Tuesday, January 29, 2008


Many people reading this will recall the memorable scene in the seasonal favorite, "A Christmas Story" where young Flick is double-dared by his friends into testing whether his tongue would stick to a flagpole, causing teacher Miss Shields to comment:

"Now I know that some of you put Flick up to this, but he has refused to say who. But those who did it know their blame, and I'm sure that the guilt you must feel would be far worse than any punishment you might receive. Now, don't you feel terrible? Don't you feel remorse for what you have done? Well, that's all I'm going to say about poor Flick."

This time, though, not one but two 4th grade boys decided to do the same thing and found out first-hand that it worked.

Gavin Dempsey and James Alexander were serving on flag duty at Jackson Elementary School Friday morning, with the job of raising and lowering the school’s flags. They decided to see if their tongues really would stick to the cold metal.

“I decided to try it because I thought all of the TV shows were lies, but turns out I was wrong,” Gavin said.

Karen Alexander, James’ mother , said her son told her he got the idea from the movie, which is based on stories about a boy growing up in the northwest Indiana community of Hammond in the 1940s.

“I can’t believe he did it, but they learned their lesson,” she said.

James said he plans to eat a lot of ice cream to help nurse his wound.

“When you’re young, you’re just messing around,” he said.

Billie Dempsey, Gavin’s mom, said a nurse called them to tell them the boys’ tongues were bleeding.

“The nurse asked them, ‘OK, who double-dog dared who?”’ Billie Dempsey said, a reference to a phrase that a character in the movie used to dare another child to stick his tongue to the pole.

Thank goodness the boys relegated their true-to-life imitation to just their tongues and not other parts of their body.

Writers & Friends

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


Actor, Tom Cruise, as most of us are aware, is an avid-bordering-on-rabid follower of Scientology. Perhaps, if you've got some time on your hands - lots of time and patience - lots of patience - you might want to hear and maybe even find interesting, Tom rambl...discuss his views on it. That is, if you can make head-or-tails of what he's talking about. L. Ron Hubbard would be proud. Wonder who taped this.

Personally, I think aliens may have kidnapped him. Check out the intense look in his eyes as he goes on and on and...


By the way don't know who made this video or why but it still can be viewed by everyone/anyone and has not been removed.

Sunday, January 13, 2008


Somehow, naming a snake Fluffy, seems somewhat inappropriate especially since Fluffy is a reticulated python. For those of us not familiar with snake or python terminology and according to Wikipedia, a reticulated python is a non-venomous python species found in Southeast Asia. This is the longest snake in the Old World and competes for the title of the world's longest snake with the South American green anaconda, Eunectes murinus. No subspecies are currently recognized.

Fluffy was bred by Bob Clark who raised him from a hatchling and the zoo paid $35,000 to the snake's breeder in Oklahoma to keep the reticulated python on permanent display. By the way Fluffy is a male despite the feminine moniker. While on loan last year, the python helped draw 1.53 million visitors, just under the zoo's attendance record of 1.56 million set in 2006, said Pete Fingerhut, the zoo's associate director.

Fluffy is about as long as a moving van and thick as a telephone pole.

"I really love that snake; I think it's a special animal," Fluffy's raiser said. "It's so big and tame and wonderful. But I have to deal with the realities of life like everyone else. I like to have the money, and I know she's got a great place to live there."

Tame? A boa? Presumably when raising a boa, one does so with a great deal of care...and caution. In as far as Mr. Clark's professed love for Fluffy - different strokes for different folks!

The Columbus Zoo doesn't buy animals very often, said Executive Director Jerry Borin. Its animals generally come as exchanges from other zoos or through breeding loans or donations, he said.

Fluffy is on display in a 25-foot enclosure with a pool and a few plants, where he eats two 10-pound rabbits a week. In the wild, pythons native to Asia eat whatever they can catch, starting with mice and lizards when they're small and graduating to pigs and goats. There are a few reports of human victims.

Somehow and maybe it's just me but the idea or mental picture of Fluffy putting the squeeze and bite on live rabbits is very disconcerting. The largest known reticulated python, named for the cross-hatching patterns on their skin, was 32 feet, 9 1/2 inches when killed in 1912 in Indonesia.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Britney's folk not happy with Dr. Phil blabbing to media

Last week Dr. Phil, TV's answer to Jerry Springer, made a "house call" to visit Britney Spears when she was hospitalized for - well - freaking out. Of course being that anything related to Britney makes headlines and rather than receive praise for his effort, Dr. Phil has actually been villified by many as using the situation for his own purposes. For his part Phil didn't disclose any details of his one hour "talk" with Britney because he said that would be unprofessional.


However, he did make an overture extending an invitation to appear on his show and when that didn't work out he moved on to her parents, who also refused. Now the Spears family is mad.

"Britney Spears' family says "Dr. Phil" McGraw crossed the line by not keeping his mouth shut after making a house call on the singer last week. Lou Taylor, a business manager for Spears' mother, Lynne, and younger sister, Jamie Lynn, appeared on NBC's "Today" show Wednesday and said McGraw had betrayed the family's trust by talking to the media about Spears' mental health after showing up at the 26-year-old pop star's hospital room on Saturday for a visit.

"The family basically extended an invitation of trust for him to come in as a resource to support them, not to go out and make public statements," Taylor said. "Any statement publicly that he made, because he was brought in under this cloak of trust, (is) just inappropriate." Taylor said McGraw was invited to the hospital by Spears' family, but "he was not invited to make this part of a public display or part of the media."

This is really a somewhat surprising and amusing reaction coming from the family of a celebrity that will go to any length to attract the attention of paps.

"McGraw said earlier this week that he was shelving plans for a show on Spears' latest breakdown. He said Spears' predicament was "too intense" for him to go on with the show. Taylor said the syndicated TV psychologist broached the idea of the show to Spears' handlers, who eventually decided that such a show would be "detrimental" to the family.

Actually, there was no reason for Dr. Phil to comment on their meeting, period, or provide any background information. His blabbing to the media makes him out as an opportunist and somewhat wanting as a medical professional. Dr. Phil is/was a psychologist before he became...Dr. Phil, superstar.

"Mental health professionals also criticized McGraw this week, saying he went too far by showing up at Spears' room at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles as she was about to be discharged. McGraw fired back at his critics in an interview with "Entertainment Tonight" on Monday. "Somebody needs to step up and get this young woman into some quality care -- and I do not apologize one whit, not one second, for trying to make that happen," he said."

Oh well... Sometimes being a TV doctor-come-savior ain't easy.

Monday, January 07, 2008


I dunno... There was a time when Dr. Phil McGraw was first introduced to TV audiences as a guest on Oprah, he was a quiet, down-to-earth psychologist with a gift for gab. For what ever reason and probably his cute-sy, down-home personna/charm and southern drawl, he got his own TV show. However, as time went on and his popularity grew, there was a distinct change in his personna and his ego. It grew. A lot.

For the last couple of seasons he has turned into a pseudo Jerry Springer, encouraging people to cry and reveal all their deep, dark family secrets for everyone to see.

What happened to medical ethics?

He had already touched upon Britney Spears's problems in an earlier show, diagnosing and assessing her from afar. So it's not surprising that he showed up when Britney was hospitalized on the weekend. According to various sources he was asked to intervene by her parents (yes there is a daddy Spears!). He was reported to have talked with her for an hour and there was even a rumor that she could be a guest on his show.


Once that didn't work out, he turned his attention to the Spear parents. The latest word by the good doctor himself, is that the Spears family show idea has been cancelled because the situation is "too intense." To say the least but then it was "intense" before he tried to book a family member.

Although Dr. Phil's show has lots of viewers and good ratings, having any member of the Spears family on his show would have caused his numbers to go through the roof. Oh well... Just goes to show that even TV docs can't do miracles.

Meanwhile, after demanding to be released from hospital, there have been reports of Britney out and about with the new (and married) paparazzi friend, Adnan. Guess a girl hast'a do what a girl hast'a do.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

World's strangest laws

It's the beginning of a new year and perhaps some travel plans are on your agenda. It's always a good idea to know something about the place you plan to visit and perhaps some of the local customs.

Suppose a visit to France is on the travel itinerary and while there for whatever reason, adopting a pig seems like a fun idea as is naming the pig, say...Napoleon. You would be breaking the law since it's illegal to name a pig Napolean. No mention if it's applicable to the naming of other pets,Napoleon like a cat or dog. I mean, how would authorities find out if one named one's pet Napolean, anyway? But I digress.

There are some strange laws around the world down in the books, for example:

In Ohio you're not allowed to get a fish drunk.Why anyone would waste good liquor on fish is another thing but I digress.

It is illegal for a cab in the City of London to carry rabid dogs or corpses. Don't we all? I mean, really...

It is illegal to die in the Houses of Parliament. "Arrest that man for dying!"

It is an act of treason to place a postage stamp bearing the British monarch upside down. Why? Will she get dizzy?

In Alabama, it's illegal for a driver to be blindfolded while driving a vehicle.

Royal Navy ships that enter the Port of London must provide a barrel of rum to the Constable of the Tower of London.

In the UK, a pregnant woman can legally relieve herself anywhere she wants – even, if she so requests, in a policeman’s helmet.

In Lancashire, England, no person is permitted after being asked to stop by a constable on the seashore to incite a dog to bark.

In Miami, Florida, it is illegal to skateboard in a police station.

In England, all men over the age of 14 must carry out two hours of longbow practice a day. Don't all English-men own longbows?

In London, Freemen are allowed to take a flock of sheep across London Bridge without being charged a toll; they are also allowed to drive geese down Cheapside. Some would could say it's favoritism.

Now this is an interesting feat to accomplish: In the UK, a man who feels compelled to urinate in public can do so only if he aims for his rear wheel and keeps his right hand on his vehicle.

In Florida, unmarried women who parachute on Sundays can be jailed. No wonder the jails are so filled!

In Kentucky, it is illegal to carry a concealed weapon more than six-feet long.

In Chester, Welshmen are banned from entering the city before sunrise and from staying after sunset.

In the city of York, it is legal to murder a Scotsman within the ancient city walls, but only if he is carrying a bow and arrow.

In Boulder, Colorado, it is illegal to kill a bird within the city limits and also to “own” a pet – the town’s citizens, legally speaking, are merely “pet minders”.

In Vermont, women must obtain written permission from their husbands to wear false teeth. And if they don't? Is there a jail term involved?

In London, it is illegal to flag down a taxi if you have the plague.

One of my favorites: The head of any dead whale found on the British coast is legally the property of the King; the tail, on the other hand, belongs to the Queen - in case she needs the bones for her corset. So...like...who does the rest belong to? Anybody know?

Friday, January 04, 2008


Well...the inevitable occured and Britney Spears, the once-was-normal-pop-singer had a melt down in her home and was hospitalized.

Thank goodness!

This might seem like a harsh statement but given her recent weirdness and irrational behavior of late perhaps - just perhaps - the medical community will give her the help she needs. That is if she wants and accepts it.

The reason for the breakdown according to news sources is her reluctance to part with her children. According to AP:"The 26-year-old pop star was taken to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Entertainment Tonight reported on its Web site Friday. Cedars spokeswoman Simi Singer said she could not confirm or deny the report, citing patient confidentiality laws. Officer Jason Lee of the Los Angeles Police Department told City News Service that Spears appeared to be under the influence of an unknown substance. He declined to elaborate. No injuries were reported. Spears was conscious late Thursday when paramedics took her out of her home in a gurney. Several police cars escorted the ambulance out of the neighborhood, followed by dozens of celebrity reporters. Officers were called to Spears' house around 8 p.m. to respond to a custodial dispute with ex-husband Kevin Federline over their sons, 2-year-old Sean Preston and 1-year-old Jayden James, Lee said. By about 10:30 p.m., six police cars, two ambulances and a fire truck had entered the gated-community that includes Spears' house. Several police cars were seen in the area earlier in the night."

Interesting development in that her father, Jamie Spears, showed up at the hospital. Britney has a father? Go know! He certainly hasn't made himself available to her up until now. Spears turned over the children around 10:50 p.m., Lee said."

For more commentary (another word for gossip):http://www.perezhilton.com/ http://www.tmz.com/