Of Human Interest: News-lite

By PENNY NELSON BARTHOLOMEW, United Press International  |  Feb. 20, 2002 at 5:04 AM
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The makers of Act II Microwave Popcorn are throwing a three-day, 27-movie marathon. They're hoping to set a new Guinness World Record for movie watching.

Film buffs are invited to come to Minneapolis March 1-3 to join the Act II PopFest. The current movie-watching record is 50 hours 55 minutes, set by 14 people in Thailand in 2000. To shatter that record, participants in the Act II PopFest must watch at least 51 hours of movies back-to-back.

The marathon will feature a variety of well-known thrillers and chillers -- "Jaws," "The Birds" and "The Shining" -- as well as the classics, such as "Ben-Hur," "Dr. Zhivago" and "Casablanca," a silent flick "Bringing Up Father," and one of the first ever "talkies," "Reducing."

Those seeking to set a new movie-watching record must stay awake during every movie, from beginning sequence to final credits.

The Aact II PopFest will be held at the Heights Theater in Minneapolis. It begins Friday, March 1, at 9:30 a.m. (CST) and runs until 7 p.m., Sunday, March 3. The movie festival is open to the public and costs $5 for admission. All proceeds will go to the Boys & Girls Clubs. A complete movie schedule, event guidelines and registration information are available at ACTII.com.


Former Sen. John Glenn will celebrate the 40th anniversary of his history-making space flight along with the three other surviving Mercury astronauts at a gathering this weekend at the Astronaut Hall of Fame in Titusville, Fla.

It was on Feb. 20, 1962, that Glenn, a Marine Corps pilot, became the first American to orbit the Earth -- finally matching the technical prowess of the Soviet Union. Two other U.S. astronauts -- Alan Shephard and Gus Grissom -- had made suborbital journeys into space prior to Glenn's flight.

The straight-laced veteran of World War II and the Korean War never shied from the limelight. Rather, Glenn parlayed his fame into politics as a U.S. senator, presidential candidate and, ultimately, into serving as a guest astronaut aboard the space shuttle in October 1998.

"John Glenn represents a kind of patriotism that is based on service to our country," said Don McKendry, who is heading efforts to restore Glenn's New Concord, Ohio, boyhood home and turn it into a museum. "Before Sept. 11, patriotism was kind of a hard sell. Since that time, there's been a renewed interest in our country."

(Thanks to UPI's Irene Brown at Cape Canaveral, Fla.)


WEDNESDAY: Today through Feb. 27 is Eating Disorders Awareness Week.

And this is Northern Hemisphere Hoodie-Hoo Day. At noon, people are asked to go outside and shout "hoodie-hoo" to chase away winter and make ready for spring. (Web site: wellcat.com)

(Thanks to Chase's 2002 Calendar of Events)


What was Frederick Douglass's name before he escaped from slavery?

Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey. The anti-slavery leader died on this date in 1895.

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