Countdown’s Top Five

  1. Rimonabant, the alleged wonder drug that promises to treat America`s top two causes of preventable death at the same time.
  2. The most prescribed drug in America, hydrocodone, perhaps more familiar to you by one of its brand names, Vicodin.  86.6 million prescriptions written for it last year. 
  3. Martha Stewart's brother speaks out.
  4. The company's stock is up.
  5. The two women in the running to replace Martha:
  6. B. Smith.  That would be Barbara Smith, for us decorating-impaired, the former model who has her own cable show, magazine and three restaurants. 
  7. Chris Casson Madden, another spunky blonde with TV and book credits. 
  8. Kids and their health:
  9. Evidence that teens pledging abstinence are just as likely, maybe a little bit more likely, to get sexually transmitted diseases as the kids who do not pledge.
  10. A disease so rare, only a dozen people in the world have it, including Gabby
  11. Open mic night in Chicago
  12. To be fair, it was just one presidential campaign ago that Bush and Cheney themselves both got caught.
  13. Senator John McCain says he'd be willing to entertain a run on the Democratic ticket. 
  14. A new poll from NBC.
  15. The President and the First Lady have invited at least 270 people to stay at the White House since they moved in.  The latest list spanning June 2002 through December 2003, including nine of Mr. Bush`s biggest campaign fundraisers. 
  16. Violence and performance-enhancing drugs in the world of professional sports.
  17. A hockey player's neck broken by a sucker punch in Canada.
  18. The U.S. Congress looks to stop steroid abuse, or keep talking about it. 
  19. A professional football player, who wanted to be traded to one team and wound up being traded to another, announced that his civil rights have been violated and he compared himself to Rosa Parks.
  20. The owners of the prized Doberman Kerri, have accused rivals of drugging her food minutes before she was to enter the ring in Europe`s top canine battlefield, the Crufts Dog Show in Birmingham, England.
  21. Five more sports heroes whose antics drive fans to more fruitful distractions.
  22. Boxer Mike Tyson, my distant cousin.  He avoided assault charges that could have returned him to prison last month.  Now he`s hoping
    to fight again.
  23. Boxer and disgraced U.S. skating champ and unofficial hubcap discus titlist, Tonya Harding.  She will now try to combine her athletic pursuits into the perfect venue, she`s going to play minor league hockey.
  24. Pete Rose, whose admission that he bet on baseball was so weak it made Jayson Blair look like a human mea culpa.
  25. The University of Colorado football program, also known as the "punt, pass and kick someone competition."
  26. International soccer star, David Beckham.  His crime against humanity?  He married a Spice Girl.

Five numbers that shape this day

  1. 5048,62, the NASDAQ composite index, highest ever closed four years ago, this day.
  2. 1964.15, the NASDAQ close tonight.
  3. 237 days remaining until the 2004 presidential election. 
  4. Four, as in "the big four," Microsoft, AOL, Yahoo! and Earthlink, they`ve all teamed together today to fight the common enemy.  They sued over spam. 
  5. And final, one, that would be the number of keystrokes it take to actually delete a piece of spam from your inbox.  Step 1, click delete.  Step 2, there is no step 2, this can be resolved.  We have the technology. 

Today’s Top Three Newsmakers

  1. Jeffrey Silverman of Glencoe, Illinois.  Aboard United Flight 620 from Chicago to D.C., he decided to try to figure out which of the other passengers was the air marshal. 
  2. Jack Whittaker, the single biggest winner in America lottery history.  Already, he has been robbed, arrested for threatening to kill people.  Now he`s being sued by two employees at a casino in Charleston for sexual harassment. 
  3. Davis Hawke of Medfield, Massachusetts, born Andrew Greenbaum (ph), the former very confused leader of a neo-Nazi group in Massachusetts, one of those people sued today by those big four computer corporations for having sent -- millions of spam e-mails. 

Let's Play 'Oddball'!

  1. We are in Tokyo and we assume that none of zoo employees we see staging an emergency drill today, realized that they were, in essence, re-enacting the plot of Eugene Ionesco`s play, " Rhinoceros," but they were.  They thought they were merely planning for the nightmare of a real escaped rhino.
  2. Two of the burger flippers at a Wendy's at Advance, North Carolina, decided to take a bath in a large sink in the kitchen. 

Keeping Tabs

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