During a speech at Lehigh University, homeless advocate Mitch Snyder told students that there are 3 million homeless persons in the United States and that 45 of these homeless persons die every minute. Extrapolating from Snyder's numbers, The Dartmouth Review calculated that 64,800 homeless persons must die every day, about 2 million every month, and 24 million every year. By Mitch's own figures, the homeless problem should take care of itself in less than seven weeks.
Call it the Milli Vanilli law. New Jersey state representatives Neil Cohen and Joseph Mecca have introduced a bill that would force promoters to tell audiences in advance if an artist uses taped vocals in concert.
Dana Delaney, star of "China Beach," on the plight of women soldiers during the Vietnam War: "The women there suffered the same pain and anger and frustration and futility and fear, but the men had combat as a way to exorcise it." If this is typical Hollywood thinking about Vietnam, no wonder they consider Oliver Stone a genius.
For about a year now, the city of Tustin, California, has been plagued by a rash of cat killings. Hundreds of pet owners have found their kitties horribly mutilated. Orange County Animal Control officers explained that new construction in the hills around Tustin had destroyed the habitat of the small animals that local coyotes prey upon, leading the coyotes to feast on the city's felines. But others saw a more sinister cause. Some area church leaders suggested the cats were being killed in Satanic rituals. So the county autopsied more than 100 cats. Based upon bite marks and other evidence, coroners concluded that the cats had been killed by coyotes, not by people. But hey, no one ever said that the Satanists were human.
Rolling Stone continues its tradition of deft social commentary with an attack on private toll roads. Stone worries that new roads "will add to congestion." (!??!) And even worse, charging tolls means that "the new private roads will effectively be limited to the well-off." Yeah, and if record companies make people pay for all those compact discs advertised in Stone, only the wealthy can listen to music.
Tom Cruise took a break from filming his latest movie to take part in Earth Day celebrations in New York City. During a press conference, Cruise told reporters that he was doing "everything I can" to help the environment. When asked how his hobby of auto racing (which is also the subject of his new movie) fits in with his raised consciousness, Cruise got a little huffy. He told reporters that auto racing isn't bad because only a few people do it. Oh, yes, there is more to him than just a sexy smile.
Bill Bennett apparently isn't happy just being drug czar, so he's added pop culture to his beat. During a tour of a drug treatment center in Pittsburgh, Bennett came upon a poster of TV cartoon character Bart Simpson. Bennett, who only acts like a cartoon character, turned on the patients. "You guys aren't watching 'The Simpsons,' are you? That's not going to help you any."
The Roman Catholic Church has sent the mayor of Levico Terme, Italy, a $22,000 bill for services rendered. But the mayor refuses to pay. The trouble began in 1630. The bubonic plague swept through Levico Terme, and city fathers asked the church for a special Mass to help ward off disease. Well, the church held the Mass and kept holding it for 360 years. Now it wants payment. On the bright side, the city hasn't had much of a problem with bubonic plague lately.