'LORD OF RINGS' OSCAR NOMINATIONS KING
The fantasy movie "Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring" has gotten a whopping 13 nominations for Oscars. "Moulin Rouge" and "A Beautiful Mind" each were nominated in eight categories. The academy says that, additionally, "Gosford Park" and the independently produced movie "In the Bedroom" are up for best picture honors. This year's awards will mark the 74th time the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has honored its own. The broadcast will be on March 24 on ABC. By the way, several other films have also been nominated in 13 categories, including "Gone with the Wind," "Forrest Gump" and "Shakespeare in Love." The 1950s' gut-wrencher "All About Eve" and 1997's "Titanic" were nominated for 14 statuettes.
JOAN COLLINS: NOW YOU'VE GONE TOO FAR!
Actress Joan Collins is about to get married ... again. This time the nuptials will be held in London on the Feb. 17. Even though the sexy, outspoken Collins has never run from discussions about her private life and other controversies, gossip columnist Liz Smith says that Collins has had it with the current spate of rumors floating around the U.K. in advance of her marriage. Smith says that in addition to the usual comments about her marrying a much younger man, several British tabloids have printed photos of her fiancee's aging mother, reportedly passed out by his ex-wife. Apparently the woman has Alzheimer's and is in a nursing home. Collins thinks that dragging the groom's ailing mum into the caldron of tabloid gossip is going too far. The actress-author's latest novel -- "Star Quality" -- is due out in the fall.
NEW KENTUCKY HALL HONORS COUNTRY STARS
The Kentucky Hall of Fame says that a dozen "pioneer Kentucky music-makers" will be among the facility's charter members. Those being inducted include Loretta Lynn, Tom T. Hall and the Osborne Brothers. Ceremonies will be held on Feb. 28. The museum is scheduled to open in Renfro Valley, site of one of the nation's longest-running weekly family-religious "gatherings" and associated radio programs. Even though the hall's inductions will take place in about two weeks, the full museum will not be open until summer. The museum says that others scheduled for admission into the hall of fame are songstress Rosemary Clooney, the Everly Brothers, Red Foley, Grandpa Jones, Bill Monroe and Merle Travis. The Renfro Valley facility will include over 16,000 square feet of museum area, a functioning sound booth, historical exhibits and plaques honoring each inductee. The co-chairwomen of the hall are Loretta Lynn and Kentucky's first lady, Judi Patton.
'BROCKOVICH' DRESS AUCTIONED FOR CHARITY
A dress worn by actress Julia Roberts while earning an Oscar for "Erin Brockovich" has been auctioned off at a charity gala in Berlin. The outfit garnered more than $6,000. The winning bid was submitted by a local TV executive. Published reports indicate the entire auction took in more than $88,000. The money will go to help children in Afghanistan. A plethora of well-known people and stars paid about $500 each to attend the function, called "Cinema for Peace." Among those in attendance were Robert Altman, Boris Becker and Catherine Deneuve. Other items that were donated and went up for bid included a director's chair once used by Roman Polanski. Hungary's Oscar-winning director Istvan Szabo was given a special award at the gala.
O.J. TO GO TO CINCY TO PROMOTE HARMONY
The football-star-turned-actor-turned-murder- suspect who was the focus of international media attention for four years during two trials and a lot of maneuvering, says he's going to Cincinnati to promote racial harmony. Promoters of a hip-hop concert say O.J. Simpson will participate in the event, to be staged early next month. The concert will be held in the Over-the-Rhine section of the Queen City. That neighborhood was trashed by three days of rioting last spring following the shooting of a young black man by white officers. Since that time, the city has been attempting to deal with its racial divisions head on. But many black leaders in the city say that officials are not moving on the issue quickly enough. Some have called for a boycott of Cincinnati. Among those heeding the call, comedian Bill Cosby, who has recently canceled a series of concerts there. On the other hand, a large national black religious group says it is going ahead with its plans to hold a huge convention in Cincy. By the way, one rap artist, Foxy Brown, says he's going to debut his latest song -- "In the Mind of O.J." -- at the upcoming concert.
JEFF CARSON OUT OF HOSPITAL AFTER FALL
Singer Jeff Carson is back home, after spending this past weekend in the Vanderbilt Medical Center in Nashville. According to his official Web site -- jeff-carson.com -- the entertainer suffered a broken sixth vertebra while sledding. Exams, including X-rays, show that he will not require surgery. He will, though, be in a body cast for up to 12 weeks. Meanwhile, he has canceled all his upcoming appearances, including a major concert stop that had been scheduled for the Phoenix area and one in Denver on the 8th of next month. His publicist says he hopes that Carson can resume touring sometime in April. Jeff's Web site contains a photo of him, body cast and all, in his hospital bed.
UPI DAILY SURVEY QUESTION NO. 267
While writing this column, my roommate walked through after doing some painting on the patio. I nearly fainted. I forgot how sensitive I am to odors. That's one reason I abhor smoking and loathe the overuse of colognes and other add-on odors. So, here's today's question: "Are you sickened by any smells or fragrances? Does this cause a problem in your dealings with other people?" Put ODOR in the subject line and send to firstname.lastname@example.org via the Internet.
RESULTS OF QUESTION NO. 263 (STORAGE)
Last week I asked if you maintained storage units apart from your house or apartment complex. The replies were sparse. Here are some of the answers: Barry says he has a lot of stuff stored, and has had for more than three years. He reports that he has a "fridge, washing machine, large bookshelf, bed, books, the works!" in storage. Gosh, Barry, you nearly have a second apartment. Patricia reports that she is indeed a "storer of stuff." She writes that "in my apartment ... they have two sizes of storage lockers and I managed to get one of the larger ones and it's packed to the ceiling. My apartment is full too. Lots of furniture and knickknacks." IWT says that he has a ton of old, now obsolete radio equipment and instruction books stored and can't figure out why. TIB reports that his biggest problem is admitting that "if you find something in storage that you forgot you had, why keep it at all." Good idea, TIB. TOMORROW: The results of our latest question about your fear of flying. GBA.