernie Ball dies at 74. Ernie Ball, a pioneer maker of rock ’n’ roll guitar strings used by legions of artists from the Rolling Stones to Merle Travis, has died. His strings and instruments were used by music stars over the past four decades, from B.B. King to Metallica. Beginning with a small music shop in the San Fernando Valley, Ball built a business with annual sales of $40 million and a worldwide reputation.
· Famed Disney animator Frank Thomas dies at 92. Frank Thomas, one of Walt Disney's trusted "Nine Old Men" who animated two dogs romantically nibbling a single strand of spaghetti in the 1955 Disney film "Lady and the Tramp," has died.
· Hootie and the Blowfish Donate $80,000. Hootie and the Blowfish have donated $80,000 to eight troubled South Carolina school districts. "The children in our state are our best resource and our most hopeful investment," said lead singer Darius Rucker, a South Carolina native.
· 'Third-beer' market on verge of price war in Japan. Just as the dust looked to be settling on the low-malt beer price war, a new battle appears to be brewing in an even lower-price segment of the so-called third beer - made from peas.
Thursday, September 9, 2004
· 'Da Vinci Code' Spawns Travel Fad. It began with a prophecy at Paris' Saint-Sulpice church. An American visitor pressed a thick volume into the pastor's hands and said, "My father, this book is going to cause you many troubles." The book was "The Da Vinci Code," before it became a worldwide best seller. And the visitor's prediction came true.
· Fixing space shuttle fleet could top $2 billion. NASA administrator Sean O'Keefe said Wednesday the cost of fixing all that ails the space shuttle fleet could top $2.2 billion - double the estimated price tag given to Congress a year ago.
· 'We Didn't Talk Fishing.' An unruffled Lee Peterson took the stand Thursday, telling jurors that since he doesn't particularly enjoy fishing, his son, Scott, rarely talked to him about it, and that Scott wouldn't necessarily tell him about large purchases.
· Flashback: The president's turn? The Bush campaign was rocked yesterday by allegations that the Top Gun President was a substandard pilot who disobeyed a direct order while serving in the Texas Air National Guard in the early '70s. [For both Bush and Kerry: Forget all the history lessons. What have you done - or not done - for us lately?] -ed
· First, swift boats - now shifty memos. Documents cited Wednesday by 60 Minutes in a widely-publicized expose of George W. Bush's National Guard Service are very likely forgeries, according to several experts on document authenticity and typography. CBS News anchor Dan Rather had reported four 1970's-era memos appeared to indicate that Bush refused or ignored orders to have a physical exam required to continue flying.
» Son of late officer questions Bush memos. The authenticity of newly unearthed memos stating that George W. Bush failed to meet standards of the Texas Air National Guard during the Vietnam War was questioned Thursday by the son of the late officer who reportedly wrote the memos.
· Condit Settles Lawsuit Against Tabloids. Former Rep. Gary Condit settled his libel lawsuit against three tabloid newspapers over articles connecting him to the disappearance and death of federal intern Chandra Levy — the case that led to his political demise.
· Cops stopping cars for Not speeding. Rochester, N.H. police are chasing down cars to hand out thank-you notes - not tickets - to motorists traveling along Route 11. Bike Officer Jamey Balint handed out 50 thank-you notices on Tuesday morning alone.
· Zeta-Jones Stalker Back In Court. A woman accused of threatening to kill movie star Catherine Zeta Jones and "feed her to the dogs" is back in court after a judge ruled she was fit to stand trial. A preliminary hearing will resume against Dawnette Knight after the ruling in Los Angeles yesterday. The latest ruling by Judge John Riley, following an examination by a psychologist, means Knight is fit to stand trial. The continuing preliminary hearing will decide if she actually does go before a jury.
· L.A. Cardinal ordered to release files on pervert priests. Los Angeles Cardinal Roger M. Mahony was ordered today to turn over documents in the secret personnel files of Roman Catholic priests accused of sexually abusing children after a judge rejected his claim that prosecutors were interfering with Roman Catholic Church operations, in violation of the U.S. Constitution.
· How long will the world's oil last? When the modern oil industry was born 145 years ago in Titusville, Pa., few people worried about how long petroleum would keep flowing out of the ground. This year, global demand for oil — currently at more than 80 million barrels per day and climbing — has come closer than ever to exceeding the world’s known production capacity.
While no one is suggesting that the world oil industry is close to pumping its last drop, there is a lingering question now being raised as to whether new reserves can be discovered fast enough to both replace depleted oil fields and keep up with growing demand.
· Where is the Muslim outrage? They are still burying the victims of the latest atrocity committed in the name of Islam - the slaughter of hundreds of children, teachers, and parents in an elementary school in Beslan, Russia. And from Muslims the world over, as usual, has come mostly silence.
· Tony Danza Ready to Go With New Talk Show. Tony Danza is proudly giving a tour. Here's the kitchen. The piano. The performance area. The studio audience? Nice and up close. Bright and cheery in blond wood with aqua accents, this will be Danza's new home, live, five days a week: The set for "The Tony Danza Show," a syndicated hour premiering Monday.
· DA Attacks Laci Sighting. Prosecutors in Scott Peterson's double-murder trial tried to counter the defense theory that witnesses saw his pregnant wife in a nearby park after Peterson left for a solo fishing trip the morning she was reported missing.
· Nurses Fired For Not Working During Hurricane Frances. Florida Hospital-Ormond Memorial has fired or suspended about 25 nurses for not working during Hurricane Frances, hospital officials said. Nurses were fired for not calling in, not showing up or refusing to work, while others were suspended for not completing a shift or coming late, said a hospital spokeswoman.
· Wal-Mart in offensive to boost image. Wal-Mart vowed to go on the offensive to protect its reputation from critics of its business and labor practices, and said growing opposition would not slow its growth.
· Taco Bell worker helps foil Burger King robbery. Employees at a Burger King were closing up just after midnight when three armed robbers forced them back into the store and into the freezer. An employee at the neighboring Taco Bell saw the three attackers' guns and called police, who arrived quickly and in force.
· Court Rules On Girls Forced To Spread Fat Rolls In Strip Search. State judicial officials repeatedly violated the constitutional rights of two teenage girls by strip-searching them without probable cause, a federal appeals court ruled Tuesday.
» Another Indiana man sentenced for hiding crack in baby's diaper. Walter Martin Jr., 30-years-old, was sentenced to 15-years in prison after being found guilty of stuffing $140,000 worth of crack in his child's diaper.
· Cracker Barrel settles racial discrimination lawsuits for $8.7 million. Cracker Barrel restaurants has agreed to an $8.7 million settlement to resolve all lawsuits brought or supported by the NAACP that accused the restaurant chain of segregating blacks in the smoking section and denying them service.
· Update: Man Sentenced To 6 Months For Swinging Alligator At Girlfriend. A man who swung an alligator at his girlfriend during an argument was sentenced to six months in jail. David Havenner, 41, of Port Orange, Florida pleaded no contest to misdemeanor charges of battery and possession of an alligator, said Linda Pruitt, spokeswoman for the State Attorney's Office.
· Peterson Prosecutors Try to Anticipate Defense. Prosecutors in Scott Peterson's double-murder trial tried to counter the defense theory that witnesses saw his pregnant wife in a nearby park after the former fertilizer salesman left for what he claims was a solo fishing trip the morning she was reported missing.
· 'I do... even though you want me dead' A wealthy Moscow businessman has married his fiancée, a former runner-up in the Miss Moscow pageant, despite the small matter of the contract she took out for his murder, the Moscow Times reported today.
· Officials apologize to Serena for bad call. U.S. Open organizers have apologized to Serena Williams for a controversial line call in her quarterfinal loss to Jennifer Capriati on Tuesday. U.S. Open Tournament Director Jim Curley confirmed an earlier statement by the USTA that umpire Mariana Alves would not officiate in any further matches at the tournament.
· Baldness linked to wealth. Bald men who lament their hair loss can take comfort in a study showing they will earn more money. The survey found that the more money a man earns, the more likely he is to be losing his hair. Ninety-five per cent of those earning more than $8000 a month complained that they were losing their hair, compared with 35 per cent of those earning less than $1000 a month.
· Train snatcher's loco, says shrink. Despite 20 arrests for commandeering trains in the subways and other transit-related offenses, serial subway impostor Darius McCollum says he's no criminal - just crazy for trains.
· Illiteracy shockingly high in Los Angeles. Continued immigration and a stubborn high school dropout rate have stymied efforts to improve literacy in Los Angeles County, where more than half the working-age population can't read a simple form, a report released Wednesday found.
· Ivan Strengthens Into Category 5; Central Floridians On Edge. Central Floridians already hit twice by hurricanes in recent weeks are once again on edge over Hurricane Ivan's latest projected path that brings the Category 5 hurricane toward Florida. Reports from an Air Force Reserve hurricane hunter aircraft indicate maximum sustained winds with Ivan are near 140 mph, with higher gusts.
» Update: Ivan Could Hit Fla. Keys by Sunday. All tourists and recreational vehicles were urged to evacuate the Florida Keys early Thursday because the powerful Hurricane Ivan could hit the island chain by Sunday. Ivan became a Category 5 hurricane overnight with winds up to 160 mph.
» Hurricane Hammers Shuttle Program. The director of the hurricane-ravaged Kennedy Space Center refused to speculate Tuesday whether the damage will thwart plans to resume shuttle flights next spring, but his words offered little hope of an on-time launch.
» Pastor Accused Of Selling Hurricane Donations. A Central Florida pastor was arrested Wednesday and charged with grand theft for allegedly selling food and other donated goods meant for Hurricane Frances victims from his church, Polk County authorities said.
· Blind Driver Aims for 180mph Record. A blind adventurer will launch his bid to become the first non-sighted person to drive a car at more than 180mph today. Steve Cunningham, 41, of Banbury, will have a sighted navigator with him for the challenge in a Ferrari around a private race track in northern France.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Obtuse [ob·tuse] adj. 1. Lacking quickness of perception or intellect. 2. Characterized by a lack of intelligence or sensitivity: "An obtuse remark." 3. Not distinctly felt: "An obtuse pain."
· If you have been following 'Jeopardy,' Don't Read This!
Ken Jennings, arguably the most famous game show contestant since Charles Van Doren, will end his run with total winnings of about $2.5 million in cash and prizes. Each Jeopardy show is taped months in advance of airing, but as yesterday's not-yet-seen taping proves, nothing lasts forever. TVWeek is reporting Jennings lost his 75th game expected to air in November.
· Columbus Senator To Be Deployed To Iraq. A state senator has announced he's headed to the Persian Gulf as the leader of his Ohio Army National Guard unit. He was eligible for a lawmaker's deferment but said he never considered not going.
· Kitty smells a rat at CNN. Scandal impresario Kitty Kelley is suggesting that CNN's Larry King won't let her on his show to promote her upcoming book, "The Family: The Real Story of the Bush Dynasty," because he's a friend of the Bush family. "I realize how important the Bushes are to Larry," Kelley E-mailed me. "He does not want to lose their friendship or offend them in any way."
· British actress found dead after landing big role. An actress who had just landed one of the biggest roles of her career was found dead in her flat yesterday after apparently stabbing herself in the heart.
· Pup shoots man, saves litter mates. A man who tried to shoot seven puppies was shot himself when one of the dogs put its paw on the revolver's trigger. Jerry Allen Bradford, 37, was charged with felony animal cruelty, the Escambia County, Florida Sheriff's Office said Wednesday. He was being treated at a hospital for a gunshot wound to his wrist.
· Kristofferson: I Still Miss Johnny Cash. Kris Kristofferson says he still grieves the loss of his friend Johnny Cash. "It's hard to believe that it's been a year," Kristofferson said recently from his home in Hawaii. "It's still painful that he's gone. I think about him a lot."
· Scientists Pick Up Pieces of Space Capsule. Scientists with tweezers picked through the twisted wreckage of a space capsule that crash-landed on Earth, hoping that microscopic clues to the evolution of the solar system weren't completely lost in Utah's salt flats.
Wednesday, September 8, 2004
· Category 4 Ivan flattens Grenada, heads for Jamaica. Hurricane Ivan made a direct hit on Grenada with ferocious winds, causing "incalculable damage" and killing at least nine people as it turned concrete homes into rubble and hurled hundreds of the island's red zinc roofs through the air, officials said Wednesday.
· Burger boy loosens his belt. 5-foot 11-inch, 360-pound Matt Ward holds the Krystal's Restaurant current world record of downing 21 of the bite-size burgers in two minutes. Now he's hoping to chow down to the tune of $10,000 at the next competition.
· Hepburn Estate Donating Her Collection. Katharine Hepburn's estate is giving back to the group that awarded the famed actress four Oscars. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences library has received thousands of photographs and decades worth of letters, scrapbooks and screenplays Hepburn saved over her career.
· Boyfriend Sheds Light On Charlize Theron's Neck Injury. Things could have been much worse for Charlize Theron when she was hurt while filming her movie "Aeon Flux" in Germany. Her boyfriend Stuart Townsend said Theron was doing a backflip somersault while wearing platform shoes when she slipped and hurt her neck. Townsend said it will take six weeks for Theron to recuperate.
· Bryant Prosecutor Says Alleged Victim Was "Physically Ill" Before Trial. One of the prosecutors in the Kobe Bryant case said the 20-year-old woman who accused the NBA star of rape grew "physically ill" on the eve of the trial, leading her to pull out of the case and forcing the district attorney to drop the charges against Bryant last week.
· Lauren Bacall: Kidman's No Legend. Bacall became irritated during an interview with Britain's GMTV Wednesday when the younger actress was described as "a legend." "She's not a legend," Bacall said, cutting off interviewer Jenni Falconer in mid-sentence.
· Carter Calls Miller's GOP Speech Disloyal. Former President Jimmy Carter is accusing fellow Georgia Democrat Zell Miller of "unprecedented disloyalty" for the senator's speech at the Republican convention.
· Film festival's blunder leaves Pacino in wings. Hollywood bosses are threatening to boycott the Venice film festival after a series of blunders culminated in Al Pacino being left without a seat for the world premiere of his latest film.
· Darrell Hammond to Host News Emmys. Saturday Night Live" cast member Darrell Hammond has been tapped to host the 25th annual news and documentary Emmy Awards. Unlike "SNL," the ceremony won't be live from New York. Instead, it will be taped at the Marriott Marquis Hotel on Sept. 13 and then telecast on Sept. 25 on the Discovery Times Channel.
· Who's Lying: Site Lets You Check Facts In Political Ads. Now that both the Republican and Democratic national conventions are finished, it's crunch time for politicians. With all the political advertising pointing fingers back and forth, it's hard to know which side is telling the truth. But a Web site available for free to everyone can help sort through the facts and falsehoods, help you distinguish between the rhetoric and the reality.
· Marijuana Plants Found Outside Courthouse. Green Bay Sheriff's officers had marijuana growing right under their noses or at least right outside their headquarters before discovering and removing the illegal weed.
· Roy Horn to discuss tiger attack. Roy Horn has not spoken publicly about the incident in which a 380-pound white tiger named Montecore almost mauled him to death. So when NBC airs the special "Siegfried & Roy: The Miracle" Sept. 15, viewers will hear Horn for the first time and see his battle to regain his motor skills after the tiger attack - and subsequent debilitating stroke - left him in a wheelchair.
· Police nab subway operator in sex abuse case. A transit Authority motorman was arrested for allegedly inviting a woman into his cab and allowing her to drive the train from midtown to Brooklyn, while he fondled her, police said early today.
· Russia posts $10 million reward for Muslim scumbags. Russia is offering a $10 million reward for Muslim terrorists who seized the Beslan school a day after a suicide bombing in Moscow killed 10 people and just over a week after explosives were found on two Russian passenger planes that crashed killing all 90 people aboard.
· Kidman Seeks Formula 1 Seat. Nicole Kidman has reportedly been on a date with Formula One boss Flavio Briatore, according to America's New York Post newspaper. Sources claim the Oscar-winning actress hooked up with the 53-year-old Italian tycoon while promoting her new movie, 'Birth', at the Venice Film Festival.
· Playboy's Newest Pinup: Video Game Characters. The October issue of the men's magazine features several video game characters posing in the nude -- images created by the game companies through detailed computer illustration
· Help! I've got Bill Clinton symptoms. As Bill Clinton recovers from quadruple bypass surgery, worried New Yorkers are flooding doctors with phone calls about their own heart health. Some prominent cardiologists reported a spike of as much as 50% in calls from concerned patients yesterday because of the former President's lifesaving operation.
· Trumps art of the free meal. His name is synonymous with money, but Donald Trump has never used a cash machine. "I've never used an ATM," the blustery billionaire tells Playboy. "I don't handle cash a lot. When I go to restaurants, especially since 'The Apprentice,' I always get free meals — 'Oh please, Mr. Trump, there's no charge' — even if I'm there with 10 or 15 people."
· Paris pens a deep thought. Paris Hilton's new book went on sale yesterday, and a breathless nation began snapping it off the shelves. For real. Yes, the party-happy hotel scion - who would seem challenged to have actually read a book - has written a 179-page epic that people seem to want to read.
· Lionel Tate Jailed Again. Lionel Tate, the teen who walked out of prison eight months ago after his life sentence for the killing of a 6-year-old playmate was overturned, was arrested on charges of violating his probation.