• U.S.

Notebook: Jan. 26, 1998

6 minute read
Kathleen Adams, Daniel Eisenberg, Jon Goldstein, Tam Gray, Anita Hamilton, Janice M. Horowitz, Nadya Labi, Michele Orecklin and Alain L.Sanders



CBS The Bloodshot Eye gets back on the gridiron. Sure, it’s pricey, but look at the alternative: Tisch TV

WARNER BROS. ER is king. Without Seinfeld, NBC realizes Must-See TV is Must-Pay (through the nose) TV

RUPERT MURDOCH Four years ago, people said he paid too much. Now it’s peanuts


NBC Sure, they have the Olympics, but what’s a demographic guy gonna watch without football and Jerry?

TNT Punts on fourth down and loses NFL. Now it’s an open field for ESPN with no tacklers in sight

SAM DONALDSON Career demotion. Back to pounding the White House beat


Super Bowls of late have been pretty dull affairs, but you do have the legal option of enlivening matters with a wager or two. Las Vegas casinos offer a dizzying number of propositions for betting on the Game. Here is just a small sample–yes, a small sample–of the “props” for which you can plunk down your money. The variety may offer new meaning to the saying “There’s a sucker born every minute.”

–Will Elway’s first pass attempt be complete?

–What will be the first scoring play of the game? The last scoring play?

–Will the first scorer have an odd- or even-numbered jersey?

–What will be the last digit of the total points scored by both teams?

–Will there be overtime? A safety? A 2-point conversion?

–Which team will score the longest touchdown?

–What will be the total number of fumbles lost by both teams?

–In games played on Jan. 25, which will be greater: the number of completions by Favre, or the number of basketball rebounds by Rodman? The number of receiving yards by Brooks, or the fourth-round golf score of Mickelson? The number of receptions by Sharpe, or the total number of hockey goals scored by the Devils and the Canadiens? Good luck!


Let’s face it, the Pope is a snappy dresser. When he visits Cuba this week, he will be donning at least half a dozen outfits. But John Paul II isn’t just a Beau Brummel; most of his wardrobe has a symbolic religious aspect. The Italian firm Gammarelli’s has served as a papal tailor for nearly 200 years. The Vatican also has its own seamstresses, and there are four black-robed nuns who oversee his considerable laundry. Using your very own John Paul II cutout doll, you can create your favorite papal ensembles:


ZUCCHETTO White cap or skullcap

CASSOCK With cape, called the mozzetta, and oversleeves

SASH AND CUFFS Made of water-marked silk (moire) Embroidered coat of arms

SHOES Brownish-red moccasins, a style worn since investiture

FOR MASS Special prayers are said on donning each piece

AMICE From Latin amictus (wrapped around)

CINCTURE Rope belt that goes around the waist

ALB Represents the garment of grace and purity

MITER Traditional headgear worn only for public Masses

CROZIER Designed for the Pope by Lello Scorzelli

PALLIUM Woolen band worn around the neck

CHASUBLE Green for this Sunday’s Mass, from casula or “little house”

STOLE Sign of priestly authority



CLEAR CUT Some 20% of appendectomies turn out to be unnecessary–and patients wind up with a healthy appendix removed. But a study finds that a high-speed C.T. scan can now determine with 98% accuracy when true appendicitis is present–and when it’s not.

A HEAD START Using a few drops of spinal fluid, a new test can detect Alzheimer’s disease years before full-blown symptoms arise. The test, which is as accurate as a brain autopsy, measures NTP, a protein that’s released from damaged brain cells.

HOT DEGREES Having only a high school diploma has a side benefit: graduates have more sex each year than those who finish college.

Sources: New England Journal of Medicine; Journal of Clinical Investigation; Nat’l Opinion Research Center


A REAL DRAG Everyone’s arteries begin to harden with age, but the pace is significantly hastened if you breathe secondhand smoke. Moreover, among actual smokers, the arterial damage may be irreversible–even after quitting.

HEAVY MAMAS Pregnant women who are overweight before pregnancy face a threefold increased risk of having a stillborn baby. It’s thought that Mom’s high lipid levels may somehow impair the placenta’s ability to function.

NEW FLU No, not the bird kind. An Australian flu that’s not countered by this year’s vaccine is accounting for 40% of U.S. influenza cases.

Sources: Journal of the American Medical Association; New England Journal of Medicine; CDC


IN SHAPE The American Cancer Society found some states more fit than others.

Percent of adults who participate in regular, sustained physical activity:


Alaska 29.3 Wyoming 28.0 Oregon 27.3 Connecticut 26.9 Colorado 26.5


Mississippi 14.0 Kentucky 13.2 Maine 13.0 N. Carolina 12.7 D.C. 11.6

Source: Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System


THE LATEST IN BELATED APOLOGIES In 1997 the Roman Catholic Church finally said it was sorry for collaborating with the Nazis during World War II. With the millennium around the corner, repentance is on the rise. Last week two more late apologies trickled in.

–On the 100th anniversary of Emile Zola’s article “J’accuse,” France’s Roman Catholic daily paper, La Croix, apologized for its anti-Semitic editorials during the Dreyfus affair.

–With Emperor Akihito’s visit to Britain forthcoming, Japanese P.M. Ryutaro Hashimoto apologized to Tony Blair for the mistreatment of British WW II POWs and offered their grandchildren a free year of study in Japan.


52: Number of times those with a graduate degree have sex per year

59: Number of times those with a high school diploma have sex per year

36: Number of years between Senator John Glenn’s first space orbit and his relaunch later this year at age 77

51: Number of years between hockey player Gordie Howe’s rookie year and his return to the ice last year at age 69

8-2-8: Winning numbers in last Monday’s and Tuesday’s Connecticut Daily Numbers game

1 million to 1: Odds of those numbers being drawn two days in a row

$8 million: Amount Fox TV will pay John Madden per year for the next five years

$7.5 million: Amount highest-paid NFL player, Steve Young, currently averages per season

$58 million: Projected increase in NFL teams’ spending on players’ salaries after five seasons

Sources: National Opinion Research Center; Detroit News; SPORTS ILLUSTRATED; Associated Press; USA Today; Wall Street Journal

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