Sex and other sorrows

Sex is dull, Cond

By Amy Reiter
Published April 13, 1999 10:09AM (EDT)

Calling Colin Quinn: Here's one for your "Weekend Update" files. The guy you replaced, comedian Norm Macdonald, says he's uncomfortable with naked bodies (including his own) and finds sex "incredibly repetitive and just kind of dull." In fact, the former "Saturday Night Live" regular and "Norm Show" star confesses in an upcoming issue of TV Guide that he'd rather play Frogger than get his joystick jamming in the name of love. Macdonald even insists that other people would feel the same way if they ever gave the arcade game a try. Uh ... thanks, but we think we'll take a pass.

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To be or not to be Ginger Spice

"Sometimes I think I've got Hamlet's disease of introspection."

-- Ex-Spice Gal Geri Halliwell on her decision to go solo, at the New York press preview of her debut single, "Look at Me," in USA Today.

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The many sorrows of Si

We have to admit, we feel a little sorry for Si Newhouse. (No, we're not bucking for a job at Vanity Fair. We just got here! And besides, we don't have the snazzy suits for it.) Last year, the Condé Nast head honcho suffered just about every indignity imaginable: abandonment (by Tina Brown, who ditched the helm of the New Yorker for her new project, Talk, involving Condé Nast arch-rival Hearst); humiliation (by Slate's Michael Kinsley, who sent around an e-mail flaming Newhouse for offering and then rescinding the offer for Brown's seat); guilt (or so one might hope, after a 48-story elevator tower at Condé Nast's under-construction headquarters collapsed, killing one 85-year-old woman and rendering others homeless); and more humiliation (by magazines like Fortune, which called his company's fortunes precarious and CEO Steven Florio a born liar, and Business Week, which labeled Newhouse "shy, short, insecure, awkward, inarticulate, rude, cruel").

And just when the Advance Publications magnate might have thought things were finally going his way again -- after getting props from the press for editorially goosing Glamour and Details -- trouble again descended upon Condé Nast's New York headquarters last week: a two-alarm blaze that drew more than 120 firefighters to the scene and much media fire.

"It's cursed with bad luck," clucks the New York Post of the future home of the Newhouse empire. "Whether it be bad luck, human error or malevolent spirits haunting the construction site between 42nd and 43rd streets on Broadway, 4 Times Square -- as it's officially called -- has earned an unfortunate spot in the pantheon of buildings with particularly bad karma," agrees the New York Times. (And when the staid old New York Times starts talking bad karma, you know there's some seriously funky mojo going down.)

What's next, pestilence?

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The Melissa Manhattan Project

"It's like a bomb. You can't help if someone with no ethics gets it."

-- Thirteen-year-old computer programming prodigy TechnoPhunk, who claims to have created some 213 viruses, meditating on Melissa on

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Click and Clack take MIT

It's enough to make us want to go back to school for an engineering degree. (OK, maybe not quite enough.) Last year, our nation's philanderer in chief gave the commencement address at MIT, but this year's graduates are in for an even bigger treat. At their ceremony on June 4, they'll hear from a couple of guys who can really rev a girl's engine: the Car Talk guys, Click and Clack.

The National Public Radio talk-show hosts (real names: Tom and Ray Magliozzi), who dish out as much life advice and goofiness as they do mechanical help, are themselves graduates of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (who knew?). Tom got an economics degree in 1958; Ray was a humanities major, class of 1972.

"President Charles Vest has demonstrated tremendous courage by inviting us to give the commencement address, since he has absolutely no idea what we're going to say," Ray told the Associated Press. "And needless to say, neither do we."

We'll never forget the time the guy called in to the syndicated show to find out how badly he'd hurt his sport-utility vehicle by peeing in the radiator. (Not badly, it turned out.) Might we suggest that as a suitably sage subject?

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Big Brother Bill

Feeling a little paranoid? You're not alone. Last week, the watchdog group Privacy International announced the winners of its first-ever Big Brother Awards, to spotlight "government agencies and corporations that have done the most to invade personal privacy." And the People's Choice award went to ... that many-tentacled cyber-giant Microsoft. Guess they don't call their operating system Windows for nothing.

Amy Reiter

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