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Of Human Interest: News-lite

By PENNY NELSON BARTHOLOMEW, United Press International   |   March 27, 2002 at 7:23 AM   |   Comments

THE LIGHTER SIDE OF MICROSOFT

As if Bill Gates doesn't have enough problems, now comes the second edition of "The Totally Unauthorized Microsoft Joke Book" (IT Press).

Author/editor Tim Barry says it contains new jokes, Top 10 Lists, poems, puns, mock news releases, song parodies and other items -- plus a glossary containing more than 200 "Winfamous" definitions. Also new in this edition is a bonus chapter of "101 of the Best Light Bulb Jokes" ever. Bill Gates again gets two whole chapters to himself. Other celebrity guest appearances include President Bush, Jennifer Lopez, Rush Limbaugh, Steve Jobs, Cindy Crawford, Dick Cheney, Osama bin Laden, Michael Jordan, Paula Zahn, Howard Stern, Stephen Hawking, Jack Kevorkian, Torquemada, the Pope, Larry Ellison, Elizabeth Hurley and Barney.

"It is totally a coincidence that this new edition coincides with the renewal of the Microsoft monopolistic business practices trial," said Barry. "But it does prove our point that Microsoft continues to be topical -- which makes it an ongoing source of humorous material."

("The Totally Unauthorized Microsoft Joke Book," $9.95/copy plus $2.50 S&H. 1-877-675-6537 or msjokebook.com)


IT'S WORTH A SHOT

Did gun-control advocate Sarah Brady violate federal and state gun laws when she bought a rifle for her son?

The Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms thinks she may have. The Bellevue, Wash.-based group is asking the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Fire Arms to investigate Brady's purchase of the weapon at a Delaware shop.

Brady writes about the purchase in her new autobiography "A Good Fight."

"From all appearances," said the group's chairman, Alan Gottleib, "Sarah Brady exploited one of those so-called loopholes in the (federal) Brady law, for which she arduously campaigned, to get a gun for her son. The gun was allegedly a gift, but for someone who has demanded background checks for every other American before they can take possession of a firearm, we think the public deserves to know why she evidently felt it was okay to skirt that requirement for her own son."

A spokesman for Brady's pro-gun control group said interfamily background checks are not required under the federal Brady Law, named for her husband James, the former White House spokesman who was injured in the 1981 assassination attempt on President Reagan.

(From UPI Capital Comment)


NO BARNEY?

Wondering what toys are going to be hot with kids this summer? Check out the spring 2002 issue of "Toy Wishes," now on newsstands. It contains the "Hot Dozen" -- the list of those 12 toys predicted to make the biggest splash during the warm weather months ahead.

The Spring 2002 "Hot Dozen" (in alphabetical order):

-- BEACH PARTY BRATZ (MGA Entertainment/Ages 4 & up/ $9.99) A limited edition set featuring Bratz Cloe, Yasmin, Sasha and Jade.

-- CATCH-A-BUBBLE (Spin Master Toys:/Ages 3 & up/$3.99) The bubbles' secret formula hardens after a few seconds so the bubbles can be caught, stacked and played with as never before possible.

-- HARRY POTTER POLYJUICE POTION MAKER (Mattel:/Ages 8 & up/$24.99) Comes complete with cauldron, self-stirring wand and mixing cup.

-- NERF VORTEX FIRE STRIKE (Larami Division of Hasbro/ Ages 5 & up/$9.99) A light-up version of the amazing, far-flying football.

-- OFFICIAL SUPER SOAKER MAX-D 5000 (Larami/Ages 5 & up/$9.99) Blasts water up to 45 feet.

-- RESCUE HEROES NIGHT PATROL (Fisher-Price/Ages 3 & up/$7.99) With special light-up features and two new elite teams.

-- SIX FLAGS AQUA PARK CYCLONE SPIN (Manley Toy Quest/Ages 3 & up/$59.99) For getting wet and keeping cool.

-- SLIP `N SLIDE BIG SPLASH (Wham-O/Ages 5 & up/$24.99) 22 feet long with a splash-and-dump water tunnel at the end.

-- SPIDER-MAN SIX-INCH FIGURES (Toy Biz/Ages 4 & up: $7.99) Laser-scan technology makes the figures look just like their on-screen counterparts from "Spider-Man: The Movie."

-- STAR WARS EPISODE II DELUXE ACTION FIGURES (Hasbro/Ages 8 & up/$9.99) May the force be with you.

-- STORM 2100 WITH SER (Trendmasters/Ages 5 & up/$19.99) High-capacity water blaster.

-- TUG-IN-TIME TIGGER (Fisher Price/Ages 18 months & up/$20.00) Plush character is also a fast-paced game that teaches kids to identify body parts.

(Web site: toywishes.com)


REASONS TO CELEBRATE TODAY:

WEDNESDAY: Passover begins at sundown. It's an eight-day celebration of the Jews' delivery from slavery in Egypt.

This is Education and Sharing Day, by presidential proclamation.

Osweiler -- the blessing of horses, tractors and cars -- takes place today in Luxembourg.

And Myanmar, the country formerly known as Burma, celebrates Resistance Day today.

(Thanks to Chase's 2002 Calendar of Events)


BY THE WAY...

Patty Smith Hill, born on this date in 1868, wrote the lyrics of the song "Good Morning to You," which later became known as "Happy Birthday to You." Who composed the melody?

Her older sister, Mildred J. Hill.

© 2002 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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