Etc...

Want my autograph, too?

Over time, jaded rock stars come to take their fans for granted, right? Not Jon Bon Jovi. Last Friday night, he and his band were performing on a floating stage in Sydney Harbor for thousands of Australians, three of whom, apparently overcome with excitement, dived in and swam toward them. Two ultimately obeyed orders of the event staff to turn around and climb back out of the water. But the third made it to the stage, where Bon Jovi welcomed him aboard. For his trouble, the offender faces prosecution and a fine, which the musician promised, "we're gonna pay for him." Groused an unhappy police spokesman: "The laws are there to protect your safety.... Young revelers shouldn't be encouraged by anyone to break them."

Uh-oh, here comes a plow

Yes, those were skiers schussing down the A1 Autobahn one day last week near Salzburg, Austria. But they were in no danger of being hit by traffic. It seems high winds had blown drifts from the snowmaking machines on an adjacent slope onto the roadway, shutting it down for more than an hour.

Their Christmas green has salt and snap

BERRIEN SPRINGS, MICH. - No wonder people in this southwestern Michigan village relish the Christmas Pickle Parade. Where else can you sample crosscut sweets, sweet pickles, kosher dill spears, original spears, hamburger dills, genuine dills, and piping hot, batter-dipped fried pickles? Not to mention the festival's specialty, chocolate-covered gherkins.

The parade, held on Sunday, Dec. 8, featured organizers tossing free pickles into the crowd, Santa in a llama-drawn cart, a Grand Dillmeister, and a Pickle Prince and Princess.

Chuck Voytovick, chairman of the Pickle Festival committee, says Berrien Springs embraced the pickle theme because it's unique. The parade began in 1992, inspired by a German Christmas tradition in which children search for a lone pickle on their Christmas tree.

People from across the country call to ask about the festival. Many want to know, "Why pickles?"

"If it were anything but pickles," Mr. Voytovick says, "do you think I'd be talking to you now?"

Callers assume there are pickle factories or farms that grow cucumbers in Berrien Springs, Voytovik adds. Not so. "I think years ago they had some pickle farms, but that was way before my time."

The final word.

"We should accept his apology, get out of our offices, and do some holiday shopping."

- House Republican Conference Chairman J.C. Watts commenting on the arguments over incoming Senate majority leader Trent Lott's tribute to retiring Sen. Strom Thurmond last week.

source: CongressDaily

Top entertainers of 2002: Denzel, Ozzy, and Eminem

Actors, singers, and some who fall in between dominate Entertainment Weekly's annual list of top entertainers. The magazine's top 10 for 2002:

1. Denzel Washington
2. Tobey Maguire, "Spider-Man"
3. The Osbournes, of the MTV series of the same name
4. Nia Vardalos, writer/star of "My Big Fat Greek Wedding"
5. Kelly Clarkson/Simon Cowell, "American Idol," Fox TV
6. Eminem, hip-hop artist/star of "8 Mile"
7. Halle Berry, costar of "Die Another Day"
8. The Strokes/the White Stripes/the Vines/the Hives (garage bands)
9. Norah Jones, pop/jazz singer
10. Mira Nair and Alfonso CuarĂ³n (directors)
- Reuters

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