Of Human Interest: News-lite

By PENNY NELSON BARTHOLOMEW, United Press International
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Back in the 1970s, National Lampoon Radio got laughs out of fanciful references to coming spectator sports -- including celebrity boxing and wheelchair diving.


Wheelchair diving may still be way off, but celebrity boxing is here.

Fox has scheduled a special called "Celebrity Boxing" for March 13 -- featuring Tonya Harding in the ring with Amy Fisher for three rounds in a bout the network is promoting as "the battle of the bad girls."

Harding -- a former national ice skating champion -- ruined her life in 1994 after her then-husband cooked up a plot to eliminate skating rival Nancy Kerrigan from the national championships in Detroit. After pleading guilty to conspiring to hinder prosecution, Harding was stripped of her national title and banned for life from competitive skating in the United States.


Fisher, meanwhile, was dubbed "the Long Island Lolita" after she shot and wounded a Long Island woman while she was having an affair with the woman's husband, auto mechanic Joey Buttafuoco. Fisher did more than six years in prison for the crime.

"Celebrity Boxing" will also pit Barry Williams and Danny Bonaduce for three rounds in what you might think of as a battle of the bubblegum boys. Williams starred as Greg Brady in the '70s comedy "The Brady Bunch" and Bonaduce was the precocious Danny Partridge on "The Partridge Family."

Fox said the fights will be "real."

Stay tuned.

(Thanks to UPI Hollywood Reporter Pat Nason)


The world's top golfer also is the top taxpayer in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen, the South China Morning Post reports.

Tiger Woods participated in an event at the Mission Hills golf resort near Shenzhen in November. He was paid about $2 million for playing a round of golf with regional professionals and another round with 72 amateurs, who paid up to $80,000 each to play one hole with the 26-year-old American professional.


Woods' tax bill for the weekend of golf -- $80,000. The newspaper said Woods paid it before heading out onto the green.

The Mission Hills resort is the largest club in China. It has five signature championship courses -- one each designed by Jack Nicklaus, Nick Faldo, Jumbo Ozaki, Vijay Singh and Ernie Els.


A Nashville woman is the $1 million grand prize winner of the 40th Pillsbury Bake-Off Contest, held Wednesday in Orlando, Fla. Denise Yennie's Chicken Florentine Panini recipe, an updated chicken sandwich, took top honors over 99 other cooks in the competition hosted by Marie Osmond.

Three other category winners each earned $10,000. Mille Meehan of Richmond, Va., prepared the winning Easy Weeknight Meals dish, Bow-Thai Chicken, which combined the flavors of Italian, Chinese and Thai cuisines. S. Lea Mead of San Mateo, Calif., prepared the top Fast & Fabulous Desserts & Treats recipe, Grands! Little Pies, an updated fruit crisp. Pat Murphy of Modesto, Calif., baked the winner in the Casual Snacks & Appetizers category, Mexican Party Wings.

(Web site:



FRIDAY: This being March 1, today marks the beginning of American Red Cross Month, Ethics Awareness Month, Help Someone See Month, Honor Society Awareness Month, Humorists Are Artists Month, International Mirth Month, International Listening Awareness Month, Irish-American Heritage Month, Mental Retardation Awareness Month, Music In Our Schools Month, National Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Awareness Month, National Collision Awareness Month, National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, National Craft Month, National Eye Donor Month, National Frozen Food Month, National Nutrition Month, National On-Hold Month, National Prepare Your Home To Be Sold Month, National Professional Social Worker Month, National Talk To Your Teen About Sex Month, National Umbrella Month, National Women's History Month, Optimism Month, Play-The-Recorder Month, Poison Prevention Awareness Month, Rosacea Awareness Month, Save Your Vision Month, Workplace Eye Health and Safety Month and Youth Art Month.

Today through March 7 is National Write A Letter Of Appreciation Week, Return the Borrowed Books Week and Universal Human Beings Week.

It's National Pig Day.

This is also National Salesperson's Day.

Today is Independence Day in Bosnia Herzegovina.

It's Beer Day in Iceland.

Omizutori or the Water Drawing Festival begins today in Japan and runs through March 14.

Korea celebrates Samiljol or Independence Movement Day today.


This is National Heroes' Day in Paraguay.

And Switzerland celebrates Chalandra Marz, a traditional springtime festival.

SATURDAY: This is Babysitter Safety Day.

It's Read Across America Day. (Web site:

Today is Independence Day in Texas. Commemorating the date in 1836 when Texas declared its independence from Mexico.

And Ethiopia celebrates Adwa Day today.

SUNDAY: Today through March 9 is Celebrate Your Name Week! (Web site: This is also National Professional pet Sitters Week, Save Your Vision Week (by presidential proclamation) and Telecommuter Appreciation Week.

It's Namesake Day today.

This is Hemlock Day, honoring the legendary Taffy Hemlock, who supposedly invented a way to attack padlocks to the hem of her skirt so the wind wouldn't blow up it and exposed her dainty ankles.

Today is I Want You To Be Happy Day.

It's What If Cats And Dogs Had Opposable Thumbs Day? (Web site:

This is Liberation Day in Bulgaria.

Japan celebrates Hinamatsuri, or the Doll Festival, today.

And it's Martyr's Day in Malawi.

MONDAY: Today through March 8 is National School Breakfast Week. (Web site: It's also Newspaper In Education Week.

This is Courageous Follower Day. We can't all be leaders. (Web site:

Today is Fun Facts About Names Day. (Web site:


It's Hug A GI Day.

The Boring Institute hands out its Most Boring Film Awards today. (Web site:

Eight-Hour Day or Labor Day in Australia.

And Guam celebrates Discovery Day or Magellan Day. Magellan is the guy who discovered Guam back in 1521.

(Thanks to Chase's 2002 Calendar of Events)


It was on this date in 1949 that "Believe It Or Not" -- the TV version of the radio show based on Robert L. Ripley's comic strip describing curiosities -- premiered on NBC. It was first hosted by Ripley himself. In 1982, ABC revived the show. Who hosted it?

Actor Jack Palance.

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