Archive for Sunday, July 30, 2000

People, Faces & Things

July 30, 2000

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Ironing it out

After stumbling on national television while trying to define taconite, Gov. Jesse Ventura and an entourage of Minnesota Cabinet members are heading to the Iron Range next week for some schooling.

The visit will include a history and introduction of mining.

"We're trying to get them better educated with northeastern Minnesota," said Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board Chairman John Swift.

Ventura put in a plug for the range during an appearance last month on Jay Leno's "Tonight Show." He told Leno about LTV Steel Mining Co.'s imminent closing in Hoyt Lakes -- and the 1,400 jobs that would go with it.

But then Leno asked what taconite was. The material is a low-grade form of iron ore that is refined into higher-grade pellets used to make steel.

"Taconite is those little, like kind of iron balls that they make things out of, I guess," Ventura explained. "I'm not an expert on it; I'm just the governor."

Awaiting a resurrection

The character Drusilla may be coming back to "Buffy the Vampire Slayer."

Actress Juliet Landau left the WB network series after the show's second season finale.

Joss Whedon, creator of the series, said they are considering bringing Landau back to either "Buffy" or its spinoff, "Angel."

"I can't make any promises, but we are definitely investigating the idea," Whedon told TV Guide Online.

And Landau, who recently shot the movies "Carlo's Wake" and "Citizens of Perpetual Indulgence," says she'd love to do it.

"There's so much dimension to the character -- it's not just playing a straightforward villain," she said. "So I'm definitely interested."

Too real for BYU

A Brigham Young University student who appeared on MTV's "Real World" has been suspended from the school.

Julie Stoffer, a business major from Delafield, Wis., spent five months being filmed for the reality TV show in which she lived with four men and two other women in New Orleans.

She was suspended for the fall semester because she broke the school's honor code. The Mormon school prohibits single students from living with members of the opposite sex.

"This is not a decision if she was a good or bad person. But it is about her commitment to the honor code," BYU spokeswoman Carri P. Jenkins said.

Last month, Stoffer said BYU officials should go by the spirit of the law, not the letter of the law.

"I didn't have sex and they have that on tape," Julie said in June. "If I did have sex it would be on tape. It would be like: 'Mormon girl loses her virginity on TV.' "

TB or not TB

Bill and Melinda Gates are giving Harvard Medical School nearly $45 million to fight drug-resistant strains of tuberculosis.

It's the largest private donation ever to combat the disease.

Harvard says it will use the five-year grant to join other groups, including the World Health Organization and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in fighting TB in Peru.

Peru has a pilot program that can cure patients with drug-resistant TB at a fraction of what it costs to treat them in the United States, Harvard said.

The Gates Foundation wanted to expand that program so other countries could use it as a model, the school said.

TB is a highly infectious bacterial disease spread by coughing. It attacks the lungs and kills more than 2 million people every year.

Shady/Brady

Eminem's got nothing on Greg Brady. Ex-Brady Bunch kid Barry Williams is hawking a new song parody, "The Real Greg Brady," based on Eminem's best-selling "The Real Slim Shady."

Sample lyrics: "It was so much fun makin' that show for you/and then writin' my book, too -- tellin' who was dating who/It was all TV, wasn't real, just play/back then we couldn't say that the dad was really gay/or that my mom on TV was datin' me. Tee hee!"

For the full lyric sheet, or to buy the CD single for $5, check out barrywilliams.com.

Wouldn't want to live there

"I'd move to Los Angeles if Australia and New Zealand were swallowed by a huge tidal wave, if there was a bubonic plague in England, and if the content of Africa disappeared from some Martian attack."

--New Zealand-born Australian Russell Crowe, rumored to be dating Dennis Quaid's ex, Meg Ryan, in Movieline magazine.

Pressing for privacy

Leo Blair, the youngest child of Prime Minister Tony Blair and his wife, Cherie, was christened Saturday, but the event sparked new tension between the Blairs and some members of the British press.

The prime minister's Downing Street office had called on the media not to attend or publish pictures of the event in order to preserve the privacy of Leo and the Blairs' three other children.

But within hours of the christening, several newspapers had run front-page photos of the prime minister carrying 2-month-old Leo into church.

A Downing Street spokesman said the Blairs had referred the matter to the Press Complaints Commission, whose code says children may only be photographed with the permission of their parents.

About 120 friends, family and local party workers reportedly attended the christening ceremony at St. John Fisher Roman Catholic church in Blair's Sedgefield electoral district in northeastern England. Around 200 well-wishers turned out to watch the party emerge from the church, local police said.

Leo was born May 20, the first child born to a serving British prime minister in 152 years. The Blairs also have two teen-age sons, Euan and Nicholas, and a 12-year-old daughter, Kathyrn.

Today's birthdays

Singer Paul Anka is 59. Actor Arnold Schwarzenegger is 53. Actor Laurence Fishburne is 39. Actress Lisa Kudrow is 37. Actress Vivica A. Fox is 36. Actor-comedian Tom Green is 29. Actress Hilary Swank is 26.

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