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Fox logoBurbank, CA – Fox Broadcasting Company has announced plans for a brand-new reality-based television program to debut in the Summer 2009 replacement schedule that network spokespersons claim will “revolutionate” the entire entertainment industry.  Called So You Think You Can Write a Hit Television Sit-Com for Fox?, the show will tape for an unprecedented 20 consecutive nights in August, with the winning idea going into pre-production as a pilot immediately, and ready to be inserted into the Fall line-up shortly thereafter.  “We are very excited about this competition,” says producer Nate Martin.  “The chance to make one lucky contestant’s television dreams come true with a one-time payout of $100,000 and a waiving of all future rights and residuals in perpetuity is so exciting!  Plus, the clauses giving us 100% development rights for any and all ideas expressed or considered during the taping of the show whether actual or implied is just a win-win situation.”  The contestants, a mix of non-professionals, free-lancers, and staff writers on the verge of being fired, will be locked together in a writer’s “bullpen” for the duration of the 20-day shooting schedule, making the competition something like the popular Big Brother, with the difference being that none of the competitors will be eliminated, according to creator MaryAnne Schuerholtz.  “Instead of getting rid of contestants, we’re just going to keep them around to fetch coffee, donuts, or what have you.  We’ll probably also find other ways to humiliate them… maybe silly challenges involving eating gross stuff… ooh! I like that,” Schuerholtz mused as she jotted down ideas.  If successful, the concept could be exported to other corners of the network, with spinoffs like So You Think You Can Report on the Ongoing Genocide in Darfur? and So You Think You Can Turn Around Fox’s Bottom Line? already being considered.

Over the years, baseball has had its share of characters, with many colourful nicknames, from the Sultan of Swat to the Mad Hungarian to ManRam.  But there are also many players whose given names are just as unusual, and more importantly, difficult to spell.  Here is the all-time list, by position:

C – Manny Sanguillen

1B – Doug Mentkiewicz

2B – Mark Grudzielanek

3B – Mike Pagliarulo

SS – Robert Eenhoorn

OF – Carl Yastrzemski

OF – Ted Uhlaender

OF – Johnny Wyrostek

SP – Scott Kamieniecki

Fritz Ostermueller

RP – Scott Schoeneweis

Tom Niedenfuer

And to make sure everyone’s following the rules, Umpire Nestor Chylak.

Superman: strange visitor from another world.  Jesus: died for our sins.  There wouldn’t seem to be many similarities between them, but in fact these two powerful figures have quite a bit in common.  All of the following statements apply equally well to both the son of Jor-El and the Son of God:

His father is a distant omniscient presence who only appears to him in a ghostly form.

His conception was immaculate.

He has powers beyond those of mortal men.

He was sent to Earth by his father to save mankind.

He was faster than a speeding bullet.

He was raised humbly by a man who wasn’t his real father.

His whereabouts are a mystery between a young age and when he reveals his presence to the world.

He was able to leap tall buildings in a single bound.

There’s a Smirnoff Vodka Cooler commercial currently playing on television which shows a group of college-age guys and gals lugging buckets full of ice and coolers up a hill, where they drink some and then start removing clothing.  They unroll a large plastic sheet down the hill and use it as a giant Slip ‘n’ Slide.  The inevitable written legal disclaimer appears at the bottom of the screen: “Please Drink Responsibly”.  Isn’t this behaviour, while fun, the exact opposite of responsible?  Public drunkenness: check.  Public nudity: check.  Dangerous stunts: check.  Admittedly, it’s not at the level of encouraging drunk driving–it’s more like having a few Kokanees and then going skiing.  Not illegal, but certainly not responsible.

Megan FoxIn his recent blow by blow account of the career of one of Hollywood’s hottest up and comers, BJ Rimmer, writing in Cinema Fantasy, had nothing but praise for Megan Fox, star of Jennifer’s Body, premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival this week.  “She is a total pro,” Rimmer gushes, adding that “In shooting the scene where she breasts the burial mounds in the Egyptian desert, which is a totally hard climb, the DP told me that she never once moaned or complained, although she must have been soaking wet and dripping from the heat.” Her Transformers co-star Shia LaBeouf agrees that as an actress, she comes on top of anyone he’s ever worked with.  “Even when the director is being anal about where to stick her in the scene, she just swallows her pride and enjoys the ride,” he says, adding that Fox is very humble, often dropping to her knees in thanks that she’s able to do what she loves.  What’s next for Fox?  Sources say she’s considering tag-teaming with Twilight star Kristen Stewart on a project that would see them playing private dicks in 1940s Los Angeles, and is rumoured to be doing a guest spot in The Vagina Monologues.  “I don’t see the popularity of Megan Fox going down,” Rimmer says, “and just wait until her next role, a Western in which she plays a kind of reverse cowgirl, a city girl who finds herself backed into situations where she has to lick all the macho men around her.  It’s going to be amazing!”

DoctorIn the most comprehensive survey of medical doctors in Canada in years, an overwhelming 80% sent a clear message: let’s stop including the other 20% in our surveys.  “Whether it’s which brand of aspirin to take, which athlete’s foot powder to use, or which drug to take to alleviate the crippling pain of chronic fingernail growth, most doctors are pretty much in agreement… all of us, that is, except ‘5’, who just insists on going against the grain.  The fifth doctor never agrees with us, so it’s always “4 out of 5 doctors recommend”, which is a good solid majority, don’t get me wrong, but in the medical profession, sometimes 80% just isn’t convincing enough,” says Doctor #3, who wished to remain anonymous.  “How would you like to hear your doctor say, ‘I’m 80% sure this is the right treatment?'” adds Doctor #4.  “This fifth doctor is killing our credibility.”  Including only doctors whose shared opinions are what we really want to hear anyway would send a clear signal about the efficacy of various medications, pharmaceutical company creations, and corporate-endorsed treatments, doctors agree.  “If a commercial during NCIS told you that 4 out of 4–that’s 100%!–doctors agree that this is the right drug to ask your doctor about if you’re experiencing vague symptoms that we’re very careful not to attribute to any specific ailment–very careful–wouldn’t that put your mind at ease?” purred Doctor #3.

Note: Doctors #1 and #2 would not respond to numerous requests for interviews.

He related to everyone and everything as if they were mature adults.  As this was pretty much impossible, he was fairly unsuccessful.  Not everything, after all, is a mature adult.  Dogs and cats, for example, to say nothing of children, or for that matter cars.  Cars, especially.  He wanted to have rational, and as much as possible, non-emotional discourse with the world around him.  So with precocious children, he did quite alright, at least until the child decided that he was tired to being grown-up after all and that a good cry would be just about the best thing right bloody now.  Cars that worked, too, were no problem, but breakdowns were completely unacceptable.  Dogs that could shake hands and understand commands were OK, but otherwise not much good in having around.  You couldn’t very well have a chat with Rover about the situation in the Middle East or even the state of the Dodgers pitching staff.  Dogs just didn’t care, or if they did, were content to keep their opinions to themselves.  And once the irrationality began, his first and lasting reaction was to flee the situation.

That ability to at least temporarily put oneself into the mind of another that we call empathy was, to put it shortly, decidedly lacking.

When asked about his writing while confined to an asylum, Swiss author Robert Walser replied, “I am not here to write, but to be mad.”  This was one man who had his priorities straight.

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