Saturday, August 21, 2010

Saturday afternoon nuggets

- We missed it--yesterday was Robert Plant's 62nd birthday.

- Here's a shocker: The University of Colorado announced that Tyler Hansen has won the starting quarterback job over Cody Hawkins, son of head coach Dan Hawkins. Hansen got significant playing time last season after Cody Hawkins' slow start, but the two shared the role over the final few games of the season. Most pre-season pundits are picking Colorado to finish anywhere from third to fifth in the Big 12 North division. And, Hawkins is generally considered to be the coach in the league who is truly on the "hot seat," so this decision to start the more talented Hansen is the coach's first right move this season.

- I'm not sure if this is a compliment...or a dubious honor. McAfee, the software security company, has named Cameron Diaz as the "most dangerous celebrity to search for on the internet." The company figures out search phrases which contain names of public figures, then determines how many of those searches lead to sites with viruses, spam, adware or other malware. Diaz's name, in a phrase, leads to a 10% chance that you will encounter "sketchy material." The others who made the top ten are: Julia Roberts, Jessica Biel (last year's "winner"), Gisele Bundchen, Brad Pitt, Adriana Lima, Jennifer Love Hewitt and Nicole Kidman (tie), Tom Cruise, Heidi Klum and Penelope Cruz (tie), and Anna Paquin.

- Merrie Harris, an exec with a Manhattan ad agency, encountered a homeless man on the streets of New York last week. Rather than giving the man money, Harris lent him her American Express card due to her lack of cash. After 10 minutes, the man returned--he had the AMEX card and a bottle of water he'd purchased. Harris, who volunteers at a homeless shelter, said she "knew the man was coming back."

- Yesterday was an interesting day for sports columnists. First, we locals had an opportunity to listen to/view a three-hour encounter session between departing Kansas City Star columnist Jasosn Whitlock and radio personality Nick Wright. The public airing of "why I'm leaving" included an emotional Whitlock lashing out at his former bosses at the newspaper. Then, Jay Mariotti, a regular on Around the Horn on ESPN, was arrested in Los Angeles on a domestic violence felony charge. He was held on $50,000 bail and released shortly after Noon today.

- In the "what might have been" department, a new book claims that Monica Lewinsky actually had her sights set on George Stephanopoulos instead of Bill Clinton. The book claims that White House staffers knew that Lewinsky was shameless pursuing Stephanopoulos, now on ABC's Good Morning America, but he rejected her advances as well as her constant desire to go get him coffee at Starbuck's.

- I'm about finished with The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and now cannot wait to see the coming U.S. version of the movie, which will star Daniel (James Bond) Craig.

- Speaking of big screen adaptations of books, A Place in the Sun will air on TCM on Monday at 1:45 p.m. ET. The movie is taken from Theodore Dreiser's An American Tragedy--one of my all-time favorite books. The film co-stars a stunningly beautiful Elizabeth Taylor and Montgomery Clift.

- Staying on the movie theme, The Big Chill will be shown on Encore next Friday, August 27, at 4:10 p.m. ET. This comedy-drama not only gave us a terrific ensemble cast, but perhaps the most popular movie soundtrack of the 1980's as well. The music from The Big Chill opened up a whole new audience's ears to 1960's rock-and-roll and Motown hits.

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