AUDREY HEPBURN TRIBUTE
A new permanent sculpture tribute to Audrey Hepburn will be unveiled at United Nations Plaza in New York next Tuesday.
Titled "Spirit of Audrey," it was created by artist John Kennedy and depicts a tall, slender woman holding a small child by the hand.
UNICEF Spokespeople Harry Belafonte, Judy Collins, Mia Farrow, Bob McGrath, Roger Moore, Isabella Rossellini, Marcus Samuelsson and Vendela and UNICEF Executive Director Carol Bellamy will join Kevyn Aucoin, Diane von Furstenberg, and Ralph Lauren in paying tribute to Hepburn, best known for her starring roles in movies such as "My Fair Lady, "Breakfast at Tiffany's," "Roman Holiday" and "Sabrina."
But her greatest role of all was as a humanitarian. Hepburn served as Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF (United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund) from 1988 until her death in 1993. About her work with UNICEF she once said, "I've been auditioning my whole life for this role and I finally got it."
(Web site: kennedysculpture.com)
THINGS WE DON'T UNDERSTAND
A Bill Clinton spokeswoman confirms the former president has met with NBC executives in Los Angeles to discuss hosting his own talk show.
"President Clinton did not demand a talk show ... he has met many people over the past year concerning various projects including television ... he went to listen," Julia Payne said of Wednesday's talks. "The president is gratified by the range of opportunities that have been presented to him."
No comment from NBC.
It's not the first time Clinton has had conversations with NBC. In December 2000, NBC's Shirley Powell said, "We love the idea of Bill Clinton on television, and we've had some initial conversations about it."
Clinton is in Los Angeles this week for a Democratic fund-raiser.
The Los Angeles Times reports Clinton was demanding a fee of $50 million a year to do a talk show. While television salaries are high, $50 million a year is considered very high for an untried substance such as Clinton.
Former presidents usually make speeches, write books, do good works, serve on corporate boards, build their presidential libraries and help shape their legacy.
"What happens to his legacy if the show fails?" radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh asks.
Since leaving office in 2001, Clinton has signed a $12 million advance for his memoir that will emphasize the White House years, which is scheduled to be published in hardcover by Knopf in 2003, and by Vintage Books in trade paperback in 2004. It's also estimated that he pulls in $15 million a year from speeches that he gives around the world.
NEWS OF OTHER LIFE FORMS
Remote-control rat: using three electrodes implanted in a rat's brain, researchers were able to direct it via remote control through a maze, according to a report in this week's edition of the journal Nature.
The researchers who created "Robo Rat" hope it'll help them gain a better understanding of how mammals learn to navigate.
"It's difficult to predict what other studies this could be useful for right now," lead researcher Sanjiv Talwar of the State University of New York in New York City told New Scientist. "There's going to have to be a wide debate to see whether this is acceptable or not."
"Robo Rat" was created by stimulating the medial forebrain bundle, which is responsible for sensing reward. The stimulation encourages the rat to perform the desired behavior. Still, even if the control is relatively benign, "there are some ethical issues here which I can't deny," Talwar said.
(Thanks to UPI Science Writer Jim Kling)
TODAY'S SIGN THE WORLD IS ENDING
Just when it seemed professional sport had plumbed new depths, an Australian Rules footballer, Peter Filandia, has taken it even lower.
The Port Melbourne captain has been suspended for 10 games after admitting that he bit the scrotum of Springvale's Chad Davis during their game in Melbourne last Sunday.
Filandia, 31 -- who goes by the nickname "Plunger" -- was deeply remorseful about the incident. Explaining how it occurred, he told the Victorian Football League Tribunal he could not breathe when he became entangled with Davis in a tackle, and fearing suffocation, had panicked and bit him as a reflex action. He maintained that he bit through the pants fabric and there was "no skin to skin contact."
Davis told the tribunal that he had squeezed Filandia with his legs during the tackle. "I attempted to get off the ground, and I was pushed back. ... I was shocked at first, but immediately felt a sharp pain to my testicles," Davis said. He reported the incident to a field umpire, saying: "he bit me on the f---in' nuts."
Club doctor Rohan White found Davis had suffered a puncture wound, bleeding and deep bruising to his scrotum and was prescribed antibiotics.
For those not in the know, Australian Rules football is the most popular spectator game in Australia. It's a peculiar mix of Gaelic football and anything goes -- well almost anything.
"It's a very tough game in which punching, fighting and scrapping are accepted," Melbourne Age commentator Richard Hinds told UPI. "And while there is a maneuver called 'squirrel gripping' in which a defender grabs hold of an opponent's 'nuts,' using your teeth is unprecedented in the game's 120-year history. It's just not done."
(Thanks to UPI's Stephen Sheldon in Sydney, Australia)
AND FINALLY, TODAY'S UPLIFTING STORY
When one door closes, another door opens -- the 11 teenage Congressional pages who Roll Call Daily says were dismissed from the program for problems related to marijuana use and possession do not have far to go before they find another internship opportunity.
Nick Thimmesch, communications director for the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, tells Capital Comment, "NORML is offering internships to those House pages who are over 18 years of age who were dismissed for allegedly using marijuana. NORML pledges to honor their zero intolerance policy on marijuana use by adults."